Monday, October 22, 2018

BAUAW NEWSLETTER, MONDAY, OTOBER 22, 2018


On the right side of the streets, in red brick, are the Chelsea Projects. Across the streets, in white stone, is the Avenue school—from kindergarten to 12th grade—costing $45,000 per year per child. The contrast is mind-blowing!

HBO Documentary Class Divide 2016 New York City.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0Z9Vgz-aEQ

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

           *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

banner image
Message to the troops: Do not collaborate with the illegal immigrant detention camps
Dear Friend.
In our new October PDF newsletter, we're again talking about the massive military-hosted immigrant detention camps decreed this summer by the Trump Administration. Just the idea of these concentration camps brings back memories of the forced relocation and incarceration of 120,000 Japanese Americans during World War II. While resistance has slowed them down, they are moving forward. Many of us thought something like that could never happen again, and yet, here we are.
We need to reach the troops with this simple challenge: Do not collaborate with the illegal immigrant detention camps. With your help, we'll spend one penny per military service member--$20,000--on a strategic outreach campaign. Our stretch goal is two cents.
Along with everything else you can do to resist this affront to humanity, please support our campaign to challenge military personnel to refuse these illegal orders. Your tax-deductible donation of $50 or $100 will make a huge difference.
Also in this issue: Army Capt. Brittany DeBarros / Shutting down recruiting center; Hoisting peace flag / Presidio 27 "mutiny" 50th anniversary events / Whistleblower Reality Winner update--"So unfair" says Trump























More info


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
*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

           *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

COURAGE TO RESIST


New "Refuse War" Shirts


We've launched a new shirt store to raise funds to support war resisters. 

In addition to the Courage to Resist logo shirts we've offered in the past, we now  have a few fun designs, including a grim reaper, a "Refuse War, Go AWOL" travel theme, and a sporty "AWOL: Support Military War Resisters" shirt.

Shirts are $25 each for small through XL, and bit more for larger sizes. Please allow 9-12 days for delivery within the United States.

50% of each shirt may qualify as a tax-deductible contribution.

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



*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

           *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*





A soldier's tale of bravery and morality





Chris Hedges interviews former combat veteran and US Army officer Spenser Rapone about bravery and morality. The second lieutenant was given an "other than honorable" discharge June 18 after an army investigation determined that he "went online to promote a socialist revolution and disparage high-ranking officers," and thereby engaged in "conduct unbecoming an officer."


https://www.rt.com/shows/on-contact/439962-combat-veteran-bravery-morality/

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*



*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

banner image
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
*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*



Transform the Justice System



*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*



*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*



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/

  


*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

A Call for a Mass Mobilization to Oppose NATO, War & Racism
Protest NATO, Washington, DC, Lafayette Park (across from the White House)
1 PM Saturday, March 30, 2019.
Additional actions will take place on Thursday April 4 at the opening of the NATO meeting

April 4, 2019, will mark the 51st anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., the internationally revered leader in struggles against racism, poverty and war.

And yet, in a grotesque desecration of Rev. King's lifelong dedication to peace, this is the date that the military leaders of the North American Treaty Organization have chosen to celebrate NATO's 70th anniversary by holding its annual summit meeting in Washington, D.C. This is a deliberate insult to Rev. King and a clear message that Black lives and the lives of non-European humanity really do not matter.   

It was exactly one year before he was murdered that Rev. King gave his famous speech opposing the U.S. war in Vietnam, calling the U.S. government "the greatest purveyor of violence in the world" and declaring that he could not be silent.

We cannot be silent either. Since its founding, the U.S.-led NATO has been the world's deadliest military alliance, causing untold suffering and devastation throughout Northern Africa, the Middle East and beyond.

Hundreds of thousands have died in U.S./NATO wars in Iraq, Libya, Somalia and Yugoslavia. Millions of refugees are now risking their lives trying to escape the carnage that these wars have brought to their homelands, while workers in the 29 NATO member-countries are told they must abandon hard-won social programs in order to meet U.S. demands for even more military spending.

Every year when NATO holds its summits, there have been massive protests: in Chicago, Wales, Warsaw, Brussels. 2019 will be no exception.

The United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC) is calling for a mass mobilization in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, March 30.  Additional actions will take place on April 4 at the opening of the NATO meeting. 

We invite you to join with us in this effort. As Rev. King taught us, "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."

No to NATO!
End All U.S. Wars at Home and Abroad!
Bring the Troops Home Now! 
No to Racism! 
The Administrative Committee of UNAC,

To add your endorsement to this call, please go here: http://www.no2nato2019.org/endorse-the-action.html



Please donate to keep UNAC strong: https://www.unacpeace.org/donate.html 

If your organization would like to join the UNAC coalition, please click here: https://www.unacpeace.org/join.html

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*


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.



*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*




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.

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*




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!

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*








*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*





"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

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


*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*


*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*


*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*


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


    *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
    *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

    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

    *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

    *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

    Working people are helping to feed the poor hungry corporations! 
    Charity for the Wealthy!

    *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

    *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*




    *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
    *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

    1) 'You Are Still Black': Charlottesville's Racial Divide Hinders Students
    By Erica L. Green and Annie Waldman, October 16, 2018
    "Today, white students make up 40 percent of Charlottesville's enrollment, and African-American students about a third. But white children are about four times as likely to be in Charlottesville's gifted program, while black students are more than four times as likely to be held back a grade and almost five times as likely to be suspended from school, according to a ProPublica/New York Times examination of newly available district and federal data."
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/16/us/charlottesville-riots-black-students-schools.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage

    Trinity Hughes, left, and Zyahna Bryant at Charlottesville High School, where they are seniors.


    CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — This article was reported and written in a collaboration with ProPublica, the nonprofit investigative journalism organization.
    Zyahna Bryant and Trinity Hughes, high school seniors, have been friends since they were 6, raised by blue-collar families in this affluent college town. They played on the same T-ball and softball teams, and were in the same church group.
    But like many African-American children in Charlottesville, Trinity lived on the south side of town and went to a predominantly black neighborhood elementary school. Zyahna lived across the train tracks, on the north side, and was zoned to a mostly white school, near the University of Virginia campus, that boasts the city's highest reading scores.
    In elementary school, Zyahna was chosen for the district's program for gifted students. Since then, she has completed more than a dozen advanced-placement and college-level courses, maintained a nearly 4.0 grade-point average, and has been a student leader and a community activist. She has her eyes set on a prestigious university like UVA.

    "I want to go somewhere where it shows how much hard work I've put in," Zyahna said.
    Trinity was not selected for the gifted program. She tried to enroll in higher-level courses and was denied. She expects to graduate this school year, but with a transcript that she says will not make her competitive for selective four-year colleges.
    "I know what I'm capable of, and what I can do," Trinity said, "but the counselors and teachers, they don't really care about that."

    For every student like Zyahna in Charlottesville's schools, there are scores like Trinity, caught in one of the widest educational disparities in the United States. Charlottesville's racial inequities mirror college towns across the country, including Berkeley, Calif., and Evanston, Ill. But they also match the wider world of education, which is grappling with racial gaps — in areas including gifted programs and school discipline — that can undercut the effort to equitably prepare students for college in a competitive economy.

    The debate over the city's statue of Robert E. Lee and the white supremacist march last year set Charlottesville apart, and spurred it to confront its Confederate past. But the city has not fully come to terms with another aspect of its Jim Crow legacy: a school system that segregates students from the time they start, and steers them into separate and unequal tracks.
    Charlottesville is "beautiful physically and aesthetically pleasing, but a very ugly-in-the-soul place," said Nikuyah Walker, who became its first black female mayor during the self-recrimination that swept the city after last year's white nationalist rallies. "No one has ever attempted to undo that, and that affects whether our children can learn here."
    Today, white students make up 40 percent of Charlottesville's enrollment, and African-American students about a third. But white children are about four times as likely to be in Charlottesville's gifted program, while black students are more than four times as likely to be held back a grade and almost five times as likely to be suspended from school, according to a ProPublica/New York Times examination of newly available district and federal data.
    Since 2005, the academic gulf between white and black students in Charlottesville has widened in nearly all subjects, including reading, writing, history and science. As of last year, half of all black students in Charlottesville could not read at grade level, compared with only a tenth of white students, according to state data. Black students in Charlottesville lag on average about three and a half grades behind their white peers in reading and math, compared with a national gap of about two grades.
    Over the decades, school board members have often brushed aside findings of racial inequality in Charlottesville schools, including a 2004 audit — commissioned by the district's first African-American superintendent — that blamed inadequate leadership and a history of racism for the persistent underachievement of its black students.
    Officials in the 4,500-student district — which spends about $16,000 per pupil, one of the highest rates in the state — instead point to socioeconomic differences. The vast majority of Charlottesville's black children qualify for free or reduced-price meals at school because of low family income.

    District leaders say they are tackling the achievement gap with initiatives such as eliminating prerequisites for advanced classes. Besides, they say, test scores are only one measure of success.

    "I'm not trying to make excuses" for the test scores of black students, said Rosa Atkins, the district's superintendent for almost 13 years, "but that's only one measure of where they are, and who they are, and their capabilities for success."
    About a third of the 25 districts with the widest achievement disparities between white and black students are in or near college towns, according to a review of data compiled by researchers at Stanford University. Affluent families in university towns invest a large proportion of their resources in their children's education, said Sean Reardon, a professor of education at Stanford.
    In such communities, "disparities in resources — between white and black students, for example — may be more consequential," he said.
    Dr. Atkins said that it is unfair to compare black students with white classmates who attended the best preschools and have traveled abroad. "The experiences that they bring into our school system are very different," she said. "When we start saying that until you start performing like white children, you have a deficit, I think that in itself is discrimination."
    Still, socioeconomics do not fully explain the gap. State exam data shows that, among Charlottesville children from low-income families, white students outperformed black students in all subjects over the past three years. The same pattern holds true for wealthier students.
    And in the past year, even the city's immigrant students who are learning English have outperformed black students on state exams in every subject.

    Dr. Atkins said that what does not show up in test scores is how far behind black children start, and how they sometimes have to acquire two years' worth of skills in just one year.
    "I dare say that our black children are performing better than our white children" when their progress is considered, she said. "That tells me that our children have resilience, tenacity and ability far superior than what we're giving them credit for."
    Among white parents, last year's rallies have fostered more frank discussions of racial inequality, said one of the parents, Guian McKee, an associate professor at the University of Virginia. "There's been a lot more openness to some of those challenging conversations," he said.
    At their predominantly black elementary school, Mr. McKee's two children participated in the gifted program, which is about three-quarters white. Such disparities, at odds with Charlottesville's reputation as a bastion of Southern progressivism, have long been a taboo topic, he said.
    "For a lot of people, it's really uncomfortable to see that even if you haven't personally done anything wrong," Mr. McKee said, "you're part of larger structures that contribute to producing poverty and inequality, including in educational outcomes."
    Jim Crow Past
    Much like its Confederate past, Charlottesville's history of school segregation weighs heavily on the present day. "I don't think the hate groups selected our community by chance," Dr. Atkins said.
    Charlottesville greeted the Supreme Court's 1954 Brown v. Board of Education desegregation decision with a firm no. In 1958, Gov. J. Lindsay Almond of Virginia ordered the city to shut down two white-serving public schools rather than integrate.
    Many white families opted for private schools, which were able to secure public funding through voucherlike tuition grants. Under pressure from the Supreme Court of Virginia, Charlottesville reopened its schools in 1959, allowing a dozen black students to attend its historically white schools.
    But the city's resistance to integration persisted. Instead of outright segregation, the white-led district established testing requirements solely for black students who tried to enroll in historically white schools. It also allowed white students who lived in attendance zones of historically black schools to transfer back to predominantly white schools. Black students who lived near mostly white schools were assigned to black schools.
    After a federal appeals court invalidated the district's attendance policies, the city relied more closely on residential zones to sort students. In 1984, Charlottesville High School ignited after its student newspaper published derogatory remarks about black students. The high school was shut downfor a day. "Seniors for White Supremacy" was painted in its parking lot.
    Two years later, the board considered redrawing school zones to bolster racial and economic equity, but worried about white flight. In the end, elementary school boundaries were largely left alone. The district pooled the city's middle school students into two schools, one serving all fifth and sixth graders, and the other serving all seventh and eighth graders. The number of white students declined about 20 percent within a decade.
    'Future of Such a Legacy Is Dire'
    Other efforts to reshape attendance zones faced resistance. In 2003, a group of predominantly black families asked to send 20 of their children to Venable Elementary School, one of the historically white schools that had once closed rather than integrate.
    Venable, which Zyahna would later attend, has the highest reading proficiency of all of the elementary schools in the city. The black families lived several blocks from Venable, and they had grown frustrated by their children's long commutes to their zoned school. But when the school board proposed reassigning the 20 children, white parents from Venable "freaked," said Dede Smith, then a board member.
    "We will NOT accept redistricting when it is done, as in this situation, sloppily and hurriedly and in a way which negatively impacts the quality of education for all students involved," read a letter from the Venable parent-teacher organization. It took a year for the board to rezone the children to Venable, according to Ms. Smith. Today, some black families are able to send their children there, but residents of a mostly black public housing complex nearby are not among them.
    "We only put our toe in the water," she said.
    The next year, in 2004, the school board hired Scottie Griffin as superintendent. She tapped a respected education association to review inequities across the district. The report, by five academics, revealed a deeply fractured school system.
    "While some members of the community might wish for an elongated period of time to ponder and debate changes, the children are in school only once and then they are gone," the audit concluded. "No city can survive by only serving one-half its constituents well. The future of such a legacy is dire."
    The auditors pushed for increasing black students' access to high-level academic programs, including gifted and advanced-placement courses.

    Kathy Galvin, a parent who is now a City Council member, responded to the audit in an internal memo to the school board, urging the board to reject the racial bias findings, which she called "unnecessary and in fact harmful," and implored members to focus on improving "our educational system for the benefit of all children."

    Today, Ms. Galvin largely stands by that position. "A 'too narrow and racially biased' focus on the schools does a disservice to the dedicated educators who have made a difference and risks misdiagnosing a complex problem, leading to ineffective solutions," she said.
    In 2005, within a year of her hiring, Dr. Griffin was pushed out. She did not respond to questions from The Times and ProPublica.
    Dr. Atkins said she has incorporated some of the audit's recommendations, such as data-driven decision-making and a reorganization of central office staff, into the district's strategic plan.
    One of the audit's central focuses was the city's gifted program, known as Quest. As white enrollment in the city's schools contracted over the years, the program tripled in size, according to an analysis by a University of Virginia researcher, largely benefiting the white families who remained.
    To black families, segregation had returned by another name.
    "Everyone wants the best for their kid, but this has been the thing that has helped drive the segregation engine," said Lisa Woolfork, an associate professor at UVA and a member of Black Lives Matter Charlottesville, whose children attend Charlottesville schools. "I have always been of the opinion that this type of internal segregation is the way to keep white people in the public schools. This is a way that white supremacy undergirds the public school system."
    In 1984, only 11 percent of Charlottesville's white students qualified as gifted, according to federal data from the UVA analysis. By 2003, according to the audit, about a third of white students qualified, the same proportion as today. White students make up more than 70 percent of the district's gifted students.
    When students are selected for Quest, they are pulled out of their regular classrooms for enrichment sessions in academics and arts with a specialized teacher in a designated classroom.

    "When people bring up Quest, we get angry," Trinity said. "We all wish we had the opportunity to have that separate creative time. It drives a gap between students from elementary school on."

    For children who read below grade level, the city offers a supplemental program called Extending the Bridges of Literacy. But the program takes place after school, and it is taught by instructors who volunteer to extend their workday for extra pay, regardless of whether they have specialized intervention training.
    Racial inequities persist into the high school's advanced-placement courses, which provide students with college credits. White students in Charlottesville are nearly six times as likely to be in advanced courses as their black peers, according to recently released federal data.
    "There is an incentive to segregate these kids," Ms. Smith said. "I don't think the schools see anything positive in an academic mixing pot because the white parents will leave."
    In the past two years, Charlottesville High administrators have introduced staff training on racial inequalities. Teachers have participated in professional development that included studying "equity-based teaching"; lessons in Charlottesville's local black history and Civil War history; and workshops on implicit bias. The school's principal also set up focus groups and surveyed high-performing black students about underrepresentation in advanced courses.
    Dr. Atkins, the school district's superintendent, has introduced other initiatives aimed at reducing the achievement gap. Besides abolishing prerequisites for advanced courses, she created a "matrix" that families could follow to map out a sequence of coursework. She has also tried to remedy the underrepresentation of minorities and girls in science electives by giving every middle schooler an opportunity to take an engineering course.

