Saturday, November 19, 2011




I received the following reply from the White House November 18, 2011 regarding the Bradley Manning petition I signed:

"Why We Can't Comment on Bradley Manning

"Thank you for signing the petition 'Free PFC Bradley Manning, the accused WikiLeaks whistleblower.' We appreciate your participation in the We the People platform on

The We the People Terms of Participation explain that 'the White House may decline to address certain procurement, law enforcement, adjudicatory, or similar matters properly within the jurisdiction of federal departments or agencies, federal courts, or state and local government.' The military justice system is charged with enforcing the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Accordingly, the White House declines to comment on the specific case raised in this petition...

"This email was sent to
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Please do not reply to this email. Contact the White House

"The White House • 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW • Washington, DC 20500 • 202-456-1111"

That's funny! I guess Obama didn't get this memo. Here's what Obama said about Bradley:


"He broke the law!" says Obama about Bradley Manning who has yet to even be charged, let alone, gone to trial and found guilty. How horrendous is it for the President to declare someone guilty before going to trial or being charged with a crime! Justice in the U.S.A.!

Obama on FREE BRADLEY MANNING protest... San Francisco, CA. April 21, 2011-Presidential remarks on interrupt/interaction/performance art happening at fundraiser. Logan Price queries Barack after org. FRESH JUICE PARTY political action:


Suggested slogan for the 2012 elections:



Occupy Oakland Mass Rally and March
Saturday, November 19, 2011, 2:00 P.M.
14th and Broadway

Liberate Oakland -- Shut down the One Percent
Day of Action to Expand the Occupy Movement

Out of the Plaza and into the streets:
Converge on Downtown Oakland
Oakland United for People's Needs!

Long Live the Oakland Commune

--Solidarity with the worldwide Occupy Movement
--End police attacks on our communities
--Defend Oakland schools and libraries
--Housing for all. No more foreclosures
--Against a capitalist system built on inequality and corporate power that perpetuates racism, sexism and the destruction of the environment

Call for by: Occupy Oakland and Bay Area Labor

Latest update on Saturday, November 19 Occupy Oakland
By Chris Kinder

UC Berkeley Occupy Puts Tents Back Up as...



Support for ILWU-Longview will be needed soon

Oakland, Late night, Wednesday 16 November 2011 -- Meeting in the amphitheater in front of City Hall, with the tentless puddle-filled muddy expanse of the former occupy site behind them, the Oakland Occupy General Assembly tonight decided on a new occupation. This was a small GA at maybe 400 or so, but it met in the context of upcoming plans for a mass rally and march, with significant labor support, to be held this Saturday, the 19th of November, hopefully to rival the massive turnout for the "general strike" of November 2nd. The GA decided that the 19th should be a national day of protest against the state repression of the occupies around the country, which Oakland Mayor Jean Quan has now publicly admitted was planned in coordination with mayors around the country, and with federal authorities of the Obama administration.

The original Occupy Wall Street, in Liberty Plaza NY, was attacked and trashed by police on Tuesday morning, following attacks in Albany NY, Portland Oregon, Denver Colorado, UC Berkeley and Oakland California, among others. As a symbol of a broad popular revolt against the disastrous rule of finance capital over this country and the world, the Wall Street "occupy" riveted the globe with its challenge to the high lords of property. But as this and other encampments like it have come down, the movements they inspired have been forced to chart new avenues to move forward. They haven't hesitated. As they have done this, the question of what they are for, and what demands they should raise, has necessarily come more and more to the fore.

While New York supporters were moving back into Liberty Plaza, albeit without tents and sleeping bags, Oakland decided to use the march and rally on Saturday, the 19th, not just to protest the raids on occupies across the nation, but also to set up a new occupation in a park and city-owned vacant lot at 19th and Broadway, some 5 blocks from downtown. The new occupation will be established on Saturday's march.

The demands of the November 19th mass rally and march are: "Solidarity with the worldwide Occupy Movement; End police attacks on our communities; Defend Oakland schools and libraries; Housing for all, No more foreclosures;" and "Against a capitalist system built on inequality and corporate power that perpetuates racism, sexism and the destruction of the environment."

Sub-committees of Occupy Oakland are working on a campaign of eviction and foreclosure defense, as well as calling for neighborhood groups to organize in solidarity with Occupy Oakland (and vice versa). There is also a labor committee, which is working with unions such as the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), and others.

Also tonight, a support meeting (separate from the occupies) was held in San Francisco for the ILWU, which is involved in a life-or-death struggle in Longview Washington against a union busting conglomerate called EGT, a major West Coast grain exporter. Union-busting EGT wants to replace ILWU labor with that of another union, despite the fact that the ILWU has a Coast-wide contract for all longshore work. EGT, as well as the reformist labor bureaucrats in the AFL-CIO, say this is a jurisdictional conflict between two unions, when it is clearly a raid on longshore jobs.

ILWU members see this as a challenge on a par with that of 1934, when longshore workers had to rebel against their corrupt ILA leadership in order to form the ILWU, and inspire the San Francisco General Strike of that year. Today, a similar rebellion against the legalistic and business-unionist ILWU International leadership may be necessary to defeat EGT and save the union. Key to this will be support from rank-and-file longshore workers, other unions and community support groups such as the occupy movement.

On November 2nd, some 30,000 mobilized to the call by Occupy Oakland for a "general strike" to shut down the port of Oakland, in coordination with rank-and-file longshore workers. The port was still. And sometime soon it will have to be made still again with community support. The key will be a call from longshore workers for solidarity, when a ship arrives to collect the grain from the almost full silos at the EGT terminal in Longview. Union workers and occupiers up and down the West Coast will respond, hopefully by the tens of thousands.

At UC Berkeley, tents went back up yesterday as perhaps 10,000 or more rallied at Sproul Plaza, in protest of the brutal police raid of November 9th. An amazingly large general assembly voted to reestablish the occupy, despite police prohibitions. This huge crowd then tolerated an hour of Mario Savio award presentations (not without considerable frustration) in order to hear a brief address by former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich. Reich's alleged title of "Class War in America," was belied by his bland presentation of how "our democracy" has been corrupted by big corporations, and money in politics. When was it ever not corrupt? And why did Reich support NAFTA?

OK, I'm going to mail this. Discussion of demands, including those of the UC Berkeley occupy, will have to wait for now.

Comradely greetings to all,

-- Chris Kinder


An Open Letter to the One Percent: You Cannot Evict an Idea whose Time has Come
By Derrick O'Keefe, November 15, 2011

To the one percent (you know who you are),

I write to you, as a lowly ninety-nine percenter, to offer both my congratulations and my condolences.

First, my congratulations on sending in the NYPD to clear out Zuccotti Park in the wee hours of the morning today. Congratulations for demonstrating, with this cynically timed maneuver, that when push comes to shove the police exist to serve and protect your vested interests. Congratulations on teaching a new generation this painful but necessary lesson about the true function of the police in a capitalist society. You deserve thanks for proving that when consent falters you'll resort to force to maintain your hegemony -- liberal democracy, when it is by and for the 1 per cent, must have its limits.

Congratulations are also in order for the seamless way you have deployed your media and your legal system against the Occupy encampments around North America. From Oakland up to Vancouver, all the way over to Halifax and many places in between, injunctions and smear campaigns have paved the way for evictions. Congrats all around on the super job you've done reminding us of the ultimate purpose of our society's superstructure.

I also write, however, to offer my condolences. Because, for you, the sad truth is that you can evict an encampment, but you cannot evict ideas whose time has come.

As it was with Cairo's Tahrir Square, I know that we, the 99 per cent, will be back in New York's Liberty (Zuccotti) Park. And even if that takes some time, I'm still sorry for you and your tiny minority, because you cannot evict these ideas: they are simply too important, too long overdue, and too big to fail.

You cannot evict the idea -- at long last expressed in no uncertain terms -- that you, the 1 per cent super-rich, have been getting away with crimes against the people for far too long.

You cannot evict the idea that the rich and the powerful are responsible for the social and economic crisis we face.

You cannot evict the idea that money must cease to dominate and corrupt politics.

You cannot evict the idea that everybody, all 100 per cent of us, deserves a home, a permanent, safe and comfortable roof over their heads; this is an idea that you cannot evict no matter in how many places you try to evict the homeless who have joined our encampments. You cannot evict from sight and from mind the social problems that your 1 per cent centric system has created and perpetuated.

You cannot evict the idea that the environmental crisis is driven by the insatiable and irrational system of capital accumulation that you sit atop.

You cannot evict the idea that the war machine is paid for with the blood and treasure of the 99 percent, and yet serves only your 1 per cent interests.

You cannot evict the bonds of international solidarity that have already been forged, with actions like the Egyptians' sharing lessons of struggle in New York or the Boston Occupation of the Israeli consulate in solidarity with the Freedom Waves flotilla to Gaza.

You cannot evict this rebellion because it has become global, beginning in Tunisia and spreading from there and picking up People Power and indignation along the way.

You cannot evict the joy we have all felt in joining a movement that has finally spoken to class injustice, and to the exclusion of the 99 percent from power at all levels.

You can clear out a park in the middle of the night, but you cannot evict Occupy Wall Street, and you cannot evict this political moment and these movements that have emerged.

My condolences, again, to you the 1 percent. Now that we've finally got these ideas in our hearts and in our minds, you can never again evict the 99 percent from political life and from the struggle to create a better society and a better world.



We are the 99 percent!

There has been a call from Occupy the Hood:

Occupy The Hood Calls On Young People of African Descent to Uplift the Community" On Saturday, November 19, 2011, people of African descent are being encouraged to join the Occupy Wall Street Movement in their cities and in their communities."
By Phillip Jackson

There is an ongoing Occupy movement in San Francisco and Oakland

• Solidarity with the world-wide Occupy movement!
• End police attacks on our communities!
• Defend Oakland schools and libraries!
• Against an economic system built on imperialism, inequality and corporate power that perpetuates all forms of oppression and the destruction of the environment!

There is a 24/hr presence/protest at:

Oakland at Oscar Grant (Frank Ogawa) Plaza

San Francisco at the Federal Reserve, 101 Market St., S.F. and the OccupySF encampment is at Justin Herman Plaza

This is only the beginning!

In solidarity,

Bonnie Weinstein


We Are the 99 Percent

We are the 99 percent. We are getting kicked out of our homes. We are forced to choose between groceries and rent. We are denied quality medical care. We are suffering from environmental pollution. We are working long hours for little pay and no rights, if we're working at all. We are getting nothing while the other 1 percent is getting everything. We are the 99 percent.

Brought to you by the people who occupy wall street. Why will YOU occupy?


Drop All Charges on the 'Occupy Wall Street' Arrestees!
Stop Police Attacks & Arrests! Support 'Occupy Wall Street'!

SIGN THE ONLINE PETITION AT to send email messages to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, NYC City Council, NYPD, the NY Congressional Delegation, Congressional Leaders, the NY Legislature, President Obama, Attorney General Holder, members of the media YOU WANT ALL CHARGES DROPPED ON THE 'OCCUPY WALL STREET ARRESTEES!


Bay Area United Against War Newsletter
Table of Contents:




Howard Petrick's "Rambo" - anti-VietNam activist tells his story-Marsh Berkeleyu-Oct 20-Dec 10

Directed by Mark Kenward and developed with David Ford, the show plays on Thursday and Friday at 7:00 pm and Saturday at 8:30 pm from October 20 to December 10, 2011 (press opening November 4, no performance on Thanksgiving Day) at The Cabaret at The Marsh Berkeley, 2120 Allston Way, near Shattuck. The public may visit or call 415-282-3055.

The Little Guy Takes on the Pentagon
in Howard Petrick's "Rambo: The Missing Years"

The Hilarious and True Story of the Private Who Protested the Viet Nam War - While Still in the Army!

"Howard's show is proof you can fight bureaucracy and win. How he does so is told with aplomb and a certain sense of mischievousness." - Vancouver Fringe

"The potency of the show...springs from Petrick's first-hand account of his anti-Vietnam activism from within the army...this comes with an intriguing authenticity."- Winnipeg Free Press

"Petrick delivers...For 60 minutes he has you laughing through the fear." - Winnipeg Uptown

The Vancouver Sun calls San Francisco's Howard Petrick, "a guy who really knows how to get up the nose of the war machine." Petrick's Rambo: The Missing Years is an hilarious - and true - account of the misadventures of a Vietnam-era draftee who frustrates the military brass by asserting his right to organize his fellow GIs against the war. Petrick's Rambo - not to be confused in the least with the Sylvester Stallone action figure - plays at The Marsh-Berkeley, 2120 Allston Way in Berkeley.

The story begins as Petrick reports for the draft and refuses to fill out the forms, befuddling the military bureaucracy for the first of many times to come. Yet, during his time of service he maintains an unblemished military record, breaks no rules, and continues to carry out his military duties.

Directed by Mark Kenward and developed with David Ford.

A twenty-year-old anti-war activist in 1966 when he was drafted into the Army, Pvt. Petrick was a model soldier except when the subject of Vietnam came up. At that point, he missed no opportunity to make his opinions known to his fellow GIs and anyone else who would listen. His activities helped ignite an antiwar movement in the barracks and led to a confrontation with the brass. Calls from the Pentagon! Threats of treason! By the time it was all over, Petrick, who never backed down, had become something of a celebrity. He even had a song written about him and was the subject of an article in the New York Times. From the ass-scratching first cook to the frustrated Military Intelligence officer, Petrick brings over twenty characters to life in this autobiographical solo piece.

"If Westmoreland can give a political partisan speech to the Press Club in New York City supporting the war, then I should be able to speak in uniform opposing the war." - Howard Petrick quoted in the Texas Observer in 1967.

It's a comedy that keeps hope alive. Here are more kudos for the show:

"Petrick made headlines as a GI for his outspoken opposition to the Vietnam War, and he's turned his experiences into a deftly crafted solo show." - Georgia Straight (Vancouver)

His "aw shucks" attitude had me right there with him every step of the way, rooting for my new hero. Please don't miss this true tale. - Jenny Revue (Winnipeg)

"His ear for superb." - Georgia Straight (Vancouver)

"It's an engaging tale, often funny...Petrick's writing is strong...valuable as a piece of history in a time when for much of the population, Vietnam is just a vague, long-ago event." - Fresno Bee

"This is an important piece of history - from the common man's point of view." - Victoria Fringe

"A must see!" - The Plank (Vancouver)

Howard Petrick has studied solo performance with David Ford, Ann Randolph, James Donlon, Mark Kenward and Leonard Pitt. He has performed at FronteraFest, The Marsh, Words First, City Solo, San Francisco Theater Festival, Solo Sundays, Tell it on Tuesday, the Fresno Rogue Festival and Fringe Festivals in Boulder, Chicago, Winnipeg, Victoria and Vancouver. For more information, visit


Check out Fly's video "War On Terror":
It's Really Real TV: FLY Benzo - "War On Terror" // #BlackPOWER #DropTheCHARGES


We just received news that renowned actor/ director Martin Sheen is going to join SOA Watch for the November Vigil at the gates of Fort Benning, Georgia (November 18-20, 2011).

November 18-20 Stand up for Dignity, Justice, Solidarity and Self-Determination
Converge at the Gates of Fort Benning, Georgia
Shut Down the School of Assassins


Youth Together: RALLY & MARCH NOV. 30


They make billions, pay little or no tax at all, buy and run our government, and get bailed out at our expense.

Date: Wednesday, Nov. 30th
Time: 4pm
Gather at the steps of City Hall in Oakland and march to Chevron Gas Station on Castro Street

Chevron as the largest corporation in California:
Made $18 billion in profits in 2009 and paid no federal tax. In fact, it received $19 million in benefits;
Pays no tax on drilling oil in California;
Enjoys millions from its under-assessed properties under Prop. 13;
Spent nearly $7 million on lobbying this year;
Contributed almost $1 million to California state politicians during 2009-2010 session;
Has $13 billion in cash on hand, etc.
Money for schools and our future!


For more information please contact us at 510-645-9209 ext.316 or visit --
Please check the attachment for the flier in PDF File.


Friday, December 2 - Day of Action in SF
To Stop the Cuts!Proposed by the SuperCommittee & Congress
Because the 1% Got Bailed Out & the 99% Got Sold Out
Because a Phony Deficit Crisis Transfers More Wealth to the 1%!
Because We Oppose Cutting Social Benefits already Paid For by the 99%!
Because We Should Tax the 1%!
Because We Should Fund Jobs instead of Wars!
Because We Should Pay for Schools instead of Prisons!
Expand Social Security!
No Cuts to Medicaid!
Medicare for All!

2pm - Occupy the Federal Building (7th & Mission St.-Civic Center Bart/Muni).Assemble at the SF Federal Building where hundreds of us will peacefully deliver our strong message to government representatives of No Cuts to Medicaid; Expand Social Security and Medicare for All while a rally is held outside in the Federal Building Plaza. We will then march to the Financial District.

3:30pm - Occupy Wall Street West- route to be announced soon. We will march to several symbols of financial gluttony before heading to the Occupy SF area at the foot of Market St.

5pm into the night - Celebrate & Defend Occupy SF - We call upon Bay Area labor and community activists to join us for a rally/concert in Justin Herman Plaza that will support Occupy SF and express solidarity with Hotel Workers Local 2 boycott activity across the street at the Hyatt Hotel, a notorious symbol of corporate greed.

Contact Conny Ford, SF Labor Council Vice President at 415-647-7776
Endorsers forming -San Francisco Labor Council, AFL-CIO; Single Payer Now; CARA; Independent Living Resource Center; Jobs with Justice....


Oscar Grant Committee Against Police Brutality and State Repression and Berkeley Copwatch present a community forum and video showing:

Silencing The Witnesses:
Government Attacks on the Right To Observe
Saturday, December 3, 2011, 2:00 p.m.
Humanist Hall, 390 27th Street (between Broadway & Telegraph)
Oakland, California 94612

Recent protests have drawn incredibly violent responses from police agencies. Tear gas, flash bang grenades, bean bag rounds and overwhelming force has been documented by civilian journalists across the country at Occupy protests.

Meanwhile, on a daily basis, people who attempt to document police abuse are increasingly being targeted for their efforts to bring human rights violations to light. In response to new legislation and outright assaults, activists are waging a national struggle to keep copwatching safe and legal. Join us for an update of where the right to record stands, how the government is suppressing evidence of brutality and how we can defend our first amendment rights right here in the Bay Area.

· Video Updates will include footage from civilian monitors
· Wheelchair accessible
· There is a $5-$10 suggested donation
· Refreshments will be provided


MECA and Joining Hands' 9th Annual Palestinian Bazaar

One Day Only: Sunday, December 4th
10 AM - 4PM

Live Oak Park
1301 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley

Beautiful Hand-Crafted Gifts

Bring your friends! Grab a bite of delicious Arabic food and coffee --
Benefits Palestinian craftspeople

Come shop at this popular annual sale of beautifully crafted items:
Olive wood, First Cold Press Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, Pure Olive Oil Soap, Beautiful
Scarves & Shawls (new styles!), Traditional Embroidery, Hand-blown Glassware
from Hebron, Colorful Hand woven rugs, Ceramics from Jerusalem & Gaza,
Cookbooks, Children's books, Calendars, Honey, Jewelry, Children's clothing,
Dolls from Gaza, food items and more! New this year-Palestinian Dead Sea

This is a great opportunity to buy something quite special -- and also support cooperative unions and crafts people living under Israeli Occupation.

Please join us in celebrating the heritage, artistry, and creativity of the Palestinian people!

Leena Al-Arian
Program and Communications Coordinator
Middle East Children's Alliance
1101 8th Street
Berkeley, CA 94710


Against the wars of occupation; Against the interference in the internal affairs of countries; In defense of the integrity and sovereignty of nations

Algiers, Algeria -- December 3-5, 2011

Ever since the invasion of Afghanistan by NATO troops in 2001, under the pretext of the "War on Terror," and of Iraq in 2003, in the name of a so-called "struggle for democracy," imperialist governments, under the leadership of the U.S. government, have implemented a strategy based on international wars of occupation and plunder. This strategy has also included widespread interference in the internal affairs of nations, the astronomic growth of war budgets, the assault on democratic rights, and the massive cuts in social spending -- particularly in Europe and the United States.

Today, the governments of the imperialist powers -- specifically the U.S., French, British and Italian governments -- have opened a new front in the war; this time in the Maghreb region of Northern Africa. (*)

A new step has been taken with the further implementation of the U.S. government's Greater Middle East Plan, which was first announced by George W. Bush in 2003 at the time of the launching of the war of occupation and looting of Iraq. It's a plan that aims to dismantle nations along ethnic, religious and communitarian lines -- from Pakistan to Mauritania.

At the very moment when the Tunisian and Egyptian workers and peoples are struggling to exercise their full sovereignty by means of democracy, Libya is descending into chaos after a foreign military intervention under the aegis of NATO -- an intervention that threatens its territorial integrity.

