7/07/2020

BAY AREA UNITED AGAINST WAR NEWSLETTER, JULY 7, 2020



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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.

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

—Unknown source




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The San Francisco Mime Troupe will not be performing their traditional live show in Sana Cruz this year.  Instead they are offering one of their classic shows with a timely theme to stream online.

Watch FREEDOMLAND now through July 19 for a ticket price of 99 cents.  This non-profit theater troupe will also appreciate an additional donation.

-Jeffrey Smedberg
Reel Work Labor Film Festival

The San Francisco Mime Troupe’s FREEDOMLAND 
available online Monday, July 6 - Sunday, July 19!
In 2015 the Tony award-winning San Francisco Mime Troupe presented an original tragic farce - FREEDOMLAND - to critical praise in parks around the Bay Area, and in theaters across California. FREEDOMLAND is the story of the lengths a Black man will go to in order to keep his grandson safe and alive in a country that seems to prefer Black men in jail or dead. Pulling no punches while still managing to be comedic, FREEDOMLAND was a brutal, tragic, yet in the Mime Troupe tradition sardonic look at the results of the War on Drugs, how fear is used as a weapon of racial oppression, and how police violence destroys Black lives in our police state. And now, for the first time, the San Francisco Mime                                                           Troupe will be making one of its most hard-hitting shows available for a limited time online!

Visit www.sfmt.org for more details, and see the show 
anytime between July 6 to July 19 on Vimeo.

See FREEDOMLAND for FREE but a suggested 
donation of $20 is greatly appreciated!
Watch a trailer!
SF Mime Troupe is a 501c3 nonprofit organization, tax ID 94-1602975.
All contributions are tax-deductible to the extent allowable by law.
Donate Today to FREEDOMLAND!
We also accept checks made out to SFMT.
(And we get your full donation, no third party charges when you send a check!)
Mail to: 855 Treat Ave, SF, CA 94110

San Francisco Mime Troupe | 855 Treat Ave, San Francisco, CA 94110

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Thanks for your support!


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

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o5TmORitlKk

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
https://www.greggshotwell.com

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



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"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


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CODEPINK.ORG


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

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

Tell Blackrock: stop investing in Tasers!

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

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

Tell Blackrock: stop investing in Tasers!

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

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

Donate Now!

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

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

SAY HIS NAME!


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


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Kimberly Jones

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

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


Kimberly Jones on YouTube 


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

So what has protesting accomplished?

馃憠馃従Within 10 days of sustained protests:
Minneapolis bans use of choke holds.

馃憠馃従Charges are upgraded against Officer Chauvin, and his accomplices are arrested and charged.

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

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

馃憠馃従In Maryland, a bipartisan work group of state lawmakers announced a police reform work group.

馃憠馃従Los Angeles City Council introduces motion to reduce LAPD’s $1.8 billion operating budget.

馃憠馃従MBTA in Boston agrees to stop using public buses to transport police officers to protests.

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

馃憠馃従Monuments celebrating confederates are removed in cities in Virginia, Alabama, and other states.

馃憠馃従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:

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

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

馃挀The self-reflection.

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

Globally:

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

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

馃寧 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.

馃寧 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.

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

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

✊馃徑 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."

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

✊馃従 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

✊馃従 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.

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

馃拹 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Keep protesting.

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

How beautiful is that?

ALL LIVES CANNOT MATTER UNTIL YOU INCLUDE BLACK LIVES.

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

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

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

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

馃枻馃枻馃枻BLACK LIVES MATTER馃枻馃枻馃枻

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

*I do not know the original author*

Copy & paste widely!


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BLACK LIVES MATTER


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


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





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

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



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Credit...

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Trump Comic Satire—A Proposal
          By Shakaboona

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Frida Berrigan's Statement


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

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

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

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

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

Liz's Statement

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

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

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

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

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This will make you smile!


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


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


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

Enough is Enough: Global Nuclear Weapons 


Spending 2020

  In its report "Enough is Enough: Global Nuclear Weapons Spending 2020" the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons has produced the first estimate in nearly a decade of global nuclear weapon spending, taking into account costs to maintain and build new nuclear weapons. ICAN estimates that the nine nuclear-armed countries spent $72.9 billion on their 13,000-plus nuclear weapons in 2019, equaling $138,699 every minute of 2019 on nuclear weapons, and a $7.1 billion increase from 2018.
These estimates (rounded to one decimal point) include nuclear warhead and nuclear-capable delivery systems operating costs and development where these expenditures are publicly available and are based on a reasonable percentage of total military spending on nuclear weapons when more detailed budget data is not available. ICAN urges all nuclear-armed states to be transparent about nuclear weapons expenditures to allow for more accurate reporting on global nuclear expenditures and better government accountability.
ICAN, May 2020
https://www.icanw.org/global_nuclear_weapons_spending_2020

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Shooting and looting started: 400 years ago

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



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CALL TO ACTION: 



Respected Elder Jalil Muntaqim 

Hospitalized with COVID-19





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


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


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


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


Here's what you can do:


TWEET!


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


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


CALL  the Attorney General and Commissioner


Attorney General  Letitia James - (718) 560-2040



Sample Script For AG: 


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




Commissioner Annucci - (518) 457-8126


Sample Script For Commissioner: 



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


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




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

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

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

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


Our mailing address is:

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

PendletonIN  46064




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Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin 



conviction integrity unit—confession and all





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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

Dear Friend,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Be well and take care. 

