6/26/2020

BAY AREA UNITED AGAINST WAR NEWSLETTER, FRIDAY, JUNE 26, 2020


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INTERNATIONAL DAY OF ACTION IN

DEFENSE OF PALESTINE

 
 Protest over George Floyd's murder along the apartheid wall in Palestine.

CALL FOR ENDORSEMENTS

 Car Caravan / Socially Distanced in Person Protest

at the Israeli Consulate - 456 Montgomery 


Wednesday, July 1st @4:30PM







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




Join us in person, with social distancing, OR in a car caravan around downtown San Francisco, in support of demonstrations across the U.S. and throughout the world. July 1st let’s take a unified stand against racism and the wars on our communities - locally and abroad, from ongoing and ever increasing racist settler-colonial violence. 

7_1 Day of Action (5).png 

We are seeking organizational endorsements to confront the latest U.S.-Israeli efforts to liquidate the Palestinian cause and people.

Let us stand together in demanding an end to US militarism locally and imperialism abroad, and instead of sending billions in financial aid to Israel and in war and militarism - to spending on our communities at home! 


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

#DEFUNDISRAEL #DefundThePentegon #DefundTheMIC #EndUSAid #INVESTINCOMMUNITIES 

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

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

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

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

SAY HIS NAME!


https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/14/us/videos-rayshard-brooks-shooting-atlanta-police.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage


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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 


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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.

Globally:

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...

THERE HAS BEEN A SHIFT, AN AWAKENING...MANY OF YOU ARE BEING EXPOSED FOR WHO YOU REALLY ARE. #readthatagain

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.

WE ARE NOT TRYING TO START A RACE WAR; WE ARE PROTESTING TO END IT,
PEACEFULLY.

How beautiful is that?

ALL LIVES CANNOT MATTER UNTIL YOU INCLUDE BLACK LIVES.

YOU CANNOT SAY 'ALL LIVES MATTER' WHEN YOU DO NOTHING TO STOP SYSTEMIC RACISM & POLICE BRUTALITY.

YOU CANNOT SAY 'ALL LIVES MATTER' WHEN BLACK PEOPLE ARE DYING AND ALL YOU COMPLAIN ABOUT IS THE LOOTING.

YOU CANNOT SAY 'ALL LIVES MATTER' WHEN YOU ALLOW CHILDREN TO BE CAGED, VETERANS TO GO HOMELESS, AND POOR FAMILIES TO GO HUNGRY & LOSE THEIR HEALTH INSURANCE.

DO ALL LIVES MATTER? YES. BUT RIGHT NOW, ONLY BLACK LIVES ARE BEING TARGETED, JAILED, AND KILLED EN MASSE- SO THAT'S WHO WE'RE FOCUSING ON.

๐Ÿ–ค๐Ÿ–ค๐Ÿ–คBLACK LIVES MATTER๐Ÿ–ค๐Ÿ–ค๐Ÿ–ค

IF YOU CAN'T SEE THIS, YOU ARE THE PROBLEM.

*I do not know the original author*

Copy & paste widely!


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BLACK LIVES MATTER


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.
—BAUAW
(Bay Area United Against War Newsletter)


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





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George Floyd's Last Words
"It's my face man
I didn't do nothing serious man
please
please
please I can't breathe
please man
please somebody
please man
I can't breathe
I can't breathe
please
(inaudible)
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
mama
mama
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
please
please
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
please
please I can't breathe"

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



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Credit...

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Trump Comic Satire—A Proposal
          By Shakaboona

PRES. TRUMP HIDES IN WHITE HOUSE BUNKER IN FEAR OF PROTESTORS
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

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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

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This will make you smile!


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


https://imgur.com/gallery/3gaTKG3


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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
https://www.icanw.org/global_nuclear_weapons_spending_2020

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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
Today…
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
Land—
Looting Ashanti, Fulani, Huasa, Wolof,
Yoruba, Ibo, Kongo, Mongo, Hutu, Zulu…
Labor.
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
Accomplices—
Steal trillions
Not FOX-boxes, silly sneakers, cheap clothes…
© 2020. Raymond Nat Turner, The Town Crier. All Rights Reserved.       



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CALL TO ACTION: 



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:


TWEET!


@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

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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!
DONATE
Facebook
Website
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

To unsubscribe contact: http://freedomarchives.org/mailman/options/ppnews_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. 

DONATE NOW

AFSC.org  |  unsubscribe  |  Donate 
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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.”

Contact: 

Kristen Pursley, President,

Adult School Teachers United (ASTU)

(510)-741-8359




[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
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/07/10/americas-10-most-expensive-states-to-live-in-2019.html

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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:

https://www.veteransforpeace.org/?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=fa5082af-9325-47a7-901c-710e85091ee1




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Courage to Resist
COURAGE TO RESIST ~ SUPPORT THE TROOPS WHO REFUSE TO FIGHT!
www.couragetoresist.org ~ 510.488.3559 ~ facebook.com/couragetoresist

484 Lake Park Ave # 41
OaklandCA 94610-2730
United States
Unsubscribe from couragetoresist.org 

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From Business Insider 2018

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"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)

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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)


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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




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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.

Tired.

Tired.

Tired.

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.)

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1) If You Want to Let Freedom Ring, Hammer on Economic Injustice
There’s far more work to do than changing the way we police.
By Jamelle Bouie, June 26, 2020
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/26/opinion/black-lives-matter-injustice.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage

Gabriela Bhaskar for The New York Times


Since it emerged seven years ago in response to the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting of Trayvon Martin, the Black Lives Matter movement has produced a sea change in attitudes, politics and policy.

In 2016, 43 percent of Americans supported Black Lives Matter and its claims about the criminal justice system; now, it’s up to 67 percent, with 60 percent support among white Americans, compared with 40 percent four years ago. Whereas Democratic politicians once stumbled over the issue, now even Republicans are falling over themselves to say that “black lives matter.” And where the policy conversation was formerly focused on body cameras and chokehold bans, now mainstream outlets are debating and taking seriously calls to demilitarize and defund police departments or to abolish them outright.

But the Black Lives Matter platform isn’t just about criminal justice. From the start, activists have articulated a broad, inclusive vision for the entire country. This, in fact, has been true of each of the nation’s major movements for racial equality. Among black Americans and their Radical Republican allies, Reconstruction — which was still ongoing as of 150 years ago — was as much a fight to fundamentally reorder Southern economic life as it was a struggle for political inclusion. The struggle against Jim Crow, likewise, was also a struggle for economic equality and the transformation of society.

“The black revolution is much more than a struggle for the rights of Negroes,” the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote in “A Testament of Hope”:

“It is forcing America to face all its interrelated flaws — racism, poverty, militarism and materialism. It is exposing evils that are rooted deeply in the whole structure of our society. It reveals systemic rather than superficial flaws and suggests that radical reconstruction of society itself is the real issue to be faced.”

