Sunday, March 11, 2012

BAUAW NEWSLETTER - SUNDAY, MARCH 11, 2012



Feeling Sad and Depressed?
Are you anxious?
Worried about the future?
Feeling isolated and alone?

You might be suffering from CAPITALISM

Symptoms may include: homelessness, unemployment, poverty, hunger, feelings of powerlessness, fear, apathy, boredom, cultural decay, loss of identity, extreme self-consciousness, loss of free speech, incarceration, suicidal or revolutionary thoughts, death.

As your local doctor, union or occupation about MayDayRX #MAY1

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Shine a light for Bradley this Thursday!

Thursday, March 15th is the date of PFC Bradley Manning's next appearance at Ft. Meade, MD. During this motion hearing, the dates of Bradley's future hearings and court martial will be determined. The defense has requested that the court martial begin in May, while the prosecution is requesting an August start date. Considering that Bradley has already been forced to endure over 650 days of pretrial imprisonment, including eight months of solitary isolation, we see this effort to push back the date of the trial even further as yet another violation of his rights by a corrupt and unjust system. While Bradley stands in court, we will show our support by standing at the front gate of Ft. Meade in protest.

Organize friends and colleagues to gather on March 15th by a busy road, holding signs of support for Bradley Manning. Suggested messages include "Free Bradley Manning," "Blowing the whistle on war crimes is not a crime," and "No show trial, no life in prison for accused whistle-blower." Please include our URL (www.bradleymanning.org) on the bottom of your posters, to ensure that people driving by know where to learn more if they are interested.

Take "I am Bradley Manning" photos with your friends, and submit them to iam.bradleymanning.org

We call for these actions in solidarity with Sunshine Week, a national initiative to promote a dialogue about the importance of open government and freedom of information. We believe Bradley Manning is Sunshine Week's ultimate icon, as the actions attributed to him have shined more light on the inner workings of the U.S. military and state department than anything else in the "War on Terror" era.

Bradley Manning Support Network:
http://www.bradleymanning.org/category/news

Donate to Defend Bradley Manning
https://co.clickandpledge.com/sp/d1/default.aspx?wid=38591

Write to Bradley Manning at:
Bradley Manning #89289
830 Sabalu Road
Fort Leavenworth, KS 66027

Courage to Resist
484 Lake Park Ave. #41
Oakland, CA 94610
510-488-3559
couragetoresist.org

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

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A. EVENTS AND ACTIONS

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San Francisco Interfaith Allies for Occupy
PEOPLE OF FAITH FOR A MORAL ECONOMY

Call for a Halt to Fraudulent Foreclosures this Monday!

10 am Monday, March 12
San Francisco City Hall
#1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place (across from Civic Center Plaza)

Program:
Gather at 10 AM
Brief Press Conference: 10:30 AM
Delegation to County Recorder's Office: City Hall, Room 190
Delegation to City Attorney's Office: City Hall, Room 234
Homeowners

We will supply you with a letter requesting to see your Deed of Trust to check for errors and indications of fraud.

Religious Leaders Wear clergy garb to the event on Monday morning.

Invite your congregation this weekend to join us on Monday morning. If you or someone you know is facing foreclosure please email us so we can help.
cbeen181@gmail.com

NTERFAITH LEADERS JOIN HOMEOWNERS
CRYING OUT FOR JUSTICE AT SF CITY HALL

Dear brothers and sisters,

Here and throughout our nation the foreclosure crisis has devastated our communities; families have lost their homes and their security, wealth has been drained out of our neighborhoods and our nation has suffered.

In the last three years, 12,000+ San Francisco families have faced foreclosures. Last month, Phil Ting, County Recorder, reported that after reviewing more than 400 foreclosures in San Francisco 84% of them had at least one clear violation of California foreclosure law and 66% of them had multiple violations.

This Monday, March 12, homeowners facing foreclosure in San Francisco and 20 other counties throughout the state, will be gathering at their city government offices calling for justice to be restored.

In San Francisco, homeowners and their supporters, will meet on the steps of City Hall infront Civic Center plaza at 10 AM to hold a brief press conference thanking Phil Ting for exposing the breadth and depth of the problem and calling for a moratorium on foreclosures until those responsible for fraudulent lending practices and foreclosures are prosecuted and foreclosure reform is passed in the state legislation.

Homeowners will be invited to enter the County Recorder's office and ask for their deeds of trust to inspect their personal home records for errors and indications of fraud.

Religious leaders are being asked to join our voices in calling the City and District Attorneys to put a halt to all foreclosures until a thorough investigation can be conducted, justice is restored to our city and hope restored to our people.

Everyone

We will be asking authorities to put a halt to foreclosures and prosecute those responsible for fraudulent lending practices.

Questions email us: cbeen181@gmail.com

San Francisco Allies of Occupy
Want to get involved! Join us every Tuesday, 4 PM
St. Patrick's Church, 756 Mission Street, San Francisco

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Happy Birthday Jamie Dimon: A National Call to Action.

Public Event for Occupy Atlanta ·

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

12:00am until 11:30pm

At a Chase Bank near you.

Invite everyone on your friends list. Lets give him a birthday party
he'll never forget.

We, Occupy Atlanta and the occupiers of Glen Iris, are asking everyone
locally and nationally to take action in Solidarity with us as we
fight Chase Bank. Since this bank is a behemoth, we cannot defeat it
only in Atlanta, we need to bring the fight everywhere. We are calling
a day of action against Chase on Tuesday, March 13, 2012, to demand a
moratorium on foreclosures and evictions. March 13th is the birthday
of Jamie Dimon, the CEO of Chase Bank.

JPMorgan Chase, doing business as Chase Bank, through a series of
recent mergers and acquisitions has become the largest banking
institution in the United States. This expansion has been fueled to a
great degree by its extensive investment in the two main subprime
mortgage originators, not to mention nearly $25 billion in bailout
funds that rewarded the bank for its criminal swindling of millions of
American families.

A spotlight has been shined on the nefarious deeds of Chase and other
big banks since the birth of the Occupy Wall Street movement. The time
has come to take a step further in the struggle. The rich and their
mouthpieces roar with outrage at any criticism of those responsible
for the economic crisis. Throwing millions of working families out of
their homes - is this not class warfare against the 99%? We need to
strike back with a show of resistance nationwide.

Chase, the largest bank in America, is an ideal target to focus such a
campaign. The Pittman family here in Atlanta has boldly defied
intimidation and threats from Chase Bank, as well as the police, in
defending their home side by side with hundreds of Occupiers and
supporters. Through a unified display of action across the country, by
shutting down a Chase Bank branch in your neighborhood, we can
demonstrate the power of the people. Join in the national effort
against the biggest bank in America: we are taking back our homes and
building a future worth fighting for.

On March 13th, demand a moratorium on foreclosures and evictions!

The Occupiers of Glen Iris and Take Back the Block

Contact Us

Twitter: @OccupyGlenIris

Email: takebacktheblock@gmail.com

Facebook: Occupy Glen Iris
Share:Post

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Foreclosure Teach-In and Interfaith Roundtable

Join other religious leaders in a Foreclosure Teach-In and Faith Leaders Roundtable to learn more about the foreclosure crises and discuss our role as leaders in the faith community.

Wednesday, March 14
3:00 -5:00 PM

Double Rock Baptist Church
1595 Shafter Ave, San Francisco

Questions email us: cbeen181@gmail.com

San Francisco Allies of Occupy
Want to get involved! Join us every Tuesday, 4 PM
St. Patrick's Church, 756 Mission Street, San Francisco

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Occupy St.Patrick's Day! Saturday, March 17

Once again the San Francisco Bay Area comrades of the International Republican Socialist Network are reaching out to socialists, syndicalists, anarchists, and Irish, Scottish, and Welsh republicans to join them in marching in this year's San Francisco St. Patrick's Parade.

For the first time in the nearly three decades that local comrades have marched in the parade under the auspices of the H-Block/Armagh Committees, Irish Republican Socialist Committees of North America, and the International Republican Socialist Network the parade will actually take place on St. Patrick's Day, Saturday, March 17th.

As usual, the parade will begin at Market and Second Streets and our assembly point will no doubt be somewhere on Second Street and the time will be approximately 10:30, though details are not yet known.

As has been the case for many years, the IRSN will have a decorated truck--this year dedicated to the proud history of Irish Republican Socialism--but that entry will be joined by the Anti-Imperialist Contingent, composed of revolutionaries from many different organizations, united by their opposition to both British and American imperialism and their support for an independent, 32-country Irish socialist republic.

Participants in the Anti-Imperialist Contingent are welcome to bring their own identifying banners, as well as to join in carrying IRSC-supplied banners, raising slogans in opposition to imperialism and in support of the struggle for socialism in Ireland. The IRSN appreciates it when comrades who will be joining in march with the Anti-Imperialist Contingent let us know of their intent to do so in advance, as it helps us to better plan the organization of the contingent; the earlier you are able to do so, the more we appreciate it. For additional information, or to notify us of you or your organization's participation, please e-mail: irsp@netwiz.net.

As has long been our tradition, the IRSN will be welcoming all those who join us in marching in this year's parade to join in a post-parade party, featuring the very traditional combination of nachos and Margaritas (well, traditional for us anyway).

So mark your calendars and get your marching shoes ready, and come and join the International Republican Socialist Network in once again ensuring that St. Patrick's Day in the San Francisco Bay Area has a proudly visible representation of the Irish Republican Socialist tradition.

Only you can prevent the St. Patrick's Day Parade from becoming a green beer, ROTC, and Hooters-dominated event!

Come out to show your solidarity with the struggle for national liberation and socialism in Ireland and to help reclaim the revolutionary tradition of St. Patrick's Day in the US.

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Attend the United National Antiwar Coalition National Conference
March 23-25, 2012 at the Stamford CT Hilton (one stop from Harlem/125th St. on Metro North commuter line)

Say No to the NATO/G8 Wars & Poverty Agenda

A Conference to Challenge the Wars of the one percent Against the 99 percent at Home and Abroad

The U.S.-led North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the G-8 world economic powers will meet in Chicago, May 19-22, to plan their financial and military strategies for the coming period. These elites, who serve the one percent at home and abroad, impose austerity--often by the use of drones, armies, and the police--on the 99 percent to expand their profits.

Join activists from the antiwar, occupy, environmental, immigrant rights, labor, and other movements at a conference from March 23-25, 2012 to learn more, to plan a May 19 "No to NATO/G8" demonstration in Chicago, and to democratically develop a program of action for the months to follow.

Special guest speakers include:

• Xiomara Castro de Zelaya is currently a presidential candidate in Honduras and the partner of Manuel de Zelaya, the former president displaced by a U.S.-backed coup in 2009.

• Bill McKibben is the founder of the grassroots global warming group 350.org and the architect of the successful campaign to defeat the XL pipeline.

• Glen Ford is the executive editor of Black Agenda Report, a ground-breaking site that covers U.S. wars abroad and wars at home from the perspective of the African American community.

• Lamis Deek is a Palestinian organizer and attorney who is the chair of Al Awda NY

• Richard Wolff is the author Capitalism Hits the Fan: The Global Economic Meltdown and What to Do About It

• Imam Abdul Malik Mujahid is the founder of the Muslim Peace Coalition

• Vijay Prashad is the author of The Darker Nations: A People's History of the Third World

• Andrew Murray is a member of the UK Trades Union Congress General Council and head of UK Stop the War coalition from 2001-2011

• Colonel Ann Wright was a central Gaza Boat organizer and the editor of Dissent: Voices of Conscience

• Medea Benjamin is the founder of Code Pink

• Jared Ball is the author of I Mix What I Like.

• Clarence Thomas is an Oakland ILWU activist with Longview WA Longshore fight

• Scott Olsen is an Iraq war veteran and Occupy victim of Oakland police violence

• David Swanson is author and editor of War is a Crime.org

• Pat Hunt is a founding member of the Coalition Against NATO/G8 Wars & Poverty Agenda

• Fignole St. Cyr is a leader of the Haitian Autonomous Workers Confederation

For more information:
United National Antiwar Coalition
UNACpeace@gmail.com
www.UNACpeace.org
(518) 227-6947
P.O. Box 123, Delmar, NY 12054
https://nationalpeaceconference.org/Conference.html

Send donations to: UNACpeace@gmail.com or to use a credit card, go here: https://nationalpeaceconference.org/Donate.html

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G8 Moving to Camp David
Protesters claim victory, to continue plans to march on May 19th

Today, the White House announced that the G8 summit,scheduled for Chicago on May 19-20, will be moved to Camp David, although the NATO summit will still take place in Chicago.

The Coalition Against NATO/G8 War & Poverty Agenda(CANG8) and Occupy Chicago issue the following statement:

The G8 moving to Camp David represents a major victory for the people of Chicago. The leaders of the 1%are moving because of the overwhelming resistance to the NATO/G8 war and poverty agenda in Chicago. Our city is filled with tens of thousands of people who ares sruggling to keep their heads above water, fighting against the effects of the economic crisis caused by the leaders who would have been gathering here. The communities of Chicago are fighting to save their schools, keep healthcare available, and to defend their jobs from cutbacks that are a hallmark of the governments of the G8.

The city has carried out a campaign to intimidate and vilify protesters, claiming that protests lead to violence. In fact, the main source of violence in the world today is the wars being waged by NATO and the US.

"We will march on May 19th to deliver our message: Jobs, Housing, Healthcare, Education, Our Pensions, the Environment: Not War! We and tens of thousands will be in the streets that day for a family friendly rally and march, with cries so loud they will be heard in Camp David and across the globe. We will be in the streets that day to fight for our future, and speak out against the wars and their cutbacks are designed to benefit the 1% at the expense of the 99% of the world."

United National Antiwar Committee
UNACpeace@gmain.com or UNAC at P.O. Box 123, Delmar, NY 12054
518-227-6947
www.UNACpeace.org

To add your email to the new CANGATE listserve, send an email to: cangate-subscribe@lists.riseup.net.

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

https://www.nationalpeaceconference.org/NATO_G8_protest_support.html

Click here to hear audio of the August 28 meeting:

http://www.radio4all.net/index.php/program/54145

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

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1tHQ7ilDJ8&NR=1

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

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RoNGcnBGGfI

NATO and the G8 Represent the 1%.

For more info: www.CANG8.org or email us at cangate2012@gmail.com

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Occupy Oakland Call for Participation in a May 1, 2012
Global General Strike

Occupy Oakland decides to participate in the Global General Strike on May Day!!!

Posted January 30, by ragtag

Categories: Front Page, GA Resolutions, Notice

The Occupy Oakland General Assembly passed the proposal today!

Occupy Oakland Call for Participation in a May 1, 2012
Global General Strike

The general strike is back, retooled for an era of deep budget cuts, extreme anti-immigrant racism, and massive predatory financial speculation. In 2011, the number of unionized workers in the US stood at 11.8%, or approximately 14.8 million people.

What these figures leave out are the growing millions of people in this country who are unemployed and underemployed. The numbers leave out the undocumented, and domestic and manual workers drawn largely from immigrant communities. The numbers leave out workers whose workplace is the home and a whole invisible economy of unwaged reproductive labor. The numbers leave out students who have taken on nearly $1 trillion dollars in debt, and typically work multiple jobs, in order to afford skyrocketing college tuition. The numbers leave out the huge percentage of black Americans that are locked up in prisons or locked out of stable or secure employment because of our racist society.

In December of 2011,Oakland's official unemployment rate was a devastating 14.1%. As cities like Oakland are ground into the dust by austerity, every last public dollar will be fed to corrupt, militarized police departments in order to contain social unrest. On November 2 of last year, Occupy Oakland carried out the first general strike in the US since the 1946 Oakland general strike,shutting down the center of the city and blockading the Port of Oakland. We must re-imagine a general strike for an age where most workers do not belong to labor unions, and where most of us are fighting for the privilege to work rather than for marginal improvements in working conditions. We must take the struggle into the streets, schools, and offices of corrupt local city governments. A re-imagined general strike means finding immediate solutions for communities impacted by budget cuts and constant police harassment beyond changing government representatives. Occupy Oakland calls for and will participate in a new direction for the Occupy movement based on the recognition that we must not only find new ways to provide for our needs beyond thestate we must also attack the institutions that lock us into an increasingly miserable life of exploitation, debt, and deepening poverty everywhere.
IF WE CAN'T LIVE, WE WON'T WORK.

May Day is an international holiday that commemorates the 1886 Haymarket Massacre, when Chicago police defending, as always, the interests of the 1% attacked and murdered workers participating in a general strike and demanding an 8-hour workday. In the 21st century, despite what politicians tell us, class war is alive and well against workers (rank-and-file and non-unionized), students, people of color, un- and underemployed, immigrants, homeless, women, queer/trans folks, prisoners. Instead of finding common ground with monsters, it's time we fight them. And it's time we make fighting back an everyday reality in the Bay Area and beyond.

On May Day 2012, Occupy Oakland will join with people from all walks of life in all parts of the world around the world in a global general strike to shut down the global circulation of capital that every day serves to enrich the ruling classes and impoverish the rest of us. There will be no victory but that which we make for ourselves, reclaiming the means of existence from which we have been and continue to be dispossessed every day.
REVOLT FOR A LIFE WORTH LIVING

STRIKE / BLOCKADE / OCCUPY

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Occupy the PGA in Benton Harbor, MI May 23-27, 2012
http://wibailoutpeople.org/2011/12/29/occupy-the-pga-in-benton-harbor-mi-may-23-27-2012/

A personal invitation from the President of the NAACP , Benton Harbor
Chapter:

It is our distinct honor and privilege to invite you on behalf of the
NAACP-BH , the Black Autonomy Network Community Organization (BANCO)
and Stop The Take Over in Benton Harbor, Michigan to an event
scheduled for May 23-27, 2012 .

Occupy the PGA
Benton Harbor, Michigan
Senior PGA Golf Tournament

We are committed to escalating the Occupy Movement to support human
rights in housing in addition to the push back against bailouts for
fraudulent banks. They are stealing our homes and lives. Democracy is
non-existent here in Benton Harbor. Joseph Harris, the Emergency
Manager must go! With pride, he called himself a "dictator."

The PGA will be played on a $750 million dollar, 530-acre resort near
the lakeshore with $500,000 condominiums. We can not forget the three
golf holes inside Jean Klock Park that were taken from the Benton
Harbor residents.

If your schedule does not permit your attendance on May 26, 2012,
alternative action dates are May 23-25, 2012. Please let me know if
you can accept the invitation to participate in Occupy the PGA. We
eagerly await your response. If you have any questions or concerns,
feel free to contact me directly at (269-925-0001). Allow me to thank
you in advance.We the residents of Benton Harbor love you!

