Friday, March 16, 2012

BAY AREA UNITED AGAINST WAR NEWSLETTER--March 16, 2012



MAY DAY 2012

OCCUPY WALL STREET STANDS IN SOLIDARITY WITH CALLS FOR:

ON MAY DAY -- WHEREVER YOU ARE -- WHOEVER YOU ARE

NO WORK! NO CHORES! NO BANKING! NO SHOPPING! NO SCHOOL!

A DAY WITHOUT THE 99 PERCENT -- A GENERAL STRIKE AND MORE!!

TAKE THE STREETS!

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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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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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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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6 Ways to Get Ready for the May 1st GENERAL STRIKE

Posted 2 days ago on March 11, 2012, 7:57 a.m. EST by OccupyWallSt

Yesterday, 60,000 marched on Madison to mark the one-year anniversary of the passage of Governor Scott Walker's drastic dismantling of collective bargaining rights for public employees. Last year, Walker's attacks on labor rights sparked massive protests that saw hundreds of thousands occupy the Wisconsin capital building. Their actions prefigured Occupy Wall Street and inspired countless others to take a stand against economic inequality, political injustice, and the tyranny of the 1% enforced through politicians and banksters alike.

This is just one example that people across the globe are actively resisting attacks on the 99%. This year has already seen the largest-ever strike on record in India, hundreds of thousands marching for democracy in Bahrain, general strikes in Montreal and Spain where students once again occupied public space in protest of the austerity measures and spending cuts being enforced by the European banking elite, massive uprisings in the streets of Moscow, and more. Even in the United States, the movement grows. The corporate media claims that Occupy's strength is waning, but they are merely in denial. During the coldest months of this year, the United States has already seen more revolutionary momentum than it has in decades.

This winter, we refocused our energies on fostering ties with local communities, saving homes from corrupt banks and jobs from greedy corporations, and building and expanding our horizontal infrastructure. This #GlobalSpring, we will take the streets again. On May 1st, Occupy Wall Street has called for a General Strike. We are calling on everyone who supports the cause of economic justice and true democracy to take part: No Work, No School, No Housework, No Shopping, No Banking - and most importantly, TAKE THE STREETS!

We are getting ready. Planning is already underway in dozens of cities. Labor organizers, immigrants' rights groups, artists, Occupiers, faith leaders, and more have all joined in the discussion to get ready. Now, all we need is you. Keep reading to find out how you can get involved!

May 1st, also known as International Workers' Day, is the annual commemoration of the 1886 Haymarket Massacre in Chicago, when Chicago police fired on workers during a General Strike for the eight-hour workday. In many countries, May 1st is observed as a holiday. But in the United States, despite the eventual success of the eight-hour-workday campaign, the holiday is not officially recognized. In spite of this, May Day is already a powerful date in the U.S. In 2006, immigrant's rights groups took to the streets in unprecedented numbers in a national "Day Without An Immigrant" - a general strike aimed at proving the economic power of immigrants in the U.S. At least one million people marched in Chicago and Los Angeles alone. Hundreds of thousands more marched throughout cities across the U.S.

Now, in response to call-outs from Occupy Los Angeles, Occupy Chicago, Occupy Oakland, and other General Assemblies and affinity groups, the Occupy Movement is preparing to mobilize a General Strike this May 1st in solidarity with struggles already underway to defend the rights of workers, immigrants, and other communities who are resisting oppression. Dozens of Occupations in cities and towns throughout the United States, Canada, and Australia have already endorsed May Day. Here is just a taste of events in the works for New York City:

* 8am-4pm: Midtown action staging zone in Bryant Park.
* Disruptive actions in midtown all day! Hit the 1% where they live and prevent them from getting to work. Let's make this a Day Without the 1%, as well!
* Family friendly, free food, a really, REALLY free market, skillshares, workshops, lectures, art, fun and more!
* 4pm: March to Union Square for solidarity march
* 5:30pm: Solidarity march from Union Square to Wall St.
* 7pm: March to staging area for evening actions

And this is just the beginning. To quote the Confederación Nacional del Trabajo, a major Spanish union, who recently called for a national General Strike in Spain on March 29th to protest labor reforms:

For the CNT, the strike on March 29 must be only the beginning of a growing and sustained process of mobilization, one which includes the entire working class and the sectors that are most disadvantaged and affected by the capitalist crisis. This mobilization must put the brakes on the dynamic of constant assaults on our rights, while laying the bases for the recovery and conquest of new social rights with the goal of a deep social transformation.

None of this would be possible without the grassroots support of everyday organizers who volunteer their time to grow the movement against Wall Street greed and political corruption. Here are eight simple things you can do to help advance the cause of equity for all:

[1] Work With Your Local Occupy: There are hundreds of Occupy groups still holding regular meetings and events. Chances are, there's one nearby. (And if there isn't yet - it's easy to start one!) General Assemblies are open to everyone, and everyone has a voice in the consensus planning process. So find your nearest Occupation and go to a GA! If they haven't already endorsed the General Strike, propose it to the group and start planning marches, distributing fliers, and forming direct action groups.

[2] Spread the Word On Social Media: Follow #M1GS, @OWSMayDay, @OccupyWallSt, and @OccupyGenStrike on Twitter. Also be sure to RSVP on Facebook and follow facebook.com/OccupyGeneralStrike. You can also look for city-specific events, like these from Chicago and Detroit.

[3] Start an Affinity Group: You can take action on your own. All you need are a few friends. Affinity groups are groups of people who know each other and come together autonomously for a particular action. Find a few people who are interested in helping you out on a project you have in mind - whether it's making fliers and literature to distribute, or shutting down a Wall Street bank in your hometown. Get creative, and get to work! (Here's a hint: OccuPrint collects, prints, and distributes posters from the worldwide Occupy movement, and they have a ton of amazing General Strike posters!)

[4] Join the General Strike Conference Calls: InterOccupy hosts regular calls to organize May 1st activities. Check out their schedule and join in the conversation!

[5] Talk to Labor: Due to federal laws, most unions are forbidden from organizing strikes for political reasons. However, unions and labor groups are still some of our strongest allies. During last year's General Strike in Oakland, many unions encouraged their workers to take the day off or attend demonstrations after work. Not long after Occupy Oakland shut down ports in solidarity with striking Longshoreman, their employers caved to the union's demands in a new contract. Get in touch with local unions and labor organizations, let them know about the plans for a General Strike, find out what they're working on and how you can help, and encourage them to let their members know about May 1st and get involved in organizing directly.

[6] Organize Your Workplace, Campus, or Community: If you're a unionized worker, encourage your union to support the General Strike. Whether your workplace is union or not, you can encourage co-workers to take a sick day on May 1st. If you can't afford to lose out on pay, that's okay - there will be plenty of celebrations, marches, and direct actions throughout all hours of the day. Invite your community to attend. If you're a student at a high school or college, spread the word to walk-out of class on May 1st. If you're not a worker or student, organize your friends!

More information: [MayDayNYC.org] | [OccupyMay1st.org] | [StrikeEverywhere.net] | [NYC General Assembly - May Day]

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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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Organizing & Instigating: OCCUPY - Ronnie Goodman
http://arthazelwood.com/instigator/occupy/occupy-birth-video.html



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Rep News 12: Yes We Kony
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=68GbzIkYdc8



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The New Black by The Mavrix - Official Music Video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4rLfja8488



In a first ever musical collaboration between South Africa and Palestine, South African band, The Mavrix, and Palestinian Oud player, Mohammed Omar, have released a music video called "The New Black". The song is taken from The Mavrix' upcoming album,"Pura Vida", due for release in June 2012.

