Tuesday, September 18, 2018

BAUAW NEWSLETTER, TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2018

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"Behind every great fortune there is a great crime." —Honoré de Balzac

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URGENT: Demand safety for South Carolina prisoners during Hurricane Florence
ANSWER Coalition
ANSWER Coalition · United States
This email was sent to caroleseligman@sbcglobal.net.
To stop receiving emails, click here.
You can also keep up with ANSWER Coalition on Facebook.

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Pardon Whistleblower Reality Winner
Hi Bonnie.
On June 3, 2017, NSA contractor Reality Leigh Winner was arrested and charged under the Espionage Act for providing a media organization with a single five-page top-secret document that analyzed information about alleged Russian online intrusions into U.S. election systems.
Reality, who has been jailed without bail since her arrest, has now been sentenced to five years in prison. This is by far the longest sentence ever given in federal court for leaking information to the media. Today, she is being transferred from a small Georgia jail to a yet-unknown federal prison.
Several months before her arrest, the FBI’s then-Director James Comey told President Trump that he was (in the words of a subsequent Comey memo) “eager to find leakers and would like to nail one to the door as a message.” Meanwhile, politically connected and high-level government officials continue to leak without consequence, or selectively declassify material to advance their own interests.
Join Courage to Resist and a dozen other organizations in calling on President Trump, who has acknowledged Winner’s treatment as “so unfair,” to pardon Reality Winner or to commute her sentence to time served.

D O N A T E
towards a world without war

Upcoming Events
troopsFeds holding last public hearing on draft registration
Los Angeles, California
Thursday, September 20
At California State University Los Angeles
More info
presidio mutiny50th anniversary events of the Presidio 27 mutiny
San Francisco, California
Panel discussion on Saturday, October 13
Commemoration on Sunday, October 14
At the former Presidio Army Base
More info
D O N A T E
to support resistance
COURAGE TO RESIST ~ SUPPORT THE TROOPS WHO REFUSE TO FIGHT!
484 Lake Park Ave #41, Oakland, California 94610 ~ 510-488-3559
www.couragetoresist.org ~ facebook.com/couragetoresist
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SFFILM Fall Season 2018

A Tribute to Spike Lee:
BlacKkKlansman

Tuesday, September 25 • 7:00 pm

Castro Theatre


Spike Lee in conversation

SFFILM is excited to present a special onstage tribute to acclaimed veteran filmmaker Spike Lee, on the occasion of his latest film, BlacKkKlansman. Lee will join us for an in-depth conversation about his career and creative process, followed by a screening of the film.

From visionary filmmaker Spike Lee comes the incredible true story of an American hero. It's the early 1970s, a time of great social upheaval as the struggle for civil rights rages on. Ron Stallworth (John David Washington) becomes the first African American detective on the Colorado Springs Police Department, but his arrival is greeted with skepticism and open hostility by the department's rank and file. Undaunted, Stallworth resolves to make a name for himself and a difference in his community. He bravely sets out on a dangerous mission: infiltrate and expose the Ku Klux Klan.
GET TICKETS
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SFFILM
39 Mesa Street, Suite 110
The Presidio
San FranciscoCA  94129

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UNSUBSCRIBE  |  MANAGE PREFERENCES



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Transform the Justice System




Statement regarding the ongoing Nationwide Prison Strike

Issued September 11, 2018 by the Prison Strike Media Team



Amani Sawari
official outside media representative of Jailhouse Lawyers Speak
prisonstrikemedia@gmail.com

Jared Ware
Freelance journalist covering prisoner movements
jaybeware@gmail.com
@jaybeware on Twitter

Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC)
National Media Subcommittee, media@incarceratedworkers.org
@IWW_IWOC on twitter


New confirmed prison action reports
(full list & details below)


  • Missouri: at least one prisoner on a hunger strike at Leavenworth (USP).
  • New York: strike activity at Coxsackie Correctional Facility, strike activity and boycotts at Eastern Correctional Facility.
  • Ohio: at least one block engaged in a 3 day fast on first days of the strike and a commissary boycott throughout at Ohio State Penitentiary, plus a work stoppage in late July in response to preemptive repression by staff.
  • Texas: More prisoners involved in the hunger strike at Michael Unit.


Statement from prison strike media team


September 9th has passed, but it is up to the people in each prison who are participating in boycotts, hunger strikes, work strikes or sit-ins to determine the right day and time to close out their actions — from the outset, Jailhouse Lawyers Speak and national organizers have endorsed local strikers to set their own end dates, or strike indefinitely.


With ongoing communication repression (including heightened censorship of mail, lockdowns, and constant searches and seizures of prisoner property), there is undoubtedly a great deal of information on strike activity that has not yet traveled outside. As organizers have said from the beginning of this process, there is a wall of silence around prisons in the US, which should itself be of great concern for the human rights of those held inside. Actions to further restrict and surveill contact with prisoners, such as Pennsylvania and Maryland's "drug elimination efforts" which curtail access to reading materials under the false pretext of guard safety, would be a huge loss for the already extremely limited freedoms of US prisoners.


Repression against strikers by prison authorities continues to be fought with phone zaps and letter-writing campaigns: reporting on these issues will directly prevent harm to inside organizers, particularly as coverage of the strike itself winds down. The next step for Jailhouse Lawyers Speak is the endorsement of a campaign to pressure politicians to enact legislative change; both JLS and IWOC will be taking stock of the strike with their members over the coming weeks to consider what other future actions will be necessary to build a movement strong enough to push for the rights of incarcerated peoples. For now, the most urgent tasks for anyone following the strike are to continue to push the demands inside and out, highlight ongoing or previously-unreported strike activity, and work to prevent or limit retaliation against strikers wherever possible.


Incarcerated organizers never believed that their demands would be met a negotiating table during the past three weeks; it has been a huge success of the 2018 prison strike that the 10 points have been pushed into the national and international consciousness. The work of spreading and fighting for these demands will continue on all fronts until they are actualized, and then beyond that onto what JLS aptly calls "the dismantling process," as we build a movement toward abolition.


Jailhouse Lawyers Speak will be releasing an official statement from inside organizers this week.


List of demands
"These are the NATIONAL DEMANDS of the men and women in federal, immigration, and state prisons:
  1. Immediate improvements to the conditions of prisons and prison policies that recognize the humanity of imprisoned men and women.
  2. An immediate end to prison slavery. All persons imprisoned in any place of detention under United States jurisdiction must be paid the prevailing wage in their state or territory for their labor.
  3. The Prison Litigation Reform Act must be rescinded, allowing imprisoned humans a proper channel to address grievances and violations of their rights.
  4. The Truth in Sentencing Act and the Sentencing Reform Act must be rescinded so that imprisoned humans have a possibility of rehabilitation and parole. No human shall be sentenced to Death by Incarceration or serve any sentence without the possibility of parole.
  5. An immediate end to the racial overcharging, over-sentencing, and parole denials of Black and brown humans. Black humans shall no longer be denied parole because the victim of the crime was white, which is a particular problem in southern states.
  6. An immediate end to racist gang enhancement laws targeting Black and brown humans.
  7. No imprisoned human shall be denied access to rehabilitation programs at their place of detention because of their label as a violent offender.
  8. State prisons must be funded specifically to offer more rehabilitation services.
  9. Pell grants must be reinstated in all US states and territories.
  10. The voting rights of all confined citizens serving prison sentences, pretrial detainees, and so-called "ex-felons" must be counted. Representation is demanded. All voices count!

Strike action round-up

Here is the list of such activity as reported to Jailhouse Lawyers Speak or the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee as of September 9, 2018:

California
Florida
Confirmations of work strikes & boycotts (via Jailhouse Lawyers Speak):
  • Charlotte Correctional Institution
  • Dade Correctional Institution
  • Holmes Correctional Institution
  • Appalachee Correctional Institution
  • Franklin Correctional Institution
Georgia
Confirmations of work strikes & boycotts (via Jailhouse Lawyers Speak)
  • Georgia State Prison "Reidsville"
  • Georgia Diagnostic and Classification State Prison in Jackson, GA

Indiana
  • Wabash Valley Correctional Institution, prisoners in a segregation unit initiated a hunger strike on Monday August 27, demanding adequate food and an end to cold temperatures in the unit.

Kentucky
Boycott activity confirmed by Jailhouse Lawyers Speak:
  • FCI Manchester (Federal)

Maryland
  • Jessup Correctional Institution - small group engaged in work stoppage reported by JLS and another independent source.

Michigan

Missouri
  • Leavenworth (USP) has at least one prisoner on a hunger strike.

New Mexico

North Carolina

New York
  • Coxsackie Correctional Facility - strike activity confirmed by JLS and NYC Books Through Bars
  • Eastern Correctional Facility - work strike activity and boycotts confirmed by JLS

Ohio
South Carolina
Confirmations of work strikes & boycotts (via Jailhouse Lawyers Speak):
  • Broad River CI
  • Lee Correctional C
  • McCormick CI
  • Kershaw CI
  • Lieber CI
Boycott activity confirmed by Jailhouse Lawyers Speak:
  • FCI Edgefield (Federal)

Texas
  • IWOC was forwarded a message dated 8/23 from inside administrative segregation, (solitary) of a Texas gulf prison confirming that 2 people are on hunger strike in solidarity with the national action:  "I feel great. But very hungry! And not because I don't have food but because of our 48 hours solidarity with our brothers and sisters. It's the only way we can show support from inside of Seg. Let everyone know we got their backs."
  • IWOC has confirmed that Robert Uvalle is on hunger strike in solitary at Michael Unit, Anderson County, TX in solidarity with the nationwide strike. Robert has been in solitary for most of his 25 years inside. IWOC has subsequently confirmed that more prisoners are involved in the hunger strike.
  • IWOC has confirmed that there is a work stoppage at the McConnell Unit in Texas.

Virginia
  • Sussex II a group of has released a communique related to a hunger strike

Washington
  • Northwest Detention Center - Representatives of over 200 immigrant detainees at Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, Washington declared a hunger strike on day one of the national prison strike. Amid fears of retaliation, 70 across three blocks participated. As of this time, seven continue to refuse food into a second week.

Nova Scotia, Canada
Burnside County Jail in Halifax prisoners went on strike and issued a protest statement in solidarity with the strike and naming local demands. They went through a lockdown and extensive negotiations with authorities; those who refused to cooperate with humiliating body scans were punished by being locked in a dry cell

(no water or working toilets) for three days.

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Tell Missouri Gov. Mike Parson: 
Appoint a special prosecutor for Mike Brown's case!

Four years ago, my son, Mike Brown, was fatally gunned down by Officer Darren Wilson as he surrendered with arms in the air, pleading for his life. The world erupted and nothing has been the same since that nightmarish summer. My family and community took their outrage and pain to the streets. We made public pleas for the officer who murdered my son in broad daylight to be indicted and convicted. Yet, we were denied justice. My heart was broken over and over again. It has been 4 years, but I cannot forget. I will not stop fighting until Mike gets the justice he deserves.
Newly elected Missouri Governor, Mike Parson, has the opportunity to right this terrible wrong by appointing a special prosecutor to reopen my son's case. 
Over the course of three months after Mike was murdered, my family and I waited as St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney, Bob McCulloch presented my son's case to a grand jury before the police investigation was over. McCulloch completely ignored standard protocol for a Prosecuting Attorney by enlisting the help of a grand jury to determine the charges against Officer Darren Wilson. It was a setup from the beginning. McCulloch abdicated his role as a County Prosecutor by making a politically calculated move that would shield him from criticism from the police and the media. 
Here are the facts:
  • McCulloch overwhelmed the jury with redundant and misleading information in an effort to manipulate the jury's confidence in Wilson's guilt.
  • A lawsuit was filed by one of the grand jurors detailing challenges and exposing their experiences on the grand jury.2
  • McCulloch admitted to allowing witnesses he knew were NOT telling the truth to testify before the grand jury. 3
The evidence is too significant to ignore. McCulloch thought he could avoid public scrutiny and accountability at the conclusion of this case. But he is wrong. I will not allow Bob McCulloch to get away with obstructing justice for my son. 
McCulloch cannot be allowed to get away with forgoing any and all responsibility as a high-level prosecutor. McCulloch's actions set a horrible precedent for prosecutors across the country. The primary charge for a prosecuting attorney is to fairly seek and achieve justice. McCulloch instead chose to make a political move with no regard for my family's pain. Furthermore, the relentless state-sanctioned violence against Black people has been nonstop since this nightmare began. Year after year, month after month, day after day, Black people remain targets for a bloodthirsty police force. This year alone, there have been over 600 incidents of deadly police encounters.4 Prosecutors are one of the few leverage points we have over the police. We must send a strong message to not only people in Missouri but to everyone around the country - killer cops will be held accountable.  
I am holding onto all hope that we get the justice we deserve. I believe in the resilience of our communities. And I believe that we will win. 
With love, 
Lezley McSpadden

References: 
    1. https://act.colorofchange.org/go/77984?t=12&akid=15843%2E46097%2EOtfN0y
    2. https://act.colorofchange.org/go/77985?t=14&akid=15843%2E46097%2EOtfN0y
    3. https://act.colorofchange.org/go/77735?t=16&akid=15843%2E46097%2EOtfN0y
    4. https://act.colorofchange.org/go/7854?t=18&akid=15843%2E46097%2EOtfN0y

Sign Here:

https://campaigns.organizefor.org/petitions/tell-da-mcculloch-reopen-the-local-investigation-of-mike-brown?akid=15843.46097.OtfN0y&rd=1&t=19


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URGENT:  Calling all boat and kayak owners to join the PEACE FLEET!
Please share this with all boat and kayak owners…..

