Bay Area United Against War Newsletter, July 30, 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



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 




Demand the San Francisco Police Officers Association
be declared a 
Non Grata Organization and Shut Down!

Friday, July 31 & Every Friday
1:00pm – 2:00pm

San Francisco Police Officers Association
800 Bryant Street
6th  Street & Bryant
San Francisco

Wear masks; practice social distancing


Photo by Jessica De Guadalupe Aguallo-Hurtado
Of Brown Berets National Organization
Image may contain: one or more people and outdoor


City leaders pledge to reject SFPOA support – July 27, 2020

Protest calls for SF police union to stand down in blocking any department reforms  - July 27, 2020






Join Us On-line for a Unique 75th Anniversary 

Hiroshima Day Rally 

Thursday, August 6 from 8 AM to 9:30 AM (Pacific Time), with a moment of silence at 8:15 AM, 

when the first atomic bomb was used in war by the United States against the people of Hiroshima.

Date & Time: Thursday, August 6 from 8 AM to 9:30 AM (Pacific Time), with a moment of silence at 8:15 AM, when the first atomic bomb was used in war by the United States against the people of Hiroshima.

Link: This event is free, and all people of good will are invited to participate. Circle your calendar today. Check www.trivalleycares.org before the event to obtain the link. You will be able to simply click the link on our website and participate.

Background: Tri-Valley CAREs and colleagues from Northern California peace and justice groups annually host a rally, march and nonviolent direct action at 8am at the gates of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. This year, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we are moving the event on-line.

Our program: Expect great speakers and musicians for this 75th anniversary rally and commemoration. (See the list below.) Expect also some action footage of Livermore Lab, one of two locations where all U.S. nuclear weapons are designed.

Purpose: Join Tri-Valley CAREs on-line this year to abolish nuclear weapons on the 75th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Our event, and your participation in it, will stand with the A-bomb survivors, known as Hibakusha as they continue to appeal for a world free of nuclear weapons based on their fervent hope that “no one shall ever again suffer as we have.”

Our event will look at the decision to use the bomb on this special anniversary, and we will address current nuclear weapons policy, including the new warheads being developed today. Together, in word and song we will also celebrate the joys of taking collective action for peace, justice and our Earth.

# Still Here: In this 75th anniversary year, Tri-Valley CAREs has joined with non-profits across the country to highlight and deepen activism for change. We chose the hash tag #StillHere to note nuclear weapons are still here, but so are we…

“We are a coalition of anti-nuclear activists representing a variety of organizations nationwide. We share the common goals of ridding the world of the risk of nuclear weapons, and bringing justice to the communities affected by nuclear weapons testing, production and use. We came together specifically to honor nuclear survivors as we acknowledge that in the 75th year of the nuclear age, survivors and the weapons are still here.”

This national collaboration has enabled two full days of on-line commemorative events, beginning with our rally on August 6 at 8 AM Pacific Time - and continuing with fresh programming throughout the day on August 6 and August 9, when the U.S used an atomic bomb on the people of Nagasaki.

Collaborative website: You will find lots of information and resources your can use at:
 www.HiroshimaNagasaki75.org. Check it out.

We hope to see you at our lively, multi-faceted rally – and, perhaps, at others too as your schedule permits. The same link will work for all of the rallies and events.



Join us to demand that Governor Gretchen Whitmer release Grace from Children’s Village youth prison into her mother’s custody.


Join us to demand that Governor Gretchen Whitmer release Grace from Children’s Village youth prison into her mother’s custody.
During a court hearing on May 14, Judge Mary Ellen Brennan ordered that a 15-year-old high school student, Grace, be sent to Children's Village youth prison in Oakland County, Michigan for not submitting schoolwork. [1]
Imagine being sent to jail, being separated from your family, for missing homework assignments during a pandemic?!
This is an awful situation that we cannot let stand. The start of Grace’s probation coincided with the closing of schools through the remainder of the school year and the start of remote learning. Prior to the order for schools to close, Grace was doing well and had near perfect attendance. Grace shared with her caseworker that she felt unmotivated and overwhelmed when online learning began April 15, about a month after schools closed. Grace’s mom was also concerned that her daughter would struggle without the in-person support from teachers outlined in her Individualized Education Plan. She was right in her concerns, and as remote learning began, Grace did not continue to receive those critical supports.[2]
The reality is schools across the country weren’t prepared for abrupt closures and a pivot to remote learning. And across the country schools, teachers, parents and students have struggled to create continuous learning for students during this pandemic. Grace’s school was no different.
Still Judge Mary Ellen Brennan found Grace “guilty of failure to submit to any schoolwork and getting up for school” and outrageously called Grace a “threat to (the) community” for not doing her homework.
“It just doesn’t make any sense, how is this a better situation for her?” - Charisse, Grace’s mother.
This didn't have to happen. In fact, Michigan, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer had issued an executive order in March that temporarily suspended the confinement of juveniles who violate probation unless directed by a court order and encouraged eliminating any form of detention or residential placement unless a young person posed a “substantial and immediate safety risk to others.”
Grace is NOT a “substantial and immediate safety risk to others,” and not doing your homework is NOT a crime. Judge Brennan’s ruling to incarcerate a child, sending her away from her family during a pandemic is cruel, harsh, and highlights an alarming trend of Black girls being criminalized at alarming rates in comparison to their white peers.[3]
Join us in demanding that Governor Gretchen Whitmer:
Release “Grace” from Children’s Village youth detention facility into her mother’s custody;
Request the immediate resignation of of Judge Mary Ellen Brennan from the Oakland County Family Court;
Drop all charges against “Grace” immediately;
End the racialized practice of arresting and prosecuting children, and ensure Michigan kids get the support they need including alternatives to incarceration and detention and trauma informed support and services.
Prison is no place for a kid. The United States still incarcerates more young people than any other country. [4] Our kids deserve a future free of criminalization, a future that supports their development and capacity to contribute meaningfully to society. Putting kids in prisons does the opposite of this. In fact they do little to improve community safety when compared to community based efforts that provide alternatives to incarceration by supporting young people, providing the services they need, and providing access to opportunities to address harm in meaningful ways.
Together we can END this toxic culture of criminalizing children, and of putting kids in prison, and we can start with Grace. Sign on to demand Governor Gretchen Whitmer #FreeGrace NOW! Click the link below to sign now:
- Beatriz, Monifa, Diarra and the whole MomsRising / MamásConPoder team

[1] Teen Who Was Incarcerated After Not Doing Schoolwork Won't Be Released, Judge Says
[2] A Teenager Didn’t Do Her Online Schoolwork. So a Judge Sent Her to Juvenile Detention.
[3] What can be done to stop the criminalization of black girls? Rebuild the system



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




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/





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









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.       











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

Veterans Join Call for a Global Ceasefire 

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

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

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

For more information about events go to:




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

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



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

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

—Johnny Gould (Follow @tandino415 on Instagram)







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



















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

Major Tillery (with hat) and family

Dear Friends of the Labor Action Committee to Free Mumia,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Please write and call Acting Superintendent Kenneth Eason at:

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

Telephone: (610) 490-5412

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

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

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

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

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

In solidarity,

The Labor Action Committee to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal



Kiah Morris

May 7 at 6:44 AM

So, in MY lifetime....

Black people are so tired. 😓

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) 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.



2) Fires and Pepper Spray in Seattle as Police Protests Widen Across U.S.
From Los Angeles to New York, protesters marched in a show of solidarity with demonstrations in Portland, Ore. In Seattle, they smashed windows and set fires. A shooting at a protest in Austin, Texas, left one man dead.
By Mike Baker and Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs, July 25, 2020

Protesters in Seattle faced a line of police officers after marching in support of demonstrators in Portland, Ore., on Saturday. Credit...Grant Hindsley for The New York Times

SEATTLE — Weeks of violent clashes between federal agents and protesters in Portland, Ore., galvanized thousands of people to march through the streets of American cities on Saturday, injecting new life into protests that had largely waned in recent weeks.

One of the most intense protests was in Seattle, where a day of demonstrations focused on police violence left a trail of broken windows and people flushing pepper spray from their eyes. At least 45 protesters had been arrested as of early evening, and both protesters and police officers suffered injuries.

Carrying signs such as “Feds Go Home” and shouting chants of “No justice, no peace,” some among the crowd of about 5,000 protesters stopped at a youth detention center and lit several construction trailers there on fire. Some smashed windows of nearby businesses, ignited a fire in a coffee shop and blew an eight-inch hole through the wall of the Seattle Police Department’s East Precinct building, the police said.

“At this point, we declared the event to be a riot, and several orders to disperse were given,” the Seattle police chief, Carmen Best, said at a news conference.

The police responded by firing flash grenades, showering protesters with pepper spray and abruptly rushing into crowds, knocking people to the ground. After a flash grenade left one woman with bloody injuries, police officers shoved people who had stopped to help her.

In Austin, Texas, the police said one man was shot and killed just before 10 p.m. during a protest in the city’s downtown. In a live video from the scene, protesters are seen marching through an intersection when a car blares its horn. Seconds later, five shots ring out, followed shortly after by several more loud bangs.

The man who was killed may have approached a vehicle with a rifle before he was shot and killed, Officer Katrina Ratcliff said. Ms. Ratcliff said the person who shot and killed the man had fired from inside the vehicle. That person was detained and is cooperating with officers, she said. No one else was injured.

“All I know is that someone dying while protesting is horrible,” Mayor Steve Adler of Austin said in a statement. “Our city is shaken and, like so many in our community, I’m heartbroken and stunned.”

In Los Angeles, protesters clashed with officers in front of the federal courthouse downtown. Videos showed people smashing windows and lobbing water bottles at officers after protesters said the police fired projectiles at them.

The federal courthouse in Portland has been the scene of nightly, chaotic demonstrations for weeks, which continued again into Sunday morning, as thousands participated in marches around the city, the 59th consecutive day of protests there. Earlier, a group of nurses in scrubs had joined an organized group of mothers in helmets and fathers in hard hats, all assembled against the fence of a federal courthouse where federal agents — a deployment that has been a key focus of the recent demonstrations — have been assembled.

Shortly after 1 a.m., the Portland police said the protest had become a riot and ordered the crowd to leave. Federal agents fired tear gas and left the courthouse to drive protesters from the streets, continuing to stretch the boundaries of their authority as legal experts questioned how far the agents could stray beyond federal property.

Protesters in several cities said the smoke-filled videos of federal agents firing tear gas and shoving protesters in Portland had brought them to the streets on Saturday.

“Portland is leading,” said Chantelle Hershberger, an organizer with Refuse Fascism who was part of the Los Angeles activists protesting the presence of federal agents in Portland, where city officials have opposed the presence of the federal officers. “They’re showing what it looks like to stay in the streets despite police oppression, despite the federal forces being sent in. This kind of energy is actually what’s needed.”

Bipasha Mukherjee, 52, of Kirkland, Wash., said she has been protesting on the streets since May and said it was worrisome to her to see such aggressive tactics by the police.

“This is not the country I immigrated to,” said Ms. Mukherjee, who arrived from India more than 30 years ago. “It feels like we are rapidly becoming a fascist state and a police state.”

Michaud Savage of Seattle said the protests there were aimed at both local authorities and the deployment of federal officers who have waged a crackdown against a long-running protest in Portland. Mr. Savage said the law enforcement tactics in Portland, which have included the use of tear gas and crowd-control munitions, were dangerous and inappropriate.

“It’s a very hard slide in an extremely violent direction,” Mr. Savage said as he washed his eyes of pepper spray and nursed a wound on his arm from a flash grenade.

But Ms. Best, the Seattle police chief, said a number of demonstrators also used violence. Some were tossing concrete blocks from a rooftop to the street below, she said. The coffee shop that was set afire had occupied apartments above it that had to be evacuated, she said.

“We support everyone’s First Amendment right for free speech and to gather and assemble in such a way,” she said. “But what we saw today was not peaceful. It was not a peaceful demonstration at all, and criminal acts were occurring throughout the city, and many people were at risk.”

Other demonstrations took place on Saturday in New York, Omaha and Oakland, Calif., among other cities.

In Omaha, KMTV-TV reported that demonstrators turned out in solidarity with the Portland protests and also in response to the death of James Scurlock, a Black man killed by a white bar owner in May. The police arrested 75 to 100 people Saturday night, KMTV reported.

In Richmond, Va., riot police fired chemical agents at hundreds of protesters who had marched through the city and gathered around the Richmond Police Department. The police said some protesters had set fire to a city-owned dump truck outside the station.

At a protest in Aurora, Colo., a hectic scene played out as people marched along an interstate highway.

