Bay Area United Against War Newsletter, October 20, 2022


Bring Mumia Home!

Wednesday, October 26, 12 noon

Federal Building in Oakland, CA

1301 Clay St. (at 14th St.)

1 block from BART (get off at the front of the train)


Initiated by The Labor Committee to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal

The Campaign To Bring Mumia Home

Stand with Mumia, his legal representatives and his supporters as Mumia has stood with us since the age of 14, as a leading figure in the Philadelphia Black Panther Party. His legal team will be in court petitioning to have the explosive new evidence heard and litigated allowing for a reopening of the Appeals process, which the Common Pleas Court Judge Lucretia Clemons will be deciding if the new evidence warrants an impartial hearing, leading to a new trial or outright release.    
·       That new evidence being a key witness testifying against Mumia in the original 1981 trial, asking the former DA, Joseph Mc Gil "where is my money? I've been trying to contact you"
·       Ineffective counsel and jury fixing to keep Blacks off of high profile cases
The Campaign to Bring Mumia Home has a charter bus leaving NYC at 5:30 AM, headed to Philadelphia to protest a fraudulent conviction and patently unfair trial fraught with over 21 Constitutional violations.  Go toBringmumiahome.com to purchase your ticket, $30. Call the Free Mumia Coalition hotline for more details.  (212) 330-8029
We expect to be back in NYC by 4:00PM. 

When We Fight We Win! 





Leonard Peltier’s Walk to Justice Demands Release of Political Prisoner

By Stephanie Pavlick and Kit Baril

Minneapolis, Minnesota – On September 1, Leonard Peltier’s Walk to Justice departed from Minneapolis, Minnesota. The march will pass through multiple cities, finally ending in Washington, DC on November 14. Rallies and prayer sessions will be held along the route. The walk is being coordinated by the American Indian Movement Grand Governing Council to demand elder Leonard Peltier’s release from federal prison.


Leonard Peltier’s fight for justice

Leonard Peltier has been unjustly held as a political prisoner by the U.S. government for over 46 years, making him one of the world’s longest incarcerated political prisoners. He is the longest held Native American political prisoner in the world. Peltier was wrongly convicted and framed for a shooting at Oglala on June 26, 1975.


At the time, members of the Lakota Nation on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation were being endlessly terrorized and targeted by paramilitaries led by the corrupt, U.S.-government backed tribal chairman Dick Wilson. 64 people were killed by these paramilitaries between 1973 and 1975. The Lakota people called on the American Indian Movement (AIM) for protection, and Peltier answered the call. During the night of June 26, 1975, plainclothes FBI officers raided the AIM encampment at Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. A shootout ensued, and two FBI officers, Jack Coler and Ronald Williams, and one Native man, Joe Stuntz, were left dead.


In the ridiculous trial that followed, the two other Native defendants, Bob Robideau and Dino Butler, were completely exonerated. Peltier, on the other hand, was used to make an example. The FBI coerced a statement from a Native woman who had never met Peltier at the time she gave her statement. This false evidence was used to extradite Peltier from Canada, where he had fled after the shootout, and is used to imprison Peltier to this day.


The struggle continues

Leonard’s true “crime” is daring to fight back against the everyday oppression Native people face under the imperialist regime of the United States. Growing up on the Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation in North Dakota, Leonard lived through the U.S. government’s genocidal programs to forcibly assimilate Native peoples. Recently, Peltier opened up about his experiences in the Wahpeton Indian School. This was one of many boarding schools used to brutalize Native children into leaving behind their culture. Children were beaten constantly, especially for practicing any portions of their culture or speaking their language. Many didn’t make it out alive. This was part of the U.S. government‘s larger policy of intensifying attacks on the sovereignty of the First Nations. These experiences, among many more, led Peltier to become a member of the American Indian Movement to continue the fight back against genocide of Native peoples.


Peltier is a lifelong liberation fighter who has sacrificed immensely for the movement. He is also a 77-year-old elder with numerous chronic health problems, exacerbated by his fight with COVID earlier this year. Despite his innocence and health problems, the U.S. government has refused repeated calls for clemency for Peltier. Throughout his years of imprisonment, many have demanded Peltier’s freedom, including Nelson Mandela and, most recently, a UN Human Rights Council working group.


The time for Leonard Peltier to finally be released from prison is now. Join the fight  to free Leonard Peltier, and to free all political prisoners!


There are many ways to support the march and strengthen the call to free Peltier. These include:


·      Joining all or part of the walk

·      Joining a rally

·      Sponsoring the caravan with a hot prepared meal

·      Dry food donations

·      Hosting lodging/camping

·      Driving a support vehicle

·      Raising awareness of Peltier’s cause locally

·      Promoting the caravan and rally

Monetary donations (can be sent via PayPal here)

Those interested in volunteering with the caravan can sign up here.


Learn more about Leonard Peltier and his case here:



Liberation News, September 3, 2022




The US sanctions and embargo are preventing Cuba from rebuilding after Hurricane Ian.

The Biden Administration needs to act right now to help the Cuban people. Hurricane Ian caused great devastation. The power grid was damaged, and the electrical system collapsed. Over four thousand homes have been completely destroyed or badly damaged. 

Cuba must be allowed, even if just for the next six months, to purchase the necessary construction materials to REBUILD. Cubans are facing a major humanitarian crisis because of Hurricane Ian.

Please share, and submit your letter to President Biden today!








Doctors for Assange Statement


Doctors to UK: Assange Extradition

‘Medically & Ethically’ Wrong 



Ahead of the U.K. Home Secretary’s decision on whether to extradite Julian Assange to the United States, a group of more than 300 doctors representing 35 countries have told Priti Patel that approving his extradition would be “medically and ethically unacceptable”.


In an open letter sent to the Home Secretary on Friday June 10, and copied to British Prime Minster Boris Johnson, the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice Robert Buckland, the Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and the Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong, the doctors draw attention to the fact that Assange suffered a “mini stroke” in October 2021. They note:


“Predictably, Mr Assange’s health has since continued to deteriorate in your custody. In October 2021 Mr. Assange suffered a ‘mini-stroke’… This dramatic deterioration of Mr Assange’s health has not yet been considered in his extradition proceedings. The US assurances accepted by the High Court, therefore, which would form the basis of any extradition approval, are founded upon outdated medical information, rendering them obsolete.”


The doctors charge that any extradition under these circumstances would constitute negligence. They write:


“Under conditions in which the UK legal system has failed to take Mr Assange’s current health status into account, no valid decision regarding his extradition may be made, by yourself or anyone else. Should he come to harm in the US under these circumstances it is you, Home Secretary, who will be left holding the responsibility for that negligent outcome.”


In their letter the group reminds the Home Secretary that they first wrote to her on Friday 22 November 2019, expressing their serious concerns about Julian Assange’s deteriorating health.


Those concerns were subsequently borne out by the testimony of expert witnesses in court during Assange’s extradition proceedings, which led to the denial of his extradition by the original judge on health grounds. That decision was later overturned by a higher court, which referred the decision to Priti Patel in light of US assurances that Julian Assange would not be treated inhumanely.


The doctors write:


“The subsequent ‘assurances’ of the United States government, that Mr Assange would not be treated inhumanly, are worthless given their record of pursuit, persecution and plotted murder of Mr Assange in retaliation for his public interest journalism.”


They conclude:


“Home Secretary, in making your decision as to extradition, do not make yourself, your government, and your country complicit in the slow-motion execution of this award-winning journalist, arguably the foremost publisher of our time. Do not extradite Julian Assange; free him.”


Julian Assange remains in High Security Belmarsh Prison awaiting Priti Patel’s decision, which is due any day.



Sign the petition:


If extradited to the United States, Julian Assange, father of two young British children, would face a sentence of 175 years in prison merely for receiving and publishing truthful information that revealed US war crimes.

UK District Judge Vanessa Baraitser has ruled that "it would be oppressive to extradite him to the United States of America".

Amnesty International states, “Were Julian Assange to be extradited or subjected to any other transfer to the USA, Britain would be in breach of its obligations under international law.”

Human Rights Watch says, “The only thing standing between an Assange prosecution and a major threat to global media freedom is Britain. It is urgent that it defend the principles at risk.”

The NUJ has stated that the “US charges against Assange pose a huge threat, one that could criminalise the critical work of investigative journalists & their ability to protect their sources”.

Julian will not survive extradition to the United States.

The UK is required under its international obligations to stop the extradition. Article 4 of the US-UK extradition treaty says: "Extradition shall not be granted if the offense for which extradition is requested is a political offense." 

The decision to either Free Assange or send him to his death is now squarely in the political domain. The UK must not send Julian to the country that conspired to murder him in London.

The United Kingdom can stop the extradition at any time. It must comply with Article 4 of the US-UK Extradition Treaty and Free Julian Assange.



Dear friends, 

Recently I’ve started working with the Coalition to Free Ruchell Magee. On March 17, Ruchell turned 83. He’s been imprisoned for 59 years, and now walks with a walker. He is no threat to society if released. Ruchell was in the Marin County Courthouse on August 7, 1970, the morning Jonathan Jackson took it over in an effort to free his older brother, the internationally known revolutionary prison writer, George Jackson. Ruchell joined Jonathan and was the only survivor of the shooting that ensued. He has been locked up ever since and denied parole 13 times. On March 19, the Coalition to Free Ruchell Magee held a webinar for Ruchell for his 83rd birthday, which was a terrific event full of information and plans for building the campaign to Free Ruchell. (For information about his case, please visit: www.freeruchellmagee.org.)

Below are two ways to stream this historic webinar, plus 

• a petition you can sign

• a portal to send a letter to Governor Newsom

• a Donate button to support his campaign

• a link to our campaign website. 

Please take a moment and help. 

Note: We will soon have t-shirts to sell to raise money for legal expenses.