President/NAACP/BANCO
& Stop The Take Over
Benton Harbor
Rev. Edward Pinkney
1940 Union St.
Benton Harbor, MI

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B. VIDEO, FILM, AUDIO. ART, POETRY, ETC.:
[Some of these videos are embeded on the BAUAW website:
http://bauaw.blogspot.com/ or bauaw.org ...bw]

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The CIA's Heart Attack Gun
http://www.brasschecktv.com/videos/assassination-studies/the-cias-heart-attack-gun-.html

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Channel 2 investigation highlights racial discrepancies in marijuana arrests
http://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/local/channel-2-investigation-highlights-racial-discrepa/nK8Gd/



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This is the keynote address by Rev. Edward Pinkney of Benton Harbor, Michigan, at "Let Freedom Ring! Michigan's P.A. 4 Emergency Manager Act Forum" in East Lansing on Saturday, February 18, 2012. The event was organized by the Edgewood United Church of Christ Justice and Peace Task Force and recorded by the Peace Education Center. Jim Anderson of Edgewood United Church introduces Rev. Pinkney.



From: Pinkney Freddie
To: rev pinkney
Sent: Monday, February 27, 2012 5:21 PM
Subject: Re: Michigan Emergency Manager act - speech by Pinkney

Subject: Michigan Emergency Manager act - speech by Pinkney

please forward widely

A seminar on PA4, the Emergency Manager act, was held last Saturday
in East Lansing. It was an afternoon panel discussion which began with
keynote speaker Rev. Edward Pinkney, resident of the first Michigan
town to feel the unconstitutional brunt of this new law - Benton Harbor.
This is his speech.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ANSuw_SPmjw&feature=email

bhbanco.org
Rev. Edward Pinkney 269-925-0001

Occupy The PGA
May 23-27 (big day: Sat. May 26) - Benton Harbor, Michigan
Demonstrate in protest of land stolen by Whirlpool Corporation
http://occupythepga.wordpress.com/ Twitter HashTag #OccupyThePGA Facebook Event Page

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The Invisible American Workforce
http://www.democracynow.org/2011/8/5/new_expos_tracks_alec_private_prison



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Labor Beat: NATO vs The 1st Amendment
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HbQxnb4so3U



This video shows the early stages of the growing Chicago movement against the newly minted extraordinary police powers ordinance (dubbed the "sit down and shut up" laws). We go to one of the many actions around the city directed at Chicago aldermen who were about to vote on these new laws (designed by Democratic Party Mayor Emanuel to crush any dissent against the NATO/G8 summits he is hosting here in May). Richard de Vries, Union Representative for IBT 705, tells a story about when he and Danny Solis were students at University of Illinois-Chicago campus back in the early 70s and they both participated in a student protest/occupation of the campus. If the ordinance under consideration (which now Alderman Solis finally approved of) were in effect then, "we wouldn't even be on the street today." We also visit the press conference at City Hall given by an impressive coalition of neighborhood and labor organizations on the eve of City Council committee meetings and final vote. The draconian measures, only marginally tweaked, passed overwhelmingly by the all-Democratic Party Council. The video is also a useful primer on what NATO is and some of its criminal record, from the bombings of civilians in Yugoslavia in the late 90s to NATO's recent killings of civilians in Libya and Afghanistan. In January of this year the Arab Organisation for Human Rights together with the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights announced that there is evidence that NATO has committed war crimes. "My estimate: it's Military Murder Inc.," states Rick Rozoff, manager of the Stop NATO web site, as he provides extensive background information. Includes interviews and comments from numerous labor and community leaders. Length 25:37. 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: mail@laborbeat.org, www.laborbeat.org. 312-226-3330. For other Labor Beat videos, visit YouTube and search "Labor Beat". On Chicago CAN TV Channel 19, Thursdays 9:30 pm; Fridays 4:30 pm. Labor Beat has regular cable slots in Chicago, Evanston, Rockford, Urbana, IL; Philadelphia, PA; Princeton, NJ; and Rochester, NY. For more detailed information, send us a request at mail@laborbeat.org.

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Anti-War Demonstrators Storm Pentagon 1967/10/24
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDiFkckszCw


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Liberal Hypocrisy on Obama Vs Bush - Poll
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pl_HGEXq_aM&feature=player_embedded


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Greek trade unionists and black bloc October 2011
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sHMLD_Vql0o&feature=player_embedded#!


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The Battle of Oakland
by brandon jourdan plus
http://vimeo.com/36256273

On January 28th, 2012, Occupy Oakland moved to take a vacant building to use as a social center and a new place to continue organizing. This is the story of what happened that day as told by those who were a part of it. it features rare footage and interviews with Boots Riley, David Graeber, Maria Lewis, and several other witnesses to key events.

The Battle of Oakland from brandon jourdan on Vimeo.




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Officers Pulled Off Street After Tape of Beating Surfaces
By ANDY NEWMAN
February 1, 2012, 10:56 am
http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/01/officers-pulled-off-street-after-tape-of-beating-surfaces/?ref=nyregion



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On Obama's SOTU:GM is a Terrible Model for US Manufacturing
Frank Hammer: GM was rebuilt by lowering wages and banning the right to strike
http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=767&Itemid=74&jumival=7847


More at The Real News


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Defending The People's Mic
by Pham Binh of Occupy Wall Street
The North Star
January 20, 2012
http://www.thenorthstar.info/?p=53
Grand Central Terminal Arrests - MIRROR
Two protesters mic check about the loss of freedom brought about by the passage of the NDAA and both are promptly arrested and whisked out of public sight.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o7Tj7tEVx8A&feature=player_embedded



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"Welcome to Chicago! You're under arrest!"

"Under the new ordinance: Every sign has to be described in particularity on the parade permit. ...If there are signs not on the parade permit, police can issue an ordinance violation. What does that ordinance violation allow? It allows for every sign, the organizer ... can face $1000.00 fine--that's for every un-permitted sign--plus up to ten days in jail...."

Chicago City Hall Press Conference Against NATO/G8 Ordinance

YouTube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYQfJcRNwqM



An impressive coalition of organizations -- unions, anti-war, human rights, churches and neighborhood groups -- held a press conference today (Jan. 17, 2012) at Chicago's City Hall. They were protesting the proposed new ordinances against demonstrations targeting the upcoming spring NATO/G8 meetings here, but now possibly to become permanent laws. The press conference took place right before two key City Council committees were to meet to consider whether to endorse the proposed new ordinances, prior to their going to a vote before the full City Council tomorrow. In this excerpt from the press conference, speakers include Eric Ruder, Coalition Against NATO/G8's War & Poverty Agenda; Erek Slater, ATU 241 member speaking for ATU International Vice Presidents; Talisa Hardin, National Nurses United; Wayne Lindwal, SEIU 73 Chicago Division Director; Jesse Sharkey, Vice President, Chicago Teachers Union.

For more info on fight against ordinance: (http://bit.ly/AntiLibertyOrdinance).

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This is excellent! Michelle Alexander pulls no punches!
Michelle Alexander, Author of The New Jim Crow, speaks about the political strategy behind the War on Drugs and its connection to the mass incarceration of Black and Brown people in the United States.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P75cbEdNo2U&feature=player_embedded



If you think Bill Clinton was "the first black President" you need to watch this video and see how much damage his administration caused for the black community as a result of his get tough attitude on crime that appealed to white swing voters.

This speech took place at Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem on January 12, 2012.

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NATO, G8 In Chicago: More Details Released, City Grants First Protest Permit
By CARLA K. JOHNSON
January 12, 2012
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/12/nato-g8-in-chicago-more-d_n_1203429.html



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Release Bradley Manning
Almost Gone (The Ballad Of Bradley Manning)
Written by Graham Nash and James Raymond (son of David Crosby)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dAYG7yJpBbQ&feature=player_embedded



Locked up in a white room, underneath a glaring light
Every 5 minutes, they're asking me if I'm alright
Locked up in a white room naked as the day I was born
24 bright light, 24 all alone

What I did was show some truth to the working man
What I did was blow the whistle and the games began

Tell the truth and it will set you free
That's what they taught me as a child
But I can't be silent after all I've seen and done
24 bright light I'm almost gone, almost gone

Locked up in a white room, dying to communicate
Trying to hang in there underneath a crushing wait
Locked up in a white room I'm always facing time
24 bright light, 24 down the line

What I did was show some truth to the working man
What I did was blow the whistle and the games began

But I did my duty to my country first
That's what they taught me as a man
But I can't be silent after all I've seen and done
24 bright light I'm almost gone, almost gone
(Treat me like a human, Treat me like a man )

Read more on Nash's blog - grahamnash.com

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FREEDOM ROAD - A Tribute to Mumia sung by Renn Lee
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qC27vzqxSCA&feature=youtu.be



FREEDOM ROAD

(written by Samuel Légitimus- adapted in english, sung and arranged by Paris-Sydney)

They've taken all you had away
And what's left, still they can't bend
To find you guilty was their way
Yet here I am and you're my friend.

Your writing's proof enough for me, Mumia,
You place honor and law
Above all, till the end.

Thirty years gone by
On death row, we never knew
Anything of the weight
You had to carry while you grew.

But they won't get you, no, Mumia, no
We won't let them ever win
Won't let you bear such a heavy load
While walking down the Freedom Road.

(Instrumental)

Like Jimmy (1) and Bob (2) you've lived to see the light:
Believing that all men
Can stand up for their rights.

Accusing you of crime
From behind their scales they hide
It makes them scared deep down inside
To know that truth is on your side.

But they won't get you, no, Mumia, no,
We won't let them ever win
Won't let you bear such a heavy load
While walking down the Freedom Road.

(Instumental)

Those thirty years gone by
On death row, we never knew
Anything of the weight
You had to carry while you grew.

We've named a street for you, Mumia
A lovely rue in Saint-Denis
By joining hands we're showing you
Proof of our strength and peace.

But they won't get you, no, Mumia, no,
We won't let them ever win
Won't let you bear such a heavy load
While walking down the Freedom Road.X2

But they won't get you, no, Mumia, no
We won't let them ever win
Won't let them block you from getting in,
Into your home on Freedom Road.

But they won't get you no Mumia,
We will win, we'll never bend
For thirty years you've shown us all
Just how to fight until the end.

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School police increasingly arresting American students?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zl-efNBvjUU&feature=player_embedded



Uploaded by RTAmerica on Dec 29, 2011

A new study shows that by age 23, 41 percent of young Americans were arrested from the years 1997-2008. The survey questioned 7,000 people but didn't disclose the crimes committed. Many believe the arrests are related to the increase of police presence in schools across America. Amanda Petteruti from the Justice Policy Institute joins us to examine these numbers.

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"The mine owners did not find the gold, they did not mine the gold, they did not mill the gold, but by some weird alchemy all the gold belonged to them!" -- Big Bill Haywood

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1293. Big Coal Don't Like This Man At All (Original) - with Marco Acca on guitar
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljtxjFKB718&mid=574



This song is a tribute to Charles Scott Howard, from Southeastern Kentucky, a tireless fighter for miners' rights, especially with regard to safety, and to his lawyer, Tony Oppegard, who sent me this newspaper article on which I based the song: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/14/charles-scott-howard-whistleblower-m...

The melody is partly based on a tune used by Woody Guthrie, who wrote many songs in support of working men, including miners.

My thanks to Marco Acca for his great guitar accompaniment at very short notice (less than an hour).

http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=142068

To see the complete lyrics and chords please click here: http://raymondfolk.wetpaint.com/page/Big+Coal+Don%27t+Like+This+Man+At+all

You can see a playlist of my mining songs here:
http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=CF909DA14CE415DF

You can hear a playlist of my original songs (in alphabetical order) here:
http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=B9F8E3B7A8822951

For lyrics and chords of all my songs, please see my website: http://www.raymondcrooke.com

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FYI:
Nuclear Detonation Timeline "1945-1998"

The 2053 nuclear tests and explosions that took place between 1945 and 1998 are plotted visually and audibly on a world map.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I9lquok4Pdk&feature=share&mid=5408


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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?

OccupyWallSt.org
Occupytogether.org
wearethe99percentuk.tumblr.com
http://wearethe99percent.tumblr.com/

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

SIGN THE ONLINE PETITION AT:
http://bailoutpeople.org/dropchargesonoccupywallstarrestees.shtml 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!

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We Are The People Who Will Save Our Schools

YouTube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFAOJsBxAxY



This video begins with Professor of Education Pauline Lipman (University of Illinois-Chicago) briefly recapping the plans hatched a decade ago in Chicago to replace public schools with private charter schools. Then Chicago Public Schools head Arne Duncan implemented those plans (Renaissance 2010) so obediently that President Obama picked him to do the same thing to every school system in the country. So Chicago's growing uprising against these deepening attacks against public education has national importance. Here is a battalion of voices from the communities and the teachers union, all exposing the constantly changing, Kafkaesque rules for evaluating school turn-arounds and closings. The counter-attack from the working people in the city is energized and spreading, and is on a collision course with the 1% who want to take away their children's futures. Includes comments from Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis, teachers and parents from targeted school communities. Length - 24:40

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The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom: Documentary Footage (1963)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CL2mU029PkQ&feature=fvsr



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In honor of the 75th Anniversary of the 44-Day Flint Michigan sit-down strike at GM that began December 30, 1936:

According to Michael Moore, (Although he has done some good things, this clip isn't one of them) in this clip from his film, "Capitalism a Love Story," it was Roosevelt who saved the day!):

"After a bloody battle one evening, the Governor of Michigan, with the support of the President of the United States, Franklin Roosevelt, sent in the National Guard. But the guns and the soldiers weren't used on the workers; they were pointed at the police and the hired goons warning them to leave these workers alone. For Mr. Roosevelt believed that the men inside had a right to a redress of their grievances." -Michael Moore's 'Capitalism: A Love Story' - Flint Sit-Down Strike http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h8x1_q9wg58

But those cannons were not aimed at the goons and cops! They were aimed straight at the factory filled with strikers! Watch what REALLY happened and how the strike was really won!

'With babies & banners' -- 75 years since the 44-day Flint sit-down strike
http://links.org.au/node/2681
--Inspiring

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Busby: Fukushima 'criminal event' calls for investigation
Uploaded by RussiaToday on Dec 27, 2011
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1F0uFAWV7uc&feature=player_embedded%23!

A newly released report on the Fukushima nuclear crisis says it was down to the plant's operators being ill-prepared and not responding properly to the earthquake and tsunami disaster. A major government inquiry said some engineers abandoned the plant as the trouble started and other staff delayed reporting significant radiation leaks. Professor Christopher Busby, scientific secretary to the European Committee on Radiation Risks, says health damage after contamination will be more serious than Japan announced.



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HALLELUJAH CORPORATIONS (revised edition).mov
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ws0WSNRpy3g



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ONE OF THE GREATEST POSTS ON YOUTUBE SO FAR!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8C-qIgbP9o&feature=share&mid=552



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ILWU Local 10 Longshore Workers Speak-Out At Oakland Port Shutdown
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3JUpBpZYwms

Uploaded by laborvideo on Dec 13, 2011

ILWU Local 10 longshore workers speak out during a blockade of the Port of Oakland called for by Occupy Oakland. Anthony Levieges and Clarence Thomas rank and file members of the union. The action took place on December 12, 2011 and the interview took place at Pier 30 on the Oakland docks.

For more information on the ILWU Local 21 Longview EGT struggle go to
http://www.facebook.com/groups/256313837734192/
For further info on the action and the press conferernce go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jz3fE-Vhrw8&feature=youtu.be
Production of Labor Video Project www.laborvideo.org



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Lifting the Veil
"Our democracy is but a name...We choose between Tweedle-dum and Tweedle-dee" --Helen Keller, 1911

"It is naive to expect the initiative for reform of the state to issue from the political process that serves theinterests of political capitalism. This structure can only be reduced if citizens withdraw and direct their energies and civic commitment to finding new life forms...The old citizenship must be replaced by a fuller and wider notion of being whose politicalness will be expressed not in one or two modes of actibity--voting or protesting--but in many." --Sheldon Wolin
http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/lifting-the-veil/

This film explores the historical role of the Democratic Party as the graveyard of social movements, the massive influence of corporate finance in elections, the absurd disparities of wealth in the United States, the continuity and escalation of neocon policies under Obama, the insufficiency of mere voting as a path to reform, and differing conceptions of democracy itself.

Lifting the Veil is the long overdue film that powerfully, definitively, and finally exposes the deadly 21st century hypocrisy of U.S. internal and external policies, even as it imbues the viewer with a sense of urgency and an actualized hope to bring about real systemic change while there is yet time for humanity and this planet.

Noble is brilliantly pioneering the new film-making - incisive analysis, compelling sound and footage, fearless and independent reporting, and the aggregation of the best information out there into powerful, educational and free online feature films - all on a shoestring budget.

Viewer discretion advised - Video contains images depicting the reality and horror of war.

Lifting the Veil from S DN on Vimeo.



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Frida Kahlo Diego Rivera y Trotsky Video Original
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=45Z0keLaGhQ



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UC Davis Police Violence Adds Fuel to Fire
By Scott Galindez, Reader Supported News
19 November 11
http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/275-42/8485-uc-davis-police-violence-adds-fuel-to-fire

UC Davis Protestors Pepper Sprayed
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6AdDLhPwpp4&feature=player_embedded


Police PEPPER SPRAY UC Davis STUDENT PROTESTERS!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wuWEx6Cfn-I&feature=player_embedded


Police pepper spraying and arresting students at UC Davis
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmJmmnMkuEM&feature=player_embedded


*---------*

UC Davis Chancellor Katehi walks to her car
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=CZ0t9ez_EGI#!



