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?

๐Ÿ‘‰๐ŸพWithin 10 days of sustained protests:
Minneapolis bans use of choke holds.

๐Ÿ‘‰๐ŸพCharges are upgraded against Officer Chauvin, and his accomplices are arrested and charged.

๐Ÿ‘‰๐ŸพDallas adopts a "duty to intervene" rule that requires officers to stop other cops who are engaging in inappropriate use of force.

๐Ÿ‘‰๐ŸพNew Jersey’s attorney general said the state will update its use-of-force guidelines for the first time in two decades.

๐Ÿ‘‰๐ŸพIn Maryland, a bipartisan work group of state lawmakers announced a police reform work group.

๐Ÿ‘‰๐ŸพLos Angeles City Council introduces motion to reduce LAPD’s $1.8 billion operating budget.

๐Ÿ‘‰๐ŸพMBTA in Boston agrees to stop using public buses to transport police officers to protests.

๐Ÿ‘‰๐ŸพPolice brutality captured on cameras leads to near-immediate suspensions and firings of officers in several cities (i.e., Buffalo, Ft. Lauderdale).

๐Ÿ‘‰๐ŸพMonuments celebrating confederates are removed in cities in Virginia, Alabama, and other states.

๐Ÿ‘‰๐ŸพStreet 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:

๐Ÿ’“The really difficult public and private conversations that are happening about race and privilege.

๐Ÿ’“The realizations some white people are coming to about racism and the role of policing in this country.

๐Ÿ’“The self-reflection.

๐Ÿ’“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.


๐ŸŒŽ Protests against racial inequality sparked by the police killing of George Floyd are taking place all over the world.

๐ŸŒŽ Rallies and memorials have been held in cities across Europe, as well as in Mexico, Canada, Brazil, Australia, and New Zealand.

๐ŸŒŽ 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.

๐ŸŒŽ 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.

๐ŸŒŽ 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 Traorรฉ, a 24-year-old black man who was subdued by police officers and gasped the sentence before he died outside Paris in 2016.

๐ŸŒŽ Cities across Europe have come together after the death of George Floyd:

✊๐Ÿฝ 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."

✊๐Ÿฝ In Germany, people gathered in multiple locations throughout Berlin to demand justice for Floyd and fight against police brutality.

✊๐Ÿพ 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.

✊๐Ÿฟ In Ireland, protesters held a peaceful demonstration outside of Belfast City Hall, and others gathered outside of the US embassy in Dublin.

✊๐ŸฟIn Italy, protesters gathered and marched with signs that said "Stop killing black people," "Say his name," and "We will not be silent."

✊๐Ÿพ In Spain, people gathered to march and hold up signs throughout Barcelona and Madrid.

✊๐Ÿพ In Athens, Greece, protesters took to the streets to collectively hold up a sign that read "I can't breathe."

✊๐Ÿพ In Brussels, protesters were seen sitting in a peaceful demonstration in front of an opera house in the center of the city.

✊๐ŸพIn Denmark, protesters were heard chanting "No justice, no peace!" throughout the streets of Copenhagen, while others gathered outside the US embassy.

✊๐Ÿพ 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.

✊๐Ÿพ And in New Zealand, roughly 2,000 people marched to the US embassy in Auckland, chanting and carrying signs demanding justice.

๐Ÿ’ 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.

๐Ÿ’ In Poland, candles and flowers were laid out next to photos of Floyd outside the US consulate.

๐Ÿ’ 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







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





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Sign the petition

Mayor Breed:
City of SF Essential Workers Deserve Safety!

Please read, sign, and share this petition calling for safety protections for SF essential workers!

San Francisco is being touted as a leader in the fight to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Yet, San Francisco Water Department employees’ concerns about their safety are minimized, or worse, ignored. They are expected to work as if this pandemic is not even happening. They serve the residents of San Francisco with pride, but are being asked to put routine and non-essential work before their health and well-being.
Elected officials and health experts have repeatedly underscored that social distancing is the best weapon we have to protect ourselves from contracting – or unwittingly spreading – the coronavirus. However, it is not possible to maintain social distancing for a crew of several people installing a water service or carrying out strenuous physical work in various Water Department shops.
SFWD, a revenue-generating department, has not scaled back work. Mayor Breed has ordered virtually all construction within San Francisco to be stopped, with those crews sent home to shelter in place. But Water Department employees are still out in public, installing water services for these same buildings that have been shut down due to COVID-19. On the other hand, employees in SF’s Sewer Department have been working one week on, two weeks off, with no reduction in pay, in order to reduce their exposure.
Another issue is the lack of sufficient personal protective equipment.Workers are allotted one face mask per day which becomes unusable early in their shifts. There has not been training or guidance, nor physical tools, for employees to do their work safely, although much of the work they are doing simply cannot be done safely during these times.
Additionally, there is the issue of vulnerability for at-will (known as Category-18) and “as needed” staff, who can be laid off at any time with no reason. They work side by side with permanent employees, but are often prevented from speaking out because they have to weigh their own lives against the potential repercussions of speaking up when they are instructed to put themselves in jeopardy.
We cannot help but wonder if the reason SFWD workers feel disposable, rather than “essential,” is because the City is putting Water Department revenue above the very life and health of its workforce. In spite of government leaders’ claims to the contrary, this does not seem like “we are all in this together.” We, the undersigned SFWD (City Distribution Division) employees, their families, ratepayers and concerned community members call on City and PUC leaders to meet the following demands.
1. Reduce the scope of SFWD operations to truly essential work.Institute a one week on/two weeks off schedule with no loss of pay, similar to staff in the Sewer Department. Social distancing is at the very heart of the strategy to combat the virus so minimizing the number of people reporting to work decreases their exposure rate.
2. Provide sufficient personal protective equipment in order to do every job safely, whether in the field, shops or offices. If such PPE is not available, SFWD employees should not be asked to compromise their lives and the health and safety of their families, especially for routine work. Enhanced training to address these unprecedented working conditions, backed up by the supplies and infrastructure to carry it out, is necessary for the most vulnerable workers. If personal vehicles are used to get to job sites and maintain social distancing, the City should assume the related liability.
3. Provide equal and safe working conditions for every employee.Eliminate Category-18 and other vulnerable hiring statuses, and make these workers permanent employees. San Francisco should be leading the way on equality for all, not promoting second class citizenship for some. No retaliation against any employee.
We call on City and PUC leaders to take these necessary measures to protect City workers, their families, and their communities!



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. ๐Ÿ˜“

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) Officer Who Violently Shoved Protester in Brooklyn to Face Charges
The police officer, who was recorded knocking down a young woman who questioned his order, surrendered himself on Tuesday.
By Ashley Southall, June 9, 2020
Screen shot of cop who knocked down demonstrator.

A New York City police officer surrendered to face criminal charges on Tuesday, over a week after he was recorded on video shoving a woman to the ground and cursing at her during a protest against police brutality, the police commissioner and law enforcement officials said.

The Brooklyn district attorney’s office plans to charge the officer, Vincent D’Andraia, with misdemeanor assault, harassment and menacing over the May 29 incident, one law enforcement official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss an open investigation.

Cellphone video showed him knocking the victim, Dounya Zayer, 20, to the ground and calling her a “bitch” after she asked him why he told her to get out of the street.

The expected arrest of Officer D’Andraia, who turned himself in at the 84th Precinct station house, on assault charges is highly unusual and seemed to reflect the growing political pressure on the police and prosecutors to hold officers accountable for misconduct.

Mass protests against police brutality swept the nation after the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died after a white officer knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes in Minneapolis.

Officer D’Andraia, who has been suspended without pay, is the first city police officer in New York to face arrest over his conduct during the large protests that have sprung up every day since Mr. Floyd died on May 25.

Prosecutors are weighing criminal charges against as many as 40 other officers, law enforcement officials said, as the police, district attorneys, and lawmakers face intense pressure to change a status quo that for decades has largely allowed police officers accused of assault or other violent acts on duty to avoid serious punishment.

Police and prosecutors have said they are investigating several other instances of police using violence against protesters after they were recorded on video, and a civilian oversight agency that investigates police misconduct said it has received hundreds of complaints since the protests started.

Officer D’Andraia and another officer involved in a separate incident were suspended without pay last week after investigators concluded they had violated department policies and recommended disciplinary charges. The second officer, who has not been named publicly, was recorded snatching off a man’s mask and pepper-spraying him during a protest on May 30 in Brooklyn.