    The district, meanwhile, expanded what it calls "honors option" courses, in which students can choose to meet requirements for regular or honors credit.
    Jennifer Horne, an English teacher at Charlottesville High School, called her honors option course "the most beautiful place in the building."
    "You've got struggling readers, and kids who are way smarter than me in the same room," she said.
    Ms. Horne added that she is able to pose the "big questions," which are usually reserved for advanced courses, and identify students with untapped potential.
    Confidence Game
    With the help of a scholarship, Zyahna attended preschool through part of first grade at an elite private school. Her preparation helped her to pass an admission test for the gifted program after she entered Venable. As she got older, church members who worked in the schools advised her on the programs and classes she needed to stay on pace with her white peers.
    Zyahna felt isolated in the sea of white faces. She became an activist, founding the Black Student Union, petitioning the City Council to remove the Lee statue and speaking out at school board meetings about the achievement gap. "It has caused me to become even more of an advocate for people of color, just for my blackness, because you enter into this whole sunken place when you get into honors and A.P. courses," she said.
    Zyahna likened her high school experience to shopping because students have to scout out the best deals. "You literally have to go ask for everything yourself," she said, "and not everyone has those skills or confidence."

    Trinity said she lost that confidence as teachers repeatedly rejected her requests to enroll in higher-level courses. She tried to take Algebra II her junior year, an essential course for many colleges. Trinity had struggled early in a geometry course, but had stayed after school, sought tutoring and earned a B. She figured that she could work just as hard in Algebra II, but her geometry teacher would not allow it, Trinity said.
    The teacher declined to comment on individual students. School officials said that a student's performance in geometry is not the only factor in a teacher's recommendation for Algebra II.
    Trinity's mother, Valarie Walker, fought for Trinity to take higher-level courses, but school personnel did not "want to listen to what the black kids have to say," she said.
    "I don't think our voices were as strong as they needed to be," Ms. Walker said. "They kept saying, 'This would be better.' I think we gave up fighting."
    Tale of 2 Diplomas
    In Charlottesville's schools, the mantra is, "Graduate by any means necessary." Bring up anything else — test scores, suspension rates — and Dr. Atkins counters, "We prefer to focus on the long-term goals, and the long-term goal is graduation."
    About 88 percent of black students graduate, just under the state average for African-American students, and up from 66 percent a decade ago. They trail their white peers by about eight percentage points. The district's graduation rate, 92.6 percent, is at its highest since the segregation era, Dr. Atkins said.

    But all diplomas are not equal. About three decades ago, Virginia established a two-tier diploma track in which districts award "standard" or "advanced" diplomas based on a student's coursework. It is one of at least 14 states with this kind of approach. Three years ago, the state superintendent of public instruction proposed moving to a single-diploma system, but backed off when parents complained.
    The advanced diploma requires students to complete an additional credit in mathematics, science and history and mandates that students to take at least three years of a foreign language; for the standard diploma, learning a language is not compulsory. Starting as early as middle school, honors and accelerated courses put some students on a path to advanced high school credits. In Charlottesville, about three-quarters of white students graduate with an advanced diploma, compared with a quarter of their black peers.
    The type of diploma that students receive overwhelmingly dictates whether they enroll in two- or four-year colleges, or move on to higher education at all. In Virginia, only a tenth of students with standard diplomas enroll in a four-year college, a recent study found.
    Dr. Atkins acknowledged that some minority students may be discouraged from taking higher-level courses that could qualify them for better colleges and said that the district will remind parents to bring these rebuffs to her attention. Mayor Walker, whose son is a sophomore at Charlottesville High, said some attitudes have not changed: "There have been a lot of people who just don't believe in the potential of our kids."
    Since middle school, Trinity's goal has been to attend James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va. She has gained enough credits for an advanced diploma, but last month she learned that she would need a math class higher than Algebra II to gain admission.
    A university representative recommended she go to community college, then possibly transfer to James Madison. Michael Walsh, the university's dean of admissions, said that 99 percent of the students it accepts have gone beyond Algebra II.
    Trinity was crushed: "It made me realize I really haven't been prepared like the rest of the students to be 'college ready.'"

    Zyahna's achievements make her a prime candidate for an elite university, so she was taken aback when, as she was beginning her search, her principal encouraged her to explore community college. The principal says the context was a broad discussion with black student leaders about community college as an affordable option.
    That is not how Zyahna heard it.
    "No matter how high your scores are or how many hours you put into your work, you are still black," Zyahna said. "There's a whole system you're up against. Every small victory just cuts a hole into that system reminding you how fragile it is. But it's still there."

    *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
    *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

    2) Homelessness in New York Public Schools Is at a Record High: 114,659 Students
    By Eliza Shapiro, October 15, 2018
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/15/nyregion/homeless-students-nyc-schools-record.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fnyregion&action=click&contentCollection=nyregion&region=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=1&pgtype=sectionfront

    At P.S. 446 in Brownsville, Brooklyn, more than a quarter of the students are homeless.


    Tonight, about one out of every 10 students in New York City will sleep in a homeless shelter or in the homes of relatives. That's more children than at any other time since city records have been kept. In the morning, those same children will fan out across the city to go to school, some crossing multiple boroughs to get there.
    Last year, the number of city students in temporary housing topped 100,000 for the third consecutive year, according to state data released Monday by Advocates for Children of New York, a group that provides legal and advocacy services for needy students. 
    Those students are the most vulnerable victims of homelessness, an issue that has dogged Mayor Bill de Blasio since he took office in 2014. But as the number of homeless children continues to swell, there hasn't been a significant increase in public or private dollars spent to support these students.

    Here's a look at the issue of homelessness in the city's schools, and what is — and isn't — being done to reduce it:

    The number of school-age children who are homeless has sharply increased in the last eight years along with a rise in homelessness over all. As politicians debate policy solutions, the number of students in temporary housing has ballooned to 114,659 students as of last spring, from 69,244 children in 2010. 
    That's more homeless students in New York City than the population of Albany.

    New York City has one of the highest populations of homeless students of any big city in America. About 5 percent of students in Chicago's public schools were homeless last year, and just above 3 percent of Los Angeles' students were homeless in 2016. 
    There are about 1.1 million children in the city's public schools in total. 
    The homelessness problem has left shelters at capacity and more people sleeping on streets and subways. Close to 38,000 homeless students lived in a shelter last year, down slightly from the previous year; the rest stayed with relatives while their families looked for permanent housing. 
    And in the last school year, there were 3,097 more students in temporary housing than in the 2016-17 school year.

    "The problem of student homelessness is not going away," said Randi Levine, the policy director of Advocates for Children.

    Of New York's 1,800 schools, 144 have had the vast majority of homeless students in their classrooms over the last four years. Homeless students tend to struggle academically: In the 2015-16 school year, just 12 percent of students living in shelters passed the state math exam, and 15 percent passed English.
    In schools where at least 30 percent of students are homeless, the principals' offices often double as informal counseling rooms for desperate parents and children.

    At P.S. 446 in Brownsville, Brooklyn, where more than a quarter of the students are homeless, the principal, Meghan Dunn, described a daily race to meet the basic needs of her students. 
    "You think you've seen everything and then something happens where you're like, 'well, I never saw that coming,' then it's back to the drawing board to figure out what we can do," she said.

    Last year, Ms. Dunn said she got a call from a mother who was injured in a nearby homeless shelter and needed surgery. But when the mother was forced to find another shelter, her four children, all of whom attended P.S. 446, had to figure out a way to travel to the Bronx to apply for a new placement at the city's sole intake center for homeless families, Ms. Dunn said. 
    Ms. Dunn sent one of her social workers to the shelter to help arrange a paid taxi ride to bring the injured mother and her children across the city, but the four students still missed several days of school. That was one of many emergency situations that Ms. Dunn said she dealt with that week. 

    School districts that have long served low-income students are absorbing more homeless students each year.
    District 10 in the Bronx served the most homeless children of any of the city's 32 school districts last year. The district includes Kingsbridge International High School, where about 44 percent of students who attended the school over the last four years were homeless at one point. 
    More homeless students typically means more tardiness or absentees because of the challenges to get to school. Last year, students living in shelter missed an average of about 30 days in the school year. 
    Some students have to travel through two or more boroughs to reach school from their shelters; only about half of the city's homeless families lived in a shelter in the same borough where their youngest child attended school last year. This fall, the city started a program to move more families into shelters no farther than five miles from their youngest child's school.

    The city first earmarked $10.3 million for homeless students in 2016, and increased spending on social workers and other services for homeless students to $13.9 million last year, with the City Council pitching in about another $2 million from its own budget. For perspective, the Department of Education's total budget for the current school year is $32.3 billion. 
    The amount set aside for services pays for about 70 social workers — or roughly one social worker for every 1,660 homeless students. The funding also pays for more after-school programs and additional staff to help homeless families apply to schools. 
    In addition, the city started to send students in kindergarten through sixth grade who were living in homeless shelters to school by bus in 2016.
    But the mayor left that funding out of the city's preliminary budget for the last two years, only to plug it back in the final budget, in a process critics call the budget dance. 
    Richard A. Carranza, the New York City schools chancellor, recently said he was startled by the lack in lines of support for homeless students when he took over the country's largest public school system in the spring. 
    He found himself asking, "'Who owns that issue?'" he recalled in an August interview with The Times. "It was in three different departments," Mr. Carranza added. 
    On Sunday, Mr. Carranza said the issue of students living in temporary housing was "deeply important" to him.

    "We're investing $16 million annually, increasing the number of social workers at schools with the highest rates of students in temporary housing, and bringing this work under the Office of Community Schools to address key challenges students and families face."
    Mr. Carranza recently named one of his top deputies, Chris Caruso, to oversee the Department of Education's office of students in temporary housing.
    Though the city has struggled to contain the problem, it also has not received much help from local philanthropists. New York City is arguably the philanthropic center of the world, but the philanthropic arm of the Frankfurt, Germany-based Deutsche Bank is the only organization that has given more than $1 million to specifically support homeless students in recent years.

    *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
    *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

    3) 'Racism Should Be Stopped,' Says 9-Year-Old Accused Of Grope
    By Kathleen Culliton, October 15, 2018
    https://patch.com/new-york/ditmaspark/cornerstore-caroline-rally-be-held-flatbush-deli


    FLATBUSH, BROOKLYN — The 9-year-old boy whom a white woman called 911 to report because she mistakenly believed he had groped herwas crying when he addressed the crowds of people who gathered on an Flatbush street corner Monday evening to speak out against a mounting number of 911 calls made against innocent people of color.
    "Racism should be stopped," Jeremiah told the protesters, politicians and reporters who gathered outside Sahara Deli Market on Albemarle Road and Flatbush Avenue. 
    "Please don't do bad things."
    Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams hosted the community conversation so that residents could discuss video of the 911 call that has since gone viral and which Adams has since called a "modern-day Emmett Till moment."
    "Don't even worry about those tears," he told Jeremiah. "You are not alone."
    "It's okay to be afraid," said Jeremiah's mother. "This right here was not your fault, Jeremiah."
    His mother also took time to thank Jason Littlejohn, the man who posted the video to Facebook last Wednesday and has since sparked a public shaming against Teresa Klein, 53, or as he dubbed her, "Cornerstore Caroline."
    "I was just sexually assaulted by a child," Klein can be heard telling police. "The son grabbed my ass and she decided to yell at me."
    Klein returned Friday to the store, where a reporter convinced her to watch the deli's security footage from Wednesday evening which shows the boy's backpack brushing against Klein, the New York Timesreported. 
    "Young man," she reportedly said, "I don't know your name but I'm sorry."
    Klein declined to apologize to the boy's mother and said her 911 call was spurred by outrage, not racism, according to the New York Post
    "She could have walked away, but she didn't," Klein said. "I let my temper show ... I've been called racist before, and I'm not."
    Many people have since called for Klein's arrest, asserting that she identified herself as a police officer and broke the law, a claim Adams said the Brooklyn District Attorney's office is investigating. 
    The rising number of 911 calls on people of color who have not committed crimes — including the Park Slope woman who called police because another woman sought shelter from the rain and a Lyft passenger who reported his driver wouldn't let him listen to music — spurred state Senator Jesse Hamilton to propose such calls be considered hate crimes. 
    Hamilton proposed the legislation after a self-described Trump fan called police because State Senator Jesse Hamilton was passing out campaign fliers on Flatbush Avenue, about a mile away from the Sahara Deli Market. 
    Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte told the crowd she would pursue the legislation. 
    "I cannot imagine how traumatized this young boy is," she said. "People who misuse 911 should be penalized."

    *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
    *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

    4) California Tenants Take Rent Control Fight to the Ballot Box
    By Conor Dougherty, October 12, 2018
    "In California and elsewhere, the problem is a lack of affordable housing that has led to cramped households, longer commutes and rising homelessness. About a quarter of the nation's tenants paid more than half of their income in rent in 2016, according to the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard."
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/12/business/economy/california-rent-control-tenants.html?fallback=0&recId=1BkuhWhfMtm6ISGskRekmxN2xnC&locked=0&geoContinent=NA&geoRegion=CA&recAlloc=contextual-bandit-home-geo&geoCountry=US&blockId=midterm-elections&imp_id=938278570&action=click&module=Election%202018&pgtype=Homepage

    A rally in San Francisco by supporters of Proposition 10, a ballot initiative that would loosen California's restraints on local rent control laws.


    LOS ANGELES — From pulpits across Los Angeles, Pastor Kelvin Sauls has spent the past few months delivering sermons on the spiritual benefits of fasting. The food in the sermon is rent, and landlords need less of it. "My role is to bring a moral perspective to what we are dealing with around the housing crisis," Pastor Sauls explained.
    In addition to a Sunday lesson, this is an Election Day pitch. Pastor Sauls is part of the campaign for Proposition 10, a ballot initiative that would loosen state restraints on local rent control laws. The effort has stoked a battle that has already consumed close to $60 million in political spending, a sizable figure even in a state known for heavily funded campaigns.
    Depending on which side is talking, Proposition 10 is either a much-needed tool to help cities solve a housing crisis or a radically misguided idea that will only make things worse. Specifically, it would repeal the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, which prevents cities from applying rent control laws to single-family homes and apartments built after 1995.
    The initiative drive builds on the growing momentum of local efforts to expand tenant protections. "In the midst of the worst housing and homeless crisis that our country has ever seen, how does a bill that restricts local government's ability to address it go untouched?" asked Damien Goodmon, director of the Yes on 10 campaign, which is primarily funded by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation in Los Angeles.

    Proposition 10 has won prominent endorsements from backers including the California Democratic Party and The Los Angeles Times. But opponents have also amassed editorials and broad support, mainly from a coalition of construction unions, nonprofit housing developers and local chambers of commerce.
    Among those fighting the initiative is a relatively recent class of landlords — private equity firms like Blackstone Group, which accumulated a vast residential real estate portfolio after the housing market collapse a decade ago. Landlords warn that repealing the Costa-Hawkins law would create deep uncertainty among developers, making California's housing shortage worse by discouraging construction.
    "This is a serious problem, but the solution to that problem should not land solely on the rental housing industry," said Tom Bannon, president of the California Apartment Association, a landlords' group.
    The California fight reflects a renters' rights movement that is bubbling up in churches and community centers across the country, a semi-coordinated stand of low-income tenants against the gentrifying American city. Last month in the Roxbury section of Boston, about 300 people gathered for an afternoon assembly on how to blunt evictions and economic displacement. The event offered free child care and had organizers speaking English, Spanish and Cantonese.