Our society was built on the racial segmentation of personhood. Some people were full humans, guaranteed non-enslavement, secured from expropriation and given the protection of law, and some people — blacks, Natives and other nonwhites — were not. That unequal distribution of personhood was an economic reality as well. It shaped your access to employment and capital; determined whether you would be doomed to the margins of labor or given access to its elevated ranks; marked who might share in the bounty of capitalist production and who would most likely be cast out as disposable.

In our society, in other words, the fight for equal personhood can’t help but also be a struggle for economic justice. And what we see, past and present, is how that fight against the privileges and distinctions of race can also lay the foundations for a broader assault on the privileges and distinctions of class.

As soon as the Civil War came to a close, it was clear there could be no actual freedom for the formerly enslaved without a fundamental transformation of economic relations. “We must see that the freedman are established on the soil, and that they may become proprietors,” Charles Sumner, the Radical Republican senator from Massachusetts, wrote in March 1865. “The great plantations, which have been so many nurseries of the rebellion, must be broken up, and the freedmen must have the pieces.” Likewise, said the Radical Republican congressman Thaddeus Stevens in September 1865, “The whole fabric of Southern society must be changed, and never can it be done if this opportunity is lost.” The foundations of their institutions, he continued, “must be broken up and re-laid, or all of our blood and treasure have been spent in vain.”

Presidential Reconstruction under Andrew Johnson, a Democrat, would immediately undermine any means to this end, as he restored defeated Confederates to citizenship and gave them free rein to impose laws, like the Black Codes, which sought to reestablish the economic and social conditions of slavery. But Republicans in Congress were eventually able to wrest control of Reconstruction from the administration, and just as importantly, black Americans were actively taking steps to secure their political freedom against white reactionary opposition. Working through the Union Army, postwar Union Leagues and the Republican Party, freed and free blacks worked toward a common goal of political equality. And once they secured something like it, they set out to try as much as possible to affect that economic transformation.

“Public schools, hospitals, penitentiaries, and asylums for orphans and the insane were established for the first time or received increased funding,” the historian Eric Foner wrote in “Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877.” “South Carolina funded medical care for poor citizens, and Alabama provided free legal counsel for indigent defendants.”

For blacks and Radical Republicans, Reconstruction was an attempt to secure political rights for the sake transforming the entire society. And its end had as much to do with the reaction of property and capital owners as it did with racist violence. “The bargain of 1876,” W.E.B. Du Bois wrote in “Black Reconstruction in America,”

“…was essentially an understanding by which the Federal Government ceased to sustain the right to vote of half of the laboring population of the South, and left capital as represented by the old planter class, the new Northern capitalist, and the capitalist that began to rise out of the poor whites, with a control of labor greater than in any modern industrial state in civilized lands.”

Out of that, he continued, “has arisen in the South an exploitation of labor unparalleled in modern times, with a government in which all pretense at party alignment or regard for universal suffrage is given up.”

Du Bois was writing in the 1930s. A quarter-century later, black Americans in the South would launch a movement to unravel Jim Crow repression and economic exploitation. And as that movement progressed and notched victories against segregation, it became clear that the next step was to build a coalition against the privileges of class, since the two were inextricably tied together. The Memphis sanitation workers who asked Martin Luther King Jr. to support their strike in 1968 were black, set against a white power structure in the city. Their oppression as black Americans and subjugation as workers were tied together. Unraveling one could not be accomplished without unraveling the other.

All of this relates back to the relationship between race and capitalism. To end segregation — of housing, of schools, of workplaces — is to undo one of the major ways in which labor is exploited, caste established and the ideologies of racial hierarchy sustained. And that, in turn, opens possibilities for new avenues of advancement. The old labor slogan “Negro and White, Unite and Fight!” contains more than a little truth about the necessary conditions for economic justice. That this unity is fairly rare in American history is a testament to how often these movements have “either advocated, capitulated before, or otherwise failed to oppose racism at one or more critical junctures in their history,” as Robert L. Allen and Pamela P. Allen note in their 1974 study of racism and social reform movements.

Which brings us back to the present. The activists behind the Black Lives Matter movement have always connected its aims to working-class, egalitarian politics. The platform of the Movement for Black Lives, as it is formally known, includes demands for universal health care, affordable housing, living wage employment and access to education and public transportation. Given the extent to which class shapes black exposure to police violence — it is poor and working class black Americans who are most likely to live in neighborhoods marked by constant police surveillance — calls to defund and dismantle existing police departments are a class demand like any other.

But while the movement can’t help but be about practical concerns, the predominating discourse of belief and intention overshadows those stakes: too much concern with “white fragility” and not enough with wealth inequality. The challenge is to bridge the gap; to show new supporters that there’s far more work to do than changing the way we police; to channel their sympathy into a deeper understanding of the problem at hand.

To put a final point of emphasis on the potential of the moment, I’ll leave you with this. In a 1963 pamphlet called “The American Revolution: Pages from a Negro Worker’s Notebook,” the activist and laborer James Boggs argued for the revolutionary potential of the black struggle for civil rights. “The strength of the Negro cause and its power to shake up the social structure of the nation,” Boggs wrote, “comes from the fact that in the Negro struggle all the questions of human rights and human relationships are posed.” That is because it is a struggle for equality “in production, in consumption, in the community, in the courts, in the schools, in the universities, in transportation, in social activity, in government, and indeed in every sphere of American life.”

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2) Banks Should Face History and Pay Reparations
The financial industry can close the wealth gap and serve as a model for a nation struggling to reckon with racism.
By Angela Glover Blackwell and Michael McAfee, June 26, 2020
Ms. Blackwell is founder in residence at PolicyLink, a research and advocacy institute, where Mr. McAfee is the chief executive.
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/26/opinion/banks-reparations-racism-inequality.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage
A Wells Fargo bank in Minneapolis was set on fire during protests against the death of George Floyd. In 2012, Wells Fargo agreed to pay at least $175 million to settle accusations that it discriminated against black and Hispanic borrowers during the housing boom. Credit...Lucas Jackson/Reuters

Corporate chief executives have been tripping over themselves to demonstrate their support for racial justice. They’ve taken a knee, tweeted that black lives matter, donated money to advocacy groups and affirmed their commitment to inclusion.

That’s all well and good. And following through on their promises — by hiring and promoting more people of color, diversifying boards and executive suites and paying all workers decent wages and essential benefits — would be even better.

But business leaders who are serious about fighting racism will hold themselves accountable for the bitter inequities they have helped to create and sustain, and from which they have profited. Every industry must now use its power to repair the damage and heal the wounds.

The financial industry is a good place to start. Banks have been underwriters of American racism — no industry has played a bigger or more enduring role in black oppression, exploitation and exclusion. Banks financed the slave trade and in some cases “repossessed” humans in bondage.

White-owned banks refused to serve black people who left the South escaping brutality and seeking opportunity during the Great Migration of the early and mid-20th century. Bank policies and practices contributed to segregating every major city and denying black families the two most important toeholds to the middle class — ownership of homes and of businesses.

