Bay Area United Against War Newsletter, July 25, 2020



Timeless words of wisdom from Friedrich Engels:

This legacy belongs to all of us:

“Let us not, however, flatter ourselves overmuch on account of our human victories over nature. For each such victory nature takes its revenge on us. Each victory, it is true, the first place brings about the results we expected, but in the second and third places it has quite different, unforeseen effects which only too often cancel the first. The people who, in Mesopotamia, Greece, Asia Minor and elsewhere, destroyed the forest to obtain cultivable land, never dreamed that by removing along with the forests the collecting centres and reservoirs of moisture they were laying the basis for the present forlorn state of those countries. . . Thus at every step we are reminded that we by no means rule over nature like a conqueror over a foreign people, like someone standing outside nature–but that we, with flesh, blood and brain, belong to nature, and exist in its midst, and that all our mastery of it consists in the fact that we have the advantage over all other creatures of being able to learn its laws and apply them correctly.” The Part played by Labour in the Transition from Ape to Man 1876. —Friedrich Engels




Do you see what’s happening in Portland? That could be Oakland next!

A provision in the proposed police commission ballot measure would give the police chief ABSOLUTE POWER to disregard all policies on use of force and crowd control in ‘exigent circumstances!’

Please sign and share with others! This is going down on Tuesday at the City Council meeting!




Oust Duterte: Stop The Killings in the 


People's State of the Nation Address!

Justice 4 Brandon Lee Fundraiser Closer to $10k Goal for $10k Match!

SFCHRP continues to support the fundraising efforts for Brandon Lee, an environmental and indigenous rights advocate who was shot by an agent of the Philippine government for his work in the Cordillera region. Brandon is recovering in San Francisco and is also looking for accessible ADA housing for his family of three.

We have raised nearly $3,000 in the last couple of weeks, getting us closer to the $10k needed to secure a $10k matching donation from an anonymous donor. Please share this fundraising tool, Love4Brandon, which includes artwork and skills donated by talented friends and supporters of Brandon. We are also still accepting donations through Venmo @sfchrp.

If you are interested in joining the Justice 4 Brandon Lee Coalition, please click here. To learn more about Brandon's story, go to www.ichrpus.org/savebrandonlee.

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Transit Workers Need COVID Protection; Help Keep Them Safe and Build Union Power!

By August 1st 

ATU members and supporters at Transit Equity Day, 2020

Transit Workers Need COVID Protection; Help Keep Them Safe and Build Union Power!

Sign this letter to our regional Metropolitan Transportation Commission:  https://bit.ly/ridesafecalif
One click--you don’t need to compose anything original. Do it now!
By Aug 1stSign this state-wide Ride Safe petition to be delivered by ATU to transit authorities throughout the state:  https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/california-ride-safe-campaign/
Transit operators are getting sick and essential workers who depend on transit are at grave risk.
The Amalgamated Transit Union has reached out for our help; sign both the petition and the letter above!
We know a Green New Deal calls for Free, Accessible, Expanded and Emissions-free Public Transit. But right now, public transit operators need us join their fight for COVID health and safety protection.
This ATU demand for protection of majority Black workers and majority Black and Brown riders sits right at the intersection of Labor, Racial, and Environmental Justice—where working class power is building right now.
Sign both of the petition and the letter right now!
•             Letter to our regional Metropolitan Transportation Commission: https://bit.ly/ridesafecalif 
•            State-wide Ride Safe petition: https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/california-ride-safe-campaign/



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.



 Reality Winner Tests Positive for COVID, Still Imprisoned

With great anguish, I’m writing to share the news that NSA whistleblower Reality Winner, still in federal prison, has tested positive for COVID-19. Winner, despite her vulnerable health conditions, was denied home release in April – the judge’s reasoning being that the Federal Medical Center, Carswell is “presumably better equipped than most to deal with the onset of COVID-19 in its inmates”. 
Since that ruling, COVID infections at Carswell have exploded, ranking it now as second highest in the nation for the number of cases, and substantially increasing the likelihood that its medical capacity will be overwhelmed.
This news comes one week after Trump’s commutation of convicted felon Roger Stone, and two months after the home release of Trump’s convicted campaign manager, Paul Manafort:

Roger Stone’s Freedom Is All the More Outrageous While Reality Winner Languishes in Prison

Donald Trump’s commutation of Roger Stone’s prison sentence is galling on numerous levels. It’s a brazen act of corruption and an egregious obstruction of an ongoing investigation of the President and his enablers. There are few figures less worthy of clemency than a Nixonian dirty trickster like Stone. But the final twist of the knife is that Reality Winner, the honest, earnest, anti-Stone of the Russian meddling saga, remains in federal prison.
Continue Reading
Please share this with your networks, and stand with us in support of Reality Winner and her family during this critical time.
Thank you,
Jesselyn Radack
Whistleblower & Source Protection Program (WHISPeR)
Twitter: @JesselynRadack

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WHISPeR Project at ExposeFacts 1627 Eye Street, NW Suite 600 Washington, DC 20006 



Urgent Action: Garifuna leader and 3 community members kidnapped and disappeared in Honduras

Share This 
On the morning of Saturday, July 18, Garifuna leader Snider Centeno and other three members of the Triunfo de la Cruz community where kidnapped and disappeared by a group of men wearing bullet proof vests with the initials of the Honduran National Police (DPI in Spanish). The DPI is the Investigative Police Directorate and when it was formed years ago, was trained by the United States. As of this Monday Morning, there is still no word on the whereabouts of Mr. Centeno, Milton Joel Marínez, Suami Aparicio Mejía and El Pri (nickname).
Snider was the president of the elected community council in Triunfo de la Cruz and his community received a favorable sentence from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in 2015. However, the Honduran state has still not respected it. The kidnapping and disappearance of Snider and the 3 other men is another attack against the Garifuna community and their struggle to protect their ancestral lands and the rights of afro-indigenous and indigenous people to live.
National and international pressure forced the Honduran Ministry of Human Rights to put out a statement urging authorities to investigate and act. Your support can make the difference!
For more information and updated on what is happening in Honduras, please follow the Honduras Solidarity Network

Contact Us

Alliance for Global Justice
225 E 26th St Ste 1

Tucson, Arizona 85713-2925
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"While you're worried about 'bad apples', We're wary of the roots. because NO healthy tree, naturally bears Strange 


—Unknown source



Subject: Shut Down Fort Hood! Justice for Vanessa Guillén. Sign the petition!



Marvin Gaye - What's Going On (Official Video 2019)


Because once is not enough. Because sometimes music is my only solace. Because sometimes it hurts too much too care but to be human is to hurt. Because I feel lucky to have grown up with great music. Because that music was harmonic and melodious. Because that music had soul. Because I grew up with Blues and Motown and Jazz. Because I grew up with Black friends and we played ball everyday and we had fun and we were winners. Because they taught me about music and soul and acceptance. Because they didn't hate me for being white. Because I was brought up with Irish Catholics who taught me that fighting and arguing for justice kept depression in its place. Because they taught me that if you never quit fighting you haven't lost so never quit fighting for justice. Because I was in a union and learned that solidarity is the original religion. Because without solidarity you are alone. And alone is hell and because I have never been in hell. Because I am part of the human race. Because the human race is the only race on earth. Because I am grateful for Marvin Gaye, and John Coltrane, and Sam Cooke and because you know what I am talking about. Because we are going to win and we are going to have fun. Because that's the truth. Because no lie can defeat truth. Because you are there to hear me. Because I know I am not alone.  —Gregg Shotwell


(Gregg Shotwell is a retired autoworker, writer and poet.)



"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

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





Kimberly Jones

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

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

Kimberly Jones on YouTube 



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

So what has protesting accomplished?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

💓The self-reflection.

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Keep protesting.


How beautiful is that?








*I do not know the original author*

Copy & paste widely!






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



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




The remaining six Kings Bay Plowshares 7 defendants were granted a continuance for sentencing by Judge Lisa Godbey Wood of the Southern District Federal court of Georgia in Brunswick from the end of July until September 3rd and 4th. Due to spikes in COVID-19 cases in GA and ensuing travel restrictions the anti-nuclear activists had asked the court to further postpone sentencing toaccommodate their right to be sentenced in person in open court, not by video, witnessed safely by family, supporters and the press.
The new sentencing dates and times are September 3rd: Carmen Trotta at 9 am, Fr. Steve Kelly at 1 pm, Clare Grady at 4 pm. On September 4 will be Mark Colville at 9 am, Patrick O'Neill at 1 pm, Martha Hennessy (granddaughter of Dorothy Day who co-founded the Catholic Worker movement) at 4 pm. It is possible that there will be further delays depending on the course of the virus over the next month. We will try to keep you updated as we find out more as that time approaches.
The defendants had asked for home confinement during this time of COVID-19, as entering prison, especially for those over 60 years of age with health issues, could be a death sentence. Their request was opposed by the prosecution and the probation department which argued the charges involved a threat to human life (their own) by entering a restricted zone on the base where lethal force is authorized. This would raise the level of the offense and make them ineligible for home confinement. Judge Wood upheld this interpretation in the first sentencing of Elizabeth McAlister on June 8. At 80 years-old, the eldest of the KBP7 defendants and widow of Phil Berrigan, she was sentenced by video conferencing while at her home in Connecticut. Liz had served over 17 months before trial. The judge agreed with the US attorney's request for a sentence of time served plus 3 years supervised probation and restitution at $25 monthly (of $33,000 owed by all 7 jointly).

We are still urging people to write to Judge Wood not so much to ask for leniency but for justice and not a death sentence. Details are on the website: https://kingsbayplowshares7.org/2020/05/letters-to-judge-wood/

For the momentous 75th Anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki there will be numerous events happening physically and virtually around the world. We urge you to participate as you can to say no to nuclear weapons. The world is lurching towards a new nuclear arms race and treaties to limit them are being discarded. Trillions will be spent on new submarines and new weapons while the coronavirus is ravaging people throughout the world with limited resources available to stop it. Nevertheless there are some signs of hope. The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons has been ratified by 40 of the 50 nations needed for it to go into effect. Pope Francis has condemned even the possession of nuclear weapons for deterrence as no longer justifiable although the U. S. Church has quite a way to go to catch up.

