Bay Area United Against War Newsletter, August 24, 2020




Bayview Hunters Point Says: We Can't Breathe

This action was postponed until Tuesday, 

September 1, 2020 due to the bad air quality.





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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




SHUT DOWN CREECH in the age of COVID-19

Creech Anti-drone Resistance, Fall Action:   

Sept. 27 - Oct. 3, 2020

Co-sponsored by CODEPINK & Veterans For Peace

Now that the online Veterans For Peace National Convention is coming to a close, many of you hopefully are re-invigorated to pump up your activism and peacemaking efforts. The many informative workshops and discussions at the convention underlined U.S. militarism and it’s multifaceted disastrous impact on the world.  "Now what can I do," you ask?

Please join us for all or part of this fall’s week of convergence at Creech Killer Drone Base in Nevada, north of Las Vegas.  Though the pandemic is in full force, we are committed to be at Creech for a full week of drone resistance.  What better way to work against U.S. Empire than to stand strong against the racist weapons that terrorize communities and brutally murder people remotely?

We will be sending out a detailed update around August 20, but at this point we plan to 100% camp outside to insure the safety of all of us during the Covid pandemic.  We will provide meals throughout the week.

Please go to www.ShutDownCreech.blogspot.com for more details.

Are you planning to join us?

Please register HERE, asap, to help us prepare ahead.

Contact us for any questions.  We hope to see you there!

In peace and justice,
Toby, Maggie, and Eleanor

CODEPINK, Women for Peace



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


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

During a court hearing on May 14, Judge Mary Ellen Brennan ordered that a 15-year-old high school student, Grace, be sent to Children's Village youth prison in Oakland County, Michigan for not submitting schoolwork. [1]

Imagine being sent to jail, being separated from your family, for missing homework assignments during a pandemic?!

This is an awful situation that we cannot let stand. The start of Grace’s probation coincided with the closing of schools through the remainder of the school year and the start of remote learning. Prior to the order for schools to close, Grace was doing well and had near perfect attendance. Grace shared with her caseworker that she felt unmotivated and overwhelmed when online learning began April 15, about a month after schools closed. Grace’s mom was also concerned that her daughter would struggle without the in-person support from teachers outlined in her Individualized Education Plan. She was right in her concerns, and as remote learning began, Grace did not continue to receive those critical supports.[2]

The reality is schools across the country weren’t prepared for abrupt closures and a pivot to remote learning. And across the country schools, teachers, parents and students have struggled to create continuous learning for students during this pandemic. Grace’s school was no different.

Still Judge Mary Ellen Brennan found Grace “guilty of failure to submit to any schoolwork and getting up for school” and outrageously called Grace a “threat to (the) community” for not doing her homework.

“It just doesn’t make any sense, how is this a better situation for her?” - Charisse, Grace’s mother.

This didn't have to happen. In fact, Michigan, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer had issued an executive order in March that temporarily suspended the confinement of juveniles who violate probation unless directed by a court order and encouraged eliminating any form of detention or residential placement unless a young person posed a “substantial and immediate safety risk to others.”

Grace is NOT a “substantial and immediate safety risk to others,” and not doing your homework is NOT a crime. Judge Brennan’s ruling to incarcerate a child, sending her away from her family during a pandemic is cruel, harsh, and highlights an alarming trend of Black girls being criminalized at alarming rates in comparison to their white peers.[3]
Join us in demanding that Governor Gretchen Whitmer:
Release “Grace” from Children’s Village youth detention facility into her mother’s custody;
Request the immediate resignation of of Judge Mary Ellen Brennan from the Oakland County Family Court;
Drop all charges against “Grace” immediately;
End the racialized practice of arresting and prosecuting children, and ensure Michigan kids get the support they need including alternatives to incarceration and detention and trauma informed support and services.
Prison is no place for a kid. The United States still incarcerates more young people than any other country. [4] Our kids deserve a future free of criminalization, a future that supports their development and capacity to contribute meaningfully to society. Putting kids in prisons does the opposite of this. In fact they do little to improve community safety when compared to community based efforts that provide alternatives to incarceration by supporting young people, providing the services they need, and providing access to opportunities to address harm in meaningful ways.
Together we can END this toxic culture of criminalizing children, and of putting kids in prison, and we can start with Grace. Sign on to demand Governor Gretchen Whitmer #FreeGrace NOW! Click the link below to sign now:
- Beatriz, Monifa, Diarra and the whole MomsRising / MamásConPoder team

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



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

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

Contact Us

Alliance for Global Justice
225 E 26th St Ste 1

Tucson, Arizona 85713-2925
Follow Us 
Having trouble viewing this email? View it in your web browser



Party for Socialism and Liberation

Gloria La Riva nominated by Peace and Freedom Party in California

Now on the ballot in California, Colorado, Illinois, New Jersey and New Mexico!
Longtime San Francisco labor and anti-war activist Gloria La Riva was chosen today as the Peace and Freedom Party nominee for U. S. President. The party's state central committee cast 62 votes for La Riva and 3 votes for Howie Hawkins, with three abstentions. Anti-racist and disability rights advocate Sunil Freeman of Washington DC was then chosen without opposition as the party's nominee for Vice President.
La Riva received over 2/3 of the vote for the nomination in the March primary, but the State Central Committee's action Saturday will officially place the La Riva / Freeman ticket on California's November general election ballot. They will appear in a number of other states on the ballot lines of the Vermont Liberty Union Party and the Party for Socialism and Liberation.
Gloria La Riva said "We are honored to be the nominees of the Peace and Freedom Party. We are running not just to represent voters, but to represent the millions without the right to vote: undocumented immigrants, permanent residents, prisoners and parolees who are unable to cast a ballot. This is their country too."
Kevin Akin of Riverside, the new California State Chair of the party, reports that the ticket expects to get more votes in California than in any other state. "It's a clear way for a voter to show support for peace, socialism, and the immediate needs of the working class."

Read our Campaign Statements

Gloria La Riva Condemns Israeli Annexation Plan Calls for Solidarity with Palestinian People and End to U.S. Aid to Israel

Upcoming Events

Follow the campaign on twitter
Questions? Comments? Contact us.
You can also keep up with the PSL on Twitter or Facebook.
This email was sent to caroleseligman@sbcglobal.net. To stop receiving emails, click here.
Created with NationBuilder, the essential toolkit for leaders.




Resources for Resisting Federal Repression

Since June of 2020, activists have been subjected to an increasingly aggressive crackdown on protests by federal law enforcement. The federal response to the movement for Black Lives has included federal criminal charges for activists, door knocks by federal law enforcement agents, and increased use of federal troops to violently police protests. 

The NLG National Office is releasing this resource page for activists who are resisting federal repression. It includes a link to our emergency hotline numbers, as well as our library of Know-Your-Rights materials, our recent federal repression webinar, and a list of some of our recommended resources for activists. We will continue to update this page. 

Please visit the NLG Mass Defense Program page for general protest-related legal support hotlines run by NLG chapters.

Emergency Hotlines

If you are contacted by federal law enforcement you should exercise all of your rights. It is always advisable to speak to an attorney before responding to federal authorities. 

State and Local Hotlines

If you have been contacted by the FBI or other federal law enforcement, in one of the following areas, you may be able to get help or information from one of these local NLG hotlines for: 

National Hotline

If you are located in an area with no hotline, you can call the following number:

Know Your Rights Materials

The NLG maintains a library of basic Know-Your-Rights guides. 

WEBINAR: Federal Repression of Activists & Their Lawyers: Legal & Ethical Strategies to Defend Our Movements: presented by NLG-NYC and NLG National Office

We also recommend the following resources: 

Center for Constitutional Rights

Civil Liberties Defense Center

Grand Jury Resistance Project

Katya Komisaruk

Movement for Black Lives Legal Resources

Tilted Scales Collective



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

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

Donald Trump’s commutation of Roger Stone’s prison sentence is galling on numerous levels. It’s a brazen act of corruption and an egregious obstruction of an ongoing investigation of the President and his enablers. There are few figures less worthy of clemency than a Nixonian dirty trickster like Stone. But the final twist of the knife is that Reality Winner, the honest, earnest, anti-Stone of the Russian meddling saga, remains in federal prison.

Continue Reading
Please share this with your networks, and stand with us in support of Reality Winner and her family during this critical time.
Thank you,
Jesselyn Radack
Whistleblower & Source Protection Program (WHISPeR)
Twitter: @JesselynRadack

You are receiving this list because you have opted in on our website.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

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



Note: Below are comments from Ambassador Andrew Young, who is also the former Mayor of Atlanta. The Ambassador notes that Imam Jamil Al-Amin was wrongfully convicted and that it's time to 'rejudge'.

Below is also a correction in the title of the previous posting about Otis Jackson, who admitted to the killing of which Imam Jamil Al-Amin was falsely accused of committing. The article is included below with the title correction being, "There are demands for a new trial"

And again, please sign the petition for a new trial and ask your friends to do so as well.

August 10, 2020
Justice Initiative

"(There's one case) that weighs heavy on my heart because I really think he was wrongfully convicted."
This Man, a Muslim, helped "clean up" Atlanta's West End.
"I'm talking about Jamil Al-Amin," he said, "H. Rap Brown."
"I think it's time to rejudge. He's been dying of cancer and has been suffering away from his family in the worst prisons of this nation." 
Ambassador Andrew Young Jr. 

Otis Jackson Speaks - 
The Man Who Committed 
The Crime Imam Jamil Is Serving Life For
There are demands for a new trial for 
Imam Jamil Al-Amin
Please sign the petition for a new trial

The Confession - My Name Is James Santos aka Otis Jackson (We Demand A Retrial For Imam Jamil)
The Confession - My Name Is James Santos aka OtisJackson (We Demand A Retrial For Imam Jamil)

