For Immediate Release                                                            

Press Contact: Herb Mintz

(415) 759-9679

Photos and Interviews: Steve Zeltzer
(415) 867-0628

LaborFest is committed to providing unique and relevant labor theme events while practicing proper social distancing to prevent the spread of the virus.  Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be no printed program booklet and all LaborFest 2020 program events will be available online only at https://laborfest.net/.  Events will be available through YouTube or Facebook using a web address provided in the program schedule.  Events are subject to change or cancellation due to COVID-19 related issues.  Check our website at https://laborfest.net/ prior to each event.

LaborFest is the premier labor cultural arts and film festival in the United States.  LaborFest recognizes the role of working people in the building of America and making it work even in this time of COVID-19.  The festival is self-funded with contributions from unions and other organizations that support and celebrate the contributions of working people.




demilitarize-mcgill.jpg     ,VFNCD7QJ7BDGBA6FDSRKGL3S2A.jpg

National CODEPINK is calling for local chapters to organize car caravans & other peace actions on July 4th:  “Independance from War."
East Bay CODEPINK & San Francisco CODEPINK are planning small group bannering actions.
We invite CODEPINK members in the Bay Area to organize their own bannering actions on July 4th.
Make your own banners, and choose the place & time…..(Or join us).
Plaster the Bay with PEACE!
Some tips:
Choose a site with high visibility & banners with short messages & very LARGE LETTERS.
For banners: Old cotton sheets work best & water-based house paint or acrylic paint.  More message suggestions below, or make up your own.
Please be COVID-safe:  face masks and social distancing.
BRING:  your own folding chair (optional), sun protection (hat, clothing, sunscreen), your own food & water, and your banners.  Instruments and/or song sheets might help pass the time too and make it FUN!  
Bannering Actions:  
(Please contact us if you plan your own bannering event)
Other banners welcome, but please stay on the anti-war (home & abroad) theme.
Berkeley:  10:00 - 11:30 am:  University Ave. Footbridge, just south of I-80.
9:50am:  Meet in large parking lot near SW corner of University and I-80, accessible by frontage rd.
Coordinated by Eleanor & Toby.  All welcome to join.   FMI:  ratherbenyckeling@comcast.net
San Francisco:  10:00 - 11:00 am:  Highland Avenue Bridge at the San Jose Ave exit/entrance of I-280.
Thanks Barbara Briggs for generously offering to make 2 banners while being totally “sheltered in place!”
All welcome to join. 
Coordinated by Martha;   FMI:  mhubert7@earthlink.net
If you organize your own bannering action, please let us know, and send details, so we can add to list and share later.
For any questions or more info on banner-making contact us:   ratherbenyckeling@comcast.net   or  eastbaycodepink@gmail.com
Thanks!  Toby & Eleanor. 
Other Message Suggestions:
STOP THE KILLING:  Oakland to Afghanistan
END RACIST WARS:   Home & Abroad
c460d9285399a2f31d8a55cc87d9b2d4 2.jpg



Support the Campaign to Reopen the Case of 

Alton Sterling’s Murder by Louisiana Police 

On July 5, 2020 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Veda Sterling and the United Panther Movement will hold an event to shine light on the injustice of Alton Sterling’s death by the Louisiana Police. We want to reopen the case against the two police officers who shot Alton in cold blood. WE DEMAND JUSTICE. The fascist pigs who shot and killed Alton are Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake II. Salamoni is in hiding and Lake is still in the police department doing paperwork.

Veda Washington, the aggrieved aunt of Alton Sterling, is calling for support.

She is initiating a campaign to reopen the case of the 2016 police murder of Alton, and also the 2018 death of her nephew Demario Sterling who also died in police custody. And she needs to know we support her! 

Veda and the UPM need support in continuing this fight. We need resources for the event, for accommodation, for food, for support!
Please send what you can to Veda’s CashApp:

Dare to Struggle Dare to Win!
All Power to the people



"While you're worried about 'bad apples', We're wary of the roots. Because NO healthy tree, Naturally bears Strange 

—Unknown source



"When I liberate myself, I liberate others. If you don't speak out, ain't nobody going to speak out for you."

Fannie Lou Hamer 

Dear Community, 

Do you know what wakes me up every day? Believing that we will win. We always knew that we were on the right side of history—but this summer between unveiling the racist outcomes of COVID-19, the global uprisings and the nationwide 650+ Juneneenth actions, we have momentum like we’ve never had before, and the majority of the country is with us. We know that the next step in our pathway to liberation is to make a strong political move at the ballot box—and we need you to lead the effort to entice, excite, educate, and ignite our people, from the babies to the grannies. Black August belongs to the Electoral Justice Project; it is our turn to set the national Black Political Agenda, and we want you to join us!

In a crisis, we have found resilience and the opportunity to make history. This is the genius of our Blackness—even amid a devastating pandemic that exposed racism and anti-Blackness as the real pre-existing conditions harming our communities, we are rising up and taking action to build power and demand that our rights and dignity be upheld and respected.

This summer, we will continue the legacy of Black Political Power-building and the righteous anger and momentum in the streets to shape a movement that will extend to the November elections and beyond. 

We invite you to join the Movement for Black Lives on Friday, August 28, at for the Black National Convention—a primetime event in celebration of Black Culture, Black Political Power-building, and a public policy agenda that will set forth an affirmative vision for Black Lives.