By this means, all the countries of the Maghreb region are now facing threats to their integrity. But this is not all: The implications for the SAHEL countries (parts of Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Algeria, Niger, Nigeria, Chad, Sudan, Tunisia, Ethiopia and Eritrea) and, more generally, for sub-Saharan Africa are incalculable. This is because the conflict has gone way beyond the Libyan borders in terms of the movement of weapons -- including heavy weapons massively distributed among Libyan civilians and armed terrorist groups who have openly displayed them in the aftermath of the foreign military intervention.

This is not to mention the devastating effects on the economies of these countries, especially when combined with the massive return of hundreds of thousands of migrants who had been working in Libya, as well as more than one million Libyan refugees, mostly in Tunisia.

In reality, through the foreign military intervention in Libya, the U.S., French, British and Italian imperialists seek to terrorize all the peoples of the region and the world.

No political party genuinely committed to the sovereignty of nations and to democracy can condone, under whatever pretext whatsoever, the imperialist war of occupation and plunder in Libya. No labor organization faithful to the traditions of the international labor movement can condone such a war. That is why we the undersigned reject another war on our African continent -- a continent that is already bloodied and torn apart by so-called ethnic conflicts, which are really nothing but the result of foreign plunder of the continent's natural resources, the repayment of foreign debt, and the various manipulations that result therewith.

We reject any foreign military presence in any form whatsoever in our region of the Maghreb, elsewhere across Northern Africa, and, more generally, on our continent of Africa.

We reject any and all attacks upon sovereign nations.

We reject the foreign looting of the riches and resources of the peoples of the Maghreb and of Africa as a whole. Taking control over these resources -- including through the installation of foreign military bases, starting with AFRICOM (United States Africa Command) -- is the real objective of the war of occupation in Libya, under the auspices of NATO. This is what's really at stake.

We denounce the imperialist designs of the governments that are racing to grab the reconstruction deals for the infrastructure of Libya, destroyed by NATO air strikes - another stake of the war.

We deny the imperialist governments, NATO and the mongers of war and chaos the right to decide the fate of the peoples of the Maghreb, sub-Saharan Africa and all peoples of the world.

We affirm that because there can be no popular sovereignty without national sovereignty, from the standpoint of democracy it is up to sovereign peoples -- and up to them alone -- to define their present and their future without external interference and foreign military intervention.

We call upon organizations and parties around the world and in our own country that oppose the imperialist wars to join us in supporting and participating in an Emergency International Conference in Algiers on December 3-5, 2011, against the wars of occupation, against the interference in the internal affairs of countries, and in defense of the integrity and sovereignty of nations. (**)


A. Sidi Said
General Secretary
General Union of Algerian Workers (UGTA)
Louisa Hanoune
General Secretary
Workers Party of Algeria (PT)
* * * * *

(*) The five countries that make up the Maghreb region are Libya, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, and Mauritania.

(**) For more information about the conference or how you can get involved, please contact the International Liaison Committee of Workers and Peoples in Paris at . You can also write to . Thanks.


Occupy The Hood Calls On Young People of African Descent to Uplift the Community" On Saturday, November 19, 2011, people of African descent are being encouraged to join the Occupy Wall Street Movement in their cities and in their communities."
By Phillip Jackson

(Liberia, West Africa) The Occupy Wall Street Movement has captured the imagination of the world. We now have Occupy Tokyo, Occupy Berlin, Occupy Mexico, Occupy Australia, Occupy Brazil, Occupy Denmark, Occupy Asia and even Occupy Antarctica. But where are the voices of young people of African descent and why are their voices silent?

On Saturday, November 19, 2011, people of African descent are being encouraged to join the Occupy Wall Street Movement in their cities and in their communities. But before occupying Wall Street or any street, we need to properly and successfully occupy the minds and spirits of people of African descent with thoughts of improvement, achievement, excellence, progress and cooperative labor. We must do this every day until we have created a new world in which people of African descent will thrive!

To look at the evening news on the occupations, it would seem as though young White men and women suffer most from the problems of our societies and the world in which we live. That is absolutely not true! In fact, the suffering from social and economic ills of people of African descent around the world is hugely disproportionate. So why has the "Occupy Movement" not inspired more young Black people across the globe to demand change and improvement in their world?

Some say Black people have too many "real" problems to be concerned about the volatility of the stock markets or whether Fortune 500 companies will each capture another billion dollars. Some say that Black Americans have forgotten the lessons learned from the civil rights movement. And others say that young Africans and young Black Americans today have been reprogrammed with technological toys, various forms of entertainment and other relatively mindless distractions. Regardless, young Black people around the world do not understand that decisions that govern the quality of their lives are being made without their input.

But a glimmer of hope has come to us in the form of a spinoff from Occupy Wall Street. It is called Occupy The Hood. While Occupy Wall Street addresses the viciousness of capitalism, uneven distribution and control of world resources, corrupt and ineffective governments, lack of human well-being across the world, climate change and the environment, wars and global violence and other dire issues, Occupy The Hood is being led by young people of African descent and addresses issues that cause people of African descent to suffer. And while we must absolutely stand in solidarity with our White, Asian, Arab and Hispanic brothers and sisters working to change the world, we must also organize to directly improve the conditions in our "hood."

To look at the evening news on the occupations, it would seem as though young White men and women suffer most from the problems of our societies and the world in which we live. That is absolutely not true! In fact, the suffering from social and economic ills of people of African descent around the world is hugely disproportionate. So why has the "Occupy Movement" not inspired more young Black people across the globe to demand change and improvement in their world?

Some say Black people have too many "real" problems to be concerned about the volatility of the stock markets or whether Fortune 500 companies will each capture another billion dollars. Some say that Black Americans have forgotten the lessons learned from the civil rights movement. And others say that young Africans and young Black Americans today have been reprogrammed with technological toys, various forms of entertainment and other relatively mindless distractions. Regardless, young Black people around the world do not understand that decisions that govern the quality of their lives are being made without their input.

But a glimmer of hope has come to us in the form of a spin-off from Occupy Wall Street. It is called Occupy The Hood. While Occupy Wall Street addresses the viciousness of capitalism, uneven distribution and control of world resources, corrupt and ineffective governments, lack of human well-being across the world, climate change and the environment, wars and global violence and other dire issues, Occupy The Hood is being led by young people of African descent and addresses issues that cause people of African descent to suffer. And while we must absolutely stand in solidarity with our White, Asian, Arab and Hispanic brothers and sisters working to change the world, we must also organize to directly improve the conditions in our "hood."
- November 1, 2011


UNAC Conference: March 23-25, 2012

The United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC) conference originally scheduled for November, 11-13, 2011, has been rescheduled for March 23-25, 2012, in order to tie in to organizing efforts for building massive protests at the NATO/G-8 Summits in Chicago, May 15-22, and to have sufficient time to generate an action program for the next stage of building a mass movement for social change.

Organizations are invited to endorse this conference by clicking here:

Donations are needed for bringing international speakers and to subsidize attendance of students and low income participants. Contributions will be accepted at

For the initial conference flyer, click here:

Click here to donate to UNAC:

Click here for the Facebook UNAC group:


NATO/G8 protests in Chicago.
United National Antiwar Committee or UNAC at P.O. Box 123, Delmar, NY 12054

UNAC, along with other organizations and activists, has formed a coalition to help organize protests in Chicago during the week of May 15 - 22 while NATO and G8 are holding their summit meetings. The new coalition was formed at a meeting of 163 people representing 73 different organization in Chicago on August 28 and is called Coalition Against NATO/G8 War and Poverty Agenda (CANGATE). For a report on the Chicago meeting, click here:

To add your email to the new CANGATE listserve, send an email to:

To have your organization endorse the NATO/G8 protest, please click here:

Click here to hear audio of the August 28 meeting:

Click here for the talk by Marilyn Levin, UNAC co-coordinator at the August 28 meeting:

Click here for Pat Hunts welcome to the meeting and Joe Iosbaker's remarks:

NATO and the G8 Represent the 1%.

In May, they will meet in Chicago. Their agenda is war on poor nations, war on the poor and working people - war on the 99%.

We are demanding the right to march on their summit, to say:
Jobs, Healthcare, Education, Pensions, Housing and the Environment, Not War!

No to NATO/G-8 Warmakers!

No to War and Austerity!

NATO's military expenditures come at the expense of funding for education, housing and jobs programs; and the G8 continues to advance an agenda of 'austerity' that includes bailouts, tax write-offs and tax holidays for big corporations and banks at the expense of the rest of us.

During the May 2012 G8 and NATO summits in Chicago, many thousands of people will want to exercise their right to protest against NATO's wars and against the G8 agenda to only serve the richest one percent of society. We need permits to ensure that all who want to raise their voices will be able to march.

Chicago's Mayor Rahm Emanuel has stonewalled repeated attempts by community organizers to meet with the city to discuss reasonable accommodations of protesters' rights. They have finally agreed to meet with us, but we need support: from the Occupy movement, the anti-war movement, and all movements for justice.

Our demands are simple:

That the City publicly commit to provide protest organizers with permits that meet the court- sanctioned standard for such protests -- that we be "within sight and sound" of the summits; and

That representatives of the City, including Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, refrain from making threats against protesters.

The protest movement, Occupy Wall Street (OWS), has the support of a majority of the American people. This is because people are suffering from the economic crisis brought about by Wall Street and big banks. As the OWS movement describes it, the "99%" see extreme economic inequality, where millions are unemployed without significant help while bankers in trouble get bailed out.

In Chicago and around the country, the Occupy movement is being met with repression: hundreds have been arrested, beaten, tear gassed, spied on, and refused their right to protest.

The Chicago Police Department and the Mayor have already acknowledged that they are coming down hard on the Occupy movement here to send a message to those who would protest against NATO and the G8.

We need a response that is loud and clear: we have the right to march against the generals and the bankers. We have the right to demand an end to wars, military occupations, and attacks on working people and the poor.

How you can help:

1) Sign the petition to the City of Chicago at You can also make a contribution there.

2) Write a statement supporting the right to march and send it to us

3) To endorse the protests, go to or write to

4) Print out and distribute copies of this statement, attached along with a list of supporters of our demands for permits.

4) And then march inChicago on May 15th and May 19th. Publicizethe protests. Join us!

Formore info: or email us at


[Some of these videos are embeded on the BAUAW website: or]


Occupy Seattle - 84 Year Old Woman Dorli Rainey Pepper Sprayed




Occupy With Aloha -- Makana -- The Story

My guitar tech shot this with a camera phone during my performance for the World Leaders Dinner at APEC, which was hosted by the First Family.

He had to be extremely discreet as Secret Service had warned those on site that any phones used to capture photography or video would be confiscated. Since he has a guitar tuner app on the phone we were able to justify having it out, but grabbing video was not easy. We were under constant surveillance. Personally I like to have video of every performance. It's my art and my right.

About an hour into my set of generally ambient guitar music and Hawaiian tunes, I felt inspired to share some songs that resonated with the significance of the occasion.

I sang a few verses from "Kaulana Na Pua" (a famous Hawaiian protest song in honor of the anniversary of our Queen's passing), then segued into Bob Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower", Sting's "Fragile", and finally my newest song "We Are The Many".

My goal was not to disturb the guests in an offensive fashion but rather to subliminally fill their ears and the entire dinner atmosphere with a message that might be more effectively received in a subconscious manner. I sweetly sang lines like "You enforce your monopolies with guns/ While sacrificing our daughters and sons/ But certain things belong to everyone/ Your thievery has left the people none". The event protocol was such that everyone there kept their expressions quite muffled. Now and then I would get strange, befuddled stares from heads of state. It was a very quiet room with no waiters; only myself, the sound techs, and the leaders of almost half the world's population.

If I had chosen to disrupt the dinner and force my message I would have been stopped short. I instead chose to deliver an extremely potent message in a polite manner for a prolonged interval.

I dedicate this action to those who would speak truth to power but were not allowed the opportunity.

Me ka ha'aha'a,


We Are The Many -- Makana -- The Song

We Are The Many
Lyrics and Music by Makana
Makana Music LLC (c) 2011

Download song for free here:

We Are The Many

Ye come here, gather 'round the stage
The time has come for us to voice our rage
Against the ones who've trapped us in a cage
To steal from us the value of our wage

From underneath the vestiture of law
The lobbyists at Washington do gnaw
At liberty, the bureaucrats guffaw
And until they are purged, we won't withdraw

We'll occupy the streets
We'll occupy the courts
We'll occupy the offices of you
Till you do
The bidding of the many, not the few

Our nation was built upon the right
Of every person to improve their plight
But laws of this Republic they rewrite
And now a few own everything in sight

They own it free of liability
They own, but they are not like you and me
Their influence dictates legality
And until they are stopped we are not free

We'll occupy the streets
We'll occupy the courts
We'll occupy the offices of you
Till you do
The bidding of the many, not the few

You enforce your monopolies with guns
While sacrificing our daughters and sons
But certain things belong to everyone
Your thievery has left the people none

So take heed of our notice to redress
We have little to lose, we must confess
Your empty words do leave us unimpressed
A growing number join us in protest

We occupy the streets
We occupy the courts
We occupy the offices of you
Till you do
The bidding of the many, not the few

You can't divide us into sides
And from our gaze, you cannot hide
Denial serves to amplify
And our allegiance you can't buy

Our government is not for sale
The banks do not deserve a bail
We will not reward those who fail
We will not move till we prevail

We'll occupy the streets
We'll occupy the courts
We'll occupy the offices of you
Till you do
The bidding of the many, not the few

We'll occupy the streets
We'll occupy the courts
We'll occupy the offices of you
Till you do
The bidding of the many, not the few

We are the many
You are the few

Directed & Edited by Kamuela Vance
Filmed by Tom Hackett & Kamuela Vance
Creative Consultant: Evan Tector
Thanks to 'Olelo Community Television
All images Fair Use.
Our heartfelt gratitude to the Artists and Photographers.


Rafeef Ziadah - 'Shades of anger', London, 12.11.11


News: Massive anti-nuclear demonstration in Fukuoka Nov. 12, 2011


Capt Ray Lewis Joins OWS Protest,Gives Message to NYPD and Slams The Greed 1% from Zuccotti Park!


Shot by police with rubber bullet at Occupy Oakland
antiprocon 62 videos Subscribe Alert iconSubscribed


Copwatch@Occupy Oakland: Beware of Police Infiltrators and Provocateurs


Handful of Violent Rioters Don't Represent "Occupy" Protests
November 4, 2011 in Direct Action, Oakland, OccupyTogether, Saboteurs & Provocateurs, Video
By Washington's Blog

While there was senseless destruction of property in Oakland, NBC Bay Area notes that people of Occupy Oakland say that "anarchists" not associated with the group are responsible for last night's violence.

The New York Times reports:

A belligerent fringe group that seemed intent on clashing with law enforcement and destroying property.

[They were] part of an Occupy Oakland subgroup that the city's interim police chief, Howard A. Jordan, described as "generally anarchists and provocateurs."

Some members of the group that had closed the port reprimanded those who smashed windows, threw rocks, ignited a 15-foot-high bonfire of garbage and covered downtown storefronts with graffiti.

When a man wearing a bandana broke a window with an empty beer bottle, another protester yelled, "Who are you? That isn't what this is about!"

Indeed, as the following two videos show, the overwhelming majority of protesters were peaceful and tried to stop the provocateurs:

Black Bloc Provocateurs Vandalize Property During Occupy Oakland's General Strike (11-02-2011)


Occupy Oakland 11-2 Strike: Police Tear Gas, Black Bloc, War in the Streets


Provocateurs Used By Governments All Over the World to Discredit Peaceful protests
Wikipedia notes:

An agent provocateur may be a police officer or a secret agent of police who encourages suspects to carry out a crime ....

A political organization or government may use agents provocateurs against political opponents. The provocateurs try to incite the opponent to do counter-productive or ineffective acts to foster public disdain-or provide a pretext for aggression against the opponent (see Red-baiting).

Historically, labor spies, hired to infiltrate, monitor, disrupt, or subvert union activities, have used agent provocateur tactics.

There are numerous, documented cases from around the world of government provocateurs acting violently at peaceful protests in order to discredit the peaceful movements.

For example - during the Egyptian "Arab Spring" protests - Mubarak's security force thugs dressed as protesters and committed violence ... in order to discredit the protests.

An Indonesian fact-finding team investigated violent riots which occurred in 1998, and determined that "elements of the military had been involved in the riots, some of which were deliberately provoked".

In Burma:

"They've ordered some soldiers in the military to shave their heads, so that they could pose as monks, and then those fake monks would attack soldiers to incite a military crackdown. The regime has done this before in Burma, and we believe they would do so again."

Quebec police admitted that, in 2007, thugs carrying rocks to a peaceful protest were actually undercover Quebec police officers:

POLICE STATE Criminal Cops EXPOSED As Agent Provocateurs @ SPP Protest


quebec police admit going undercover at montebello protests

At the G20 protests in London in 2009, a British member of parliament saw plain clothes police officers attempting to incite the crowd to violence. (And here is a video possibly showing a provocateur being let through the police line.)

In 2003, FAIR reported:

According to reports from the BBC and the German wire service Deutsche Presse-Agentur (1/7/03, 1/8/03), a senior Genoa police officer, Pietro Troiani, has admitted that police planted two Molotov cocktails in a school that was serving as a dormitory for activists from the Genoa Social Forum. The bombs were apparently planted in order to justify the police force's brutal July 22 raid on the school. According to the BBC, the bombs had in fact been found elsewhere in the city, and Troijani now says planting them at the school was a "silly" thing to do.

The BBC and DPA also report that another senior officer has admitted to faking the stabbing of a police officer in order to frame protesters. These revelations have emerged over the course of a parliamentary inquiry into police conduct that was initiated by the Italian government under pressure from "domestic and international outrage over the blood-soaked G8 summit in Genoa" (London Guardian, 7/31/01). Three police chiefs have been transferred and at least 77 officers have been investigated on brutality charges.

The U.S. is not exempt from such shenanigans.

Denver police officers were found to have used undercover detectives to instigate violence against police during the 2008 Democratic National Convention (this ultimately resulted in the use of pepper spray against their own infiltrating agents).

The New York Times pointed out in 2005:

At the vigil for the cyclist, an officer in biking gear wore a button that said, "I am a shameless agitator." She also carried a camera and videotaped the roughly 15 people present.

Beyond collecting information, some of the undercover officers or their associates are seen on the tape having influence on events. At a demonstration last year during the Republican National Convention, the sham arrest of a man secretly working with the police led to a bruising confrontation between officers in riot gear and bystanders.

Activists ....say that police officers masquerading as protesters and bicycle riders distort their messages and provoke trouble.

At one point, the [apparent officer] seemed to try to rile bystanders.

Indeed, obvious provocateurs were filmed at the G20 in Pittsburgh:

G20: Epic Undercover Police Fail


As I noted in 2008:

When agents provocateur commit violence or destroy property at peaceful protests, they are carrying out false flag terrorism.

Wikipedia defines false flag terror as follows:

False flag operations are covert operations conducted by governments, corporations, or other organizations, which are designed to appear as if they are being carried out by other entities. The name is derived from the military concept of flying false colors; that is, flying the flag of a country other than one's own. False flag operations are not limited to war and counter-insurgency operations, and have been used in peace-time; for example, during Italy's strategy of tension.

If intelligence agencies or federal, state or local police themselves commit acts of violence against people or property, and then blame it on peaceful protesters, that is - by definition - false flag terror.

Indeed, governments from around the world admit that they carry out false flag terror to discredit their enemies.
Oakland Rioters: Provocateurs?

While we are not yet sure whether the tiny group Oakland group of rioters (among tens of thousands of peaceful protesters) are police provocateurs, it is clear that they don't represent the Occupy protests in any way, shape or form.

The direct democracy practiced by the protesters is nothing at all like the violent rioting by the thugs.

Anyone who focuses on the handful of provocateurs - as opposed to the hundreds of millions of peaceful protesters and their supporters - is uninformed or dishonest.