Occupy Seattle - 84 Year Old Woman Dorli Rainey Pepper Sprayed
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TTIyE_JlJzw&feature=related



*---------*

THE BEST VIDEO ON "OCCUPY THE WORLD"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S880UldxB1o



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Rafeef Ziadah - 'Shades of anger', London, 12.11.11
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m2vFJE93LTI



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News: Massive anti-nuclear demonstration in Fukuoka Nov. 12, 2011
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aq_xKEWuj1I&feature=player_embedded



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Shot by police with rubber bullet at Occupy Oakland
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0pX9LeE-g8&feature=player_embedded



*---------*

Copwatch@Occupy Oakland: Beware of Police Infiltrators and Provocateurs
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VrvMzqopHH0



*---------*

Occupy Oakland 11-2 Strike: Police Tear Gas, Black Bloc, War in the Streets
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Tu_D8SFYck&feature=player_embedded



*----*

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
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KoiisMMCFT0&feature=player_embedded



*----*

Quebec police admit going undercover at montebello protests
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAfzUOx53Rg&feature=player_embedded



G20: Epic Undercover Police Fail
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jrJ7aU-n1L8&feature=player_embedded



*----*

WHAT HAPPENED IN OAKLAND TUESDAY NIGHT, OCTOBER 25:

Occupy Oakland Protest
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wlPs-REyl-0&feature=player_embedded


Cops make mass arrests at occupy Oakland
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R27kD2_7PwU&feature=player_embedded


Raw Video: Protesters Clash With Oakland Police
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CpO-lJr2BQY&feature=player_embedded


Occupy Oakland - Flashbangs USED on protesters OPD LIES
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QqNOPZLw03Q&feature=player_embedded


KTVU TV Video of Police violence
http://www.ktvu.com/video/29587714/index.html


Marine Vet wounded, tear gas & flash-bang grenades thrown in downtown Oakland
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMUgPTCgwcQ&feature=player_embedded


Tear Gas billowing through 14th & Broadway in Downtown Oakland
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OU4Y0pwJtWE&feature=player_embedded


Arrests at Occupy Atlanta -- This is what a police state looks like
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YStWz6jbeZA&feature=player_embedded


*---------*

Labor Beat: Hey You Billionaire, Pay Your Fair Share
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PY8isD33f-I



*---------*

Voices of Occupy Boston 2011 - Kwame Somburu (Paul Boutelle) Part I
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DA48gmfGB6U&feature=youtu.be



Voices of Occupy Boston 2011 - Kwame Somburu (Paul Boutelle) Part II
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjKZpOk7TyM&feature=related



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

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ziodsFWEb5Y&feature=player_embedded



*---------*

#OccupyTheHood, Occupy Wall Street
By adele pham
http://vimeo.com/30146870

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



*---------*

Live arrest at brooklyn bridge #occupywallstreet by We are Change
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yULSI-31Pto&feature=player_embedded



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FREE THE CUBAN FIVE!
http://www.thecuban5.org/wordpress/index.php

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmS4kHC_OlY&feature=player_embedded



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The Preacher and the Slave - Joe Hill
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ca_MEJmuzMM



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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
http://www.labnol.org/internet/visualize-numbers-how-big-is-trillion-dollars/7814/

How Much Is $1 Trillion?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPfY0q-rEdY&feature=player_embedded



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:
http://www.labnol.org/internet/visualize-numbers-how-big-is-trillion-dollars/7814/

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One World One Revolution -- MUST SEE VIDEO -- Powerful and beautiful...bw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aE3R1BQrYCw&feature=player_embedded

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



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Japan: angry Fukushima citizens confront government (video)
Posted by Xeni Jardin on Monday, Jul 25th at 11:36am
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVuGwc9dlhQ&feature=player_embedded



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FREE BRADLEY MANNING
http://www.bradleymanning.org/news/national-call-in-for-bradley

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 WhiteHouse.gov.

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 giobon@comcast.net
Manage Subscriptions for giobon@comcast.net
Sign Up for Updates from the White House
Unsubscribe giobon@comcast.net | Privacy Policy
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:

BRADLEY MANNING "BROKE THE LAW" SAYS OBAMA!

"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:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IfmtUpd4id0&feature=youtu.be



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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
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BSNUSIGZCMQ



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Julian Assange: Why the world needs WikiLeaks
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bVGqE726OAo&feature=player_embedded

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Coal Ash: One Valley's Tale
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6E7h-DNvwx4&feature=player_embedded

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

C. SPECIAL APPEALS AND ONGOING CAMPAIGNS

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LATEST ON LYNNE STEWART:

Free-Speech Argument in Appeal of Disbarred Lawyer's Sentence
By COLIN MOYNIHAN
February 29, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/01/nyregion/free-speech-is-cited-in-appeal-of-lynne-stewarts-10-year-sentence.html?ref=nyregion

Throughout her long career, the disbarred lawyer Lynne F. Stewart has rarely minced words or stood mute. But her propensity for speaking her mind is now at the crux of an appeal of her 10-year sentence in federal prison.

Ms. Stewart, known for defending unpopular clients and causes, was convicted in 2005 on five counts of providing material aid to terrorism and of lying to the government. A jury found that she had broken the rules to help her client, Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, communicate with his followers in the Islamic Group, an Egyptian organization with a history of terrorist violence.

Judge John G. Koeltl of Federal District Court in Manhattan originally sentenced Ms. Stewart to 28 months in prison. But federal prosecutors appealed and pushed for a new sentence, claiming that Ms. Stewart had made public statements indicating a lack of remorse; she was then resentenced to 10 years in prison.

"One of the most cherished policies of this nation is that everybody should be allowed to speak freely," a lawyer for Ms. Stewart, Herald Price Fahringer, told a three-judge panel in United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on Wednesday morning. "This case puts that principle to a very great test."

Mr. Fahringer said it had been "highly hazardous" for Judge Koeltl to consider Ms. Stewart's statements outside of court in his sentencing decision.

But he was interrupted by Judge Robert D. Sack, who said, "I'm not sure that freedom of speech means absolute immunity from the consequences of what you say."

A few minutes later, another judge, John M. Walker Jr., asked, "How else do you get a window into the character of the defendant?"

The first of Ms. Stewart's comments that are at issue came shortly after she received the 28-month sentence in 2006. Appearing before a throng of supporters in front of a courthouse in Lower Manhattan, she called the sentence "fair and right," but then declared, "I can do that standing on my head."

A few days later, while appearing on the radio show "Democracy Now," Ms. Stewart was asked by a reporter, Amy Goodman, if she regretted her conduct, and she replied, "I might handle it a little differently, but I would do it again."

The appeals panel sent the case back to Judge Koeltl for resentencing, citing the comments as well as assertions by federal prosecutors that Ms. Stewart had committed perjury and abused her position as a lawyer.

In 2010, Judge Koeltl sentenced Ms. Stewart to 10 years in prison, ruling that she had lied and abused her position and writing that her statements indicated she viewed her 28-month sentence as trivial and that the sentence, therefore, did not "provide adequate deterrence."

Ms. Stewart's lawyers argued that her reference to standing on her head was simply an expression of relief. And, they added, when she used the phrase "I would do it again," she meant only that she would again represent Mr. Abdel Rahman, who was convicted in 1995 of plotting to blow up buildings and tunnels in New York City.

But prosecutors wrote in a brief that Judge Koeltl had interpreted Ms. Stewart's comments accurately, adding that he had "observed a defiant and energized Stewart lecturing the government about its purported overreaching and mocking the sentence imposed."

WBAI newscast (quotes Cliff Connor, Barbara Mutnick and Carole Seligman) it's the first item on the newscast:
http://archive.wbai.org/files/mp3/wbai_120229_180043wbainews.mp3

Lynne Stewart Speaks from Carswell Medical Prison
February 29, 2012

Prevented from attending her own court appeal Lynne Stewart prepared this message for her friends, supporters and comrades in attendance:

My dear friends, supporters, comrades!

My purpose here is to rally all of us to the continuation of struggle, of resistance. I am committed to all the unfinished freedom business that still confronts us-much more difficult and contentious than supporting me. I'm easy-the righteousness of my situation, the extreme overreaching of the government and the obvious effects on the way in which lawyers and particularly movement lawyers carry out their obligations to their clients. Our issues-free speech from the courthouse steps, which, we assumed, was and is, included in the First Amendment. Our repugnancy at the changing of the ground rules after the game is afoot when the higher court directs the lower court Judge to increase the sentence and he complies five-times over.

We are demanding that the Court acknowledge the wrongfulness of my ten-year sentence as it is based on a foundation of sand. Of course, we also know that Courts are capable of creating rock out of sand just as they can create "persons" out of corporations! With that understanding, while hoping for the best, we need to commit ourselves to all the ongoing issues-Bradley Manning and WikiLeaks; the obscene vaudevillian charade of democracy that is the current presidential election; the cause of our political prisoners, Leonard. Mumia, Sundiata, Jaan, Brianna, Dr. Dhafir and all the prisoners on death row and those being tortured and killed worldwide and in solitary confinement; The right to choose for women steadily being eroded by elderly men interested in controlling younger women. You know the causes, we fight every day in every way and we are committed. We are not sunshine soldiers or summer patriots. The misery we fight against is caused by a super-terror, the USA one percent, intent on keeping people mentally subjugated by convincing them that they need to surrender in fear to the government.

I believe in fighting back-it's liberating, and you meet the finest people, who have also enlisted. A movement has to be a living, growing organism dedicated to change that "moves!" We will move and we will reclaim our beloved country from those who would blind and subjugate our people. Onward ever-Backward Never!

Lynne Stewart #53504-054
Unit 2N, Federal Medical Center, Carswell
P.O. Box 27137
Fort Worth, TX 76127
Write to Lynne Stewart Defense Committee at:
Lynne Stewart Defense Committee
1070 Dean Street
Brooklyn, New York 11216
For further information: 718-789-0558 or 917-853-9759

DEFEND LYNNE STEWART!
http://lynnestewart.org/

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.

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Mumia Abu-Jamal Transferred Out of Solitary Confinement, Into General Population
Posted on January 27, 2012
prisonradio
http://prisonradio.wordpress.com/2012/01/27/mumia-abu-jamal-transferred-out-of-solitary-confinement-into-general-population/

The Pennsylvania Dept. of Corrections tells Democracy Now! it has transferred Mumia Abu-Jamal out of solitary confinement and into general population. The move comes seven weeks after Philadelphia prosecutor Seth Williams announced he would not pursue the death penalty against the imprisoned journalist. Abu-Jamal's legal team confirmed the move in an email from attorney, Judy Ritter. "This is a very important moment for him, his family and all of his supporters," Ritter wrote.

Supporters of Abu-Jamal note prison officials just received more than 5,000 petitions calling for his transfer and release. Superintendent John Kerestes has previously said Abu-Jamal would have to cut short his dreadlocks, and meet several other conditions, before a transfer would be allowed.

While on death row at SCI Green, Abu-Jamal made regular phone calls to Prison Radio in order to record his columns and essays, but prison officials revoked his phone privileges after he was moved to SCI Mahanoy, the Frackville, PA prison in which he's currently being held. Prison Radio has since announced it will continue to record and distribute Abu-Jamal's essays as read by his well-known supporters.

Write to Mumia

Mumia Abu-Jamal
AM 8335
SCI Mahanoy
301 Morea Road
Frackville, PA 17932



From: "Litestar01@aol.com"
To: Litestar01@aol.com; nattyreb@gmail.com; pamafrica@gmail.com
Sent: Fri, February 3, 2012 6:39:49 PM
Subject: !*Mumia Photo off Death Row/Mega Bus Update from Sis. Ramona Africa

from sis Marpessa

Thank you all, FREE MUMIA!!!!

From Sis. Ramona at ONAMOVELLJA@aol.com - 2/3/2012 5:27:24 P.M. - Subj: Mega Bus

ONA MOVE! This is to inform folks that if there is not a chartered bus leaving from your area going to the "occupy for Mumia" action in DC. on April 24th, you should check out Mega Bus at www.megabus.com .
They have very reasonable fares and the sooner you reserve a seat, the cheaper it is, so don't delay. The fares have gone up a bit just today. Hope to see you in DC on the 24th---Ramona (more info at www.freemumia.com)

From: National Lawyers Guild

SCI Mahanoy, February 2, 2012. Mumia Abu-Jamal celebrates his move off of death row with Heidi Boghosian and Professor Johanna Fernandez. This was Mumia's second contact visit in 30 years. His transfer to general population comes after a federal court ruled that instructions to jurors during his trial influenced them to choose death. A broad people's movement secured this victory, and it can now refocus on the goal of freedom. Join us on April 24, Mumia's birthday, as we Occupy the Justice Department in Washington, DC!

DREAD TIMES - Dedicated to the free flow of information - http://www.dreadtimes.com/

----- Forwarded Message ----
From: "Litestar01@aol.com"
To: Litestar01@aol.com; nattyreb@gmail.com; pamafrica@gmail.com
Sent: Fri, February 3, 2012 6:54:13 PM
Subject: Our Contact Visit w Mumia

from sis Johanna Fernandez

Comrades, Brothers and Sisters:

Heidi Boghosian and I just returned from a very moving visit with Mumia. We visited yesterday, Thursday, February 2. This was Mumia's second contact visit in over 30 years, since his transfer to General Population last Friday, Jan 27. His first contact visit was with his wife, Wadiya, on Monday, January 30.

Unlike our previous visits to Death Row at SCI Greene and to solitary confinement at SCI Mahanoy, our visit yesterday took place in a large visitor's area, amidst numerous circles of families and spouses who were visiting other inmates. Compared to the intense and focused conversations we had had with Mumia in a small, isolated visiting cell on Death Row, behind sterile plexiglass, this exchange was more relaxed and informal and more unpredictably interactive with the people around us...it was more human. There were so many scenes of affection around us, of children jumping on top of and pulling at their fathers, of entire families talking intimately around small tables, of couples sitting and quietly holding each other, and of girlfriends and wives stealing a forbidden kiss from the men they were there to visit (kisses are only allowed at the start and at the end of visits). These scenes were touching and beautiful, and markedly different from the images of prisoners presented to us by those in power. Our collective work could benefit greatly from these humane, intimate images.

When we entered, we immediately saw Mumia standing across the room. We walked toward each other and he hugged both of us simultaneously. We were both stunned that he would embrace us so warmly and share his personal space so generously after so many years in isolation.

He looked young, and we told him as much. He responded, "Black don't crack!" We laughed.

He talked to us about the newness of every step he has taken since his release to general population a week ago. So much of what we take for granted daily is new to him, from the microwave in the visiting room to the tremor he felt when, for the first time in 30 years, he kissed his wife. As he said in his own words, "the only thing more drastically different than what I'm experiencing now would be freedom." He also noted that everyone in the room was watching him.

The experience of breaking bread with our friend and comrade was emotional. It was wonderful to be able to talk and share grilled cheese sandwiches, apple danishes, cookies and hot chocolate from the visiting room vending machines.

One of the highlights of the visit came with the opportunity to take a photo. This was one of the first such opportunities for Mumia in decades, and we had a ball! Primping the hair, making sure that we didn't have food in our teeth, and nervously getting ready for the big photo moment was such a laugh! And Mumia was openly tickled by every second of it.

When the time came to leave, we all hugged and were promptly instructed to line up against the wall and walk out with the other visitors. As we were exiting the prison, one sister pulled us aside and told us that she couldn't stop singing Kelly Clarkson's line "some people wait a lifetime for a moment like this." She shared that she and her parents had followed Mumia's case since 1981 and that she was overjoyed that Mumia was alive and in general population despite Pennsylvania's bloodthirsty pursuit of his execution. We told her that on April 24 we were going to launch the fight that would win Mumia's release: that on that day we were going to Occupy the Justice Department in Washington DC. She told us that because she recently survived cancer she now believed in possibility, and that since Mumia was now in general population she could see how we could win. She sent us off with the line from Laverne and Shirley's theme song - "never heard the word impossible!"- gave us her number, and asked us to sign her up for the fight.

We're still taking it all in. The journey has been humbling and humanizing, and we are re-energized and re-inspired!!

In the words of City Lights editor, Greg Ruggiero:"

"Long Term Goal: End Mass Incarceration.

Short Term Goal: Free Mumia Abu-Jamal!"

--Johanna Fernandez

Facebook Link to Photo

http://www.facebook.com/pages/National-Lawyers-Guild/338038119888

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ACLU: SAY NO TO INDEFINITE DETENTION!

He signed it. We'll fight it.

President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) into law. It contains a sweeping worldwide indefinite detention provision.

The dangerous new law can be used by this and future presidents to militarily detain people captured far from any battlefield. He signed it. Now, we have to fight it wherever we can and for as long as it takes.

Sign the ACLU's pledge to fight worldwide indefinite detention for as long as it takes.

The Petition:

I'm outraged that the statute President Obama signed into law authorizes worldwide military detention without charge or trial. I pledge to stand with the ACLU in seeking the reversal of indefinite military detention authority for as long as it takes.

And I will support the ACLU as it actively opposes this new law in court, in Congress, and internationally.

Signed,
[your name]

https://secure.aclu.org/site/SPageServer?emsrc=Nat_Appeal_AutologinEnabled&s_subsrc=120103_NDAA_GOL&pagename=120103_NDAAGOLAsk&emissue=indefinite_detention&emtype=pledge&JServSessionIdr004=d90jai6lu1.app224a

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Urgent Appeal to Occupy and All Social Justice Movements: Mobilize to Defend the Egyptian Revolution
Endorse the statement here:
http://www.defendegyptianrevolution.org/2011/12/19/defend-the-egyptian-revolution/

In recent days, protesters demanding civilian rule in Egypt have again been murdered, maimed and tortured by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) and the Interior Security Forces (ISF).

The conspiracy, being brutally implemented in Egypt, is part of a global conspiracy to suffocate mass movements for socio-economic justice and is being done with direct assistance of the American government and the private interests which direct that government. We have word from friends in Egypt that SCAF, ISF and their hired thugs - armed by ongoing shipments of $1.3 billion in weapons from the U.S. government - plan to execute one by one all the leaders of the revolution, and as many activists as they can.

Accordingly, we need to ensure that people and organizers in the US and internationally are involved in closely monitoring the events unraveling in Egypt. By keeping track of the atrocities committed by SCAF and ISF, keeping track of those detained, tortured or targeted, and continuously contacting officials in Egypt and the US to demand accountability, cessation of the atrocities and justice, we can add pressure on SCAF, ISF and the forces they represent. In this way we may be able to play a role in helping save the lives of our Egyptian brothers and sisters.

Evidence of the conspiracy to execute the leaders and participants of Egyptian freedom movement, includes in very small part the following:

* Sheikh Emad of Al Azhar was killed by a bullet entering his right side from short range. This was seen at first hand by witnesses known to members of our coalition. Sheikh Emad was one of a small number of Azhar Imams issuing decrees in support of the revolution. His murder was no accident.
* Sally Tooma, Mona Seif, Ahdaf Soueif, and Sanaa Seif, all female friends and relatives of imprisoned blogger and activist Alaa abd El Fattah, and all known internationally for their political and/or literary work, were detained, and beaten in the Cabinet building.
* A woman protesting against General Tantawi, head of SCAF, was detained and then tortured by having the letter "T" in English carved into her scalp with knives.
* Detainees are being tortured while in courtroom holding pens. Two men (Mohammad Muhiy Hussein is one of them) were killed in those pens.These are only a small number of the horror stories we are hearing. And we continue to receive reports from Cairo about a massive army presence in Tahrir Square and the constant sound of gunshots.These are only a small number of the horror stories we are hearing. And we continue to receive reports from Cairo about a massive army presence in Tahrir Square and the constant sound of gunshots.

In every way, Egypt's fight is our fight. Just like us, Egyptians are the 99%, fighting for social, political and economic justice.

The same 1% that arms the Egyptian dictatorship commits systematic violence in this country against the Occupy movement; antiwar and solidarity activists; and Arabs, Muslims, and other communities of color.

As the US Palestinian Community Network recently observed, "the same US-made tear gas rains down on us in the streets of Oakland, Cairo and Bil`in."

Because of Egypt's key strategic location, the fate of its revolution echoes across the world. Its success will bring us all closer to achieving economic and social justice. But its defeat would be a major blow to social justice movements everywhere, including Occupy.

In short, Egypt is key to the continued success of the Arab Revolution, and movements she has inspired.

For all these reasons, we ask Occupy and all U.S. social justice activists to join us in mobilizing to defend our Egyptian brothers and sisters by immediately organizing mass convergences on Egyptian embassies, missions, consulates, and at U.S. government offices, to demand:

* Cancel all US aid and shipment of military and police materiel to Egypt!
* Stop the murders, tortures and detentions!
* Release all detainees and political prisoners!
* Immediate end to military rule in Egypt!