We are drawing from a legacy of struggle for Black Liberation. In 1964, Black communities across Mississippi and the South united in the face of systemic racism and voter suppression. That summer, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the landmark Civil Rights Act, which after decades of violence and segregation, was won through sheer will. Then, on March 10, 1972, 4,000 Black people from every political affiliation attended the National Black Political Convention in Gary, Indiana, to yield power for Black people. While the historic event generated a new Black Political Agenda and quadrupled the number of Black elected officials by the end of the 1970s, it was not without its divisions and tensions—ranging from questions about the efficacy of Reverend Jesse Jackson’s assertion of a “Liberation Party” to the isolation of then–Presidential Candidate Shirley Chishom.

Despite the varied outcomes, the National Black Political Convention was an influential moment in Black History. Forty-eight years later, we are meeting yet another opportunity for radical change. This Black August, join us as we unveil one of the boldest political platforms our country has ever seen, partnering to ignite millions across the country. www.blacknovember.org

You feel that? We’re going to win. 

With Black Love, 

Jessica Byrd and the Black National Convention Planning Teamp




Tell Blackrock: stop investing in Tasers that police have used to kill thousands of Americans!

BlackRock loves to make a killing on killing: Over a thousand Americans have been killed by Tasers — 32 percent of them are Black Americans. Tasers are made by the colossal law enforcement supplier Axon Enterprise, based in Arizona.
One of their top shareholders happens to be Blackrock. Recently Blackrock has been trying to be sympathetic to the atrocities of murders waged on Black Americans and communities of color. If we ramp up massive pressure and blow the whistle on their deadly stocks, we can highlight that divesting from Tasers and the war in our streets will be a step in the right direction in building a fair and just society.
This issue is important to having peace in our streets. But this will only work if people participate. Send an email to Blackrock to divest from the Taser manufacturer Axon Enterprise which is responsible for the killing of thousands of Americans, and CODEPINK will pull out all the stops to make sure Blackrock execs hear our call:

Tell Blackrock: stop investing in Tasers!

Blackrock could do this. They recently announced that they were divesting from fossil fuels — signaling a shift in their policies. If CEO Larry Fink cares about “diversity, fairness, and justice” and building a “stronger, more equal, and safer society” — he should divest from Tasers.
Plus, compared to Blackrock’s other holdings, Taser stocks aren’t even that significant!

But if Blackrock does this, it could be the first domino we need to get other investment companies on board too. Send an email to BlackRock and share this widely! 

Tell Blackrock: stop investing in Tasers!

If there’s one thing our community stands for, it’s peace and social justice. And one way we can help achieve that is by cutting off the flow of cash into the manufacturing of Tasers. So, let’s come together to make that happen, and help prevent more innocent Americans from being killed with these senseless tools.

With hope,
Nancy, Carley, Jodie, Paki, Cody, Kelsey, and Yousef

Donate Now!

This email was sent to giobon@comcast.net. To unsubscribe,  click here
To update your email subscription, contact info@codepink.org.
© 2020 CODEPINK.ORG | Created with NationBuilder



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





Kimberly Jones

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

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

Kimberly Jones on YouTube 



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

So what has protesting accomplished?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

๐Ÿ‘‰๐ŸพStreet in front of the White House is renamed "Black Lives Matter Plaza.”
Military forces begin to withdraw from D.C.

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

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

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

๐Ÿ’“The self-reflection.

๐Ÿ’“The internal battles exploding within organizations over issues that have been simmering or ignored for a long time. Some organizations will end as a result, others will be forever changed or replaced with something stronger and fairer.


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

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

๐ŸŒŽ As the US contends with its second week of protests, issues of racism, police brutality, and oppression have been brought to light across the globe.

๐ŸŒŽ People all over the world understand that their own fights for human rights, for equality and fairness, will become so much more difficult to win if we are going to lose America as the place where 'I have a dream' is a real and universal political program," Wolfgang Ischinger, a former German ambassador to the US, told the New Yorker.

๐ŸŒŽ In France, protesters marched holding signs that said "I can't breathe" to signify both the words of Floyd, and the last words of Adama Traorรฉ, a 24-year-old black man who was subdued by police officers and gasped the sentence before he died outside Paris in 2016.

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

✊๐Ÿฝ In Amsterdam, an estimated 10,000 people filled the Dam square on Monday, holding signs and shouting popular chants like "Black lives matter," and "No justice, no peace."

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

✊๐Ÿพ A mural dedicated to Floyd was also spray-painted on a stretch of wall in Berlin that once divided the German capital during the Cold War.

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

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

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

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

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

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

✊๐Ÿพ In Canada, protesters were also grieving for Regis Korchinski-Paquet, a 29-year-old black woman who died on Wednesday after falling from her balcony during a police investigation at her building.

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

๐Ÿ’ Memorials have been built for Floyd around the world, too. In Mexico City, portraits of him were hung outside the US embassy with roses, candles, and signs.

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

๐Ÿ’ And in Syria, two artists created a mural depicting Floyd in the northwestern town of Binnish, "on a wall destroyed by military planes."

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


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

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

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

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

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

Keep protesting.


How beautiful is that?








*I do not know the original author*

Copy & paste widely!






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



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



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

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






Trump Comic Satire—A Proposal
          By Shakaboona

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Frida Berrigan's Statement

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

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

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

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

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

Liz's Statement

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

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

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

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







This will make you smile!