Federal legislation beginning in the 1960s prohibited the most blatant discrimination in banking and lending. It banned redlining, the practice named for the color-coded maps that lenders used to deny mortgages in black neighborhoods.

But banks and real estate agents found ways to exploit the desire of black people to own homes, leaving many in foreclosure. Racial disparities in access to the conventional mortgage market endured, leaving black home buyers vulnerable to fraud and risky loans, as the subprime mortgage fiasco exposed so painfully.

The collapse of the housing market in 2008 and recession that followed wiped out half of black wealth. Black families have been slower to recover, in no small part because they are still rejected for home mortgages at more than double the rate of white families.

Similarly, banks deny loans to black-owned businesses at twice the rate of white-owned ones. This makes it difficult, if not impossible, for small black companies to grow. But the industry doesn’t only suppress black wealth, it aggressively strips it, through excessive interest rates on consumer debt, egregious overdraft penalties and higher fees even for simple A.T.M. transactions.

It’s no surprise that the median black family had roughly one-tenth of the wealth of a white family as of 2016. The gap not only limits education and career options, it’s also a source of gnawing anxiety about how the bills will get paid in the event of a job loss or costly illness — setbacks facing millions of families, again disproportionately black, during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Moreover, the wealth gap hurts the nation’s economy. McKinsey & Company calculates that closing the black-white wealth gap could increase G.D.P. by 4 percent to 6 percent, or more than $1 trillion, by 2028.

A federal reparations policy is unlikely to come anytime soon. But banks and financial institutions don’t have to wait. First, they must apologize for their culpability for and complicity in structural racism. Next, they must commit to serving black people as they do whites. Then, with these four bold policies, the industry can start to close the wealth gap, repair the harms and serve as a model for a nation struggling to reckon with racism:

Cancel consumer debt for black customers

Americans carry a lot of consumer debt, but as Christian Weller reports in Forbes, nobody bears a heavier burden than African-American families. They are the only racial group that owes more than their belongings are worth — they could sell all their possessions and they would still be in debt.

Black families on average had $8,554 in consumer debt in September 2019. And they pay more for debt — about $735 a year in interest on every $10,000 they borrow, compared with $514 for white families. Because they have less access to conventional banks and the mortgage market, many black families are forced to rely on high-interest alternatives such as payday loans.

Additionally, black people are hit with higher bank fines and harsher punishment, including wage garnishment, for loan defaults, making it harder to climb out of debt. Freeing families from the drag of this debt would help them build savings and obtain financial security.

Eliminate banking fees for black customers

Nearly half of black households have limited access to retail banking services or none at all. And black customers who have bank accounts pay more — $190 more for a checking account — compared with white customers, according to one study.

That’s because banks in communities of color generally require higher opening balances and minimums to avoid fees, and they charge more for A.T.M. transactions and overdrafts. Seemingly small differences in bank fees pay off handsomely for the industry.

Of the more than $11 billion that big banks collected last year in overdraft-related fees, the bulk came from just 9 percent of account holders — consumers who generally have low bank balances, according to a study by the Center for Responsible Lending.

Ending these egregious practices would make banking more attractive to black consumers.

Provide interest-free mortgages to black home buyers

The long history of blatant racism in mortgage lending is well known. The Fair Housing Act of 1968 was supposed to end it. But today, the rate of black homeownership, 43 percent, is barely higher than when that law took effect — and much lower than white homeownership, at 70 percent.

Given the persistent racism in the mortgage market and the subprime mortgage disaster, which not only resulted in homeownership disparities but also limited the value of homes owned by black people, banks must provide interest-free mortgages to black home buyers.

These loans could be capped at the regional median loan value and should be in place until black homeownership is on par with white homeownership. Expanding secure homeownership for black families and creating opportunities for them to buy in markets where real estate enjoys healthy increases in value will improve economic mobility and begin to create generational wealth.

Provide interest-free loans to black-owned businesses

Black Americans, women especially, start small businesses at higher rates than whites. From 2007 to 2012, the number of black-owned businesses increased nearly 35 percent. But almost all are sole proprietorships or partnerships with no employees, in no small part because they lack access to capital.

More than half of black-owned companies are turned down for bank loans, twice the rate of white business owners. Black businesses need investment to grow, especially during the pandemic, yet baked-in racism in the Paycheck Protection Program meant that only 12 percent of black and Latino business owners received the loans they requested.

Going forward, banks should provide interest-free loans to black-owned businesses at the regional median amount until black businesses are sufficiently capitalized to be competitive in the markets in which they operate. Unleashing the creativity of black entrepreneurship will reap huge benefits for the entire society.

Inevitably, the industry will assert that laws, regulations or shareholders prevent taking these steps. But legal obstacles have not stopped banks from pursuing bold, sometimes risky, strategies in the past. They use their mighty skills, money and influence to make a way when they believe profits and benefits await.

Now the industry must make a down payment on a secure future for black America, which really is a secure future for America.

Ultimately, no single industry can get at the root causes of racial inequality. But collectively, banks and all corporations must use their outsize power to end systemic racism, move the nation toward racial and economic equity and drive significant change in policy.

That requires more than taking a knee. It demands taking a stand.

Angela Glover Blackwell is the host of the podcast “Radical Imagination” and founder in residence at PolicyLink, a research and advocacy institute seeking racial and economic equity, where Michael McAfee is the president and chief executive.

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3) Free Produce, With a Side of Shaming
Instead of beefing up the SNAP program during the pandemic, the government opts for a return to Depression-era food lines.
By Andrew Coe, June 25, 2020
Mr. Coe is a food historian.
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/25/opinion/snap-food-pantry-aid.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage

Lining up outside the COPO Halal Pantry in Flatbush, Brooklyn, last month. Scenes like these have become common during the pandemic. Credit...Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times


Once a week, a blocklong line of men and women in surgical masks stretches down Neptune Avenue in Coney Island. Their goal is a food pantry that has cardboard containers stacked on the sidewalk in front.

These are “U.S.D.A. Farmers to Families Food Boxes,” each holding 23 pounds of produce: apples, cantaloupes, potatoes, yams, oranges, iceberg lettuce, onions. When the men and women at last get to the front of the line, they are given one of these boxes to put in their shopping carts and take home. This food is supposed to help tide them over until they get a job, or until the next week, when they can line up again on the same sidewalk.

It’s a scene that has played out across the country as Americans wait hours, in their cars or standing in lines, in the rain or under the hot sun, outside the nation’s overwhelmed food banks: The public line is not an aberration or a miscalculation of demand, but a deliberate feature of the Department of Agriculture’s nutrition assistance program during the time of Covid-19. It’s also a throwback to one of the most desperate eras of our history.

Mid-November 1930: Four hundred men and women crowded the sidewalk along East 104th Street in Harlem. They inched toward the precinct house, where policemen were handing out paper sacks filled with potatoes, onions, macaroni, coffee, eggs and bread — enough to fill the stomachs of a family of four for a week. When their turn came, housewives hid their allotments in empty baby carriages and hurriedly wheeled them home to their families.