Please endorse and circulate this appeal widely. Please send statements with these demands to the bodies listed below. By endorsing, your organization commits to making these phone calls and following up continuously for the next week.

www.defendegyptianrevolution.org and defendegyptianrevolution@gmail.com

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Tarek Mehanna - another victim of the U.S. War to Terrorize Everyone. He was targeted because he would not spy on his Muslim community for the FBI. Under the new NDAA indefinite military detention provision, Tarek is someone who likely would never come to a trial, although an American citizen. His sentencing is on April 12. There will be an appeal. Another right we may kiss goodbye. We should not accept the verdict and continue to fight for his release, just as we do for hero Bradley Manning, and all the many others unjustly persecuted by our government until it is the war criminals on trial, prosecuted by the people, and not the other way around.

Marilyn Levin

Official defense website: http://freetarek.com/

---------- Forwarded message ----------

From: Free Tarek
Date: Tue, Dec 20, 2011 at 3:41 PM
Subject: [Tarek Mehanna Support] Today's verdict

All who have followed Tarek's trial with a belief in the possibility of justice through the court system will be shocked to learn that today the jury found him guilty on all seven counts of the indictment. In the six weeks that the prosecution used to present its case, it presented no evidence linking Tarek to an illegal action. Instead, it amassed a large and repetitive collection of videos, e-mails, translated documents, recorded telephone conversations and informant testimony aimed at demonstrating Tarek's political beliefs. The core belief under scrutiny was one that neither Tarek nor his defense team ever denied: Muslims have a right to defend their countries when invaded.

The prosecution relied upon coercion, prejudice, and ignorance to present their case; the defense relied upon truth, reason and responsibility. The government relied upon mounds of "evidence" showing that Tarek held political beliefs supporting the right to armed resistance against invading force; they mentioned Al-Qaeda and its leadership as often as possible while pointing at Tarek. It is clear they coerced Tarek's former friends and pressured them to lie, and many of them admitted to such. There is a long list of ways this trial proceeded unjustly, to which we will devote an entire post. The government's cynical calculation is that American juries, psychologically conditioned by a constant stream of propaganda in the "war on terrorism," will convict on the mere suggestion of terrorism, without regard for the law. Unfortunately, this strategy has proved successful in case after case.

Tarek's case will continue under appeal. We urge supporters to write to Tarek, stay informed, and continue supporting Tarek in his fight for justice. Sentencing will be April 12th, 2012. We will be sending out more information soon.

A beacon of hope and strength throughout this ordeal has been Tarek's strength and the amount of support he has received. Tarek has remained strong from day one, and even today he walked in with his head held high, stood unwavering as the verdict was read to him, and left the courtroom just as unbowed as ever. His body may be in prison now, but certainly this is a man whose spirit can never be caged. His strength must be an inspiration to us all, even in the face of grave circumstances. Before he left the courtroom, he turned to the crowd of supporters that was there for him, paused, and said, "Thank you, so much." We thank you too. Your support means the world to him.

You are here: Home » ACLU | "Mehanna verdict compromises First Amendment, undermines national security" by Christopher Ott

ACLU | "Mehanna verdict compromises First Amendment, undermines national security" by Christopher Ott

Mehanna verdict compromises First Amendment, undermines national security

Submitted by Online Coordinator on Tue, 12/20/2011 - 14:31 First Amendment National Security

Decision today threatens writers and journalists, academic researchers, translators, and even ordinary web surfers.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

CONTACT:

Christopher Ott, Communications Director, 617-482-3170 x322, cott@aclum.org

BOSTON - The following statement on the conviction today of Tarek Mehanna may be attributed to American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts executive director Carol Rose:

"The ACLU of Massachusetts is gravely concerned that today's verdict against Tarek Mehanna undermines the First Amendment and threatens national security.

"Under the government's theory of the case, ordinary people-including writers and journalists, academic researchers, translators, and even ordinary web surfers-could be prosecuted for researching or translating controversial and unpopular ideas. If the verdict is not overturned on appeal, the First Amendment will be seriously compromised.

"The government's prosecution does not make us safer. Speech about even the most unpopular ideas serves as a safety valve for the expression of dissent while government suppression of speech only drives ideas underground, where they cannot be openly debated or refuted.

"The ACLU believes that we can remain both safe and free, and, indeed, that our safety and our freedom go hand in hand."

The ACLU of Massachusetts has condemned the use of conspiracy and material support charges where the charges are based largely on First Amendment-protected expression.

In Mr. Mehanna's case, the charges against him have been based on allegations of such activity, such as watching videos about "jihad", discussing views about suicide bombings, translating texts available on the Internet, and looking for information about the 9/11 attackers. Historically, government prosecutors have used conspiracy charges as a vehicle for the suppression of unpopular ideas, contrary to the dictates of the First Amendment and fundamental American values.

After the ACLU of Massachusetts submitted a memorandum of law in support of Mehanna's motion to dismiss the parts of the indictment against him that were based on protected expression, U.S. District Court Judge George O'Toole denied permission for the memorandum to be filed with the court. A copy of the memorandum is available here.

For more information, go to: http://aclum.org/usa_v_mehanna

via Mehanna verdict compromises First Amendment, undermines national security | ACLU of Massachusetts.

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HANDS OFF IRAN PETITION
http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/hands-off-iran/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=system&utm_campaign=Send%2Bto%2BFriend

The Petition

To President Obama and Secretary Clinton:

At no time since the Iranian people rose up against the hated U.S-installed Shah has a U.S./Israeli military attack against Iran seemed more possible. Following three decades of unrelenting hostility, the last few months have seen a steady escalation of charges, threats, sanctions and actual preparations for an attack.

We, the undersigned demand No War, No Sanctions, no Internal Interference in Iran.

(For a complete analysis of the prospects of war, click here)
http://nepajac.org/unaciran.htm

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"A Child's View from Gaza: Palestinian Children's Art and the Fight Against Censorship" book
https://www.mecaforpeace.org/civicrm/contribute/transact?reset=1&id=25

A Child's View from GazaA collection of drawings by children in the Gaza Strip, art that was censored by a museum in Oakland, California.

With a special forward by Alice Walker, this beautiful, full-color 80-page book from Pacific View Press features drawings by children like Asil, a ten-year-old girl from Rafah refugee camp, who drew a picture of herself in jail, with Arabic phrases in the spaces between the bars: "I have a right to live in peace," "I have a right to live this life," and "I have a right to play."

For international or bulk orders, please email: meca@mecaforpeace.org, or call: 510-548-0542

A Child's View from Gaza: Palestinian Children's Art and the Fight Against Censorship [ISBN: 978-1-881896-35-7]

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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

We petition the obama administration to:
Free PFC Bradley Manning, the accused WikiLeaks whistleblower.
https://wwws.whitehouse.gov/petitions/!/petition/free-pfc-bradley-manning-accused-wikileaks-whistleblower/kX1GJKsD?utm_source=wh.gov&utm_medium=shorturl&utm_campaign=shorturl

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Say No to Police Repression of NATO/G8 Protests
http://www.stopfbi.net/get-involved/nato-g8-police-repression

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: http://www.stopfbi.net/get-involved/nato-g8-police-repression/full-text]

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.

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Justice for Albert Woodfox and Herman Wallace: Decades of isolation in Louisiana state prisons must end
Take Action -- Sign Petition Here:
http://www.amnesty.org/en/appeals-for-action/justice-for-albert-woodfox-and-herman-wallace

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WITNESS GAZA
http://www.witnessgaza.com/

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Hundreds march, rally at Fort Meade for Bradley

Courage to Resist, January 5, 2012

December 16-22, the world turned its eyes to a small courtroom on Fort Meade, MD, where accused WikiLeaks whistle-blower Army PFC Bradley Manning made his first public appearance after 18 months in pre-trial confinement. The "Article 32" pre-trial hearing is normally a quick process shortly after one is arrested to determine whether and what kind of court martial is appropriate. Bradley's hearing was unusual, happening 18 months after his arrest and lasting seven days.

Courage to Resist and the Bradley Manning Support Network organized two public rallies at Fort Meade to coincide with the beginning of the hearing, and there were about 50 solidarity rallies across the globe. We also sent representatives into the courtroom during all seven days of the hearing to provide minute-by-minute coverage via bradleymanning.org, Facebook, and Twitter.

"No harm in transparency: Wrap-up from the Bradley Manning pretrial hearing" includes our collection of courtroom notes
"Statement on closed hearing decisions" covers how even this hearing was far from "open"

Article and photos by John Grant
A message from Bradley and his family

"I want you to know how much Bradley and his family appreciate the continuing support of so many, especially during the recent Article 32 hearing. I visited Bradley the day after Christmas-he is doing well and his spirits are high."
-Bradley's Aunt Debra

Write to Bradley
http://bradleymanning.org/donate

View the new 90 second "I am Bradley Manning" video:
I am Bradley Manning
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-P3OXML00s

Courage to Resist
484 Lake Park Ave. #41
Oakland, CA 94610
510-488-3559
couragetoresist.org

"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."

http://www.bradleymanning.org/news/update-42811

This is also a Facebook event

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=207100509321891#!/event.php?eid=207100509321891

Courage to Resist needs your support
Please donate today:
https://co.clickandpledge.com/sp/d1/default.aspx?wid=38590

"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.

https://co.clickandpledge.com/sp/d1/default.aspx?wid=38590

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.
http://ymlp.com/forward.php?id=lS3tR&e=bonnieweinstein@yahoo.com

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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!

STOP THE FBI CAMPAIGN OF REPRESSION AGAINST CHICANO, IMMIGRANT RIGHTS, ANTI-WAR AND INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY ACTIVISTS NOW!
Initiated by the Committee to Stop FBI Repression stopfbi.net stopfbi@gmail.com

http://iacenter.org/stopfbi/

Contact the Committee to Stop FBI Repression
at stopfbi.net
stopfbi@gmail.com

Committee to Stop FBI Repression
NATIONAL CALL-IN DAY -- ANY DAY
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 www.StopFBI.net or email info@StopFBI.net or call
612-379-3585 .
Copyright (c) 2011 Committee to Stop FBI Repression, All rights
reserved.

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

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

Thank you for your generosity! Tom Burke

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The Battle Is Still On To
FREE MUMIA ABU-JAMAL!
The Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal
PO Box 16222 • Oakland CA 94610
www.laboractionmumia.org

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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....

ANY DAY NOW . . . IN THE EVENT THAT THE U.S. INDICTS JULIAN ASSANGE

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:

HANDS OFF WIKILEAKS! FREE JULIAN ASSANGE! FREE BRADLEY MANNING!

Join the HUMAN CHAIN AROUND THE FEDERAL BUILDING!
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:
http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/12/mannings-message-christmas-eve-i-gr/

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
415-864-5153
sf@worldcantwait.org

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KEVIN COOPER IS INNOCENT! FREE KEVIN COOPER!

Reasonable doubts about executing Kevin Cooper
Chronicle Editorial
Monday, December 13, 2010
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/12/13/EDG81GP0I7.DTL

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

http://www.savekevincooper.org/
http://www.savekevincooper.org/pages/essays_content.html?ID=255

URGENT ACTION APPEAL
- From Amnesty International USA
17 December 2010
Click here to take action online:
http://takeaction.amnestyusa.org/siteapps/advocacy/index.aspx?c=jhKPIXPCIoE&b=2590179&template=x.ascx&action=15084

To learn about recent Urgent Action successes and updates, go to
http://www.amnestyusa.org/iar/success

For a print-friendly version of this Urgent Action (PDF):
http://www.amnestyusa.org/actioncenter/actions/uaa25910.pdf

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

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

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

Thank you for your generosity!

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D. ARTICLES IN FULL (Unless otherwise noted)

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1) New Poultry Inspection Rule Risks Public Health
"The rule, proposed by the department's Food Safety and Inspection Service, would increase the maximum line speed from the current 91 chickens per minute to 175 per minute. It also would reduce from three to two the number of federal food safety inspectors per line."
By Mike Hall
AFL-CIO Now
March 7, 2012
http://www.aflcio.org/Blog/Political-Action-Legislation/New-Poultry-Inspection-Rule-Risks-Public-Health#.T1lSWwGLr4Q.facebook

2) From Michael Thurman, recent GI resister.
March 8, 2012
http://www.couragetoresist.org/

3) Drug Policy as Race Policy: Best Seller Galvanizes the Debate
By JENNIFER SCHUESSLER
March 6, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/07/books/michelle-alexanders-new-jim-crow-raises-drug-law-debates.html

4) Japan's Nuclear Energy Industry Nears Shutdown, at Least for Now
By MARTIN FACKLER
March 8, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/09/world/asia/japan-shutting-down-its-nuclear-power-industry.html?adxnnl=1&ref=world&adxnnlx=1331312531-pMrzm1XELGHVoAC+RW/Hog

5) Highest Court in Mississippi Upholds 9 Pardons
By CAMPBELL ROBERTSON
March 8, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/09/us/mississippi-supreme-court-upholds-9-pardons-by-haley-barbour.html?ref=us

6) Police Officer Guilty of Falsifying Information
By RUSS BUETTNER
March 8, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/09/nyregion/police-officer-is-convicted-of-perjury-to-get-a-search-warrant.html?ref=nyregion

7) A Condo That Could Be Yours for $77.5 Million
By THE NEW YORK TIMES
March 8, 2012, 7:10 pm
http://www.nytimes.com/pages/nyregion/index.html

8) Summary Box: Spanish Unions Call General Strike
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
March 9, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2012/03/09/business/AP-EU-Spain-Financial-Crisis-Summary-Box.html?src=busln

9) Feds Will Not Renew Women's Health Program
by Emily Ramshaw
March 9, 2012
http://www.texastribune.org/texas-health-resources/abortion-texas/questions-linger-over-womens-health-program/

10) America Is Stealing the World's Doctors
By MATT McALLESTER
March 7, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/11/magazine/america-is-stealing-foreign-doctors.html?hp

11) Mortgage Crisis Inspires Churches to Send Lenten Season Message to Banks
By SAMUEL G. FREEDMAN
March 9, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/10/us/churches-send-repentence-message-to-banks.html?ref=us

12) Executive Pay Capped at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
By REUTERS
March 9, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/10/business/executive-pay-capped-at-fannie-mae-and-freddie-mac.html?ref=business

13) American Is Held After Shooting of Civilians in Afghanistan
By TAIMOOR SHAH and GRAHAM BOWLEY
March 11, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/12/world/asia/afghanistan-civilians-killed-american-soldier-held.html?hp

14) Go to Trial: Crash the Justice System
"The Supreme Court ruled in 1978 that threatening someone with life imprisonment for a minor crime in an effort to induce him to forfeit a jury trial did not violate his Sixth Amendment right to trial. Thirteen years later, in Harmelin v. Michigan, the court ruled that life imprisonment for a first-time drug offense did not violate the Eighth Amendment's ban on cruel and unusual punishment."
By MICHELLE ALEXANDER
March 10, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/11/opinion/sunday/go-to-trial-crash-the-justice-system.html?hp

15) The Power to Kill
New York Times Editorial
March 10, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/11/opinion/sunday/the-power-to-kill.html?hp

16) Prisons Rethink Isolation, Saving Money, Lives and Sanity
"At least 25,000 prisoners - and probably tens of thousands more, criminal justice experts say - are still in solitary confinement in the United States. Some remain there for weeks or months; others for years or even decades. More inmates are held in solitary confinement here than in any other democratic nation, a fact highlighted in a United Nations report last week."
By ERICA GOODE
March 10, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/11/us/rethinking-solitary-confinement.html?hp

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1) New Poultry Inspection Rule Risks Public Health
"The rule, proposed by the department's Food Safety and Inspection Service, would increase the maximum line speed from the current 91 chickens per minute to 175 per minute. It also would reduce from three to two the number of federal food safety inspectors per line."
By Mike Hall
AFL-CIO Now
March 7, 2012
http://www.aflcio.org/Blog/Political-Action-Legislation/New-Poultry-Inspection-Rule-Risks-Public-Health#.T1lSWwGLr4Q.facebook

A proposed rule by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) would not only reduce the number of trained federal food safety inspectors on the lines in poultry processing plants and allow plant management to nearly double the speed of those lines, it would also turn many inspection duties over to plant employees.

Stan Painter, chairman of AFGE's National Joint Council of Food Inspection Locals, says:

We have concerns and I think the consuming public would have concerns about the process of which their poultry-turkey and chicken products-would now be inspected by plant employees.

The rule, proposed by the department's Food Safety and Inspection Service, would increase the maximum line speed from the current 91 chickens per minute to 175 per minute. It also would reduce from three to two the number of federal food safety inspectors per line.

Under a Freedom of Information Act request, the group Food and Water Watch obtained more than 5,000 pages of documents on a pilot program operating under the proposed rule's guidelines and found that:

large numbers of defects are routinely being missed when inspection tasks are performed by company employees instead of USDA inspectors.

Food and Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter, says:

Based on the data coming out of the plants, where this privatized inspection scheme is already in place, it is unacceptable for USDA to try to expand this program to more plants.

She says that federal inspectors receive extensive training to protect public health in poultry facilities, "but there is no similar requirement for company employees to receive training before they assume these inspection responsibilities in the proposed privatized inspection system."

AFGE's Painter says federal food inspectors take pride in their work to protect public safety.

That little dime-sized seal that says inspected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, we want that little seal to mean something. We don't it to just be window dressing or give people a good feeling or false sense of security that their product in the future is as safe as it currently is today.

The comment period on the new rules is open until April 26, and you can click here to submit your comments:

http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FSIS-2011-0012-0001

For more from Painter on AFGE's "Inside Government" program, click here:

http://www.afge.org/index.cfm?page=PreviousShows&Fuse=Content&ContentID=2838

and click here for more from Food and Water Watch:

http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/pressreleases/privatized-meat-inspection-experiment-jeopardizes-food-safety/

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2) From Michael Thurman, recent GI resister.
March 8, 2012
http://www.couragetoresist.org/

I applied for a conscientious objection discharge from the US Air Force in 2007. With the help of Courage to Resist, I was able to navigate that process successfully and I received an honorable discharge eight months later. However, today as a counselor to US military objectors, I know that things do not always go as well for others, regardless of the merits of their application. We have a lot of work to do to better support the troops who refuse to fight. It's because of the financial support of thousands of folks like yourself that I'm able to do this work as a Courage to Resist staff member.

Donate to Courage to Resist today
(More information and options regarding donations)

Today, I'm interested in making sure our mission of supporting GI resisters-accused WikiLeaks truth-teller Army PFC Bradley Manning, for example-adapts to and becomes part of the broader forces gathering against US militarism and empire.

