Thursday, October 28, 2010

BAUAW NEWSLETTER-THURSDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2010

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Bay Area United Against War Newsletter
Table of Contents:
A. EVENTS AND ACTIONS
B. VIDEO, FILM, AUDIO. ART, POETRY, ETC.
C. SPECIAL APPEALS AND ONGOING CAMPAIGNS
D. ARTICLES IN FULL

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A. EVENTS AND ACTIONS

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October 30-31st Mobilizing Conference | Education 4 the People!
http://defendcapubliceducation.wordpress.com/april-10th-mobilizing-conference/
October 30-31st Mobilizing Conference
October 30-31st (Saturday-Sunday)
San Francisco State University
1600 Holloway Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94132

CONFERENCE REGISTRATION

We, the people, have the democratic power to beat back these attacks
and ensure that our public institutions effectively serve the public.
But to do so, members of all regions and sectors - adult-ed,
students, workers, teachers, activists, unions, and community
organizations - must unite and take action on October 7th, and
contribute our voices and thoughts to the October 30-31st conference at
San Francisco State University to defend public education.

The purpose of the October 30-31st conference is to democratically
propose demands, devise an action plan, and create a structure capable
of defending public education and public services for the benefit of
all.

We invite all supporters of education across the nation to attend and
participate in the October 7th day of action and the October 30-31st
conference.

Conference organizing email list (Google group):http://groups.google.com/group/fallconferencesfsu

Conference locations:
Saturday: Cesar Chavez Student Union
Sunday: McKenna Theater
(See SE Quadrant of Campus map)

Public Transportation to SFSU: Directions to San Francisco State U

Parking: Where and When Can I Park?
Note that on-campus parking is usually available on the weekends, but street parking time-limited.

Preliminary Agenda

Registration
Welcoming
Future Actions - break-out groups (discussing, drafting proposals)
Future Actions - plenary (adoption of proposals)
Demands - break-out groups
Demands - plenary
Structure for the future - break-out groups
Structure for the future - plenary
Closing

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The next meeting of the United National Antiwar Committee will be Saturday, November 6, 11:00 A.M., at Centro del Pueblo, 474 Valencia Street (near 16th Street and Mission BART)

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All Out on November 9th: Mobilize to Free Mumia!
Come to Philadelphia:
An Innocent Man Faces Execution... Again!
Will Mumia Be Killed For No Reason?
PHILADELPHIA, November 9th 2010,
2 PM, Third Circuit Court, 6th & Market

Mumia Abu-Jamal, a journalist and a political prisoner who has been on death row for 28 years, faces a new hearing to determine: will he get a new court hearing to finally decide his sentence, or will he be executed immediately? In it's instructions to the Third Circuit, the Supreme Court made immediate execution the likely outcome.

Mountains of evidence, including witness recantations, another man who confessed, and photographic evidence of the crime scene, proves his innocence. Yet state and federal courts, including the Supreme Court, have slammed the door on Mumia. Most of the evidence that could free him has gone unheard, because...

The cops, courts and politicians want Mumia dead!

A politically motivated conspiracy, led by the Fraternal Order of Police, seeks to silence forever this outspoken opponent of war, racism, police brutality and corruption. We have to stop them in their tracks! The courts aren't going to free Mumia. Only mass mobilizations, as in 1995, when we stopped an earlier execution order, and labor mobilizations like the West Coast port shutdown by longshore workers in 1999, can free Mumia.

All Out on November 9th: Mobilize to Free Mumia!

Come to Philadelphia:

Third Circuit Court of Appeals, 601 Market St (6th & Market).
Hearing starts at 2 PM on Tuesday Nov 9th.
Get there early to demonstrate!

Bus from New York:

Call: 212 330-8029 - leave a message and a number for a return call to reserve a seat on a bus to Philadelphia.

For Mass Action, and Labor Action!
Mumia is innocent! Free Mumia!
End the Racist Death Penalty!

- This message from:
The Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu_jamal
PO Box 16222 • Oakland CA 94610 • 510 763-2347
www.laboractionmumia.org

Please forward and distribute widely...

MUMIA ABU-JAMAL'S LIFE IS IN GRAVE DANGER! Come to Philadelphia, or demonstrate in the Bay Area, on November 9th! Details below...

But first... The WBAI Radio (NY) Show "Taking Aim" will help defend Mumia Abu Jamal.

Long time Mumia supporters Mya Shone, host of "Taking Aim," and co-presenter Ralph Schoenman, are planning to offer the new cd, "Mumia On Oscar Grant," as a premium on their show, during WBAI's current fund drive, this Tuesday, the 26th of October 2010, at 5 PM New York time. Listen at 99.5 FM in the New York area, or hook up online at www.wbai.org. Pledge to WBAI to receive the cd.

Both Mumia, and the listener-sponsored Pacifica radio stations such as WBAI, are in need of your support in these trying times. Please consider a generous donation.

The cd "Mumia on Oscar Grant" was produced by the Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal in order to help increase awareness of these two case of police violence and frame-ups against the black community in the US. It consists of Mumia Abu-Jamal's audio commentaries on the murder of Oscar Grant by BART cop Johannes Mehserle, and on numerous other important topics.

Mumia Abu-Jamal, a former member of the Black Panther Party and a journalist who works from behind bars to report and comment on important social issues, is completely innocent of the crime of killing a police officer, for which he was convicted in 1982. Most recently, his innocence has been demonstrated yet again by a dramatic new documentary, JUSTICE ON TRIAL, the Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal, which premiered in Philadelphia on September 21st, and on the West Coast on October 24th.

Oscar Grant was a young black retail grocery worker and father of a young daughter who was shot in the back by Mehserle and killed, while he was face down on the pavement, in January 2009, in Oakland CA. The ex-BART cop is due to be sentenced on November 5th in LA for the ridiculously light conviction of "involuntary manslaughter." The most time he can get is 14 years.

On Saturday the 23rd of October, Local 10 of the ILWU, the West Coast longshore union, shut down all the ports in the SF Bay Area to support: Justice for Oscar Grant! Jail Killer Cops! Maximum Sentence for Johannes Mehserle! This is the same union that shut down all ports on the West Coast to demand: Free Mumia! in 1999. 1500 rallied in the rain at City Hall in Oakland that day in support of the ILWU's call for justice for Oscar Grant.


COME OUT TO DEFEND MUMIA ON NOVEMBER 9TH 2010!

MUMIA ABU-JAMAL faces his likely last court hearing on November 9th, 2010, at the Third Circuit Federal Court of Appeals, in Philadelphia. The US Supreme Court has already thrown out Mumia's last appeal against his kangaroo-court conviction before a racist judge in 1982. Now, the Third Circuit is to decide between reinstatement of Mumia's death sentence, or life in prison without the possibility of parole. These are the only two possible outcomes in the courts at this time. We have no confidence in the corrupt, racist US court system!

We need mass actions, and labor actions, to say: Mumia Is Innocent! Free Mumia Now! End the Racist Death Penalty!

EAST COAST -- PHILADELPHIA: Demonstrate to Free Mumia Now! Come to the Third Circuit Court, 6th and Market, Philadelphia, at 12 Noon on Tuesday November 9th. (The hearing starts at 2 PM.)

EAST COAST -- NEW YORK CITY: Get on the bus to Philadelphia! Call the Mumia hotline at: 212 330-8029. Leave a message to request a seat on the bus to Philadelphia.

BAY AREA -- OAKLAND: 12 Noon on Tuesday November 9th: Come to 14th and Broadway in downtown Oakland. Demonstrate to say: Mumia Is Innocent! Free Mumia! End the Racist Death Penalty! Called by the Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal, and supported by Campaign To End The Death Penalty, Mobilization To Free Mumia, Revolution Books of Berkeley, and Peoples Radio (partial list -- call to endorse). 510 763-2347.

BAY AREA -- SAN FRANCISCO: 7 PM on Tuesday November 9th: Come to Centro del Pueblo, 474 Valencia St. The new film, JUSTICE ON TRIAL, the Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal, will be screened. Hans Bennett of Abu-Jamal News, and other speakers. Donation. Called by the Mobilization To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal. Info: 510 268-9429.

- This message is from:
The Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal.
www.laboractionmumia.org, 510 763-2347

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PLEASE CIRCULATE WIDELY!

View/Download the Flyer Here: http://www.abu-jamal-news.com/docs/nov9.pdf

Stop The Execution of Mumia Abu-Jamal!

--Emergency Protest Rally & Film Screening of "Justice On Trial: The Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal"

Tuesday, November 9, 7:00 PM

Centro del Pueblo, 474 Valencia Street, San Francisco
(Between 15th and 16 Streets - near 16th St. BART)

FEATURED SPEAKERS:

Hans Bennett, Co-founder, Journalists for Mumia
Rebecca Doran, Committee to Free Kevin Cooper
Jeff Mackler, West Coast Coordinator, Lynne Stewart Defense Committee
Laura Herrera, Co-Coordinator, Mobilization to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal
Alicia Jrapko, International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban Five
Tom Lacey, State Committee, California Peace & Freedom Party
Cristina Gutierrez, Barrio Unido
Merle Woo, SF poet

$5 to $20 sliding scale. No one turned away for lack of funds. This is a benefit for Journalists for Mumia. For more information contact: The Mobilization to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal, 510-268-9428, www.freemumia.org,jmackler@lmi.net

Wheelchair accessible. Labor donated.