Otis Jackson is a self-proclaimed leader of the Almighty Vice Lord Nation (AVLN). Founded in the late 1950s, the AVLN is one of the oldest street gangs in Chicago.
According to Jackson, the group under his leadership was focused on rebuilding communities by pushing out drug dealers and violence.
In a never-before published sworn deposition, Jackson recalls the events of the night of Thursday, March 16, 2000, in vivid detail.
It was a cool night as Jackson remembers. He wore a knee-high black Islamic robe with black pants, a black kufi-Muslim head covering-underneath a tan hat, and a tan leather jacket. His silver sunglasses with yellow tint sat above his full beard and mustache.
He arrived at Mick's around 7PM, when he realized his schedule had changed. He was no longer the food expediter in the kitchen; his title was now dishwasher/cook, which meant he would wash dishes and then help close the kitchen at night.
Since his title changed, he wasn't required to work that Thursday night. It immediately dawned on him that he had a 10-hour window to do whatever he wanted. As a parolee under house arrest, the opportunity to have truly free time was rare if even existent. Jackson decided to fill his new found freedom like most people fill their free time-he ran a few errands.
His first stop was the West End Mall where he got a bite to eat, did some shopping and then headed toward the West End community mosque, led by Al-Amin. He knew it was a regular building off of Oak Street, but wasn't sure which one exactly.
He parked his black Cadillac in an open field and walked down toward a house that turned out to be the mosque. He passed a black Mercedes before he got to the mosque, where he met a man named Lamar "Mustapha" Tanner. They talked for a while during which Jackson explained to Tanner that he was looking for Al-Amin to talk about how the AVLN could help Al-Amin's community.
Tanner told Jackson to check the grocery store, since Al-Amin could usually be found there. Tanner then gave Jackson his phone number and hurried away to go pick up his wife. Jackson proceeded to the grocery store. He wanted to discuss with Al-Amin how his AVLN organization could help further clean the streets of drug dealers in the West End community.
By the time Jackson made his way to Al-Amin's store, it was already late. He was afraid the store would be closed since he didn't see anyone else on the street. His fear was affirmed; the store wasn't open.
Hoping that maybe the owner would be in the back closing up, he knocked on the door a few more times. No answer. As he turned to leave, Jackson saw a patrol car pull up. By the time Jackson walked by the black Mercedes, the patrol car was parked in front of it, nose-to-nose. The driver of the patrol car got out and asked Jackson to put his hands up.
Immediately, this scenario flashed through Jackson's head: Here he was, violating his parole by not being at work, with a 9mm handgun in his waist. Jackson was afraid the cops would think he was breaking into the store. That meant they would probably frisk him and find the gun. The gun would be a direct violation of his parole; he'd be sent back to prison in Nevada.
Jackson ignored the order to put his hands up and instead began to explain that he was not trying to break into the store. He stated that he wasn't trying to steal the Mercedes either; his car was parked down the street. Both officers were out of the car with guns drawn and demanding Jackson put his hands up. The cops were closing in and there was little space between them. Jackson made a quick decision. He backed up against the Mercedes, pulled out his gun and began to fire.
He fired off two shots. The officers, while retreating, returned fire. Jackson wasn't hit and bolted toward his car, where in the trunk he had an arsenal of other weapons. As Jackson explains, "the organization I was about to form, the Almighty Vice Lord Nation, we're anti-oppression, and we fight, you know, drug dealers and what not, so...we need artillery."
He quickly opened the trunk - the lock was broken and held together with shoe string-and grabbed a lightweight, semiautomatic carbine Ruger Mini-14 with an extended clip housing 40 .223 caliber rounds. Jackson then headed back toward the cops; one was moving for cover behind the Mercedes, the other was on the police radio screaming for backup.
Jackson approached the officer he thought was the most aggressive, who was using the Mercedes for cover and resumed firing his rifle. The officer returned fire, hitting Jackson in the upper left arm twice.
Jackson, now angered and fearful for his life, shot back, downing the officer. Jackson stood over him and shot him in the groin up to four times. The fallen officer, Deputy Kinchen, in a last attempt to plead with his killer, described his family, mother, and children to Jackson, hoping for mercy.
But Jackson admits that by this time, "my mind was gone, so I really wasn't paying attention." Jackson fired again at the officer on the ground. Dripping his own blood on the concrete where he stood, Jackson then turned his attention to Deputy English who was running toward the open field. Jackson believed English was flagging down another officer; he couldn't let him get away.
Jackson hit English four times. One shot hit him in the leg; he soon fell, screaming, thereby confirming Jackson's shot. After English went down, Jackson, in a state of shock, walked down pass the mosque.
Nursing his bleeding wounds, he tried to stop three passing cars on the road; no one dared pull over. He then walked back down the street and knocked on three different doors for assistance. Only one even turned the light on, but no one opened the door for Jackson. He then made his way back to his car and drove to his mother's home.
As he walked in the door, the phone rang. His mother was asleep, so Jackson hurriedly answered it in the other room. It was a representative from the Sentinel Company that provided the monitoring service for Jackson's ankle bracelet. The man on the phone asked where Jackson was; he responded that he was at work. The Sentinel representative explained that his unaccounted for absence would have to be marked down as a violation. Jackson agreed and quickly ended the conversation.
Although one bullet exited through the back of his arm, the other was still lodged in his upper left arm. Jackson called a couple of female friends, who were registered nurses. The women, who were informed by Jackson that he was robbed in the middle of the night, arrived at his house and worked for three hours to remove the bullet from his arm. Jackson then called Mustapha Tanner, whom he just met earlier in the evening, and asked him to come by his house.
Tanner arrived before 10am. Jackson explained what had happened the previous night and said he needed to get rid of the guns and the car. Jackson's car trunk contained enough artillery for a mini-militia: three Ruger Mini-14 rifles, an M16 assault rifle, a .45 handgun, three 9mm handguns and a couple of shotguns. Once Tanner left, Jackson called his parole officer Sarah Bacon and let her know that he "had been involved in a situation," but left out the details.
In the following days, Jackson was asked to report to the Sentinel Company. He checked in with the monitoring company and his parole officer, and was then given a ride back home. As they pulled onto his street, Jackson noticed many unmarked police cars. After entering his driveway, multiple police officers emerged. The police searched Jackson's house and found rounds of Mini-14, .223, 9mm, and M16 ammunition. Jackson's bloody clothes and boots from the shootout with the deputies the night before were left untouched in his closet.
On March 28, 2000, Jackson's parole was revoked and he was sent back to prison to serve the remainder of his sentence in Nevada. Upon his detainment in Florida and later transfer to Nevada, Jackson confessed the crime to anyone who would listen. Jackson claims that when he reached the Clark County Jail in Las Vegas, Nevada, he made numerous phone calls to the F.B.I., after which an agent arrived to discuss the incident with him. Jackson recalls telling his story to "Special Agent Mahoney."
Special Agent Devon Mahoney recalls documenting the confession, but not much beyond that. Mahoney remembers getting a call from a superior to "talk to someone" in a Las Vegas jail and then to "document it and file it up the chain of command." The confession was documented and filed on June 29, 2000.

Gray & Associates, PO Box 8291, ATLANTA, GA 31106
Constant Contact
Try email marketing for free today!



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




Timeless words of wisdom from Friedrich Engels:

This legacy belongs to all of us:

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



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


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


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



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

Fannie Lou Hamer 

Dear Community, 

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

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

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

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

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

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

You feel that? We’re going to win. 

With Black Love, 

Jessica Byrd and the Black National Convention Planning Teamp




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

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

Tell Blackrock: stop investing in Tasers!

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

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

Tell Blackrock: stop investing in Tasers!

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

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

Donate Now!

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



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





Kimberly Jones

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

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

Kimberly Jones on YouTube 



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

So what has protesting accomplished?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

💓The self-reflection.

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Keep protesting.


How beautiful is that?








*I do not know the original author*

Copy & paste widely!






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



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

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






Trump Comic Satire—A Proposal
          By Shakaboona

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

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









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

Enough is Enough: Global Nuclear Weapons 

Spending 2020

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



Shooting and looting started: 400 years ago

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











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

Veterans Join Call for a Global Ceasefire 

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

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

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

For more information about events go to:




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

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





















From Business Insider 2018



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

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

—Johnny Gould (Follow @tandino415 on Instagram)







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



















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

Major Tillery (with hat) and family

Dear Friends of the Labor Action Committee to Free Mumia,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Please write and call Acting Superintendent Kenneth Eason at:

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

Telephone: (610) 490-5412

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

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

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

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

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

In solidarity,

The Labor Action Committee to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal



Kiah Morris

May 7 at 6:44 AM

So, in MY lifetime....

Black people are so tired. 😓

We can’t go jogging (#AhmaudArbery).

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

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

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

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

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

We can’t sell CD's (#AltonSterling).

We can’t sleep (#AiyanaJones)

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

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

We can’t go to church (#Charleston9).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We can’t run (#WalterScott).

We can’t breathe (#EricGarner).

We can’t live (#FreddieGray).

We’re tired.

Tired of making hashtags.

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

Tired of dying.




So very tired.

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








1) Stocks Are Soaring. So Is Misery.

Optimism about Apple’s future profits won’t pay this month’s rent.

By Paul Krugman, Opinion Columnist, Aug. 20, 2020


Housing activists outside a home in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn.

Housing activists outside a home in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn. Credit...Scott Heins/Getty Images

On Tuesday, the S&P 500 stock index hit a record high. The next day, Apple became the first U.S. company in history to be valued at more than $2 trillion. Donald Trump is, of course, touting the stock market as proof that the economy has recovered from the coronavirus; too bad about those 173,000 dead Americans, but as he says, “It is what it is.”


But the economy probably doesn’t feel so great to the millions of workers who still haven’t gotten their jobs back and who have just seen their unemployment benefits slashed. The $600 a week supplemental benefit enacted in March has expired, and Trump’s purported replacement is basically a sick joke.


Even before the aid cutoff, the number of parents reporting that they were having trouble giving their children enough to eat was rising rapidly. That number will surely soar in the next few weeks. And we’re also about to see a huge wave of evictions, both because families are no longer getting the money they need to pay rent and because a temporary ban on evictions, like supplemental unemployment benefits, has just expired.


But how can there be such a disconnect between rising stocks and growing misery? Wall Street types, who do love their letter games, are talking about a “K-shaped recovery”: rising stock valuations and individual wealth at the top, falling incomes and deepening pain at the bottom. But that’s a description, not an explanation. What’s going on?


The first thing to note is that the real economy, as opposed to the financial markets, is still in terrible shape. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s weekly economic index suggests that the economy, although off its low point a few months ago, is still more deeply depressed than it was at any point during the recession that followed the 2008 financial crisis.


And this time around, job losses are concentrated among lower-paid workers — that is, precisely those Americans without the financial resources to ride out bad times.


What about stocks? The truth is that stock prices have never been closely tied to the state of the economy. As an old economists’ joke has it, the market has predicted nine of the last five recessions.


Stocks do get hit by financial crises, like the disruptions that followed the fall of Lehman Brothers in September 2008 and the brief freeze in credit markets back in March. Otherwise, stock prices are pretty disconnected from things like jobs or even G.D.P.


And these days, the disconnect is even greater than usual.


For the recent rise in the market has been largely driven by a small number of technology giants. And the market values of these companies have very little to do with their current profits, let alone the state of the economy in general. Instead, they’re all about investor perceptions of the fairly distant future.


Take the example of Apple, with its $2 trillion valuation. Apple has a price-earnings ratio — the ratio of its market valuation to its profits — of about 33. One way to look at that number is that only around 3 percent of the value investors place on the company reflects the money they expect it to make over the course of the next year. As long as they expect Apple to be profitable years from now, they barely care what will happen to the U.S. economy over the next few quarters.


Furthermore, the profits people expect Apple to make years from now loom especially large because, after all, where else are they going to put their money? Yields on U.S. government bonds, for example, are well below the expected rate of inflation.


And Apple’s valuation is actually less extreme than the valuations of other tech giants, like Amazon or Netflix.


So big tech stocks — and the people who own them — are riding high because investors believe that they’ll do very well in the long run. The depressed economy hardly matters.


Unfortunately, ordinary Americans get very little of their income from capital gains, and can’t live on rosy projections about their future prospects. Telling your landlord not to worry about your current inability to pay rent, because you’ll surely have a great job five years from now, will get you nowhere — or, more accurately, will get you kicked out of your apartment and put on the street.


So here’s the current state of America: Unemployment is still extremely high, largely because Trump and his allies first refused to take the coronavirus seriously, then pushed for an early reopening in a nation that met none of the conditions for resuming business as usual — and even now refuse to get firmly behind basic protective strategies like widespread mask requirements.


Despite this epic failure, the unemployed were kept afloat for months by federal aid, which helped avert both humanitarian and economic catastrophe. But now the aid has been cut off, with Trump and allies as unserious about the looming economic disaster as they were about the looming epidemiological disaster.


So everything suggests that even if the pandemic subsides — which is by no means guaranteed — we’re about to see a huge surge in national misery.


Oh, and stocks are up. Why, exactly, should we care?



2) Pediatrics Group Offers ‘Long Overdue’ Apology for Racist Past

The American Academy of Pediatrics recently joined other prominent medical organizations in confronting its history of discrimination.

By Emma Goldberg, Aug. 20, 2020

Dr. Roland B. Scott in the 1950s, during his time as a professor at Howard University in Washington.
Credit...Howard University, via U.S. National Library of Medicine

Dr. Roland B. Scott was the first African-American to pass the pediatric board exam, in 1934. He was a faculty member at Howard University, and went on to establish its center for the study of sickle cell disease; he gained national acclaim for his research on the blood disorder.


But when he applied for membership with the American Academy of Pediatrics — its one criteria for admission was board certification — he was rejected multiple times beginning in 1939.