Patrick J. Lynch, the president of the Police Benevolent Association, which represents about 24,000 active officers, accused the mayor and top police officials of abandoning officers to “save their own skin.”

“They created the failed strategy for maintaining these demonstrations,” he said. “They sent police officers out to do the job with no support and no clear plan. They should be the ones facing this mob-rule justice.”



2) I Wish I’d Had ‘Ramy’ When I Was a Kid
He refuses to be the perfect ambassador for Muslims. It’s refreshing.
By Wajahat Ali, June 9, 2020
Ramy (Ramy Youssef) and Zainab (MaameYaa Boafo), in a scene from the second season of the Hulu show “Ramy.”Credit...Craig Blankenhorn/Hulu

If you aren’t writing your story, others will write it for you. That’s what’s happened to Muslims in America for too long.

We’ve been in this country since the 16th century, but we’ve  rarely had the opportunity to tell our own stories in history books, movies and television shows. Instead we have been cast as America’s villains, foreigners and invaders.

When I was growing up, my daily diet consisted of halal meat and Hollywood pop culture. In the latter category, we were so starved for Muslim representation that my family applauded when the characters in the comedy “Spies Like Us” accidentally ended up in a highly inaccurate depiction of Pakistan. The bar was so low that I just desired the terrorist villains in ’80s action movies to at least stop shooting bullets in the air. I’m not alone. Muslims who work in film and television often tell me they simply want stories to show Muslims as “human beings.”

Last time I checked, I was a human: Maybe there’s a place for media that convinces the general public of that. But when it comes to what I watch, I want much more.

That’s why I wish that teenage Wajahat — who fasted during Ramadan, but also pined for Jennifer Lopez and Winona Ryder — had been able to watch Hulu’s “Ramy.”

Starring the comedian Ramy Youssef, and now in its second season, it’s about a confused Muslim millennial trying to reconcile his Islamic faith and Egyptian traditions with his sexual frustrations and self-destructive habits. In the second season, which premiered May 29, Mr. Youssef’s character, Ramy, has a religious awakening, but he uses religion as a cover for his continued moral failings, taking “bay’ah” (a pledge) with a pious sheikh played with graceful dignity by Mahershala Ali.

Appreciating his own privilege as an Arab Muslim, Mr. Youssef told me it was also necessary to have his sheikh this season played by the Oscar-winning Mr. Ali. He said Muslims must confront the “large, large amount of anti-blackness in our communities” and it was “the most American choice to have a black sheikh,” whose piety stands in stark contract to his character’s immense flaws.

Mr. Youssef was only 10 years old at the time of the September 11 terror attacks, a traumatic experience of “othering” during his blossoming adolescence encapsulated in a surreal highlight of Season 1 where he imagined eating strawberries and debating violence with Osama bin Laden. The scene intersects his young character’s guilt over masturbation with his anger and confusion over being scapegoated and vilified by classmates as the token Muslim.

I was a 20-year-old college student during that crisis and the message I got from society was clear: Overnight my worth, along with the worth of America’s millions of other Muslims, became linked to security. The good Muslims were uncritical patriots who helped fight terrorism, the bad Muslim were terrorists. And the rest of us were to remain perpetual suspects.

It was around that time that I became a playwright. At the University of California, Berkeley, my short story professor, Ishmael Reed, encouraged me to write “The Domestic Crusaders,” a traditional American family drama told through the lens of a Muslim family. He told me as a black man he learned early that arts and culture are a means for the rest of us to fight back and set the record straight.

But for my generation of Muslim writers at that time, that battle was often an exhausting, creatively bankrupt endeavor. It felt like our fictional stories had to be potent talismans. They couldn’t afford to simply exist and breathe like our white colleagues’ narratives. They had to entertain, correct stereotypes, represent the community, educate Americans and fight Islamophobia.

Mr. Youssef’s generation still suffers from the consequences of the 9/11 tragedy, but he plays by new rules and refuses to be the perfect ambassador of Islam. “I don’t want to explain Islam to people on a show, because it’s a comedy and I wouldn’t be good at doing that,” he told me. “But I can show how people are living it.”

In “Ramy,” the “people living it” are messy, sinful, complicated, hypocritical — and hilarious. They are both good and bad. Mr. Youssef also wants audiences to do their own homework. When it comes to the show’s liberal use of Islamic practices and Arabic, “If you get it, you get it,” he said. “If you don’t, Google it.”

“Ramy brought the WhatsApp thread to the screen, and I think that’s so amazing,” the comedian Hasan Minhaj told me, referring to the raw, honest conversations Muslims have with their friends on private social media apps but rarely in public or in the mosque. Mr. Minhaj believes Mr. Youssef’s show ushers in a “seminal moment” that will open doors for new, odd and wild perspectives and stories from Muslim Americans to finally emerge into the mainstream.

For example, in one episode this season, Ramy meets the former adult film star Mia Khalifa while waiting for an audience with a wealthy Gulf patron, who later challenges Ramy to an archery competition to decide whether or not he will donate to his sheikh’s mosque.

We’ve come a long way from endless images of terrorists. Throughout the show, Ramy inflicts only emotional pain upon himself and his loved ones, as he mumbles and meanders his way through one humiliating sexual episode after another without committing physical violence. He’s not an icon like Muhammad Ali or a villain like Osama bin Laden. He’s like a Muslim Portnoy — but with a deep love of faith, which only compounds his guilt and endless masochism.

Mr. Youssef told me he believes his show has ultimately connected with audiences because “it’s less a story of a Muslim family” than a show “about finding people in places where they hide, in places where they’re lonely, where they are trying to find meaning.”

It’s ridiculous to assume a TV show or a Muslim version of “Crazy Rich Asians” will single-handedly stop the bigotry that intensified after 9/11 and exploded in the Trump era. Mr. Youssef agrees and says he struggles “with the idea of how much TV in this age affects the real world,” given everyone now curates their own content and lives in their information bubbles.

Still, I agree with Mr. Youssef when he says very specific shows like his with interesting Muslim characters can nonetheless reveal our shared humanity and give audiences a “heart behind a statistic” and a “heart behind news headlines.”

The show has given me so much of what I missed when I was growing up. I hope its success paves the way for new Muslim narratives, especially those centered around Muslim women of color. Maybe my daughters will see what’s missing, like I did, and be the ones to write that story.

The struggle continues. But with “Ramy,” at least the low bar has been raised.



3) Respond, Reopen, Reset
DEALBOOK NEWSLETTER, June 9, 2020 [Excerpt]
Credit...Valerie Macon/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Things won’t be the same

DealBook is the first to report on a new poll of Americans’ economic priorities after the pandemic. The survey by Just Capital, a nonprofit research group that tracks companies’ social impact, and The Harris Poll found that few people are looking forward to a return to business as usual.

Just 25 percent of those surveyed think capitalism as it stands is good for society. By contrast, a large majority thinks that the pandemic has exposed underlying structural problems and that big companies should “reset” their priorities.

• In short, the pandemic is an opportunity to “build a better form of capitalism,” said Martin Whittaker, Just Capital’s C.E.O.

Customers won’t forget how companies reacted to the crisis, the survey found. More than 80 percent of respondents said they would remember which companies “did the right thing by their workers,” whether that’s extra safety measures or efforts to avoid layoffs. Three-quarters of those polled said they would remember the businesses that took missteps during the pandemic “long after it is over.”

• Majorities of respondents supported health and safety measures, flexible working practices, hazard pay, and protecting jobs at the expense of profits, instead of reopening as quickly as possible.

Who’s doing what? Just Capital has tracked corporations’ responses to the pandemic since March. It has expanded its tool to include the 301 largest publicly traded employers in the U.S. The group has added more details about director and executive pay cuts, worker bonuses and voluntary leave policies.

• About 30 percent of these companies have announced pay cuts for executives or the board, while just over 10 percent have increased pay for front-line workers. In some cases, these actions have already expired.



4) Minnesota Law Officers Acknowledge Slashing Tires At Minneapolis Protest
A spokesman defended the decision while conceding that slashing tires is “not a typical tactic.”
By Ryan Grenoble, June 6, 2020
Screen shot New York Police driving into protesters March 30, 2020.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety confirmed Monday that officers from two law enforcement agencies slashed dozens of vehicles’ tires as part of the response to protests in Minneapolis last weekend.

Minnesota state troopers and deputies from the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office punctured and deflated tires in “a few locations,” Department of Public Safety spokesman Bruce Gordon told The Star Tribune.

“State Patrol troopers strategically deflated tires ... in order to stop behaviors such as vehicles driving dangerously and at high speeds in and around protesters and law enforcement,” he said.