DONATE NOW

AFSC.org  |  unsubscribe  |  Donate 
Follow us online:
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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Resolution for Funding for the Undocumented




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

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

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

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

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

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

Contact: 

Kristen Pursley, President,

Adult School Teachers United (ASTU)

(510)-741-8359




[1] https://www.kqed.org/news/11809657/new-covid-19-relief-benefits-leaves-out-some-undocumented-immigrants
[2] https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-44725026
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/07/10/americas-10-most-expensive-states-to-live-in-2019.html

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




Veterans Join Call for a Global Ceasefire 


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

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

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


For more information about events go to:

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




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

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

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From Business Insider 2018

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

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

—Johnny Gould (Follow @tandino415 on Instagram)

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


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




Major Tillery (with hat) and family


Dear Friends of the Labor Action Committee to Free Mumia,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Please write and call Acting Superintendent Kenneth Eason at:

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

Telephone: (610) 490-5412

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

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

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

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

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


In solidarity,

The Labor Action Committee to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal




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Kiah Morris

May 7 at 6:44 AM

So, in MY lifetime....

Black people are so tired. 馃槗

We can’t go jogging (#AhmaudArbery).

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

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

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

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

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

We can’t sell CD's (#AltonSterling).

We can’t sleep (#AiyanaJones)

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

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

We can’t go to church (#Charleston9).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We can’t run (#WalterScott).

We can’t breathe (#EricGarner).

We can’t live (#FreddieGray).

We’re tired.

Tired of making hashtags.

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

Tired of dying.

Tired.

Tired.

Tired.

So very tired.

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

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Articles


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1) Supreme Court Lets Employers Opt Out of Providing Free Birth Control
The justices upheld regulations from the Trump administration that allowed employers with religious objections to decline to provide contraception coverage.
By Adam Liptak, July 8, 2020
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/08/us/supreme-court-birth-control-obamacare.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage
Contraception coverage has emerged as a key battleground in the culture wars, one in which successive administrations have switched sides. Credit...Rich Pedroncelli/Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld a Trump administration regulation that lets employers with religious objections limit women’s access to free birth control under the Affordable Care Act.

As a consequence of the ruling, about 70,000 to 126,000 women could lose contraceptive coverage from their employers, according to government estimates.

The vote was 7 to 2, with Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor dissenting.

Contraception coverage has emerged as a key battleground in the culture wars, one in which successive administrations have switched sides.

In the Obama years, the court heard two cases on whether religious groups could refuse to comply with regulations requiring contraceptive coverage. The new case presented the opposite question: Can the Trump administration allow all sorts of employers with religious or moral objections to contraception to opt out of the coverage requirement?

In March 2010, President Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act, which includes a section that requires coverage of preventive health services and screenings for women. The next year, the Obama administration required employers and insurers to provide women with coverage at no cost for all methods of contraception approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

Houses of worship, including churches, temples and mosques, were exempt from the requirement. But nonprofit groups like schools and hospitals affiliated with religious organizations were not.

Some of those groups objected to providing coverage for any of the approved forms of contraception. Others objected to contraception they said was tantamount to abortion, though there are substantial questions about whether that characterization was correct as a scientific matter.

The Trump administration took the side of the religious employers, saying that requiring contraception coverage can impose a “substantial burden” on the free exercise of religion. The regulations it has promulgated made good on a campaign pledge by President Trump, who has said that employers should not be “bullied by the federal government because of their religious beliefs.”

The new regulations also included an exception for employers “with sincerely held moral convictions opposed to coverage of some or all contraceptive or sterilization methods.”

The states of Pennsylvania and New Jersey challenged the rules, saying they would have to shoulder much of the cost of providing contraceptives to women who lost coverage under the Trump administration’s rules.

Last year, a unanimous three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, in Philadelphia, blocked the regulations, issuing a nationwide preliminary injunction. Making exceptions to the requirement that employers provide women with coverage of contraception at no cost would have a large practical effect, Judge Patty Shwartz wrote for the panel.

That, in turn, she wrote, would disproportionately affect access to contraception for poor women. “Cost is a significant barrier to contraceptive use and access,” she wrote. “The most effective forms of contraceptives are the most expensive. After the A.C.A. removed cost barriers, women switched to the more effective and expensive methods of contraception.”

The coverage requirement, sometimes called the contraceptive mandate, has been the subject of much litigation, reaching the Supreme Court twice.

In 2014, in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, the court ruled that requiring family-owned corporations to pay for insurance coverage for contraception violated a federal law protecting religious liberty. The law, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, says that government requirements placing a substantial burden on religious practices are subject to an exceptionally demanding form of judicial scrutiny.

Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., writing for the majority, said there was a better alternative, one that the government had offered to nonprofit groups with religious objections.

That accommodation allowed the groups not to pay for coverage and to avoid fines if they informed their insurers, plan administrators or the government that they wanted an exemption. Insurance companies or the government would then pay for the coverage.

Many religious groups around the nation challenged the accommodation, saying that objecting and providing the required information would make them complicit in conduct that violated their faith. An eight-member court considered that objection in 2016 in Zubik v. Burwell but was unable to reach a definitive ruling and instead returned the case to the lower courts, instructing them to consider whether a compromise could be reached.

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2) Job Bias Laws Do Not Protect Teachers in Catholic Schools, Supreme Court Rules
The case was the court’s latest consideration of the relationship between the government and religion.
By Adam Liptak, July 8, 2020
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/08/us/job-bias-catholic-schools-supreme-court.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage
The St. James School in Torrance, Calif. was sued by the family of Kristen Biel under the Americans With Disabilities Act. Credit...Scott Varley/Torrance Daily Breeze, via Getty Images

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that federal employment discrimination laws do not apply to teachers whose duties include instruction in religion at schools run by churches.

The vote was 7 to 2, with Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor in dissent.