We have an atrocious and seemingly endless war and uncertain future in Afghanistan. We have not actually "withdrawn" from Iraq. We have covert wars and an expanding military presence all over the world. We have the most significant military whistle-blower of our generation, Bradley Manning, facing life in prison. And every day we're hearing threats of an attack on the nation of Iran-not unlike the propaganda fed us in the lead up to the US invasion of Iraq in 2004.

With the backing of thousands of friends like you, Courage to Resist has had a great history of supporting individual military resisters refusing illegal war, occupation and policies of empire-from "all the way back" when Marine L/Cpl Stephen Funk publicly refused to deploy to Iraq in April 2003, to when Army Lt. Ehren Watada became the first officer to refuse to deploy to Iraq in May 2006, to the hundreds of lower profile objectors we've assisted since. We've been able to do this work by collaborating with concerned community members, veterans, military families-and folks like you. Like our mission statement says, I really do believe that by supporting GI resistance, counter recruiting and draft resistance, we can harness "people power" to weaken the pillars that maintain these seemingly endless wars.

With your help, we hope to increase our current GI resister support infrastructure, better ensuring that the military personnel are aware of the support available to them. We must continue building our network to support mass GI resistance to current and future US wars in order to live up to our mission of "cutting off the supply of troops". Such a movement will be a deterrent to the structures of power. Through military counter-recruiting efforts, I believe we simply need to do a better job at preventing the entry of our youth into military service in the first place.

I believe the most important challenges facing recent veterans include:

* Post Traumatic Stress Disorder-which is not really a disorder at all, but a natural reaction to trauma
* Skyrocketing rates of incarceration in jails and prisons
* Military Sexual Trauma, including occurrences of rape by coworkers in the military that far exceed civilian rates

I am always trying to figure out how we can increase our collaboration with other groups to address related, but broader issues, more effectively. These issues include the growing use of unmanned "drone" aircraft by the US military-not only the death and destruction they wreak on the Middle East, but their growing popularity with domestic police for surveillance. Given the fact that the US military industrial complex is the largest polluting entity in the world, I think we should better connect with friends who are primarily motivated by environmental concerns in order to confront this issue.

I'm excited by the class consciousness that has arisen with the occupy movement-a movement that soldiers and veterans are definitely a part of. Then there is the worldwide May Day general strike. The NATO meeting protest in Chicago, and the G8 meeting near DC, in May. The Republican and Democratic National Conventions. A big part of my job will be trying to advance our bottom up movement in support of GI resisters, specifically Bradley Manning, within the context of all of these upcoming events. At this moment in history, I encourage you to support and become more involved in our collective efforts.

I cannot thank you enough for supporting our very important and essential work for more peaceful and just world.

In Solidarity,
Michael Thurman
Courage to Resist organizer
Donate to Courage to Resist:
https://co.clickandpledge.com/sp/d1/default.aspx?wid=38590

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3) Drug Policy as Race Policy: Best Seller Galvanizes the Debate
By JENNIFER SCHUESSLER
March 6, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/07/books/michelle-alexanders-new-jim-crow-raises-drug-law-debates.html

Garry McCarthy, a 30-year veteran of law enforcement, did not expect to hear anything too startling when he appeared at a conference on drug policy organized last year by an African-American minister in Newark, where he was the police director.

But then a law professor named Michelle Alexander took the stage and delivered an impassioned speech attacking the war on drugs as a system of racial control comparable to slavery and Jim Crow - and received a two-minute standing ovation from the 500 people in the audience.

"These were not young people living in high-crime neighborhoods," Mr. McCarthy, now police superintendent in Chicago, recalled in telephone interview. "This was the black middle class."

"I don't believe in the government conspiracy, but what you have to accept is that that narrative exists in the community and has to be addressed," he said. "That was my real a-ha moment."

Mr. McCarthy is not alone. During the past two years Professor Alexander has been provoking such moments across the country - and across the political spectrum - with her book, "The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness," which has become a surprise best seller since its paperback version came out in January. Sales have totaled some 175,000 copies after an initial hardcover printing of a mere 3,000, according to the publisher, the New Press.

The book marshals pages of statistics and legal citations to argue that the get-tough approach to crime that began in the Nixon administration and intensified with Ronald Reagan's declaration of the war on drugs has devastated black America. Today, Professor Alexander writes, nearly one-third of black men are likely to spend time in prison at some point, only to find themselves falling into permanent second-class citizenship after they get out. That is a familiar argument made by many critics of the criminal justice system, but Professor Alexander's book goes further, asserting that the crackdown was less a response to the actual explosion of violent crime than a deliberate effort to push back the gains of the civil rights movement.

For many African-Americans, the book - which has spent six weeks on the New York Times paperback nonfiction best-seller list - gives eloquent and urgent expression to deep feelings that the criminal justice system is stacked against them.

"Everyone in the African-American community had been seeing exactly what she is talking about but couldn't put it into words," said Phillip Jackson, executive director of the Black Star Project, an educational advocacy group in Chicago that has been blasting its 60,000 e-mail subscribers with what Mr. Jackson called near-daily messages about the book and Professor Alexander since he saw a video of her speaking in 2010.

The book is also galvanizing white readers, including some who might question its portrayal of the war on drugs as a continuation of race war by other means.

"The book is helping white folks who otherwise would have simply dismissed that idea understand why so many people believe it," said David M. Kennedy, director of the Center for Crime Prevention and Control at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. "It is making them take that seriously."

"The New Jim Crow" arrives at a receptive moment, when declining crime rates and exploding prison budgets have made conservatives and liberals alike more ready to question the wisdom of keeping nearly 1 in 100 Americans behind bars. But Professor Alexander, who teaches at the Moritz College of Law at Ohio State University, said in an interview that the more provocative claims of her book did not come easily to her. When she first encountered the "New Jim Crow" metaphor on a protest sign in Oakland, Calif., a decade ago, she was a civil rights lawyer with an impeccable résumé - Stanford Law School, a Supreme Court clerkship - and was leery of embracing arguments that might be considered, as she put it, "crazy."

Professor Alexander, who is black, knew that African-Americans were overrepresented in prison, though she resisted the idea that this was anything more than unequal implementation of colorblind laws. But her work as director of the American Civil Liberties Union's Racial Justice Project in Northern California, she said, opened her eyes to the extent of the lifelong exclusion many offenders face, including job discrimination, elimination from juries and voter rolls, and even disqualification from food stamps, public housing and student loans.

"It's easy to be completely unaware that this vast new system of racial and social control has emerged," she said. "Unlike in Jim Crow days, there were no 'Whites Only' signs. This system is out of sight, out of mind."

In conversation, she disputes any suggestion that she is describing a conspiracy. While the title is "provocative," she said, the book contains no descriptions of people gathering secretly in rooms.

"The main thrust," she said, "is to show how historically both our conscious and unconscious biases and anxieties have played out over and over again to birth these vast new systems of social control."

Whatever Professor Alexander's account of the origins of mass incarceration, her overall depiction of its human costs is resonating even with people who disagree with her politics.

Rick Olson, a state representative in Michigan, was one of the few whites and few Republicans in the room when Professor Alexander gave a talk sponsored by the state's black caucus in January.

"I had never before connected the dots between the drug war, unequal enforcement, and how that reinforces poverty," Representative Olson said. "I thought, 'Gee whiz, let me get this book.' "

Reading it, he said, inspired him to draft a bill decriminalizing the use and possession of marijuana.

The Rev. Charles Hubbard, the pastor at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, a mostly white evangelical congregation in Garland, Tex., said he had started carrying the book with him everywhere and urges fellow pastors to preach about it, though he acknowledged it could be a tough sell in Texas.

"I think people need to hear the message," he said. "I don't think Anglo folks have any idea how difficult it is for African-American men who get caught up in the criminal justice system."

Mr. Hubbard said he was particularly impressed by how "well-documented" Professor Alexander's book is. But to some of the book's detractors, including those deeply sympathetic to her goal of ending mass incarceration, its scholarship falls short.

In an article to be published next month in The New York University Law Review, James Forman Jr., a clinical professor at Yale Law School and a former public defender, calls mass incarceration a social disaster but challenges what he calls Professor Alexander's "myopic" focus on the war on drugs.

Painting the war on drugs as mainly a backlash against the gains of the civil rights movement, Professor Forman writes, ignores the violent crime wave of the 1970s and minimizes the support among many African-Americans for get-tough measures. Furthermore, he argues, drug offenders make up less than 25 percent of the nation's total prison population, while violent offenders - who receive little mention in "The New Jim Crow" - make up a much larger share.

"Even if every single one of these drug offenders were released tomorrow," he writes, "the United States would still have the world's largest prison system."

To Professor Alexander, however, that argument neglects the full scope of the problem. Our criminal "caste system," as she calls it, affects not just the 2.3 million people behind bars, but also the 4.8 million others on probation or parole (predominately for nonviolent offenses), to say nothing of the millions more whose criminal records stigmatize them for life.

"This system depends on the prison label, not just prison time," she said.

In a telephone interview, Professor Forman, a son of the civil rights leader James Forman, praised the book's "spectacular" success in raising awareness of the issue. And some activists say their political differences with Professor Alexander's account matter less than the overall picture she paints of a brutal and unjust system.

Craig M. DeRoche, director of external affairs at the Justice Fellowship, the advocacy arm of Prison Fellowship, a Christian ministry founded by the former Nixon aide Charles Colson, said he rejected the political history in "The New Jim Crow" but still considered it essential reading for conservatives.

"The facts are the facts," he said. "The numbers are the numbers."

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: March 8, 2012

An article on Wednesday about the book "The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness," by Michelle Alexander, misstated, in some editions, a word in a comment by Rick Olson, a state legislator in Michigan, about his reaction to a talk by Professor Alexander. He said, "I had never before connected the dots between the drug war, unequal enforcement, and how that reinforces poverty" - not unequal "reinforcement."

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4) Japan's Nuclear Energy Industry Nears Shutdown, at Least for Now
By MARTIN FACKLER
March 8, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/09/world/asia/japan-shutting-down-its-nuclear-power-industry.html?adxnnl=1&ref=world&adxnnlx=1331312531-pMrzm1XELGHVoAC+RW/Hog

OHI, Japan - All but two of Japan's 54 commercial reactors have gone offline since the nuclear disaster a year ago, after the earthquake and tsunami, and it is not clear when they can be restarted. With the last operating reactor scheduled to be idled as soon as next month, Japan - once one of the world's leaders in atomic energy - will have at least temporarily shut down an industry that once generated a third of its electricity.

With few alternatives, the prime minister, Yoshihiko Noda, has called for restarting the plants as soon as possible, saying he supports a gradual phase-out of nuclear power over several decades. Yet, fearing public opposition, he has said he will not restart the reactors without the approval of local community leaders.

Japan has so far succeeded in avoiding shortages, thanks in part to a drastic conservation program that has involved turning off air-conditioning in the summer and office lights during the day. It has also increased generation from conventional plants that use more expensive natural gas and other fossil fuels in a nation already uneasy about its reliance on foreign sources of energy.

The loss of nuclear power has hurt in another way: economists blame the higher energy prices for causing Japan's first annual trade deficit in more than three decades, which has weakened the yen and raised concerns about the future of the country's export-driven economy. And as the weather warms, Japan faces a possible energy crisis, considering that last summer it still had 19 nuclear plants in operation.

On a more fundamental level, the standoff over nuclear power underscores just how much the trauma of the Fukushima accident has changed attitudes in Japan, long one of the world's most committed promoters of civilian atomic energy. Political and energy experts describe nothing short of a nationwide loss of faith, not only in Japan's once-vaunted nuclear technology but also in the government, which many blame for allowing the accident to happen.

"March 11 has shaken Japan to the root of its postwar identity," said Takeo Kikkawa, an economist who specializes in energy issues at Hitotsubashi University in Tokyo. "We were the country that suffered Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but then we showed we had the superior technology and technocratic expertise to safely tame this awesome power for peaceful economic progress. Nuclear accidents were things that happened in other countries."

Hoping to allay the safety concerns of local communities, the government has asked plant operators to conduct so-called stress tests: computer simulations designed to show how the reactors would hold up during a large natural disaster like the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami that disabled the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, where three reactors melted down after the cooling systems shut down. But many local leaders say the stress tests are not enough, and want additional proof that the government has learned the lessons of the Fukushima accident.

The contest over the future of atomic energy in Japan is unfolding in this fishing town of 8,800 residents, 550 miles southwest of the wrecked Fukushima Daiichi plant and areas contaminated by its fallout. Two of the reactors at the Ohi Nuclear Power Plant were the first to finish the stress tests, making it a crucial test case of whether Japan's nuclear plants can be restarted.

The sprawling plant here was not damaged by the earthquake or tsunami but sits idled anyway because of a standoff caused by a legal quirk: Japanese law requires reactors to be shut down every 13 months for routine checkups, which typically take three or four months. But over the last year the plant's operator, Kansai Electric Power, has been forced to shut down all four of the plant's reactors, unable to restart them because of opposition from local residents.

"After seeing what happened in Okuma, Futaba and Iitate, we cannot just turn these things back on," said Shinobu Tokioka, the mayor of Ohi, naming evacuated communities near the Fukushima plant. He said he thought the reactors would eventually be turned back on because his and other host communities need the plant-related jobs and other revenues.

In many respects, Japan is already on the road to recovery from the huge earthquake and tsunami, which killed as many as 19,000 people, and to a lesser degree from the nuclear accident. The northeastern coastal towns that were flattened by the waves have cleaned up millions of tons of debris and are beginning to rebuild.

But it is the nuclear accident at Fukushima Daiichi that looks likely to have a more lasting impact, even though it has yet to claim a single life. Japan is just beginning what promises to be a radiation cleanup that will last decades of the evacuated areas around the plant, where nearly 90,000 residents lost their homes. The nation is also groping to find effective ways to monitor health and protect its food supply from contamination by the accident, which government scientists now say released about a fifth as much radioactive cesium as the Chernobyl disaster in 1986.

Then there are the new feelings of distrust in technology and in the government, which many Japanese now blame for hiding the true dangers of the nuclear accident. At the same time, this resource-poor nation also knows that it has few realistic alternatives to nuclear power, at least in the short term.

This has left many Japanese torn about whether to continue using nuclear power. These conflicting feelings are apparent in host communities like Ohi, a once-impoverished town that has prospered from the jobs and the $450 million brought by the nuclear plant since the 1970s. After first installing indoor plumbing for most residents and improving roads, the town moved on to flashy public works projects, and now boasts a hot springs resort, a sports complex with an indoor pool and lighted baseball diamond, and an indoor children's playground featuring a full-size mock sailing ship on a sea of rubber balls.

It is a similar story at other communities along this stretch of coast in western Japan's Fukui Prefecture, which is known as Nuclear Alley because it has three other plants in addition to the Ohi plant.

"We had allowed ourselves to become addicted to nuclear money, until Fukushima broke the spell," said Tetsuen Nakajima, 70, the abbot of Myotsuji, a 1,200-year-old Buddhist temple in Obama, a city next to Ohi. He said he now feared for the ancient temple's safety from the nearby plants.

So far, the stress tests appear to have done little to ease public concerns, in part because they were begun before investigators had even reached conclusions about what actually caused the meltdowns at Fukushima. Last month, nuclear regulators responded with a list of 30 "lessons" from last year's accident.

In an interview, Ohi's mayor, Mr. Tokioka, said the list was not enough, and repeated his demand for new guidelines even though writing them might take months.

"The national government has to show us that it has learned from the mistakes at Fukushima Daiichi," said Mr. Tokioka, 74.

At the same time, Mr. Tokioka said he thought the reactors would eventually have to be turned back on, especially if the shutdown begins to hurt the local economy or disrupts electrical supplies. Other residents expressed similarly conflicted feelings.

"No one wants to go back to living the same way we did 50 years ago, without cellphones or TVs," said Mitsuyoshi Kunai, a 54-year-old fisherman who tended his nets just a few miles from the Ohi plant. "Fukushima showed us that nuclear power is dangerous, but we still need it."

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5) Highest Court in Mississippi Upholds 9 Pardons
By CAMPBELL ROBERTSON
March 8, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/09/us/mississippi-supreme-court-upholds-9-pardons-by-haley-barbour.html?ref=us

Bringing a definitive close to the legal controversy that has swarmed since former Gov. Haley Barbour of Mississippi gave pardons to nearly 200 felons in his last days in office, the Mississippi Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that the judicial branch did not have the power to void those pardons.

The court, in a 6-to-3 decision, found that pardon procedures lay outside its constitutional authority, and that to interfere even in cases where those procedures were flouted would violate separation of powers.

While the pardons, which went overwhelmingly to people who had already finished their prison terms, were met with widespread bewilderment and even anger when they were issued in January, the governor's motives were never legally challenged. But the state attorney general, Jim Hood, began a push to have them thrown out.

At the heart of the debate was Section 124 of Mississippi's Constitution, which gives pardon power exclusively to the governor, but also requires applicants to have their petitions for pardon "published for 30 days, in some newspaper in the county where the crime was committed."

Mr. Hood said all but 22 of those pardoned had failed to meet this requirement, rendering their pardons invalid. He challenged them in circuit court, but the State Supreme Court quickly took up the issue.

Lawyers for nine of those pardoned - four who had been working as trusties at the Governor's Mansion and five who are the only ones still in prison - argued that the courts did not have the authority to determine whether procedures were followed correctly. The Constitution not only gave the governor the power to pardon, they said, but also left it solely to the governor to determine whether they were issued properly.

The court's majority agreed.

"While this court clearly has the constitutional duty to interpret the content of laws passed by the Legislature and executive orders issued by the governor," wrote Justice Jess H. Dickinson in his majority opinion, "we decline - as have so many other courts before us - to assume for ourselves the absolute power to police the other branches of government in fulfilling their constitutional duties to produce laws and executive orders, unless there is alleged a justifiable violation of a personal right."

In a dissent, Chief Justice William L. Waller Jr. argued that the State Constitution put limits on the governor's pardon power, and that the court was obligated to make sure those limits were not crossed.

"Certainly, no one would argue that a court could investigate and determine the wisdom or propriety of a governor's acts, including pardons," he wrote. "However, the constitutionality of a governor's acts, including pardons, is a question which the court must determine."

Mr. Barbour expressed gratitude toward the court and defended the pardons as "decisions based on repentance, rehabilitation and redemption, leading to forgiveness and the right defined and given by the State Constitution to the governor to offer such people a second chance."

Mr. Hood criticized the decision, saying, "It is truly unfortunate that a majority of the court has stricken from our Constitution a right to notice of a pardon reserved by the people of Mississippi in our 1890 Constitution." He said he would push for an amendment to Section 124 "to make it very clear that the judicial branch is responsible for enforcing the 30-day notification period."

While the decision applied only to the nine pardons, an opposite ruling would have put the vast majority of the others in jeopardy.

The five who are still in prison are beginning the procedures for release, which should happen within the next 48 hours, said a spokeswoman for the Department of Corrections. And the men who worked at the Governor's Mansion, including four murderers whose pardons attracted the most controversy, now have clean records.