Written and composed by Jeremy Karodia and Ayub Mayet, the song was a musical reaction to the horror of the Gaza Massacre of 2008/2009 and then subsequently inspired by the book "Mornings in Jenin", authored by Susan Abulhawa. Mayet had penned the first lyrics in 2009 after the Massacre and the song went into musical hibernation. Having read the novel, "Mornings in Jenin", he then re-wrote the lyrics and the song evolved into its current version.

Haidar Eid, a Gaza based BDS activist and friend of the band, heard the song in 2011 and urged the band to do a collaboration with Palestinian Oud player, Mohamed Omar. He also suggested that the band do a video highlighting the collaboration between South African and Palestinian musicians and also the similarities in the two struggles.

The song was recorded by The Mavrix in South Africa whilst Mohamed recorded the Oud in Gaza and, although never having had the opportunity to meet, the musical interplay between the musicians so far apart illustrates the empathy the musicians feel in solidarity with each other.

Produced by The Palestinian Solidarity Alliance (South Africa) and the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) along with written endorsements from Haidar Eid of PACBI, Omar Barghouti of the BDS Movement, Ali Abunimah of Electronic Intifada and Susan Abulhawa, author of "Mornings in Jenin", the song represents a message of support from South Africans, who having transgressed and crossed over their own oppression under apartheid, stand in solidarity with Palestinians who are currently experiencing their own oppression under Israeli apartheid

In a first ever musical collaboration between South Africa and Palestine, South African band, The Mavrix, and Palestinian Oud player, Mohammed Omar, have released a music video called "The New Black". The song is taken from The Mavrix' upcoming album,"Pura Vida", due for release in June 2012.

Written and composed by Jeremy Karodia and Ayub Mayet, the song was a musical reaction to the horror of the Gaza Massacre of 2008/2009 and then subsequently inspired by the book "Mornings in Jenin", authored by Susan Abulhawa. Mayet had penned the first lyrics in 2009 after the Massacre and the song went into musical hibernation. Having read the novel, "Mornings in Jenin", he then re-wrote the lyrics and the song evolved into its current version.

Haidar Eid, a Gaza based BDS activist and friend of the band, heard the song in 2011 and urged the band to do a collaboration with Palestinian Oud player, Mohamed Omar. He also suggested that the band do a video highlighting the collaboration between South African and Palestinian musicians and also the similarities in the two struggles.

The song was recorded by The Mavrix in South Africa whilst Mohamed recorded the Oud in Gaza and, although never having had the opportunity to meet, the musical interplay between the musicians so far apart illustrates the empathy the musicians feel in solidarity with each other.

Produced by The Palestinian Solidarity Alliance (South Africa) and the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) along with written endorsements from Haidar Eid of PACBI, Omar Barghouti of the BDS Movement, Ali Abunimah of Electronic Intifada and Susan Abulhawa, author of "Mornings in Jenin", the song represents a message of support from South Africans, who having transgressed and crossed over their own oppression under apartheid, stand in solidarity with Palestinians who are currently experiencing their own oppression under Israeli apartheid

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Japan One Year Later
http://www.onlineschools.org/japan-one-year-later/

OnlineSchools.org presents Japan One Year Later Japan One Year Later

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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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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

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



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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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Antiwar/Social Justice Activist Arrested
Support Joe Callahan

On July 31, 2011, after two Salvadoran immigrants went to Canada to apply for asylum, long-time Twin Cities activist Joe Callahan was arrested by Canadian police at the Pigeon River border station. At the time Joe was alone in his car. The Canadian police used a backpack, maps and other items found in Joe's car as the grounds for his arrest.

Joe was charged with "aiding and abetting an immigration without a visa," and "providing false and misleading information." As a result of these charges, Joe was locked up in the Thunder Bay District Jail in cramped, crowded conditions where inmates are frequently forced to sleep on the floor, as Joe did for the first several days he was there. While Joe was in custody, the authorities added the charge of "smuggling" or "human trafficking." This charge is much more serious and carries a maximum sentence of ten years.

After one month Joe was released on bail and was allowed to return to the Minneapolis area, pending trial. He is restricted to the Twin Cities area as a condition of his release. Meanwhile, the prosecuting attorney, or "Crown Attorney," as they are called in Canada, informed Joe's defense attorneys that he is seeking a sentence of three or four years. The trial will be held in Thunder Bay, Ontario. The date has not yet been set. Joe is being represented by Mary Bird and Francis Thatcher, a prominent attorney in the Aboriginal rights struggle.

Over the last thirty years Joe has been active in solidarity work for Central America and Cuba. He has been an active defender of immigration rights. He was also active against an attempt to reinstate the death penalty in Minnesota. His record in the fight for justice goes back to his youth. As a student he was active in the anti-Vietnam war movement.

For four and a half years Joe worked for the Metro Transit System as a bus driver, and was a member of the Amalgamated Transit Union. He has spent his working life in blue collar, unionized jobs. Now, because of his legal difficulties, he has been forced to take a lower-paying position as a driver for a small bus company.

Joe Callahan is NOT a human trafficker! Joe is NOT a smuggler! These charges against him are unfounded and they should be dropped. Joe is a political activist concerned about the rights of immigrants. He needs the help of all supporters of democratic rights.

You can aid in Joe's defense:

--Send donations to: Joe Callahan Support Committee, 2919 Polk St. NE, Minneapolis, Mn 55418

--Circulate this letter and urge others to sign. New signers can sign via email to:
joecallahansupport@hotmail.com

--Attend Joe's trial in Thunder Bay, Ontario. For more information contact:
supportjoe.wordpress.com or joecallahansupport@hotmail.com

In solidarity,

Michael Rattner, President, Center for Constitutional Rights; Michael Steven Smith, Esq. Co-host, Law and Disorder; Jeff Mackler, Dir., Mobilization to Free Mumia Abu Jamal; Roger Sheppard, Member, Local 105 IBEW (retired); Barbara Mutnick, activist, Queens, New York; Cliff Conner, author, "A People's History of Science"; Marv Gandall, activist, Ottawa Canada; Walker Jones, activist, Ottawa Canada; Bruce Scheff, Chicago, IL; -Continued on page 2-; Support Joe Callahan, page 2; Dianne Feeley, Editor, Against the Current; Alan Wald, Editor, Against the Current; Malik Miah, Editor, Against the Current; John Riddell, Toronto; Suzanne Weiss, Toronto; Art Young, Greater Toronto Workers' Assembly; Linda Meissenheimer, Toronto; Brad Sigal, Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Coalition; Marie Braun, Twin Cities Peace Campaign; Dave Bicking, Green Party; Alan Dale, Minnesota Peace Action Coalition; Tracy Molm, Students for a Democratic Society; Eric Angell, co-producer, "Our World in "Depth"; Colleen McGilp, AFSCME (retired); Jess Sundin, Anti-War Committee; Bruce Nestor, Past President, National Lawyers Guild; Linden Gawboy, Committee to Stop FBI Repression; Tim O'Brien, Hands Off Honduras; Anh Pham, Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Coalition; Timothy Jordan, architect, Minneapolis; Kay Pitney, activist, Minneapolis; Jennie Eisert, Anti-War Committee; Beth Shapiro, Women Against Military Madness; Joel Greenberg, Chicago, Il.; Mark Satinoff, shop steward, IAM Local Lodge 1894, Queens, NY; Carol Hayse, LCSW
Note: Organizations for Identification Purposes Only

This letter has been approved by the Joe Callahan Support Committee.
Please circulate this letter as widely as possible to potential supporters.