Gordon acknowledged that law enforcement slashing tires is “not a typical tactic,” but defended it as reducing the risk of vehicles “being used as dangerous weapons and inhibiting our ability to clear areas and keep areas safe.”

Several of the damaged cars belonged to reporters on the scene covering the protests that erupted following the police killing of George Floyd on May 25 in Minneapolis. Journalists have repeatedly been targeted by law enforcement officers as they cover protests across the country.

In Minneapolis, police fired tear gas at reporters “at point-blank range,” according to a Los Angeles Times reporter, who said she was hit in the leg by a canister. And a Vice News reporter said he was thrown to the ground, held down and pepper-sprayed by police after identifying himself as press.

Freelance writer Linda Tirado said she’s “permanently blind” in her left eye after allegedly being hit by a rubber bullet or tracer round fired by authorities in Minneapolis at the end of May. Tirado said officers fired at her even after she’d identified herself as press.

Similar incidents occurred over and over across the U.S., including in Louisville, Kentucky, where cops fired pepper balls directly at TV reporter Kaitlin Rust and her cameraman:

In Denver, reporters from several different outlets were fired upon, including Denver Post photographer Hyoung Chang, who had his press badge split by a projectile.

Protests have upended cities across the globe following the death of the 46-year-old Floyd, a Black man who died after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes while he gasped out the words, “I can’t breathe.”

On Sunday, a majority of Minneapolis City Council members announced support for dismantling the city’s police department in response to calls for fundamental changes in how the policing function is performed.



5) Black Lives Matter Is Winning
Activists set out to show that police brutality was pervasive. The police have now made that clear.
By Farhad Manjoo, June 10 2020
Demonstrators in Minneapolis marched last Friday to protest the killing of George Floyd.Credit...Victor J. Blue for The New York Times

It’s wondrous, isn’t it, how the people just keep coming out? Day after day, night after night, in dozens of cities, braving a deadly virus and brutal retaliation, they continue to pack the streets in uncountable numbers, demanding equality and justice — and, finally, prompting what feels like real change.

How did this happen? How did Black Lives Matter, a hashtag-powered movement that has been building for years, bring America to what looks like a turning point?

I have a theory: The protests exploded in scale and intensity because the police seemed to go out of their way to illustrate exactly the arguments that Black Lives Matter has been raising online since 2013.

For the last two weeks, the police reaction to the movement has been so unhinged, and so well documented, that it couldn’t help but feed support for the protests. American public opinion may have tipped in favor of Black Lives Matter for good.

By “the police,” I mean not just state and municipal police across the country, but also the federal officers from various agencies that cracked down on protesters in front of the White House, as well as their supporters and political patrons, from police chiefs to mayors to the attorney general and the president himself.

Black Lives Matter aims to highlight the depth of brutality, injustice and unaccountability that American society, especially law enforcement, harbors toward black people. Many protesters set out to call attention to the unchecked power of the police, their military weaponry and their capricious use of it. They wanted to show that the problem of policing in America is more than that of individual bad officers; the problem is a culture that protects wrongdoers, tolerates mendacity, rewards blind loyalty and is fiercely resistant to change. More deeply, it is a law enforcement culture that does not regard black lives as worthy of protection.

And what did the cops do? They responded with a display of organized, unchecked power — on camera, in a way that many Americans might never be able to unsee.

To understand why this moment may prompt structural change, it is worth putting the latest protests into a larger context. To me, the past two weeks have felt like an echo of that heady moment late in 2017, after The New York Times and The New Yorker exposed Harvey Weinstein’s history of sexual assault. At the time, #MeToo, as an online rallying cry against sexual abuse and harassment, was more than a decade old. The Weinstein story didn’t create that movement, just as the videos of George Floyd’s death at the hands of the Minneapolis police didn’t create Black Lives Matter.

Instead, the Weinstein news broke the dam. Since then, #MeToo activism has gone on to upend society in a way that felt revolutionary.

It feels like the dam is breaking again.

The movement behind Black Lives Matter has taken to the streets before — but nothing on this scale, with this intensity. And not with these results. The National Football League was once a powerful and bitter rival; now it has embraced the movement, though it still has not apologized to or signed Colin Kaepernick, the player who first knelt in protest against police brutality.

Politicians at every level are professing newfound support, and, right before our eyes, the Overton window of acceptable public discourse about police reform has shifted to include terms like “demilitarize,” “defund” and “abolish.”

It’s not clear how far the politics will go, but the shifts so far are significant. “Never before in the history of modern polling has the country expressed such widespread agreement on racism’s pervasiveness in policing, and in society at large,” The Times reported last week.

More important, we are no longer just talking about imposing new limits on how the police can operate. We’re finally asking more substantive political questions: What roles should be reserved for the police in our cities, and what roles would better be served by hiring more teachers, social workers or mental health experts?

In Los Angeles, where leaders on the left and the right have long showered resources on the police, the mayor has now proposed spending $250 million more on social services and $150 million less on policing. Last week, New York’s mayor, Bill de Blasio, resisted cutting the $6 billion police budget; on Sunday, he promised future cuts. And in Minneapolis, a veto-proof majority of City Council members pledged to dismantle the city’s police department.

The proximate cause of the latest protests was the horror of George Floyd’s death. But we’ve seen videos of cops killing black men before and they have rarely led to criminal prosecution, let alone broad societal upheaval.

What’s happening now is about more than that video. Just as, after the Weinstein story broke, when women came forward with stories too numerous to ignore or dismiss, what we’ve seen in the last two weeks are episodes of excessive force too blatant and numerous to conclude that the problem is one of a few isolated cases.

The evidence of police brutality has become too widespread even for elected officials to ignore. They can no longer easily coddle police unions in exchange for political support; now ignoring police misconduct will become a political liability, and perhaps something will change.

Alex Vitale, a sociologist and the author of “The End of Policing,” which argues for a wholesale dismantling of American policing, told me that he has high hopes for structural change because organizers had laid the groundwork for it. “My reason for optimism is that before Minneapolis happened, there were already dozens of campaigns to divert police funding,” he said. “So that’s why that demand emerged so quickly — people were already doing that work.”

Vitale also suggested that the movement can take hold permanently, that what’s happening now has cracked “the ‘ideological armor’” of policing in America.

I think he’s right.



6) Good Riddance to One of America’s Strongest Police Secrecy Laws
In New York and elsewhere, street demonstrations are leading to police reform.
By Mara Gay, June 9, 2020
Protesters outside the Queens County Criminal Court on Monday.Credit...Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

Protest works.

The large street demonstrations in scores of cities and towns across the country are bringing sudden and sweeping changes to police practices and accountability.

Minneapolis is preparing to disband and rebuild its police department.

California is poised to ban the use of police chokeholds.

Dozens of cities are considering redirecting millions in taxpayer funds from America’s heavily militarized police departments to education, health care, housing and other needs of black and Hispanic neighborhoods that have been underinvested in for generations.

New York took a step toward reform with the repeal Tuesday evening of a state law known as 50-a, a decades-old measure that has allowed the police to keep the disciplinary and personnel records of officers secret. Gov. Andrew Cuomo is expected to sign the bill.

New York’s 50-a is one of the strongest police secrecy laws in the country, the spoils of the unfettered political power New York police unions have enjoyed.

For generations, the law has been used to keep officers accused of misconduct, as well as the departments they work for, from public scrutiny. To understand its tragic toll, consider some of the New Yorkers who died at the hands of officers who most likely never should have been on the job.

Eric Garner, an unarmed black man, died in 2014 of an asthma attack triggered by a banned chokehold by a New York Police Department officer with four substantiated allegations of abuse against him. The public learned of the complaints only after they were leaked.

Ramarley Graham, 18, was unarmed when he was shot and killed in his own home by another officer in the department. Leaked police records later showed that the officer, Richard Haste, had an unusually high number of complaints against him.

Activists and police reformers have fought to repeal the law for years. Just a year ago, those efforts went nowhere. The State Legislature, even under a new Democratic majority, declined to change or repeal it. Mayor Bill de Blasio, whose administration has interpreted 50-a more strictly than his predecessors, said he supported changes to the law but he did not spend the political capital to make them happen.

Despite the harm 50-a has caused, most New Yorkers were unaware of the law. So it was startling in the past week to see “Repeal 50-a” signs pop up across New York State, at the protests and elsewhere. Driving through Long Island on Sunday, I saw one car emblazoned with the phrase in electrical tape. In Brooklyn’s upscale Cobble Hill neighborhood, “Repeal 50-a!” was posted in the storefront of a local doctor’s office and in the windows of brownstones.