Hi Peacemakers!

Image result for peace boat
The Golden Rule

Do you or someone you know own a sailboat, kayak or some other floating vehicle?
Want to join our "Peace Fleet" or "Peace Navy" on October 7, Sunday?

We are getting together as many boats as we can to create an alternative to war image during Fleet Week.
We want to sail our beautiful and colorful Peace Fleet around the S.F. bay on Sunday, October 7, the last day of the SF annual Fleet Week.
We'll be offering colorful sails and banners with beautiful messages of PEACE to bay visitors who come to admire those big, powerful, noisy, and very DEADLY war toys that our military displays during fleet week.

We say: THERE IS NO GLORY IN WAR! and REAL ANGELS DON'T DROP BOMBS!

Help us create a big colorful response to the U.S. military's annual effort to market war and global domination to the public.
Please pass the word around: We need boats, the more the merrier!

Contact Toby Blomé if you can supply a boat:

Unfortunately the "Golden Rule" boat, pictured above, will not be able to join us, because she will be on her global journey soon to educate people on the dangers of the nuclear world that we live in.

Please contact me asap. Preferably by Sept. 15 re: the Peace Navy.

Thanks for any help you can offer.

Toby Blomé
Bay Area CODEPINK
510-215-5974
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Court: Evidence To Free Mumia, To Be Continued...
Rachel Wolkenstein, lawyer for Mumia, reports on the August 30th hearing, 2018
  _  _  _  _  _  _  _
District Attorney Larry Krasner Opposes Mumia Abu-Jamal's Petition for New Rights of Appeal – Despite Clear Evidence of Ronald Castille's Bias and Conflict of Interest When He Participated As a PA Supreme Court Justice Denying Abu-Jamal's Post-Conviction Appeals from 1998-2012
Next Court Date: October 29, 2018

September 1—Additional demands for discovery made by Mumia's lawyers at the August 30 court proceeding led to Judge Tucker granting a 60-day continuance. The new date for oral argument that Mumia's appeal denial should be vacated and new appeal rights granted is now scheduled for October 29, 2018.  

Two weeks ago, Mumia's lawyers were told by the DA's office that they discovered close to 200 boxes of capital case files that had not been reviewed. A half-dozen were still not found. Last Monday, just days before the scheduled final arguments, a May 25, 1988 letter from DA Castille's office to PA State Senator Fisher (a virulent proponent of expediting executions) naming Mumia Abu-Jamal and 8 other capital defendants was turned over to the defense. 

Krasner's assistant DA Tracey Kavanaugh said the letter was meaningless and opposed the postponement, insisting there is no evidence that Castille had anything to do with Mumia's appeals. Mumia's lawyers argued that finding the background to this communication would likely support their central argument that DA Ronald Castille actively and personally was developing policy to speed up executions, and that he was particularly focused on convicted "police killers." Mumia Abu-Jamal was unquestionably the capital prisoner who was most zealously targeted for execution by the Fraternal Order of Police. 

Judge Tucker agreed with Mumia's lawyers that a search is needed to establish whether Castille was personally involved in this communication. Additional discovery was ordered with Judge Tucker's rhetorical question, "What else hasn't been disclosed?" But the Judge narrowed the required search to particulars around the May 25, 1988 letter.

Not brought out in court is the fact that Mumia's appeal of his trial conviction and death sentence was still pending in May 1988. The PA Supreme Court didn't issue its denial of this first appeal of Mumia until March 1989. This makes any reference of Mumia's case as a subject of an execution warrant highly suspect and extraordinary, because his death sentence was not "final" unless and until the PA Supreme Court affirmed. [The lawyers have not publicly released a copy of the May 25, 1988 letter, so analysis is limited.]

Mumia's lawyers said they would discuss discovery issues with the prosecution and might file a further amended petition with the intention of proceeding to oral argument on the next court date, October 29. 

On Judge Tucker—He is the chief administrative judge overseeing post-conviction proceedings. On August 30 and previously on April 30 opened his courtroom early to for Maureen Faulkner and the Fraternal Order of Police to occupy half of the small courtroom. Not surprising, no consideration was given to Mumia's family including his brother Keith Cook, international supporters from France and the dozens of other supporters who had lined up before 8AM to get into the courtroom. Even press reps suggested that the press be given seats in the jury box to open up space for even lawyers working with Mumia. Even that small consideration was rejected by Judge Tucker.

A more in-depth piece on DA Larry Krasner's opposition to Mumia's petition will be sent out soon. In the meantime, go to: www.RachelWolkenstein.net.


Free Mumia Now!
Mumia's freedom is at stake in a court hearing on August 30th. 
With your help, we just might free him!
Check out this video:

This video includes photo of 1996 news report refuting Judge Castille's present assertion that he had not been requested at that time to recuse himself from this case, on which he had previously worked as a Prosecutor:
A Philadelphia court now has before it the evidence which could lead to Mumia's freedom. The evidence shows that Ronald Castille, of the District Attorney's office in 1982, intervened in the prosecution of Mumia for a crime he did not commit. Years later, Castille was a judge on the PA Supreme Court, where he sat in judgement over Mumia's case, and ruled against Mumia in every appeal! 
According to the US Supreme Court in the Williams ruling, this corrupt behavior was illegal!
But will the court rule to overturn all of Mumia's negative appeals rulings by the PA Supreme Court? If it does, Mumia would be free to appeal once again against his unfair conviction. If it does not, Mumia could remain imprisoned for life, without the possibility for parole, for a crime he did not commit.
• Mumia Abu-Jamal is innocent and framed!
• Mumia Abu-Jamal is a journalist censored off the airwaves!
• Mumia Abu-Jamal is victimized by cops, courts and politicians!
• Mumia Abu-Jamal stands for all prisoners treated unjustly!
• Courts have never treated Mumia fairly!
Will You Help Free Mumia?
Call DA Larry Krasner at (215) 686-8000
Tell him former DA Ron Castille violated Mumia's constitutional rights and 
Krasner should cease opposing Mumia's legal petition.
Tell the DA to release Mumia because he's factually innocent.

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Usher in the "Age of the Healer," and Abolish the "Age of the Warrior."

4th Annual SHUT DOWN CREECH,
September 30 - October 6, 2018

Come for all or part of the week!
DSC03990.jpeg
Shut Down Creech 2016


This summer 2,500 peace activistsconverged at U.S. Air Base Ramstein, in Germany, in their first courageous mass civil resistance to Stopp Ramstein!Ramstein, the largest foreign U.S. military base, plays a critical role in the U.S. Drone Killing Program by acting as THE KEY RELAY STATIONin the U.S. global drone assassination program. Without a relay base like Ramstein, the U.S. could not successfully kill remotely from the other side of the planet. German activists demand an end to Germany's complicity in the illegal and immoral U.S. remote killing apparatus. As one German activist shouted out passionately and movingly in this video: "Stop the Murder!"At least 5 American citizens participated in the protest, including CODEPINK members Ann Wright, Toby Blomé and Elsa Rassbach. Dozens of us blocked two merging roads into one gate for nearly an hour, and ultimately about 15 people were arrested, including 2 Americans. It was an amazing collective stance for peace & justice, and the German police were remarkably humane and civil in how they responded. Fortunately all were released after being detained briefly.

Ramstein's "partner drone base," CREECH AFB, plays an equally important role as a CENTRAL DRONE COMMAND CENTERin the U.S. 
Learn more about Ramstein and Creech in this important Intercept investigative report.

SF Bay Area CODEPINKcalls on activists from across the country to converge this fall at Creech AFB for our 4th annual nonviolent, peaceful, mass mobilization to SHUT DOWN CREECH, and help us put an end to the barbarism of drone murder. Per a NY Times articleover 900 drone pilots/operators are actively working at Creech, remotely murdering people in foreign lands, often away from any battlefield, while victims are going about their daily lives: driving on the highway, praying at a mosque, attending schools, funerals and wedding parties, eating dinner with their family or sleeping in their beds. 
WE MUST STOP THESE RACIST KILLINGS NOW! 

Shockingly, one recent report indicated that about 80% of all drone strikes go totally unreported.We must stand up for the right of all people around the planet to be safe from the terror of remote controlled slaughter from abroad. Drone killing is spreading like wildfirewith at least 10 countries now who have used drones to kill. The U.S is fully responsible for this uncontrolled Pandora's box, by developing and proliferating these horrendous weapons without giving concern to the long term consequences. 

WE MUST STOP THE MURDER!


Last April our protestat Creech was reported in over 20 states across the country by mainstream media, including TV, radio, print and military media, thus reaching tens of thousands of Americans about our resistance to these covert and brutal practices. It is remarkable the impact a small handful of peacemakers can have with a well planned action. We need you to help us educate the public and awaken the consciousness of U.S. military personnel. Drone operators themselvesare victims of this inhumanity by bearing deep psychic wounds within. Through our twice daily vigils, we call them over to the side of peace, and encourage them to assess the consequences and reality of having a daily job of remote-control murdering. U.S. drones are the main tool used to terrorize and dominate the planet. We must stand up to these barbaric policies and the system that gives little thought to the world our children's grandchildren will be living in, and the harm it is doing now to our young men and women in uniform. 
RISE AND BE A VOICE AGAINST THE MADNESS!


JOIN CODEPINK& FRIENDS AT CREECH THIS FALL,September 30 - October 6.

Check out our updated website for details on the 4TH Annual SHUT DOWN CREECH.


Let's show the Germans that we have a thriving U.S. resistance to U.S. Global Militarism and Drone Killing too!

We hope to see you there,

Eleanor, Maggie, Toby, Ann, Mary and Tim

Sponsored by S.F. Bay Area CODEPINK

Check out these inspiring videos of this summer's 2018 drone protest at Ramstein, Germany:

Great Overview of Stopp Ramstein(13.5 min - watch the first and last 2-3 minutes)




In Closing: Inspiring words
from Rafael Jesús González, Poet Laureate of Berkeley, Xochipilli Men's Circle

"We cannot say the purpose these millenniums of the Patriarchy have served, but their lopsided reign is toxic and has maimed and sickened men and women and greatly harmed the Earth. It must come to an end. Women, our grandmothers, mothers, aunts, sisters must now take the reins for we men have made a botch of things. Women must take their power and men must step aside, follow, and support them even as we heal and liberate ourselves by freeing and honoring that which is feminine in our nature: loving, caring, nurturing. We must all free ourselves or none will. The long, long Age of the Warrior must come to an end and we must usher in the Age of the Healer.
Please lead us, our sisters. Together we must heal and heal the Earth or court the demise of all that lives."