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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) Wall Street Protesters Complain of Police Surveillance
By COLIN MOYNIHAN
March 11, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/12/nyregion/occupy-wall-street-protesters-complain-of-police-monitoring.html?ref=nyregion

2) Urgent Appeal from Gaza
From: Mona Elfarra [mailto:mona4gaza@yahoo.com]
Vice president
Red Crescent society for Gaza strip
MECA Director -Gaza Strip
Mona4gaza@yahoo.com
0097-0598868222

3) Half of India's homes have cellphones, but not toilets
P. Sunderarajan
March 14, 2012
http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article2992061.ece?css=print

4) Inmate's Lament: 'Rather Be Dead Than Here'
[Being forced to cop a plea in 90 percent of cases in U.S. courts is the same as going to jail without a trial. The U.S. is leading the way to mass incarceration without trial!...bw]
By RANDAL C. ARCHIBOLD
March 13, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/14/world/americas/in-latin-america-prisons-condemned-to-crisis.html?hp

5) Rising Sea Levels Seen as Threat to Coastal U.S.
By JUSTIN GILLIS
March 13, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/14/science/earth/study-rising-sea-levels-a-risk-to-coastal-states.html?ref=us

6) Home Base of Accused Soldier Has Faced Scrutiny
"Joint Base Lewis-McChord had 16 soldiers commit suicide last year, the most of any Army post, Army statistics show. Since 2003, 68 soldiers from the base have killed themselves, among the higher totals for the Army in that period, but still below Fort Hood, Fort Campbell and Fort Bragg."
By WILLIAM YARDLEY, SERGE F. KOVALESKI and JAMES DAO
March 13, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/14/us/more-scrutiny-of-lewis-mcchord-home-base-of-accused-soldier.html?ref=us

7) A San Francisco District Begins to Reduce Blight
[Thousands of Bay View/Hunters Point residents have already been forced from their homes. Aside from the toxic legassy of the Navel Ship Yard and sewage treatment plant, this area has some of the best weather and sits right on the Bay. As usual, urban renewal means Black removal. I was a resident of the area for 15 years and many of our friends now live in Reno, Nevada or outlining areas around the Bay Area but can't come back to San Francisco. Not even to Bay View/Hunters Point!..bw]
By BARBARA TANNENBAUM
March 13, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/14/realestate/commercial/revived-project-lifts-bayview-a-blighted-san-francisco-area.html?ref=us

8) Antiwar/Social Justice Activist Arrested
Support Joe Callahan
--Send donations to: Joe Callahan Support Committee, 2919 Polk St. NE, Minneapolis, Mn 55418
--Circulate this letter and urge others to sign. New signers can sign via email to:
joecallahansupport@hotmail.com
--Attend Joe's trial in Thunder Bay, Ontario. For more information contact:
supportjoe.wordpress.com or joecallahansupport@hotmail.com
[PLEASE DISTRIBUTE WIDELY]

9) Juveniles Don't Deserve Life Sentences
"Nationwide, 79 young adolescents have been sentenced to die in prison - a sentence not imposed on children anywhere else in the world. These children were told that they could never change and that no one cared what became of them. They were denied access to education and rehabilitation programs and left without help or hope. ...Young people are biologically different from adults. Brain imaging studies reveal that the regions of the adolescent brain responsible for controlling thoughts, actions and emotions are not fully developed. They cannot be held to the same standards when they commit terrible wrongs."
By GAIL GARINGER
March 14, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/15/opinion/juveniles-dont-deserve-life-sentences.html

10) Lawyer: Scott Olsen Was Hit by Beanbag Round
"'It looks like one officer intentionally shot him,' Olsen's attorney says."
By: Zoe Corneli
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
http://www.baycitizen.org/occupy-movement/story/lawyer-scott-olsen-was-hit-bean-bag/?utm_source=Newsletters&utm_campaign=2269fbf0dd-March_15_Daily_Newsletter&utm_medium=email&mc_cid=2269fbf0dd&mc_eid=33d2755225

11) Don't Cut Pensions, Expand Them
By TERESA GHILARDUCCI
March 15, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/16/opinion/pension-funds-for-the-public.html

12) A Meter So Expensive, It Creates Parking Spots
[Just think--if they make parking meters $100.00 per hour--how many more parking spaces there would be for the 1/10th of the One Percent! Why not make it illegal for any person earning less than a million dollars a year to park anywhere in the city--then fine them their yearly pay if their car is found parked on the street; put them in jail if they can't pay their fine; and then to work without pay as prison labor! My oh my what creative thinkers these people are! Way to go to create parking spaces in this congested city! ...bw]
By MICHAEL COOPER and JO CRAVEN McGINTY
March 15, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/16/us/program-aims-to-make-the-streets-of-san-francisco-easier-to-park-on.html?ref=us

13) Parents of Slain Black Teen Want FBI Investigation
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
March 16, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2012/03/16/us/ap-us-neighborhood-watch-death.html?ref=us

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1) Wall Street Protesters Complain of Police Surveillance
By COLIN MOYNIHAN
March 11, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/12/nyregion/occupy-wall-street-protesters-complain-of-police-monitoring.html?ref=nyregion

On Nov. 17, Kira Moyer-Sims was near the Manhattan Bridge, buying coffee while three friends waited nearby in a car. More than a dozen blocks away, protesters gathered for an Occupy Wall Street "day of action," which organizers had described as an attempt to block the streets around the New York Stock Exchange.

Then, Ms. Moyer-Sims said, about 30 police officers surrounded her and the people in the car.

All four were arrested, said Vik Pawar, a lawyer for Ms. Moyer-Sims and two of the others, and taken to a police facility in the East Village. He said officers strip-searched them and ignored their requests for a lawyer. The fourth person could not be reached for comment.

Ms. Moyer-Sims, 20, said members of the Police Department's intelligence division asked about her personal history, her relationship with other protesters, the nature of Occupy Wall Street and plans for upcoming protests.

"I felt like I had been arrested for a thought crime," she said.

Mr. Pawar said that the police had charged his three clients, Ms. Moyer-Sims, Angela Richino and Matthew Vrvilo, with obstructing governmental administration, but that the Manhattan district attorney's office had declined to prosecute them.

Now they are preparing to sue the city, Mr. Pawar said, adding that the arrests had violated their constitutional rights.

"Not only are the police disrupting people's rights to free expression," Mr. Pawar said. "They are taking pre-emptive steps by arresting people who might be just thinking about exercising their rights."

Though Occupy Wall Street has largely faded from the headlines, organizers are planning springtime demonstrations in an effort to revitalize their movement. And they are troubled by what they consider continued monitoring by the police.

In 2003, citing the dangers of terrorism, a federal judge granted expanded surveillance powers to the New York police, who had previously faced restrictions in monitoring political groups. Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and others have said the new latitude is essential to keeping the city safe.

But the Police Department's surveillance efforts have recently gained attention and criticism with reports that officers compiled detailed data on Muslim communities. Now, some Occupy protesters worry that they are being subjected to similar scrutiny.

For the last few months, protest organizers say, police officers or detectives have been posted outside buildings where private meetings were taking place, have visited the homes of organizers and have questioned protesters arrested on minor charges.

"The N.Y.P.D. surveillance does not appear to be limited to unlawful activity," said Donna Lieberman, the executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union. "We count on the police, of course, to be on the lookout for terrorists and terrorism, but to think you could be on that continuum just by going to a peaceful protest is nuts."

A police spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.

Undercover officers are generally entitled to attend public political gatherings. Protesters said apparent efforts to keep tabs on them had included officers' showing up at private meetings and what some described as attempts at intimidation.

Ashley Cunningham, an Occupy organizer, said that on Dec. 16, officers parked outside her home in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, where people were discussing a demonstration planned for the next day.

Another organizer, Sandy Nurse, said she arrived at her apartment building in Bushwick, Brooklyn, on Dec. 16 and found uniformed officers outside who told her they were there to conduct a "security check" for a condition they would not identify.

Although she told them they could not enter, Ms. Nurse said, an officer used his foot to prevent the front door from closing behind her, followed her into the building's entryway vestibule, and threatened to arrest her for obstruction of government administration. Ms. Nurse said the visit did not feel like a coincidence.

"It means that they are watching us," she said. "They know who we are, where we live and where we are organizing."