For more on this issue, read: CopWatch Exposes Police Infiltrators at #OccupyOakland



Occupy Oakland Protest

Cops make mass arrests at occupy Oakland

Raw Video: Protesters Clash With Oakland Police

Occupy Oakland - Flashbangs USED on protesters OPD LIES

KTVU TV Video of Police violence

Marine Vet wounded, tear gas & flash-bang grenades thrown in downtown Oakland

Tear Gas billowing through 14th & Broadway in Downtown Oakland

Arrests at Occupy Atlanta -- This is what a police state looks like


Marine Vet at #OccupyWallStreet Tells Sean Hannity to "F**k Off"


Labor Beat: Chicago - War Protest March to Obama's 2012 HQ


Labor Beat: Hey You Billionaire, Pay Your Fair Share

On Oct. 10, 2011, a combination of five feeder marches gathered in Chicago's Loop to protest the Futures & Options and American Mortgage Bankers Association expos. The feeders represented constituencies for jobs, housing, and public schools. They generated a combined march of 7,000, and finally ended up at the Art Institute where the banksters were having a reception dinner. Here are selected scenes and comments from a big spectrum of interests affected by the dictatorship of capital being forced upon the workers of Chicago. Includes the march for homes/housing starting from the Hyatt, the Occupy Chicago location where the teachers union gathered, and the final convergence at the Art Institute. Street interviews. Also, interview/speech by Karen Lewis, President of Chicago Teachers Union. Produced by Labor Beat. Labor Beat is a CAN TV Community Partner. Labor Beat is a non-profit 501(c)(3) member of IBEW 1220. Views are those of the producer Labor Beat. For info:, 312-226-3330. For other Labor Beat videos, visit Google Video, YouTube, or and search "Labor Beat". Labor Beat has regular cable slots in Chicago, Evanston, Rockford, Urbana, IL; St. Louis, MO; Philadelphia, PA; Princeton, NJ; and Rochester, NY. For more detailed information, send us a request at


Voices of Occupy Boston 2011 - Kwame Somburu (Paul Boutelle) Part I

Voices of Occupy Boston 2011 - Kwame Somburu (Paul Boutelle) Part II


Tom Morello (The Nightwatchman) - This Land Is Your Land @OccupyLA!


#Occupy St. Louis: Bank of America refuses to let customers close accounts




600+ Protesters March on Bank of America - #Occupy Austin


Scenes From #Occupy Las Vegas


#Occupy Wall Street In Washington Square: Mohammed Ezzeldin, former occupier of Egypt's Tahrir Square Speaks at Washington Square!

[This truly is an amazing thing to see -- no microphones allowed by NYPD yet the crowd is completely engaged with the speakers. The speeches have to be short because the words are repeated and passed along to those furthest away since they can't hear them. Mohammed's speech is great and there's no doubt that the crowd thinks so, too...Bonnie Weinstein]


#OccupyTheHood, Occupy Wall Street
By adele pham

@OccupyTheHood, Occupy Wall Street from adele pham on Vimeo.


#Occupy Wall Street Protesters Marching
[Thousands of NYU Students march to]


AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka Supporting Occupy Wall Street


Live arrest at brooklyn bridge #occupywallstreet by We are Change




Police Raid on Occpy Boston 10 11 11


Occupy Boston protesters arrested

Boston police have arrested 129 people during Tuesday's Occupy Boston demonstrations. The early morning arrests were mostly for trespassing. (Oct. 11) (/The Associated Press)


Video of Boston PD attacking veterans at OWS protest


Occupy Frankfurt Germany


Occupy Rome - La manifestazione di Roma October 15th OccupyTogether



Free Them


The Preacher and the Slave - Joe Hill


Visualizing a Trillion: Just How Big That Number Is?
"1 million seconds is about 11.5 days, 1 billion seconds is about 32 years while a trillion seconds is equal to 32,000 years."
Digital Inspiration

How Much Is $1 Trillion?

Courtesy the credit crisis and big bailout packages, the figure "trillion" has suddenly become part of our everyday conversations. One trillion dollars, or 1 followed by 12 zeros, is lots of money but have you ever tried visualizing how big that number actually is?

For people who can visualize one million dollars, the comparison made on CNN should give you an idea about a trillion - "if you start spending a million dollars every single day since Jesus was born, you still wouldn't have spend a trillion dollars".

Another mathematician puts it like this: "1 million seconds is about 11.5 days, 1 billion seconds is about 32 years while a trillion seconds is equal to 32,000 years".

Now if the above comparisons weren't really helpful, check another illustration that compares the built of an average human being against a stack of $100 currency notes bundles.

A bundle of $100 notes is equivalent to $10,000 and that can easily fit in your pocket. 1 million dollars will probably fit inside a standard shopping bag while a billion dollars would occupy a small room of your house.

With this background in mind, 1 trillion (1,000,000,000,000) is 1000 times bigger than 1 billion and would therefore take up an entire football field - the man is still standing in the bottom-left corner. (See visuals -- including a video -- at website:


One World One Revolution -- MUST SEE VIDEO -- Powerful and

"When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty." Thomas Jefferson


Japan: angry Fukushima citizens confront government (video)
Posted by Xeni Jardin on Monday, Jul 25th at 11:36am

The video above documents what I am told is a meeting between Fukushima residents and government officials from Tokyo, said to have taken place on 19 July 2011. The citizens are demanding their government evacuate people from a broader area around the Fukushima nuclear plant, because of ever-increasing fears about the still-spreading radiation. They are demanding that their government provide financial and logistical support to get out. In the video above, you can see that some participants actually brought samples of their children's urine to the meeting, and they demanded that the government test it for radioactivity.

When asked by one person at the meeting about citizens' right to live a healthy and radioactive-free life, Local Nuclear Emergency Response Team Director Akira Satoh replies "I don't know if they have that right."


Licensed to Kill Video

Gundersen Gives Testimony to NRC ACRS from Fairewinds Associates on Vimeo.



"He broke the law!" says Obama about Bradley Manning who has yet to even be charged, let alone, gone to trial and found guilty. How horrendous is it for the President to declare someone guilty before going to trial or being charged with a crime! Justice in the U.S.A.!

Obama on FREE BRADLEY MANNING protest... San Francisco, CA. April 21, 2011-Presidential remarks on interrupt/interaction/performance art happening at fundraiser. Logan Price queries Barack after org. FRESH JUICE PARTY political action.


Max Romeo - Socialism Is Love


Cuba: The Accidental Eden

[This is a stunningly beautiful portrait of the Cuban natural environment as it is today.]

Watch the full episode. See more Nature.


Labor Beat: Labor Stands with Subpoenaed Activists Against FBI Raids and Grand Jury Investigation of antiwar and social justice activists.
"If trouble is not at your door. It's on it's way, or it just left."
"Investigate the Billionaires...Full investigation into Wall Street..." Jesse Sharkey, Vice President, Chicago Teachers Union


Julian Assange: Why the world needs WikiLeaks


Coal Ash: One Valley's Tale




It's time to tell the White House that "We the People" support PFC Bradley Manning's freedom and the UN's investigation into alleged torture in Quantico, VA

On September 22nd, the White House launched a new petition website called "We the People." According to the White House blog, if a petition reaches 5,000 signatures in 30 days, "it will be reviewed by policy experts and you'll receive an official response."

Act now! Sign our petition to the White House: LINK

This is our chance to make sure the people in power know that the public still care about the fate of PFC Bradley Manning, and that we won't let this issue go away until PFC Manning is recognized as the whistleblower he is. It is also an opportunity for us to educate fellow Americans who may not have heard of PFC Manning yet, by boosting our petition to the top of the site.

The same day the White House launched the petition website, it also unveiled an Open Government Action Plan calling to "Strengthen and Expand Whistleblower Protection for Government Personnel." We consider this ironic given the fact that in April of 2011 the UN Chief Rapporteur on Torture, Juan Mendez, was forced to issue a rare reprimand to the U.S. for repeatedly denying his request to meet with alleged WikiLeaks whistleblower PFC Manning in an official, unmonitored visit to investigation allegations of his torture in the military brig of Quantico, VA.

We submitted the petition to the "We the People" website earlier this week, and we have already gathered over 1,000 signatures. We are relying on your help so that we can reach the 5,000 mark, and then some.

Signing the petition requires a quick and simple registration process. (Should you encounter technical trouble, please check out the link at the bottom of this e-mail.)

Click here to sign the petition now!

Already signed the petition? You can promote it to your friends on facebook and twitter! Copy and paste the following text: Tell the Obama Administration to let UN investigate torture of alleged WikiLeaks whistleblower PFC Bradley Manning!

We petition the obama administration to:
Free PFC Bradley Manning, the accused WikiLeaks whistleblower.!/petition/free-pfc-bradley-manning-accused-wikileaks-whistleblower/kX1GJKsD?

Using the information PFC Bradley Manning allegedly revealed, media outlets have published thousands of stories, detailing countless attempts by governments around the world -- including our own -- to illegally conceal evidence of human rights abuses.

According to the President, "employees with the courage to report wrongdoing are a government's best defense against waste, fraud and abuse."

It appears that PFC Manning acted on his conscience, at great personal risk, to answer the President's call.

However, he has been subjected to extreme confinement conditions that US legal scholars have said may amount to torture.

Therefore, we also ask the Obama administration to stop blocking the UN's chief torture investigator, Juan Mendez, from conducting an official visit with PFC Manning.


Cristian Fernandez is only 12 years old. And if Florida prosecutor Angela Corey has her way, he'll never leave jail again.

Cristian hasn't had an easy life. He's the same age now as his mother was when he was born. He's a survivor of physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. In 2010, Cristian watched his stepfather commit suicide to avoid being charged with abusing Cristian.

Last January, Cristian was wrestling with his 2-year-old brother, David, and accidentally broke David's leg. Despite this, their mother left Cristian with his brother again in March. While the two boys were alone, Cristian allegedly pushed his brother against a bookcase, and David sustained a head injury. After their mother returned home, she waited six hours before taking David to the hospital. David eventually died.

Now Cristian is being charged with first degree murder -- as an adult. He's the youngest person in the history of his Florida county to receive this charge, and his next hearing is scheduled for tomorrow.

Melissa Higgins works with kids who get caught up in the criminal justice system in her home state of New Hampshire. When she read about Cristian's case, she was appalled -- so she started a petition on asking Florida State's Attorney Angela Corey to try Cristian as a child. Please sign Melissa's petition immediately before Cristian's hearing tomorrow.

As part of his prosecution, Cristian has been examined by two different forensic psychiatrists -- each of whom concluded that he was "emotionally underdeveloped but essentially reformable despite a tough life."

Cristian has already been through more than most of us can imagine -- and now the rest of his life is in the hands of a Florida prosecutor who wants to make sure Cristian never leaves jail.

The purpose of the juvenile justice system is to reform kids who haven't gotten a fair shake. If Cristian is sent to adult prison, it will be more than a tragedy for him -- it will also be a signal to other prosecutors that kids' lives are acceptable collateral in the quest to be seen as "tough on crime."

Cristian's next hearing is in just 24 hours. State's Attorney Angela Corey needs to know that her actions are being watched -- please sign the petition asking her not to try Cristian as an adult:

Thanks for being a change-maker,

- Michael and the team


International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban 5
TAKE ACTION: New Punishment Against Rene Gonzalez

On Oct 7, René González, one of the Cuban 5 Patriots will be released from the US prison in Marianna Florida after serving out his 15 year sentence. Rene's crime was defending the security of the Cuban people against terrorist attacks.

The US government is now trying to stop his immediate return to his homeland, and his family, after he serves out the last day of this unjust sentence. And now, in the most cynical and mean spirited fashion, the US court that sentenced him in 2001 is extending his punishment by making him remain in the United States.

Because Rene was born in the US he will now have to spend an additional 3 years of probation here. Seven months ago his lawyer presented a motion asking the court to modify the conditions of his probation so that after he finished his sentence he be allowed to return to Cuba to reunite with his wife and his family for humanitarian reasons.

On March 25, the prosecutor Caroline Heck Miller asked the judge to deny the motion. On September 16 Judge Joan Lenard rejected the defense motion, alleging among other reasons, that the Court needs time to evaluate the behavior of the condemned person after he is freed to verify that he is not a danger to the United States.

We have to remember that this is the same prosecutor that rejected an attempt to try Posada Carriles as a criminal, and this is the same judge that included in the conditions of his release a special point that while Rene is under supervised release that," the accused is prohibited from associating with or visiting specific places where individuals or groups such as terrorists are known to be or frequent"

By writing this Judge Lenard made the shameful recognition that terrorists groups do exist and enjoy impunity in Miami. Furthermore she is offering them protection from Rene from bothering or denouncing them upon his release.

It was not enough for the US government to make Rene fulfill the complete sentence to the last day; It was not enough to try and blackmail his family by telling them he would not go to trial if he collaborated against his 4 brothers; it was not enough to pressure Rene with what could happen to his family if he did not cooperate with the government, including the detention and deportation of his wife Olga Salanueva; and it was not enough to deny Olga visas to visit her husband repeatedly all these years.

Why does the US government want to continue punishing René and his family?

The prejudice of the Miami community against the Five was denounced by three judges of the Eleventh Circuit of the Atlanta Court of Appeals on August 27, 2005, where it was recognized who the terrorists were, what organizations they belonged to and where they reside. To mandate that Rene Gonzalez stay another 3 years of supervised "freedom" in Florida, where a nest of international terrorists reside and who publicly make their hatred of Cuba and the Cuban 5 known, is to put the life of Rene in serious risk.

Today we are making a call to friends from all over the world to denounce this new punishment and to demand the US government allow René Gonzalez to return to Cuba to reunite with his wife and his family as soon as he get out of prison.

Contact now President Barack Obama and US Attorney General Eric Holder demanding the immediate return of René Gonzalez to his homeland and his family


Write a letter to President Obama

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20500

Make a phone call and leave a message for President Barack Obama: 202-456-1111

Send an e-mail message to President Barack Obama


Write a letter to US Attorney General Eric Holder

US Attorney General Eric Holder
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001

Make a phone call and leave a message for US Attorney General Eric Holder: 202-514-2000
Or call the public commentary line: 202-353-1555

Send an e-mail message to US Attorney General Eric Holder:

International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban 5

International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban 5
To learn more about the Cuban 5 visit:


Say No to Police Repression of NATO/G8 Protests

The CSFR Signs Letter to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel

The CSFR is working with the United National Antiwar Committee and many other anti-war groups to organize mass rallies and protests on May 15 and May 19, 2012. We will protest the powerful and wealthy war-makers of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and Group of 8. Mobilize your groups, unions, and houses of worship. Bring your children, friends, and community. Demand jobs, healthcare, housing and education, not war!

Office of the Mayor
City of Chicago
To: Mayor Rahm Emanuel

We, the undersigned, demand that your administration grant us permits for protests on May 15 and 19, 2012, including appropriate rally gathering locations and march routes to the venue for the NATO/G8 summit taking place that week. We come to you because your administration has already spoken to us through Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy. He has threatened mass arrests and violence against protestors.

[Read the full text of the letter here:]

For the 10s of thousands of people from Chicago, around the country and across the world who will gather here to protest against NATO and the G8, we demand that the City of Chicago:

1. Grant us permits to rally and march to the NATO/G8 summit
2. Guarantee our civil liberties
3. Guarantee us there will be no spying, infiltration of organizations or other attacks by the FBI or partner law enforcement agencies.


Supporter of Leak Suspect Is Called Before Grand Jury
June 15, 2011

A supporter of Pfc. Bradley E. Manning, who is accused of leaking hundreds of thousands of documents to WikiLeaks, was called before a federal grand jury in Alexandria, Va., on Wednesday, but he said he declined to answer any questions. The supporter, David M. House, a freelance computer scientist, said he invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, because he believes the Justice Department is "creating a climate of fear around WikiLeaks and the Bradley Manning support network." The grand jury inquiry is separate from the military prosecution of Private Manning and is believed to be exploring whether the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, or others in the group violated the law by acquiring and publishing military and State Department documents.


Justice for Albert Woodfox and Herman Wallace: Decades of isolation in Louisiana state prisons must end
Take Action -- Sign Petition Here:

For nearly four decades, 64-year-old Albert Woodfox and 69-year-old Herman Wallace have been held in solitary confinement, mostly in the Louisiana State Penitentiary (known as Angola prison). Throughout their prolonged incarceration in Closed Cell Restriction (CCR) Albert Woodfox and Herman Wallace have endured very restrictive conditions including 23 hour cellular confinement. They have limited access to books, newspapers and TV and throughout the years of imprisonment they have been deprived of opportunities for mental stimulation and access to work and education. Social interaction has been restricted to occasional visits from friends and family and limited telephone calls.

Louisiana prison authorities have over the course of 39 years failed to provide a meaningful review of the men's continued isolation as they continue to rubberstamp the original decision to confine the men in CCR. Decades of solitary confinement have had a clear psychological effect on the men. Lawyers report that they are both suffering from serious health problems caused or exacerbated by their years of close confinement.

After being held together in the same prison for nearly 40 years, the men are now held in seperate institutions where they continue to be subjected to conditions that can only be described as cruel, inhuman and degrading.
Take action now to demand that Albert Woodfox and Herman Wallace be immediately removed from solitary confinement

Sign our petition which will be sent to the Governor of Louisiana, Bobby Jindal, calling on him to:

-- take immediate steps to remove Albert Woodfox and Herman Wallace from close confinement
-- ensure that their treatment complies with the USA's obligations under international standards and the US Constitution.




One year after Bradley's detainment, we need your support more than ever.

Dear Friends,

One year ago, on May 26, 2010, the U.S. government quietly arrested a humble young American intelligence analyst in Iraq and imprisoned him in a military camp in Kuwait. Over the coming weeks, the facts of the arrest and charges against this shy soldier would come to light. And across the world, people like you and I would step forward to help defend him.

Bradley Manning, now 23 years old, has never been to court but has already served a year in prison- including 10 months in conditions of confinement that were clear violation of the international conventions against torture. Bradley has been informally charged with releasing to the world documents that have revealed corruption by world leaders, widespread civilian deaths at the hands of U.S. forces, the true face of Guantanamo, an unvarnished view of the U.S.'s imperialistic foreign negotiations, and the murder of two employees of Reuters News Agency by American soldiers. These documents released by WikiLeaks have spurred democratic revolutions across the Arab world and have changed the face of journalism forever.

For his act of courage, Bradley Manning now faces life in prison-or even death.

But you can help save him-and we've already seen our collective power. Working together with concerned citizens around the world, the Bradley Manning Support Network has helped raise worldwide awareness about Manning's torturous confinement conditions. Through the collective actions of well over a half million people and scores of organizations, we successfully pressured the U.S. government to end the tortuous conditions of pre-trial confinement that Bradley was subjected to at the Marine Base at Quantico, Virginia. Today, Bradley is being treated humanely at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. T hanks to your support, Bradley is given leeway to interact with other pre-trial prisoners, read books, write letters, and even has a window in his cell.

Of course we didn't mount this campaign to just improve Bradley's conditions in jail. Our goal is to ensure that he can receive a fair and open trial. Our goal is to win Bradley's freedom so that he can be reunited with his family and fulfill his dream of going to college. Today, to commemorate Bradley's one year anniversary in prison, will you join me in making a donation to help support Bradley's defense?

We'll be facing incredible challenges in the coming months, and your tax-deductible donation today will help pay for Bradley's civilian legal counsel and the growing international grassroots campaign on his behalf. The U.S. government has already spent a year building its case against Bradley, and is now calling its witnesses to Virginia to testify before a grand jury.

What happens to Bradley may ripple through history - he is already considered by many to be the single most important person of his generation. Please show your commitment to Bradley and your support for whistle-blowers and the truth by making a donation today.

With your help, I hope we will come to remember May 26th as a day to commemorate all those who risk their lives and freedom to promote informed democracy - and as the birth of a movement that successfully defended one courageous whistle-blower against the full fury of the U.S. government.

Donate now:

In solidarity,

Jeff Paterson and Loraine Reitman,
On behalf of the Bradley Manning Support Network Steering Committee

P.S. After you have donated, please help us by forwarding this email to your closest friends. Ask them to stand with you to support Bradley Manning, and the rights of all whistleblowers.

View the new 90 second "I am Bradley Manning" video:

I am Bradley Manning

Courage to Resist
484 Lake Park Ave. #41
Oakland, CA 94610

"A Fort Leavenworth mailing address has been released for Bradley Manning:

Bradley Manning 89289
830 Sabalu Road
Fort Leavenworth, KS 66027

The receptionist at the military barracks confirmed that if someone sends Bradley Manning a letter to that address, it will be delivered to him."

This is also a Facebook event!/event.php?eid=207100509321891

Courage to Resist needs your support

Please donate today:

"Soldiers sworn oath is to defend and support the Constitution. Bradley Manning has been defending and supporting our Constitution."
-Dan Ellsberg, Pentagon Papers whistle-blower

Jeff Paterson
Project Director, Courage to Resist
First US military service member to refuse to fight in Iraq
Please donate today.

P.S. I'm asking that you consider a contribution of $50 or more, or possibly becoming a sustainer at $15 a month. Of course, now is also a perfect time to make a end of year tax-deductible donation. Thanks again for your support!

Please click here to forward this to a friend who might
also be interested in supporting GI resisters.


Drop the Charges Against Carlos Montes, Stop the FBI Attack on the Chicano and Immigrant Rights Movement, and Stop FBI Repression of Anti-War Activists NOW!Call Off the Expanding Grand Jury Witchhunt and FBI Repression of Anti-War Activists NOW!

Cancel the Subpoenas! Cancel the Grand Juries!
Condemn the FBI Raids and Harassment of Chicano, Immigrant Rights, Anti-War and International Solidarity Activists!