Organized by Mayor Jimmy Walker, this was one of the first government-run efforts to feed the millions of people who had lost jobs in the Great Depression. Such official food handouts helped Americans survive, but neither politicians nor the people they fed were ever really satisfied with them.

The sacks and boxes didn’t supply enough food and often didn’t provide the right array of vegetables, proteins, starches and dairy from which to prepare nutritious meals. Children don’t thrive on a mostly potato diet.

In immigrant neighborhoods, relief workers handed out items like oatmeal that were alien to people from places like Southern Italy and China. On the Lower East Side, home to a dense population of Eastern European Jews, every family received packages of pork just before Christmas. (They traded them with their gentile neighbors for food that wasn’t “treyf,” or nonkosher.)

The biggest problem, however, was the humiliation of lining up for food boxes. This act displayed a family’s poverty for the entire neighborhood to see and judge.

For many men, the breadwinners, the public admission of failure was too painful. Their wives took their place on the relief line. (Two-thirds of the people in line on Neptune Avenue are women.) Other fathers refused to allow their families to accept government aid, selling off their furniture instead. In some cases, people who were too proud to ask for aid starved to death.

Relief administrators such as Harry Hopkins, one of President Franklin Roosevelt’s closest aides, saw the drawbacks and lobbied for a change. By 1934, the Federal Emergency Relief Administration had pivoted to giving the needy food vouchers they could use at neighborhood markets. In 1939, the Roosevelt administration started the Food Stamp Plan, run by the Department of Agriculture, which helped the unemployed purchase foods of their choice as well as surplus farm produce at deeply discounted prices.

In New York State, Rochester was the first city to roll out food stamps. One of the quickest to use them was a woman named Gertrude Benge, who showed up with a baby in her arms to get her coupons and said, “It don’t make you feel so bad when you can go and pick out the stuff yourself.”

Today, food stamps are called Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits and help feed millions of Americans who are either unemployed or, more often, whose minimum-wage jobs don’t pay them enough to support their families.

And ever since the Great Depression, conservative politicians have been trying to end the program, claiming that it wastes taxpayers’ money and encourages “a culture of dependency.” The Trump administration, under the guise of weaning poor Americans off welfare, has also made assaults on SNAP benefits.

In February, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue proposed cutting the benefits in half and replacing them with “harvest boxes” filled with cheap staples such as peanut butter, cereal, pasta, and canned meat and vegetables. Democrats and lobbyists from the supermarket industry helped stop that initiative.

But in the coronavirus lockdown, Mr. Perdue received new powers to help feed the unemployed. Rather than simply expand SNAP benefits that can be conveniently redeemed at grocery stores, he chose to rebrand his harvest boxes as the Farmers to Families Food Boxes. And that’s how piles of cardboard boxes ended up on the sidewalk at the back end of Coney Island.

And it’s why hundreds of people have to line up and wait, uncomplainingly and seemingly interminably, for their allotment of government-sponsored food. Perhaps they could spend that time looking for work or taking care of their children. Instead, the Trump administration demands that they humiliate themselves for their poverty and their need.

Andrew Coe (@breadgood) is a co-author, with Jane Ziegelman, of “A Square Meal: A Culinary History of the Great Depression.”

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4) Why Did It Take a Pandemic to Show How Much Unpaid Work Women Do?
Cleaning the house and taking care of children has real economic value, and women have been doing it for free for too long.
By Diane Coyle, June 26, 2020
Ms. Coyle is a professor of public policy at the University of Cambridge.
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/26/opinion/inequality-gender-women-unpaid-work.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage

Naudia West, a social worker, in her car, where she often writes up case notes after seeing clients. She works two jobs, has two kids at home and just finished her master’s degree. Credit...Leah Nash for The New York Times

Women’s shift into paid employment in the 20th century was one of the great economic transformations in recent history. Families began buying goods such as convenience foods, vacuum cleaners and microwaves to substitute for women’s unpaid labor at home. That shift in what households buy was a primary reason for the post-World War II boom in economic growth in the United States and other rich countries.

In the United States, this transition started in the early 1960s, when just over four in 10 American women went out to work, and continued until 1997, when the proportion reached just over six in 10. The shift was even more pronounced in some other Western economies. Women’s employment rate stabilized in the United States but has continued to increase elsewhere, reaching nearly seven in 10 in the other major world economies.

But while the growth in consumer spending thanks to working women is well documented, there is another part of this story that has been largely ignored by economists: the persistence of unpaid work done by women. Even as more women have gone out to work over time, they have continued to do the “second shift.” Women take on more of the domestic labor and volunteering in the community than men, and they have less leisure time. In fact, women who work in paid jobs outside the home spend more time each week on chores at home than do men who do not go out to work.

Economists have long acknowledged that gross domestic product — the most widely accepted measure of economic progress — excludes all of this work, which is vital to the functioning of the global economy. But this huge gap has rarely seemed important in the heavily male-dominated profession of economics.

That is finally beginning to change. The question of what counts in “the economy” is no longer posed only by feminist scholars; it is being examined by economists in general, including those who define the statistics used to measure growth. That’s because digital technology is changing the boundary between what we pay for in the market and what we do free in the home — for men as well as women.

Economists call the line between paid and unpaid work the “production boundary.” Increasingly, the ordinary activities of life involve crossing that boundary. When I use online banking to deposit a check or when I book my own hotel room, I am crossing the production boundary, substituting my own unpaid work for the paid work of bank tellers or travel agents. None of this unpaid work is counted directly in gross domestic product.

Similarly, many free online products — like TikToks, Wikipedia entries and social media posts — are substitutes for purchased equivalents in the media and entertainment. Millions of us donate our work to amuse or inform others, in a parallel economy in which others pay with their attention.

The digital economy, like the offline household and volunteer economy, is linking us in exchanges that are hard to measure in traditional economic terms, although they create much unpaid value. These activities do create a lot of monetary value for the owners of digital platforms, and that is included in formal measures of the economy, but everything that falls on the wrong side of the production boundary — all that unpaid digital work — is uncounted.

This situation now seems untenable. During the pandemic and subsequent lockdown, in many places much of the activity counted in G.D.P. has come to a sudden stop. Yet it is clearer than ever how much time we are spending on the “wrong” side of the production boundary. Online traffic is as much as 30 percent higher in some regions since the beginning of the pandemic, and households in lockdown are spending many more hours on the unpaid domestic work of cooking, cleaning and child care.

Women seem to be disproportionately bearing the extra burden. In addition to their doing more of the unpaid work at home, their economically valuable work outside the home is suffering, as they are forced to substitute unpaid work for paid work — reversing a decades-long trend. Women have been the main providers of child care while schools have been closed, and mothers working from home are almost twice as likely as men to have reduced their working hours, with the biggest decline in hours found among college-educated women.