During that protest, someone drove a car into demonstrators, the Aurora Police Department said, although it was unclear if the car struck any protesters. The police said a protester had also “decided to fire off a weapon,” which struck at least one other person. That person was taken to a hospital and was in stable condition, the police said, and a second person later showed up to the hospital with a graze wound.

In addition to marching in solidarity with the Portland protesters, the demonstration in Aurora was also in response to the death of Elijah McClain, a 23-year-old massage therapist who died several days after officers put him in a chokehold last summer.

Mr. McClain’s death was one of several that have occurred in police custody around the country that received fresh attention following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May. Mr. Floyd’s death ignited mass protests that drew millions to the streets in dozens of cities, but the demonstrations waned in most places.

Seattle and Portland, however, have seen extended demonstrations. Seattle protesters at one point laid claim to several blocks of the Capitol Hill neighborhood and declared an autonomous zone. After a series of shootings there led the police to clear the area, protests had subsided.

Protests in Portland, meanwhile, have continued, with some of the heaviest demonstrations around federal buildings in the city. On Saturday, crowds marched from near the federal courthouse to a hotel several blocks away where federal agents who had been dispatched to the city were thought to be staying.

“Get out of bed with the feds,” the protesters chanted.

Later in the night, thousands of people returned to the federal courthouse. Some threw fireworks at the officers protecting the building, while others worked to break down the fence surrounding it. Just before midnight, federal officers began lobbing tear gas and flash grenades over the fence, dispersing crowds, while the group of mothers who have been a fixture at the protests stood firm with linked arms, protected with gas masks.

Craig Gabriel, an assistant U.S. attorney in Oregon, said at a news conference earlier on Saturday that federal agents had arrested 60 people at protests in Portland and were pursuing charges against 46 of them.

Several federal agents had been injured by fireworks and lasers that protesters shone into their eyes, he said.

Harry Fones, a spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security, whose agents are among those clashing with protesters, In on Saturday that the demonstrators were little more than “violent anarchists rioting on the streets.”

Protesters in Washington, D.C. planned to hold a demonstration on Sunday at the Virginia home of Chad Wolf, the Secretary of Homeland Security, in response to the deployment of federal agents in Portland.

After President Trump issued an executive order to protect statues and federal property, the Department of Homeland Security sent tactical teams to the city, beginning a series of clashes that have resulted in injured protesters, inspector general investigations and calls from local leaders for federal agents to leave.

Protest crowds in that city have swelled into the thousands, and demonstrations there were continuing. This week, federal officials deployed a tactical team to Seattle as well, and protesters cited that development as one reason for Saturday’s demonstrations.

Mike Baker reported from Seattle and Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs from New York. Reporting was contributed by Kate Conger and Sergio Olmos in Portland, Ore.; Hallie Golden in Seattle; Aimee Ortiz in New York; Manny Fernandez in Houston; and Austin Ramzy in Hong Kong.



3) In Portland’s So-Called War Zone, It’s the Troops Who Provide the Menace
If President Trump is actually trying to establish order, he is stunningly incompetent.
By Nicholas Kristof, Opinion Columnist, July 25, 2020

Federal agents clashing with protesters near the Federal District Courthouse in Portland, Ore., on Wednesday. Credit...Mason Trinca for The New York Times

PORTLAND, Ore. — To watch Fox News is to learn from Sean Hannity that the “Rose City” of Portland is “like a war zone” that has been, in Tucker Carlson’s words, “destroyed by the mob.”

So I invite Hannity and Carlson to escape their bubbles and visit Portland, stroll along the Willamette River and enjoy a glass of local pinot noir. They’ll be safe — unless they venture at night into the two blocks beside the federal courthouse.

Citizens need to be vigilant there, for armed groups periodically storm the streets to attack peaceful visitors. I’m talking, of course, about the uninvited federal forces.

I’ve watched them fire round after round of tear gas, along with occasional rubber bullets or other projectiles. They even repeatedly tear-gassed Portland’s mayor, Ted Wheeler, who has demanded that they go home, leaving him blinded and coughing on his own streets.

“They knocked the hell out of him,” President Trump boasted on Fox News. “That was the end of him.”

Trump is pretending that he is bringing law and order to chaotic streets, and now he has dispatched similar troops — what else can you call a militarized force like this but “troops”? — to Seattle, where that city’s mayor has also said they are unwanted. Yet if Trump is actually trying to establish order, he is stunningly incompetent. The ruthlessness of the federal forces has inflamed the protests, bringing huge throngs of Portlanders out to protect their city from those they see as jackbooted federal thugs.

“Their presence here escalates,” Kate Brown, Oregon’s governor, told me. “It throws gasoline on the fire.”

Brown noted that the federal troops may also be breaking the law. “We cannot have secret police abducting people into unmarked vehicles,” she said. “This is a democracy and not a dictatorship.”

The paradox is that Oregon is simultaneously begging for federal assistance to address a real threat — the coronavirus pandemic. Brown said she has been pleading for Covid-19 tests and for personal protective equipment, but the federal government has rebuffed the state.

“It’s appalling to me that they are using federal taxpayer dollars for political theater and making no effort to really keep our communities safe,” Brown said.

So let’s be real: Trump isn’t trying to quell violence in Portland. No, he’s provoking it to divert attention from 140,000 Covid-19 deaths in the United States. Once again, he’s tear-gassing peaceful protesters to generate a photo op — and he’s doing this every night in downtown Portland. This is a reckless campaign tactic to bolster his own narrative as a law-and-order candidate, a replay of Richard Nixon’s successful 1968 campaign theme.

It is true that some protesters are violent. Some start small trash fires. Others paint graffiti, including “kill pigs” and “kill cops,” or hurl water bottles or firecrackers at federal agents. Some protesters point lasers at officers and in one case a man allegedly hit an agent with a hammer.

Such violence is wrong and plays into Trump’s narrative. Representative John Lewis, who died earlier this month, showed how much more powerful it is for changemakers to endure violence than to commit it.

But it’s also true that the vast majority of those in the crowds each evening are peaceful. They sing about racial justice, chant “Feds out now” and try to protect their city from violent intruders dispatched by Trump.

The protesters — including a “Wall of Moms” who turn out each night to lock arms and shield protesters — protect themselves with bicycle helmets and umbrellas, while suburbanites bring leaf blowers to dispel tear gas (this works surprisingly well). Medics attend to the injured, and cleanup crews collect litter.

“They have guns; I have an umbrella,” said a protester named Jackie — who added that she was fearful of the government and did not want her last name published. That’s common in dictatorships, but I find it ineffably sad to breathe tear gas in my beloved home state and to interview Americans with such fears of their own leaders.

On the streets, I have no fear of the protesters (except when they pull their face masks down to shout slogans, risking the spread of Covid-19), but it’s prudent to worry about the troops. In a few weeks, they:

fired “less lethal” munition at a peaceful protester named Donavan La Bella, fracturing his skull and requiring facial reconstruction surgery. Video shows that the shot was unprovoked.

clubbed a Navy veteran, Christopher J. David, as he tried to ask federal agents how they squared their actions with the Constitution.

allegedly sexually assaulted a lawyer who had been arrested after taking part in the “Wall of Moms.”

An iconic moment came when a woman known as Naked Athena confronted the troops while wearing only a hat and face mask. Her naked vulnerability as armed troops fired pepper balls at her feet underscored the absurdity of Trump’s narrative that he is “protecting” anything.

Beware. What you’re seeing in Portland may be coming to other cities. After all, Trump’s verdict on the troops: “In Portland, they’ve done a fantastic job.”



4) As COVID-19 Ravages California’s Death Row, the State Attorney General Fights to Keep It Packed

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra looks on during a news conference at the California Justice Department on Sept. 18 in Sacramento Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

More than a year after California’s Democratic governor, Gavin Newsom, issued a moratorium on executions, condemned prisoners are facing a new lethal enemy: COVID-19. San Quentin Prison, where 720 men live under sentences of death, has been engulfed by the virus. More than 2,100 people at San Quentin have been afflicted, including nearly one quarter of those on death row. To date, eight death row prisoners have died from complications stemming from COVID-19, comprising half the prison’s fatalities.

One major factor worsening the pandemic is the overcrowding in California prisons, and on death row in particular, where the population has swelled to 725. Yet as this crisis has unfolded, the state’s Democratic attorney general, Xavier Becerra, has continued to fight to cement these convictions. Becerra is often heralded as a hero of the left due to his numerous legal battles against the Trump administration. But back home, he is sending his deputies into court to uphold death sentences, including those involving egregious prosecutorial misconduct, false testimony, and racially biased arguments.

As the state’s chief law enforcement officer, Becerra has a legal and ethical obligation to be a “minister of justice.” His death penalty stance is fundamentally at odds with that role. The litigation undertaken by his administration to preserve these ill-gotten convictions—many against people of color who are now older people and thus particularly vulnerable to COVID-19—is pointlessly cruel.

The governor had many reasons for implementing the moratorium, which Becerra praised at the time as a “bold, new direction in California’s march toward perfecting our search for justice.” Newsom noted that the death penalty is racist in its implementation and snares the innocent in its net. Five death row prisoners in California have been freed because they were wrongfully convicted, and Newsom cited statistics indicating that there are more than two dozen others.

Consider the case of Michael Hill, a Black man who was sentenced to die in 1987 for shooting to death a store owner, Anthony Brice, and his 4-year-old son during a robbery. The state’s case hinged in part on the statements of Michael McCray, which McCray made while he himself was under interrogation for robbing and killing the Brices. McCray told the police—who were also investigating him for drug-related crimes—that the shooter was Hill. Even though he failed two lie detector tests, McCray was released. The Alameda County district attorney provided McCray with a written promise that he would not be charged with the robbery or murder of the Brices.

At trial, Hill testified that McCray was the shooter. Hill admitted that he was present at the scene and that he let McCray into the store at Brice’s request. Hill stated that almost immediately upon entering, McCray began firing at the Brices, causing Hill to flee. He also acknowledged taking some of the jewelry after McCray gave it to him to sell. But Hill has consistently denied participating in the Brices’ murders or knowing of McCray’s plans to shoot them.

McCray did not testify at Hill’s trial. Instead, edited excerpts of his interview were read to the jury after the prosecutor assured the court that McCray was “unavailable” because he was asserting his right to remain silent. The prosecutor never told the court the truth: that McCray had no reason to fear charges because the district attorney had already promised not to bring any. Of the 11 witnesses who did testify against Hill, the prosecutor promised financial rewards to nine, including two people who were state informants. None of that information, or the criminal histories of the witnesses, was disclosed to Hill’s trial attorneys.

It wasn’t until 2007, more than 20 years later, that the state’s misconduct to come to light. At that point, rather than concede error, the Attorney General’s Office, led by former California Gov. Jerry Brown, doubled down. In multiple filings in federal court—the most recent one being on Thursday—Becerra’s deputies hewed to this position, arguing that Hill’s claims should not be addressed at all because the state court had been denied the opportunity to review the evidence first—evidence that Becerra’s predecessors in the Attorney General’s Office had joined with the district attorney to keep hidden. Becerra is “fully complicit with the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office in the suppression of the truth, resulting in Michael Hill’s wrongful incarceration on death row for decades,” Hill’s attorneys wrote in a May court filing.

Becerra’s office also fought to defend the conviction of Vicente Figueroa Benavides, a Mexican-born farmworker who was falsely accused of murdering a 21-month child. After every expert but one recanted their testimony in December 2012, Benavides sought relief in the state’s highest court. Over Becerra’s objection, the California Supreme Court reversed Benavides’ convictions, and the local district attorney later dropped all the charges. Benavides is a free man today, despite Becerra’s efforts to keep him locked up.

Then there is the attorney general’s embrace of a peculiar race-based argument for execution. The United States Supreme Court decided in 2002 that the Eighth Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment forbids the execution of those suffering from intellectual disability. Becerra’s office has asked for an “ethnic adjustment” in a Black defendant’s IQ score to raise it enough to clear that constitutional bar and put him to death.

In the case of Robert Lewis Jr., a Black man with an IQ of 70, the attorney general sent his deputy into the California Supreme Court in 2018 to argue that the justices should automatically raise Lewis’ IQ score. The deputy argued that Lewis was among a group of “African American children [who] scored much more poorly on these tests than did the group against which the test was normed. And what does that tell us? It tells us that this test may underestimate his intelligence.”

As others have pointed out, this theory isn’t just alarming—it appears to violate the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee that all people are entitled to the equal protection of the law. Lewis’ attorney explained to the justices, “You can’t ethnically adjust scores to get a job as a police officer, you can’t ethically adjust scores to get into college, to get an education, and therefore you cannot ethnically adjust scores to kill somebody.” (Legislation to abolish this kind of race-based argument is pending in the California state Senate after the state’s Assembly voted unanimously to enact it. The attorney general has not taken a public position.)

