Friday, September 21, 2018

BAUAW NEWSLETTER, FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 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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39 Mesa Street, Suite 110
The Presidio
San FranciscoCA  94129

Add us to your address book


UNSUBSCRIBE  |  MANAGE PREFERENCES



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Transform the Justice System



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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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I've Been Away Now for a Full Year
By Rasmea Odeh


Today is the one-year anniversary of my deportation, and I miss you all very much. I miss the colorfulness of my life with you, and the value that you added to it! My life now is as grey as everything else in Jordan, but it would be worse without the legacy of struggle that we built together. Our wonderful, strong relationships have deep roots that continue to grow, and these lovely memories accompany me every day, especially on the difficult ones.

This summer was busy and full, despite the fact that I did not have a regular work schedule. When people ask me how my day looks, I do not have an answer! Each day is different than the previous one, and it is extremely difficult to retain my commitment to order. I have never lived a life of such spontaneity. Others cannot understand this! To release this pressure, I go to the gym at least twice a week. Caring for my health and body reenergizes me!
Jordan links Palestine with all the other countries in the region, which causes a buzz here, especially during the summer, so on many days, I received visitors who were in transit to or from Palestine, as well as many from the U.S.

Some of these were already in my schedule, but I enjoyed offering space to those who were not, especially the young people, the oxygen of life and the instrument of change! I am eager to communicate with them and give them some of my time. (Coincidentally, I will be hanging out with two wonderful young Palestinian women from the U.S. today!)

Additionally, I am attempting to build a wide network of relationships with different segments of the citizenry, and restoring connections with old friends. Building and maintaining these relationships takes time and continuous effort, while I also keep up my activism through my travels and my writing.

My dear friends and supporters, I have already told you that you are my chosen family. This is not meant as a courtesy; it is a fact. You are an inseparable part of me—the blood that ran through my veins and the oxygen that kept me alive while the U.S. government tried to suffocate me! You embraced me and stood by my side at the toughest of times.

I spent more time with you than with my family. We combined joy with sadness, laughter and cheer with crying, precautions with courage, marches and demonstrations with strategic planning—all on the path to freedom, justice, and equality!

Lately, I have been pausing to recall the memories, both sweet and bitter, of my case, which persist in my heart and soul. They mean so much to me. I continue to follow your struggle in the U.S., as you, no doubt, follow my Palestinian people's struggle here in the Arab World; and I continue to see the blossoming of our collective uprising against racism, exploitation, and injustice in the U.S., Palestine, and all across the world!

Our challenges are difficult, but we must elevate our will to struggle, and our determination to succeed, so that our tree of resistance is better able to withstand the storms that we face these days!

Before I close, I want to let you know that you are all, as individuals and collectively, valued treasures in my life; you are like bright full moons illuminating my darkest nights in the desert!
The power of your support flows in me despite my exile and deportation. I know that we will continue to make new memories together while accomplishing the goal of making life better for us all. I met you along my Palestinian life's journey on the path of social, political and national resistance, and you have helped me appreciate and value it.

Our future will be full of sunshine, happiness, and love. We will draw strength from each other, because "that which does not kill me will strengthen me," and I add, "…will also provide me with courage, confidence, and steadfastness.

Even with the pain that was inflicted on me by the unjust deportation that turned my life upside down and forced me to re-arrange my entire life, I will never be discouraged or disillusioned! As I have already said so many times, I will continue my organizing wherever I land!

And so on this occasion, I want to repeat a piece of the poem I read in Arabic at my farewell event last year:

لن أدع الابعاد يكسرني
 ولا المسافات تعزلني
دروس الثورة علمتني
بأن حبوب القمح
إذا جفت
تملأ سنابلها الوديان

I will not let the deportation break me

Nor distance isolate me

The lessons of the revolution taught me

That if wheat grain dries

It fills the valleys with stalks
   

I miss and love you all very much.


Rasmea Odeh


September 19, 2018


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GIVE ONLINE by clicking on the "Donate" button at the top right hand panel of this page!

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c/o USPCN
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Thank you for your support!




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Court: Evidence To Free Mumia, To Be Continued...
Rachel Wolkenstein, lawyer for Mumia, reports on the August 30th hearing, 2018
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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) Brooklyn Diocese Is Part of $27.5 Million Settlement in 4 Sex Abuse Cases
    By Sharon Otterman, September 18, 2018
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/18/nyregion/catholic-church-sex-abuse-settlement-brooklyn.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fnyregion&action=click&contentCollection=nyregion&region=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=2&pgtype=sectionfront

    Some of the abuse committed against the four children occurred inside St. Lucy's-St. Patrick's Church in Brooklyn, as well as in an apartment in the old schoolhouse behind the church.


    Four men who were repeatedly sexually abused as children by a religion teacher at a Roman Catholic church reached a $27.5 million settlement with the Diocese of Brooklyn and a local after-school program on Tuesday, in one of the largest settlements ever awarded to individual victims of abuse within the church.
    The victims were repeatedly abused by Angelo Serrano, 67, who taught catechism classes and helped organize the religious education programs at St. Lucy's-St. Patrick's Church, in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn. The abuse occurred inside the church, in Mr. Serrano's apartment located in an old schoolhouse behind the church and at the affiliated after-school program, lawyers for the victims said.
    The settlement comes amid a flurry of investigations — including a New York State civil investigation — and disclosures of sex abuse within the Catholic Church that have led to mounting pressure on Pope Francis to take action against bishops and cardinals for their role in the abuse crisis.
    The sexual assaults in Brooklyn took place between 2003 and 2009, the lawyers said, when the boys were between the ages of 8 and 12.

    One of the boys reported the abuse to his mother, who contacted the police. Mr. Serrano was arrested in September 2009, and pleaded guilty two years later to first-degree sexual conduct charges; he is serving a 15-year sentence at the Fishkill Correctional Facility.
    Seeking punitive damages from the diocese, two of the victims filed a lawsuit in 2013, and the other two victims later brought lawsuits as well. The pastors at the church during the time the abuse occurred, the Rev. Stephen P. Lynch and the Rev. Frank Shannon, were named as co-defendants.
    In fighting the idea that they should be held responsible for the abuse, the Diocese of Brooklyn argued that Mr. Serrano was a church volunteer, not a diocesan employee. The diocese also disputed that the abuse took place on church grounds, arguing that abuse in Mr. Serrano's apartment was not its legal responsibility.
    But lawyers for the victims pointed out that Mr. Serrano received a stipend from the church and had a desk on church property.
    A Brooklyn judge sided with the victims, finding that clear warning signs that Mr. Serrano was abusing the children were ignored by parish workers and priests and not reported.