Ometeo.
Quilticoyotzin


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presidio 27
Presidio 27 "Mutiny" 50 years later
Podcast with Keith Mather
During the Vietnam War era, the Presidio Stockade was a military prison notorious for its poor conditions and overcrowding with many troops imprisoned for refusing to fight in the Vietnam War. When Richard Bunch, a mentally disturbed prisoner, was shot and killed on October 11th, 1968, Presidio inmates began organizing. Three days later, 27 Stockade prisoners broke formation and walked over to a corner of the lawn, where they read a list of grievances about their prison conditions and the larger war effort and sang "We Shall Overcome." The prisoners were charged and tried for "mutiny," and several got 14 to 16 years of confinement. Meanwhile, disillusionment about the Vietnam War continued to grow inside and outside of the military.
"This was for real. We laid it down, and the response by the commanding general changed our lives," recalls Keith Mather, Presidio "mutineer" who escaped to Canada before his trial came up and lived there for 11 years, only to be arrested upon his return to the United States. Mather is currently a member of the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of Veterans for Peace. Listen to the Courage to Resist podcast with Keith.


50th anniversary events at the former Presidio Army Base
October 13th and 14th, 2018
keith matherPANEL DISCUSSION
Saturday, October 13, 7 to 9 pm
Presidio Officers' Club
50 Moraga Ave, San Francisco
Featuring panelists: David Cortright (peace scholar), Brendan Sullivan (attorney for mutineers), Randy Rowland (mutiny participant), Keith Mather (mutiny participant), and Jeff Paterson (Courage to Resist).
presidio 27ON SITE COMMEMORATION
Sunday, October 14, 1 to 3 pm
Fort Scott Stockade
1213 Ralston (near Storey), San Francisco
The events are sponsored by the Presidio Land Trust in collaboration with Veterans For Peace Chapter 69-San Francisco with support from Courage to Resist.

COURAGE TO RESIST ~ SUPPORT THE TROOPS WHO REFUSE TO FIGHT!
484 Lake Park Ave #41, Oakland, California 94610 ~ 510-488-3559
www.couragetoresist.org ~ facebook.com/couragetoresist
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Cindy Sheehan and the Women's March on the Pentagon

A movement not just a protest

By Whitney Webb

  WASHINGTON—In the last few years, arguably the most visible and well-publicized march on the U.S. capital has been the "Women's March," a movement aimed at advocating for legislation and policies promoting women's rights as well as a protest against the misogynistic actions and statements of high-profile U.S. politicians. The second Women's March, which took place this past year, attracted over a million protesters nationwide, with 500,000 estimated to have participated in Los Angeles alone.

  However, absent from this women's movement has been a public antiwar voice, as its stated goal of "ending violence" does not include violence produced by the state. The absence of this voice seemed both odd and troubling to legendary peace activist Cindy Sheehan, whose iconic protest against the invasion and occupation of Iraq made her a household name for many.

  Sheehan was taken aback by how some prominent organizers of this year's Women's March were unwilling to express antiwar positions and argued for excluding the issue of peace entirely from the event and movement as a whole. In an interview with MintPress, Sheehan recounted how a prominent leader of the march had told her, "I appreciate that war is your issue Cindy, but the Women's March will never address the war issue as long as women aren't free."

  War is indeed Sheehan's issue and she has been fighting against the U.S.' penchant for war for nearly 13 years. After her son Casey was killed in action while serving in Iraq in 2004, Sheehan drew international media attention for her extended protest in front of the Bush residence in Crawford, Texas, which later served as the launching point for many protests against U.S. military action in Iraq.

  Sheehan rejected the notion that women could be "free" without addressing war and empire. She countered the dismissive comment of the march organizer by stating that divorcing peace activism from women's issues "ignored the voices of the women of the world who are being bombed and oppressed by U.S. military occupation."

  Indeed, women are directly impacted by war—whether through displacement, the destruction of their homes, kidnapping, or torture. Women also suffer uniquely and differently from men in war as armed conflicts often result in an increase in sexual violence against women.

  For example, of the estimated half-a-million civilians killed in the U.S. invasion of Iraq, many of them were women and children. In the U.S. occupation of Afghanistan, the number of female casualties has been rising on average over 20 percent every year since 2015. In 2014 alone when Israel attacked Gaza in "Operation Protective Edge," Israeli forces, which receives $10 million in U.S. military aid every day, killed over two thousand Palestinians—half of them were women and children. Many of the casualties were pregnant women, who had been deliberately targeted.

  Given the Women's March's apparent rejection of peace activism in its official platform, Sheehan was inspired to organize another Women's March that would address what many women's rights advocates, including Sheehan, believe to be an issue central to promoting women's rights.

  Dubbed the "Women's March on the Pentagon," the event is scheduled to take place on October 21—the same date as an iconic antiwar march of the Vietnam era—with a mission aimed at countering the "bipartisan war machine." Though men, women and children are encouraged to attend, the march seeks to highlight women's issues as they relate to the disastrous consequences of war.

  The effort of women in confronting the "war machine" will be highlighted at the event, as Sheehan remarked that "women have always tried to confront the war-makers," as the mothers, daughters, sisters and wives of the men and women in the military, as well as those innocent civilians killed in the U.S.' foreign wars. As a result, the push for change needs to come from women, according to Sheehan, because "we [women] are the only ones that can affect [the situation] in a positive way." All that's missing is an organized, antiwar women's movement.

  Sheehan noted the march will seek to highlight the direct relationship between peace activism and women's rights, since "no woman is free until all women are free" and such "freedom also includes the freedom from U.S. imperial plunder, murder and aggression"that is part of the daily lives of women living both within and beyond the United States. Raising awareness of how the military-industrial complex negatively affects women everywhere is key, says Sheehan, as "unless there is a sense of international solidarity and a broader base for feminism, then there aren't going to be any solutions to any problems, [certainly not] if we don't stop giving trillions of dollars to the Pentagon."

  Sheehan also urged that, even though U.S. military adventurism has long been an issue and the subject of protests, a march to confront the military-industrial complex is more important now than ever: "I'm not alarmist by nature but I feel like the threat of nuclear annihilation is much closer than it has been for a long time," adding that, despite the assertion of some in the current administration and U.S. military, "there is no such thing as 'limited' nuclear war." This makes "the need to get out in massive numbers" and march against this more imperative than ever.

  Sheehan also noted that Trump's presidency has helped to make the Pentagon's influence on U.S. politics more obvious by bringing it to the forefront: "Even though militarism had been under wraps [under previous presidents], Trump has made very obvious the fact that he has given control of foreign policy to the 'generals.'"

  Indeed, as MintPress has reported on several occasions, the Pentagon—beginning in March of last year—has been given the freedom to "engage the enemy" at will, without the oversight of the executive branch or Congress. As a result, the deaths of innocent civilians abroad as a consequence of U.S. military action has spiked. While opposing Trump is not the focus of the march, Sheehan opined that Trump's war-powers giveaway to the Pentagon, as well as his unpopularity, have helped to spark widespread interest in the event.

Different wings of the same warbird

  Sheehan has rejected accusations that the march is partisan, as it is, by nature, focused on confronting the bipartisan nature of the military-industrial complex. She told MintPress that she has recently come under pressure owing to the march's proximity to the 2018 midterm elections—as some have ironically accused the march's bipartisan focus as "trying to harm the chances of the Democrats" in the ensuing electoral contest.

  In response, Sheehan stated that: 

   "Democrats and Republicans are different wings of the same warbird. We are protesting militarism and imperialism. The march is nonpartisan in nature because both parties are equally complicit. We have to end wars for the planet and for the future. I could really care less who wins in November."

  She also noted that even when the Democrats were in power under Obama, nothing was done to change the government's militarism nor to address the host of issues that events like the Women's March have claimed to champion.

  "We just got finished with eight years of a Democratic regime," Sheehan told MintPress. "For two of those years, they had complete control of Congress and the presidency and a [filibuster-proof] majority in the Senate and they did nothing" productive except to help "expand the war machine." She also emphasized that this march is in no way a "get out the vote" march for any political party.

  Even though planning began less than a month ago, support has been pouring in for the march since it was first announced on Sheehan's website, Cindy Sheehan Soapbox. Encouraged by the amount of interest already received, Sheehan is busy working with activists to organize the events and will be taking her first organizing trip to the east coast in April of this year. 

  In addition, those who are unable to travel to Washington are encouraged to participate in any number of solidarity protests that will be planned to take place around the world or to plan and attend rallies in front of U.S. embassies, military installations, and the corporate headquarters of war profiteers.

  Early endorsers of the event include journalists Abby Martin, Mnar Muhawesh and Margaret Kimberley; Nobel Peace Prize nominee Kathy Kelly; FBI whistleblower Coleen Rowley; and U.S. politicians like former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney. Activist groups that have pledged their support include CodePink, United National Antiwar Coalition, Answer Coalition, Women's EcoPeace and World Beyond War.

  Though October is eight months away, Sheehan has high hopes for the march. More than anything else, though, she hopes that the event will give birth to a "real revolutionary women's movement that recognizes the emancipation and liberation of all peoples—and that means [freeing] all people from war and empire, which is the biggest crime against humanity and against this planet." By building "a movement and not just a protest," the event's impact will not only be long-lasting, but grow into a force that could meaningfully challenge the U.S. military-industrial complex that threatens us all. God knows the world needs it.

  For those eager to help the march, you can help spread the word through social media by joining the march's Facebook page or following the march'sTwitter account, as well as by word of mouth. In addition, supporting independent media outlets—such as MintPress, which will be reporting on the march—can help keep you and others informed as October approaches.

  Whitney Webb is a staff writer forMintPress News who has written for several news organizations in both English and Spanish; her stories have been featured on ZeroHedge, theAnti-Media, and21st Century Wire among others. She currently lives in Southern Chile.

  —MPN News, February 20, 2018

  https://www.mintpressnews.com/cindy-sheehan-and-the-womens-march-on-the-pentagon-a-movement-not-just-a-protest/237835/

  


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[HS-Support] @GovernorVA: Don't transfer activist inmate Kevin #Rashid Johnson again

Please sign and share. 

If you are not familiar with the brilliant, compassionate, and courageous imprisoned activist, writer, artist, Kevin Rashid Johnson, check out rashidmod.com
He is not in the federal prison system, he is in the Virginia state system.  However, due to his persistence and depth in exposing the horrific conditions and treatment inside the prisons, he has been locked in solitary confinement and moved around to prisons in Florida, Virginia, and Texas! Please support Rashid with this simple petition
and make a call if you can. It looks like you can also tweet @GovernorVA!
~Verbena

Rashid Threatened with Transfer — Hearing on Sept 10th — BLOCK THE PHONES! We have learned that the Virginia Department of Corrections is planning to hold a hearing Monday September 10th, to have R…

All,

I just got a phone call from Rashid. He's been told that he will have a
hearing on Monday to process him for an Interstate Transfer. He's not
being told where he's going.

We need to get this news out as broadly as possible, and to state that
this is retaliation for his recent publications and interviews. Please
share the news on all your social media accounts, you might do it while
also sharing his Guardian article or other recent works.

Can anyone organize protest? Perhaps an action alert to have people
flood VADOC with complaints, and/or we could prepare to flood wherever
he goes with complaints. If we could organize a street protest of VADOC
HQ before or after the transfer, that would be amazing.

Dustin McDaniel

To: Virginia Department of Corrections; Chief of VA Corrections Operations David Robinson

Release Kevin "Rashid" Johnson From Solitary Confinement Immediately

We call on the Virginia Department of Corrections to immediately release Kevin "Rashid" Johnson from solitary confinement and not to transfer him again out of state.
Why is this important?
 

After signing the petition, please use the tools on the next webpage to share it with your friends.

This work is only possible with your financial support. Please chip in $3 now. 

-- The RootsAction.org Team

P.S. RootsAction is an independent online force endorsed by Jim Hightower, Barbara Ehrenreich, Cornel West, Daniel Ellsberg, Glenn Greenwald, Naomi Klein, Bill Fletcher Jr., Laura Flanders, former U.S. Senator James Abourezk, Frances Fox Piven, Lila Garrett, Phil Donahue, Sonali Kolhatkar, and many others.