At the same time, women are losing ground in paid employment. The sectors of the economy that are most affected by the pandemic, such as retail and hospitality, disproportionately employ women. In the United States, the unemployment rate for women has risen by nearly three percentage points more than men’s; in Britain, mothers are more likely than fathers to have lost or quit their jobs. It is not just women who are being harder hit; the U.S. unemployment rate is significantly higher for Hispanic and African-American people than it is for whites.

The striking disjunction between what we pay for and count in G.D.P. and what is valuable or “essential” to our lives is now unavoidable. But so far there seem to be few options for doing something about it, other than applauding essential workers or paying for advertising to salute them.

Those lucky professionals who can work at home continue to be paid, generating profits for the absurdly well-paid owners of their companies, but they, too, are doing more unpaid work at home and spending less money in the “official” economy. It may seem as if lockdown has caused an overall slowdown in all kinds of work, but as long as this shift toward unpaid work continues, income inequality — which was high even before the pandemic — will continue to worsen.

There are ways to change course. Increases in the minimum wage, limits on executive pay and tougher antitrust policies, which would reduce corporate power, would not take long to reduce inequality of income. Scandinavian countries not only have higher wage rates for low-paid jobs but also provide support for families, including generous parental leave and subsidized day care, to ensure that the burden of unpaid work does not fall largely on women. Introducing a universal basic income — usually defined as a guaranteed income provided by the government for every adult and child — would also be a recognition of the value of the essential unpaid work that everyone does, even those who are not part of the “paid” economy.

It will take more than policies such as these for us to learn how to value what is truly worthwhile in the economy. Monetary transactions alone are an incomplete measure of economic value. They always were, as the creators of G.D.P. accepted, but economists and policymakers have long downplayed this shortcoming. Now, as the digital shift and the lockdowns have brought “the economy” into our homes, these fundamental questions are impossible to ignore. A broader measure of progress could reshape the way we choose to organize society by validating the valuable work that counts for little, or nothing, in our current system.

Diane Coyle (@DianeCoyle1859) is a professor of public policy at the University of Cambridge and the author of “Markets, State and People: Economics for Public Policy.”

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5) Many Latinos Couldn’t Stay Home. Now Virus Cases Are Soaring in the Community.
Rates of coronavirus infection among Latinos have risen rapidly across the United States.
By Shawn Hubler, Thomas Fuller, Anjali Singhvi and Juliette Love, June 26, 2020
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/26/us/corona-virus-latinos.html?action=click&module=News&pgtype=Homepage
“We’re the ones who are out in the work force,” said Cynthia Orozco, a 20-year-old high school tutor and civil engineering major at California State University, Fresno, who contracted the virus along with her mother, Graciela Ramirez, a machine operator at Ruiz Foods in Dinuba, Calif. Credit...Shawn Hubler/The New York Times

DINUBA, Calif. — When the coronavirus first spread to the fields and food processing factories of California’s Central Valley, Graciela Ramirez’s boss announced that line workers afraid of infection could stay home without pay.

A machine operator at Ruiz Foods, the nation’s largest manufacturer of frozen burritos, Ms. Ramirez stayed on the job to make sure she didn’t lose her $750-a-week wages.

“I have necessities,” Ms. Ramirez, a 40-year-old mother of four, said in Spanish. “My food, my rent, my bills.”

Soon her co-workers started to get sick, and when Ms. Ramirez became congested and fatigued and could not smell the difference between the rice on her stove and the sopa de fideo in her soup bowl, her test, too, came back positive.

It was a variation on what has become a grim demographic theme, and not just in California. Infections among Latinos have far outpaced the rest of the nation, a testament to the makeup of the nation’s essential work force as the American epidemic has surged yet again in the last couple of weeks.

Latinos in the United States are hardly a cultural monolith, and there is no evidence yet that any ethnic group is inherently more vulnerable to the virus than others. But in the last two weeks, counties across the country where at least a quarter of the population is Latino have recorded an increase of 32 percent in new cases, compared to a 15 percent increase for all other counties, a Times analysis shows.

The analysis affirms broad national tallies by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which show Latinos making up 34 percent of cases nationwide, a much higher proportion than the group’s 18 percent share of the population.

It also underscores a shift from early in the outbreak, especially in areas outside cities, like Tulare County, Calif., which initially had largely avoided the debilitating spikes in infections seen in New York, New Orleans, Chicago and other major metropolitan areas.

The disparity is particularly stark in populous states like California, Florida and Texas. But it also has sprung up elsewhere. In North Carolina, Latinos make up 10 percent of the population, but 46 percent of infections. In Wisconsin, they’re 7 percent of the population and 33 percent of cases. In Yakima County, Wash., the site of the state’s worst outbreak, half the residents are Latino. In Santa Cruz County, which has Arizona’s highest rate of cases, the Hispanic share of the population is 84 percent.

Detailed coronavirus data broken down by ethnicity is incomplete in many places, making it difficult to know why Latinos have been infected at higher rates. Counties with a high proportion of Latinos also tend to have attributes that have made counties vulnerable to the recent surge: crowded households, younger populations and hotter weather that drives people indoors, said Jed Kolko, a researcher and chief economist at Indeed.com, a job search website. Contact tracers in some areas also have associated spikes in infection with large family gatherings.

But the inexorable rise since Easter in infections among Latinos — both here and in Latin American countries — has alarmed health officials and Latino organizations, who are calling for more targeted testing, more comprehensive data collection and better workplace protections as the economy reopens.

And it has become a political flash point in red states, where infections are also rising. Latino Democratic and civil rights leaders demanded an apology this week from Florida’s Republican governor, Ron DeSantis, who attributed the steep increase in positive Covid-19 tests in his state to “overwhelmingly Hispanic farmworkers.” Mr. DeSantis’s critics say his administration is scapegoating immigrant workers after ignoring pleas on their behalf for more testing and protection.

In California, where Latinos make up 39 percent of the population and nearly 57 percent of new cases, the spikes have been particularly confounding. The state was the nation’s first to shelter in place, and cellphone data indicated that its residents were among the most committed to limiting their movement, and with it the spread of the disease.

Infection rates have remained relatively low in affluent neighborhoods, including those occupied by the state’s wealthy Latinos. But sheltering in place never happened for many Latino families with members who work in industries that never shut down, making them especially vulnerable to the virus.

During the lockdown, millions of Latino workers kept a bare-bones economy running: at the cutting tables of food-processing plants, as farm hands, as hospital orderlies, food preparers, supermarket workers and in many other jobs deemed essential. And they brought the virus home to often cramped living quarters, compounding the spread.

“This was totally a blind spot,” said Dr. Alicia Fernandez, a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, who specializes in Latino and immigrant health. “Much, much more needs to be done in workplace protection.”

Now the virus is stalking Latinos from the south to the north in California. Imperial County, a predominantly Latino farming region east of San Diego, has the state’s highest infection rate — twice the rate of Los Angeles, and higher than that of hard-hit New York state. In San Francisco, Latinos make up 15 percent of the population but account for half of the coronavirus cases.