What changed is that people took to the streets in peaceful protest, a movement led by black New Yorkers and others who have fought for reforms for years. What made the difference was Americans watching police officers, here and across the country, beating unarmed protesters for the crime of demanding basic respect and human dignity from the departments financed by their tax dollars.

In Buffalo last Thursday, a police officer shoved a 75-year-old white protester to the ground, an incident captured in a graphic video. Several lawmakers said the incident helped galvanize crucial support for the repeal of 50-a outside New York City.

In New York State, the repeal must be the beginning of changes to policing, not the end. The violent response to largely peaceful protests has pulled back the curtain on what black Americans already knew: that local police departments across the United States, including in New York, are too often abusive and unaccountable to the very people they are supposed to serve. It is time for far-reaching reform.

Assemblyman Charles Barron spoke for many of the protesters when he said repealing 50-a was far from enough, and he called for “radical, systemic change.”

“I don’t have no more patience for gradual reform,” he said.



7) What Happened When the Minneapolis Police Lost Legitimacy?
Ordinary people took control of their own safety.
By Hahrie Han, June 10, 2020

People attending “The Path Forward” meeting at Powderhorn Park in Minneapolis, on Sunday.Credit...Laylah Amatullah Barrayn for The New York Times

Something unthinkable happened in Minneapolis over the past two weeks: The police department lost its legitimacy. The public, roiling over the killing of George Floyd, withdrew its consent. Minneapolis public schools and the University of Minnesota ended their security contracts with the police department. A veto-proof majority of City Council members pledged to “dismantle” it.

Now, the city is entangled in a political fight about how to create a system of public safety that does not depend on a domineering police force. In the absence of clear alternatives, forces opposing change are starting to coalesce. Yet the answers are right there. Even in the chaos of the past two weeks, ordinary people took control of their own safety and we learned that the safest system is one grounded in and accountable to an organized community.

I study grass-roots movements and have partnered for several years with organizers in Minneapolis on research. For the first few nights after the killing of George Floyd on May 25, they described to me a loose network of young black leaders and organizations like Black Visions Collective that drove the continuing and growing street movements against the police. Opportunists, however, were taking advantage of confusion to sow destruction.

Yet a network of community defenders quickly emerged to protect residents. Their goals? Protect people’s ability to safely protest and tamp down on the chaos. These community defenders sought to enable democracy, not squelch it, so that organizers could advance the struggle for reforms.

By the third night, Valerie Fleurantin, a community leader and Haitian fitness instructor, told me she saw “targeted arson of minority-owned businesses.” Buildings in neighborhoods on the Northside, which local residents call “Black City,” began to burn even though there were no active protests there.

Jeremiah Ellison, the City Council member who represents that area, wrote on Twitter that when a black barbershop called the Fade Factory burned, he had “a hard time believing ANYONE who lives here would set it ablaze” because it “was a valued institution.”

No one came to help. “I kept calling, but no one answered 911,” Ms. Fleurantin said. The opportunists stretched the city’s existing public safety system to the breaking point.

Community leaders throughout the city organized a coordinated response, which the police, military and disconnected elected officials never could. Widespread confusion created by decentralized sources of destruction all around the city required a carefully networked response that was grounded in trusted community relationships.

Leaders put out calls on social media and through their own networks, and more than 1,000 residents showed up for a public meeting in Powderhorn Park. They created a plan for community defense that got shared on Facebook almost 8,000 times and crashed the website of the organization that hosted it.

Using social media and text chains among many households, neighbors looked after neighbors. They swept their alleyways to find fire accelerants that outsiders had planted, and reported to one another boxes of kindling doused with gasoline. They sat on their porches, asking strangers to account for themselves, and checking on one another. A group of Somali women chased a cluster of suspicious white men out of the Karmel Mall. Local pastors organized people to protect local grocery stores. Some groups organizing to protect local businesses had to arm themselves, but their focus was on defense. Ashley Fairbanks, an Indigenous Anishinaabe activist, helped organize people to create their own fire patrols.

City leaders recognized the importance of the community response. The City Council president, Lisa Bender, wrote on Twitter that “we see how community members are working to keep each other safe.” Mr. Ellison wrote, “Every night it blows me away how successful these civilian patrols have been.”

Abdulahi Farah, a Somali organizer, told me, “White men slept overnight in a mosque with Muslim leaders to protect it.” When some neighborhood patrols began to veer toward profiling racial minorities, community members widely circulated a set of directions about how to hold one another accountable for staying true to their values, instead of recreating a police state.

This work was possible only because organizers could build on years of organizing that connected people and built the skills they needed to mobilize a rapid response. As Ms. Fairbanks said: “No single person or organization made this happen. It took years of people, especially black women, doing the groundwork of building trust and accountability. It takes years of conversations about what it means to be community. That is what gave us the opportunity to align when we needed to.”

Those connections are like antibodies that can be activated to rapidly develop a community immune response, anchoring the community even in the midst of tremendous public confusion. The fast-moving information environment meant people were constantly trying to differentiate fact from fiction. Trusted sources of information became ever more important.

Ms. Fleurantin, who used to work for Target and a corporation that makes medical devices, said, “My former white co-workers in corporate America were sharing my stuff because they knew me and trusted what I was seeing and reporting.” Organizations and leaders grounded in relationship with people could teach them to identify opportunists and interlopers and combat misinformation.

It will take us years to understand exactly what has been and will happen in Minneapolis. The path to building a new system of public safety will be neither easy nor linear. But the experience of community defense over the past two weeks offers us a glimmer of the kinds of alternatives that are possible.

The solution is not to meet destruction with destruction, or to douse the flames of people’s pain with empty words. Instead, what we learn from Minneapolis is that when people create solidarity from the ground up, they can hold one another and public institutions accountable to a higher standard that reflects all of their shared interests. Democratic institutions are only as strong as the public allows them to be; when institutions fail, it is up to people to become the guardians of democracy.

Alondra Cano, a member of the City Council who leads its public safety committee, captured it best when she said to a reporter, “Protesting is good and needed,” but “that third space is needed where we are committed to each other.”



8) How to Feed Crowds in a Protest or Pandemic? The Sikhs Know
Their centuries-old faith tradition of nourishing anyone in need has found new energy and purpose in America’s turmoil.
By Priya Krishna, June 8, 2020
The Sikh Center of New York, in Queens Village, has served more than 145,000 free meals in the last two months, as part of their faith tradition of feeding anyone in need.Credit...Ryan Christopher Jones for The New York Times

Inside a low, brick-red building in Queens Village, a group of about 30 cooks has made and served more than 145,000 free meals in just 10 weeks. They arrive at 4 a.m. three days a week to methodically assemble vast quantities of basmati rice, dal, beans and vibrantly flavored sabzis for New York City hospital workers, people in poverty and anyone else in search of a hot meal.

This isn’t a soup kitchen or a food bank. It’s a gurdwara, the place of worship for Sikhs, members of the fifth-largest organized religion in the world, with about 25 million adherents. Providing for people in need is built into their faith.

An essential part of Sikhism is langar, the practice of preparing and serving a free meal to promote the Sikh tenet of seva, or selfless service. Anyone, Sikh or not, can visit a gurdwara and partake in langar, with the biggest ones — like the Golden Temple in Amritsar, India — serving more than 100,000 people every day.

Since the coronavirus pandemic has halted religious gatherings in most of the country, including langar, gurdwaras like the Sikh Center of New York, in Queens Village, are mobilizing their large-scale cooking resources to meet the skyrocketing need for food aid outside their places of worship.

Some are feeding the protesters marching in outrage over the killings of George Floyd and other black Americans by the police. Last week, a dozen or so volunteers from the Queens center served 500 portions of matar paneer, rice and rajma, a creamy, comforting dish of red beans stewed with tomatoes, and 1,000 bottles of water and cans of soda to demonstrators in Sunnyside. They also offered dessert: kheer, a sweetened rice pudding.

“Where we see peaceful protest, we are going,” said Himmat Singh, a coordinator at the World Sikh Parliament, an advocacy group providing volunteers for the Queens Village efforts. “We are looking for justice. We support this.”

Since the pandemic began, soup kitchens have had difficulty keeping up with demand. Shuttered schools and even fine-dining restaurants are using their kitchens to prepare and serve hot meals. But few other places are as well positioned to handle the sheer scale of assistance required right now as the gurdwaras. Most have large, well-equipped kitchens, a steady stream of volunteers and no shortage of ingredients, thanks to regular donations from community members.