Initiated by the Committee to Stop FBI Repression

Contact the Committee to Stop FBI Repression

Committee to Stop FBI Repression
to Fitzgerald, Holder and Obama

The Grand Jury is still on its witch hunt and the FBI is still
harassing activists. This must stop.
Please make these calls:
1. Call U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald at 312-353-5300 . Then dial 0
(zero) for operator and ask to leave a message with the Duty Clerk.
2. Call U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder 202-353-1555
3. Call President Obama at 202-456-1111

FFI: Visit or email or call
612-379-3585 .
Copyright (c) 2011 Committee to Stop FBI Repression, All rights

Our mailing address is:
Committee to Stop FBI Repression
PO Box 14183
Minneapolis, MN 55415

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

Please make a donation today at (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


Mumia Wins Decision Against Re-Imposition Of Death Sentence, But...
The Battle Is Still On To
The Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal
PO Box 16222 • Oakland CA 94610


Call for EMERGENCY RESPONSE Action if Assange Indicted,

Dear Friends:

We write in haste, trying to reach as many of you as possible although the holiday break has begun.......This plan for an urgent "The Day After" demonstration is one we hope you and many, many more organizations will take up as your own, and mobilize for. World Can't Wait asks you to do all you can to spread it through list serves, Facebook, twitter, holiday gatherings.

Our proposal is very very simple, and you can use the following announcement to mobilize - or write your own....


An emergency public demonstration THE DAY AFTER any U.S. criminal indictment is announced against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. Spread the word and call people to come out, across the whole range of movements and groups: anti-war, human rights, freedom of information/freedom of the press, peace, anti-torture, environmental, students and youth, radicals and revolutionaries, religious, civil liberties, teachers and educators, journalists, anti-imperialists, anti-censorship, anti-police state......

At the Federal Building in San Francisco, we'll form ourselves into a human chain "surrounding" the government that meets the Wikileaked truth with repression and wants to imprison and silence leakers, whistleblowers and truthtellers - when, in fact, these people are heroes. We'll say:


New Federal Building, 7th and Mission, San Francisco (nearest BART: Civic Center)
4:00-6:00 PM on The Day FOLLOWING U.S. indictment of Assange

Bring all your friends - signs and banners - bullhorns.

Those who dare at great risk to themselves to put the truth in the hands of the people - and others who might at this moment be thinking about doing more of this themselves -- need to see how much they are supported, and that despite harsh repression from the government and total spin by the mainstream media, the people do want the truth told.

Brad Manning's Christmas Eve statement was just released by his lawyer: "Pvt. Bradley Manning, the lone soldier who stands accused of stealing millions of pages secret US government documents and handing them over to secrets outlet WikiLeaks, wants his supporters to know that they've meant a lot to him. 'I greatly appreciate everyone's support and well wishes during this time,' he said in a Christmas Eve statement released by his lawyer...." Read more here:

Demonstrations defending Wikileaks and Assange, and Brad Manning, have already been flowering around the world. Make it happen here too.
Especially here . . .

To join into this action plan, or with questions, contact World Can't Wait or whichever organization or listserve you received this message from.

World Can't Wait, SF Bay



Write to Lynne Stewart at:

Lynne Stewart #53504 - 054
Unit 2N
Federal Medical Center, Carswell
P.O. Box 27137
Fort Worth, TEXAS 76127

Visiting Lynne:

Visiting is very liberal but first she has to get people on her visiting list; wait til she or the lawyers let you know. The visits are FRI, SAT, SUN AND MON for 4 hours and on weekends 8 to 3. Bring clear plastic change purse with lots of change to buy from the machines. Brief Kiss upon arrival and departure, no touching or holding during visit (!!) On visiting forms it may be required that you knew me before I came to prison. Not a problem for most of you.

Commissary Money:

Commissary Money is always welcome It is how Lynne pay for the phone and for email. Also for a lot that prison doesn't supply in terms of food and "sundries" (pens!) (A very big list that includes Raisins, Salad Dressing, ankle sox, mozzarella (definitely not from Antonys--more like a white cheddar, Sanitas Corn Chips but no Salsa, etc. To add money, you do this by using Western Union and a credit card by phone or you can send a USPO money order or Business or Govt Check. The negotiable instruments (PAPER!) need to be sent to Federal Bureau of Prisons, 53504-054, Lynne Stewart, PO Box 474701, Des Moines Iowa 50947-001 (Payable to Lynne Stewart, 53504-054) They hold the mo or checks for 15 days. Western Union costs $10 but is within 2 hours. If you mail, your return address must be on the envelope. Unnecessarily complicated? Of course, it's the BOP !)

The address of her Defense Committee is:

Lynne Stewart Defense Committee
1070 Dean Street
Brooklyn, New York 11216
For further information:
718-789-0558 or 917-853-9759

Please make a generous contribution to her defense.



Reasonable doubts about executing Kevin Cooper
Chronicle Editorial
Monday, December 13, 2010

Death penalty -- Kevin Cooper is Innocent! Help save his life from San Quentin's death row!

- From Amnesty International USA
17 December 2010
Click here to take action online:

To learn about recent Urgent Action successes and updates, go to

For a print-friendly version of this Urgent Action (PDF):


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.
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 and follow the simple instructions.

Thank you for your generosity!


D. ARTICLES IN FULL (Unless otherwise noted)


1) Middle-Class Areas Shrink as Income Gap Grows, New Report Finds
November 15, 2011

2) When DNA Evidence Suggests 'Innocent,' Some Prosecutors Cling to 'Maybe'
November 15, 2011

3) Alabama: 13 Arrested at Immigration Protest
November 15, 2011

4) Former Philadelphia Police Captain Ray Lewis Joins With Occupy Wall Street Protesters [Video]
By Hunter Walker
11/16 5:06pm
Capt Ray Lewis Joins OWS Protest,Gives Message to NYPD and Slams The Greed 1% from Zuccotti Park!

Civil Rights Legal Groups Demand Records on Federal Law Enforcement Involvement in Coordinated Crackdown on Occupy Movement
PCJF and NLG Mass Defense Committee File Multi-Agency Requests
November 16, 2001

6) 84-Year-Old Woman Now the Pepper-Sprayed Face of Occupy Seattle
By Dashiell Bennett, The Atlantic
16 November 11

7) Protesters and Officers Clash Near Wall Street and in Zuccotti Park
November 17, 2011, 8:13 am

8) Situation Normal All Fracked Up
Magazine Preview
Published: November 17, 2011

9) As New Graduates Return to Nest, Economy Also Feels the Pain
November 16, 2011

10) Young Britons Are Willing, but Few Jobs Are in Sight
November 16, 2011

11) Greek Protesters Clash With Police at US Embassy
November 17, 2011

12) United States of Hunger
November 17, 2011, 2:18 pm

13) Now THAT'S a bank job: Dozens arrested after sit-in by Occupy San Francisco at Bank of America branch
By Associated Press
November 17, 2011

14) The World Is With Us-Occupy Lives On!
Posted 14 hours ago on Nov. 17, 2011, 10:29 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt

15) Violence Erupts in Cairo, Even as Military Cedes Political Ground
November 19, 2011

16) Older, Suburban and Struggling, 'Near Poor' Startle the Census
November 18, 2011

17) Brazil Officials Criticize Chevron Over Oil Spill
November 18, 2011

18) Redefining the Union Boss
"Ms. Pope later found a better-paying job at a warehouse in Cleveland, as a member of the Teamsters. In 1979, when Teamster steel haulers in Canton, Ohio, went on strike, she helped expand that action throughout the Midwest. Before long, she was driving an 18-wheeler, hauling steel from Cleveland to Baltimore. After the birth of her first child, however, she traded her rig for the bargaining table, and began negotiating local contracts. When Ron Carey, a parcel truck driver from Queens, ran on an anticorruption platform and captured the presidency of the Teamsters, a union that had been long notorious for Mafia connections, Ms. Pope became an international representative for the union's warehouse unit. By then, she had settled in Montclair, N.J. Seven years later, Mr. Carey left after he was accused of misusing union funds. (A court later found him not guilty.) Ms. Pope then joined Teamsters Local 805 in Queens. There, she ran against its incumbent president and won, becoming the head of the 1,100-member local in 2005."
November 19, 2011


1) Middle-Class Areas Shrink as Income Gap Grows, New Report Finds
November 15, 2011

WASHINGTON - The portion of American families living in middle-income neighborhoods has declined significantly since 1970, according to a new study, as rising income inequality left a growing share of families in neighborhoods that are mostly low-income or mostly affluent.

The study, conducted by Stanford University and scheduled for release on Wednesday by the Russell Sage Foundation and Brown University, uses census data to examine family income at the neighborhood level in the country's 117 biggest metropolitan areas.

The findings show a changed map of prosperity in the United States over the past four decades, with larger patches of affluence and poverty and a shrinking middle.

In 2007, the last year captured by the data, 44 percent of families lived in neighborhoods the study defined as middle-income, down from 65 percent of families in 1970. At the same time, a third of American families lived in areas of either affluence or poverty, up from just 15 percent of families in 1970.

The study comes at a time of growing concern about inequality and an ever-louder partisan debate over whether it matters. It raises, but does not answer, the question of whether increased economic inequality, and the resulting income segregation, impedes social mobility.

Much of the shift is the result of changing income structure in the United States. Part of the country's middle class has slipped to the lower rungs of the income ladder as manufacturing and other middle-class jobs have dwindled, while the wealthy receive a bigger portion of the income pie. Put simply, there are fewer people in the middle.

But the shift is more than just changes in income. The study also found that there is more residential sorting by income, with the rich flocking together in new exurbs and gentrifying pockets where lower- and middle-income families cannot afford to live.

The study - part of US2010, a research project financed by Russell Sage and Brown University - identified the pattern in about 90 percent of large and medium-size metropolitan areas for 2000 to 2007. Detroit; Oklahoma City; Toledo, Ohio; and Greensboro, N.C., experienced the biggest rises in income segregation in the decade, while 13 areas, including Atlanta, had declines. Philadelphia and its suburbs registered the sharpest rise since 1970.

Sean F. Reardon, an author of the study and a sociologist at Stanford, argued that the shifts had far-reaching implications for the next generation. Children in mostly poor neighborhoods tend to have less access to high-quality schools, child care and preschool, as well as to support networks or educated and economically stable neighbors who might serve as role models.

The isolation of the prosperous, he said, means less interaction with people from other income groups and a greater risk to their support for policies and investments that benefit the broader public - like schools, parks and public transportation systems. About 14 percent of families lived in affluent neighborhoods in 2007, up from 7 percent in 1970, the study found.

The study groups neighborhoods into six income categories. Poor neighborhoods have median family incomes that are 67 percent or less of those of a given metropolitan area. Rich neighborhoods have median incomes of 150 percent or more. Middle-income neighborhoods are those in which the median income is between 80 percent and 125 percent.

The map of that change for Philadelphia is a red stripe of wealthy suburbs curving around a poor, blue urban center, broken by a few red dots of gentrification. It is the picture of the economic change that slammed into Philadelphia decades ago as its industrial base declined and left a shrunken middle class and a poorer urban core.

The Germantown neighborhood, once solidly middle class, is now mostly low income. Chelten Avenue, one of its main thoroughfares, is a hard-luck strip of check-cashing stores and takeout restaurants. The stone homes on side streets speak to a more affluent past, one that William Wilson, 95, a longtime resident, remembers fondly.

"It was real nice," he said, shuffling along Chelten Avenue on Monday. Theaters thrived on the avenue, he said, as did a fancy department store. Now a Walgreens stands in its place. "Everything started going down in the dumps," he said.

Philadelphia's more recent history is one of gentrifying neighborhoods, like the Northern Liberties area, where affluence has rushed in, in the form of espresso shops, glass-walled apartments and a fancy supermarket, and prosperous new suburbs that have mushroomed in the far north and south of the metro area.

Lawrence Katz, an economist at Harvard, said the evidence for the presumed adverse effects of economic segregation was inconclusive. In a recent study of low-income families randomly assigned the opportunity to move out of concentrated poverty into mixed-income neighborhoods, Professor Katz and his collaborators found large improvements in physical and mental health, but little change in the families' economic and educational fortunes.

But there is evidence that income differences are having an effect, beyond the context of neighborhood. One example, Professor Reardon said, is a growing gap in standardized test scores between rich and poor children, now 40 percent bigger than it was in 1970. That is double the testing gap between black and white children, he said.

And the gap between rich and poor in college completion - one of the single most important predictors of economic success - has grown by more than 50 percent since the 1990s, said Martha J. Bailey, an economist at the University of Michigan. More than half of children from high-income families finish college, up from about a third 20 years ago. Fewer than 10 percent of low-income children finish, up from 5 percent.

William Julius Wilson, a sociologist at Harvard who has seen the study, argues that "rising inequality is beginning to produce a two-tiered society in America in which the more affluent citizens live lives fundamentally different from the middle- and lower-income groups. This divide decreases a sense of community."


2) When DNA Evidence Suggests 'Innocent,' Some Prosecutors Cling to 'Maybe'
November 15, 2011

CHICAGO - For 17 years, Terrill Swift and three other men convicted in the 1994 rape and strangulation of a prostitute here have insisted on their innocence. And last May, a powerful new piece of evidence emerged that appeared to back their claim: a DNA profile, constructed from semen found in the victim's body, matched a man who was convicted of raping and strangling another prostitute a few years later.

"It's over," Mr. Swift remembers thinking when the DNA match surfaced. But six months later, the exoneration of the four men, who as teenagers confessed during questioning by the police, is still uncertain.

The Cook County state's attorney has opposed vacating the men's convictions, arguing that the DNA match alone is not sufficient to cast significant doubt on their guilt. Johnny Douglas, whose DNA matched the profile, was known to frequent prostitutes and could have had consensual sex with the victim before the murder occurred, the prosecutors have argued.

Defense lawyers and some criminal justice experts say that the case illustrates the resistance mounted by a minority of prosecutors around the country in the face of exculpatory DNA evidence. On Wednesday, a Cook Country circuit court judge is expected to rule on whether the convictions of the four men, two of whom are still in prison, should be dismissed.

Hundreds of people in the United States have been cleared by DNA evidence over the last two decades, in some cases after confessing to crimes, often in great detail. Juveniles, researchers have found, are more likely to make false confessions. Four of the five teenagers who were convicted in the brutal 1989 rape of Trisha Meili, known as the Central Park jogger, for example, confessed to the rape but were later exonerated when DNA evidence confirmed another man's involvement.

For most prosecutors, the presence of post-conviction DNA evidence is enough to prompt action. An examination of 194 DNA exonerations found that 88 percent of the prosecutors joined defense lawyers in moving to vacate the convictions. But in 12 percent of the cases, the prosecutors opposed the motions, and in 4 percent, they did so even after a DNA match to another suspect.

Brandon L. Garrett, a professor of law at the University of Virginia, who studied the exonerations last year, said that many of the cases in which prosecutors dispute the significance of DNA evidence involve defendants who initially confessed to the crimes.

In the Chicago case, said Joshua Tepfer, a lawyer at Northwestern's Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth, who represents Mr. Swift, "there has never been a stronger hit in the DNA area."

Mr. Tepfer noted that Mr. Douglas, who was in the neighborhood when the body was found and was interviewed by the police at the time, "preyed on at-risk women, on prostitutes, and he engaged in sex and strangled them to death. It's just an identical situation."

But Anita Alvarez, the state's attorney, said a DNA match was not automatically cause for dismissal of the convictions. "DNA evidence in and of itself is not always the 'silver bullet' that it is sometimes perceived to be," Ms. Alvarez said.

Mr. Douglas, she said, who was shot to death in 2008, was "the type of person that was utilizing prostitutes. He didn't kill every other prostitute he was with."

"As a prosecutor, I have a duty to the victims in this case," she said. "I have a duty to look at everything and weigh it."

Mr. Swift, now 34 and on parole, said his own confession came out of terror and exhaustion after being questioned for hours by the police, who told him, he said, that if he worked with them and signed the confession he could go home but if not, he would go to prison for the rest of his life.

"I was 17, I'd never been in any type of trouble like that," he said. "I didn't know the weight or the magnitude of what a confession could do. It cost me 17 years of my life."

Mr. Swift said that he had not known Nina Glover, the prostitute whose brutalized body was found in a Dumpster behind a building in the South Side's Englewood neighborhood on Nov. 7, 1994, and that he had been only slightly acquainted with the four other young men who became his co-defendants. Pulled in for questioning four months after the murder, each gave graphic accounts of the rape and murder, but differed on details like the order in which they raped Ms. Glover and how many youths were involved.

Mr. Swift, prosecutors say, also pointed out a spot in a lagoon in nearby Sherman Park, where the police said they had found a shovel and mop handle used to beat Ms. Glover before she was strangled. Mr. Swift said that the police told him that the tools had been tossed into the lagoon and took him there, and that he had just pointed in a general direction at the water. The lagoon, he said, is a dumping ground for trash of all types.

Investigators found semen in Ms. Glover's vagina, but DNA testing conducted at the time excluded all five defendants and no other forensic evidence connected them to the crime. Still, three of the teenagers - Mr. Swift, Michael Saunders and Harold Richardson - were convicted at trial and received sentences of 30 to 40 years in prison, and the fourth, Vincent Thames, pleaded guilty. The fifth young man, Jerry Fincher, was initially charged but a judge suppressed his confession and he was not prosecuted.

Peter Neufeld, co-director of the Innocence Project and a lawyer for Mr. Saunders, who remains in prison, said that the new DNA evidence pointing to Mr. Douglas, who pleaded guilty to the 1997 rape and murder of a woman with whom he traded cocaine for sex and who was suspected of other violent assaults - was more than enough to raise reasonable doubt in the minds of jurors and meet the standard for a conviction to be vacated.

This month, Ms. Alvarez moved to vacate the convictions in a case involving the 1991 rape and murder of a 14-year old girl. That case also involved five defendants, known as the Dixmoor Five, who confessed to the crime and were excluded by DNA testing at the time.

But the two murders, Ms. Alvarez said, "are not cookie-cutter type cases" and she has no plans to dismiss the convictions in the Englewood case before the judge's ruling on Wednesday.

Mr. Swift, who is living with his mother and sister in a Chicago suburb, wears an ankle monitor and has to register as a sex offender, a label that he said "hurts me more than the 15 years I did."

But on Wednesday, he hopes, he might be given a chance to get on with his life.

"It was a tragedy for everybody," he said. "We're innocent, but they didn't want to listen. But they're going to listen now. I truly believe that. I think they will."


3) Alabama: 13 Arrested at Immigration Protest
November 15, 2011

The Montgomery police arrested 13 people protesting Alabama's strict new immigration law. About 100 people, most of them Hispanic and college-age, took part in the protest Tuesday at the Statehouse and nearby Capitol. Some sat on a street when the police warned that they would be arrested if they did not move. None of the protesters moved. A Montgomery lawyer who volunteered to represent those arrested, Mike Winter, said he understood they were mostly being charged with disturbing the peace, but also could be held for immigration officials.


4) Former Philadelphia Police Captain Ray Lewis Joins With Occupy Wall Street Protesters [Video]
By Hunter Walker
11/16 5:06pm
Capt Ray Lewis Joins OWS Protest,Gives Message to NYPD and Slams The Greed 1% from Zuccotti Park!

Update: Mr. Lewis has been arrested, according to multiple reports.
Retired Philadelphia Police Captain Ray Lewis was in Zuccotti Park last night with the Occupy Wall Street protesters. Mr. Lewis showed up in uniform carrying signs a pair of signs imploring New York City cops to join the protests. "NYPD Don't Be Wall Street Mercenaries," one read. Mr. Lewis was interviewed on one of the Occupy Wall Street livestreams at about two this morning. He was sharply critical of the NYPD's conduct during their raid on the protest encampment Tuesday. "This bullrush-what happened last night is totally uncalled for," Mr. Lewis said.

A Philadelphia Police Department spokesperson confirmed to the Observer that Mr. Lewis was a captain prior to retiring in 2004. He was photographed at the protests yesterday afternoon as demonstrators ringed Zuccotti Park in the wake of their eviction.

In his late night interview with the livestreamers, Lewis said police in New York City should have dealt with Occupy Wall Street through negotiation rather than forcefully removing protesters from the park.

"You should, by law, only use force to protect someone's life or to protect them from being bodily injured OK? If you're not protecting somebody's life or protecting them from bodily injury, there's no need to use force. And the number one thing that they always have in their favor that they seldom use is negotiation-continue to talk, and talk and talk to people. You have nothing to lose by that," Mr Lewis said. "This bullrush-what happened last night is totally uncalled for when they did not use negotiation long enough."

Mayor Bloomberg has stated the raid was necessary because the protest encampment carried with it a risk of crime, fire and health hazards. Mr. Lewis called that rationale "a farce."

"They complained about the park being dirty. Here they are worrying about dirty parks when people are starving to death, where people are freezing, where people are sleeping in subways and they're concerned about a dirty park. That's obnoxious, it's arrogant, it's ignorant, it's disgusting," Mr. Lewis said.