Soundly rejecting Becerra’s race-based adjustment to his IQ, the California Supreme Court ruled 7–0 that Lewis was intellectually disabled and threw out his death sentence, noting that he “was unable, as opposed to unmotivated, to learn.”

But Michael Hill remains on San Quentin’s death row. And there are many more like him—condemned people whom the attorney general is fighting tooth and nail to execute, even though their convictions are fundamentally flawed and they are older adults at grave risk of contracting the deadly disease ravaging the prison.

There are a few cases in which Becerra has agreed not to appeal a ruling in favor of a death row inmate, and several in which he has taken a more measured position in court. These are commendable developments, but they are also outliers. Becerra’s default position is to pretend the moratorium does not exist and to litigate like a typical pro–death penalty prosecutor. But Newson has “supreme executive power” under the California Constitution, which means that he can order Becerra to halt every single death penalty prosecution in California and cease defending those that have already been obtained. It is imperative to act now that COVID-19 poses a mortal threat to the lives of so many.



5) Video of N.Y.P.D. Pulling Protester Into Unmarked Van Draws Criticism
The video of the arrest, shared widely on social media, was met with intense criticism and calls for an explanation from the police.
By Mihir Zaveri, July 28, 2020
An image from a video showing the police pulling a protester into an unmarked van on Tuesday. Credit...Michelle Lhooq

New York City police officers, several in plain clothes, swooped into a demonstration against aggressive police tactics on Tuesday and arrested a protester they appeared to have singled out, pulling her into an unmarked minivan before driving off.

Videos of the encounter drew intense criticism on social media, including accusations that the New York police were adopting tactics similar to those used by federal agents during recent protests in Portland, Ore., where some people were pulled into unmarked vans.

The Police Department said in a statement that the woman, Nikki Stone, 18, had been taken into custody by officers from the warrant squad in connection with “damaging police cameras during five separate criminal incidents in and around City Hall Park,” an apparent reference to incidents that occurred during the Occupy City Hall protests.

Ms. Stone was arrested on charges of criminal mischief and making graffiti, the police said. She was released early Wednesday morning with a desk appearance ticket, which will require her to return to court at a later date.

The arrest took place at Second Avenue and East 25th Street in the Kips Bay section of Manhattan, according to the Police Department.

The warrant squad typically uses unmarked vehicles to locate people wanted in connection with crimes, the police said. The police did not name the woman but said that charges against her were pending.

While the police indicated that they were following standard procedure, the incident comes at a time when law enforcement practices are under intense scrutiny. Several city officials said on Tuesday that they were troubled by the videos of the woman’s arrest and publicly demanded a fuller explanation from the Police Department.

On Wednesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio criticized the manner of the arrest, calling it “troubling” because of its similarities to the events in Portland.

“It was the wrong time and the wrong place to effectuate that arrest,” Mr. de Blasio said at a news briefing.

The mayor defended the use of an unmarked vehicle, noting that it was standard procedure for the warrant squad. But he said that the Police Department’s leadership should have coordinated better given ongoing tension over policing, and that he would speak with the city’s police commissioner, Dermot F. Shea, about the issue.

“Given this atmosphere that we’re dealing with in our country and the real concerns people have, it just didn’t make sense,” Mr. de Blasio said.

After the mayor’s comments, Rodney Harrison, the Police Department’s chief of detectives, shared video on Twitter that appeared to show Ms. Stone vandalizing cameras.

“The N.Y.P.D. welcomes peaceful protests,” Chief Harrison wrote. “However, damage to N.Y.P.D. technology that helps keep this city safe will never be tolerated.”

On Tuesday, Carlina Rivera, the city councilwoman who represents the district where the arrest occurred, called the arrest a “massive overstep” and said she was exploring legislation over the use of unmarked vans and plainclothes officers.

Corey Johnson, the City Council speaker, also called the encounter “unacceptable.” Scott M. Stringer, the New York City comptroller, also said he was “deeply concerned.”

Councilman Brad Lander of Brooklyn said that with the “anxiety about what’s happening in Portland, the N.Y.P.D. deploying unmarked vans with plainclothes cops to make street arrests of protesters feels more like provocation than public safety.”

The arrest on Tuesday was the latest flash point in a nationwide conversation about aggressive police tactics. For weeks since the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, people have staged protests across the city against police brutality and racism in the criminal justice system.

The protest on Tuesday at which the woman was arrested was held in response to the clearing of the Occupy City Hall encampment last week, organizers said.

The Occupy City Hall demonstration itself, which began on June 23 when about 100 people set up camp on a small patch of grass to the east of City Hall, was intended to bring pressure on the City Council to cut the Police Department’s funding.

Most people at the demonstration went home within days after the Council ultimately decided to shift nearly $1 billion away from the police, though the move fell short of many of the protesters’ expectations. Homeless people then flocked to the site for its free meals and open-air camping before the encampment was cleared last week.

The tactics used by federal agents in Portland have spurred renewed protests across the country. Some agents, dressed in camouflage and tactical gear, sprayed tear gas on protesters and pulled others into unmarked vans.

Michael Gold and Juliana Kim contributed reporting.



6) Minneapolis Police Link ‘Umbrella Man’ to White Supremacy Group
A search warrant affidavit seeks cellphone records for a man the police believe smashed store windows with a sledgehammer to provoke racial unrest.
By Neil MacFarquhar, July 28, 2020
A man with a gas mask and an umbrella began breaking the windows of an AutoZone store in Minneapolis with a sledgehammer in May. Within hours, the store burned down. Credit...Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

The tall man, dressed head to toe in black, including a black gas mask and a black umbrella, can be seen in a video wielding a sledgehammer as he calmly smashed the windows of a Minneapolis auto parts store.

The scene was one of the first widely shared images of wanton destruction to emerge from the protests in Minneapolis after George Floyd was killed by the police there. Yet the figure remained mysterious. He was given the nickname “Umbrella Man” and became the subject of online conspiracy theories.

The Minneapolis police unsuccessfully tried to identify the man based on a glimpse of facial features seen in the bystander video. But after receiving a tip about his identity, they used other photographs, including a driver’s license, to zero in on a suspect who they say has ties to the Hells Angels and a prison biker gang.

In a search warrant affidavit filed in Hennepin County District Court on Monday, the police requested cellphone records that would establish the suspect’s whereabouts on May 27, when the store was vandalized. They have not charged anyone with a crime.

Erika Christensen, an arson investigator with the Minneapolis police, wrote in the affidavit that the vandalism “created an atmosphere of hostility and tension” two days after Mr. Floyd’s death. It unleashed a chain reaction of arson and looting in the Twin Cities, she wrote, after protests had been relatively peaceful.

“In a short time after the front windows are broken out in The AutoZone, looting started,” the affidavit said, noting that the AutoZone store burned down later that day. “This was the first fire that set off a string of fires and looting throughout the precinct and the rest of the city.”

The affidavit asserted that the suspect, 32, hoped to instigate racial unrest. In addition to smashing the windows, it said, he spray-painted a message on the doors that encouraged looting. The store was on the opposite corner from the city’s Third Precinct building, which protesters later burned after the police abandoned it.

The suspect “wanted to sow discord and racial unrest by breaking out the windows and writing what he did on the double red doors,” the affidavit said.

The man’s name and telephone number were listed in the affidavit, but a man who answered a call to that number said, “You have the wrong number,” asked to be sent a copy of the affidavit and then hung up. A lawyer who represented him in a previous case did not respond to a request for comment.

The suspect is a member of the Hells Angels and an associate of the Aryan Cowboys, a prison gang in Minnesota and Kentucky, the affidavit said. Neither group could be immediately reached.

The Trump administration has often sought to blame the vandalism that took place during nationwide protests on leftist agitators. Attorney General William P. Barr claimed that “in many places” the protests were led by “far-left extremists,” but there is no evidence that anti-fascists coordinated demonstrations.

In the aftermath of the unrest in Minneapolis, a cross-section of officials, activists, business owners and residents have suggested that some of the destruction resulted from a breakdown in governance. They say the mayor and other local leaders, many of them relatively new to their roles, failed to anticipate the intensity of the unrest or put together an effective plan to manage it.

A previous accusation that the Umbrella Man was a member of the St. Paul Police Department became so widespread that the department issued a denial. It released a series of time-stamped surveillance videos showing that the officer was in St. Paul at the time of the episode.

The St. Paul police chief, Todd Axtell, issued a statement berating people on social media for spreading false information that could jeopardize an officer’s reputation and undermine trust in the police.



7) Fact Check: How Violent Are the Portland Protests?
Attorney General William P. Barr said protesters had used fireworks, Tasers, pellet guns and lasers to target federal officers in Portland.
By Kate Conger and Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs, July 28, 2020
The “Wall of Moms” group walked towards the federal courthouse in Portland, Ore., on Monday. Credit...Mason Trinca for The New York Times

PORTLAND, Ore. — Attorney General William P. Barr forcefully defended the federal response to long-running protests in Portland on Tuesday, telling the House Judiciary Committee that the protests had become violent. The federal intervention has been condemned by state and city officials, but Mr. Barr argued it was necessary to prevent violence from spreading to other American cities.

The nightly protests in Portland, which began in late May as a response to the police killing of George Floyd, have become the backdrop for a conflict between federal officials and local leaders. Mr. Barr and other federal officials have drawn attention to vandalism and other reckless behavior on the part of the protesters, while city officials have said that federal agents dispatched to the district court in downtown Portland have exceeded their authority and harmed peaceful protesters.

There are currently 114 federal law enforcement officers in Portland, according to a legal filing from the U.S. attorney’s office, drawn from various agencies including Customs and Border Protection and the Federal Protective Service. Their presence has reinvigorated tensions that had been subsiding, local officials said. Several peaceful protesters have been seriously injured, including a Navy veteran whose hand was smashed by officers and a man who was shot with a projectile that fractured his skull.

“As I’ve said from the beginning, these peaceful protests are being hijacked by a very hard core of instigators, violent instigators,” Mr. Barr said. “Police casualties far exceed anything on the civilian side.”

Have protesters used violence against federal officers?

The crowds have been largely peaceful and have included high school students, military veterans, off-duty lawyers and lines of mothers who call themselves the “Wall of Moms.”

Mr. Barr acknowledged in response to questions from representatives that many protesters had remained peaceful. “You have a lot of people who are out protesting and demonstrating,” he said. “The particular violent opportunists who are involved here get into these crowds and engage in very violent activity and hijack it.”

But he emphasized that some protesters have thrown rocks, water bottles and fireworks at federal officers. Others have shone lasers at federal agents and at security cameras surrounding the building, in an effort to block their view of the crowd. Several fires have been set near the courthouse, which federal officials have said could spread to the building and harm the agents inside.

This has been amply documented with photographs, videos, and by New York Times reporters on the ground.

Mr. Barr also claimed that protesters had used Tasers, pellet guns and slingshots against the federal officers. The Times could not independently confirm the use of those weapons.

As federal agents moved beyond the courthouse and into the streets of Portland — which experts have said they may not have legal authority to do — agents have also been involved in scuffles with protesters who tried to prevent arrests.

Have any federal officers been injured?

In a July 22 court filing, the U.S. attorney’s office in Oregon said that 28 federal law enforcement officers had been injured during protests in Portland.

“The most serious injury to an officer to date occurred when a protester wielding a two-pound sledgehammer struck an officer in the head and shoulder when the officer tried to prevent the protester from breaking down a door to the Hatfield Courthouse,” the filing stated. Other injuries included “broken bones, hearing damage, eye damage, a dislocated shoulder, sprains, strains, and contusions.”

The Department of Homeland Security said in daily briefings about the protests that agents had been burned by fireworks and a “caustic substance” that were thrown over a fence surrounding the courthouse.

The legal filings and daily reports from the Department of Homeland Security do not make reference to one of the injuries described by Mr. Barr: that projectiles fired from pellet guns “have penetrated marshals to the bone.” On July 23, the White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany referenced a similar incident. “Another federal agent was shot with a pellet gun, leaving a wound deep to the bone,” she said. A Department of Homeland Security spokesman did not respond to a request for more information about this injury.

Has there been violence used against protesters?

Mr. Barr emphasized the injuries sustained by federal officers and said that they outnumbered those incurred by protesters.

There is not a comprehensive tally of injured protesters, but at least five people have filed civil lawsuits describing injuries and seeking damages of up to $950,000. Other injuries, like those sustained by the Navy veteran, have been captured on video.