Background:



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All Hands on Deck:  Get Malik Washington out of Ad-Seg!


Several weeks ago, friends and supporters of incarcerated freedom fighter Comrade Malik Washington were overjoyed to hear that he was getting released, finally, from Administrative Segregation (solitary confinement) at Eastham Unit in Texas--until TDCJ pulled a fast one, falsely claiming that he refused to participate in the Ad-Seg Transition Program to get him released back to general population.  
This is a complete lie:  Malik has been fighting to get out of Ad-Seg from the moment he was thrown in there two years ago on a bogus riot charge (which was, itself, retaliation for prison strike organizing and agitating against inhumane, discriminatory conditions).  
Here's what actually happened:  when Malik arrived at Ramsey Unit on June 21, he was assigned to a top bunk, which is prohibited by his medical restrictions as a seizure patient.  TDCJ had failed to transfer his medical restrictions records, or had erased them, and are now claiming no record of these restrictions, which have been on file and in place for the past ten years.  Malik wrote a detailed statement requesting to be placed on a lower bunk in order to avoid injury; later that night, he was abruptly transferred back to Ad-Seg at a new Unit (McConnell).  
Malik was told that Ramsey staff claimed he refused to participate in the Ad-Seg Transition program--this is NOT true, and he needs to be re-instated to the program immediately!  He also urgently needs his medical restrictions put back into his records!
-----
We are extremely concerned for Malik's safety, and urgently need the help of everyone reading this. Please take one or more of the following actions, and get a couple friends to do the same!
1. Call Senior Warden Phillip Sifuentes at Malik's current facility (McConnell) and tell them Keith Washington (#1487958) must be transferred out of McConnell and re-admitted to the Ad-Seg Transition Program!
Phone #: (361) 362-2300 (**048) 00 --  ask to be connected to the senior warden's office/receptionist--try to talk to someone, but also can leave a message. 
Sample Script: "Hello, I'm calling because I'm concerned about Keith H. Washington (#1487958) who was recently transferred to your facility.  I understand he was transferred there from Ramsey Unit, because he supposedly refused to participate in the Ad-Seg transition program there, but this is not true; Malik never refused to participate, and he needs to be re-admitted to the transition program immediately!  I am also concerned that his heat restrictions seem to have been removed from his records.  He is a seizure patient and has been on heat and work restriction for years, and these restrictions must be reinstated immediately."
Please let us know how your call goes at blueridgeABC@riseup.net
2. Flood TDCJ Executive Director Bryan Collier with calls/emails!  You can use the above phone script as a guide for emails.  
(936) 437-2101 / (936) 437-2123

3. Flood TDCJ with emails demanding that Malik's health restrictions and work restrictions be restored: Health.services@tdcj.texas.gov

You can use the call script above as a guide; you don't need to mention the Ad-Seg situation, but just focus on the need to restore his heat and work restrictions!

4. File a complaint with the Ombudsman's Office (the office in charge of investigating departmental misconduct); you can use the above phone script as a guide for emails.

5. Write to Malik!  Every letter he receives lifts his spirit and PROTECTS him, because prison officials know he has people around him, watching for what happens to him.

Keith H. Washington
#1487958
McConnell Unit
3100 South Emily Drive
Beeville, TX 78103







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Listen to 'The Daily': Was Kevin Cooper Framed for Murder?

By Michael Barbaro, May 30, 2018
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/30/podcasts/the-daily/kevin-cooper-death-row.html?emc=edit_ca_20180530&nl=california-today&nlid=2181592020180530&te=1




Listen and subscribe to our podcast from your mobile deviceVia Apple Podcasts | Via RadioPublic | Via Stitcher

The sole survivor of an attack in which four people were murdered identified the perpetrators as three white men. The police ignored suspects who fit the description and arrested a young black man instead. He is now awaiting execution.

On today's episode:
• Kevin Cooper, who has been on death row at San Quentin State Prison in California for three decades.



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Last week I met with fellow organizers and members of Mijente to take joint action at the Tornillo Port of Entry, where detention camps have been built and where children and adults are currently being imprisoned. 

I oppose the hyper-criminalization of migrants and asylum seekers. Migration is a human right and every person is worthy of dignity and respect irrespective of whether they have "papers" or not. You shouldn't have to prove "extreme and unusual hardship" to avoid being separated from your family. We, as a country, have a moral responsibility to support and uplift those adversely affected by the US's decades-long role in the economic and military destabilization of the home countries these migrants and asylum seekers have been forced to leave.

While we expected to face resistance and potential trouble from the multiple law enforcement agencies represented at the border, we didn't expect to have a local farm hand pull a pistol on us to demand we deflate our giant balloon banner. Its message to those in detention:

NO ESTÁN SOLOS (You are not alone).

Despite the slight disruption to our plan we were able to support Mijente and United We Dream in blocking the main entrance to the detention camp and letting those locked inside know that there are people here who care for them and want to see them free and reunited with their families. 


We are continuing to stand in solidarity with Mijente as they fight back against unjust immigration practices.Yesterday they took action in San Diego, continuing to lead and escalate resistance to unjust detention, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and to ICE. 

While we were honored to offer on-the-ground support we see the potential to focus the energy of our Drop the MIC campaign into fighting against this injustice, to have an even greater impact. Here's how:
  1. Call out General Dynamics for profiteering of War, Militarization of the Border and Child and Family Detention (look for our social media toolkit this week);
  2. Create speaking forums and produce media that challenges the narrative of ICE and Jeff Sessions, encouraging troops who have served in the borderlands to speak out about that experience;
  3. Continue to show up and demand we demilitarize the border and abolish ICE.

Thank you for your vision and understanding of how militarism, racism, and capitalism are coming together in the most destructive ways. Help keep us in this fight by continuing to support our work.


In Solidarity,
Ramon Mejia
Field Organizer, About Face: Veterans Against the War


P.O. Box 3565, New York, NY 10008. All Right Reserved. | Unsubscribe
To ensure delivery of About Face emails please add webmaster@ivaw.org to your address book.


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"There Was a Crooked Prez"
By Dr. Nayvin Gordon

There was a crooked Prez, and he walked a crooked mile,
He found a crooked lawyer upon a crooked isle,
They bought a crooked election which caught a crooked mission,
And they both lived together in a little crooked prison.

April 28, 2018



"Trumpty Dumpty"
By Dr. Nayvin Gordon

Trumpty Dumpty sat on his wall,
Trumpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the kingpin's forces and all the KKKlansmem
Couldn't put Trumpty together again.

July 25, 2018

Dr. Gordon is a California Family Physician who has written many articles on health and politics.


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It is so beautiful to see young people in this country rising up to demand an end to gun violence. But what is Donald Trump's response? Instead of banning assault weapons, he wants to give guns to teachers and militarize our schools. But one of the reasons for mass school shootings is precisely because our schools are already militarized. Florida shooter, Nikolas Cruz, was trained by U.S. Army Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps (JROTC) program while he was in high school.
Yesterday, Divest from the War Machine coalition member, Pat Elder, was featured on Democracy Now discussing his recent article about the JROTC in our schools. The JROTC teaches children how to shoot weapons. It is often taught by retired soldiers who have no background in teaching. They are allowed to teach classes that are given at least equal weight as classes taught by certified and trained teachers. We are pulling our children away from classes that expand their minds and putting them in classes that teach them how to be killing machines. The JROTC program costs our schools money. It sends equipment. But, the instructors and facilities must be constructed and paid for by the school.
The JROTC puts our children's futures at risk. Children who participate in JROTC shooting programs are exposed to lead bullets from guns. They are at an increased risk when the shooting ranges are inside. The JROTC program is designed to "put a jump start on your military career." Children are funneled into JROTC to make them compliant and to feed the military with young bodies which are prepared to be assimilated into the war machine. Instead of funneling children into the military, we should be channeling them into jobs that support peace and sustainable development. 
Tell Senator McCain and Representative Thornberry to take the war machine out of our schools! The JROTC program must end immediately. The money should be directed back into classrooms that educate our children.
The Divest from the War Machine campaign is working to remove our money from the hands of companies that make a killing on killing. We must take on the systems that keep fueling war, death, and destruction around the globe. AND, we must take on the systems that are creating an endless cycle of children who are being indoctrinated at vulnerable ages to become the next killing machine.  Don't forget to post this message on Facebook and Twitter.
Onward in divestment,
Ann, Ariel, Brienne, Jodie, Kelly, Kirsten, Mark, Medea, Nancy, Natasha, Paki, Sarah, Sophia and Tighe
P.S. Do you want to do more? Start a campaign to get the JROTC out of your school district or state. Email divest@codepink.org and we'll get you started!

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Major George Tillery
MAJOR TILLERY FILES NEW LEGAL PETITION
SEX FOR LIES AND
MANUFACTURED TESTIMONY
April 25, 2018-- The arrest of two young men in Starbucks for the crime of "sitting while black," and the four years prison sentence to rapper Meek Mill for a minor parole violation are racist outrages in Philadelphia, PA that made national news in the past weeks. Yesterday Meek Mills was released on bail after a high profile defense campaign and a Pa Supreme Court decision citing evidence his conviction was based solely on a cop's false testimony.
These events underscore the racism, frame-up, corruption and brutality at the core of the criminal injustice system. Pennsylvania "lifer" Major Tillery's fight for freedom puts a spotlight on the conviction of innocent men with no evidence except the lying testimony of jailhouse snitches who have been coerced and given favors by cops and prosecutors.

Sex for Lies and Manufactured Testimony
For thirty-five years Major Tillery has fought against his 1983 arrest, then conviction and sentence of life imprisonment without parole for an unsolved 1976 pool hall murder and assault. Major Tillery's defense has always been his innocence. The police and prosecution knew Tillery did not commit these crimes. Jailhouse informant Emanuel Claitt gave lying testimony that Tillery was one of the shooters.