During the last annual Sikh Day Parade in New York, in April 2019, the Queens Village kitchen — which has a walk-in cooler, multiple freezers, 50-liter stockpots and a huge grill that can cook dozens of rotis at once — produced 15,000 meals in a single day.

The Sikhs’ biggest challenge isn’t keeping up with demand. It’s letting people know that they’re here — without making a big show of it or proselytizing, which is forbidden.

Founded in the 15th century in Punjab, India, by the spiritual leader Guru Nanak, Sikhism has an estimated 500,000 followers in the United States and 280 gurdwaras, according to the Sikh Coalition, a civil-rights organization in New York City. One of the most visibly distinctive features of the Sikh practice is the turban — a symbol of the religion’s belief in equality — though not everyone chooses to wear one.

Sikhs in America have been often been prey to bigotry, hate crimes and Islamophobia, particularly since 9/11. A few volunteers said in interviews that before going out to distribute meals, they worried that they might hear ignorant comments. But Santokh Dillon, the president of the Guru Nanak Mission Society of Atlanta, said the people he serves are often more puzzled than prejudiced. Most have never even heard of Sikhism, he said.

When some find out that the meals are free, “They look at us and say, ‘You are kidding, right?’ ”

At least 80 gurdwaras in the United States are now providing food assistance. For many, the transition has been quick and seamless.

This is not just because the infrastructure is already there, said Satjeet Kaur, the executive director of the Sikh Coalition. “The call to action and the responsibility” for helping others is deeply entrenched in the Sikh way of life. Sikhs are expected to donate at least 10 percent of their time or income toward community service.

It took the Gurdwara Sahib of Fremont, Calif., just a few days after suspending religious services in March to set up a meal and grocery delivery program, and a drive-through meal pickup system outside the gurdwara.

Cooks wear gloves and masks, and the kitchen is big enough for workers to stand more than six feet from one another. As at most gurdwaras, the menu changes regularly, but is typically Indian and always vegetarian. (Meat is not permitted in gurdwaras.)

While these Sikh volunteers, known as sevadars, are experts in mass-meal preparation, they aren’t as accustomed to spreading the word. The Fremont kitchen has produced 15,000 to 20,000 meals a day on holidays like New Year’s Eve, said Dr. Pritpal Singh, a member of the gurdwara. But now, the gurdwara is serving just 100 to 150 people each day.

Dr. Singh said he hoped that more people in need would come pick up food. “We could do hundreds of thousands of meals if given the task,” he said.

But with the demonstrations unfolding around the country, Sikhs aren’t waiting for people to come to them any longer. On Tuesday, volunteers from the Gurdwara Sahib attended a protest in Fremont and handed out several hundred bottles of water as a show of solidarity.

On a recent Friday, Gurjiv Kaur and Kiren Singh asked the volunteers at their gurdwara, the Khalsa Care Foundation, in the Pacoima neighborhood of Los Angeles, to prepare meals in the community kitchen that they could take to the protest. The next morning, they and others picked up about 700 containers of pasta with a garlic- and onion-laden tomato sauce and 500 bottles of water from the gurdwara, and set up a tent in Pan Pacific Park. Soon, protesters started arriving at the tent with other donations, like medical supplies, snacks and hand sanitizer.

“It is our duty to stand up with others to fight for justice,” said Ms. Kaur, a graduating senior at the University of California, Irvine. “Langar at its core is a revolution — against inequality and the caste system,” the antiquated hereditary class structure in South Asia, which Sikhism has always rejected.

In Norwich, Conn., volunteers from five gurdwaras handed out a few hundred bottles of water to protesters last Tuesday, and on Friday, distributed as many containers of rajma, or kidney beans, and rice on a Main Street sidewalk, a block from City Hall.

Swaranjit Singh Khalsa, a volunteer and a member of the Norwich Board of Education, noted that historically, many Sikhs in India have been killed by the police while fighting for their civil rights.

At many gurdwaras in the United States, most of those who show up for langar meals are Sikhs. Now that they are catering to a broader population, menus have changed to suit different tastes. In the Seattle area, volunteers at the Gurudwara Sacha Marag Sahib are making pasta and tacos in addition to rice and dal.

At the Hacienda de Guru Ram Das in Espaรฑola, N.M., meals have included enchiladas and burritos. Still, Harimandir Khalsa, a volunteer, said the community kitchen is operating at less than 10 percent of its capacity.

“I think it is about convenience,” Mr. Khalsa said, as the gurdwara isn’t centrally located. “If we had a food truck parked in front of Walmart that said, ‘Free food,’ we could get more takers. But for people to get in their cars and drive over to this place — people aren’t that desperate yet.”

Location is also an issue for the Guru Ramdas Gurdwara Sahib in Vancouver, Wash., as the neighborhood doesn’t have much foot traffic, said Mohan Grewal, the gurdwara secretary. So every other Sunday, volunteers pack up 300 to 400 meals made in the gurdwara and drive them to the Living Hope Church, a Christian congregation six miles away, in a more urban part of the city.

One of the biggest challenges for gurdwaras is that many hospitals, shelters and other charitable organizations they’d like to help don’t take cooked food because of hygienic concerns, or accept it only if it meets certain health codes. Many Sikhs have started collecting and distributing pantry items in addition to making meals.

Still, some gurdwaras are bustling. In Riverside, Calif., a hub for the Sikh population, volunteers from the United Sikh Mission, an American nonprofit aid group, and the Khalsa School Riverside, a children’s program, serve 3,000 to 5,000 meals every day at the Riverside Gurdwara. People line up in the drive-through as early as 9:30 a.m., even though it doesn’t open until 11:30.

The process is highly systematized. The cooking team shows up at 5:30 a.m. to prepare meals based on previous days’ numbers, as well as requests from senior centers, hospitals and nursing homes; another team packs the meals into microwave-safe boxes; and the third distributes them at the drive-through and other locations. The gurdwara shares information about the free meals through regular posts on large Facebook groups for local residents.

“We didn’t just sit there and say we are going to cook and wait for people to come,” said Gurpreet Singh, a volunteer for the United Sikh Mission.

Since the protests, Mr. Singh and others have been reaching out to black organizations, like churches, offering to drop off meals or groceries. They expect to see an increase in people showing up for meals, as thousands have been attending protests in the area.

Groups like United Sikhs, an international nonprofit, are helping to get the word out. They have stepped up efforts to identify areas of need, connect gurdwaras with organizations seeking assistance, provide best practices for food preparation during the pandemic and mobilize Sikhs to help feed protesters.

While the pandemic continues, a few gurdwaras aren’t using their kitchens. Tejkiran Singh, a spokesman for the Singh Sabha of Michigan, west of Detroit, said the gurdwara committee decided it was too risky to start a meal distribution service, especially since Michigan has become a hot spot for the coronavirus.

When the Sikh Society of Central Florida, in Oviedo, reopens on June 14, services will be limited to fewer people, and food will be handed out in to-go containers as they leave.

But Amit Pal Singh and Charanjit Singh, the chairman and the treasurer of the Sikh Society of Central Florida, also want to continue the drive-through and delivery services they developed during the pandemic.

“The concept of langar is to serve the needy,” Mr. Pal Singh said. Before the pandemic, he said, most people participating in langar were local Sikhs coming more for social and religious reasons than out of need. The drive-through and deliveries will allow them to put meals into the hands of people who struggle to afford to eat.

That will mean a lot of extra food for volunteers to prepare, in a city where the Sikh population is still small. But none of that seemed to worry Mr. Pal Singh.

“We would love to be in that situation,” he said, his optimism vibrating through the phone. “We will handle it.”



9) The Protests Come for ‘Paw Patrol’
A backlash is mounting against depictions of “good cops,” on television and in the street.
By Amanda Hess, June 10, 2020
Chase is on the case in “Paw Patrol,” but as protests against racist police violence reach their third week, criticism of fictional cops is growing, too.Credit...Elevation Pictures

It was only a matter of time before the protests came for “Paw Patrol.”

“Paw Patrol” is a children’s cartoon about a squad of canine helpers. It is basically a pretense for placing household pets in a variety of cool trucks. The team includes Marshall, a firefighting Dalmatian; Rubble, a bulldog construction worker; and Chase, a German shepherd who is also a cop. In the world of “Paw Patrol,” Chase is drawn to be a very good boy who barks stuff like “Chase is on the case!” and “All in a police pup’s day!” as he rescues kittens in his tricked-out S.U.V.