November 9 Oral Arguments in Philadelphia

In Philadelphia, on Nov. 9, the US Third Circuit Court will hear oral arguments concerning whether or not Mumia will be executed without a new sentencing trial, as the District Attorney is seeking to do. The court ruling can be issued anytime after oral arguments. If the ruling is against Mumia, he could then be executed very quickly.
Mumia's lead attorney, Robert R. Bryan, says that Mumia is now "in the greatest danger since his 1981 arrest."

In 2001, US District Court Judge William Yohn somewhat overturned the death penalty (Mumia has never left death row) and ruled that if the DA still wants to execute, there must first be a new sentencing-phase jury trial where evidence of innocence can be presented, but the jury can only decide between execution or life in prison without parole. This 2001 ruling by Judge Yohn was affirmed by the US 3rd Circuit in 2008, but in January, 2010, the US Supreme Court vacated the ruling and sent the case back down to the 3rd Circuit for reconsideration.

"Justice on Trial" Film

The new film, "Justice on Trial: The Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal," directed by Kouross Esmaeli and produced by Johanna Fernandez (co-coordinator of Educators for Mumia) premiered in Philadelphia at the National Constitution Center on Sept. 21, the same day as the right-wing anti-Mumia film, called "The Barrel of a Gun."

"Barrel" ignores the frame-up nature of Mumia's trial and the "evidence" used to convict him. "Justice," in contrast, fairly presents the arguments made by Mumia's supporters alongside the prosecution's alleged shooting scenario and interviews with others advocating Mumia's execution. Justice's featured interviews include press photographer Pedro Polakoff (whose newly discovered crime scene photos expose police manipulation of evidence) and author J. Patrick O'Connor (whose 2008 book argues that the actual shooter of Officer Daniel Faulkner was a man named Kenneth Freeman). For more about the film, visit:www.emajonline.com, www.abu-jamal-news.com and watch the trailer here: http://bignoisefilms.org/films/tactical-media/114-justice-on-trial

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STOP U.S. IMPERIALIST WARS!
VICTORY TO THE OPPRESSED PEOPLES IN THE U.S. AND THROUGHOUT THE WORLD!
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 2010
MARCH ON WASHINGTON
BLACK IS BACK
blackisbackcoalition.org

Black Is Back: Let's March on White House Again, Nov. 13
A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
October 6, 2010
http://www.blackagendareport.com/?q=content/black-back-lets-march-white-house-again-nov-13

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NOVEMBER 2010 - CONVERGE ON FORT BENNING, GEORGIA
November 18-21, 2010: Close the SOA and take a stand for justice in the Americas.
www.soaw.org/take-action/november-vigil

The November Vigil to Close the School of the Americas at the gates of Fort Benning, Georgia will be held from November 18-21, 2010. The annual vigil is always held close to the anniversary of the 1989 murders of Celina Ramos, her mother Elba and six Jesuit priests at a the University of Central America in El Salvador.

ORGANIZE YOUR COMMUNITY FOR THE 2010 VIGIL!

November 2010 will mark the 20th anniversary of the vigil that brings together religious communities, students, teachers, veterans, community organizers, musicians, puppetistas and many others. New layers of activists are joining the movement to close the SOA in large numbers, including numerous youth and students from multinational, working-class communities. The movement is strong thanks to the committed work of thousands of organizers and volunteers around the country. They raise funds, spread the word through posters and flyers, organize buses and other transportation to Georgia, and carry out all the work that is needed to make the November vigil a success. Together, we are strong!

VIGIL AND RALLY AT THE GATES, NONVIOLENT DIRECT ACTION, TEACH-IN, CONCERTS, WORKSHOPS AND A ANTI-MILITARIZATION ORGANIZERS CONFERENCE

There will be exciting additions to this year's vigil program. Besides the rally at the gates of Fort Benning, Georgia with inspiring speakers and amazing musicians from across the Americas, the four day convergence will also include an educational teach-in at the Columbus Convention Center, several evening concerts, workshops and for the first time, the Latin America Solidarity Coalition will stage a one-day Anti-Militarization Organizers Conference on Thursday, November 18, 2010.

SHUT DOWN THE SOA AND RESIST U.S. MILITARIZATION IN THE AMERICAS

Our work has unfortunately not gotten any easier and U.S. militarization in Latin America is accelerating. The SOA graduate led military coup in Honduras, the continuing repression against the Honduran pro-democracy resistance and the expansion of U.S. military bases in Colombia and Panama are grim examples of the ongoing threats of a U.S. foreign policy that is relying on the military to exert control over the people and the resources in the Americas. Join the people who are struggling for justice in Honduras, Colombia and throughout the Americas as we organize to push back.

Spread the word - Tell a friend about the November Vigil:
http://www.SOAW.org/tellafriend

For more information, visit:
www.SOAW.org.

See you at the gates of Fort Benning in November 2010

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B. VIDEO, FILM, AUDIO. ART, POETRY, ETC.:

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From The Ramparts 10-27-10
by Junious Ricardo Stanton plus
Junious Ricardo Stanton's video blog. Today's topic the impact of the economic meltdown on African-Americans. Junious shares data from the US Congress Joint Economic Committee on African-AMerican Unemployment and underemployement and the disproportionate rates of default and foreclosure in the African-American and Latino communities.
http://vimeo.com/16252641

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The Spill
A joint investigation by FRONTLINE and ProPublica into the trail of problems -- deadly accidents, disastrous spills, countless safety violations -- which long troubled the oil giant, BP. Could the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico have been prevented?
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/the-spill/

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Tag-Team Wrestling
"We have Learned who is For Real and who is Frontin'."
Glen Ford speaks in West Haven, CT just before the Oct. 2010 "One Nation Working Together" DC demo. See his scathing comments about the speakers from the main stage at the actual demo at blackagendareport.com
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PAIuTM3cK9I

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Video of massive French protest -- inspiring!
http://www.dailymotion.com/Talenceagauchevraiment

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BREAKING NEWS: Fresh Oil Dead Fish Cover Grand Isle As Crews Bury Fish On Public Beach
October 18, 2010
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYjlrZgCzsE&feature=player_embedded

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UNPC March to Mosque
The United National Peace Conference concluded with a solidarity march to the Albany Mosque. The activists marched in support of our Muslim brothers and sisters who have been charged, found guilty and are serving jail terms for terrorism. The cases of the Albany 2, the Fort Dix 5 and Lynne Stewart were brought to light during the rally. The peace groups reiterated their opposition to the preemptive prosecution techniques used by the FBI. It was a moving conclusion to an inspiring weekend.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dXVUgnufOi4&feature=email

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UAW Workers Picket The UAW Over Two-Tier
http://rustbeltradical.wordpress.com/2010/10/18/uaw-workers-picket-the-uaw/

Rally To End Two-Tier & Stand in Solidarity with GM Lake Orion | UAW HQ, Detroit MI (1 of 2)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bST5aTYZa00&feature=player_embedded

Rally To End Two-Tier & Stand in Solidarity with GM Lake Orion | UAW HQ, Detroit MI (2 of 2)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NHLb-KMXD9c&feature=player_embedded

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BP Contract Worker "Trenches Dug To Bury Oil On Beaches"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q0qop9xbGv4&feature=player_embedded

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Dr. Harbut [Dr. Michael Harbut, Professor of Medicine, Wayne State University] spoke with the Navy. Navy asked about training exercises over Gulf with risk of somebody going down into water... should we consider suspending training? Navy then suspended exercises over Gulf.
http://www.floridaoilspilllaw.com/navy-suspended-exercises-over-gulf

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RETHINK Afghanistan: The 10th Year: Afghanistan Veterans Speak Out
http://rethinkafghanistan.com/

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Firefighters Watch As Home Burns:
Gene Cranick's House Destroyed In Tennessee Over $75 Fee
By Adam J. Rose
The Huffington Post -- videos
10- 5-10 12:12 AM
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/04/firefighters-watch-as-hom_n_750272.html

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NOAA investigating husband & wife that were sprayed with dispersant while sleeping on boat
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=InnmBRL84Dw&feature=player_embedded

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Dangers Lurk Beneath the Surface of Gulf of Mexico
September 29th, 2010
In spite of what you might have read in the news, the oil in the Gulf of Mexico has not just disappeared. It's lurking on the bottom, destroying marine life and entire ecosystems. On top of that, we are now starting to see adverse health effects from BP's use of the toxic oil dispersant known as Corexit, which is being dumped into the Gulf as we speak. Mike Papantonio talks about some of the effects that we're now seeing as a result of BP's dispersant chemicals with Dr. Riki Ott, one of the leading experts on the impact of oil spills on human health.
http://www.ringoffireradio.com/2010/09/29/dangers-lurk-beneath-the-surface-of-gulf-of-mexico/

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Soldier Describes Murder of Afghan for Sport in Leaked Tape
By ROBERT MACKEY
September 27, 2010, 6:43 pm
http://atwar.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/09/27/soldier-describes-murder-of-afghan-for-sport-in-leaked-tape/?ref=world

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"Don't F*** With Our Activists" - Mobilizing Against FBI Raid
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XyG3dIUGQvQ

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Stephen Colbert's statement before Congress
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/39343087#39343087

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PcolaGregg Answers VisitPensacola.com With Truth And Reality
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OtopYgl9h8Q&feature=player_embedded#!

