Bay Area United Against War Newsletter, April 18, 2023


Spring Action Week:  April 15 - 22, 2023
Holloman AFB, Southern New Mexico

Co-sponsored by CODEPINK & Ban Killer Drones

Mark your calendars & Join Us! 

Come for all or part of the week!



Join Committee to Stop FBI Repression in the fight for...

Justice for the Tampa 5!

Drop the charges now! Defend student activists!


1.     Sign on to this statement as an individual/group and share widely:


2.  Call the university president and demand they drop the charges on the Tampa 5: (813)-417-5292

3.     Donate to support the Tampa 5: https://gofund.me/5765e559

4.     Follow Tampa Bay SDS on Twitter and Facebook for updates

About the Tampa 5

On March 6, 2023, members of Tampa Bay Students for a Democratic Society held a rally on the University of South Florida campus to defend diversity in higher education. At the rally, four women activists were suddenly and violently assaulted by USF police before being arrested. Later, on April 4, another student received a communication of the university’s intent to charge her with additional misdemeanors and a felony – just like the other 4 activists.


The Tampa 5 – Chrisley Carpio, Gia Davila, Lauren Pineiro, Laura Rodriguez, and Jeanie K. deserve our support. They disrupted no campus activities, damaged no property, and did nothing wrong. Several video recordings of the event show the aggressive and unprovoked way that USF police grabbed these young women, slammed them into walls, groped them inappropriately, and placed them in chokeholds. Video captured at the event has already amassed over 6 million views on TikTok, and can be viewed here.


In addition to alleged code of conduct violations and misdemeanor charges, the Tampa 5 are facing felony charges. Once again, the police are lying about what happened, despite video evidence clearly showing the police going on an unprovoked rampage. Several of the activists lost their jobs after these unjust arrests. Chrisley Carpio is a union member (AFSCME Local 3342) and is still fighting to save her job at the University despite having a spotless record.


The administration at the University of South Florida want to intimidate students and youth who exercise their freedom of speech. The activists held the original rally on March 6 to protect higher education from Governor Ron DeSantis’s attacks on diversity, equality, inclusion (DEI) and multicultural programs. There is absolutely no evidence that the Tampa 5 or any of the activists did anything to provoke the outrageous response from campus police. The hearings concerning the expulsion of student activists who were violently attacked must be stopped and the code of conduct charges against them dropped.


We support these brave women and demand that the charges against the Tampa 5 be dropped immediately. We stand in solidarity with the Tampa 5 and show our unwavering commitment to defending all who stand for peace, higher learning, and diversity.


Drop the charges now! Bring Chrisley back to work! 

Defend diversity in higher education! Activism is not a crime!



Public complaint about the health condition of Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab, illegally imprisoned in the United States

On Friday, March 16, 2023, Camilla Saab made an urgent call to the world to denounce the dire health condition of Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab, which endangers his life.

In July 2021, the Working Group against Torture and several UN rapporteurs expressed their concern about the irreparable deterioration of Alex Saab's health condition.  

Let us recall that in Cape Verde, on July 7, 2021, after many refusals, Alex Saab was visited by his family doctor, who, in his report, detected a worrying health condition of the Venezuelan official, especially because Saab is a stomach cancer survivor. The doctor diagnosed: anemia, anorexia, diabetes mellitus type 2, hypothyroidism, hypertension, and high risk of thromboembolic disease, including pulmonary embolism and deep vein thrombosis. In addition, he highlighted that a high infection by the bacterium Helicobacter pylori was found in his blood, and an endoscopy identified bleeding from the digestive tract that could mean a recurrence of cancer. Saab's lower left molar was found broken due to the beatings received during the torture, and access to proper medical care was recommended. However, he was never allowed to receive treatment.  

Subsequently, the treating physician issued, on September 9, 2021, a new report highlighting the need for patient Alex Saab to receive specialized medical care and asked the authorities of Cape Verde to consider the need to preserve the health and life of Alex Saab. Cape Verde did nothing in this regard.  

Alex Saab arrived in the United States, kidnapped for the second time on October 16, 2021, and from that moment until today, he has not received any medical attention according to the primary diseases that had been reported, ignoring the call of the UN rapporteurs. Alex Saab is in the Federal Detention Center in Miami, and his prison situation is even worse than in Cape Verde: he has not been allowed family visits. He has not seen his wife and children, who have also been victims of persecution by the U.S. authorities and their allies, for more than two years and eight months. 

Alex Saab has also not been allowed consular visits, a human right of every prisoner deprived of liberty. The U.S. State Department has yet to respond to the Venezuelan State's request to grant him a consular visit, as established in Article 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.  

In the medical reports made in July, Alex Saab's doctor had already informed that they had identified bleeding from the digestive tract, which could mean a cancer recurrence. Now, it is highly alarming to learn that Alex has been vomiting blood for weeks, and despite having reported it to the U.S. authorities, there is still a lack of medical attention at the prison. Why has the U.S. not bothered to treat him?  

Everything indicates that the lack of medical attention is part of a State policy, as was his illegal arrest. Do U.S. authorities want Alex Saab dead? Why, then, the insistence on not providing him with medical attention and not allowing his doctor to visit him? 

Everyone knows that the truth is on the side of the Venezuelan diplomat, and sooner or later, the United States must release him, but they are taking more time than usual. Could it be that they are waiting for his illnesses to develop further? 

We, the #FreeAlexSaab Movement, hold the U.S. Government responsible for diplomat Alex Saab's life and what may happen to him during his illegal detention.

·      We ask that the International Committee of the Red Cross to be present at the Federal Detention Center in Miami-USA. 

·      We urge the High Commissioner of the UN Human Rights to take action and denounce this violation of the human rights of the Venezuelan diplomat illegally detained in U.S. territory. 

·      We request the Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, as the highest defender of International Law, to make an announcement on this case, which constitutes a flagrant violation of international law and human rights. 

·      We demand immediate freedom for Alex Saab Moran, the Venezuelan diplomat kidnapped in the United States. We urgently require a humanitarian, political, and diplomatic solution to this unjust situation. 

It is time to move forward. We urge the U.S. Government to sit down and reach an agreement. Venezuela has shown to be open to finding a solution.



Previously Recorded

View on YouTube:




Featured Speakers:


Yuliya Yurchenko, Senior Lecturer at the University of Greenwich and author of Ukraine and the Empire of Capital: From Marketization to Armed Conflict.


Vladyslav Starodubstev, historian of Central and Eastern European region, and member of the Ukrainian democratic socialist organization Sotsialnyi Rukh.


Kirill Medvedev, poet, political writer, and member of the Russian Socialist Movement.


Kavita Krishnan, Indian feminist, author of Fearless Freedom, former leader of the Communist Party of India (ML).


Bill Fletcher, former President of TransAfrica Forum, former senior staff person at the AFL-CIO, and Senior Scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies.


Including solidarity statements from among others Barbara Smith, Eric Draitser, Haley Pessin, Ramah Kudaimi, Dave Zirin, Frieda Afary, Jose La Luz, Rob Barrill, and Cindy Domingo.



Help U.S. Workers Visit Cuba on May Day

Los Angeles U.S. Hands Off Cuba committee members and supporters meeting to discuss solidarity with Amazon workers organizing unions and Cuba solidarity work.

World-Outlook is encouraging readers to donate to help workers from the United States, involved in union organizing efforts at Amazon warehouses, participate in an upcoming trip to Cuba. The Los Angeles US Hands Off Cuba Committee is organizing the delegation, which will coincide with May Day celebrations on the island.

There are many reasons to travel to Cuba. First and foremost, participants in a delegation such as this one will have the chance to see the Cuban Revolution for themselves; to meet and talk with Cuban workers, farmers, and political leaders. It is also a chance to show solidarity with the Cuban people who face Washington’s six-decades-long economic blockade, escalated in recent years by 243 new sanctions levied by the Trump administration, then continued and augmented by the Biden administration.

This 2023 May Day tour will be composed primarily of young people, unionists, and those seeking to build unions.

Nine Amazon workers involved in the Amazon Labor Union (ALU) at the JFK8 warehouse in Staten Island, New York — where last year workers won the first union representation election at an Amazon facility — plan to join the delegation. They include ALU president Chris Smalls and Cassio Mendoza, editor of the ALU newspaper. A worker at Amazon’s Moreno Valley ONT8 facility in the Los Angeles area also plans to participate.

Last week, three members of Carolina Amazonians United for Solidarity and Empowerment (C.A.U.S.E.), a group working to organize a union at an Amazon fulfillment center in Garner, North Carolina, said they too will join the delegation.

Other delegation members will include International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) workers, Steelworkers, L.A. teachers, and fifteen young activists from the Los Angeles Hands Off Cuba Committee.

The tour members will be in Cuba for the huge outpouring on May Day, the international workers holiday. A full schedule of political and cultural activities, including a meeting with the Confederation of Cuban Workers (CTC) is planned. The delegation will also meet with the Federation of Cuban Women (FMC), as well as visit the new Fidel Castro Museum and the Latin American School of Medicine (ELAM).

This fund-raising effort is specifically to help defray the expenses for the Amazon workers who need some help, as their pay does not allow for much disposable income. Your contribution will help the Amazon workers participate. The goal is to raise $4,500. As of today, $1,800 has been contributed so far. World-Outlook will donate $100.

The cost per person to participate in this 10-day trip is $1,300. That figure includes airfare, housing, food, and transportation in Cuba, museum admissions, and visas. Each Amazon worker is contributing a minimum of $500 for their expenses. Many of these Amazon workers have their airline tickets and passports ready but additional funds are needed to ensure their participation.

We encourage you to help.

There are two ways to donate:

1.     Go-Fund Me Account:


2.     Send a check to the LA Hands Off Cuba Committee made out to the group’s treasurer: 

             Diana Cervantes

             12206 Trinity St. 

             Los Angeles, CA 90061

Please share this appeal with friends, family, and fellow workers who may want to help.

In solidarity,

World-Outlook editors

—World-Outlook, March 2, 2023





Update and Urgent Health Call-In Campaign for Political 

Prisoner Ed Poindexter

April 15, 2023

Dear Comrades and Friends:


We just received news that Ed Poindexter's left leg was amputated below the knee earlier this month due to lack of proper medical care. Ed has diabetes and receives dialysis three days a week. He underwent triple bypass heart surgery in 2016.


Please support Ed by sending him a letter of encouragement to:


Ed Poindexter #27767

Reception and Treatment Center

P.O. Box 22800

Lincoln, NE 68542-2800


Ed has a cataract in one eye that makes it difficult for him to read, so please type your letter in 18 point or larger font. The Nebraska Department of Corrections does not plan to allow Ed to have surgery for the cataract because "he has one good eye."




Warden Boyd of the

Reception and Treatment Center



Warden Wilhelm of the

Nebraska State Penitentiary



Governor Pillen, the

State of Nebraska Office of the Governor



Director Rob Jeffreys,

Nebraska Department of Corrections



The Nebraska Board of Pardons

(Email: ne.pardonsboard@nebraska.gov). 


Please sustain calls daily from April 15th to May 30th, 2023 for this intensive campaign, and thereafter as you can. 


[Any relief for Ed will be announced via email and social media].


Sample Message:


“Ed Poindexter’s family noticed blood on his feet several weeks ago. Then in April 2023, his niece and brother found out that Ed’s leg had been amputated earlier in the month. All of this happened without notifying Ed’s family, within the ‘skilled nursing facility’ at the Reception and Treatment Center, which specializes in behavioral issues and suicide watch, and is not primarily a rehab medical unit. Ed is on dialysis several days per week and is wheelchair bound, and is not able to shower or change without much more direct support than he is currently getting. The Nebraska Department of Corrections admits that their facilities are severely overcrowded and understaffed.  I, ___________,  join Ed’s family in demanding that Ed be given a compassionate release, and that he be immediately transferred to a local hospital or rehabilitation facility, not under direction of the Department of Corrections—where the standard of care is decent and humane.”


  Warden: Taggart Boyd

Reception and Treatment Center

P.O. Box 22800

Lincoln, NE 68542-2800

Phone: 402-471-2861

Fax: 402-479-6100


  Warden Michelle Wilhelm 

Nebraska State Penitentiary

Phone: 402-471-3161

4201 S 14th Street

Lincoln, NE 68502


  Governor Jim Pillen

Phone: 402-471-2244

PO Box 94848

Lincoln, NE 68509-4848



  Rob Jeffreys

Director, Nebraska Department of Corrections

Phone: 402-471-2654

PO Box 94661

Lincoln, Nebraska 68509


  Nebraska Board of Pardons

PO Box 95007

Lincoln, Nebraska 68509

Email: ne.pardonsboard@nebraska.gov


You can read more about Ed Poindexter at:



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




National Mobilization for Reproductive Justice

ReproJusticeNow.org info@reprojusticenow.org 

Facebook @ ReproJusticeNow

Statement to the Media


National Mobilization for Reproductive Justice

Email: info@reprojusticenow.org

Contact: Helen Gilbert (National Coordinator)

206-473-0630 (cell), 206-985-4621 (office)


For Release: Immediately

Interviews welcome


"Hands off abortion medications!" says National Mobilization for Reproductive Justice

Republican and rightwing pressure has intimidated the massive Walgreens drugstore chain from providing legal, safe and effective abortion drugs in 20 states, it was reported today. This comes even before a nationwide day of protests called on Saturday, March 4 by #StopAbortionRX, Students for Life of America and affiliated conservative and religious groups. Their “National Day of Protest to Cancel Abortion Cartels" targets CVS, Walgreens and Rite Aid.


The anti-abortion activists use inflammatory and untrue language in describing a common, safe and necessary medical procedure. Their tactic of trying to intimidate customers by demonstrating at entrances and inside stores is nothing but bullying. These actions have the potential to interrupt people’s access to needed medical prescriptions of all kinds. By demonstrating at the access point between pharmacist and patient, anti-abortionists contribute to an already broken US healthcare system.


The FDA-approved drugs mifepristone and misoprostol are used together to terminate a pregnancy. Mifepristone stops the body from producing a hormone necessary to an embryo’s development. Since 2000, it has been approved to end pregnancies up to 10 weeks after gestation. Misoprostol is used a few days later to help the body expel the tissue with more speed and safety. In 2020, 53% of all abortions in the U.S. were medication-induced, which has been shown to be safe and 90% effective. Medication abortions are also less expensive, more accessible, and more private than surgical abortions.


In tandem with physical harassment of people seeking anti-pregnancy drugs, legal harassment is threatening reproductive choices across all states. A federal court case lodged by Alliance Defending Freedom is pending in Texas, where a Trump-appointed, historically anti-abortion judge, Matthew Kacsmaryk, could reverse FDA approval for mifepristone. Medical experts say that inducing abortion with only misoprostol is less effective and more painful – adding punishment and abuse to the individual seeking relief.