Groups of nurses and doctors have recently joined the protests, voicing objections to violence from the federal forces. Jillian Trent, an emergency room nurse who joined a recent march, said that she had seen an uptick of patients with injuries caused by rubber bullets and other police munitions. “People are coming in with their jaws falling off,” she said.

Under questioning, Mr. Barr said that tear gas and violence were not appropriate responses to peaceful protesters. In response to a question about the use of tear gas, he said, “The problem when these things sometimes occur is, it’s hard to separate people.”

Were police officers attacked in Seattle?

Outrage over the federal agents’ actions in Portland extended to Seattle over the weekend, when thousands of protesters took to the streets on Saturday against police violence and the deployment of federal agents to Portland.

Some protesters lit several construction trailers on fire at a youth detention center, smashed windows of businesses and, according to the police, injured Seattle police officers with explosive devices. The Seattle Police Department released partial body camera video that showed explosions erupting near officers and photographs of cuts and burns suffered by officers that they said were from explosives set off by the protesters.

Officers, meanwhile, doused protesters in pepper spray, rushed into crowds and knocked people to the ground, including some who were trying to help a woman who had been bloodied by a flash grenade. A video posted online showed officers riding on bicycles into a group of protesters, pushing them to the ground with their bikes and their hands.

The police said 59 officers had been injured, including one who was hospitalized. Many of the injured officers were able to return to duty.

Kate Conger reported from Portland, Ore., and Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs from New York.



8) Misleading Virus Video, Pushed by the Trumps, Spreads Online
Social media companies took down the video within hours. But by then, it had already been viewed tens of millions of times.
By Sheera Frenkel and Davey Alba, July 28, 2020
A woman who identified herself as Dr. Stella Immanuel speaking during a video shared by “America’s Frontline Doctors.”

In a video posted Monday online, a group of people calling themselves “America’s Frontline Doctors” and wearing white medical coats spoke against the backdrop of the Supreme Court in Washington, sharing misleading claims about the virus, including that hydroxychloroquine was an effective coronavirus treatment and that masks did not slow the spread of the virus.

The video did not appear to be anything special. But within six hours, President Trump and his son Donald Trump Jr. had tweeted versions of it, and the right-wing news site Breitbart had shared it. It went viral, shared largely through Facebook groups dedicated to anti-vaccination movements and conspiracy theories such as QAnon, racking up tens of millions of views. Multiple versions of the video were uploaded to YouTube, and links were shared through Twitter.

Facebook, YouTube and Twitter worked feverishly to remove it, but by the time they had, the video had already become the latest example of misinformation about the virus that has spread widely.

That was because the video had been designed specifically to appeal to internet conspiracists and conservatives eager to see the economy reopen, with a setting and characters to lend authenticity. It showed that even as social media companies have sped up response time to remove dangerous virus misinformation within hours of its posting, people have continued to find new ways around the platforms’ safeguards.

“Misinformation about a deadly virus has become political fodder, which was then spread by many individuals who are trusted by their constituencies,” said Lisa Kaplan, founder of Alethea Group, a start-up that helps fight disinformation. “If just one person listened to anyone spreading these falsehoods and they subsequently took an action that caused others to catch, spread or even die from the virus — that is one person too many.”

One of the speakers in the video, who identified herself as Dr. Stella Immanuel, said, “You don’t need masks” to prevent spread of the coronavirus. She also claimed to be treating hundreds of patients infected with coronavirus with hydroxychloroquine, and asserted that it was an effective treatment. The claims have been repeatedly disputed by the medical establishment.

President Trump repeatedly promoted hydroxychloroquine, a malaria drug, in the early months of the crisis. In June, he said he was taking it himself. But that same month, the Food and Drug Administration revoked emergency authorization for the drug for Covid-19 patients and said it was “unlikely to be effective” and carried potential risks. The National Institutes of Health halted clinical trials of the drug.

In addition, studies have repeatedly shown that masks are effective in curbing the spread of the coronavirus.

The trajectory of Monday’s video mirrored that of “Plandemic,” a 26-minute slickly produced narration that spread widely in May and falsely claimed that a shadowy cabal of elites was using the virus and a potential vaccine to profit and gain power. In just over a week, “Plandemic” was viewed more than eight million times on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram before it was taken down.

But the video posted Monday had more views than “Plandemic” within hours of being posted online, even though it was removed much faster. At least one version of the video, viewed by The Times on Facebook, was watched over 16 million times.

Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter deleted several versions of the video on Monday night. All three companies said the video violated their policies on sharing misinformation related to the coronavirus.

On Tuesday morning, Twitter also took action against Donald Trump Jr. after he shared a link to the video. A spokesman for Twitter said the company had ordered Mr. Trump to delete the misleading tweet and said it would “limit some account functionality for 12 hours.” Twitter took a similar action against Kelli Ward, the Arizona Republican Party chairwoman, who also tweeted the video.

No action was taken against the president, who retweeted multiple clips of the same video to his 84.2 million followers Monday night. The original posts have since been removed.

When asked about the video on Tuesday, Mr. Trump continued to defend the doctors involved and the treatments they are backing.

“For some reason the internet wanted to take them down and took them off,” the president said. “I think they are very respected doctors. There was a woman who was spectacular in her statements about it, that she’s had tremendous success with it and they took her voice off. I don’t know why they took her off. Maybe they had a good reason, maybe they didn’t.”

Facebook and YouTube did not answer questions about multiple versions of the video that remained online on Tuesday afternoon. Twitter said it was “continuing to take action on new and existing tweets with the video.”

The members of the group behind Monday’s video say they are physicians treating patients infected with the coronavirus. But it was unclear where many of them practice medicine or how many patients they had actually seen. As early as May, anti-Obamacare conservative activists called the Tea Party Patriots Action reportedly worked with some of them to advocate loosening states’ restrictions on elective surgeries and nonemergency care. On July 15, the group registered a website called “America’s Frontline Doctors,” domain registration records show.

One of the first copies of the video that appeared on Monday was posted to the Tea Party Patriots’ YouTube channel, alongside other videos featuring the members of “America’s Frontline Doctors.”

The doctors have also been promoted by conservatives like Brent Bozell, founder of the Media Research Center, a nonprofit media organization.



9) Help Me Find Trump’s ‘Anarchists’ in Portland
The president has his politically driven narrative. And then there’s reality.
By Nicholas Kristof, Opinion Columnist, July 29, 2020

A member of the Wall of Moms protesting near the Hatfield Federal Courthouse in Portland, Ore. Credit...Christopher Lee for The New York Times

PORTLAND, Ore. — I’ve been on the front lines of the protests here, searching for the “radical-left anarchists” who President Trump says are on Portland streets each evening.

I thought I’d found one: a man who for weeks leapt into the fray and has been shot four times with impact munitions yet keeps coming back. I figured he must be a crazed anarchist.

But no, he turned out to be Dr. Bryan Wolf, a radiologist who wears his white doctor’s jacket and carries a sign with a red cross and the words “humanitarian aid.” He pleads with federal forces not to shoot or gas protesters.

“Put your gun barrels down!” he cries out. “Why are you loading your grenade launchers? We’re just standing ——”

Dr. Wolf, an assistant professor at Oregon Health Sciences University, helps at a medic stand operated by volunteers from the medical school. Could they be radical-left anarchists? No, they’ve imposed order on the anarchy of the street by establishing qualifications for field medics and a hierarchy among them, so that any badly injured protester will immediately get the right kind of care.

Accomplishing all this while tear gas is swirling and impact munitions are whizzing by, without even asking for insurance cards — that seems the opposite of what fanatical anarchists might do.

Maybe the rioting anarchists were in front of the crowd, where there are discussions about Black Lives Matter? I found musicians and activists and technicians, who were projecting a huge sign on the wall of a nearby building — “Fed Goons Out of PDX” — that seemed a bit geeky for anarchists.

Oh, wait, there was a man using angry language about the federal “occupation” and calling it “abhorrent.” Lots of protesters don’t seem to like him, so could he be a crazed anarchist rioter?

Oops, no, that’s just Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, sputtering after being tear-gassed by the feds.

Then I heard someone calling for the overthrow of Portland’s “leadership,” and I’d figured I’d finally found an anarchist. But it turned out to be Maria Bartiromo of Fox News, asking Chad Wolf, the acting head of homeland security, “Why can’t you just arrest the leadership in Portland because of their ignoring what’s really happening on the ground?”

She may be a crazed anarchist trying to topple legitimate authority, but I doubt she’s the kind Trump meant.

OK, I’ll fess up: Sure there are anarchists and antifa activists in the Portland protests, just as there are radiologists and electricians, lawyers and mechanics. Report on the ground here and any single narrative feels too simplistic. The protesters aren’t all peaceful, nor are they primarily violent. They’re a complicated weave, differing by time of day.

In the evening, the throngs are entirely peaceful, listening to speeches about Black Lives Matter, and the authorities do not intervene. Then, as if following a script, about 11 p.m. some protesters begin to shoot fireworks or set small trash fires. (No, they’re not trying to burn down the federal courthouse, as Wolf suggests.)

Some of these late-night protesters try to provoke the federal forces, partly to show how federal agents overreact with indiscriminate force. Meanwhile, Trump is deploying federal forces to provoke protesters into using violence that he can campaign on.

Provocateurs are found in both the streets and the White House.

We see dueling narratives. One is Trump’s, and it portrays Portland and other cities with protests against police brutality as teetering on the abyss and requiring his Lincolnesque hand to hold America together. The other is — well, shall we call it reality? Yes, there’s violence and vandalism, as well as opportunistic looting, and it’ll be a challenge to manage it, but local officials are much better placed to do so than the White House.

Oregon and Trump administration officials on Wednesday announced an agreement to reduce tensions around the federal courthouse. But the timing and extent of the withdrawal of federal forces was unclear.

I’m against all violent attacks on officers, and I worry that Trump’s provocations are succeeding in seeding violence — as we’ve already seen in Seattle, Oakland and elsewhere. Every time angry progressives burn a building down, they win votes for Trump.

That’s what this is about: politics. The big threat in Portland and across America is not anarchists but Covid-19, so Trump welcomes street clashes to change the subject. If he actually cared about the defacement of the federal courthouse in Portland, he would remove the graffiti; instead, he leaves it there for photo ops. It’s the protesters, not the federal authorities, who deploy teams each night in Portland to clean up the area around the courthouse.

It also must be said that while there’s violence from both sides, what I’ve seen firsthand is that the most violent behavior overwhelmingly comes from the federal agents, and indeed the most serious injuries have been suffered by protesters. Your federal tax dollars paid to shoot a man in the face with a “less lethal” munition — an unprovoked assault that left him with a fractured skull and possible brain damage.

If you want to call one side “rioters” or “anarchists” working to create tumult in Portland, it’s the uninvited feds who qualify.



10) An Extra $600 a Week Kept Many Jobless Workers Afloat. Now What Will They Do?
A supplement to unemployment benefits is at an end, and Congress is deadlocked over new aid. For some, that means hunger, evictions or bankruptcies.
By Patricia Cohen, Ben Casselman and Gillian Friedman, July 29, 2020

Sara Gard has been without work since the beginning of April. “When the $600 is gone, we’re going to totally have to rethink our lives,” she said of the federal supplement to weekly unemployment pay. Credit...Lynsey Weatherspoon for The New York Times

For Sara Gard, the government’s safety net moved smoothly into place when the coronavirus pandemic upended her family’s lives. Jobless benefit checks began arriving a few days after she was furloughed in April from an entertainment company in Atlanta. A $600 weekly supplement, part of an emergency federal program, would cover the mortgage until her company resumed operations — probably in June.

June came and went, and the reopening was pushed to August. Now August is near, the business is still shuttered and the weekly benefit booster has run out.

“When the $600 is gone, we’re going to totally have to rethink our lives because we don’t have a way to pay the mortgage,” Ms. Gard said. Without it, her weekly benefits from the state total $300. Her mortgage is $1,700 a month.

Ms. Gard is one of roughly 30 million Americans who are getting unemployment payments — a staggering figure that reflects one of the country’s most calamitous economic events.

But the stark urgency that faces families perilously close to losing their homes, skipping medical treatments or missing meals because they can’t afford food has not extended to Washington. More than two months after House Democrats approved another round of emergency relief, Senate Republicans and the White House put forward a proposal this week with far different priorities. Rather than restoring the $600 supplement, they would replace it with a $200 payment, saying the larger sum discourages looking for work.