Mr. Lewis said the police want to get rid of him, but he vowed to keep coming back to the protests.

"They're trying to get me arrested and I may disappear OK?" Mr. Lewis said. "As soon as I'm let out of jail, I'll be right back here and they'll have to arrest me again."

Mr. Lewis thinks some officers might appreciate his presence, but not top brass.

"I'm their worst enemy, especially with the white shirts, the bosses OK? Some of the fellow cops they might be thinking, you know, 'That guy, he's got a point,' but the bosses, i'm their number one enemy," Mr. Lewis said.

Mr. Lewis clearly doesn't think the NYPD likes him, but he told the protesters he doesn't think cops are their enemy.

"All the cops are, they're just workers for the one percent and they don't even realize they're being exploited," Mr. Lewis said.

Viewers who watched Mr. Lewis' interview told us he spoke on camera for more than 40 minutes. We'll try to get our hands on a full clip, but for now, you can watch an excerpt of Mr. Lewis' livestream appearance below.


Civil Rights Legal Groups Demand Records on Federal Law Enforcement Involvement in Coordinated Crackdown on Occupy Movement
PCJF and NLG Mass Defense Committee File Multi-Agency Requests
November 16, 2001

The Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF) and the National Lawyers Guild Mass Defense Committee filed Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests today with the Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and the National Park Service (NPS) requesting that the agencies release information that they possess related to the involvement of federal agencies in the planning of a coordinated law enforcement crackdown that has taken places in multiple cities against the Occupy Movement in recent days and weeks.

The FOIA to the various federal law enforcement agencies states: "This request specifically encompasses disclosure of any documents or information pertaining to federal coordination of, or advice or consultation regarding, the police response to the Occupy movement, protests or encampments."

The Occupy Movement has been confronted by a nearly simultaneous effort by local governments and local police agencies to evict and break up encampments in cities and towns throughout the country. It is now known that mayors and other local officials have met together on conference calls in recent weeks and developed a coordinated strategy to dislodge and break up the encampments using common talking points including a public pretextual rationale to justify police action.

Mara Veheyden-Hilliard, Executive Director of the Partnership for Civil Justice and the co-chair of the National Lawyers Guild's National Mass Defense Committee, states: "The severe crackdown on the occupation movement appears to be part of a national strategy to crush the movement. This multi-jurisdictional coordination shows that the crackdown is supremely political."

"The FOIA requests seek critical information regarding the role of federal law enforcement agencies," Verheyden-Hilliard explained. "The Occupy demonstrations are not criminal activities, and police should not be treating them as such. This protest movement for social and economic justice has captured the imagination of the country. The coordinated effort of law enforcement to suppress it is a reflection of its political challenge to the status-quo."

"We see the scapegoating of these movements, the attacks at night, and in general tactics designed to terrorize and to scare protesters away," stated Heidi Boghosian, Executive Director of the National Lawyers Guild. "This request is critical to the transparency that is required in order for the people of the United States to be informed as to the U.S. government's action in regard to free speech activities."

Read the Freedom of Information Act request here:


The Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF) is a not-for-profit constitutional rights legal and educational organization which, among other things, seeks to ensure constitutional accountability within police practices and government transparency in operations. It is counsel on the Barham and Becker class action cases in which more than 1,000 persons were falsely arrested during protests in Washington, D.C., resulting in settlements totaling $22 million and major changes in police practices. The PCJF previously brought the successful litigation in New York challenging the 2004 ban on protests in the Great Lawn of Central Park. It is counsel with the National Lawyers Guild in Oakland, CA challenging police mass arrest tactics. It won a unanimous ruling at the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals finding the MPD's unprecedented military-style police checkpoint program unconstitutional. The PCJF previously uncovered and disclosed that the D.C. police employed an unlawful domestic spying and agent provocateur program in which officers were sent on long-term assignments posing as political activists and infiltrated lawful and peaceful groups. For more information go to:

The National Lawyers Guild was formed as the nation's first racially integrated voluntary bar association, with a mandate to advocate for fundamental principles of human and civil rights including the protection of rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution. The Guild has championed the First Amendment right to engage in vigorous political speech for 75 years. The Guild has a long history of defending individuals accused by the government of espousing "dangerous" ideas, including in hearings conducted by the House Committee on Un-American Activities and other examples of governmental overreaching now popularly discredited. See e.g. Kinoy v. District of Columbia, 400 F.2d 761 (1968). Since then, it has continued to represent thousands of Americans critical of government policies, from civil rights advocates and anti-war activists during the Vietnam era to current anti-globalization, peace, environmental and animal rights activists. Its Mass Defense Committee is a coordinated body of hundreds of lawyers, legal workers and law students who are defending the free speech rights of the Occupy actions around the country.


6) 84-Year-Old Woman Now the Pepper-Sprayed Face of Occupy Seattle
By Dashiell Bennett, The Atlantic
16 November 11

eattle photographer Joshua Trujillo captured what may become the defining image of this week of Occupy unrest - an elderly woman being led away from the mayhem, her face covered with pepper spray. A pregnant woman and a priest were also hit with pepper spray during a march on Tuesday night. You can see more photos of the confrontation at (More photos here as well.)

The Seattle branch of the Occupy movement, which has been camped out near Seattle Central Community College, held the march in support of the New York camp, which faced a day long eviction battle with the city yesterday. On Monday, Occupy Oakland was the scene of another attempt by police to drive campers out of a city park. There were reports that both Occupy San Francisco and Occupy Cal (on the Berkeley campus of the University of California) are being raided on Wednesday morning. The week of police crackdown comes amid reports that the federal government and is coordinating with multiple on legal strategies that can shut down the Occupy protests.

The woman in the picture is not just any elderly woman, however, as she is well known to Seattle residents. Dorli Rainey is a former school teacher who has been active in local politics since the 1960s. In 2009, she ran for mayor, but eventually dropped out by saying, "I am old and should learn to be old, stay home, watch TV and sit still." We guess she didn't learn.

Rainey emailed The Stranger, Seattle's alternative paper, to say she stopped by the march to see what was happening when her group got pinned in by police and nearly trampled in the chaos.


7) Protesters and Officers Clash Near Wall Street and in Zuccotti Park
November 17, 2011, 8:13 am

Updated, 1:40 p.m. | Hundreds of protesters from Zuccotti Park marched on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday morning and were met by officers, many in helmets and wielding batons. At least 75 people were arrested, the police said.

The marchers then returned to the park, where they yanked out barricades that had been placed there on Tuesday in order to create single-file entrances. Perhaps a thousand protesters streamed into the park, followed by officers who began making more arrests. Officers could be seen shoving and hitting protesters and journalists.

The morning's demonstrations were part of an Occupy Wall Street "Day of Action" planned for Thursday, the two-month anniversary of the movement. It is to include events at subway stations throughout the city at 3 p.m. and a gathering at Foley Square downtown at 5, followed by marches across Lower Manhattan bridges.


8) Situation Normal All Fracked Up
Magazine Preview
Published: November 17, 2011

Amwell Township is a 44-square-mile plot of steep ravines and grassy pasturelands planted with alfalfa, trefoil and timothy in the southwestern corner of Pennsylvania. It's home to some 4,000 people, most of whom live in villages named Amity, Lone Pine and Prosperity.

From some views, this diamond-shaped cut of land looks like the hardscrabble farmland it has been since the 18th century, when English and Scottish settlers successfully drove away the members of a Native American village called Annawanna, or "the path of the water." Arrowheads still line the streambeds. Hickory trees march out along its high, dry ridges. Box elders ring the lower, wetter gullies. The air smells of sweet grass. Cows moo. Horses whinny.

From other vantages, it looks like an American natural-gas field, home to 10 gas wells, a compressor station - which feeds fresh gas into pipelines leading to homes hundreds of miles away - and what was, until late this summer, an open five-acre water-impoundment chemical pond. Trucks rev engines over fresh earth. Backhoes grind stubborn stones. Pipeline snakes beneath clear-cut hillsides.

The township sits atop the Marcellus Shale Deposit, one of the largest fields of natural gas in the world, a formation that stretches beneath 575 miles of West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio and New York. Shale gas, even its fiercest critics concede, presents an opportunity for the United States to be less dependent on foreign oil. According to Wood Mackenzie, an energy-consulting firm, the Marcellus formation will supply 6 percent of America's gas this year, a figure expected to more than double by 2020.

About five years ago, leases began to appear in the mailboxes of residents of Amwell Township from Range Resources, a Texas-based oil company seeking to harvest gas through hydraulic fracturing. "Fracking," as it is known, is a process of natural-gas drilling that involves pumping vast quantities of water, sand and chemicals thousands of feet into the earth to crack the deep shale deposits and free bubbles of gas from the ancient, porous rock. Harvesting this gas promises either to provide Americans with a clean domestic energy source or to despoil rural areas and poison our air and drinking water, depending on whom you ask.

On Nov. 21, the Delaware River Basin Commission, which involves four states - Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Delaware - will vote on rules governing fracking in the river's watershed, which supplies some 15 million people with drinking water. The states most affected will be New York and Pennsylvania, which sit on the Marcellus Shale, where the gas is closest to the surface.

This summer, Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York moved to lift the state's yearlong moratorium on fracking against vocal opposition from environmentalists and many local residents. Following a series of hearings this month, New York will decide whether to allow fracking early next year. In the meantime, New Yorkers are looking to Pennsylvania, the first neighbor to welcome fracking, as a model.

There are more than 4,000 Marcellus wells in Pennsylvania, with projections ranging from 2,500 new wells a year to a total of more than 100,000 over the next few decades; 458 of those wells are in Washington County and 60 are in Amwell Township, to which fracking has given an injection of new income and business; it has also spurred one of the first E.P.A. investigations into fracking's effects on rivers, streams, drinking water and human health.

Just before Christmas in 2008, a handful of neighbors granted Range Resources the right to drill thousands of feet below their homes and up to two miles in any direction. Signing leases here is nothing new. For the past 200 years, one industry after another has extracted minerals from the land. In the 1800s, it was coal; in the 1900s it was glass, coke and steel and industrial mining. "Sooner or later, somebody wants to go around, under or through you," one farmer and gun-shop proprietor told me. "You make your best deal and you talk to a lawyer. At least these companies pay something up front."

What these companies paid was more than many people in Amwell Township, where the per capita income in the 2000 census was $18,285, were accustomed to seeing in their lifetimes, even if the windfall wasn't the same for everyone. Next-door neighbors made, upon signing, between $1,500 and more than $500,000 for the same amount of land. Curiously enough, the huge gap in payments didn't cause much trouble among neighbors, at least at first. Most, if they express a political viewpoint at all, are old-school libertarians who believe each man has the right to live by his will and abilities.

The conflict instead is between "country folk and city people," Bill Hartley, 63, a barber and a cattle farmer told me. "The country folk want the drilling and have mineral rights. The city folk don't want the drilling and have no rights to sell."

At Hartley's Styling Shop, the barbershop Hartley has run out of a rented trailer on his great-great-grandfather's farm for the past 16 years, the gas boom is all anyone talks about. There's a barber pole spinning outside and a Jacuzzi in the bathroom. A John Deere clock tells time according to a tractor. When I met Hartley there early last spring, he was alone, reclining in his barber's chair and chain-smoking, as he had been for hours, or maybe years. The trailer's air and Naugahyde chairs were saturated with stale smoke.

"Do you mind if I smoke?" he asked. I didn't. "Good, because I would have told you, 'Tough.' " Hartley, who has the long, hollow face of an Appalachian Marlboro Man, keeps 35 cows on 110 acres of rocky fields of fescue. Until recently, like most farmers he knows, he needed a second job to pay for the cows. Raising cows costs more than $300 a head per year. It takes a good year for Hartley to break even. Now he has more money than he ever imagined. Signing his gas lease at "a little more" than $1,000 an acre netted him in excess of $110,000 upon signing, plus 12.5 percent of the royalties from gas produced on his land. Hartley prefers not to discuss exact amounts. "That's nobody's business," he said. But after the first couple of years, production tends to drop off precipitously, and the royalty checks will dwindle. So Hartley still cuts hair. "And I like people," he said.

As Hartley sees it, the gas industry has helped him to preserve his farm, cows and way of life. "I don't want to say you have to be born into it," he said. "But it has to be in your blood."

The Marcellus boom has brought a host of economic benefits to Western Pennsylvania - new jobs, booked motel rooms, busy food franchises and newly paved roads - and promises to bring more. According to a recent study by Pennsylvania State University, the industry has created 23,000 jobs, including employment for roustabouts, construction workers, helicopter pilots, sign makers, Laundromat workers, electricians, caterers, chambermaids, office workers, water haulers and land surveyors. Not to mention that leaseholders are saving, on average, 55 percent of the money they make upon signing leases and 66 percent of their royalties, according to the Pennsylvania State University study.

Hartley's cousin Stacey Haney lives two and a half miles from Hartley's farm. A brown-haired, blue-eyed former beautician, Haney, 42, is a nurse at the nearby Washington Hospital. Hartley and Haney share a kind of tough self-reliance, as well as a quick, dark wit.

"We came into this world poor, and we'll go out of this world poor," Haney says. This is her family's motto. Haney - a single mother who wears her hair in a shag - works full time and is raising her two children, Paige, 12, and Harley, 15, along with an ark of 4-H animals. Her father, Larry, whom everyone calls Pappy, is a steelworker. He has had long stints of unemployment, beginning when Stacey was in second grade. He's also a sometime farmer whose butternuts have won first place so often at the Washington County Fair that no one else bothers to enter anymore. The fair is the highlight of the Haneys' year: beribboned photos of their award-winning rabbits, goats and pigs line the walls of their immaculate three-bedroom home, which Haney has hand-stenciled with deer tracks.

When the natural-gas industry came to town, Haney saw an opportunity to pay off farm bills and make a profit from the land. Word had it that the companies were interested in signing up large parcels, so in the winter of 2008, Haney, who owned only eight acres, persuaded two of her neighbors to pool their land on a lease for which she was paid, in installments, $1,000 dollars per acre and 15 percent royalties.

The money would help to pay the taxes on their farms. The land man who came to the Haney home to sell the lease showed pictures of a farm and pasture with a well cap "the size of a garbage can," Haney said, which she found reassuring. And it didn't seem as if the drilling would affect their lives much. Range Resources was involved in the community in small ways too. For the past several years, it operated a booth at the Washington County Fair. In 2010, the company offered kids an extra $100 for the farm animals they auctioned. That was the year Stacey Haney's son, Harley, took his breeding goat, Boots, all the way to grand champion.

At the fair, Haney ran into her next-door neighbor, Beth Voyles, 54, a horse trainer and dog breeder, who signed the lease with Haney in 2008. She told Haney that her 11 /2-year-old boxer, Cummins, had just died. Voyles thought that he was poisoned. She saw the dog drinking repeatedly from a puddle of road runoff, and she thought that the water the gas company used to wet down the roads probably had antifreeze in it. "We do not use ethylene glycol in the fracking process," Matt Pitzarella of Range Resources told me. He also said that the dog's veterinarian couldn't confirm the dog had been poisoned and that another possible cause of death was cancer.

A month later, Haney's dog, Hunter, also died suddenly. Soon after, Voyles called Haney to tell her that her barrel horse, Jody, was dead. Lab results revealed a high level of toxicity in her liver. Voyles sent her animals' test results to Range Resources. In response, Range Resources wrote to Voyles to say that, as the veterinarian indicated, the horse died of toxicity of the liver, not antifreeze poisoning. The company did acknowledge that the vet suspected the horse died of poisoning by heavy metals. Subsequent tests of the Voyleses' water supply by Range Resources revealed no heavy metals.

Voyles's boxers began to abort litters of puppies; six were born with cleft palates. They died within hours. Others were born dead or without legs or hair. Unsure what to do, Voyles stored 15 of the puppies in her freezer. (Range Resources says it was never notified about the puppies.) By December, Boots, the grand-champion goat, aborted two babies. Haney had to put her down the day after Christmas.

What was going on with the animals? Where were the toxic chemicals in their blood coming from? Haney feared that the arrival of the gas industry and the drilling that had begun less than 1,000 feet from her home might have something to do with it.

In Amwell Township, your opinion of fracking tends to correspond with how much money you're making and with how close you live to the gas wells, chemical ponds, pipelines and compressor stations springing up in the area. Many of those who live nearby fear that a leak in the plastic liner of a chemical pond could drip into a watershed or that a truck spill could send carcinogens into a field of beef cattle. (According to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, 65 Marcellus wells drilled this year have been cited for faulty cement casings, which could result in leaks.) But for many other residents, including Haney's neighbors, the risks seem small, and the benefits - clean fuel, economic development - far outweigh them.

On a Saturday morning in July 2011, Bill Hartley's Styling Shop bustled with clients - a truck driver, a leaseholder, a landowner - all of whom profited from the gas boom. One was Ray Day, 64, a ginger-haired farmer, who, along with his brothers and sisters, owns nearly 300 acres of Amwell Township. Thanks to the money he received from allowing Range Resources to drill, build a compressor station and dig a chemical pond on his land, he has been able to reroof two barns, buy a new hay baler and construct an addition to his house for his 94-year-old mother. "I only buy something if I can pay cash," Day said later. And he still has plenty of money left over. Was he planning a vacation, maybe to Florida? Day snorted good-naturedly. "Farmers don't go to Florida," he said.

A few days later, I met up with Day off 1-79 at the Amity-Lone Pine exit, a little more than a mile from Stacey Haney's home, and followed him past the local elementary school to a barn, with a white wooden sign that said Day Farm 1912. We drove a few thousand yards up a steep hill to a gated compound, where we were met by a young woman who'd come from West Virginia, along with her husband, a driller, to work as a security guard for Range Resources. She called headquarters to confirm my permission to visit. As we waited, Day pointed out a 40-by-100 fabric hoop structure where he stores round bales of hay. During the hydraulic fracturing, which took place 24 hours a day in March and April 2010, the huge open shed served as a parking area and meeting place.

Day pointed to where there had been a truck spill of chemically treated water used in fracking, and then he pointed to the stream below, which flows into the watershed at Ten-Mile Creek and then onto the Monongahela River. The spill hadn't reached the stream, he said. Moreover, he'd been impressed with Range Resource's openness about what happened. Every hour while fracking, workers walked the temporary plastic pipeline, full of chemical water, that ran between his site and the pond near Stacey Haney's home. While walking the line, workers discovered several cracks that spilled frack water on the frozen ground. Such cracks are not unusual. "We all know they leak," one Range employee wrote in an internal e-mail, which has become a matter of public record pending a lawsuit.

"None of it leaked on my property," Day said later. Finally, the guard let us go up and take a look at the 3.5-acre chemical impoundment, known as a frack pond, which was 20 feet deep. The used frack water, called flowback, was milky gray. The aerators hummed. The impoundment, like many nearby, sat at the top of a watershed. We'd only been at the pond for a couple of minutes before a sedan raced up the hill behind us. My access had been denied. Later, Matt Pitzarella, a spokesman for Range Resources, said that OSHA regulations regarding equipment and the company's own safety standards required that all visitors wear protective gear.

Day drove me next to the well pad, a football field of cement and a few condensate tanks that painters were rendering forest green. Long before the recent drillers came, this was named the Well Field, after an oil well locals said was drilled here in the 1920s. Like some of his neighbors, Day signed a gas lease in part to protect his land from what he saw as a far more rapacious industry headed his way: long-wall coal mining, a process that takes a ribbon of coal out of a seam over miles. "Long-wall mining is so much more destructive than this, the way I see it," he said. "Hopefully with these pipes they wouldn't want to mine coal underneath us."

The fracturing was now over, the major pieces of equipment were gone and the field was replanted with medium red clover. Day wasn't concerned about the impact of drilling. "Nothing I've seen would indicate an adverse effect," he said, "except the odor coming off the compressor station." (Range Resources_ told Day that the smell comes from anaerobic bacteria that are more prevalent in this fracking process but that they are harmless. Investigating air quality around compressor stations is part of the E.P.A.'s ongoing study.) Day, like most of his neighbors, trusted the companies to use best practices. A man's word means a lot here. After all, without regulation or oversight, he and other farmers worked together to do things like fence streams to keep cattle out of them.

We drove back through an alfalfa field to the farm. "You haven't asked me what my profession is," Day said. I'd assumed he was a farmer. "No one here could survive on farming," he replied. "I taught science in local schools for 35 years."

For Day and others, allowing the gas company to drill on their land isn't simply a matter of cash. They also firmly believe that natural gas should be used as a bridge between foreign oil and sustainable energy sources, like solar and wind. "Natural gas is the most eco-friendly fuel source that we have," said Rick Baker, 59, a piano tuner who lives on 91 acres located between Bill Hartley and Stacey Haney. "Some people will argue with me on this, but it burns clean." He's such a proponent of drilling that he even agreed to star in a commercial for Range Resources, for which he was paid $200.