    Many of these groups are affiliated with a housing and racial justice group called Right to the City Alliance, whose Homes for All campaign has organized tenants in about 50 cities. Even outside California, Homes for All members are closely following the Proposition 10 campaign.
    "We're both watching and learning from how they are building this broad-based movement," said Lisa Owens, executive director of City Life/Vida Urbana, a tenants' rights group in Boston.
    In California and elsewhere, the problem is a lack of affordable housing that has led to cramped households, longer commutes and rising homelessness. About a quarter of the nation's tenants paid more than half of their income in rent in 2016, according to the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard.

    *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
    *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

    5) 'I Could Have Killed You,' Ohio Officer Warns Two Boys With BB Gun
    By Christine Hauser, October 17, 2018
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/17/us/bb-gun-boy-police.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fus&action=click&contentCollection=us&region=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=2&pgtype=sectionfront


    An Ohio police officer, his weapon drawn, approached two boys in a Columbus neighborhood over the weekend and told them to kneel before picking up what turned out to be a BB gun lying on the sidewalk.
    What followed was not a shooting or an arrest but a lecture to two black youths, ages 11 and 13. Video of the Oct. 13 incident, which was recorded on Officer Peter Casuccio's body camera and released on Monday by the Columbus police as a "life lesson" for young people, ignited an online discussion about policing, race and gun control in the United States.
    "I could've killed you," Officer Casuccio says in the video. "I want you to think about that tonight when you go to bed. You could be gone. Everything you want to do in this life could've been over."

    Earlier in the video, he says, "I pride myself on being a pretty bad hombre, because I got to be," warning the boys, "Don't make me."

    At another point, he says: "The last thing I ever want to do is shoot an 11-year-old, man. Because your life hasn't even gotten started yet. And it could've ended. Because I wouldn't have missed."
    The Columbus Division of Police said on Twitter and Facebook that it released the video of the encounter, which took place after a 911 call, to teach young people about the realities of policing and carrying a gun.
    The national debate over policing has intensified in Ohio after the fatal police shootings of Tamir Rice, a black 12-year-old who was killed while playing with a pellet gun in Cleveland in 2014, and of Tyre King, a black 13-year-old who had a BB gun and was shot in Columbus in 2016.
    "Why is your department trying to pat themselves on the back for NOT shooting some Black kids who had a BB Gun?" one person wrote on the department's Facebook page this week. "Open Carry is LEGAL in Ohio. White people, INCLUDING WHITE CHILDREN walk around openly brandishing REAL GUNS all the time. Do you threaten them with murder?"

    Another person wrote: "I'm not from the area, but felt moved to comment when I read this story. Officer Casuccio handled this situation perfectly! I have the greatest respect for this man. Hopefully, these two youngsters have learned a very valuable lesson that may someday save their lives."

    Denise Alex-Bouzounis, a spokeswoman for the Columbus police, said on Wednesday that the body-camera video came to the department's attention after it was highlighted by The Starfish Assignment, a community organization.
    In the video, the officer brings one of the boys home and speaks to a parent "to show the good police work that our officers do every day," Ms. Alex-Bouzounis said.
    She said she was aware that the footage had attracted both positive and negative responses, but added, "Any time police do anything, they are criticized."
    "This isn't a race issue," she said. "This is just an officer and a child who made a bad decision being schooled by an officer who cared."
    Officer Casuccio, a military veteran who has been on the force as a patrol officer for four years, is assigned to the predominantly black South Linden neighborhood, where the encounter took place, she said. It began after a 911 caller warned that "this guy brandished a gun" but noted that the people involved were "two little kids," according to a recording published by CBS News.

    The department said in a statement that the officer responded around 5:30 p.m. "When he got to the scene, he discovered it was an 11-year-old boy," it said. "He was carrying a BB gun."
    A 10-minute version of the video that was published by local news outletsshows the officer getting out of his patrol vehicle with his gun drawn, telling the boys to kneel and picking up the BB gun.
    The social media post by the department, edited to about two minutes, begins with Officer Casuccio speaking to the boys, who say they are 11 and 13, as they lean against a roadside divider. Their faces have been blurred.
    The officer tells them that he received a call about "two young male blacks" who "look really young and they just flashed a gun."
    "Listen, here's the deal, O.K.?" the officer says. "You had to show somebody, because how the hell did they know you had it?"
    One boy says that he was only holding the gun. "You can't do that dude, in today's world," Officer Casuccio says. "Listen, that thing looks real, bro."
    The boys apologize. "You should be sorry, and you should be scared," the officer says. "Do you think I want to shoot an 11-year-old? Do you think I want to shoot a 13-year-old?" The boys respond, "No sir."

    "But do I look like the type of dude that will shoot somebody?" he asks, to which the boys reply, "Yes, sir."
    The officer then takes one of the boys home and tells his mother about how he drew his service weapon at the beginning of the call.
    "He could've shot you for that, you know that?" the mother tells her son.
    "Regardless of what people say about the dudes wearing this uniform … we care," Officer Casuccio says. "We legitimately care."

    *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
    *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

    6)  How Sears Helped Oppose Jim Crow
    For Black Southerners in 1900, shopping locally meant enduring indignities and implicit threats. Enter the catalog.
    By Louis Hyman, October 20, 2018
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/20/opinion/sears-catalog-jim-crow.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage

    A page from a 1908 Sears catalog. Black families could buy whatever they wanted from Sears without asking permission.


    Every year I give a lecture on the history of retail in which Sears, central to American shopping for a century, plays a starring role. On Monday, when Sears filed for bankruptcy protection, I got a little wistful — not because I was particularly attached to the company, but because of the largely unsung role of its iconic catalog in helping African-Americans evade the injustices and humiliations of the Jim Crow era.
    Historians typically date the Jim Crow era to the Mississippi Plan of 1890, which amended Mississippi's Constitution to allow the disenfranchisement of African-Americans. But the true onset of this era came earlier, and it started with shopping. In 1883, the Supreme Court voided the Civil Rights Act of 1875, which had banned discrimination in public businesses like theaters, restaurants, trains and shops. The loss of political rights, then, followed the loss of consumer rights. Jim Crow was active white resistance to black people's freedom both at the ballot box and at the local shop.
    Every time black Southerners went to a local store, they were forced to wait as white customers were served first. Serving white customers before black ones might seem a relatively small insult, but behind that racial ordering was an omnipresent threat of violence. Products in these stores reminded black shoppers that whites did not consider them deserving of human dignity: Grotesque caricatures of black faces were used as a "humorous" way to sell toothpaste, soap and nearly anything else; far more harrowing, with the rise of public "spectacle" lynching in the 1890s, black people could find the charred remains of lynching victims for sale alongside postcards commemorating the event.
    Waiting for service was not mere discrimination. It was part of a larger world of white violence.
    Then there was the matter of buying items on credit. Farmers, white and black, depended on credit to survive until the harvest. Credit came through small general stores, where the (white) shopkeeper would decide what you were allowed to buy. Black sharecroppers would often be in perpetual debt to a store, which was often owned by their landlord and employer. The credit price for goods, higher than the cash price, always managed to leave sharecroppers a little in the red even after they were paid for their crops. This debt system bound black farmers to the land in an almost feudal fashion. Adding insult to injury, black people were often even not allowed to purchase the same quality clothes as white people.

    If you were a black Southerner in 1900, finding another way to shop would have been a godsend. Enter the Sears catalog.
    The catalog, which was introduced around 1891, undid the power of the storekeeper, the landlord and, by extension, the racially marked consumerism of Jim Crow. All of a sudden, black families could buy whatever they wanted without asking permission. The Sears catalog, unlike the earlier Montgomery Ward catalog, also offered credit. With that credit, black farmers could buy the same overalls and hats as white people, and even the same guns (and farm equipment).
    Prices were lower, too. Indeed, the catalog was so successful in part because it brought low prices to the countryside. And flipping through the catalog was like strolling through a department store in Chicago. For sharecroppers who had often never have left the county in which they were born, the catalog was a window into another, freer life.
    Shopkeepers resisted this newfound freedom. They convinced their customers to burn the catalogs in public squares, and offered prizes for the most catalogs destroyed. Part of the resistance was economic, pushing back against the catalog's threat to local businesses, but the racism of Jim Crow was also at work. In an attempt to discourage whites from using the catalog, shopkeepers told them that Sears was a black company, and that was why it sold by mail — to hide its black face.
    Richard Sears and Alvah Roebuck, the company's founders, published photos to "prove" they were white. They were not anti-racist crusaders. But in an important sense, it didn't matter to black customers whether Sears itself was for or against Jim Crow. Simply by giving African-Americans equal access to consumer goods, the company doing something radical, even if it was profitable.

    This aspect of the Sears legacy is a reminder that retail is never just about buying things; it is also part of a larger system of power that seeks to define and control us. Politics and commerce are never far apart. Capitalism promised both the right to property and the right to shop. Jim Crow denied both.
    Today, it is easy to take for granted the ability to buy what you want, if you have the money. But that still is not always the case. In some ways, the freedom of the Sears catalog is echoed in how online shopping allows transgender people to buy clothes without being harassed and African-Americans to browse without being followed down the aisles. Even the conservative right to spend your own money still contains radical possibilities.
    Louis Hyman, the director of the Institute for Workplace Studies at the ILR School at Cornell, is the author of "Temp: How American Work, American Business and the American Dream Became Temporary."

    *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
    *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

    7) In Liberal San Francisco, Tech Leaders Brawl Over Tax Proposal to Aid Homeless
    By Kate Conger, October 19, 2018
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/19/technology/san-francisco-taxes-homeless.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage

    Marc Benioff, chief executive of Salesforce, who favors the measure, said in an interview: "You are either for the homeless or you're not."


    For months, technology companies in San Francisco have fought a local ballot proposition that would impose taxes on corporations to fund initiatives to help the homeless.
    But last week, that unified front crumbled when Marc Benioff, chief executive of Salesforce, the online software company that is the city's largest private employer, broke from the pack. "Homelessness is all of our responsibility," he tweeted. Then the billionaire committed $2 million to passing the tax measure and criticized his fellow tech moguls for not caring.
    Now San Francisco's tech community is in an uproar over the initiative, which is known as Proposition C and will be on the ballot on Nov. 6. Venture capitalists and companies including the online payments start-up Stripe are lobbying and donating money to defeat the tax. And Jack Dorsey, chief executive of Twitter and Square, who opposes the measure, has publicly bickered with Mr. Benioff. On Friday, Mr. Dorsey tweeted, "We need to have long term solutions in place, not quick acts to make us feel good for one moment in time."
    The vitriol among tech executives over the proposition has become "awkward," said Scott Wiener, a Democratic state senator who represents San Francisco and surrounding areas and who is against the tax. Still, he praised the companies for becoming more involved in local politics.

    The dispute over Proposition C raises the question of what responsibilities tech companies have for problems in their own backyards. Tech firms often receive blame for exacerbating inequality and driving up property values with their hefty employee pay packages, contributing to homelessness. The question of what these companies may owe their hometowns is magnified because many of them have taken advantage of local tax breaks to spur their own growth.
    The debate is playing out beyond San Francisco and Silicon Valley. In Seattle, Amazon objected in May to a city tax that would have funded services for the homeless. After intense opposition, Seattle officials scuttled it.
    In San Francisco, some tech companies, including Mr. Dorsey's Twitter, used tax breaks in 2011, which the city offered to keep them from moving away. In 2012, San Francisco also adjusted its tax code by switching from a payroll tax to a gross receipts tax, a change that favored the tech industry, which spends extravagantly to recruit top engineers.
    Many of the tech companies that are against Proposition C declined to comment on the record. Opposing a measure that is aimed at reducing homelessness is tricky for the firms, especially in a city that has the seventh-largest homeless population in the nation, behind cities such as New York and Los Angeles.
    But in public comments, Mr. Dorsey and others have argued that San Francisco officials, and not the companies, are best equipped to deal with homelessness. They have said that the city has a new mayor, London Breed, who was elected in June partly on her promise to combat the issue, and that she needs time to deliver on her campaign. Ms. Breed opposes the measure.

    "I'm down to help in any way I can, as long as the mayor has the accountability," Mr. Dorsey said in an interview. He added that he was not worried about being perceived as opposing support for the homeless, "because it feels like the right thing to do to get into the nuance and bring out more of the concerns."
    Those in favor of the new tax argue that they are not asking tech companies to come up with a strategy to save the homeless. Instead, they said, they simply want to raise taxes on the firms to fund resources. The extra money from the proposition could total $300 million a year and would effectively double the city's budget for addressing homelessness.
    "You're either for the homeless or you're not," Mr. Benioff said in an interview. "Everyone is willing to say it's a terrible problem and it's getting worse, but only so many are willing to write a check to make it better."
    Proposition C was put together by the Coalition on Homelessness, a local nonprofit group. The measure is designed to fund short-term shelters, permanent housing and mental health services for the homeless with a gross receipts tax and a payroll tax on companies above a certain size. The city estimated that nearly half of the businesses that would be affected by the tax are in tech and finance.
    Sam Lew, policy director of the Coalition on Homelessness, said the proposition was a "no-brainer" because the funding would provide housing.
    The measure qualified for the city ballot in July. Polling conducted by the opposition campaign in early September indicated that 56 percent of likely voters favored the tax, but that number decreased to 47 percent when they received opposition messaging.

    In August, an executive at Dolby Laboratories, which makes entertainment systems, sent an email to more than 30 technology companies in San Francisco about the measure, asking if they planned to take a stand on it. Other companies on the email included Salesforce, Stripe, Twitter, GitHub, Uber, Lyft, Zendesk, Slack and Yelp.

    Executives at Salesforce and Stripe said they would most likely oppose the measure, according to the emails, which were obtained by The New York Times.
    In one email, Darryl Yee, Salesforce's tax chief, said: "I grew up in SF and very much want to address the homeless problem, but the city's budget already seems pretty healthy, especially when you consider we're only a population of 800K."
    Michael Yip, Stripe's head of tax, wrote back that tech companies might make sizable charitable donations to homelessness causes instead, "in hopes that this will be enough to sway the Mayor to publicly oppose this."
    Twitter and Zendesk declined to comment. GitHub and Lyft did not return requests for comment. Yelp said it was "not active" on the issue.
    Some tech companies began giving money to the campaign to fight the tax. In September, Stripe donated $20,000 to the "No on C" effort. In an editorial in The San Francisco Chronicle that month, its general counsel, Jon Zieger, wrote that "Prop. C will likely hurt more than it helps" because there was no comprehensive plan to tackle homelessness and the extra money might go nowhere.
    Patrick Collison, Stripe's chief executive, later tweeted that the measure was "poor policy."

    In a statement on Friday, Stripe said that homelessness was complex and that "solutions require careful interventions." It added, "Anyone who claims that Prop C is a matter of being 'for the homeless or against them' is selling a facile falsehood."
    Early this month, Mayor Breed declared that she opposed the proposition, saying it was fiscally irresponsible. "I do not believe doubling what we spend on homelessness without new accountability, when we don't even spend what we have now efficiently, is good government," she said in a statement.
    Mr. Benioff said early conversations within Salesforce focused on opposing the tax since "all companies are supposed to oppose all taxes. You kind of learn that in business school." But he changed his mind after talking with his co-chief executive, Keith Block, who often encountered homeless people on his walks to work.
    "We said, you know what, I think we have to support this," Mr. Benioff said. He added that homelessness — not taxes — had become an existential threat to business in the city and that Salesforce might have to leave if the crisis continued.
    On Oct. 8, Mr. Benioff announced his $2 million commitment to passing the measure and tweeted his support for the tax.

    In response, Mr. Dorsey tweeted his opposition. Mr. Benioff then questioned Mr. Dorsey's philanthropy; Mr. Dorsey insisted that Mr. Benioff reread his arguments.

    Mr. Dorsey now plans to give $75,000 to the campaign against the tax, a Square spokesman said. The funding would help spread a more nuanced message about the ballot initiative, Mr. Dorsey said.