Here is the YouTube link to view the March 19 Webinar: 


Here is the Facebook link:


Sign the petition to Free Ruchell:


Write to Governor Newsom’s office:




Ruchell’s Website: 



Charlie Hinton


No one ever hurt their eyes by looking on the bright side



Tell Congress to Help #FreeDanielHale


U.S. Air Force veteran, Daniel Everette Hale has recently completed his first year of a 45-month prison sentence for exposing the realities of U.S drone warfare. Daniel Hale is not a spy, a threat to society, or a bad faith actor. His revelations were not a threat to national security. If they were, the prosecution would be able to identify the harm caused directly from the information Hale made public. Our members of Congress can urge President Biden to commute Daniel's sentence! Either way, Daniel deserves to be free.





Laws are created to be followed

by the poor.

Laws are made by the rich

to bring some order to exploitation.

The poor are the only law abiders in history.

When the poor make laws

the rich will be no more.


—Roque Dalton Presente!

(May 14, 1935 – Assassinated May 10, 1975)[1]

[1] Roque Dalton was a Salvadoran poet, essayist, journalist, political activist, and intellectual. He is considered one of Latin America's most compelling poets.







Screenshot of Kevin Cooper's artwork from the teaser.


 “In His Defense” The People vs. Kevin Cooper

A film by Kenneth A. Carlson 

Teaser is now streaming at:



Posted by: Death Penalty Focus Blog, January 10, 2022



“In his Defense,” a documentary on the Kevin Cooper case, is in the works right now, and California filmmaker Kenneth Carlson has released a teaser for it on CarlsonFilms.com


Just over seven months ago, California Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered an independent investigation of Cooper’s death penalty case. At the time, he explained that, “In cases where the government seeks to impose the ultimate punishment of death, I need to be satisfied that all relevant evidence is carefully and fairly examined.”


That investigation is ongoing, with no word from any of the parties involved on its progress.


Cooper has been on death row since 1985 for the murder of four people in San Bernardino County in June 1983. Prosecutors said Cooper, who had escaped from a minimum-security prison and had been hiding out near the scene of the murder, killed Douglas and Peggy Ryen, their 10-year-old daughter, Jessica, and 10-year-old Chris Hughes, a friend who was spending the night at the Ryen’s. The lone survivor of the attack, eight-year-old Josh Ryen, was severely injured but survived.


For over 36 years, Cooper has insisted he is innocent, and there are serious questions about evidence that was missing, tampered with, destroyed, possibly planted, or hidden from the defense. There were multiple murder weapons, raising questions about how one man could use all of them, killing four people and seriously wounding one, in the amount of time the coroner estimated the murders took place.


The teaser alone gives a good overview of the case, and helps explain why so many believe Cooper was wrongfully convicted.



New Legal Filing in Mumia’s Case

By Johanna Fernández

The following statement was issued January 4, 2022, regarding new legal filings by attorneys for Mumia Abu-Jamal.

Campaign to Bring Mumia Home

In her novel Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston wrote, “There are years that ask questions, and years that answer.”

With continued pressure from below, 2022 will be the year that forces the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office and the Philly Police Department to answer questions about why they framed imprisoned radio journalist and veteran Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal. Abu-Jamal’s attorneys have filed a Pennsylvania Post Conviction Relief Act (PCRA) petition focused entirely on the six boxes of case files that were found in a storage room of the DA’s office in late December 2018, after the case being heard before Judge Leon Tucker in the Court of Common Pleas concluded. (tinyurl.com/zkyva464)

The new evidence contained in the boxes is damning, and we need to expose it. It reveals a pattern of misconduct and abuse of authority by the prosecution, including bribery of the state’s two key witnesses, as well as racist exclusion in jury selection—a violation of the landmark Supreme Court decision Batson v. Kentucky. The remedy for each or any of the claims in the petition is a new trial. The court may order a hearing on factual issues raised in the claims. If so, we won’t know for at least a month. 

The new evidence includes a handwritten letter penned by Robert Chobert, the prosecution’s star witness. In it, Chobert demands to be paid money promised him by then-Prosecutor Joseph McGill. Other evidence includes notes written by McGill, prominently tracking the race of potential jurors for the purposes of excluding Black people from the jury, and letters and memoranda which reveal that the DA’s office sought to monitor, direct, and intervene in the outstanding prostitution charges against its other key witness Cynthia White.

Mumia Abu-Jamal was framed and convicted 40 years ago in 1982, during one of the most corrupt and racist periods in Philadelphia’s history—the era of cop-turned-mayor Frank Rizzo. It was a moment when the city’s police department, which worked intimately with the DA’s office, routinely engaged in homicidal violence against Black and Latinx detainees, corruption, bribery and tampering with evidence to obtain convictions. 

In 1979, under pressure from civil rights activists, the Department of Justice filed an unprecedented lawsuit against the Philadelphia police department and detailed a culture of racist violence, widespread corruption and intimidation that targeted outspoken people like Mumia. Despite concurrent investigations by the FBI and Pennsylvania’s Attorney General and dozens of police convictions, the power and influence of the country’s largest police association, the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) prevailed. 

Now, more than 40 years later, we’re still living with the failure to uproot these abuses. Philadelphia continues to fear the powerful FOP, even though it endorses cruelty, racism, and multiple injustices. A culture of fear permeates the “city of brotherly love.”

The contents of these boxes shine light on decades of white supremacy and rampant lawlessness in U.S. courts and prisons. They also hold enormous promise for Mumia’s freedom and challenge us to choose Love, Not PHEAR. (lovenotphear.com/) Stay tuned.

Workers World, January 4, 2022


Pa. Supreme Court denies widow’s appeal to remove Philly DA from Abu-Jamal case


Abu Jamal was convicted by a jury of first-degree murder of Faulkner in 1982. Over the past four decades, five of his appeals have been quashed.


In 1989, the state’s highest court affirmed Abu-Jamal’s death penalty conviction, and in 2012, he was re-sentenced to life in prison.


Abu-Jamal, 66, remains in prison. He can appeal to the state Supreme Court, or he can file a new appeal.


KYW Newsradio reached out to Abu-Jamal’s attorneys for comment. They shared this statement in full:


“Today, the Superior Court concluded that it lacked jurisdiction to consider issues raised by Mr. Abu-Jamal in prior appeals. Two years ago, the Court of Common Pleas ordered reconsideration of these appeals finding evidence of an appearance of judicial bias when the appeals were first decided. We are disappointed in the Superior Court’s decision and are considering our next steps.


“While this case was pending in the Superior Court, the Commonwealth revealed, for the first time, previously undisclosed evidence related to Mr. Abu-Jamal’s case. That evidence includes a letter indicating that the Commonwealth promised its principal witness against Mr. Abu-Jamal money in connection with his testimony. In today’s decision, the Superior Court made clear that it was not adjudicating the issues raised by this new evidence. This new evidence is critical to any fair determination of the issues raised in this case, and we look forward to presenting it in court.”



Demand Mumia's Freedom:

Governor Tom Wolf -1(717) 787-2500  Fax 1 (717) 772-8284
Office of the Governor
508 Main Capitol Building
HarrisburgPA  17120    
After calling the governor, send an online communication about our concerns.   https://www.governor.pa.gov/contact/#PhoneNumber
Let us know what there response was, Thank you.  Mobilization4Mumia@gmail.com


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



A Plea for the Compassionate Release of 

Leonard Peltier

Video at:


Screen shot from video.

Sign our petition urging President Biden to grant clemency to Leonard Peltier.




Email: contact@whoisleonardpeltier.info

Address: 116 W. Osborne Ave. Tampa, Florida 33603


Bury My Heart with Leonard Peltier

How long will he still be with us? How long will the genocide continue?

By Michael Moore

—VIA Email: michaelmoore@substack.com

LEONARD PELTIER, Native American hero. An innocent man, he’s spent 44 years as a political prisoner. The prosecutor who put him behind bars now says Peltier is innocent. President Biden, go to Mass today, and then stop this torture. (Sipa/Shutterstock)

American Indian Movement leader, Leonard Peltier, at 77 years of age, came down with Covid-19 this weekend. Upon hearing this, I broke down and cried. An innocent man, locked up behind bars for 44 years, Peltier is now America’s longest-held political prisoner. He suffers in prison tonight even though James Reynolds, one of the key federal prosecutors who sent Peltier off to life in prison in 1977, has written to President Biden and confessed to his role in the lies, deceit, racism and fake evidence that together resulted in locking up our country’s most well-known Native American civil rights leader. Just as South Africa imprisoned for more than 27 years its leading voice for freedom, Nelson Mandela, so too have we done the same to a leading voice and freedom fighter for the indigenous people of America. That’s not just me saying this. That’s Amnesty International saying it. They placed him on their political prisoner list years ago and continue to demand his release.


And it’s not just Amnesty leading the way. It’s the Pope who has demanded Leonard Peltier’s release. It’s the Dalai Lama, Jesse Jackson, and the President Pro-Tempore of the US Senate, Sen. Patrick Leahy. Before their deaths, Nelson Mandela, Mother Theresa and Bishop Desmond Tutu pleaded with the United States to free Leonard Peltier. A worldwide movement of millions have seen their demands fall on deaf ears. 


And now the calls for Peltier to be granted clemency in DC have grown on Capitol Hill. Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI), the head of the Senate committee who oversees the Bureau of Indian Affairs, has also demanded Peltier be given his freedom. Numerous House Democrats have also written to Biden. 


The time has come for our President to act; the same President who appointed the first-ever Native American cabinet member last year and who halted the building of the Keystone pipeline across Native lands. Surely Mr. Biden is capable of an urgent act of compassion for Leonard Peltier — especially considering that the prosecutor who put him away in 1977 now says Peltier is innocent, and that his US Attorney’s office corrupted the evidence to make sure Peltier didn’t get a fair trial. Why is this victim of our judicial system still in prison? And now he is sick with Covid.


For months Peltier has begged to get a Covid booster shot. Prison officials refused. The fact that he now has COVID-19 is a form of torture. A shame hangs over all of us. Should he now die, are we all not complicit in taking his life? 