About a year before Haney's dog died, in the summer of 2009, she began to notice that sometimes her water was black and that it seemed to be eating away at her faucets, washing machine, hot-water heater and dishwasher. When she took a shower, the smell was terrible - like rotten eggs and diarrhea. Haney started buying bottled water for drinking and cooking, but she couldn't afford to do the same for her animals.

Later that summer, her son, Harley, was stricken with mysterious stomach pains and periods of extreme fatigue, which sent him to the emergency room and to Pittsburgh's Children's Hospital a half-dozen times. "He couldn't lift his head out of my lap," Haney said. Early in November of the following year, after the animals died, Haney decided to have Harley tested for heavy metals and ethylene glycol. While she waited for the results, Haney called Range Resources and asked that it supply her with drinking water. The company tested her water and found nothing wrong with it. Haney's father began to haul water to her barn.

A week later, on Haney's 41st birthday, Harley's test results came back. Harley had elevated levels of arsenic. Haney called Range Resources again. The company delivered a 5,100-gallon tank of drinking water, called a water buffalo, the next day. "Our policy is if you have a complaint or a concern, we'll supply you with a water source within 24 hours," Pitzarella of Range Resources said. He added that the company has "never seen any evidence that anyone in that household has arsenic issues."

Although she was able to work 40 hours as a nurse and care for two kids and a small farm, Haney wasn't feeling great, either. So a few months later, she had herself and Paige tested too. Their tests results showed they had small amounts of heavy metals like arsenic and industrial solvents like benzene and toluene in their blood. Dr. Philip Landrigan of Mount Sinai said that the results show evidence of exposure, but that it was difficult to determine potential health effects at the levels found. But he added: "These people are exposed to arsenic and benzene, known human carcinogens. There's considered to be no safe levels of these chemicals." Pitzarella says that Range Resources was never shown these reports and that arsenic has nothing to do with fracking. Pitzarella cited a study by the Center for Rural Pennsylvania that found that 40 percent of Pennsylvania's water wells had at least one pre-existing water-quality problem, and that there was no obvious influence on private water-well quality from fracking. In a previous study, 2 percent of the state's wells had arsenic levels that exceeded health standards.

Soon Haney and her kids began to notice that even outdoors it smelled a lot like the shower - a combination of sweet metal, rotten eggs and raw sewage. Talking to neighbors, Haney learned that atop a hill, about 1,500 feet from her home and less than 800 feet from that of her neighbor, Beth Voyles, there was an open, five-acre chemical impoundment filled with chemically treated water.

Haney figured out how to navigate Google Earth on her son's computer. (She doesn't own one, nor does she have an e-mail address.) There was her gravel driveway and her house hidden under the canopy of maple trees. And there was the six-football-field-square black pond that dwarfed her neighbor's silver-roofed house. The grass surrounding the pond looked dead.

Popular concerns about natural-gas drilling have centered on what chemicals companies are putting into the earth, not least because this list is a proprietary secret. In 2005, Vice President Dick Cheney spearheaded an amendment to the energy bill, which critics call the Halliburton Loophole. This legislation exempts hydraulic fracturing from the Safe Drinking Water Act and protects companies like Halliburton, of which Cheney was once the C.E.O., from disclosing what chemicals are going into the ground.

But the problem, it turns out, lies also in the dissolved substances coming out: namely salts (bromides, chlorides), radionuclides like strontium and barium, as well as what are commonly called BTEX (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene), volatile organic compounds that can be injurious to human health.

The industry acknowledges that the question of how to handle the wastewater that comes from fracking is one of its most pressing problems. In Pennsylvania this problem is particularly acute. Pennsylvania's geological formations, unlike those of other states where natural-gas drilling has occurred, don't allow for the usual method of disposal: injection wells that store flowback deep below the earth's surface. Disposing of the chemical water has meant trucking it to another state or paying local treatment facilities to process it. The facilities, which are not equipped to remove salts, have often sent the frack water back into local rivers. In 2008, a United States Steel plant in Clairton, Pa., complained that the water from the Monongahela River was unfit for use. Loaded with salts, the water tasted and smelled odd and was corroding not only industrial equipment but also dishwashers and kitchen faucets. For several months, the Monongahela River, which provides most people in the Pittsburgh area with drinking water, no longer met state and federal standards. Following a request from the State of Pennsylvania, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers found it would require five times the amount of water in their reservoirs to dilute the river. It took five months to clean it up.

"Salt is a serious problem," Rose Reilly, a water biologist for the Army Corps of Engineers, said. It has to be managed like any other pollutant. "It isn't biodegradable."

This past spring, in response to public outcry, Pennsylvania's Department of Environmental Protection asked gas companies to stop sending flowback to treatment plants. But it was a request - not a regulation. And enacting such measures is expensive. Shale gas is different from other kinds of oil exploration because there's no eureka moment. If you drill, you're sure to hit it. "This is a widget business," says Bobby Vagt, president of the Heinz Endowment, a Pittsburgh-based nonprofit that supports development in southwestern Pennsylvania; he ran gas and oil companies in Texas for 15 years. "The lower you can keep the costs - of every step of the process, including pipelines and road building - the more money you're going to make."

The challenge, as Tim Kelsey, a professor of agricultural economics at Pennsylvania State, points out, "is making sure that the community isn't left holding the bag." This is an economic issue as much as an environmental one. Banks have expressed reluctance to back home mortgages within up to three miles of a well. Whole towns could become brown fields, and home values would drop precipitously. Currently, companies operating in Pennsylvania pay no tax to extract gas. (Gov. Tom Corbett reportedly received at least $1 million in campaign donations from gas interests.) Corbett recently introduced legislation that would levy fees that critics say would amount to a tax of 1 percent per well on gas extraction, significantly lower than Arkansas (3.54 percent) and Texas (5.4 percent). Pennsylvania Democrats call the measure, which they see as friendly to oil and gas interests, "Drill, baby, drill."

But for men like Bill Hartley and others who welcome the arrival of fracking in the state, it's not the politics of deep drilling that matter. What matters is preserving common resources. "My one concern is our water," Hartley said. "My grandfather taught me water is life."

On Sunday May 8, 2011, Mother's Day, when Haney and her kids were returning from dinner at a nearby Cracker Barrel restaurant, they turned onto McAdams Road, and the smell of raw sewage was "enough to make you gag," Haney's daughter, Paige, told me. They weren't the only ones to smell it. Beth Voyles, Haney's neighbor, called the Department of Environmental Protection to register yet another complaint about the stench. The D.E.P. sent out a water specialist, John Carson. His field notes, made public following a subpoena, indicate that he, too, smelled a "strong odor" at the impoundment but not on her property. Voyles claims that Carson refused to take her complaint. When asked for comment, a D.E.P. spokesman, Kevin Sunday, said in an e-mail that the "D.E.P. responds promptly to any and all complaints. There is an ongoing investigation into the impoundment. This is a matter of active litigation and cannot be discussed further." Range Resources says that the D.E.P. visited the area on 24 separate occasions and found no malodor.

Range Resources did have an explanation: the power had failed at the impoundment, shutting down the aerators that move oxygen into the water to prevent bacteria from growing. Range Resources maintains that a D.E.P. study from 2010 indicates no air pollution of any kind at the pond next door to the Haneys and the Voyleses, or anywhere else, for that matter. Critics of this study say the effect of fracking on air quality remains underinvestigated.

That same day, when Voyles told Range Resources she had developed blisters in her nose, it offered to put her up in a hotel, as it does for all nuisance complaints, but she didn't want to leave her dogs and horses behind. (Range later said that it had no record of the complaint.) Next door on McAdams Road, Haney and her kids began to have intense periods of dizziness and nosebleeds. Of the three, Harley was the worst off. Haney took him to their family physician, Craig Fox, in the nearby town of Washington. Like most local doctors, Dr. Fox had never seen such symptoms before.

Haney says that Dr. Fox's advice to her was unequivocal: "Get Harley out of that house right away. I don't want him anywhere near there, even driving by, for 30 days." So Haney took Harley to a friend's house in Eighty-Four, a town named for the lumber company. She took her daughter to her parents' house in Amity. Each day, she spent about four hours in the car shuttling the kids from school, to and from friends' homes and driving to the farm to feed the animals, which were O.K. some days and vomiting or collapsing on others. Haney found a cousin willing to take her pigs, but she had nowhere to house the other animals, so they remained at the farm. She stayed home for less than an hour at a time, long enough to put a load of laundry into the washer. Every two days, she spent $50 on gas. Their farmhouse stood abandoned. "Our home has become a $300,000 cat mansion," Haney said when I visited her in July.

Haney is no left-leaning environmentalist; she is a self-proclaimed redneck who is proud to trace her roots here back at least 150 years. This is not the kind of fight she usually takes on. "I'm not going to sit back and let them make my kids sick," she says. "People ask me why I don't just move out, but where would I go? I can't afford another mortgage, and if I default on this place, we will lose it. "

Beth Voyles is equally frustrated. Although the results of her medical tests are inconclusive, she complains of blisters in her nose and throat, headaches and nosebleeds, joint aches, rashes, an inability to concentrate, a metal taste in her mouth. Voyles filed suit against the Department of Environmental Protection in May. Range Resources chose to join the case, because its rights are also at stake. Documents from industry sources and the D.E.P. - now a matter of public record - support the suit's allegations of a series of structural violations and hazardous incidents surrounding the pond. They include half a dozen tears in the pond's plastic liner (at least one caused by a deer - its carcass had to be dragged out); at least four cracks in a temporary plastic transfer pipeline leading to an open field; two truck spills, one of which contaminated a cattle pasture; and a leak in an adjacent pond that held drill cuttings. Range admits that after this leak, the level of total dissolved solids, or salts, spiked in the water. Of all these violations, the D.E.P. issued a citation for only the last. The D.E.P. declined to comment, citing the ongoing case.

In mid-July, Voyles's 25-year-old daughter, Ashley, was riding her paint gelding, Dude, behind the chemical pond. Ashley could hear a hissing and bubbling sound in the stream. There were pools of red foamy oil slick. "It was rainbow water," Ashley said. The next morning Haney and Voyles called in the alphabet soup of government agencies they've contacted over the past year to test the water in the pools: the D.E.P., the E.P.A., the Fish and Boat Commission. They also called Range Resources. Sunday, the D.E.P. spokesman, said that it was most likely decayed vegetation that gave off gas. Later, test results of the area commissioned by Range Resources revealed the presence of acetone, toluene, benzene, phenol, arsenic, barium, heavy metals and methane. The company maintains that none of these were found in drinking water.

Bill Hartley, Rick Baker, Beth Voyles and Stacey Haney received their first royalty checks this summer from the nine gas wells that lie on the square mile between them. Stacey used most of her $9,000 check to pay off the bills she incurred: $4,500 went to co-pays and deductibles for doctors' visits; $1,150 went to pay for gas. She set $2,700 aside to pay taxes on the earnings. The remaining $750 she used as a down payment on a camper. Haney finally moved the kids to live behind her parents' home in Amity. Subsequently, the benzene and toluene levels in each of her children's urine dropped precipitously. For Haney, who continues to return to the farm to feed the animals every evening, the benzene and toluene levels remain higher. Harley still suffers from acute nausea, for which his doctor has prescribed Zofran, a medication frequently given to chemotherapy patients. "They've ruined our lives," Haney said. "I have to worry every day if my kids are going to have cancer. I will worry for the rest of my life about them with the amount of carcinogens we now have in our blood. We've lost everything - our pets, the value of our house. No amount of money that we'd ever get from royalties would ever replace my children's health."

The people of Amwell are no strangers to the price of development - the loss of a farm's spring, the sinking of a family home when the coal mine burrows beneath it - or the price of its absence - shuttered mills and lost jobs. But given our energy needs, the use of fracking and the number of wells are likely to grow. The question is whether regulations to address environmental and health issues can keep pace with a booming industry.

Haney's neighbors have heard about Harley's illness. "I don't know what to make of it," his cousin Bill Hartley says. "It could very well be there's a leak in the pond." Haney's neighbor Rick Baker is also unsure of what the problem is. "I don't deny there's something going on there," he said. "It concerns me." He called Range Resources after it first delivered the water buffalo to say he was glad the company was taking care of the problem. Baker stands by the positive impact the industry has had on Amwell and thousands of other townships. "This is definitely the right thing for Western Pennsylvania," he says. "We're sitting on one of the largest natural-gas reserves in the world. We need this natural gas to keep functioning." And the economic benefits were essential, he adds. "There are still people sitting in bars waiting for the steel mills to reopen." Yet Baker says he feels different from the way he did six months ago, when we first spoke. "The safety and environmental issues have to be addressed," he says. The future scares him. With big oil - Chevron, BP, among others - looking to get involved in the industry, Baker fears that it won't be accountable to individuals like himself and Haney.

Haney still made it to this year's Washington County Fair, where her daughter, Paige, lost the Spam bake-off. Paige's goat, Crunch, won first place, and her rabbit, Phantom, almost took best in show. As usual, Pappy's butternuts placed first. In the fair's main hall at the craft division, a glossy ribbon hung from a child's three-foot high Lego Patterson rig, a model of a gas well. It won first prize.

Eliza Griswold is a senior fellow at the New America Foundation and is at work on a book about man-made America, supported by the Rockefeller Foundation.

Editor: Sheila Glaser


9) As New Graduates Return to Nest, Economy Also Feels the Pain
November 16, 2011

Like most of her friends, Hollis Romanelli graduated from college last May and promptly moved back in with her parents.

As a result, she didn't pay rent - or a broker's fee or renters' insurance, for that matter. She also didn't buy a bed, desk, couch, doormat, mop or new crockery set. Nor did she pay the cable company to send a worker to set up her TV and Internet, or a handyman to hang a newly framed diploma. She didn't even buy drinks and snacks for a housewarming party.

In other words, Ms. Romanelli, 22, saved a lot of money. But she deprived the economy of a lot of potential activity, too.

Every year, young adults leave the nest, couples divorce, foreigners immigrate and roommates separate, all helping drive economic growth when they furnish and refurbish their new homes. Under normal circumstances, each time a household is formed it adds about $145,000 to output that year as the spending ripples through the economy, estimates Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics.

But with the poor job market and uncertain recovery, hundreds of thousands of Americans like Ms. Romanelli (and her boyfriend, who also lives with his parents) have tabled their moves. Even before the recession began, young people were leaving home later; now the bad economy has tethered them there indefinitely. Last year, just 950,000 new households were created. By comparison, about 1.3 million new households were formed in 2007, the year the recession began, according to Mr. Zandi. Ms. Romanelli, who lives in the room where she grew up in Branford, Conn., said, "I don't really have much of a choice," adding, "I don't have the means to move out."

Ms. Romanelli, who works as an assistant editor at Cottages & Gardens magazines, is one of the luckier "boomerang" children who have found jobs and at least can start saving for their own place someday. As of last month, just 74 percent of Americans ages 25 to 34 were working. It is perhaps no wonder then that 14.2 percent of young adults are living with their parents, up from 11.8 percent in 2007. Among young men, 19 percent are living with their parents.

But even some young people who can afford to move out have decided to wait until getting on more solid footing. Prudence, not necessity, has kept them at home.

Jay Bouvier, 26, has a full-time job teaching physical education and health and coaching football and baseball at a high school in Hartford, near his parents' house in Bristol. He could rent his own apartment - after taxes he makes about $45,000 a year, he says - but has decided not to. He says he will stay with his parents until he has saved enough to buy his own house.

"I have it pretty good at home, since it's so close to my work, and financially I just feel like it's smarter for the long run to buy," he said. He says that living with his parents enables him to set aside about half of each paycheck. "It's like I pay rent, but to myself."

By not paying rent, of course, he has deprived a local landlord and a host of other local companies of some income, as well as whatever businesses those purveyors might have patronized further down the line. It's a phenomenon that John Maynard Keynes referred to as the "paradox of thrift": Saving is good for the individual, but en masse can hurt the economy by reducing demand.

"Increased housing demand definitely has multiplier effects throughout the economy," said Gary D. Painter, a professor at the University of Southern California and director of research for the university's Lusk Center for Real Estate. "We have these sort of missing potential households," he said, which also means "missing" sales and jobs in industries like retail, construction and manufacturing.

The actions of the young are self-perpetuating. Young people are reluctant to set off on their own until they have greater financial stability. But the economic conditions necessary to make them financially secure are difficult to achieve while consumers like them are still too nervous to start making big purchases, on housing or anything else.

Small indulgences are not totally out of the question, though.

"To be honest, for my first few real paychecks I've treated myself," said Ms. Romanelli, explaining that she has not yet begun her plan to salt away half of each paycheck. "It's only the first month or two, after all."

Some economists are optimistic that there is considerable pent-up demand for new homes because so many young adults are reluctantly staying with their parents. Several of Mr. Bouvier's friends, he said, are "itching to get out." As soon as they find work, he says, they'll leave.

"Once we get a little bit of job growth, or even expectations of better job market, those households are going to start breaking apart pretty fast," said Mr. Zandi, of Moody's Analytics. Household formation probably won't lead the recovery, but once set into motion by other good economic news it can "supercharge growth." He estimates that there is pent-up demand for close to 1.1 million new households, which is approximately equal to the number of excess vacant homes for sale and rent.

"If these pent-up households were to form, then the oversupply of housing would be largely absorbed and housing construction would quickly ramp up," he said.

Mr. Bouvier, now three years out of school, is hoping to move into his own house early next year, ideally a place that he can "fix up and turn into good investment." He says he'll hire a construction crew to help with the renovations.

"You know, they really should have kept that tax incentive for first-time home buyers," he said. "I'm creating jobs after all. I thought that was a good thing."


10) Young Britons Are Willing, but Few Jobs Are in Sight
November 16, 2011

LONDON - Zach Igglesden has been sending out dozens of job applications a week for the past year to companies across Britain. So far, he said, he has not even been invited to an interview.

Mr. Igglesden, 20, of Southend, east of London, finished secondary school two years ago and decided against pursuing a university education because he did not want to graduate with the burden of a student loan and no job.

His goal is relatively modest - to work as a sales assistant in a shop - but he said he had repeatedly been turned down because he lacked experience.

"It's just very frustrating," Mr. Igglesden said. "If you're lucky, you get a reply, but mostly you don't hear anything at all."

To the roster of pain inflicted by the European debt crisis, add this: rising and persistent joblessness among young Britons. Though not at the level of troubled euro zone countries like Greece and rooted in domestic problems as well, it has reached a point here that is setting off alarms across the political and economic spectrum.

Unemployment among British youth, defined as those 16 to 24 years old, rose above the politically sensitive threshold of one million in the three months through the end of September, the Office for National Statistics said Wednesday. That's the highest level since 1992.

An estimated 20.6 percent of British youth not pursuing a full-time education were without a job, an increase of 1.8 percentage points from the previous three months.

The problem is not confined to youth. Total unemployment in Britain rose by 129,000 to 2.62 million in the third quarter, bringing the jobless rate to 8.3 percent, the highest in 15 years.

Youth unemployment has been climbing in many European Union member states as economies struggle and governments impose stringent austerity plans. Spain's youth unemployment rate reached 45 percent in the second quarter, the worst among European Union members, followed by Greece with 42.9 percent rate, according to Eurostat, the European Union statistics agency.

Britain never joined the euro zone and relies on its own currency, the pound. But the British government, which like its Greek counterpart has cut public-sector jobs and spending to trim a huge budget deficit, blamed the poor employment data in part on the euro crisis, which has depressed demand for British products in European markets and caused British companies to hesitate to hire.

"These figures show just how much our economy is being affected by the crisis in the euro zone," Employment Minister Chris Grayling said Wednesday. "Our European partners must take urgent action to stabilize the position."

The Bank of England also cited the euro crisis Wednesday as a reason for slashing its outlook for economic growth in 2012 to 1 percent, from an earlier projection of 2 percent, and paring its forecast for 2013 by half a percentage point, to 2.5 percent.

"Implementation of a credible and effective policy response in the euro area would help to reduce uncertainty and so support U.K. growth, but its absence poses the single biggest risk to the domestic recovery," the bank said in its quarterly Inflation Report.

The opposition Labour Party warned Wednesday that the coalition government headed by Prime Minister David Cameron needed to stop blaming the euro zone for Britain's economic problems and slow down its aggressive spending cuts that are "hurting but not working."

Even the Confederation of British Industry, an employers' group that generally aligns with the economic policies of Mr. Cameron's Conservative Party, called Wednesday for urgent action by the government to get Britons, especially young people, working.

"A generation risks being scarred by the devastating effects of long-term unemployment," said John Cridland, the group's director general.

Rising unemployment among the young is especially worrying because it can easily lead to long-term unemployment and make it harder for the next generation to find their way into the work force, economists and charity workers said. That would not only hurt economic growth but could also affect youth crime rates, research showed.