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




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

Enough is Enough: Global Nuclear Weapons 

Spending 2020

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



Shooting and looting started: 400 years ago

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




Respected Elder Jalil Muntaqim 

Hospitalized with COVID-19

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

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

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

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

Here's what you can do:


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

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

CALL  the Attorney General and Commissioner

Attorney General  Letitia James - (718) 560-2040

Sample Script For AG: 

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

Commissioner Annucci - (518) 457-8126

Sample Script For Commissioner: 

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

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

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



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

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

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

Our mailing address is:

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

PendletonIN  46064

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Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin 

conviction integrity unit—confession and all

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dear Friend,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Be well and take care. 


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Resolution for Funding for the Undocumented

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

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

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

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

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

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


Kristen Pursley, President,

Adult School Teachers United (ASTU)


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





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

Veterans Join Call for a Global Ceasefire 

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

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

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

For more information about events go to:




Courage to Resist
www.couragetoresist.org ~ 510.488.3559 ~ facebook.com/couragetoresist

484 Lake Park Ave # 41
OaklandCA 94610-2730
United States
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From Business Insider 2018



"The biggest block from having society in harmony with the universe is the belief in a lie that says it’s not realistic or humanly possible." 

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

—Johnny Gould (Follow @tandino415 on Instagram)







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



















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

Major Tillery (with hat) and family

Dear Friends of the Labor Action Committee to Free Mumia,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Please write and call Acting Superintendent Kenneth Eason at:

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

Telephone: (610) 490-5412

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

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

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

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

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

In solidarity,

The Labor Action Committee to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal



Kiah Morris

May 7 at 6:44 AM

So, in MY lifetime....

Black people are so tired. ๐Ÿ˜“

We can’t go jogging (#AhmaudArbery).

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

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

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

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

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

We can’t sell CD's (#AltonSterling).

We can’t sleep (#AiyanaJones)

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

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

We can’t go to church (#Charleston9).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We can’t run (#WalterScott).

We can’t breathe (#EricGarner).

We can’t live (#FreddieGray).

We’re tired.

Tired of making hashtags.

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

Tired of dying.




So very tired.

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








1) ‘Permit Karen’ calls cops on Black law professor and family for building patio on their own property
By Walter Einenkel, July 1, 2020

On June 30, Montclair, New Jersey, resident Fareed Nassor Hayat, a law professor at the City University of New York School of Law, took to his Facebook page to post a video of a woman in his neighborhood reportedly harassing him and his family. Hayat wrote that a woman named Susan had called the police and filed a “false report of assault against me when told to leave our property.” According to Hayat, Susan had come over three times in the span of one hour to complain and accuse Hayat of illegally installing a stone patio in his backyard. Hayat’s backyard apparently runs up against Susan’s fence.

When asked if a permit was required by law, she said she didn’t know, but insisted we answer her questions and submit to her demands, or she would call the police to force us to stop improving our home. (A permit is not required in Montclair for a stone patio this size. This fact was known to us through our own independent research, our contractor and later verified when building and safety arrived at our home to investigate her complaint.)

Hayat and his wife then demanded that Susan leave their property. It was at this point that Susan called the police and alleged Hayat had put his hands on her. The video begins as Susan calls the police. Neighbors can be seen coming out of their homes, all of whom disagree with Susan’s account of the facts. In the video you can also hear Hayat and his wife complaining that this neighbor has been “harassing” their family for two years.

The historic danger for Black folks (and especially Black men) having law enforcement called on them by white women is high. The true number of atrocities that have befallen Black men as a result of this kind of racism, abuse of power, and bigotry is impossible to quantify. Once would be an entirely unacceptable number for a civilized society.

Montclair Local reports that “Susan” did not end up filing a formal complaint, and pointed out that the incident echoed a similar news story from late May, when New Yorker Amy Cooper called the police on bird watcher Christian Cooper—who is Black—and threatened to claim he was assaulting her. 

“Susan,” who apparently works for the EPA in Edison, New Jersey, was very quickly outed as federal worker Susan Schulz and within hours, local youth held a protest on her block, marching up and down while chanting slogans like, “Hey hey, ho ho, your racist self has got to go.” Schulz called police on the group and then told officers that protesters threw objects at her house.



2) San Quentin Prisoners go on Hunger Strike Amid Massive COVID-19 Outbreak
About 20 people in the prison’s Badger section have been on hunger strike for the past few days, three people incarcerated there say.
By Kira Lerner, July 1, 2020

Photo: Shutterstock

As the novel coronavirus spreads rapidly through California’s San Quentin State Prison, around 20 prisoners have launched a hunger strike to protest inhumane conditions inside, three men incarcerated in the facility said.

The hunger strike began on Monday, according to the men, who are incarcerated in the prison’s Badger unit. As of Wednesday, 1,135 prisoners—almost a third of San Quentin’s incarcerated population—have active COVID-19 infections. At least one prisoner has died. 

Two sources, who did not want to be named for fear of retaliation, said that despite the outbreak, people in Badger section are still locked up in small cells with other people, making it impossible to social distance.

Juan Moreno Haines, an incarcerated journalist and regular contributor to The Appeal who has reported on the conditions prisoners are facing from inside San Quentin, also confirmed the information from the other two sources. Additionally, Haines said that he has tested positive for COVID-19.

“[T]he cells are filthy and we are not being given cleaner to maintain them,” one source told The Appeal. “Some of us are being housed together when the whole thing is to keep us six feet away from each other.”  