U.S. vigils and actions are listed on The Nuclear Resister website. http://www.nukeresister.org/future-actions/ Groups normally planning civil resistance on Aug. 6-9 are adjusting plans, with some canceled. Some civil resistance actions, with risk of arrest, are still happening.

The defendants will be participating in local events.
Clare Grady will walk with Buddhist Nun, Jun San, in Ithaca, NY on August 1 at 12 noon. Beginning with a circle next to the pavilion just north of the Children’s Garden it will follow the Water Trail loop going north and back for first 3 miles and possibly on up West Hill, totaling approximately 6 miles.

Patrick O'Neill will participate in a remembrance and repentance service on Zoom at 7:30-8:30 am ET on August 6. Details will be on the KBP7 website.

There will be a vigil at the Kings Bay base on the morning of August 6, 10am-1pm. And a Zoom event that evening, #Blacklivesmatter and the Bomb, 7-8:40pm, with Professor Vincent Intondi. Details for both at:https://www.nonukesyall.org
International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons Events https://www.icanw.org/events

Physicians for Social Responsibility Calendar https://www.psr.org/calendar/tag_ids~111/




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To: Comrades, Friends, and Supporters of Kevin Rashid Johnson
From: Shupavu wa Kirima
Re: Organized Dial-In on Behalf of Comrade Rashid for Monday, 07.20.2020
Date: 07.18.2020

Dear Comrades, Friends, and Supporters,

I want to thank each of you who have united around the call to support Rashid as he faces retaliatory abuse at the hands of prison officials and staff at Pendleton Correctional Facility where he is being detained in Pendleton, IN. I learned of Rashid’s situation early Thursday morning and since that time individuals and organizations from around the country have shown their support by sharing the call on social media and by phoning and emailing the prison themselves expressing concern and outrage.

On Monday, we plan to step up our protest by having folks from around the country carry out an organized dial-in to key officials located at the Indiana Department of Corrections and Virginia Department of Corrections.  These calls will happen in two waves, morning and afternoon.  The first wave of calls will happen between 9 am - 11:30 am EST with the second wave of calls taking place in the afternoon from 2 pm - 4:30 pm EST.  By synchronizing these waves of calls we intend to let the prison officials know that we are organized and we mean business.  This action will also serve to turn up the pressure on this situation and hopefully, expedite the satisfaction of our demands which are as follows:

  • We demand that the retaliatory and punitive measures against Kevin Rashid Johnson and his neighbor, Mark Patterson, end.  This includes the repeated cell searches, destruction of property, denial of phone calls to the outside, and seizure of commissary items.

  • We demand that Rashid’s tablet be replaced at no cost to him. This is only right since it was, in fact, the guards who purposefully broke the tablet in retaliation for Rashid exercising his rights to free speech and political expression. 

  • We demand that Rashid be allowed his right to legal counsel by speaking with his attorney, Dustin McDaniel of the Abolitionist Law Center.  This right has been refused since Rashid’s time at Pendleton even after providing proof of Mr. McDaniel’s credentials proving that he is Rashid’s attorney.  Rashid has not been allowed to add Mr. McDaniel to his phone call or visitation list.

The evening before the dial-in (Sunday, 07.19.2020) we will hold a brief meeting at 7 pm EST to go over the planned action for Monday in further detail.  This meeting will be held via conference call and should take no more than 15 - 20 minutes.

If you can unite to make calls at any time during Monday’s dial-in or have any other questions or concerns, please reply to this email or contact me using the information listed below.  I will reply with the meeting agenda and call details.  Again, I thank everyone for their support and I want to extend a special thanks to the following organizations that have expressed solidarity during this time:

The People’s Revolutionary Party of Long Beach, Third World People’s Alliance, Afrofuturist Abolitionists of the Americas, AnarkataFuturists of the Americas, Roanoke People’s Power Network, Quaker Insurrection, Black is Back-Health for the Revolution, Lucy Parsons Center, Upsetting the Upset, FTP-Baltimore, FTP-Boston, FTP-Twin Cities, FTP-Philly, FTP-San Diego, FTP-Chicago, and FTP-St. Louis 

Shupavu wa Kirima

All Power to the People!
Dare to Struggle, Dare to Win!
The following individuals should be contacted in regard to Kevin Rashid Johnson (#264847) and his neighbor, Mark Patterson's (#988302) current situation.  Please feel free to share widely among your contacts and across social media platforms.

John Adam Ferguson, Chief Legal Officer
(317)460-6307, mobile
(317)233-8861, office

Charlene A. Burkett, Ombudsman

Joseph Walters, Deputy Director VADOC
(Proxy for Harold W. Clarke, Director of Dept. of Corrections)

James Parks, Interstate Compact Administrator
Dushan Zatecky, Warden

Our mailing address is:
Kevin Rashid Johnson
D.O.C. #264847
Pendleton Correctional Facility 4490 W. Reformatory Rd
PendletonIN  46064

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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



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.       



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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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
Unsubscribe from couragetoresist.org 





















From Business Insider 2018



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

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

—Johnny Gould (Follow @tandino415 on Instagram)







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



















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

Major Tillery (with hat) and family

Dear Friends of the Labor Action Committee to Free Mumia,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Please write and call Acting Superintendent Kenneth Eason at:

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

Telephone: (610) 490-5412

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

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

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

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

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

In solidarity,

The Labor Action Committee to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal



Kiah Morris

May 7 at 6:44 AM

So, in MY lifetime....

Black people are so tired. 😓

We can’t go jogging (#AhmaudArbery).

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

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

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

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

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

We can’t sell CD's (#AltonSterling).

We can’t sleep (#AiyanaJones)

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

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

We can’t go to church (#Charleston9).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We can’t run (#WalterScott).

We can’t breathe (#EricGarner).

We can’t live (#FreddieGray).

We’re tired.

Tired of making hashtags.

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

Tired of dying.




So very tired.

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








1) Large DNA Study Traces Violent History of American Slavery
Scientists from the consumer genetics company 23andMe have published the largest DNA study to date of people with African ancestry in the Americas.
By Christine Kenneally, July 23, 2020
An 1823 cross-section diagram of a ship used to carry enslaved people. Credit...incamerastock/Alamy

More than one and a half centuries after the trans-Atlantic slave trade ended, a new study shows how the brutal treatment of enslaved people has shaped the DNA of their descendants.

The report, which included more than 50,000 people, 30,000 of them with African ancestry, agrees with the historical record about where people were taken from in Africa, and where they were enslaved in the Americas. But it also found some surprises.

For example, the DNA of participants from the United States showed a significant amount of Nigerian ancestry — an unexpected finding, as the historical record does not show evidence of enslaved people taken directly to the United States from Nigeria.

At first, historians working with the researchers “couldn’t believe the amount of Nigerian ancestry in the U.S.,” said Steven Micheletti, a population geneticist at 23andMe who led the study.

After consulting another historian, the researchers learned that enslaved people were sent from Nigeria to the British Caribbean, and then were further traded into the United States, which could explain the genetic findings, he said.

The study illuminates one of the darkest chapters of world history, in which 12.5 million people were forcibly taken from their homelands in tens of thousands of European ships. It also shows that the historical and genetic records together tell a more layered and intimate story than either could alone.

The study, which was published on Thursday in the American Journal of Human Genetics, represents “real progress in how we think that genetics contributes to telling a story about the past,” said Alondra Nelson, a professor of social science at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J., who was not involved in the study.

Although the work is commendable for making use of both historical and genetic data, Dr. Nelson said, it was also “a missed opportunity to take the full step and really collaborate with historians.” The history of the different ethnic groups in Africa, for example, and how they related to modern and historical geographic boundaries, could have been explored in greater depth, she said.

The study began as a dream project of Joanna Mountain, senior director of research at 23andMe, even before the company had any customers. Over 10 years she and her team built a genetic database. Primarily the participants were 23andMe customers whose grandparents were born in one of the geographic regions of trans-Atlantic slavery. All participants consented to have their DNA used in the research.

In the new study, Dr. Micheletti’s team compared this genetic database with a historical one, Slave Voyages, which contains an enormous amount of information about slavery, such as ports of embarkation and disembarkation, and numbers of enslaved men, women and children.

The researchers also consulted with some historians to identify gaps in their data, Dr. Mountain said. Historians told them, for example, that they needed representation from critical regions, like Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The team worked with academics connected to West African institutions to find that data.

The size of the project’s dataset is “extraordinary,” said David Reich, a professor of genetics at Harvard who was not part of the project.

Because it drew participants from a direct-to-consumer database of millions of people, the study was able to “ask and answer questions about the past and about how people are related to each other” that could not be asked by academics like himself, he said. At best, academic projects are able to study hundreds or a few thousand people, and generally that data does not also include the genealogical information that the 23andMe research participants provided.

The findings show remarkable alignment with the historical record. Historians have estimated, for example, that 5.7 million people were taken from West Central Africa to the Americas. And the genetic record shows a very strong connection between people in West Central Africa and all people with African ancestry in the Americas.

Historians have also noted that the people who were taken to Latin America from Africa disembarked from West Central Africa, but many were taken originally from other regions like Senegambia and the Bight of Benin. And the new genetic evidence supports this, showing that the descendants of enslaved people in Latin America generally carry genetic connections with two or three of these regions in Africa.

Historical evidence shows that enslaved people in the United States and the British Caribbean, by contrast, were taken from a larger number of regions of Africa. Their descendants today show a genetic connection to people in six regions in Africa, the study found.

The historical record shows that of the 10.7 million enslaved people who disembarked in the Americas (after nearly 2 million others died on the journey), 60 percent were men. But the genetic record shows that it was mostly enslaved women who contributed to the present-day gene pool.

The asymmetry in the experience of enslaved men and women — and indeed, many groups of men and women in centuries past — is well understood. Enslaved men often died before they had a chance to have children. Enslaved women were often raped and forced to have children.

The 23andMe project found this general pattern, but also uncovered a startling difference in the experience of men and women between regions in the Americas.

The scientists calculated that enslaved women in the United States contributed 1.5 times more to the modern-day gene pool of people of African descent than enslaved men. In the Latin Caribbean, they contributed 13 times more. In Northern South America, they contributed 17 times more.