At various other points, organizers said, officers have posted themselves outside a building in the financial district where organizers were meeting, and stood in a hallway outside of an art studio in Dumbo, Brooklyn, where protesters were making signs and banners.

Several people charged with offenses like trespassing said detectives from the intelligence division questioned them, with other officers explaining that it was because of their connection to Occupy Wall Street.

Some of those questioned said the detectives seemed mainly interested in knowing about coming demonstrations. But sometimes, protesters and lawyers said, the questioning went further.

Mark Adams, a 32-year-old engineer from Virginia, said he was arrested in November at an Occupy Wall Street protest in Midtown and was questioned by a police detective and an agent from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, who asked about his involvement with Occupy Wall Street, requested his e-mail address and inquired whether he had ever been to Yemen or met anyone connected to Al Qaeda.

Mr. Adams, a naturalized United States citizen who was born in Pakistan, said he was arrested during another protest in January and questioned by intelligence division detectives. In that instance, he said, the detectives asked him about specific names and addresses, asked about his work history, education and family, and questioned him about a trip he had made to Ireland.

Mr. Adams said he was disturbed that anyone would consider him a threat because of his ethnicity or political views. "It's scary," he said.

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2) Urgent Appeal from Gaza
From: Mona Elfarra [mailto:mona4gaza@yahoo.com]
Vice president
Red Crescent society for Gaza strip
MECA Director -Gaza Strip
Mona4gaza@yahoo.com
0097-0598868222

As the Israeli army continues its military attacks against the Gaza strip, those attacks that started since Friday 10th of March 530 pm, and continue targeting Palestinian resistance armed men, those offensive acts are illegal according to international law, every human is entitled to a trial, and assassination act is illegal while resisting occupation is legal according to international law

. Usually the entire civilian population includes women and children, pays large price and takes the brunt of this situation.

Our concern is the lack of medications and supplies, and if the operation continues, the number of causalities will increase; the toll is 16 dead and 30 injured till this minute

Gaza Population already lives under a devastating humanitarian situation while the occupation continues, and the internal conflict is not solved, and the governments of the world are silent. And indifferent.

We at the RCSG, appeals to the international community and to our friends and supporters, to spread the word, make the pressure on your governments, to stop these attacks soon.

The humanitarian situation in GAZA is on the verge of collapse, the military attacks continue while we lack electricity and our medical facilities and hospitals have little exhausted amounts of fuel to operate the alternative generators, we have insufficient medications, 186 basic medications are lacking in our pharmacies and drug stores, beside the insufficient medical supplies, children in the special care baby units are in great danger, as well as renal dialysis patients, cancer patients are dying unnecessary while unable to have their treatment, diabetic and asthmatic patients, as well as many chronic illness patients, those who need their medications regularly cannot get it, the list is too long to mention .

Please act immediately to stop this attack against Gaza population

You have been always great supporters and showed your solidarity at the most difficult times.

Yours sincerely

Mona ElFarra

Vice president

Red Crescent society for Gaza strip

MECA Director -Gaza Strip

Mona4gaza@yahoo.com

0097-0598868222

Mona ElFarra

From Gaza With Love

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3) Half of India's homes have cellphones, but not toilets
P. Sunderarajan
March 14, 2012
http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article2992061.ece?css=print

Census sheds new light on changing nation

Though half of all Indians do not have a toilet at home, well over half own a telephone, new census data released on Tuesday show.

These and many other contrasting facts of life have come out in Census 2011. The data on housing, household amenities and assets cast new light on a country in the throes of a complex transition, where millions have access to state-of-the-art technologies and consumer goods - but a larger number lacks access to the most rudimentary facilities.

It shows Indian society is overwhelmingly made up of nuclear families. They have ever more access to electricity and gather their information from television, rather than radio. At the same time, women are forced to rely on traditional smoky fuels to cook, and less than a third of the population have access to treated drinking water.

Only 46.9 per cent of the total 246.6 million households have toilet facilities. Of the rest, 3.2 per cent use public toilets. And 49.8 per cent ease themselves in the open. In stark contrast, 63.2 per cent of the households own a telephone connection - 53.2 per cent of mobile phones

Releasing the data, Registrar-General and Census Commissioner C. Chandramouli said the lack of sanitary facilities "continues to be a big concern for the country." "Cultural and traditional reasons," he argued, "and lack of education seemed to be the primary reasons for this unhygienic practice. We have to do a lot in these areas."

However, the data also show significant deficits in areas that have nothing to do with cultural practices or poor education. For example, two-thirds of households continue to use firewood, crop residue, cow dung cakes or coal for cooking - putting women to significant health hazards and hardship.

The data also show that just 32 per cent of the households use treated water for drinking and 17 per cent still fetch drinking water from a source located more than 500 metres in rural areas or 100 metres in urban centres.

There has been an 11 percentage point increase in households using electricity, from 56 per cent to 67 per cent. The rural-urban gap for this indicator has dropped by seven percentage point, from 44 per cent to 37 per cent.

India, the data show, is now overwhelmingly made up of nuclear families - a dramatic change from just a generation ago, where joint families were the norm. Seventy per cent of the households consist of only one couple. Indian families are overwhelmingly likely - 86.6 per cent of them - to live in their own houses, but 37.1 per cent live in a single room.

Though there has been a nine percentage point jump in the numbers of households who own a two-wheeler, 45 per cent own a cycle, which remains the primary mode of transport.

The data cast light on the changing character of the media. There has been a 16 per cent increase in the number of households watching television, but a 15 per cent decline in the use of radios and transistors. A total of 47.2 per cent of households own a television; only 19.9 per cent have either radio or transistors.

Correction: The table has been edited to correct an error in earlier versions which suggested the number of households with (1) latrine facilities connected to a piped sewer system and (2) with no drainage system were 11.9 per cent and 48.9 per cent respectively of households with a latrine facility inside the house. In fact, these numbers are a percentage of all households.

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4) Inmate's Lament: 'Rather Be Dead Than Here'
[Being forced to cop a plea in 90 percent of cases in U.S. courts is the same as going to jail without a trial. The U.S. is leading the way to mass incarceration without trial!...bw]
By RANDAL C. ARCHIBOLD
March 13, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/14/world/americas/in-latin-america-prisons-condemned-to-crisis.html?hp

SAN SALVADOR - In a prison called Hope, there is little of it to go around.

Inmates at La Esperanza penitentiary here cram into "the caves," their name for the suffocating spaces underneath bunk beds, desperate for a place to sleep. Others sprawl out on every inch of floor under a thicket of exposed electrical wires in sweltering, dirty cells, until they can come up with the $35 or more they will need to buy space on a bunk from fellow prisoners. In these tight quarters, it has become a flourishing trade.

The 19 prisons in this country were built to hold 8,000 people. These days, 24,000 are stuffed into them, leaving inmates to string hammocks from the ceiling or bed down on the floor of a library that is now too full of prisoners to hold any books.

Such overcrowding is not uncommon in Latin America. But after a grisly prison fire killed 360 inmates in Honduras last month and a massacre killed 44 in Mexico less than a week later, prison administrators and investigators are warning that the problem has sunk to new depths, spurred by the growing power of criminal groups and the mounting demand to stop them.

Public frustration with murders, robberies, rapes and assaults has led to law enforcement crackdowns that emphasize arrests over prosecution, swelling prisons and jails sometimes two, three or four times beyond capacity with inmates who have typically never gone on trial, much less been convicted.

At a prison in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, Santos Vicente Hernández clambered out of a wheelchair and dragged himself across filthy floors to a bathroom. He was paralyzed in a shootout and arrested for murder 12 years ago, yet he is still waiting to get a trial, he said. At his penitentiary, nearly two-thirds of the 2,250 inmates - in a prison built for 800 - have not been formally convicted, government statistics show.