    "The record is clear that Lynch and Shannon had knowledge that for years Serrano often had several boys, including plaintiff, sleep over at his apartment," Justice Loren Baily-Schiffman of Kings County Supreme Court wrote in her 2017 order dismissing the church's motion for summary judgment of the case. "In fact, both Lynch and Shannon testified that they visited Serrano on numerous occasions when young boys were present."
    In a deposition, Father Lynch testified that he saw Mr. Serrano kiss an 8- or 9-year-old boy on the mouth and inappropriately embrace the boy.
    A church secretary, Beatrice Ponnelle, who shared an office with Mr. Serrano, also testified about questionable behavior. She said that although the church had a rule that children were not allowed to be left alone in the office with a staff member, boys as young as 7 or 8 would come into the office to do their homework while sitting on Mr. Serrano's lap. When she left for the day, he would be the only adult in the office with the boys, Justice Baily-Schiffman wrote.
    Despite Mr. Serrano's position as a religious educator — with Mr. Serrano at the church nearly every day between 1997 and 2009, volunteering at the summer camp, and getting keys to the church and rectory — no records were kept regarding him or his employment history at the church, the judge wrote.
    With the case set for trial, the Diocese of Brooklyn agreed to settle. But in a statement released on Tuesday, the diocese still seemed to minimize its role in allowing the abuse.
    "The diocese and another defendant have settled these lawsuits brought by the four claimants who were sexually abused by Angelo Serrano at his private apartment many years ago," the statement said. "Mr. Serrano was a volunteer worker at a local parish; he was not clergy or an employee of the diocese or parish."
    The statement added that for three of the claimants, "another defendant" would be contributing "a significant portion of the settlement." A spokeswoman for the diocese said that the Dorothy Bennett Mercy Center, a local after-school program based next to the church in Clinton Hill, had agreed to pay about one-third of the total settlement.

    The spokeswoman, Adriana Rodriguez, did not address whether Father Shannon and Father Lynch were punished for failing to report signs of abuse.
    In all, each of the four victims will receive $6,875,000, the lawyers said, sharing an email with the diocese's lawyer confirming the settlement amount. The note indicated that the diocese would confer with its insurers regarding how the settlement would be paid.
    The largest previous individual settlement to an abuse victim in the Catholic Church is believed to be in 2007, when two victims of a lay music minister in the Rockville Centre diocese collected a total of $11,450,000, or $5.725 million each, according to BishopAccountability.org, which tracks clergy sexual abuse cases. The lawyers for the Brooklyn victims said they believed this was a record settlement to individuals for sex abuse in the Catholic Church in this country.
    The victims, who are now between the ages of 19 and 21, have requested that their identities be withheld.
    "These were boys who were abused in second grade through sixth grade, for years for some of them," said Ben Rubinowitz, another lawyer for the victims. "The egregious nature of the conduct is the reason that the church paid what they did."
    The Brooklyn diocese, which includes Queens, is already in the process of settling hundreds of older abuse cases where the victims can no longer sue because of the statute of limitations.
    Like many dioceses, the Brooklyn diocese has confronted waves of parish mergers and closures as the number of parishioners has shrunk. St. Lucy's-St. Patrick's parish was itself the result of a merger of parishes in the 1970s because of dwindling attendance. In 2010, the diocese announced that the church would be shuttered in another wave of parish closings.

    In a lengthy article by The New York Times about the struggling parishpublished in 2004, Mr. Serrano appears as a "raspy-voiced pastoral assistant" who took phone calls, promising one woman he would help her find her lease so she could avoid eviction. He calmly counseled another caller who was in a psychiatric ward, feeling desperate.
    "Suicide is not an option," he told her, dropping his gruff demeanor. "Pray to St. Jude, the patron of the impossible."
    "Mr. Serrano can identify with her," the story reported then, five years before his arrest. "He has struggled with depression. So far, he is winning. But, he admitted, this year would be hard. Very hard. He was talking about spending Christmas alone this year."
    Since June 2017, 474 victims in Brooklyn have applied for settlements through the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program; 374 of those cases have so far been settled, the program said. In all, six dioceses in the state are running similar programs. The Brooklyn diocese took out a loan to pay for the millions required to cover those settlements, which generally amount to less than $500,000 each.
    The settlement to the four victims comes after an extraordinary grand jury report in Pennsylvania detailing the abuse of more than 1,000 children by hundreds of priests over decades.
    "This is an extremely large settlement, and the size of the settlement has to be an indication of the severity of the abuse, and also of the pressure that the Catholic Church is under due to all the developments that are happening," said Terry McKiernan, co-director and president of BishopAccountability.org.

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    2)  Why Sexual Assault Memories Stick
    Christine Blasey Ford says she has a vivid memory of an attack that took place when she was 15. That makes sense.
    "...alcohol does not create violent sexual impulses so much as it unleashes or magnifies pre-existing ones. And second, a sexual assault in which Brett Kavanaugh put his hand over a girl's mouth to silence her would be in a far different category from a dumb but not character-revealing prank like shoplifting cigarettes."
    By Richard A. Friedman, September 19, 2018
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/19/opinion/kavanaugh-christine-ford-sexual-assault.html

    Memories formed under the influence of intense emotion are indelible in a way that routine memories are not.


    As a psychiatrist I know something about how memory works. Neuroscience research tells us that memories formed under the influence of intense emotion — such as the feelings that accompany a sexual assault — are indelible in the way that memories of a routine day are not.
    That's why it's credible that Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused Judge Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump's Supreme Court nominee, of sexually assaulting her when they were both teenagers, has a vivid recollection of the alleged long-ago event. 
    "I thought he might inadvertently kill me," she told The Washington Post in a recent interview. "He was trying to attack me and remove my clothing."
    Judge Kavanaugh has vigorously denied the charges, leading to a public debate about whether Dr. Blasey's story is true. Her lawyers say she wants the F.B.I. to investigate before she agrees to testify before the Senate. If and when she does testify, you can bet that Republican senators will try to undermine her explosive claim on the basis that the memory of an event that occurred 36 years ago must be unreliable because it happened in the distant past. If she does not testify, some of her critics will undoubtedly argue that the time that's passed is reason to doubt her recollection. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    The reason has to do with the way memories are encoded when a person is experiencing intense emotions. When people are assaulted, for example, they experience a surge of norepinephrine, a stress hormone that is a relative of adrenaline. 
    The role of norepinephrine in the enhancement of memory was demonstrated by a 1994 study in which researchers randomly gave subjects either propranolol, a drug that blocks the effect of norepinephrine, or a placebo just before they heard either an emotionally arousing story or a neutral one. Then they tested subjects' memories of both stories a week later and found that propranolol selectively impaired recall of the emotionally arousing story but not the neutral story. The clear implication of this study is that emotion raises norepinephrine, which then strengthens memory.
    That is why you can easily forget where you put your smartphone or what you had for dinner last night or last year. But you will almost never forget who raped you, whether it happened yesterday — or 36 years ago. There's very little chance that you are, as some senators suggest Dr. Blasey is, "mixed up" or "confused."
    It is also important to note that what Dr. Blasey is describing in her report of sexual assault by Judge Kavanaugh is not a so-called recovered memory— one that a person believes he has recalled after having suppressed it for many years. Quite the opposite: It is a traumatic memory that she's been unable to forget. 
    In the interview with The Post she said the assault "derailed me substantially for four or five years," and had caused anxiety for years after that. Indeed, her therapist's notes reflect that, in a 2012 session, she described an attack by students at an "elitist boys' school" (Judge Kavanaugh attended a Georgetown prep school) who went on to become "highly respected and high-ranking members of society."