Homicide detectives and prosecutors threatened Claitt with a false unrelated murder charge, and induced him to lie with promises of little or no jail time on over twenty pending felonies, and being released from jail despite a parole violation. In addition, homicide detectives arranged for Claitt, while in custody, to have private sexual liaisons with his girlfriends in police interview rooms.
In May and June 2016, Emanuel Claitt gave sworn statements that his testimony was a total lie, and that the homicide cops and the prosecutors told him what to say and coached him before trial. Not only was he coerced to lie that Major Tillery was a shooter, but to lie and claim there were no plea deals made in exchange for his testimony. He provided the information about the specific homicide detectives and prosecutors involved in manufacturing his testimony and details about being allowed "sex for lies". In August 2016, Claitt reaffirmed his sworn statements in a videotape, posted on YouTube and on JusticeforMajorTillery.org.
Without the coerced and false testimony of Claitt there was no evidence against Major Tillery. There were no ballistics or any other physical evidence linking him to the shootings. The surviving victim's statement naming others as the shooters was not allowed into evidence.
The trial took place in May 1985 during the last days of the siege and firebombing of the MOVE family Osage Avenue home in Philadelphia that killed 13 Black people, including 5 children. The prosecution claimed that Major Tillery was part of an organized crime group, and falsely described it as run by the Nation of Islam. This prejudiced and inflamed the majority white jury against Tillery, to make up for the absence of any evidence that Tillery was involved in the shootings.
This was a frame-up conviction from top to bottom. Claitt was the sole or primary witness in five other murder cases in the early 1980s. Coercing and inducing jailhouse informants to falsely testify is a standard routine in criminal prosecutions. It goes hand in hand with prosecutors suppressing favorable evidence from the defense.
Major Tillery has filed a petition based on his actual innocence to the Philadelphia District Attorney's Larry Krasner's Conviction Review Unit. A full review and investigation should lead to reversal of Major Tillery's conviction. He also asks that the DA's office to release the full police and prosecution files on his case under the new  "open files" policy. In the meantime, Major Tillery continues his own investigation. He needs your support.
Major Tillery has Fought his Conviction and Advocated for Other Prisoners for over 30 Years
The Pennsylvania courts have rejected three rounds of appeals challenging Major Tillery's conviction based on his innocence, the prosecution's intentional presentation of false evidence against him and his trial attorney's conflict of interest. On June 15, 2016 Major Tillery filed a new post-conviction petition based on the same evidence now in the petition to the District Attorney's Conviction Review Unit. Despite the written and video-taped statements from Emanuel Claitt that that his testimony against Major Tillery was a lie and the result of police and prosecutorial misconduct, Judge Leon Tucker dismissed Major Tillery's petition as "untimely" without even holding a hearing. Major Tillery appealed that dismissal and the appeal is pending in the Superior Court.
During the decades of imprisonment Tillery has advocated for other prisoners challenging solitary confinement, lack of medical and mental health care and the inhumane conditions of imprisonment. In 1990, he won the lawsuit, Tillery v. Owens, that forced the PA Department of Corrections (DOC) to end double celling (4 men to a small cell) at SCI Pittsburgh, which later resulted in the closing and then "renovation" of that prison.
Three years ago Major Tillery stood up for political prisoner and journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal and demanded prison Superintendent John Kerestes get Mumia to a hospital because "Mumia is dying."  For defending Mumia and advocating for medical treatment for himself and others, prison officials retaliated. Tillery was shipped out of SCI Mahanoy, where Mumia was also held, to maximum security SCI Frackville and then set-up for a prison violation and a disciplinary penalty of months in solitary confinement. See, Messing with Major by Mumia Abu-Jamal. Major Tillery's federal lawsuit against the DOC for that retaliation is being litigated. Major Tillery continues as an advocate for all prisoners. He is fighting to get the DOC to establish a program for elderly prisoners.
Major Tillery Needs Your Help:
Well-known criminal defense attorney Stephen Patrizio represents Major pro bonoin challenging his conviction. More investigation is underway. We can't count on the district attorney's office to make the findings of misconduct against the police detectives and prosecutors who framed Major without continuing to dig up the evidence.
Major Tillery is now 67 years old. He's done hard time, imprisoned for almost 35 years, some 20 years in solitary confinement in max prisons for a crime he did not commit. He recently won hepatitis C treatment, denied to him for a decade by the DOC. He has severe liver problems as well as arthritis and rheumatism, back problems, and a continuing itchy skin rash. Within the past couple of weeks he was diagnosed with an extremely high heartbeat and is getting treatment.
Major Tillery does not want to die in prison. He and his family, daughters, sons and grandchildren are fighting to get him home. The newly filed petition for Conviction Review to the Philadelphia District Attorney's office lays out the evidence Major Tillery has uncovered, evidence suppressed by the prosecution through all these years he has been imprisoned and brought legal challenges into court. It is time for the District Attorney's to act on the fact that Major Tillery is innocent and was framed by police detectives and prosecutors who manufactured the evidence to convict him. Major Tillery's conviction should be vacated and he should be freed.

Major Tillery and family

HOW YOU CAN HELP
    Financial Support—Tillery's investigation is ongoing. He badly needs funds to fight for his freedom.
    Go to JPay.com;
    code: Major Tillery AM9786 PADOC

    Tell Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner:
    The Conviction Review Unit should investigate Major Tillery's case. He is innocent. The only evidence at trial was from lying jail house informants who now admit it was false.
    Call: 215-686-8000 or

    Write to:
    Major Tillery AM 9786
    SCI Frackville
    1111 Altamont Blvd.
    Frackville, PA 17931
    For More Information, Go To: JusticeForMajorTillery.org
    Call/Write:
    Kamilah Iddeen (717) 379-9009, Kamilah29@yahoo.com
    Rachel Wolkenstein (917) 689-4009, RachelWolkenstein@gmail.com


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    Free Leonard Peltier!

    On my 43rd year in prison I yearn to hug my grandchildren.

    By Leonard Peltier


    Art by Leonard Peltier

    Write to:
    Leonard Peltier 89637-132 
    USP Coleman I 
    P.O. Box 1033 
    Coleman, FL 33521
    Donations can be made on Leonard's behalf to the ILPD national office, 116 W. Osborne Ave, Tampa, FL 33603


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    1)  Medicine's Financial Contamination
    Disclosure rules may seem arcane, but money corrupts medical research.
    By The Editorial Board, September 14, 2018
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/14/opinion/medicines-financial-contamination.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage



    The fall from grace last week of Dr. José Baselga, the former chief scientific officer of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, illuminated a longstanding problem of modern medicine: Potentially corrupting payments by drug and medical device makers to influential people at research hospitals are far more common than either side publicly acknowledges.
    Dr. Baselga, a giant in cancer research whose work led to the discovery of the lifesaving drug Herceptin, resigned on Thursday after The New York Times and ProPublica reported that he had repeatedly failed to properly disclose millions in industry payments.
    Decades of research and real world examples have shown that such entanglements can distort the practice of medicine in ways big and small. Even little gifts have been found to influence doctors' prescribing habitsand their perceptions of a given company's products. Larger payments have been shown to affect the design of clinical trials and the reporting of trial results, among other things. And such financial entanglements have proved devastating to individual patients — and to society at large. The opioid epidemic, to take one recent example, was partly spread by doctors who were persuaded to ignore warning bells and prescribe these drugs liberally by companies that showered them with gifts and consulting fees.
    Dr. Baselga's lapses may not have touched off a drug epidemic, but they have damaged the reputation of a leading cancer hospital in which tens of thousands of patients place their trust every year. Medical institutions should prize that trust at least as much as they prize profits. They should work aggressively to keep themselves beyond such reproach. And they should hold leaders of Dr. Baselga's rank to an especially high standard, because leaders more than rule books set the example that others will follow.

    The latest scandal marks an especially sad failure to meet those ideals. In statements to industry analysts and the American Association for Cancer Research, Dr. Baselga praised two drug trials that many of his peers considered failures, without mentioning that the trials' sponsor, Roche, had paid him millions of dollars. He also withheld his financial conflicts from dozens of publications, including at least one journal that he edited.
    Those conflicts touched his own institution directly, in that several of the companies he advises have business with Memorial Sloan Kettering. Both Varian Medical Systems, which sells the hospital radiation equipment, and Bristol-Myers Squibb, which sells it medications, pay him several hundred thousand dollars a year for his role on their boards of directors. Likewise, Juno Therapeutics and Paige.AI, both tapped Dr. Baselga to serve as a chief adviser after securing exclusive rights to data and technology developed by the hospital. Neither Juno nor Paige are required to disclose exactly what they've paid Dr. Baselga, because neither has brought a product to market yet. But if those payments are on par with what he's receiving from other companies, it would come out to hundreds of thousands of dollars for each. And if his compensation from these companies includes stock, he stands to profit personally, and handsomely, from intellectual property that belongs to the hospital.
    Sloan Kettering's other leaders were well aware of these relationships. The hospital has said that it takes pains to wall off any employee involved with a given outside company from the hospital's dealings with that company. But it's difficult to believe that conflicts of this magnitude could have truly been worked around, given how many of them there were, and how high up on the organizational chart Dr. Baselga sat. It also strains credulity to suggest that he was the hospital's only leader with such conflicts or with such apparent difficulty disclosing them. After the initial report, but before Dr. Baselga's resignation, the hospital sent a letter to its entire 17,000-person staff acknowledging that the institution as a whole needed to do better. It remains to be seen what additional actions will be taken — and by whom — to repair the situation. 
    Financial conflicts are hardly confined to Sloan Kettering. A 2015 study in The BMJ found that a "substantial number" of academic leaders hold directorships that pay as much as or more than their clinical salaries. According to other surveys, nearly 70 percent of oncologists who speak at national meetings, nearly 70 percent of psychiatrists on the task force that ultimately decides what treatments should be recommended for what mental illnesses, and a significant number of doctors on Food and Drug Administration advisory committees have financial ties to the drug and medical device industries. As bioethicists have warned and as journal publishers have long acknowledged, not all of them report those ties when and where they are supposed to.

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    2) A Dallas Police Officer Shot Her Neighbor, and a City Is Full of Questions
    By Manny Fernandez and Marina Trahan Martinez, September 14, 2018
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/14/us/botham-jean-dallas-shooting-amber-guyger.html?action=click&module=In%20Other%20News&pgtype=Homepage&action=click&module=News&pgtype=Homepage

    Lakolya London of Dallas, center, demonstrating with others on Wednesday at a weekly City Council meeting to protest the killing of Botham Shem Jean.


    DALLAS — Botham Shem Jean analyzed risk for a living at a global auditing firm. For someone in his line of work, the evening was shaping up to be as risk-free as it gets: Alone, in his one-bedroom apartment one block from the Dallas Police Department headquarters.
    Fresh from work, he had texted his sister his evening plans: Watching a football game on TV, the Eagles versus the Falcons. He texted a friend, apologizing for not going out with her the weekend before. Mr. Jean, 26, was from the island-nation of St. Lucia. He had a big smile, and was a big eater, winning a meat-lovers' contest at Big Chef Steak House back in the Caribbean. He still had his ticket for a free meal on his next visit, his prize after eating a two-pound steak in one sitting.
    Unit 1478 on the fourth floor of the South Side Flats apartment complex was an 800-square-foot bachelor pad: dishes piled up in the sink, with pancake syrup, dish soap and other belongings adding to the clutter on the kitchen island. It was the evening of September 6. His 27th birthday was three weeks away.
    In a matter of hours, Mr. Jean would be dead. A white off-duty police officer who lived in Unit 1378 — directly below Mr. Jean — claimed that she mistakenly entered the wrong apartment after returning home from her 14-hour shift and believed Mr. Jean, who is black, was an intruder. Officer Amber R. Guyger, 30, fired her service weapon twice, striking him once in the torso.

    He was later pronounced dead at a hospital, his death now the center of a mystery that has angered and puzzled Dallas and beyond.

    Mr. Jean speaking at Harding University in Searcy, Ark., in 2014. He was shot and killed by a white off-duty police officer in his apartment last week.

    The racial profiling of black men and women by white police officers put new phrases into the American vocabulary — driving while black, walking while black, shopping while black. The shooting of Mr. Jean seemed to demand its own, even more disturbing version: being at home while black.
    The fatal shooting has become the latest, and most bizarre, confrontation between an unarmed black man and a white officer, angering many who say they simply do not believe the officer's account. In a city with a decades-old history of racial divisions, the case has again heightened tensions. Protesters chanted and disrupted a City Council meeting on Wednesday, and threats against the police have poured in. Officers have said they believe Officer Guyger's version of events, while many in the black community — and many white residents as well — do not. City officials and other leaders have been caught in the middle.
    "This is the worst sort of situation, because we all expect to be safe in our own homes," Michael S. Rawlings, the mayor of Dallas, said in an interview. "Everybody is heartbroken. Everybody wants the same thing — let's get the answers. This is what the mother said to me. I was sitting there talking to her Saturday morning. And she said, 'I'm not angry, but I just want to know why this lady shot my son.'"

    Officer Guyger has been charged with manslaughter and released on a $300,000 bond, and numerous questions remain unanswered as the investigation continues. Mr. Jean's relatives and his lawyers said Mr. Jean and the officer did not know each other. It's not known whether there might have been a dispute between them as neighbors. Indeed much about what happened that night at the door of Mr. Jean's apartment remains either unclear or in dispute.
    The officer told investigators the door was slightly ajar and then fully opened when she inserted her computerized chip key; lawyers for Mr. Jean's family said the door was closed. Officer Guyger said in court documents that when she opened the door, the apartment was dark and she saw a silhouette of someone she thought was a burglar. She said she shouted commands that were ignored. Neighbors, however, have told lawyers for Mr. Jean's relatives that they heard someone banging on the door and shouting, "Let me in!" and "Open up!" before gunshots rang out. They said they then heard a man, presumably Mr. Jean, say, "Oh my God, why did you do that?"