What’s more, in the United States, European men contributed three times more to the modern-day gene pool of people of African descent than European women did. In the British Caribbean, they contributed 25 times more.

This genetic evidence, the scientists say, may be explained by local practices. In the United States, segregation between enslaved people and the European population may have made it more likely that the child of an enslaved mother would have an enslaved father. But in other regions where enslaved men were less likely to reproduce, dangerous practices like rice farming — in which harsh conditions and muddy fields made it easier to drown, and malaria was common — may have killed many of them before they could have children.

In some regions in Latin America, the government enacted programs that brought men from Europe to father children with enslaved women in order to intentionally diminish the African gene pool.

The study illustrates how much physical and sexual violence were part of slavery — and how they are still built into our society, Dr. Nelson said. It confirms the “mistreatment, discrimination, sexual abuse, and violence that has persisted for generations,” she said, and that many people are protesting today.



2) There Is a ‘Great Silent Majority.’ But It Stands Against Trump.
And the minority he represents.
By Jamelle Bouie, July 24, 2020
Opinion Columnist
The Kenton neighborhood in North Portland. Credit...Leah Nash for The New York Times

President Trump believes he represents the “silent majority” of the country against a dangerous, radical minority. He says as much on Twitter, frequently yelling “SILENT MAJORITY” at his followers. Accordingly, his campaign for re-election has tried to appeal to this “majority” with displays tailored to its perceived interests.

Because Trump believes that this silent majority is protective of Confederate statues and other monuments, he marked Independence Day with a speech on July 3 denouncing “angry mobs” for “defacing our most sacred memorials” and “unleashing a wave of violent crime in our cities.” Because he also believes that this silent majority fears integration and diversity, he has issued constant warnings to the “suburban housewives of America” that Joe Biden, the former vice president who is his opponent in the election, will destroy their neighborhoods with affordable housing. “People have worked all their lives to get into a community, and now they’re going to watch it go to hell,” he said last week. And because he believes that this silent majority is hostile to protests against police brutality, he has deployed federal law enforcement officers to Portland and other cities to suppress “anarchists” and generate “law-and-order” images for his campaign.

Unfortunately for Trump, there’s quite a bit of distance between his perception and our reality. Most Americans support efforts to remove Confederate statues and monuments; most Americans welcome racial and ethnic diversity and few believe their communities should be less diverse; and most Americans are supportive of the Black Lives Matter movement and protests against police brutality — 67 percent, according to the Pew Research Center.

There is a silent majority in this country, and it is arrayed against a radical, extremist minority. But it stands against Trump, not the other away around. He and his allies are and always have been in the minority, acting in ways that frighten and disturb the broad middle of the electorate. And as long as Trump cannot see this — as long as he holds to his belief in a secret, silent pro-Trump majority — he and his campaign will continue to act in ways that diminish his chance of any legitimate victory in the 2020 presidential election.

It’s worth unpacking the phrase “silent majority.” It dates back to a speech given in late 1969 by Richard Nixon defending the Vietnam War at a moment when antiwar sentiment was on the rise. “As president of the United States,” Nixon said, “I would be untrue to my oath of office if I allowed the policy of this nation to be dictated by the minority who holds that point of view and who try to impose it on the nation by mounting demonstrations on the street.” He continued: “And so tonight, to you, the great silent majority, my fellow Americans, I ask for your support.”

Nixon’s basic view of American politics was that the country was divided between a disruptive, countercultural left (enabled by feckless, liberal elites) and a broad middle of Americans who craved order and stability. Less than a month before that speech, he convened a secret group he called the “Middle America Committee,” tasked with reaching a “large and politically powerful white middle class” that is “deeply troubled, primarily over the erosion of what they consider to be their values.” These Americans, in the view of the committee, felt that they had “lost control of a complicated and impersonal society which oppresses them with high taxes, spiraling inflation and enforced integration.”

Nixon identified with that middle — he spoke directly to its fears and anxieties about race, crime and rapid cultural change, as well as its resentments toward those groups (like the Black Power or women’s liberation movement) that might try to overturn the existing social order.

And he could do this, in part, because the “the great silent majority” within Middle America shared a similar position in the social and economic landscape of the country. They were nearly all white (of varying ethnic origins); some were college-educated but the vast majority were not; they had left the cities for the suburbs, part of the “white flight” that transformed the built environment of the country.

The silent majority of 1969 was a singular grouping of Americans. The silent majority of 2020 is not. It is diverse, made up of many millions of Black, Hispanic and Asian-Americans as well as whites. It is still largely working and middle-class, and it still lives in the suburbs, but those suburbs are also more diverse and heterogeneous. This “silent majority” isn’t as worried about crime and disorder — violent crime is still near a 30-year-low — but it is concerned with economic security and the rising cost of housing, health care and education. Faced with protests against police brutality, this “silent majority” wants reform and sees racism as a serious problem for the country. And in the midst of a deadly pandemic, it wants the federal government to take control and manage the crisis as best as it can, rather than try to wish it away.

What the silent majority doesn’t want are spectacles like the crackdown in Lafayette Square or the current operation in Portland. What it doesn’t want are endless displays of cruelty for its own sake. Although this silent majority has no uniform view of how to handle issues like immigration, it stands against the hostile rhetoric and draconian policies of the present administration.

To Trump and his allies, the country is filled with “shy” supporters just waiting for the right time to reveal themselves; they think they can rally this public to their side with a violent demonstration of “law and order.” They think they can run the Nixon playbook again, not realizing that to the broad middle of the country, they are the ones who represent the politics of division, disruption and disorder.

Or maybe they do realize it. Earlier this week, Trump issued a memorandum directing Wilbur Ross, the Commerce Secretary, who oversees the Census Bureau, to exclude unauthorized immigrants from the final report for the purposes of apportionment in the House of Representatives. Like last year’s blocked attempt to add a citizenship question to the census, this would reduce representation for states and localities with heavy immigrant populations — legal or otherwise — shifting power to more rural, more white, more Republican areas of the country.

This is not the move of a president who believes his party holds a majority of the country. It is the move of a president who knows he is in the minority, who knows his coalition cannot win a fair fight for future political power.

The silent majority of the country is against Trump, his allies and his would-be successors. He is trying to build a world where that doesn’t actually matter.



3) Meet the New C.D.C. Director: Walmart
Why are big corporations requiring masks when many states still do not?
"“While such efforts by Walmart and other big payers help to restrain health care costs, the larger problem is that we’ve been abdicating health care policy to profit-seeking corporations.”
By Bill Saporito, July 24, 2020
Mr. Saporito is a contributor to the editorial board.
Walmart is among the retailers that now require the wearing of masks in their stores. Credit...Eduardo Munoz/Reuters

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention opened branch offices in Bentonville, Ark., and Seattle this month. Not officially. But with the president trying to distance himself from responsibility for the coronavirus crisis, and Southern governors amplifying the damage with their flawed reopening strategies, the nation’s retailers have become the first line of defense against the pandemic.

From the headquarters of Walmart (which includes Sam’s Club) and Starbucks came the directive that all customers must wear masks. The conservative Southeasterner and liberal Northwesterner were followed by other national retailers, including Kohl’s, CVS, Walgreens, Publix and Target. Wearing a mask is a “simple step everyone can take for their safety and the safety of others in our facilities,” said Dacona Smith and Lance de la Rosa, the chief operating officers of Walmart U.S. and Sam’s Club, on the corporate website.

So simple that you’d think even a president or a governor could do it, yet Mr. Trump could only muster a halfhearted tweet on Monday conceding that “many people say that it is Patriotic to wear a face mask.” Many people not named Donald Trump. People with names like Robert Redfield, director of the C.D.C., who noted that mask wearing isn’t so much patriotic as prudent. “The data is clearly there, that masking works,” he said. Without the visible backing of the president, though, Dr. Redfield lacks the authority of, say, a guy who sells caramel brûlée lattes. Even after finally, grudgingly, coming around to the idea that masks work, Mr. Trump was spotted in public without one.

For Starbucks, that caffeinated brand of corporate progressivism founded by Howard Schultz, the face mask rule seems in keeping with the corporate culture. Mr. Schultz, moreso than Seattle’s other big retail boss, Jeff Bezos, has a social conscience. Starbucks offered health care to full-time and even part-time employees long before other big chains did. The company has also learned from its experience with the pandemic in China.

Walmart’s conscience is evolving. Last year its C.E.O., Doug McMillon, took a stand against the N.R.A. and gun violence in asking customers in open-carry states to stop openly bringing firearms into his stores, which have been the sites of several mass shootings. The Walmart founder Sam Walton was an avid bird hunter, and hunting and fishing are important departments in the stores. So you can still buy a shotgun at Walmart, but you have to wear a mask to do it.

The mask rule may create some tension in the deep-red burgs in Arkansas or Texas where Walmart can be the biggest game in town. But mandatory masks could turn out to be a competitive issue, too, as consumers seek safety. Winn-Dixie, a Southern supermarket chain, had resisted masks, but changed its mind this week. Putting customers at risk for political reasons is one thing; putting your business at risk is another.

Walmart, like other large corporations, is wading deeper into health care and health care policy. With more than a million employees, it probably buys more health care than many cities. For serious procedures such as heart surgery, for instance, the company has made deals with “Centers of Excellence” such as Cleveland Clinic where employees can get better outcomes at a lower cost over many local practitioners. Other companies have underwritten medical tourism to Mexico or Europe (pre-pandemic) for the same reason.

The company has also opened Walmart Health centers, which offer customers discount doctoring and dentistry, including $30 checkups and mental health counseling at $1 per minute. True to its operating philosophy, Walmart said it has cut the cost of basic health care delivery by some 40 percent compared with conventional practices.

Walmart is also moving directly into selling health insurance to the public. And why not? It sees a huge market opportunity in the fat profit margins and diffident service of the current players. And because we’ll all be dead before the Republican Party delivers the affordable health care insurance it has promised will replace Obamacare.

While such efforts by Walmart and other big payers help to restrain health care costs, the larger problem is that we’ve been abdicating health care policy to profit-seeking corporations. This isn’t a great idea, even if it’s well meaning in the beginning. There’s a long tradition of corporate medicine, from 19th- and 20th-century social welfare model companies such as H.J. Heinz and Hershey to Henry Ford’s later attempt to control every aspect his workers’ lives. In company towns, coal and steel companies supported clinics to repair the damage being done to employees in the mills and mines. It was only in the years after World War II that corporations formally assumed health care as part of collecting bargaining agreements, setting the pattern for the country.