    Some commentators don't dispute Dr. Blasey's veracity. Instead, they deem an assault as described by Dr. Blasey as irrelevant to Judge Kavanaugh's fitness to serve on the Supreme Court because he would have been just 17 years old and drunk at the time. We all know that teenagers are notoriously impulsive and should be forgiven for doing things like that, right?
    Wrong. Sexual assault cannot be easily dismissed as youthful indiscretion or the product of alcoholic intoxication. First, alcohol does not create violent sexual impulses so much as it unleashes or magnifies pre-existing ones. And second, a sexual assault in which Brett Kavanaugh put his hand over a girl's mouth to silence her would be in a far different category from a dumb but not character-revealing prank like shoplifting cigarettes. Teenagers are notorious risk-takers because, in part, the reward circuit of the brain develops long before the prefrontal cortex, the seat of reasoning and control. But that doesn't mean they have no sense of right or wrong or that they are hard-wired to violate the rights of others.
    Some are saying that Dr. Blasey's accusation, even if true, is just one ancient example of admittedly egregious behavior in an otherwise upstanding person who, as President Trump attests, "never had even a little blemish on his record."
    Since teenagers change so much, these people say, bad behavior then isn't necessarily predictive of adult behavior. Sure, but why take the risk for someone who will have so much power? Dr. Blasey's accusation is credible and deserves a full investigation.

    Richard A. Friedman is a professor of clinical psychiatry and the director of the psychopharmacology clinic at the Weill Cornell Medical College, and a contributing opinion writer. 

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    3)  Inside Italy's Shadow Economy
    Within a distressed labor market, thousands of low-paid home workers create luxury garments without contracts or insurance.
    By Elizabeth Paton and Milena Lazazzera, September 20, 2018
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/20/fashion/italy-luxury-shadow-economy.html?action=click&module=In%20Other%20News&pgtype=Homepage&action=click&module=News&pgtype=Homepage

    A seamstress working for luxury brands in her home kitchen in Puglia, Italy.


    BARI PROVINCE, Italy — In a second-floor apartment in the southern Italian town of Santeramo in Colle, a middle-aged woman sat in a black-padded chair this summer, hard at work at her kitchen table. She stitched carefully at a sophisticated woolen coat, the sort of style that will sell for 800 to 2,000 euros ($935 to $2,340) when it arrives in stores this month as part of the fall and winter collection of MaxMara, the Italian luxury fashion brand. 
    But the woman, who asked not to be named for fear that she could lose her livelihood, receives just €1 from the factory that employs her for each meter of fabric she completes.
    "It takes me about one hour to sew one meter, so about four to five hours to complete an entire coat," said the woman, who works without a contract, or insurance, and is paid in cash on a monthly basis. "I try to do two coats per day."
    The unregulated work she completes in her apartment is outsourced to her from a local factory that also manufactures outerwear for some of the best-known names in the luxury business, including Louis Vuitton and Fendi. The most she has ever earned, she said, was €24 for an entire coat.

    Home work — working from home or a small workshop as opposed to in a factory — is a cornerstone of the fast-fashion supply chain. It is particularly prevalent in countries such as India, Bangladesh, Vietnam and China, where millions of low-paid and predominantly female home workers are some of the most unprotected in the industry, because of their irregular employment status, isolation and lack of legal recourse.
    That similar conditions exist in Italy, however, and facilitate the production of some of the most expensive wardrobe items money can buy, may shock those who see the "Made in Italy" label as a byword for sophisticated craftsmanship. 
    Increased pressure from globalization and growing competition at all levels of the market mean that the assumption implicit in the luxury promise — that part of the value of such a good is that it is made in the best conditions, by highly skilled workers, who are paid fairly — is at times put under threat.
    Though they are not exposed to what most people would consider sweatshop conditions, the homeworkers are allotted what might seem close to sweatshop wages. Italy does not have a national minimum wage, but roughly €5-7 per hour is considered an appropriate standard by many unions and consulting firms. In extremely rare cases, a highly skilled worker can earn as much as €8-10 an hour. But the homeworkers earn significantly less, regardless of whether they are involved in leatherwork, embroidery or another artisanal task.
    In Ginosa, another town in Puglia, Maria Colamita, 53, said that a decade ago, when her two children were younger, she had worked from home on wedding dresses produced by local factories, embroidering gowns with pearl paillettes and appliqués for €1.50 to €2 per hour.

    Each gown took 10 to 50 hours to complete, and Ms. Colamita said she worked 16 to 18 hours a day; she was paid only when a garment was complete.
    "I would only take breaks to take care of my children and my family members — that was it," she said, adding that she currently works as a cleaner and earns €7 per hour. "Now my children have grown up, I can take on a job where I can earn a real wage."

    Sewing thread used by home workers for some of the spring fashion collections.

    Both women said they knew at least 15 other seamstresses in their area who produced luxury fashion garments on a piece-rate basis for local factories from their homes. All live in Puglia, the rural heel of Italy's boot that combines whitewashed fishing villages and crystal clear waters beloved by tourists with one of the country's biggest manufacturing hubs.
    Few were willing to risk their livelihoods to tell their tales, because for them the flexibility and opportunity to care for their families while working was worth the meager pay and lack of protections.
    "I know I am not paid what I deserve, but salaries are very low here in Puglia and ultimately I love what I do," said another seamstress, from the attic workshop in her apartment. "I have done it all my life and couldn't do anything else."

    Although she had a factory job that paid her €5 per hour, she worked an additional three hours per day off the books from home, largely on high-quality sample garments for Italian designers at roughly €50 apiece.
    "We all accept that this is how it is," the woman said from her sewing machine, surrounded by cloth rolls and tape measures.

    Built upon the myriad small- and medium-size export-oriented manufacturing businesses that make up the backbone of Europe's fourth largest economy, the centuries-old foundations of the "Made in Italy" legend have shaken in recent years under the weight of bureaucracy, rising costs and soaring unemployment.
    Businesses in the north, where there are generally more job opportunities and higher wages, have suffered less than those in the south, which were hit hard by the boom in cheap foreign labor that lured many companies into moving production operations abroad.
    Few sectors are as reliant on the country's manufacturing cachet as the luxury trade, long a linchpin of Italy's economic growth. It is responsible for 5 percent of Italian gross domestic product, and an estimated 500,000 people were employed directly and indirectly by the luxury goods sector in Italy in 2017, according to data from a report from the University of Bocconi and Altagamma, an Italian luxury trade organization. 
    Those numbers have been bolstered by the rosy fortunes of the global luxury market, expected by Bain & Company to grow by 6 to 8 percent, to €276 to €281 billion in 2018, driven in part by the appetite for "Made in Italy" goods from established and emerging markets.