A decision in the Texas case could come any time and could dramatically alter abortion access   at least as much as the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, which overturned decades of abortion-rights precedent.


These further attempts to undermine what should be rights to reproductive and bodily autonomy are an attack on all people’s healthcare needs. And opponents of reproductive justice won’t stop there. Also threatened are contraception, sex education, non-religious health care providers, and social services that are vital to safely bearing and raising children in marginalized communities. Reproductive justice also includes an end to forced sterilization, the right to gender-affirming care, support for LGBTQ+ families and children, and an end to immigration policies that separate families.


The National Mobilization for Reproductive Justice and its affiliates across the country vow to defend all forms of reproductive rights and bodily autonomy. See the Mobilization’s website, www.ReproJusticeNow.org, for information on meetings and activities, endorsers, resources and its full list of demands.


The National Mobilization for Reproductive Justice was initiated by Radical Women in 2021 in order to build a grassroots coalition of forces to defend reproductive rights. It has organized numerous actions and currently has more than 30 endorsing organizations from around the country including unions, and racial justice, LGBTQI+, religious, radical, and feminist groups. Click here to add your organization's endorsement.


Mailing Address:

National Mobilization for Reproductive Justice

4710 University Way NE #100

Seattle, WA 98105


Add us to your address book.


For more information

Phone: 206-985-4621




Daniel Ellsberg Continues the Fight

Message sent by Kip Waldo


(Message from Daniel Ellsberg Below)


At the beginning of March, Daniel Ellsberg sent a message to “friends and supporters” letting them know that he faces a life-ending medical condition—inoperable pancreatic cancer. He said that the doctors believe that he has another three to six months to live.


This letter, full of Dan Ellsberg’s passion and humor, reflect his concern for and sense of responsibility to people who have come to know him. It is a reflection of the man who risked his future with his release, in 1971, of 7000 pages of top-secret documents exposing the systematic policy of lies told to the U.S. population and the world about the U.S. war on Vietnam. Those papers, which became known as “The Pentagon Papers,” were published in a number of newspapers including the Washington Post, the New York Times—the two major East-coast newspapers in the U.S. at the time. Their publication served to change the perspective of many who still believed those lies. 


He knew the risk he was taking. It resulted in Nixon, who was the president at the time, branding him as the “most dangerous man in America” and launched a massive manhunt to bring him to trial for espionage. The charges against him, a total of 12 felonies, were dropped after he stood trial for four months. It was a lucky coincidence that investigations surrounding the impeachment of Nixon for orchestrating the burglary of Democratic Party headquarters revealed that Nixon’s operatives had also broken into the offices of Ellsberg’s psychiatrist in hopes of finding damning information. 


Instead of just breathing a sigh of relief at not having to spend the rest of his life in prison, Ellsberg continued on the path that his so-called treasonous act had set him on. He became one of the best-known public intellectuals in the U.S., sharing his understanding of the workings of the U.S. government, his constant concerns regarding the development and use of nuclear weapons, also an area of his expertise as a nuclear war planner. 


He published books and articles, was interviewed constantly, and spoke throughout the U.S. and many parts of the world. He rose in defense of other so-called whistleblowers like Julian Assange of WikiLeaks, Chelsea Manning who released secret information that exposed U.S. operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Edward Snowden who exposed the extent of government surveillance of U.S. citizens, and John Kiriakou, the CIA case officer and analyst, who exposed the CIA's torture program, along with others. He not only spoke, but he also demonstrated with others against the nuclear weaponization of war, against the wars on Iraq and Afghanistan, policies toward Iran, carried out by the U.S., in support of Chelsea Manning who was imprisoned, for first amendment rights, in support of the Occupy movement and many more. For his actions he has been arrested more than 80 times.


It is impossible to measure the impact that he has had on others, with the example he set with his life, hoping to give others the courage to question and stand up against the murderous functioning of this system.


His letter (published below) reflects the qualities he embodies and that we could all hope to embody to some degree.


Message from Daniel Ellsberg


Dear friends and supporters,


I have difficult news to impart. On February 17, without much warning, I was diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer on the basis of a CT scan and an MRI. (As is usual with pancreatic cancer—which has no early symptoms—it was found while looking for something else, relatively minor.) I’m sorry to report to you that my doctors have given me three to six months to live. Of course, they emphasize that everyone's case is individual; it might be more, or less. 


I have chosen not to do chemotherapy (which offers no promise) and I have assurance of great hospice care when needed. Please know right now, I am not in any physical pain, and in fact, after my hip replacement surgery in late 2021, I feel better physically than I have in years! Moreover, my cardiologist has given me license to abandon my salt-free diet of the last six years. This has improved my quality of life dramatically: the pleasure of eating my former favorite foods! And my energy level is high. Since my diagnosis, I've done several interviews and webinars on Ukraine, nuclear weapons, and first amendment issues, and I have two more scheduled this week.


As I just told my son Robert: he's long known (as my editor) that I work better under a deadline. It turns out that I live better under a deadline!


I feel lucky and grateful that I've had a wonderful life far beyond the proverbial three-score years and ten. (I’ll be ninety-two on April 7th.) I feel the very same way about having a few months more to enjoy life with my wife and family, and in which to continue to pursue the urgent goal of working with others to avert nuclear war in Ukraine or Taiwan (or anywhere else). 


When I copied the Pentagon Papers in 1969, I had every reason to think I would be spending the rest of my life behind bars. It was a fate I would gladly have accepted if it meant hastening the end of the Vietnam War, unlikely as that seemed (and was.) Yet in the end, that action—in ways I could not have foreseen, due to Nixon’s illegal responses—did have an impact on shortening the war. In addition, thanks to Nixon's crimes, I was spared the imprisonment I expected, and I was able to spend the last fifty years with Patricia and my family, and with you, my friends.


What's more, I was able to devote those years to doing everything I could think of to alert the world to the perils of nuclear war and wrongful interventions: lobbying, lecturing, writing, and joining with others in acts of protest and non-violent resistance. 


I wish I could report greater success for our efforts. As I write, "modernization" of nuclear weapons is ongoing in all nine states that possess them (the U.S. most of all). Russia is making monstrous threats to initiate nuclear war to maintain its control over Crimea and the Donbas—like the dozens of equally illegitimate first-use threats that the U.S. government has made in the past to maintain its military presence in South Korea, Taiwan, South Vietnam, and (with the complicity of every member state then in NATO) West Berlin. The current risk of nuclear war, over Ukraine, is as great as the world has ever seen. 


China and India are alone in declaring no-first-use policies. Leadership in the U.S., Russia, other nuclear weapons states, NATO and other U.S. allies have yet to recognize that such threats of initiating nuclear war—let alone the plans, deployments and exercises meant to make them credible and more ready to be carried out—are and always have been immoral and insane: under any circumstances, for any reasons, by anyone or anywhere.


It is long past time—but not too late!—for the world's publics at last to challenge and resist the willed moral blindness of their past and current leaders. I will continue, as long as I'm able, to help these efforts. There's tons more to say about Ukraine and nuclear policy, of course, and you'll be hearing from me as long as I'm here.


As I look back on the last sixty years of my life, I think there is no greater cause to which I could have dedicated my efforts. For the last forty years we have known that nuclear war between the U.S. and Russia would mean nuclear winter: more than a-hundred-million tons of smoke and soot from firestorms in cities set ablaze by either side, striking either first or second, would be lofted into the stratosphere where it would not rain out and would envelope the globe within days. That pall would block up to 70 percent of sunlight for years, destroying all harvests worldwide and causing death by starvation for most of the humans and other vertebrates on earth. 


So far as I can find out, this scientific near-consensus has had virtually no effect on the Pentagon's nuclear war plans or U.S./NATO (or Russian) nuclear threats. (In a like case of disastrous willful denial by many officials, corporations and other Americans, scientists have known for over three decades that the catastrophic climate change now underway—mainly but not only from burning fossil fuels—is fully comparable to U.S.-Russian nuclear war as another existential risk.) 


I'm happy to know that millions of people—including all those friends and comrades to whom I address this message!—have the wisdom, the dedication and the moral courage to carry on with these causes, and to work unceasingly for the survival of our planet and its creatures.


I'm enormously grateful to have had the privilege of knowing and working with such people, past and present. That's among the most treasured aspects of my very privileged and very lucky life. I want to thank you all for the love and support you have given me in so many ways. Your dedication, courage, and determination to act have inspired and sustained my own efforts. 


My wish for you is that at the end of your days you will feel as much joy and gratitude as I do now. 


Love, Dan


PS: I will enjoy reading any message you send me to this email, though I may or may not be able to respond to every message or call. I prefer email to calls, and in general I am avoiding personal visits, from concern about covid. Please know that I hold you in my heart.



Bigotry Comes in Many Forms: We Oppose the Targeting of Huwaida Arraf and Silencing of the Palestinian Narrative with Bogus Charges of Antisemitism


Sign petition at:



We, the undersigned, are extremely concerned about the recent attacks on Huwaida Arraf, a highly respected Palestinian-American civil rights attorney and longtime human rights activist. It is clear that these attacks are politically motivated attempts to discredit Huwaida’s message and silence all advocates of Palestinian rights. It is dangerous and we must not tolerate it. Smears and lies have been widely hurled at Huwaida, and death threats to Arab and Muslim students.

To sign this petition, please scroll down below the partial list of names and your name will be added.

These attacks have come in the aftermath of Huwaida’s participation in a Bloomfield Hills High School diversity assembly on March 14, 2023. Huwaida was invited by the student organizers of the assembly to speak alongside four other speakers about her experiences dealing with racism. The goal of the assembly was to promote diversity and acceptance, and raise awareness of the dangers of racism and discrimination.  

Huwaida spoke about her work campaigning for Palestinian freedom and human rights, which includes co-founding an organization that brings people of all religions, ethnicities, and nationalities together to bear witness on the ground and support the Palestinian struggle for freedom. Huwaida spoke about the importance of dismantling systems of oppression, which are built on racist ideologies, and she urged students to remember that all human beings are deserving of the same rights that we want for ourselves. 

Following the assembly, Zionist organizations launched a campaign to pressure the school to apologize for allowing Huwaida to speak, calling her and her comments “hateful” and “antisemitic.” This was followed by a special board meeting where multiple individuals were permitted to malign Huwaida’s character using racist tropes and falsehoods. Meanwhile, the students who spoke up eloquently to debunk the lies were marginalized, as the school board promised to take steps to ensure that “mistakes like this” do not happen again. The principal of the school, an African American, has been put on administrative leave, and the pressure continues to fire him and other school administrators. 

It is not a mistake or antisemitic to invite a Palestinian speaker to participate in a diversity assembly. Nor is it a mistake or antisemitic to invite a speaker to talk about Palestinian rights. The mistake is equating speech about Palestinian rights and the erasure of the Palestinian lived experience with antisemitism. It is a deliberate tactic that has been used for years to intimidate people into silence about the atrocities being committed by the state of Israel against the Palestinian people. This tactic not only harms Palestinians and supporters of Palestinian rights, but it does a great disservice to the fight against real antisemitism by conflating the Palestinian struggle for liberation and criticism of the Israeli government’s policies with those who brandish swastikas and attack synagogues. 

We stand with Huwaida and the student organizers of the diversity assembly against these baseless attacks and nefarious defamation. We call on Jewish community leaders and organizations, and other social justice, human rights, and religious leaders and organizations to recognize the harm caused by denying the Palestinian experience and making false accusations of antisemitism. 

We call on the Bloomfield Hills school administration to reject all efforts to conflate speech about Palestinian rights with antisemitism. And, we call on everyone everywhere to remember the words of the late civil rights leader Fannie Lou Hamer —“nobody’s free until everybody’s free” — and to stand with the Palestinian people in their struggle to be free. 





Updates From Kevin Cooper 

March 23, 2023 

Dear Friends and Comrades, 

This is Kevin Cooper writing and sending this update to you in 'Peace & Solidarity'. First and foremost I am well and healthy, and over the ill effect(s) that I went through after that biased report from MoFo, and their pro prosecution and law enforcement experts. I am back working with my legal team from Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP.

'We' have made great progress in refuting all that those experts from MoFo came up with by twisting the truth to fit their narrative, or omitting things, ignoring, things, and using all the other tactics that they did to reach their conclusions. Orrick has hired four(4) real experts who have no questionable backgrounds. One is a DNA attorney, like Barry Scheck of the innocence project in New York is for example. A DNA expert, a expect to refute what they say Jousha Ryen said when he was a child, and his memory. A expect on the credibility of MoFo's experts, and the attorney's at Orrick are dealing with the legal issues.

This all is taking a little longer than we first expected it to take, and that in part is because 'we' have to make sure everything is correct in what we have in our reply. We cannot put ourselves in a situation where we can be refuted... Second, some of our experts had other things planned, like court cases and such before they got the phone call from Rene, the now lead attorney of the Orrick team. With that being said, I can say that our experts, and legal team have shown, and will show to the power(s) that be that MoFo's DNA expert could not have come to the conclusion(s) that he came to, without having used 'junk science'! They, and by they I mean my entire legal team, including our experts, have done what we have done ever since Orrick took my case on in 2004, shown that all that is being said by MoFo's experts is not true, and we are once again having to show what the truth really is.

Will this work with the Governor? Who knows... 'but' we are going to try! One of our comrades, Rebecca D.   said to me, 'You and Mumia'...meaning that my case and the case of Mumia Abu Jamal are cases in which no matter what evidence comes out supporting our innocence, or prosecution misconduct, we cannot get a break. That the forces in the so called justice system won't let us go. 'Yes' she is correct about that sad to say...

Our reply will be out hopefully in the not too distant future, and that's because the people in Sacramento have been put on notice that it is coming, and why. Every one of you will receive our draft copy of the reply according to Rene because he wants feedback on it. Carole and others will send it out once they receive it. 'We' were on the verge of getting me out, and those people knew it, so they sabotaged what the Governor ordered them to do, look at all the evidence as well as the DNA evidence. They did not do that, they made this a DNA case, by doing what they did, and twisted the facts on the other issues that they dealt with.   'more later'...

In Struggle & Solidarity,

March 28, 2023

"Today is March 28, 2023

I spoke to Rene, the lead attorney. He hopes to have our reply [to the Morrison Forster report] done by April 14 and sent out with a massive Public Relations blast.

He said that the draft copy, which everyone will see, should be available April 10th. 

I will have a visit with two of the attorneys to go over the draft copy and express any concerns I have with it.