The court has been active in considering the relationship between church and state, generally siding with religious groups. It has ruled in recent years that a state must let a church participate in a government aid program, that a war memorial in the shape of a cross could remain on public property and that town boards may start their meetings with sectarian prayers. Last week, it said state programs that provide scholarships to students in private schools may not exclude religious schools.

The new cases considered another aspect of the church-and-state divide — what role the government can play in regulating religious institutions.

The new cases — Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru, No. 19-267, and St. James School v. Darryl Biel, No. 19-348 — were brought by teachers in Catholic schools in California who sued their employers for job discrimination.

One of them, Kristen Biel, sued under the Americans With Disabilities Act after she learned she had breast cancer and her contract was not renewed. (She died last year.) The other, Agnes Morrissey-Berru, sued for age discrimination after her own contract was not renewed.

The schools responded that the teachers were covered by a “ministerial exception” to employment discrimination laws established by the Supreme Court.

That exception, the court said, in a unanimous 2012 decision, was needed to ensure that churches and other religious groups were free to choose and dismiss employees who perform religious work without government interference.

In that decision, Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. described the conflict.

“The interest of society in the enforcement of employment discrimination statutes is undoubtedly important,” he wrote. “But so, too, is the interest of religious groups in choosing who will preach their beliefs, teach their faith and carry out their mission.”

That decision gave only limited guidance about how courts should decide which employees were covered, saying the court was “reluctant to adopt a rigid formula.”

The 2012 case concerned Cheryl Perich, who had been a teacher at a Lutheran school in Michigan. Ms. Perich said she was fired for pursuing an employment discrimination claim based on a disability, narcolepsy.

Ms. Perich was a “called” teacher who had completed religious training and whom the school considered a minister. The Supreme Court ruled that she was subject to the exception and could not sue.

The new cases concerned teachers without formal training or titles but who taught Catholic doctrine and other subjects.

Federal trial judges dismissed both cases, saying the ministerial exception protected the schools. But the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco, reversed those rulings, allowing the cases to proceed.

In separate decisions, the appeals court said the teachers were not covered by the exception established by the 2012 decision because neither they were not considered ministers by either themselves or their employers, as reflected in their job titles.

“Morrissey-Berru’s formal title of ‘teacher’ was secular,” a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit wrote in an unsigned opinion. “Aside from taking a single course on the history of the Catholic church, Morrissey-Berru did not have any religious credential, training or ministerial background. Morrissey-Berru also did not hold herself out to the public as a religious leader or minister.”

“She committed to incorporate Catholic values and teachings into her curriculum, as evidenced by several of the employment agreements she signed, led her students in daily prayer, was in charge of liturgy planning for a monthly Mass, and directed and produced a performance by her students during the school’s Easter celebration every year,” the opinion said. “However, an employee’s duties alone are not dispositive.”

Nine judges dissented from the full Ninth Circuit’s decision to deny rehearing in Ms. Biel’s case, saying the three-judge panel had made a mistake in focusing on Ms. Biel’s job title rather than the substance of what she did.

“Courts are ill-equipped to gauge the religious significance of titles or the sufficiency of training,” Judge Ryan D. Nelson wrote. “Biel’s title may appear to carry little or no religious significance to a court unfamiliar with the customs of Catholic education, but Biel’s employment at St. James had significant religious substance.”

Judge Nelson drew support from a concurrence in the 2012 decision that had featured an unusual alliance. Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., joined by Justice Elena Kagan, wrote that the exception “should apply to any ‘employee’ who leads a religious organization, conducts worship services or important religious ceremonies or rituals, or serves as a messenger or teacher of its faith.”

In separate decisions, the appeals court said the teachers were not covered by the ministerial exception because they were not considered ministers by either themselves or their employers, as reflected in their job titles.

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3) Couple Charged After Videos Show White Woman Pulling Gun on Black Woman
Widely circulated videos showed a white woman pointing a gun at a Black woman as she filmed with her cellphone in a parking lot in Orion Township, Mich.
By Alan Yuhas and Michael Levenson, July 2, 2020
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/02/us/michigan-woman-pulls-gun.html?action=click&algo=bandit-all-surfaces&block=more_in_recirc&fellback=false&imp_id=944691140&impression_id=216697331&index=0&pgtype=Article&region=footer&req_id=352491999&surface=more-in-us-news

A couple have been charged with felonious assault after widely circulated videos showed a white woman pointing a gun at a Black woman in a parking lot in Michigan, the authorities said on Thursday.

In the videos, the Black woman and her teenage daughter confront a white man and woman outside a Chipotle restaurant in Orion Township, Mich., on Wednesday. The exchange quickly escalates from an argument about an apology into accusations of racism, with a gun held only a few feet from the Black woman as she filmed with her cellphone.

At a news conference on Thursday, Sheriff Michael Bouchard of Oakland County, Mich., said the woman who had pointed the gun and her husband had each been charged with felonious assault, which carries a maximum penalty of four years in prison.

The Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office later identified the couple as Jillian Wuestenberg, 32, and Eric Wuestenberg, 42.

Both had guns in their possession, which they were legally permitted to carry, when they were taken into custody, Sheriff Bouchard said.

The sheriff explained the charges by saying that “any weapon that could cause serious and potentially deadly injury can be charged as a felonious assault.”
The episode began when the two parties bumped into each other outside of the Chipotle, Sheriff Bouchard said.

“One person said they didn’t realize they had bumped the other person with the food bag, and the other person felt they needed to get an apology,” he said. “Then it escalated from there.”

He urged members of the public to try to defuse tense situations at a time when many are on edge.

“My plea is, please let us all try to be that voice of calm in the storm, and remember each one of us is a human being that deserves respect,” he said.

Oakland University in Michigan said on Thursday that it had fired Mr. Wuestenberg. He had been listed on the university’s website as a coordinator of veterans support services.