    But the alleged efforts by some luxury brands and lead suppliers to lower costs without undermining quality have taken a toll on those on those operating at the very bottom of the industry. Just how many are affected is difficult to quantify.
    According to data from Istat (the Italian National Institute of Statistics), 3.7 million workers across all sectors worked without contracts in Italy in 2015. More recently, in 2017, Istat counted 7,216 home workers, 3,647 in the manufacturing sector, operating with regular contracts. 
    However, there is no official data on those operating with irregular contracts, and no one has attempted to quantify the group for decades. In 1973, the economist Sebastiano Brusco estimated that Italy had one million contracted home workers in apparel production, with a roughly equal figure working without contracts. Few comprehensive efforts have been made to examine the numbers since.
    This New York Times investigation collected evidence of about 60 women in the Puglia region alone working from home without a regular contract in the apparel sector. Tania Toffanin, the author of "Fabbriche Invisibili," a book on the history of home working in Italy, estimated that currently there are 2,000 to 4,000 irregular home workers in apparel production.
    "The deeper down we go in the supply chain, the greater the abuse," said Deborah Lucchetti, of Abiti Puliti, the Italian arm of Clean Clothes Campaign, an anti-sweatshop advocacy group. According to Ms. Lucchetti, the fragmented structure of the global manufacturing sector, made up of thousands of medium to small, often family-owned, businesses, is a key reason that practices like unregulated home working can remain prevalent even in a first world nation like Italy.
    Plenty of Puglian factory managers stressed they adhered to union regulations, treated workers fairly and paid them a living wage. Many factory owners added that almost all luxury names — like Gucci, owned by Kering, for example, or Louis Vuitton, owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton — regularly sent staff to check on working conditions and quality standards.

    When contacted, LVMH declined to comment for this story. A spokesman for MaxMara emailed the following statement: "MaxMara considers an ethical supply chain a key component of the company's core values reflected in our business practice." 
    He added that the company was unaware of specific allegations of its suppliers using home workers, but had started an investigation this week. 
    According to Ms. Lucchetti, the fact that many Italian luxury brands outsource the bulk of manufacturing, rather than use their own factories, has created a status quo where exploitation can easily fester — especially for those out of union or brand sightlines. A large portion of brands hire a local supplier in a region, who will then negotiate contracts with factories in the area on their behalf.

    "Brands commission first lead contractors at the head of the supply chain, which then commission to sub-suppliers, which in turn shift part of the production to smaller factories under the pressure of reduced lead time and squeezed prices," Ms. Lucchetti said. "That makes it very hard for there to be sufficient transparency or accountability. We know home working exists. But it is so hidden that there will be brands that have no idea orders are being made by irregular workers outside the contracted factories."
    However, she also called these problems common knowledge, and said, "some brands must know they might be complicit."

    Certainly that is the view of Eugenio Romano, a former union lawyer who has spent the last five years representing Carla Ventura, a bankrupt factory owner of Keope Srl (formerly CRI), suing the Italian shoe luxury behemoth Tod's and Euroshoes, a company that Tod's used as a lead supplier for its Puglian footwear production. 
    Initially, in 2011, Ms. Ventura began legal proceedings against only Euroshoes, saying that consistently late payments, shrinking fee rates for orders and outstanding bills owed to her by that company were making it impossible to maintain a profitable factory and pay her workers a fair wage. A local court ruled in her favor, and ordered Euroshoes to pay the debts, which, after appealing unsuccessfully, the company did.
    Orders dried up in the wake of those legal proceedings. Eventually, in 2014, Keope went bankrupt. Now, in a second trial, which has stretched on for years without a significant ruling, Ms. Ventura has brought another action against Euroshoes, and Tod's, which she says had direct knowledge of Euroshoes' unlawful business practices. (Tod's has said it played no role in nor had any knowledge of Euroshoes' contract issues with Keope. A lawyer for Euroshoes declined to comment for this article.)
    "Part of the problem down here is that employees agree to forgo their rights in order to work," Mr. Romano said from his office in the town of Casarano, ahead of the next court hearing, scheduled for Sept. 26. 
    He spoke of the "Salento method," a well-known local phrase that means, essentially: "Be flexible, use your methods, you know how to do it down here." 
    The region of Salento has a high unemployment rate, which makes its work force vulnerable. And although brands would never officially suggest taking advantage of employees, some factory owners have told Mr. Romano that there is an underlying message to use a range of means, including underpaying employees and paying them to work at home.

    The area has long been a hub of third-party shoemakers for luxury brands including Gucci, Prada, Salvatore Ferragamo and Tod's. In 2008, Ms. Ventura entered into an exclusive agreement with Euroshoes to become a sub-supplier of shoe uppers destined for Tod's. 
    According to Ms. Ventura's lawsuit, she then became subject to consistently late payments, as well as an unexplained reduction in prices per unit from €13.48 to €10.73 per shoe upper from 2009 to 2012.
    While many local factories cut corners, including having employees work from home, Ms. Ventura said she still paid full salaries and provided national insurance. Because the contract required exclusivity, other potential manufacturing deals with rival brands including Armani and Gucci, which could have balanced the books, could not be made. 
    Production costs were no longer covered, and promises of an increased number of orders from Tod's via Euroshoes never came, according to the legal papers filed in Ms. Ventura's case.
    In 2012, orders from Tod's via Euroshoes stopped completely, one year after Ms. Ventura first took Euroshoes to court for her unpaid bills. Ms. Ventura said that eventually put Keope on the road to bankruptcy, according to legal documents. Ms. Ventura was declared insolvent in 2014.

    When asked for comment, a Tod's spokeswoman said in a statement: 
    "Keope filed a lawsuit against one of our suppliers, Euroshoes, and Tod's, to recover damages related to the alleged actions or omissions of Euroshoes. Tod's has nothing to do with the facts alleged in the case and never had a direct commercial relationship with Keope. Keope is a subcontractor of Euroshoes, and Tod's is completely extraneous to their relationship."

    The statement also said that Tod's had paid Euroshoes for all the amounts billed in a timely and regular manner, and was not responsible if Euroshoes failed to pay a subcontractor. Tod's said it insisted all suppliers perform their services in line with the law, and that the same standard be applied to subcontractors. 
    "Tod's reserves the right to defend its reputation against the libelous attempt of Keope to involve it in issues that do not concern Tod's," the spokeswoman said.
    Indeed, a report by Abiti Puliti that included an investigation by Il Tacco D'Italia, a local newspaper, into Ms. Ventura's case found that other companies in the region sewing uppers by hand had women do the work irregularly from their homes. That pay would be 70 to 90 euro cents a pair, meaning that in 12 hours a worker would earn 7 to 9 euros. 

    Home working textile jobs that are labor intensive or require skilled handiwork are not new to Italy. But many industry observers believe that the lack of a government-set national minimum wage has made it easier for many home workers to still be paid a pittance.
    Wages are generally negotiated for workers by union representatives, which vary by sector and by union. According to the Studio Rota Porta, an Italian labor consultancy, the minimum wage in the textile industry should be roughly €7.08 per hour, lower than those for other sectors including food (€8.70), construction (€8) and finance (€11.51).