The Gards recognize that they and their two children are luckier than many families. Already nearly 11 percent of Americans say they live in households where there is not enough to eat, according to a recent survey by the Census Bureau. More than a quarter have missed a rent or mortgage payment and doubt they will make the next one. Forty percent of adults have delayed getting medical care.

Ms. Gard’s husband, Matt, has kept his hospital maintenance job, and her employer of 15 years continues to pay its portion of the cost of her medical insurance.

But she has to come up with her part — $350 a month — while dealing with several other bills. “I am our family’s major breadwinner,” said Ms. Gard, 39, who had just gotten a raise that lifted her annual salary to $80,000.

They also have some savings — a comfort when more than 40 percent of American households lack cash to cover an unexpected $400 expense. That cushion was crucial last week when the Gards’ air-conditioning system suddenly died. The repair gobbled up what would have been a few months’ worth of mortgage payments.

Delaying wasn’t an option, Ms. Gard explained: “Georgia in August.”

Without further information on when she might be rehired, Ms. Gard has started updating her résumé, and reaching out to recruiters and contacts on LinkedIn.

Then her school district announced that all teaching would be online in the fall. Her mother, 71, used to pitch in to care for her children, 2 and 5, but Ms. Gard worries about the health risk, so child care is another issue.

“I have the month of August to figure out where September’s mortgage payment and everything else will come from,” she said.

As the economy falters, pain is everywhere. Assistance, though, is more uneven.

Normally, individual states run their own unemployment programs, setting different benefit levels and eligibility rules. On average, benefits replace about 45 percent of a worker’s weekly paycheck. Freelance, self-employed and part-time workers, who didn’t qualify for state benefits but received funds through the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, tended to get a much smaller fraction of their previous earnings.

That is where the extra $600 a week came in. It was meant to make up for lost income and ensure recipients had enough money to buy food, pay rent, keep the lights on, afford medical prescriptions or make car payments. Lawmakers settled on a lump sum as the quickest and easiest way to deliver assistance — given the limited capabilities of already overwhelmed state unemployment networks.

The money was crucial in supplying the economy with fuel to keep the engine going, economists say. Like any one-size-fits-all measure, however, the $600 supplement fell outside the target zone in many instances. Roughly two-thirds of workers ended up with more income than they would have earned had they not lost their jobs. The windfalls angered critics who warned of ballooning government expenditures and disincentives to work — despite a severe shortage of available jobs.

Some recipients said they could manage without the bonus. Kimberly Zaiger, for example, lost her job as a convention services manager at a hotel in San Antonio, Texas, in March. The extra money “was helpful,” she said, enabling her to offer some financial help to her grown children, but “not crucial.”

Ms. Zaiger, 52, will still get $521 a week in regular state jobless benefits in addition to a share of her ex-husband’s military pension. She also has savings and a fiancé who is working and splits some bills.

“I’ve been crunching the numbers and prioritizing and I’ll be fine,” she said.

But for others, the weekly $600 made the difference between staying afloat and ruin.

Rebecca Mallery, 46, was cobbling together a living from three jobs when the coronavirus shut the economy. She lost them all on the same day: March 15.

Her earnings had averaged less than $250 a week — compared with the $600 in supplemental pandemic unemployment assistance that arrived with her unemployment insurance.

But without any supplement, she faces bankruptcy.

She qualifies for unemployment benefits for only one of her jobs, a part-time gig conducting surveys for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. That comes to $96 a week. With that and a small monthly disability check, she has enough to cover her $815 in monthly rent, but not much else.

A single mother with a 9-year-old son, Ms. Mallery lives just across the Nevada border in Arizona and has been looking for work. But with the tourism industry struggling, there isn’t much available.

“There’s just nothing left out there right now,” she said. Even if there were, she wonders how she would manage if schools don’t fully reopen and she has to look after her son during the day. “How do you go to work?” she said. “When you’re a single parent, that leaves you with nothing, there are no options.”

She worries that a job that involves contact with the public puts her at higher risk of exposing her mother, who has cancer, to the virus.

When the Lowe’s near her reopened, though, she quickly applied. “I was out in the garden center, shuffling around cactuses in 100-degree heat, but it was great,” she said. “I was glad to be working.” But she picked up only a couple of shifts.

With the extra unemployment benefits running out and little hope of finding steady work, Ms. Mallery is applying for subsidized housing, even though she hates to leave her townhouse, which has three bedrooms and a yard where her son can play.

“I can’t use any of my credit cards anymore — they’re all maxed out,” she said. “I’m going to have to declare bankruptcy.”

Congressional Democrats have pushed for another $3 trillion relief package that would preserve the $600 weekly supplements through January. Senate Republicans and the administration have countered with a $1 trillion proposal that would reduce the extra benefit to $200.

That smaller sum would more than replace what Ms. Mallery earned from her three jobs before the pandemic. Other workers, though, would be left without enough to cover the essentials.

In Chicago, more than 1,700 miles away from Ms. Mallery’s home, Grey Parker has been trying to map out a budget for the next few months.

Before the pandemic, he had snagged his dream job, a quality control engineer at Production Resource Group, one of the largest live-entertainment production companies in the world.

As coronavirus lockdowns shut down one live event after another, Mr. Parker was furloughed. His wife’s part-time work cleaning houses dried up as well.

His package of jobless benefits, including the supplement, replaced about half of their $80,000 to $90,000 annual income.

Money was tight, said Mr. Parker, who has a 6-year-old daughter, but “we weren’t worried about food, and we weren’t worried about rent.”

Without the extra weekly benefits, Mr. Parker will receive $350 a week. He contacted his utility company to set up a deferred payment plan and arranged to start receiving food from local food banks.

But he can’t figure out how to keep paying the $1,800 rent for his house beyond September.

“We are now facing potential ruin within a couple of months,” he said.

He also worries about his health. Mr. Parker, 50, has a vascular disease called thrombosis, a blood-clotting disorder that puts him in a high-risk group for complications if he were to contract Covid-19. Even with the $600 supplement, he didn’t have enough money for the $240 monthly cost of continuing his health insurance.

Without insurance, though, the cost of the daily medication he takes to prevent blood clots rose from $10 a month to $500 — far more than he could afford. In the first few weeks of his furlough, he rationed his medication, taking only half the amount he needed, which gave him a frightening series of symptoms: bruising, dizziness and an increased risk of stroke. He recently qualified for emergency assistance from the pharmaceutical company Bristol Myers Squibb, which will provide a 90-day supply. After that, Mr. Parker is unsure of what to do — maybe ask for donations through GoFundMe.

This week, just after the final jobless benefit supplements were sent out, Mr. Parker learned that his company was extending the furlough through September. He hopes to return to work, but doubts that the live-event industry will be back in the fall. Even if it is, he said, his medical condition will make him think twice about returning to work before a vaccine is available.

The weekly $600 premium was a life preserver. “It gave us our one sense of security,” he said. “Now that’s gone.”



11) Trump Has Been Comparing Himself to Nixon. That’s Hooey.
The former president could only dream of wielding the police powers Mr. Trump has seized for himself.
By John W. Dean, Mr. Dean was White House counsel under Richard Nixon, July 31, 2020
Federal troops clearing protesters outside the White House on June 1. Credit...Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

President Trump has been comparing himself to Richard Nixon, tweeting “LAW & ORDER,” and claiming he learned a lot from Nixon. Others have been comparing Mr. Trump’s handling of civil disorder to Nixon’s. No one will ever tag me a Nixon apologist, but in Nixon’s defense these claims are hooey.

I worked for our last authoritarian president, Richard Nixon — a man who experienced violent protests and demonstrations throughout his political career. In 1968, he ran as the “law and order” candidate, for it was a time of tumult: assassinations of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Senator Robert Kennedy. Riots ripped Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Memphis, Washington and other major cities. Civil rights and antiwar protests closed down campuses large and small. There were nightly news reports of endless death from the killing fields of Vietnam, including the Tet offensive and the My Lai massacre.

Nixon was running on credentials established long before the 1968 presidential contest. As vice president, Nixon and his wife traveled though South America, where they frequently were confronted by protesters. Nixon used those protest situations to brandish his I-am-fearless image by walking among the protesters to make clear that he was not intimidated, nor would they influence American policy.

On becoming president in 1969, Nixon inherited a global anti-Vietnam War protest movement that had contributed to the decision of his predecessor, Lyndon Johnson, not to seek re-election.

From his first day in office, Nixon faced huge demonstrations, which he instructed his White House counsel to monitor closely. When I was appointed to that post 18 months into his presidency, I discovered that all of the key intelligence agencies reported domestic and related foreign intelligence about disruptive protests, demonstrations and civil unrest occurring throughout the country to the counsel’s office, where we digested and shared it with the president and senior staff.

For some thousand days I had an exceptional overview of what was being done by Nixon and his aides to deal with often violent unrest, particularly that provoked by those strongly opposed to the war in Vietnam. Nixon’s behavior was vastly different from Mr. Trump’s.

Never once did I hear anyone in the Nixon White House or Justice Department suggest using United States military forces, or any federal officers outside the military, to quell civil unrest or disorder. Nor have I found any evidence of such activity after the fact, when digging through the historical record.

It is well known that on unique occasions presidents had used federal forces for limited purposes before Nixon, as in 1877 when President Rutherford B. Hayes used federal troops to end the railroad strike; and in 1894 when President Grover Cleveland dispatched troops to end the Pullman railroad strike.

Presidents have also sent federal forces to uphold court orders, as in 1957 when President Eisenhower sent troops to Little Rock, Ark., and in 1962 when President Kennedy sent federal forces to Oxford, Miss., in both cases to enforce court orders to desegregate schools.

Mr. Trump, assisted by Attorney General Bill Barr, has assembled a mongrel federal law enforcement operation from the F.B.I., the Department of Homeland Security, the Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Marshals, and other federal agencies to proceed to cities throughout the country: Portland, Ore.; Chicago; Memphis; Oakland, Calif.

Neither governors nor mayors have requested these attack weapon-wielding federal soldiers, a few hundred men with minimal identification dressed up in battlefield camouflage. This unprecedented action is way beyond Nixon’s authoritarianism. And it raises serious questions.

Most conspicuously, for Donald Trump it creates optics he believes he can exploit in his re-election campaign. Indeed, Nixon successfully used images of disorder in 1968, and falsely charged demonstrators in 1972 as working for his opponent when he was running for re-election. But Mr. Trump is provoking disorder by using federal forces, which is quite different.

The reason Attorney General Barr is backing this action is that he believes the president should, in fact, be able to do most anything he wishes, whenever he wants. Mr. Barr is using 200 federal officers here and there today, so tomorrow he can dispatch 2,000 or 20,000. He is making the unprecedented precedented.

Richard Nixon closeted his authoritarianism behind closed doors, and only because he taped himself do we have a good understanding of it. Donald Trump, however, has paraded his authoritarianism in the Rose Garden and at rallies. He wants to be seen as a demagogue.

Nixon did not have an authoritarian Republican Party to support his imperial presidency and was forced to prematurely resign. Mr. Trump has a G.O.P. that seeks to expand his authoritarian presidency. Militarizing federal forces to perform state and local police functions is merely another norm-shattering example.

Mr. Trump’s latest threat is that he will not leave the presidency if he loses. He is making Nixon’s authoritarian behavior look tame.



12) Scared That Covid-19 Immunity Won’t Last? Don’t Be
Dropping antibody counts aren’t a sign that our immune system is failing against the coronavirus, nor an omen that we can’t develop a viable vaccine.
By Akiko Iwasaki and Ruslan Medzhitov, both professors of immunobiology at Yale, July 31, 2020

Antibodies attacking a virus. Our body’s immune system naturally kicks in to fend off infection, but vaccines can do that better. Credit...Christoph Burgstedt/Science Photo Library, via Getty Images

Within the last couple of months, several scientific studies have come out — some peer-reviewed, others not — indicating that the antibody response of people infected with SARS-CoV-2 dropped significantly within two months. The news has sparked fears that the very immunity of patients with Covid-19 may be waning fast — dampening hopes for the development of an effective and durable vaccine.

But these concerns are confused and mistaken.

Both our bodies’ natural immunity and immunity acquired through vaccination serve the same function, which is to inhibit a virus and prevent it from causing a disease. But they don’t always work quite the same way.

And so a finding that naturally occurring antibodies in some Covid-19 patients are fading doesn’t actually mean very much for the likely efficacy of vaccines under development. Science, in this case, can be more effective than nature.

The human immune system has evolved to serve two functions: expediency and precision. Hence, we have two types of immunity: innate immunity, which jumps into action within hours, sometimes just minutes, of an infection; and adaptive immunity, which develops over days and weeks.