MoFo ex-law enforcement “experts” are not qualified to write what they wrote or do what they did.

Another of our expert reports has come in and there are still two more that we’re waiting for—the DNA report and Professor Bazelon’s report on what an innocence investigation is and what it is not. We are also expecting a report from the Innocence Network. All the regional Innocence Projects (like the Northern California Innocence Project) in the country belong to the Innocence Network.

If MoFo had done the right thing, I would be getting out of here, but because they knew that, somewhere along the line they got hijacked, so we have to continue this fight but we think we can win."

An immediate act of solidarity we can all do right now is to write to Kevin and assure him of our continuing support in his fight for justice. Here’s his address:

Mr. Kevin Cooper

C-65304. 4-EB-82

San Quentin State Prison

San Quentin, CA 94974


Background on Kevin's Case


January 14, 2023

Kevin Cooper has suffered imprisonment as a death row inmate for more than 38 years for a gruesome crime he did not commit. We are therefore extremely disappointed by the special counsel’s report to the Board of Parole Hearings and disagree strongly with its findings.  Most fundamentally, we are shocked that the governor seemingly failed to conduct a thorough review of the report that contains many misstatements and omissions and also ignores the purpose of a legitimate innocence investigation, which is to independently determine whether Mr. Cooper’s conviction was a product of prosecutorial misconduct. The report failed to address that critical issue. The evidence when viewed in this light reveals that Kevin Cooper is innocent of the Ryen/Hughes murders, and that he was framed by the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department. 


The special counsel’s investigation ordered by Governor Newsom in May 2021 was not properly conducted and is demonstrably incomplete. It failed to carry out the type of thorough investigation required to explore the extensive evidence that Mr. Cooper was wrongfully convicted. Among other things, the investigation failed to even subpoena and then examine the files of the prosecutors and interview the individuals involved in the prosecution. For unknown reasons and resulting in the tragic and clearly erroneous conclusion that he reached, the special counsel failed to follow the basic steps taken by all innocence investigations that have led to so many exonerations of the wrongfully convicted. 


In effect the special counsel’s report says: the Board of Parole Hearings can and will ignore Brady violations, destruction of exculpatory evidence, planted evidence, racial prejudice, prosecutorial malfeasance, and ineffective assistance of trial counsel; since I conclude Cooper is guilty based on what the prosecution says, none of these Constitutional violations matter or will be considered and we have no obligation to investigate these claims.


Given that (1) we have already uncovered seven prosecutorial violations of Brady v. Maryland during Mr. Cooper’s prosecution, (2) one of the likely killers has confessed to three different parties that he, rather than Mr. Cooper, was involved in the Ryen/Hughes murders, and (3) there is significant evidence of racial bias in Mr. Cooper’s prosecution, we cannot understand how Mr. Cooper was not declared wrongfully convicted.  The special counsel specifically declined to address ineffective assistance of counsel at the trial or the effect of race discrimination.  We call on the governor to follow through on his word and obtain a true innocence investigation.

Anything But Justice for Black People

Statement from Kevin Cooper concerning recent the decision on his case by Morrison Forrester Law Firm

In 2020 and 2022 Governor Newsom signed in to law the “Racial Justice Act.” This is because the California legislature, and the Governor both acknowledged that the criminal justice system in California is anything but justice for Black people.

On May 28th, 2021, Governor signed an executive order to allow the law firm of Morrison Forrester (MoFo) to do an independent investigation in my case which included reading the trial and appellant transcripts, my innocence claims, and information brought to light by the 9th circuit court of appeals, as well as anything else not in the record, but relevant to this case.

So, Mr. Mark McDonald, Esq, who headed this investigation by Morrison Forrester and his associates at the law firm, went and did what was not part of Governor Newsom’s order, and they did this during the length of time that they were working on this case, and executive order. They worked with law enforcement, current and former members of the L.A. Sheriff’s department, and other law enforcement-type people and organizations.

Law enforcement is the first part of this state’s criminal justice system. A system that both the California legislature, and the Governor acknowledge to be racist, and cannot be trusted to tell the truth, will present, and use false evidence to obtain a conviction, will withhold material exculpatory evidence, and will do everything else that is written in those two racial justice act bills that were signed into law.

So, with the active help of those pro-police, pro-prosecutor, pro-death penalty people working on this case to uphold my bogus conviction we cannot be surprised about the recent decision handed down by them in this case.

While these results are not true but based on the decisions made in 1983 and 1984 by the San Bernardino County district attorney’s office, these 2023 results were not reached by following the executive orders of Governor Newsom.

They ignored his orders and went out to make sure that I am either executed or will never get out of prison.

Governor Newsom cannot let this stand because he did not order a pro-cop or pro-prosecutor investigation, he ordered an independent investigation.

We all know that in truth, law enforcement protects each other, they stand by each other, no matter what city, county, or state that they come from. This is especially true when a Black man like me states that I was framed for murder by law enforcement who just happened to be in the neighboring county.

No one should be surprised about the law enforcement part in this, but we must be outraged by the law firm Morrison Forrester for being a part of this and then try to sell it as legitimate. We ain’t stupid and everyone who knows the truth about my case can see right through this bullshit.

I will continue to fight not only for my life, and to get out of here, but to end the death penalty as well. My entire legal team, family and friends and supporters will continue as well. We have to get to the Governor and let him know that he cannot accept these bogus rehashed results.

MoFo and their pro-prosecution and pro-police friends did not even deal with, or even acknowledge the constitutional violations in my case. They did not mention the seven Brady violations which meant the seven pieces of material exculpatory evidence were withheld from my trial attorney and the jury, and the 1991 California Supreme court that heard and upheld this bogus conviction. Why, one must ask, did they ignore these constitutional violations and everything that we proved in the past that went to my innocence?

Could it be that they just didn’t give a damn about the truth but just wanted to uphold this conviction by any means necessary?

No matter their reasons, they did not do what Governor Gavin Newsom ordered them to do in his May 28, 2021, executive order and we cannot let them get away with this.

I ask each and every person who reads this to contact the Governor’s office and voice your outrage over what MoFo did, and demand that he not accept their decision because they did not do what he ordered them to do which was to conduct an independent investigation!

In Struggle and Solidarity

From Death Row at San Quentin Prison,

Kevin Cooper


Call California Governor Newsom:

1-(916) 445-2841

Press 1 for English or 2 for Spanish, 

press 6 to speak with a representative and

wait for someone to answer 

(Monday-Friday, 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. PST—12:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. EST)



Ruchell is imprisoned in California, but it is important for the CA governor and Attorney General to receive your petitions, calls, and emails from WHEREVER you live! 


SIGN THE PETITION: bit.ly/freeruchell




Call CA Governor Newsom:

CALL (916) 445-2841

Press 1 for English or 2 for Spanish, 

press 6 to speak with a representative and

wait for someone to answer (Mon. - Fri., 9 AM - 5 PM PST / 12PM - 8PM EST)


Call Governor Newsom's office and use this script: 


"Hello, my name is _______ and I'm calling to encourage Governor Gavin Newsom to commute the sentence of prisoner Ruchell Magee #A92051 #T 115, who has served 59 long years in prison. Ruchell is 83 years old, so as an elderly prisoner he faces health risks every day from still being incarcerated for so long. In the interests of justice, I am joining the global call for Ruchell's release due to the length of his confinement and I urge Governor Newsom to take immediate action to commute Ruchell Magee's sentence."


Write a one-page letter to Gov Gavin Newsom:

Also, you can write a one-page letter to Governor Gavin Newsom about your support for Ruchell and why he deserves a commutation of his sentence due to his length of confinement (over 59 years), his age (83), and the health risks of an elderly person staying in California’s prisons. 


YOUR DIGITAL LETTER can be sent at bit.ly/write4ruchell


YOUR US MAIL LETTER can be sent to:

Governor Gavin Newsom

1303 10th Street, Suite 1173

Sacramento, CA 95814


Email Governor Newsom




Under "What is your request or comment about?", select "Clemency - Commutation of Sentence" and then select "Leave a comment". The next page will allow you to enter a message, where you can demand:


Commute the sentence of prisoner Ruchell Magee #A92051 #T 115, who has served 59 long years in prison. 

He was over-charged with kidnapping and robbery for a dispute over a $10 bag of marijuana, a substance that is legal now and should’ve never resulted in a seven-years-to-life sentence.  Ruchell is 83 years old, so as an elderly prisoner he faces health risks every day from still being incarcerated for so long.


Write to District Attorney Gascon

District Attorney George Gascon

211 West Temple Street, Suite 1200

Los Angeles, CA 90012


Write a one-page letter to D.A. George Gascon requesting that he review Ruchell’s sentence due to the facts that he was over-charged with kidnapping and robbery for a dispute over a $10 bag of marijuana, a substance that is legal now and should’ve never resulted in a seven-years-to-life sentence. Ruchell’s case should be a top priority because of his age (83) and the length of time he has been in prison (59 years).


·      Visit www.freeruchellmagee.org to learn more! Follow us @freeruchellmagee on Instagram!

·      Visit www.facebook.com/freeruchellmagee or search "Coalition to Free Ruchell Magee" to find us on Facebook!

·      Endorse our coalition at:

·      www.freeruchellmagee.org/endorse!

·      Watch and share this powerful webinar on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4u5XJzhv9Hc



Ruchell Magee

CMF - A92051 - T-123

P.O. Box 2000

Vacaville, CA 95696


Write Ruchell uplifting messages! Be sure to ask questions about his well-being, his interests, and his passions. Be aware that any of his mail can be read by correctional officers, so don’t use any violent, explicit, or demoralizing language. Don’t use politically sensitive language that could hurt his chances of release. Do not send any hard or sharp materials.



of Detroit Shakur Squad


The Detroit Shakur Squad holds zoom meetings every other Thursday. We educate each other and organize to help free our Elder Political Prisoners. Next meeting is Thurs, Jan 12, 2022.  Register to attend the meetings at tinyurl.com/Freedom-Meeting



The writers' organization PEN America is circulating this petition on behalf of Jason Renard Walker, a Texas prisoner whose life is being threatened because of his exposés of the Texas prison system. 

See his book, Reports from within the Belly of the Beast; available on Amazon at:


Petition: https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/protect-whistleblowers-in-carceral-settings



In the past year, we've learned that dozens of Federal Correction Institution Dublin employees sexually abused countless incarcerated people at the facility. Survivors' stories make clear that FCI Dublin staff specifically targeted immigrant women for abuse, and that ICE has knowingly detained and deported survivors and witnesses of sexual abuse by federal prison employees. Advocates have spoken with seven women who were sexually assaulted by prison staff and have already been deported, and at least 15 who are currently facing deportation (including at least six who are indefinitely detained by ICE).


We are writing to ask you to sign on to an open letter to the ICE leadership, demanding that they cease detaining and deporting noncitizen survivors and witnesses of prison staff sexual abuse, and release those currently in immigration detention. 


Sign on here:



You can read the full text of the open letter, and you can sign your organization on to the letter here:



Thanks for your consideration.





The Diabolic Intent to Murder: Medical Professionals’ & Prisoncrats’ constant delay game of untreated Cancer of Kevin Rashid Johnson                                                                                 

By Peter "Comrade Pitt" Mukuria

Kevin Rashid Johnson  is the Minister of Defense for the Revolutionary Intercommunal Black Panther Party (RIBPP). He is someone that I've been honored to have known for over a decade.  I've learned quite a lot from him over the years. In fact, he played a critical role in my political consciousness & growth.  

Prior to knowing Rashid personally or through his political work, my political awareness was rather undeveloped.  To know Rashid, is to learn from him.  One of the qualities about Rashid, which separates him from most, is that he practices what he preaches.   

By reviewing his work, it’s conspicuous to note, that, he is someone who advocates for the voiceless, poor, & oppressed, those dubbed, The wretched of the earth.  His advocacy for his incarcerated peers isn't limited to writing about the horrible conditions of confinement.  He also involves himself in direct action. 

In countless cases, he has placed himself in direct conflict against the pigs, by advocating for his peers.  As a result of his political consciousness and his courageous spirit intertwined, he has been Interstate transferred to 8 different state prisons. In each of these prisons, he has encountered much of the same inhumane conditions of confinement & abuse of prisoners. Each time, he adamantly spoke out against it. Exposing the prisons & if needed, he implemented physical actions in defense of other prisoners. 

 As a result of his unbroken spirit and activism, he has actively, politically awakened his peers. He transformed their lumpen mentality into a revolutionary mentality. He, thus, became a nightmare to the prisons. 

In  October 2021 , Rashid, had blood tests conducted, however, he wasn’t made aware of the results in a timely manner. No news is usually an indicator of good health.  

A year later, he learned the results of the October 2021 bloodwork. The findings revealed that he had prostate cancer.  Given the amount of time that had passed, the cancer had spread and metastasized. I'm no medical professional, but it is a well-known fact that prostate cancer is the 2nd leading cause of death in men & can only be cured if detected & treated early. It's quite conspicious that it was a deliberate act for prison officials to be aware that he had prostate cancer & intentionally delayed notifying him for a year. 

Furthermore, they then played games with his scheduled appointments. The latest one was to have a PET Scan. They intentionally transported him there hours late to ensure that he wouldn’t receive his treatment & a new appointment would have to be scheduled. This same transportation delay tactic actually transpired on multiple occasions.  

Their sinister, diabolical intent is obviously to prolong his treatment to ensure the spread of the cancer & lead to a fatal outcome.  In the case of political & politicized prisoners, medical neglect is a common retaliatory response from the prison officials & this current medical mistreatment is an example. 

 All in all, it is of utmost importance that public protests continue. We must demand that Rashid receives proper treatment as his life is truly in danger.  

For decades, Rashid has stood up against violent guards in defense of other incarcerated people. He has risked his own comfort, advocating for his peers countless times.  Even those he didn’t know. He has exposed the dire & inhumane conditions the incarcerated are subjected to.  The abuse & the constant mistreatment. 

Prisons tend to act if pressured by the public or if actions are court ordered. Given the urgency of this matter- literally life or death-Public involvement would be far more effective as the courts would surely take too much time, which is a luxury we can’t afford as too much time has already passed.  As much as Rashid has fought for others, we must now reciprocate & fight for our brother & comrade. For updates on his health & conditions visit www.Rashidmod.com 

Dare To Struggle 
Dare To Win 
All Power To The People! 

 Comrade Pitt 

Peter Kamau Mukuria #5194931 
PO Box 534 
Jessup, MD 20794 

Minister of Labor ~RIBPP 


Urgent support needed for cancer-stricken, imprisoned writer/artist, Kevin “Rashid” Johnson’s Legal Fund!