    But workers who aren't members of unions operate outside the system and are vulnerable to exploitation, a source of frustration for many union representatives.
    "We do know about seamstresses working without contracts from home in Puglia, especially those that specialize in sewing appliqué, but none of them want to approach us to talk about their conditions, and the subcontracting keeps them largely invisible," said Pietro Fiorella, a representative of the CGIL, or Italian General Confederation of Labour, the country's largest national union. 
    Many of them are retired, Mr. Fiorella said, or want the flexibility of part-time work to care for family members or want to supplement their income, and are fearful of losing the additional money. While unemployment rates in Puglia recently dropped to 19.5 percent in the first quarter of 2018 from nearly 21.5 percent in the same period a year ago, jobs remain difficult to come by.
    A fellow union representative, Giordano Fumarola, pointed to another reason that garment and textile wages in this stretch of southern Italy have stayed so low for so long: the offshoring of production to Asia and Eastern Europe over the last two decades, which intensified local competition for fewer orders and forced factory owners to drive down prices. 
    In recent years, some luxury companies have started to bring production back to Puglia, Mr. Fumarola said. But he believed that power is still firmly in the hands of the brands, not suppliers already operating on wafer-thin margins. The temptation for factory owners to then use sub-suppliers or home workers, or save money by defrauding their workers or the government, was hard to resist.
    Add to that a longstanding antipathy for regulation, high instances of irregular unemployment and fragmented systems of employment protection, and the fact that nonstandard employment has been significantly liberalized by successive labor market reforms since the mid-1990s, and the result is further isolation for those working on the margins.

    A national election in March swept a new populist government to power in Italy, placing power in the hands of two parties — the Five Star Movement and the League — and a proposed "dignity decree" aims to limit the prevalence of short-term job contracts and of firms shifting jobs abroad while simplifying some fiscal rules. For now, however, legislation around a minimum wage does not appear to be on the agenda.
    Indeed, for women like the unnamed seamstress in Santeramo in Colle, working away on yet another coat at her kitchen table, reform of any sort feels a long way off. 
    Not that she really minded. She would be devastated to lose this additional income, she said, and the work allowed her to spend time with her children. 
    "What do you want me to say?" she said with a sigh, closing her eyes and raising the palms of her hands. "It is what it is. This is Italy."

    Elizabeth Paton is a reporter for the Styles section, covering the fashion and luxury sectors in Europe. Before joining The Times in 2015, she was a reporter at the Financial Times both in London and New York. 

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    4)  How Golf Digest and College Students Helped Free a Man Convicted of Murder
    By Jacey Fortin, September 20, 2018
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/20/nyregion/Valentino-Dixon-golf-digest-exonerated.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fus&action=click&contentCollection=us&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=4&pgtype=sectionfront

    Valentino Dixon on Wednesday after Erie County Court vacated a murder conviction that had kept him in prison for more than 26 years.


    There were dozens of witnesses when a gunfight broke out on a street corner in Buffalo on Aug. 10, 1991. At least three people were injured, and Torriano Jackson, 17, was killed.
    Valentino Dixon, then 21, was at the scene. Hours later, he was arrested. And in 1992, he was convicted of murder and sentenced to almost 40 years to life in prison, with no chance of parole until 2030.
    For years, Mr. Dixon fought that conviction from behind bars, insisting on his innocence. No physical evidence had ever connected him to the murder, and another man had confessed to it more than once.
    After nearly three decades and a couple of unusual twists — including a Golf Digest profile that featured his detailed drawings of golf courses — his murder conviction was vacated on Wednesday, and Mr. Dixon, 48, walked free.

    "I felt like I was in some type of dream," he said in a phone interview from a Red Lobster restaurant, where he was surrounded by friends, relatives and lawyers, and about to eat lobster for the first time.
    As he struggled to get his conviction overturned, Mr. Dixon got help from a varied cast of characters. They included journalists at Golf Digest, a new district attorney in Erie County, witnesses whose accounts were never presented at trial, a dogged team of undergraduate students at Georgetown University, and one man who had direct experience with long incarcerations: Martin Tankleff, who was imprisoned for 17 years after being wrongly convicted of murdering his parents and was released in 2007.
    In the beginning, Mr. Dixon's case was covered mostly by The Buffalo News. But it gained more widespread attention in 2012 because of Mr. Dixon's art. In prison, for hours a day, he liked to draw detailed landscapes in colored pencil. Golf courses were a frequent subject. That caught the interest of journalists at Golf Digest, and the magazine profiled Mr. Dixon.
    In 2017, a new district attorney, John Flynn, took office in Erie County and established a conviction integrity unit to investigate cases that might merit review.

    Mr. Dixon, at the Attica Correctional Facility in 2013, become known for his art while he was incarcerated for a murder he said he did not commit.

    And in 2018, a course called Prison Reform Project was offered for the first time at Georgetown University, led by the director of the university's Prisons and Justice Initiative, Marc M. Howard. Dr. Howard has known Mr. Tankleff since they attended the same preschool, and they taught the course together, with Mr. Tankleff flying to Washington from his home on Long Island to serve as an adjunct professor once a week.

    In an interview on Wednesday, Mr. Tankleff said he had never heard of an undergraduate class like this one. "This is not a course about make-believe cases," he said. "These are real people, real lives, real-world implications."
    With several cases to choose from, three students chose Mr. Dixon's case and gathered evidence. They tracked down witnesses, pored over documents, called Mr. Dixon on the phone several times a week and visited him in prison. Eventually, they were convinced that he was telling the truth, and they made a short documentary on the subject.
    Their work helped Donald M. Thompson, a lawyer for Mr. Dixon, make his case to the district attorney's office. In an interview on Wednesday, Mr. Flynn, the district attorney, said the newly discovered evidence from various witnesses attesting to Mr. Dixon's innocence was deemed credible.
    That evidence included confessions from Lamarr Scott, who has said several times that he killed Torriano Jackson, although he did once recant a confession in front of a grand jury. On Wednesday, Mr. Scott, who is in prison for an unrelated shooting, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in connection with Mr. Jackson's killing.
    Mr. Dixon said he crossed paths with Mr. Scott when both were incarcerated at Attica Correctional Facility. They were cordial, he said, but did not speak much.
    Mr. Thompson said Mr. Scott used Mr. Dixon's gun in the killing. A weapons charge against Mr. Dixon was not dropped.

    Not everyone believes that Mr. Dixon is innocent. Aaron Jackson, who was injured in the shooting that killed his brother Torriano, has argued consistently and vehemently that he saw Mr. Dixon commit the murder. Mr. Jackson could not be reached on Wednesday night, but he told WGRZ, a local television news outlet, that he was sure Mr. Dixon was guilty.
    "He's not innocent, and he wasn't tried and convicted in a kangaroo court," Mr. Jackson said. "I don't think he should ever be free."

    Mr. Dixon said he wants to cook for his family, take his children fishing and visit a golf course.