“We have seen the video and we deem his behavior unacceptable,” a university spokesman said in a statement. “The employee has been notified that his employment has been terminated by the university.”

It was not immediately clear if the couple had lawyers, and there was no immediate response to messages left at numbers listed under their names.

As the videos spread on social media on Wednesday night, they quickly drew comparisons to footage taken on Sunday of a white man and woman pointing a semiautomatic rifle and a handgun at peaceful Black protesters on a private residential street in St. Louis. The demonstration was one of dozens against racism and police violence that have been taking place across the country for weeks.

The Detroit News, which reported on the Orion Township altercation early Thursday, shared both videos, the longer of which — at just over three minutes — shows more of the encounter. The News identified the mother as Takelia Hill and quoted her as saying that the argument began because the white woman had bumped into her daughter and was yelling “in my daughter’s face.” Ms. Hill could not be reached for comment.

The videos, recorded by Ms. Hill and her daughter on Wednesday evening, do not show what happened before the argument began. In one of the videos, Ms. Hill can be seen standing in front of Ms. Wuestenberg, and her daughter says, “This ignorant woman bumped into a 15-year-old.”

After an angry, profanity-laced exchange, including accusations of racism and demands that the police be called, Ms. Wuestenberg returns to her minivan and says through a lowered window that “you cannot just walk around calling white people racist.”

“This is not that type of world,” she says. “White people aren’t racist. No one’s racist. I care about you. I care about you and I’m sorry if you had an incident that has made someone make you feel like that. No one is racist. I’m sorry if you had something like that happen.”

As she speaks, Ms. Hill repeatedly asks, “Why would you bump her?”

The camera briefly turns away from the minivan as it backs out of a parking spot, and the teenager shouts for her mother to watch out.

Ms. Hill then asks whether the couple were trying to hit her with the minivan, and hits the back of the vehicle with her hand. Ms. Wuestenberg exits the car holding a handgun and, using profanity, tells Ms. Hill to “get away.” She cocks the gun and points it at Ms. Hill, who is standing a few feet away.

“You’re going to shoot me?” Ms. Hill says, and she, her daughter and Ms. Wuestenberg ask for someone to call the police. Ms. Wuestenberg tells Ms. Hill not to jump behind her car, which Ms. Hill denies doing, and then she begins to scream at Ms. Hill to back away. Crying can be heard. She eventually lowers the gun and gets back in the minivan, and it pulls away.

“Call the police, no, don’t go anywhere,” Ms. Hill says. “You were about to hit me with the car.”

Her daughter can be heard saying: “These white people, they’re so racist. They pulled a gun out on my mom.”

Sheriff Bouchard said the authorities responded after they received six 911 calls related to the altercation, each of which he played at the news conference on Thursday. He said officers ordered the white woman out of the van, put her on the ground, handcuffed her and took her gun.


Bryan Pietsch contributed reporting.

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4) Why I Gave Up on the Two-State Solution
For decades I argued for separation between Israelis and Palestinians. Now, I can imagine a Jewish home that is not a Jewish state.
By Peter Beinart, July 8, 2020
Mr. Beinart is editor at large of Jewish Currents.
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/08/opinion/israel-annexation-two-state-solution.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage
Israeli soldiers interacting in the West Bank last month with a Palestinian woman protesting the demolition of an unapproved animal shed. Credit...Abed Al Hashlamoun/EPA, via Shutterstock

I was 22 in 1993 when Yitzhak Rabin and Yasir Arafat shook hands on the White House lawn to officially begin the peace process that many hoped would create a Palestinian state alongside Israel. I’ve been arguing for a two-state solution — first in late-night bull sessions, then in articles and speeches — ever since.

I believed in Israel as a Jewish state because I grew up in a family that had hopscotched from continent to continent as diaspora Jewish communities crumbled. I saw Israel’s impact on my grandfather and father, who were never as happy or secure as when enveloped in a society of Jews. And I knew that Israel was a source of comfort and pride to millions of other Jews, some of whose families had experienced traumas greater than my own.

One day in early adulthood, I walked through Jerusalem, reading street names that catalog Jewish history, and felt that comfort and pride myself. I knew Israel was wrong to deny Palestinians in the West Bank citizenship, due process, free movement and the right to vote in the country in which they lived. But the dream of a two-state solution that would give Palestinians a country of their own let me hope that I could remain a liberal and a supporter of Jewish statehood at the same time.

Events have now extinguished that hope.

About 640,000 Jewish settlers now live in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, and the Israeli and American governments have divested Palestinian statehood of any real meaning. The Trump administration’s peace plan envisions an archipelago of Palestinian towns, scattered across as little as 70 percent of the West Bank, under Israeli control. Even the leaders of Israel’s supposedly center-left parties don’t support a viable, sovereign Palestinian state. The West Bank hosts Israel’s newest medical school.

If Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fulfills his pledge to impose Israeli sovereignty in parts of the West Bank, he will just formalize a decades-old reality: In practice, Israel annexed the West Bank long ago.

Israel has all but made its decision: one country that includes millions of Palestinians who lack basic rights. Now liberal Zionists must make our decision, too. It’s time to abandon the traditional two-state solution and embrace the goal of equal rights for Jews and Palestinians. It’s time to imagine a Jewish home that is not a Jewish state.

Equality could come in the form of one state that includes Israel, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, as writers such as Yousef Munayyer and Edward Said have proposed; or it could be a confederation that allows free movement between two deeply integrated countries. (I discuss these options at greater length in an essay in Jewish Currents). The process of achieving equality would be long and difficult, and would most likely meet resistance from both Palestinian and Jewish hard-liners.