Rather than use policy to help corporations get a better handle on Covid-19 safety, the Trump administration is instead focused on absolving them of liability if they don’t act to keep employees and customers safe. Perversely, when the airline industry begged the Federal Aviation Administration to impose a mandatory mask rule for passengers, it got shot down. The F.A.A.’s intransigence is now threatening thousands of airline jobs, if not the carriers themselves, because consumers don’t have enough confidence that flying is safe.

If there are no customers, indemnity from liability is not of much use. It is this vacuum of responsibility that is compelling the businesses that are expert at selling coffee, underwear and groceries to manage the pandemic across their swath of the economy. That they are doing a better job than the Trump administration is beyond pathetic.

Bill Saporito is a contributor to the editorial board.



4) Gold vs. Salmon: An Alaska Mine Project Just Got a Boost
The Trump Administration, rejecting concerns over the risks to Alaska’s fishery, cleared the way on Friday for the Pebble Mine.
By Henry Fountain, Photographs by Acacia Johnson, July 24, 2020
A work camp on the tundra near the site of the proposed Pebble Mine in Southwest Alaska.

A brown bear catching salmon in Katmai National Park and Preserve, 30 miles from Bristol Bay.

Hundreds of thousands of sockeye salmon head upstream in the park to spawn.

Diamond Point, where a port would be built to ship metals from the mine, 80 miles away.

A brown bear and her three spring cubs in the salt marsh of Chinitna Bay.

From the air it looks like just another tract of Alaska’s endless, roadless tundra, pockmarked with lakes and ponds, with a scattering of some of the state’s craggy mountains.

But this swath of land, home to foraging bears and spawning salmon about 200 miles southwest of Anchorage, has been a battleground for years.

The fight is over what lies just below the surface: one of the richest deposits of copper, gold and other valuable metals in the world. It sets two of the state’s most important industries, mining and fishing, against each other.

A mining company plans to dig a pit, more than a mile square and a third of a mile deep, over two decades to obtain the metals, estimated to be worth at least $300 billion.

Supporters say the project, known as the Pebble Mine, would be an economic boost for a remote region that has missed out on the North Slope oil boom and other resource-extraction development in the state over the past half century. It would employ nearly 1,000 people, and the Canada-based company, Northern Dynasty Minerals, would pay for infrastructure improvements in some Native Alaskan villages and provide cash dividends totaling at least $3 million to people in the area.

But opposition has long been widespread, both in the region and statewide, with concerns about environmental damage and the potential for harming another critical resource: salmon. The fish is the main traditional subsistence food for many of the Native Alaskans in the region and the basis of both a thriving sport-fishing industry and, in nearby Bristol Bay, one of the largest commercial wild salmon fisheries in the world.

The mine will be located in two watersheds that feed fish-spawning rivers. Opponents say tailings left from the mining operation pose risks if heavy metals or other contaminants from them leach into groundwater or if dams holding back the tailings fail in an earthquake.

Tom Collier, the chief executive of Pebble Partnership, the Northern Dynasty subsidiary developing the project, said the mine was designed to minimize those and other risks.

The deposit was discovered in the late 1980s, and planning for a mine began in earnest about 15 years ago. It drew opposition from leaders in both parties from the start, as battle lines between mining and fishing were established. But the project was aided by the pro-mining stance of the governor at the time, Sarah Palin.

Under President Barack Obama, the project was blocked in 2014 by the Environmental Protection Agency, largely over concerns about the risks to salmon.

But the Pebble Mine gained new momentum under President Trump’s more industry-friendly policies. While at first continuing its criticism of the project, the Environmental Protection Agency eventually reversed the Obama-era decision blocking it.

On Friday, the Army Corps of Engineers issued a final environmental impact statement, or E.I.S., for the project. Under normal operations, the Corps wrote, the project would not result in “long-term changes in the health of the commercial fisheries in Bristol Bay.”

In addition to the open-pit mine, the plan would include large dammed ponds for the tailings, some of them toxic, that result from mining and concentrating the metals, 80 miles of road and pipeline to carry the concentrate to a new port on Cook Inlet, and a 165-mile natural gas pipeline for a generating plant to power the operation.

In an interview this week, Mr. Collier described the release of the final impact statement as “the most significant day in the 15-odd-year history of the Pebble project.”

“It’s really for the first time that a federal agency has conducted a rigorous scientific review of the specific project Pebble wants to build,” he said. The conclusion that the mine was not going to damage the salmon fishery would be “unequivocal,” he added.

But in public comments on a draft of the environmental impact statement last year, opponents suggested that the review was not so rigorous. They pointed to numerous hazardous risks, including the potential for a tailings dam failure that could contaminate waterways used by spawning fish and harm the Bristol Bay fishery, which employs about 15,000 people.

Alaska is the most seismically active state in the nation, and critics said the Corps of Engineers had not taken sufficient account of the risk of earthquakes or volcanic activity, and that its analysis of the dam designs was inadequate. Some of the dams would be hundreds of feet high

Tailing dam failures can unleash a sudden flood of contaminated slurry with disastrous effects. A 2019 failure at an iron mine in Brazil, for example, killed more than 250 people. Given the Pebble Mine’s remote location, the risk to people might be low, but the heavy metals and other contaminants could make nearby rivers toxic to fish.

This year, after the Corps sent a preliminary version of the final impact statement to federal and state agencies and other groups, the critiques continued, according to documents obtained by opponents of the project. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service scientists, for example, wrote that the version failed to acknowledge that habitat destruction from development of the mine “would erode the portfolio of habitat diversity and associated life history diversity that stabilize annual salmon returns to the Bristol Bay region.”

At a news briefing this week, David Hobbie, chief of the Corps’ Alaska district regulatory division, said, “We’ve done our best to address all the comments we’ve received.”

In a month or perhaps longer, the Corps will make a final decision on whether to allow the project to proceed. Approval is expected.

That will almost certainly not be the end of the story, however.

Even after the Corps’ latest review, “the E.I.S. is so lacking and thoroughly inadequate, I anticipate legal challenges,” said Brian Litmans, legal director of Trustees for Alaska, a nonprofit public interest law firm.

The project will require more permits, mostly from the state, which could take three years to obtain. And should President Trump lose re-election, a Democratic administration could move to block the project once again.

In Alaska, statewide public opinion polls have consistently shown more opposition than support, and locally the anti-mine feelings are even stronger. “Opposition is overwhelming throughout the bay,” Mr. Litmans said.

Opponents are focusing on an 11th-hour change to one aspect of the project. In May, the Corps announced it had changed its determination of what is called the “least environmentally damaging practicable alternative” for the transportation route between the mine and Cook Inlet.

The company and the Corps had both favored a route that included a ferry crossing of Iliamna Lake, one of the largest in the United States. But after hearing concerns about the potential impact on winter travel and seal hunting on the lake, the Corps now says a land-only route, along the northern edge of the lake, is the preferred one, although it could destroy several thousand acres of wetlands.

The Bristol Bay Native Corporation, one of 13 regional corporations established in the 1970s in the settlement of Native claims to Alaska’s lands, owns subsurface rights on land that the route would cross.

“We believe the subsurface will be impacted” by construction of a road and pipelines, said Daniel Cheyette, the corporation’s vice president for land and resources. “We’ve not given Pebble permission to utilize those or impact those.”

As to whether the corporation might negotiate on the issue, Mr. Cheyette said that while he could not speak for his board of directors, “I believe that is nonnegotiable.”

“We’ve been fighting this for a long time and will continue to fight it,” he said.

Other Native Alaskan groups, including the village corporation of Pedro Bay on Iliamna Lake, also plan to withhold access to their lands.

But not all Native Alaskan groups are opposed to the project.

A consortium of five village corporations in the area expects to become a transportation contractor for the mine. And the village corporation for Iliamna, about 20 miles from the mine site, has already negotiated with the developer to allow access to 68,000 acres of land it owns.

“We don’t see Pebble damaging the area like everybody claims,” said Lisa Reimers, a board member of the corporation, Iliamna Natives Ltd. “Pebble has to do it right because there are so many people watching them.”

Ms. Reimers was raised in Iliamna, in a house that had no running water or electricity until she was 12. Her parents, she said, “wanted the best for their family and for their grandkids today.”

“They didn’t see Iliamna surviving without a project like Pebble.”



5) How One of America’s Whitest Cities Became the Center of B.L.M. Protests
In a state with a dark and brutal racist history, the Black Lives Matter protests in Portland, Ore., have been overwhelmingly attended by white demonstrators.
By Thomas Fuller, July 24, 2020

Protesters gathered to listen to Black Lives Matter activists in Portland, Ore., on Thursday. Credit...Octavio Jones for The New York Times

PORTLAND, Ore. — Seyi Fasoranti, a chemist who moved to Oregon from the East Coast six months ago, has watched the Black Lives Matter protests in Portland with fascination. A sea of white faces in one of the whitest major American cities has cried out for racial justice every night for nearly two months.

“It’s something I joke about with my friends,” Mr. Fasoranti, who is Black, said over the din of protest chants this week. “There are more Black Lives Matter signs in Portland than Black people.”

Loud advocacy has been a hallmark of Portland life for decades, but unlike past protests over environmental policies or foreign wars, racism is a more complicated topic in Oregon, one that is intertwined with demographics and the state’s legacy of some of the most brutal anti-Black laws in the nation.

During 56 straight nights of protests here, throngs of largely white protesters have raised their fists in the air and chanted, “This is not a riot, it’s a revolution.” They have thrown water bottles at the federal courthouse, tried to pry off the plywood that protects the entrance and engaged in running battles with police officers through clouds of tear gas. In recent nights, the number of protesters has swollen into the thousands.

Damany Igwé, 43, a bath products salesman who is Black and has taken part in dozens of the protests, says white crowds have shielded him from the police, all the while yelling “Black power!”

“I feel the most protected that I ever have in my city,” Mr. Igwé said during a Wednesday night protest that lasted well into Thursday morning. “White people can’t understand what we’ve been through completely, but they are trying to empathize. That’s a beginning.”