    Though Mr. Flynn ultimately concluded otherwise, he said he understood Mr. Jackson's concerns. "Valentino Dixon walked out of jail today," he said. "The true victim here is Torriano Jackson, who, unfortunately, is not getting out of the grave."
    Dr. Howard called Mr. Dixon's 1992 conviction "mind-boggling," adding that during Mr. Dixon's trial, the prosecution's witnesses were unreliable and the defense did not present witnesses at all. "And it's not like the students just took something that was at a dead end," he added. "There was a lot of momentum building, and there was a tremendous amount of interest generated by the golf angle."
    On Wednesday, two of those students returned to New York to see Mr. Dixon leave the Erie County courtroom. Ellie Goonetillake flew from England, and Julie Fragonas from France. Both have finished their undergraduate work and begun postgraduate studies in law.
    Ms. Goonetillake, 23, said the class was unlike anything she had taken before. "It was definitely the most immersive, the most challenging and most demanding course I've ever done in my life," she said. "But it all pays off today."

    Ms. Fragonas, 21, said it was draining to watch Mr. Dixon and his family members struggle during his incarceration. "But it has also been such a rewarding experience," she said. "When we saw him get out of the courtroom, it was really the best feeling."
    On Wednesday evening, Mr. Dixon was joined by his grandmother, several cousins, a few aunts, his mother, two of his three daughters and three of his six grandchildren. They had to book an entire room at the Red Lobster.
    His daughter Valentina Dixon, 27, was only a few months old when her father went to prison. She, too, has been working for years to get him released. "He would tell me we were going to get through this, and we just had to stay strong in our fight," she said. "His encouragement and his enthusiasm and his endurance pushed us to be where we are today."
    Now, Mr. Dixon has plans. He said he wanted to cook breakfast — and then lunch, and then dinner — for his mother and his grandmother on Thursday. He wanted to visit a golf course (he has never played the game) and take his children fishing at Sodus Point, N.Y.
    And then he wants to work on criminal justice reform, with a focus on his home state of New York. "I'm going to dedicate my life to fighting mass incarceration," he said.

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    5)  We Are Not the Resistance 
    Donald Trump is the one who is pushing back against the new nation that’s struggling to be born.
    By Michelle Alexander, September 21, 2018
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/21/opinion/sunday/resistance-kavanaugh-trump-protest.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage


    The resistance has once again sprung to action, this time around Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court. Even before we learned of the allegation that he sexually assaulted a teenage girl during high school, progressive and liberal forces mobilized to resist his elevation to the highest court in the land, asking people to call their members of Congress, to register their opposition.
    Since the beginning of the Trump administration, it seems there has been a new crisis roiling our nation nearly every day — a new jaw-dropping allegation of corruption, a new wave of repression at the border, another nod to white nationalism or blatant misogyny, another attack on basic civil rights, freedom of the press or truth itself. Invariably, these disturbing events are punctuated by Trump’s predictable yet repugnant Twitter rants.
    Often the battle lines are clearly drawn and blatantly partisan, as is the case with Kavanaugh’s nomination. Other times it’s less clear where “the resistance” begins and ends. What began as a viral hashtag immediately after Trump’s election has evolved into something that’s increasingly difficult to define. The defiant, boisterous marches that eclipsed Trump’s inauguration helped to inspire a wave of courageous activism, such as the spontaneous protests at airports in the wake of the Muslim ban and the demonstrations against proposed cuts to Medicaid led by disability activists. At the same time, we’ve also seen a broader, bipartisan idea of “resistance” take hold, one that seems to include everyone from establishment Democrats like Nancy Pelosi to the civil rights legend John Lewis to democratic socialists like Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to James Comey, who has spent most of his adult life as a registered Republican.
    Unlike the Tea Party, which was born after President Barack Obama’s inauguration and which spawned a proliferation of well-funded, loosely affiliated right-wing groups determined to hijack the Republican Party and push it farther to the right, the only common denominator for “the resistance” today is a commitment to resisting Donald Trump — the man, not necessarily his mission.

    Even members of Trump’s own inner circle are joining the ranks. A senior official used an anonymous Op-Ed article in this newspaper to declare himself or herself part of “the resistance inside the Trump administration.” The writer was quick to clarify that he or she was not part of the “‘resistance’ of the left.” Quite to the contrary, the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, the expansion of the military-industrial complex and, by extension, the slashing of vital social services were not only fine by him or her but a cause for celebration.
    One might argue that the big tent of “the resistance” is its greatest strength: A massive united front becomes possible when the barrier to entry is so low. If you’re revolted by Trump’s tweets and feel terrified by his access to the nuclear codes, you too can join the resistance.
    There is power in numbers, to be sure, but I’ve begun to wonder whether the downsides to “the resistance” frame outweigh the benefits. At first, I thought the question wasn’t worth entertaining because #Resist is a hashtag, nothing more. To the extent “the resistance” is an organized political force, it’s doing quite well. The rising number of progressive candidates and the promising midterm election map are testament to the power of the resistance, however it’s defined.
    But the time may have come to take the downsides more seriously. Resistance is a reactive state of mind. While it can be necessary for survival and to prevent catastrophic harm, it can also tempt us to set our sights too low and to restrict our field of vision to the next election cycle, leading us to forget our ultimate purpose and place in history.

    The disorienting nature of Trump’s presidency has already managed to obscure what should be an obvious fact: Viewed from the broad sweep of history, Donald Trump is the resistance. We are not.

    Those of us who are committed to the radical evolution of American democracy are not merely resisting an unwanted reality. To the contrary, the struggle for human freedom and dignity extends back centuries and is likely to continue for generations to come. In the words of Vincent Harding, one of the great yet lesser-known heroes of the black freedom struggle, the long, continuous yearning and reaching toward freedom flows throughout history “like a river, sometimes powerful, tumultuous, and roiling with life; at other times meandering and turgid, covered with the ice and snow of seemingly endless winters, all too often streaked and running with blood.”
    Harding was speaking about black movements for liberation in America, but the metaphor applies equally well to the global struggle for human dignity and freedom.
    The Guatemalan mother desperately fleeing poverty and violence in her home country stands at the border, young child in her arms, yearning for freedom no less than the American mother hundreds of miles away who puts her hands to the plexiglass in a prison visiting room, desperate to hug her child who sits quietly on the other side. The movements that have arisen to honor the dignity of both women — movements to end mass incarceration and mass deportation — are separate streams feeding the same river.
    Donald Trump’s election represents a surge of resistance to this rapidly swelling river, an effort to build not just a wall but a dam. A new nation is struggling to be born, a multiracial, multiethnic, multifaith, egalitarian democracy in which every life and every voice truly matters. In recent years, we’ve seen glimpses of this new nation at Standing Rock, in the streets of Ferguson, in the eyes of the Dreamers, in the voices of teenagers from Parkland and Chicago, as well as at L.G.B.T. pride celebrations, the Women’s March and the camps of Occupy Wall Street. Confederate statues are coming down as new memorials and statutes are going up in Montgomery, Ala., and beyond, honoring victims of lynching as well as the courageous souls who fought for the abolition of slavery and the end of Jim Crow. 
    For many, the election of Barack Obama to the presidency symbolized the imminent birth of this new America, and many whites feared their privileged status, identity and way of life would die in the transition. The reaction was swift and fierce. It shouldn’t have been surprising.
    As the historian Carol Anderson documented in “White Rage,” every single advance toward racial justice in this country has been met with virulent, often violent, resistance. But the 2016 election was not about only race or gender. That perfect storm had been brewing for a long time, drawing strength from many political and economic forces and gathering speed as the pace of change accelerated.