The minutes from the organization’s 1944 executive board meeting leave little room for mystery regarding the group’s decision. The group that considered his application, along with that of another Black physician, was all-white. “If they became members they would want to come and eat with you at the table,” one academy member said. “You cannot hold them down.”


Dr. Scott was accepted a year later along with his Howard professor, Dr. Alonzo deGrate Smith, another Black pediatrician. But they were only allowed to join for educational purposes and were not permitted to attend meetings in the South, ostensibly for their safety.


More than a half-century later, the American Academy of Pediatrics has formally apologized for its racist actions, including its initial rejections of Drs. Scott and Smith on the basis of their race. The statement will be published in the September issue of Pediatrics. The group also changed its bylaws to prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity.


“This apology is long overdue,” said Dr. Sally Goza, the organization’s president, noting that this year marks the group’s 90th anniversary. “But we must also acknowledge where we have failed to live up to our ideals.”


Dr. Goza said in an interview that the group learned from the example of another organization that confronted its racist past: the American Medical Association.


The American field of medicine has long been predominantly white. Black patients experience worse health outcomes and higher rates of conditions like hypertension and diabetes. Black, Latino and Native Americans have also suffered disproportionately during the Covid-19 pandemic.


In the last decade, some medical societies and groups have released statements recognizing the role that systemic racism and discrimination played in driving these health disparities. Implicit bias affects the quality of provider services: Living in poverty limits access to healthy food and preventive care.


After the killing of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police, in late May, a flood of medical groups released statements on racial health disparities: the American Academy of Emergency Medicine, the American College of Cardiology, the American College of Gastroenterology, the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the American Psychiatric Association and more. The American Public Health Association released a statement recognizing racism as a “public health crisis.”


But few medical organizations have confronted the roles they played in blocking opportunities for Black advancement in the medical profession — until the American Medical Association, and more recently the American Academy of Pediatrics, formally apologized for their histories.


The A.M.A. issued an apology in 2008 for its more than century-long history of discriminating against African-American physicians. For decades, the organization predicated its membership on joining a local or state medical society, many of which excluded Black physicians, especially in the South. Keith Wailoo, a historian at Princeton University, said the group chose to “look the other way” regarding these exclusionary practices. The A.M.A.’s apology came in the wake of a paper, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, that examined a number of discriminatory aspects of the group’s history, including its efforts to close African-American medical schools.


For some Black physicians, exclusion from the A.M.A. meant the loss of career advancement opportunities, according to Dr. Wailoo. Others struggled to gain access to the postgraduate training they needed for certification in certain medical specialties. As a result, many Black physicians were limited to becoming general practitioners, especially in the South. Some facilities also required A.M.A. membership for admitting privileges to hospitals.


By 1964, the A.M.A. changed its position and refused to certify medical societies that discriminated on the basis of race, but persistent segregation in local groups still limited Black physicians’ access to certain hospitals, as well as opportunities for specialty training and certification.


“Physicians are no different from other Americans who harbor biases,” said Dr. Wailoo, whose research focuses on race and the history of medicine. “We expect doctors to speak on the basis of science, but they’re embedded in culture in the same way everyone else is.”


The A.M.A. also played a role in limiting medical educational opportunities available to Black physicians. In the early 20th century, before the medical field held the same prestige it does today, the A.M.A. commissioned a report assessing the country’s medical schools for their rigor. The report, by educator Abraham Flexner, deemed much of the country’s medical education system substandard. It also recommended closing all but two of the country’s seven Black medical schools. Howard and Meharry were spared.


As the field became more exclusive, it also became more white, according to Adam Biggs, a historian at the University of South Carolina. “When we talk about how modern medicine came to define what it means to be a modern practitioner, it was deeply rooted in race,” Mr. Biggs said. “Segregation was embedded in the pipeline.”


Between its restrictions on medical education and its exclusionary membership, the A.M.A. played a role in cultivating the profession’s homogeneity, which it acknowledged in its 2008 statement. It has since appointed a chief health equity officer and established a center for health equity. Dr. Goza said that the A.M.A.’s example helped spur the American Academy of Pediatrics to confront its own history.


There have been some historical examples of efforts to confront racism in the medical field. In 1997, President Clinton apologized for the infamous Tuskegee syphilis study conducted between 1932 and 1972, a quarter-century after it was first exposed by The Associated Press. In the early 21st century, a number of state attorneys general apologized for the forced sterilization of Black, mentally ill and disabled people, which began in the early 1900s.


But some of the field’s future leaders are now demanding change on medical school campuses.


Dr. Tequilla Manning, a family medicine resident in New York, graduated from University of Kansas Medical Center three years ago. As a medical student, she conducted a research project on Dr. Marjorie Cates, who became the school’s first Black female graduate in 1958. She began to draw parallels between Dr. Cates’ experience of discrimination on campus and her own.


Before graduating in 2017, she gave a presentation on Dr. Cates’ story. Some of the other students in the audience were inspired. They lobbied University of Kansas to rename a campus medical society for Dr. Cates; the group previously honored a dean of the school who had advocated for racially segregated clinical facilities.


Last year Dr. Manning attended the renaming ceremony for the Cates Society. “I was crying,” she said. “What I experienced is not on the spectrum of what my ancestors experienced at the hands of white physicians. But I spent five years at this institution thinking there was no hope.”


Watching the school publicly honor its first female Black graduate, she felt a glimmer of optimism: “I thought, maybe they do give a damn about the lives of Black students.”



3) 323,911 Accusations of N.Y.P.D. Misconduct Are Released Online

The records had been sealed for decades, but last month, New York repealed a law keeping them secret after national protests against police brutality.

By Ashley Southall, Aug. 20, 2020

Some 81,550 New York City police officers were named in complaints released on Thursday by the New York Civil Liberties Union.
Some 81,550 New York City police officers were named in complaints released on Thursday by the New York Civil Liberties Union. Credit...Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

Over 323,000 accusations of misconduct against current and former New York City police officers were published online on Thursday, a major milestone in a long and contentious political battle to open records of police discipline to public scrutiny.


The records include all civilian complaints filed since 1985 with the city’s independent police watchdog agency, the Civilian Complaint Review Board, and closed after an investigation.


Some 81,550 officers — from the rank-and-file to the current commissioner — were named in the complaints. Together they offer the public the broadest look to date at how officers are investigated and punished for a range of offenses, from using profanity and slurs to beating or choking people during arrests.


The complaints were published in an online database by the New York Civil Liberties Union, which obtained the records from the review board after state lawmakers repealed a law that had kept them secret.


The civil liberties union noted that less than 3 percent of the 323,911 complaints resulted in a penalty for officers, 12 of whom had been terminated. Christopher Dunn, the organization’s legal director, said in a statement that the records showed that the Police Department, whose commissioner makes the final decision on disciplinary matters, “is unwilling to police itself.”


“The release of this database is an important step towards greater transparency and accountability,” Mr. Dunn added, “and is just the beginning of unraveling the monopoly the N.Y.P.D. holds on public information and officer discipline.”


Al Baker, a police spokesman, said the department had refined the discipline system and implemented changes recommended by a panel of prosecutors and judges. “All of this advances the NYPD’s priority to make its internal disciplinary system as fair, effective, and transparent as it can,” he said.


Fred Davie, the chairman of the review board, said in a statement that the agency released the records in response to demands from the public for greater police accountability, which have been underscored by the nationwide protests following the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis.


“All New Yorkers have a right to transparency” under the state law granting access to public records, said Mr. Davie, who promised that his agency “will hold paramount the people’s right to know how their communities are policed.”


But that might become even more difficult for the review board, which is preparing to possibly lay off staff because of budget cuts brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. The Independent Budget Office recently said the review board, which has a $20 million budget and 200-person staff, was too small to oversee the police department, which has a $6 billion budget and 36,000 officers.


The records released Thursday include all allegations of excessive force, abuse of authority, discourtesy and offensive language investigated by the review board though mid-July, as well as the board’s findings and any discipline that the police commissioner imposed. They do not include complaints under investigation by the review board or those investigated by the Police Department itself.


The complaints were shrouded in secrecy until June, when, as protests against police brutality spread across the country, the State Legislature in New York repealed a 44-year-old law that had been used to prevent their release to the public.


After a legal challenge from labor unions representing police officers, firefighters and corrections officers whose records were shielded by the law, a federal appeals court on Thursday ruled that the data could be released while the case continued in a lower court.


The unions vowed to continue fighting against what Hank Sheinkopf, a spokesman for the union coalition, said was “the improper dumping of thousands of documents containing unproven, career-damaging, unsubstantiated allegations that put our members and their families at risk.”


The publication of the records, policing experts said, chips away at a legal wall of confidentiality built up by police unions, which for decades have used their political clout to block efforts to publicly release complaints about officers and the punishment they receive.


Samuel Walker, a professor at the University of Nebraska Omaha who is a leading expert on police accountability, said the data would allow academic researchers and policymakers to identify patterns and problems.


“That provides the fodder for policy changes, and that is terribly important,” he said.


The topic of how and whether to disclose police disciplinary records has been contentious for decades. States like Delaware have laws keeping the records secret, while others like Florida and Arizona permit the release of some or all records, according to the Police Executive Research Forum, a policy and research nonprofit.


“Departments have come to recognize that’s part of what transparency looks like,” Chuck Wexler, the executive director, said.


The records became a lightning-rod issue when Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration fought against disclosing those of Daniel Pantaleo, a police officer who put Eric Garner in a banned chokehold on Staten Island in 2014 that proved fatal.


Officer Pantaleo was fired last year, but the law the city relied on to shield his records did not change until this past June, after the death of Mr. Floyd.


The records released Thursday add to a patchwork of data about police misconduct in New York City created by media and legal organizations.


ProPublica published data on nearly 4,000 officers who had at least one allegation of misconduct substantiated after an investigation, and BuzzFeed in 2018 published leaked records of 1,800 cases. The Legal Aid Society also maintains a database of federal lawsuits against officers.


Most people who have unpleasant encounters with the police do not file formal complaints. For many who have filed formal complaints that the review board substantiated, the publication of the records offers an opportunity to finally learn what punishment, if any, those officers received.


And for those who are facing criminal charges based on officers’ testimony, or who have filed lawsuits against the city accusing police of misconduct and abuse, the records make it easier to learn more about an officer’s history.


Richard Emery, a former chairman of the review board, said the data provided a treasure trove for researchers and policymakers.


But the release of the records also puts pressure on the Police Department to change how unsubstantiated claims affect officers’ careers, he said. Even if not proven true, misconduct complaints can have a negative effect on officers’ opportunities for transfers, promotions and more desirable assignments.


“It’s a very, very complicated, messy problem that has a lot of strings to it,” Mr. Emery said. “The release of these statistics and information can be something that’s useful and it can support reform, but it also can be something that undermines reform and puts the police in the position where they cannot and will not do their job.”


The police unions have argued in court that no information about misconduct cases should be released in which the police commissioner has not ended up handing down punishment. But the repeal of the secrecy law, known as 50-a, “made clear that disciplinary records can now be made available to the public,” James E. Johnson, the city’s corporation counsel said in a statement Thursday.


The unions’ argument would have prevented the release of the vast majority of the review board’s data. Only in 8,699 of the more than 300,000 cases did officers receive any disciplinary action, according to the civil liberties union. The penalties can range from a letter in their personnel file to suspension or firing, according to the review board.


Reasons for this vary, but the majority of civilian complaints end because investigators did not have enough evidence to determine what actually happened or found evidence to disprove the allegations, or the person filing the complaint withdrew from the investigation.


The Police Department often withholds some evidence, including body camera footage. The review board has said cases in which there is video are more likely to be substantiated.


Kate Levine, a criminal law professor at Yeshiva University, said the data should not be used to “name and shame” officers, but to understand how policing is in need of fundamental change.


"Let’s get rid of the worst people first,” she said, “but also let’s take those dollars and reinvest them in the many different ways that we can better the lives of marginalized communities.”