The prison is also serving the men cold, “inadequate” food, one of the men said. The unit doesn’t have electrical power in the cells, so they are unable to use TVs, radios, or fans, he said.

“Guys are having mental issues and they are not being addressed,” the source said. “The staff are literally waiting for us to fall out.”

All three men pleaded for information about the prison’s conditions to be widely reported. 

“It’s bad, it’s bad, please get the word out,” one of them said.

James King, a state campaigner for the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights who was incarcerated in San Quentin until December, said the prisoners are doing everything they can to raise awareness about the conditions in the prison.

“It feels unbearable and they want help,” he said. “They’re putting their bodies out there to show that if the disease itself and the way it’s spreading so quickly, if that doesn’t show this is a human rights issue, then maybe them sacrificing their bodies will.”

While the hunger strikers are only in Badger section so far, the virus has spread throughout the prison. A man incarcerated in San Quentin’s West Block housing unit, who also did not want to be named out of concern for his safety, told The Appeal that prison staff are doing little to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

“Over half of the building is sick,” he said. “They have nowhere to move sick people, so literally if your cellmate gets COVID, if he turns out to be positive, you’re just stuck in a cell with him. … It’s terrifying. They’re making very little effort to separate us from people who are positive.”

While he has tested negative, he said, many of his neighbors have tested positive. He said that when he used the shower on Tuesday, the people around him were discussing their symptoms. 

“I hear the two dudes on my left talking about how sick they are,” he said. “They’re talking to each other like, ‘Yeah, man. I’ve been having the chills, man. My body is super sore.’”

He said he tried to face the other direction, but the three men to his other side also said they were sick.

“I’m holding my breath in the shower,” he said. “The buildings are notoriously poorly ventilated. I’m literally standing in a crowd of sick men in like a sauna, and this disease is communicated through droplets. And I’m terrified.”

He said that some prisoners are still being forced to report for work in the kitchen. “They’re literally saying, if you don’t go to work, you will receive a 115, which is disciplinary, which means more time on your sentence.”

A spokesperson for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said it is taking measures to mitigate the outbreak, including expedited release for some prisoners with 180 days or less left of their sentence, as well as some prisoners at high risk for complications from COVID-19. “We understand and share the concern of COVID-19 cases in the state’s prisons and are implementing multiple strategies to control the spread of the virus to protect all those who live and work in our state prisons.”

But the man in West Block said that he’s not seeing any meaningful steps being taken to prevent transmission. “The measures being taken to isolate COVID? There are no measures. Nothing adequate. Not at all.”

No prisoners at San Quentin had tested positive for COVID-19 until late May, when 121 people were transferred to the prison from the California Institution for Men, the site of the deadliest outbreak in the California prison system. In a June hearing, a federal judge called the transfer a “significant failure of policy and planning.”  

Calls are growing to release people incarcerated at San Quentin. In a June 13 report from UCSF’s Amend Center and UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health, epidemiologists and health policy experts warned of dire consequences if more people aren’t released. 

“The combination of San Quentin’s antiquated facilities and severe overcrowding places the prison at high risk of significant COVID-19-related morbidity and mortality unless the population is quickly reduced by 50 percent or more,” the authors wrote.

“Failure to meet these urgent needs will have dire implications for the health of incarcerated people at San Quentin, correctional staff and the healthcare capacity of Bay Area hospitals.”

The virus was bound to spread rapidly in the overcrowded prison, Haines said.

“There’s just too many people in prison, period,” he said, pointing to North Block as an example, which is designed to hold 414 people, but currently houses more than 700.

“And there’s people that have been in prison for 10, 15, 20, 30 years, in their sixties and seventies, that have aged out of crime long ago,” he said, “yet they’re still playing these political games with these guys and not releasing them.”

This story has been updated with additional accounts from people inside San Quentin.



3) Coronavirus Cases Are Peaking Again. Here’s How It’s Different This Time.
By Lauren Leatherby and Charlie Smart, July 2, 2020

The first wave of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States never really ended, and cases are surging again. But this time, a different and much bigger swath of the country is feeling the effects.

The first peak came at the beginning of April: About 30,000 cases were reported per day, but the biggest hotspots were concentrated in just a few regions. With the right steps, public health experts said, there was still a chance the outbreak could be contained.

That didn’t happen, and new infections in the United States plateaued before roaring back again in late June as the virus spread to the rest of the country. Daily case counts are well above 30,000 now, and nearly 10 times as many counties are hotspots — where at least one person per thousand was diagnosed in the last two weeks — making the prospect of containment all the more unlikely.

Some rural counties in the South, West and Midwest, where the virus seemed like a distant threat just two months ago, are seeing hospitals approach capacity for the first time.

The numbers of new cases in some Florida counties, including Miami-Dade and Duval, have more than tripled in the past two weeks. In Texas, more than 6,000 new cases are diagnosed every day. Hospitals in Houston are so full that patients are being transferred to other cities.

In New York City, meanwhile, overwhelmed hospitals saw a drop in coronavirus patients in May so sharp it was “like someone turned off the hose,” and new infections have stayed low.

The geographic shift of the outbreak also means new groups are now experiencing its effects.

In early April, most new cases were in large metro areas. The New York City area had almost half of all new cases some days. Other early outbreaks hit New Orleans and Detroit. But the current surge in cases has swept across more rural and suburban parts of the country, leaving few counties untouched in much of the South.