"I'd rather be dead than here," Mr. Hernández said.

Venezuelan officials said the number of prisoners awaiting sentencing or trial had dropped to about 50 percent, though independent monitors put it at 66 percent to 70 percent. Across Honduras, 53 percent of inmates have not been tried or sentenced, according to government officials there. In Guatemala, the figure is 54 percent; in El Salvador, it is 30 percent; and in Panama, it is 61 percent, according to the International Centre for Prison Studies, a research group in England. (In the United States, it is 21 percent, the group says.)

Human rights observers have repeatedly sounded alarms about the crowding and deteriorating conditions. After the fire in Honduras, believed to have been caused by a match or cigarette left accidentally on bedding, the office of the United Nations high commissioner for human rights lamented an "alarming pattern of prison violence in the region," citing cases in Uruguay, Venezuela, Chile, Argentina and Panama.

Hearings are held. Reports issued. Promises made.

But still, "we will be talking again in two months because there will be another incident and more," said Santiago A. Canton, the executive secretary of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, which has visited 20 prisons in the last decade and issued reports on several. "It is getting worse, but it has been bad for a long time."

The prison world is often an upside-down, alternative universe with little public or political will to right it.

"Our budget does not have a lot of resources," said Nelson Rauda, the director of prisons in El Salvador. "If the choice is to build a children's hospital or a prison, which do you think is going to get done?"

Stuck in Squalor

The cycle of disaster, death and denouncement repeats with a macabre monotony.

More than 100 inmates died in an electrical fire in 2004 at the prison where Mr. Hernández is held. Little has changed since. Sparks still fly from wires high above the courtyard when it rains. Beams remain bent and disfigured. Asked what prison officials had done to improve conditions since the fire, a group of guards laughed.

"We are waiting for a new prison," said Jorge Rubio, a top official.

Prison, of course, is supposed to be unpleasant. But investigators complain that necessities like water come and go in several prisons in the region and that infections, rashes, respiratory distress and other maladies are widespread, with little treatment.

Prisoners sell their food, clothes - sometimes their bodies - to earn enough money for bed space, soap and toothpaste.

Salvadoran officials said they were seeking to rehabilitate more prisoners, but the effort often falls short. Classes are few at La Esperanza and other prisons, where inmates sometimes take it upon themselves to teach.

"We have no books or nothing, but I do my best," said Marvin Flores, 37, a deported felon who spent half of his life in Los Angeles and is serving time for a gang-related extortion. He teaches English to fellow inmates.

In the past decade, Honduras, El Salvador and other countries have increased penalties for gang crimes, sometimes applying a broad definition of membership, including having certain tattoos.

Honduran legislators last month passed a law doubling the prison sentence for extortion to at least 20 years, and roundups by the police in El Salvador continue, with the arrests last week of more than 50 young men suspected of being gang members who committed murders, extortion and illegal assembly.

Inside penitentiaries, some governments, like El Salvador's, have taken steps like adding security cameras, blocking signals from smuggled cellphones and reducing visiting hours to curtail contraband, but a shortage of well-trained, uncorrupted guards remains a severe problem, officials said.

It is perhaps most evident in Venezuela, where assault weapons, grenades and drugs circulate freely at some prisons. Inmates in the notorious prison La Planta in the capital, Caracas, openly carry assault weapons, maintaining their own ruthless brand of order in the absence of any other authority.

"We guard ourselves," said Loibis Fuentes, 37, who is serving a murder sentence at La Planta. "We are in charge of our own security, cleaning and everything else."

Antonio Sulbarán, 28, jailed on a murder charge, holds sway over his section of the prison, meting out privileges and justice.

"I see to their well-being," Mr. Sulbarán said of the inmates who live under him. "Someone has to do it so that there will be respect. Otherwise, this would be chaos."

He had an automatic pistol tucked in his waistband and a hand grenade - they have been used in prison attacks - clipped to his belt. More than a dozen armed inmates flanked him.

Battles break out. Many walls were pocked with bullet holes. Iris Varela, the minister of prisons in Venezuela, provided data showing that in the first eight weeks of this year about 77 prisoners were killed, most shot to death. If that pace holds up, the system could come close to the 560 prisoners that a watchdog group, Venezuela Prison Observatory, said were killed last year, including 41 at La Planta.

The government disputed the group's figure but did not provide its own data for last year.

Inmates at La Planta chat on cellphones, navigate Facebook and Twitter on laptops, cuddle with girlfriends, dine at makeshift restaurants complete with white tablecloths, and shop at stands selling candy and cocaine.

At a prison in Uribana in western Venezuela, the inmates organize knife fights called "coliseos" - named for the Colosseum - for entertainment and betting, leading to several deaths.

Ms. Varela, who took over the prison system in July, said she was working to reduce weapons and drugs in prisons.

"What is there is there, and my problem is to take it out and clean the prisons of all these substances and objects that are inside," Ms. Varela said.

Filled as Fast as Built

Even when guards are supposedly in control, violence and corruption often reign. In the recent massacre in Mexico, guards freed members of one powerful criminal group, Los Zetas, so they could go to another cellblock and kill 44 members of a rival gang. After the episode, Mexico's interior minister, Alejandro Poire, highlighted a plan to build eight federal prisons this year.

Other countries, too, have started prison building booms, including Brazil and Chile. But without change in the justice systems or anticrime policies, new penitentiaries often quickly swell beyond their capacity, said Elias Carranza, director of the United Nations Latin American Institute for the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders.

Colombia pushed prison construction several years ago and significantly reduced crowding, according to official figures. But the gains were short-lived.

President Juan Manuel Santos, who took office in 2010, began a crackdown on crime that led to a flood of arrests and harsher sentences. Prison populations have ballooned in the last year, and overcrowding is again acute.

El Salvador has taken tentative steps to reduce its overcrowding. One afternoon, a group of female prisoners hoisted sharp farming tools - not in a fight, but to tend to crops at a prison farm that opened in February. A similar program for men will open this month, sending hundreds of prisoners nearing the end of their terms out of overcrowded jails.

"There was not much to do in the other prison," said Blanca de Palazos, 46, finishing a six-year term for selling contraband cigarettes. "But here there is plenty to do, and most of us like growing food and being productive."

El Salvador has also stepped up supervision of prisons. A bank of 30 television screens in the prison agency in San Salvador, the capital, beams images from every penitentiary in the country in an effort to document trouble.

But as one official put it, "Nothing is going to change overnight."

He was right. A week later, three inmates were killed in a prison brawl.

Randal C. Archibold reported from El Salvador, Mexico and Guatemala. Reporting was contributed by Javier C. Hernández from San Pedro Sula, Honduras; William Neuman and María Eugenia Díaz from Caracas, Venezuela; Gene Palumbo from San Salvador; and Jenny Carolina González from Bogotá, Colombia.

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5) Rising Sea Levels Seen as Threat to Coastal U.S.
By JUSTIN GILLIS
March 13, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/14/science/earth/study-rising-sea-levels-a-risk-to-coastal-states.html?ref=us

About 3.7 million Americans live within a few feet of high tide and risk being hit by more frequent coastal flooding in coming decades because of the sea level rise caused by global warming, according to new research.

If the pace of the rise accelerates as much as expected, researchers found, coastal flooding at levels that were once exceedingly rare could become an every-few-years occurrence by the middle of this century.

By far the most vulnerable state is Florida, the new analysis found, with roughly half of the nation's at-risk population living near the coast on the porous, low-lying limestone shelf that constitutes much of that state. But Louisiana, California, New York and New Jersey are also particularly vulnerable, researchers found, and virtually the entire American coastline is at some degree of risk.

"Sea level rise is like an invisible tsunami, building force while we do almost nothing," said Benjamin H. Strauss, an author, with other scientists, of two new papers outlining the research. "We have a closing window of time to prevent the worst by preparing for higher seas."