President Biden, let Leonard Peltier go. This is a gross injustice. You can end it. Reach deep into your Catholic faith, read what the Pope has begged you to do, and then do the right thing. 


For those of you reading this, will you join me right now in appealing to President Biden to free Leonard Peltier? His health is in deep decline, he is the voice of his people — a people we owe so much to for massacring and imprisoning them for hundreds of years. 


The way we do mass incarceration in the US is abominable. And Leonard Peltier is not the only political prisoner we have locked up. We have millions of Black and brown and poor people tonight in prison or on parole and probation — in large part because they are Black and brown and poor. THAT is a political act on our part. Corporate criminals and Trump run free. The damage they have done to so many Americans and people around the world must be dealt with. 


This larger issue is one we MUST take on. For today, please join me in contacting the following to show them how many millions of us demand that Leonard Peltier has suffered enough and should be free:


President Joe Biden


Phone: 202-456-1111

E-mail: At this link



Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland


Phone: 202-208-3100

E-mail: feedback@ios.doi.gov


Attorney General Merrick Garland


Phone: 202-514-2000

E-mail: At this link



I’ll end with the final verse from the epic poem “American Names” by Stephen Vincent Benet: 


I shall not rest quiet in Montparnasse.

I shall not lie easy at Winchelsea.

You may bury my body in Sussex grass,

You may bury my tongue at Champmedy.

I shall not be there. I shall rise and pass.

Bury my heart at Wounded Knee.



PS. Also — watch the brilliant 1992 documentary by Michael Apted and Robert Redford about the framing of Leonard Peltier— “Incident at Oglala”



The Moment

By Margaret Atwood*


The moment when, after many years 

of hard work and a long voyage 

you stand in the centre of your room, 

house, half-acre, square mile, island, country, 

knowing at last how you got there, 

and say, I own this, 


is the same moment when the trees unloose 

their soft arms from around you, 

the birds take back their language, 

the cliffs fissure and collapse, 

the air moves back from you like a wave 

and you can't breathe. 


No, they whisper. You own nothing. 

You were a visitor, time after time 

climbing the hill, planting the flag, proclaiming. 

We never belonged to you. 

You never found us. 

It was always the other way round.


*Witten by the woman who wrote a novel about Christian fascists taking over the U.S. and enslaving women. Prescient!



Union Membership—2021

Bureau of Labor Statistics

U.S. Department of Labor

For release 10:00 a.m. (ET) Thursday, January 20, 2022

Technical information: 

(202) 691-6378 • cpsinfo@bls.gov • www.bls.gov/cps

Media contact: 

(202) 691-5902 • PressOffice@bls.gov

In 2021, the number of wage and salary workers belonging to unions continued to decline (-241,000) to 14.0 million, and the percent who were members of unions—the union membership rate—was 10.3 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The rate is down from 10.8 percent in 2020—when the rate increased due to a disproportionately large decline in the total number of nonunion workers compared with the decline in the number of union members. The 2021 unionization rate is the same as the 2019 rate of 10.3 percent. In 1983, the first year for which comparable union data are available, the union membership rate was 20.1 percent and there were 17.7 million union workers.

These data on union membership are collected as part of the Current Population Survey (CPS), a monthly sample survey of about 60,000 eligible households that obtains information on employment and unemployment among the nation’s civilian noninstitutional population age 16 and over. For further information, see the Technical Note in this news release.

Highlights from the 2021 data:

• The union membership rate of public-sector workers (33.9 percent) continued to be more than five times higher than the rate of private-sector workers (6.1 percent). (See table 3.)

• The highest unionization rates were among workers in education, training, and library occupations (34.6 percent) and protective service occupations (33.3 percent). (See table 3.)

• Men continued to have a higher union membership rate (10.6 percent) than women (9.9 percent). The gap between union membership rates for men and women has narrowed considerably since 1983 (the earliest year for which comparable data are available), when rates for men and women were 24.7 percent and 14.6 percent, respectively. (See table 1.)

• Black workers remained more likely to be union members than White, Asian, or Hispanic workers. (See table 1.)

• Nonunion workers had median weekly earnings that were 83 percent of earnings for workers who were union members ($975 versus $1,169). (The comparisons of earnings in this news release are on a broad level and do not control for many factors that can be important in explaining earnings differences.) (See table 2.)

• Among states, Hawaii and New York continued to have the highest union membership rates (22.4 percent and 22.2 percent, respectively), while South Carolina and North Carolina continued to have the lowest (1.7 percent and 2.6 percent, respectively). (See table 5.)

Industry and Occupation of Union Members

In 2021, 7.0 million employees in the public sector belonged to unions, the same as in the private sector. (See table 3.)

Union membership decreased by 191,000 over the year in the public sector. The public-sector union membership rate declined by 0.9 percentage point in 2021 to 33.9 percent, following an increase of 1.2 percentage points in 2020. In 2021, the union membership rate continued to be highest in local government (40.2 percent), which employs many workers in heavily unionized occupations, such as police officers, firefighters, and teachers.

The number of union workers employed in the private sector changed little over the year. However, the number of private-sector nonunion workers increased in 2021. The private-sector unionization rate declined by 0.2 percentage point in 2021 to 6.1 percent, slightly lower than its 2019 rate of 6.2 percent. Industries with high unionization rates included utilities (19.7 percent), motion pictures and sound recording industries (17.3 percent), and transportation and warehousing (14.7 percent). Low unionization rates occurred in finance (1.2 percent), professional and technical services (1.2 percent), food services and drinking places (1.2 percent), and insurance (1.5 percent).

Among occupational groups, the highest unionization rates in 2021 were in education, training, and library occupations (34.6 percent) and protective service occupations (33.3 percent). Unionization rates were lowest in food preparation and serving related occupations (3.1 percent); sales and related occupations (3.3 percent); computer and mathematical occupations (3.7 percent); personal care and service occupations (3.9 percent); and farming, fishing, and forestry occupations (4.0 percent).

Selected Characteristics of Union Members

In 2021, the number of men who were union members, at 7.5 million, changed little, while the number of women who were union members declined by 182,000 to 6.5 million. The unionization rate for men decreased by 0.4 percentage point over the year to 10.6 percent. In 2021, women’s union membership rate declined by 0.6 percentage point to 9.9 percent. The 2021 decreases in union membership rates for men and women reflect increases in the total number of nonunion workers. The rate for men is below the 2019 rate (10.8 percent), while the rate for women is above the 2019 rate (9.7 percent). (See table 1.)

Among major race and ethnicity groups, Black workers continued to have a higher union membership rate in 2021 (11.5 percent) than White workers (10.3 percent), Asian workers (7.7 percent), and Hispanic workers (9.0 percent). The union membership rate declined by 0.4 percentage point for White workers, by 0.8 percentage point for Black workers, by 1.2 percentage points for Asian workers, and by 0.8 percentage point for Hispanic workers. The 2021 rates for Whites, Blacks, and Hispanics are little or no different from 2019, while the rate for Asians is lower.

By age, workers ages 45 to 54 had the highest union membership rate in 2021, at 13.1 percent. Younger workers—those ages 16 to 24—had the lowest union membership rate, at 4.2 percent.

In 2021, the union membership rate for full-time workers (11.1 percent) continued to be considerably higher than that for part-time workers (6.1 percent).

Union Representation

In 2021, 15.8 million wage and salary workers were represented by a union, 137,000 less than in 2020. The percentage of workers represented by a union was 11.6 percent, down by 0.5 percentage point from 2020 but the same as in 2019. Workers represented by a union include both union members (14.0 million) and workers who report no union affiliation but whose jobs are covered by a union contract (1.8 million). (See table 1.)


Among full-time wage and salary workers, union members had median usual weekly earnings of $1,169 in 2021, while those who were not union members had median weekly earnings of $975. In addition to coverage by a collective bargaining agreement, these earnings differences reflect a variety of influences, including variations in the distributions of union members and nonunion employees by occupation, industry, age, firm size, or geographic region. (See tables 2 and 4.)

Union Membership by State

In 2021, 30 states and the District of Columbia had union membership rates below that of the U.S. average, 10.3 percent, while 20 states had rates above it. All states in both the East South Central and West South Central divisions had union membership rates below the national average, while all states in both the Middle Atlantic and Pacific divisions had rates above it. (See table 5 and chart 1.)

Ten states had union membership rates below 5.0 percent in 2021. South Carolina had the lowest rate (1.7 percent), followed by North Carolina (2.6 percent) and Utah (3.5 percent). Two states had union membership rates over 20.0 percent in 2021: Hawaii (22.4 percent) and New York (22.2 percent).

In 2021, about 30 percent of the 14.0 million union members lived in just two states (California at 2.5 million and New York at 1.7 million). However, these states accounted for about 17 percent of wage and salary employment nationally.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Impact on 2021 Union Members Data

Union membership data for 2021 continue to reflect the impact on the labor market of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Comparisons with union membership measures for 2020, including metrics such as the union membership rate and median usual weekly earnings, should be interpreted with caution. The onset of the pandemic in 2020 led to an increase in the unionization rate due to a disproportionately large decline in the number of nonunion workers compared with the decline in the number of union members. The decrease in the rate in 2021 reflects a large gain in the number of nonunion workers and a decrease in the number of union workers. More information on labor market developments in recent months is available at: 

www.bls.gov/covid19/effects-of-covid-19-pandemic-and- response-on-the-employment-situation-news-release.htm.



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






1) The U.S. Thinks ‘It Can’t Happen Here.’ It Already Has.

By Jamelle Bouie, Oct. 18, 2022

The Capitol on Jan. 6, 2022.

The Capitol on Jan. 6, 2022.Credit...Mark Peterson for The New York Times

The move from democracy to autocracy isn’t a sudden shift. It is not a switch that flips from light to dark with nothing in between. But it’s also not quite right to call the path to authoritarianism a journey. To use a metaphor of travel or distance is to suggest something external, removed, foreign.