Reducing youth unemployment by one percentage point could save £2 million, or $3.2 million, by avoiding youth crime, according to research by the Center for Economic Performance, a research concern at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

"If people are brought up in a household where people aren't working, they miss the role models and are less likely to work themselves," said Tom Jackson, chief executive of Spear, a charity that helps train unemployed youth.

Memories of recent riots in London that spread to other parts of the country make many people here fearful that disappointment with the government's austerity policies could quickly spark social unrest.

Public opposition against the spending cuts - and those seemingly spared by them, like employees in London's large financial services sector - has been mounting, as seen in the number of Occupy the London Stock Exchange protesters in tents outside St. Paul's Cathedral. British unions have warned of general strikes.

Abdi Hussein, 24, said he was "fed up" with a government that promised to look after the young and unemployed but failed to do so. "We need the government to say we'll give you at least a part-time job if you've been unemployed for say six months," he said.

Mr. Hussein has been looking for a job ever since he had to drop out of a university program in photography last year because he ran out of money. He now lives on unemployment benefits of £200 a month and regularly visits his local library in London to use their computers for job searches and to send applications.

"I tried everything, but people always chose candidates with more experience," he said. "They say, 'Sorry, we received 400 applications for one position."'

Vince Cable, the business secretary, presented a range of government initiatives Wednesday aimed at helping young people to join the work force. The government would pay some companies £1,500 to take on apprentices and hiring processes would be simplified, he said. The initiatives are expected to create up to 20,000 new trainee positions.

Some youth workers and businesses are skeptical. Howard De Souza, director of TAG, a youth charity, said the government plans would help those who are most likely to get a job anyway but neglected the less skilled without experience.

John Walker, the chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, called the youth unemployment figures "truly shocking" and said "the government must wake up and take action to turn this around."

The government has said it is relying on the private sector to provide jobs for young Britons and on voluntary organizations to train them - a policy that draws criticism from some quarters.

"We can't expect the private sector to take up the slack with demand being so weak both at home and abroad, so it will be a long time before the labor market starts improving," Nida Ali, an economist at the ITEM Club research group at Ernst & Young, said.

Mr. Igglesden decided he could not wait that long.

In September, he signed up for a 12-week personal development program with the Prince's Trust, a charity for young people founded by the Prince of Wales. So far he has acquired interview skills, learned how to prepare a résumé and even gotten some work experience, he said.

Mr. Igglesden recently finished a short stint at Homebase, part of a chain of home improvement stores, and said he hoped to apply for a permanent role there once his program finished.

"I feel more hopeful now," he said. "Things don't look so bleak anymore."


11) A Day of Protests as Occupy Movement Marks Anniversary
November 17, 2011

Protesters across the country were planning mass demonstrations Thursday, including the shutdown of rush-hour traffic in several major cities and demonstrations against banks as part of a national "day of action" to mark the two-month anniversary of the movement to Occupy Wall Street.

West Coast protesters began their day early, in solidarity with their counterparts in New York, who were scuffling with the police as they caused disruptions at the New York Stock Exchange and later moved to subway stations.

In Los Angeles, about 20 protesters were arrested downtown as activists ignored an order to vacate the streets. They marched from a Bank of America branch in the morning and set up tents in the middle of Figueroa Street. There were about 1,000 protesters on hand and about 100 police officers, making it perhaps the biggest march of Occupy Los Angeles. After the arrests the crowd quickly dispersed. In Philadelphia, organizers planned an emergency meeting to decide how to respond to orders that they move out of Dilworth Plaza, where building construction was set to begin. Some unions apparently had said they would abandon their support of Occupy Philly if the protesters blocked the construction project.

Protesters there said they were considering leaving - in the hope of keeping the support of labor - and moving their things across the street.

Also in Philadelphia, about three dozen people interrupted a City Council meeting. They held a scripted demonstration that lasted about eight minutes, then left on their own accord, according to Shawn Monigle, 24, who participated.

They were particularly angry that Mayor Michael Nutter had set up curfews. "The curfew is a racist law; the real criminals are City Hall," protesters said.

After the meeting, Councilman Bill Greenlee, a Democrat, said, "I don't think disrupting a public meeting is the right way to go."

Mr. Greenlee said he was puzzled by the Occupy movement. "Sometimes I don't totally understand exactly what that is," He said.

Councilman W. Wilson Goode Jr., also a Democrat, said that he thought the demonstrators should stay, but that they should remove their tents. "I'm all for protest," he said, but added, "They need to up their game."

Mr. Goode said the focus on the curfew was strange because the Council was in fact working on progressive issues, like improving wages and benefits.

In Seattle, a rally was planned for 2 p.m. local time, with a 3:30 labor march across the Montlake Bridge, a two-lane span over Lake Washington. The bridge, near the University of Washington, is one of the most heavily used roadways in the region and is a choke-point for traffic even when there are no protests.

Cornel West, the prominent academic, who stopped by Occupy Seattle on Wednesday, was headed to Occupy Oakland on Thursday.

In Portland, Oregon, demonstrators were gathering on the east side of the Steel Bridge, which was being secured by Portland police. This is the primary transit hub for Portland. The protesters wanted to draw attention to the structural deficiencies of the bridge and to the fact that no workers had been hired to fix it.

But their main focus on Thursday was on the banks. They planned to move to Tom McCall Waterfront Park for a rally before a "march and mobilization" starting at 11 local time.

"Occupy Portland and a diverse collection of groups will unite and take to the streets today to shut down major, corporate banks in Portland," said a press statement.

"Participants intend to prohibit business as usual at the banking institutions that they feel have hijacked the government, contributed to the vast inequality of wealth that exists today and made enormous profit off the suffering of communities around the world," the statement said.

The Portland police issued an advisory to businesses and their customers, telling them to expect disruptions and thanking them for their patience.

"Recent direct action events, in Portland and other cities, has focused mainly on banks, including vandalism to property," the statement said. "Other tactics include large groups entering and causing disruptions, individuals chaining themselves to structures in the business, and chaining or barring the doors."

Other demonstrations and events are planned for places like Chapel Hill, N.C., Denver, Chicago and Boston.

Perhaps the biggest event of the day was a planned march across the Brooklyn Bridge, intended to disrupt the evening commute.


11) Greek Protesters Clash With Police at US Embassy
November 17, 2011

ATHENS, Greece (AP) - Masked youths clashed with riot police outside Greece's parliament and the U.S. embassy Thursday as thousands of austerity-weary Greeks marched through Athens in an annual commemoration of a bloody student uprising in the 1970s.

Police fired tear gas and stun grenades to disperse the rioters, and some 78 people were detained for questioning. Eleven people were arrested. Police also reported four injured police officers. A young protester was reportedly hospitalized after injuring both legs in an attempt to evade police.

Some 28,000 people took part in the march, according to police estimates, making it one of the biggest Nov. 17 protests in years. Seven thousand officers were monitoring the crowd.

With loan-dependent Greece heading for its fourth year of recession and saddled with record unemployment, the demonstration was the first test of public sentiment for the new coalition government of Lucas Papademos, a technocrat enjoying widespread popularity, according to polls.

Thursday's annual protest commemorates the squashing of a pro-democracy student uprising in 1973 by the military dictatorship that ruled Greece from 1967-74 - and whose backing from the U.S. still rankles in the country. But the embassy march has traditionally served as a vent for anti-government protests that often turn violent.

About 15,000 people took part in a similar protest in the northern city of Thessaloniki that turned violent when a couple of hundred anarchists threw projectiles and petrol bombs at police, who responded with tear gas. No injuries have been reported.

The clashes come a day after Papademos, a 64-year-old former central banker, easily won a confidence vote in parliament.

Papademos heads a coalition of the majority Socialists, conservative New Democracy and the small right-wing populist LAOS party, which has nationalist and anti-immigration roots.

He faces a daunting task in the 100 days until early elections in February. As well as staving off looming bankruptcy by securing the country's next rescue loan installment, his government must pass a new austerity budget - to be tabled in parliament Friday - and transform paper pledges of sweeping public sector reform into action.

After its borrowing costs ballooned in 2010, Greece turned to its European partners and the International Monetary Fund, winning a euro110 billion ($148 billion) bailout in return for deeply resented austerity measures to cut deficits bloated by years of government overspending.

But it became clear that the rescue loans were not enough, and European leaders agreed on a second euro130 billion ($175 billion) bailout last month with an additional euro100 billion ($135 billion) debt writedown by banks and other holders of Greek government bonds. Complex talks with the Institute of International Finance, a global bank lobbying group, on the writedown started in Athens Wednesday and will continue over the days and weeks ahead.

The details of the bond swap will determine how much the deal will actually help Greece in getting its debt down to a sustainable level.

"Our goal is to structure a transaction that will attract the broadest possible support from the bondholder community," Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos said. "To this end, we will be listening to the IIF, other industry bodies and individual creditors' ideas about how best to design this transaction."

IIF officials said that they were committed to the 50 percent writedown on the face value of the Greek bonds, but much depends on the rate of interest Athens will have to pay on the remaining debt.

IIF managing director Charles Dallara said the creditors who met in the headquarters of Deutsche Bank in Frankfurt on Thursday included big banks, insurers, asset managers and hedge funds, representing some 70 to 80 percent of Greek debt that is still in private hands. Making the terms of the bond swap attractive enough will help get participation up to the promised 90 percent, he added.

The Greek government's most pressing task is to secure the release of an euro8 billion ($11 billion) loan installment - frozen by the EU as it awaits written commitments from all parties in the new coalition that they will honor the terms of the new debt agreement after the next election.

Greek conservatives have balked at the demand, despite warnings the country will default before Christmas without the money, leaving Papademos to seek a compromise with the European Union.

He will meet with top EU officials in Brussels on Monday, a day before flying to Luxembourg to meet Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker, who chairs meetings of eurozone finance ministers.


Gabriele Steinhauser in Brussels, Demetris Nellas in Athens and Costas Kantouris in Thessaloniki contributed to this report.


12) United States of Hunger
November 17, 2011, 2:18 pm

Casey Mulligan noted Wednesday on Economix that United States spending on food stamps had skyrocketed since the recession began. A new Census Bureau report provides a look at just how big the program has become. Last year, more than one in 10 families received food stamps, with some states having significantly higher participation rates. In Oregon, the share was nearly one in five.

Here's a map showing what share of families in each state received these benefits to help them buy food:
Census Bureau

In Oregon, 17.8 percent of families received food stamps, officially known as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, the highest rate in the nation. Oregon was followed by Tennessee (17 percent) and Michigan (16.9 percent).

The state with the lowest SNAP participation rate was Wyoming, with a rate of 6.2 percent. The next-lowest rates were in New Jersey (6.8 percent) and California (7.4 percent).

I must admit I'm a bit puzzled by some of these numbers. I would have expected California's food stamp take-up rate, for example, to be much higher, since its unemployment rate is 11.9 percent, the state is broke, and so many cities there suffered from housing busts.

I did a quick scatterplot showing the relationship between median household income and food stamp take-up rates, and the relationship is relatively weak:
Source: Census Bureau

The relationship between unemployment rates and food stamp take-up rates was even weaker:
Source: Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics

Of course, there are a lot of variables not at all reflected by unemployment and median income figures, such as inequality and state safety net programs.


13) Now THAT'S a bank job: Dozens arrested after sit-in by Occupy San Francisco at Bank of America branch
By Associated Press
November 17, 2011

Now THAT'S a bank job: Dozens arrested after sit-in by Occupy San Francisco at Bank of America branch

The San Francisco branch of the Occupy movement charged into a Bank of America today and set up camp before dozens of protesters were arrested.

Demonstrators had arrived by the busload to march through the Californian city before storming a downtown branch, chanting slogans and attempting to set up tents in the lobby.

Police officers in full riot gear handcuffed activists as hundreds more demonstrators surrounded the building, blocking entrances and exits.

Around 100 people marched into the bank shouting 'money for schools and education, not for banks and corporations'.

Deputy Police Chief Kevin Cashman said 80 arrests were made for trespassing.

The protest was partly organized by ReFund California, a coalition of student groups and university employee unions.

Students from University of California Berkeley, Merced and other schools joined the Occupy march to the bank.

The marches in support of higher education came as police in San Francisco and San Diego cleared encampments in the cities early on Wednesday, citing public health and safety concerns. Several arrests were made during the 2am raid.

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee met with Occupy SF activists to let them know an expansion of their camp would not be tolerated.

Mr Lee said: 'I did give the order to our police chief this morning that there cannot be an expansion of what we're perceiving to be a health hazard in the city.'

Meanwhile students and anti-Wall Street activists set up a new camp at UC Berkeley on Tuesday with police keeping a close eye on activity.

Around two dozen tents were pitched on a student plaza despite a university policy that prohibits camping. Authorities warned that protesters could be arrested if they didn't leave.

While a meeting was held by activists on Tuesday night an armed man was fatally shot by UC Berkeley police.

He was named today as Christopher Travis, a 32-year-old student at the university, officials said.

Investigators were looking into reports that the man had demonstrated erratic behavior in the past, including possible suicide attempts.

Travis, an undergraduate at UC Berkeley business school, died of his wounds in hospital. He was shot by a campus police officer in the school's computer lab after Travis pointed a loaded handgun at officers and refused orders to drop the weapon.

The shooting happened on another part of campus from where the Occupy Wall Street movement was demonstrating and authorities said they have found no connection between Travis and the protests.

Occupy California's general assembly voted for rebuilding their encampment at Berkeley despite earlier violence on November 9, when police jabbed students with batons and arrested 40 people as the university sought to uphold the campus ban on camping.


14) The World Is With Us-Occupy Lives On!
Posted 14 hours ago on Nov. 17, 2011, 10:29 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt

Today, November 17th, over 30,000 New Yorkers took to the streets to resist austerity, rebuild our economy, and reclaim our democracy. It was our largest action to date.

Our will was only emboldened by Mayor Bloomberg's heavy-handed attempt to eradicate Occupy Wall Street; our brutal eviction from our homes at Liberty Square has strengthened both our resolve and our legitimacy. Together, we raised our voices to declare: "No to evictions! No to the 1% that profits from our collective impoverishment." We showed the world we are not a fringe group of naive idealists-we are truly a people's uprising embodying the revolutionary spirit of economic justice, mutual aid, and participatory, consensus-based democracy. We are the 99%.

And the world responded.

Protestors across the United States occupied our most tangible symbols of oligarchic neglect: bridges-essential public infrastructure the 1% has blithely let decay:

* Los Angeles, CA: protestors peacefully shut down a bridge into the financial district. 16 were arrested.
* Portland, OR: the Steel Bridge was occupied
* Detroit, MI: in one of the cities hardest hit by foreclosures and evictions, 1000s marched across the 2nd Ave Bridge
* Washington, DC: protestors demonstrated in support of increased infrastructure projects on the Key Bridge
* Philadelphia, PA: 1500 people marched on the Market St Bridge where at least 25 people were arrested during a nonviolent sit-in.
* Miami, FL: over 2,000 people gathered under the overpass at Jose Marti Park.
* Chicago, IL: LaSalle Street Bridge was shut down and 46 protesters were arrested during a sit-in before flooding intersections and streets around the Federal Reserve Bank and the Chicago Board of Trade
* Hartford, CT: 200 people blocked the entrance ramp to 1-84, with 10 arrests
* Houston, TX: 500 prosters blocked the Travis Street Bridge with at least 12 arrests.
* Pittsburgh, PA: Protestors blocked Greenfield Bridge
* Baltimore, MD: Howard Street Bridge was occupied.
* More bridges were blocked in: St. Louis, Milwaukee, Great Falls, Minneapolis, Kalamazoo, Augusta, Saginaw, Cleveland, Richmond, Iowa City, and countless cities across the country!

And across the world, the people of Canada, Japan, the UK, Spain, Germany, Greece, and elsewhere organized unprecedented solidarity actions, proving beyond doubt that Occupy Wall Street is, and is increasingly becoming, a truly global revolution.

To echo one protest sign: "The World Is Not The Same Anymore."

Bloomberg and his NYPD may have taken Liberty Square for now, just as the banks have taken the homes and livelihoods of thousands across the world. But today, we proved that the spirit of Occupy Wall Street and the will of the 99% is stronger than ever. They, the 1%, cannot evict an idea whose time has come!

Yes, the whole world is watching. But more importantly: the whole world is waking.


15) Violence Erupts in Cairo, Even as Military Cedes Political Ground
November 19, 2011

CAIRO - Thousands of protesters chanting for an end to military rule battled riot police officers firing tear gas, rubber bullets and bird shot in Tahrir Square on Saturday, as the military-led interim government appeared to soften its demands for special powers and protections in the future Egyptian constitution.

Coming just nine days before the scheduled beginning of parliamentary elections, the clashes were the biggest outbreak of violence here since the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak in February, and the most violent manifestation yet of the growing anger at the ruling military council.

The clashes began midday Saturday after the police cleared out the last remnants of a large demonstration in Tahrir Square the day before. That demonstration, organized by Islamists but appearing to represent a far broader cross-section of Egyptians, drew tens of thousands of people calling for a swift end to military rule.

The fighting on Saturday began after news circulated that the security forces had moved into the square, the iconic heart of the Egyptian revolution, to force out a few hundred protesters who had spent the night. Hundreds and eventually thousands of other civilians stormed into the square to defend it, setting off battles that spread across downtown Cairo into the night.

Protesters threw rocks at police vehicles, capturing a police truck and passing out handcuffs, hats and other gear found inside. Others smashed the sidewalk into rocks to hurl at the police, and threw Molotov cocktails. Plumes of black smoke from a burning police truck wafted through the white clouds of tear gas.

Retreating riot police officers fired nonlethal weapons from their trucks to try to push back the crowd.

"Police and thugs and thieves," the protesters chanted. Taking aim at Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, who leads the ruling military council, they adapted the signature chant of the Arab Spring revolts sweeping the region: "The people want to bring down the field marshal."

"We came because of the field marshal and the military government," said Ahmed Tamer, 37, from the neighborhood of Shubra. "They don't want to turn over power to civilians. The army still has us by the neck and they don't want to let go."

Some bystanders worried that the strife could endanger the elections, now scheduled to begin Nov. 28.

"This is exactly what the army wants," said Mohamed Suleiman, 22, emerging from a government building to find chaos erupting around him. "It is all a plan. I am afraid they will see this now and say the elections are impossible."

Health Ministry officials said Saturday afternoon that at least 168 people were hospitalized. At least one man had been wounded by bird shot to the eye, and medics were seen rushing to treat civilians who appeared to be seriously wounded by tear gas canisters or rubber bullets. There were no reports of fatalities.

The street fight exploded despite signs that the military-led government was taking steps to pull back its attempts to carve out its future role in government. On Saturday, the morning after the large Islamist-dominated protest, the interim government announced that the controversial set of constitutional ground rules they had released was no longer binding, only advisory, including the provisions involving the future role of the military.

The military council, which seized control of the government in the name of the revolution after the ouster of Mr. Mubarak, had initially pledged to turn over power to a civilian government before September. More recently it said it would retain control until after the election of a parliament, ratification of a constitution and election of a president, in 2013 or beyond.

In the last two weeks, the military has explicitly sought to impose a set of ground rules for the new constitution, a "bill of rights" that would also give the military a permanent right to intervene in politics and protection from civilian oversight.

The changes announced Saturday would not only make those provisions advisory, they were also modified to say that the only role of the armed forces was protecting the country and "preserving its unity," rather than the broader assertion of a role guarding "constitutional legitimacy."

Instead of prohibiting scrutiny of the military budget, the practice under Mr. Mubarak's military-backed dictatorship, the revised guidelines say only that the military's special role in national security should be considered when its "technical and budgetary affairs" are discussed.

The revisions, published Saturday by state news media, also explicitly place the military under civilian government, saying that "like other state institutions," it should "abide by the constitutional and legislative regulations."

"The president of the republic is the supreme commander of the armed forces and the Minister of Defense is the general commander of the armed forces," the revised declaration said.

Still though, the military has not agreed to cede power once a parliament is elected, while the constitution is being drafted, nor has it backed away from its right to set procedures or impose new rules for the drafting process.

There was no indication on Saturday whether the modifications had appeased some of the civilian groups opposed to the guidelines, notably the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's largest Islamist group and the sponsor of a new political party expected to win a major role in the parliamentary elections.

But at the protest Friday, leaders and members of the Brotherhood said they considered any form of ground rules put forward by the military, even if they were only an advisory statement to guide the constitutional convention, to be a manipulation of public opinion and an usurpation of civilian authority.

By nightfall on Saturday, as clashes raged in dispersed pockets of the capital, protesters were seen beating up a man they said was a plainclothes police officer.

But some civilians appeared increasingly confused about what or who they were fighting against.

"The army is the only respectable institution that we have, but the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces are all thugs and thieves," said Ahmed Ibrahim, 28, who said he had been injured by riot police officers during the demonstrations at the start of the revolution nine months ago. "They are all criminals."