Oregon’s relative homogeneity — the state is three-quarters white compared with neighboring California, where white people make up 37 percent of the population — was not accidental. The state was founded on principles of white supremacy. A 19th-century lash law called for whipping any Black person found in the state. In the early part of the 20th century Oregon’s Legislature was dominated by members of the Ku Klux Klan.

Today the average income level for Black families in Portland is nearly half that of white residents and police shootings of Black residents are disproportionate to their 6 percent share of the population. Three years ago, two good Samaritans were fatally stabbed while trying to stop a man from shouting slurs at two African-American women on a commuter train, one of whom was wearing Muslim dress.

“Really there are two Portlands that exist,” said Walidah Imarisha, a scholar of Black history in Oregon. “There’s white Portland and Portland of color.”

The differences, she said, cover almost every aspect of life. “There’s massive racial disparities around wealth, health care, schools and criminal legal systems that white Portlanders just don’t understand.”

Yet on the streets this week in Portland there was optimism among Black protest leaders who generally spoke admiringly of the large white crowds, which were reinvigorated last week after clashes with federal riot police officers who are protecting a U.S. courthouse and other buildings.

Xavier Warner, a Black protest organizer, called the predominance of white protesters “a beautiful thing” that speaks to the progressive ethos in the city.

Teal Lindseth, another Black organizer, said she saw the irony in predominantly white Portland having among the longest continuous protests stemming from the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25. But she said she was thankful for the strength in numbers. “They hurt us less when there are more people,” she said.

The role of white protesters has some detractors in the Black community.

In an op-ed published Thursday in The Washington Post, the Rev. E.D. Mondainé, the president of the Portland branch of the N.A.A.C.P., called the protests a “spectacle” that distracted attention from the Black Lives Matter movement.

“Are they really furthering the cause of justice, or is this another example of white co-optation?” he wrote.

But in a measure of the divided opinion on this question, Mr. Mondainé’s predecessor at the N.A.A.C.P., Jo Ann Hardesty, a city commissioner, rejected his criticism.

“There’s a lot of new, aware folks who have joined into the battle for Black lives,” she said during a news conference on Thursday.

Ms. Hardesty, who took office in 2019 as the first African-American woman on the Portland City Council, said the protests were serving the dual purposes of fighting racial injustice and rejecting the presence of federal agents sent to the city by the Trump administration.

Both protest goals were important, she said. “And one is not any more important than the other.”

Joe Lowndes, an expert on right-wing politics and race at the University of Oregon, said the protests reflected an intertwining of interests in recent years between racial justice advocates and the largely white anti-fascist movement. Both are deeply distrustful of the police and want police powers and budgets curtailed. The presence of far-right groups in Oregon, emboldened during the Trump administration, has also brought anti-racists and anti-fascists into closer alignment, he said.

Speeches and chants at the protests have touched on the legacy of slavery and the stripping of lands from Native Americans. From a historical perspective, the sight of hundreds of white protesters chanting one of that movement’s most popular refrains — “Stolen lands and stolen people” — can be jarring.

As the destination of the Lewis and Clark expeditions, Oregon once symbolized the conquest of the American West and the subjugation of Native peoples.

Some white protesters said it was this white supremacist legacy that helped spur them into the streets.

“Bringing that history to light is definitely a motivating factor,” said Liza Lopetrone, a veterinary nurse who joined the Wall of Moms protest this week that consisted mostly of white women locking arms in the face of the federal troops. “Oregon has an extremely racist history. I’m not from here but I take responsibility for it now.”

Another woman at the protest, Julie Liggins, had a more immediate connection to prejudice and racism in Portland. She is white and her husband of three decades, Reginald, is Black.

During the years he drove his car to work, Mr. Liggins said, he was pulled over by Portland police multiple times without cause. He said he switched to riding the bus. But two years ago when Mr. Liggins, who is 60, ran to catch a bus, the police pulled it over after misidentifying him for a robbery suspect in his 20s.

Mr. Liggins said he was encouraged by the protests even if he wished the reckoning over race in America had occurred earlier. And he loves his life in Portland.

“You can literally go days without seeing people that look like you,” he said. “But I find Portland to be a very progressive city despite its racist past. I can honestly say that as an interracial couple we haven’t had any problems here.”

Mr. Fasoranti, the chemist, says he has been impressed with the awareness of racial issues in Portland and described the current round of protests as something that “feels genuine.”

He says he feels welcome in the city and was intrigued soon after he arrived when a white motorist pulled over to the sidewalk and asked if he needed a ride. He has been invited to conversations about gentrification and the displacement of Black residents.

“There are less of these conversations in New York or New Jersey, where I used to live,” he said.



6) Feds Sending Tactical Team to Seattle, Expanding Presence Beyond Portland
After outrage over the presence of federal agents in Portland, Ore., the Trump administration is sending a team to Seattle. Officials say they will be on standby.
By Zolan Kanno-Youngs, Adam Goldman and Mike Baker,  July 23, 2020
Mayor Jenny Durkan of Seattle last week. She said on Thursday that she did not want federal agents deployed to the city. Credit...Ted S. Warren/Associated Press

The Trump administration, which has pledged to use the full force of the government to protect federal property, expanded that effort on Thursday by sending a team of tactical border officers to stand by for duty in Seattle.

The Special Response Team being deployed is similar to the tactical teams currently operating in Portland, Ore., where local officials have vehemently objected to their efforts to subdue street protests. Seattle officials have also said they do not want federal agents sent to target protesters.

Agents from the Special Response Team, operated under U.S. Customs and Border Protection, are typically deployed for intense law enforcement operations, similar to the agency’s BORTAC group that has operated in Portland.

“The C.B.P. team will be on standby in the area, should they be required,” the Federal Protective Service said in a statement about the Seattle effort.

A spokesman for the agency, who requested anonymity to speak about the operation, said the border officers were sent to back up the Federal Protective Service officers charged with protecting federal buildings, and would only be used if protests expected this weekend escalate out of control.

The deployment to Seattle came on the same day that the inspector general of the Justice Department announced an investigation into tactics used by the federal agents in Portland and in front of Lafayette Square in Washington, D.C., in early June.

The inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security, Joseph V. Cuffari, is also conducting an inquiry into the tactics of the agents in Portland. Mr. Cuffari said in a letter to Democrats that he expected to examine the authority used to deploy agents to the city after President Trump signed an executive order directing federal agencies to increase security at monuments, statues and federal property.

The order prompted the Homeland Security Department to form teams that were briefly deployed to multiple cities to guard federal property, including Seattle, for the July 4 weekend. The tactical teams in Portland have remained at a federal courthouse as tension with protesters there has heightened.

Representative Bennie G. Thompson, a Democrat from Mississippi who chairs the House Committee on Homeland Security, said on Thursday that he would hold a hearing next week to examine the D.H.S. response to the protests.

“The administration’s actions are not only violent and clearly politically motivated, they are anathema to the rights guaranteed by the Constitution and a threat to every value for which our Republic stands,” Mr. Thompson said.

Seattle’s mayor, Jenny Durkan, said in an interview that she spoke earlier Thursday with Chad F. Wolf, the acting secretary of homeland security. She said he had assured her that the administration had no plans to deploy a surge of agents to Seattle and would not do so without communicating with the city. She had not been alerted to plans to position the tactical team, but said that the department may be distinguishing between an active deployment and agents who are on standby.

Ms. Durkan said she made it clear that the city did not need the help of federal agents.

“Any deployment here would, in my view, undermine public safety,” Ms. Durkan said.

Protests in the Seattle area have quieted somewhat since police this month cleared the so-called Capitol Hill Organized Protest zone, where demonstrators had laid claim to several city blocks. But there have been signs that demonstrations may be ramping back up, including on Thursday, when the police said a group of protesters broke windows and lit fires in the Capitol Hill neighborhood.

Alexei Woltornist, a spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security, said in a statement that the expected presence in Seattle would be smaller than that in Portland.

“There is no large-scale deployment of personnel to Seattle at this time. As threats warrant, any large-scale use of law enforcement assets will involve close coordination with local law enforcement,” Mr. Woltornist said. “There are no other cities across the country that have the same threats and lack of local law enforcement support as we are experiencing in Portland.”

The Federal Protective Service said it routinely requested assistance from other law enforcement agencies when there are threats to federal properties.

Teams of federal agents from several agencies have been operating in Portland for much of July, drawing outrage from city officials, including Mayor Ted Wheeler. The mayor, who was hit with tear gas from the federal officers on Wednesday night, said the presence of the agents had only inflamed tensions in a city that was working to calm them.

The number of protesters in Portland has swollen in recent days into the thousands, drawing out people who had not joined the protests earlier but who were appalled that federal forces would be operating in the city with such aggressive tactics. Some in the demonstrations have targeted federal agents with lasers and frozen water bottles, and others set fire to a police union building.

The agents have repeatedly fired tear gas and various kinds of crowd-control munitions, leaving at least one protester bloodied. Videos have shown federal agents seizing protesters and guiding them into unmarked vans.



7) Shot Twice in the Back: A Case Tests the ‘Fleeing Felon’ Defense
The family of a suicidal Colorado man killed by the police in 2019 has filed a federal wrongful death lawsuit, as many states review their standards for the use of lethal force.
By Maria Cramer, July 23, 2020
A bystander’s video shows Allan George holding a gun to his chest, talking to police officers after putting the gun in his pocket and then on the ground after he was shot while running from the officers. Credit...Killmer, Lane & Newman, LLP

In August 2019, a man stood on a highway bridge over the Colorado River in Rifle, Colo., and pointed a gun to his chest as two police officers urged him not to kill himself.

“No! Go away,” said the man, Allan George, a 58-year-old construction worker who was wanted for possession of child pornography. He stuffed the gun in his pocket and scratched his head. Then he began to run slowly down the shoulder of the busy highway.

What happened next was captured, as with so many recent fatal encounters with the police, by a bystander’s cellphone.

One of the officers took aim at Mr. George as he ran and shot him twice in the back, killing him.

The local district attorney declined to charge the officer.

Now, a year later, Mr. George’s family has filed a federal lawsuit against the officer, the police chief and the city of Rifle, claiming they violated his Fourth Amendment rights by using excessive force.