4) Remembering Katrina and Its Unlearned Lessons, 15 Years On

There’ve been so many storms — literal, cultural and political — since the hurricane hit New Orleans. But for the sake of all cities, we can’t forget it.

By Talmon Joseph Smith, Aug. 21, 2020

The view from the jet included flooded neighborhoods and the Superdome, upper right, “the shelter of last resort” for about 9,000 residents.
The view from the jet included flooded neighborhoods and the Superdome, upper right, “the shelter of last resort” for about 9,000 residents. Credit...Jim Watson/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Photograph of actor Wendell Pierce taken in 2007

Wendell Pierce, star of "Treme."

Early in the evening on Aug. 25, 2005, Hurricane Katrina made landfall in Florida. A modest Category 1 storm, with top winds of only about 90 miles per hour, it passed just north of Miami, then lumbered across the Everglades toward the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico.


That night a birthday cake, white with pineapple filling, sat inside a glass cake stand on the dining room table at a house on the east corner of Dreux Street and St. Roch Avenue in New Orleans. It was my older brother’s birthday.


Within 72 hours, the storm grew into a colossal Category 5, its eye headed straight for the city. My family fled, leaving almost everything behind.


On Aug. 29, at 6:10 a.m., Hurricane Katrina slammed into the mouth of the Mississippi River as the fourth-most intense hurricane ever to make landfall in mainland America. Upriver in New Orleans, poorly made federal levees — which bracket the drainage canals coursing through the city — began to break like discolored Lego pieces when buffeted by storm surge. And a great deluge began.


On Aug. 31, President George W. Bush, who had been vacationing in Texas when the hurricane hit New Orleans, took a flyover tour of the destruction in Air Force One, while four-fifths of the city was underwater, and tens of thousands were stranded on rooftops, marooned on patches of dry streets or trapped in shelters.


On Sept. 2, as many still awaited rescue, and the death toll of more than 1,800 was still being tallied, The Baltimore Sun reported that the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Dennis Hastert, “questioned the wisdom of spending billions to rebuild a city several feet below sea level.” It was a common sentiment at the time — also published in mainstream outlets like Slate and The Washington Post — that New Orleanians have never forgotten.


A month or so later, my family returned to our home on Dreux Street, with masks and gloves, to survey the damage, a mildewed mess: our furniture, works by local artists, the old piano, all ruined. A chair hung from the chandelier. Below it on the counter, looking soggy yet almost untouched, was the birthday cake, still tucked inside its glass dome.


At the time, many here feared that “we may not see this city ever again, or at least not in the form we recognize,” as Wendell Pierce, the New Orleans native who starred in the HBO series “Tremé” about post-Katrina turmoil in the city, reminded me years later.


Mr. Pierce recalled how in those early months and years, “Do You Know What It Means (to Miss New Orleans)” by Louis Armstrong hit differently — not as bittersweet, but a dirge.


To his relief and that of millions of others, much of the city recovered after the hurricane, in its own uneven way.


Yet now, the coronavirus has killed over 4,000 Louisianans, put New Orleans’s service-based economy into a coma, shown the rest of America what a Katrina-size failure feels like and revealed how the lessons from the storm’s aftermath, regarding crisis management and social inequality, remain unlearned.


It can be hard to clearly remember August 2005. There have been so many storms — literal, cultural and political — that have happened since. But we can’t forget the singularity of its disaster.


We can’t forget that the levees, properly built, easily “could have been sufficient” for the storm surge, as Stephen Nelson, a professor emeritus of earth and environmental science at Tulane University and author of the seminal paper “Myths of Katrina: Field Notes From a Geoscientist,” told me. But the Army Corps of Engineers failed to drive the steel pilings that hold levee panels together far enough into the earth, among other grave failures.


We can’t forget that, adjusted for inflation, the median Black household in the majority-Black city earned only about $30,000 in 2000, and that evacuating can cost thousands.


We can’t forget that despite commanding the greatest ground, air and naval forces in history, the U.S. government took roughly a week to put in place a thoroughly engaged rescue effort — leaving tens of thousands stuck without suitable shelter, food or water.


Precisely because the federal government was largely missing for days — while state and local officials were mired in petulant disarray — we can’t forget the heroic acts New Orleanians did for one another.


One of the first people I visited this month in New Orleans was Rudy Major, a man responsible for rescuing 125 or so people from floodwaters in my old neighborhood, Gentilly, according to his rough estimate. Mr. Major, a man full of jokes, is girded by a militarylike seriousness when ready to talk business.


He sat me down in his den and explained that he stayed as Hurricane Katrina approached because he was confident that his house, on a ridge, would not flood and because he was equally confident that the low-lying Ninth Ward, only a couple of miles away, would — and he wanted to help.


Soon after two nearby levees broke that Monday morning, Mr. Major hopped into his 30-foot boat with his son, Kyle, then 19. They made dozens of trips to fetch people in the surrounding area from their roofs and bring them back to his terrace, just safely above the waterline, “whether they looked white, Black, Creole, something else, whatever.”


They saw corpses float by. They hacked into an attic after hearing faint cries for help to discover a grieving woman with her two young daughters and their lifeless grandmother.


Such stories are just some of thousands of wrenching tales from the aftermath, created and compounded by government ineptitude. Mr. Major expressed a similar frustration with the government now, as the coronavirus strikes Louisiana with a particular severity.


“There are distinctions, but a lot of similarities,” he said. “You need a federal plan, a state plan, a local plan and they have to be connected.”


In 2005, the New Orleans mayor, Ray Nagin; Gov. Kathleen Blanco of Louisiana; Gov. Haley Barbour of Mississippi; and the Bush White House stumbled over logistics and wrestled over funding as lives were in the balance. In 2020, the cast of battling characters is simply broader, as governors from California to Texas to New York clash with mayors, and the Trump administration undermines them all, while refusing to take the lead itself.


Depending on where and who you are, the result of this politicized crisis response is just as deadly. “I’ve lost 15 friends to Covid,” Mr. Major said.


Pre-Katrina, there was already a considerable shortage of affordable housing in New Orleans. The situation has only become worse, as many of the affordable units the city had were never rebuilt after the storm and the urban core became whiter and wealthier.


New Orleans now has roughly 33,000 fewer affordable housing units than it needs, according to HousingNOLA, a local research and advocacy group. There are opportunities in every corner of the city to fix this, explained Andreanecia Morris, the executive director of HousingNOLA, when we met in her office in Mid-City on South Carrollton Avenue.


Most New Orleanians are renters. Pre-Katrina, the market rate for a one-bedroom apartment was around $578 monthly. It has roughly doubled since then, meaning a full-time worker must now earn about $18 per hour to afford a one-bedroom apartment.


Real wages, however, have stalled, and many of the places that employ New Orleanians remain closed. Tens of thousands of workers in the city’s beloved music, drinks, food and tourism businesses — who were the most likely to lose their livelihoods both after the storm and now during the pandemic — make a minimum wage of $7.25.


In some other cities, Ms. Morris explained, unaffordable rent “is the result of a housing stock shortage, but in New Orleans we have a vacancy rate of about 20 percent!” There are about 37,700 vacant units in the city.


Residents like Terence Blanchard, the Grammy Award-winning trumpeter, who resides in a thriving midcentury neighborhood along Bayou St. John, live this dichotomy. “People talk about the recovery,” he told me as we stood on his dock overlooking the water and City Park. “But if you go to my mom’s house in Pontchartrain Park, there was no real recovery.”


The federal housing vouchers mostly known by the shorthand “Section 8” — which subsidize rent payments above 30 percent of participants’ income — fully cover “fair market rate rent,” which in New Orleans is calculated as $1,034 to $1,496 for a one-bedroom apartment. That means even in increasingly upscale, higher-ground areas of town there is little stopping developers and landlords with vacant properties from lowering rents by a few hundred dollars and still being able to generate revenue.


For Ms. Morris, the continued holdout by many landlords that want “a certain kind of family,” or Airbnb customers, has grown to “psychotic” levels of classism and racism. “At a certain point,” she said, “the math has to let you at least manage your prejudices.”


I met Malik Bartholomew, a young local historian and born-and-raised New Orleanian, at the last Black bookstore in town, the Community Book Center, based in the Seventh Ward on Bayou Road. A cultural hub that was on the verge of closing because of the coronavirus, it’s been rescued for now by what the owner — known to her clientele as Miss Vera — views as a surge in white guilt after the death of George Floyd.


“Books started flying off the shelves,” Miss Vera said, her ambivalence visible despite the mask on her face.


Shortly after, Mr. Bartholomew gave me a history tour of the Faubourg Tremé, the iconic old neighborhood where I briefly worked as a teenager in 2013. Already gentrifying then, it’s become even fancier since.


As an eighth-generation New Orleanian, I wanted to be a good native and scoff at it all. But I found myself almost viscerally charmed by the carefully redone homes and the cafes frequented by young white people alongside the scene of a retired Black gentleman enjoying his shaded porch.


Couldn’t there be, I asked, a world in which some of the well-off people who come to visit and decide to stay then respect the culture, integrate into it, increase the tax base and help uplift others?


Mr. Bartholomew explained — in between waving to residents he knew — that my integrationist daydream puts too much faith in “the Part 2,” in which wealth and power would be shared. “I’ve never seen that happen,” he said. “People just make money off our culture.”


As Mr. Bartholomew and other community organizers see it, “the wealthy interests are more powerful than ever.”


The mayor of New Orleans, LaToya Cantrell, said she largely agreed.


Ms. Cantrell, both the first woman and the first Black woman to lead the city, is from Broadmoor, one of the seven lower-lying neighborhoods that a panel appointed by the mayor’s office after Hurricane Katrina planned to transform into parks and wetlands.


She rose in local politics as a leading opponent of that failed plan and won the mayoralty on a platform of creating a New Orleans “for all New Orleanians.” But she confessed as we spoke in her sunlit yellow and blue City Hall office that, even before the coronavirus, every day felt like pushing a boulder uphill.


“All the time,” she told me, stretching out each syllable. “But if you don’t push, you’re not going to move. The systems that have been created, particularly in this city, are so that we’re doing all the pushing around here — and have been.”


Those systems are many and layered. There are regional business elites and the Federal Reserve — which has once again declined to be as generous to indebted municipalities as it’s been to the corporate markets it has saved. A hostile and controlling conservative state government blocks or vetoes many policies City Hall desires and starves the city of funds, even though much of the tax revenue generated in New Orleans goes to state coffers. As a result, Ms. Cantrell complained, she has no ability to make reforms like raising the minimum wage, and little room to redirect taxes or revenue.


So far, she has had more success with infrastructure projects, including a deal to divert some tax dollars from the tourism industry into initiatives that include a focus on sustainability. Instead of abandoning low-lying neighborhoods, the city is seeking to re-engineer their open spaces — like unused lots and wide avenues — into a network of water gardens, mini wetlands and drainage canals that feel more like babbling creeks. These “blue and green corridors” are meant to reduce flooding and reverse subsidence, the sinking of land, which has been increasing.


This reworked cityscape will be immensely beneficial to New Orleans’s viability if completed. But in the face of climate change — rising seas and disappearing wetlands to the south — Ms. Cantrell acknowledged it won’t be enough over the next 15 years.


There’s only so much, she said, that a mayor with a municipal budget can do — for wages, infrastructure, housing, education, economic mobility and more. And that’s true anywhere.


For all of New Orleans’s cultural uniqueness, for all of its ability to be a multicultural mecca in fleeting, festival moments, its struggles and needs are practically the same as every other urban area. Nearly everywhere, the city — this central, vital organ of modern society — is yet to be fairly figured out, with citizens living in just and environmentally stable harmony.


For such a city to be achieved, rich people of all colors will need to stop hoarding resources and live next to working people, schoolteachers may have to be paid like professors, living wages may need to be subsidized and epic adaptations will have to be made for climate change.