Tiffany Brewer, whose sister was killed by one of the men, said she had somewhat expected this decision. Though her family was still angered by the pardon, she said, "we kind of had in the back of our minds that it would end up like this."

She added: "It wasn't a win or lose situation for us. We lost 18 years ago."

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6) Police Officer Guilty of Falsifying Information
By RUSS BUETTNER
March 8, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/09/nyregion/police-officer-is-convicted-of-perjury-to-get-a-search-warrant.html?ref=nyregion

A New York City police officer was convicted on Thursday of lying under oath and filing false information to obtain a search warrant, the second conviction in what prosecutors described as a scheme to cover up illegal searches of vehicles.

The officer, Michael Carsey, 31, was acquitted in September of other charges. His prior supervisor, William Eiseman, a former sergeant, pleaded guilty in June to performing illegal searches of cars and an apartment of people he had stopped, and then lying in court about why he had performed the searches.

Mr. Eiseman, who lost his job as a result of his guilty plea, had supervised the Impact Response Team, made up mostly of recent Police Academy graduates like Officer Carsey, in Upper Manhattan. The unit patrols high-crime neighborhoods.

Mr. Eiseman, 39, and Officer Carsey, prosecutors said, said they had smelled marijuana coming from an illegally parked van. In seeking a search warrant for the driver's home, both testified that the man had admitted to having contraband in his apartment, where drugs and a gun were later found. But the two had actually learned of the contraband when they found pictures on the man's phone, prosecutors said. The case against the driver was eventually dismissed.

"Police officers take an oath to protect and serve, and have a responsibility to uphold the highest standards of their profession," said the Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr. "Failure to do so risks damaging the reputation of their peers and violating the public's trust.

Officer Carsey's lawyer, Richard H. B. Murray, said he was disappointed in the jury's verdict in State Supreme Court in Manhattan and thought his client was "collateral damage" from the investigation of Mr. Eiseman.

Mr. Eiseman, a 12-year police veteran, accepted a deal that called for him to serve weekends in jail for three months. Officer Carsey faces up to seven years in prison at his sentencing, which is scheduled for May 3.

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7) A Condo That Could Be Yours for $77.5 Million
By THE NEW YORK TIMES
March 8, 2012, 7:10 pm
http://www.nytimes.com/pages/nyregion/index.html

Time to hock Grandma's silverware. Christopher M. Jeffries, a founding partner of Millennium Partners, has put his 10,882-square-foot duplex at 50 Central Park South on the market for $77.5 million. Mr. Jeffries's sprawling apartment takes up the 30th and 31st floors, has 26 windows fronting the park and an expansive terrace with sweeping views of the greenery rolling out like a forested carpet. The apartment, which Mr. Jeffries bought for a mere $20 million in 2002, is now the highest-priced condo on the market.

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8) Summary Box: Spanish Unions Call General Strike
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
March 9, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2012/03/09/business/AP-EU-Spain-Financial-Crisis-Summary-Box.html?src=busln

STRIKE PLANS: Spanish labor unions mounted their first big challenge to the country's new government Friday, calling a general strike for March 29 to protest new labor reforms and austerity measures.

AT ISSUE: The reforms slash the cost of firing workers and make it easier to do so. Salaries can be lowered unilaterally, and companies can lay off employees at the cheapest level of severance pay by reporting three straight months of declining revenue.

OFFICIAL REACTION: Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria said a strike will not help a country with more than 5 million people out of work.

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9) Feds Will Not Renew Women's Health Program
by Emily Ramshaw
March 9, 2012
http://www.texastribune.org/texas-health-resources/abortion-texas/questions-linger-over-womens-health-program/

The federal government will not renew the Women's Health Program, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in Houston on Friday, the day after Gov. Rick Perry announced Texas would continue the program with or without the Obama administration's help.

On a tour of Houston's Ben Taub hospital, Sebelius said the state had been "put on notice" that the waiver program was ending, according to a report in The Houston Chronicle.

The news was not unexpected - Texas had been waiting for formal word from the federal government for weeks.

Perry's office released a statement chiding Sebelius for making the announcement on a hospital tour, as opposed to telling the state formally.

The fact that the Obama Administration would announce its decision to deny care for more than 100,000 low income women during a press event before giving official notice to the state is a clear demonstration of the political motivation behind this decision," Perry spokeswoman Allison Castle said. "We await official word from the Administration on this matter and in the meantime, at Gov. Perry's direction, the state continues to move forward to ensure low-income women will not lose access to this preventative care."

Original story:

By vowing that he would find the money to fund the Women's Health Program without the federal government's help, Gov. Rick Perry advanced two of his goals. He found a legal way to force Planned Parenthood clinics - which were not performing abortions - out of the program. And he gained ammunition in his state's rights fight against the Obama administration.

But his pronouncement, made the week before the federal government was expected to cut off funding to the program over a new Texas rule that excludes Planned Parenthood clinics - left many questions unanswered.

Though Perry says the state has the medical capacity to continue to treat the more than 100,000 women enrolled in the program without Planned Parenthood clinics, other health leaders vehemently disagree. And Perry didn't say where cash-strapped Texas will find the roughly $30 million per year the federal government provides to help low-income women on Medicaid receive birth control, cancer screenings and STD tests.

"Given the number of women that are looking for services as a result of the financial cuts" of the last legislative session, said Jose Camacho, executive director of the Texas Association of Community Health Centers, "there's no way that health centers that have undergone similar cuts will be able to build that type of capacity very quickly."

After the political firestorm of the last few weeks, the debate over the Women's Health Program has shifted - and it's advantage, Perry. No longer can his opponents argue he'd rather eliminate health care for more than 100,000 poor women than allow Planned Parenthood clinics to participate in the program. Now, they must make a math argument: that without Planned Parenthood clinics, the program won't have the capacity to operate as well as it does now.

At first glance, the statistics seem to bolster this argument. Today, 45 percent of the people enrolled in the program - some 50,000 low-income women - get care at Planned Parenthood, even though those clinics make up less than 2 percent of the program's 2,500 approved providers. The question is whether non-Planned Parenthood providers can make up the difference.

The state says yes. Though Planned Parenthood treats 45 percent of the program's clients in a given year, officials with Texas' Health and Human Services Commission say many of those women are also familiar with non-Planned Parenthood providers - and stop in to get care there, too. Almost 80 percent of women enrolled in the program get services at non-Planned Parenthood providers, agency spokeswoman Stephanie Goodman said, because many women seek care at multiple places in a given year.

"Women can go and receive care at over 2,500 places besides Planned Parenthood in the state of Texas," said Abby Johnson, a Planned Parenthood clinic director turned anti-abortion activist who is featured on the governor's website. Johnson said the state's network of hundreds of Federally Qualified Health Centers - comprehensive health clinics for the poor and uninsured - should prevent women from falling through the cracks.

But opponents argue that without Planned Parenthood clinics, the program will simply not have the capacity - and that women in remote corners of the state will suffer most. Of the 2,500 providers, the overwhelming majority are individual doctors unlikely to want to take on more government-subsidized patients, not clinics that specialize in women's health and treat large numbers of patients. (Use this Texas Tribune map to see where current providers are, and what type they are.) Camacho said the Federally Qualified Health Centers are already cash-strapped and can't just take women for family planning; they must have the resources to treat them for everything from mental illness to dental problems.

These opponents also say Texas would be better poised to run a program without Planned Parenthood if Republican lawmakers hadn't slashed the state's family planning budget in the last legislative session, forcing clinics and providers to shut their doors or markedly curb services.

"Building new capacity would take both time [during which women would suffer] and money [which is in short supply]," the liberal Center for Public Policy Priorities wrote in a policy paper on Thursday.

It's still unclear where Texas will find the money to continue the program. Goodman said it's too soon to say, and that health officials will "look at any areas where spending may be lower than projected to see if there are any savings that can be used for this program."

It's more likely, opponents argue, that the $30 million tab will just be added to Texas' existing Medicaid shortfall - and be dealt with in the next legislative session.

Goodman said all Women's Health Program providers would have to certify that they aren't affiliated with an abortion provider by April 30, or they'll be removed from the program on May 1. She said the state wouldn't know exactly how many clinics are disqualified until that process is complete.

Dr. Bruce Malone, the president of the Texas Medical Association, said Perry's decision to rescue the program from extinction was the right one, even without federal funding. He said his organization's doctors will "cooperate any way we can to make sure those services are provided."

"We're just ecstatic the program will be funded," he said. "It's not going to be a totally smooth transition, because of the way the programs were organized. But it's certainly a great improvement over what was announced a few months ago."

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10) America Is Stealing the World's Doctors
By MATT McALLESTER
March 7, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/11/magazine/america-is-stealing-foreign-doctors.html?hp

It was not an unusual death. Kunj Desai, a young doctor in training at University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka, Zambia, had seen many that were not so different and were equally needless. Still, this was the one that altered all his plans. "A guy came in, and he had a stab wound," Desai recalled, "and his intestines got injured." The operation was delayed, and the wound became infected. "Whatever he was eating would come out of his belly," Desai said. A carefully managed diet would have helped the man heal, but there were no dietitians at the hospital nor any IV drips of liquid nutrients with which to feed him. "He withered away to probably about 100 pounds when he died."

The man was in his 30s, and his wife and children would have to fend for themselves. It was 2004, and Desai had worked at the chronically understaffed and underfinanced hospital for a year and a half. The hospital blood bank was often out of blood, and the lab was unreliable. The patients were often so poor that Desai would pay for private lab tests out of his own pocket. Desai came home in tears one day after being unable to save a premature baby boy. When the man with the stab wound died, the accumulation of preventable deaths - at what was, he kept reminding himself, the best public hospital in the country - finally became too heavy to bear.

"We were pretending to be doctors," Desai, who is 35, told me when we first met. This was in the cafeteria of University Hospital in Newark, and Desai was still in his surgical scrubs after a 30-hour shift. He talked about what he saw in Lusaka in the somewhat stream-of-consciousness way that war veterans sometimes speak about the battlefield. "What was I really doing?" he said. "Making myself feel happy? No."

As an idealistic, energetic young doctor, Desai imagined he would spend his career in Zambia, serving those in desperate need. But over the months at the hospital, he found himself fantasizing about another life - as a doctor in America. And in 2004, after he finished his internship, Desai quit his job at the hospital and began studying for the exams for a training position at an American hospital. Even while he did so, he told himself that after his stint in America, he would return to Zambia. His fellow Zambians, he knew, suffer from some of the gravest health crises in the world, not least of which is that Zambia's doctors tend to leave the country and never come back. "After completing residency training in the United States, I hope to return to Zambia and work where the need is the greatest, the rural areas," he wrote in a personal statement when applying for jobs in the United States in 2005. "I am Zambian, and I am committed to improving the quality of care that fellow Zambians receive."

Two years from now, Desai will be a fully qualified surgeon in America. He has a wife and a young daughter (he had neither when he moved to the United States), and once he's qualified, he can expect to make a very good living - the median salary of a surgeon in New Jersey is $216,000. In the main hospital in Lusaka, where Desai worked, a surgeon makes about $24,000 a year. The uncomfortable question that Desai put to the back of his mind when he arrived in the United States has begun to resurface and trouble him: Will he really fulfill his promise to himself and his country?

As we sat in the cafeteria, I suggested that if he did return to Zambia, he might be seen as something of a returning hero. Desai is a naturally polite and courteous man, but he is also disinclined to hold back from criticizing when he finds fault. In this case, his target was himself. He looked at the table and said: "The heroes are the guys that stayed. They didn't quit, and they didn't run away."

In a globalized economy, the countries that pay the most and offer the greatest chance for advancement tend to get the top talent. South America's best soccer players generally migrate to Europe, where the salaries are high and the tournaments are glitzier than those in Brazil or Argentina. Many top high-tech workers from India and China move to the United States to work for American companies. And the United States, with its high salaries and technological innovation, is also the world's most powerful magnet for doctors, attracting more every year than Britain, Canada and Australia - the next most popular destinations for migrating doctors - combined.

The Council on Physician and Nurse Supply estimates that in 10 years, the United States could have a shortage of 200,000 doctors. Already, one in four doctors working in this country is trained in a medical school overseas (though this includes some American doctors who attended medical school outside the United States). American medical schools are producing more graduates, but many of them will become specialists who can command better pay. The demand for primary-care doctors is expected to stay high, perpetuating the demand for foreign medical graduates.

Even in the unlikely event that American medical schools produce more general practitioners, nothing but legislation would prevent American hospitals from cherry-picking the most promising young doctors the world has to offer, according to Laurie Garrett, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. "If you can take from an applicant pool from the whole planet, why would you only take from Americans?" Garrett said. "For the foreseeable future, every health provider, from Harvard University's facilities all the way down to a rural clinic in the Ethiopian desert, is competing for medical talent, and the winners are those with money."

Some of the responsibility for the migration of health care workers lies with the immigration laws in the host countries. In 1994, Senator Kent Conrad, a Democrat from North Dakota, introduced legislation that empowered states to grant waivers to foreign doctors on J-1 student visas. They could stay in the United States after finishing residencies in American hospitals if they agreed to practice in communities where doctors were in short supply. The law, which has been continually renewed by Congress, has allowed more than 8,500 foreign doctors to gain jobs in rural communities, where patients often have to drive great distances to get medical care, and in underserved cities.

For a diabetic or someone with heart disease in rural Nebraska, this is unquestionably a good thing. They may be unaware, however, that their gain is a poor country's loss. The migration of doctors and nurses from poor countries to rich ones elicits some highly emotional responses, not to mention a great deal of ethical debate. Writing in the British medical journal The Lancet in 2008, a group of doctors, several of them from Africa, titled their paper "Should Active Recruitment of Health Workers From Sub-Saharan Africa Be Viewed as a Crime?" (PDF) They concluded that it should. Other critics have used terms like "looting" and "theft."

Some of the anger is directed toward the doctors who leave. The managing director of University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka, Lackson Kasonka, suggested to me that doctors who received government financing for their educations and then left exhibited "a show of dishonesty and betrayal." (Desai is not in this group; his parents, who immigrated to Zambia, paid for his medical education in India, where they were born.) Peter Mwaba, the most senior civil servant in Zambia's ministry of health, said that doctors overseas should not "hold their country to ransom" by staying away until things, in their minds, sufficiently improve.

The public health challenges in Zambia are intimidating: life expectancy is 46, more than one million of Zambia's 14 million people are living with H.I.V. or AIDS and more than 1 in 10 children will die before they reach 5. To cope with this, there are slightly more than 600 doctors working in the public sector, which is where most Zambians get their health care. That is 1 doctor for every 23,000 people, compared with about 1 for every 416 in the United States. If Desai decides to stay here, the world's richest country will have gained a bright young doctor. The loss to Zambia will be much greater.

Salaries and working conditions in a country like Zambia are never going to match those in the United States, but there are other factors that influence a person's decision to emigrate: family ties, the cost of living, language and the comforting sense of living in a familiar culture. Doctors from Ghana once fled to the United States almost as a matter of course. But its retention rates of doctors and nurses in recent years have greatly improved as salaries rose enough to weigh the scales in favor of staying.

The medical brain drain from poor countries gets a fair amount of attention in international health circles, and initiatives both private and public are trying to resolve the shortage of doctors. The teaching hospital in Lusaka where Desai trained, for example, is one of 13 sub-Saharan medical schools receiving support from a United States-financed $130 million program to generate more and better graduates. The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria provided money to Zambia's ministry of health to recruit and retain doctors. Western aid agencies, many financed by donors like Bill and Melinda Gates, have also hired local doctors at higher salaries. But apparent solutions can create further problems; many of the doctors hired by aid agencies are doing research. They don't see patients. Frustrated public health officials in Zambia and other developing countries call this the "internal brain drain."

George Ofori-Amanfo, a Ghanaian associate professor of pediatric cardiology at Duke Children's Hospital in Durham, N.C., is involved with the Ghana Physicians and Surgeons Foundation, whose members, based in the United States, work to improve graduate education in Ghana's four medical schools. He makes three trips a year to Ghana to teach young doctors. "I do feel guilty sometimes," said Ofori-Amanfo, who came to the United States in 1995, when he was 30. About 530 Ghanaian doctors practiced in the United States in 2006, which amounted to about 20 percent of the doctors left in Ghana, according to an article in The New England Journal of Medicine. Ofori-Amanfo, for one, doesn't think he'll ever return for good.

"Particularly when I look at the investment that the nation had put in me to give me my basic training and what the nation would have expected me to contribute," Ofori-Amanfo said. "There's a lot of guilt in that. Some cocoa farmer worked very hard to pay his taxes so I can go to school."

Had Kunj Desai stayed in Zambia, his experience might have looked like that of his old friend Emmanuel Makasa. An orthopedic surgeon, Makasa is 38 and earns about $24,000 a year. He does some work in private clinics for extra money. Makasa is something of an authority on the emigration of doctors. "The human-resource crisis in Zambia has reached a disastrous stage with the health system at breaking point," Makasa wrote in a 2008 paper in The Medical Journal of Zambia (PDF), though he has no harsh words for his colleagues who left. He studied at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, on a Fulbright scholarship and also took and passed the first of two exams the British require of international medical graduates seeking jobs there. He told me that he had been tempted to emigrate permanently.

But during his time living in the United States and visiting Britain, he felt subtle racism. He hated the weather in Britain and found Zambian doctor friends living stressful lives in undesirable parts of the country. And he knew the difference a single surgeon in Zambia could make. So his American wife and their two daughters moved to Zambia at the end of 2010.

"There are very few doctors in this part of the world," Makasa told me, "and if you left, yeah, it means you have a better life. Yes, you get more money. Yes, but you can't enjoy a meal when you know your mother is hungry."

In 2005, Makasa and his colleagues set up Doctors Outreach Care International, which provides medical care to underprivileged communities and is financed by corporate sponsors. "I don't stay in Zambia because of lack of opportunities to go," Makasa said. "I stay in Zambia because of what I think I can do in Zambia."

I wanted to tell Desai what it would be like to practice in his old hospital, so I observed Makasa and a colleague fix a man's broken leg. In the operating theater, there was a dirty-looking scalpel blade on the floor. The assisting staff ambled in late, causing the operation to start 30 minutes behind schedule. The air-conditioner was broken. A nurse took two personal cellphone calls in the operating room. When it came time for the surgeon to drill holes in the patient's bones, a nurse produced a case containing a Bosch power drill. By way of sterilization, she wrapped it in a green cloth, binding it tight with a strip of muslin.

Doctors at University Teaching Hospital do their best to improvise, as Desai once did, to make sick people well again, even if it is with an off-the-shelf power tool. And there have been some significant material improvements at the hospital since Desai left. Makasa took me to the intensive-care unit, where a doctor from Uzbekistan was supervising the installation of monitors, ventilators and electrically operated beds that any modern hospital would be happy to own, all donated by the Japanese government. Much of the equipment in the operating theaters was new, and the theaters themselves were being renovated. The hospital had a new M.R.I. machine, a new CT scanner and new dialysis machines. What it does not have - what can't be donated - is enough doctors.