It is better, in the U.S. context at least, to think of authoritarianism as something like a contradiction nestled within the American democratic tradition. It is part of the whole, a reflection of the fact that American notions of freedom and liberty are deeply informed by both the experience of slaveholding and the drive to seize land and expel its previous inhabitants.


As the historian Edmund Morgan once wrote of the Virginians who helped lead the fight for Anglo-American independence, “The presence of men and women who were, in law at least, almost totally subject to the will of other men gave to those in control of them an immediate experience of what it could mean to be at the mercy of a tyrant.” Virginians, he continued, “may have had a special appreciation of the freedom dear to republicans, because they saw every day what life without it could be like.”


Similarly, the legal scholar Aziz Rana observed that for many Anglo-Americans in the 18th century, freedom was an “exclusivist ideal, accessible only to Anglo-Saxons and select Europeans, whose heritage, land practices and religion made them particularly suited to self-rule. Such exclusivism presupposed that settler security, as well as more grandiose dreams of utopian peace, required the subordination of internal and external enemies, who threatened Anglo social and political supremacy.” Freedom and domination, he wrote, were “bound together.”


This duality is present in our federal Constitution, which proclaims republican liberty at the same time that it has enabled the brutal subjugation of entire peoples within the United States. The Constitution both inspired the democratic vistas of radical antislavery politicians and backstopped the antebellum dream of a transcontinental slave empire.


Move a little closer to the present and you can see clearly how American democracy and American autocracy have existed side by side, with the latter just another feature of our political order. If we date the beginning of Jim Crow to the 1890s — when white Southern politicians began to mandate racial separation and when the Supreme Court affirmed it — then close to three generations of American elites lived with and largely accepted the existence of a political system that made a mockery of American ideals of self-government and the rule of law.


It was a system that, as the legal scholar and former judge Margaret A. Burnham wrote in “By Hands Now Known: Jim Crow’s Legal Executioners,” rested on “the chronic, unpredictable violence that loomed over everyday Black life.” In one of many such episodes detailed in the book, Burnham recounts the last moments of Henry Williams, a Black G.I. killed in 1942 by an Alabama bus driver named Grover Chandler for what Chandler perceived as “impudence on the part of the young soldier.” Rushing to escape the bus after being assaulted by the driver, Williams spilled his laundry on the ground. “As he turned to pick it up, Chandler fired three shots, one hitting Williams in the back of the head. He died instantly right there on Chandler’s bus.”


All of this took place while the United States was fighting a war for democracy in Europe. Which is to say that for most of this country’s history, America’s democratic institutions and procedures and ideals existed alongside forms of exclusion, domination and authoritarianism. Although we’ve taken real strides toward making this a less hierarchical country, with a more representative government, there is no iron law of history that says that progress will continue unabated or that the authoritarian tradition in American politics won’t reassert itself.


If we do see even greater democratic backsliding than we’ve already experienced over the past decade — since the advent of Donald Trump, yes, but also since the decimation of the Voting Rights Act in Shelby County v. Holder — there’s no reason to think that most elites, and most people, won’t accommodate themselves to the absence of democracy for many of their fellow Americans. After a time, that absence of democracy may become just the regular order of things — a regrettable custom that nonetheless should more or less be left alone because of federalism or limited government. That, in fact, is how many politicians, journalists and intellectuals rationalized autocracy in the South and reconciled it with their belief that the United States was a free country.


In his 1909 biography of John Brown, W.E.B. Du Bois reflected on the legacy of the antislavery martyr with an observation about what it does to a society to tolerate exploitation, degradation and unfreedom. “The price of repression is greater than the cost of liberty,” he wrote. “The degradation of men costs something both to the degraded and those who degrade.”


American traditions of authoritarianism have shaped American traditions of democracy in that they frame our ideas of who, exactly, can enjoy American freedom and American liberty. They degrade our moral sense and make it easier to look away from those who suffer under the worst of the state or those who are denied the rights they were promised as members of our national community.


As we look to a November in which a number of vocal election deniers are poised to win powerful positions in key swing states, I think that the great degree to which authoritarianism is tied up in the American experience — and the extent to which we’ve been trained not to see it, in accordance with our national myths and sense of exceptionalism — makes it difficult for many Americans to really believe that democracy as we know it could be in serious danger.


In other words, too many Americans still think it can’t happen here, when the truth is that it already has and may well again.



2) Strikes Spread in France, Piling Pressure on Macron

Students and transit workers joined a walkout started at oil refineries. It’s a growing problem for President Emmanuel Macron, whose government was already embattled in Parliament.

By Constant Méheut and Catherine Porter, Oct. 18, 2022


Gare de Lyon, one of the main Paris train stations, on Tuesday. Rail strikes appeared less disruptive than expected.

Gare de Lyon, one of the main Paris train stations, on Tuesday. Rail strikes appeared less disruptive than expected. Credit...Yoan Valat/EPA, via Shutterstock

PARIS — It started several weeks ago at refineries. Then it spread to nuclear plants. And finally, on Tuesday, railway workers, some teachers and even high school students across France, at least for the day, joined a snowballing strike that has become the biggest test so far of President Emmanuel Macron’s second term.


The widening strike came on the heels of a large march against rising costs of living held in Paris on Sunday and increases pressure on Mr. Macon’s government, which is already embattled in Parliament, where opposition parties are refusing to pass the budget.


Mr. Macron is now struggling to mollify anger on three different fronts — in factories, on the streets and in Parliament — before it coalesces into a major episode of social unrest. That could threaten his agenda, including plans for a contentious pensions overhaul, as he seeks a direction for his new term.


The original strikes at refineries across the country have left more than a quarter of the pumps across the country fully or partly dry. While Mr. Macron promised the situation would return to normal this week, with his government issuing back-to-work orders, lines at gas stations around Paris continued on Tuesday, adding to the frustration among drivers and other commuters.


However, while left-wing politicians and striking union leaders called for mass mobilization and painted the rising sentiment in the country as an “autumn of discontent,” Tuesday’s strike was less disruptive than expected.


Many bus and train trips were canceled, but the scene at the busy Saint-Lazare train station in Paris felt no more hectic than normal. If anything, the railway staff on hand to answer questions outnumbered commuters.


Bruno Verlay left his home three hours earlier than usual to make sure he was on time for his job as a security guard in the city’s financial district. But in the end, he found the trip smooth.


“I am so used to strikes,” said Mr. Verlay, 58, “I’m immune.”


Many high school students also joined the protest, with some in Paris blockading the entrance of their schools. Students at the Hélène Boucher high school, in the east of the capital, barricaded themselves behind large green garbage cans and were holding signs denouncing recent changes in education policy, warning that students’ lives had become more precarious, or protesting police violence.


“More teachers, less cops!” they chanted Tuesday morning.


The strike on Tuesday — which organizers planned to coalesce into a large march in Paris — coincided with efforts this week by Mr. Macron’s government to get its budget through Parliament. The last legislative elections in June left Mr. Macron short of an absolute majority in the National Assembly, the lower and more powerful house of Parliament.


Legislators are threatening to vote down the spending bill. So Mr. Macron’s government is likely to use special constitutional powers to push it through without a vote. Olivier Véran, the government’s spokesman, said it would “probably” do so on Wednesday.


Étienne Ollion, a sociologist at the Polytechnique engineering school who specializes in French parliamentary life, said the mechanism, allowed under Article 49.3 of France’s 1958 Constitution, was “a bit of an authoritarian measure.” Though the mechanism had been used 60 times since its introduction, he said, Mr. Macron’s lack of a parliamentary majority and the current climate of social unrest could make it a more delicate move.


“It could have an effect on the mobilizations,” Mr. Ollion said, referring to the strikes and protests, adding that protesters might see such a move as “an attempt to avoid confronting the reality of the situation, that is one of political difficulties.”


Using these constitutional powers would also allow members of the opposition to put forward no-confidence motions, which leftist and far-right groups in Parliament have already promised to do.


But Mr. Ollion said the risk of a government collapse “is relatively limited,” because the main center-right opposition seems reluctant to join in a no-confidence motion and because the left and far right appear unwilling to back one another’s.


Tom Nouvian contributed reporting from Paris.



3) Australia Reverses Recognition of West Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital

The move rescinded a 2018 decision to recognize Israeli sovereignty in West Jerusalem. It drew barbs from Israel and praise from Palestinians.

By Myra Noveck and Yan Zhuang, Oct. 18, 2022


The status of West Jerusalem has become a source of contention in American and Australian politics.

The status of West Jerusalem has become a source of contention in American and Australian politics. Credit...Ronen Zvulun/Reuters

JERUSALEM — Australia rescinded on Tuesday its recognition of West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, reversing a decision made in 2018 by a previous administration, angering the Israeli government and drawing praise from the Palestinian leadership.


Australia’s foreign affairs minister, Penny Wong, said her government had made the move to avoid complicating hypothetical future peace negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.


“Jerusalem is a final-status issue that should be resolved as part of any peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian people,” Ms. Wong said in a statement.


“We will not support an approach that undermines this prospect,” she added.


Israel considers all of Jerusalem its united capital, but Palestinians hope its eastern section, which is considered occupied territory by the United Nations, will form the capital of a future Palestinian state. Many countries do not recognize any part of the city as Israel’s capital, pending an agreement between the two sides about its status.


The previous Australian government, led by Scott Morrison, a conservative, recognized West Jerusalem as the Israeli capital in 2018, but never transferred the Australian Embassy to the city from Tel Aviv.


His move followed the Trump administration’s recognition of Jerusalem and transfer of the United States Embassy to the city, a decision later copied by a handful of other countries.


The Israeli government condemned Australia’s decision to rescind its recognition and said it had summoned the Australian ambassador to Israel. Prime Minister Yair Lapid of Israel said in a statement: “Jerusalem is the eternal and united capital of Israel, and nothing will ever change that.”


Palestinian leaders praised the decision. Rawhi Fattouh, a senior official in the Palestine Liberation Organization, said: “We highly appreciate this step and the position of the Australian government, and we consider it a step in the right direction.”