The scale of this need can be met only by the vast fiscal and monetary powers of the federal government. The alternative is for coastal areas around New Orleans, Miami, New York and Charleston, S.C., to become ever more unequal in the coming decades, sinking under the weight of their contradictions, then succumbing to nature and being overrun by the sea.


A day or so before I left town, I sat with Dr. Nelson, the Tulane geologist, in his backyard, and he told me he was skeptical of society’s ability to control coastal erosion in time. “For humans, if the return on investment isn’t immediate, you don’t do it,” he said. “But the Earth doesn’t work that way.”


For America to make an adequate pivot to environmentalism and egalitarianism may require a miracle unseen in lifetimes.


Still, as I took off from Louis Armstrong Airport, I noticed how within seconds we were soaring over the wetland created by the Mississippi River, much of it less than 1,000 years old, but now teeming with humans busying about, visible from a vehicle thousands of feet on high — a larger, more implausible-seeming miracle.


It reminded me of one of the last things Dr. Nelson told me, eyes smiling above his mask: “You can’t ignore what’s underneath you. Because you’re building everything on top of it.”



5) The Coronavirus Generation

The virus doesn’t sicken kids as much as adults. But it can still destroy their futures. A child allowance would help.

"Depending on the yardstick used, child poverty in the United States is 65 percent to 90 percent greater than the average in its four main English-speaking peers (Australia, Britain, Canada and Ireland). Among them, America’s public spending on children, as a share of its economy, consistently ranks last."

By Jason DeParle, Aug. 22, 2020

Brian Rea

Three decades ago, a team of researchers at Duke University set off to follow a group of schoolchildren in a stretch of rural North Carolina that happened to include a small reservation. Soon after, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians opened a casino and began sharing the profits, about $4,000 per adult each year, with every household in the tribe — essentially creating a local version of guaranteed income.


What followed should interest anyone concerned about America’s high levels of child poverty or worried how poor children will fare amid the worst unemployment crisis since the Great Depression.


The Cherokee children did better than their unsubsidized counterparts — much better, the researchers found. They completed more schooling. They committed fewer crimes. They had fewer problems with anxiety, depression and substance abuse. The poorest children benefited most. Researchers are still following the kids, who are now in middle age.


The Great Smoky Mountains Study is part of a trove of evidence that has reshaped expert views of child poverty, and it is ripe with lessons today, when the number of needy children is soaring.


As conveyed last year in a landmark report by the National Academies of Science Engineering and Medicine, a growing scholarly consensus can be expressed in two parts. One is that even brief stays in poverty can cause children lifelong harm, especially when the children are young. The other is that money helps — subsidizing the incomes of poor families leads their children on average to better health, more schooling and higher earnings as adults.


That may sound obvious, but the idea that giving poor parents money (or as skeptics would say, “welfare”) improves their children’s chances has been vigorously contested and until recently difficult to prove.


While the coronavirus was initially said to spare the young, that no longer appears to be true medically, and economically it never was — certainly not for the 10 million children below the poverty line and even larger numbers just above it. With hunger rising, classrooms closing and parental stress surging, the pandemic is a threat to low-income children of epochal proportions, one that could leave an entire generation bearing its scars.


Most rich countries do more to protect kids. At least 17 offer child allowances, income supplements to families with children, generally paid to both the poor and middle class in recognition that society has an interest in seeing children thrive. A few years ago, Canada increased its maximum payment to about $4,800 per child per year (in American dollars), and quickly reduced child poverty by a third. Britain has been paying child allowances since the end of World War II.


Until recently, there seemed little chance the United States would do the same, given its high tolerance for child poverty and distrust of income guarantees. Child poverty ranks curiously low even on lists of progressive concerns. It hasn’t been an issue in the year’s outcries over racial injustice. Children don’t lobby, contribute, protest or vote. No vanguards unfurl banners to proclaim that “Young Lives Matter.” Child poverty drew little attention in the Democratic primaries. Joe Biden’s website pledges economic justice but hardly mentions poor kids.


Still, the movement to create a child allowance was quietly advancing in the wonkier precincts of the Democratic Party even before the pandemic, and it has gained ground amid a crisis that has deepened needs and expanded the country’s notions about what the government can spend.


Though few people have noticed, a majority of Democrats in both chambers of Congress have endorsed a child allowance, and a temporary version recently passed the House as part of the Heroes Act, a giant package of coronavirus relief. Analysts estimated that the allowance would cut child poverty by 42 percent, based on pre-pandemic data — among Black kids by more than half.


Mr. Biden hasn’t expressed a view. But if a blue wave prevails in November, it’s possible to imagine a Democratic Congress giving him the chance to start his presidency by lifting four million children out of poverty with a stroke of his pen.




America’s high level of child poverty is old, but the empirical case for reducing it is new. Advances in brain science have shown how much of a child’s life course is set in the first few years. Economists have found that even limited periods of poverty can have lasting effects — less schooling, lower adult earnings and worse adult health.


Historically, the United States could look past its unusual child poverty and boast of its unusual mobility. Poverty is more readily excused when seen as a stage, not a fate. But most researchers now think the American advantage in class fluidity has faded, if it ever truly existed. What remains exceptional is the poverty itself, not the odds of escaping it.


One lesson of recent years is that progress is possible: With low unemployment and the expansion of programs like the earned-income tax credit, child poverty before the pandemic had fallen to an American low, 13.7 percent. But that was still notably high by the standards of wealthy nations.


Depending on the yardstick used, child poverty in the United States is 65 percent to 90 percent greater than the average in its four main English-speaking peers (Australia, Britain, Canada and Ireland). Among them, America’s public spending on children, as a share of its economy, consistently ranks last.


Money helps children in part because of what it buys — food, housing, better schools, health care and summer camps. But it also important in a less obvious way: It reduces stress, which can reach toxic levels in poor households. The academies’ report warns that children chronically exposed to excessive stress can suffer “permanent changes in brain structure and function,” leading to problems from learning disabilities to heart disease and diabetes. Some scientists have found that toxic stress can even alter children’s chromosomes.


If poverty was that harsh before the pandemic, imagine what is doing to children now, amid mass unemployment, closed schools and fears of a deadly pandemic.


This crisis targets the needy. Unemployment rates have grown by 4.8 percentage points for college graduates, but 9.7 points for workers without a high school degree. Perhaps no one is suffering more than undocumented immigrants, who are ineligible for government aid and whose households include more than four million American children.


There is no age group for whom the pandemic does not pose a threat. Toxic stress has been shown to harm infants still in the womb. School closures will confine rich and poor kids to homes even more unequal than their classrooms, at the risk of widening the achievement gap. (Sean F. Reardon, a Stanford sociologist, has found poor eighth graders have the math and reading skills of rich kids in fourth grade.) It’s hard to measure child hunger amid a pandemic, but four different surveys show sharp increases, and food banks have seen astounding lines.


“The kids are not all right — every aspect of their lives is being affected,” said Bruce Lesley, president of First Focus on Children, a Washington advocacy group.


At special risk of long-term harm are young people joining the work force, for whom the earnings penalties are large and lasting. Till von Wachter, an economist at the University of California, Los Angeles, found that a five-point rise in unemployment rates (an increase smaller than today’s) costs disadvantaged workers about a quarter of their first few years’ pay, because they work less and receive lower wages. For workers without a high school degree, it takes more than a decade for their earnings to fully recover, with the total losses over that time equal to a full year’s pay.


The impact goes beyond earnings. Mr. von Wachter (with Hannes Schwandt of Northwestern) found that workers who started out in the deep recession of 1982 had lower marriage rates, more divorce and higher rates of mortality, in part because of heart and liver disease. He estimates that the timing of their labor market entry will shorten their average lives by six to nine months.


“These people lead more stressful lives — they work harder and switch jobs more often,” he said. “Being poor is a very stressful and unhealthy state.”




It’s clear that poor kids on average fare worse than others but, as researchers are quick to warn, correlation is not causation. The question is whether poverty itself harms kids or whether other issues that harm kids also cause poverty. Do poor children do worse in school because they lack money — or because their parents on average have less education, which leaves them less able to help?


If money is the problem, subsidies could be the solution. If not, the money may do little good. In some cases (if, say, a parent has a drug problem) it might even hurt.


In 2015, Congress put the question to the National Academies, a private group (chartered under Abraham Lincoln) that convenes ad hoc panels of scholars to give the government scientific advice. Its pronouncements are arrived at by consensus, and meant to offer cautious, authoritative views. Fifteen scholars pondered the question and concluded last year, “Poverty itself causes negative child outcomes.”


How do they know?


The evidence comes in part from natural experiments — events that randomly subsidize one group of poor families but not others — like the opening of the Cherokee casino. Randall K.Q. Akee, an economist at U.C.L.A., has published four studies of the tribal subsidies and found they improved everything from the children’s education to their propensity as adults to vote. “When you remedy child poverty, children become more productive members of society across multiple dimensions,” he said.


Another natural experiment compared low-birthweight babies who qualified for disability payments with those just above the eligibility threshold. The babies who received the Supplemental Security Income payments during their first nine months developed motor skills more rapidly than those who did not — a result especially notable since the heavier, slightly healthier babies should have had the edge. (The payments now average about $640 a month.)


Other important evidence comes from the rollout of the food stamp program, which was introduced a county at a time from 1962 to 1975. The local differences allowed three researchers (Hilary Hoynes, Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach and Douglas Almond) to compare kids who grew up with access to the program and those who did not.


The differences were large. Children in counties with a food stamp program finished high school at a rate 18 percentage points higher than those raised in places without one. Children in food stamps counties also earned more as adults, enjoyed better health, and were less likely to be poor or receive public aid.


“Some people fear that if you give people benefits you create a culture of poverty,” said Ms. Schanzenbach, an economist at Northwestern. “This shows the opposite is true — if you invest in poor kids, they’re less likely to need benefits as adults.”


Congress asked the academies what it would take to cut child poverty in half. The panel considered the expansion of 10 programs, including job training, housing aid, child care, food stamps and the earned-income tax credit.


None reduced child poverty nearly as much as creating a child allowance. An annual payment of $3,000 per child would lift at least 38 times as many children out of poverty than an increased ($10.25 an hour) minimum wage. Advocates would pay it monthly, to temper damaging income swings like those hitting families today.


“If I had to pick one policy, I would put my bet on a child allowance,” said Greg J. Duncan, an economist at the University of California, Irvine, who led the academies’ study group.


One argument against a child allowance is cost. At about $100 billion a year, such a program is expensive, but less than half as expensive as Donald Trump’s 2017 tax cuts, which mostly benefit the wealthy. In the context of Covid-19 spending measured in the trillions, the costs seem less forbidding.


The other objection is that offering parents a cash subsidy would discourage some from working, a standard anti-welfare concern. But the classic way welfare discourages work is by reducing benefits as earnings grow — in essence, taxing the effort to get ahead. A child allowance, by contrast, would give families the full amount until they were solidly middle class. Every dollar earned would be a dollar gained.


The academies estimated that a child allowance would reduce earnings by just under two-thirds of 1 percent. Public policy involves trade-offs. Maintaining 99.4 percent of the work effort while cutting child poverty more than 40 percent is a trade-off supporters should be able to sell.


Actually, the United States already has a child allowance of sorts — it just happens to be one that largely omits the families that need it the most. A provision of the tax code called the child tax credit offers up to $2,000 per child a year, but only for households with sufficient earnings.


A single mother with two children has to earn more than $30,000 to fully qualify. More than a third of children fail to get the full benefit, including half of Blacks and Latinos and nearly 70 percent of those raised by single mothers. Families with earnings up to $400,000 get the full sum.