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C. SPECIAL APPEALS AND ONGOING CAMPAIGNS

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Add you name! We stand with Bradley Manning.

"We stand for truth, for government transparency, and for an end to our tax-dollars funding endless occupation abroad... We stand with accused whistle-blower US Army Pfc. Bradley Manning."

Dear All,

The Bradley Manning Support Network and Courage to Resist are launching a new campaign, and we wanted to give you a chance to be among the first to add your name to this international effort. If you sign the letter online, we'll print out and mail two letters to Army officials on your behalf. With your permission, we may also use your name on the online petition and in upcoming media ads.

Read the complete public letter and add your name at:
http://standwithbrad.org/

Courage to Resist (http://couragetoresist.org)
on behalf of the Bradley Manning Support Network (http://bradleymanning.org)
484 Lake Park Ave #41, Oakland CA 94610
510-488-3559

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Committee to Stop FBI Repression
P.O. Box 14183
Minneapolis, MN 55414

Dear Friend,

On Friday, September 24th, the FBI raided homes in Chicago and Minneapolis, and turned the Anti-War Committee office upside down. We were shocked. Our response was strong however and we jumped into action holding emergency protests. When the FBI seized activists' personal computers, cell phones, and papers claiming they were investigating "material support for terrorism", they had no idea there would be such an outpouring of support from the anti-war movement across this country! Over 61 cities protested, with crowds of 500 in Minneapolis and Chicago. Activists distributed 12,000 leaflets at the One Nation Rally in Washington D.C. Supporters made thousands of calls to President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder. Solidarity statements from community organizations, unions, and other groups come in every day. By organizing against the attacks, the movement grows stronger.

At the same time, trusted lawyers stepped up to form a legal team and mount a defense. All fourteen activists signed letters refusing to testify. So Assistant U.S. Attorney Brandon Fox withdrew the subpoenas, but this is far from over. In fact, the repression is just starting. The FBI continues to question activists at their homes and work places. The U.S. government is trying to put people in jail for anti-war and international solidarity activism and there is no indication they are backing off. The U.S. Attorney has many options and a lot of power-he may re-issue subpoenas, attempt to force people to testify under threat of imprisonment, or make arrests.

To be successful in pushing back this attack, we need your donation. We need you to make substantial contributions like $1000, $500, and $200. We understand many of you are like us, and can only afford $50, $20, or $10, but we ask you to dig deep. The legal bills can easily run into the hundreds of thousands. We are all united to defend a movement for peace and justice that seeks friendship with people in other countries. These fourteen anti-war activists have done nothing wrong, yet their freedom is at stake.

It is essential that we defend our sisters and brothers who are facing FBI repression and the Grand Jury process. With each of your contributions, the movement grows stronger.

Please make a donation today at stopfbi.net (PayPal) on the right side of your screen. Also you can write to:
Committee to Stop FBI Repression
P.O. Box 14183
Minneapolis, MN 55414

This is a critical time for us to stand together, defend free speech, and defend those who help to organize for peace and justice, both at home and abroad!

Thank you for your generosity! Tom Burke

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Deafening Silence, Chuck Africa (MOVE 9)
Check out other art and poetry by prisoners at:
Shujaas!: Prisoners Resisting Through Art
...we banging hard, yes, very hard, on this system...
http://shujaas.wordpress.com/

Peace People,
This poem is from Chuck Africa, one of the MOVE 9, who is currently serving 30-100 years on trump up charges of killing a police officer. After 32 years in prison, the MOVE 9 are repeatly denied parole, after serving their minimum sentence. Chuck wanted me to share this with the people, so that we can see how our silence in demanding the MOVE 9's freedom is inherently an invitation to their death behind prison walls.

Deafening Silence
Don't ya'll hear cries of anguish?
In the climate of pain come joining voices?
But voices become unheard and strained by inactions
Of dead brains
How long will thou Philly soul remain in the pit of agonizing apathy?
Indifference seems to greet you like the morning mirror
Look closely in the mirror and realize it's a period of mourning....
My Sistas, mothers, daughters, wives and warriors
Languish in prisons obscurity like a distant star in the galaxies as does their brothers
We need to be free....
How loud can you stay silence?
Have the courage to stand up and have a say,
Choose resistance and let go of your fears.
The history of injustice to MOVE; we all know so well
But your deafening silence could be my DEATH KNELL.
Chuck Africa

Please share, inform people and get involve in demanding the MOVE 9's freedom! www.MOVE9parole.blogspot.com

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Say No to Islamophobia!
Defend Mosques and Community Centers!
The Fight for Peace and Social Justice Requires Defense of All Under Attack!
http://www.petitiononline.com/nophobia/petition.html

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Kevin Keith Update: Good News! Death sentence commuted!

Ohio may execute an innocent man unless you take action.
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/save-kevin-keith

Ohio's Governor Spares Life of a Death Row Inmate Kevin Keith
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/03/us/03ohio.html?ref=us

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Please sign the petition to release Bradley Manning

http://www.petitiononline.com/manning1/petition.html (Click to sign here)

To: US Department of Defense; US Department of Justice
We, the Undersigned, call for justice for US Army PFC Bradley Manning, incarcerated without charge (as of 18 June 2010) at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait.

Media accounts state that Mr. Manning was arrested in late May for leaking the video of US Apache helicopter pilots killing innocent people and seriously wounding two children in Baghdad, including those who arrived to help the wounded, as well as potentially other material. The video was released by WikiLeaks under the name "Collateral Murder".

If these allegations are untrue, we call upon the US Department of Defense to release Mr. Manning immediately.

If these allegations ARE true, we ALSO call upon the US Department of Defense to release Mr. Manning immediately.

Simultaneously, we express our support for Mr. Manning in any case, and our admiration for his courage if he is, in fact, the person who disclosed the video. Like in the cases of Daniel Ellsberg, W. Mark Felt, Frank Serpico and countless other whistleblowers before, government demands for secrecy must yield to public knowledge and justice when government crime and corruption are being kept hidden.

Justice for Bradley Manning!

Sincerely,

The Undersigned:
http://www.petitiononline.com/mod_perl/signed.cgi?manning1

--
Zaineb Alani
http://www.thewordsthatcomeout.blogspot.com
http://www.tigresssmiles.blogspot.com
"Yesterday I lost a country. / I was in a hurry, / and didn't notice when it fell from me / like a broken branch from a forgetful tree. / Please, if anyone passes by / and stumbles across it, / perhaps in a suitcase / open to the sky, / or engraved on a rock / like a gaping wound, / ... / If anyone stumbles across it, / return it to me please. / Please return it, sir. / Please return it, madam. / It is my country . . . / I was in a hurry / when I lost it yesterday." -Dunya Mikhail, Iraqi poet

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Please forward widely...

HELP LYNNE STEWART -- SUPPORT THESE BILLS

These two bills are now in Congress and need your support. Either or both bills would drastically decrease Lynne's and other federal sentences substantially.

H.R. 1475 "Federal Prison Work Incentive Act Amended 2009," Congressman Danny Davis, Democrat, Illinois

This bill will restore and amend the former federal B.O.P. good time allowances. It will let all federal prisoners, except lifers, earn significant reductions to their sentences. Second, earn monthly good time days by working prison jobs. Third, allowances for performing outstanding services or duties in connection with institutional operations. In addition, part of this bill is to bring back parole to federal long term prisoners.

Go to: www.FedCURE.org and www.FAMM.org

At this time, federal prisoners only earn 47 days per year good time. If H.R. 1475 passes, Lynne Stewart would earn 120-180 days per year good time!

H.R. 61 "45 And Older," Representative Sheila Jackson-Lee (18th Congressional District, Texas)

This bill provides early release from federal prison after serving half of a violent crime or violent conduct in prison.

Please write, call, email your Representatives and Senators. Demand their votes!

This information is brought to you by Diane E. Schindelwig, a federal prisoner #36582-177 and friend and supporter of Lynne Stewart.