Mr. Morrison, the former Australian prime minister, had first publicly discussed the idea of recognition during a pivotal local election in May 2018, and critics called it an attempt to win extra supporters in a voting district with a large Jewish population.


The center-left Labor Party, which defeated Mr. Morrison’s party in elections earlier this year, was highly critical of his decision at the time, calling it “reckless and foolish,” and promised to rescind it once it came to power.


Under a United Nations plan to partition Palestine drawn up in 1947, Jerusalem was meant to become an international zone once British control of the territory lapsed. Instead its western section was captured by Israeli troops during the Arab-Israeli war of 1948, while Jordan took control of its eastern portion.


During the Arab-Israeli war of 1967, Israel captured Jerusalem’s eastern section from Jordan and later annexed it. The final status of the city has been considered one of the most intractable parts of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict ever since.


The British prime minister, Liz Truss, is reviewing the location of Britain’s embassy in Israel, Ms. Truss’s office announced last month. The British Embassy is in Tel Aviv, and Britain does not formally recognize Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem.


Myra Noveck reported from Jerusalem, and Yan Zhuang from Sydney. Hiba Yazbek and Gabby Sobelman contributed reporting.



4) Inflation in Britain Rises 10.1 Percent, Driven Higher by Food Prices

After easing slightly the previous month, inflation continued rising in September, heightening the country’s cost-of-living crisis.

By Eshe Nelson, Oct. 19, 2022


Food shopping in London.

Food shopping in London. Credit...Sam Bush for The New York Times

Consumer prices in Britain rose 10.1 percent in September from a year earlier, continuing their steep climb as the nation grapples with rapidly increasing food prices, high energy costs and political uncertainty.


The annual inflation rate returned to its fastest pace since 1982, matching the pace set in July. It rose from 9.9 percent in August. Inflation was expected to peak next month, at a slightly higher rate, but a reversal in the government’s policy to hold down household energy bills has made the future path of prices even more uncertain.


Prices were pushed higher by large increases in the cost of food and, to a lesser extent, hotel and restaurant bills, in September. Food prices rose 14.5 percent last month from a year earlier, the largest annual rise in more than 40 years, according to the Office for National Statistics. High energy costs were still contributing to inflation growing at its fastest pace in decades. But price increases are widespread across goods and services, so core inflation, which excludes food and energy prices, rose 6.5 percent from a year earlier, up from 6.3 percent in August.


It’s another sign of the stickiness of inflation that politicians and policymakers are facing all over the world. In the year through September, consumer prices rose by a record 9.9 percent in the eurozone and by 8.2 percent in the United States, near a four-decade high. That is encouraging central bankers to go for steeper increases in interest rates, in an effort to send a firm message that they will get inflation back down and won’t let rapid price increases become entrenched in the economy.


But constantly changing fiscal policies, as governments try to support households through increases in the cost of living, are also complicating the picture.


Just under six weeks ago, Prime Minister Liz Truss of Britain pledged to freeze household energy bills, one of the biggest sources of inflation increases, from October for the next two winters.  This week, much of Ms. Truss’s economic agenda was scrapped by Britain’s new finance minister, Jeremy Hunt, as he tried to restore calm in financial markets, which had seemingly stopped believing in the government’s fiscal credibility. One victim of Mr. Hunt’s policy reversal was Ms. Truss’s landmark policy on energy bills; now Britons are guaranteed a freeze on their bills only until April. After that the government said it would come up with a less expensive and more targeted plan to help people with their bills.


If households had to return to paying a price cap set by market prices through Ofgem, the government’s energy regulator, the headline rate of inflation would increase by about five percentage points, economists at Pantheon Macroeconomics wrote in a research note this week. But, they said, it’s too soon to forecast what is most likely to happen as the government is still devising a new plan to help with bills beyond April.


The Bank of England has been raising interest rates since December to tackle inflation. At its past two meetings it raised rates by half a percentage point, double its previous moves, amid signs of broadening inflationary pressures, especially in the labor market, where wages are rising and large numbers of people are staying out of the work force.


While the central bank is expected to keep raising interest rates for several more months, analysts question how high rates can go and how long the increases will continue as the British economy slows down. High inflation is squeezing household budgets and there are growing predictions that the economy will contract next year amid a decline in consumer spending.


The International Monetary Fund predicted the British economy would go from 3.6 percent growth this year to a 0.3 percent contraction next year “as high inflation reduces purchasing power and tighter monetary policy takes a toll on consumer spending and business investment.”


Traders are currently betting the central bank will raise interest rates above 5 percent next year, from 2.25 percent.



5) Where Have All the Men in Moscow Gone?

Across the capital, there are noticeably fewer men at restaurants, stores and social gatherings. Many have been called up to fight in Ukraine. Others have fled to avoid being drafted.

By Valerie HopkinsPhotographs by Nanna Heitmann, Oct. 19, 2022


Many of the Chop-Chop barbershop’s clients, and half of its barbers, have left Russia.

Many of the Chop-Chop barbershop’s clients, and half of its barbers, have left Russia.

MOSCOW — Friday afternoons at the Chop-Chop Barbershop in central Moscow used to be busy, but at the beginning of a recent weekend, only one of the four chairs was occupied.


“We would usually be full right now, but about half of our customers have gone,” said the manager, a woman named Olya. Many of the clients — along with half of the barbers, too — have fled Russia to avoid President Vladimir V. Putin’s campaign to mobilize hundreds of thousands of men for the flagging military campaign in Ukraine.


Many men have been staying off the streets out of fear of being handed a draft notice. As Olya came to work last Friday, she said, she witnessed the authorities at each of the four exits of the metro station, checking documents.


Her boyfriend, who was a barber at the salon, has also fled, and the separation is taking a toll.


“Every day is hard,” acknowledged Olya, who like other women interviewed did not want her last name used, fearing retribution. “It is hard for me to know what to do. We always planned as a couple.”


She is hardly alone. While there are still plenty of men in a city of 12 million people, across the capital their presence has thinned out noticeably — in restaurants, in the hipster community and at social gatherings like dinners and parties. This is especially true among the city’s intelligentsia, who often have disposable income and passports for foreign travel.


Some men who were repulsed by the invasion of Ukraine left when the war broke out; others who oppose the Kremlin in general fled because they feared imprisonment or oppression. But the majority of the men who have left in recent weeks were either called up to serve in the military, wanted to avoid the draft, or worried that Russia might close the borders if Mr. Putin declared martial law.


No one knows exactly how many men have departed since Mr. Putin announced what he called his “partial mobilization.’’ But hundreds of thousands of men are gone. Mr. Putin said Friday that at least 220,000 had been drafted.


At least 200,000 men went to neighboring Kazakhstan, which Russians can enter without a passport, according to the authorities there. Tens of thousands of others have fled to Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Israel, Argentina and Western Europe.


“I feel like we are a country of women now,” Stanislava, a 33-year-old photographer, said at a recent birthday party that was attended mostly by women. “I was searching for male friends to help me move some furniture, and I realized almost all of them had left.”


Many married women remained in Moscow when their husbands fled, either after getting a povestka — a draft notice — or before one could arrive.


“My friends and I meet for wine, and talk and support each other, to feel that we are not alone,” said Liza, whose husband, a lawyer for a large multinational company, received a notice several days before Mr. Putin announced the mobilization. He quit his job and escaped to a Western European country, but Liza, 43, stayed behind because their daughter is in school and all her grandparents are in Russia.


Women whose husbands were drafted also suffer from loneliness — but theirs is overshadowed by fear that their spouse might not make it back alive.


Last week at a voenkomat, or military commissariat, in northwestern Moscow, wives, mothers, and children gathered to say goodbye to loved ones being shipped off to fight.


“These men are like toys in the hands of children,” said Ekaterina, 27, whose husband, Vladimir, 25, was inside collecting his rations, and moments away from being shipped off to a training camp outside Moscow. “They are just cannon fodder.” She wished he had evaded the summons, saying it would have been better for him to sit in jail for a few years than to return home dead.


If Muscovites were able to indulge in a hedonistic summer in which it felt like nothing had drastically changed since the invasion of Ukraine, the situation is much different as winter sets in and the consequences of the war, including sanctions, become more evident.


On Monday, Moscow’s mayor announced that mobilization in the capital had officially ended. But many businesses were already feeling a downturn. In the two weeks following the call-up, the number of orders in Moscow restaurants with an average check of more than 1,500 rubles — about $25 — decreased by 29 percent over the same period last year. Sberbank, Russia’s largest lender, closed 529 branches in September alone, according to Kommersant newspaper.


Many downtown storefronts are empty, with “FOR RENT” signs hanging in the windows. Even Russia’s flagship airliner, Aeroflot, closed its office on chic Petrovka Street. Nearby, the storefront windows where Western designers had continued to change their mannequins through the summer were finally papered over.


“It reminds me of Athens in 2008,” said Aleksei Ermilov, the founder of Chop-Chop, comparing Moscow to the Greek capital during the global financial crisis.


Mr. Ermilov said that of the 70 barbershops in his franchise, the ones in Moscow and St. Petersburg were most feeling the absence of men.


“We can see the massive relocation wave more in Moscow and St. Petersburg than in other cities, partially because more people have the means to leave there,” said Mr. Ermilov.


Local media report that attendance at one of the largest strip clubs in Moscow went down by 60 percent and that there are also fewer security guards available because they had either been mobilized or fled.


Meanwhile, downloads of dating apps have significantly increased in the countries to which Russian men fled. In Armenia, the number of new registrations on one dating app, Mamba, increased by 135 percent, a representative of the company told RBK, a Russian financial news outlet. In Georgia and Turkey the rate of new downloads was above 110 percent, while in Kazakhstan it was up by 32 percent.


“All of the most reasonable guys are gone,” said Tatiana, a 36-year-old who works in technology sales, as she watched a game of billiards with her friends at women’s social club in the trendy Stoleshnikov Lane. “The dating pool has shrunk by at least 50 percent.”


During the summer, the alley was full of hip young Russians enjoying themselves. But on a recent Saturday night, it was relatively empty.