    Stripe has also recently donated an additional $400,000 to the campaign against the tax, according to public records. Michael Moritz, a venture capitalist at Sequoia Capital, also gave $100,000, according to public records. He did not respond to a request for comment.
    Cisco's chief executive, Chuck Robbins, spoke in support of Mr. Benioff in a statement this week, saying, "We must end the homelessness and housing crises our communities are facing." He said he was supporting a proposition to fund affordable housing in San Jose, Calif., where Cisco has its headquarters.
    In a phone call after their Twitter exchange, Mr. Benioff said, Mr. Dorsey told him that the tax in Proposition C was too high. Mr. Dorsey said he had merely pointed out the disproportionate impact that the tax would have on payment processors like Square. Mr. Benioff estimated Salesforce would pay $10 million annually for the tax; Mr. Dorsey said Square, a much smaller company, would pay $20 million.
    Mr. Benioff has since continued taking digs at other San Francisco tech leaders and their stance on Proposition C. "They didn't know they didn't like it until they realized I supported it," he said.
    Mr. Dorsey, when asked if he agreed with Mr. Benioff's characterization of their conversation, responded with a single word: "No."

    *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
    *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

    8) Julian Assange Says He's Suing Ecuador for 'Violating His Fundamental Rights'
    By Karen Zraick, October 19, 2018
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/19/world/americas/julian-assange-ecuador-lawsuit.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fworld&action=click&contentCollection=world&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=10&pgtype=sectionfront

    Julian Assange on the balcony of Ecuador's embassy in London last year. He has lived at the embassy since 2012, when he sought asylum to avoid extradition to Sweden.


    Julian Assange announced on Friday that he was suing the Ecuadorean government for "violating his fundamental rights," claiming that his longtime hosts at the country's embassy in London are limiting his contact with the outside world and censoring his speech.
    His legal team in the matter, led by the former Spanish judge Baltasar Garzón, revealed the suit at a news conference in Quito, where the lawsuit was filed. The action aims to prevent strict new rules governing Mr. Assange's visitors and online activity from taking effect.
    The policies were laid out in a nine-page memo that was published by a news site this month. (They include directives to clean his bathroom and look after his cat.)
    Mr. Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, has lived at the embassy since 2012, when he sought asylum to avoid extradition to Sweden in connection with rape accusations. That case was dropped last year, but he remained there, fearing prosecution in the United States over WikiLeaks's publishing of leaked government documents.

    In a statement, WikiLeaks asserted that pressure had mounted on Ecuador to hand over Mr. Assange to the British authorities, who could arrest him for skipping bail in 2012. Ecuador has a new president, Lenín Moreno, who is more open to engaging with the United States than his predecessor, the leftist Rafael Correa. Mr. Assange's supporters worry that this means his long stay at the embassy could come to an end.

    The new memo called on Mr. Assange to avoid speech or activities that could be considered political or could damage relations between Ecuador and other countries. And it threatened to revoke his asylum if he did not comply with the terms.
    The rules stated that he must seek permission to have visitors, and provide their social media profiles and the serial numbers of any electronic devices that they would bring with them. The memo specified that he should connect to the internet using only the embassy's wireless network, and reiterated that the embassy was not responsible for any of his communications.

    It also concerned some more personal matters, including cleaning his bathroom and caring for his cat, which he once told The New Yorker he called Michi, an Ecuadorean word for cat, or Cat-stro. (On Twitter, the animal is known as @EmbassyCat.) The memo threatened to send Michi to an animal shelter if Mr. Assange did not comply.

    Mr. Assange's cat on the balcony of the Ecuadorean embassy in London in July. Care for the cat is mentioned in new rules governing Mr. Assange's visitors and online activity.

    Noting budget cuts, the memo said that starting in December, it could no longer pay for Mr. Assange's daily expenses, including food, medical care and laundry.
    Mr. Assange, 47, was born in Australia. Ecuador gave him citizenship in January, but some Ecuadorean lawmakers have called for it to be rescinded. WikiLeaks claimed on Twitter on Thursday that the push against him was a result of American pressure, because the Ecuadorean Constitution forbids extradition.
    Efforts to reach Mr. Garzón on Friday were not successful.
    Ecuador's foreign minister, José Valencia, said that "of course we are going to respond in an appropriate manner."
    "We have the complete backing of the judiciary on this case since the protocols were adopted in accordance with international standards and the Ecuadorean law," he said in a statement. The protocols refer to how Assange is treated.
    The embassy has suspended Mr. Assange's internet access several times, citing similar concerns about Ecuador's relations with other countries. The most recent suspension began in March, after he criticized Western countries for expelling Russian diplomats in the wake of the poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter in Britain. Some of his supporters also speculated that Ecuador was reacting to Mr. Assange's criticism of the Spanish government over the arrests of Catalan separatists.
    In a statement posted online, WikiLeaks also said that the embassy had refused to allow the general counsel of Human Rights Watch, Dinah PoKempner, to visit Mr. Assange.

    After that episode, Ms. PoKempner wrote that Mr. Assange's asylum "is growing more difficult to distinguish from detention," and she called on Britain to reject extraditing Mr. Assange to the United States.
    In a sign of the closer ties between the United States and Ecuador, Mr. Moreno hosted Vice President Mike Pence in June. Democratic senators urged Mr. Pence to press Mr. Moreno on Mr. Assange, saying that WikiLeaks "continues its efforts to undermine democratic processes globally." The two did reportedly discuss the case.

    *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
    *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

    9) Trump Administration Eyes Defining Transgender Out of Existence
    By Erica L. Green, Katie Benner and Robert Pear, October 21, 2018
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/21/us/politics/transgender-trump-administration-sex-definition.html

    Protesting the Trump administration's policies toward gender in New York last year.


    WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is considering narrowly defining gender as a biological, immutable condition determined by genitalia at birth, the most drastic move yet in a governmentwide effort to roll back recognition and protections of transgender people under federal civil rights law.
    A series of decisions by the Obama administration loosened the legal concept of gender in federal programs, including in education and health care, recognizing gender largely as an individual's choice and not determined by the sex assigned at birth. The policy prompted fights over bathrooms, dormitories, single-sex programs and other arenas where gender was once seen as a simple concept. Conservatives, especially evangelical Christians, were incensed.
    Now the Department of Health and Human Services is spearheading an effort to establish a legal definition of sex under Title IX, the federal civil rights law that bans gender discrimination in education programs that receive government financial assistance, according to a memo obtained by The New York Times.
    The department argued in its memo that key government agencies needed to adopt an explicit and uniform definition of gender as determined "on a biological basis that is clear, grounded in science, objective and administrable." The agency's proposed definition would define sex as either male or female, unchangeable, and determined by the genitals that a person is born with, according to a draft reviewed by The Times. Any dispute about one's sex would have to be clarified using genetic testing.

    "Sex means a person's status as male or female based on immutable biological traits identifiable by or before birth," the department proposed in the memo, which was drafted and has been circulating since last spring. "The sex listed on a person's birth certificate, as originally issued, shall constitute definitive proof of a person's sex unless rebutted by reliable genetic evidence."
    The new definition would essentially eradicate federal recognition of the estimated 1.4 million Americans who have opted to recognize themselves — surgically or otherwise — as a gender other than the one they were born into.
    "This takes a position that what the medical community understands about their patients — what people understand about themselves — is irrelevant because the government disagrees," said Catherine E. Lhamon, who led the Education Department's Office for Civil Rights in the Obama administration and helped write transgender guidance that is being undone.
    The move would be the most significant of a series of maneuvers, large and small, to exclude the population from civil rights protections and roll back the Obama administration's more fluid recognition of gender identity. The Trump administration has sought to bar transgender people from serving in the military and has legally challenged civil rights protections for the group embedded in the nation's health care law.
    Several agencies have withdrawn Obama-era policies that recognized gender identity in schoolsprisons and homeless shelters. The administration even tried to remove questions about gender identity from a 2020 census survey and a national survey of elderly citizens.

    For the last year, health and human services has privately argued that the term "sex" was never meant to include gender identity or even homosexuality, and that the lack of clarity allowed the Obama administration to wrongfully extend civil rights protections to people who should not have them.

    Roger Severino, the director of the Office for Civil Rights at the Department of Health and Human Services, declined to answer detailed questions about the memo or his role in interagency discussions about how to revise the definition of sex under Title IX.
    But officials at the Department of Health and Human Services confirmed that their push to limit the definition of sex for the purpose of federal civil rights laws resulted from their own reading of the laws and from a court decision.
    Mr. Severino, while serving as the head of the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society at the Heritage Foundation, was among the conservatives who blanched at the Obama administration's expansion of sex to include gender identity, which he called "radical gender ideology."
    In one commentary piece, he called the policies a "culmination of a series of unilateral, and frequently lawless, administration attempts to impose a new definition of what it means to be a man or a woman on the entire nation."
    "Transgender people are frightened," said Sarah Warbelow, the legal director of the Human Rights Campaign, which presses for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. "At every step where the administration has had the choice, they've opted to turn their back on transgender people."

    The Department of Health and Human Services has called on the "Big Four" agencies that enforce some part of Title IX — the Departments of Education, Justice, Health and Human Services, and Labor — to adopt its definition in regulations that will establish uniformity in the government and increase the likelihood that courts will accept it.
    The definition is integral to two proposed rules currently under review at the White House: One from the Education Department deals with complaints of sex discrimination at schools and colleges receiving federal financial assistance; the other, from health and human services, deals with health programs and activities that receive federal funds or subsidies. Both regulations are expected to be released this fall, and would then be open for public comment, typically for 60 days. The agencies would consider the comments before issuing final rules with the force of law — both of which could include the new gender definition.
    Civil rights groups have been meeting with federal officials in recent weeks to argue against the proposed definition, which has divided career and political appointees across the administration. Some officials hope that health and human services will at least rein in the most extreme parts, such as the call for genetic testing to determine sex.
    After more than a year of discussions, health and human services is preparing to formally present the new definition to the Justice Department before the end of the year, Trump administration officials say. If the Justice Department decides that the change is legal, the new definition can be approved and enforced in Title IX statutes, and across government agencies.
    The Justice Department declined to comment on the draft health and human services proposal. The Justice Department has not yet been asked to render a formal legal opinion, according to an official there who was not authorized to speak about the process.
    But Attorney General Jeff Sessions's previous decisions on transgender protections have given civil rights advocates little hope that the department will prevent the new definition from being enforced. The proposal appears consistent with the position he took in an October 2017 memo sent to agencies clarifying that the civil rights law that prohibits job discrimination does not cover "gender identity, per se."

    Harper Jean Tobin, the policy director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, an advocacy group, called the maneuvering "an extremely aggressive legal position that is inconsistent with dozens of federal court decisions."

    Health and human services officials said they were only abiding by court orders, referring to the rulings of Judge Reed O'Connor of the Federal District Court in Fort Worth, Tex., a George W. Bush appointee who has held that "Congress did not understand 'sex' to include 'gender identity.'"
    A 2016 ruling by Judge O'Connor concerned a rule that was adopted to carry out a civil rights statute embedded in the Affordable Care Act. The provision prohibits discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability in "any health program or activity" that receives federal financial assistance.
    But in recent discussions with the administration, civil rights groups, including Lambda Legal, have pointed to other court cases. In a legal memo presented to the administration, a coalition of civil rights groups wrote, "The overwhelming majority of courts to address the question since the most relevant Supreme Court precedent in 1998 have held that antitransgender bias constitutes sex discrimination under federal laws like Title IX."
    Indeed, the health and human services proposal was prompted, in part, by pro-transgender court decisions in the last year that upheld the Obama administration's position.
    In their memo, health and human services officials wrote that "courts and plaintiffs are racing to get decisions" ahead of any rule-making, because of the lack of a stand-alone definition.
    "Courts and the previous administration took advantage of this circumstance to include gender identity and sexual orientation in a multitude of agencies, and under a multitude of laws," the memo states. Doing so "led to confusion and negative policy consequences in health care, education and other federal contexts."

    The narrower definition would be acutely felt in schools and their most visible battlegrounds: locker rooms and bathrooms.
    One of the Trump administration's first decisive policy acts was the rescission by the Education and Justice Departments of Obama-era guidelines that protected transgender students who wanted to use bathrooms that correspond to their gender identity.
    Since the guidance was rescinded, the Education Department's Office for Civil Rights has halted and dismissed discrimination cases filed by transgender students over access to school facilities. A restrictive governmentwide definition would cement the Education Department's current approach.
    But it would also raise new questions.
    The department would have to decide what documentation schools would be required to collect to determine or codify gender. Title IX applies to a number of educational experiences, such as sports and single-sex classes or programs where gender identity has come into play. The department has said it will continue to open cases where transgender students face discrimination, bullying and harassment, and investigate gender-based harassment as "unwelcome conduct based on a student's sex" or "harassing conduct based on a student's failure to conform to sex stereotypes."
    The Education Department did not respond to an inquiry about the health and human services proposal.
    Ms. Lhamon of the Obama Education Department said the proposed definition "quite simply negates the humanity of people."

    *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
    *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

    10) Three Florida Police Officers Are Sent to Prison for False Arrests
    By Christina Caron, October 19, 2018
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/19/us/florida-police-officer-false-arrests.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fus&action=click&contentCollection=us&region=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=2&pgtype=sectionfront

    Guillermo Ravelo, a former police officer in Biscayne Park, Fla., was sentenced to 27 months in prison.


    Three former Florida police officers were sentenced to prison this week for conspiring to falsely arrest people to improve the department's crime statistics — at the instruction of their police chief.
    On Thursday, Guillermo Ravelo, 37, who worked for the Police Department in Biscayne Park, a small village in Miami-Dade County, was sentenced to 27 months in prison for the conspiracy and for striking a handcuffed driver in the head during a traffic stop.
    That sentencing came two days after former Officers Charlie Dayoub, 39, and Raul Fernandez were sentenced to 12 months in prison. Both pleaded guilty in August.
    Prosecutors said the police chief, Raimundo Atesiano, 53, who has pleaded guilty in the case and awaits sentencing in November, was intent on clearing all outstanding cases, even if it meant wrongfully accusing men who hadn't committed any crimes.

    The chief has admitted that he had ordered the three officers to make false arrests.
    According to court documents, in 2013 Chief Atesiano instructed Officers Dayoub and Fernandez to falsely arrest and charge a 16-year-old, identified in court documents as "T.D.," for four unsolved burglaries — even though the officers knew that there was no evidence against the teenager. The officers fabricated four arrest affidavits that claimed an investigation revealed that T.D. had committed the burglaries, the documents said.
    Chief Atesiano also told Officers Ravelo and Dayoub to falsely arrest a man identified in court documents as "C.D." in 2013 for two burglaries, even though there was no evidence that C.D. was guilty. The following year, Chief Atesiano told Officer Ravelo to arrest and charge a man referred to as "E.B." with five vehicle burglaries, despite having no legal reason for doing so.
    A court document signed by Officer Fernandez's lawyer said Officer Fernandez "was haunted by what was happening within the Biscayne Park Police Department."
    According to the document, Chief Atesiano "was so focused on having a 100 percent clearance rate that he was enlisting his officers to make 'bad' arrests and to harass people of color who were seen anywhere within the city."
    Troubled by the unethical behavior, Officer Fernandez sent a letter to the city manager about the bad arrests, then worked with state and federal investigators, his lawyer said. He later told them that Chief Atesiano "via his underlings, would use a specific code meant to alert officers that a person of color was seen in the city and that they needed to be stopped and confronted."

    Records obtained by The Miami Herald in July also suggested that the officers were pressured to target black people.
    Since then, Biscayne Park said it had overhauled its police leadership and hired Luis Cabrera, a former Miami police officer, as chief.
    "This all happened long ago," the village's manager, Krishan Manners, told The Herald in July. "And as far as the village is concerned, we have cleaned up the Police Department and continue to strive to make it better."

    Alain Delaqueriere contributed research.

    *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
    *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

    11) A New Chapter in the Police Department's Crackdown on the Left
    By Ginia Bellafante, October 19, 2018
    "On Monday, Portland's mayor, Ted Wheeler, told local reporters that during a political demonstration in August, the police found members of an extreme-right group known as Patriot Prayer on a rooftop parking lot before a protest downtown. They were armed with rifles, the police said, but no arrests were made.
    The police argued that permits were held for all the firearms they found and that the members of the group complied with their directives."
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/19/nyregion/nypd-proud-boys-protests.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fnyregion&action=click&contentCollection=nyregion&region=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=2&pgtype=sectionfront

    Gavin McInnes, right, the founder of the Proud Boys.