But last week, when the show’s official Twitter account put out a bland call for “Black voices to be heard,” commenters came after Chase. “Euthanize the police dog,” they said. “Defund the paw patrol.” “All dogs go to heaven, except the class traitors in the Paw Patrol.”

It’s a joke, but it’s also not. As the protests against racist police violence enter their third week, the charges are mounting against fictional cops, too. Even big-hearted cartoon police dogs — or maybe especially big-hearted cartoon police dogs — are on notice. The effort to publicize police brutality also means banishing the good-cop archetype, which reigns on both television and in viral videos of the protests themselves. “Paw Patrol” seems harmless enough, and that’s the point: The movement rests on understanding that cops do plenty of harm.

The protests arrived in the midst of a pandemic that has alienated Americans from their social ties, family lives and workplaces. New and intense relationships with content have filled the gap, and now our quarantine consumptions are being reviewed with an urgently political eye. The reckoning has come for newspapers, food magazines, Bravo reality shows and police procedurals.

Last week, Tom Scharpling, an executive producer of “Monk,” criticized his own show on Twitter: “If you — as I have — worked on a TV show or movie in which police are portrayed as lovable goofballs, you have contributed to the larger acceptance that cops are implicitly the good guys.” Griffin Newman, an actor who appeared in two episodes of “Blue Bloods” as a detective, donated his $11,000 in earnings to a bail fund, inspiring other actors who have played cops to do the same. LEGO has halted marketing on its “LEGO City Police Station” and “Police Highway Arrest” sets. A&E has pulled its reality show “Live PD” from the schedule. On Tuesday night, “Cops,” the show that branded suspects as “bad boys” and spawned the whole genre of crime reality television, was canceled after 32 seasons.

Cops are not just television stars; they are television’s biggest stars. Crime shows are TV’s most popular genre, now making up more than 60 percent of prime-time drama programming on the big four broadcast networks. The tropes of the genre are so predictable that a whole workplace sitcom, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” is layered atop them. “A police station was a shortcut,” Dan Goor, the show’s co-creator, has said, “because people are very aware of how police television works. You know instantly who the good guys are and who the bad guys are.”

That shortcut now feels like a cheat: After images of a very special episode where Terry Crews is racially profiled were passed around as evidence of responsible police TV, others marked the show as “copaganda.”

Even on television, the good guys are not always so good. In a recent report, the racial justice organization Color of Change assessed depictions of the police across television and found that modern cop shows “make heroes out of people who violate our rights.” Many of them, it argued, show the good guys committing more violations than the bad guys, making police misbehavior feel “relatable, forgivable, acceptable and ultimately good.”

On television, the hero itself is a concept under review. Just a few years ago, at the height of the antihero craze, a prestige drama could seem a little fluffy if its protagonist was not an actual murderer. There is an artistic justification for humanizing bad people and complicating good ones. It’s hard to argue that a show like “Watchmen” (in which a black policewoman brutally beats suspected white supremacist terrorists) or “Unbelievable” (in which two female detectives repeatedly collar the wrong guys) would make for better television if their star cops acted more like German shepherd puppies.

After Inkoo Kang, a critic for The Hollywood Reporter, described “The Wire” as painting police with a “heroic gloss,” Wendell Pierce, who played Detective Bunk Moreland on the show, pushed back. “How can anyone watch ‘The Wire’ and the dysfunction of the police & the war on drugs and say that we were depicted as heroic,” he tweeted. “We demonstrated moral ambiguities and the pathology that leads to the abuses.”

The more salient critique of the crime genre is not how it depicts the police, but just how obsessively it privileges their ambiguities and pathologies over all other players in the criminal justice system — namely, the people cops target as suspects. “As TV viewers we are locked inside a police perspective,” Kathryn VanArendonk wrote recently on Vulture. Color of Change notes that defense attorneys, like Perry Mason and Matlock, “once embodied the character of the American hero,” defending the American people “against the many police officers, prosecutors and judges who jumped to conclusions too quickly and stood as symbols of a deeply flawed system.”

But a sea change led by Dick Wolf’s mammoth “Law & Order” franchise has realigned the crime genre under the perspective of prosecutors and cops. “Our sympathies have generally been with victims,” Warren Leight, the showrunner of “Law & Order: SVU,” said last week on the Hollywood Reporter podcast “TV’s Top 5,” in a conversation about rethinking the show. He added: “Cops behaving illegally, that’s not part of Dick’s brand.”

Cops and Hollywood enjoy a symbiotic relationship, as Alyssa Rosenberg detailed in a Washington Post series in 2016 on policing in popular culture. Cops consult on movies and series, helping mold the characters to their self-conception, and then they take cues from those characters in their own police work. Police officers in Detroit have been spotted wearing the skull insignia of the Marvel antihero the Punisher, and squads in Minnesota have watched Disney’s “Zootopia” as part of their anti-bias training. “LAW & ORDER” has become President Trump’s preferred call-to-arms as the government dispatches police forces and National Guard soldiers against the protesters.

The “good cop” trope is a standard of both police procedurals and real-life police tactics, and now crowdsourced video of the protests has given cops a new stage for performing the role. In recent days, supposedly uplifting images of the police have spread wildly across the internet, competing for views with evidence of cops beating, gassing and arresting protesters. In Houston, an officer consoled a young black girl at a rally: “We’re here to protect you, OK?” he told her, enveloping her in a hug. “You can protest, you can party, you can do whatever you want. Just don’t break nothing.” In Nashville, the police tweeted a photo of cops kneeling next to a black boy with a “Black Lives Matter” sign, smiling from behind their riot helmets. And in Atlanta, a line of National Guard soldiers did the Macarena. On the final rump shake, a black rifle slung over one soldier’s back swung to the beat.

These images show cops engaging in a kind of pantomime of protest, mimicking the gestures of the demonstrators until their messages are diluted beyond recognition. They reframe protests against racist police violence into a bland, nonspecific goal of solidarity. These moments are meant to represent the shared humanity between officers and protesters, but cops already rank among the most humanized groups in America; the same cannot be said for the black Americans who live in fear of them. Cops can dance, they can hug, they can kneel on the ground, but their individual acts of kindness can no longer obscure the violence of a system. The good-cop act is wearing thin.



10) Sobering Jobs Outlook: ‘We’re Expecting a Long Haul’
More than 1.5 million sought state unemployment benefits last week as layoffs spread to more job categories even as businesses reopened.
By Tiffany Hsu, June 11, 2020
Semaj Watts of Las Vegas was furloughed in April from her social media job with the Girl Scouts. She returned to work at the end of May.Credit...Bridget Bennett for The New York Times

Although the first wave of reopenings is returning workers to restaurants, retailers and other businesses hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, layoffs are seeping through sections of the job market that previously escaped major damage.

On Thursday, the Labor Department said more than 1.5 million Americans filed new state unemployment claims — the lowest number since the crisis began, but far above normal levels.

A further 700,000 workers who were self-employed or otherwise ineligible for state jobless benefits filed new claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, a federal aid program.

The overall number of workers collecting state benefits fell slightly in the most recent seasonally adjusted tally, to 20.9 million in the week ended May 30, from a revised 21.3 million the previous week.

“We’re slowly seeing the labor market recovery begin to take form,” said Robert Rosener, an economist at Morgan Stanley, pointing to an “initial reopening bounce.”

But, he added, “there’s still an enormous amount of layoffs going on in the economy.”

On Monday, BP said it would lay off 10,000 people worldwide, mostly office-based workers. The entertainment promotion giant AEG told employees that it would carry out layoffs, furloughs and salary reductions on July 1. Job losses were announced this week at the University of Denver, the nonprofit group UJA-Federation New York, and the city of Peoria, Ill., among others.

The weekly report on unemployment claims comes after the government reported that jobs rebounded last month and that the unemployment rate fell unexpectedly to 13.3 percent. Correcting for a classification error, the actual rate was closer to 16.4 percent — still lower than in April, but higher than at any other point since the Great Depression.

Jerome H. Powell, the Federal Reserve chair, warned on Wednesday that the economic pain could last for years and that there would be “a significant chunk” — millions of workers — “who don’t get to go back to their old job, and there may not be a job in that industry for them for some time.”

Mr. Powell said that “it’s possible Congress will need to do more,” but a divide has arisen on Capitol Hill over whether to extend a $600 weekly supplement to state unemployment benefits beyond July 31, as Democrats advocate, or to pare or halt it, possibly replacing it with government incentives to return to work, as some Republicans have proposed.