Fundraiser for an attorney to represent Rashid’s struggle for medical care
A campaign is underway to hire an attorney to represent Kevin Rashid Johnson’s struggle for medical care. The prison has denied this care to him, despite a cancer diagnosis discovered over one year ago for which no treatment has yet been provided.

Here is the donation link for Rashid’s legal fund: 
Please be as generous as you can.



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.



Tell Congress to Help #FreeDanielHale


I’m pleased to announce that last week our client, Daniel Hale, was awarded the Sam Adams Award for Integrity in Intelligence. The “Corner-Brightener Candlestick” was presented to Daniel’s friend Noor Mir. You can watch the online ceremony here.

As it happens, this week is also the 20th anniversary of the first drone assassination in Yemen. From the beginning, the drone assassination program has been deeply shrouded in secrecy, allowing U.S. officials to hide significant violations of international law, and the American Constitution. In addition to the lives directly impacted by these strikes, the program has significantly eroded respect for international law and thereby puts civilians around the world in danger.

Daniel Hale’s revelations threw a beam of light into a very dark corner, allowing journalists to definitively show that the government's official narrative was a lie. It is thanks to the great personal sacrifice of drone whistleblowers like Hale that public understanding has finally begun to catch up to reality.

As the Sam Adams Associates note:

 “Mr. Hale was well aware of the cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment to which other courageous officials have been subjected — and that he would likely suffer the same. And yet — in the manner of his famous ancestor Nathan Hale — he put his country first, knowing what awaited him at the hands of those who serve what has become a repressive Perpetual War State wreaking havoc upon much of the world.”

We hope you’ll join the growing call to pardon or commute Hale’s sentence. U.S. citizens can contact your representatives here.

Happy new year, and thank you for your support!

Jesselyn Radack
Whistleblower & Source Protection Program (WHISPeR)

Twitter: @JesselynRadack



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.



February 6, 2023 

Statement from Leonard Peltier

Leonard Peltier released this statement from his prison cell to mark the 48th anniversary of his unjust incarceration.[1]

Greetings my friends, supporters, loved ones. I know I’ve probably said this, or things like this, many times. Every time I say it, it is as heartfelt as the first time. From the bottom of my soul, I thank you for your support. Living in here, year after year, day after day, week after week, plays on your concepts of time and your process of thought beyond what you can imagine.

Every day, I have to say a prayer in the morning, about keeping my spirit up and the spirits of our people.

The struggles of the American Indian Movement, which are the struggles of all of us, have never ended for me. They go on, week after week, month after month, year after year.

When I speak, sometimes I think I may sound a bit too sensitive, but my love for my people and the love supporters have shown me over the years is what keeps me alive. I don’t read your letters with my intellect. I read them with my heart.

My imprisonment is just another example of the treatment and policies our people have faced since the arrival of the first Europeans. I’m just an ordinary man and I come from a live-and-let-live society, like all our people. And yet we have had to live in a state of survival ever since Columbus landed.

There is nothing about my case, nothing about the Constitution, which is a treaty between the American people and the government, that warrants my continual imprisonment.

They have historically imprisoned or killed our people, taken our land and resources. Any time the law was in our favor they ignored the law or changed the law to benefit their agenda.

After they have gotten what they wanted, a generation later, some politician would apologize. They have never negotiated sincerely with us unless we had something they wanted and could not take, or we were an embarrassment before the world, or we were some sort of opposition. The opposition has always been the dominant reason for them making treaties with us. I could go on and on about the mistreatment of our people and on and on about my case, but the United Nations said it.

That the United States has kept me locked up because I am American Indian. The only thing that really makes me different from other American Indians who have been mistreated, had land taken, or been imprisoned by our government, is that it is all a matter of court record in my case. The violation of my Constitutional rights has been proven in court. The fabrication of every piece of evidence used to convict me has been proven in court.

The United Nations itself, comprised of 193 nations, has called for my release, noting I am a political prisoner. In my case as a political prisoner there does not have to be a prisoner exchange. The exchange they need to make is from their policy of injustice to a policy of justice.

It does not matter what your color and ethnicity are. Black, red, white, yellow, brown—if they can do it to me, they can do it to you. The Constitution of the United States is hanging by a thread. Again.

I want to say, from my heart to your heart, most sincerely—do your best to educate your children. Teach them to defend themselves physically, mentally, and spiritually. Make them aware of our history. Teach them to plant a food forest or any plant that will provide for them in the future.

Again, from my heart to yours, plant a tree for me.

In the Spirit of Crazy Horse.


Leonard Peltier

—Liberation, February 6, 2023



Write to:

Leonard Peltier 89637-132

USP Coleman 1  

P.O. Box 1033

Coleman, FL 33521

Note: Letters, address and return address must be in writing—no stickers—and on plain white paper.

[1] To learn what his case is about click here:


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



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!



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) Court Says Abortion Pill Can Remain Available but Imposes Temporary Restrictions

The judges blocked the drug from being sent to patients through the mail and rolled back other steps the government had taken to ease access.

By Pam Belluck, April 13, 2023


A close-up view of an orange box of mifepristone, name brand Mifeprex, in the right hand of a woman wearing a black shirt.
A package of the abortion medication mifepristone in a clinic in Carbondale, Ill. Credit...Erin Schaff/The New York Times

A federal appeals court ruled late Wednesday that the abortion pill mifepristone could remain available, but the judges blocked the drug from being sent to patients through the mail and rolled back other steps the government had taken to ease access in recent years.


In its order, a three-judge panel for the Fifth Circuit partly overruled Judge Matthew J. Kacsmaryk of the Northern District of Texas, who last week declared that the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of mifepristone in 2000 was not valid, in essence saying that the drug should be pulled from the market.


The appellate court said its ruling would hold until the full case was heard on its merits.


In its order, the appellate panel said the F.D.A.’s approval of mifepristone could stand because too much time had passed for the plaintiffs, a consortium of groups and doctors opposed to abortion, to challenge that decision. The court also seemed to take into account the government’s view that removing a long-approved drug from the market would have “significant public consequences.”


But the appellate court said that it was not too late for the plaintiffs to challenge a set of steps the F.D.A. took beginning in 2016 that lifted restrictions and made it easier for more patients to have access to the pill.


The court also said that the government could not logically claim that the changes made since 2016 “were so critical to the public given that the nation operated — and mifepristone was administered to millions of women” before the old restrictions were eased.


Those changes approved use of the pill for up to 10 weeks into pregnancy instead of seven weeks, allowed it to be prescribed by some health providers other than doctors and permitted mifepristone to be mailed to patients instead of requiring it to be picked up from a health care provider in person.


Such steps significantly expanded access to medication abortion, which is now used in more than half of pregnancy terminations in the United States. It usually involves taking mifepristone — which blocks a hormone that allows a pregnancy to develop — followed one or two days later by another drug, misoprostol, which causes contractions similar to a miscarriage.


Judge Kacsmaryk, a Trump appointee who has written critically of the Roe v. Wade decision, had stayed his order for seven days to give the F.D.A. time to appeal. On Monday, the F.D.A. had asked the appeals court to extend that stay, and the judges partly granted that request.


In the decision, which came just before midnight on Wednesday, two Trump-appointed judges voted to reimpose some of the restrictions that the F.D.A. had eased. The third judge, appointed by President George W. Bush, said she would essentially have granted the full request. All of those restrictions were temporarily reinstated.


The Justice Department is likely to appeal the order to the Supreme Court. The plaintiffs may also appeal to the Supreme Court and ask it to invalidate the initial approval of mifepristone.


The 42-page appeals court opinion appeared to accept several of the claims of the anti-abortion plaintiffs and used some of the terminology of abortion opponents, referring to medication abortion as “chemical abortion” and in one instance referring to a fetus or embryo as “an unborn child.”


In their lawsuit, the abortion opponents claim that mifepristone is unsafe, causing “cramping, heavy bleeding and severe pain,” and that the F.D.A. has ignored safety risks and never adequately evaluated the scientific evidence.


The F.D.A. vigorously disputes this claim, as do mainstream medical organizations. They say that bleeding and cramping are normal consequences of the process, a sign that the pregnancy tissue is being expelled, and cite years of scientific studies that show that serious complications are rare, resulting in less than 1 percent of patients needing hospitalization. The F.D.A. applies a special regulatory framework to mifepristone, meaning that it has been regulated much more strictly and studied more intensively than most other drugs.


In seeking a stay of Judge Kacsmaryk’s ruling, lawyers from the Justice Department, representing the F.D.A., wrote, “There is no basis in science or fact for plaintiffs’ repeated claims that mifepristone is unsafe when used in the manner approved by F.D.A.”


The appeals court did not evaluate all of the safety arguments in the case, but it said that the F.D.A. “cannot deny that serious complications from mifepristone” occur and said that the agreement form that the agency requires patients to sign stipulates that the drug can carry risks. The court also said that the F.D.A. was incorrect in saying that mifepristone was comparable in safety to ibuprofen. “F.D.A.’s own documents show that mifepristone bears no resemblance to ibuprofen,” the court said.


The appeals court also seemed to agree with the plaintiffs that a 19th-century law called the Comstock Act prevents the mailing of drugs used for abortions. The Justice Department said in a recent memo that the act prohibits mailing the pills only if the sender knows they will be used for an illegal abortion, not if the patient is in a state where abortion is legal.


The appeals court wrote that “merely by knowingly making use of the mail for a prohibited abortion item” would violate that law.


The court also disagreed with the F.D.A.’s argument that the plaintiffs did not have legal standing to file the lawsuit. Legal standing requires that plaintiffs incur damage or harm from the actions of the party they are suing.


The plaintiffs said they were injured because they treated some women who needed additional care after taking abortion pills, requiring the doctors to divert medical resources they would have used for other patients and to sometimes act against their moral views and perform a surgical procedure after an incomplete medication abortion. The F.D.A. said that those claims of harm were too far removed from the agency’s actions in regulating mifepristone and that the definition of a doctor’s job was to care for patients so the doctors could not be harmed by doing the job they were trained to do.


The appeals court said that “as a result of F.D.A.’s failure to regulate this potent drug, these doctors have had to devote significant time and resources to caring for women experiencing mifepristone’s harmful effects. This harm is sufficiently concrete.”


The opinion added that the plaintiffs “also face an injury from the irreconcilable choice between performing their jobs and abiding by their consciences.”


The case has attracted interest beyond the groups that usually weigh in on abortion cases. On Monday, more than 400 pharmaceutical industry leaders and investors issued a scathing condemnation of the ruling and demanded that it be reversed.


“If courts can overturn drug approvals without regard for science or evidence, or for the complexity required to fully vet the safety and efficacy of new drugs, any medicine is at risk for the same outcome as mifepristone,” they wrote. Leaving the fate of medicines in the hands of jurists, they argued, would have a chilling effect on drug development in the United States, reducing incentives for investment and innovation.


Mike Ives contributed reporting.



2) Protests Persist in France as Macron’s Pension Law Nears Last Hurdle

A constitutional ruling expected on Friday may be the final legal obstacle for President Emmanuel Macron’s push to increase the retirement age. But the plan hasn’t become any more popular.

By Aurelien Breeden, April 13, 2023

Reporting from Paris


An enormous crowd gathers on a tree-lined street.

A demonstration on Thursday in Toulouse, France. Credit...Lionel Bonaventure/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Protesters standing on top of plastic trash cans, releasing magenta smoke from flares.

Garbage collectors in Paris have voted to resume a strike, and the Constitutional Council building was barricaded with trash cans on Thursday. Credit...Teresa Suarez/EPA, via Shutterstock

Hundreds of thousands of protesters marched across France on Thursday on the eve of a crucial ruling over President Emmanuel Macron’s decision to raise the legal age of retirement to 64, from 62, a step that could pave the way for the measure’s final implementation, even if it does little to dispel persistent popular opposition.


Mr. Macron’s pension overhaul became law last month after he decided to push it through the lower house of Parliament without a vote, galvanizing a monthslong showdown with opposition parties and labor unions that on Thursday were staging their 12th day of nationwide protests and strikes since January.


The unrest that followed Mr. Macron’s decision to bypass a full parliamentary vote has mutated into a less chaotic but still very tense standoff, marked by sporadic violence between the police and protesters, even as some of the latest demonstrations showed signs of losing steam.


But both sides have refused to back down, and all eyes are now on the Constitutional Council, which reviews legislation to ensure it conforms to the French Constitution, to see if it will break the stalemate.


The measures in Mr. Macron’s pension overhaul cannot be officially enacted until the nine-member council gives the green light. Both Mr. Macron’s government and its opposition had asked for a constitutional review, and a ruling is expected on Friday.


Many legal experts expect the council to strike down minor measures, like one forcing companies to publish information about how many senior workers they employ, but to uphold the most important and most contentious provision — raising the age when workers can start collecting a government pension, if not a full one, to 64, from 62.


The council has struck down entire laws fewer than 20 times since 1959. Doing so now would be a stunning blow to Mr. Macron, and a stark departure from the body’s usual caution, experts say.


Samy Benzina, a public law professor at the University of Poitiers, said that the council was “very attached to its legal precedent” and “very attentive to the effects of its decisions.”


“I don’t think it wants to play the role of a political arbiter,” he said.


Either way, the ruling may not end the political turmoil over the plan, which has roiled France and kept Mr. Macron from making much headway on other policies.


Bastien François, a political science professor at the University Paris-1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, said that the fierceness of the deadlock between Mr. Macron and his opponents had fueled a misplaced expectation that the council would break it.


“If the Constitutional Council strikes down the law, it will be an extremely strong repudiation of the government,” Mr. François said, ushering in an even bigger crisis for Mr. Macron.


But if the law stands, “it won’t change anything for its opponents — it might even infuriate them even more,” Mr. François added.


The size of the protests and the number of strikers in key sectors like transportation and education have fallen recently, but opposition to the pension law remains strong, with surveys consistently indicating that about two-thirds of French people oppose it.


In Paris, one of the main garbage collector unions started a new strike on Thursday, just weeks after ending a previous one that had left tons of trash piled in the city’s streets. Some protesters briefly erected a barricade of trash on Thursday in front of the Constitutional Council building in central Paris, where rows of police officers in riot gear later faced off with chanting demonstrators.


Other protesters also briefly burst into the offices of the luxury goods conglomerate LVMH and marched on the Champs-Élysées with smoke bombs.


“Whatever the case, today clearly isn’t the last step of the mobilization,” said Stéphane Vardon, 49, a railway worker with a bright-red union pin who was protesting near the Place de l’Opéra in the capital.


The unrest even followed Mr. Macron during a trip this week to the Netherlands, where a handful of protesters interrupted a speech he gave in The Hague, while another one, who ran at Mr. Macron outside a university in Amsterdam, was tackled to the ground.