Write to Lynne at:

Lynne Stewart 53504-054
MCC-NY 2-S
150 Park Row
New York, NY 10007

For further information call Lynne's husband, Ralph Poynter, leader of the Lynne Stewart Defense Committee
718-789-0558 or 917-853-9759

Send contributions payable to:

Lynne Stewart Organization
1070 Dean Street
Brooklyn, New York, 11216

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Listen to Lynne Stewart event, that took place July 8, 2010 at Judson Memorial Church
Excerpts include: Mumia Abu Jamal, Ralph Poynter, Ramsey Clark, Juanita
Young, Fred Hampton Jr., Raging Grannies, Ralph Schoenman
http://www.takingaimradio.com/shows/audio.html

And check out this article (link) too!
http://www.baltimorechronicle.com/2010/062210Lendman.shtml

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AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL GRAVELY CONCERNED THAT RULING PUTS TROY DAVIS ON TRACK FOR EXECUTION; CITES PERSISTING DOUBTS ABOUT HIS GUILT
"Judge William T. Moore, Jr. ruled that while executing an innocent person would violate the United States Constitution, Davis didn't meet the extraordinarily high legal bar to prove his innocence."
Amnesty International Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Contact: Wende Gozan Brown at 212-633-4247, wgozan@aiusa.org.

(Washington, D.C.) - Amnesty International USA (AIUSA) today expressed deep concern that a federal district court decision puts Georgia death-row inmate Troy Anthony Davis back on track for execution, despite doubts about his guilt that were raised during a June evidentiary hearing. Judge William T. Moore, Jr. ruled that while executing an innocent person would violate the United States Constitution, Davis didn't meet the extraordinarily high legal bar to prove his innocence.

"Nobody walking out of that hearing could view this as an open-and-shut case," said Larry Cox, executive director of AIUSA. "The testimony that came to light demonstrates that doubt still exists, but the legal bar for proving innocence was set so high it was virtually insurmountable. It would be utterly unconscionable to proceed with this execution, plain and simple."

Amnesty International representatives, including Cox, attended the hearing in Savannah, Ga. The organization noted that evidence continues to cast doubt over the case:

· Four witnesses admitted in court that they lied at trial when they implicated Troy Davis and that they did not know who shot Officer Mark MacPhail.

· Four witnesses implicated another man as the one who killed the officer - including a man who says he saw the shooting and could clearly identify the alternative suspect, who is a family member.

· Three original state witnesses described police coercion during questioning, including one man who was 16 years old at the time of the murder and was questioned by several police officers without his parents or other adults present.

"The Troy Davis case is emblematic of everything that is wrong with capital punishment," said Laura Moye, director of AIUSA's Death Penalty Abolition Campaign. "In a system rife with error, mistakes can be made. There are no do-overs when it comes to death. Lawmakers across the country should scrutinize this case carefully, not only because of its unprecedented nature, but because it clearly indicates the need to abolish the death penalty in the United States."

Since the launch of its February 2007 report, Where Is the Justice for Me? The Case of Troy Davis, Facing Execution in Georgia, Amnesty International has campaigned intensively for a new evidentiary hearing or trial and clemency for Davis, collecting hundreds of thousands of clemency petition signatures and letters from across the United States and around the world. To date, internationally known figures such as Pope Benedict XVI, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and former U.S. President Jimmy Carter have all joined the call for clemency, as well as lawmakers from within and outside of Georgia.

Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 2.8 million supporters, activists and volunteers who campaign for universal human rights from more than 150 countries. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.

# # #

For more information visit www.amnestyusa.org/troydavis.

Wende Gozan Brown
Media Relations Director
Amnesty International USA
212/633-4247 (o)
347/526-5520 (c)

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Please sign the petition to stop the execution of Mumia Abu-Jamal and
and forward it to all your lists.

"Mumia Abu-Jamal and The Global Abolition of the Death Penalty"

http://www.petitiononline.com/Mumialaw/petition.html

(A Life In the Balance - The Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal, at 34, Amnesty Int'l, 2000; www. Amnesty.org/en/library/info/AMR51/001/2000.)

[Note: This petition is approved by Mumia Abu-Jamal and his lead attorney, Robert R. Bryan, San Francisco (E-mail: MumiaLegalDefense@gmail.com; Website: www.MumiaLegalDefense.org).]

Committee To Save Mumia Abu-Jamal
P.O. Box 2012
New York, NY 10159-2012

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Donations for Mumia's Legal Defense in the U.S. Our legal effort is the front line of the battle for Mumia's freedom and life. His legal defense needs help. The costs are substantial for our litigation in the U.S. Supreme Court and at the state level. To help, please make your checks payable to the National Lawyers Guild Foundation indicate "Mumia" on the bottom left). All donations are tax deductible under the Internal Revenue Code, section 501c)3), and should be mailed to:

It is outrageous and a violation of human rights that Mumia remains in prison and on death row. His life hangs in the balance. My career has been marked by successfully representing people facing death in murder cases. I will not rest until we win Mumia's case. Justice requires no less.

With best wishes,

Robert R. Bryan
Lead counsel for Mumia Abu-Jamal

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Short Video About Al-Awda's Work
The following link is to a short video which provides an overview of Al-Awda's work since the founding of our organization in 2000. This video was first shown on Saturday May 23, 2009 at the fundraising banquet of the 7th Annual Int'l Al-Awda Convention in Anaheim California. It was produced from footage collected over the past nine years.
Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kTiAkbB5uC0&eurl
Support Al-Awda, a Great Organization and Cause!

Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition, depends on your financial support to carry out its work.

To submit your tax-deductible donation to support our work, go to
http://www.al-awda.org/donate.html and follow the simple instructions.

Thank you for your generosity!

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KEVIN COOPER IS INNOCENT!
FLASHPOINTS Interview with Innocent San Quentin Death Row Inmate
Kevin Cooper -- Aired Monday, May 18,2009
http://www.flashpoints.net/#GOOGLE_SEARCH_ENGINE
To learn more about Kevin Cooper go to:
savekevincooper.org
LINKS
San Francisco Chronicle article on the recent ruling:
http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/05/13/BAM517J8T3.DTL
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling and dissent:
http://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2009/05/11/05-99004o.pdf

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COURAGE TO RESIST!
Support the troops who refuse to fight!
http://www.couragetoresist.org/x/
Donate:
http://www.couragetoresist.org/x/content/view/21/57/

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D. ARTICLES IN FULL

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1) Assembly Again Urges U.S. to Lift Cuba Embargo
By NEIL MacFARQUHAR
October 27, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/27/world/americas/27briefs-CUBA.html?ref=world

2) Arizona Executes Inmate After Supreme Court Clears Way
By JOHN SCHWARTZ
October 27, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/28/us/28execute.html?ref=us

3) Power Failure Cut a Link to Missiles
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
October 26, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/27/us/27missile.html?ref=us

4) Study Finds Street Stops by N.Y. Police Unjustified
By AL BAKER and RAY RIVERA
October 26, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/27/nyregion/27frisk.html?ref=nyregion

5) Fishermen Report Louisiana Bays Filled With Oil
by: Dahr Jamail and Erika Blumenfeld, t r u t h o u t | Report
Wednesday 27 October 2010
[Photos and article appear together at the following URL:...bw]
http://www.truth-out.org/fishermen-report-louisiana-bays-filled-with-oil64564

6) End the War on Pot
By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF
"It spends about $216,000 per year on each juvenile detainee, and just $8,000 on each child in the troubled Oakland public school system. Each year, some 750,000 Americans are arrested for possession of small amounts of marijuana. Is that really the optimal use of our police force? ...Here in Los Angeles, blacks are arrested for marijuana possession at seven times the rate whites are, according to a study by the Drug Policy Alliance, which favors legalization. Yet surveys consistently find that young whites use marijuana at higher rates than young blacks."
October 27, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/28/opinion/28kristof.html?hp

7) New Strikes After French Reform Vote
By STEVEN ERLANGER
October 28, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/29/world/europe/29france.html?ref=world

8) Labor Law Is Broken, Economist Says
"...the percentage of private-sector workers in unions has fallen to 7 percent, down from nearly 40 percent in the 1950s."
By STEVEN GREENHOUSE
Jodi Hilton for The New York Times Richard B. Freeman
October 28, 2010, 12:31 pm
http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/10/28/labor-law-is-broken-economist-says/?src=busln

9) Exxon's Profit Rises 55%, Helped by Higher Oil Prices
By REUTERS
October 28, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/29/business/29exxon.html?ref=business

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1) Assembly Again Urges U.S. to Lift Cuba Embargo
By NEIL MacFARQUHAR
October 27, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/27/world/americas/27briefs-CUBA.html?ref=world

The annual General Assembly resolution calling for the United States to lift its longstanding economic embargo against Cuba passed by the lopsided vote of 187 to 2. Only the United States and Israel opposed the nonbinding measure, the 19th such resolution in a row, while three Pacific island allies of Washington abstained. The Cuban foreign minister, Bruno RodrĂ­guez Parrilla, accused President Obama of promising to change relations with Cuba but falling under the thrall of the exile community in the United States. In response, the United States said that it had expanded trade and other ties with the Caribbean nation but that improved relations hinged on greater domestic freedom.

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2) Arizona Executes Inmate After Supreme Court Clears Way
By JOHN SCHWARTZ
October 27, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/28/us/28execute.html?ref=us

The State of Arizona executed Jeffrey Landrigan late Tuesday night after the Supreme Court lifted a lower court's injunction blocking the lethal injection.