But it’s not fanciful. The goal of equality is now more realistic than the goal of separation. The reason is that changing the status quo requires a vision powerful enough to create a mass movement. A fragmented Palestinian state under Israeli control does not offer that vision. Equality can. Increasingly, one equal state is not only the preference of young Palestinians. It is the preference of young Americans, too.

Critics will say binational states don’t work. But Israel is already a binational state. Two peoples, roughly equal in number, live under the ultimate control of one government. (Even in Gaza, Palestinians can’t import milk, export tomatoes or travel abroad without Israel’s permission.) And the political science literature is clear: Divided societies are most stable and most peaceful when governments represent all their people.

That’s the lesson of Northern Ireland. When Protestants and the British government excluded Catholics, the Irish Republican Army killed an estimated  1,750 people between 1969 and 1994. When Catholics became equal political partners, the violence largely stopped. It’s the lesson of South Africa, where Nelson Mandela endorsed armed struggle until Blacks won the right to vote.

That lesson applies to Israel-Palestine, too. Yes, there are Palestinians who have committed acts of terrorism. But so have the members of many oppressed groups. History shows that when people gain their freedom, violence declines. In the words of Michael Melchior, an Orthodox rabbi and former Israeli cabinet member who has spent  more than a decade forging relationships with leaders of Hamas, “I have yet to meet with somebody who is not willing to make peace.”

Rabbi Melchior  recently told me that he still supports a two-state solution, but his point transcends any particular political arrangement: It is that Palestinians will live peacefully alongside Jews when they are granted basic rights.

What makes that hard for many Jews to grasp is the memory of the Holocaust. As the Israeli scholar Yehuda Elkana, a Holocaust survivor, wrote in 1988, what “motivates much of Israeli society in its relations with the Palestinians is not personal frustration, but rather a profound existential ‘Angst’ fed by a particular interpretation of the lessons of the Holocaust.” This Holocaust lens leads many Jews to assume that anything short of Jewish statehood would mean Jewish suicide.

But before the Holocaust, many leading Zionists did not believe that. “The aspiration for a nation-state was not central in the Zionist movement before the 1940s,” writes the Hebrew University historian Dmitry Shumsky in his book, “Beyond the Nation-State.” A Jewish state has become the dominant form of Zionism. But it is not the essence of Zionism. The essence of Zionism is a Jewish home in the land of Israel, a thriving Jewish society that can provide refuge and rejuvenation for Jews across the world.

That’s what my grandfather and father loved — not a Jewish state but a Jewish society, a Jewish home.

Israel-Palestine can be a Jewish home that is also, equally, a Palestinian home. And building that home can bring liberation not just for Palestinians but for us, too.


Peter Beinart (@PeterBeinart) is a professor of journalism and political science at the Newmark School of Journalism at CUNY and editor at large of Jewish Currents.

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5) The ‘Surreal’ Moment After Release From Prison
For these former inmates in Texas, the rush of emotions that accompany freedom play out at a Greyhound bus station.
Video by Jamie Meltzer and Chris Filippone, July 7, 2020
Mr. Meltzer and Mr. Filippone are filmmakers.
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/07/opinion/huntsville-station-reentry-prison.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage
Screen Shot

When inmates are released from Huntsville Unit, the oldest state prison in Texas, the first destination for many is the nearby Greyhound bus station. Every weekday, the bus station becomes a site of reflection for men who’ve spent months, or decades, imprisoned. The short documentary above was filmed before the pandemic but captures the precarious period experienced by the estimated 600,000 people released annually from federal and state prisons across the country. With nothing much more than the clothes on their backs, a bus voucher and a $100 release check, these formerly incarcerated men grapple with the excitement and uncertainty that come with freedom.

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6) I Played in the N.F.L. It Needs Way More Than a Black Anthem.
If the league wants to show its commitment to its players, it should hire and promote more Black coaches and executives.
By Dont茅 Stallworth, July 8, 2020
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/08/opinion/culture/NFL-black-anthem-kaepernick-trump.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage

The National Football League did not support (from left) Eli Harold, Colin Kaepernick, Eric Reid and other players who kneeled during the playing of the national anthem in 2016 to protest racial injustice. Credit...Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press


WASHINGTON — In response to the Black Lives Matter protests, the N.F.L. has decided to play “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” known as the Black national anthem, in Week 1 of its coming season.

As a former N.F.L. player, my initial reaction was: why?

Is this a sign that the N.F.L. is serious now, that it truly wants to honor its commitment to promote racial equality in the league? Or is it just a symbolic gesture, one meant to placate its players, without any meaningful change?

Don’t get me wrong, symbolism can be a powerful thing. “Lift Every Voice and Sing” is a fixture of Black life, a celebration of our tumultuous experience — the struggle and triumph, the joy and pain of being Americans.

The song was originally a poem, written by James Weldon Johnson, the historian, author and civil rights activist. He was no stranger to police brutality. In his book “Black Manhattan,” he describes Black people running away from white mobs during the New York race riot in 1900, only to be violently beaten by the police officers, from whom they had sought protection. An investigation into the police violence was turned on its head and the police were treated as if they were the victims of a crime.

Similar themes are playing out today: no accountability and no justice.

The N.F.L. has had plenty of opportunities to be on the right side of history. It could have supported Colin Kaepernick and other players who took a knee four years ago to protest police brutality and racial inequities in the U.S. justice system. But the league failed to protect them, when the players needed them most.

It was only last month that the league issued an apology of sorts, admitting that “it was wrong for not listening to N.F.L. players earlier.” This mea culpa took place only after demands by more than a dozen of its young stars, including Patrick Mahomes, the Kansas City quarterback who was named the Super Bowl’s most valuable player last year.