Unemployment remained below 4 percent for much the year before the pandemic began. Reopening efforts will quickly reinstate a third of the workers who lost their jobs, said Beth Ann Bovino, chief U.S. economist at S&P Global. Hiring efforts, like a recent push by the broadband and cable company Charter Communications to fill thousands of positions, will help nudge the jobless rate down.

But a return to the labor market conditions that preceded the pandemic is unlikely before 2023, Ms. Bovino said.

“We’re expecting a long haul,” she said. “When people start talking about a V-shaped recovery, it’s like claiming success with the patient still on the table.”

From March through May, 30 percent of lost jobs came in the food service industry, Ms. Bovino said. Ten percent stemmed from retailers. But as states try to stoke the economy by gradually lifting restrictions on those businesses and others, the shock of the pandemic is increasingly reverberating through sectors like manufacturing and professional services.

With last week’s new filings, more than 44 million people have applied for state jobless benefits since mid-March. In addition, as of May 23, 9.7 million people were collecting Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits, the government said Thursday. Unlike the figure for state claims, the number for pandemic assistance is not seasonally adjusted.

In the third quarter, more employers than in the first half of the year expect to shrink payrolls, while fewer companies plan to increase hiring, according to a survey of 7,700 U.S. businesses by the employment agency ManpowerGroup. Seasonally adjusted hiring plans are the weakest in a decade.

“These knockdown effects are starting to ripple through industries that initially seemed more secure, but are now facing a second wave of job losses,” Ms. Bovino said.

Some companies let employees go recently after suddenly losing major contracts. Others laid off workers who were furloughed and had expected to return to their jobs.

The construction engineering firm in Boston where Christian Lecorps was an electrical engineering contractor spent much of the spring operating as if the pandemic would end quickly, even mulling whether to hand out bonuses and raises, he said.

But work slowed in recent weeks. On Friday, Mr. Lecorps, 29, was laid off over Skype. On Tuesday, he dropped off his laptop at the office and began preparing to file for unemployment benefits.

Hunkered down in his mother’s home in Brockton, Mass., he hopes to use his spare time raising money for his start-up, which aims to bring renewable energy to developing countries. But investors do not appear to be in a spending mood. He fears that if he is unable to quickly replace his income, his credit may suffer.

“The funds I have will only last me until the end of this month,” he said. “Repairing this situation is going to take a lot longer for people like me, who are trying to get back on their feet.”

Some jobless workers are not represented in the government count, which skips people who have tried to apply for benefits but failed, as well as those who were out of work but did not file for aid. Some states report claims as they are submitted, while others count them as they are reviewed. As some workers come close to exhausting their benefits, not all states have set up extension programs to pick up the slack.

Many states are still working through a backlog of claims, leading some desperate workers to submit multiple applications. Others, like Artemus Whitmore, feel guilty asking the government for help at all.

Mr. Whitmore, 45, was furloughed on Sunday after his employer, which makes paper for surgical gowns, disinfectant wipes and corporate offices, ran out of orders. He expects to return on Tuesday, though he is worried that his job might be jeopardized by slumping demand as more clients move to remote working arrangements.

“I’ve always been the provider, and I want to make sure I can keep that up,” said Mr. Whitmore, a father of four who lives in Port Huron, Mich. “That’s where the guilt comes from — I understand that I’ve paid into the system, and so has my company, but is it really going to hurt me to lose a week’s pay when others need it?”

While companies are bringing back workers like Mr. Whitmore in anticipation of new business from the reopening efforts, other employees will have far longer to wait, as their employers adapt to changing consumer habits and working arrangements.

“Even if restrictions are lifted, people are still going to be reluctant to engage in the kinds of activities they engaged in before, and that’s going to continue to be reflected in our economic statistics for a long time,” said Cathy Barrera, founding economist of the Prysm Group. “The more quickly companies can adapt, the quicker the recovery will be.”

As businesses weigh their options, many workers are nervous about picking up where they left off.

Semaj Watts, a recent college graduate in Las Vegas, was starting to take on more responsibility as a social media coordinator for the Girl Scouts of Southern Nevada when she and her colleagues were told to work from home.

Work began to dry up, and in April, she was furloughed. With coaching from her roommate, who was then unemployed, she applied for and received state benefits, which she supplemented with money she had saved for a car. She spent her days gardening, watching television and worrying that her unemployment might stretch into the fall and damage her career momentum.

Until the furlough, she said, “I had finally done everything that I’m supposed to — I graduated college, I moved out, I had a real job, I was starting my life.”

When Nevada businesses began to reopen. Ms. Watts, 24, got her hair and her nails done. In the last week of May, she returned to the office.

But her relief at getting her job back was tainted with horror. Dealing with social media for work meant that Ms. Watts, who is African-American, was repeatedly exposed to the video of the killing of George Floyd, who died while a white police officer knelt on his neck. The resulting unrest around the country, and the violence that sometimes accompanied it, left her terrified to leave her apartment.

“I went from being so excited to being so scared, and that’s a lot,” she said. “It’s been the most emotionally draining, scariest time in my life by far.”



11) To Overturn Trump, We Need to Overturn White Supremacy
For that to happen, some monuments — and the historical myths they supported — are going to have to come down.
By Jamelle Bouie, June 12, 2020

Protesters brought down the statue of Christopher Columbus outside the State Capitol in St. Paul, Minn., on Wednesday.Credit...Evan Frost/Minnesota Public Radio, via Associated Press

It doesn’t necessarily follow that a nationwide protest over police brutality would, for some, become a reason to take action against Confederate statues and other controversial monuments. But it has. In just the last week, protesters have knocked down Confederate statues in Richmond, Va., Nashville and Montgomery, Ala, as well as monuments to Christopher Columbus in Boston and St. Paul, Minn.

This is because the George Floyd protests are not just about police violence. They’re about structural racism and the persistence of white supremacy; about the unresolved and unaddressed disadvantages of the past, as well as the bigotry that has come to dominate far too much of American politics in the age of Trump. Born of grief and anger, they’re an attempt to turn the country off the path to ruin. And part of this is necessarily a struggle over our symbols and our public space.

Another way to put this observation is that police brutality, the proximate cause of these protests, is simply an acute instance of the many ways in which the lives of black Americans (and other groups) are degraded and devalued. And while the most consequential form this degradation takes are material — the Covid-19 crisis, for example, has revealed to many Americans the extent to which black lives are still shaped by a deep racial inequality that leaves them disproportionately vulnerable to illness and premature death — there are also many symbolic statements of black worth, or the lack thereof, out there for all to see.

Confederate statues like the ones in Richmond, the former capital of the Confederacy, or the smaller monuments that mark courthouses and town squares across the South, are visible reminders of a time when white society was nearly united in its subjugation of blacks. Erected decades after the end of the Civil War — as the white South began to codify segregation and disenfranchisement into Jim Crow — these statues set in stone the triumph over Reconstruction and the effort to make the South, and the nation, a democracy. And they marked the spaces in which they stood as essentially white territory.

Confederate monuments were erected to exclude, and they continue to stand for exclusion. In which case it’s no surprise that protesters would vandalize and tear them down. In this moment, to knock over a statue of Jefferson Davis is to claim the space for black lives against those who would try to preserve the values of the Confederacy. And to the extent that other institutions follow suit — Congress is debating an amendment that would rename military bases named after Confederate officers — it may reflect a belated recognition that these symbols are not, and cannot be, neutral.

Something similar is happening with the attempt to remove Christopher Columbus from the public sphere. The Italian explorer became an American icon in the late 19th century as Italian immigrants fought to assert their place in American society. But the real-life Columbus was a brutal, violent man who inaugurated the subjugation of natives in the present-day Caribbean and South America. His legacy is one of slavery and genocide, and that’s why Indigenous people in the United States have long opposed the commemoration of his voyage. Knocking down statues of the explorer is also an attempt to reclaim public space on behalf of the excluded and ignored. (And it’s not irrelevant that the only group more exposed to police violence than black Americans is Native Americans.)

It’s unclear how Americans feel about the removal of these statues in this manner, but we do know there has been a sea change in attitudes toward Black Lives Matter. Over the last two weeks, my colleagues Nate Cohn and Kevin Quealy note in The Upshot that support has “increased by nearly as much as it had over the previous two years.” The majority of Americans, by a 28-point margin, now support the movement.