The suit challenges the “fleeing felon” defense that has given the police near impunity to use deadly force against a person escaping their custody. It is also unfolding as legislators in Colorado and other states raise the standards for when an officer can intentionally kill someone running away from them.

The complaint cites a 1985 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that restricts the use of lethal force against someone who is fleeing the police to cases in which officers believe the person poses a significant threat to officers or the public.

However, a subsequent Supreme Court ruling and states’ own interpretations of the 1985 decision have largely protected the police when they are investigated by prosecutors or are sued. In many cases, the police have successfully argued that they felt they had no choice but to use deadly force to protect themselves or the public.

The video of Mr. George’s death could test that defense, legal observers said, especially at a time when states are under growing pressure from a public demanding change after the killing of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis.

In Utah this month, Sim Gill, the district attorney in Salt Lake County, sent state legislators recommendations for changing the laws governing the use of force by the police, including that state’s fleeing-felon statute. Mr. Gill, who said he had long examined how use-of-force statutes conflict with the public’s expectations, concluded that state laws were “more generous” to the police than to the public.

“George Floyd sparked our consciousness in a very visible way, in a way that we can’t simply talk around it, and that is because of the advent of technology and having the facts in your face,” Mr. Gill said.

His recommendations came days after he announced that two officers had acted within state law when they shot an armed man who was running away from them, which led to protests outside his office.

“If we want different outcomes, then we have to change the law,” he said in an interview.

Until last month, the law in Colorado allowed police officers to use deadly force if they “reasonably” believed it was necessary to prevent death or injury. Gov. Jared Polis, a Democrat, signed a law that restricts officers from using deadly force except in cases where someone “poses an immediate threat.”

Colorado and Utah are among other states and towns or cities that have recently announced plans to re-examine standards for the use of deadly force to stop someone who is fleeing from the police, said Raleigh Blasdell, a criminologist at North Central College in Illinois.

“What we are seeing at the local level is police departments are updating and amending their policies to provide citizens with greater protections,” Professor Blasdell said.

Most states, Professor Blasdell said, have tailored their fleeing-felon statutes around the 1985 Supreme Court ruling in Tennessee v. Garner, a case involving a 15-year-old boy who was killed as he fled from a police officer in Memphis even though the officer who shot him was “reasonably sure” he was unarmed.

In Graham v. Connor, in 1989, the court ruled that the use of force by the police must be judged from the perspective of “a reasonable officer on the scene.”

The case involving Mr. George in Colorado is not clear-cut, said Chuck Wexler, the executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum, an organization of law enforcement officials that provides recommendations for police departments.

The charges he faced were more serious than the accusation of using a counterfeit $20 bill that led to Mr. Floyd’s arrest in Minneapolis. But the circumstances — the shooting of a suicidal man who had not threatened anyone but himself — are a reminder that departments should not rely on the Graham decision to justify deadly force and instead train officers to consider other tactics, Mr. Wexler said.

“If this person had just committed a murder or it was an active-shooter situation, it would be very clear,” he said. “You want to make sure the bar is high in using deadly force.”

The case underscores the tension at the heart of excruciating decisions police officers feel forced to make quickly, said Bianca Harris, director of the criminal justice program at Meredith College in Raleigh, N.C., and a former warden at the North Carolina Correctional Institution for Women.

People want to be safe and protected, she said.

“But they want it to look fair, be fair and nonviolent,” Ms. Harris said. “Unfortunately, the reality is that safety and protection are not always achieved in nice pretty packages and often there must be a decision made that will serve the many and reinforce their safety while costing the few very heavy prices.”

Jefferson J. Cheney, the district attorney for Colorado’s Ninth Judicial District, cited the 1985 ruling when he concluded that the officer who shot Mr. George, Cpl. Dewey Ryan, had acted lawfully.

Mr. George, who pleaded guilty in 2009 to possession of child pornography, knew he was being investigated again for the same offense and had told his wife he did not want to go back to jail. She called the police to tell them that she was worried he might kill himself, and that he had told her he was not “going back to jail without a fight,” according to Mr. Cheney’s report.

Mr. George was driving home from work when Corporal Ryan and another officer pulled him over on a section of State Highway 13 that crosses the Colorado River.

The officers drew their weapons and ordered Mr. George out of the car. He showed them his gun and walked toward the bridge, yelling, “It’s all over,” and threatening to jump.

Corporal Ryan told Mr. George to think of his children and repeatedly told him to drop the gun, Mr. Cheney said in his report, adding that the officers would have been justified in shooting Mr. George the moment he showed them his firearm.

Mr. Cheney wrote that the officers commanded him to drop the gun about 46 times and “submit to a lawful arrest.”

Corporal Ryan had “reason to believe” that Mr. George might be running toward downtown Rifle to take cover and shoot officers or others, the report says.

Mr. George bought the gun legally in July 2019, according to the investigation.

David Lane, the lawyer for Mr. George’s family, called the investigation a “whitewash” of an unlawful killing.

Mr. Cheney said he disagreed with Mr. Lane, but declined to comment further, citing the federal case. Lawyers for Corporal Ryan and Chief Tommy Klein of the Rifle Police Department, who is also named as a defendant in the lawsuit, declined to comment.

There were other ways the officers could have stopped Mr. George, Mr. Lane said, including by using a stun gun.

“The police don’t get carte blanche to kill people who are suicidal,” he said.



8) Christopher Columbus Statues Removed From 2 Chicago Parks
Crews removed statues of the explorer from Grant Park and Arrigo Park early on Friday.
By Christine Hauser, July 24, 2020
Protesters gathered around the statue in Chicago’s Grant Park last week. Credit...Madeleine Dupre, via Reuters

Statues of Christopher Columbus were taken down in two Chicago parks early on Friday, making the city the latest to remove a monument to the Italian explorer blamed for the genocide and exploitation of Indigenous people.

In Grant Park, a crew using a large crane lifted the statue from its pedestal, removing a symbol that had been the scene of violent clashes between protesters and the police last week. A crowd cheered and passing cars honked as the statue came down at about 3 a.m., The Associated Press reported, and the removal was shown live on local television.

A Columbus statue was also removed in Arrigo Park in Little Italy, the mayor’s office said in a statement.

“This statue coming down is because of the effort of Black and Indigenous activists who know the true history of Columbus and what he represents,” one resident, Stefan Cuevas-Caizaguano, told The Chicago Sun-Times while watching the removal in Grant Park.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in a statement that the statues were removed, temporarily, “in response to demonstrations that became unsafe for both protesters and police, as well as efforts by individuals to independently pull the Grant Park statue down in an extremely dangerous manner.”

“In addition, our public safety resources must be concentrated where they are most needed throughout the city, and particularly in our South and West Side communities,” the statement said.

In the coming days, it said, the mayor and city officials would announce a process to assess other monuments, memorials and murals across Chicago and “develop a framework for creating a public dialogue to determine how we elevate our city’s history and diversity. “

The mayor’s decision was criticized by some in the city.  The Fraternal Order of Police said that the mayor was “bowing down to the lawlessness of these anarchists.” Its president, John Catanzara, Jr., wrote a letter last week asking President Donald Trump for federal help to deal with the city’s crime.

Last Friday, a group of protesters clashed with police officers at the Christopher Columbus statue in Grant Park, and some tried to tear down the statue. Some officers were hurt during the clashes and treated at the scene or transported to the hospital, CBS reported.

Four protesters were also hurt in the confrontation, and the police said 14 people were arrested, it reported.

Statues of Columbus have also been taken down in other American cities, including Boston, Richmond, Va., and St. Paul, Minn., where a group of protesters tied ropes around the statue’s neck and yanked it from its pedestal outside of the State Capitol last month, about 10 miles from where a Minneapolis police officer pinned his knee on George Floyd’s neck. Mr. Floyd’s death in May set off weeks of worldwide protests about racial injustice and violent policing, as well as a reckoning over statues and symbols.

Native Americans and others have long called for statues of Columbus to be removed, and also to replace Columbus Day, which is marked on the second Monday in October, with Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Protesters have said that Columbus’s arrival in the New World led to the genocide and exploitation of Indigenous populations in the Americas.

In dozens of cities, statues or monuments portraying Confederates and other historic figures have been marked with graffiti and challenged with petitions and protests. In some cities, officials have made plans to remove contested statues. In others, protesters have toppled them. In Roanoke, Va., this week The A.P. reported that a monument to Robert E. Lee that the city had planned to remove was found toppled and broken on the ground.

At Virginia’s Capitol in Richmond, The Washington Post reported, around the same time the Columbus statues were being removed in Chicago, workers overnight carted away a statue of Lee and busts of seven other Confederates.

With camouflage-clad federal agents already sweeping through the streets of Portland, President Trump has said he plans to deploy federal law enforcement to Chicago and other major cities — all controlled by Democrats. Mayor Lightfoot’s office said on Wednesday, after a “brief and straightforward” conversation with the president, that those forces will be “investigatory” and coordinated through the United States Attorney’s office.

“The mayor has made clear that if there is any deviation from what has been announced, we will pursue all available legal options to protect Chicagoans,” the statement said.



9) With Covid-19, a Seismic Quiet Like No Other
Coronavirus shutdowns led to “the longest and most coherent global seismic noise reduction in recorded history,” scientists report.
By William J. Broad, July 23, 2020

Scientists measured a drop in the global seismic din tied to human activity during pandemic lockdown. In New York’s Central Park, vibrations on Sunday nights during the peak lockdown period were 10 percent lower than previously measured. Credit...Jeenah Moon for The New York Times

The shock waves of civilization travel through rocky ground and, at times, ricochet around the globe, as geologists know from decades of listening for earthquakes with sensitive seismometers. The human pulses come from heavy traffic, football games, rock concerts, fireworks, subways, mine explosions, rock drilling, factories, jackhammers, industrial blasts and other activities. In 2001, vibrations from the collapse of the World Trade Center registered in five states. Seismometers even picked up the impacts of the two airplanes.

Now, a team of 76 scientists from more than two dozen countries reports that lockdowns from the Covid-19 pandemic led to a drop of up to 50 percent in the global din tied to humans. The main quieting, from March through May, was compared with levels in previous months and years.