Mr. Macron defended his changes at a news conference in Amsterdam, arguing that it was necessary to balance the French pension system’s finances — an effort his opponents say is not as urgent as he suggests — and to bolster French credibility abroad.


“How do you want me to advocate for increasing strategic autonomy — how do you want me to advocate and convince the Netherlands, Germany and others to issue common debt during the pandemic crisis if I don’t reform France?” Mr. Macron asked.


He said that the Constitutional Council ruling was the final step on a “democratic and constitutional path” and offered to meet with France’s main unions after the decision.


“Our country must continue to go forward, to work, to face the challenges that are ours,” Mr. Macron said.


Labor unions, who had already walked out of a meeting with the prime minister, Élisabeth Borne, last week, said they would do the same to Mr. Macron if his overhaul was not up for discussion.


“If it’s to talk about pensions, with great pleasure — otherwise we have better things to do,” Sophie Binet, the head of the Confédération Générale du Travail, France’s second-largest labor union, said of meeting with Mr. Macron.


The Constitutional Council reviews laws to see if they conform to France’s Constitution, either right after they are passed by Parliament, or when questions about a law’s constitutionality are raised by a court during later legal proceedings.


But unlike the Supreme Court in the United States, it is not the court of last appeal, and none of its nine members — appointed for nine years — are judges.


Instead, most are former politicians or high-ranking civil servants who do not always have legal expertise. Some critics say that leads to inevitable conflicts of interest, casting doubt on the council’s impartiality.


“Those who are on the council can judge the work of people who were their colleagues not long ago, sometimes even judge laws that they worked on themselves,” said Lauréline Fontaine, a public and constitutional law professor at the Sorbonne-Nouvelle.


Jacqueline Gourault, one of the council’s members, was one of Mr. Macron’s ministers for much of his first term, Ms. Fontaine noted, while Alain Juppé, another member, is a former prime minister who spearheaded a failed attempt to change the French pension system in the 1990s.


“Given the composition of the council, I have little hope that it will decide to invalidate the law,” said Alessia Malatesta, 26, a video game developer protesting in Paris. “So it’s simple: If the law is partially struck down, we continue the fight; and if it is approved, we continue the fight.”


Opposition parties and some legal experts have argued that the council could strike down the entire law on procedural grounds because the government had used procedures reserved for budget measures to accelerate the parliamentary process.


Those critics say that the government misused tools that are normally used to avoid end-of-year funding gaps, not to pass hugely consequential social laws. But legal experts note that the tools are all legal, and that without a clear-cut case of constitutional infringement, the council would be reluctant to interpret them otherwise.


The council is also expected to rule on the admissibility of a shared initiative referendum — a complex process that has never come to fruition — filed by Mr. Macron’s opponents, who want a nationwide vote barring any extension of the retirement age beyond 62.


It is unclear whether the council will approve that process. Mr. François, the political science professor, said that some protesters could feel muzzled if it does not, prompting anger in much the same way as Mr. Macron’s decision to bypass a full parliamentary vote.


“It would be experienced very badly,” he said.


Tom Nouvian contributed reporting.



3) Biggest U.S. Banks Report Bumper Profits Amid Industry Turmoil

JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Wells Fargo comfortably beat expectations for earnings in the first quarter, when the failures of smaller banks sent jitters throughout the sector.

By Rob Copeland and Stacy Cowley, April 14, 2023

The entrance to JPMorgan’s headquarters displaying the words JPMorgan Chase & Co.
JPMorgan Chase said profit jump 52 percent in the first quarter, to $12.6 billion. Credit...Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times

Despite tenuous times for the banking industry, some of the largest U.S. lenders reported banner first-quarter earnings on Friday that easily exceeded investor expectations. And even as they warned that credit could become more scarce and expensive, they said that the economy was proving resilient so far.


The banks’ earnings were bolstered by higher interest rates, which allowed them to charge more for loans above what they pay out on deposits. The robust reports were also a reflection that the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank last month appear to have strengthened the biggest banks by driving customers toward larger institutions perceived to be more stable.


JPMorgan Chase, the nation’s largest bank, reported revenue that rose virtually across the board, helping it pull in $12.6 billion in profit, a 52 percent jump from the same quarter a year earlier.


The bank said its loans were steady and customer deposits rose slightly in the first quarter from the previous quarter, with inflows picking up in particular after smaller competitors saw depositors pull cash en masse.


“We had a rough spell in March, but things are looking better now,” said JPMorgan’s chief financial officer, Jeremy Barnum.


The bank’s chief executive, Jamie Dimon, who has taken a leading role in bailing out smaller lenders, said the banking crisis was distinct, but that financial conditions were likely to tighten as lenders, including JPMorgan, become more conservative. “We are going to eventually have a recession, but that may be pushed off a bit,” he said.


JPMorgan set aside roughly $2.3 billion to protect against borrowers falling behind on their loans. That was up from $1.5 billion in the same quarter last year, largely because of a somewhat worse economic outlook, the bank said.


Citigroup, the country’s third-largest lender, reported a profit of $4.6 billion in the first quarter, up 7 percent from the same period last year and well ahead of forecasts. Revenue jumped 12 percent from the previous year, which came “despite the tumultuous environment for banks,” Jane Fraser, the bank’s chief executive, said in a statement.


The bank’s loan book was roughly unchanged and deposits fell 3 percent from the previous quarter.


Wells Fargo also surpassed analysts’ expectations, reporting a profit of nearly $5 billion in the first quarter, a 32 percent increase from a year ago. Rising interest rates lifted the bank’s earnings as its loan portfolio grew, led by gains in personal lending and higher credit-card balances.


There was little sign of nervous depositors fleeing to the safety of the lender, the nation’s fourth-largest bank. The average deposits at Wells Fargo dropped $24 billion, or 2 percent, from the previous quarter. Loans were little changed.


Charlie Scharf, the bank’s chief executive, said Wells Fargo was “glad to have been in a strong position to help support the U.S. financial system” during the industry’s recent turmoil. The bank’s top priority, he said, remains improving its internal controls; the bank has for years been battered by regulators and has paid billions in fines for a wide variety of misdeeds.


Analysts are closely watching banks for signs of tightening lending that could lead to a credit crunch, but Wells Fargo “hasn’t substantially changed our credit risk appetite” over the last quarter, said Michael P. Santomassimo, the bank’s chief financial officer.


“Consumers and many of the businesses that are our clients came into this environment in a very strong position,” he said. “Consumers continue to spend.”


PNC Financial, the country’s sixth-largest bank, said that the industry volatility ended up playing to its strengths. Although it has been swept up in the turmoil surrounding midsize banks, PNC, a so-called super regional lender, is bigger and more diversified than its smaller rivals. PNC played savior in last month’s rescue plan for the ailing First Republic Bank, putting $1 billion in deposits into the bank as part of a $30 billion deal engineered by Mr. Dimon.


PNC’s deposits grew slightly last quarter. Its net income rose to $1.7 billion, up more than 18 percent from the previous year.


Investors welcomed the batch of bank reports, their first look inside the books of the industry bellwethers since the failure of Silicon Valley and Signature Bank, sending share prices higher. JPMorgan’s stock jumped more than 6 percent in early trading, leading the gains among banks.


“The banking system is very sound — it’s stable,” Lael Brainard, director of President Biden’s National Economic Council, said this week at an event in Washington.


But staff at the Federal Reserve are projecting that general banking turmoil will spur a “mild” recession later this year, according to minutes of a policymakers’ meeting last month. Retail sales in March fell 1 percent from the month before, data released on Friday showed, which unlike the big banks’ earnings reports was weaker than analysts expected.



4) Biden Administration Asks Supreme Court to Restore Broad Availability of Abortion Pill

In an emergency application, lawyers for the government asked the justices to stay all of a Texas judge’s ruling suspending a commonly used abortion medication.

By Adam Liptak, April 14, 2023


An exterior of the U.S. Supreme Court on a bright sunny day.

The case has returned the Supreme Court to an issue it had said it was ceding to elected officials in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned Roe v. Wade. Credit...Michael A. McCoy for The New York Times

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration filed an emergency application to the Supreme Court on Friday asking the justices to pause parts of an appeals court ruling that limited the availability of a common abortion pill.


The application, in the first major abortion case to reach the justices since they eliminated the constitutional right to abortion in June, asked the court to allow the pill, mifepristone, to remain widely available while the government pursues an appeal.


The brief was harshly critical of a ruling from a federal judge suspending approval of the drug.


"The district court countermanded a scientific judgment F.D.A. has maintained across five administrations; nullified the approval of a drug that has been safely used by millions of Americans over more than two decades; and upset reliance interests in a health care system that depends on the availability of mifepristone as an alternative to surgical abortion for women who choose to lawfully terminate their early pregnancies,” the government’s brief said.


On Wednesday night, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, in New Orleans, issued a mixed decision, staying the most sweeping aspects of a decision from Judge Matthew J. Kacsmaryk that would have wholly overridden the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of the pill.


But the appeals court, in an unsigned order from a divided three-judge panel, temporarily let stand other aspects of Judge Kacsmaryk’s ruling, including by requiring in-person visits with doctors, rolling back the availability of the pills from the first 10 weeks of pregnancy to seven weeks and barring dispensing them by mail.


The panel’s ruling was provisional, and the court put the appeal itself on a fast track.


In the emergency application, Solicitor General Elizabeth B. Prelogar, representing the F.D.A., wrote that the plaintiffs lacked standing to challenge a drug they neither take nor prescribe and that they had provided no basis for second-guessing the agency’s scientific judgment.


Had Judge Kacsmaryk’s ruling fully come into force, it would have even more severely disrupted the availability of mifepristone, part of the most commonly used method for ending pregnancies in the United States.


The case was brought by several doctors and medical groups, including the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine, which was incorporated in August in Amarillo, Texas, where the case was filed. Judge Kacsmaryk, a Trump appointee who is a longtime opponent of abortion, is the only federal judge in the Amarillo division in the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Texas.


The appeals court majority wrote that the statute of limitations appeared to bar a challenge to the F.D.A.’s initial approval of the pill in 2000. But it said that later expansions of access to the pill were properly before the judge and that there were authentic safety concerns warranting suspension of regulations making it easier to obtain the pills.


The majority added that the plaintiffs appeared to have standing to sue because they might have to treat complications from the use of the pill.


Two judges in the majority on the appeals court panel, Kurt D. Engelhardt and Andrew Oldham, are appointees of President Donald J. Trump. The third judge on the appeals court panel who was effectively in dissent, Catharina Haynes, was appointed by President George W. Bush.


Ms. Prelogar, representing the agency, responded that the plaintiffs could not show that they had experienced the sort of direct and concrete injury that would give them standing to sue. Rather, she wrote, they relied on implausible speculation.


“They neither take nor prescribe mifepristone, and F.D.A.’s approval of the drug does not require them to do or refrain from doing anything,” she wrote. “Yet the Fifth Circuit held that the associations have standing because some of their members might be asked to treat women who are prescribed mifepristone by other providers and who then suffer an exceedingly rare adverse event.”


In a second brief, filed by Danco Laboratories, which makes the branded version of mifepristone, called Mifeprex, the company’s lawyers said the appeals court’s ruling had created “regulatory chaos.”


“Leaving the Fifth Circuit’s ruling in place will irreparably harm Danco, which will be unable to both conduct its business nationwide and comply with its legal obligations,” the company’s brief said. “The lack of emergency relief from this court will also harm women, the health care system, the pharmaceutical industry, states’ sovereignty interests and the separation of powers.”


Judge Kacsmaryk once worked for First Liberty Institute, which says it is the largest legal organization in the nation focused exclusively on defending religious freedom. Democrats voted against confirming him to the bench in 2019 because of his history of opposing L.G.B.T.Q. rights.


In his ruling, Judge Kacsmaryk adopted the language of abortion opponents, referring to abortion providers as “abortionists,” to the challenged procedure as “chemical abortion” and to the fetus as an “unborn human” or “unborn child.” Legal scholars said the judge had relied on questionable scientific studies.


The case has returned the Supreme Court to an issue it not long ago said it was ceding to elected officials in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that established a constitutional right to abortion. Writing for the majority, Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. wrote that the political branches, rather than the courts, should set abortion policy.


The Dobbs decision concerned the Constitution, while Judge Kacsmaryk’s ruling mostly turned on principles of administrative law. But the new case demonstrated that legal disputes over abortion will continue to engage the justices.


The stakes are high. More than five million women have used mifepristone to terminate their pregnancies in the United States, and many studies have found it to be safe and effective. The drug is also approved for use in dozens of other countries.


In the United States, the protocol typically involves mifepristone in combination with a second drug, misoprostol, that are used in the first 10 weeks of pregnancy. About 60 percent of abortions in that time employ the two drugs rather than surgery.


The first drug blocks the effects of progesterone, a hormone without which the lining of the uterus begins to break down. The second one, taken 24 to 48 hours later, induces contractions of the uterus that expel its contents.


If access to mifepristone is limited, abortion providers may rely solely on misoprostol, which can be used on its own but is somewhat less effective and more prone to cause side effects.


The appeals court’s order is in conflict with ones issued by a federal judge in Washington State in another lawsuit related to mifepristone. That lawsuit, filed against the F.D.A. by Democratic attorneys general from 17 states and the District of Columbia, challenged extra restrictions that the agency imposes on mifepristone and asked the judge to prevent it from limiting access to the drug.


Judge Thomas O. Rice of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington, an Obama appointee, did not lift the additional restrictions but ordered the F.D.A. to maintain the status quo. He blocked the agency from curbing the availability of mifepristone in the states that filed the lawsuit.


Lawyers for Danco wrote that the dueling orders put it “in an impossible position.”


The F.D.A., they wrote, “cannot permit Danco to simultaneously operate two separate distribution networks for two different parts of the country; that simply is not how the federal regulation of pharmaceuticals works.”



5) Vladimir Kara-Murza, a fierce Putin critic, is handed a 25-year prison sentence.

By Ivan Nechepurenko, April 17, 2023


Vladimir Kara-Murza looks directly into the camera in front of a light blue backdrop.
Vladimir Kara-Murza was sentenced on Monday to 25 years in a Russian penal colony. Credit...Al Drago/The New York Times

Maria Eismont, one of Mr. Kara-Murza’s lawyers, speaking to the news media before the verdict at the Moscow City Court on Monday. Credit...Yuri Kochetkov/EPA, via Shutterstock

The Moscow City Court on Monday sentenced Vladimir Kara-Murza, a prominent critic of President Vladimir V. Putin, to 25 years in a high-security penal colony after convicting him of treason over his criticism of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, an unusually harsh sentence that drew international condemnation.