The project on sea level rise led by Dr. Strauss for the nonprofit organization Climate Central appears to be the most elaborate effort in decades to estimate the proportion of the national population at risk from the rising sea. The papers are scheduled for publication on Wednesday by the journal Environmental Research Letters. The work is based on the 2010 census and on improved estimates, compiled by federal agencies, of the land elevation near coastlines and of tidal levels throughout the country.

Climate Central, of Princeton, N.J., was started in 2008 with foundation money to conduct original climate research and also to inform the public about the work of other scientists. For the sea level project, financed entirely by foundations, the group is using the Internet to publish an extensive package of material that goes beyond the scientific papers, specifying risks by community. People can search by ZIP code to get some idea of their own exposure.

While some coastal governments have previously assessed their risk, most have not, and national-level analyses have also been rare. The new package of material may therefore give some communities and some citizens their first solid sense of the threat.

Dr. Strauss said he hoped this would spur fresh efforts to prepare for the ocean's rise, and help make the public more aware of the risks society is running by pumping greenhouse gases into the air. Scientists say those gases are causing the planet to warm and its land ice to melt into the sea. The sea itself is absorbing most of the extra heat, which causes the water to expand and thus contributes to the rise.

The ocean has been rising slowly and relentlessly since the late 19th century, one of the hallmark indicators that the climate of the earth is changing. The average global rise has been about eight inches since 1880, but the local rise has been higher in some places where the land is also sinking, as in Louisiana and the Chesapeake Bay region.

The rise appears to have accelerated lately, to a rate of about a foot per century, and many scientists expect a further acceleration as the warming of the planet continues. One estimate that communities are starting to use for planning purposes suggests the ocean could rise a foot over the next 40 years, though that calculation is not universally accepted among climate scientists.

The handful of climate researchers who question the scientific consensus about global warming do not deny that the ocean is rising. But they often assert that the rise is a result of natural climate variability, they dispute that the pace is likely to accelerate, and they say that society will be able to adjust to a continuing slow rise.

Myron Ebell, a climate change skeptic at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a Washington research group, said that "as a society, we could waste a fair amount of money on preparing for sea level rise if we put our faith in models that have no forecasting ability."

Experts say a few inches of sea level rise can translate to a large incursion by the ocean onto shallow coastlines. Sea level rise has already cost governments and private landowners billions of dollars as they have pumped sand onto eroding beaches and repaired the damage from storm surges.

Insurance companies got out of the business of writing flood insurance decades ago, so much of the risk from sea level rise is expected to fall on the financially troubled National Flood Insurance Program, set up by Congress, or on state insurance pools. Federal taxpayers also heavily subsidize coastal development when the government pays to rebuild infrastructure destroyed in storm surges and picks up much of the bill for private losses not covered by insurance.

For decades, coastal scientists have argued that these policies are foolhardy, and that the nation must begin planning an orderly retreat from large portions of its coasts, but few politicians have been willing to embrace that message or to warn the public of the rising risks.

Organizations like Mr. Ebell's, even as they express skepticism about climate science, have sided with the coastal researchers on one issue. They argue that Congress should stop subsidizing coastal development, regarding it as a waste of taxpayers' money regardless of what the ocean might do in the future.

"If people want to build an expensive beach house on the Florida or Carolina coast, they should take their own risk and pay for their own insurance," Mr. Ebell said.

The new research calculates the size of the population living within one meter, or 3.3 feet, of the mean high tide level, as estimated in a new tidal data set from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. In the lower 48 states, that zone contains 3.7 million people today, the papers estimate, a figure exceeding 1 percent of the nation's population.

Under current coastal policies, the population and the value of property at risk in that zone are expected to continue rising.

The land below the 3.3-foot line is expected to be permanently inundated someday, possibly as early as 2100, except in places where extensive fortifications are built to hold back the sea. One of the new papers calculates that long before inundation occurs, life will become more difficult in the low-lying zone because the rising sea will make big storm surges more likely.

Only in a handful of places have modest steps been taken to prepare. New York City is one: Pumps at some sewage stations have been raised to higher elevations, and the city government has undertaken extensive planning. But the city - including substantial sections of Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island - remains vulnerable, as do large parts of Long Island, Connecticut and New Jersey.

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6) Home Base of Accused Soldier Has Faced Scrutiny
"Joint Base Lewis-McChord had 16 soldiers commit suicide last year, the most of any Army post, Army statistics show. Since 2003, 68 soldiers from the base have killed themselves, among the higher totals for the Army in that period, but still below Fort Hood, Fort Campbell and Fort Bragg."
By WILLIAM YARDLEY, SERGE F. KOVALESKI and JAMES DAO
March 13, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/14/us/more-scrutiny-of-lewis-mcchord-home-base-of-accused-soldier.html?ref=us

JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash. - A soldier from Los Angeles blamed the combination of dangerous deployments and the gloom and gray that units encounter when they return to this sprawling military base in the often cloudy Pacific Northwest.

A private from Michigan said it was not the weather, just the war. He said he was getting out of the Army for good next week, after being demoted, and that he planned to spend the foreseeable future smoking dope in Amsterdam. Another soldier said his superiors challenged his diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder; his case was one of hundreds that have been challenged.

This base, the largest on the West Coast, with more than 40,000 soldiers and airmen and women, has become accustomed to scrutiny during a decade of war, even to sweeping generalizations that it is somehow more flawed than other major installations. It has a controversial record of handling mental health issues, high rates of suicide, domestic violence and homicides committed by its soldiers, the most notorious of which were carried out by a rogue unit known as the "kill team" that staged combat situations to murder three Afghan civilians in 2010.

Questions have only increased since Sunday, when a Lewis-McChord soldier was accused of killing at least 16 Afghan civilians, including 9 children, in an assassination-style ambush. Early reports have said that the soldier, who is in custody but has not been identified, previously suffered a form of traumatic brain injury in a vehicle crash.

Yet interviews and data suggest that the picture is complicated, that while Lewis-McChord has been troubled - particularly in its struggles to address mental health - many of the issues here surface at other major bases.

"I certainly think that we are seeing some serious issues there, but I think it is a national issue," said Senator Patty Murray of Washington.

Ms. Murray, a Democrat who is chairwoman of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, has pushed the Army and the Pentagon to investigate how Madigan Army Medical Center, based at Lewis-McChord, handles mental health issues. Last week, she told The Seattle Times that the hospital had reversed 285 diagnoses of post-traumatic stress disorder. Critics say the changes may be linked to efforts to cut costs. Two doctors who screened for the disorder have been removed from that duty.

In an interview on Tuesday, a senior noncommissioned officer at Fort Lewis, who recently received a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder after two deployments in Iraq, said his superiors here initially expressed doubt about his condition.

"It was greeted with great skepticism from my command," the 40-year-old officer from Chicago said, referring to his provisional diagnosis during a pre-deployment screening by a doctor in October that was corroborated about a month later by a psychologist on the base.

He recounted that a supervisor said to him that "The reality is that I am skeptical" and that, in his personal opinion, he was seeing an increasing number of soldiers use this as an excuse to put one over on the Army. "I was absolutely shocked that the word 'skeptical' came out," the soldier said. "Here I have 13 years of active duty with two deployments, so the idea of me lying to get out of work came as a real blow."

After meetings with a military psychologist, the diagnosis was confirmed.

Jorge Gonzalez, a veteran from Lewis-McChord who served 15 months in Iraq and now is executive director of Coffee Strong, a coffee house and nonprofit resource center for soldiers, said: "A huge problem is that the soldiers are not given time to heal before they are redeployed. It is a military-wide problem, and there is a lot of it going on at this base."