How could the N.F.L. be so blind? The author and historian George M. Fredrickson wrote that “societal racism did not require an ideology to sustain it so long as it was taken for granted.”

The N.F.L. is not immune from this observation. An overwhelming majority of owners in the N.F.L.’s history have been white men. Today, more than two-thirds of the players are Black. But across 32 teams, there are only three Black head coaches and two Black general managers. Over the past three years, there have been 20 head coaching vacancies, but Black coaches filled only two of them.

And then there are the politics. Almost a dozen owners of N.F.L. teams have supported President Trump by contributing money or hosting fund-raisers. This is the man whose words and Twitter account can attest to his racism — who has insulted N.F.L. players who took a knee, suggesting that they shouldn’t be in the country.

If the N.F.L. wants to send an unambiguous message that its concern is genuine and not performative, it must start with this political disconnect.

The recent pledge of the N.F.L. and its team owners to contribute $250 million over 10 years to fight systematic racism is not enough. Nor is honoring victims of police brutality with helmet decals and jerseys. (Though this is, no doubt, a departure for a league that has routinely sanctioned its players for minor uniform infractions, including fines of $7,000 for untucked shirts.)

The owners must make radical changes. First, they must immediately stop raising money for President Trump. It is impossible to walk in opposite directions at the same time, and supporting the president is the antithesis of supporting the players.

Then, using their vast political connections, the owners must personally lobby for issues that matter to the players’ coalition, like legislation to reform policing.

And they should clean up their own house. The N.F.L. must be committed to hiring more Black head coaches and Black executives. It needs to build a pipeline for junior coaches, who can be promoted to coordinator and play-caller positions, jobs that are essential for promotion to head coach.

There is other work to be done — including by my former team in Washington. Its founder, George Preston Marshall, an avowed segregationist, was the last N.F.L. owner to integrate his team. His statue was finally removed from the front of RFK Stadium, the team’s former home, as was his name from the stadium’s Ring of Honor. But the team has not removed the club’s offensive name, despite decades of opposition from Indigenous people.

Dan Snyder, the team’s current owner, said in a 2013 interview that he would “never change the name.” “It’s that simple,” he said. “NEVER — you can use caps.”

Now the team says it will review whether to change the name. But what additional information does it need? The debate itself deprives our Indigenous brothers and sisters of their humanity, and their voices have been ignored for too long.

While I will enjoy hearing “Lift Every Voice and Sing” during the N.F.L.’s opening week, I will remain skeptical. I want to believe that league officials and team owners finally get it — and I know a number of them do. But as in football, good intentions don’t win games, performance does. Radical change is truly needed. We don’t need any more symbolic gestures. We need the N.F.L. to step up and change a decades-old playbook that has long been out of step with the times.

Dont茅 Stallworth played in the National Football League for 10 seasons.

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7) Years After 43 Mexican Students Vanished, a Victim’s Remains Are Found
The identification of one victim’s remains is the first sign of progress in years in a case that traumatized Mexico and became a symbol of corruption and injustice.
By Kirk Semple, Paulina Villegas and Natalie Kitroeff, July 7, 2020
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/07/world/americas/mexico-43-missing-students-remains.html?action=click&module=News&pgtype=Homepage
Maria Telumbre, center, holding a poster with the image of her missing son, Christian Alfonso Rodriguez, in Mexico City in 2014. Credit...Marco Ugarte/Associated Press

MEXICO CITY — Nearly six years after 43 college students disappeared in rural Mexico, the government announced the first major breakthrough in its investigation on Tuesday: Forensic scientists have identified the remains of one of the students.

Bone fragments found near where the students disappeared have been tested by Institute of Genetics at the University of Innsbruck, in Austria, and identified as the remains of Christian Alfonso Rodr铆guez Telumbre, one of the students, said Omar G贸mez Trejo, the special prosecutor assigned to the case. He added that forensic experts from Argentina had confirmed the findings.

The discovery marked a fresh sign of progress toward solving a case that traumatized Mexico and became a symbol of rampant corruption in the country’s justice system. It has long been assumed that the missing students were killed, and various people in authority have been implicated, but no one has been put on trial and the motive remains a mystery.

“We have broken the pact of impunity and silence that surrounded” the case, Mr. Trejo said at a news conference. He added, “today we tell the families and society that the right to the truth will prevail.”

The discovery was a victory for President Andr茅s Manuel L贸pez Obrador, who had promised to prioritize the investigations — and who desperately needs a political boost amid a plummeting economy, soaring crime and a coronavirus pandemic that continues to worsen in Mexico.

The announcement came on the eve of Mr. L贸pez Obrador’s visit with President Trump in Washington — a trip for which the Mexican president was roundly criticized at home, because of the American president’s harsh language about Mexico and Mexicans.

For the missing students’ relatives, who for years have demanded a more robust government investigation into their loved ones’ whereabouts, the identification represented a long-awaited step toward closure. Mr. Telumbre is only the second to be found, and the first since December, 2014, when a bone fragment was identified as belonging to another missing student, Alexander Mora.

“For Christian’s family this is devastating news, and for the rest of the families it is the materialization of their worst fears that this might have been all of the students’ destiny,” said Santiago Aguirre, director of Centro Prodh, a human rights organization that represents the families.

They expect it to be “the beginning of a new and serious investigation that once and for all clarifies what happened to every single one of the students,” he said.

The students were undergraduates at a teachers’ college in the town of Ayotzinapa in the southern state of Guerrero. The night they disappeared — Sept. 26, 2014 — they were in the process of commandeering buses to carry their peers to a demonstration in Mexico City, a time-honored tradition among students at their college and one that was mostly tolerated by the bus companies.

But their escapade quickly devolved into a long, harrowing and chaotic night of terror and violence that involved law-enforcement and other gunmen, according to two reports released by an international panel of investigators several years ago.