Last-minute appeals for Mr. Landrigan, convicted of murder in 1990, focused on the origins of one of the drugs used in the state's three-drug execution protocol.

Shortages of barbiturates used in executions has led to delays in several states. The only domestic manufacturer approved by the Food and Drug Administration to make sodium thiopental, the barbiturate used in Arizona, is Hospira, Inc; it suspended production of the drug a year ago because of supply issues, and is expected to be producing it again in the first quarter of next year.

With no supplies coming from sources approved by the F.D.A., Judge Roslyn O. Silver of Federal District Court had demanded that the state provide information about the origins of Arizona's drug in order to know whether there were risks of impurity or efficacy that could violate Mr. Landrigan's rights under the Eighth Amendment barring cruel and unusual punishment.

The state refused to detail the origins of the drug or the process used to obtain it in open court, citing the state's confidentiality laws, though officials said it had come from England. Thus "the Court is left to speculate," Judge Silver wrote, "whether the non-F.D.A. approved drug will cause pain and suffering."

A three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld the order, stating that the state should provide a full accounting. "Because we do not know what was before the district court due to the state's failure to provide the materials, we cannot say the district court abused its discretion in granting a temporary stay," the judges wrote on Tuesday. Later in the day, the full Ninth Circuit refused to rehear the case, resulting in the state appealing to the Supreme Court.

In a one-page order issued Tuesday night explaining the 5-to-4 vote to vacate Judge Silver's temporary restraining order, the Supreme Court stated that Judge Silver's reasoning was flawed, because the case affirming the constitutionality of the three-drug execution method, Baze v. Rees, had a high standard of proof that an execution method would cause harm.

The Court stated that "speculation cannot substitute for evidence that the use of the drug is 'sure or very likely to cause serious illness and needless suffering,' " and added, "There was no showing that the drug was unlawfully obtained, nor was there an offer of proof to that effect."

The five justices who voted for lifting the stay were Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.; Antonin Scalia; Clarence Thomas; Samuel Alito; and Anthony M. Kennedy. The four justices who voted to uphold Judge Silver's stay were Ruth Bader Ginsburg; Stephen G. Breyer; Sonia Sotomayor; and Elena Kagan. They did not issue an opinion.

Eric M. Freedman, a law professor at Hofstra University, said that the lesson of the Supreme Court's ruling in the Landrigan case was "crime pays."

He explained: "The state flatly stonewalled the lower courts by defying orders to produce information, and then was rewarded at the Supreme Court by winning its case on the basis that the defendant had not put forward enough evidence. That is an outcome which turns simple justice upside-down and a victory that the state should be ashamed to have obtained."

Proponents of the death penalty saw the outcome, instead, as a victory for the rule of law. Kent Scheidegger, the legal director of the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation, a victims' rights group, wrote on the group's blog that the case draws a bright line for other attempts to stay executions, and singled out a procedural stay in California, where Judge Jeremy Fogel of Federal District Court has delayed the execution of Albert Greenwood Brown Jr. over questions concerning the state's drug protocols.

"Judge Fogel now has a clear directive from the high court that unless the new California protocol fails this 'sure or very likely' standard, he should allow executions to proceed," Mr. Scheidegger wrote. "The protocol surely passes."

In an interview, Mr. Scheidegger said, "The Supreme Court told the Ninth Circuit and the District Court that they had applied too loose a standard in granting a stay." The new decision, he said, "sends a message" that "speculation about problems with the source is not sufficient to stay an execution."

Ty Alper, the associate director of the death penalty clinic at the University of California, Berkeley, said that the Supreme Court's decision did not end the story, arguing that "it explicitly leaves the door open for a challenge in a case where petitioners can show that the drug was unlawfully obtained."

The fact that the F.D.A. has not approved foreign sources of sodium thiopental, he said, suggested that "it's very likely that a petitioner will be able to make this showing in a case where there is more time to litigate the issue than there was in the Arizona case."

With the stay in Arizona lifted, Mr. Landrigan was executed at 10:26 p.m. Mountain time.

Mr. Landrigan murdered Chester Dyer in 1989 in Phoenix, after having escaped from an Oklahoma prison where he was being held on another murder conviction.

According to The Arizona Republic, Mr. Landrigan offered his last words in a strong voice and a heavy accent from his native Oklahoma.

"Well, I'd like to say thank you to my family for being here and all my friends," he said, "and Boomer Sooner."

The Sooners is the team nickname at the University of Oklahoma.

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3) Power Failure Cut a Link to Missiles
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
October 26, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/27/us/27missile.html?ref=us

WASHINGTON (AP) - A power failure caused a break in communication with 50 nuclear missiles at an Air Force base in Wyoming over the weekend, military officials said Tuesday.

The officials say the power failure on Saturday lasted about 45 minutes. The White House was briefed about the incident on Tuesday morning.

There was no evidence of foul play, the officials said, and the Air Force never lost the ability to launch the missiles. The problem, first reported online by The Atlantic, appears to have been caused by a power failure in an underground communications cable.

The Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles are maintained by the 319th Missile Squadron and are stockpiled at Warren Air Force Base, near Cheyenne.

The Air Force's other nuclear missile sites, in Montana and North Dakota, were not affected.

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4) Study Finds Street Stops by N.Y. Police Unjustified
By AL BAKER and RAY RIVERA
October 26, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/27/nyregion/27frisk.html?ref=nyregion

Tens of thousands of times over six years, the police stopped and questioned people on New York City streets without the legal justification for doing so, a new study says.

And in hundreds of thousands of more cases, city officers failed to include essential details on required police forms to show whether the stops were justified, according to the study written by Prof. Jeffrey A. Fagan of Columbia Law School.

The study was conducted on behalf of the Center for Constitutional Rights, which is suing the New York Police Department for what the center says is a widespread pattern of unprovoked and unnecessary stops and racial profiling in the department's stop-question-and-frisk policy. The department denies the charges.

The study examined police data cataloging the 2.8 million times from 2004 through 2009 that officers stopped people on the streets to question and sometimes frisk them, a crime-fighting strategy the department has put more emphasis on over the years.

Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly has rejected the accusation of racial profiling, and said the racial breakdown of the stops correlated to the racial breakdown of crime suspects. Mr. Kelly has also credited the tactic with helping to cut crime to low levels in the city and with getting guns off the street.

But as the number of stops has jumped - to more than 570,000 last year from 313,000 in 2004 - the practice has come under increasing scrutiny, from lawmakers at City Hall and Albany and from civil libertarians including the constitutional rights center and the New York Civil Liberties Union.

Professor Fagan found that in more than 30 percent of stops, officers either lacked the kind of suspicion necessary to make a stop constitutional or did not include sufficient detail on police forms to determine if the stops were legally justified. The study also found that even accounting for crime patterns in the city's various neighborhoods, officers stopped minorities at disproportionate rates.

Nearly 150,000 of the stops - 6.7 percent of all cases in which an officer made a stop based on his own discretion, rather than while responding to a radio call in which some information had already been gathered - lacked legal sufficiency, the study concluded.

Stops were considered unjustified if officers provided no primary reason articulating a reasonable suspicion for the stop.

For example, if an officer conducted a stop solely because a person was in a high-crime area - without listing a primary reason, like the person "fits a description" of a crime suspect or appeared to be "casing" a store - the stop was considered unjustified.

If an officer cited only "other" as the reason for the stop, with no other details, it was deemed unjustified in the study.

An additional 544,000 cases, or 24 percent of all discretionary stops, did not have enough information on the forms that officers are required to fill out after such encounters.

The United States Supreme Court has held that in order for police officers to stop someone, they must be able to articulate a reasonable suspicion of a crime. To frisk them, they must have a reasonable belief that the person is armed and dangerous.

Darius Charney, a lawyer for the Center for Constitutional Rights, said the study crystallized the primary complaints in the lawsuit. "It confirms what we have been saying for the last 10 or 11 years, which is that stop-and-frisk patterns - it is really race, not crime, that is driving this," Mr. Charney said.

Mr. Kelly, responding to the professor's study, said on Tuesday, "I think you have to understand this was an advocacy paper." He also noted that Professor Fagan was paid well to produce the report.

"We haven't had a chance to look at it," Mr. Kelly added, "but I wouldn't take the position that this is an objective document."

The commissioner acknowledged that the department was paying its own expert, Dennis C. Smith, a professor at the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University, to produce its own study in the case.

Police officials have pointed to a 2007 study of the practice by the Rand Corporation, which found no racial profiling being done by officers.

They said the study, commissioned by the Police Department, showed that stops mirrored crime - that while a large percentage of stops involved blacks, an even larger percentage of violent crimes involved suspects described as black by their victims.

Professor Fagan challenged the Rand report's findings and methodologies because the report used as a benchmark violent crime, which accounts for 10 percent of all criminal cases. And in half of those, his study found, the races of the suspects are not known.

Another of the Fagan study's main areas of focus was where stops were concentrated.

It found that the highest proportion of stops occur within police precincts that cover areas with large numbers of black and Hispanic residents. A chart in the study shows that in the quartile of the city with the highest concentrations of black residents, the police stopped people at a rate two to three times as much per criminal complaint than in the quartile of the precincts with the lowest percentage of black residents.