Many San Francisco streets were all but deserted during the lockdown. But it was a different picture among the Bay Area’s Latino households, where the daily routine of commutes to far-flung workplaces continued.

“Sheltering is a luxury,” said Dr. Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, the vice dean for population health and health equity at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine. “In wealthier parts of town, people sheltered earlier and longer, because it takes resources. Not every community has the luxury to do that.”

Researchers say that one of the starkest illustrations of how the virus penetrated the Latino community comes from a study led by the University of California at San Francisco in the city’s Mission District.

Working with local Latino organizations, researchers tested nearly 4,000 volunteers for the coronavirus in an area of roughly four blocks by six blocks.

About equal numbers of Latinos (40 percent) and non-Latino white people (41 percent) were tested in the study. But nearly all of those who were found to be infected were Latino; less than 1 percent were non-Latino white people.

At the start of the pandemic, Latinos did not appear to be more vulnerable than others. In fact, California Latinos were underrepresented in the data in early April, making up around 30 percent of the cases. As shelter-in-place orders took hold, though, rates of infection among Latinos surged compared with other groups.

Hot spots developed in areas with large Latino populations, like the Fruitvale neighborhood in Oakland.

The virus spread through Kings County, an agricultural area in the Central Valley with numerous meatpacking plants; it now has the second highest rate of infection in the state. Tulare County, whose population is 64 percent Hispanic, rose to fourth place among counties.

“We’re seeing a concentration of impacts from Covid-19 in industries that are majority Latino — indoor food processing, packaging, meat packing,” said Phoebe Seaton, co-executive director and co-founder of Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability, a civil rights organization based in Fresno, Calif., that is advocating for more workplace protections against the virus.

Ms. Ramirez’s employer, Ruiz Foods, is based in Dinuba, in Tulare County. The family-owned company was founded by Fred Ruiz, one of the state’s best known Latino philanthropists and a member of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s pandemic task force on economic recovery. It now employs 1,500 people in California and 2,300 more at plants in Texas and South Carolina, making El Monterey burritos and about 200 other varieties of frozen Mexican food.

Rachel P. Cullen, the company’s chief executive, said that as with many companies, Ruiz’s initial response was to give employees the option to work at home, and to take vacation days or unpaid time off if their jobs could not be done remotely.

After Easter, however, the case count in Tulare County shot up, and the company moved aggressively to address the virus. Testing was mandated for all employees, Ms. Cullen said in a statement, and “increased physical distancing, mandatory mask wearing, flexible barriers, symptom monitoring and temperature screening, limiting visitors and travel restrictions” were quickly put into place.

No employees have died from Covid-19, Ms. Cullen said, but the Dinuba plant became a hot spot, and two workers were hospitalized. She said 331 employees have recovered from Covid-19 since April, and about 15 have active infections.

Ms. Ramirez suspects that she caught the virus in the company lunchroom, where tables are now cordoned off to enforce social distancing. On the production line where she works with hundreds of other people, she said, sheets of plastic separate employees and bottles of hand sanitizer have been placed at every walkway. That wasn’t the case before April, she said.

Still, she doesn’t blame her employer. “A lot of us didn’t believe in Covid at the beginning,” she said in Spanish. “I didn’t, because I didn’t know anyone who had it until I got it myself.”

A week after her test results came back, her 20-year-old daughter, Cynthia Orozco, also tested positive. Because her daughter also watches Ms. Ramirez’s two youngest children, ages 2 and 10, the doctor told Ms. Ramirez to assume that they, too, had the virus.

No one in the family has required hospitalization, but as word circulated among friends and relatives in California, Nevada and Mexico, she learned that her plight was not as unusual as she’d thought.

A co-worker of her husband’s at a dairy in Visalia was infected. So was a cousin in Bakersfield who clerked in a Dollar Store. In Modesto, a cousin in the construction business had Covid-19, and was worried about his crew in San Francisco.

“We’re the ones who are out in the work force,” said Ms. Orozco, a civil engineering major at California State University, Fresno, who added that the virus had cost her several weeks of work as well.

Ms. Orozco said she and her mother have not yet had follow-up tests. But last weekend, after heart-wrenching months of keeping their distance from loved ones, they put on masks and went to a big outdoor family party anyway.

“Everybody used hand sanitizer, and put their names on their cups so no one accidentally picked up anyone’s drink,” she said. “And we all just kind of did a fist pump in the air instead of hugging each other.”



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6) Another Nightmare Video and the Police on the Defensive in Tucson
A city with a relatively progressive image and reform-minded police is grappling with a brutal death in police custody — and why it took so long to become public.
By Simon Romero, Giulia McDonnell Nieto del Rio and Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs, June 25, 2020
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/25/us/carlos-ingram-lopez-death-tucson-police.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage
Carlos Ingram Lopez, a 27-year-old cooking school graduate who prepared every meal from scratch for his 2-year-old daughter, pictured here with her in a family photo.

It was another gruesome video of policing in America — a naked Latino man, his face covered by a mesh spit guard, his hands cuffed behind him as he lay dying face down on the ground at his grandmother’s house. He pleaded for water more than a dozen times, saying he could not breathe as police officers restrained his legs and torso.

This time, the scene was a southern Arizona city with a politically moderate image, a large Latino population and a Police Department said to be relatively progressive.

The victim was Carlos Ingram Lopez, a 27-year-old cooking school graduate who prepared every meal from scratch for his 2-year-old daughter and watched YouTube videos to learn how to comb her hair. His death, as he was having a mental health crisis that led to a call for help, was a jarring reminder that Latinos as well as African-Americans have a troubled history with the police, even though Latinos’ struggles do not get the same attention.

“The idea that Tucson police are progressive is something I’ve only heard from white folks,” said Alba Jaramillo, 40, a Tucson lawyer who obtained United States citizenship after living in the city as an undocumented immigrant into her 20s.

Still unanswered is why it took the police two months to release the video taken by officers’ body cameras when Mr. Lopez’s family had almost immediately asked to see it. Regina Romero, Tucson’s first Latina mayor, said on Thursday that there had been a “breakdown” inside the Police Department and that she had not learned of Mr. Lopez’s death until last week, when the police chief called her. Even then, she said, the city’s lawyer warned her and the City Council not to say anything publicly because it could be seen as an effort to influence the internal investigation, which was still underway.

“My first instinct is, you need to put this information out there to the community,” said Ms. Romero, who heeded the lawyer’s advice. After she was shown the video this week, she urged the police to make it public as soon as it could be played for Mr. Lopez’s family on Wednesday.

An autopsy report by the Pima County medical examiner’s office found that Mr. Lopez died of sudden cardiac arrest, with physical restraint by officers and cocaine intoxication as contributing factors. In an unusual move, the medical examiner’s office ruled that the manner of death was undetermined, leaving open the question of whether Mr. Lopez died of natural causes or whether his death was a homicide.

In other cases around the country, similar deaths have been ruled homicides. Numerous people who have been handcuffed and put in a face-down prone position as officers restrain them have died in custody in recent years.