Some demographic trends remain the same, even as the virus spreads. People of color have disproportionately borne the brunt from the beginning, and the latest spike is no different. Among the areas currently seeing a rapid increase in cases are majority-Hispanic counties along the Southern border, Native American reservations in the Southwest, and majority-Black counties in the Southeast.

But the political geography has clearly changed: Many counties where Donald Trump won in 2016 are being hit for the first time. Following months during which decisions to lock down and reopen states often fell along party lines, and wearing a face mask became politicized, some Republican governors have abruptly begun imploring residents to wear masks.

The rapid spread of the virus in regions that had previously avoided much of its impact has caused some state and local governments to reverse plans to reopen.

Gov. Doug Ducey of Arizona ordered bars, gyms and other businesses in the state to close for 30 days. The governors of Florida, Texas and California also reimposed restrictions on bars and other businesses after a sharp rise in cases. Even in New York City, where the reopening time frame has been more cautious, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that plans to allow indoor seating at restaurants would be delayed indefinitely.



4) My Life Under Mississippi’s Racist Flag
It waved to us again and again: Know your place.
By Natasha Trethewey, July 3, 2020
Illustration by John Whitlock; Photographs by Walker Evans and Dorothea Lange, via The New York Public Library, The New York Times, Associated Press, and Getty Images

The onslaught began the day I was born.

As my mother made her way to the hospital, hundreds of Confederate flags lined the streets. It was Confederate Memorial Day, 1966, exactly 100 years since the holiday was first celebrated, and the celebrations that day were particularly fervent in the aftermath of recent advances in the civil rights movement: the passage of the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts of 1964 and 1965. The laws were changing, but the iconic symbol of white supremacy and Black oppression could still be enlisted to send a message.

And the messages were everywhere. The landscape of my childhood was overwritten with monuments to and symbols of the Confederacy: They were in the names of roads, bridges, buildings, schools, parks, other public works and counties. And the state flag of Mississippi, incorporating the Confederate battle flag in its top inner corner, was among the most conspicuous.

Its message was a kind of synecdoche, a part standing in for the whole: The South may have lost the Civil War — a war fought to maintain slavery and white supremacy — but Mississippi would not be inclusive of all her citizens except in the continuing narrative of white dominion over Black subjects. The inclusion of the battle flag within the state flag served as a visual reminder of white Mississippians’ allegiance to that white supremacist heritage and was indicative of the new ways the state would find to maintain the second-class status of Black Americans. It waved to us again and again: Know your place.

Now, this symbol of white supremacy is coming down. Last Sunday, lawmakers in Mississippi voted, finally, to replace the state flag, and on Tuesday the governor signed the measure into law.

I can’t say with any certainty that, had its fate been put to a popular referendum, a majority of white Mississippians would have voted to let the flag go. In 2001, nearly two-thirds of voters still elected to keep it, and there was plenty of opposition to its removal ahead of Sunday’s vote. That opposition is at the root of what makes Black Americans constantly confront the sense of being unwelcome in the place that is our home, a place where we should be able to expect justice and equal protection under the law.

Growing up I felt early on that sense of dislocation, something akin to what the writer and scientist E.O. Wilson referred to as “psychological exile.” That is, even in my native land, I felt rendered an outsider whose history was not represented — or if it was, was not represented accurately.

On Ship Island, a barrier island off the Gulf Coast held by Black Union soldiers during the Civil War, for instance, a monument had been erected to the Confederate soldiers who had been interned there, but there was, until recently, no mention of the Black troops who guarded them. Such are the ways the monumental landscape, of which the flag is part, has erased the collective history of Mississippi and replaced it with a singular one, meant to glorify whites only.

My mother knew well the various means that white Mississippians employed — both legally and extralegally — to maintain Black subordination and white supremacy. She’d grown up in the era of Jim Crow segregation and was 11 years old in 1955 when Emmett Till was murdered.

A photograph taken outside the courthouse in Sumner County, where the trial of the men accused of Till’s abduction and murder was held, shows a large gathering of African-Americans. They stand at the entrance to the courthouse or sit at the base of the Confederate monument on the lawn. You can see the words “Our Heroes” emblazoned beneath the battle flag graven there. Though you cannot see the state flag, it hangs there, too.

Together, the flags presided over the message soon delivered: the all-white jury’s acquittal of Roy Bryant and J.W. Milam, the men who would later brag to Look magazine about murdering the child. There is yet another message, implicit in the imagery of the photograph. If the Confederate battle flag alone could signify virulent and dangerous forms of white supremacy, as it has increasingly over the years, the communion of the state flag of Mississippi and the battle flag sent a yet more insidious message: The state will preside over persistent injustice, turning a blind eye to white violence against Blacks.

It was the continuing onslaught of that implicit message — that the lives of Black people mattered less than the lives of whites — that my mother was intent on countering as we navigated a landscape rife with it. Whenever we passed the state flag, often driving down the beach road that had been dedicated, on a plaque erected by the Daughters of the Confederacy, “The Jefferson Davis Memorial Highway,” my mother would sing to me the “Battle Hymn of the Republic” — the antislavery, abolitionist version that had morphed into an anthem for Union troops during the Civil War.

“John Brown’s body lies a-mouldering in the grave, but his truth is marching on. …” She sang to counteract the symbolic, psychic violence of that flag, to remind me of the struggle for — which means the possibility of — justice.