A report in The New York Times in July found that the highest concentration of stops in the city was in a roughly eight-block area of Brownsville, Brooklyn, that was predominately black. Residents there were stopped at a rate 13 times as much as the city average.

Professor Fagan said he would not speak about the study until he was deposed in the case. He was chosen to do it based on his experience in studying race and policing for three decades, Mr. Charney said.

Other findings in the study echoed some familiar ideas about the practice.

Force was 14 percent more likely to be used in stops of blacks and 9.3 percent more likely for Hispanics, compared with white suspects.

Guns were not often found (they were discovered in 0.15 percent of all stops). And weapons and other contraband were seized nearly 15 percent less often in stops of blacks than of whites, and nearly 23 percent less often in stops of Hispanics.

If stops that resulted in some form of sanction, blacks were 31 percent more likely than whites to be arrested than issued summonses.

Mr. Charney said Professor Fagan could serve as a witness in a potential trial.

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5) Fishermen Report Louisiana Bays Filled With Oil
by: Dahr Jamail and Erika Blumenfeld, t r u t h o u t | Report
Wednesday 27 October 2010
[Photos and article appear together at the following URL:...bw]
http://www.truth-out.org/fishermen-report-louisiana-bays-filled-with-oil64564

photo
Oiled marsh in Bay Jimmy, Louisiana. (Photo: Erika Blumenfeld)

On Saturday, October 23, Truthout spotted what appeared to be massive areas of weathered oil floating near Louisiana's fragile marshlands in both East and West Bays along the Mississippi River Delta. In addition, at least two more oil leaks were spotted near oil and gas platforms along Louisiana's embattled coastline.

Four days prior, federal on-scene cleanup coordinator for the BP oil disaster, Coast Guard Rear Adm. Paul Zukunft, declared there was little recoverable surface oil in the Gulf of Mexico.

Miles-long strands of what appears to be weathered BP oil in bays near Southwest Pass, Louisiana. (Photo: Erika Blumenfeld)

Another view of miles-long strands of what appears to be weathered BP oil in bays near Southwest Pass, Louisiana. (Photo: Erika Blumenfeld)

Both Bays cover an area of roughly 70 square miles of open water that surround Southwest Pass, the main shipping channel of the Mississippi River. While East Bay remains closed for fishing, West Bay was currently open for fishing when Truthout spotted the substance on October 23, despite the fact that the day before a BP oil cleanup crew had reported oil in West Bay to a local newspaper.

(Shrimper trawling in oil, in West Bay, Louisiana. (Photo: Erika Blumenfeld)

"They are literally shrimping in oil," Jonathan Henderson, the coastal resiliency organizer of the environmental group the Gulf Restoration Network, who was with Truthout on the flight, exclaimed while our plane flew near the fishermen.

"Our tests continue to reveal seafood from the reopened areas is safe to eat," Jane Lubchenco, US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) administrator, told reporters while NOAA recently opened more federal waters in the Gulf.

The day before Truthout's oil sighting, NOAA had reopened more of the previously closed fishing areas, bringing to 96 percent the federal waters now deemed safe for fishing.

The waters in East and West Bay are under the jurisdiction of Louisiana's Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) , while waters further from the coast are under federal jurisdiction. LDWF does receive input, however, from NOAA.

Earlier in the same day, Truthout spotted the substance. A spotter pilot for LDWF had flown over the same area and told Southern Seaplanes there was no oil.

"He is the spotter for LDWF and saw that bay, and it is still open," Henderson told Truthout. "He should have closed the Bay for fishing. So now you can see how sophisticated they are in tracking this. Either this guy is completely incompetent, or has an agenda to keep as much of Louisiana's waters open for fishing as he can, whether there is oil or not. I don't see how he could have flown down there today and not seen it. It's criminal."

When Truthout called the LDWF requesting to talk with the LDWF oil spotter, Truthout was told, "that person is not available to comment."

The LDWF web site has a number to call in order to report oil sightings. When Truthout called that number, the call was answered by a BP response call center.

The only federal waters of the Gulf that have yet to be reopened are a 9,444-square-mile area directly around the BP wellhead where the Deepwater Horizon exploded, burned and sank to the bottom of the Gulf.

On October 23, the Coast Guard claimed that the substance floating in the miles-wide areas of West Bay appeared to be "an algal bloom."

Lt. Cmdr. Chris O'Neil said a pollution investigator for the Coast Guard collected samples from the area, and while they had yet to be tested, said, "based on his observation and what he sees in the sample jars, he believes that to be an algal bloom."

Fishermen who have traveled through and fished in the area over the weekend, however, refute these Coast Guard claims.

"I scooped some up, and it feels like oil, looks like oil, is brownish red like all the dispersed oil we've been seeing since this whole thing started," fisherman David Arenesen, from Venice, Louisiana, told Truthout. "It doesn't look like algae to me. Algae doesn't stick on your fingers, and algae isn't oily. The area of this stuff spans an area of 30 miles, from Southwest Pass almost all the way over to Grand Isle, and runs very far off-shore too. We rode through it for over 20 miles while we were going out to fish, I dipped some up, and it's oil."

Arenesen saw the substance on Friday, the same day it was reported by the Times Picayune newspaper in New Orleans.

"It was at least an inch thick, and it went on for miles," Arenesen added. "It would be easy to clean since it's all floating on the surface."

Truthout spoke with Gary Robinson, a hook-and-line, mackerel, commercial fisherman working out of Venice, who was also in the substance in question recently.

"I was out in West Bay on October 22nd, and I was in this thick brown foam, about five inches thick, with red swirls of oil throughout it, and there was a lot of it, at least a 10 mile patch of it," Robinson said while speaking to Truthout on his boat. "I've never seen anything like that foam before; the red stuff in it was weathered oil, and there was sheen coming off my boat when I came back into harbor. I'm concerned about the safety of the fish I'm catching."

The boat captains working in the BP oil spill response team who first reported the sightings as oil told the Times Picayune on Saturday that they were not convinced either by the Coast Guard's initial assessment.

"I've never seen algae that looked orange, that was sticky, smelled like oil and that stuck to the boat and had to be cleaned off with solvent," said one captain.

Last Friday, the boat captains said they were frustrated by a lack of response from the Coast Guard, after they had been reporting the sightings for a week.

Dean Blanchard, of Dean Blanchard Seafood Inc. in Grand Isle, Louisiana, spoke with Truthout about the Coast Guard claim that the substance was likely algae.

"Hell, we got oil coming in here everyday, it's all around us; we know what oil is," Blanchard said. "The Coast Guard should change the color of their uniforms, since they are working for BP. We've known they are working for BP from the beginning of this thing. None of us believe anything they say about this oil disaster anymore."

Despite a consistent trend by state and federal governments to promote the Gulf of Mexico as being largely free of BP oil and dispersants, many residents remain concerned.

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"Anytime you can fly 100 miles in one direction and not see a break in the oil," Capt. Dicky Tupes of Southern Seaplanes told Truthout. "Then fly 100 miles in the other direction and not see a break in the oil: that's a lot of oil, and it had to go somewhere."

Tupes was discussing his experience flying over large areas of the Gulf that had been oiled while BP's well continued to gush, yet he remains alarmed at what he sees in the water.

"Everyone, including the feds, are talking about the fact that less of the oil actually reached the surface than was below." Tupes added. "And now we're seeing some of that submerged oil surface here. How long will this go on?"

What appears to be weathered BP oil in bays near Southwest Pass, Louisiana. (Photo: Erika Blumenfeld)

Strands of what is likely weathered BP oil in bays near Southwest Pass, Louisiana. (Photo: Erika Blumenfeld)

While flying out to East and West Bays, Truthout spotted a platform with what appeared to be an oil leak, as sheen streaked the water. The GPS coordinates at this spotting were 2925.66N, 8929.54W.

Silvery-blue oil sheen shows a leak from a facility between California Bay and Quarantine Bay, Louisiana. (Photo: Erika Blumenfeld)

"I've seen quite a few of these," Tupes told Truthout, referring to the leaking platform.

Henderson explained that he had spotted oil at the exact same area during a previous flyover on October 19. He reported the leak at that time to the Louisiana State Police and the National Response Center, in addition to his speaking directly with the Coast Guard National Response Command and emailing them his photos.

Clearly, no effective action had been taken.

Disturbingly, Henderson has recently revealed how long this leak has been in existence.

"I found out from the Coast Guard that not only has this leak been going on since last week, but that the first report they ever received about this leak was on August 31st," Henderson wrote for the Gulf Restoration Network on Monday. "It gets worse. According to the Coast Guard, 'the leak is from an abandoned underwater oil pipeline and the State Department of Natural Resources is in charge of investigating it.' What does that even mean? Is the State only going to take action to stop the leak after they find the responsible party? Are they really actively investigating this?"

Silvery-blue oil sheen shows leak from a facility in East Bay, Louisiana. (Photo: Erika Blumenfeld)

Another oil leak was spotted near a platform just east of Southwest Pass. A long streak of sheen was visible in East Bay at this area at GPS coordinates 2859.77N, 8917.61W.