Last year, Vicente Villela, 37, told the officers holding him down at a jail in Albuquerque that he could not breathe. He lay on his stomach as the guards struggled to remove his shackles and pressed their knees onto his back and legs. Mr. Villela died, and the autopsy report found that he had died of “mechanical asphyxia,” with physical restraint and the effects of methamphetamine as contributing factors. His death was ruled a homicide.

Three officers involved in Mr. Lopez’s death resigned before the public release of the video, and Chris Magnus, Tucson’s police chief, offered to resign.

But Ms. Romero said on Thursday that Chief Magnus should remain in the job, emphasizing that authorities should not be distracted from examining why Mr. Lopez’s life was “needlessly lost.” Many Latino residents were already expressing dismay over the gap between the Tucson department’s professed goals and the reality of how Latinos in the city were often treated by the police.

At least by its own description before Mr. Lopez’s death, the Tucson Police Department figured among the most forward-thinking in the country. The department had banned chokeholds and shooting at moving vehicles, embracing a range of measures aimed at reducing police violence. Chief Magnus is known as a maverick for pushing progressive changes.

Still, Latino leaders in Tucson say that Mr. Lopez’s death, and the way the episode was kept secret for months, is just the newest reminder of how many people in their communities live in fear of the city’s police.

Ms. Jaramillo, the Tucson lawyer, said she had been having trouble sleeping since viewing the video in which Mr. Lopez died while calling out for his nana, or grandmother.

Ms. Jaramillo, who now assists victims of domestic violence, said she was struck especially by how Mr. Lopez’s grandmother, Magdalena Ingram, was treated dismissively by officers in her own home when she asked about her grandson while the officers were restraining him. She had called 911 because he was having a mental health crisis and acting erratically.

“Latinos in this city are talked to by the police dismissively, in a racist manner,” Ms. Jaramillo said, citing her own interactions with the Tucson police as both a lawyer and a resident. “On top of that, both in our black community and our Latino community, we are disproportionately targeted by the police.”

Questions are now swirling around the police leadership in Tucson, where Latinos account for more than 43 percent of the population. Chief Magnus said the public should have been notified sooner about Mr. Lopez’s death but contended that the “chaos that was going on” during the coronavirus pandemic had complicated matters.

That offers little solace to Mr. Lopez’s family, who knew him as a brother, a fiancรฉ, a father and a son. Family members said he was a man who always reminded those around him how much he loved them. Mr. Lopez, who grew up in Tucson and graduated from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Scottsdale, adored his grandmother in particular, family members said.

“Anytime you had any type of encounter, he gave you a huge, huge smile,” said Diana Chuffe, Mr. Lopez’s aunt.

Eduardo Coronado, the lawyer representing Mr. Lopez’s family, requested video of the episode on April 22, the day after Mr. Lopez died. Mr. Coronado said he had not received an explanation of why the video was released more than two months later.

Mayor Romero said that although the police’s internal affairs office started an investigation after Mr. Lopez’s death, the lieutenant in charge of that office had not immediately alerted Chief Magnus or his deputy to the video and what it showed.

The mayor and Chief Magnus have both said they will make sure that the police review video of all in-custody deaths and quickly inform the public, something Ms. Romero said they already do for police shootings. Ms. Romero said that in many cases, however, the videos themselves should not be released until an internal review is completed.

“There needs to be police accountability and transparency as much as we possibly can,” she said. “And there needs to be a fair internal investigation as well. It’s a balanced approach that we need to take.”

Mr. Coronado is hoping to receive information from the internal investigation of the death to decide the next legal steps forward on behalf of the family. One of the options, he said, could be filing a civil suit against the police force. In the meantime, Chief Magnus said he had asked the F.B.I. to examine the circumstances surrounding Mr. Lopez’s death.

Mr. Coronado had been a friend of Mr. Lopez’s family since Mr. Lopez was about 2 years old. When he watched the video, Mr. Coronado said, he was overcome with “heartbreak, horror, anguish, pain and bewilderment.”

Mr. Coronado said the family was questioning the necessity of the spit hood, the mesh covering that the police placed over Mr. Lopez’s head. The family is worried that the spit hood was impeding Mr. Lopez’s breathing, and they said that Mr. Lopez was gasping for air while he was being restrained face down on the concrete floor, according to Mr. Coronado.

“All of a sudden, 12 minutes later he’s passed away,” Mr. Coronado said.

Mr. Lopez’s family sees the fatal encounter as representative of a larger problem, Mr. Coronado said. According to Mr. Lopez’s family, the police’s objective when they arrived at the grandmother’s house should have been to assist Mr. Lopez, rather than to arrest him right away, Mr. Coronado said.

Roberto Villaseรฑor, who was Tucson’s police chief until he retired in 2015, said officers were trained not to leave people in that position. “You never try and leave someone on their stomach,” he said. “You turn them to the side and help them sit up so they can breathe. Why they didn’t do that here is going to be one of the major questions.”

Manny Fernandez contributed reporting.

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7) Black Activists Wonder: Is Protesting Just Trendy for White People?
Though black protesters have been heartened by the many white people joining them in the streets, some wonder if this newfound commitment will last.
By Nikita Stewart, June 26, 2020
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/26/nyregion/black-lives-matter-white-people-protesters.html

Cherish Patton, who has organized several protests around New York, has been surprised by how many white people are participating. Credit...Simbarashe Cha for The New York Times


Cherish Patton recalled springing into action when a friend sent her a message that a New York City police officer had grabbed a petite protester by her hood and had flung her to the pavement.

Ms. Patton, who has organized several Black Lives Matter protests, posted a plea on social media for help identifying the officer. She also called her friend for details on the protester, who had been whisked to the emergency room. “Oh, it’s Michelle,” her friend told her.

“Wait, white Michelle who I argued with for three years? White Michelle?” asked an astonished, and confused, Ms. Patton, who is black. The hurt protester was a former classmate, Michelle Moran, 18, whose conservative commentary on politics and social issues had made Ms. Patton, 18, cringe in high school in Manhattan.

George Floyd’s death in police custody in Minneapolis pushed anguished black people into the streets, as had happened countless times after police killings of black people. But this time, the black protesters have been joined en masse by white people, in rallies across New York City and around the country.

Now, though, the protests in New York City are ebbing somewhat, though they are still drawing thousands of people to some events, particularly on weekends. And outside City Hall, there is a growing encampment of diverse demonstrators who are demanding deep cuts in the police budget.

And so that naturally raises a question for black activists who have long been dedicated to the movement: Will the commitment of white protesters endure?

Some of the white protesters identify as liberal and said they had long been sympathetic to the Black Lives Matter movement but had not done much, if anything, before to show it. Other white people said they had once believed that the police did not discriminate against black people but had changed their minds because of Mr. Floyd’s killing.