In a season of reckonings over social injustice, a plan to shrink child poverty would seem well timed. Think of it as reparations for the accident of being born poor. The child allowance recently passed by the House combines universalist appeal (families with earnings up to $180,000 would be eligible) with outsize help for the disadvantaged. According to Sophie Collyer of Columbia, of the four million children it would lift from poverty, 70 percent would be Black or Latino.


But few people noticed the advance of a plan whose natural habitat is the seminar room, not the streets or the campaign rally. To grasp how the little the Democratic candidates said about child poverty, recall how much they said about “Medicare for all.” (Andrew Yang’s call for a guaranteed income of $12,000 a year per adult is a partial exception, though vastly more expensive and aimed at a different problem, technological change.) When the candidates were asked about child poverty in February, the Children’s Defense Fund called it the first presidential debate question on the issue in two decades.


Their responses were not of the sort that suggested great forethought. Bernie Sanders blamed “the 1 percent.” Pete Buttigieg called for “a different kind of politics.” Joe Biden said that he had been known as the poorest man in Congress. Amy Klobuchar alone mentioned the academies’ report, but glossed over its major recommendation — a child allowance — to tell a story about Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the importance of empathy.


The candidate who had made child poverty his focus was Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado — no one’s idea of a radical. (As the head of Denver’s public schools, he’d seen the many ways, from hunger to unstable housing, that poverty held children back.) But he hadn’t gotten enough support to make it onto the stage.


Perhaps the policy’s low profile has helped shield it from attack. Mr. Bennet is a co-author of two child allowance plans (of differing amounts) and Senator Kamala Harris, the vice-presidential nominee, has co-sponsored both. The House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, a paradigmatic liberal, is among the Capitol’s main enthusiast but there are pockets of conservative support, too.


Libertarians like policies that let parents spend money as they wish, rather than constricting their choices. Traditionalists like the idea that a child allowance benefits non-working mothers, unlike subsidies for child care. Sixteen conservative intellectuals, including J.D. Vance, Robert George and Yuval Levin, recently called for a one-year child allowance as part of coronavirus relief.


Mr. Biden’s view remains a mystery — repeated queries to his campaign this week went unanswered. But he pledges to take the country beyond recovery to reinvention. (“Build back better,” he likes to say.) One place to start is by reinventing a country without so many poor kids.



6) Kenosha Police Shooting of Black Man Is Investigated by Wisconsin Authorities

The man was hospitalized in serious condition, the authorities said, and Kenosha declared an overnight curfew as protests grew around the city.

By Azi Paybarah and Marie Fazio, Aug. 24, 2020

Sheriff’s deputies and protesters facing off outside the Kenosha Police Department after the shooting on Sunday.
Sheriff’s deputies and protesters facing off outside the Kenosha Police Department after the shooting on Sunday. Credit...Mike De Sisti/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

The Wisconsin Department of Justice is investigating the police shooting on Sunday of a Black man in Kenosha, Wis., as he opened the door of a parked vehicle on a residential street, officials said.


The man was identified as Jacob Blake by Gov. Tony Evers of Wisconsin. He was in “serious condition” at a Milwaukee hospital, according to a statement from the state Department of Justice early Monday morning.


As night fell, large crowds of demonstrators faced off against police officers, videos on social media showed. In one video, several empty trucks are seen on fire. Around midnight, the city of Kenosha issued a curfew until 7 a.m., and the county said Monday the courthouse would be closed because of “damage sustained during last night’s civil unrest.”


Mr. Evers said on Twitter on Sunday night that Mr. Blake had been “shot in the back multiple times” and that the governor stood “against excessive use of force and immediate escalation when engaging with Black Wisconsinites.”


The state Department of Justice said that its Division of Criminal Investigation was leading the investigation into the shooting. The officers involved were placed on administrative leave, its statement said.


It also said that the division “aims to provide a report of the incident to the prosecutor within 30 days” to determine whether to file any charges.


The episode began just after 5 p.m. in Kenosha, about 40 miles south of Milwaukee, when police officers “responded to a reported domestic incident,” according to the statement.


A video taken by a bystander and posted on social media appears to show what took place moments before the shooting.


In the video, several officers can be seen standing on a sidewalk next to a four-door S.U.V. The man identified as Mr. Blake, wearing a white tank top and black shorts, walks along the passenger side of the vehicle, away from the officers as they yell and as at least one of them points a gun at him.


Mr. Blake walks around the front of the vehicle and opens the driver-side door. Numerous people can be heard yelling, and one officer grabs the man’s shirt. As he opens the door, at least half a dozen shots can be heard while at least two officers can be seen with their guns pointed at him. The video, which is about 20 seconds long, ends shortly after the shooting.


A phone message left for the department spokesman, Lt. Joseph Nosalik, seeking further information about the shooting was not immediately returned. A message sent online to the person who posted the video on social media was also not immediately returned.


The shooting came after weeks of protests against racism and police violence across the country, prompted by the killing of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis in May. The arrest of Mr. Floyd was captured by police body cameras and bystander cellphone video.


Governor Evers on Sunday also denounced police violence against Black people. “While we do not have all of the details yet, what we know for certain is that he is not the first Black man or person to have been shot or injured or mercilessly killed at the hands of individuals in law enforcement in our state or our country,” he said on Twitter.


“Although we must offer our empathy, equally important is our action,” he added. “In the coming days, we will demand just that of elected officials in our state who have failed to recognize the racism in our state and our country for far too long.”


Julián Castro, the former mayor of San Antonio who sought the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, tweeted video of the shooting and wrote, “We’re no other non-lethal methods considered, @KenoshaPolice?”


Anthony Kennedy, the alderman for the district who lives two blocks away from the shooting, said in an interview that he had concerns about what some people who were marching through the area might do. “At this point in time I’m just trying to keep my neighborhood safe,” he said.


Mr. Kennedy said he spoke to people for two hours near the scene of the shooting, encouraging them to trust the investigation, which will not be done by the local police department.


“I understand why people are hurt,” he said. “Why they are frustrated, but justice can’t be street justice. The process has to work out.”


Mr. Kennedy said he had seen the video but declined to say whether he thought the shooting appeared justified.


Michael Bell Sr., who has advocated police reform in Kenosha since his son was fatally shot by a police officer in 2004, said someone had sent him the video of the shooting. “I’m going to withhold my judgment until we see all the facts in this case but it looks pretty bad,” he said.


Mr. Bell said his eyes were drawn to a woman who is shown in the video jumping up and down next to the car as Mr. Blake is shot. He noted the similarity of the encounter to his own son’s killing, which was witnessed by his son’s mother and sister but not recorded.


Mr. Bell led efforts in 2014 to pass a law that requires police-involved shootings to be investigated by outside agencies.


“The system is broken,” he said. “The system here is broken.”


The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that there had been numerous police-involved deaths in southeast Wisconsin, including at least 18 in the past 20 years. Few of the encounters resulted in criminal charges for the officers involved.


In 2016, the Wisconsin National Guard was called in to quell several days of demonstrations that turned violent in Milwaukee after police officers fatally shot Sylville K. Smith, 23, when he fled on foot after a traffic stop. The year before, large demonstrations swept across Madison after a police officer there shot and killed Anthony Robinson Jr., a 19-year-old Black man who was unarmed, during a scuffle inside his apartment.



7) Officer Is Fired After TikTok Videos Show His Arrest of Black Woman

The officer “did not meet our core values” in the way he acted, the police department in Gwinnett County, Ga., said.

By Christina Morales, Aug. 23, 2020

In a video from TikTok, Officer Michael Oxford, left, is seen after using a Taser on Kyndesia Smith, and then struggling to handcuff her after she fell into some bushes.

In a video from TikTok, Officer Michael Oxford, left, is seen after using a Taser on Kyndesia Smith, and then struggling to handcuff her after she fell into some bushes. Credit...jaythegoat3476, via TikTok

A police officer in Georgia was fired as of Friday after videos on TikTok that drew millions of views showed him using a Taser in the arrest of a Black woman, the authorities said.


The Police Department in Gwinnett County,  which is about 20 miles northeast of Atlanta, said it had begun its investigation into the officer, Michael Oxford, before the video spread widely on TikTok.


Investigators examined whether Officer Oxford, who is white, used de-escalation techniques and whether he violated departmental policy on Aug. 18 when he arrested the woman, Kyndesia Smith.


“One of our core values is courtesy,” the department said in a statement. “We strive to conduct ourselves in a manner that promotes mutual respect with the community and our peers. The investigation in this case has shown that Officer Oxford violated our policy and did not meet our core values.”


It was the latest in a series of episodes that have reverberated across the country as racial unrest continues to brew after the death of George Floyd in May.


Efforts to reach Mr. Oxford and Ms. Smith were not successful on Sunday evening.


The episode in Gwinnett began after the police said they received a “property damage call.” When Officer Oxford arrived, he said he was told that a bottle had been thrown at a car, according to a police report.


What happened was caught on surveillance video, and he was directed to a house where someone had been seen on the video picking up the bottle  before the police arrived, the report said.


When Officer Oxford got to the house, he saw a woman who matched the description of the person in the surveillance footage who picked up the bottle before the police arrived, he wrote. He attempted to speak to her but could not because Ms. Smith and others were yelling at him, the report said.


“I’m not going anywhere,” Ms. Smith tells the officer in one of several videos posted on TikTok.


Mr. Oxford told her she could go to jail for obstructing his investigation. In one of the videos, Ms. Smith responded: “It doesn’t matter. You’re on our property. We did not call you. I’m not going anywhere.”


The videos do not show what happened immediately leading up to Ms. Smith’s arrest, and it was not clear who had recorded them.


The officer told Ms. Smith she was under arrest, pulled at her and used a Taser as she fought being handcuffed. Ms. Smith fell to the ground onto a patch of bushes near the porch where she had been standing, the report said.


In a second video, Ms. Smith could be heard saying, “Call the police, Momma.” Officer Oxford, standing over her, attempts to handcuff one of her wrists.


“Don’t touch me,” Ms. Smith says. She waves her arm away from Officer Oxford, who continues his effort to handcuff her. Onlookers are heard yelling for him to stop.


“You’re on her neck,” a person off camera says. “Do you not understand what you’re doing?” Officer Oxford tells Ms. Smith to stop resisting.


In a third video, Ms. Smith is sitting upright and struggling with Officer Oxford who says “Give me your hands” several times.


Toward the end of a video, another white officer arrives and helps to handcuff Ms. Smith.


Although Officer Oxford was fired, the department did say there was probable cause to arrest Ms. Smith for obstruction of a law enforcement officer and that his use of force was within the department’s policy.


Ms. Smith was  taken to the Gwinnett County Jail, where she was released early Wednesday morning. The status of the charges against her and whether she had a lawyer were unclear on Sunday.


Azi Paybarah contributed reporting.



8) Washington Police Officer Charged With Murdering Man Outside Grocery Store

Officer Jeffrey Nelson of the Auburn Police Department was charged under a new state law that makes it easier to hold the police accountable for the unjustified use of deadly force, prosecutors said.

By Michael Levenson, Aug. 20, 2020

Officer Jeffrey Nelson of the Auburn Police Department in a photo taken May 31, 2019, the night Jesse Sarey was shot and killed.
Officer Jeffrey Nelson of the Auburn Police Department in a photo taken May 31, 2019, the night Jesse Sarey was shot and killed. Credit...via the Auburn Examiner

Officer Nelson shot and killed Jesse Sarey while trying to arrest him for disorderly conduct, prosecutors said.

A police officer in a Seattle suburb was charged on Thursday with murdering a man outside a grocery store under a new state law that makes it easier to hold the police accountable for the unjustified use of deadly force.


The officer, Jeffrey Nelson, was the first police officer to be charged by prosecutors in King County, Wash., under the law, which was approved in 2018 by Washington State voters, prosecutors said.