“The length and quiescence of this period represents the longest and most coherent global seismic noise reduction in recorded history,” the scientists reported on Thursday in the journal Science. The quieting, they added, resulted from social distancing, industrial shutdowns and drops in travel and tourism. The overall decline far exceeded the kind typically observed on weekends and holidays.

Devices for measuring earthquakes go back at least to the early part of the 18th century, when pendulums were used to display ground motions. In 1895 an Irish engineer, John Milne, established on the Isle of Wight a modern seismometer center that quickly grew into the world’s first global network, with 30 overseas branches. By 1957, an international group of seismologists listed 600 stations. The devices can pick up vibrations not only from earthquakes and human activities but from hurricanes and the crashing of ocean waves on shorelines, as well as the impacts of rocky intruders from outer space.

The new research was led by the Royal Observatory of Belgium and other institutions, including Imperial College London and the University of Auckland in New Zealand. Participants from the United States included the seismological laboratory in Albuquerque of the U.S. Geological Survey, as well as Princeton University, Stanford University, the University of Alaska, the University of Maine and the University of California.

The team assembled data from 337 seismometers run by citizen scientists and 268 stations run by government, university and corporate geologists. It reported that the global quieting began in China in late January and spread to Europe and the rest of the world in March and April. The team said that by the end of the monitoring period, in May, the vibration levels in Beijing remained below those of previous years, suggesting that the pandemic was still restricting activity there.

In New York’s Central Park, the team reported, the vibrations on Sunday nights during the peak lockdown period registered as 10 percent lower than previously measured.

Overall, big cities and other densely populated areas produced the greatest reductions. The team said the quietude let scientists pick up previously hidden earthquake signals, and that continued analysis of the data may help geologists learn how to better differentiate between human and natural vibrations.

The findings of the team were so surprising and clear that they generated news accounts in early April, almost two months before closure of the monitoring window.

In its Science paper, the team reported that the quieting was also quite evident at tourist destinations. At the lush tropical isle of Barbados in the Caribbean, the lockdown began March 28 and, compared with previous years, produced a decline in ground vibrations of up to 50 percent. The team found similar reductions at ski resorts in Europe and the United States.

Globally, median levels of shaking dropped up to 50 percent between March and May, “highlighting how human activities impact the solid Earth,” the authors wrote.



10) Corporate Insiders Pocket $1 Billion in Rush for Coronavirus Vaccine
Well-timed stock bets have generated big profits for senior executives and board members at companies developing vaccines and treatments.
“Executives at a long list of companies have reaped seven- or eight-figure profits thanks to their work on coronavirus vaccines and treatments.”
By David Gelles and Jesse Drucker, July 25, 2020

A trial of a potential coronavirus vaccine announced by Moderna in January. Since then, Moderna insiders have sold shares totaling about $248 million. Credit...Ted S. Warren/Associated Press

On June 26, a small South San Francisco company called Vaxart made a surprise announcement: A coronavirus vaccine it was working on had been selected by the U.S. government to be part of Operation Warp Speed, the flagship federal initiative to quickly develop drugs to combat Covid-19.

Vaxart’s shares soared. Company insiders, who weeks earlier had received stock options worth a few million dollars, saw the value of those awards increase sixfold. And a hedge fund that partly controlled the company walked away with more than $200 million in instant profits.

The race is on to develop a coronavirus vaccine, and some companies and investors are betting that the winners stand to earn vast profits from selling hundreds of millions — or even billions — of doses to a desperate public.

Across the pharmaceutical and medical industries, senior executives and board members are capitalizing on that dynamic.

They are making millions of dollars after announcing positive developments, including support from the government, in their efforts to fight Covid-19. After such announcements, insiders from at least 11 companies — most of them smaller firms whose fortunes often hinge on the success or failure of a single drug — have sold shares worth well over $1 billion since March, according to figures compiled for The New York Times by Equilar, a data provider.

In some cases, company insiders are profiting from regularly scheduled compensation or automatic stock trades. But in other situations, senior officials appear to be pouncing on opportunities to cash out while their stock prices are sky high. And some companies have awarded stock options to executives shortly before market-moving announcements about their vaccine progress.

The sudden windfalls highlight the powerful financial incentives for company officials to generate positive headlines in the race for coronavirus vaccines and treatments, even if the drugs might never pan out.

Some companies are attracting government scrutiny for potentially using their associations with Operation Warp Speed as marketing ploys.

For example, the headline on Vaxart’s news release declared: “Vaxart’s Covid-19 Vaccine Selected for the U.S. Government’s Operation Warp Speed.” But the reality is more complex.

Vaxart’s vaccine candidate was included in a trial on primates that a federal agency was organizing in conjunction with Operation Warp Speed. But Vaxart is not among the companies selected to receive significant financial support from Warp Speed to produce hundreds of millions of vaccine doses.

“The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has entered into funding agreements with certain vaccine manufacturers, and we are negotiating with others. Neither is the case with Vaxart,” said Michael R. Caputo, the department’s assistant secretary for public affairs. “Vaxart’s vaccine candidate was selected to participate in preliminary U.S. government studies to determine potential areas for possible Operation Warp Speed partnership and support. At this time, those studies are ongoing, and no determinations have been made.”

Some officials at the Department of Health and Human Services have grown concerned about whether companies including Vaxart are trying to inflate their stock prices by exaggerating their roles in Warp Speed, a senior Trump administration official said. The department has relayed those concerns to the Securities and Exchange Commission, said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

It isn’t clear if the commission is looking into the matter. An S.E.C. spokeswoman declined to comment.

“Vaxart abides by good corporate governance guidelines and policies and makes decisions in accordance with the best interests of the company and its shareholders,” Vaxart’s chief executive, Andrei Floroiu, said in a statement on Friday. Referring to Operation Warp Speed, he added, “We believe that Vaxart’s Covid-19 vaccine is the most exciting one in O.W.S. because it is the only oral vaccine (a pill) in O.W.S.”

Well-timed stock transactions are generally legal. But investors and corporate governance experts say they can create the appearance that executives are profiting from inside information, and could erode public confidence in the pharmaceutical industry when the world is looking to these companies to cure Covid-19.

“It is inappropriate for drug company executives to cash in on a crisis,” said Ben Wakana, executive director of Patients for Affordable Drugs, a nonprofit advocacy group. “Every day, Americans wake up and make sacrifices during this pandemic. Drug companies see this as a payday.”

Executives at a long list of companies have reaped seven- or eight-figure profits thanks to their work on coronavirus vaccines and treatments.

Shares of Regeneron, a biotech company in Tarrytown, N.Y., have climbed nearly 80 percent since early February, when it announced a collaboration with the Department of Health and Human Services to develop a Covid-19 treatment. Since then, the company’s top executives and board members have sold nearly $700 million in stock. The chief executive, Leonard Schleifer, sold $178 million of shares on a single day in May.

Alexandra Bowie, a spokeswoman for Regeneron, said most of those sales had been scheduled in advance through programs that automatically sell executives’ shares if the stock hits a certain price.

Moderna, a 10-year-old vaccine developer based in Cambridge, Mass., that has never brought a product to market, announced in late January that it was working on a coronavirus vaccine. It has issued a stream of news releases hailing its vaccine progress, and its stock has more than tripled, giving the company a market value of almost $30 billion.

Moderna insiders have sold about $248 million of shares since that January announcement, most of it after the company was selected in April to receive federal funding to support its vaccine efforts.

While some of those sales were scheduled in advance, others were more spur of the moment. Flagship Ventures, an investment fund run by the company’s founder and chairman, Noubar Afeyan, sold more than $68 million worth of Moderna shares on May 21. Those transactions were not scheduled in advance, according to securities filings.

Executives and board members at Luminex, Quidel and Emergent BioSolutions have sold shares worth a combined $85 million after announcing they were working on vaccines, treatments or testing solutions.

At other companies, executives and board members received large grants of stock options shortly before the companies announced good news that lifted the value of those options.

Novavax, a drugmaker in Gaithersburg, Md., began working on a vaccine early this year. This spring, the company reported promising preliminary test results and a $1.6 billion deal with the Trump administration.

In April, with its shares below $24, Novavax issued a batch of new stock awards to all its employees “in acknowledgment of the extraordinary work of our employees to implement a new vaccine program.” Four senior executives, including the chief executive, Stanley Erck, received stock options that were worth less than $20 million at the time.

Since then, Novavax’s stock has rocketed to more than $130 a share. At least on paper, the four executives’ stock options are worth more than $100 million.

So long as the company hits a milestone with its vaccine testing, which it is expected to achieve soon, the executives will be able to use the options to buy discounted Novavax shares as early as next year, regardless of whether the company develops a successful vaccine.

Silvia Taylor, a Novavax spokeswoman, said the stock awards were designed “to incentivize and retain our employees during this critical time.” She added that “there is no guarantee they will retain their value.”

Two other drugmakers, Translate Bio and Inovio, awarded large batches of stock options to executives and board members shortly before they announced progress on their coronavirus vaccines, sending shares higher. Representatives of the companies said the options were regularly scheduled annual grants.

Vaxart, though, is where the most money was made the fastest.

At the start of the year, its shares were around 35 cents. Then in late January, Vaxart began working on an orally administered coronavirus vaccine, and its shares started rising.

Vaxart’s largest shareholder was a New York hedge fund, Armistice Capital, which last year acquired nearly two-thirds of the company’s shares. Two Armistice executives, including the hedge fund’s founder, Steven Boyd, joined Vaxart’s board of directors. The hedge fund also purchased rights, known as warrants, to buy 21 million more Vaxart shares at some point in the future for as little as 30 cents each.

Vaxart has never brought a vaccine to market. It has just 15 employees. But throughout the spring, Vaxart announced positive preliminary data for its vaccine, along with a partnership with a company that could manufacture it. By late April, with investors sensing the potential for big profits, the company’s shares had reached $3.66 — a tenfold increase from January.

On June 8, Vaxart changed the terms of its warrants agreement with Armistice, making it easier for the hedge fund to rapidly acquire the 21 million shares, rather than having to buy and sell in smaller batches.

One week later, Vaxart announced that its chief executive was stepping down, though he would remain chairman. The new C.E.O., Mr. Floroiu, had previously worked with Mr. Boyd, Armistice’s founder, at the hedge fund and the consulting firm McKinsey.