By daybreak, six people were dead in the city of Iguala, dozens were wounded and the 43 students had vanished.

Even in a country often wracked by violence, the incident horrified people and spurred huge, nationwide protests demanding that the government solve the mystery and end corruption and impunity.

In 2015, after months of investigation, the administration of then-President Enrique Pe帽a Nieto concluded that the students had been kidnapped by police officers working on behalf of a criminal group, which in turn killed them, burned their bodies in a trash dump and disposed of their ashes in a river.

But the panel of international investigators, experts in forensics and human rights who examined the case for a year at the invitation of the Mexican government, thoroughly discredited the government’s findings.

The panel said the authorities had tried to thwart its work, questioning the integrity of the Mexican criminal justice system and the government’s commitment to finding the truth.

They determined that suspects had given testimony under torture or under otherwise “cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment.” The experts also questioned the Mexican authorities’ handling of evidence and their failure to pursue certain promising lines of inquiry.

It later emerged that the experts, in addition to suffering a campaign of harassment and interference, had been targeted by spyware purchased by the Mexican government.

Mr. Aguirre, the lawyer representing the families, said on Tuesday that an anonymous call led investigators to a specific spot in Cocula, a town near Iguala, where the remains were found — about half a mile from the garbage dump. More remains are likely to be found in that location, he said.

The new discovery “breaks away from the narrative of a lie” by the former government that was meant to foreclose further investigation, said Mr. Trejo, the special prosecutor.

After taking office in July 2018, Mr. L贸pez Obrador quickly began to make good on his campaign promise to redress his predecessor’s mishandling of the case. His first official decree, signed two days after his inauguration, established a special presidential commission to support the families of the victims and get to the bottom of the case.

He has since invited the international panel of experts to return to assist with the investigation, and the country’s independent attorney general has created a special investigative unit dedicated to solving the case.

In the past year, investigators have combed numerous sites looking for evidence, and have sought the arrests of more than 50 people in connection with the case. Many are former government officials who were involved in the investigation during Mr. Pe帽a Nieto’s term; some have been accused of torture, forced disappearance and obstruction of justice.

Among the suspects is Tom谩s Zer贸n, who had been the chief of criminal investigations in the attorney general’s office during Mr. Pe帽a Nieto’s term and was investigated for his handling of witnesses and evidence. Officials say Mr. Zer贸n fled the country months ago prompting an Interpol notice for his arrest.

Kirk Semple is a correspondent covering Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. He is based in Mexico City. @KirkSemple

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8) Drivers Are Hitting Protesters as Memes of Car Attacks Spread
In recent days, one person was killed in Seattle and two people were injured in Bloomington, Ind. Dozens of similar incidents have occurred across the United States.
"There have been at least 66 car attacks nationwide since George Floyd was killed by the Minneapolis police on May 25, Mr. Weil said."
By Neil MacFarquhar, July 7, 2020
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/07/us/bloomington-car-attack-protesters.html?action=click&module=Well&pgtype=Homepage&section=US%20News
A vigil on Sunday for Summer Taylor, who died after being hit by a car during a protest in Seattle. Credit...David Ryder/Getty Images

The driver of a red Toyota first stopped, then unexpectedly accelerated into a crowd of dispersing demonstrators in Bloomington, Ind., on Monday night, injuring two of them in the latest of a disturbing rash of vehicular attacks targeting protesters.

The demonstration, inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, had sent several hundred people marching through the college town, demanding the arrest of a small group of men who had threatened a Black civil rights activist.

Dramatic video footage of the attack showed a woman clinging to the car’s hood and a man clutching the driver’s door handle as the vehicle zoomed forward. The police were still searching for the hit-and-run driver on Tuesday.

“It was terrifying,” said Rachel Glago, 28, whose friend, she said, had jumped onto the hood to avoid being run over. “I wanted to stop the car, I wanted to help her, I was screaming, I could hear other people screaming.”

Dozens of similar incidents have occurred across the United States in recent weeks, although it is difficult to assess which attacks are premeditated and which are prompted by rage when drivers find their route blocked by crowds. The tactic has previously been mostly used by extremist jihadist groups like ISIS and Al Qaeda, as well as Palestinian militants.

“It is not just an extremist thing here, but there are social media circles online where people are sharing these and joking about them because they disagree with the protests and their methods,” said Ari E. Weil, the deputy research director at the Chicago Project on Security and Threats of the University of Chicago. “Sharing memes and joking about running over people can lead to real danger.”

There have been at least 66 car attacks nationwide since George Floyd was killed by the Minneapolis police on May 25, Mr. Weil said.

Seven of them have been by law enforcement officers, he said. That included two in New York which Dermot Shea, the police commissioner, defended as an appropriate use of force because he said the police vehicles were under attack.

Prosecutors have brought charges in about 24 of the cases so far, Mr. Weil said, including hate crimes, and have dismissed four as accidental.

Perhaps the most high-profile example of a car attack in the United States is from the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., in 2017, when James Alex Fields Jr. killed Heather Heyer, a counterprotester.

Mr. Fields was found guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison. Evidence at the trial included the fact that he had shared images online of cars ramming into people before participating in the far-right rally.

Some of the crashes at recent protests have also been fatal. Summer Taylor, 24, who worked at a veterinary clinic, died on Saturday after a man drove a car through a march on a Seattle highway. Another protester died after being hit in Bakersfield, Calif., in June.

The driver in Seattle, Dawit Kelete, has not been charged but is being held on $1.2 million bail, and the State Patrol announced it would ban demonstrations from Interstate 5.

Supporters of far-right organizations — as well as the occasional government official or law enforcement officer — have been circulating memes and slogans online encouraging such attacks.