I stopped by the neonatal-intensive-care unit, which many years earlier drove Kunj Desai to tears. Desai stayed up all night manually pumping air into a baby's lungs, because there was no available ventilator. The next night, he returned to find that the baby had disappeared from the ward. He did not ask about the boy's fate, but surmised that the doctor who followed him on duty had not been able to continue ventilating the boy by hand. I looked around at the dozens of babies in the unit. There were three new ventilators, also donated by the Japanese, but none were plugged in; the staff had not yet been trained to use them. I asked Jackie Banda, the doctor in charge of the unit that day, how long the unit had been without ventilators. "We've had none for the last two to three years," she said.

Kasonka, the managing director of the hospital, said that he didn't blame Desai for leaving to pursue his surgical education. As we spoke in his office, I told him that Desai wanted to become a laparoscopic surgeon. At that, Kasonka sat forward in his chair with interest. Zambia, he said, had no surgeons performing this less-invasive surgery, though the Netherlands had recently donated a laparoscope.

"If I have to say something to Dr. Desai, it is: 'Hey, Dr. Desai, I know you have now acquired extra skills in surgery including laparoscopy,' " Kasonka said. "I have got a state-of-the-art laparoscope - please come back and practice.' You see, he will pack up his bags and come back."

When I returned from Lusaka last May, I went to visit Desai at his home in Jersey City. Desai's wife, Bhavana, a pharmacist who also is Zambian of Indian descent, and their 17-month-old daughter, Kaiya, greeted me at the door of the town house they rent in a gated community that sits on Newark Bay, across from the airport. Some relatives were visiting from England, and we discussed the trying times of Liverpool, the soccer team Desai supports. Desai turned up a few minutes later, in scrubs, after a 14-hour shift.

Like Ofori-Amanfo, Desai feels a strong need to help his country. "It is still my homeland," he told me when we first met. "It is still where I plan to die. I have spots picked out where I plan to retire." In the course of our conversations, I noticed an unmistakable look of anger pass over Desai's face sometimes, and I suspected his anger was directed in several directions at once: at the failings of his own country, at the inequities of the globalized economy, at himself. We in the West create the demand for his talents and are the beneficiaries. The first doctor to look after my son was a Nigerian pediatrician, whose country suffers from a chronic shortage of doctors and who could, presumably, help many more children in more dire need there.

In our conversations and e-mail, Desai seemed to be exploring a way to go home. He's an only child who worries about abandoning his parents in their last years, and he wants Kaiya to grow up as a Zambian, not as an American. But he despairs of the public health system in Zambia and can't stomach the idea of catering to the wealthy in the private sector. He talked of returning to open up his own private clinic, which would serve everyone, not just the wealthy. Or perhaps he could work for a foreign aid agency there, he said.

Desai's enthusiasm for each alternative, however, seemed limited and fleeting - as if he recognized that his contradictory desires were never going to be fully resolved. "I'm so caught up in my day-to-day stuff," he said. "It'll be 30 years from now, and I'll wake up, and I'll be like, 'Whatever happened to my idea of going back?' "

I wondered if he would be at all encouraged to change his plans based on what I found at the teaching hospital. We sat in front of my computer at his dining table. He drank a beer while I showed him photographs of the hospital and told him what I found there. He was pleasantly surprised by the images of the newly equipped I.C.U., the renovated operating theaters and dialysis machines, and he was disheartened by my photographs of packed wards and accounts of broken elevators and the unplugged ventilators at the neonatal unit.

I showed him photographs of the Bosch power drill in action.

"Oh, it's fantastic," he said, laughing, appreciative of his former colleagues' resourcefulness. "That's fantastic." He noted that the power drill was in fact a big step forward from the manual drills he used when he worked at the hospital.

When I told him about Kasonka's new laparoscope and the managing director's offer to give Desai full access to it if he chose to return, he was surprised.

"Interesting, interesting," he said. "Wow. That's crazy."

But his surprise almost instantly gave away to skepticism. "Sounds great, but, yeah, we'll go back, and how long will that work?" Desai found it hard to believe that the laparoscope and other equipment required for keyhole surgery would be properly looked after. He took a gulp from his bottle of beer. "The fundamental flaws and root causes are there."

Matt McAllester is a senior editor at Time and editor of "Eating Mud Crabs in Kandahar: Stories of Food During Wartime by the World's Leading Correspondents."

Editor: Vera Titunik

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11) Mortgage Crisis Inspires Churches to Send Lenten Season Message to Banks
By SAMUEL G. FREEDMAN
March 9, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/10/us/churches-send-repentence-message-to-banks.html?ref=us

During the recent weeks of Lent, the Rev. Ryan Bell has led his Southern California congregation into the penitential spirit of the season. He has preached about the prophet Isaiah's admonition "to loose the bonds of injustice." He has replaced his church's ebullient praise songs with somber, reflective music. He has sent his members a list of ordinary comforts to give up until Easter, with suggestions from caffeine to Facebook.

And Mr. Bell has committed his congregation to one other religious obligation. He is withdrawing the church's money, several hundred thousand dollars, from its account with the Bank of America. By the April weekend when Christians mourn Jesus' crucifixion and celebrate his resurrection, Mr. Bell said, he will have moved the assets to a local bank as a protest against Bank of America's role in mass foreclosures and to issue a call for its repentance.

"To right the wrongs of the world is as much a part of the Lenten experience as to repent ourselves," Mr. Bell, 40, the pastor of Hollywood Adventist Church near Los Angeles said in a phone interview this week. "During this season, when we individually are examining our lives, we think it's appropriate for the institutions that affect us to examine theirs."

Across the country, dozens of other clergy members and congregations have taken similar action over the past three years. Beginning with two ministers in a bedroom suburb outside Oakland, the movement has grown to encompass about 25 congregations, according to the PICO National Network, a coalition of congregations involved in social justice that has taken up the campaign. By PICO's estimate, congregations have withdrawn $16 million, and their individual members and organizational partners an additional $15 million, from banks deeply implicated in the foreclosure crisis - primarily Bank of America, Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase.

The effort has become so closely conflated with Lent this year that a group of San Francisco clergy members spilled symbolic ashes outside a Wells Fargo A.T.M. in an Ash Wednesday protest. The ministers called for a "foreclosure sabbatical" - invoking the biblical term for the ancient Judaic concept of forgiving debts every seventh year.

The Rev. Richard Smith of St. John the Evangelist, an Episcopal church in San Francisco, likened the divestment campaign and public protests to early Christianity's ritual of "reconciliation of the penitents." Far from taking place in the private sanctity of the confessional, that rite occurred in public, with the penitent overseen by a priest and required to present himself before a bishop.

"It seemed like a parallel to us," said Mr. Smith, 62. "Our banks have done a great deal of damage in a very public way. So it seems appropriate as we enter into a season of penitence that we invite those who separated themselves from the community to repent with us. It's basically Ethics 101."

Last month, federal and state officials reached a provisional accord with five banks - Bank of America, Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Ally Financial - for a $26 billion settlement that includes reducing mortgage principal for homeowners in danger of default because of the steep decline in property values.

T. J. Crawford, a spokesman for Bank of America, said that even before that accord was reached the bank had modified the mortgage loans of one million customers and had met with PICO and other religion-based groups. "We value all of our relations," he said, "and would prefer dialogue to divestiture."

For the clergy members and churches active on the foreclosure issue, however, the animosity began building years ago. The current campaign may have had its genesis on the Sunday in 2008 when a 10-year-old girl named Jeannette walked up to her pastor after church to say goodbye because her family was moving.

As soon as the child spoke to him, the Rev. Mario Howell of Antioch Church Family in the East Bay area of Northern California recently recalled, he realized that Jeanette's parents had not been at worship that morning. What, he asked her, was going on? The girl explained that her mother and father - a teacher and probation officer, respectively - had lost their home to foreclosure.

Soon enough, Mr. Howell said, he heard similar stories from other members, all of them employed, most of them first-time homeowners who had striven to move out of Oakland. During 2010, the church's monthly intake from tithes and offerings fell by half to $14,000, far below its own mortgage payment of $23,000. Last March, Mr. Howell had to sell the building to a religious order, the Wesleyans, which is allowing the congregation to remain there. The church recently pulled out $175,000 in savings from the local Bank of America branch.

During the same few years, the Rev. Robert Rien of St. Ignatius of Antioch, a Roman Catholic church across town from Mr. Howell's, was learning that 24 families from the 1,000 in his congregation were threatened with foreclosure. He accompanied many of them to meetings with their mortgage banks to try to renegotiate terms.

"You would've thought the collar would have some influence," said Father Rien, 65. "It didn't. These people were engineers, accountants, working in medical offices, in the building trades. No matter how they pleaded with the banks, they didn't find any understanding. It was ruthless behavior. I had the scales pulled off my eyes."

Father Rien met Mr. Howell through a local interfaith coalition that is part of the PICO network. He wrote about the banks' behavior in the church bulletin and preached about it from the pulpit. In late 2009, with the endorsement of the congregation's trustees and pastoral council, he pulled out $135,000 from Bank of America.

"It's a grain of sand to Bank of America," Father Rien said, "but we needed to send a message that you can't do this to people."

With coverage in the religion media and organizational contacts through the PICO network, that message spread from the East Bay in late 2008 and early 2009, expanding into the national movement of this Lent.

"I can say that it's caught on, but not enough," said Mr. Howell, 61. "There's still not enough churches that understand the plight of their people - that if one family loses their home, it's like all of us go down."

E-mail: sgf1@columbia.edu

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: March 9, 2012

A previous version of this story said federal officials had reached a provisional accord with four banks for a $25 million settlement. The agreement was with five banks for a $26 billion settlement.

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12) Executive Pay Capped at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
By REUTERS
March 9, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/10/business/executive-pay-capped-at-fannie-mae-and-freddie-mac.html?ref=business

The regulator for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac slashed salaries for the chief executives of the two agencies and ruled out bonuses for many top executives. The new compensation plan for the two mortgage finance giants aimed at salaries for the chief executives at around $500,000 year, down from base pay of $900,000. Previously, they could earn as much as $6 million with deferred pay and bonuses. The regulator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, said the action would take total compensation for top executives to nearly 75 percent less than the levels before the government seized the firms in 2008.

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13) American Is Held After Shooting of Civilians in Afghanistan
By TAIMOOR SHAH and GRAHAM BOWLEY
March 11, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/12/world/asia/afghanistan-civilians-killed-american-soldier-held.html?hp

PANJWAY, Afghanistan - A United States service member walked out of a military base in a rural district of southern Afghanistan on Sunday and opened fire on three nearby houses, killing at least 16 civilians, including several children, local villagers and provincial officials said.

The shooting risks further inciting anti-American sentiment in Afghanistan and troubling a relationship that had already been brought to a new low by the burning of Korans at an American military base last month. The American Embassy in Afghanistan quickly issued a statement on Sunday urging calm.

The NATO-led coalition said in a statement on Sunday that a United States service member had been detained after an incident in Kandahar Province, in the south of the country, and that a number of civilians had been killed.

In Washington, the White House National Security Council spokeswoman, Caitlin Hayden, told Reuters that administration officials were "deeply concerned by the initial reports of this incident and are monitoring the situation closely."

Villagers in Belandi in the Panjway district of Kandahar, where the shooting took place, said the service member had attacked three houses, killing at least 16 in total. Five other villagers were wounded, they said.

After the killings, villagers collected the bodies, and drove them to a nearby American military base to protest. Burn marks could be seen on some of the bodies, and the villagers said that five of the dead were young girls, age 6 or younger.

Panjway, a rural suburb of Kandahar, was traditionally a Taliban stronghold. It was a focus of the United States surge in 2010 and was the scene of heavy fighting.

The governor of Kandahar Province, Tooryalai Wesa, condemned the shooting, although he could not immediately confirm the number of people killed. A coalition spokesman in Kabul, Capt. Justin Brockhoff, said that it was not clear what had led to the incident. He said the civilians wounded in the shooting were taken to a coalition hospital where they were being treated.

One of the houses attacked in the village belonged to a tribal elder, according to a person from the village. "We don't know why he killed people," said the villager, Aminullah, who like many Afghans goes by a single name. Aminullah said the soldier was alone. "There was no fighting or attacks."

In the statement, the United States military raced to head off Afghan outrage. "This is a deeply regrettable incident and we extend our thoughts and concerns to the families involved," the statement said.

It went on to say that American forces, in cooperation with the Afghan authorities, would investigate the incident.

In its comments, the American Embassy also sought to ease tensions, offering "its deepest condolences to the families of the victims of today's tragic shooting."

"We are saddened by this violent act against our Afghan friends," the statement said.

In a separate incident, four Afghans were killed and three wounded on Friday when coalition helicopters apparently hunting Taliban insurgents fired instead on villagers in Kapisa province in eastern Afghanistan, according to Abdul Hakim Akhondzada, governor of Tagab district in Kapisa.

Last month, the burning of the Korans touched off nationwide rioting and increased the targeting of American troops, resulting in at least 29 Afghans dead and 6 American soldiers killed.

The results of the official military inquiry into the Koran burnings are still awaited, including any decision on what kind of disciplinary action may be faced by the American service members identified as being directly linked to the incident.

The upheaval provoked by the Koran burnings put a temporary halt to cooperation between the Afghans and Americans, and disrupted planning for the military withdrawal.

But relations seemed somewhat back on track after the two governments on Friday broke an impasse on a long-term strategic partnership deal by agreeing for the Afghans to assume control of the main coalition prison in six months.

In another incident in January, American officials had to contend with the fallout from a video that showed four United States Marines urinating on the corpses of what appeared to be the corpses of three Taliban members.

In 2010, a rogue group of American soldiers, whose members patrolled roads and small villages, also near Kandahar, killed three Afghan civilians for sport in a series of crimes. The soldier accused of being the ringleader of the group was convicted of three counts of murder by an American military panel in November.

Taimoor Shah from reported from Panjway, Kandahar Province, and Graham Bowley from Kabul.

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14) Go to Trial: Crash the Justice System
"The Supreme Court ruled in 1978 that threatening someone with life imprisonment for a minor crime in an effort to induce him to forfeit a jury trial did not violate his Sixth Amendment right to trial. Thirteen years later, in Harmelin v. Michigan, the court ruled that life imprisonment for a first-time drug offense did not violate the Eighth Amendment's ban on cruel and unusual punishment."
By MICHELLE ALEXANDER
March 10, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/11/opinion/sunday/go-to-trial-crash-the-justice-system.html?hp

Columbus, Ohio

AFTER years as a civil rights lawyer, I rarely find myself speechless. But some questions a woman I know posed during a phone conversation one recent evening gave me pause: "What would happen if we organized thousands, even hundreds of thousands, of people charged with crimes to refuse to play the game, to refuse to plea out? What if they all insisted on their Sixth Amendment right to trial? Couldn't we bring the whole system to a halt just like that?"

The woman was Susan Burton, who knows a lot about being processed through the criminal justice system.

Her odyssey began when a Los Angeles police cruiser ran over and killed her 5-year-old son. Consumed with grief and without access to therapy or antidepressant medications, Susan became addicted to crack cocaine. She lived in an impoverished black community under siege in the "war on drugs," and it was but a matter of time before she was arrested and offered the first of many plea deals that left her behind bars for a series of drug-related offenses. Every time she was released, she found herself trapped in an under-caste, subject to legal discrimination in employment and housing.

Fifteen years after her first arrest, Susan was finally admitted to a private drug treatment facility and given a job. After she was clean she dedicated her life to making sure no other woman would suffer what she had been through. Susan now runs five safe homes for formerly incarcerated women in Los Angeles. Her organization, A New Way of Life, supplies a lifeline for women released from prison. But it does much more: it is also helping to start a movement. With groups like All of Us or None, it is organizing formerly incarcerated people and encouraging them to demand restoration of their basic civil and human rights.

I was stunned by Susan's question about plea bargains because she - of all people - knows the risks involved in forcing prosecutors to make cases against people who have been charged with crimes. Could she be serious about organizing people, on a large scale, to refuse to plea-bargain when charged with a crime?

"Yes, I'm serious," she flatly replied.

I launched, predictably, into a lecture about what prosecutors would do to people if they actually tried to stand up for their rights. The Bill of Rights guarantees the accused basic safeguards, including the right to be informed of charges against them, to an impartial, fair and speedy jury trial, to cross-examine witnesses and to the assistance of counsel.

But in this era of mass incarceration - when our nation's prison population has quintupled in a few decades partly as a result of the war on drugs and the "get tough" movement - these rights are, for the overwhelming majority of people hauled into courtrooms across America, theoretical. More than 90 percent of criminal cases are never tried before a jury. Most people charged with crimes forfeit their constitutional rights and plead guilty.

"The truth is that government officials have deliberately engineered the system to assure that the jury trial system established by the Constitution is seldom used," said Timothy Lynch, director of the criminal justice project at the libertarian Cato Institute. In other words: the system is rigged.

In the race to incarcerate, politicians champion stiff sentences for nearly all crimes, including harsh mandatory minimum sentences and three-strikes laws; the result is a dramatic power shift, from judges to prosecutors.

The Supreme Court ruled in 1978 that threatening someone with life imprisonment for a minor crime in an effort to induce him to forfeit a jury trial did not violate his Sixth Amendment right to trial. Thirteen years later, in Harmelin v. Michigan, the court ruled that life imprisonment for a first-time drug offense did not violate the Eighth Amendment's ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

No wonder, then, that most people waive their rights. Take the case of Erma Faye Stewart, a single African-American mother of two who was arrested at age 30 in a drug sweep in Hearne, Tex., in 2000. In jail, with no one to care for her two young children, she began to panic. Though she maintained her innocence, her court-appointed lawyer told her to plead guilty, since the prosecutor offered probation. Ms. Stewart spent a month in jail, and then relented to a plea. She was sentenced to 10 years' probation and ordered to pay a $1,000 fine. Then her real punishment began: upon her release, Ms. Stewart was saddled with a felony record; she was destitute, barred from food stamps and evicted from public housing. Once they were homeless, Ms. Stewart's children were taken away and placed in foster care. In the end, she lost everything even though she took the deal.

On the phone, Susan said she knew exactly what was involved in asking people who have been charged with crimes to reject plea bargains, and press for trial. "Believe me, I know. I'm asking what we can do. Can we crash the system just by exercising our rights?"

The answer is yes. The system of mass incarceration depends almost entirely on the cooperation of those it seeks to control. If everyone charged with crimes suddenly exercised his constitutional rights, there would not be enough judges, lawyers or prison cells to deal with the ensuing tsunami of litigation. Not everyone would have to join for the revolt to have an impact; as the legal scholar Angela J. Davis noted, "if the number of people exercising their trial rights suddenly doubled or tripled in some jurisdictions, it would create chaos."

Such chaos would force mass incarceration to the top of the agenda for politicians and policy makers, leaving them only two viable options: sharply scale back the number of criminal cases filed (for drug possession, for example) or amend the Constitution (or eviscerate it by judicial "emergency" fiat). Either action would create a crisis and the system would crash - it could no longer function as it had before. Mass protest would force a public conversation that, to date, we have been content to avoid.