In the case of the soldier accused of the massacre on Sunday, the possibility that he experienced some form of traumatic brain injury, known as T.B.I., before his most recent deployment has prompted questions about whether he should have been sent to Afghanistan. The soldier, part of the Third Stryker Brigade, Second Infantry Division, had served three tours in Iraq and was sent to Afghanistan in December. He worked in support of Special Forces operations.

But the reports about traumatic brain injury have also raised alarms among some veterans advocates, who say they are worried about broad-brush assessments of all combat veterans, particularly those with head injuries or post-traumatic stress disorder.

"I know lots of people who have T.B.I., and that doesn't make them killers of civilians," said Paul Rieckhoff, executive director of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. "I think that it's really important that we, as a community, push back on a rush to judgment, a rush to simplify."

Mr. Rieckhoff, an Iraq war veteran, said there seemed to be a "concentration of problems" at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, but a lack of clear data made it hard to draw conclusions about whether it had a higher level of crime, substance abuse, domestic violence or suicide than other bases.

Of the Second Infantry Division's three Stryker brigades, each containing roughly 4,000 soldiers, the Third Brigade has deployed the most: three times to Iraq before its current tour in Afghanistan. All of those were for 12 months, except for an extended 15-month tour in Iraq at the beginning of the surge, from June 2006 into September 2007.

Joint Base Lewis-McChord had 16 soldiers commit suicide last year, the most of any Army post, Army statistics show. Since 2003, 68 soldiers from the base have killed themselves, among the higher totals for the Army in that period, but still below Fort Hood, Fort Campbell and Fort Bragg.

William Yardley and Serge F. Kovaleski reported from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, and James Dao from New York.

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7) A San Francisco District Begins to Reduce Blight
[Thousands of Bay View/Hunters Point residents have already been forced from their homes. Aside from the toxic legassy of the Navel Ship Yard and sewage treatment plant, this area has some of the best weather and sits right on the Bay. As usual, urban renewal means Black removal. I was a resident of the area for 15 years and many of our friends now live in Reno, Nevada or outlining areas around the Bay Area but can't come back to San Francisco. Not even to Bay View/Hunters Point!..bw]
By BARBARA TANNENBAUM
March 13, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/14/realestate/commercial/revived-project-lifts-bayview-a-blighted-san-francisco-area.html?ref=us

SAN FRANCISCO - The names of the city's storied neighborhoods roll off the tongue: Pacific Heights, North Beach, the Mission, Haight-Ashbury, the Castro.

Bayview, a historically African-American district long isolated between Candlestick Park and the former naval shipyard at Hunter's Point along the city's southeastern waterfront, is not among them.

The neighborhood's decline was hastened by the decommissioning of the shipyard in the 1970s. A succession of San Francisco mayors - including Dianne Feinstein, Willie Brown and Gavin Newsom - sought to revitalize the area. But for decades, the Bayview remained blighted with abandoned warehouses and railroad tracks to nowhere.

Now, the completion of a troubled $75 million mixed-use development at 5800 Third Street is evidence that the long-sought revitalization is finally taking root.

Divided into two mixed-use buildings with public courtyards and shared common space, the 315,000-square-foot project's 137 condominium units are priced to appeal to first-time "work force" buyers. Holliday Development has sold the entire ground floor, as well as 50 of the 71 units in the first building. Sales of the second building's 66 units are scheduled to begin this month.

Prices range from $300,000 for a one-bedroom with a den to the high $400,000s for three-bedroom units.

"This development proves that economic diversity and market-rate housing can work in the Bayview," said Olson Lee, the city's director of housing. Mr. Lee also hailed the arrival of three food-related retailers - Fresh & Easy, a grocery store owned by the British company Tesco, and branches of the popular area restaurants Limon Rotisserie and Brown Sugar Kitchen - as an equally important milestone for the neighborhood.

"There hasn't been a new grocery store in the Bayview in 20 years," Mr. Lee said. "It was a classic food desert," where struggling residents had to leave the neighborhood to find nutritious food and staples. "These additions will change things," he said of the grocery and restaurants.

Change for the better has been predicted here for some time. In 2007, it was expected to arrive in the form of a new light-rail line along Third Street, with a stop right across the street from 5800 Third at Carroll Station. The extension linked the formerly isolated neighborhood with jobs in the city's financial district to the north and technology and biotech companies in South San Francisco and Silicon Valley.

That rail expansion, coinciding with a soaring housing market, ignited construction of condominiums in neighborhoods that wrap around the city's eastern shore. The building boom, anchored geographically by the AT&T Ballpark and the Mission Bay research center medical-school campus, transformed a light industrial zone into a series of up-and-coming residential neighborhoods.

The boom, however, stopped just short of the Bayview, with its lack of political clout and financial resources.

The project at 5800 Third Street was started in 2006 by James D. Noteware of Noteware Development, based in Houston. But the housing market collapsed in 2008, torpedoing Mr. Noteware's effort. "He was hoping to sell two-bedroom units for $500,000," said Rick Holliday, the developer who is finishing the project. "But in 2008, prices fell by at least 30 percent."

Mr. Noteware did not return calls for comment.

Cost overruns and notice of a work stoppage by Thompson Pacific, Noteware's main contractor, rang alarm bells for the project's two financiers, Citi Community Capital, a division of Citicorp, and the equity partner, the Urban Investment Group of Goldman Sachs. Citi, holder of the construction loan, faced $11 million in liens from unpaid subcontractors, a general contractor who had walked off the job and a ground floor with nothing but steel rebar protruding from a concrete slab.

Hal Kuykendall, a co-director of Citi Community Capital, had a working relationship with Mr. Holliday, who specializes in affordable housing. Mr. Kuykendall and his partner, Steve Hall, had previously financed a similar "infill conversion project" of Mr. Holliday's in a similarly troubled neighborhood - West Oakland's Pacific Cannery Lofts project. Mr. Hall asked the developer to evaluate the Bayview project in 2008, with an eye to starting it up again.

"We didn't want to leave behind an eyesore," said Mr. Kuykendall, whose division is responsible for 90 percent of Citigroup's affordable housing loans, a market segment that F.D.I.C.-insured banks are mandated to serve by the 1977 Community Reinvestment Act. "We knew the Bayview was at a tipping point and that this project could be transformational."

Mr. Holliday liked what he saw. "After meeting the residents and getting a deeper sense of the place," he said, "I saw the potential. The Third Street corridor had become the spine of an emerging neighborhood."

He said the area would have an influx of more than a thousand residents once housing projects nurtured in the downturn by the city's Redevelopment Agency were finished.

Mr. Holliday hired a new contractor and landscape architect, modified design elements, untangled the liens and reassured neighborhood advocates and retail investors like Tesco. He also added $700,000 to Goldman Sachs's $20 million equity investment.

Mr. Holliday cultivated relationships with Tanya Holland, the owner of Brown Sugar Kitchen in West Oakland, and Martin and Antonio Castillo, brothers who own Limon Rotisserie, a popular Peruvian restaurant established in the city's Mission District. In an important step, Mr. Holliday convinced the restaurateurs to buy rather than lease their space and helped them navigate financing.

One longtime Bayview resident, Angelo King, the executive director of the nonprofit Neighborhood Jobs Initiative, recalls when the area near 5800 Third was little more than a long stretch of abandoned warehouses, a shuttered Coca-Cola factory and a methadone clinic. To Mr. King, these changes do not mean gentrification.

"We need to look at how many working-class African American families who do have income leave because they can't find a middle ground," he said. "The housing stock here was in disrepair and dilapidated. Further away, it was overpriced."

Mr. King, who moved into a three-bedroom unit at 5800 Third last September with his wife and two children, said: "We need private development in a post-Redevelopment Agency world of government cutbacks. Here, they've built something we can take pride in."