To Black Americans, Confederate symbols have always sent a variety of messages, and they are not innocuous. For too long, the symbolism of Mississippi’s flag has been complicit in sending a larger, national message of white supremacy — not the literal violence of murders by white supremacists or police brutality, but the figurative violence of the messages sent by juries who fail to convict or even indict officers accused of using unwarranted deadly force; the messages sent by police departments when they take no disciplinary action against officers with records of using excessive force; the messages sent by a nation turning a blind eye again and again to video evidence of police brutality or the racist policing of Black people going about their daily lives. All of it an onslaught saying, Black lives do not matter as much as white lives.

George Orwell wrote: “Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.” The story of reunion and reconciliation between the North and the South after the Civil War wrote Black Americans out of the story, and monuments to the Confederacy, like Mississippi’s flag, helped to inscribe both a figurative and literal white supremacy onto the physical landscape and the psychic landscape of the American imagination.

This is why contests over what symbols remain are important battles in a broader struggle for social justice, and why the removal of the current flag in Mississippi is significant.

When symbols emblematic of white supremacy come down it means that the power to erect and maintain such symbols is shifting. Getting rid of the power of such symbols to visit a figurative violence upon African-Americans is a step toward ending the literal manifestations of institutionalized white supremacy. Even ceremonially renaming the street leading to the White House and painting on it a giant banner reading Black Lives Matter is akin to running a new flag up the pole. It is not an empty gesture, but a small step toward change, part of the larger, ongoing fight for justice. And it makes visible what has been invisible, giving it a kind of primacy.

I never thought I’d see this moment in my lifetime.



5) The Mystery of High Stock Prices
Why is the market doing so well when the economy is doing so poorly?
By Steven Rattner, July 3, 2020
Mr. Rattner served as counselor to the Treasury secretary in the Obama administration.
Brendan Mcdermid/Reuters

From the Department of Curiosities: On Tuesday, as the number of new coronavirus cases continued to spike to record levels, the stock market closed out its strongest quarter in more than two decades.

That was just one stop for the equity markets on a spring roller coaster ride, three months that saw the fastest 30 percent decline in stock prices in history, followed by the fastest 50-day increase on record.

This year’s volatility may be extreme, but it’s only the latest of many seeming disconnects between stocks and the economy. In March 2009, for example, while reported monthly job losses were topping 700,000, share prices abruptly ended their 17-month decline and began a recovery that essentially lasted until the virus arrived.

What gives? Why has an economy that has experienced the biggest collapse since the Great Depression not — at least to date — inflicted any lasting damage on a market that is often expected to reflect the state of the economy or, at least, of corporate profits?

Some hold the view that the economy’s troubles will be short-lived; a V-shaped recovery will soon unfold and the stock market is merely looking ahead. Others cite the upsurge in buying by small individual investors.

My vote for the most significant driver of stock prices is the huge amount of liquidity that the Federal Reserve has injected into the financial system, in an effort to counteract the depressive economic impact of the virus.

That has pushed interest rates to record lows, turning money market funds, bonds and other fixed-income instruments into low-returning investments. The Standard & Poor’s index of 500 stocks, for example, currently has a dividend yield of 1.9 percent, compared with 0.7 percent for 10-year Treasury notes.

Unusually, an investor can now make more in current income from stocks than from high-quality fixed-income securities while participating in any future appreciation in share prices. (Yes, while stocks can also go down, over the long term, they have always appreciated.)

Coincidence or not, the day the Fed announced a massive injection of liquidity, the plunge in the market abated and the extraordinary recovery in stocks began.

“Don’t fight the Fed” has been a mantra for investors for decades. During the tenure of Alan Greenspan as Fed chairman, the notion that the Fed would provide a fire hose of liquidity whenever a crisis threatened became known as the “Greenspan put.”

In fairness, the Fed is not the only factor influencing the market. Individual investors, known for their often poor timing of entry and exit points, have been trading actively, aided by commissions that major online brokers have dropped to zero.

That has created some weird anomalies: After pandemic losses drove Hertz shares below $1 and the company filed for bankruptcy, small investors piled in and sent the stock briefly above $5, even though shareholders rarely receive material proceeds from a bankruptcy.

However, as a whole, data on fund flows do not show — at least yet — enough new retail money coming into the market to materially account for its quick and strong recovery.

And the overall strong performance of stocks masks the fact that the market has recognized that profits of fast-growing technology companies have not been significantly hurt by the pandemic while more cyclical companies in manufacturing, retail and the like are suffering mightily.

Since the market peaked on Feb. 19, the tech-heavy Nasdaq index is up four percent essentially unchanged while the Dow Jones average — more oriented toward cyclical companies — has fallen by 12 percent.

Nonetheless, many legendary investors — from Stanley Druckenmiller to Paul Tudor Jones — remain deeply concerned about the gap between share prices and economic fundamentals. Warren Buffett, who made billions for his company, Berkshire Hathaway, by investing heavily during the financial crisis, appears to have mostly stayed on the sidelines.

In recent days, the market has seemed sympathetic to their view. As virus cases have begun spiking, stock prices have shuddered, as they did on Friday, June 26. But so far, at least, they have quickly stabilized, albeit below the highs of early June.

So at the moment, as much as President Trump would like to think otherwise, lofty stock prices are not a sign of a strong economy.

And in the long run, the view of professional investors that share prices must eventually align with economic fundamentals will prevail.