In telling Susan that she was right, I found myself uneasy. "As a mother myself, I don't think there's anything I wouldn't plead guilty to if a prosecutor told me that accepting a plea was the only way to get home to my children," I said. "I truly can't imagine risking life imprisonment, so how can I urge others to take that risk - even if it would send shock waves through a fundamentally immoral and unjust system?"

Susan, silent for a while, replied: "I'm not saying we should do it. I'm saying we ought to know that it's an option. People should understand that simply exercising their rights would shake the foundations of our justice system which works only so long as we accept its terms. As you know, another brutal system of racial and social control once prevailed in this country, and it never would have ended if some people weren't willing to risk their lives. It would be nice if reasoned argument would do, but as we've seen that's just not the case. So maybe, just maybe, if we truly want to end this system, some of us will have to risk our lives."

Michelle Alexander is the author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.

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15) The Power to Kill
New York Times Editorial
March 10, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/11/opinion/sunday/the-power-to-kill.html?hp

President Obama, who came to office promising transparency and adherence to the rule of law, has become the first president to claim the legal authority to order an American citizen killed without judicial involvement, real oversight or public accountability.

That, regrettably, was the most lasting impression from a major address on national security delivered last week by Attorney General Eric Holder Jr.

There were parts of the speech worth celebrating - starting with Mr. Holder's powerful discussion of why trying most terrorists in civilian courts is best for punishing them and safeguarding America. But we are deeply concerned about his rejection of oversight and accountability when it comes to killing American citizens who are suspected of plotting terrorist acts.

A president has the right to order lethal force against conventional enemies during conventional war, or against unconventional enemies in unconventional wars. But when it comes to American citizens, there must be compelling evidence that the threat the citizen poses is imminent and that capturing the citizen is not a realistic option.

The case that has brought the issue to international attention is the Sept. 30, 2011, drone strike in Yemen that killed Anwar al-Awlaki, an American citizen, who United States officials say was part of Al Qaeda's command structure. Another American was killed in the strike, and Mr. Awlaki's 16-year-old son, also an American citizen, was killed in an attack two weeks later.

The killings touched off a storm of criticism. Mr. Awlaki's father tried to sue the government, which used the "national secrets" defense to have the case tossed out. But the administration has refused to acknowledge that the killing took place or that there is in fact a policy about "targeted killings" of Americans.

It has even refused to acknowledge the existence of a Justice Department memo providing legal justification for killing American citizens, even though that memo has been reported by The Times and others. It is beyond credibility that Mr. Obama ordered the Awlaki killing without getting an opinion from the department's Office of Legal Counsel. Even President George W. Bush took the trouble to have lawyers in that office cook up a memo justifying torture.

The administration intended Mr. Holder's speech to address the criticism and provide a legal argument for the policy, but it was deeply inadequate in important ways.

Mr. Holder agreed that killing an American citizen requires that he "poses an imminent threat of violent attack against the United States," that capture "is not feasible," that the target has military value, that other people are not targeted intentionally, that the potential "collateral damage" not be excessive and that the weapons used "will not inflict unnecessary suffering."

But he gave no inkling what the evidence was in the Awlaki case, and the administration did not provide a way in which anyone other than the people who gave the order could review whether the standards were met. Mr. Awlaki made tapes for Islamist Web sites that justified armed attacks on the United States by Muslims. But was he just spouting off, or actively plotting or supporting attacks?

All Mr. Holder did say was that the president could order such a killing without any judicial review and that any such operation would have "robust" Congressional oversight because the administration would brief Congressional leaders. He also said the administration provided Congress with the legal underpinnings for such killings.

In the Awlaki case, we do not know whether that notification was done in advance or after the fact, if it was done at all. We do know the administration has not given Congress the legal memo with the underlying justification for killing American citizens, because Senator Patrick Leahy, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, was asking Mr. Holder for it just the other day.

Perhaps most disturbing, Mr. Holder utterly rejected any judicial supervision of a targeted killing.

We have said that a decision to kill an American citizen should have judicial review, perhaps by a special court like the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which authorizes eavesdropping on Americans' communications.

Mr. Holder said that could slow a strike on a terrorist. But the FISA court works with great speed and rarely rejects a warrant request, partly because the executive branch knows the rules and does not present frivolous or badly argued cases. In Mr. Awlaki's case, the administration had long been complaining about him and tracking him. It made an earlier attempt to kill him.

Mr. Holder said such operations require high levels of secrecy. That is obvious, but the FISA court operates in secret, and at least Americans are assured that some legal authority not beholden to a particular president or political party is reviewing such operations.

Mr. Holder argued in his speech that judicial process and due process guaranteed by the Constitution "are not one and the same." This is a straw man. The judiciary has the power to say what the Constitution means and make sure the elected branches apply it properly. The executive acting in secret as the police, prosecutor, jury, judge and executioner is the antithesis of due process.

The administration should seek a court's approval before killing an American citizen, except in the sort of "hot pursuit" that justifies the police shooting of an ordinary suspect. There should be consequences in the event of errors - which are, tragically, made, and are the great risk. And the administration should publish the Office of Legal Counsel memo. We cannot image why Mr. Obama would want to follow the horrible example set by Mr. Bush in withholding such vital information from the public.

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16) Prisons Rethink Isolation, Saving Money, Lives and Sanity
"At least 25,000 prisoners - and probably tens of thousands more, criminal justice experts say - are still in solitary confinement in the United States. Some remain there for weeks or months; others for years or even decades. More inmates are held in solitary confinement here than in any other democratic nation, a fact highlighted in a United Nations report last week."
By ERICA GOODE
March 10, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/11/us/rethinking-solitary-confinement.html?hp

PARCHMAN, Miss. - The heat was suffocating, and the inmates locked alone in cells in Unit 32, the state's super-maximum-security prison, wiped away sweat as they lay on concrete slab beds.

Kept in solitary confinement for up to 23 hours each day, allowed out only in shackles and escorted by guards, they were restless and angry - made more so by the excrement-smeared walls, the insects, the filthy food trays and the mentally ill inmates who screamed in the night, conditions that a judge had already ruled unacceptable.

So it was not really surprising when violence erupted in 2007: an inmate stabbed to death with a homemade spear that May; in June, a suicide; in July, another stabbing; in August, a prisoner killed by a member of a rival gang.

What was surprising was what happened next. Instead of tightening restrictions further, prison officials loosened them.

They allowed most inmates out of their cells for hours each day. They built a basketball court and a group dining area. They put rehabilitation programs in place and let prisoners work their way to greater privileges.

In response, the inmates became better behaved. Violence went down. The number of prisoners in isolation dropped to about 300 from more than 1,000. So many inmates were moved into the general population of other prisons that Unit 32 was closed in 2010, saving the state more than $5 million.

The transformation of the Mississippi prison has become a focal point for a growing number of states that are rethinking the use of long-term isolation and re-evaluating how many inmates really require it, how long they should be kept there and how best to move them out. Colorado, Illinois, Maine, Ohio and Washington State have been taking steps to reduce the number of prisoners in long-term isolation; others have plans to do so. On Friday, officials in California announced a plan for policy changes that could result in fewer prisoners being sent to the state's three super-maximum-security units.

The efforts represent an about-face to an approach that began three decades ago, when corrections departments - responding to increasing problems with prison gangs, stiffer sentencing policies that led to overcrowding and the "get tough on crime" demands of legislators - began removing ever larger numbers of inmates from the general population. They placed them in special prisons designed to house inmates in long-term isolation or in other types of segregation.

At least 25,000 prisoners - and probably tens of thousands more, criminal justice experts say - are still in solitary confinement in the United States. Some remain there for weeks or months; others for years or even decades. More inmates are held in solitary confinement here than in any other democratic nation, a fact highlighted in a United Nations report last week.

Humanitarian groups have long argued that solitary confinement has devastating psychological effects, but a central driver in the recent shift is economics. Segregation units can be two to three times as costly to build and, because of their extensive staffing requirements, to operate as conventional prisons are. They are an expense that many recession-plagued states can ill afford; Gov. Pat Quinn of Illinois announced plans late last month to close the state's supermax prison for budgetary reasons.

Some officials have also been persuaded by research suggesting that isolation is vastly overused and that it does little to reduce overall prison violence. Inmates kept in such conditions, most of whom will eventually be released, may be more dangerous when they emerge, studies suggest.

Christopher B. Epps, Mississippi's commissioner of corrections, said he found his own views changing as he fought an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit over conditions in the prison, which one former inmate described as "hell, an insane asylum."

Mr. Epps said he started out believing that difficult inmates should be locked down as tightly as possible, for as long as possible.

"That was the culture, and I was part of it," he said.

By the end of the process, he saw things differently and ordered the changes.

"If you treat people like animals, that's exactly the way they'll behave," he now says.

A Very Costly Experiment

James F. Austin held up the file of an inmate in Unit 32 and posed a question to the staff members gathered in a conference room at the Mississippi Department of Corrections headquarters in Jackson.

"O.K., does this guy really need to be there?" he asked.

It was June 2007, and the department was under pressure to make court-ordered improvements to conditions at Unit 32, where violence was brewing. Dr. Austin, a prison consultant, had been called in by the state. As the discussion proceeded, the staff members were startled to discover that many inmates in Unit 32 had been sent there not because they were highly dangerous, but because they were a nuisance - they had disobeyed orders, had walked away from a minimum-security program or were low-level gang members with no history of causing trouble while incarcerated.

"He started saying, 'You tell me what kind of person needs to be locked up,' and it wasn't near the numbers that we had," said Emmitt L. Sparkman, deputy commissioner of corrections. By the time they were done, the group had determined that up to 80 percent of the 1,000 or more inmates at Unit 32 could probably be safely moved to less restrictive settings.

Like many such prisons, Mississippi's supermax, opened in 1990, owed its existence to the fervor for tougher punishment that swept through the country in the 1980s and 1990s.

"There was an incredible explosion in the prison population coupled with a big infusion of gangs," Dr. Austin said. "Riots were occurring. Prison officials were literally losing control."

Some states built special units to isolate difficult prisoners - "the worst of the worst," prison officials said - from the general prison population. Others retrofitted existing prisons or established smaller units within larger facilities. The federal penitentiary in Marion, Ill., was locked down in 1983 after the murder of two prison guards, its inmates confined to cells 23 hours a day and then kept that way permanently. In 1989, California opened Pelican Bay State Prison in Crescent City, a remote town near the Oregon border, specially designed to control inmates in conditions that minimize human interaction.

By 2005, 44 states had supermax prisons or their equivalents. In most, inmates were let out of their cells for only a few hours a week. They were fed through slots in their cell doors and were denied access to work programs or other rehabilitation efforts. If visitors were allowed, the interactions were conducted with no physical contact.

And while prisoners had previously been sent to isolation for 10 or perhaps 30 days as a temporary disciplinary measure, they were now often placed there indefinitely.

Asked to explain the purpose of such confinement, prison wardens surveyed in 2006 by Dan Mears, a professor of criminology at Florida State University, cited "increasing safety, order and control throughout prison systems and incapacitating violent or disruptive inmates."

But beyond that, said Dr. Mears, who called the rise of supermax prisons "a big, very costly experiment," the goals seemed murky. Who exactly were "the worst of the worst"? How many people really needed such harsh control, and for how long? And how should the effectiveness of the prisons be judged, especially when measured against the costs of building and operating them?

Dr. Mears said there were no clear answers; indeed, he said, it is virtually impossible to determine how many inmates are in supermax prisons in the United States because there is no national tracking system and because states differ widely in what they call segregation units. "I don't know of any business that would do this, not something that costs this much, with so little evidence or clarity about what you're getting," Dr. Mears said.

With no precise definition of who belonged there, prison systems began to send people to segregation units who bore little resemblance to the serial killers or terrorists the public imagined filled such prisons.

"Certainly there are a small number of people who for a variety of reasons have to be maintained in a way that they don't have access to other inmates," said Chase Riveland, a former head of corrections in Colorado and Washington State who now serves as an expert witness in prison cases. "But those in most systems are pretty small numbers of people."

Mr. Epps, who is also president of the American Correctional Association, likes to say prison officials started out isolating inmates they were scared of but ended up adding many they were simply "mad at."

'The Real Damage'

In 1831, the French historian Alexis de Tocqueville visited the Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, where prison officials were pioneering a novel rehabilitation method based on Quaker principles of reflection and penitence. They called it solitary confinement.

"Placed alone in view of his crime," de Tocqueville wrote in a report to the French government, the prisoner "learns to hate it, and if his soul be not yet surfeited with crime, and thus have lost all taste for any thing better, it is in solitude, where remorse will come to assail him."

But for many prisoners, isolation was as likely to produce mental illness as remorse, and by the late 19th century, enthusiasm for the approach had flagged. In 1890, deciding the case of a death row inmate held in solitary confinement, Justice Samuel Freeman Miller of the Supreme Court wrote that many prisoners fell, "after even a short confinement, into a semifatuous condition, from which it was next to impossible to arouse them, and others became violently insane; others still committed suicide."

It was the last time the nation's highest court would address the psychological effects of solitary confinement directly. But lower courts in some states have acknowledged the stress that isolation puts on inmates who are already mentally ill, prohibiting their being placed in solitary except in urgent circumstances.

When Dr. Terry Kupers, a psychiatrist and expert on the effects of solitary confinement, toured Unit 32 for the plaintiffs in the A.C.L.U. lawsuit, he found that about 100 of the more than 1,000 inmates there had serious mental illness, in many cases improperly diagnosed. Some were actively hallucinating. Others threw feces or urine at guards or howled in the night.

In turn, the mentally ill inmates were mistreated by corrections officers, who had little understanding of their condition, Dr. Kupers said.

In a report filed to the court, he described the case of James Coffield, a mentally ill prisoner who had demonstrated "a long history in Unit 32 of bizarre and disruptive behaviors" that prison psychiatrists "characterized as merely 'manipulative' and which security staff punished with increasingly harsh force, including repeated gassing with chemicals."

Mr. Coffield eventually tried to hang himself but failed and ended up in a vegetative state.

Many states continue to house inmates with mental illness in isolation. Some inmates appear to function adequately in solitary confinement or even say they prefer it. But studies suggest that the rigid control, absence of normal human interaction and lack of stimulation imposed by prolonged isolation can cause a wide range of psychological symptoms including insomnia, withdrawal, rage and aggression, depression, hallucinations and thoughts of suicide, even in prisoners who are mentally healthy to begin with.

A study of prisoners in the Pelican Bay supermax, for example, found that almost all reported nervousness, anxiety, lethargy or other psychological complaints. Seventy percent said they felt themselves to be at risk of "impending nervous breakdown."

"Worse still is the fact that for many of these men, the real damage only becomes apparent when they get out of this environment," said Craig W. Haney, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and an expert on the effects of solitary confinement, who led the study.

In fact, some research has found that inmates released from supermax units are more likely to reoffend than comparable prisoners released from conventional maximum-security prisons, and that those crimes are more likely to be violent. In Colorado, said Tom Clements, executive director of corrections, it turned out that about 40 percent of inmates held in long-term isolation were being released directly to the community with no transition period.

The psychological research has drawn attention, not least from the international community. In a report presented to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva on Monday, Juan E. Méndez, the U.N.'s special rapporteur on torture and other abuse, called for a ban on solitary confinement except in limited situations and singled out the United States for its reliance on the method.

In 2010, the European Court of Human Rights blocked the extradition of four terrorism suspects from Britain, saying it wanted to study whether imprisonment at the federal supermax prison in Florence, Colo., violated a ban on inhuman or degrading treatment.

Yet for states, economic and practical arguments may prove more persuasive than humanitarian concerns.

"It's just exceedingly expensive to hold someone in a segregation bed," said Angela Browne, a senior fellow at the Vera Institute of Justice, a nonprofit policy and research group, and head of the institute's segregation reduction project, which works with states to find alternatives to segregation.

Several states, citing economic reasons, have converted supermax units to more conventional prisons, and a few have closed the prisons altogether. Unit 32 was closed in 2010. The increased costs are largely a result of the staffing required to deliver food and other services to cells and escort prisoners when they are let out.

In 2010, for example, Virginia reported that it cost $89.59 per day to keep a prisoner at Red Onion State Prison, a supermax unit with 399 employees, compared with $60.04 per day at Sussex II State Prison, a maximum-security facility that houses almost 500 more inmates but has a staff of 353.

Gambling on Change

Roy Harper, serving time for armed robbery, kidnapping and other charges, used to wake in his cell at Unit 32 seized with anxiety every morning. "You never know what the day is going to bring," he said recently.

Sometimes it was flooding from malfunctioning toilets. Sometimes it was inmates setting fires or cutting themselves - two prisoners cut off their own testicles in the time he spent there, he said - and sometimes it was just the sense of isolation he felt, "like being alone in the world."

Mr. Harper was a prisoner in Unit 32 from the day it opened to the day it closed, 20 years later. But the summer of 2007, he recalled, was worse than most. When the killings began, prison officials first cracked down, taking away the inmates' fans - the only relief from summer temperatures that approached 100 degrees and, according to an environmental expert who filed a report on the conditions, could feel like 120 or more. They kept prisoners in their cells around the clock, not even allowing them out for exercise, he said.

Mr. Sparkman, the deputy corrections commissioner, viewed the situation as so critical that in July he moved from his home in Jackson to Parchman, where Unit 32 sits on the grounds of the state penitentiary. It was clear that a different approach was needed, he said: "What we were doing, the 23-hour lockdown, was not working."

But the shift had to be made carefully.

"It was gradual, and it was very controlled," Mr. Sparkman said. "We started out with one building, identifying those groups that we could let out, and we let some of them out. Some of them we were able to transfer completely out."

A few guards rebelled at the new orders and resigned in protest. A few others were fired. But by the end of six months, most prisoners were spending hours a day outside their cells or had been moved to the general population of other prisons. A clothing warehouse was turned into a group dining hall, and a maintenance room was converted to an activities center. The basketball court filled with players.

Mr. Harper did not benefit immediately from the changes. He remained in 23-hour lockdown until he worked his way to greater privileges. But he was elated at what he saw, he said, with inmates "working again, walking without chains, going to the yard, going to the chow hall."

The A.C.L.U. continues to monitor conditions in other prisons in the state. But Margaret Winter, the lead lawyer for the A.C.L.U. in its lawsuit over Unit 32, said she watched the transformation there in wonder, especially as two men who at the beginning of the process seemed deeply entrenched in their views shifted direction. The change, she said, was "stunning."

Mr. Sparkman said the new approach went against everything he had been trained to do. "If you'd come to me in 2002 and told me I was going to do something like that, I'd say, 'You don't know me,' " he said. "I'd have probably locked them down for anything that squeaked."

Mr. Epps looks back at the decision as a nerve-racking gamble.

"Was it scary? Absolutely," he said. "But it worked out just fine. We didn't have a single incident."

Scott Shane contributed reporting from Washington.

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