Prosecutors said that Officer Nelson, 41, had shot and killed Jesse Sarey, 26, while trying to arrest him on a disorderly-conduct charge outside Sunshine Grocery in Auburn, Wash., on May 31, 2019. The entire encounter lasted 67 seconds and was captured on nearby surveillance video, prosecutors said.


Officer Nelson “needlessly provoked the circumstances that led to Mr. Sarey’s death,” by failing to de-escalate the situation, not waiting for backup, laying his hands on Mr. Nelson after 38 seconds and then fatally shooting him 29 second later, prosecutors said.


Alan Harvey, a lawyer for Officer Nelson, said his client had acted in self-defense after Mr. Sarey grabbed for his gun. “When we have the opportunity to get in front of a jury, they will do the right thing and find that my client did not commit any crimes,” Mr. Harvey said.


The charges came amid heightened scrutiny of police violence after the killing in May of George Floyd in the custody of the Minneapolis police.


In Mississippi this month, three police officers were indicted on second-degree murder charges and accused of killing a Black man last year by body-slamming him to the ground and then beating him, prosecutors said. Last month, two Oklahoma police officers were charged with second-degree murder after they used Tasers more than 50 times on a man who later died, according to court records.


Prosecutors did not indicate that race had played a role in the shooting of Mr. Sarey, who was Asian, by Officer Nelson, who is white.


Dan Satterberg, the King County prosecuting attorney, said that before the shooting, Officer Nelson had asked Mr. Sarey, who was clearly under the influence of drugs, to leave a Walgreens. Mr. Sarey left but jaywalked across the street to Sunshine Grocery, where Officer Nelson decided to arrest him, Mr. Satterberg said.


Officer Nelson called for backup but did not wait for more officers to arrive before confronting Mr. Sarey, prosecutors said. According to the first 38 seconds of video footage of the encounter, prosecutors said, Officer Nelson left his patrol car and told Mr. Sarey that he was under arrest.


Over the next six seconds, Officer Nelson intensified his efforts to arrest Mr. Nelson by trying to physically subdue him, prosecutors said. Officer Nelson then punched Mr. Sarey seven times in the head and upper body, Mr. Satterberg said.


After a witness leaned down to pick up Officer Nelson’s closed folding knife, which had fallen to the ground, Officer Nelson was seen pushing Mr. Sarey against a freezer box while drawing his gun, prosecutors said.


Officer Nelson then fired one shot into Mr. Sarey’s torso, cleared a round that had jammed in his gun, and fired another shot into Mr. Sarey’s forehead 3.4 seconds later, prosecutors said. At that point, Mr. Sarey had fallen backward and was on his behind, prosecutors said.


Just over two minutes later, other Auburn officers arrived. One of them gave Mr. Sarey medical attention until paramedics arrived, prosecutors said in court documents.


Mr. Sarey was taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, where he died in the operating room, prosecutors said. A toxicology report found that Mr. Sarey’s blood had tested positive for methamphetamine, according to court documents.


Mr. Satterberg said the decision to charge Officer Nelson with second-degree murder and first-degree assault reflected changes brought by Initiative 940, which was overwhelmingly approved by Washington State voters in 2018 and began to take effect in cases beginning last year. The initiative redefined when deadly force would be justified, making it clear that there should be an increased role for juries to decide whether such force constitutes a crime, Mr. Satterberg said.


For cases that happened before 2019, state law required prosecutors to show that an officer had acted with “malice” and a lack of good faith, he said. That was essentially an impossible standard to meet, he said. Initiative 940 created a new legal standard centered on what a “reasonable officer” would do in similar circumstances, Mr. Satterberg said.


“We know there will be questions about how older cases could have been handled differently, or if this means all police shootings going forward will lead to criminal charges,” Mr. Satterberg said in a statement. “The answer is we look at each case individually, and follow the law as it’s written at the time.”


Officer Nelson, who has been a member of the Auburn Police Department for more than 11 years, will appear in court next week and will be placed on paid administrative leave while his case is pending, Mr. Harvey said. Prosecutors said they did not plan to ask for bail but would ask that Officer Nelson not have access to firearms.


Officer Nelson has used deadly force in two previous cases, Mr. Harvey said, but prosecutors said that the officer’s record had not factored into their decision to charge him with murdering Mr. Sarey, which was based solely on the evidence.


Mr. Harvey said that he had “grave concerns” about the decision to charge Officer Nelson, who he said had been engaged in the sort of “one-on-one contact that officers do every day.” He said that Mr. Sarey had grabbed for Officer Nelson’s gun after the officer had given him verbal commands. He said the two had then fought as Officer Nelson sought to make a lawful arrest.


Joseph Rome, a lawyer for Mr. Sarey’s family, said the past year had been “exceptionally challenging” for the family.


“They are very pleased that Officer Nelson is ultimately going to be brought to justice,” Mr. Rome said in an email. “However, they realize these charges will not bring their beloved Jesse back or fill the void in their hearts. The Sarey family is resilient and united in achieving justice for Jesse and others like him.”


The Auburn Police Department said in a statement that “the loss of life is tragic, and we extend our sympathy to the Sarey family and the community.”


“We, the City of Auburn, acknowledge that this is an important time to do internal work and reflection coupled with community engagement,” the department said.



9) For Japanese-Americans, Housing Injustices Outlived Internment

In 1945, thousands were released from internment camps. But they couldn’t return to the world they had left.

By Bradford Pearson, Aug. 20, 2020

Rail cars transported Japanese-American citizens from their homes in Woodland, Calif., to the Merced Assembly Center, about 125 miles away, in May 1942.
Rail cars transported Japanese-American citizens from their homes in Woodland, Calif., to the Merced Assembly Center, about 125 miles away, in May 1942. Credit...Dorothea Lange/National Archives

In the latest article from “Beyond the World War II We Know,” a series by The Times that documents lesser-known stories from World War II, we look back at how Japanese-Americans who had been interned during the war fared after the Japanese surrender.


On the second weekend of May 1946, more than 500 Japanese-Americans arrived at a dusty, ripped-up corner of Los Angeles County adjacent to a Lockheed Corporation bomber factory. Their bags were unloaded and piled next to bulldozers still planing the dirt outside their new homes, a cobbled-together assortment of used federal housing trailers in glistening silver and bland shades of green.


As the children — who made up nearly two-thirds of the new tenants — played, their parents and grandparents inspected the homes of the new Winona trailer camp. Fewer than a fifth of the trailers had working stoves, and those that did were in such disrepair that four fires ignited in one day. Broken windows and unlockable doors were common. The only phone was protected by a guard whose stated duty was to secure only the property of the site’s contractors, not its residents. There was no food, electricity or heat. Toilets were housed in a communal building, and not connected to the sewer.


“The trailers were so filthy that an animal should not have been expected to live in them,” said Seldon Martin, a Social Security Board official responsible for overseeing the well-being of the occupants, after visiting the camp. “Undoubtedly it was worse than any housing the Japanese had to put up with during evacuation.”


A year earlier, those same people had sat in internment camps across the American West. As they searched for their bags in the trailer camp a year later, county officials scrambled around them to arrange meals from a nearby tuberculosis sanitarium. Similar situations played out up and down the West Coast, as tens of thousands of Japanese-Americans returned after more than three years of incarceration. But they weren’t returning to the world they left.


After President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066 paved the way for their removal, Japanese-Americans sold their homes, farms and businesses, often for pennies on the dollar. While incarcerated they worked menial jobs for $12 or $16 or $19 a month — hardly enough to survive on, let alone save for a new beginning. Unable to return to their farms — restrictive covenants and alien land laws often banned Japanese-Americans and their Japanese parents — many who worked on or owned strawberry or lettuce fields before the war moved to Los Angeles and became gardeners, trying to settle into an urban life for the first time in their lives.


Los Angeles, which was home to the largest ethnically Japanese community in North America before the war, was changing, too. The War Relocation Authority, the federal agency tasked with operating the 10 internment camps, worked to empty those camps as quickly as possible following Roosevelt’s closure order in December 1944. The W.R.A. shuttered almost all the camps in the fall of 1945. (One camp, Tule Lake, remained open until March 1946 to house “disloyal” incarcerees.) Each internee received $25 and a train ticket to wherever they wanted to go.


Housing was strained to the seams across the United States, but the situation in Los Angeles, described by one official in October 1945 as “full of dynamite,” was especially dire. More than 1.3 million people — roughly one out of every 100 Americans — moved to California between 1940 and 1944. The California State Reconstruction and Reemployment Commission estimated that 625,000 new homes would need to be built to accommodate the growth in the five years following the war, including 280,000 in Los Angeles County alone. During the war, Little Tokyo first became a ghost town, then swelled with Southern Black workers arriving for defense jobs; for three years Little Tokyo was known as Bronzeville. It was into this chaos that the W.R.A. planned to unload 1,200 incarcerees each week that fall.


By the end of 1945, a month after closing nine of the 10 W.R.A. camps, thousands of Japanese-Americans returned to the West Coast with nowhere to live. Those who couldn’t find other housing took rooms in $1-a-night hostels carved out of prewar hotels and Buddhist temples, or trailers and repurposed Army barracks.


Communities with as many as 1,000 residents filled mazes of barracks and trailers in El Segundo, Hawthorne, Burbank, Inglewood and Santa Monica. Even Lomita Flight Strip, an airfield used to house and train squadrons of P-38 fighter pilots 17 miles south of downtown Los Angeles, was converted into housing. To get into Los Angeles to find work required 85 cents each way, and a four-hour round-trip by bus. Charlotte Brooks, a historian, described the camps as “isolated ghettos that perpetuated the hardships of incarceration.”


The environment that had forced the trailers’ occupants from their homes in 1942 hadn’t disappeared, either. Frank Kawana was 12 when his family moved into the trailer camp in El Segundo, which sat near North American Aviation’s B-25 bomber plant. One day, as the 5 o’clock whistle blew, Kawana and his father were stuck standing at an intersection while the workers drove off.


“It was probably about 10 minutes but it seemed like 10 hours,” Kawana recalled in 2011 to Densho, a nonprofit preserving the history of Japanese-American incarceration. “Every other car would roll down the window” and they yelled “‘Goddamn Japs! Get the hell out of here!’” His father grabbed his hand. “A little bit of him and a little bit of me died that day,” Mr. Kawana said.


When it shuttered the internment camps in 1945, the W.R.A. liquidated not only the barracks but also the cots and kitchen equipment from the camps. Some items even found their way to the West Coast’s makeshift housing; it’s not impossible to imagine a scenario where a trailer or hostel resident pulled the sheets up at night in the same bed they where they had slept the previous three years. “Because of poverty and restrictive covenants and hostility and fear, Japanese-Americans were forced to take whatever housing they could get,” said Greg Robinson, the author of “After Camp: Portraits in Midcentury Japanese American Life and Politics.”


The public sentiment that had driven the decision to remove Japanese-Americans from the West Coast in 1942 hadn’t miraculously disappeared. Los Angeles County refused to hire Japanese-Americans until 90 days after the end of the war, and private-sector discrimination led to former shop owners becoming domestic servants, Robinson said. The state’s produce industry, the lifeblood of many Japanese-Americans before the war, shut out the returning families. The community didn’t fully recover financially from incarceration until the early 1960s, Robinson said, missing out on 15 years of postwar American prosperity.


All of this led to an economic hollowing out of the community. In 1941, only 23 of Los Angeles County’s 36,000 residents of Japanese descent received public assistance. By January 1946 that number had climbed to 937.


As housing and employment pressures eased, the populations of the barracks and trailer camps slowly began to shrink. In the spring of 1946 the W.R.A. closed its doors and the majority of the trailer camps it oversaw. At the Lomita Flight Strip camp, the agency cut the water lines as 160 residents were scrambling for new housing. Many of them moved into private trailers operated by plant nurseries and seafood companies, their lodging provided in exchange for their labor. Most of the rest were dumped at Winona trailer camp that second weekend in May.