    Bored presumably by the sort of establishment speakers it has often invited in the past — Steve Forbes, Jeb Bush, warriors battling the oppressions of the estate tax — the Metropolitan Republican Club presented Gavin McInnes, the founder of the far-right Proud Boys, to its members on a recent Friday night. Listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Proud Boys ("known for anti-Muslim and misogynist rhetoric," the center has written) typically attract the attention of detractors wherever they show up.
    The violence that erupted Oct. 12 between them and the protesters outside the club in Manhattan has elevated the controversy surrounding the police's response to political demonstrations. An early video that circulated on social media showed members of anti-fascist groups being attacked as a police officer stood by doing nothing. A subsequent video released by the police aimed to provide a different view. But it hardly disproved the prevailing claim that the police had administered consequences selectively.
    Initially three people, all leftist protesters, were arrested. Only after police officials received widespread criticism — from Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, among others — did they vow to seek out nine members of the Proud Boys for detention. By the end of this week, one suspected member had been arrested.

    Andrew Cuomo
    Authorities must review these videos immediately and make arrests and prosecute as appropriate. Hate cannot and will not be tolerated in New York.

    Here's a message from a Queens boy to the so-called 'proud boys' – ​NY has zero tolerance for your bs. ​https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/juliareinstein/proud-boys-gavin-mcinnes-protest 

    Members Of A Far-Right Men's Group Violently Beat Up Protesters And Weren't Arrested. New York...

    This chapter is the latest in the Police Department's long, unbroken pattern of aggression toward the left — a narrative that tells us how little has really changed since the 1960s, when law enforcement seemed to reflexively mistrust every hippie with a Sharpie and some poster board.

    After Occupy Wall Street consumed the country's attention in the fall of 2011, several scholars from institutions including Harvard, Stanford and Fordham produced a report, "Suppressing Protest: Human Rights Violations in the U.S. Response to Occupy Wall Street," on the ways the police reacted to the demonstrations fighting income inequality.
    The researchers studied thousands of news reports and hundreds of hours of video about the protests in Manhattan's Zuccotti Park. They documented egregious uses of force against peaceful protesters, violent late-night raids on quiet encampments, arbitrary rules enforcement and baseless arrests.
    As a journalist covering the movement in New York, I witnessed some of this firsthand.
    The police pursued these approaches as if the lessons of history had not suggested alternatives.
    Seven years before Occupy, the department was censured for its treatment of those who protested the Republican National Convention, which was held in New York in 2004. Demonstrators were caged in on sidewalks, and hundreds were sequestered in a dirty former bus depot, with few toilets, on the West Side for more than 24 hours.

    Former Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly later described the department's conduct as one of its "finest hours."
    In 2012, a federal judge ruled that the department's mass arrests of demonstrators were illegal. Two years later, the city wound up paying nearly $18 million in damages to settle related civil rights claims. And earlier, during the Iraq War protests in 2003, mounted police charged into groups of protesters unprovoked; civil liberties groups took notice.
    According to the police, groups like the Proud Boys — of which the department is "aware,'' according to a spokesman — and others espousing far-right ideologies are tracked by the Major Investigations Unit of its Intelligence Bureau, but it is unclear how prepared the department is to deal with virulent fanaticism. Last year, a white supremacist from Baltimore traveled to New York specifically for the purpose of killing black men; he turned himself in after fatally stabbing Timothy Caughman, 66, with a sword in Midtown Manhattan.
    In the second quarter of this year, felony assault complaints categorized as hate crimes nearly tripled over the first quarter, to 14. And during the summer, a white supremacist group known as Identify Evropa unfurled a banner in Fort Tryon Park in Upper Manhattan, calling for an end to immigration. Congressman Adriano Espaillat, a Democrat who represents the largely Dominican district, held a vigil a few days later after that rally.
    He told me that he could recall no police presence at the original event.
    Incursions from groups like Identity Evropa or the Proud Boys are a relatively new phenomenon in New York. But Portland, Ore., for example, has been trying to quiet the frequent and violent clashes between these groups and anti-fascist protesters for some time.
    There, too, the question of police bias has been intensely debated. On Monday, Portland's mayor, Ted Wheeler, told local reporters that during a political demonstration in August, the police found members of an extreme-right group known as Patriot Prayer on a rooftop parking lot before a protest downtown. They were armed with rifles, the police said, but no arrests were made.
    The police argued that permits were held for all the firearms they found and that the members of the group complied with their directives.

    And yet a city review of how the Portland police dealt with a pair of demonstrations months earlier revealed that officers viewed activists on the left as more threatening and less "mainstream'' than those on the right.
    When I asked Phil Walzak, a spokesman for New York's police department, how long the Proud Boys had been on its radar, he wrote me that when Mr. McInnes spoke at New York University last year, "he was maced I believe by counterprotesters."
    In fact, once the Metropolitan Republican Club confirmed Mr. McInnes's appearance, the Proud Boys were brought in from the fringes and handed a political legitimacy that could have easily supplied the police with a justification for how they managed things. It was not as if Kirsten Gillibrand was having drinks with masked anti-fascists at the Colony Club 20 blocks away.
    What ought to stand out for investigators is that given access to mainstream power channels, the Proud Boys did not say thank you and recede. They remained just as angry.

    *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
    *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

    12)  Right to Know Is Now the Law. Here's What That Means.
    Police officers in New York City must provide more information to members of the public they interact with, and get consent for many searches.
    By Ashley Southall, October 19, 2018
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/19/nyregion/right-to-know-act-nypd.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fnyregion&action=click&contentCollection=nyregion&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=5&pgtype=sectionfront

    The Right to Know Act was passed in 2017 in response to the uproar over the Police Department's use of stop-and-frisk.


    The New York Police Department ordered 10 million business cards that officers must hand out to people they stop on the street. The cards will include the officers' names and ranks, and are required under the new Right to Know Act.
    The law, which took effect Friday, also spells out what officers must do before searching individuals, their belongings or their homes in cases where the person is not suspected of a crime or there is probable cause to conduct a search. 
    The Right to Know Act was passed by the City Council in 2017 in response to the Police Department's aggressive use of stop-and-frisk tactics. A federal judge had ruled in 2013 that the practice was unconstitutional and unfairly discriminated against blacks and Latinos.
    The police have drastically scaled back such stops on New York streets, but proponents of the law say it will further shield civilians from harassment. Police officials say the department will fully implement the measures, though the city's largest police union maintains that the measures are an unnecessary burden.

    Here's what New Yorkers should know about the rules:

    Say an officer has a hunch that a man on the street has a concealed weapon, such as a knife or gun. The officer can ask who he is and where he is going, without having to provide any reason for the questioning. 
    But if the officer asks if the man has a weapon, or conducts a frisk, he must have an objective reason to believe that the man has committed, is committing or is about to commit a crime. For example, a radio call could have described a man wearing the same clothing.
    If there is no objective reason, the officer must tell the man why he is questioning him and get his consent to conduct a pat-down.

    To perform a search without a legal justification, police officers in the United States must gain consent that is voluntary, knowing and intelligent, and not coerced.
    But there is no consensus about what officers should say. City Councilman Antonio Reynoso, the lead sponsor of the consent component of the Right to Know law, said that ambiguity leads to confusion among civilians about their rights during police stops.

    The Right to Know law seeks to make certain that officers ask explicitly for consent for searches that require it. Crucially, the police must tell people that they can refuse a search, and that a search cannot happen without their permission. Officers must affirm that people understand what is happening.
    Police officers have to record a person giving or refusing consent on body cameras if they wear them, and by hand if they do not. (All uniformed patrol officers will be required to wear body cameras by the end of the year.) Officers also must provide interpretation if a person speaks limited English.
    The consent requirements do not apply to searches conducted with a warrant or under other exceptions to the Fourth Amendment's protections against unreasonable searches and seizures. Those include when an officer sees evidence of a crime in plain view and when an emergency requires an officer to take immediate action to save lives. 

    Police officers were already required to give business cards to people who requested them after a stop. Officers must now hand out the cards — which list the officer's name, rank and command, and the reason for the encounter — whenever they stop or search people they suspect are involved in a criminal activity who are ultimately not arrested or given a summons. 
    The police do not have to offer the cards during traffic stops, which make up a large portion of their encounters with civilians. 
    The card rule applies to stops at roadblocks and checkpoints, except for security at special events or locations that might be targets of crime. So, officers conducting bag checks at a subway station entrance do not need to hand out cards to people they stop. But if the police stop subway passengers after they have entered the station and release them, officers must offer the cards. 
    Officers assigned to cases must also offer business cards to crime victims and witnesses they interview.

    If the police do not ask for your consent to be searched, or if you are not sure the circumstances require officers to do so, you can say, "I do not consent to being searched."
    This makes your objection clear, and it could come in handy later for a legal defense. You can also ask, "Am I free to leave?" 
    Similarly, if you give consent but change your mind, you can withdraw it by saying so.
    If you are released from a stop and the police do not have a card to offer you, the law requires officers to write the information down by hand, or give it to you verbally and allow enough time to for you to take it in.

    It might help to check records of the encounter. Reports on police stops can be requested online and must be provided within 10 days. They can also be picked up the same day at Police Headquarters.
    Requests for body camera video can also be made online, and the police are required to acknowledge requests within five days and provide copies of the footage within 90 days.
    If you believe the police did not follow the law, you can file a complaintonline or by phone with the Civilian Complaint Review Board, which investigates accusations of police abuse or misconduct from members of the public.
    The coalition of groups who pushed for the Right to Know law, Communities United for Police Reform, also provides assistance to the public.

    *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
    *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

    13) 
    On the right side of the streets, in red brick, are the Chelsea Projects. Across the streets, in white stone, is the Avenue school—from kindergarten to 12th grade—costing $45,000 per year per child. The contrast is mind-blowing!

    HBO Documentary Class Divide 2016 New York City.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0Z9Vgz-aEQ

    *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

               *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

    banner image
    Message to the troops: Do not collaborate with the illegal immigrant detention camps
    Dear Friend.
    In our new October PDF newsletter, we're again talking about the massive military-hosted immigrant detention camps decreed this summer by the Trump Administration. Just the idea of these concentration camps brings back memories of the forced relocation and incarceration of 120,000 Japanese Americans during World War II. While resistance has slowed them down, they are moving forward. Many of us thought something like that could never happen again, and yet, here we are.
    We need to reach the troops with this simple challenge: Do not collaborate with the illegal immigrant detention camps. With your help, we'll spend one penny per military service member--$20,000--on a strategic outreach campaign. Our stretch goal is two cents.
    Along with everything else you can do to resist this affront to humanity, please support our campaign to challenge military personnel to refuse these illegal orders. Your tax-deductible donation of $50 or $100 will make a huge difference.
    Also in this issue: Army Capt. Brittany DeBarros / Shutting down recruiting center; Hoisting peace flag / Presidio 27 "mutiny" 50th anniversary events / Whistleblower Reality Winner update--"So unfair" says Trump























    More info


    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
    *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

               *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

    COURAGE TO RESIST


    New "Refuse War" Shirts


    We've launched a new shirt store to raise funds to support war resisters. 

    In addition to the Courage to Resist logo shirts we've offered in the past, we now  have a few fun designs, including a grim reaper, a "Refuse War, Go AWOL" travel theme, and a sporty "AWOL: Support Military War Resisters" shirt.

    Shirts are $25 each for small through XL, and bit more for larger sizes. Please allow 9-12 days for delivery within the United States.

    50% of each shirt may qualify as a tax-deductible contribution.

    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



    *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

               *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*





    A soldier's tale of bravery and morality





    Chris Hedges interviews former combat veteran and US Army officer Spenser Rapone about bravery and morality. The second lieutenant was given an "other than honorable" discharge June 18 after an army investigation determined that he "went online to promote a socialist revolution and disparage high-ranking officers," and thereby engaged in "conduct unbecoming an officer."


    https://www.rt.com/shows/on-contact/439962-combat-veteran-bravery-morality/

    *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

    *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*



    *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
    *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

    banner image
    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
    *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

    *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*


    Transform the Justice System



    *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



    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/

      

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



    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!

    *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
    *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*








    *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

    *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*





    "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

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


    *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

    *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*


    *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*


    *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*


    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


      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

      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

      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

      1) A New Chapter in the Police Department’s Crackdown on the Left
      By Ginia Bellafante, October 19, 2018
      "On Monday, Portland’s mayor, Ted Wheeler, told local reporters that during a political demonstration in August, the police found members of an extreme-right group known as Patriot Prayer on a rooftop parking lot before a protest downtown. They were armed with rifles, the police said, but no arrests were made.
      The police argued that permits were held for all the firearms they found and that the members of the group complied with their directives."
      https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/19/nyregion/nypd-proud-boys-protests.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fnyregion&action=click&contentCollection=nyregion&region=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=2&pgtype=sectionfront

      Gavin McInnes, right, the founder of the Proud Boys.


      Bored presumably by the sort of establishment speakers it has often invited in the past — Steve Forbes, Jeb Bush, warriors battling the oppressions of the estate tax — the Metropolitan Republican Club presented Gavin McInnes, the founder of the far-right Proud Boys, to its members on a recent Friday night. Listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Proud Boys (“known for anti-Muslim and misogynist rhetoric,” the center has written) typically attract the attention of detractors wherever they show up.
      The violence that erupted Oct. 12 between them and the protesters outside the club in Manhattan has elevated the controversy surrounding the police’s response to political demonstrations. An early video that circulated on social media showed members of anti-fascist groups being attacked as a police officer stood by doing nothing. A subsequent video released by the police aimed to provide a different view. But it hardly disproved the prevailing claim that the police had administered consequences selectively.
      Initially three people, all leftist protesters, were arrested. Only after police officials received widespread criticism — from Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, among others — did they vow to seek out nine members of the Proud Boys for detention. By the end of this week, one suspected member had been arrested.

      Andrew Cuomo
      Authorities must review these videos immediately and make arrests and prosecute as appropriate. Hate cannot and will not be tolerated in New York.

      Here's a message from a Queens boy to the so-called 'proud boys' – ​NY has zero tolerance for your bs. ​https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/juliareinstein/proud-boys-gavin-mcinnes-protest 

      Members Of A Far-Right Men’s Group Violently Beat Up Protesters And Weren’t Arrested. New York...

      This chapter is the latest in the Police Department’s long, unbroken pattern of aggression toward the left — a narrative that tells us how little has really changed since the 1960s, when law enforcement seemed to reflexively mistrust every hippie with a Sharpie and some poster board.

      After Occupy Wall Street consumed the country’s attention in the fall of 2011, several scholars from institutions including Harvard, Stanford and Fordham produced a report, “Suppressing Protest: Human Rights Violations in the U.S. Response to Occupy Wall Street,” on the ways the police reacted to the demonstrations fighting income inequality.
      The researchers studied thousands of news reports and hundreds of hours of video about the protests in Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park. They documented egregious uses of force against peaceful protesters, violent late-night raids on quiet encampments, arbitrary rules enforcement and baseless arrests.
      As a journalist covering the movement in New York, I witnessed some of this firsthand.
      The police pursued these approaches as if the lessons of history had not suggested alternatives.
      Seven years before Occupy, the department was censured for its treatment of those who protested the Republican National Convention, which was held in New York in 2004. Demonstrators were caged in on sidewalks, and hundreds were sequestered in a dirty former bus depot, with few toilets, on the West Side for more than 24 hours.