Concurrent with this shift is a sharp drop in support for President Trump. His average job approval rating is down to 41 percent, two-and-a-half points lower than it was on the eve of the protests. His average disapproval rating is up to 55 percent. And against the Democratic nominee for president, Joe Biden, he is down an average of 8 points, a substantial decline from May. The Covid-19 crisis has harmed him, but it is his antagonistic handling of the protests that has accelerated his downward turn.

The reckoning that is toppling Confederate monuments and fueling the largest sustained protests in 50 years is also, I think, turning the voting public decisively against the president. The killing of George Floyd, the racially disparate impact of the pandemic and the violent police rioting against accountability have shown millions of Americans what the future may hold if we continue along this path of inequality, exclusion and authoritarianism. And they’re pushing back, taking to the streets to reject this rather than sit back and let it happen. What’s more, as election season begins in earnest, Americans are going to the ballot box as well. In Atlanta on Tuesday, thousands stood in line for hours to vote. It was at once an example of the voter suppression that threatens our democracy and a demonstration of will — a determination to use the vote to try to push this country off its current course.

It was this month, 162 years ago, when Abraham Lincoln accepted the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate and gave his famous“House Divided” speech in Illinois. This wasn’t, as is popularly believed, a call for unity in the face of division. Just the opposite. It was an attempt to make clear the stakes of the conflict with the “slave power.”

“I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free,” he said. “I do not expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other.”

We cannot be a free and equal democracy and a country of inequality, unaccountable police violence and Trumpist exclusion. We will have to be either one or the other. The protests represent millions of Americans announcing their allegiance to the former. It remains to be seen whether that brings a reaction of similar scope in defense of the latter.



12) The N.F.L. Embraces Progressive Action, but Not Yet Kaepernick
With newfound momentum on social justice causes, players around the league have many opinions on what comes next. But most agree that the N.F.L. must recognize Colin Kaepernick.
By Ken Belson, June 12, 2020
A man wearing a Colin Kaepernick jersey marched in Minneapolis to protest the death of George Floyd.Credit...Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

In the wake of the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, the N.F.L., a league that has wrestled with racial issues for years, has shown unusual unity. Players, coaches, league officials and owners have expressed sadness, remorse and a commitment to seek solutions to police violence against African-American people and other forms of social injustice.

Yet the specter of Colin Kaepernick still looms large over any conversation of football and race. As the league grapples with next steps to take, many players say that the N.F.L. must address Kaepernick, who in 2016 began kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality toward African-Americans, if its newfound progressive stance is to be viewed as legitimate.

“It’s definitely a different social climate now and I’m praying it’s not going to be lip service,” said Chris Conley, a wide receiver on the Jacksonville Jaguars who helped organize a march of players, coaches, staff and their families from the team’s stadium to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s office last week. “A lot of balls were dropped in 2016 and people realized things could have been handled better. There’s a feeling we didn’t do enough last time.”

Seattle Seahawks running back Carlos Hyde told reporters Monday, “If they sign Kap back, it’ll show they are really trying to move in a different direction, because Kap was making a statement four years ago about what’s going on in today’s world and the N.F.L. didn’t bother to listen to him then.”

After opting out of his contract and finding no team willing to sign him, Kaepernick in 2019 won a multimillion-dollar settlement of his claim that the league blackballed him because of his protests. In November, the league organized a tryout for Kaepernick that ended in a dispute over the ground rules. Kaepernick held his own workout for a half dozen N.F.L. scouts, but no team offered him a contract.

But when Commissioner Roger Goodell said last week in a video statement that the N.F.L. was wrong not to listen to players and encourage those who were protesting, he did not name Kaepernick. Until he does, players say the league’s efforts to fight the issues he raised will be viewed as insincere.

“They should mention him,” said Devin McCourty, a safety on the New England Patriots and a member of the Players Coalition. “This was the one guy who did something, and when you came out and talked about peaceful protest, it started with one guy.”

Other players want more than an apology — they want a team to sign Kaepernick. Malcolm Jenkins, a safety on the New Orleans Saints, this week called for the league to apologize and assign Kaepernick to a team. That will be tricky, requiring a coach and team owner willing to absorb the inevitable news media attention that would follow and even potential criticism from President Trump, who has reiterated that players should stand for the anthem.

“Is there an N.F.L. owner willing to take the chance and break ranks?” said Charles K. Ross, the director of the African-American Studies program at Ole Miss and the author of “Outside the Lines: African Americans and the Integration of the N.F.L.” “I know N.F.L. owners are really focused on playing football, but there are some larger issues at stake.”

Recognizing Kaepernick is seemingly the only concrete action that has widespread agreement among players. With momentum built, less fear of reprisal from owners, the league or fans, and an unusual amount of time away from the field because of stay-at-home restrictions, players want to get more involved in societal change. The only question is: What’s next?

Some want to double down on the many initiatives already established. In 2019, the league started a program called Inspire Change that directs millions of dollars in donations to groups focused on “police-community relations, criminal justice reform, and education and economic advancement.” On Thursday, the N.F.L. said it was nearly tripling the size of its commitment to the program, pledging to spend up to $250 million over 10 years. (The league has already distributed $44 million.)

The Players Coalition, which split progressive players when it began in 2017, has drawn widening support for justice reform measures in recent months. Quarterback Tom Brady, who has been friends with Donald Trump for many years, last month added his name to the group's call for Attorney General William P. Barr to investigate the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery. The Players Coalition amassed 1,400 signatures to a letter urging Congress to pass a bill that would end qualified immunity for public officials, including police officers. The signees included quarterback Drew Brees, who last week reversed course on his condemnation of players protesting during the national anthem.

Players on other teams have focused on increasing their work on the local level, through their teams’ social justice committees. The Minnesota Vikings, for instance, have in the past accompanied students to Washington, D.C. to visit the Holocaust Museum and the National Museum of African-American History and Culture, and work with All Square, a group in Minneapolis that helps people leaving jail find work.

On Wednesday the team announced that it had established a college scholarship in George Floyd’s name for African-American students, helped clean neighborhoods hit by destructive protests and met with the city’s police chief. Ameer Abdullah, a running back on the team, on Wednesday told reporters that he expected players to encourage citizens to vote in the presidential elections in November.

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who took part in a player-led video that pushed the N.F.L. to support their protest and include “Black Lives Matter” messaging in its statement, said he and his teammates would meet next week to come up with ways to increase voter registration. He said they wanted to “get as many people registered to vote so they can go and try to affect change in every way they feel possible.”

Others players, including some on the Denver Broncos and the Jaguars, have attended protests. Justin Simmons, a safety on the Broncos, encouraged a crowd in downtown Denver on Saturday to discuss the racism African-Americans face, no matter how uncomfortable.

“We as a black community need our white brothers and sisters to explain to the rest of the white brothers and sisters out there what it means for black lives to matter,” Simmons said. “It doesn’t matter your platform, your sphere of influence in your life — the people around you matter. Those are tough conversations to have, but they need to be had.”

In some cases, team owners have supported the players and their initiatives. But Devin McCourty said players must find their own solutions and not rely on the N.F.L., which has its own agenda.

“I truly believe the N.F.L. is public-opinion based and puts out statements to make the public happy,” he said. “You didn’t see them support the players in 2016 because it wouldn’t make someone happy. Now, the question is how involved they are.”

Jason McCourty, his twin brother and teammate, said the best thing the league could do was not stand in the way of the players.

“At the end of the day, allowing players to use their platforms is enough,” he said. “When it comes to big businesses, they will do the things that will keep them making money. It comes down to the players.”

The McCourty brothers have raised millions of dollars to help families fighting sickle-cell anemia and lobbied lawmakers in Massachusetts to reform the state’s juvenile penal system. Devin McCourty’s support for Boston Uncornered, an organization that helps people involved in gangs go to college, got a lift from Robert and Jonathan Kraft, the owners of the Patriots, who donated $100,000 to the group.

The brothers said they did not expect every player to be as involved as they are. But participation takes many forms.

“For some guys, it might be adding your name to a petition or sending a letter,” Devin said.

Other stars not known for their activism have also been taking action. Dak Prescott, the Dallas Cowboys quarterback, promised to give $1 million to improve police training and address racism through education. Matt Ryan, the Atlanta Falcons quarterback, pledged $500,000 toward his goal of raising $2 million in donations. (So far, he has raised $1.2 million.) Ryan will meet with leaders in the African-American community in Atlanta to decide how the money can be best used.

“When you’re listening to players or the protesters, one of the messages that comes across is you can’t continue to be silent,” said Ryan, whose charitable efforts have mostly focused on supporting children’s hospitals. “I’m not sure of the solution, but I’m trying to rectify that.”



























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

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