    Accounts of banging and shouting are puzzling, because Officer Guyger is single and lived alone, and it was unknown why she would have banged on the door if she believed she was at her own apartment.
    In some ways, the drama unfolding in Dallas looks and feels similar to other high-profile police shootings of unarmed black men that have gripped the country in succession in recent years. Mr. Jean's family is represented by Benjamin Crump, the lawyer who represented the relatives of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown, as well as S. Lee Merritt, a lawyer for the family of Jordan Edwards, the 15-year-old freshman shot and killed by a white officer last year in a Dallas suburb. In an echo of past police killings, there has been anger over what seem to be attempts to incriminate the victim: Police released a search warrant that revealed that 10.4 grams of marijuana in multiple baggies had been found in Mr. Jean's apartment.
    "First they assassinate his person, then they assassinate his character," Mr. Crump said.
    Hours earlier that evening, managers at the apartment complex had received complaints from residents that there was a strong smell of marijuana in the fourth-floor hallways. Managers knocked on Mr. Jean's door and at least five other doors inquiring about the smell, the Jean family lawyers said. It was unclear who on the floor was responsible for the odor.
    It was not known whether Officer Guyger's apartment was searched.
    Mr. Jean's relatives, lawyers and supporters all say it would have been difficult for the officer to have mistaken Mr. Jean's door: It had a large, bright-red, semicircular doormat, lying on a bare concrete floor. Officer Guyger had none. Would she not have noticed?

    "My main concern is that she is lying," said Mr. Merritt, one of the Jean family lawyers.
    But Officer Guyger's supporters say she had her hands full at the time she arrived at Mr. Jean's door: Officials said she had with her a police vest, duty bag and lunchbox — items she might be expected to carry to her own front door, not someone else's.

    Mr. Jean's mother, Allison Jean, with Sam Berry, left, a minister, as he spoke to reporters after her son's funeral.

    While relations between the police and black residents are strained, the case is playing out in one of the most diverse law enforcement settings in the country.
    Dallas appears to be the only major city and county in the country where the police chief, the sheriff and the district attorney are all black women: Chief U. Reneé Hall, Sheriff Marian Brown and District Attorney Faith Johnson. Chief Hall was applauded by many for turning the investigation over to the Texas Rangers to ensure an independent inquiry, and both Chief Hall and Ms. Johnson attended the funeral of Mr. Jean on Thursday, as did several other officials.
    But the diversity in the ranks of law enforcement has not quelled the anger over the shooting and over the police department's handling of it.
    Black activists, religious leaders and elected officials have all criticized the authorities for charging the officer not with murder but with the lesser charge of manslaughter. They also want to know why she was not immediately arrested at the scene, but was allowed to go free until she was officially charged three days later. They are demanding that Officer Guyger, who remains on paid administrative leave, be fired.

    "The reasonableness of her explanation is what's called into question," said State Senator Royce West, a Democrat who is African-American and whose district includes the South Side Flats. "The question is whether or not she saw a black man and then decided to shoot. Regardless of whether or not he was in the right place or not, her first impulse appeared to be that she was going to fire her weapon."

    Jennifer Sarduy of Fort Worth, Tex., live-streamed video as the names of victims of police shootings were read during a news conference on Wednesday at City Hall in Dallas.

    Robert L. Rogers, a lawyer representing Officer Guyger and a former Dallas County prosecutor, declined to comment. Officer Guyger has been a Dallas officer for four years and four months, joining the force in 2014 in her first job as a law enforcement officer in Texas.
    Some of the officer's colleagues and superiors said they believe her version of events, and called the shooting, as one put it, "a bad accident." One police official said Officer Guyger was not intoxicated at the time of the shooting, and that she had a good reputation as part of the Southeast Patrol Division's Crime Response Team, of which she was a member.
    "They go out and arrest the most dangerous people in the city," said the official, who asked to remain anonymous because he was not authorized to speak to the press about the case. "You've got to have your head on right. You've got to be brave, dedicated, hard-charging. She was all of those things."
    Officer Guyger was involved in another shooting last year. A man grabbed her Taser during a confrontation, and she shot him in the stomach. The man survived, and a grand jury later declined to indict her.
    The official said Officer Guyger did not have any complaints filed against her accusing her of violating a person's civil rights. The official said the length of her shift that day was a key factor in the shooting. The police officers' union has publicly urged city officials to address the long shifts that have resulted from budget cuts, which have led to low morale and a mass exodus of officers.

    Mourners left flowers and programs on a table after Mr. Jean's funeral on Thursday at Greenville Avenue Church of Christ in Richardson, Tex.

    "You cannot have people working that hard and not have a mistake, and it can be life-threatening mistakes," the official said.
    Officers said the shooting reminded them of a similar case in 2016. In that case, an N.B.A. player was fatally shot in Dallas after he broke into what he thought was his girlfriend's apartment. Bryce Dejean-Jones, 23, a player for the New Orleans Pelicans, kicked open the door to an apartment in the middle of the night, startling the man who lived there, the authorities said. As Mr. Dejean-Jones kicked the bedroom door, the man shot him, the police said.
    Mr. Dejean-Jones had been trying to get into his girlfriend's apartment, which was directly above the unit he broke into, his agent said at the time.
    The floors of the South Side Flats, a modern luxury apartment building with 288 units built in 2015 at the edge of downtown Dallas, have a similar design and layout: well-lighted, with whirring ceiling fans and bare concrete floors. Residents said it was easy to get confused in the halls, and some said they had gone to the wrong apartment occasionally. The light panels near Mr. Jean's door and Officer Guyger's door are the same color.
    Her mistake appeared to begin when she parked on the fourth floor, not the third floor where she lived, for reasons that remain unclear. She had lived in the complex for a short time, fewer than 60 days, officials said.
    On Thursday, minutes after Mr. Jean's funeral at Greenville Avenue Church of Christ in nearby Richardson, his father, Bertrum Jean, 54, stood in an upstairs dining hall and gym, leaning against a set of retractable bleachers.
    He hugged those who approached him, and laughed at times. "He just wanted to be with me everywhere I go," the elder Mr. Jean said, recalling when his son was 5. "I think I spoiled him."

    The elder Mr. Jean, who preaches at a Church of Christ congregation and works as a water and sewage inventory supervisor on St. Lucia, said he understands racial tensions exist in Dallas and in the United States, but what role that played in his son's death, he said he was not certain.
    "I believe it may have been an isolated incident," he said. "I don't know what to make of it, but I'm still not fearful. If my other son has to come up here to school, I will send him."

    Matthew Haag and Sarah Mervosh contributed reporting.

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    3)  U.S. Is Ending Final Source of Aid for Palestinian Civilians
    By Edward Wong, September 14, 2018
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/14/world/middleeast/us-aid-palestinian-civilians.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fworld&action=click&contentCollection=world&region=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=2&pgtype=sectionfront

    Palestinian girls play soccer in Ramallah. The United States is blocking funding to cross-border programs between Israelis and Palestinians, including soccer games for children.


    WASHINGTON — As part of its policy to end all aid for Palestinian civilians, the United States is blocking millions of dollars to programs that build relationships between Israelis and Palestinians, according to current and former American officials briefed on the change.
    The move to prevent Palestinians — including, in many cases, children — from benefiting from the funds squeezes shut the last remaining channel of American aid to Palestinian civilians.
    The money had already been budgeted by Congress for allocation in fiscal year 2017, which ends this month. In the past, these designated funds went mostly to programs that organized people-to-people exchanges between Palestinians and Israelis, often for youth. Some went to programs for Israeli Jews and Arabs.
    Advocates had hoped this last $10 million pot of money would remain available to projects with Palestinians, even as the Trump administration cut all other aid.

    But last week, officials from the United States Agency for International Development told congressional aides that programs that benefit Palestinians alongside Israelis would not receive any new money, said Tim Rieser, foreign policy aide to Senator Patrick Leahy, Democrat from Vermont. Mr. Leahy established the broader program managed by U.S.A.I.D.
    The agency's officials did not want to cut programs with Palestinians, but had to accommodate a White House that does not want to send American funds to Palestinians, Mr. Rieser said.
    As a result, only programs with Israeli Jews and Israeli Arabs will get funding, contrary to the tradition of the funds and intent of Congress.
    "Essentially, U.S.A.I.D. was faced with the choice of shutting down the program and losing the funds, or keeping something going," Mr. Rieser said. "They decided to support programs that involve Israeli Jews and Israeli Arabs."
    Programs currently on multiyear grants will still get all their funds, Mr. Rieser said.
    In a statement on Friday, U.S.A.I.D. said it is "currently unable to engage Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza as a result of the administration's recent decision on Palestinian assistance." The agency said it was "continuing its support for civil society working on these issues within Israel."

    The broad push to cut all funding to Palestinian civilians is promoted by Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of President Trump and the top White House adviser on the Middle East. Mr. Kushner has been working on a peace proposal for the Israelis and Palestinians, and is seeking maximum negotiating leverage over the Palestinians.
    He also has criticized the Palestinian Authority and President Mahmoud Abbas for refusing to negotiate after Mr. Trump declared in December that the United States was recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
    "Nobody is entitled to America's foreign aid," Mr. Kushner told The New York Times on Thursday.
    In late August, the Trump administration announced it was redirecting $200 million that was set aside last year for bilateral aid to Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. Soon afterward, American officials said they were ending funding to a United Nations aid agency for Palestinians and redirecting $25 million intended for hospitals in East Jerusalem, which has a mostly Palestinian population.
    Until those moves, the United States was one of the largest national donors of aid to Palestinians.
    Before last week, advocates of aid to Palestinians had said they hoped American officials would not bar Palestinians from access to the $10 million in funds from what is known as the Conflict Management and Mitigation Program. The program receives a total of $26 million annually from Congress and was established in 2004 by Mr. Leahy. (The other $16 million is spent elsewhere in the world.)
    The change means members of Congress will revisit the annual practice of setting aside $10 million, mostly for Israeli-Palestinian exchange programs, Mr. Rieser said.
    "Senator Leahy regards the decision to cut off funding for the West Bank and Gaza as a sign that this White House has failed at diplomacy," he said. "This is not a partisan view. It's the view of those who recognize that you don't advance the cause of peace by cutting off programs that are designed to promote tolerance, understanding and address shared problems."
    The money from the United States is almost a quarter of the annual global funding for peace and reconciliation activities between Israelis and Palestinians, said Joel Braunold, executive director of the Alliance for Middle East Peace, a coalition of nongovernmental organizations that seeks United States support for such activities. The grants are bid out for as much as $1.2 million over three years, and are by far the largest of their kind, he said.

    Cutting off programs that benefit Palestinians "would deeply damage the integrity of the program," Mr. Braunold said. "If they don't change their track, I can't perceive a situation where Congress would support this."
    Mr. Braunold stressed that any groups that receive grants this year for Israeli programs were still doing worthwhile work.
    The change also means Palestinian nongovernmental groups would not be given funds, he said, adding that some such groups had won bids before.
    The American aid agency previously said the funds' aims are "to support Israelis and Palestinians working on issues of common concern." Last year, the funding proposals sought to support "cross-border projects that bring together Israelis and Palestinians and activities that bring together Israelis, Palestinians, and Jordanians are strongly encouraged."
    The aid mission and embassy have given out 126 grants since 2004.
    The program activities vary widely, such as bringing Israeli and Palestinian almond farmers together and organizing soccer games for Palestinian and Israeli girls.
    One group, Kids4Peace, won a $800,000 grant for a project that "connects more than 1,000 youth and parents from East and West Jerusalem and neighboring West Bank communities in cross-border programs," according to an aid agency fact sheet. Those include workshops, home visits, community service projects and religious holiday events.
    "We're concerned that changes in aid would hurt the people most essential to any peace agreement by jeopardizing the momentum of organizations like ours," said Father Josh Thomas, the group's executive director. The group sees "huge demand from Palestinian and Israeli families."

    The project's grant runs out in 2019, and under the current decision the group would need to cut Palestinians from activities to be eligible for future grants.
    "The bottom line is if you're a Palestinian, you don't have access to any of this," said David Harden, a former American aid agency official who managed projects for 11 years in the West Bank and Gaza and who had been briefed on the decision. He called the decision vindictive. "Once you cut out East Jerusalem hospitals and cut out girls playing soccer with each other, it's the end of hope."
    "Reconciliation activities should be beyond politics," he added, saying that the programs had been very effective.
    R. Nicholas Burns, a Harvard Kennedy School professor and former senior American diplomat who worked on Palestinian issues, said that "cutting off all American economic and humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian people is meanspirited and beneath a great nations like ours."
    "Republican and Democratic presidents have tried for decades to position the U.S. as an honest broker between Israel and the Palestinians," he said. "President Trump has abdicated that critical role and squandered our influence and credibility with the Arab world on this critical issue. This is diplomatic malpractice of the highest order."