Tatiana said many of her clients had left, but she said she would stay. Her job doesn’t allow for remote work, and she said she didn’t want to subject her large dog to the steerage of an airplane.


But other Muscovites still plan to leave. Another member of the women’s club, Alisa, 21, said she had just graduated and wanted to save up enough money to leave Russia once her friends had finished their studies so they could rent a place abroad together.


“I don’t see any future here in Russia, at least not while Putin is in power,” she said.


For those men who stayed, navigating the city has become nerve-racking.


“I try to drive everywhere, because they can give out draft summons on the street and next to the metro,” said Aleksandr Perepelkin, a marketing director and the editor of the Blueprint, a fashion and culture publication.


Mr. Perepelkin stayed in Russia because he felt an obligation to his more than 100 employees to keep the company functioning. But now his offices remind him of the early months of the coronavirus pandemic because of all the missing people. He and his business partners are unsure what to do.


“Marketing is the type of business you do in normal life,” but not in wartime, he said in a posh cafe and co-working space. The cafe was almost entirely filled with women, including a group celebrating a birthday with a class on arranging flowers.


At the Chop-Chop barbershop, Mr. Ermilov, the founder, said something similar. In late September, he left for Israel, and he now plans to open a business that has no physical presence in his home country and that is “less exposed to geographic risks.”


Inside Russia, the managers of the barbershops were talking about possibly expanding services that cater to female clients.


“We talk about reorienting the business,’’ said Olya, the manager. “But it is impossible to plan now, when the horizon of planning has changed to about a week.”


Oleg Matsnev contributed reporting from Berlin and Alina Lobzina from London.



6) No, Capitalism and the Internet Will Not Free China’s People

By Ai Weiwei, Oct. 20, 2022

Mr. Ai is an artist and author who was imprisoned by the Chinese government.



Communist Party rule of China has been punctuated by one mass public campaign after another, each designed to commandeer Chinese minds in service of the state.


There was the Great Leap Forward, the industrial reform campaign begun in 1958 that precipitated a devastating famine; the political witch hunts of the 1966-76 Cultural Revolution, which nearly tore China apart; and many more, some more damaging than others, and each targeting some political, social or economic imperative of the day. Their cumulative effect is one of the Communist Party’s greatest achievements: a near-perfect symbiosis between dictatorial government and subservient population.


The government’s nearly three-year-old zero-Covid campaign may be the worst of all.


It’s an affront to science and common sense, yet — reminiscent of the mindlessness of the Cultural Revolution — officials and citizens around the country go to ridiculous lengths to execute it. Entire cities are shut down even for small outbreaks, and coronavirus tests are conducted on fish and other food products, cars, even construction materials. It has brought chaos and suffering for China’s people, who have been repeatedly locked down, detained for missing coronavirus tests and have lost jobs or businesses. When Chengdu, a city of 21 million people, was locked down in September, residents were blocked from leaving their flats even when an earthquake struck.


Past campaigns of mass control have come and gone, but this one will have lasting consequences thanks to its most insidious aspect: the surveillance technology rolled out nationwide to suppress Covid but which allows citizens to be tracked by authorities, their movements circumscribed. Government officials used this system to restrict the movements of people who wanted to take part in a protest in central China in June. Those officials were later punished, but the fact remains that the government now has a system that Mao Zedong could only have dreamed of, powered by data and algorithms, to monitor and control the people.


The West has been wrong about China. It was long assumed that capitalism, the emergence of a middle class and the internet would cause China to eventually adopt Western political ideas. But these ideas cannot even begin to take root because the Communist Party has never allowed the intellectual soil needed for them to germinate. And it never will.


Chinese minds have in fact never truly been free. China has been a largely united, centralized state for most of the past 2,000 years, and similar ethics and a similar relationship between ruler and ruled have endured throughout. No fundamental change is possible; China’s lowly people are expected to merely obey.


When the Communist Party seized state power in 1949, hope for a new era flickered briefly. My father, Ai Qing, then one of China’s leading poets, had already enthusiastically joined the party. But Mao shrewdly capitalized on China’s ancient power dynamic, enshrining the party as the new unquestioned ruler. Like many intellectuals, my father soon came under attack during Mao’s repeated political campaigns to root out those who dared think independently. China’s spiritual, intellectual and cultural life withered.


In 1957 — the year I was born — Mao launched the Anti-Rightist Campaign. My father was branded a rightist, subjected to fierce public attacks and we were driven to internal exile in a bleak corner of the remote Xinjiang region. Some of his peers committed suicide.


He came under attack yet again during the Cultural Revolution, paraded through the streets in a dunce cap to public gatherings where abuse was hurled at him. He came home one night, exhausted, his face black after someone at a political rally dumped a pot of ink over his head. In an example of the helplessness and resignation of China’s people, he suggested that we just imagine that grim place had always been our home, accept our lot in life and get on with it. China’s people still live under this mentality of surrender today.


When I ran afoul of authorities in 2011 after criticizing the government, the police threatened me with an “ugly death” and said they would tell all of China about the absurd allegations they leveled, like tax evasion, to discredit me. I asked if China’s people would believe their lies. Ninety percent will, an officer told me. In China, where all “truth” comes from the party, he may have been right. Three years later, at an art exhibition in Shanghai, pressure from local government officials led to the abrupt removal of my name from a list of exhibitors. Not one of the Chinese artists whose work was on display, many of whom knew me well, came forward to defend me.


Things have only worsened in the past decade. Authorities have smothered remaining traces of independent thought, decimated Chinese civil society and cast a chill over academia, media, culture and business.


To be fair, individual thought and expression are constrained in Western democracies, too. Political correctness forces people to hold in what they truly believe and parrot empty slogans to superficially comply with prevailing narratives. And Western engagement with China has been driven by the pursuit of profit rather than values. Western leaders criticize Communist Party violations of human rights, free speech and spiritual freedom, but long have continued to do business with Beijing. U.S. hypocrisy about independent thought is evident in its approach to the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who stands for freedom of information but whom the U.S. government is prosecuting.


Millions of Chinese take pride in modern China’s growing wealth and power. But this feeling of well-being is a mirage conjured by superficial material gain, constant propaganda about the decline of the West and suppression of intellectual freedom. China is in fact decaying morally under the influence of the party. In 2011, a 2-year-old girl was run over by two vehicles in southern China and left bleeding in a street. Eighteen people passed by without doing anything, some even swerving aside to avoid her. Don’t think, don’t get involved, just keep walking. The girl later died.


Freedom relies on courage and sustained risk-taking. But a vast majority of China’s people feel that resistance, even at the philosophical level, is impossible, and that personal survival depends on compliance. They are reduced to an anxious servility, lining up like sheep in long lines for their coronavirus tests, or scrambling for food before sudden lockdowns.


Freedom and individuality can never be completely suppressed. And no country, no matter how strong it appears, can truly prosper without diversity of opinion. But there is no hope for fundamental change in my country while the Communist Party is in power.



7) She Was Killed by the Police. Why Were Her Bones in a Museum?

Katricia Dotson’s remains were studied, disputed, displayed and litigated. Lost in the controversy was the life of an American girl and her family.

By Bronwen Dickey, Oct. 19, 2022


From the Philadelphia Inquirer

The damage on either side of Osage Street in Philadelphia, after the confrontation between MOVE and the police in 1985.

The damage on either side of Osage Street in Philadelphia, after the confrontation between MOVE and the police in 1985.Credit...Bob Sherman/United Press International, via Getty Images

Note: this is an excerpt from this very long, horrific, and important article.

—Bonnie Weinstein


In early 2019, Janet Monge, then an associate curator at the University of Pennsylvania’s Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, filmed a class called “Real Bones: Adventures in Forensic Anthropology” for the online education platform Coursera. The goal of the course was to demonstrate how scientists can restore what she called “lost personhood” to the unidentified victims of crimes and natural disasters. “They’ve lost individual identity, so our function is actually to restore parts of that identity,” she explained.


Though she was trained as a paleoanthropologist, Monge had consulted on several high-profile forensics cases over the years, including one of Philadelphia’s most notorious catastrophes: the 1985 police bombing of the predominantly Black religious group known as MOVE. Unprecedented in the history of U.S. police violence, that aerial attack on a residential home triggered an inferno that killed 11 people, five of them children, and devoured more than 60 homes in a close-knit African American neighborhood. All of this happened just one mile from where Monge grew up.


“Let me just give a little show on these things so you have a sense of having to deal with lost personhood in the extreme,” Monge said, pointing to a monitor showing an image of the bomb site. The slide then switched to images of bones she said belonged to an unidentified bombing victim. In a later segment, Monge stood in a brightly lit classroom in the Penn Museum, where she and one of her undergraduate students began to examine the remains themselves. Monge held up a badly burned fragment of pelvic bone for the camera, then the top third of a right femur and a pubic bone.


These items had been in Monge’s lab for roughly 35 years, she said. The femur still contained enough marrow to have a slick surface, which Monge described as “juicy.” “If you smell it, it doesn’t actually smell bad, but it smells just kind of greasy, like an older-style grease,” she said. A slight pause. “The bones, actually, are really very worthy in a study sense.”


Biological anthropologists like Monge will scrutinize thousands of human bones over the course of their careers, and noting their colors and textures is part of the job. “Greasy” is a common term among scientists who work with bones, and Monge, who declined to be interviewed for this article, would later call “juicy” an “anthropological term of art.” Visible over Monge’s shoulder were dozens of human skulls collected in the mid 19th century by a Philadelphia doctor named Samuel George Morton, who is now remembered as both a founder of American anthropology and an architect of American scientific racism. After measuring more human craniums than any researcher of his day — nearly 900 by the time he died in 1851 — Morton falsely believed he had evidence for an intellectual hierarchy of human groups loosely based on skin color and geographic origin, with white Europeans at the top and people of African descent in “the lowest grade of humanity.”