But he had not given up, he said. "We are going to liberate our country from all the oppression it suffers from."

"Down with military rule," others chanted. "Freedom, freedom."

Mayy el Sheikh and Dina Amer contributed reporting.


16) Older, Suburban and Struggling, 'Near Poor' Startle the Census
November 18, 2011

WASHINGTON - They drive cars, but seldom new ones. They earn paychecks, but not big ones. Many own homes. Most pay taxes. Half are married, and nearly half live in the suburbs. None are poor, but many describe themselves as barely scraping by.

Down but not quite out, these Americans form a diverse group sometimes called "near poor" and sometimes simply overlooked - and a new count suggests they are far more numerous than previously understood.

When the Census Bureau this month released a new measure of poverty, meant to better count disposable income, it began altering the portrait of national need. Perhaps the most startling differences between the old measure and the new involves data the government has not yet published, showing 51 million people with incomes less than 50 percent above the poverty line. That number of Americans is 76 percent higher than the official account, published in September. All told, that places 100 million people - one in three Americans - either in poverty or in the fretful zone just above it.

After a lost decade of flat wages and the worst downturn since the Great Depression, the findings can be thought of as putting numbers to the bleak national mood - quantifying the expressions of unease erupting in protests and political swings. They convey levels of economic stress sharply felt but until now hard to measure.

The Census Bureau, which published the poverty data two weeks ago, produced the analysis of those with somewhat higher income at the request of The New York Times. The size of the near-poor population took even the bureau's number crunchers by surprise.

"These numbers are higher than we anticipated," said Trudi J. Renwick, the bureau's chief poverty statistician. "There are more people struggling than the official numbers show."

Outside the bureau, skeptics of the new measure warned that the phrase "near poor" - a common term, but not one the government officially uses - may suggest more hardship than most families in this income level experience. A family of four can fall into this range, adjusted for regional living costs, with an income of up to $25,500 in rural North Dakota or $51,000 in Silicon Valley.

But most economists called the new measure better than the old, and many said the findings, while disturbing, comported with what was previously known about stagnant wages.

"It's very consistent with everything we've been hearing in the last few years about families' struggle, earnings not keeping up for the bottom half," said Sheila Zedlewski, a researcher at the Urban Institute, a nonpartisan economic and social research group.

Patched together a half-century ago, the official poverty measure has long been seen as flawed. It ignores hundreds of billions the needy receive in food stamps, tax credits and other programs, and the similarly large sums paid in taxes, medical care and work expenses. The new method, called the Supplemental Poverty Measure, counts all those factors and adjusts for differences in the cost of living, which the official measure ignores.

The results scrambled the picture of poverty in many surprising ways. The measure shows less severe destitution, but a bit more overall poverty; fewer poor children, but more poor people over 65.

Of the 51 million who appear near poor under the fuller measure, nearly 20 percent were lifted up from poverty by benefits the official count overlooks. But more than half were pushed down from higher income levels: more than eight million by taxes, six million by medical expenses, and four million by work expenses like transportation and child care.

Demographically, they look more like "The Brady Bunch" than "The Wire." Half live in households headed by a married couple; 49 percent live in the suburbs. Nearly half are non-Hispanic white, 18 percent are black and 26 percent are Latino.

Perhaps the most surprising finding is that 28 percent work full-time, year round. "These estimates defy the stereotypes of low-income families," Ms. Renwick said.

Among them is Phyllis Pendleton, a social worker with Catholic Charities in Washington, who proudly displays the signs of a hard-won middle-class life. She has one BlackBerry and two cars (both Buicks from the 1990s), and a $230,000 house that she, her husband and two daughters will move into next week.

Combined, she and her husband, a janitor, make about $51,000 a year, more than 200 percent of the official poverty line. But they lose about a fifth to taxes, medical care and transportation to work - giving them a disposable income of about $40,000 a year.

Adjust the poverty threshold, as the new measure does, to $31,000 for the region's high cost of living, and Ms. Pendleton's income is 29 percent above the poverty line. That is to say, she is near poor.

While the phrase is new to her, the struggle it evokes is not.

"Living paycheck to paycheck," is how she describes her survival strategy. "One bad bill will wipe you out."

It took her three years to save $3,000 for the down payment on her house, which she got with subsidies from a nonprofit group, Capital Area Asset Builders. But even after cutting out meals at Red Lobster, movie nights and new clothes, she had to rely on government aid to get health insurance for her daughters, 11 and 13, and she is already worried about college tuition.

"I'm turning over every rock looking for scholarships," she said. "The money's out there, you just have to find it."

The findings, which the Census Bureau plans to release on Monday, have already set off a contentious debate about how to describe such families: struggling, straitened, economically insecure?

Robert Rector, an analyst at the conservative Heritage Foundation, rejects the phrase "near poverty," arguing that it conjures levels of dire need like hunger and homelessness experienced by a minority even among those actually poor.

"I don't have any objection to this measure if you use the term 'low-income,' " he said. "But the emotionally charged terms 'poor' or 'near poor' clearly suggest to most people a level of material hardship that doesn't exist. It is deliberately used to mislead people."

Bruce Meyer, an economist at the University of Chicago, warned that the numbers are likely to mask considerable diversity. Some households, especially the elderly, may have considerable savings. (Indeed, nearly one in five of the near poor own their homes mortgage-free.) But others may be getting help with public housing and food stamps.

"I do think this is a better measure, but I wouldn't say that 100 million people are on the edge of starvation or anything close to that," Mr. Meyer said.

But Ms. Zedlewski said the seeming ordinariness of these families is part of the point. "There are a lot of low-income Americans struggling to make ends meet, and we don't pay enough attention to them," she said.

One group likely to gain attention is older Americans. By the official count, only 22 percent of the elderly are either poor or near poor. By the alternate count, the figure rises to 34 percent.

That is still less than the share among children, 39 percent, but it erases about half the gap between the economic fortunes of the young and old recorded in the official count. The likeliest explanation is high medical costs.

Another surprising finding is that only a quarter of the near poor are insured, and 42 percent have private insurance. Indeed, the cost of paying the premiums is part of the previously uncounted expenses they bear.

Belinda Sheppard's finances have been so battered in the past year, she finds herself wondering what storm will come next. Her adult daughter lost her job and moved in. Her adult son does not have one and cannot move out.

That leaves three adults getting by on $46,000 from her daughter's unemployment check and the money Ms. Sheppard makes for a marketing firm, placing products in grocery stores. Take out $7,000 for taxes, transportation and medical care, and they have an income of about 130 percent of the poverty line - not poor, but close.

Ms. Sheppard pays $2,000 in rent and says her employer classifies her as part time to avoid offering her health insurance, even though she works 40 hours a week. Unable to buy it on her own, she crosses her fingers and tries to stay healthy.

"I try to work as many hours as I can, but my salary, it's not enough for everything," she said. "I pay my bills with very small wiggle room. Or none."


17) Brazil Officials Criticize Chevron Over Oil Spill
November 18, 2011

RIO DE JANEIRO - Chevron came under intense scrutiny in Brazil on Friday over an oil spill at an offshore field the company operates, with federal investigators here threatening fines for Chevron and potential prison terms for its officials if they are found guilty of violating environmental contamination laws.

The response to the spill, which Chevron said it was notified of on Nov. 8 and which left an oil sheen near Brazil's southeast coast, is an important test for the authorities as Brazil moves to tap oil from its large recent offshore discoveries. If Brazil meets its ambitious production goals, it may emerge by the 2020s as the world's fourth-largest oil producer after Russia, Saudi Arabia and the United States.

While the spill, from an appraisal well in the Campos Basin, is thought to be much smaller than BP's oil spill last year in the Gulf of Mexico and is said by Chevron to have almost dissipated, it also presents an additional challenge for Chevron in Latin America. In nearby Ecuador, Chevron has faced seething resentment and a protracted legal battle over oil contamination in the country's rain forest.

Fábio Scliar, the head of the environment affairs division of the federal police, flew this week over the area of the spill, where Chevron has said it has 18 vessels controlling and is monitoring the sheen. In an interview on Friday, Mr. Scliar expressed annoyance over Chevron's handling of the spill and its methods of cooperating with Brazilian investigators.

"They've been very resistant about providing information, and they were hesitant about allowing me to land on the platform," Mr. Scliar said. "We had to be rather energetic with them about our requests."

Mr. Scliar said Chevron employees could face prison terms of several years if they were found to be have violated environmental laws. He said he would request testimony next week from several Chevron employees.

Responding to Mr. Scliar's assertions, Kurt Glaubitz, a spokesman for Chevron, said Friday in a statement: "We are working with all appropriate agencies to resolve the issue. We have provided all available resources to manage the situation."

Mr. Glaubitz said that Chevron had "accommodated all requests for information in a timely manner," and that the "situation is largely resolved." He said that Chevron was told by Petrobras, the national oil company and Chevron's partner in the affected area, the Frade field, of the spill on Nov. 8, and that Chevron found oil seeping from the ocean floor the next day.

Several Brazilian government entities monitoring the spill, including the National Petroleum Agency, said Friday in a statement that Chevron had achieved a "substantial reduction" of the oil seepage in recent days.

Mr. Glaubitz said that the volume of the sheen on Friday was estimated at about 18 barrels.

Earlier in the week, Chevron estimated that the spill involved 400 to 650 barrels of oil from its Frade field, in waters about 3,800 deep. (The BP oil spill involved nearly five million barrels.) Mr. Glaubitz said Chevron was planning to conduct an internal investigation, and would cooperate fully with the authorities.

Marina Silva, a former environment minister and presidential candidate, said in a telephone interview that the spill served as a warning as Brazil moved ahead with exceedingly complex projects to produce oil from its "pre-salt" discoveries, beneath waters almost 10,000 feet deep and thick layers of salt, sand and rock.

"This event is a three-dimensional alert to the problems that may occur," Ms. Silva said. "This certainly does not smell good."

Despite Chevron's assertions that the problem was contained, it faced mounting criticism from various other quarters in Brazil. Legislators said they would summon Chevron officials to appear for questioning. And here in Rio, where Brazil's energy industry is largely based around Petrobras, activists from Greenpeace emptied black ink on Friday in front of Chevron's headquarters to protest the spill.

Carlos Minc, the top environmental official for the state of Rio de Janeiro, said the spill was "much bigger" than Chevron's estimates.

Speaking on the Globo television network, Mr. Minc said that the authorities would "demand compensation" for any damage done to fishing or wildlife.

Several Brazilian news media reports referred to information from SkyTruth, an environmental group in the United States that uses satellite images to track oil spills and other accidents. John Amos, the group's president, said he estimated that the spill was perhaps 10 times larger than Chevron's estimates, meaning it extended over about 918 square miles.

Lis Moriconi contributed reporting.


18) Redefining the Union Boss
"Ms. Pope later found a better-paying job at a warehouse in Cleveland, as a member of the Teamsters. In 1979, when Teamster steel haulers in Canton, Ohio, went on strike, she helped expand that action throughout the Midwest. Before long, she was driving an 18-wheeler, hauling steel from Cleveland to Baltimore. After the birth of her first child, however, she traded her rig for the bargaining table, and began negotiating local contracts. When Ron Carey, a parcel truck driver from Queens, ran on an anticorruption platform and captured the presidency of the Teamsters, a union that had been long notorious for Mafia connections, Ms. Pope became an international representative for the union's warehouse unit. By then, she had settled in Montclair, N.J. Seven years later, Mr. Carey left after he was accused of misusing union funds. (A court later found him not guilty.) Ms. Pope then joined Teamsters Local 805 in Queens. There, she ran against its incumbent president and won, becoming the head of the 1,100-member local in 2005."
November 19, 2011

NOT long ago, truckers pulled off highways across America and tuned in to someone whose CB handle was "Troublemaker."

"I'm barely hanging on," one driver lamented. His employer, the U.P.S. freight unit, was turning to nonunion drivers - people outside the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, he said.

"We need to start enforcing our contracts!" Troublemaker replied.

Troublemaker, better known as Sandy Pope, is the first woman to run for the presidency of the Teamsters, against the powerful, three-term incumbent, James P. Hoffa.

Yes, Hoffa.

Odds are that Ms. Pope will lose - final results are due today. But whatever the outcome, Ms. Pope represents a new face of labor, one that increasingly is female. In this "We are the 99 percent" moment, when corporate profits are up and wages flat, a handful of women are challenging the old, mostly male world of union bosses.

Unions, of course, have been in retreat for years. But Ms. Pope and several other women, notably Rose Ann DeMoro, of National Nurses United, and Mary Kay Henry, of the Service Employees International Union, are pushing back. Their ascendance has rekindled hope that organized labor maybe, just maybe, could stage a comeback. They have also helped inspire the likes of Occupy Wall Street.

"Some of these women might even make unions relevant to the average American again," said Steve Early, a labor journalist, union organizer and author of "The Civil Wars in U.S. Labor."

That, anyway, is labor's hope. All three women are pushing the old boundaries, and some are engaging traditional foes like anti-union managers and Republicans in Washington and beyond.

From Big Rig to Bargaining

Ms. Pope is an unlikely firebrand. Her father was an investment banker, and she grew up in comfortable surroundings in a Boston suburb. But then she dropped out of Hampshire College and ended up working for minimum wage as an attendant at a psychiatric hospital. When co-workers groused about wages, she organized a strike - and won.

"I saw how empowered people felt when they had control over their lives," she recalled.

Ms. Pope later found a better-paying job at a warehouse in Cleveland, as a member of the Teamsters. In 1979, when Teamster steel haulers in Canton, Ohio, went on strike, she helped expand that action throughout the Midwest. Before long, she was driving an 18-wheeler, hauling steel from Cleveland to Baltimore. After the birth of her first child, however, she traded her rig for the bargaining table, and began negotiating local contracts. When Ron Carey, a parcel truck driver from Queens, ran on an anticorruption platform and captured the presidency of the Teamsters, a union that had been long notorious for Mafia connections, Ms. Pope became an international representative for the union's warehouse unit. By then, she had settled in Montclair, N.J.

Seven years later, Mr. Carey left after he was accused of misusing union funds. (A court later found him not guilty.) Ms. Pope then joined Teamsters Local 805 in Queens. There, she ran against its incumbent president and won, becoming the head of the 1,100-member local in 2005.

When Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York tried to convert shipping piers in Red Hook, Brooklyn, into luxury residences and tourist attractions, Ms. Pope called on other unions, neighborhood groups and local leaders to try to block the move. At stake, she said, were hundreds of midwage, non-Teamster jobs. After three years, New York City abandoned the plan.

"We're small, but we fight big," she said.

Today, Ms. Pope, still president of Local 805, is worried about the future of freight truckers, once the source of the Teamsters' power. Much of her ire is directed at U.P.S. When the stock market tumbled in 2008, the workers' pension funds became underfunded. On top of that, truckers say, they must now work faster and harder just to keep standing still in terms of wages and benefits.

"Workers are getting killed on productivity standards, and they're terrified to speak out," Ms. Pope said.

She worries that her grown daughter can't afford health care, and that her college-age son may not find a full-time job with benefits. "We're supposed to leave our kids a better world than the one we've been born into, but so far we haven't," she said.

If she somehow manages to win the national election, she said, she will fight for all working people. And if she loses? "I'll keep doing the same."

Confronting Schwarzenegger

When Rose Ann DeMoro speaks, her voice sounds like a burbling faucet. Ms. DeMoro, 61, is executive director of National Nurses United, a 170,000-member union that she runs with dramatic flair.

Born in St. Louis, Ms. DeMoro married her high-school sweetheart, moved to California and raised two children. She left college to organize supermarket cashiers and was the first female organizer for the Western Conference of Teamsters. In 1986, she was offered a collective bargaining position at the California Nurses Association - though she had never been a nurse.

At the time, California had fewer registered nurses per patient than most any other state. Night-shift nurses in some hospitals cared for as many as 12 patients at a time, and some bedridden patients would actually dial "911" to seek help. In 2004, California passed a law requiring hospitals to have at least one nurse for every five patients. Arnold Schwarzenegger, then governor, delayed implementing part of that law, and at a conference nurses unfurled a protest banner during his speech. The governor told the crowd to pay no attention to special interests.

"I am always kicking their butts," he said.

Ms. DeMoro pounced. She said the governor's comment was "an affront to women everywhere." Her union hounded the governor, going so far as to throw a New Orleans-style funeral in Sacramento for the concept of patient care.

After much back-and-forth, the law went into effect.

Greg Roth, a former manager in the California Department of Health Services, dealt with Ms. DeMoro during some contentious legislative hearings. He said she "is effective, but I didn't feel as if the union showed appropriate respect for the process or for the rights of other people to be heard."

In more recent years, Ms. DeMoro has helped organize local unions in Texas, Florida and elsewhere, joining forces with other nurse unions to create the national group.

"Rose Ann is not small fry," said Mark Brenner, editor of Labor Notes, a nonprofit project that promotes unions through its magazine and Web site. "The nurses are more in sync with people than most any other group."

Among other things, Ms. DeMoro has started a movement called "Heal America, Tax Wall Street." Her union wants a 0.5 percent tax on stock trades and credit swaps, similar to those levied in 15 other countries. Such a tax might raise as much as $350 billion a year for health, education and jobs programs.

Critics are vocal, saying such a tax would discourage trading profits, but Ms. DeMoro dismisses them. "We pay sales taxes every day, and so should Wall Street," she said.

To drive home that point, she and 1,000 red-shirted R.N.'s streamed onto Wall Street on June 22 to promote the tax and to protest what they saw as corporate welfare. Two months later, thousands of nurses visited 60 Congressional offices in 21 states, urging support for the Wall Street tax. The nurses also drew media attention by staging a mock news conference with a 10-foot tall puppet that looked a lot like Representative Michele Bachmann, the presidential candidate, and chasing adult-size chipmunks who lugged big acorns to their Wall Street "nests."

The nurses' approach has inspired Occupy Wall Street. "The nurses certainly set an example for us," said Andy Pollack, a committee member of that group in Manhattan. Occupy Wall Street protesters have marched with other unions, "but the nurses go beyond their own contract issues and try to tackle the root of the problem," he said.

Ms. DeMoro also recently led nurses from four continents to a Group of 20 meeting in Cannes, France, to lobby for a financial transactions tax in other nations as well.

Wooing the Politicians

Mary Kay Henry, the first woman to lead the two-million-member S.E.I.U., speaks in the measured tones of a diplomat - a tone she adopted early on.

She grew up in a suburb of Detroit, the eldest daughter in a family of 10. She studied labor relations at Michigan State University and joined the union as a researcher out of college. While rising to the top, she coordinated nursing strikes in Kaiser Permanente hospitals in San Francisco and helped R.N.'s in Seattle negotiate with their employers.

In 1995, after the union's president, John Sweeney, resigned to lead the A.F.L.-C.I.O., Ms. Henry was elected to the S.E.I.U.'s executive board. Mr. Sweeney's successor, Andrew Stern, named her as his assistant in organizing.

Mr. Stern's tenure was not without controversy. Some critics, like Mr. Early, the labor historian, say he did not do enough to look after workers. (Mr. Stern has repeatedly said he has always tried to put workers first.)

In 2005, he led several unions and six million workers out of the A.F.L.-C.I.O., explaining that the old federation had become complacent. He then had a dispute with Unite Here, an organization for hotel, restaurant and garment workers that had split into two factions, as well as with another union.

"It got ugly, and Mary Kay was part of that episode," said Mr. Brenner, the Labor Notes editor, and another Stern critic. At one union meeting in Walnut Creek, Calif., Ms. Henry called police to try and eject a dissident union member, but the officers left without doing so, Mr. Early wrote in "The Civil Wars."

Ms. Henry was loyal to Mr. Stern, whose successes included increasing the S.E.I.U.'s membership by 1.2 million, and helping to elevate workers, from janitors to home health workers, into decent-paying jobs. He became a political force by helping to funnel $70 million into Democratic campaigns during 2008. When he retired 18 months ago, he backed a top lieutenant, Anna Burger, to succeed him.

But S.E.I.U. members had apparently grown weary of the union's approach. After Ms. Henry stepped forward, Ms. Burger withdrew. In 2010, Ms. Henry was elected president, and vowed to "heal" the S.E.I.U.

And now? "We're on fire," she said. She is spending to help locals organize workers in banks, grocery stores and biotech companies and to reach independent contractors.

"We're concentrating on helping those who have no voice at work," Ms. Henry said. And she is courting politicians - and not only Democrats, labor's traditional allies. "We want the G.O.P. members of Congress to focus on ways out of the economic recession," she said. "So many Republicans leaders are cutting expenses by cutting social services, and that hurts all workers." About 30 percent of S.E.I.U. members vote Republican, and an additional 20 percent are independent.

In California, the S.E.I.U. has honed its strategy to an art. It recently started a political action committee aimed at helping to elect moderate Republicans in G.O.P. strongholds there next year - evidence, if more were needed, that unions like the S.E.I.U. will play a role in the 2012 elections.