    David M. Halbfinger and Isabel Kershner contributed reporting from Jerusalem.

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    4)  Even in Better Times, Some Americans Seem Farther Behind. Here's Why.
    By Patricia Cohen, September 14, 2018
    "Among college graduates, white families, for instance, had six times the median wealth of black and Hispanic families, extending a stubborn racial gap. ...Researchers have found that socioeconomic status and health shadow each other, climbing or falling in tandem."
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/14/business/economy/income-inequality.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fbusiness&action=click&contentCollection=business&region=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=1&pgtype=sectionfront

    A man uses a cell phone while crossing a street in midtown Manhattan, Thursday, July 19, 2018, in New York.


    Americans' household earnings are finally stretching back to their pre-recession heights. But feeling secure and comfortable isn't only a measure of how much money you have. It's also a measure of how much you have compared with others.
    For many, that is one reason that recent financial progress may seem overshadowed by the gains they've missed out on and a needling sense that they've lost ground.
    As new research illustrates, two groups in particular have stalled: whites without a college degree, and blacks and Hispanics with one. Both are being far outpaced by college-educated whites.
    "America has been a story of getting ahead, of progress," said Morris P. Fiorina, a political scientist at Stanford University. "There's been no story of progress — for them."

    The findings, part of a study on the demographics of wealth between 1989 and 2016 from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, show significant advances in education and earnings among white, black and Hispanic Americans over that period. A Census Bureau report this week also showed continued income gains last year. But the study highlights the growing importance of relative shifts in position up or down the income ladder at a time when the economy's riches are flowing increasingly to the wealthiest sliver.
    The economic swoops and comebacks of the last three decades have chipped away at many measures of well-being. An advanced global economy has radically revalued the contributions of blue-collar labor and technological skills.
    The lingering economic insecurity has fired resentments, sharpened identity politics and fueled populism on the right and left that is upending hierarchies in the Democratic and Republican Parties.
    But parallels between whites who did not finish college and blacks and Hispanics who did show that "this is not clearly a race story and not clearly an education story," said William R. Emmons, an economist at the St. Louis Fed and a co-author of its report.

    To Mr. Emmons, the most striking result was the steep declines among white families headed by someone without a college degree. Members of this group — labeled the white working class — not only were left behind financially, but also lagged in other measures of well-being, like self-reported health, homeownership, and marriage or cohabitation rates.

    In absolute terms, they are still doing better than their black and Hispanic counterparts, with nine times the wealth and a higher median income. But as Theodore Roosevelt observed, "Comparison is the thief of joy."
    The white working class, which once dominated the American work force and reaped a hefty chunk of its rewards, has seen its incomes trail far behind those of college graduates. In less than three decades, its share of total income sank to 27 percent from 45 percent. For these workers, the education gap is starker than ever.
    At the same time, working-class blacks and Hispanics began to catch up. These groups' median incomes grew at an accelerated pace over the same period that the median income of working-class whites declined.
    "Their relative position has fallen dramatically," said Ronald Inglehart, a political scientist and professor emeritus at the University of Michigan, "at a time when the desirable standard of living has risen a lot."
    To Mr. Inglehart, expanding inequality is the primary culprit, decreasing satisfaction while fanning ethnic and racial tensions and anti-immigrant sentiment around the world. "Rewards are being sucked up at the top to a degree that is stunning," he said.
    In the United States, polls have shown that a majority of whites feel whites are discriminated against. The sociologist Arlie Hochschild describes it as a powerful feeling that the government is helping others to cut ahead of them in line as they fall further back. This has helped turn them more aggressively, she argues, against affirmative action and policies that assist displaced migrants. But as the Fed data suggests, waning privilege is a more likely reason.

    The most plausible explanation, the report concluded, is the "diminishing set of advantages relative to nonwhite working-class families in terms of high school graduation rates, access to relatively high-paying jobs, and freedom from explicit workplace discrimination."
    What may be surprising is that the group with the most similar experience in some respects is black and Hispanic college graduates. Additional education has clearly paid off in terms of greater wealth and income. Yet they are lagging well behind their white counterparts. Among college graduates, white families, for instance, had six times the median wealth of black and Hispanic families, extending a stubborn racial gap.

    In Granite City, Ill., workers returned to a U.S. Steel plant in May that had been idle for more than two years. In a technologically advanced global economy, there has been a recalibration of the value of blue-collar labor and digital skills.

    Without a cushion of family assets, the housing bubble and recession cut deep among minorities, gnawing away the assets even of college graduates. White households with similar education levels also lost wealth, but their relative position was enhanced. In the 1990s, their real median net worth was 256 percent of the general population's. That figure jumped to 416 percent by 2016.
    "Racial privilege is alive and well among college-educated elites," said Joan C. Williams, a law professor at the University of California Hastings College of the Law and the author of "White Working Class: Overcoming Class Cluelessness in America."
    Black college graduates were also the only other group besides the white working class that experienced declines in all three nonfinancial measures tracked — health, homeownership, and marriage or cohabitation rates.
    Researchers have found that socioeconomic status and health shadow each other, climbing or falling in tandem.

    For upwardly mobile African-Americans, and to a lesser extent Hispanics, achieving the American dream has had a peculiar side effect. They tend to encounter more discrimination because they live and work in predominantly white environments, said Cynthia Colen, an associate professor at Ohio State University's College of Public Health.
    "They're playing the game, and yet they're still facing discrimination in workplaces and neighborhoods," she said. "It absolutely harms their mental health and their physical health."
    These shifting economic and social fortunes have been shaping voters' attitudes and candidates' pitches as the midterm elections approach.
    White working-class men in particular have responded to President Trump's frequent expressions of concern about their lost ground, his skepticism of affirmative action and his promises that reduced immigration and trade wars will restore them to their former status. His administration is also dialing back its enforcement of anti-discrimination laws and regulations.
    Within the Democratic Party, attacks on widening inequality and enduring racial privilege coupled with support for free college education have resonated with voters and delivered surprising victories to several left-leaning political challengers.
    The feeling of decline among the groups lagging behind is well founded, Ms. Williams said. "What's at issue here is whether they're going to interpret that decline through the lens of race or through the lens of class," she said. "There's a war over interpretation."

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    5) We're Measuring the Economy All Wrong
    The official statistics say that the financial crisis is behind us. It's not.
    By David Leonhardt, September 14, 2018
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/14/opinion/columnists/great-recession-economy-gdp.html

    Protestors hold signs behind Richard S. Fuld Jr., then chief executive of Lehman Brothers, in October 2008. Ten years later, you can see the lingering effects of the financial crisis just about everywhere.


    Ten years after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the official economic statistics — the ones that fill news stories, television shows and presidential tweets — say that the American economy is fully recovered.
    The unemployment rate is lower than it was before the financial crisis began. The stock market has soared. The total combined output of the American economy, also known as gross domestic product, has risen 20 percent since Lehman collapsed. The crisis is over.
    But, of course, it isn't over. The financial crisis remains the most influential event of the 21st century. It left millions of people — many of whom were already anxious about the economy — feeling much more anxious, if not downright angry. Their frustration has helped create a threat to Western liberal democracy that would have been hard to imagine a decade ago. Far-right political parties are on the rise across Europe, and Britain is leaving the European Union. The United States elected a racist reality-television star who has thrown the presidency into chaos.
    Look around, and you can see the lingering effects of the financial crisis just about everywhere — everywhere, that is, except in the most commonly cited economic statistics. So who are you going to believe: those statistics, or your own eyes?

    Over the course of history, financial crises — and the long downturns that follow — have reordered American society in all sorts of ways. One of those ways happens to involve the statistics that the government collects. Crises have often highlighted the need for new measures of human well-being.
    The unemployment rate was invented in the 1870s in response to concerns about mass joblessness after the Panic of 1873. The government's measure of national output, now called G.D.P., began during the Great Depression. Senator Robert La Follette, the progressive hero from Wisconsin, introduced the resolution that later led to the measurement of G.D.P., and the great economist Simon Kuznets, later a Nobel laureate, oversaw the first version.
    Almost a century later, it is time for a new set of statistics. It's time for measures that do a better job of capturing the realities of modern American life.
    As a technical matter, the current batch of official numbers are perfectly accurate. They also describe some real and important aspects of the American economy. The trouble is that a handful of statistics dominate the public conversation about the economy despite the fact that they provide a misleading portrait of people's lives. Even worse, the statistics have become more misleading over time.

    The main reason is inequality. A small, affluent segment of the population receives a large and growing share of the economy's bounty. It was true before Lehman Brothers collapsed on Sept. 15, 2008, and it has become even more so since. As a result, statistics that sound as if they describe the broad American economy — like G.D.P. and the Dow Jones industrial average — end up mostly describing the experiences of the affluent.

    The stock market, for example, has completely recovered from the financial crisis, and then some. Stocks are now worth almost 60 percent more than when the crisis began in 2007, according to a inflation-adjusted measure from Moody's Analytics. But wealthy households own the bulk of stocks. Most Americans are much more dependent on their houses. That's why the net worth of the median household is still about 20 percent lower than it was in early 2007. When television commentators drone on about the Dow, they're not talking about a good measure of most people's wealth.

    The unemployment rate has also become less meaningful than it once was. In recent decades, the number of idle working-age adults has surged. They are not working, not looking for work, not going to school and not taking care of children. Many of them would like to work, but they can't find a decent-paying job and have given up looking. They are not counted in the official unemployment rate.
    All the while, the federal government and much of the news media continue to act as if the same economic measures that made sense decades ago still make sense today. Habit comes before accuracy.
    Fortunately, there is a nascent movement to change that. A team of academic economists — Gabriel Zucman, Emmanuel Saez and Thomas Piketty (the best-selling author on inequality) — has begun publishing a version of G.D.P. that separates out the share of national income flowing to rich, middle class and poor. For now, its data is published with a lag; the most recent available year is 2014. But the work is starting to receive attention from other academics and policy experts.
    In the Senate, two Democratic senators, including Chuck Schumer, the party leader, have introduced a bill that would direct the federal government to publish a version of the same data series. Heather Boushey, who runs the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, told me that it could be the most important change in economic data collection in decades.
    And there is no reason that data reform needs to be limited to G.D.P. The Labor Department could change the monthly jobs report to give more attention to other unemployment numbers. It could also provide more data on wages, rather than only broad averages. The Federal Reserve, for its part, could publish quarterly estimates of household wealth by economic class.
    These changes may sound technocratic. They are technocratic. But they can still be important. Over time, they can subtly shift the way that the country talks about the economy.
    "As someone who advises policymakers, I can tell you there is often this shock: 'The economy is growing. Why aren't people feeling it,'" Boushey says. "The answer is: Because they literally aren't feeling it." She argues — rightly, I think — that the government should not focus on creating wholly new statistics. It should instead change and expand the ones that are already followed closely. Doing so could force the media and policymakers to talk about economic well-being at the same time that they are talking about economic indicators.
    It's worth remembering that the current indicators are not a naturally occurring phenomenon. They are political creations, with the flaws, limitations and choices that politics usually involves.
    Take the unemployment rate. It dates to 1878, when a former Civil War officer and Massachusetts politician named Carroll D. Wright was running the state's Bureau of the Statistics of Labor. Wright thought that the public had an exaggerated sense of the extent of unemployment after the Panic of 1873. He called it "industrial hypochondria."
    So Wright asked town assessors and police officers to count the number of people in their area who were out of work. But he added a caveat that he knew would hold down the number, as Alexander Keyssar, a Harvard historian, has written. Wright wanted the count to include only adult men who "really want employment." He specifically called for the exclusion of the many men who had effectively given up searching for work because they didn't think that they could find a job that paid as much as their previous job. Not surprisingly, Wright's count produced a modest number that, he happily announced, had proved the "croakers" wrong.
    Several years later, he received a promotion. He was named the first head of the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, a job he would hold for 20 years. His original methods from Massachusetts influenced the way that the federal government began calculating unemployment data, and still do to this day. The fact that the official rate ignores millions of discouraged workers is — although Wright wouldn't have used this phrase — a feature not a bug.
    There is no mystery about what a better set of indicators would look like. For the most part, the indicators already exist. They tend to be obscure, however. Some are calculated only once a year or less frequently. Others appear monthly or quarterly, but the media and politicians tend to ignore them. These numbers include: the overall share of working-age adults who are actually working; pay at different points on the income distribution; and the same sort of distribution for net worth (which includes stock holdings, home values and other assets and debts).
    The whole point of statistics is to describe reality. When a statistic no longer does so, it's time to find a new one — not to come up with a convoluted rationale that tries to twist reality to fit the statistic.
    The notion that our most prominent economic indicators are problematic has been around for a long time. Kuznets himself, the economist who invented G.D.P. as we know it, cautioned people not to confuse it with "economic welfare." Most famously, Robert F. Kennedy liked to say during his 1968 presidential campaign that G.D.P. measured everything "except that which makes life worthwhile."
    After all these years, though, we haven't solved the problem. Maybe it takes a financial crisis to do so.
    David Leonhardt is a former Washington bureau chief for the Times, and was the founding editor of The Upshot and head of The 2020 Project, on the future of the Times newsroom. He won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for commentary, for columns on the financial crisis. 
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    6) Border Patrol Agent Arrested in Connection With Murders of 4 Women
    By Simon Romero and Manny Fernandez, September 15, 2018
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/15/us/laredo-border-patrol-agent-arrested.html?action=click&module=In%20Other%20News&pgtype=Homepage&action=click&module=Latest&pgtype=Homepage