To me, those fundamentals look scary. The new climb in virus cases threatens to force shutdowns and delay reopenings. At best, the recovery is likely to be lengthy, particularly for industries including travel and hospitality.

Without a robust economy, corporate profits are unlikely to recover fully, eventually pulling down stocks. To know when that recovery might occur, keep a close eye on the path of the virus.

But also, don’t forget to watch the Fed.



6) Black Lives Matter May Be the Largest Movement in U.S. History
By Larry Buchanan, Quoctrung Bui and Jugal K. Patel, July 3, 2020

The recent Black Lives Matter protests peaked on June 6, when half a million people turned out in nearly 550 places across the United States. That was a single day in more than a month of protests that still continue to today.

Four recent polls — including one released this week by Civis Analytics, a Democratic data firm — suggest that about 15 million to 26 million people in the United States have participated in demonstrations over the death of George Floyd and others in recent weeks.

These figures would make the recent protests the largest movement in the country’s history, according to interviews with scholars and crowd-counting experts.

“I’ve never seen self-reports of protest participation that high for a specific issue over such a short period,” said Neal Caren, associate professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, who studies social movements in the United States.

While it’s possible that more people said they protested than actually did, even if only half told the truth, the surveys suggest more than seven million people participated in recent demonstrations.

The Women’s March of 2017 had a turnout of about three million to five million people on a single day, but that was a highly organized event. Collectively, the recent Black Lives Matter protests — more organic in nature — appear to have far surpassed those numbers, according to polls.

“Really, it’s hard to overstate the scale of this movement,” said Deva Woodly, an associate professor of politics at the New School.

Professor Woodly said that the civil rights marches in the 1960s were considerably smaller in number. “If we added up all those protests during that period, we’re talking about hundreds of thousands of people, but not millions,” she said.

Even protests to unseat government leadership or for independence typically succeed when they involve 3.5 percent of the population at their peak, according to a review of international protests by Erica Chenoweth, a professor at Harvard Kennedy School who co-directs the Crowd Counting Consortium, which collects data on crowd sizes of political protests.

Why this movement is different

Precise turnout at protests is difficult to count and has led to some famous disputes. An amalgam of estimates from organizers, the police and local news reports often make up the official total.

But tallies by teams of crowd counters are revealing numbers of extraordinary scale. On June 6, for example, at least 50,000 people turned out in Philadelphia, 20,000 in Chicago’s Union Park and up to 10,000 on the Golden Gate Bridge, according to estimates by Edwin Chow, an associate professor at Texas State University, and researchers at the Crowd Counting Consortium.

Across the United States, there have been more than 4,700 demonstrations, or an average of 140 per day, since the first protests began in Minneapolis on May 26, according to a Times analysis. Turnout has ranged from dozens to tens of thousands in about 2,500 small towns and large cities.

“The geographic spread of protest is a really important characteristic and helps signal the depth and breadth of a movement’s support,” said Kenneth Andrews, a sociology professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

One of the reasons there have been protests in so many places in the United States is the backing of organizations like Black Lives Matter. While the group isn’t necessarily directing each protest, it provides materials, guidance and a framework for new activists, Professor Woodly said. Those activists are taking to social media to quickly share protest details to a wide audience.

Black Lives Matter has been around since 2013, but there’s been a big shift in public opinion about the movement as well as broader support for recent protests. A deluge of public support from organizations like the N.F.L. and NASCAR for Black Lives Matter may have also encouraged supporters who typically would sit on the sidelines to get involved.

The protests may also be benefitting from a country that is more conditioned to protesting. The adversarial stance that the Trump administration has taken on issues like guns, climate change and immigration has led to more protests than under any other presidency since the Cold War.

According to a poll from The Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation, one in five Americans said that they had participated in a protest since the start of the Trump administration, and 19 percent said they were new to protesting.

Who is protesting

More than 40 percent of counties in the United States — at least 1,360 — have had a protest. Unlike with past Black Lives Matter protests, nearly 95 percent of counties that had a protest recently are majority white, and nearly three-quarters of the counties are more than 75 percent white.

“Without gainsaying the reality and significance of generalized white support for the movement in the early 1960s, the number of whites who were active in a sustained way in the struggle were comparatively few, and certainly nothing like the percentages we have seen taking part in recent weeks,” said Douglas McAdam, an emeritus professor at Stanford University who studies social movements.

According to the Civis Analytics poll, the movement appears to have attracted protesters who are younger and wealthier. The age group with the largest share of protesters was people under 35 and the income group with the largest share of protesters was those earning more than $150,000.

Half of those who said they protested said that this was their first time getting involved with a form of activism or demonstration. A majority said that they watched a video of police violence toward protesters or the Black community within the last year. And of those people, half said that it made them more supportive of the Black Lives Matter movement.

The protests are colliding with another watershed moment: the country’s most devastating pandemic in modern history.

“With being home and not being able to do as much, that might be amplifying something that is already sort of critical, something that’s already a powerful catalyst, and that is the video,” said Daniel Q. Gillion, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania who has written several books on protests and politics.

“If you aren’t moved by the George Floyd video, you have nothing in you,” he said. “And that catalyst can now be amplified by the fact that individuals probably have more time to engage in protest activity.”

Besides the spike in demonstrations on Juneteeth, the number of protests has fallen considerably over the last two weeks according to the Crowd Counting Consortium.