Mr. Kara-Murza’s supporters said the length of the sentence evoked memories of Stalin’s terror, and the verdict will likely send a chilling message to remaining anti-Kremlin activists in Russia and beyond as the Kremlin continues to clamp down on dissent over the war in Ukraine.


Many Russian political activists have been prosecuted since the invasion, including Ilya Yashin, who was sentenced to eight and a half years in prison last year on charges of “spreading false information” about Russia’s war in Ukraine — but the length of Mr. Kara-Murza’s sentence was the longest yet. Ivan Pavlov, an acclaimed Russian human rights lawyer, called it “unprecedented,” saying that even murderers receive shorter prison terms in Russia.


“It is a terrifying but also very high assessment of his work as a politician and a citizen,” Maria Eismont, one of Mr. Kara-Murza’s lawyers, said outside of the court, according to Sota, a Russian news outlet. She said the verdict will be appealed.


Mr. Kara-Murza’s mother, Yelena, told Sota after the hearing that she felt like “she woke up in a Kafka novel.”


“We live in 2023, in the 21st century, what is this, what is happening,” she told Sota.


An activist, historian and journalist, Mr. Kara-Murza, 41, has for years been one of the most uncompromising voices against Mr. Putin and had long drawn the Kremlin’s ire, surviving what he characterized several years ago as two state-sponsored attempts to poison him.


Shortly after Mr. Putin ordered troops into Ukraine in February 2022, Mr. Kara-Murza, who contributes to the opinion section of The Washington Post, gave a number of speeches in the United States and Europe strongly condemning the invasion.


Though many supporters advised him not to come back to Russia, Mr. Kara-Murza continued to work in the country. He was detained there last April while on a trip to Moscow and accused of disobeying police orders. He was sentenced to administrative arrest, during which the authorities charged him with spreading “fake” information about the Russian Army. He was later charged with taking part in an “undesirable organization” and treason. The verdict on Monday combined all of the charges into one sentence.


The trial, which human-rights organizations decried as politically motivated, took place behind closed doors. Neither the prosecutors nor the investigators presented any evidence in public that would support the treason charge. Vadim Prokhorov, Mr. Kara-Murza’s lawyer, said in a post on Facebook in October that the treason charge related to public statements made in the United States and Europe which criticized the Kremlin.


On Monday, the United Nations human rights office decried Mr. Kara-Murza’s sentencing as “a blow to the rule of law" while Hugh Williamson, the Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch, called it “a travesty of justice.”


The U.S. State Department condemned the sentence and said Mr. Kara-Murza was “yet another target of the Russian government’s escalating campaign of repression.” Britain’s Foreign Office said it had summoned the Russian ambassador in London to protest what it described as a “politically motivated” conviction that runs “contrary to Russia’s international obligations on human rights, including the right to a fair trial.” In March, the U.S. Department of the Treasury sanctioned three individuals, including a judge and an investigator, involved in prosecuting Mr. Kara-Murza.


Dmitri S. Peskov, the Kremlin’s spokesman, refused to comment on the sentence.


During pretrial detention, Mr. Kara-Murza, a Russian-British dual national, said that he had been denied the right to call his family and his health began to deteriorate rapidly.


In his final address to the court before the verdict last week, Mr. Kara-Murza likened the current climate in Russia to the terror of the Stalin era.


“The day will come when the darkness over our country will dissipate,” he told a Moscow courtroom. “When black will be called black, and white will be called white; when at the official level, it will be recognized that two times two is still four; when a war will be called a war, and a usurper a usurper.”


Alina Lobzina contributed reporting.



6) Videos Show Officers Knocking on Wrong Door Before Fatally Shooting Man

The body camera footage shows officers responding to a domestic violence call in Farmington, N.M. They inquire if they have the correct address moments before an armed man opens the door and is shot.

By April Rubin, Published April 16, 2023, Updated April 17, 2023



As three police officers responding to a domestic violence call waited outside a home in Farmington, N.M., one of them asked if they had the right address, moments before an armed man answered the door and was shot to death this month, newly released video footage shows.


The call for police assistance had been for another home on the same street.


The footage and audio recordings from 911 calls, both of which were released on Friday by the Farmington Police Department, show confusion among police officers and include a desperate plea from a relative of the man who was killed.


The video was recorded by body cameras worn by Farmington officers on April 5, the day of the shooting. The three officers were responding to the call for assistance in Farmington, a city about 140 miles from Alburquerque in the rural northwest corner of New Mexico, but they knocked on a door across the street from the intended address.


In the video, the number 5305 is visible on an exterior wall of the home, even though the officers were dispatched to 5308 Valley View Avenue.


After waiting for a response to their knocks, an officer asks the others if they are at the correct address.


“Is it 43 or 5308?” another officer asks over police radio. The dispatcher then says the correct address.


“Don’t tell me I’m wrong,” the officer says, and then chuckles.


About two minutes elapse from the time of the initial knock to when the door is opened. The officers can be seen knocking two other times in the interim.


A man later identified as Robert Dotson, 52, opens the front door and a screen door armed with a handgun, which he appears to lift and point toward an officer before the police shoot him. The video has been edited to show a circle around the gun in a slow-motion playback of this moment.


The names of the officers involved have not been released and will continue to be withheld “until disclosure would not affect the integrity of the investigation,” the Police Department’s chief, Steve Hebbe, said in a statement.


In the video, moments after Mr. Dotson is shot, a woman who was later identified as his wife can be heard screaming. She then approaches the front door and opens fire at the officers, but she stops upon realizing that they are police officers. Officers shoot back at her, but she is not injured.


The footage was taken from the body cameras of all three officers at the scene, none of whom were injured in the encounter. The New Mexico State Police are investigating the shooting.


Recordings of four 911 calls related to the original dispatch and the resulting shooting have also been released by the Police Department.


One call was from someone who identified herself as a 14-year-old inside 5305 Valley View Avenue, the house in which Mr. Dotson was shot. Through tears, she says her mother told her to call 911 because her father, whom she identified by name later in the call, had been shot.


The dispatcher first tells her that the gunshots were from police activity in the area, until she understands that the caller meant that someone at her own home had been shot.


“Yes, someone shot at my father, definitely,” the caller says, adding, “I’m so scared.”


The caller says she is in a room with her brother and dog.


“Can you pray with me, please?” she asks the dispatcher.


Two of the other 911 calls that were released came from neighbors who were concerned about the gunshots they heard.


The fourth audio recording was from the initial domestic violence call, which originated from across the street from where the officers ultimately knocked. The police later investigated the initial domestic call and reported no further complications from that location.


The Farmington Police Department will release additional records and files about the encounter after they have been reviewed by legal counsel, Chief Hebbe said.


“All of us — the men and women of the Farmington Police Department — recognize the severity of this incident,” he said in a statement posted on Facebook. “We will do everything we can to ensure a fuller understanding of what took place."



7) 84-Year-Old Is Charged in Shooting of Black Teenager Who Went to Wrong House

Lawyers for the family of Ralph Yarl, 16, said he was critically injured when he was shot twice in Kansas City, Mo.

By Livia Albeck-Ripka, Patrick LaForge and Christine Hauser, Published April 17, 2023, Updated April 18, 2023


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Officials said that Andrew Lester had been charged with assault in the first degree in the shooting of Ralph Yarl, who had shown up at the wrong house. The shooting prompted outrage, and the house was later vandalized.GoFundMe

The errand that nearly cost Ralph Yarl his life was of the sort that falls to older brothers everywhere.


Ralph, a Black 16-year-old in Kansas City, Mo., had been sent to pick up his younger twin brothers at a friend’s house on Thursday evening, his family said. But he mixed up the address, finding himself in front of a house on Northeast 115 Street, instead of Northeast 115th Terrace.


The white man who answered the door there shot him in the head and again in the arm after he fell, according to prosecutors. Somehow, Ralph made his way, bleeding, to another nearby house. There, he was told to lie on the ground while someone called for help, his family said.


The homeowner who shot him, Andrew D. Lester, 84, was taken into custody by the police for 24 hours, then released without charges on Friday. Over the weekend, anger began to spread in the community. Protesters marched on Mr. Lester’s home on Sunday, while the Kansas City police chief, Stacey Graves, acknowledged the public frustration at a news conference. The teenager was released from the hospital on Sunday evening, his father said.


As pressure mounted on Monday afternoon, the Police Department said in a statement that it had submitted the case file to the Clay County prosecuting attorney’s office. The prosecutor, Zachary Thompson, publicly identified Mr. Lester a few hours later and announced that he had been charged, saying what many already believed: “There was a racial component to the case.”


Mr. Thompson said Mr. Lester had been charged with assault in the first degree, a class-A felony, and could face life in prison if convicted. He also was charged with armed criminal action, which carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison, Mr. Thompson said.


It was not clear if the teenager had knocked on Mr. Lester’s door or if he rang the doorbell, but he did not “cross the threshold” into the man’s home, Mr. Thompson said. The shots from a .32-caliber handgun were fired through a glass door, the prosecutor said, adding that there was no indication that “any words were exchanged.”


“We understand how frustrating this has been, but I can assure you that the criminal justice system is working, and will continue to work,” Mr. Thompson said.


Mr. Lester was not in custody when the charges were announced. Mr. Thompson said at the news conference that a warrant had been issued for his arrest, and that his bail had been set at $200,000.


“I don’t have any information regarding his specific whereabouts,” he added, “but it’s my understanding law enforcement is aware of the situation and taking all appropriate action.”


The teenager’s father, Paul Yarl, said in a phone interview on Monday evening that his son underwent surgery over the weekend to remove the bullets. He was able to walk out of the hospital on Sunday evening and was expected to make a full recovery, his father said. The first bullet hit his son’s forehead on the side of his face, close to the hairline, he said, and the second hit his right arm.


Mr. Yarl said that he was relieved when the charges were finally announced.


He said that he was confused that Mr. Lester had been “allowed to go home and sleep” but that his main concern was for other Black children. “He could have repeated it with the next kid that looked like Ralph,” he said.


Mr. Yarl said he learned that his son had been shot in a call from the boy’s mother on Friday morning and drove from his home in Indianapolis to Kansas City, where he visited his son and also joined the protest over the weekend.


“I’m still shocked. He’s a good kid,” he said, describing his son as an athlete who loves music and video games, and who excels in school. The parents, who are Liberian immigrants, have been divorced since 2017.


Mayor Quinton Lucas of Kansas City said in an interview on Monday before the charges were announced that he was “heartbroken and angry about the situation that we find ourselves in.”


“You’ve heard about driving while Black,” said Mr. Lucas, who is Black. “You’ve heard about all the other issues that Black people confront in life. Can you not knock on the door while Black? It’s almost like you can’t exist.”


Later on Monday, Mr. Lucas said on Twitter that the charges against Mr. Lester were a “first step towards justice for Ralph Yarl.” He also said that he had spoken with Ralph’s mother and had “shared with her my personal commitment to ensuring we find justice for her son, her family, and all hurting now in our City.”


The White House said on Monday night that President Biden had spoken by phone to Ralph and that he had “shared his hope for a swift recovery.”


Before the charges were announced, most of the details about the shooting had come from family members and their lawyers, Ben Crump and S. Lee Merritt, as The Kansas City Star and other local media outlets covered the growing controversy over the release of Mr. Lester, who had not yet been publicly identified.


“There can be no excuse for the release of this armed and dangerous suspect after admitting to shooting an unarmed, nonthreatening and defenseless teenager that rang his doorbell,” Mr. Crump and Mr. Merritt wrote in a joint statement on Sunday.


Mr. Crump linked to a fund-raising page started by Ralph’s aunt, Faith Spoonmore, who wrote that her nephew, a high school junior, did not have his phone with him when he went to get his brothers.


“He mistakenly went to the wrong house, one block away from the house where his siblings were,” she wrote. She said that her nephew pulled into the driveway and rang the doorbell and that the man who came to the door shot Ralph in the head.


“My nephew fell to the ground, and the man shot him again,” Ms. Spoonmore wrote. “Ralph was then able to get up and run to the neighbor’s house, looking for help. Unfortunately, he had to run to three different homes before someone finally agreed to help him after he was told to lie on the ground with his hands up.”


Chief Graves said on Sunday that the police were called to the scene around 10 p.m. During the news conference, an investigator declined to say whether it was the homeowner who had called 911.


The gunman was released after being held for the maximum 24-hour period allowed without charges under state law in a felony investigation, the chief said at the news conference.


Chief Graves said that the teenager was expected to give a formal statement to investigators when his injuries allow. She also said that there was a “potential” self-defense or “stand your ground” element that investigators were examining.


But the following day, Mayor Lucas said that Missouri’s Stand Your Ground law, which was adopted in 2016, should not apply in this case.


“If Stand Your Ground really lets somebody just shoot somebody that rings a doorbell,” he said, “that put the life of every postal worker, every campaigner, every Amazon delivery person at risk in this country.”


William Lamb contributed reporting, and Sheelagh McNeill contributed research.



8) Man Charged With Murder in Shooting of Woman Who Went Up Wrong Driveway

Kevin Monahan shot Kaylin Gillis, 20, when she and several friends wound up outside his house in a rural part of upstate New York, the authorities said.

By Ed Shanahan, Published April 17, 2023, Updated April 18, 2023

Jeffrey J. Murphy, the Washington County sheriff, dressed in a suit and tie, speaks at a lectern with a uniformed law enforcement officer standing to his right.

Jeffrey J. Murphy, the sheriff in Washington County, N.Y., said Kevin Monahan had “no reason” to feel threatened by the people who mistakenly drove up to his house. Credit...Warren County Sheriff’s Office

A man in upstate New York was charged with murder on Monday in the killing of a woman who was in a car that mistakenly drove into his driveway, officials said.


The woman and the three friends she was with never got out of the car on Saturday night, Jeffrey J. Murphy, the Washington County sheriff, said at a news conference. They were turning around after realizing their error when the man, Kevin Monahan, 65, stepped out of his house, in Hebron, N.Y., and fired at least two shots at the car, the sheriff said.


One of the bullets struck the woman, Kaylin Gillis, 20, and the group drove about six miles to a nearby town before they got through to 911, Sheriff Murphy said. Emergency services workers responded and performed lifesaving measures on Ms. Gillis, but she was pronounced dead, the sheriff said.


Sheriff Murphy described the killing of Ms. Gillis, who lived in Schuylerville, N.Y., about 20 miles from where the shooting happened, as “very sad.” He said he knew “for a fact that she comes from a good family” that he knew personally.


“She was an innocent young girl who was out with friends looking for another friend’s house,” the sheriff said, adding, “Unfortunately, they drove up this driveway.”