      Former Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly later described the department’s conduct as one of its “finest hours.”
      In 2012, a federal judge ruled that the department’s mass arrests of demonstrators were illegal. Two years later, the city wound up paying nearly $18 million in damages to settle related civil rights claims. And earlier, during the Iraq War protests in 2003, mounted police charged into groups of protesters unprovoked; civil liberties groups took notice.
      According to the police, groups like the Proud Boys — of which the department is “aware,’’ according to a spokesman — and others espousing far-right ideologies are tracked by the Major Investigations Unit of its Intelligence Bureau, but it is unclear how prepared the department is to deal with virulent fanaticism. Last year, a white supremacist from Baltimore traveled to New York specifically for the purpose of killing black men; he turned himself in after fatally stabbing Timothy Caughman, 66, with a sword in Midtown Manhattan.
      In the second quarter of this year, felony assault complaints categorized as hate crimes nearly tripled over the first quarter, to 14. And during the summer, a white supremacist group known as Identify Evropa unfurled a banner in Fort Tryon Park in Upper Manhattan, calling for an end to immigration. Congressman Adriano Espaillat, a Democrat who represents the largely Dominican district, held a vigil a few days later after that rally.
      He told me that he could recall no police presence at the original event.
      Incursions from groups like Identity Evropa or the Proud Boys are a relatively new phenomenon in New York. But Portland, Ore., for example, has been trying to quiet the frequent and violent clashes between these groups and anti-fascist protesters for some time.
      There, too, the question of police bias has been intensely debated. On Monday, Portland’s mayor, Ted Wheeler, told local reporters that during a political demonstration in August, the police found members of an extreme-right group known as Patriot Prayer on a rooftop parking lot before a protest downtown. They were armed with rifles, the police said, but no arrests were made.
      The police argued that permits were held for all the firearms they found and that the members of the group complied with their directives.

      And yet a city review of how the Portland police dealt with a pair of demonstrations months earlier revealed that officers viewed activists on the left as more threatening and less “mainstream’’ than those on the right.
      When I asked Phil Walzak, a spokesman for New York’s police department, how long the Proud Boys had been on its radar, he wrote me that when Mr. McInnes spoke at New York University last year, “he was maced I believe by counterprotesters.”
      In fact, once the Metropolitan Republican Club confirmed Mr. McInnes’s appearance, the Proud Boys were brought in from the fringes and handed a political legitimacy that could have easily supplied the police with a justification for how they managed things. It was not as if Kirsten Gillibrand was having drinks with masked anti-fascists at the Colony Club 20 blocks away.
      What ought to stand out for investigators is that given access to mainstream power channels, the Proud Boys did not say thank you and recede. They remained just as angry.

      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

      2)  Right to Know Is Now the Law. Here’s What That Means.
      Police officers in New York City must provide more information to members of the public they interact with, and get consent for many searches.
      By Ashley Southall, October 19, 2018
      https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/19/nyregion/right-to-know-act-nypd.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fnyregion&action=click&contentCollection=nyregion&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=5&pgtype=sectionfront

      The Right to Know Act was passed in 2017 in response to the uproar over the Police Department's use of stop-and-frisk.


      The New York Police Department ordered 10 million business cards that officers must hand out to people they stop on the street. The cards will include the officers’ names and ranks, and are required under the new Right to Know Act.
      The law, which took effect Friday, also spells out what officers must do before searching individuals, their belongings or their homes in cases where the person is not suspected of a crime or there is probable cause to conduct a search. 
      The Right to Know Act was passed by the City Council in 2017 in response to the Police Department’s aggressive use of stop-and-frisk tactics. A federal judge had ruled in 2013 that the practice was unconstitutional and unfairly discriminated against blacks and Latinos.
      The police have drastically scaled back such stops on New York streets, but proponents of the law say it will further shield civilians from harassment. Police officials say the department will fully implement the measures, though the city’s largest police union maintains that the measures are an unnecessary burden.

      Here’s what New Yorkers should know about the rules:

      Say an officer has a hunch that a man on the street has a concealed weapon, such as a knife or gun. The officer can ask who he is and where he is going, without having to provide any reason for the questioning. 
      But if the officer asks if the man has a weapon, or conducts a frisk, he must have an objective reason to believe that the man has committed, is committing or is about to commit a crime. For example, a radio call could have described a man wearing the same clothing.
      If there is no objective reason, the officer must tell the man why he is questioning him and get his consent to conduct a pat-down.

      To perform a search without a legal justification, police officers in the United States must gain consent that is voluntary, knowing and intelligent, and not coerced.
      But there is no consensus about what officers should say. City Councilman Antonio Reynoso, the lead sponsor of the consent component of the Right to Know law, said that ambiguity leads to confusion among civilians about their rights during police stops.

      The Right to Know law seeks to make certain that officers ask explicitly for consent for searches that require it. Crucially, the police must tell people that they can refuse a search, and that a search cannot happen without their permission. Officers must affirm that people understand what is happening.
      Police officers have to record a person giving or refusing consent on body cameras if they wear them, and by hand if they do not. (All uniformed patrol officers will be required to wear body cameras by the end of the year.) Officers also must provide interpretation if a person speaks limited English.
      The consent requirements do not apply to searches conducted with a warrant or under other exceptions to the Fourth Amendment’s protections against unreasonable searches and seizures. Those include when an officer sees evidence of a crime in plain view and when an emergency requires an officer to take immediate action to save lives. 

      Police officers were already required to give business cards to people who requested them after a stop. Officers must now hand out the cards — which list the officer’s name, rank and command, and the reason for the encounter — whenever they stop or search people they suspect are involved in a criminal activity who are ultimately not arrested or given a summons. 
      The police do not have to offer the cards during traffic stops, which make up a large portion of their encounters with civilians. 
      The card rule applies to stops at roadblocks and checkpoints, except for security at special events or locations that might be targets of crime. So, officers conducting bag checks at a subway station entrance do not need to hand out cards to people they stop. But if the police stop subway passengers after they have entered the station and release them, officers must offer the cards. 
      Officers assigned to cases must also offer business cards to crime victims and witnesses they interview.

      If the police do not ask for your consent to be searched, or if you are not sure the circumstances require officers to do so, you can say, “I do not consent to being searched.”
      This makes your objection clear, and it could come in handy later for a legal defense. You can also ask, “Am I free to leave?” 
      Similarly, if you give consent but change your mind, you can withdraw it by saying so.
      If you are released from a stop and the police do not have a card to offer you, the law requires officers to write the information down by hand, or give it to you verbally and allow enough time to for you to take it in.

      It might help to check records of the encounter. Reports on police stops can be requested online and must be provided within 10 days. They can also be picked up the same day at Police Headquarters.
      Requests for body camera video can also be made online, and the police are required to acknowledge requests within five days and provide copies of the footage within 90 days.
      If you believe the police did not follow the law, you can file a complaintonline or by phone with the Civilian Complaint Review Board, which investigates accusations of police abuse or misconduct from members of the public.
      The coalition of groups who pushed for the Right to Know law, Communities United for Police Reform, also provides assistance to the public.

      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

      3) To the Next ‘BBQ Becky’: Don't Call 911. Call 1-844-WYT-FEAR.
      A new emergency hotline for when it's not an emergency, just harassment.
      Hosted by Niece Nash Video by Taige Jensen and Jean Lyon, October 22, 2018
      https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/22/opinion/calling-police-racism-wyt-fear.html


      In this satirical infomercial, the comedian and actress Niecy Nash plays the inventor of a new hotline, 1-844-WYT-FEAR. The video advertises a phone service for white people to call when they can’t cope with black people living their lives near them. The hotline is up and running, so give it a ring and spread the word. (Seriously.)
      The phenomenon of white people harassing African-Americans going about their day is nothing new, but with the ubiquity of smartphones and social media, everyone can now see how these injustices are played out and lead to anxiety for and material harm to people of color. And this problem is bigger than a few unreasonable white people. Racist stereotypes are baked into our society.
      Has someone called the cops on you when you were doing nothing wrong? Email your story or video to The New York Times Opinion Video team at 844WYTFEAR@nytimes.com. 
      Below is a list of 39 known instances just this year when someone called the police to complain about black people doing everyday activities:

      Charleston, N.C. When members of an anti-violence march stopped by a gas station to buy drinks. (The Charleston City Paper
      Ponte Vedra, Fla. When a father yelled at his son at a soccer game. (First Coast News
      Brooklyn After a boy’s book bag hit a woman’s backside at a store. (The New York Times
      Marietta, Ga. When a man was babysitting two white children. (CBS46

      Boston When a woman filed a complaint about damaged bags after a flight. (The Charlotte Observer
      Dane County, Wis. When a statehouse candidate was canvassing a neighborhood. (The New York Times)
      Amherst, Mass. When a university employee looked upset while walking across campus. (Associated Press)

      Milwaukee When a man was trying to get change from his car. (WISN12
      Brooklyn When a woman tried to avoid the rain by standing on a stoop. (NBC4

      Boston When a student was eating on campus. (The Boston Globe
      Mountain View, Calif. When a woman donated food to the homeless. (KPIX5
      Victoria Park, Fla. When a woman attempted to cash a check at a bank. (Miami New Times
      Buffalo When on a woman attempted to use several coupons at a dollar store. (The Buffalo News)
      San Francisco When a man was checking the alarm at his own store. (KCBS Radio)
      Sterling, Va. When a player at a pickup game of basketball fouled too hard. (FOX5
      Atlanta When a college student was canvassing for a congressional candidate. (CBS46
      Upper Arlington, Ohio When an 11-year-old was delivering newspapers. (Newsweek
      Winston-Salem, N.C. When a woman using her residential community’s pool refused to show her ID. (The Winston-Salem Journal)
      Clackamas, Ore. When a state representative was out campaigning. (The Oregonian)

      Wellington Manor, Ga. When a woman smoked a cigarette in a parking lot. (The Root)
      Coweta County, Ga. When a family of seven was eating dinner at a Subway. (WSBTV)

      Cleveland When a 12-year-old was mowing the lawn. (News5)
      Philadelphia When a family tried to leave a movie theater. (The Root)
      San Francisco When an 8-year-old sold water outside her apartment building without a permit. (The New York Times
      Orange Village, Ohio When sorority sisters were paying their bill at a restaurant. (USA Today
      Oakland, Calif. When a uniformed firefighter was clearing flammable objects from brush. (The San Francisco Chronicle)
      Collierville, Tenn. When a woman was browsing at a store. (WREG3

      Birmingham, Ala. When a man attempted to make a return at a crafts store. (ABC News
      Memphis When a real estate investor was inspecting a property. (The Telegraph
      Brooklyn When a woman was shopping at a vintage store with her daughter. (ABC7)
      Tacoma, Wash. When two women were shopping at a store. (The Root
      New Haven When a student was napping in a Yale common room. (Time)

      Rialto, Calif. When three friends were checking out of an Airbnb. (CNN
      Brentwood, Mo. When three teenagers went shopping for prom. (KMOV4

      New York When a former Obama aide was moving into his new apartment. (PIX11
      Oakland, Calif. When three men were barbecuing at a park. (KRON4)
      Raleigh-Durham, N.C. When a plane passenger felt uncomfortable about the woman in the next seat. (The Charlotte Observer
      York, Pa. When a group of women were playing golf. (The York Daily Record
      Philadelphia When two men attempted to use the restroom at a coffee shop. (NPR)

      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

      4) Miscarrying at Work: The Physical Toll of Pregnancy Discrimination
      By Jessica Silver-Greenberg and Natalie Kitroeff, October 21, 2018
      https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/10/21/business/pregnancy-discrimination-miscarriages.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage

      In 2014, while Chasisty Bee was pregnant, her supervisors at the Verizon warehouse in Memphis refused to grant her request for light duty. One day, she collapsed at work. She later miscarried.


      MEMPHIS — If you are a Verizon customer on the East Coast, odds are good that your cellphone or tablet arrived by way of a beige, windowless warehouse near Tennessee’s border with Mississippi.
      Inside, hundreds of workers, many of them women, lift and drag boxes weighing up to 45 pounds, filled with iPhones and other gadgets. There is no air-conditioning on the floor of the warehouse, which is owned and operated by a contractor. Temperatures there can rise past 100 degrees. Workers often faint, according to interviews with 20 current and former employees.
      One evening in January 2014, after eight hours of lifting, Erica Hayes ran to the bathroom. Blood drenched her jeans.
      She was 23 and in the second trimester of her first pregnancy. She had spent much of the week hoisting the warehouse’s largest boxes from one conveyor belt to the next. Ever since she learned she was pregnant, she had been begging her supervisor to let her work with lighter boxes, she said in an interview. She said her boss repeatedly said no.
      She fainted on her way out of the bathroom that day. The baby growing inside of her, the one she had secretly hoped was a girl, was gone.
      “It was the worst thing I have ever experienced in my life,” Ms. Hayes said.
      Three other women in the warehouse also had miscarriages in 2014, when it was owned by a contractor called New Breed Logistics. Later that year, a larger company, XPO Logistics, bought New Breed and the warehouse. The problems continued. Another woman miscarried there this summer. Then, in August, Ceeadria Walker did, too.
      The women had all asked for light duty. Three said they brought in doctors’ notes recommending less taxing workloads and shorter shifts. They said supervisors disregarded the letters.
      Pregnancy discrimination is widespread in corporate America. Some employers deny expecting mothers promotions or pay raises; others fire them before they can take maternity leave. But for women who work in physically demanding jobs, pregnancy discrimination often can come with even higher stakes.
      The New York Times reviewed thousands of pages of court and other public records involving workers who said they had suffered miscarriages, gone into premature labor or, in one case, had a stillborn baby after their employers rejected their pleas for assistance — a break from flipping heavy mattresses, lugging large boxes and pushing loaded carts.
      They worked at a hospital, a post office, an airport, a grocery store, a prison, a fire department, a restaurant, a pharmaceutical company and several hotels.
      But refusing to accommodate pregnant women is often completely legal. Under federal law, companies don’t necessarily have to adjust pregnant women’s jobs, even when lighter work is available and their doctors send letters urging a reprieve.
      The Pregnancy Discrimination Act is the only federal law aimed at protecting expecting mothers at work. It is four paragraphs long and 40 years old. It says that a company has to accommodate pregnant workers’ requests only if it is already doing so for other employees who are “similar in their ability or inability to work.”
      That means that companies that do not give anyone a break have no obligation to do so for pregnant women. Employees say that is how the warehouse’s current owner, XPO Logistics, operates.
      For example, last October, a 58-year-old woman died of cardiac arrest on the warehouse floor after complaining to colleagues that she felt sick, according to a police report and current and former XPO employees. In Facebook posts at the time and in recent interviews, employees said supervisors told them to keep working as the woman lay dead.
      If companies “treat their nonpregnant employees terribly, they have every right to treat their pregnant employees terribly as well,” said Representative Jerrold Nadler, Democrat of New York, who has pushed for stronger federal protections for expecting mothers.
      In every congressional session since 2012, a group of lawmakers has introduced a bill that would do for pregnant women what the Americans With Disabilities Act does for disabled people: require employers to accommodate those whose health depends on it. The legislation has never had a hearing.
      “We are deeply troubled by these allegations,” said a Verizon spokesman, Rich Young. “We have no tolerance — zero tolerance — for this sort of alleged behavior.” He said the company opened an internal investigation in response to The Times’s inquiry. “None of these allegations are consistent with our values or the expectations and demands of contractors that work directly for us or have any affiliation with us.”
      Erin Kurtz, an XPO spokeswoman, said: “We’re surprised by the allegations of conduct that either predate XPO’s acquisition of the Memphis facility or weren’t reported to management after we acquired it in 2014.” She said the allegations “are unsubstantiated, filled with inaccuracies and do not reflect the way in which our Memphis facility operates.” The company also disputed that the warehouse was windowless, noting that there were a number of interior windows.
      Ms. Kurtz said XPO prioritized the safety of its workers, had “no tolerance for any type of discriminatory behavior” and has enhanced pay and benefits for employees in recent years.
      Those improvements didn’t help Ceeadria Walker when she got pregnant. The 19-year-old said she gave her XPO supervisor a doctor’s letter from OB/GYN Centers of Memphis saying she should not lift more than 15 pounds. She said she asked to be assigned to an area with lighter items. Ms. Walker said her supervisor regularly sent her to a conveyor belt line where she had to lift more than she was supposed to. She miscarried the day after spending her shift handling those heavier boxes.
      “We’re saddened that Ms. Walker had a miscarriage over the summer,” Ms. Kurtz said. “We’re investigating these newly raised claims.”