But the amount of change that the protests have been able to produce in such a short period of time is significant. In Minneapolis, the City Council pledged to dismantle its police department. In New York, lawmakers repealed a law that kept police disciplinary records secret. Cities and states across the country passed new laws banning chokeholds. Mississippi lawmakers voted to retire their state flag, which prominently includes a Confederate battle emblem.

“It looks, for all the world, like these protests are achieving what very few do: setting in motion a period of significant, sustained, and widespread social, political change,” Professor McAdam said. “We appear to be experiencing a social change tipping point — that is as rare in society as it is potentially consequential.”



7) Even the South Pole Is Warming, and Quickly, Scientists Say
Surface air temperatures at the bottom of the world have risen three times faster than the global average since the 1990s.
By Henry Fountain, June 29, 2020
The American buildings of the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. Credit...Vicki Beaver/Alamy

The South Pole, the most isolated part of the planet, is also one of the most rapidly warming ones, scientists said Monday, with surface air temperatures rising since the 1990s at a rate that is three times faster than the global average.

While the warming could be the result of natural climate change alone, the researchers said, it is likely that the effects of human-caused warming contributed to it.

The pole, home to a United States research base in the high, icy emptiness of the Antarctic interior, warmed by about 0.6 degrees Celsius, or 1.1 degrees Fahrenheit, per decade over the past 30 years, the researchers reported in a paper published in Nature Climate Change. The global average over that time was about 0.2 degrees Celsius per decade.

Although parts of coastal Antarctica are losing ice, which contributes to sea level rise, the pole is in no danger of melting, as the year-round average temperature is still about minus-50 degrees Celsius. But the finding shows that no place is unaffected by change on a warming planet.

Analyzing weather data and using climate models, the researchers found that the rising temperatures are a result of changes in atmospheric circulation that have their origins thousands of miles away in the western tropical Pacific Ocean.

“The South Pole is warming at an incredible rate, and it is chiefly driven by the tropics,” said Kyle R. Clem, a postdoctoral researcher at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand and the lead author of the study.

While climate change resulting from emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases has very likely played a role, the analysis showed that natural climate variability could account for all of the extreme swing in temperature, effectively masking any human-caused contribution.

“The Antarctic interior may be one of the few places remaining on Earth where the anthropogenic signal cannot be easily teased out due to such extreme variability,” Dr. Clem said.

“But you’re very, very unlikely to get a warming trend that strong without increasing greenhouse gases,” he added.

Temperature records at the pole have been kept since 1957, when the first American base was completed there. For decades, average temperatures were steady or declining. Strong westerly winds that circled the continent served as a barrier, preventing warmer air from intruding into the interior.

But that changed near the end of the 20th century, Dr. Clem said, when sea-surface temperatures in the western tropical Pacific began to rise, part of a natural oscillation that occurs on a time scale of decades.

The warming ocean heated the air, which caused ripples of high and low pressure in the atmosphere that reached all the way to the Antarctic Peninsula, more than 5,000 miles away. Scientists call these kinds of long-distance links teleconnections.

Coupled with the stronger westerly winds, which are part of another long-term pattern, the ripples led to stronger storms in the Weddell Sea, east of the peninsula. These rotating, or cyclonic, storms, swept warmer air from the South Atlantic Ocean into the interior of the continent.

Stronger storms in the Weddell Sea have also led to a recent decline in sea ice in the region.

Dr. Clem said the warming was not uniform across the Antarctic Plateau, the enormous expanse that covers most of the interior, including the pole, with an average elevation of nearly two miles. But the only other permanent base on the plateau, Russia’s Vostok station about 800 miles from the pole, has also recorded rapidly rising temperatures, he said.

The ripples from the tropical Pacific also had an effect on the Antarctic Peninsula, which for most of the late 20th century had been one of the fastest-warming areas in the world. But in the last few decades the rate of warming there has declined significantly.

In an email message, two researchers at the University of Colorado, Sharon E. Stammerjohn and Ted A. Scambos, said that while the rest of the world has been warming steadily over the past five decades, Antarctica has seen major swings, and probably always has. Neither scientist was involved in the research, but they wrote a commentary on the study published in the same issue of the journal.

As ocean temperatures in the tropical Pacific switch toward cooling, they said, the rate of warming at the South Pole will likely decline as well, but not by as much as it would have without human-caused climate change.

In an interview, Dr. Stammerjohn said “warming at the South Pole is significant because it’s the most remote place on the planet.”

“But it’s still never going to get above freezing,” she said. “We don’t have to worry too much about losing ice at the pole just yet. But definitely the coastlines are another matter.”

Especially along the coast of West Antarctica, warm water brought up from depth by the action of wind is melting ice shelves from underneath, which ultimately leads to sea level rise.

Dr. Stammerjohn said there was more and more evidence that the way the planet is responding to warming was changing the atmosphere and ocean circulation on a large scale.

“And that’s what’s contributing to the warmer waters at depth,” she said. “There’s going to be a lot of variability superimposed on that, but the direction, and the projection, would be toward more and more warm water and more ice sheet loss.”

“It’s so easy to think that Antarctica is isolated and remote and is not going to respond to climate change,” Dr. Stammerjohn said. While the impact at the South Pole may not be all that significant, ice loss along the coast has huge implications.

“It’s the one that’s going to change our sea level dramatically,” she said.

Warming at South Pole, she said, is “the ultimate canary in the coal mine, one that we can no longer ignore.”



























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