On June 25, Vaxart announced that it had signed a letter of intent with another company that might help it mass-produce a coronavirus vaccine. Vaxart’s shares nearly doubled that day.

The next day, Vaxart issued its news release saying it had been selected for Operation Warp Speed. Its shares instantly doubled again, at one pointing hitting $14, their highest level in years.

“We are very pleased to be one of the few companies selected by Operation Warp Speed, and that ours is the only oral vaccine being evaluated,” Mr. Floroiu said.

Armistice took advantage of the stock’s exponential increase — at that point up more than 3,600 percent since January. On June 26, a Friday, and the next Monday, the hedge fund exercised its warrants to buy nearly 21 million Vaxart shares for either 30 cents or $1.10 a share — purchases it would not have been able to make as quickly had its agreement with Vaxart not been modified weeks earlier.

Armistice then immediately sold the shares at prices from $6.58 to $12.89 a share, according to securities filings. The hedge fund’s profits were immense: more than $197 million.

“It looks like the warrants may have been reconfigured at a time when they knew good news was coming,” said Robert Daines, a professor at Stanford Law School who is an expert on corporate governance. “That’s a valuable change, made right as the company’s stock price was about to rise.”

At the same time, the hedge fund also unloaded some of the Vaxart shares it had previously bought, notching tens of millions of dollars in additional profits.

By the end of that Monday, June 29, Armistice had sold almost all of its Vaxart shares.

Mr. Boyd and Armistice declined to comment.

Mr. Floroiu said the change to the Armistice agreement “was in the best interests of Vaxart and its stockholders” and helped it raise money to work on the Covid-19 vaccine.

He and other Vaxart board members also were positioned for big personal profits. When he became chief executive in mid-June, Mr. Floroiu received stock options that were worth about $4.3 million. A month later, those options were worth more than $28 million.

Normally when companies issue stock options to executives, the options can’t be exercised for months or years. Because of the unusual terms and the run-up in Vaxart’s stock price, most of Mr. Floroiu’s can be cashed in now.

Vaxart’s board members also received large grants of stock options, giving them the right to buy shares in the company at prices well below where the stock is now trading. The higher the shares fly, the bigger the profits.

“Vaxart is disrupting the vaccine world,” Mr. Floroiu boasted during a virtual investor conference on Thursday. He added that his impression was that “it’s OK to make a profit from Covid vaccines, as long as you’re not profiteering.”

Noah Weiland contributed reporting.



11) Federal Agents Push Into Portland Streets, Stretching Limits of Their Authority
Federal agents are venturing blocks from the buildings they were sent to protect. Oregon officials say they are illegally taking on the role of riot police.
By Mike Baker, Thomas Fuller and Sergio Olmos, July 25, 2020

PORTLAND, Ore. — After flooding the streets around the federal courthouse in Portland with tear gas during Friday’s early morning hours, dozens of federal officers in camouflage and tactical gear stood in formation around the front of the building.

Then, as one protester blared a soundtrack of “The Imperial March,” the officers started advancing. Through the acrid haze, they continued to fire flash grenades and welt-inducing marble-size balls filled with caustic chemicals. They moved down Main Street and continued up the hill, where one of the agents announced over a loudspeaker: “This is an unlawful assembly.”

By the time the security forces halted their advance, the federal courthouse they had been sent to protect was out of sight — two blocks behind them.

The aggressive incursion of federal officers into Portland has been stretching the legal limits of federal law enforcement, as agents with batons and riot gear range deep into the streets of a city whose leadership has made it clear they are not welcome.

“I think it’s absolutely improper,” Oregon’s attorney general, Ellen Rosenblum, said in an interview on Friday. “It’s absolutely beyond their authority.”

The state lost its bid on Friday for a restraining order against four federal agencies on the grounds that the state attorney general lacked standing, but several other challenges are still making their way through the courts.

Federal officers who arrived this month to help control protests over racial injustice and police violence have made dozens of arrests for federal crimes, including assaults on federal officers and failing to comply with law enforcement commands. More than 60 protesters have been arrested, and 46 now face federal criminal charges, said Craig Gabriel, an assistant U.S. attorney for the District of Oregon, in a Saturday news conference.

One protester standing on a city street outside the federal courthouse was shot in the head with a crowd-control munition, leaving a bloody scene and a serious facial injury that required surgery. In another incident, an officer was seen repeatedly using a baton to whack a Navy veteran who said he had come to speak to the agents. Videos taken by members of the public captured camouflaged personnel pulling protesters into unmarked vans.

The inspectors general of the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security have opened investigations into the tactics.

During 57 consecutive nights of protests, demonstrators have squared off first with the Portland police and then with federal agents in what at times have been pitched battles, with protesters throwing water bottles or fireworks and agents responding with frequent volleys of tear gas. The arrival of the federal agents caused the protests to swell and focused the ire of protesters onto the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse, across from a park shaded by mature trees.

What began as a movement for racial justice became a broader campaign to dislodge the federal forces from the city.

The federal agents from four agencies arrived after President Trump signed an executive order on June 26 ordering the protection of federal monuments and buildings.

Their presence quickly became a political rallying point.

Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, a Democrat, compared the agents to an “occupying army.” Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California, called them “storm troopers.”

Mr. Trump criticized the police protests around the country in cities “all run by liberal Democrats” and defended the move to send in federal agents, warning that with the continuing turbulence in the streets, “They were going to lose Portland.”

Chad F. Wolf, the acting secretary of homeland security, described the protesters squaring off with federal agents outside the federal courthouse in Portland as “anarchists and criminals.”

“We will continue to take the appropriate action to protect our facilities and our law enforcement officers,” Mr. Wolf said at a news briefing this past week. “If we left tomorrow they would burn that building down.”

There is broad agreement among legal scholars that the federal government has the right to protect its buildings. But how far that authority extends into a city — and which tactics may be employed — is less clear.

Robert Tsai, a professor at the Washington College of Law at American University, said the nation’s founders explicitly left local policing within the jurisdiction of local authorities.

He questioned whether the federal agents had the right to extend their operations blocks away from the buildings they are protecting.

“If the federal troops are starting to wander the streets, they appear to be crossing the line into general policing, which is outside their powers,” Professor Tsai said.

Homeland Security officials say they are operating under a federal statute that permits federal agents to venture outside the boundaries of the courthouse to “conduct investigations” into crimes against federal property or officers.

But patrolling the streets and detaining or tear-gassing protesters go beyond that legal authority, said David Lapan, the former spokesman for the agency when it was led by John Kelly, Mr. Trump’s first secretary of homeland security.

“That’s not an investigation,” Mr. Lapan said. “That’s just a show of force.”

John Malcolm, vice president for the Institute for Constitutional Government at the conservative Heritage Foundation, and a former deputy assistant attorney general during the George W. Bush administration, said federal agents have clear legal authority to pursue protesters who have damaged federal property.

“Once they have committed a crime the federal authorities have probable cause to go arrest them,” Mr. Malcolm said. “I don’t care how many blocks away they are from that property.”

While federal authorities are not intended to be riot police, he said, the federal government has the authority to send in troops in extreme situations in which there is a breakdown of authority and local officials are unable to effectively enforce local laws.

“But we are not there yet, and I pray that we don’t get there,” he said.

Outraged by the federal presence, government leaders in Portland have been looking for ways to push back against the deployment. The Portland Police Bureau ousted federal representatives from the city’s command post. Mayor Ted Wheeler, who himself was hit with tear gas fired by federal agents on Wednesday night, called the federal deployment an abuse of authority.

“My colleagues and I are looking at every possible legal option we have to get the feds out of here,” Mr. Wheeler said in an interview.

In the state’s legal challenge, Ms. Rosenblum argued that the operations of federal authorities, using unmarked vehicles to detain protesters, resembled abductions. The lawsuit called on the court to order the agents to stop arresting individuals without probable cause and to clearly identify themselves and their agency before detaining or arresting “any person off the streets in Oregon.”

But in his ruling on Friday, Judge Michael W. Mosman of the U.S. District Court in Portland said the state attorney general’s office did not have standing to bring the case because it had not shown that the issue was “an interest that is specific to the state itself.”

In an interview, Ms. Rosenblum said that having federal agents battling protesters in Portland was un-American because the country does not have a tradition of a national police force.

“The police should be ideally as local as possible,” she said. “It’s about trust, relationships and community building.”

She warned that all Americans need to be concerned about what is happening in Portland.

“It could be happening in your city next,” she said.

The inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security, Joseph V. Cuffari, told lawmakers in a letter that he planned to examine the authority the agency used to deploy agents to Portland.

Some of the protesters who originally focused their anger on the case of George Floyd, whose death in police custody in Minneapolis in May sparked demonstrations around the country, now have turned much of their attention to the presence of federal officers on Portland’s streets.

On Friday night, a crowd gathered outside a fence erected around the federal courthouse; some in the crowd lit fires, lobbed fireworks over the fence and attempted to pull it down with power tools. Federal agents entered the street to disperse the crowd at 2:30 a.m.

Mr. Gabriel, the assistant U.S. attorney, said that the federal officers were forced into the streets to protect the fence. “The officers would love nothing more than to stay in the courthouse all night long,” he said. “If the protesters don’t seek to damage or destroy the fence, then the officers have no need to go outside the fence or leave federal property.”

Most of the demonstrations during the evening, though, were peaceful. A group of military veterans lined up along the fence, joining a “Wall of Moms,” hundreds of mothers who have linked arms to challenge the presence of the federal agents, who had been there on previous nights. There was also a “Wall of Dads" carrying leaf blowers to combat the tear gas.

Jennifer Kristiansen, a family-law attorney, was one of many women who came out to the protests in recent days to join the “Wall of Moms.”  In the early morning hours on Tuesday, she said, as agents were clearing protesters from in front of the courthouse, one of them reported to another that Ms. Kristiansen had struck him.

Ms. Kristiansen said that she had done no such thing and that one of the officers ended up assaulting her, groping her chest and backside during the arrest.

“This is not creeping authoritarianism,” Ms. Kristiansen said. “The authoritarianism is here.”

Kate Conger contributed reporting from Portland, and Zolan Kanno-Youngs from Washington.























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