Almost all the cells in the human body can detect a viral infection, and when they do, they call on our white blood cells to deploy a defensive response against the infectious agent.

When our innate immune response is successful at containing that pathogen, the infection is resolved quickly and, generally, without many symptoms. In the case of more sustained infections, though, it’s our adaptive immune system that kicks in to offer us protection.

The adaptive immune system consists of two types of white blood cells, called T and B cells, that detect molecular details specific to the virus and, based on that, mount a targeted response to it.

A virus causes disease by entering cells in the human body and hijacking their genetic machinery so as to reproduce itself again and again: It turns its hosts into viral factories.

T cells detect and kill those infected cells. B cells make antibodies, a kind of protein that binds to the viral particles and blocks them from entering our cells; this prevents the replication of the virus and stops the infection in its tracks.

The body then stores the T and B cells that helped eliminate the infection, in case it might need them in the future to fight off the same virus again. These so-called memory cells are the main agents of long-term immunity.

The antibodies produced in response to a common seasonal coronavirus infection last for about a year. But the antibodies generated by a measles infection last, and provide protection, for a lifetime.

Yet it is also the case that with other viruses the amount of antibodies in the blood peaks during an infection and drops after the infection has cleared, often within a few months: This is the fact that has some people worried about Covid-19, but it doesn’t mean what it might seem.

That antibodies decrease once an infection recedes isn’t a sign that they are failing: It’s a normal step in the usual course of an immune response.

Nor does a waning antibody count mean waning immunity: The memory B cells that first produced those antibodies are still around, and standing ready to churn out new batches of antibodies on demand.

And that is why we should be hopeful about the prospects of a vaccine for Covid-19.

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection, generating memory T and B cells that can then provide long-lasting protection in the people who are vaccinated. Yet the immunity created by vaccines differs from the immunity created by a natural infection in several important ways.

Virtually all viruses that infect humans contain in their genomes blueprints for producing proteins that help them evade detection by the innate immune system. For example, SARS-CoV-2 appears to have a gene dedicated to silencing the innate immune system.

Among the viruses that have become endemic in humans, some have also figured out ways to dodge the adaptive immune system: H.I.V.-1 mutates rapidly; herpes viruses deploy proteins that can trap and incapacitate antibodies.

Thankfully, SARS-CoV-2 does not seem to have evolved any such tricks yet — suggesting that we still have an opportunity to stem its spread and the pandemic by pursuing a relatively straightforward vaccine approach.

Vaccines come in different flavors — they can be based on killed or live attenuated viral material, nucleic acids or recombinant proteins. But all vaccines consist of two main components: an antigen and an adjuvant.

The antigen is the part of the virus we want the adaptive immune response to react to and target. The adjuvant is an agent that mimics the infection and helps jump-start the immune response.

One beauty of vaccines — and one of their great advantages over our body’s natural reaction to infections — is that their antigens can be designed to focus the immune response on a virus’s Achilles heel (whatever that may be).

Another advantage is that vaccines allow for different kinds and different doses of adjuvants — and so, for calibration and fine-tuning that can help boost and lengthen immune responses.

The immune response generated against a virus during natural infection is, to some degree, at the mercy of the virus itself. Not so with vaccines.

Since many viruses evade the innate immune system, natural infections sometimes do not result in robust or long-lasting immunity. The human papillomavirus is one of them, which is why it can cause chronic infections. The papillomavirus vaccine triggers a far better antibody response to its viral antigen than does a natural HPV infection: It is almost 100 percent effective in preventing HPV infection and disease.

Not only does vaccination protect against infection and disease; it also blocks viral transmission — and, if sufficiently widespread, can help confer so-called herd immunity to a population.

What proportion of individuals in a given population needs to be immune to a new virus so that the whole group is, in effect, protected depends on the virus’s basic reproduction number — broadly speaking: the average number of people that a single infected person will, in turn, infect.

For measles, which is highly contagious, more than 90 percent of a population must be immunized in order for unvaccinated individuals to also be protected. For Covid-19, the estimated figure — which is unsettled, understandably — ranges between 43 percent and 66 percent.

Given the severe consequences of Covid-19 for many older patients, as well as the disease’s unpredictable course and consequences for the young, the only safe way to achieve herd immunity is through vaccination. That, combined with the fact that SARS-CoV-2 appears not to have yet developed a mechanism to evade detection by our adaptive immune system, is ample reason to double down on efforts to find a vaccine fast.

So do not be alarmed by reports about Covid-19 patients’ dropping antibody counts; those are irrelevant to the prospects of finding a viable vaccine.

Remember instead that more than 165 vaccine candidates already are in the pipeline, some showing promising early trial results.

And start thinking about how best to ensure that when that vaccine comes, it will be distributed efficiently and equitably.

Akiko Iwasaki is the Waldemar Von Zedtwitz Professor in the Department of Immunobiology and a Professor in the Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology at Yale. Ruslan Medzhitov is a Sterling Professor in the Department of Immunobiology at Yale School of Medicine. Both are investigators at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.



13) The Nightmare on Pennsylvania Avenue
Trump is the kind of boss who can’t do the job — and won’t go away.
By Paul Krugman, Opinion Columnist, July 30, 2020

President Trump’s response to the coronavirus has been a disaster both epidemiological and economic. Credit...Stefani Reynolds for The New York Times

Every worker’s nightmare is the horrible boss — everyone knows at least one — who is utterly incompetent yet refuses to step aside. Such bosses have the reverse Midas touch — everything they handle turns to crud — but they’ll pull out every stop, violate every norm, to stay in that corner office. And they damage, sometimes destroy, the institutions they’re supposed to lead.

Donald Trump is, of course, one of those bosses. Unfortunately, he’s not just a bad business executive. He is, God help us, the president. And the institution he may destroy is the United States of America.

Has any previous president failed his big test as thoroughly as Trump has these past few months? He rejected the advice of health experts and pushed for a rapid economic reopening, hoping for a boom leading into the election. He ridiculed and belittled measures that would have helped slow the spread of the coronavirus, including wearing face masks and practicing social distancing, turning what should have been common sense into a front in the culture war.

The result has been disaster both epidemiological and economic.

Over the past week the U.S. death toll from Covid-19 averaged more than 1,000 people a day, compared with just four — four! — per day in Germany. Vice President Mike Pence’s mid-June declaration that “There isn’t a coronavirus ‘second wave’” felt like whistling in the dark even at the time; now it feels like a sick joke.

And all those extra deaths don’t seem to have bought us anything in terms of economic performance. America’s economic contraction in the first half of 2020 was almost identical to the contraction in Germany, despite our far higher death toll. And while life in Germany has in many ways returned to normal, a variety of indicators suggest that after two months of rapid job growth, the U.S. recovery is stalling in the face of a resurgent pandemic.

Wait, it gets worse. Trump, his officials and their allies in the Senate have been totally committed to the idea that the U.S. economy will experience a stunningly rapid recovery despite the wave of new infections and deaths. They bought into that view so completely that they seem incapable of taking on board the overwhelming evidence that it isn’t happening.

Just a few days ago Larry Kudlow, Trump’s top economist, insisted that a so-called V-shaped recovery was still on track and that “unemployment claims and continuing claims are falling rapidly.” In fact, both are rising.

But because the Trump team insisted that a roaring recovery was coming, and refused to notice that it wasn’t happening, we’ve now stumbled into a completely gratuitous economic crisis.

Thanks to Republican inaction, millions of unemployed workers have seen their last checks from the Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program, which was meant to sustain them through a coronavirus-ravaged economy; the virus is still raging, but their life support has been cut off.

So Trump has completely botched his job, bringing unnecessary pain to millions of Americans and unnecessary death to thousands. He may not care, but voters do. So he should be trying to turn things around, if only as a matter of political and personal self-interest.

But here’s the thing: Even if Trump were the kind of guy who could learn from his mistakes, it’s too late. If we had found ourselves in our current situation a year ago, there might still have been time for Trump to get the virus under control and turn the economy around. But the election is just around the corner.

Suppose that the numbers on deaths and jobs were to get somewhat better over the next three months. How much would that improve voters’ views of the denier in chief? How much credence would the public give, even to genuinely good news, after the false dawn this past spring? At this point Trump is simply a failed president, and everyone except his die-hard supporters knows it.

But as I said at the beginning, Trump is one of those nightmare bosses who can’t do the job but won’t step aside.

So of course he’s now talking about delaying the election. This was predictable; indeed, Joe Biden predicted it months ago, amid much mockery from pundits (none of whom, I predict, will apologize).

Now, Trump can’t do that. There will be an election on Nov. 3. But what Trump can do, if he loses, is claim that the election was stolen, that there were millions of fraudulent votes, that the results aren’t legitimate. Hey, he did that after losing the popular vote in 2016, even though he won the Electoral College.

Such antics almost surely wouldn’t let him stay in the White House, although the process of getting him out may be … interesting. But they could produce a lot of chaos and quite possibly some violence across the nation. And anyone who doesn’t think disgruntled Trump supporters would try to sabotage a Biden administration — including its efforts to deal with the pandemic — hasn’t been paying attention.

This is what happens when you put a horrible boss in charge of running the country. And nobody can say when, if ever, the damage will be repaired.



14) Native Americans Feel Devastated by the Virus Yet Overlooked in the Data
Statistical gaps can make it difficult to properly allocate public resources to Native Americans. When that’s the case, one leader said, “tribal nations have an effective death sentence.”
By Kate Conger, Robert Gebeloff and Richard A. Oppel Jr., July 30, 2020, Updated July 31, 2020
Tashina Nunez, a nurse and a Yakama Nation descendant, said it appeared that many of the coronavirus patients at her hospital in Washington State were Native Americans. Credit...Mason Trinca for The New York Times

HARRAH, Wash. — As the coronavirus outbreak in Washington State’s Yakima County worsened last month, Tashina Nunez recognized more and more of the patients who arrived in her hospital. They had coughs, fevers and, in some severe cases, respiratory failure. And many of them were her acquaintances and neighbors, members of the tribes that make up the Yakama Nation.

Ms. Nunez, a nurse at a hospital in Yakima County and a Yakama Nation descendant, noticed that Native Americans, who make up about 7 percent of the county’s population, seemed to account for many of the hospital’s virus patients. Because the hospital does not routinely record race and ethnicity data, she said, it was hard for Ms. Nunez to know for certain.

“Not being counted is not new to us,” she said. Without firm figures, she and other health care providers for Native communities said they struggled to know where or how to intervene to stop the spread. “You don’t know how bad it is until it’s too late,” Ms. Nunez said.

By mid-July, more than 650 members of the Yakama Nation, in central Washington State, had contracted the virus — about 6 percent of the total membership. Twenty-eight people have died, Delano Saluskin, chairman of the Yakama Nation, said in a video update.

“We all grieve those losses,” he said. “This has been devastating for many families on the reservation and it means that, every week, a family member is impacted.”

The situation among the Yakama Nation is not unique. Even with significant gaps in the data that is available, there are strong indications that Native Americans have been disproportionately affected by the coronavirus.

The rate of known cases in the eight counties with the largest populations of Native Americans is nearly double the national average, a New York Times analysis has found. The analysis cannot determine which individuals are testing positive for the virus, but these counties are home to one in six U.S. residents who describe themselves in census surveys as non-Hispanic and American Indian or Alaska Native.

And there are many smaller counties with significant populations of Native Americans that have elevated case rates, including Yakima County. The Times identified at least 15 counties that have elevated case rates and are home to sizable numbers of Native American residents. Those counties ranged from large metropolitan areas in Arizona to rural communities in Nebraska and Mississippi.

“I feel as though tribal nations have an effective death sentence when the scale of this pandemic, if it continues to grow, exceeds the public resources available,” said Fawn Sharp, the president of the Quinault Indian Nation and of the National Congress of American Indians.

The situation has been stark in the Navajo Nation, where high infection rates have created a crisis in the largest reservation in the United States. But health officials say the same worrying trends are repeating in Native communities across the country, and congressional leaders have prompted the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights to examine the health disparities compounded by the pandemic.

In New Mexico, Native American and Alaska Native people have accounted for nearly 40 percent of virus cases even though they make up 9 percent of the population.

Native Americans in the Phoenix area have been infected at four times the rate of their white neighbors. The Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation extended a shelter-in-place order on July 18 because infections were continuing to multiply. The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community also reported mounting infections this month.

Outbreaks have been reported among the Lumbee Tribe in North Carolina, Choctaw communities in Oklahoma and Mississippi, and at two reservations in Thurston County, Neb.

Hospitalization rates published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also suggest that Native Americans are overrepresented among those who become seriously ill from the virus. The data about Covid-19 is collected from a sample of counties and provides an incomplete picture, but the conclusion is unsurprising to epidemiologists who study the health of Native Americans.