Windows were fixed; gas, sewer and power lines connected. The 337 school-age children eventually found classrooms to accommodate them. Families, close to 200 in total, filled the trailers, planting petunias and small patches of grass; the men took advantage of the proximity to Hollywood, its demanding lawns requiring dedicated gardeners.


Eventually, families trickled out, skirting Los Angeles County’s restrictive covenants by moving to Black communities like Watts and Crenshaw. Jim Matsuoka lived with his family and more than 100 other Japanese-American families at Los Cerritos trailer camp in Long Beach, where the trailers were “barely fit for human habitation,” he recalled in a 2010 Densho interview. After first living in the camp, his sisters moved to Echo Park. There, the 12-year-old heard a familiar sound for the first time in five years.


“I heard the toilet flush,” he said. “It was like: ‘I’m back to civilization. I’m back among living people.’”


In the fall of 1947, the last families in Winona were evicted once again. The Federal Public Housing Authority made them a deal: we’ll sell you your trailers if you leave. After paying a discounted $75 to $100 for their trailers, about 100 families took the offer and moved two miles up the road, to an industrial zone the Valley Times, a Burbank newspaper, later generously called a “nameless community.” (A year later, the area would vote to change its name to Sun Valley, drawing the ire of the upscale Idaho ski resort of the same name.)


Since the trailers lacked wheels, the F.P.H.A. towed the homes to their new locations for $25, a third of the cost of some of the trailers. In current dollars, the families spent more than $1,000 to start over yet again. For many Winona residents, the move would be the fifth they had made in less than six years.


The process of rebuilding began again: new children, more gardens, renewed hope for stability. Homeowners erected picket fences around their tiny trailers, and this time the move stuck. For the next eight years the corner of San Fernando Road and Olinda Street was a bustling Japanese-American community. On weekends children attended Buddhist Sunday school, while during the week they buoyed their regular curriculum with Japanese language lessons.


The community sprouted the Valley Japanese Community Center, teaching Japanese dance, song and cuisine. The center opened its own building outside the trailer camp in the early ’50s; it still operates. By 1955 the trailer camp boasted a heated pool, shuffleboard courts, horseshoes and a playground with six swings, tetherball and a sandbox. Then, once again, it was gone.


The language of the public notification buried on page four of the June 27, 1955, Valley Times was blunt: “An application has been filed with the commission requesting that the R1 One-Family Dwelling Zone be changed to the M2 Light Industrial Zone.” Within a year the land was sold out from under its residents, the trailer park bulldozed and replaced with warehouses. Families scattered, and with them the memory of the Japanese-American trailer camps: When former residents organized a reunion in 1986, they learned that no one at the Burbank Historical Society even knew the Sun Valley trailer camp had existed.



10) California, We Can’t Go On Like This

Virus, heat, fire, blackouts. It’s just another summer in the nation’s most populous state.

By Farhad Manjoo, Opinion Columnist, Aug. 26, 2020

Climate change has ushered in a new era of “megafires” in California. Credit...Jim Wilson/The New York Times

Across much of California in the last two weeks, many of my friends and neighbors have faced a dead-end choice: Is it safer to conduct your life outdoors and avoid the coronavirus, or should you rush inside, the better to escape the choking heat, toxic smoke and raining ash?


Such has been the gagging unwinnability of life in the nation’s most populous state in the sweltering summer of 2020, in what I have been assured is the greatest country ever to have existed. The virus begs you to open a window; the inferno forces you to keep it shut.


When the coronavirus first landed in America, California’s lawmakers responded quickly and effectively, becoming a model for the rest of the nation. But as the early wins faded and the cases spiked, each day this summer has felt like another slide down an inevitable spiral of failure. The virus keeps crashing into California’s many other longstanding dysfunctions, from housing to energy to climate change to disaster planning, and the compounding ruin is piling up like BMWs on the 405.


Consider: To keep the pestilence at bay, many of California’s children began attending school online last week. But to satisfy surging energy demand linked to record-shattering heat (and a host of other mysterious reasons), state utilities had to impose rolling blackouts, forcing schools to come up with energy contingency plans to add to their virus contingency plans, now that millions of students face the threat of intermittent electricity.


For decades, California has relied on conscripted prisoners as a cheap way to fight its raging fires. But to stave off coronavirus outbreaks in our long-overcrowded prisons, authorities released thousands of inmates earlier this year. Now, as climate change has ushered in a new era of “megafires” that includes some of the largest blazes the state has ever faced, the early release of inmates has left the state dangerously short of prisoners to exploit in battling the flames.


As California’s problems grow, we risk becoming a national piñata. At the Democratic National Convention last week, Gov. Gavin Newsom phoned in from Watsonville, Calif., near the scene of a wildfire, to castigate Donald Trump and the Republican Party for ignoring climate change and fighting California’s efforts to reduce emissions. At the Republican convention, Kimberly Guilfoyle, a fund-raising official for the Trump re-election campaign who is also Newsom’s ex-wife, shouted the opposite claim — that “socialism” had turned the state into a disaster of “discarded heroin needles in parks, riots in streets, and blackouts in homes.”


I found Guilfoyle’s speech hilariously unhinged and off base, and Newsom certainly has a point — California’s efforts to solve its many problems, including the virus outbreak, have often been frustrated or undone by Trump’s shortcomings.


Still, it’s worth remembering that Trump has been president only since 2017, and the seeds of California’s undoing were planted long before. By reducing the cause of California’s many issues to cartoon villains, both Guilfoyle and Newsom obscured the bigger picture.


What is California’s fundamental trouble? Neither socialism nor Trumpian neglect and incompetence, but something more elemental to life in the Golden State: A refusal by many Californians to live sustainably and inclusively, to give up a little bit of their own convenience for the collective good.


This is a hobbyhorse of mine, but I’m committed to riding it until people in my home state begin to change their ways. Californian suburbia, the ideal of much of American suburbia, was built and sold on the promise of endless excess — everyone gets a car, a job, a single-family home and enough water and gasoline and electricity to light up the party.


But it is long past obvious that infinitude was a false promise. Traffic, sprawl, homelessness and ballooning housing costs are all consequences of our profligacy with the land and our other resources. In addition to a hotter, drier climate, the fires, too, are fanned by an unsustainable way of life. Many blazes were worsened by Californians moving into areas near forests known as the “urban-wildland interface.” Once people move near forested land, fires tend to follow — either because they deliberately or inadvertently ignite them, or because they need electricity, delivered by electrical wires that can cause sparks that turn into conflagrations.


As the fires blazed around us this time last year, I warned of the “end of California as we know it” — that if we didn’t begin to radically alter how we live, the climate and the high cost of living would make the state uninhabitable for large numbers of people.


Of course, California hasn’t yet ended. Through virus and flame, the state has kept lurching along in the same haphazard way it always has, and here we are again to face another burning season.


It is my hope, though, that with each year we burn, each new wildfire year that we live through, Californians start to recognize the mistakes that are central to our way of life.


And perhaps, this year, the disturbing national political conversation might finally force my fellow Californians to reckon with how they live. In many ways the 2020 election is shaping up to be a fight over the soul of the suburbs — their role in America’s future, and who they are for. At the Republican convention this week, Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the couple who brandished guns at protesters in St. Louis, asserted that liberals want to “abolish the suburbs” by ending single-family home zoning. The liberals who live in California’s suburbs may not identify with the McCloskeys, but their ugly spectacle has helped unmask NIMBYism, one of California’s most reckless ideologies, for the racist vision it has long been.


It just isn’t true that Joe Biden and the Democrats want to abolish the suburbs, or even improve them, which is a shame. Neither Biden nor his party nor just about anyone else in national or state politics has been willing to honestly discuss the incalculable damage that California-style suburban life has wreaked on our world. In California, if anything is going to ruin the suburbs, it is more likely to be a wildfire than a new president.



11) Two Killed and One Injured on Third Night of Unrest in Kenosha, Wis.

The violence occurred early Wednesday during a confrontation between demonstrators and a group of men armed with guns as protests continued over the police shooting of Jacob Blake.

By Julie Bosman, Aug. 26, 2020


Kenosha County sheriff’s deputies moved to clear a park of protesters. Credit...Tannen Maury/EPA, via Shutterstock

KENOSHA, Wis. — Three people were shot early Wednesday, two fatally, law enforcement officials said, during a chaotic night of demonstrations over the shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black resident whose children were nearby as their father was shot this week by a white police officer.


In Kenosha, a third night of protests over the shooting of Mr. Blake stretched into the early morning hours of Wednesday, after demonstrators clashed with law enforcement officials near the county courthouse downtown.


Tuesday evening was spent in a shifting, hourslong standoff between the police and protesters. Protesters assembled outside a newly erected metal barrier protecting the courthouse and threw water bottles, rocks and fireworks at the police.


The police responded with tear gas and rubber bullets, repeatedly warning the crowd through a bullhorn that they were violating the city curfew of 8 p.m. and risking arrest. The crowd was eventually forced out of the park with tear gas and onto city streets, where the standoff continued.


Many protesters left the area, but others lingered and walked to a gas station several blocks away. There, a group of men with guns stood outside, promising to protect the property and verbally sparring with the arriving protesters. As the night stretched on, the gas station became a tense gathering spot, with bystanders watching from parked cars and people milling around in the street, arguing and occasionally shoving each other.


Police officers had crept closer to the gas station in armored trucks, urging the people who were still there to go home.


After midnight, shots were fired outside the gas station. Three people were struck, Sheriff David Beth said in an interview. The Kenosha Police Department said in a statement that there were two fatalities, and that one person had been taken to the hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening.


Sheriff Beth said that the investigation was focused on the group of men with guns outside the gas station, and that investigators were scouring video taken just before the shooting.


In one video, the men are shouting at each other, clutching their guns and occasionally pulling each other away to defuse the conflict.


“I’ve had people saying, ‘Why don’t you deputize citizens?’” he said. “This is why you don’t deputize citizens with guns to protect Kenosha.”


On Tuesday, Mr. Blake’s mother, Julia Jackson, had told reporters that she opposed the sort of destruction that had been left by protests spurred by her son’s shooting. On earlier nights, buildings and trucks had been burned down in Kenosha, a city of 100,000 people, where more than 100 members of the Wisconsin National Guard have been deployed amid the unrest.


Ms. Jackson told reporters that she had been praying for the country to heal.


“I’ve noticed a lot of damage,” she said. “It doesn’t reflect my son or my family.”


Mr. Blake, she and other family members said, is conscious in a hospital after being shot seven times. Family members and lawyers said that he was partially paralyzed from a bullet that severed his spinal cord and unaware of the protests that have spread across the country in his name.


Mr. Blake’s parents and siblings denounced the police and pleaded for justice.


It was a “senseless attempted murder,” Mr. Blake’s father, Jacob Blake Sr., said as he broke down and wept. “They shot my son seven times, like he didn’t matter.”


He said he had no confidence that the shooting of a Black man by a white officer would be fairly investigated.


That investigation is in the hands of the Wisconsin Division of Criminal Investigation, which has not released basic information about the shooting, including the name of the officer, who has been placed on administrative leave.


The Kenosha Police Department, which has also declined to provide details of what happened, has been at the center of criticism from demonstrators, who protested for a third night on Tuesday.






























TheWrongIceisMelting%2Bcopytion: none; } #ygrp-sponsor #ov li { font-size: 77%; list-style-type: square; padding: 6px 0; } #ygrp-sponsor #ov ul { margin: 0; padding: 0 0 0 8px; } #ygrp-text { font-family: Georgia; } #ygrp-text p { margin: 0 0 1em 0; } #ygrp-text tt { font-size: 120%; } #ygrp-vital ul li:last-child { border-right: none !important; } -->

Posted by: Bonnie Weinstein <bonnieweinstein@yahoo.com>

Reply via web postReply to sender Reply to group Start a New TopicMessages in this topic (2)