Mr. Monahan was being held at a local jail and was expected to appear before a county court judge “in the near future,” Sheriff Murphy said.


Kurt Mausert, a lawyer for Mr. Monahan, said his client owned a contracting business, had lived in Washington County for 30 years and had no previous convictions.


“My preliminary view of this case is that it was a series of errors which resulted in a tragedy,” Mr. Mausert said. “It is too soon to say more than that.”


The shooting occurred late Saturday in a section of Washington County, about 60 miles northeast of Albany, where many roads are made of dirt and not well lit and where there is little cellphone or internet service, Sheriff Murphy said.


Around 9:30 p.m. dispatchers received the 911 call about a possible shooting victim in Salem, N.Y., Sheriff Murphy said. At about the same time, they also received 911 calls about shots being fired on the road where Mr. Monahan lives, Sheriff Murphy said.


When officers arrived at the house, the sheriff said, Mr. Monahan was uncommunicative and would not come out. He was taken into custody after about an hour, the sheriff said.


Sheriff Murphy declined to comment on what kind of gun Mr. Monahan had used or whether any other weapons had been found at the house. He emphasized that no one had gotten out of the car before Mr. Monahan began firing.


“There was no reason for Mr. Monahan to feel threatened,” Sheriff Murphy said, “especially as it appears the vehicle was leaving.”


The circumstances surrounding Ms. Gillis’s killing resembled, in some ways, those of a shooting in Kansas City, Mo., several days earlier involving a Black teenager who was shot twice by a white homeowner after mistakenly ringing the wrong doorbell.


The shooting left the teenager, Ralph Yarl, 16, in critical condition with a gunshot wound in his head, according to his family members and their lawyers. They said he had been on his way to pick up his younger twin brothers at a friend’s house but had gone to the wrong house about a block away.


After being taken into custody, the homeowner in that shooting was initially released after 24 hours with no charges filed against him, a decision that touched off protests. On Monday, the man, Andrew D. Lester, was charged with first-degree assault.


In the Washington County shooting, Mr. Monahan is white, as was Ms. Gillis.



9) Grand Jury Decides Not to Charge Officers in Shooting Death of Jayland Walker

Mr. Walker, a 25-year-old Black man, was shot dozens of times after an attempted traffic stop and a chase in Akron, Ohio, last year.

By Michael Levenson and Jesus Jiménez, April 17, 2023


A protest against the Akron police shooting death of Jayland Walker in Akron, Ohio last year.

Credit...Gaelen Morse/Reuters

A grand jury in Ohio has decided not to charge eight Akron police officers in the death of Jayland Walker, a 25-year-old Black man who was shot dozens of times by the police after an attempted traffic stop and a chase last summer during which he shot at the police, the state’s attorney general said on Monday.


Mr. Walker was killed on June 27, 2022, after the Akron police tried to stop his car. When Mr. Walker did not pull over, video released by the police showed, officers chased him, first in vehicles and then on foot. Officers said that they thought Mr. Walker had fired a weapon from his car and that they feared he would fire again, prompting them to shoot him.


Attorney General Dave Yost of Ohio said on Monday that Mr. Walker had fired at least one shot at the police from his car. But Mr. Walker was unarmed when the police pursued him on foot and fatally shot him.


Eight Akron police officers fired a total of 94 shots at Mr. Walker, and he sustained 46 gunshot wounds, the attorney general’s office said. Mr. Yost said that the police did not know that Mr. Walker had left his gun in his car. It was found in his 2005 Buick Century after the shooting.


Even before the grand jury’s decision, Akron city officials had braced for protests and unrest by covering the windows of the first floor of City Hall with plywood and by fencing off the Summit County Sheriff’s Office and the courthouse. The city’s public schools announced that they would close on Tuesday. And city officials urged residents to protest peacefully in a designated “demonstration zone” in front of the county courthouse and the Akron Police Department.


“I would ask that during these times of tension and trauma that you turn toward one another and not on each other,” Mayor Daniel Horrigan said at a news conference on Monday.


The decision not to charge the Akron police officers came at a time of heightened scrutiny of killings by the police since the murder of George Floyd in 2020. Such cases have led to murder charges in some cases, but others have led to no charges, particularly in cases in which prosecutors have argued that the victims exhibited violence that endangered officers’ lives.


In Mr. Walker’s case, the fact that he had fired a shot most likely bolstered the argument that the officers were justified in their use of deadly force, said Joanna Schwartz, a professor at the U.C.L.A. School of Law.


“Police officers are very rarely prosecuted, even when they kill people and even when there are significant protests and public coverage and scrutiny of these cases,” she said.


During the police pursuit of Mr. Walker, the officers believed that he was still armed when he ran from his vehicle, Mr. Yost said.


Mr. Walker ignored commands to show his hands and stop and then “reached for his waistband in what several officers described as a cross-draw motion, planted his foot and turned toward the officers while raising his hand,” Mr. Yost said at a news conference. “Only then did the officers fire, believing Mr. Walker was firing again at them.”


Bobby DiCello, a lawyer for Mr. Walker’s family, said the family was supporting a call by U.S. Representative Emilia Strong Sykes, a Democrat who represents Akron, for an investigation by the Justice Department into the patterns and practices of the Akron Police Department. He said the family also planned to file a wrongful-death lawsuit against the city and the Police Department.


“They are distraught, they are saddened, they are sickened by what’s happened,” Mr. DiCello said in a phone interview on Monday evening. “They are not done with this fight. They feel as though they’ve lost a battle but certainly not the war for justice.”


Demetrius Travis Sr., a cousin of Mr. Walker, said in a text message to The Akron Beacon Journal that “disappointment cannot began to express how I feel about this decision,” even though he had expected it “based off many actions by the city of Akron, to protect their buildings and block off streets.”


“Whatever happens because of this decision is not on the Walker family, it is due to a continuing disregard for the lives of Black and Brown people in the United States of America,” Mr. Travis wrote.


The Akron police chief, Steve Mylett, said at a news conference that the grand jury, after reviewing all the facts, including video footage, had “ultimately determined that our officers did not commit a crime when they encountered Mr. Walker.”


“In no way does that take away from the tragedy of June 27 and the loss of such a young life,” Chief Mylett said. He said that the Police Department would begin an internal investigation to determine whether the officers had violated any department policies. He said that the department would not release the officers’ names because of threats made against them.


Mr. Horrigan said that he was calling for peace, just as he had when the Police Department released footage of the shooting in July. That footage led to protests over several days throughout Akron, a city of about 200,000 people in northeastern Ohio, south of Cleveland. While the demonstrations were largely peaceful, some resulted in property damage and arrests of demonstrators.


Mr. Yost, a Republican, said that his office had “made a point of neutrally presenting all the evidence” to the grand jury, which considered the evidence over more than a week.


He said that a judge overseeing the grand jury had instructed the jurors about the law, rather than have those instructions come from the prosecutor as is customary, “to avoid any question about the accuracy of the legal instructions.”


Only seven of the nine jurors needed to agree that there was probable cause to move forward with charges. Mr. Yost said he was legally prohibited from disclosing the grand jury vote.


Speaking on Monday at a news conference at an Akron church with clergy members and civil rights leaders, Ms. Sykes said she would formally request a Justice Department investigation of the Police Department. Pamela Walker, Mr. Walker’s mother, had attended the State of the Union address in February, at the invitation of Ms. Sykes.


“We’ve seen it too many times,” Ms. Sykes said in a statement. “A routine traffic stop ends in death, and a family and community mourn the loss of a son. A brother. A friend. A neighbor. As this country and community reckons with another tragic death, we find ourselves yearning for a justice system that protects us all.”


April Rubin contributed reporting.



10) My Continent Is Not Your Giant Climate Laboratory

By Chukwumerije Okereke, April 18, 2023

Dr. Okereke is director of the Center for Climate Change and Development at Alex Ekwueme Federal University in Nigeria.


A photo illustration of the sun being eclipsed by engineering specs.

Illustration by The New York Times; photographs by Amy Boyle/EyeEm and teekid via Getty

Several environmentalists last year presented Africa’s leading climate negotiators with a bold idea: A technology called solar geoengineering could protect their countries from the worst effects of climate change, they said. While insisting they were impartial, representatives from the Carnegie Climate Governance Initiative said that these technologies, which claim to be able to re-engineer the climate itself, either by dimming the sun’s rays or reflecting sunlight away from the earth, could quickly and cheaply turn the tide of dangerously rising temperatures — and that poor countries might have the most to gain.


It wasn’t the first time Westerners have tried to persuade Africans that solar engineering projects may be in our best interest. And it won’t be the last. In May, another international nonprofit, the Climate Overshoot Commission, headquartered in Paris, is hosting an event in Nairobi to help drum up support for research on solar geoengineering and other related technologies it says could be helpful in reducing risks when the world exceeds its global warming targets.


As a climate expert, I consider these environmental manipulation techniques extremely risky. And as an African climate expert, I strongly object to the idea that Africa should be turned into a testing ground for their use. Even if solar geoengineering can help deflect heat and improve weather conditions on the ground — a prospect that is unproven on any relevant scale — it’s not a long-term solution to climate change. It sends a message to the world that we can carry on over-consuming and polluting because we will be able to engineer our way out of the problem.


The solar engineering technology attracting the most attention would use balloons or aircraft to spray large quantities of aerosols — tiny particles of, for example, sulfur dioxide or engineered nanoparticles — into the stratosphere to dim the sunlight. It’s called solar radiation management and it’s highly speculative. Without using the whole earth as a laboratory, it’s impossible to know whether it would dim anything, let alone how it would affect ecosystems, people and the global climate.


Other proposed techniques include covering deserts with plastic; genetically engineering plants to have brighter, more reflective leaves; creating or making clouds whiter; and deploying millions of mirrors in space. The point of all of them is to counter warming by reducing the amount of sunlight reaching the planet and reflecting it back to the stratosphere.


Africa is already suffering the effects of climate change, such as drought, floods and erratic weather. And while geoengineering advocates see these technologies as a solution to such problems, the technologies run the danger of upsetting local and regional weather patterns — intensifying drought or flooding, for example, or disrupting monsoon cycles. And the long-term impact on regional climate and seasons is still largely unknown. Millions, perhaps billions, of people’s livelihoods could be undermined.


These technologies would also theoretically need to be deployed essentially forever to keep warming at bay. Stopping would unleash the suppressed warming of the carbon dioxide still accumulating in the atmosphere in a temperature spike known as “termination shock.” One study found that the temperature change after ending solar radiation management could be up to four times as large as what’s being caused by climate change itself.


The other risk is that geoengineering will divert attention and investments from building renewable energy and other climate solutions in Africa. The continent has received only 2 percent of global investments in renewable energy in the last two decades, and the lack of access to capital is perhaps the biggest obstacle for countries that would like to cut down on fossil fuels.


Funding does not seem to be a problem for geoengineering researchers, however, particularly those in the United States. The Harvard Solar Geoengineering Research Program has been expanding rapidly, supported by Bill Gates and philanthropists from Silicon Valley, while George Soros recently announced his intention to back solar geoengineering projects in the Arctic. The University of Chicago has also this month announced the creation of the Climate Systems Engineering Initiative to partner with national labs to explore these and other strategies.


But should we even be studying geoengineering at all? More than 400 senior climate scientists and scholars from around the world have called for an International Non-Use Agreement on Solar Geoengineering. If it goes before the United Nations, it could result in a ban on real-world research on this technology.


Regardless, advocates have tried to entice African governments by offering to fund research projects, claiming that more research will shed more light on the dangers and benefits of the technology. One such organization, the Degrees Initiative, says its mission is to put “developing countries at the center” of the discussion around solar radiation management. But this just appears to be a way of trying to make Africa a test case for an unproven technology. Indeed more studies into this hypothetical solution look like steps toward development and a slippery slope to eventual deployment.


A striking example of rogue solar geoengineering is the case of the American start-up Make Sunsets, which recently launched balloons from Mexico to inject sulfur into the atmosphere with the claim this would offset carbon emissions. Data on the balloons’ final location, what happened with the released particles and any impact on warming were never made public.


The Mexican government was unaware of the exercise until after the fact, at which point officials swiftly announced a ban on solar geoengineering activities. The decision to test the technology without permission or notice was reckless, and the decision to do it in Latin America echoed some of the worst aspects of colonialism.


African nations should strongly resist letting their territories be used for experimental exercises like this. And they must join efforts to strengthen the de facto moratorium (under the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity) on the development and deployment of these technologies. The technologies are potentially dangerous, and a major distraction from the real change that we all know wealthier nations need to make if we have a hope of outrunning climate devastation.



11) Shooting of Teen Who Rang Doorbell at Wrong House Unsettles Kansas City

Residents and friends of the victim were searching for answers as the 84-year-old homeowner surrendered to the authorities on two felony charges.

By Mitch Smith and Julie Bosman, April 18, 2023


Protesters marched in Kansas City, Mo., on Sunday to bring attention to the shooting.

Protesters marched in Kansas City, Mo., on Sunday to bring attention to the shooting. Credit...Susan Pfannmuller/The Kansas City Star, via Associated Press

Screenshot of students walking out of Staley High School, Kansas City, MO, on April 18, 2023, in a display of anger and support for their fellow student, Ralph Yarl, who was shot twice after going to the wrong address to pick up his younger, twin brothers.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — On Tuesday morning, hundreds of Staley High School students filled the street outside their school in a display of anger and support for their fellow student, Ralph Yarl, who was shot by a homeowner after he rang a doorbell at the wrong house in Kansas City last week. One sign read, “We Walk for Ralph.” Another demanded, “Justice 4 Ralph Yarl.”


By day’s end, they found some measure of relief, as Andrew D. Lester, the 84-year-old man accused of shooting Ralph, surrendered to the authorities after being charged with assault in the first degree and armed criminal action.


But many residents of Kansas City remained deeply troubled by the events that had shaken their city for the last several days. Some asked why Mr. Lester was released from police custody last week rather than being charged immediately. Others said that federal hate crime charges should be brought, in a case that the county prosecutor said had a racial component, as an older, white homeowner was accused of shooting an unarmed Black teenager. A few wondered if a jury would sympathize with Mr. Lester, who told the police that he was “scared to death” of being physically harmed before shooting Ralph.


In a country on edge over crime, the shooting was the latest example of an ordinary interaction — the ringing of a doorbell on a front step in a quiet neighborhood in Missouri — instantly turning into another shocking incident of American gun violence.


“I am, I think, sufficiently frightened over how easily we are willing to shoot each other,” said Representative Emanuel Cleaver, a Democrat who previously served as the first Black mayor of Kansas City.