This segment was filmed at Penn, but the class was distributed through Princeton University, where Monge taught as a visiting professor. More than a thousand people viewed it, with no recorded complaints. But in early 2021, as the Penn Museum faced ongoing public criticism about its use of the Morton skulls (more than 50 of which belonged to enslaved Africans), several people connected to Penn began to discuss the other remains in its storage rooms. One sent a tip about the open secret of the MOVE bones to Abdul-Aliy Muhammad, a community organizer from West Philadelphia. Muhammad called another source at Penn, who mentioned the Coursera video.


“I couldn’t believe what I was seeing,” Muhammad, who identifies as nonbinary, told me. Here was a white instructor at an Ivy League university using the MOVE bones as teaching aids while standing in front of the Morton collection. To Muhammad, this was the “legacy of a kind of a colonial and white supremacist need to hold on to the bodies, the remains of the bodies of Black people, to prove or disprove some kind of scientific experiment.” They immediately began drafting a reported opinion piece.


Maya Kassutto, a freelance writer who had worked for Monge as a Penn undergrad, was also writing an article about the bones — specifically the hazy details around their provenance. Some of the country’s most experienced forensic experts concluded in 1985 that the remains Monge handled in the video, which were labeled Body B-1 in the original MOVE files, belonged to a 14-year-old girl named Katricia Dotson. Katricia’s death certificate lists both her name and the words “Unknown Case B-1.” Her family believed she was buried in December of that year. How did her bones end up in a museum? And why did Monge say they were unidentified?


Kassutto’s reporting appeared on WHYY’s Billy Penn news site, and Muhammad’s op-ed ran in The Philadelphia Inquirer on April 21, just one day after a jury convicted the former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin of murdering George Floyd. Coming at such a sensitive moment, the public response was instant. The American Board of Forensic Anthropology called Monge’s Coursera class “an egregious mistreatment of human remains.” Princeton removed the class from its online offerings.


The museum arranged for the remains to be transferred to a local funeral home and issued a formal apology to the surviving members of MOVE. At a news conference in late April 2021, Katricia’s 67-year-old mother, Consuewella Africa, told the university to “go to hell with that [expletive].” Protesters gathered outside the gates of the Penn Museum, demanding justice for the dead. Yet key questions about how many MOVE bones went to Penn, and to whom they belonged, remained unsettled. Monge has long argued that the bones belong not to Katricia Dotson but to an older unknown woman, and that the work of identifying that woman — restoring her personhood — is a matter of grave significance. She is currently suing 39 parties (including Kassutto, Muhammad, the university and The New York Times) for defamation, citing numerous passages that, in her view, imply that her work is unprofessional or racially motivated and noting that she has spent her entire career working for social justice.


In the 18 months after the news conference, I interviewed more than 70 people, including members of the Dotson family, current and former members of MOVE, students and faculty members at Penn and more than a dozen forensic experts, several of whom consulted on the original MOVE case. I also reviewed thousands of pages of archival documents, witness testimony, medical records and court filings. Four different law firms hired by Penn, Princeton and the city of Philadelphia also conducted lengthy investigations into what policies, if any, allowed human bones from a painful tragedy to be used in classes at two of the country’s most elite universities. The question of the remains circled around matters of institutional authority and the deepest structure of American racism. But in the furious debate over who did or did not have the right to restore this young girl’s identity, something — someone — went missing, and that was Katricia Dotson herself...



8) Your Paycheck Next Year Will Be Affected by Inflation. Here’s How.

If you get a raise, you may not end up in a higher tax bracket. But more of your income may be subject to Social Security taxes. And you’ll probably pay more for health care.

By Ann Carrns, Oct. 20, 2022


Food inflation in the United States has remained stubbornly high this year.

Food inflation in the United States has remained stubbornly high this year. Credit...Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times

You already know that inflation is taking a bigger and bigger bite out of your wallet. Now, it’s going to affect the size of your paycheck in 2023.


Even if you get a sizable raise next year, you won’t necessarily take home more money. Many ingredients are baked into the recipe that produces your take-home pay, like deductions for taxes and health care benefits, and your contributions to retirement accounts.


Whether you’ll see more money in your paycheck, less or about the same will depend on your circumstances. Here’s a preview of what is changing next year.




Employers, eager to attract and keep workers, are planning salary increases of 4 percent or more next year, according to several employer surveys. Salary.com found that a quarter of employers plan to give bigger increases of 5 to 7 percent.


“That’s a dramatic change,” said David Turetsky, the company’s vice president of consulting, adding that raises of 2.5 to 3 percent have been typical for years.


Even so, the increases may fall short of the rising rate of inflation, which was 8.2 percent in September. So while your pay may increase, your paycheck won’t stretch as far.


“Pay is still not keeping up with inflation,” Nela Richardson, chief economist at the payroll company ADP, said in a company video.


Income taxes


The government tries to shield taxpayers from inflation by annually adjusting the boundaries of federal tax brackets, the income thresholds that determine where higher tax rates apply. If the boundaries weren’t adjusted, more of your income would move into a higher bracket even if your real income hadn’t kept pace with inflation. Adjustments for next year, which the Internal Revenue Service announced on Tuesday, are significant because inflation has soared. (But note: Some states, including New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, do not adjust their own tax brackets for inflation.)


A married couple with income of $200,000 in both 2022 and 2023 would see its tax bill fall by almost $900, while a couple with income of $500,000 would see a reduction of more than $3,700, said Tim Steffen, director of tax planning at the wealth management firm Baird.


Tax rates range from 10 percent to 37 percent. For next year, the top rate applies to income over $578,125 for single filers, up from $539,900 this year, and $693,750 for couples, up from $647,850 this year.


Here, in descending order, are the next four brackets for 2023, compared with this year:


35 percent: Begins at income over $231,250 for single filers, up from $215,950, and over $462,500 for married couples, up from $431,900.


32 percent: Begins at income over $182,100 for single filers, up from $170,050, and over $364,200 for couples, up from $340,100.


24 percent: Begins at income over $95,375 for single filers, up from $89,075, and at $190,750 for couples, up from $178,150.


22 percent: Begins at incomes over $44,725 for single filers, up from $41,775, and at $89,450 for couples, up from $83,550.


In addition, the standard deduction, which reduces your taxable income without your having to itemize deductions, will rise to $27,700 for married couples and $13,850 for single filers.


Payroll taxes


The good news for retirees receiving Social Security benefits is that their monthly checks will rise 8.7 percent next year because of inflation. But increases in the payroll taxes that fund Social Security and Medicare, the federal health program for older Americans, could affect the paychecks of higher earners in 2023.


Employees contribute to Social Security via a payroll tax of 6.2 percent of their income, up to a limit. (Employers pay an equal share.) That limit adjusts each year based on increases in average wages. For 2023, the maximum earnings subject to the tax will rise almost 9 percent, to $160,200 from $147,000 this year, so more income will be taxed. The maximum Social Security tax next year will be $9,932, up from $9,114 this year.


The Medicare portion of the payroll tax is 1.45 percent of income; unlike the Social Security portion of the payroll tax, the Medicare portion is not subject to a cap on income. (Again, employers pay an equal share.) But individuals earning more than $200,000 and couples earning over $250,000 have to pay an extra Medicare tax of 0.9 percent on income earned over that threshold. The thresholds for that added Medicare tax are not adjusted for inflation, so more people pay the extra tax each year.


Health insurance


Rising health benefit costs could also offset higher pay, said Jeff Levin-Scherz, population health leader with the benefits consultant WTW (formerly known as Willis Towers Watson). The reasons for the higher costs, he said, include rising labor costs, the expected end of government coverage for Covid care, more severe illness stemming from delayed screenings during the pandemic, rising prescription drug prices and deteriorating mental health.


Employers surveyed by WTW expect health benefit costs to rise at least 6 percent next year, and to continue going up for several years because health care providers typically sign multiyear contracts with health insurers.


“It’s not over after this year,” Dr. Levin-Scherz said.


More than half of Americans get health coverage through an employer. Workers on average pay more than a quarter of the total premium for family health coverage, while employers pay the rest. Employers may shift more of that cost to workers — but probably not all of it, since recruiting and retaining staff remain challenging.


“I’m advising my employer clients to eat the health care costs,” said Allen J. Reynolds, a tax adviser in Sioux City, Iowa. Workers are already struggling to manage costs, he said, including higher mortgage rates, which make it difficult to buy a home: “The employee is getting hit from all different angles.”


Contributions to 401(k)s


Contribution limits for 401(k)s are expected to increase nearly 10 percent over this year’s $20,500, although the increase hasn’t been officially announced. (Extra contributions for workers 50 and older are projected to increase as well.) These contributions are deducted from your paycheck — but they go into accounts to help you fund your retirement, and employers often match them to encourage saving.


Contributions to health spending accounts


Inflation has increased those amounts as well. If you have a flexible health spending account, which employees contribute to pretax to help cover medical costs, you can contribute an extra $200 next year. The limit for 2023 rose to $3,050 from $2,850 this year, the I.R.S. announced this week.


If you have a health savings account, a different type of tax-favored account available with certain high-deductible health insurance plans, you can contribute $3,850 as an individual and $7,750 for family coverage next year. (Extra contributions for people over 55 remain capped at $1,000.)


Taxes withheld


With so many variables, it makes sense to check your withholdings early next year to make sure they are not too high or too low, especially if you have had a life change, like getting married or having a baby, Mr. Reynolds said. If you overpay, you’ll get a refund at tax time. If you underpay, you may owe a penalty.


The I.R.S. offers an online withholding estimator to help you make the calculations. You can make changes by submitting a revised W-4 form to your employer.



9) Researchers Find Benzene and Other Dangers in Gas Piped to California Homes

A new study estimated that each year California gas appliances and infrastructure leak the same amount of benzene as is emitted by nearly 60,000 cars.

By Elena Shao, Oct. 20, 2022

Angélica Ruiz and Drew Michanowicz are researchers at PSE Healthy Energy, a nonprofit institute that worked on the study.
Angélica Ruiz and Drew Michanowicz are researchers at PSE Healthy Energy, a nonprofit institute that worked on the study. Credit...Brett Tryon

The gas that is piped into millions of California homes contains hazardous air pollutants including benzene, a chemical linked to cancer, a new study found.