“The disparities we see there with Covid are aligned with those that we see for hospitalizations and deaths due to influenza and other respiratory viruses,” said Allison Barlow, director of the Center for American Indian Health at Johns Hopkins University.

Native Americans — particularly those living on reservations — are more prone to contract the virus because of crowded housing conditions that make social distancing difficult, she said. And years of underfunded health systems, food and water insecurity and other factors contribute to underlying health conditions that can make the illness more severe once contracted.

Yet understanding the extent of how Native American people have been disproportionately affected by Covid-19 is extremely difficult.

Calculating how many people who identify as Native American have had the virus and how many have died of it is nearly impossible because federal data tracking individual coronavirus cases often omits information about the race and ethnicity of people; such information is missing from about half the cases reported to the C.D.C., which serves as a clearinghouse for cases reported by state and local authorities.

Even when such information is collected, it is uncertain how accurate it is. Miscounting can begin at testing sites and health clinics, public health officials said, where health care workers sometimes do not record a patient’s race and ethnicity data, or simply guess without asking a patient.

Hospitalization rates published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also suggest that Native Americans are overrepresented among those who become seriously ill from the virus. The data about Covid-19 is collected from a sample of counties and provides an incomplete picture, but the conclusion is unsurprising to epidemiologists who study the health of Native Americans.

“The disparities we see there with Covid are aligned with those that we see for hospitalizations and deaths due to influenza and other respiratory viruses,” said Allison Barlow, director of the Center for American Indian Health at Johns Hopkins University.

Native Americans — particularly those living on reservations — are more prone to contract the virus because of crowded housing conditions that make social distancing difficult, she said. And years of underfunded health systems, food and water insecurity and other factors contribute to underlying health conditions that can make the illness more severe once contracted.

Yet understanding the extent of how Native American people have been disproportionately affected by Covid-19 is extremely difficult.

Calculating how many people who identify as Native American have had the virus and how many have died of it is nearly impossible because federal data tracking individual coronavirus cases often omits information about the race and ethnicity of people; such information is missing from about half the cases reported to the C.D.C., which serves as a clearinghouse for cases reported by state and local authorities.

Even when such information is collected, it is uncertain how accurate it is. Miscounting can begin at testing sites and health clinics, public health officials said, where health care workers sometimes do not record a patient’s race and ethnicity data, or simply guess without asking a patient.

“It was physical torture,” he said, adding that one of his most debilitating symptoms was a constant eye irritation that he described like “a bad sunburn, but inside your eyes.” Still, he felt fortunate that he and his wife recovered after about three weeks, because he had seen a few older couples on the reservation die.

The Peacekeeper Society operates a weekly food giveaway and delivers food and cleaning supplies to households where people have fallen ill. Mr. Jim said he suspected he caught the virus while out on such a delivery.

As soon as he recovered, Mr. Jim said, he returned to his work distributing food. On a hot July afternoon, he helped distribute boxes filled with potatoes, zucchini, cabbage and onions to a line of hundreds of cars. Families could choose between chicken and salmon waiting in two kiddie pools stocked with ice.

Adding to the toll of the virus among Native Americans has been swift and grim economic fallout. “People lost jobs really quick,” he said. “We went from serving a dozen people a week to hundreds.”

Tribal epidemiology centers have fought for months to obtain case information from the C.D.C., and are only now receiving snippets of what they requested, several of the dozen centers in the United States said. Without an accurate portrait of the rates of illness within their populations, tribal nations have struggled to receive federal funds aimed at economic recovery and protective gear.

“I think this historic, deep neglect is just coming into sharper focus because of Covid,” said Liz Malerba, policy and legislative affairs director for the United South and Eastern Tribes, a tribal epidemiology center. “It’s always been there, but now you are seeing more clearly what the depths are.”

A spokeswoman from the C.D.C. said the agency was working to fill gaps in its data to better understand the impact of the virus.

“There is still more work to be done to ensure complete race and ethnicity data in the case report forms,” said the spokeswoman, Jasmine Reed. Since April, the agency has increased its collection of race and ethnicity data from patients tested for the coronavirus, she said.

Ms. Malerba said many tribes did not receive federal emergency funds equal to their needs because the Treasury Department allocated the money using census data that undercounted tribal memberships.

“If you eliminate us in the data, you have effectively eliminated us for the allocation of resources,” said Abigail Echo-Hawk, the director of the Urban Indian Health Institute.

In California, tribal epidemiologists have tried to uncover cases themselves. The California Department of Public Health publishes a daily count of coronavirus cases, and California Tribal Epidemiology Center pulls data from that tally in order to track the virus among the 87,000 Native people who access tribal health programs in the state.

“We can only see the number but we don’t know more information about them, where they reside, their specific symptoms,” said Aurimar Ayala, the center’s epidemiology manager. “It means we cannot further investigate those cases.”

She added that the epidemiology center had created a workaround by contacting local clinics and tracking down the cases, but said that it was a cumbersome solution.

Although health officials are still struggling to fully understand the impact of the coronavirus on Native American people, the severity of the crisis in Yakama Nation is clear to residents, some said.

“It’s devastating to our community,” Ms. Nunez said. “We have these elders that have lived through residential schools and the outlawing of their own religion — they’ve been keeping this culture alive and now Covid hits and it’s taking them from us.”

Kate Conger reported from Harrah, and Robert Gebeloff and Richard A. Oppel Jr. from New York. Sarah Cahalan contributed reporting from Chicago.



15) The Tragedy of Vaccine Nationalism
Only Cooperation Can End the Pandemic
By Thomas J. Bollyky and Chad P. Bown, July 27, 2020
A coronavirus researcher in Singapore, March 2020
Joseph Campbell / Reuters

Trump administration officials have compared the global allocation of vaccines against the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 to oxygen masks dropping inside a depressurizing airplane. “You put on your own first, and then we want to help others as quickly as possible,” Peter Marks, a senior official at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration who oversaw the initial phases of vaccine development for the U.S. government, said during a panel discussion in June. The major difference, of course, is that airplane oxygen masks do not drop only in first class—which is the equivalent of what will happen when vaccines eventually become available if governments delay providing access to them to people in other countries.

By early July, there were 160 candidate vaccines against the new coronavirus in development, with 21 in clinical trials. Although it will be months, at least, before one or more of those candidates has been proved to be safe and effective and is ready to be delivered, countries that manufacture vaccines (and wealthy ones that do not) are already competing to lock in early access. And to judge from the way governments have acted during the current pandemic and past outbreaks, it seems highly likely that such behavior will persist. Absent an international, enforceable commitment to distribute vaccines globally in an equitable and rational way, leaders will instead prioritize taking care of their own populations over slowing the spread of COVID-19 elsewhere or helping protect essential health-care workers and highly vulnerable populations in other countries.

That sort of “vaccine nationalism,” or a “my country first” approach to allocation, will have profound and far-reaching consequences. Without global coordination, countries may bid against one another, driving up the price of vaccines and related materials. Supplies of proven vaccines will be limited initially even in some rich countries, but the greatest suffering will be in low- and middle-income countries. Such places will be forced to watch as their wealthier counterparts deplete supplies and will have to wait months (or longer) for their replenishment. In the interim, health-care workers and billions of elderly and other high-risk inhabitants in poorer countries will go unprotected, which will extend the pandemic, increase its death toll, and imperil already fragile health-care systems and economies. In their quest to obtain vaccines, countries without access to the initial stock will search for any form of leverage they can find, including blocking exports of critical vaccine components, which will lead to the breakdown of supply chains for raw ingredients, syringes, and vials. Desperate governments may also strike short-term deals for vaccines with adverse consequences for their long-term economic, diplomatic, and strategic interests. The result will be not only needless economic and humanitarian hardship but also intense resentment against vaccine-hoarding countries, which will imperil the kind of international cooperation that will be necessary to tackle future outbreaks—not to mention other pressing challenges, such as climate change and nuclear proliferation.

It is not too late for global cooperation to prevail over global dysfunction, but it will require states and their political leaders to change course. What the world needs is an enforceable COVID-19 vaccine trade and investment agreement that would alleviate the fears of leaders in vaccine-producing countries, who worry that sharing their output would make it harder to look after their own populations. Such an agreement could be forged and fostered by existing institutions and systems. And it would not require any novel enforcement mechanisms: the dynamics of vaccine manufacturing and global trade generally create layers of interdependence, which would encourage participants to live up to their commitments. What it would require, however, is leadership on the part of a majority of vaccine-manufacturing countries—including, ideally, the United States.


The goal of a vaccine is to raise an immune response so that when a vaccinated person is exposed to the virus, the immune system takes control of the pathogen and the person does not get infected or sick. The vaccine candidates against COVID-19 must be proved to be safe and effective first in animal studies, then in small trials in healthy volunteers, and finally in large trials in representative groups of people, including the elderly, the sick, and the young.

Most of the candidates currently in the pipeline will fail. If one or more vaccines are proved to be safe and effective at preventing infection and a large enough share of a population gets vaccinated, the number of susceptible individuals will fall to the point where the coronavirus will not be able to spread. That population-wide protection, or “herd immunity,” would benefit everyone, whether vaccinated or not.

It is not clear yet whether achieving herd immunity will be possible with this coronavirus. A COVID-19 vaccine may prove to be more like the vaccines that protect against influenza: a critical public health tool that reduces the risk of contracting the disease, experiencing its most severe symptoms, and dying from it, but that does not completely prevent the spread of the virus. Nevertheless, given the potential of vaccines to end or contain the most deadly pandemic in a century, world leaders as varied as French President Emmanuel Macron, Chinese President Xi Jinping, and UN Secretary-General António Guterres have referred to them as global public goods—a resource to be made available to all, with the use of a vaccine in one country not interfering with its use in another.

At least initially, however, that will not be the reality. During the period when global supplies of COVID-19 vaccines remain limited, providing them to some people will necessarily delay access for others. That bottleneck will prevent any vaccine from becoming a truly global public good.

It is not too late for global cooperation to prevail over global dysfunction.
Vaccine manufacturing is an expensive, complex process, in which even subtle changes may alter the purity, safety, or efficacy of the final product. That is why regulators license not just the finished vaccine but each stage of production and each facility where it occurs. Making a vaccine involves purifying raw ingredients; formulating and adding stabilizers, preservatives, and adjuvants (substances that increase the immune response); and packaging doses into vials or syringes. A few dozen companies all over the world can carry out that last step, known as “fill and finish.” And far fewer can handle the quality-controlled manufacture of active ingredients—especially for more novel, sophisticated vaccines, whose production has been dominated historically by just four large multinational firms based in the United States, the United Kingdom, and the European Union. Roughly a dozen other companies now have some ability to manufacture such vaccines at scale, including a few large outfits, such as the Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest producer of vaccines. But most are small manufacturers that would be unable to produce billions of doses.

Further complicating the picture is that some of today’s leading COVID-19 vaccine candidates are based on emerging technologies that have never before been licensed. Scaling up production and ensuring timely approvals for these novel vaccines will be challenging, even for rich countries with experienced regulators. All of this suggests that the manufacture of COVID-19 vaccines will be limited to a handful of countries.

And even after vaccines are ready, a number of factors might delay their availability to nonmanufacturing states. Authorities in producing countries might insist on vaccinating large numbers of people in their own populations before sharing a vaccine with other countries. There might also turn out to be technical limits on the volume of doses and related vaccine materials that companies can produce each day. And poor countries might not have adequate systems to deliver and administer whatever vaccines they do manage to get.

During that inevitable period of delay, there will be many losers, especially poorer countries. But some rich countries will suffer, too, including those that sought to develop and manufacture their own vaccines but bet exclusively on the wrong candidates. By rejecting cooperation with others, those countries will have gambled their national health on hyped views of their own exceptionalism.

And even “winning” countries will needlessly suffer in the absence of an enforceable scheme to share proven vaccines. If health systems collapse under the strain of the pandemic and foreign consumers are ill or dying, there will be less global demand for export-dependent industries in rich countries, such as aircraft or automobiles. If foreign workers are under lockdown and cannot do their jobs, cross-border supply chains will be disrupted, and even countries with vaccine supplies will be deprived of the imported parts and services they need to keep their economies moving.


Forecasts project that the coronavirus pandemic could kill 40 million people and reduce global economic output by $12.5 trillion by the end of 2021. Ending this pandemic as soon as possible is in everyone’s interest. Yet in most capitals, appeals for a global approach have gone unheeded.