    If we pause long enough and consider where we stand in relationship to the centuries-long quest to create a truly equitable democracy, we may be able to see that the revolutionary river that brought us this far just might be the only thing that could possibly carry us to a place where we all belong.
    Every leap forward for American democracy — from slavery’s abolition to women’s suffrage to minimum-wage laws to the Civil Rights Acts to gay marriage — has been traceable to the revolutionary river, not the resistance. In fact, the whole of American history can be described as a struggle between those who truly embraced the revolutionary idea of freedom, equality and justice for all and those who resisted.
    One might wonder whether it matters, in the end, whether we consider ourselves members of the resistance or part of the revolutionary river. Can’t we be both?
    The answer, I think, is yes and no. Yes, of course, we can and must resist the horrors of the current administration — thousands of lives depend on us doing what we can to mitigate the harm to our fellow humans and the planet we share. But the mind-set of “the resistance” is slippery and dangerous. There’s a reason marchers in the black freedom struggle sang “We Shall Overcome” rather than chanting “We Shall Resist.” Their goal was to overcome a racial caste system — to end it — and to create a new nation, a Beloved Community. Similarly, those who opposed slavery didn’t view themselves as resisters; they were abolitionists.
    Today, many of us in the movements to end mass deportation and mass incarceration do not want to simply resist those systems. We aim to end them and reimagine the meaning of justice in America. By the same token, many of those who are battling climate change and building movements for economic justice understand that merely tinkering with our political and economic systems will not end poverty or avert climate disaster, nor will mere resistance to the status quo. As the saying goes, “What you resist persists.” Another world is possible, but we can’t achieve it through resistance alone.
    Michelle Alexander became a New York Times columnist in 2018. She is a civil rights lawyer and advocate, legal scholar and author of “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.”

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    6) Florence’s Floodwaters Breach Defenses at Power Plant, Prompting Shutdown
    By Kendra Pierre-Louis, September 21, 2018
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/21/climate/florences-floodwaters-breach-defenses-at-power-plant-prompting-shutdown.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage

    Water from the swollen Cape Fear River spilled over an earthen dike Thursday at the L.V. Sutton power plant.


    Duke Energy shut down a power plant in Wilmington, N.C., on Friday after a dam at the site breached, potentially spilling coal ash into the nearby Cape Fear River, the company said. 
    The Environmental Protection Agency links the substances in coal ash — including heavy metals like arsenic and lead — to nervous-system problems, reproductive issues and cancer.
    The operation that was closed, Duke’s L.V. Sutton plant, has been a growing concern since last week, when rains associated with Hurricane Florence caused a coal ash landfill at the site to erode, spilling ash onto a roadway. 
    Duke Energy said that last week’s spill released 2,000 cubic yards of ash.
    This latest release concerns the two unlined coal ash ponds on site, which contain a combined 2.1 million cubic yards of coal ash, according to a report prepared for Duke Energy this year. That amount of coal ash would fill the Houston Astrodome 1.3 times.

    Coal ash is the hazardous powdery substance that remains after burning coal. It has received increased scrutiny since 2008, when the Kingston Fossil Plant in Harriman, Tenn., spilled 5.4 million cubic yards of coal ash into the surrounding environment, triggering a cleanup that cost more than 1 billion dollars. 
    In 2014 Duke Energy’s Dan River plant in Eden, N.C., spilled 39,000 tons of coal ash into the Dan River, prompting the state to require Duke to close all of its coal ash ponds, a process that is not yet complete.
    Kendra Pierre-Louis is a reporter on the climate team. Before joining The Times in 2017, she covered science and the environment for Popular Science.

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    7) Sunrise Melodies and Tearful Reflections: Puerto Rico a Year After Maria
    By Luis Ferré-Sadurní, September 20, 2018
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/20/us/hurricane-maria-anniversary-puerto-rico.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fus&action=click&contentCollection=us&region=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=2&pgtype=sectionfront

    Alberto Carrión performed “Amanecer borincano,” a popular Puerto Rican song, on Thursday, at the exact hour that Hurricane Maria made landfall one year ago in Yabucoa.


    YABUCOA, P.R. — The morning on Thursday was quieter than it was a year ago in this small farming town on the southeast coast of Puerto Rico.
    The sound of waves crashing against the cliffs filled the air. The distinctive mating call of coquís, the native mountain frogs of the island, whistled in the trees as the sun rose and fused the Caribbean horizon with hues of orange and purple.
    Then, at 6:15 a.m., a sonorous voice rose above the morning hum:
    “I am the light of the morning
    that shines new paths, 
    that floods the mountains,
    and the peasant trails …”
    The singer, Alberto Carrión, intoned Spanish verses from a seaside cliff at exactly the same time and in the same town where Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico a year ago, on Sept. 20. Instead of the howling winds of last year, Puerto Ricans woke to the heartening lyrics of “Amanecer borincano” — “Puerto Rican Sunrise” — in a performance that was televised and live-streamed across the island to commemorate the anniversary.

    “It talks about a new sunrise in Puerto Rico and about having hope,” said Mr. Carrión, a popular Puerto Rican songwriter who was joined by a choir of students from the University of Puerto Rico. “Maria hit us hard, but we’re even stronger and we’ll overcome this.”

    The oceanside tribute was the beginning of an emotional day for Puerto Ricans a year after the most destructive hurricane in generations threw the island into months of calamity, destroying most of the power grid, sweeping away thousands of homes and claiming the lives of about 3,000 people.
    It was an especially teary-eyed day in Yabucoa, whose 30,000 residents were the first to feel the fury of Hurricane Maria. Many households here were without power for 10 months. And blue roof tarps are still a common sight in the mountain and coastal neighborhoods.
    In a rural town deep in recovery, the anniversary surfaced the emotional scars many residents still bear as they spent the day reliving the storm, counting their losses and reflecting on life after Maria.