Some black people have responded to the influx of white protesters with a mix of hope, I-told-you-so sentiment and skepticism. For longtime activists, there is a frustration that it took a global pandemic and yet another death at the hands of the police to push white people to publicly embrace the movement. They wonder how long white people will keep showing up.

“We see so many white people who hate us, absolutely hate us for the way that we look,” Ms. Patton said, adding: “To see white people on the front lines, it’s exciting to know that these younger generations of white people care.

Still, some black protesters and activists expressed ambivalence about the shift.

Opal Tometi, 35, a co-founder of Black Lives Matter, called the outpouring “beautiful,” but she added, “I have minor trepidation, like most, that this could end up being a trend.”

“When the social media posts die down, will the actions and people’s conviction for change die down too? ” she said in written responses to questions. “I have been waiting for this moment since I was 12 years old as the only Black kid on the block. I’ve always known I’ve been a part of something bigger than myself. I didn’t know how it would unfold, but here we are.”

Anthony Beckford, president of Black Lives Matter Brooklyn, recalled being at a protest in Brooklyn and feeling uneasy about the large numbers of white people who had shown up.

“I looked around and I was like: ‘I feel outnumbered. Is my life in danger?’” said Mr. Beckford, 38, who added that he feared that some of the protesters were white nationalists infiltrating the march.

He said he and his friends have had to tell some white protesters that they could not just show up and take over.

“Our fight is our fight. Their privilege can amplify the message, but they can never speak for us,” Mr. Beckford said. “There have been moments where some have wanted to be in the front. I’ve told them to go to the back.”

Two young white people new to the movement tried to organize a protest in Bay Ridge that Mr. Beckford found out about from other white people. He said he shut it down. “Their messaging was, ‘Yes, black lives matter, and police lives matter, too.’ I was, like, no. You can think of the ‘Kumbaya’ moment when we get our mission accomplished,” he said.

Research does seem to confirm black protesters’ sense that they have been joined for the first time at demonstrations against police brutality by large numbers of white protesters.

One study of the Floyd protests on one weekend this month found overwhelmingly young crowds, with large numbers of white and highly educated people. White protesters made up 61 percent of those surveyed in New York, according to the researchers, and 65 percent of protesters in Washington. In Los Angeles, 53 percent of protesters were white.

Opinion polls have also shown that racial attitudes among white Americans have been shifting, with a sharp turn by white liberals toward a more sympathetic view of black people.

Ms. Moran, the injured white protester whose plight was noticed by Ms. Patton, said she was a newcomer to the movement. She said her parents and a childhood in a predominantly white block of Woodlawn, in the Bronx, initially shaped her worldview and politics.

“I slowly but surely opened my eyes to the horrors of the criminal justice system,” said Ms. Moran, who said she turned a corner a year ago, influenced by readings, the news and the documentary “Requiem for the American Dream” about income inequality.

As for her parents, Ms. Moran said, “I’m still trying to change them, but they’re not budging.”

Ms. Patton, her voice hoarse from daily chants and speeches, said she remains skeptical of some white protesters who she believes are showing up to “wreak havoc.”

But talking now with Ms. Moran, Ms. Patton said she saw that some white people were willing to be allies.

The teenagers have gone from barely speaking to now having a mutual respect for each other, they said.

These issues are playing out in school settings across the city as well.

When Theo Schimmel, 14, who identifies as white and Indian, decided to hold a protest for children in Washington Heights, where he lives, he reached out to his classmates from Bank Street School for Children, Melany Linton, who identifies as Afro-Latina, and Stella Tillery-Lee, who is black.

Asked whether he chose them because they were black, Theo paused and then said: “Yeah, but I didn’t really focus on that aspect of it. I knew how important this was to them in classes.”

Stella, 14, who lives in Harlem, said she appreciated that Theo took the step that he did. “We definitely need more people that are not necessarily African-American or black helping to support our community because so many people are being bystanders, which is great, but it’s not enough at all,” she said.

About 300 people showed up to join Stella, Melany and Theo on a lawn in Fort Tryon Park.

“Throughout history, people see black people as inhuman or as objects and that’s ridiculous,” Melany said in an interview. “The fact that so many things, like what happened to George Floyd, continue to go on in our country is so upsetting and disturbing that it really does strike a certain nerve in people, as it should.”

Among the protesters were the teachers Ever Ramirez, who is Asian, and Shelby Brody, who is white. They held signs reading, “DEFUND THE POLICE. INVEST IN SCHOOLS” and “ASIANS FOR BLACK LIVES MATTER.”

Mx. Brody said they had learned more about themselves and racism by reading the book “White Fragility” by Robin DiAngelo and taking part in a group at school where white employees explored racism and their role in it.

Mx. Brody had initially steered clear of the group. “I was called in by a colleague of color who rightly said, ‘White people sitting out is part of the problem,’” Mx. Brody said.

Also at the park protest was one of Melany’s family friends, April Dinwoodie, 48, who splits her time between Harlem and Westerly, R.I., where 95 percent of the residents are white.

A biracial woman raised in the town by her white adoptive parents with white siblings, Ms. Dinwoodie said she moved to Harlem years ago as she searched for a connection to “my blackness.”

Driving through the town recently, she said she could not believe what she saw. There they were, dozens of Westerly residents holding a Black Lives Matter protest.

“I was like, ‘Oh, my gosh,’” she said, almost giddy. “I had to stop and pull over because I was crying, because my little town was having a protest. And I said, ‘Well look at that. That’s new. That’s new to me.’”

“Quite frankly,” she said, “I didn’t expect much from my town.”

For years now, mainly black people have been on the front lines of issues that affect black people, said Adilka Pimentel, 30, a lead organizer at Make the Road New York who identifies as black Dominican.

Ms. Pimentel has been involved in activism for a long time, since she was 14 years old. She pointed out that with the Floyd protests, more white people have the advantages of reliable health care, higher incomes and savings to take to the streets at a time when black people have been especially hard hit by the coronavirus outbreak.

“The same way that essential workers are mostly black and brown and account for most of the deaths of Covid, they can’t be out there because they have to feed their families,” she said.

She said she realized that social justice movements ebb and flow, and hoped that the new protesters remained part of the movement.

“I worry about all the support dying down mostly because it’s what happens. Eric Garner. It died down. Mike Brown. It died down. Ferguson. It died down,” Ms. Pimentel said. “The hope is that it stays. Those of us who have been doing the work are going to continue to do the work. If we feel like it starts to slip, we can be here to pick it up.”

Ms. Patton, the protest organizer, stood on 125th Street in Harlem recently at yet another gathering she had organized, this one to recognize Breonna Taylor, who was killed by police in Louisville, Ky.

As she looked over the crowd and prepared to welcome them, a white man, a stranger, handed her a megaphone.

“Could the white man who brought this help us figure it out?” she asked, laughing. The crowd laughed with her.

The man walked up and hit a button to amplify her voice.

Ms. Patton put the megaphone to her mouth. The crowd had grown to hundreds in just a few minutes.

“I am so overwhelmed at how many of you came out!” she shouted. “Thank you for coming!

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