At a gathering in downtown Kansas City on Tuesday afternoon, Karen Allman, who lives down the street from Mr. Lester, said that she found some satisfaction that he had turned himself in, but that she was still upset over what had happened — and that Mr. Lester had not been charged for several days after the shooting on Thursday night.


“I have no doubt that if it was a Black homeowner who shot a white kid on his porch, he would have stayed in jail until somebody pressed charges,” she said.


Jail records showed that Mr. Lester was released on bond from Clay County jail shortly after surrendering to the authorities on Tuesday. No lawyer was listed as representing him in court records, and it was not clear when he might appear in front of a judge.


Ralph, who had been sent to pick up his younger siblings when the shooting occurred, was recovering at home after being hospitalized with two gunshot wounds to his head and arm. In a CBS News interview on Tuesday, Cleo Nagbe, Ralph’s mother, said her son was doing “considerably well” after being shot above his left eye and in his upper right arm. Lee Merritt, a lawyer for the family, said Ralph was sitting up and playing with his dog on Tuesday. He said the teenager also spoke by phone with Vice President Kamala Harris.


Paul Yarl, Ralph’s father, said this week that his son, an athlete who loves music and video games, had surgery over the weekend to remove the bullets and was able to walk out of the hospital on Sunday. He is expected to make a full recovery.


The authorities in Kansas City released new details of their investigation, and in the neighborhood in far northern Kansas City where the shooting took place, residents said they were still stunned by the shooting and its aftermath.


There was little disagreement over what had transpired on Thursday night. According to the criminal complaint, at roughly 9:50 p.m., one resident heard something unusual: a vehicle pulling into Mr. Lester’s driveway. It was odd, the resident later told the police, for Mr. Lester to have a visitor this late at night.


Ralph had made an error common in Kansas City, driving to a house on Northeast 115th Street instead of Northeast 115th Terrace, a block away. He pressed the doorbell and waited outside the front door for what felt like a long time, he told the police later. Mr. Lester, who had just gone to bed, got up and opened the inside door while holding a revolver, according to a probable cause statement from investigators.


Mr. Lester told a police officer after the shooting that he saw a Black male “pulling on the exterior storm door handle.” This was one of the few areas of disagreement: When interviewed by a detective, Ralph said that he only rang the doorbell and did not pull on the door.


Within moments, Mr. Lester began shooting through the glass of the exterior storm door, afraid that a break-in was in progress, he told the police.


Ralph was shot in the head and then the arm. “Don’t come around here,” he remembers Mr. Lester saying, according to a detective. He got up and ran away, trying to elude more gunshots, he told the police.


Zach Dovel, 20, was across the street watching a podcast, in the house where he lives with his mother.


The two were startled by a bang on the front door; fearful that someone was trying to break in, they called 911. The operator, Mr. Dovel said, told them that there was a gunman on the loose and that they should stay inside.


But they could see a teenager in the driveway and went outside. He was limping and bleeding, wounded from gunshots. Mr. Dovel ran back inside and grabbed towels, while his mother talked to Ralph, asking questions and trying to keep him alert until the ambulance arrived.


“The worst part was seeing him get down on his knees — it looked like he was praying,” Mr. Dovel said. “He thought he was going to die.”


One of Ralph’s family members said that he went to three different houses before a neighbor would help him. Mr. Dovel said the police and an ambulance arrived in what felt like minutes, and once there was a police presence outside, more neighbors emerged from their homes.


The shooting happened near the northern edge of Kansas City, a sprawling municipality that is larger in size than New York City though its population is far smaller.


Known locally as the Northland, this stretch of Kansas City north of the Missouri River has a reputation of being more conservative and white than the city as a whole. That perception intensified in 2021 when a dispute over police funding contributed to talk of the Northland splitting from Kansas City. The area where the shooting took place resembles a working-class suburb, with single-family homes that have generous yards and no sidewalks.


Residents who were home on Tuesday said they were unsettled by the shooting but rejected the notion that it reflected on their neighborhood, which was swarmed by television cameras.


“They’re judging all of us, but everybody here is nice and decent,” said Vickie Mahterian, a neighbor. “People come to my door all the time. I don’t shoot them in the head. We are good people here.”


Dan Fowler, a City Council member whose district includes the shooting scene, said there was a broad sense of relief in Kansas City that charges had been filed and that the suspect was in custody.


“It doesn’t bring closure, but it brings a sense of closure that at least the process is going and that there is accountability,” Mr. Fowler said.


Mr. Fowler said Kansas City’s pattern for naming roads, in which there might be a terrace, street or boulevard with similar names near one another, made it easy to understand how Ralph ended up on the wrong porch.


“It’s very easy to get that confused if you are not particularly familiar with the area,” Mr. Fowler said. “I was stunned that somebody would go on such an innocent, everyday thing of picking up your siblings, and then he gets shot.”


S. David Mitchell, a law professor at the University of Missouri, said that a defense lawyer could try to invoke the castle doctrine, a law in Missouri that allows people to use deadly force to defend themselves without having to retreat.


The front porch, Mr. Mitchell said, “becomes the gray area of what constitutes one’s castle,” a question that the jury could consider.


“It’s created this narrative that if you’re ever in trouble, you can’t stop and ask a homeowner for assistance in case you’re shot.”



12) New Details Emerge in Deadly Upstate Shooting of Woman in Wrong Driveway

The man who fired on three vehicles that mistakenly drove up his driveway, killing a young woman, had a reputation as a sour character who did not like visitors.

By Jesse McKinley, Hurubie Meko and Jay Root, Published April 18, 2023, Updated April 19, 2023


A portrait of a young woman with long hair, wearing a silver necklace and floral blouse.
Kaylin Gillis died when a homeowner fired into the car she was traveling in. Credit...Chuchay Stark

HEBRON, N.Y. — The man who lived on the ridge above this little upstate town had long had a reputation among some residents as a sour character who barked at neighbors’ dogs, scolded a local church and was so averse to unannounced visitors that he had at one time used a chain to cordon off his quarter-mile-long drive.


On Saturday night, just before 10 p.m., Kaylin Gillis and a group of her friends were traveling in a caravan of two cars and a motorcycle that mistakenly drove up that same driveway. They were looking for a friend’s house — and were met with deadly gunfire, killing Ms. Gillis, 20.


It was warm, but overcast and dark, and the three vehicles, according to the county sheriff, turned off a highway and up the largely dirt road on which the man, Kevin Monahan, 65, lived, past several other homes.


They soon took a right turn into his drive, which is flanked by a tree with two worn “private property” signs, warning off trespassers, and a small “private drive” sign.


On Tuesday, a nearby resident, who declined to give his name because of the sensitivity surrounding the killing and the investigation, said he watched vehicles ascend the steep drive, their lights on, before seeing the motorcycle turn and start to descend.


Then, he heard a shot, followed by several seconds of silence. Then, a second shot rang out, though he and his wife initially believed it might have been fireworks.


“Our neighbor down the hill called and said, ‘Did you hear gunfire up there?’” the resident said. “And we said, ‘Oh, we heard something.’”


He said he immediately called 911. But in an indication of how difficult the area is to navigate, those police officers initially also went up the wrong driveway, so he called 911 again. “It’s hard to get your bearings unless you’re from here,” he said.


Ms. Gillis’s killing shocked residents in the area and left the nation to wonder at yet another seemingly senseless gun death.


Mr. Monahan was charged with second-degree murder in an attack that the Washington County sheriff, Jeffrey J. Murphy, described as unprovoked and unexplained.


“There was no threat,” he said on Tuesday. “They were leaving.”


The killing came just days after the shooting in Kansas City of a Black 16-year-old, Ralph Yarl, who was shot by an 84-year-old white man after mistakenly going to the wrong house while trying to pick up his brothers at a friend’s home on Thursday evening. He survived but was badly injured.


Unlike that case, what happened in Hebron did not have racial overtones: Ms. Gillis was white, and so is Mr. Monahan. But the aggression of the encounter and the idea that a simple wrong turn led to death nonetheless left many here and elsewhere shaken and wondering what prompted Mr. Monahan’s actions.


“I can’t imagine that this is something that someone who is my neighbor is capable of,” said Adam Matthews, who lives next to Mr. Monahan. “I don’t know what brings someone to that level.”


According to Sheriff Murphy, Ms. Gillis was one of four people in the last vehicle to turn around and was sitting in the front passenger seat when Mr. Monahan shot through the rear of the driver’s side.


“They all were still in proximity to the house and they all heard two gunshots,” he said. “They realized immediately that she had been shot, so they were frantically leaving the driveway.”


The cars soon fled, desperately searching for cell service, a challenge amid the rolling hills and sparse populations of Washington County, which borders Vermont. They finally found a cell signal about five miles away, on a road adjacent to a local cemetery.


Mr. Monahan was initially uncooperative when police arrived, according to Sheriff Murphy, who said that Mr. Monahan had refused to speak with investigators and “obtained a lawyer that night before he came out of the house.”


But Mr. Monahan’s lawyer, Kurt Mausert, disputed the sheriff’s account of the shooting, saying on Tuesday that the vehicles were speeding up the driveway, with engines revving and lights shining, which “certainly caused some level of alarm to an elderly gentleman who had an elderly wife.”


“Is that a fear-inducing scenario? Well maybe it is,” Mr. Mausert said. “It is not the simple scenario of these people took a wrong turn and within 20 seconds of them taking the wrong turn, this guy’s on his deck blasting away. That’s not what happened.”


Mr. Mausert added that Mr. Monahan “sincerely regrets this tragedy” and “feels terrible that there was a fatality,” but he scolded the sheriff for “basically acting as judge, jury and executioner.”


“When there’s a tragedy and a victim, everyone wants a villain,” he said. “But sometimes they’re just tragedies and victims and there are no villains. And this is one of those times.”


In an interview, Sheriff Murphy said that Ms. Gillis — a former competitive cheerleader, honor student and budding artist — was “a beautiful and kind soul” who had hoped to study marine biology.


“It’s just a tragic situation,” he said.


Albert Weils, a neighbor who lives three doors down from the Gillis family home in Schuylerville, about 25 miles southwest of Hebron, said that Ms. Gillis’s father, Andy Gillis, is a correction officer at Washington County Correctional Facility.


“We don’t think of stuff happening like that around here,” Mr. Weils said, adding, “It’s a total shame.”


The family was largely quiet on Tuesday, and Ms. Gillis’s grandfather, Jack Amodeo, said that they were huddled, trying to process the shooting. “It’s really brought us down to our knees,” he said.


Friends of the victim said that she and others may have been headed to a party held by other Schuylerville High School graduates when they went up the wrong driveway. “There was friends from this community who were at that party,” said Dallas Salls, who was a friend and works in a pizza place near the high school.


Her sister, Victoria Salls, 20, a close friend who was also a former downstairs neighbor in Schuylerville, said that Ms. Gillis was “the glue to her family.” She said that the shooting had made her and others scared to show up at someone’s door or pull into the wrong driveway.


And while she said she saw parallels with the Kansas City case, Ms. Salls noted that Ralph Yarl had somehow survived. Ms. Gillis, she said, is “never going to come home. She’s never going to see her sisters. She’s never going to be able to watch them grow up.”


In Hebron, a town of about 1,800 people about 60 miles northeast of Albany, several residents recalled Mr. Monahan as a dyspeptic and sometimes combative personality.


Mr. Matthews said that Mr. Monahan could be intimidating, striking a “righteous” attitude, and recalled an incident where a local church had put up floodlights over a basketball court thousands of feet from his home.


But, he said, Mr. Monahan — whose home has a porch and floor-to-ceiling windows with a commanding view of the valley, and the church, below — suspected something sinister.


“He felt that they had done it intentionally,” Mr. Matthews said. “This is the church, you know? It’s not like somebody set a spotlight up to highlight his house.”


Brian Campbell, the town supervisor, said in a blog post that the shooting had deeply affected his “very quiet and tranquil town.”


He added: “I can’t even fathom what would make a person shoot at a car that was in their driveway if they didn’t even know the people in the car.”


Ed Shanahan and Chelsia Rose Marcius contributed reporting. Kitty Bennett contributed research.



13) Canada’s Federal Workers Strike, Disrupting Government Services

The largest public sector union in Canada went on strike on Wednesday over wages and return to office rules, causing delays to border crossings and passport and income tax services.

By Ian Austen, April 19, 2023

Picketers stand outside the Prime Minster’s Office waving the flag of their labor union and bearing signs highlighting inflation.
Striking workers rally outside of the Prime Minister’s office in Ottawa on Wednesday. Credit...Blair Gable/Reuters

OTTAWA — Canadians faced a variety of delays and disruptions on Wednesday after the largest union representing federal government workers went on strike over a variety of contract issues, including wages and remote work.


The 155,000 members of the Public Service Alliance of Canada who were forming pickets at about 250 locations across Canada on Wednesday work largely in administrative, clerical and maintenance jobs.


Their absence was expected to create backlogs at border crossings with the United States, slow cargo entering Canada and cause delays in the issuing of visas and the handling unemployment insurance, as well as mire the processing of passport applications and pension payments.


The walkout was also expected to disrupt the processing of income tax returns due May 1 and hinder the issuing of refund checks.


The pandemic had already put many of those services under strain, particularly the issuing of passports.


“We are still a ways apart,” Chris Aylward, the union’s president told reporters on Tuesday evening. “But we’re staying at the table because we’re still hopeful and our goal is still to get to a tentative agreement.”


Some workers have complained that their wages have not kept up with an increase in prices.


The Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, the government department conducting the talks, said “the government has done everything it can to reach a deal and avoid disrupting the services that Canadians rely on.”


The board, in a statement, added that the union “continues to insist on demands that are unaffordable and would severely impact the Government’s ability to deliver services to Canadians.”


The government is currently offering a cumulative wage increase of 9 percent which would be spread over three years. For most of its members, the union is looking for raises that would total 13.5 percent over the same period.


One of the most contentious issues in the talks is the future of remote work. Public servants had been working remotely since start of the pandemic in 2020, but starting March 31 they have been required to be in their offices or other workplaces two to three days a week.


The union wants all of its members to have the option of permanently working from home.


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday declined to discuss specifics of the dispute, saying that he would not negotiate in public.


“We’ll see exactly what happens when we get back to the bargaining table,” he told reporters. “I know that Canadians will not be too patient if it goes on too long.”


Mr. Trudeau can order the union back to work through legislation, but may not have the support in Parliament to pass such a motion. The leader of one of the parties that Mr. Trudeau’s Liberal government usually allies with to pass laws has already rejected supporting any legislation to end the strike.


The walkout in Canada follows a wave of public sector labor unrest in Britain this year that was also fueled by inflation’s effects on wages and by general discontent over employment conditions.