    For Darlene Rivera, 43, that meant remembering her mother, Astrid Roldán, who died almost three months after the storm. Ms. Roldán was 70 and had diabetes, and struggled to keep her insulin cool after losing power. The public housing complex where she lived did not allow residents to have a generator in their apartments, Ms. Rivera said.
    “The desperation those days, without electricity, without water, without communication, deteriorated her health over months and it led to her heart attack,” Ms. Rivera said.
    Ms. Rivera said that President Trump’s remarks denying the official death toll on the island were especially hurtful and lacked “human sensibility,” especially in light of her mother’s fate.
    “There is no reason for my mother not to be here today,” she said.
    For Carmen Cruz and her husband, it has been a long 12 months since Hurricane Maria’s galloping 155-mile-an-hour winds blew away the couple’s wooden home in a matter of hours.
    “It was a little house, two bedrooms,” said Ms. Cruz, 54, breaking into tears. “But for me it was a castle.”
    The couple and their two daughters slept in cots at a neighbor’s house for three months after the hurricane before moving into the home of a deceased family member. The family is still wrangling with the federal government over money to rebuild their home. The generosity and the solidarity among neighbors was the only positive remnant of the storm, Ms. Cruz said.
    “We need to continue being united,” she said. “Our strength is in our union.”
    Volunteers from the mainland who have spent months in Yabucoa helping residents rebuild their homes echoed similar sentiments.
    “Resilience and grace from people — that’s what I’ve found here,” said L.B. Cook, who traveled from Mississippi as a coordinator for All Hands and Hearts — Smart Response, a volunteer group.
    Ms. Cook, who has been repairing roofs in Yabucoa since January, said volunteers fixed their 200th roof on Thursday. Her team identified another 800 homes that still need repairs.
    As principal of the vocational high school in Yabucoa, José Andino was quick to quantify his losses: 100. That’s the number of his students who left Puerto Rico after the hurricane, which ravaged the school’s campus, forcing it to close for two months.
    “Every day the school was closed I knew we were losing one student,” Mr. Andino said from his office. “This is a catastrophic event we could have never imagined.”
    Mr. Andino, 40, said that about a fourth of the 387 students who stayed had a significant decline in their grades last year — many had lost their homes, some lost family members. The hurricane also damaged seven of the 10 workshop buildings where students study trades, including carpentry, electrical wiring and culinary arts.
    “We’re not operating at 100 percent,” Mr. Andino said. “There’s just no way.”

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    8) Trump Says if Attack on Kavanaugh Accuser Was ‘as Bad as She Says,’ Charges Would Have Been Filed
    By Eileen Sullivan, September 21, 2018
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/21/us/politics/trump-kavanaugh-blasey-attack.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fus&action=click&contentCollection=us&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=7&pgtype=sectionfront

    President Trump had avoided attacking the woman who accused his Supreme Court nominee of assault, but broke that practice on Friday morning.


    WASHINGTON — President Trump directly questioned for the first time on Friday the veracity of the accusations levied by a woman who has said Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her while they were both teenagers.
    Mr. Trump said in a Twitter post that if the alleged attack “was as bad as she says,” charges would have been filed by the woman, Christine Blasey Ford, or her parents.
    He asked her to produce contemporaneous law enforcement reports “so that we can learn date, time, and place!”

    I have no doubt that, if the attack on Dr. Ford was as bad as she says, charges would have been immediately filed with local Law Enforcement Authorities by either her or her loving parents. I ask that she bring those filings forward so that we can learn date, time, and place!

    Many women are reluctant to come forward and report sexual assaults to authorities, in part because they fear they will not be believed.

    In suggesting that Dr. Blasey’s version of events from a high school party in the early 1980s lacked credibility, Mr. Trump ended his dayslong restraint from commenting on the accusations — a move that aides have feared could further complicate the confirmation process just weeks before the midterm elections.
    Questioning the credibility of a woman who says she was sexually assaulted could jeopardize the support of key Republican senators for Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination. It could also further energize female voters in the midterms who are opposed to Mr. Trump.
    Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, assured an audience of conservative Christians on Friday that Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation would go through.
    “Keep the faith. Don’t get rattled by all of this. We’re gonna plow right through it and do our job,” Mr. McConnell said at the Values Voter Summit. “In the very near future, Judge Kavanaugh will be on the United States Supreme Court.”

    Until Friday, the president’s public comments about the matter had been limited to praise for Judge Kavanaugh and blame lobbed at Democrats for slowing the judge’s Supreme Court confirmation process.
    At the time of the incident, Dr. Blasey was about 15 years old. She said she was at a small gathering of teenagers in suburban Maryland when Mr. Kavanaugh assaulted her. She said he and a friend pushed her into a bedroom, and Mr. Kavanaugh pushed her onto a bed. She said he jumped on her, groped her and tried to take off her clothes while covering her mouth with his hand to keep her from crying for help.
    Dr. Blasey has not been able to recall the date of the party where she says Mr. Kavanaugh assaulted her. He has denied the accusations. Both have said they are willing to provide sworn testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
    [Experts say long delays in reporting or a foggy recall are hallmarks of sexual assault.]
    Previously, Mr. Trump, who has been the subject of more than a dozen sexual misconduct allegations, had said he felt terribly for Judge Kavanaugh and encouraged senators to hear from both parties before they vote on the judge’s confirmation.
    Some of the president’s aides had implored Mr. Trump not to publicly attack Dr. Blasey, reminding him how important it was to the Republican Party that the judge’s confirmation go through.
    For days, Mr. Trump had shown uncharacteristic restraint and even acknowledged in a Twitter post how important this vote was for his party.
    “The Supreme Court is one of the main reasons I got elected President,” Mr. Trump said on Tuesday.
    Democrats were quick to criticize Mr. Trump for questioning Dr. Blasey.

    “This is EXACTLY why Dr. Ford didn’t want to come forward,” Senator Tammy Duckworth, Democrat of Illinois, said in a tweet.
    Senator Chris Coons, Democrat of Delaware, called Mr. Trump’s comments “unacceptable and beneath the presidency of the United States.”
    Senator Jeanne Shaheen, Democrat of New Hampshire, said the president should call for the F.B.I. to investigate if he wants to “get to the bottom” of Dr. Blasey’s account.
    The president and his aides have criticized the Democrats for waiting so long to raise the issue of Dr. Blasey’s accusation. Senator Dianne Feinstein, of California, the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, learned of Dr. Blasey’s allegations in July, but said she did not raise the issue sooner because she was respecting Dr. Blasey’s wish to remain anonymous.
    “I hope this woman is not being used by the Democrats,” Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president, said in an interview with CNN on Friday.
    The Senate had planned to vote on Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation on Sept. 20, but the Judiciary Committee agreed to delay the decision until Dr. Blasey and Judge Kavanaugh could testify.
    Dr. Blasey declined an invitation to testify on Monday, but through her lawyer, said she was open to testifying later under several conditions. She said she would be willing to speak with senators on the committee later next week as long as she is questioned by lawmakers — not outside counsel — and as long as Judge Kavanaugh is not in the hearing room while she speaks. She also asked for steps to be taken to ensure her safety — she has received death threats.

    Ms. Conway called her requests a “laundry list of demands.”
    Dr. Blasey will be meeting with the F.B.I. in San Francisco this afternoon about the online and phone death threats against her, according to her lawyer, Lisa Banks.
    Ms. Banks declined to address Mr. Trump’s tweets, or the negotiations over Dr. Blasey’s offer to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

    Jeremy W. Peters contributed reporting.

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