      THE RISKS OF LIFTING

      For most women, it is safe to work while pregnant.
      But there is “a slight to modest increased risk of miscarriage” for women who do extensive lifting in their jobs, according to guidelines published this year by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. The recommendations are intended to inform doctors about best practices.
      Two decades of medical research have established a link between physically demanding work and fetal death, though there is debate about how strong the connection is. Part of the difficulty in measuring the relationship, researchers say, is that it’s impossible to design a study that isolates the impact of heavy lifting versus other risk factors, like pre-existing conditions.
      In a peer-reviewed study from 2013, researchers in Denmark found that the risk of fetal death increased as women lifted heavier objects more frequently. The researchers theorized that lifting and bending could reduce blood flow to the uterus.
      Another possibility, doctors said, is that extreme physical exertion diverts blood from a woman’s womb to her muscles.
      The potential dangers are greatest for women whose pregnancies are already classified as high risk, which is why doctors often advise that they be given easier tasks.
      “When employers ignore these medical recommendations, they are potentially jeopardizing patients’ health,” said Rebecca Jackson, the chief of obstetrics and gynecology at San Francisco General Hospital. “It’s especially bothersome to me that this is occurring for women in strenuous jobs, given that they are at the most risk of injuring themselves or the pregnancy.”
      Warehouses are among the fastest growing workplaces in the country, employing more than a million Americans. Retailers, competing against the likes of Amazon, demand high speed at low costs.
      On Memphis’s east side, these are often the highest-paying jobs available for people without college degrees. Drawn by the proximity to rail lines and highways, some of the country’s largest companies have set up distribution centers here. One dispatches Nike shoes. Another handles Disney toys. And a short drive from Graceland, Verizon has its hub.
      XPO runs all of those warehouses. The Verizon facility, which XPO took over when it bought New Breed Logistics in 2014, is the only one where The Times interviewed workers about pregnancy discrimination. Shifts there can last 12 hours. Workers get 30 minutes for lunch and as many as three other 15-minute breaks.
      XPO’s 2017 employee handbook warns that taking unapproved breaks, arriving to work late or leaving early can result in “immediate termination,” unless the reasons for the departures are “legally protected.” The Pregnancy Discrimination Act does not guarantee women such protections.

      A JOB ON THE LINE

      It was the fall of 2013, and Erica Hayes was convinced that she was having a girl. She daydreamed about the clothes she would buy and made a list of favorite names. Her friend was pregnant with a boy, and they talked about raising their children together.
      At first, Ms. Hayes was processing individual shipments to Verizon customers — one phone, one charger, onto the next. Then, a crush of holiday orders hit the warehouse in December. She said that her boss began dispatching her to the area of the warehouse that handled bulk shipments, often destined for Verizon stores, where the warehouse was struggling to keep up. She often spent up to 12 hours a day lifting huge boxes, some with 20 iPads and 20 accessories.
      She said she could have handled paperwork or stayed in the section of the warehouse devoted to small shipments. But she said her supervisor kept ordering her to work with the largest boxes. Ms. Hayes’s mother said that her daughter talked to her about the rejected requests at the time.
      Ms. Hayes said she began to bleed regularly at work. She sometimes left early to go to the hospital. Each time, she said, her supervisor wrote her up. As the demerits accumulated, she stopped leaving. Instead, she bled through four maxi pads a day.
      “My job was on the line,” she said. At the end of a long shift in January 2014, she felt blood gushing into her jeans.
      A co-worker fetched her a black peacoat to wrap around her waist to cover the spreading stain. Another grabbed plastic bags to line the leather driver’s seat of her 2003 Hyundai. Ms. Hayes fainted before she could get to the car. An ambulance took her to the hospital.
      Ms. Hayes said she began to bleed regularly at work. She sometimes left early to go to the hospital. Each time, she said, her supervisor wrote her up. As the demerits accumulated, she stopped leaving. Instead, she bled through four maxi pads a day.
      “My job was on the line,” she said. At the end of a long shift in January 2014, she felt blood gushing into her jeans.
      A co-worker fetched her a black peacoat to wrap around her waist to cover the spreading stain. Another grabbed plastic bags to line the leather driver’s seat of her 2003 Hyundai. Ms. Hayes fainted before she could get to the car. An ambulance took her to the hospital.
      A couple of weeks later, she said, her supervisor handed her a $300 invoice for the cost of the ambulance ride. (Ms. Hayes, who still works at the warehouse and is hoping for a promotion, said she never paid the bill.)
      That spring, two more women had miscarriages at the warehouse. Both said that their supervisors rejected their requests to pack lighter boxes.
      One of the women, who still works at the warehouse, declined to be identified for fear of losing her job.
      The other was Tasha Murrell. She already had two boys and was praying for a girl. She planned to name the baby Dallas, after the Cowboys, her favorite football team. Ms. Murrell said that she told her boss she was pregnant and asked to leave work early one day that spring because the lifting had become painful.
      Her supervisor told her to get an abortion, according to a discrimination complaint she filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in April 2018. Ms. Murrell woke up the next morning to find her mattress stained with blood. Her husband drove her to the emergency room, where doctors told her she had miscarried. Ms. Murrell left the job last year and is now an organizer with the Teamsters, which is trying to organize a union at the warehouse.
      Ms. Hayes and Ms. Murrell had the same supervisor: Amela Bukvic.Through her lawyer, Ms. Bukvic denied telling anyone to get an abortion. “I would never make such a horrible statement to anyone, especially an employee under my supervision,” she said.
      Ms. Bukvic said that she made sure that the pregnant women whom she managed had workloads that were not excessive. She said she never denied help to the pregnant employees. “If they had any work restrictions, I always took all steps to make sure their work duties never exceeded those restrictions,” she said.
      A few months later, in September 2014, it happened to another woman.
      Chasisty Bee, 33, was four months pregnant. Hoping for a girl, she bought a newborn’s blanket from Burlington Coat Factory.
      Ms. Bee had miscarried in 2008 while working at the Verizon warehouse. This time, she said, she brought in a doctor’s note recommending that she work shorter shifts, be given a chair and light duty. Supervisors rejected her requests. One afternoon, after almost 14 hours on her feet, she started feeling dizzy and crumpled to the warehouse floor. Her physician told her that she had miscarried.
      After Ms. Bee got pregnant again in 2015, she found a new job. “I couldn’t bear to lose another child,” she said. The next February, she gave birth to a healthy girl.
      Ms. Kurtz, the XPO spokeswoman, said: “The false and misleading allegations directed at our Memphis facility are fueled by the Teamsters and are part of their ongoing, but unsuccessful, attempts at organizing.”

      STALLED MOMENTUM

      A bipartisan group of lawmakers has proposed upgrading the 1978 Pregnancy Discrimination Act. The bill would compel companies to accommodate pregnant women — for example, by offering extra breaks or the option of light duty — as long as it does not impose an “undue hardship” on their business. That is the same language used in the Americans With Disabilities Act.
      Women “shouldn’t have to choose between keeping a doctor appointment or their job,” said Senator Dean Heller, Republican of Nevada, one of 125 co-sponsors of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act in the House and Senate.
      In 2015, it looked as if the bill might gain traction. The Supreme Court had just ruled in favor of Peggy Young, a UPS driver who was denied light duty after getting pregnant. Pregnancy discrimination was suddenly grabbing headlines.
      But some Republicans, including Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, where the XPO warehouse is, viewed that bill as adding a confusing new layer of regulations, according to Senate aides. Mr. Alexander, who is chairman of the Senate committee on health and labor, co-sponsored a competing bill. It expanded protections for pregnant women in some cases. But it still allowed employers to deny accommodations if they weren’t being provided to other workers in similar situations.
      “It was a useful mechanism in order to divert some of the momentum that was building,” said Emily Martin of the National Women’s Law Center, an advocacy group focused on women’s rights.
      Both bills stalled.
      Outside Washington, there have been fewer roadblocks. At least 23 states have passed laws that are stronger than current federal protections (Tennessee is not among them). In Utah, Delaware, Colorado and New York, Republicans led the charge. In Nebraska, an anti-abortion Democrat pushed the measure.
      “Women have lost their children due to the lack of robust pregnancy protections in the workplace,” said Catherine Glenn Foster, the president of Americans United for Life, an anti-abortion group. “Anyone who can’t get behind this or uses it as a political game — it’s a travesty.”

      ‘I WATCHED HER DIE’

      The problems extend beyond the warehouse floor — to hotels, restaurants, fire stations and stores.
      At the Albertsons grocery store in Atascadero, Calif., Reyna Garcia had one of the toughest jobs. She pushed 200-pound carts, dragged sacks of cat litter and climbed 10-foot ladders to stock goods.
      Ms. Garcia got pregnant in July 2012, found out she was having a girl and decided to name the baby Jade.
      Ms. Garcia told her boss that her pregnancy was high risk — she had previously given birth prematurely. She presented a doctor’s note saying she should not lift more than 15 pounds. The boss ignored the recommendation, according to a lawsuit she filed against Albertsons in federal court in Los Angeles.
      “She was feeling like she wasn’t getting any response from her supervisor,” her doctor, Mareeni Stanislaus, said in an interview. She said the restrictions were “even more important” because Ms. Garcia had a high-risk pregnancy. Heavy lifting can prompt smooth muscles like the uterus to contract, potentially inducing preterm labor, Dr. Stanislaus said.
      The regular twisting and hoisting caused intense pain, but Ms. Garcia needed the paycheck and the health insurance. She requested any other position — in the Albertsons bakery or at the meat counter or as a fruit cutter or in the pharmacy or at the customer service desk.
      Her boss turned her down, according to the lawsuit, which included corroborating statements from her colleagues.
      Her doctors sent two more notes. “She should avoid prolonged standing without a break and should avoid excessive bending and reaching and balancing,” Dr. Stanislaus wrote. Copies of the letters were included in the suit.
      About three weeks later, in the middle of her shift, Ms. Garcia began feeling “pelvic pressure,” according to her lawsuit. She asked her boss for permission to leave early; he gave her a long list of tasks that she needed to finish first.
      Ms. Garcia ended up working overtime. By the time she got home, she could feel her amniotic sac bulging between her legs. It felt “like a balloon coming out of me,” she said in a sworn statement. She went to the emergency room. She could feel something scratching from inside; her doctor told her it was the baby’s fingernails. She was 20 weeks pregnant.
      Five days later, Ms. Garcia gave birth to Jade. The baby lived less than 10 minutes.
      “My husband and I watched her die,” Ms. Garcia said in her statement. “It was the most painful thing I have ever experienced.”
      In 2014, Albertsons settled Ms. Garcia’s lawsuit for an undisclosed amount; the deal prohibited her from speaking publicly about what happened. “The company has a policy against pregnancy discrimination, and we accommodate employees with pregnancy-related disabilities in accordance with state and federal law,” said Christine Wilcox, an Albertsons spokeswoman.
      Ms. Garcia’s boss demoted her when she returned to work.
      “I lost my baby for this job,” Ms. Garcia said, according to her lawsuit. “Why didn’t you give me help when I was pregnant and asked for it?”

      HARD TO BREATHE

      Workers at the Memphis warehouse thought conditions might improve when XPO Logistics acquired New Breed in September 2014.
      At the time, XPO and its chief executive, Bradley S. Jacobs, were on a buying spree. His strategy was simple: slash expenses and deliver quick profits. Today XPO, based in Greenwich, Conn., has a market value of $12 billion.
      The company has had multiple run-ins with regulators. In one instance, the California Labor Commissioner’s Office last year awarded four XPO truck drivers a total of $855,000 after finding that the company had misclassified them as independent contractors.
      In Memphis, XPO’s ownership changed the warehouse, but not the way workers had hoped. Over the next couple of years, pressure on employees intensified and working conditions deteriorated, according to the 20 current and former employees. Supervisors began demanding that they pack 120 boxes an hour instead of 60. Some bosses penalized employees for spending too much time in the bathroom or on breaks.
      Summer temperatures inside the warehouse regularly exceeded 100 degrees, the current and former employees said. It was so hot and humid that workers sometimes found it hard to breathe.
      Every week from June through September 2017, at least one worker collapsed on the warehouse floor, the employees said. Supervisors took to wheeling the sick workers to the break room, where they sometimes received an ice pop.
      On the morning of Oct. 17, 2017, Linda Neal crashed to the warehouse floor, dead of cardiac arrest.
      Ms. Neal, 58, had suffered from heart problems. She previously had complained to her son, Dean Turner, that XPO supervisors would not let her leave early when she was feeling unwell, Mr. Turner said in an interview. That day, she had told managers that she was short of breath and asked for an extra break, but her supervisor rejected the request, according to Lakeisha Nelson, who witnessed the exchange and still works there. When Mr. Turner arrived at the warehouse, he said, three of his mother’s colleagues told him the same thing.
      Managers told workers to keep moving boxes as her body lay on the floor, according to four employees who were at the warehouse that day, as well as contemporaneous Facebook posts.
      Ms. Kurtz, the XPO spokeswoman, said the company did allow workers to leave for the day after Ms. Neal died. She added that the Teamsters “continue to shamefully exploit the passing of our colleague through the spreading of false information” in their effort to organize at the warehouse.
      That same month, Ceeadria Walker joined XPO. The pay was decent, about $12 an hour, an upgrade from her last job at a car-parts warehouse. At first, she didn’t mind the frequent 12-hour shifts. But she learned she was pregnant in June 2018 and started feeling nauseated and dizzy at the end of the long days.
      Ms. Walker said she gave her supervisor a doctor’s note saying she should reduce the number of hours on her feet to avoid hurting herself or endangering her pregnancy. “They looked at it like it was nothing,” she said.
      There were days when XPO let her work in the “pit,” dealing with the paperwork for orders, but she said she spent most of July on the conveyor-belt line hoisting 45-pound boxes.
      Ms. Walker toyed with leaving. But, she said, “I couldn’t just quit my job.” She was near the end of her first trimester and needed money. She planned to name the baby, her first child, after her boyfriend — Octavia for a girl, Octavius for a boy.
      By the end of her shift on Aug. 4, Ms. Walker said she had handled hundreds of Verizon boxes. When she woke up bleeding at 6 a.m. the next day, her mother drove her to the doctor.
      Two days later, Ms. Walker spoke with The Times. She was distraught. “This was going to be my first.”

      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

      5)  Frogs Are Disappearing. What Does That Mean?
      By Ligaya Mishan, October 18, 2018
      https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/18/t-magazine/frogs-extinction-food-fertility.html?action=click&module=Editors%20Picks&pgtype=Homepage

      Banded bullfrogs, native to Southeast Asia (and not yet endangered), on their thrones of chanterelle, lobster and shiitake mushrooms.


      THE DUSKY GOPHER FROG, once endemic to the longleaf pine savannas of Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana — and now listed among the 100 most endangered species on earth — is tiny, dark and warty. The creature is often described as both secretive and shockingly loud, with a rumbling, back-of-the-throat mating call that is uncannily close to the human snore. It hides from the sun almost its whole life, finding shelter in burned-out tree stumps. And although it’s armed against danger (its glands secrete poison), in the presence of a predator, the three-inch-long frog lifts its front legs to cover its eyes, like a child pretending to be invisible: You can’t see it if it can’t see you.
      As of 2015, around 135 dusky gopher frogs were estimated to remain in the wild, mostly at a single pond in Mississippi, their breeding sites fragmented by new roads and the timber industry. The fate of the species may lie in the hands of the Supreme Court, which, as it begins a new term in October, will consider as its first case Weyerhaeuser Co. v. United States Fish and Wildlife Service. The lawsuit concerns the government’s designation of privately owned land in Louisiana as a critical habitat for the endangered frogs, setting property rights (and a potential $34 million loss in development value for the $27 billion Weyerhaeuser Company) against environmental conservation.
      One study estimates that since the 1970s, around 200 frog species have disappeared, with a projected loss of hundreds more in the next century. Frogs are under threat on nearly every continent: from the French Pyrenees to the Central American rain forests to the Sierra Nevada in California. Some species, like the dusky gopher frog, have been depleted by human encroachment on their habitats. But the decimation that started 50 years ago was largely the work of the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, which thickens a frog’s skin, hindering the animal’s ability to absorb water and oxygen and to maintain a balanced flow of electrolytes, leading to heart failure. Once infected, entire populations can collapse in a single season.
      No one knows exactly how the disease spread, but it was likely carried unwittingly by humans from one country to the next, or by the female African clawed frogs that were shipped around the world for laboratory experiments and, until the early 1970s, hospital pregnancy tests. (In the test, a frog was injected with a woman’s urine, which, if she was pregnant, would contain an ovary-stimulating hormone that caused the frog to lay eggs.) Live frogs, potential carriers of the disease, continue to be moved across borders into nonnative habitats; in the first decade of the 21st century, the United States imported nearly 48 million pounds of them, some destined to become exotic pets, others winding up on dining tables.