The East Bay area was completely covered in miles-long strands of what was likely weathered oil of various colors. While flying approximately ten linear miles across the Bay, Truthout saw nothing but streaks of oil across the surface, as well as submerged oil. "That oil is covering just about the entire length of Southwest Pass," Tupes said.

What is likely weathered BP oil in East Bay, Louisiana. (Photo: Erika Blumenfeld)

Just across Southwest Pass where the Mississippi River ultimately drains into the Gulf, Truthout was flown over West Bay, which the previous day was reported to be covered in weathered oil by the New Orleans Times-Picayune Newspaper.

Surprisingly, the day after this report, neither state nor federal authorities had closed this area for commercial fishing.

On October 21, scientists from NOAA, the LDWF and the Audubon Nature Institute joined with Coast Guard Rear Adm. Roy A. Nash to return 33 sea turtles to Gulf of Mexico waters offshore of Louisiana.

NOAA reports claimed, "the area is clean and a safe habitat for the turtles."

While flying over West Bay, the amount of what is likely weathered oil and sheen visible on the surface was staggering. Looking west, it covered the surface as far as the horizon into the open Gulf.

"This is unreal," Tupes exclaimed at one point.

Substance that is likely weathered BP oil in West Bay, Louisiana. (Photo: Erika Blumenfeld)

While flying back to the airport, Truthout witnessed large amounts of oil sheen atop the water of Bay Jimmy in Barataria Bay. Numerous areas of marsh were covered in oil, and much of the grass appeared black and dead.

Oiled marsh in Bay Jimmy, Louisiana. (Photo: Erika Blumenfeld)

Several BP cleanup crews were working in the area, yet Henderson had visited the area on October 21 to find several oiled birds and much oil heavy damage. "This marsh is in trouble," Henderson added.

Environmental groups like the Gulf Restoration Network are deeply concerned about the ongoing oil findings, as the Mississippi Delta is a primary wintering ground for hundreds of thousands of ducks and geese, some of which already have begun arriving. The West Bay area leads into several shallower interior bays that attract ducks, geese and myriad species of shore and wading birds each winter.

"What you don't see anymore out here are ducks," Tupes said. "It used to be that there were so many ducks they'd darken the sky. Now you don't see anymore of that."

Henderson is angered by what he saw Saturday. "Much of the water we flew over today was open for commercial and recreational fishing," he said of the flight. "We saw shrimp boats trawling in a bay full of oil. We were under the impression that the science advisor for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries had gone out to assess the situation in West and East Bays, to determine if they should be closed. What we ascertained from conversations with aviators flying through these waters today was that that scientists had gone out and then returned and reported these waters clear."

Henderson paused, then continued, "But we went out and flew over these same areas and sensitive marshlands and found them completely covered in oil, and with shrimp boats trawling in them. Honestly, I don't have any kind words for the LDWF, and I'm at a juncture where I'm losing faith in any assessments that are done by our state or federal governments."

"I would not eat the shrimp right now," Henderson added. "They are shrimping in oil. Where were all the spotter planes? Where was the boom and skimmers? There was clearly skimmable oil on the surface, and they were doing absolutely nothing. Why is there not a more concerted effort to fight this? How is it that BP gets to make the decision to remove what defenses we have against this oil that keeps coming in?"

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6) End the War on Pot
By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF
"It spends about $216,000 per year on each juvenile detainee, and just $8,000 on each child in the troubled Oakland public school system. Each year, some 750,000 Americans are arrested for possession of small amounts of marijuana. Is that really the optimal use of our police force? ...Here in Los Angeles, blacks are arrested for marijuana possession at seven times the rate whites are, according to a study by the Drug Policy Alliance, which favors legalization. Yet surveys consistently find that young whites use marijuana at higher rates than young blacks."
October 27, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/28/opinion/28kristof.html?hp

LOS ANGELES

I dropped in on a marijuana shop here that proudly boasted that it sells "31 flavors." It also offered a loyalty program. For every 10 purchases of pot - supposedly for medical uses - you get one free packet.

"There are five of these shops within a three-block radius," explained the proprietor, Edward J. Kim. He brimmed with pride at his inventory and sounded like any small businessman as he complained about onerous government regulation. Like, well, state and federal laws.

But those burdensome regulations are already evaporating in California, where anyone who can fake a headache already can buy pot. Now there's a significant chance that on Tuesday, California voters will choose to go further and broadly legalize marijuana.

I hope so. Our nearly century-long experiment in banning marijuana has failed as abysmally as Prohibition did, and California may now be pioneering a saner approach. Sure, there are risks if California legalizes pot. But our present drug policy has three catastrophic consequences.

First, it squanders billions of dollars that might be better used for education. California now spends more money on prisons than on higher education. It spends about $216,000 per year on each juvenile detainee, and just $8,000 on each child in the troubled Oakland public school system.

Each year, some 750,000 Americans are arrested for possession of small amounts of marijuana. Is that really the optimal use of our police force?

In contrast, legalizing and taxing marijuana would bring in substantial sums that could be used to pay for schools, libraries or early childhood education. A Harvard economist, Jeffrey A. Miron, calculates that marijuana could generate $8.7 billion in tax revenue each year if legalized nationally, while legalization would also save the same sum annually in enforcement costs.

That's a $17 billion swing in the nation's finances - enough to send every 3- and 4-year-old in a poor family to a high-quality preschool. And that's an investment that would improve education outcomes and reduce crime and drug use in the future - with enough left over to pay for an extensive nationwide campaign to discourage drug use.

The second big problem with the drug war is that it has exacerbated poverty and devastated the family structure of African-Americans. Partly that's because drug laws are enforced inequitably. Black and Latino men are much more likely than whites to be stopped and searched and, when drugs are found, prosecuted.

Here in Los Angeles, blacks are arrested for marijuana possession at seven times the rate whites are, according to a study by the Drug Policy Alliance, which favors legalization. Yet surveys consistently find that young whites use marijuana at higher rates than young blacks.

Partly because of drug laws, a black man now has a one-in-three chance of serving time in prison at some point in his life, according to the Sentencing Project, a group that seeks reform in the criminal justice system. This makes it more difficult for black men to find jobs, more difficult for black women to find suitable husbands, and less common for black children to grow up in stable families with black male role models. So, sure, drugs have devastated black communities - but the remedy of criminal sentencing has made the situation worse.

The third problem with our drug policy is that it creates crime and empowers gangs. "The only groups that benefit from continuing to keep marijuana illegal are the violent gangs and cartels that control its distribution and reap immense profits from it through the black market," a group of current and former police officers, judges and prosecutors wrote last month in an open letter to voters in California.

I have no illusions about drugs. One of my childhood friends in Yamhill, Ore., pretty much squandered his life by dabbling with marijuana in ninth grade and then moving on to stronger stuff. And yes, there's some risk that legalization would make such dabbling more common. But that hasn't been a significant problem in Portugal, which decriminalized drug use in 2001.

Likewise, medical marijuana laws approved in 1996 have in effect made pot accessible to any adult in California, without any large increase in usage. Special medical clinics abound where for about $45 you can see a doctor who is certain to give you the medical recommendation that you need to buy marijuana. Then you can visit Mr. Kim and choose one of his 31 varieties, topping out at a private "OG" brand that costs $75 for one-eighth of an ounce. "It's like a fine wine, cured, aged, dried," he boasted.

Or browse the online offerings. One store advertises: "refer a friend, get free joint." And the world hasn't ended.

One advantage of our federal system is that when we have a failed policy, we can grope for improvements by experimenting at the state level. I hope California will lead the way on Tuesday by legalizing marijuana.

I invite you to visit my blog, On the Ground. Please also join me on Facebook, watch my YouTube videos and follow me on Twitter.

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7) New Strikes After French Reform Vote
By STEVEN ERLANGER
October 28, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/29/world/europe/29france.html?ref=world

PARIS - Several hundred thousand people demonstrated again on Thursday to protest changes in France's retirement age, but the numbers were down significantly from previous national days of protest, and it appeared that President Nicolas Sarkozy and his government had won an important victory.

Mr. Sarkozy's approval ratings are hovering around 30 percent, an historic low, but his loyalists say that he will now be able to contrast his firmness in carrying through an unprecedented reform with the behavior of previous governments that had backed down in the face of the "democracy of the streets."

On Wednesday, the lower house of Parliament gave final approval to a measure that increases the minimum retirement age to 62 from 60 and the age to receive a full pension to 67 from 65. If the bill is approved by the Constitutional Council, as expected, it should become law in mid-November and begin to take effect next July.

The largest union, the C.G.T., was once allied to the Communist Party and is strong in key sectors like transport and fuel. Its leader, Bernard Thibault, said that opposition to the pension reform "remains very much a majority view among workers and in public opinion," but he conceded in an interview with the newspaper Libération that "the way we contest it is shifting" because his members were losing wages because of the extended strikes.