In Richmond, Va., a driver sought to intimidate protesters with his truck and hit one demonstrator’s bicycle in early June, prosecutors said. The driver, who was charged with assault, told the police he was a high-ranking Ku Klux Klan official, court documents said.

In Seattle, the King County Sheriff’s Office announced that one officer had been placed on administrative leave after posting a picture of a vehicle hitting someone under the commonly shared phrase “All Lives Splatter” and another line about moving off the road.

The officer, Mike Brown, is Gov. Jay Inslee’s cousin, and the governor said in an interview that he was deeply disappointed by his cousin’s post. “It’s never acceptable, but particularly now when we’re trying to heal the divisions in our community between police and citizens,” he said.

Vehicular attacks have proliferated in recent weeks. Experts believe it is because of the combination of widespread protests across the country and the circulation of dangerous memes among extremist groups about running over pedestrians.

“There has been an increasing amount of propaganda online calling for vehicular attacks on protesters, targeting the Black Lives Matter movement in particular,” said Josh Lipowsky, a senior researcher at the Counter Extremism Project. “It is being used as a form of intimidation against them to get them to halt their protests.”

Attacks with vehicles are easy to conduct, he said, because they do not require a lot of planning or financial resources.

In Bloomington, the two protesters were flung off the car as it made a sharp turn at an intersection, Capt. Ryan Pedigo of the Bloomington Police Department said. But those involved said they would not be intimidated.

Ms. Glago, who said her friend sustained a concussion, said she was heading out to another protest in Bloomington on Tuesday, determined not to let drivers get away with what she said was “domestic terrorism.”

“I think it is more important to be an anti-racist and to support those with less privilege from you than to just sit at home,” she said.


Mike Baker contributed reporting. Kitty Bennett contributed research.

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9) Phoenix Police Kill Man in Parked Car, Igniting New Protests
The fatal shooting, captured on video, comes at a time when cities around the United States are grappling with anger over deaths at the hands of the police.
By Simon Romero and Lauren Messman, July 6, 2020
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/06/us/phoenix-arizona-police-shooting-garcia.html?referringSource=articleShare
Protesters at a Black Lives Matter march in Phoenix last month. Credit...Caitlin O'Hara for The New York Times

The fatal shooting of a man in a parked car by Phoenix police officers over the weekend, captured on video in gruesome detail, is fueling a new round of protests against violent policing tactics.

The video showed several uniformed officers surrounding a parked car while pointing their guns at the man inside the vehicle. One of the officers shouted at the man, threatening to shoot him. The Phoenix Police Department identified the man as James Porter Garcia, 28.

Then, in front of witnesses who were recording the episode, the officers unleashed a volley of gunfire. The victim was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead, according to a statement by the Phoenix Police Department.

The shooting in the city’s Maryvale neighborhood comes at a time when cities around the United States are grappling with anger over the deaths of African-Americans and Latinos at the hands of the police. Elsewhere in Arizona, the police in Tucson came under scrutiny in June over the killing, also captured on video, of Carlos Ingram Lopez.

“It does not shock us that despite all the scrutiny from community Phoenix PD continues to respond violently to calls,” Carlos Garcia, a member of the Phoenix City Council, said in a Facebook post about the episode. He added, “We cannot allow for dishonest narratives to be built by violent departments.”

Protests over the killing broke out in Phoenix on Sunday night, with dozens of demonstrators marching to the Maryvale Estrella Mountain police station. About 30 officers in riot gear blocked access to the building during the protest, according to reports on social media.

Details surrounding the fatal shooting remain murky. The Police Department in its statement said officers were responding to a 911 call about an aggravated assault.

The department said James Garcia had a handgun and pointed it at an officer before being fatally shot by the police. Sgt. Mercedes Fortune, a spokeswoman for the department, said officers talked to Mr. Garcia for about 10 minutes before shooting him. Ms. Fortune said he told officers to shoot him and lifted his gun toward the officers before he was killed.  

The department released body-camera footage from an officer who arrived on the scene after the shooting, showing a handgun being retrieved from inside the vehicle.

Still, Steven Merry, a friend of the victim, told local media that the man was unarmed.

“They put the gun on his head like this and they’re still telling him not to move, to get his hand off a gun he don’t have and then they shot him again,” Mr. Merry told KSAZ.

Activists are demanding the release of body-camera footage from the two officers who fatally shot Mr. Garcia,  though it remains unclear when such video could be made available.

“What we want is the whole footage,” Viri Hernandez, the director of Poder in Action, a local activist group, said at a gathering on Monday.  “Every single body camera. Every single cop who showed up. Everything from when they were driving to when they got there to when they killed him.”

Ms. Fortune contended that releasing the additional footage would compromise the investigation of the killing. Police departments in Arizona often take weeks or months to respond to such requests.

After the initial gathering on Monday evening, about 100 people marched from a shopping center and assembled outside the home where the shooting occurred, laying flowers and lighting candles in the driveway.

Neighbors rode bikes alongside the protesters and stood in their yards to capture the procession on their cellphones. A few friends and relatives of Mr. Garcia addressed the group.

“Please help me get justice for my brother,” a woman who identified herself as a relative said into a microphone. “Please. That’s all we want, that’s all we want. We love him so much. He was a great father, a great brother and a great son.”

Another relative, Jacqueline Fernandez, Mr. Garcia’s sister, did not want to be interviewed but sent a text about her brother: “I can only tell you what a good man he was,” she said. “How kind and loving. Good father, son and brother. I can tell you that we are going to fight for justice, that we want to fight for the release of the body cams so that we can move forward.”

Simon Romero reported from Albuquerque and Lauren Messman reported from Phoenix.

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