In fact, the early months of the pandemic involved a decided shift in the wrong direction. In the face of global shortages, first China; then France, Germany, and the European Union; and finally the United States hoarded supplies of respirators, surgical masks, and gloves for their own hospital workers’ use. Overall, more than 70 countries plus the European Union imposed export controls on local supplies of personal protective equipment, ventilators, or medicines during the first four months of the pandemic. That group includes most of the countries where potential COVID-19 vaccines are being manufactured.

Such hoarding is not new. A vaccine was developed in just seven months for the 2009 pandemic of the influenza A virus H1N1, also known as swine flu, which killed as many as 284,000 people globally. But wealthy countries bought up virtually all the supplies of the vaccine. After the World Health Organization appealed for donations, Australia, Canada, the United States, and six other countries agreed to share ten percent of their vaccines with poorer countries, but only after determining that their remaining supplies would be sufficient to meet domestic needs.

Vaccine allocation resembles the classic game theory problem known as “the prisoner’s dilemma.”
Nongovernmental and nonprofit organizations have adopted two limited strategies to reduce the risk of such vaccine nationalism in the case of COVID-19. First, CEPI (the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations) the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the nongovernmental vaccine partnership known as Gavi, and other donors have developed plans to shorten the queue for vaccines by investing early in the manufacturing and distribution capacity for promising candidates, even before their safety and efficacy have been established. The hope is that doing so will reduce delays in ramping up supplies in poor countries. This approach is sensible but competes with better-resourcednational initiatives to pool scientific expertise and augment manufacturing capacity. What is more, shortening the queue in this manner may exclude middle-income countries such as Pakistan, South Africa, and most Latin American states, which do not meet the criteria for receiving donor assistance. It would also fail to address the fact that the governments of manufacturing countries might seize more vaccine stocks than they need, regardless of the suffering elsewhere.

An alternative approach is to try to eliminate the queue altogether. More than a dozen countries and philanthropies in initial pledges  of $8 billion to the Access to COVID-19 Tools (act) Accelerator, an initiative dedicated to the rapid development and equitable deployment of vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics for COVID-19. The ACT Accelerator, however, has so far failed to attract major vaccine-manufacturing states, including the United States and India. In the United States, the Trump administration has instead devoted nearly $10 billion to Operation Warp Speed, a program designed to deliver hundreds of millions of COVID-19 vaccines by January 2021—but only to Americans. Meanwhile, Adar Poonawalla, the chief executive of the Serum Institute of India, has stated that “at least initially,” any vaccine the company produces will go to India’s 1.3 billion people. Other vaccine developers have made similar statements, pledging that host governments or advanced purchasers will get the early doses if supplies are limited.

Given the lack of confidence that any cooperative effort would be able to overcome such obstacles, more and more countries have tried to secure their own supplies. France, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands formed the Inclusive Vaccine Alliance to jointly negotiate with vaccine developers and producers. That alliance is now part of a larger European Commission effort to negotiate with manufacturers on behalf of EU member states to arrange for advance contracts and to reserve doses of promising candidates. In May, Xi told attendees at the World Health Assembly, the decision-making body of the World Health Organization, that if Beijing succeeds in developing a vaccine, it will share the results with the world, but he did not say when. In June, Anthony Fauci, the director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, expressed skepticism about that claim and told The Wall Street Journal that he expects that the Chinese government will use its vaccines “predominantly for the very large populace of China.” This summer, the United States bought up virtually all the supplies of remdesivir, one of the first drugs proven to work against COVID-19, leaving none for the United Kingdom, the EU,  or most of the rest of the world for three months.


Global cooperation on vaccine allocation would be the most efficient way to disrupt the spread of the virus. It would also spur economies, avoid supply chain disruptions, and prevent unnecessary geopolitical conflict. Yet if all other vaccine-manufacturing countries are being nationalists, no one will have an incentive to buck the trend. In this respect, vaccine allocation resembles the classic game theory problem known as “the prisoner’s dilemma”—and countries are very much acting like the proverbial prisoner.

“If we have learned anything from the coronavirus and swine flu H1N1 epidemic of 2009,” said Peter Navarro, the globalization skeptic whom President Donald Trump appointed in March to lead the U.S. supply chain response to COVID-19, “it is that we cannot necessarily depend on other countries, even close allies, to supply us with needed items, from face masks to vaccines.” Navarro has done his best to make sure everyone else learns this lesson, as well: shortly after he made that statement, the White House slapped export restrictions on U.S.-manufactured surgical masks, respirators, and gloves, including to many poor countries.

By failing to develop a plan to coordinate the mass manufacture and distribution of vaccines, many governments—including the U.S. government—are writing off the potential for global cooperation. Such cooperation remains possible, but it would require a large number of countries to make an enforceable commitment to sharing in order to overcome leaders’ fears of domestic opposition.

The time horizon for most political leaders is short, especially for those facing an imminent election. Many remain unconvinced that voters would understand that the long-term health and economic consequences of the coronavirus spreading unabated abroad are greater than the immediate threat posed by their or their loved ones’ having to wait to be vaccinated at home. And to politicians, the potential for opposition at home may seem like a bigger risk than outrage abroad over their hoarding supplies, especially if it is for a limited time and other countries are seen as likely to do the same.

French President Emmanuel Macron tours a vaccine laboratory in June, 2020
Laurent Cipriani / Reuters
Fortunately, there are ways to weaken this disincentive to cooperate. First, politicians might be more willing to forgo immunizing their entire populations in order to share vaccines with other countries if there were reliable research indicating the number and allocation of doses needed to achieve critical public health objectives at home—such as protecting health-care workers, military personnel, and nursing home staffs; reducing the spread to the elderly and other vulnerable populations; and breaking transmission chains. Having that information would allow elected leaders to pledge to share vaccine supplies with other countries only if they have enough at home to reach those goals. This type of research has long been part of national planning for immunization campaigns. It has revealed, for example, that because influenza vaccines induce a relatively weak immune response in the elderly, older people are much better protected if the vaccination of children, who are the chief spreaders, is prioritized. Such research does not yet exist for COVID-19 but should be part of the expedited clinical trials that companies are currently conducting for vaccine candidates.

A framework agreement on vaccine sharing would also be more likely to succeed if it were undertaken through an established international forum and linked to preventing the export bans and seizures that have disrupted COVID-19-related medical supply chains. Baby steps toward such an agreement have already been taken by a working group of G-20 trade ministers, but that effort needs to be expanded to include public health officials. The result should be a covid-19 vaccine trade and investment agreement, which should include an investment fund to purchase vaccines in advance and allocate them, once they have been proved to be safe and effective, on the basis of public health need rather than the size of any individual country’s purse. Governments would pay into the investment fund on a subscription basis, with escalating, nonrefundable payments tied to the number of vaccine doses they secured and other milestones of progress. Participation of the poorest countries should be heavily subsidized or free. Such an agreement could leverage the international organizations that already exist for the purchase and distribution of vaccines and medications for HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria. The agreement should include an enforceable commitment on the part of participating countries to not place export restrictions on supplies of vaccines and related materials destined for other participating countries.

The agreement could stipulate that if a minimum number of vaccine--producing countries did not participate, it would not enter into force, reducing the risk to early signatories. Some manufacturers would be hesitant to submit to a global allocation plan unless the participating governments committed to indemnification, allowed the use of product liability insurance, or agreed to a capped injury-compensation program to mitigate the manufacturers’ risk. Linking the agreement to existing networks of regulators, such as the International Coalition of Medicines Regulatory Authorities, might help ease such concerns and would also help create a more transparent pathway to the licensing of vaccines, instill global confidence, reduce development costs, and expedite access in less remunerative markets.


Even if policymakers can be convinced about the benefits of sharing, cooperation will remain a nonstarter if there is nothing to prevent countries from reneging on an agreement and seizing local supplies of a vaccine once it has been proved to be safe and effective. Cooperation will ensue only when countries are convinced that it can be enforced.

The key thing to understand is that allocating COVID-19 vaccines will not be a one-off experience: multiple safe and effective vaccines may eventually emerge, each with different strengths and benefits. If one country were to deny others access to an early vaccine, those other countries could be expected to reciprocate by withholding potentially more effective vaccines they might develop later. And game theory makes clear that, even for the most selfish players, incentives for cooperation improve when the game is repeated and players can credibly threaten quick and effective punishment for cheating.

Which vaccine turns out to be most effective may vary by the target patient population and setting. Some may be more suitable for children or for places with limited refrigeration. Yet because the various vaccine candidates still in development require different ingredients and different types of manufacturing facilities, no one country, not even the United States, will be able to build all the facilities that may later prove useful.

Today’s vaccine supply chains are unavoidably global.
Today’s vaccine supply chains are also unavoidably global. The country lucky enough to manufacture the first proven vaccine is unlikely to have all the inputs necessary to scale up and sustain production. For example, a number of vaccine candidates use the same adjuvant, a substance produced from a natural compound extracted from the Chilean soapbark tree. This compound comes mostly from Chile and is processed in Sweden. Although Chile and Sweden do not manufacture vaccines, they would be able to rely on their control of the limited supply of this input to ensure access to the eventual output. Vaccine supply chains abound with such situations. Because the science has not settled on which vaccine will work best, it is impossible to fully anticipate and thus prepare for all the needed inputs.

The Trump administration, as well as some in Congress, has blamed the United States’ failure to produce vast supplies of everything it needs to respond to COVID-19 on “dependency.” But when it comes to creating an enforceable international vaccine agreement, complex cross-border supply chains are a feature, not a bug. Even countries without vaccine-manufacturing capacity can credibly threaten to hold up input supplies to the United States or other vaccine-manufacturing countries if they engage in vaccine nationalism.

The Trump administration was reminded of this dynamic in April, when the president invoked the Defense Production Act and threatened to ban exports to Canada and Mexico of respirators made by 3M. Had Trump followed through, Canada could have retaliated by halting exports of hospital-grade pulp that U.S. companies needed to produce surgical masks and gowns. Or Canada could have stopped Canadian nurses and hospital workers from crossing the border into Michigan, where they were desperately needed to treat American patients. Mexico, for its part, could have cut off the supply of motors and other components that U.S. companies needed to make ventilators. The White House seemed unaware of these potential vulnerabilities. Once it got up to speed, the administration backed off.

Of course, the Trump administration should have already learned that trading partners—even historical allies—are willing and able to swiftly and effectively retaliate against one another if someone breaks an agreement. In early 2018, this was apparently an unknown—at least to Navarro. Explaining why Trump was planning to put tariffs on steel and aluminum, Navarro reassured Americans: “I don’t believe there is any country in the world that is going to retaliate,” he declared. After Trump imposed the duties, Canada, Mexico, and the European Union, along with China, Russia, and Turkey, all immediately retaliated. The EU went through a similar learning experience in March. The European Commission originally imposed a broad set of export restrictions on personal protective equipment. It was forced to quickly scale them back after realizing that cutting off non-EU members, such as Norway and Switzerland, could imperil the flow of parts that companies based in the EU needed to supply the eu’s own member states with medical supplies.

American and European policymakers now understand—or at least should understand—that what they don’t know about cross-border flows can hurt them. Paradoxically, this lack of information may help convince skeptical policymakers to maintain the interdependence needed to fight the pandemic. Not knowing what they don’t know reduces the risk that governments will renege on a deal tomorrow that is in their own best interest to sign on to today.


When the oxygen masks drop in a depressurizing plane, they drop at the same time in every part of the plane because time is of the essence and because that is the best way to ensure the safety of all onboard. The same is true of the global, equitable allocation of safe and effective vaccines against COVID-19.

Vaccine nationalism is not just morally and ethically reprehensible: it is contrary to every country’s economic, strategic, and health interests. If rich, powerful countries choose that path, there will be no winners—ultimately, every country will be a loser. The world is not doomed to learn this the hard way, however. All the necessary tools exist to forge an agreement that would encourage cooperation and limit the appeal of shortsighted “my country first” approaches.

But time is running out: the closer the world gets to the day when the first proven vaccines emerge, the less time there is to set up an equitable, enforceable system for allocating them. As a first step, a coalition of political leaders from countries representing at least 50 percent of global vaccine-manufacturing capacity must get together and instruct their public health officials and trade ministers to get out of their silos and work together. Combining forces, they should hammer out a short-term agreement that articulates the conditions for sharing, including with the legions of poorer, nonmanufacturing countries, and makes clear what would happen to participants who subsequently reneged and undertook vaccine nationalism. Such a step would get the ball rolling and convince even more of the manufacturing countries to sign on. The fear of missing out on vaccine access, in the event their countries’ own vaccine candidates fail, may be what it takes to pressure even today’s most reluctant leaders to cooperate.



























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