Still, job actions disrupted air and rail traffic on Thursday, with news reports saying half of the flights at Orly Airport near Paris would be grounded and a third of flights at Roissy-Charles de Gaulle and other airports canceled.

The national railroad system said on its Web site that up to 80 percent of high-speed intercity trains would run despite the strikes, but the proportion for slower and local trains would be lower. Eurostar service to London was expected to operate normally.

But services on the Paris subway and bus system were near normal.

Support for strikes - the latest in a series of challenges to the pensions changes since September - seemed to be weakening among union members, despite opinion surveys suggesting continued public backing. The state postal service said only 5 percent of its staff was supporting strike action, a third of the level of earlier stoppages.

Seven of 12 oil refineries have voted to return to work so far, but at least 20 percent of service stations still report fuel supply problems.

Alan Cowell contributed reporting.

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8) Labor Law Is Broken, Economist Says
"...the percentage of private-sector workers in unions has fallen to 7 percent, down from nearly 40 percent in the 1950s."
By STEVEN GREENHOUSE
Jodi Hilton for The New York Times Richard B. Freeman
October 28, 2010, 12:31 pm
http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/10/28/labor-law-is-broken-economist-says/?src=busln

In a new paper, Richard B. Freeman, a labor economist at Harvard, said he had some "harsh and impolitic" news for the National Labor Relations Act on its 75th anniversary. He declared that the law "has become an anachronism irrelevant for most workers and firms."

Mr. Freeman released his paper in Washington on Thursday at a symposium that marks the 75th anniversary of that New Deal law - often known as the Wagner Act - that gave American workers a federally protected right to form unions. He called his paper "What Can We Learn from NLRA to Create Labor Law for the 21st Century?"

Mr. Freeman, one of the nation's foremost labor economists, wrote that the act was passed to replace the costly unionization fights of yesteryear - often involving strikes, lockouts, violent confrontations - with "a 'laboratory conditions' elections process for ascertaining workers attitudes toward union representation that would be free from employer pressures or dishonest statements by employers or unions." He said unionization elections in the private-sector "have turned into massive employer campaigns against unions."

That, he wrote, is a major reason the percentage of private-sector workers in unions has fallen to 7 percent, down from nearly 40 percent in the 1950s.

He argued that the penalties in the National Labor Relations Act are weak and "have failed to deter firms from illegal actions to prevent unionization." He wrote that in the early 1950s firms fired about 0.5 workers for every 100 workers who voted in N.L.R.B. elections, but in the 1980s and early 1990s, firms "fired 4.5 workers for every 100 union voters," with that percentage dropping slightly in recent years.

"Far from a laboratory conditions experiment in democracy," he wrote, "the N.L.R.B. process turned into the same costly fight between unions and firms that union organizing was before the Act, albeit in a different venue with different weapons." He wrote that the N.L.R.B. process has "failed to make it easy or natural for workers who want union representation to achieve this goal."

He noted that there is a 20 percent to 30 percent gap between the percentage of workers who say they want union representation and those who have unions - the largest gap among advanced English-speaking countries.

Professor Freeman pointed to one study that found that unions find it so hard to organize workers under the N.L.R.B. process that around 80 percent of new organizing in the late 1980s and 1990s occurred outside that process. This usually happened among government employees who are not covered by the National Labor Relations Act, or by private-sector unions that mount pressure campaigns to persuade employers to accept unions through the card check process - under which unions are recognized when a majority of workers sign cards favoring a union.

Professor Freeman said it is hardly surprising that the percentage of public-sector workers in unions is five times as high as the percentage of private-sector workers.

One big reason for this, he wrote, is that private-sector employers "have sizable monetary incentives to oppose unionism," and the penalties that N.L.R.B. "has at its disposal are too limited to offset these incentives." He noted that government officials, unlike corporate officials, have generally not fought unionization because "they have little to gain and much to lose from fighting unions."

"Unions," he added "are an important ally in helping politicians and public sector management convince voters to increase taxes or borrow money through bonds for schools, police or other public goods."

For instance, if a company illegally fires the three employee leaders of a unionization drive - the law makes it illegal to fire someone for supporting a union - the law requires the company (once the labor board has determined the firings were illegal) to pay back pay, minus whatever earnings the workers had after being fired. The law does not call for fines or punitive damages for such firings.

Mr. Freeman pointed to a case involving a unionization effort at Yale-New Haven Hospital, where an independent arbitrator ruled in 2007 that the hospital had violated an agreement calling for both sides to respect principles aimed at guaranteeing a fair election. The arbitrator wrote that the workers " were threatened with more onerous working conditions and even loss of their jobs if the union were selected."

She said the workers were victimized and ordered the hospital to pay the 1,700 workers a total $2.2 million - the amount the hospital had paid to anti-union consultants. She also ordered the hospital to repay the union its $2.3 million in organizing expenses. Professor Freeman noted that this $4.5 million penalty, which was ordered outside the National Labor Relations Act, was 20 percent more than the $3.6 million that the labor board awards on average each year to all workers nationwide for all back pay for being retaliated against for supporting a union. He cited a paper by Morris M. Kleiner and David Weil stating that "the Act for decades has been ineffective in curbing behaviors that are antithetical to its fundamental aims."

Professor Freeman wrote that "the failure of the N.L.R.A. process to meet the needs of workers and firms moved the U.S. close to the union-free world that many opponents of trade unions have long desired."

He suggested that if unions were strong, the United States might not have the highest income inequality in the developed world or stagnant real earnings for all but the highest paid. He also said that if unions were stronger, a liberal coalition "would presumably have greater countervailing power" to Wall Street and have helped push through stronger financial reforms.

In conclusion, Professor Freeman had four recommendations. He called for strengthening the penalties against illegal actions by management and unions, recommending penalties against individual managers or union leaders who break the law. Second, he said labor laws should be amended to protect supervisors from being fired or punished if they want to remain neutral or silent and not have to express their firm's anti-union views during an organizing drive.

Third, he called for early voting at neutral venues instead of having unionization elections held at the work site on a single day. Borrowing from an idea of Benjamin Sachs, a professor at Harvard Law School, he wrote that the idea resembled early voting in regular elections. The labor board could set up a polling place where workers could vote at any time during the organizing drive or could set up a confidential mail-in procedure.

He said this "should reduce intimidation or pressure from management or union activists on workers to vote for against union representation by allowing employees to vote outside the confines of the workplace at a time of their own choosing." Many corporations oppose a more rapid electoral process, arguing that it would not give them adequate time to communicate their case against unions.

Lastly, Professor Freeman recommends an idea that union leaders hate-allowing employers to set up employee committees that address not just productivity, but also issues that deal with workers' well-being, like hours or pace of work. "Throughout the advanced world works councils perform this function, usually with members elected by employees, independent of collective bargaining," he wrote.

He added that "American employees who want their workers to have some representation at their workplace that falls short of collective bargaining" should be able to do so without having to break the law. He said that a similar system in Canada works well.

He noted that many American employers were already doing this even though the law bans it. Moreover, it would help give union-less workers more of a voice on the job. But unions oppose this idea, asserting that it could lead to management-dominated committees and could convince many workers that they do not need a union.

The symposium was cosponsored by the National Labor Relations Board and George Washington University.

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9) Exxon's Profit Rises 55%, Helped by Higher Oil Prices
By REUTERS
October 28, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/29/business/29exxon.html?ref=business

HOUSTON (Reuters) - The Exxon Mobil Corporation, the world's largest publicly traded oil company, said Thursday that its quarterly profit rose 55 percent, surpassing expectations, as higher crude prices lifted results in its exploration business.

Third-quarter earnings for oil companies have been helped by a rebound in oil and natural gas prices. Slow improvement in the global economy has also lifted demand for fuels like diesel and gasoline, helping refining businesses.

Crude oil prices have climbed 13 percent over the last year while benchmark gas in New York trading rose 23 percent, to average $4.23 a million British thermal units.

"Production, mostly from natural gas, looks like the reason for the slightly better-than-expected performance," Philip Weiss, oil analyst at Argus Research, said, noting that Exxon's international refining business also did well.

The company, based in Irving, Tex., said its oil and gas output rose 20 percent from a year ago, to a combined output of 4.45 million barrels of oil equivalent a day. Exxon's large liquefied natural gas projects in Qatar and its acquisition of XTO Energy, which was announced in December, helped push production higher.

Exxon's $27 billion acquisition of XTO has enhanced its natural gas portfolio, but the purchase has not been well received by some investors, who point to current depressed prices for the fuel. The oil giant has said it made the deal because it expects natural gas demand to rise over the long-term, driven by power demand in countries like China and India.

Exxon said its third-quarter profit was $7.35 billion, or $1.44 a share, compared with $4.73 billion, or 98 cents a share, in the third quarter a year ago. Revenue rose 15.8 percent in the quarter, to $95.3 billion.

Wall Street analysts on average had expected a profit of $1.39 a share, according to Thomson Reuters.

Profit in Exxon's exploration and production unit rose 36 percent to $5.47 billion, while its refining unit had a profit of $1.16 billion, up sharply from $325 million from a year ago.

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