    Law enforcement officers near the scene where a woman's body was found north of Laredo, Tex. A Border Patrol agent was arrested on Saturday in connection with that killing and others.


    ALBUQUERQUE — A United States Border Patrol agent was arrested in South Texas on Saturday in connection to a calculated killing spree that left four people dead in recent weeks around the city of Laredo, the authorities said.
    Webb County Sheriff Martin Cuellar said police officers arrested the agent, Juan David Ortiz, early on Saturday morning after a woman who claimed she had been abducted by Mr. Ortiz escaped half-clothed and sought help at a gas station in Laredo.
    "We consider this man to be a serial killer who was preying on one victim after another," Sheriff Cuellar said. "Fortunately, he's now been apprehended."
    The case is the latest in a series of recent gruesome episodes involving Border Patrol agents, and comes at a time when protesters and some Democratic lawmakers are seeking to curb the actions of immigration officials. Some are calling for an end to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which was created in 2003. Customs and Border Protection, another agency in the Department of Homeland Security, has also come under fierce criticism.

    Mr. Ortiz, 35, was found hiding in a truck in the parking lot of a hotel in Laredo, a city of about 250,000 people on the southwest border with Mexico and about 145 miles from San Antonio. He was arrested on suspicion of evading arrest. District Attorney Isidro Alaniz of Webb County said the authorities were prepared to also charge Mr. Ortiz with four counts of murder and one count of aggravated kidnapping.
    Mr. Alaniz said Mr. Ortiz is suspected of shooting the four victims, two of whom were identified on Saturday as Melissa Ramirez, 29, and Claudine Luera, 42. Ms. Luera was found still alive but in critical condition on Thursday near a stretch of Texas Highway 255, but later died at a nearby hospital.
    Another female victim remained unidentified and was referred to as Jane Doe, Mr. Alaniz said. The fourth appeared to be a transgender woman, but authorities referred to her as John Doe. Mr. Alaniz said he believed that all of the victims worked as prostitutes in the Laredo area.
    "At this time we believe the suspect was acting alone," Mr. Alaniz said, describing Mr. Ortiz as a supervisory agent who had worked as a Border Patrol agent for a decade.
    Mr. Alaniz said authorities tracked down Mr. Ortiz after a woman, also described as working as a prostitute, escaped after having been abducted. She claimed that the agent, a married father of two young children, had torn off her blouse before she could run away from his vehicle. She ran until she found a police officer at a nearby gas station.

    She then described the suspect to the officer and provided details about his vehicle and his home, Mr. Alaniz said. He said the woman told authorities that she grew suspicious of the agent after asking him about the spate of killings.
    Andrew Meehan, the assistant commissioner for public affairs at the Border Patrol, said the agency was fully cooperating with investigators in the case. He said it was the agency's policy to not comment on details of a current investigation, but added, "criminal action by our employees is not, and will not be tolerated."
    Mr. Ortiz's arrest came on the heels of a case in April in which authorities in Laredo arrested Ronald Anthony Burgos Aviles, also a supervisor for the Border Patrol, and charged him with killing a woman with whom he was romantically involved and her 1-year-old son.
    Two years ago, a senior Border Patrol agent stationed farther north up the border in Del Rio, Tex., was taken into custody and charged with distributing child pornography and attempting to entice a minor to engage in sexual activity. Federal prosecutors said the agent, Salvador Contreras, 50, sent child-porn images to an undercover agent whom Mr. Contreras believed was the mother of 8-year-old and 14-year-old girls. He had expressed, prosecutors alleged, a desire to engage in sexual conduct with both girls and had made arrangements to do so. Mr. Contreras, who was later sentenced to serve 11 years in a federal prison, had called himself a sex addict who was just "looking for his next high," according to prosecutors.
    In another case, from 2014, a Border Patrol agent in Texas kidnapped, attacked and sexually assaulted three undocumented immigrants: a woman and two teenage girls from Honduras. The agent, Esteban Manzanares, killed himself as officers closed in on his South Texas home.
    Customs and Border Protection must annually report to Congress all cases of reported sexual abuse by its employees, a requirement prompted by media reports of sexual assault allegations within the agency.
    In its most recent report in 2016, the agency showed that from October 2014 to September 2015 there were 52 allegations of sexual abuse and sexual assault by Customs and Border Protection employees, including Border Patrol agents. Many of the allegations stemmed from on-duty cases involving people the employees had apprehended.

    The majority of those 52 allegations were found to be either unsubstantiated, not sustained, unfounded or exonerated. But 10 of the 52 allegations were found to have merit and were substantiated or sustained. The report said the employees in the substantiated cases either resigned, had been charged, disciplined or were pending disciplinary action.
    State Representative Richard Peña Raymond, a Democrat who represents Laredo, said on Saturday that he knows many Border Patrol agents in the region. He was quick to assert that the allegations against Mr. Ortiz were not reflective of the Border Patrol as a whole.
    "That could have been a sheriff's deputy," Mr. Raymond said. "It could have been a P.D. It could have been a state trooper. It wasn't. It's a Border Patrol agent, and I don't think that one thing had anything to do with the other. If this is true, do you really think that there's something they could have done to have prevented this guy from having the mind-set to kill four people? Usually, these guys have some issues that no amount of training would have addressed."
    He added, "Whenever you hear about any law enforcement officer doing something wrong — I don't care what the agency is — then it's wrong. But you can't paint with a broad brush and say, 'Well, they must all be guys that are willing to go kill four people.'"
    The National Border Patrol Council, a union for border patrol agents, did not respond on Saturday evening to a request for comment.

    Simon Romero reported from Albuquerque and Manny Fernandez from Houston. Julia Jacobs contributed reporting from New York and Ron Nixon from Washington.

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    7) Anita Hill: How to Get the Kavanaugh Hearings Right
    The Senate Judiciary Committee has a chance to do better by the country than it did nearly three decades ago.
    By Anita Hill, September 18, 2018
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/18/opinion/anita-hill-brett-kavanaugh-clarence-thomas.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage

    Anita F. Hill, right, is sworn in to testify before the United States Senate Judiciary Committee on the confirmation of Judge Clarence Thomas by Chairman Joseph Biden in October 1991.


    There is no way to redo 1991, but there are ways to do better.
    The facts underlying Christine Blasey Ford’s claim of being sexually assaulted by a young Brett Kavanaugh will continue to be revealed as confirmation proceedings unfold. Yet it’s impossible to miss the parallels between the Kavanaugh confirmation hearing of 2018 and the 1991 confirmation hearing for Justice Clarence Thomas. In 1991, the Senate Judiciary Committee had an opportunity to demonstrate its appreciation for both the seriousness of sexual harassment claims and the need for public confidence in the character of a nominee to the Supreme Court. It failed on both counts.

    Ms. Hill testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in 1991.

    As that same committee, on which sit some of the same members as nearly three decades ago, now moves forward with the Kavanaugh confirmation proceedings, the integrity of the court, the country’s commitment to addressing sexual violence as a matter of public interest, and the lives of the two principal witnesses who will be testifying hang in the balance. Today, the public expects better from our government than we got in 1991, when our representatives performed in ways that gave employers permission to mishandle workplace harassment complaints throughout the following decades. That the Senate Judiciary Committee still lacks a protocol for vetting sexual harassment and assault claims that surface during a confirmation hearing suggests that the committee has learned little from the Thomas hearing, much less the more recent #MeToo movement.

    With the current heightened awareness of sexual violence comes heightened accountability for our representatives. To do better, the 2018 Senate Judiciary Committee must demonstrate a clear understanding that sexual violence is a social reality to which elected representatives must respond. A fair, neutral and well-thought-out course is the only way to approach Dr. Blasey and Judge Kavanaugh’s upcoming testimony. The details of what that process would look like should be guided by experts who have devoted their careers to understanding sexual violence. The job of the Senate Judiciary Committee is to serve as fact-finders, to better serve the American public, and the weight of the government should not be used to destroy the lives of witnesses who are called to testify.

    Here are some basic ground rules the committee should follow:
    Refrain from pitting the public interest in confronting sexual harassment against the need for a fair confirmation hearing. Our interest in the integrity of the Supreme Court and in eliminating sexual misconduct, especially in our public institutions, are entirely compatible. Both are aimed at making sure that our judicial system operates with legitimacy.

    Select a neutral investigative body with experience in sexual misconduct cases that will investigate the incident in question and present its findings to the committee. Outcomes in such investigations are more reliable and less likely to be perceived as tainted by partisanship. Senators must then rely on the investigators’ conclusions, along with advice from experts, to frame the questions they ask Judge Kavanaugh and Dr. Blasey. Again, the senators’ fact-finding roles must guide their behavior. The investigators’ report should frame the hearing, not politics or myths about sexual assault.
    Do not rush these hearings. Doing so would not only signal that sexual assault accusations are not important — hastily appraising this situation would very likely lead to facts being overlooked that are necessary for the Senate and the public to evaluate. That the committee plans to hold a hearing this coming Monday is discouraging. Simply put, a week’s preparation is not enough time for meaningful inquiry into very serious charges.

    Finally, refer to Christine Blasey Ford by her name. She was once anonymous, but no longer is. Dr. Blasey is not simply “Judge Kavanaugh’s accuser.” Dr. Blasey is a human being with a life of her own. She deserves the respect of being addressed and treated as a whole person.

    Process is important, but it cannot erase the difficulty of testifying on national television about the sexual assault that Dr. Blasey says occurred when she was 15 years old. Nor will it negate the fact that as she sits before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Dr. Blasey will be outresourced. Encouraging letters from friends and strangers may help, but she cannot match the organized support that Judge Kavanaugh has. Since Dr. Blasey and Judge Kavanaugh have the same obligation to present the truth, this imbalance may not seem fair.

    But, as Judge Kavanaugh stands to gain the lifetime privilege of serving on the country’s highest court, he has the burden of persuasion. And that is only fair.
    In 1991, the phrase “they just don’t get it” became a popular way of describing senators’ reaction to sexual violence. With years of hindsight, mounds of evidence of the prevalence and harm that sexual violence causes individuals and our institutions, as well as a Senate with more women than ever, “not getting it” isn’t an option for our elected representatives. In 2018, our senators must get it right.
    Anita Hill is university professor of Social Policy, Law, and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass.


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