The researchers estimated that each year California gas appliances and infrastructure leak the same amount of benzene as is emitted by nearly 60,000 cars, but these leaks are unaccounted for in the state’s records.


The study, published Thursday in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, adds to a growing debate over proposals to limit the use of gas in homes because of its impact on climate change and public health. That issue has surfaced most notably in California, where in 2019 Berkeley became the first city to ban gas hookups in most new homes and buildings. Since then, dozens of cities in California and around the country have enacted similar ordinances.


Researchers have documented significant indoor air pollution and negative health impacts from using gas stoves. “Now we also know that even just having a gas appliance in your house can have health and climate impacts,” said Eric Lebel, the study’s lead author.


Several authors of the study, including Dr. Lebel, are senior scientists at PSE Healthy Energy, a nonprofit research institute focused on the public health and climate effects of energy production.


In the study, researchers collected 185 samples of unburned natural gas from 159 homes across California served by three gas companies: Pacific Gas and Electric, SoCalGas and San Diego Gas & Electric. Each of the samples contained air pollutants categorized as hazardous by the Environmental Protection Agency, meaning they are known to cause cancer and other serious health impacts.


The most prevalent of those pollutants was benzene, a highly flammable chemical that can be colorless and odorless, which makes it hard to detect when it leaks. Long-term exposure to significant amounts of the chemical can increase the risk of blood disorders and certain cancers like leukemia.


While the detected levels of the chemical in most of the samples were low, benzene accumulates in the body over a person’s lifetime, and health risks increase almost linearly with exposure, said Dr. Philip J. Landrigan, a pediatrician and public health professor at Boston College who was not involved in the study. “There is really no safe threshold” for benzene exposure, he added.


The new report builds on earlier studies from the same research group. In one study, researchers also detected benzene and other hazardous air pollutants in samples of unburned gas collected from residences in the Boston metropolitan area. In another study conducted in California, Dr. Lebel found that gas stoves leaked significant amounts of methane even when the stoves were turned off.


For the latest study, researchers combined the leakage findings with new measurements of benzene in unburned gas to model potential indoor benzene concentration levels. They found that in some of the worst cases, the concentration coming from the gas hookup was similar to that found in homes with smokers.


There are some factors that influence indoor benzene levels, like the quality of ventilation or the size of the kitchen. But this study found benzene in unburned gas, which suggests that “simply opening the windows or turning on a range hood while the stove is on” will not eliminate the risk, said Kelsey Bilsback, a senior scientist at PSE Healthy Energy.


Increasingly, environmentalists and local officials in states like California and Massachusetts have pushed to phase out gas appliances in favor of electric ones, mostly citing the emissions impact of burning fossil fuels like natural gas. Homes and buildings are directly responsible for about 13 percent of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions, mostly from gas burned in stoves, ovens, hot water heaters and furnaces.


Methane, the main component of natural gas, is a particularly potent greenhouse gas. If released into the atmosphere unburned, it can warm the planet more than 80 times as much as the same amount of carbon dioxide over a 20-year period.


The new research indicates that “health and climate go hand in hand,” said Drew Michanowicz, a senior scientist at PSE Healthy Energy. While it may not be feasible or affordable for some homeowners to make the switch immediately, energy policies that provide tax credits and rebates for electric appliances are a step in the right direction, he said.


Outside of smoking, “most of the major sources of benzene in our lives are associated with fossil fuels,” said Rob Jackson, an earth scientist at Stanford University who did not work on the study. Those sources include motor vehicle exhaust, gasoline, and products made with petrochemicals, like plastics, rubbers and detergents.


The growing body of evidence of harmful levels of indoor air pollution is a “good reason to encourage electrification not just for the climate, but for health, too,” he said.



10) Haiti Action Committee Statement: October 18, 2022

No To Expanded Foreign Military Occupation of Haiti


Haiti Action Committee joins with Haiti’s popular movement to strongly condemn the call for an expanded foreign military occupation of Haiti made on October 7th by US/ UN occupation-imposed prime minister Ariel Henry. Henry obediently followed calls made by the UN Integrated Office in Port-au-Prince the day before for an expanded UN occupation of Haiti and by OAS General Luis Almagro who tweeted that Haiti “must request urgent assistance from the international community to help resolve security crises, determine the characteristics of an international security force.”


We strongly condemn the letter submitted on October 9th by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to the UN Security Council, proposing the deployment of a foreign, armed occupation force to Haiti. And we denounce the Biden Administration’s drafting of a UN Security Council Resolution calling for the immediate deployment of a foreign “rapid action force” in Haiti, as reported on October 15th.


Turning to the UN Security Council, OAS, and United States government to “stabilize” the crisis in Haiti is like pleading with arsonists to put out the fire they’ve ignited.


For more than 18 years now, ever since the US-backed coup d’etat in 2004 against the democratically elected President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Haiti has been under US/ UN occupation, an occupation that has perpetrated gross human rights abuses including rape and other forms of sexual abuse, an occupation that has brought cholera to Haiti and that has systematically destroyed Haiti’s institutions while increasing hunger and misery.



Courageously facing police and paramilitary attacks, the population of Haiti has taken to the streets in ever-growing numbers, demanding their basic human rights and democracy, along with an end to corruption and to the plunder of public resources. They demand an end to US/UN occupation, and an end to the right-wing Haitian Tét Kale Party (PHTK) regime headed by Ariel Henry. They are demanding a transitional government of public safety (Sali Piblik) to create a foundation for free and fair elections and a return to democratic rule. They are demanding an end to IMF-imposed austerity, soaring prices of basic necessities, and declining real wages. Instead, they are demanding that their tax money be invested in education, healthcare, sanitation, clean drinking water, and support for Haiti’s peasant farmers who have been the backbone of local food production.


Moreover, the people are demanding an end to the terror inflicted by the Haitian National Police and paramilitaries, including the G-9 death squad led by ex-police officer Jimmy Cherizier, working with the PHTK regime. They are demanding an end to the proliferation of kidnappings, rape, police killings, and massacres throughout the country, such as the horrific Lasalin massacre. For further testimony regarding this massacre, view this powerful video. The people are protesting the atrocious conditions in Haiti’s prisons and the  skyrocketing rate of prisoner deaths due to starvation, overcrowding, medical neglect and other abuses. All of these injustices have been occurring with total impunity, under the authority of the US/UN occupation.


The US government’s financing of the repressive Haitian National Police (HNP), which has escalated its attacks against unarmed protestors, has been extensive, increasing in correlation with the police’s documented collaboration with paramilitary death squads.  As noted recently, from “2010 to 2020, Washington pumped in $312 million for weapons and training. In 2021, the White House and State Department sent a combined $20 million. In July 2022, the State Department bolstered the SWAT training program with a $48 million package.” All the while, HNP police killings of unarmed Haitians have continued with impunity.


Neither the major, international human rights organizations nor the UN Human Rights Commission are keeping track of the thousands of unarmed Haitians who have been killed and are being killed by the US-imposed PHTK regime’s police and paramilitary affiliates over the last 5 years. This past July alone, more than 500 people were killed in the impoverished neighborhood of Cite Soleil in Port-au-Prince. In a rare development, the US corporate media acknowledged this most recent killing spree, but attributed it to “gang violence”, fitting the convenient racist narrative about Haitians in particular and people of African descent in general. Here are but 3 examples, among hundreds, of recent victims this year who do not exist within the media universe defined by CNN, Fox News, MSNBC etc:


This past September 15th, as widely reported inside of Haiti, Widney Véron Joseph, a nationally esteemed student and second winner of the new secondary exams for the western department, was killed on the road to the airport. The father of the victim believes that this act was committed by agents of the National Police of Haiti. “After shooting my son, they burned him alive. I begged the police in vain to allow me to take him to the hospital, they categorically refused,” said the 21-year-old boy’s father in tears on Radio Caraïbes. Widney Véron Joseph was about to go to a friend’s house to charge his laptop and phone when he was murdered, his father said, adding that his son would have gone to Canada next October for medical studies.


Two days later, on September 17th, following a day of massive protest mobilization, the Haitian National Police (HNP) approached a barricade established by protesters in Delmas 47, a neighborhood in Port-au-Prince. The police opened fire on the protesters. Reportedly, according to a community witness, about 4 people were killed. One community resident, known by her nickname as Doudouce, was hit by police fire, but was not killed. She was screaming for help, but when community members tried to intervene to help her, the police forced them to disperse. Then, according to the witness, a police-operated heavy machine, like a garbage truck, scooped up the bodies of the victims, including Doudouce who was still alive and screaming. The machine then dumped her and the other bodies into the trash compartment, then dumping atop of them the burning barricades.


Also on September 17th, but in the southern city of Okay, police went to the home of a young activist named Dimmy Samedi. They shot him in his home, then dragged him out still alive, and shot him again outside, killing him.


We denounce the arrogance of the UN, OAS, the US government, and the Core Group of imperial powers claiming the role of guardians of the people of Haiti while they fan the flames of repression and violence.


The Haitian people are not fooled by this tragedy and farce; they recognize clearly that arsonists cannot be the firefighters. Only the organized power of the Haitian popular movement can put out the fires ignited by the 2004-coup d’etat and ensuing US/UN occupation.


We call upon people to condemn all foreign intervention in Haiti and to stand in solidarity with the Haitian popular movement in this vital moment.


No to US and UN military intervention in Haiti • US Stop Supporting Ariel Henry and the PHTK regime in Haiti • US Stop Funding/Training Haitian National Police • US Stop Deporting Haitian Refugees • End the US/ UN occupation of Haiti!


DONATE! Support Haiti’s Popular Movement with a donation to the Haiti Emergency Relief Fund.


For more information, contact the Haiti Action Committee at action.haiti@gmail.com or at our website www.haitisolidarity.net