      More than three billion frogs are eaten worldwide each year, some 4,000 tons by the French and half that by Americans, who tend to prefer them patted with flour and sautéed in browned butter. These are mostly farmed frogs and thus not as vulnerable to extinction, but the circumstances in which they’re bred and exported may contribute to the spread of disease. And while in some parts of Asia the whole frog — minus the skin, which contains toxins — is submitted to the pot and boiled for soup, in many cases only the hind legs are used for food, meaning the bulk of the body goes into the garbage.

      It’s an ignoble end for an animal that, despite its diminutive size, has held an exalted role over the ages in almost every culture. Frogs have been revered as emissaries of the divine (because of their regenerative powers) and feared as witches’ familiars, noxious and baleful. They have also been beloved as our stand-ins, infiltrating the stories we tell about ourselves, appearing as tricksters and fools, pompous kings and yearning commoners. Their value isn’t merely symbolic: Their croaks were the music in hundreds of early Japanese verses, until the 17th-century Japanese poet Matsuo Basho gave them physical presence — and comic power — in the famous 1686 haiku: “Old pond / Frog jumps in / Water-sound.” Their omnipresence in our fables speaks to their centrality in sustaining the world around us. In science class, they are our introduction to biology, dissected to reveal life’s inner mysteries. Toxins in their skin may yield new antibiotics and painkillers.
      More fundamentally, frogs are linchpins in the ecosystem, both predator and prey. And they are our watchmen, keeping vigil over our ponds, marshes, lakes and streams, our meadows and our woods, the quality of our water and our air. “If they go silent, there could be bad stuff happening,” says Christopher J. Raxworthy, a herpetologist at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. Like honeybees, whose colonies began to collapse en masse across the United States a decade ago, frogs are portents of the greater ills that could befall our environment — and us.
      AS AMPHIBIANS, frogs lead double lives, in water and on land, starting out as tadpoles equipped with gills and tails, which are reabsorbed into their bodies as they grow lungs and limbs. The seasonal emergence of frogs prophesies rain, essential for crops and survival, and their role in spring’s awakening may explain why early Christians used images of them to celebrate resurrection. In frogs’ prodigious fertility — they lay tens of thousands of eggs each mating season — the ancient Egyptians saw abundance; the goddess of fertility, Heqet, is often depicted as a frog-headed woman, and the hieroglyph for the numeral 100,000 was a tadpole. But too many frogs, and they become a plague.

      It’s this duality that has ultimately endeared them to us, for these creatures hold out the promise of human transformation, the ability to shed an ugly skin and reveal a hidden self. Part of the appeal of Kermit the Frog is his status as an Everyman: small, far from powerful, but pure of heart. Even his latter-day counterpart Pepe the Frog was originally a good-natured slacker, first drawn in a 2005 comic strip by Matt Furie, before being co-opted as a symbol of the alt-right movement, whose members seem to have conflated Pepe with Kek, the frog-headed Egyptian god representing the darkness before the world was born. (Furie killed off Pepe last year to prevent further misappropriation.)
      Another cultural invasion of frogs occurred last winter, when one of the most downloaded smartphone apps in Asia was Tabikaeru (Journey Frog), a game featuring an amphibian that spends much of its time reading in a cozy hut, then wanders off for an indeterminate amount of time, occasionally sending home snapshots. This unfolds without any human input; players do little more than pack food for the frog’s journeys and pine for the little nomad to come back — a comforting inevitability, as kaeru, the Japanese word for frog, sounds almost exactly like the word for return. Tabikaeru is particularly popular in China, where the characters for frog and child are both pronounced “wa” in Mandarin, with only a slight difference in tone.
      BUT THESE VIRTUAL FROGS may soon be all we have left. The rate of decline is particularly startling given that, until now, amphibians have outlasted most of life on Earth. “They’re survivors,” says Jennifer B. Pramuk, a herpetologist and animal curator at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, Wash. Their ancestors evolved some 350 million years ago, and they have persisted through three global mass extinctions, including the Permian extinction 251 million years ago, which is known among scientists as the Great Dying because of the number of species lost: an estimated 80 to 96 percent in the oceans and 70 percent on land. Frogs — which separated from salamanders and emerged as a distinct order, Anura, between 240 and 275 million years ago — have been resilient, but their permeable skins are highly sensitive to changes in water quality and temperature.
      When we grieve over frogs’ loss and the global degradation it suggests, we’re also mourning a kind of strange, singular natural beauty. Among those now extinct is the golden toad, of which the males were orange-skinned and bright as flame, once prolific breeders in the Monteverde cloud forest of Costa Rica. In 1989, a single male was counted. The next year, there were none. The southern gastric brooding frog, indigenous to the mountains of Queensland in eastern Australia, thrilled herpetologists with its unusual reproductive system: Females swallowed their eggs, which hatched in the stomach, only to be vomited into the world as fully formed froglets. The creature’s final appearance was in 1981.
      Conservation efforts have succeeded in reviving a few species. Not long after the Kihansi spray toad, sunny yellow and smaller than a postage stamp, lost its home in the misty wetlands of Tanzania to a hydroelectric dam in 2000, 499 of them were airlifted to the Bronx Zoo. Within three years, only two toads were left at the original Tanzanian site. But by 2010, the rescued toads had spawned a thriving 4,000-strong population at the Bronx Zoo and the Toledo Zoo in Ohio; 2,500 were reintroduced to Tanzania two years later. Zoos may be the key to frogs’ survival, not only nurturing but proselytizing for them, so that a charmed public recognizes their worth.
      Without frogs as a predator, mosquitoes and other invertebrates, themselves carriers of disease, will multiply. “It’s another chink in the armor of the ecosystem,” Pramuk says. Gone, too, will be the spring choruses, frogs calling for their mates. Pramuk still remembers when she finally made it to the Costa Rican cloud forest in 1995, six years after the sighting of the last golden toad, one of her favorite species, which she’d studied only on paper. She had hope: Sometimes amphibians thought extinct have suddenly reappeared. “You always think, ‘Maybe it will show itself to me,’” she says. So she stood and waited, listening to the silence. Frogs are the heralds of dusk, their evening song laying the day to rest. Without them, it is only night.

      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

      6) Trump’s Plans to Deter Migrants Could Mean New ‘Voluntary’ Family Separations
      By Miriam Jordan, Caitlin Dickerson and Michael D. Shear, October 22, 2018
      https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/22/us/migrant-families-crossing-border-trump.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fus&action=click&contentCollection=us&region=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=1&pgtype=sectionfront

      Central American migrants behind the gate of the Guatemala-Mexico border bridge last week. The Trump administration is scrambling to find new policies to deter illegal immigration.


      TUCSON, Ariz. — Facing a surge in migrant families entering the United States and with the midterm elections two weeks away, the Trump administration is weighing an array of new policies that it hopes will deter Central Americans from journeying north.
      Each of the policies, which range from a new form of the widely criticized practice of family separation to stricter requirements on asylum, would face significant legal and logistical challenges. But the White House is applying strong pressure on federal immigration authorities to come up with a solution to secure the southwest border.
      The Border Patrol apprehended 16,658 people in family units in September — a record figure, according to unpublished government data obtained by The New York Times. The total number of families that entered the country in the 2018 fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30, exceeded 100,000 for the first time in recent history.
      The surge is occurring even as the total number of border crossings, including individual adults and children traveling alone, remains well below the numbers seen in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

      President Trump’s frustration was aroused again this week with the news that a caravan of thousands of Central American asylum seekers was headed toward the United States. He threatened on Twitter to call up the military and close the southern border if Mexico failed to halt the “onslaught” of migrants.

      A series of intense closed-door meetings among officials from the Department of Homeland Security, the Justice Department, the White House and the State Department began not long after a public outcry forced President Trump in June to stop separating migrant families in detention, often hundreds or thousands of miles apart, as a deterrent.
      The architects of the family separation approach have been hard at work on alternatives, according to people briefed on the group’s efforts. Their goal is to announce a plan before the November elections that can withstand the legal challenges that crippled the administration’s previous attempts.
      The group’s charge from the White House is simple and explicit: Replace what the administration describes as “catch and release,” the practice of releasing immigrants from detention while they wait for court hearings.

      The most talked-about alternative would be a variation of the family separation policy. Parents would be forced to choose between voluntarily relinquishing their children to foster care or remaining imprisoned together as a family. The latter option would require parents to waive their child’s right to be released from detention within 20 days.
      The goal of this option, known as “binary choice,” would be to “maximize deterrence and consequences for families,” according to a person familiar with the agenda for one of the officials’ meetings.
      Another idea on the table is to speed up the legal cases of migrant families and process them on a first-in, first-out basis, in hopes that word would get back to Central America that border crossers were being swiftly deported.
      The working group is also considering strengthening the standard of proof on asylum cases, a standard that has already risen under President Trump, in order to screen out more families during the first stage of the process, known as the “credible fear” interview. The final two ideas being discussed are extending the use of GPS ankle monitors, and immediately arresting anyone who receives a deportation order to ensure that they leave the country.

      Officials at the White House and the Department of Homeland Security declined to discuss the administration’s next plans for border enforcement. Katie Waldman, a Homeland Security spokeswoman, said in a statement that “absent congressional action, the department is examining all options to secure the border.”
      With the elections less than three weeks away, Mr. Trump and conservative candidates are eager to rally voters around a new hard-line policy on immigration.

      President Trump will hold a rally in Texas on Monday for Senator Ted Cruz, who supports the administration’s immigration policies. He is facing a tough challenge from Beto O’Rourke, a Democratic congressman from El Paso, who has called for more compassionate border enforcement and has opposed Mr. Trump’s plan for a border wall.
      “He will never be allowed to turn Texas into Venezuela!” Mr. Trump said about Mr. O’Rourke on Twitter on Friday.
      In Arizona, a competitive state that is also ground zero for the recent surge, polls show that immigration is far and away the most important issue to most conservatives, while only a small minority of Democrats feel that way.
      In a race that could help tip control of the Senate, Martha McSally, a Republican congresswoman, has cast herself as an immigration hawk in her race against Kyrsten Sinema, a Democratic congresswoman who has supported protections for so-called Dreamers, young immigrants who were brought into the United States illegally as children.
      At a rally on Friday in Mesa, Ariz., Mr. Trump doubled down on his immigration message: “Democrats believe our country should be a giant sanctuary city for criminal aliens,” he said.
      Public frustration over the issue was on display this week at Jerry Bob’s Family Restaurant, a traditional diner in Tucson that draws an eclectic crowd of retirees, blue-collar workers and young adults.
      “We’re being overrun,” said Bob Chivers, 82, a retired heavy machine operator. He said he had been a Democrat for many years, then switched parties. “Democrats used to be for the working man. Now they suck up to minorities for political gain.”

      But in downtown Tucson, several young people slumped over their laptops at Caffe Luce said they were voting for Democratic candidates, and none said they saw immigration as a problem.
      “The more immigrants, the better,” said Kristen Godfrey, 28. What she really cared about, she said, were education and reproductive rights.
      To win the support of voters like Mr. Chivers, the president has focused on what he calls “catch and release” and the immigrants who spend months or even years out of detention as they wait for their legal cases to proceed.
      But Mr. Trump’s attempt in the spring to impose a “zero tolerance” policy at the border, through which more than 2,500 immigrant children were separated from their parents, generated searing — and politically damaging — images of crying toddlers and teenagers detained behind chain-link fences.
      The global outcry forced a rare retreat on an issue that has dominated the president’s agenda since he took office. Behind closed doors in Washington, though, efforts to deter migration have continued.

      Any new policy the administration adopts must navigate the complex terrain of federal law and court consent decrees that constrain the conditions of migrant detention.

      First convened in 2017 to carry out the president’s campaign promises, the immigration working group consists of 20 to 30 officials. Mr. Trump has discussed the group’s work on regular calls with Kirstjen Nielsen, the Homeland Security secretary, several times each week.
      As early as July, shortly after the family separation policy was rescinded, the working group had already zeroed in on several ideas.
      Among them was the “binary choice” proposal. Questions were raised immediately about whether the policy would be legally defensible. Even if binary choice were to hold up in court, it may not work logistically, according to a Homeland Security official involved in drafting the policy, who was not authorized to discuss the deliberations publicly and spoke on the condition of anonymity.
      Some wondered whether a pilot program could be created to help establish what resources would be needed if it were applied border-wide. The group discussed starting the pilot at the Karnes County Residential Center near San Antonio, Texas, one of three facilities across the country where parents and children can be detained together.
      The official said that Homeland Security representatives had cautioned the working group that most parents facing such a decision would choose to remain with their children, and as a result, family detention facilities would quickly run out of space.
      The three residential family centers operated by Immigration and Customs Enforcement — two in South Texas and one in Pennsylvania — can accommodate 3,326 parents and children. Once capacity was reached, the Homeland Security representatives warned, the administration would be forced to release families — in a return to the present situation.
      The working group also considered speeding up migrants’ court cases. Historically, however, that approach, known as a “rocket docket,” has not worked as a deterrent. President Barack Obama’s attempt to speed up the cases of migrant children who had crossed the border unaccompanied by an adult yielded little benefit.

      But a hiring spree of immigration judges under President Trump could make the process faster and potentially more effective, so that alternative is still on the table.
      The final three ideas under review — making it harder to apply for asylum, extending the use of GPS ankle monitors, and speeding up enforcement of deportation orders — also carry potential pitfalls.
      Ankle monitors are typically used to track migrants for a few months after they cross the border. The new proposal would require the devices to be worn for the full duration of immigration cases, which take about two years to decide on average — a very long time to have to wear such a device. The proposal would require more funding, since it would require a much larger number of ankle bracelets.
      The final proposal calls for changing current deportation procedures, under which migrants are given a date by which they must leave the country or report to an immigration office for deportation. Homeland Security officials cautioned that trying to deport people immediately could leave some children stranded — if their parents leave home for court, for example, and never come home. The policy could also further deter people from showing up to court.
      In an interview at the height of the family separation controversy over the summer, Stephen Miller, the president’s senior adviser on immigration issues, said that voters would support efforts to crack down at the border. “I have absolute confidence, as does the entire administration, that the American public wants us to have a fully secure border with predictable consequences for illegal entry,” he said.
      One way or another, the arrival of thousands of new migrant families will inevitably affect political races in border states like Arizona. These days, the Greyhound bus stations in Tucson are overflowing with new arrivals, and shelters are so full that some migrants are being checked into local motels.
      “Every day, every bed has been taken in the last couple weeks,” said Gretchen Lopez, who runs the Inn, a migrant shelter in the basement of a Methodist church in Tucson. “I see no indication that it is slowing.”

      Miriam Jordan reported from Tucson, Caitlin Dickerson from New York and Michael D. Shear from Washington. Ron Nixon contributed reporting from Washington, and Manny Fernandez from Houston.

      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*



















      __._,_.___

      Posted by: bonnieweinstein@yahoo.com

      Reply via web post                       Reply to sender            Reply to group            Start a New Topic           Messages in this topic (1)                       

      __,_._,___
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*




















      __._,_.___

      Posted by: bonnieweinstein@yahoo.com

      Reply via web post                       Reply to sender                       Reply to group                       Start a New Topic           Messages in this topic (1)                       

      Have you tried the highest rated email app?
      With 4.5 stars in iTunes, the Yahoo Mail app is the highest rated email app on the market. What are you waiting for? Now you can access all your inboxes (Gmail, Outlook, AOL and more) in one place. Never delete an email again with 1000GB of free cloud storage.


      Yahoo! Groups
      • Privacy • Unsubscribe • Terms of Use 




      SPONSORED LINKS

      .


      __,_._,___