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8) Antiwar/Social Justice Activist Arrested
Support Joe Callahan
--Send donations to: Joe Callahan Support Committee, 2919 Polk St. NE, Minneapolis, Mn 55418
--Circulate this letter and urge others to sign. New signers can sign via email to:
joecallahansupport@hotmail.com
--Attend Joe's trial in Thunder Bay, Ontario. For more information contact:
supportjoe.wordpress.com or joecallahansupport@hotmail.com
[PLEASE DISTRIBUTE WIDELY]

On July 31, 2011, after two Salvadoran immigrants went to Canada to apply for asylum, long-time Twin Cities activist Joe Callahan was arrested by Canadian police at the Pigeon River border station. At the time Joe was alone in his car. The Canadian police used a backpack, maps and other items found in Joe's car as the grounds for his arrest.

Joe was charged with "aiding and abetting an immigration without a visa," and "providing false and misleading information." As a result of these charges, Joe was locked up in the Thunder Bay District Jail in cramped, crowded conditions where inmates are frequently forced to sleep on the floor, as Joe did for the first several days he was there. While Joe was in custody, the authorities added the charge of "smuggling" or "human trafficking." This charge is much more serious and carries a maximum sentence of ten years.

After one month Joe was released on bail and was allowed to return to the Minneapolis area, pending trial. He is restricted to the Twin Cities area as a condition of his release. Meanwhile, the prosecuting attorney, or "Crown Attorney," as they are called in Canada, informed Joe's defense attorneys that he is seeking a sentence of three or four years. The trial will be held in Thunder Bay, Ontario. The date has not yet been set. Joe is being represented by Mary Bird and Francis Thatcher, a prominent attorney in the Aboriginal rights struggle.

Over the last thirty years Joe has been active in solidarity work for Central America and Cuba. He has been an active defender of immigration rights. He was also active against an attempt to reinstate the death penalty in Minnesota. His record in the fight for justice goes back to his youth. As a student he was active in the anti-Vietnam war movement.

For four and a half years Joe worked for the Metro Transit System as a bus driver, and was a member of the Amalgamated Transit Union. He has spent his working life in blue collar, unionized jobs. Now, because of his legal difficulties, he has been forced to take a lower-paying position as a driver for a small bus company.

Joe Callahan is NOT a human trafficker! Joe is NOT a smuggler! These charges against him are unfounded and they should be dropped. Joe is a political activist concerned about the rights of immigrants. He needs the help of all supporters of democratic rights.

You can aid in Joe's defense:

--Send donations to: Joe Callahan Support Committee, 2919 Polk St. NE, Minneapolis, Mn 55418

--Circulate this letter and urge others to sign. New signers can sign via email to:
joecallahansupport@hotmail.com

--Attend Joe's trial in Thunder Bay, Ontario. For more information contact:
supportjoe.wordpress.com or joecallahansupport@hotmail.com

In solidarity,

Michael Rattner, President, Center for Constitutional Rights; Michael Steven Smith, Esq. Co-host, Law and Disorder; Jeff Mackler, Dir., Mobilization to Free Mumia Abu Jamal; Roger Sheppard, Member, Local 105 IBEW (retired); Barbara Mutnick, activist, Queens, New York; Cliff Conner, author, "A People's History of Science"; Marv Gandall, activist, Ottawa Canada; Walker Jones, activist, Ottawa Canada; Bruce Scheff, Chicago, IL; -Continued on page 2-; Support Joe Callahan, page 2; Dianne Feeley, Editor, Against the Current; Alan Wald, Editor, Against the Current; Malik Miah, Editor, Against the Current; John Riddell, Toronto; Suzanne Weiss, Toronto; Art Young, Greater Toronto Workers' Assembly; Linda Meissenheimer, Toronto; Brad Sigal, Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Coalition; Marie Braun, Twin Cities Peace Campaign; Dave Bicking, Green Party; Alan Dale, Minnesota Peace Action Coalition; Tracy Molm, Students for a Democratic Society; Eric Angell, co-producer, "Our World in "Depth"; Colleen McGilp, AFSCME (retired); Jess Sundin, Anti-War Committee; Bruce Nestor, Past President, National Lawyers Guild; Linden Gawboy, Committee to Stop FBI Repression; Tim O'Brien, Hands Off Honduras; Anh Pham, Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Coalition; Timothy Jordan, architect, Minneapolis; Kay Pitney, activist, Minneapolis; Jennie Eisert, Anti-War Committee; Beth Shapiro, Women Against Military Madness; Joel Greenberg, Chicago, Il.; Mark Satinoff, shop steward, IAM Local Lodge 1894, Queens, NY; Carol Hayse, LCSW
Note: Organizations for Identification Purposes Only

This letter has been approved by the Joe Callahan Support Committee.
Please circulate this letter as widely as possible to potential supporters.

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9) Juveniles Don't Deserve Life Sentences
"Nationwide, 79 young adolescents have been sentenced to die in prison - a sentence not imposed on children anywhere else in the world. These children were told that they could never change and that no one cared what became of them. They were denied access to education and rehabilitation programs and left without help or hope. ...Young people are biologically different from adults. Brain imaging studies reveal that the regions of the adolescent brain responsible for controlling thoughts, actions and emotions are not fully developed. They cannot be held to the same standards when they commit terrible wrongs."
By GAIL GARINGER
March 14, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/15/opinion/juveniles-dont-deserve-life-sentences.html

Boston

IN the late 1980s, a small but influential group of criminologists predicted a coming wave of violent juvenile crime: "superpredators," as young as 11, committing crimes in "wolf packs." Politicians soon responded to those fears, and to concerns about the perceived inadequacies of state juvenile justice systems, by lowering the age at which children could be transferred to adult courts. The concern was that offenders prosecuted as juveniles would have to be released at age 18 or 21.

At the same time, "tough on crime" rhetoric led some states to enact laws making it easier to impose life without parole sentences on adults. The unintended consequence of these laws was that children as young as 13 and 14 who were charged as adults became subject to life without parole sentences.

Nationwide, 79 young adolescents have been sentenced to die in prison - a sentence not imposed on children anywhere else in the world. These children were told that they could never change and that no one cared what became of them. They were denied access to education and rehabilitation programs and left without help or hope.

But the prediction of a generation of superpredators never came to pass. Beginning in the mid-1990s, violent juvenile crime declined, and it has continued to decline through the present day. The laws that were passed to deal with them, however, continue to exist. This month, the United States Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in two cases, Jackson v. Hobbs and Miller v. Alabama, which will decide whether children can be sentenced to life without parole after being convicted of homicide.

The court has already struck down the death penalty for juveniles and life without parole for young offenders convicted in nonhomicide cases. The rationale for these earlier decisions is simple and equally applicable to the cases to be heard: Young people are biologically different from adults. Brain imaging studies reveal that the regions of the adolescent brain responsible for controlling thoughts, actions and emotions are not fully developed. They cannot be held to the same standards when they commit terrible wrongs.

Homicide is the worst crime, but in striking down the juvenile death penalty in 2005, the Supreme Court recognized that even in the most serious murder cases, "juvenile offenders cannot with reliability be classified among the worst offenders": they are less mature, more vulnerable to peer pressure, cannot escape from dangerous environments, and their characters are still in formation. And because they remain unformed, it is impossible to assume that they will always present an unacceptable risk to public safety.

The most disturbing part of the superpredator myth is that it presupposed that certain children were hopelessly defective, perhaps genetically so. Today, few believe that criminal genes are inherited, except in the sense that parental abuse and negative home lives can leave children with little hope and limited choices.

As a former juvenile court judge, I have seen firsthand the enormous capacity of children to change and turn themselves around. The same malleability that makes them vulnerable to peer pressure also makes them promising candidates for rehabilitation.

An overwhelming majority of young offenders grow out of crime. But it is impossible at the time of sentencing for mental health professionals to predict which youngsters will fall within that majority and grow up to be productive, law-abiding citizens and which will fall into the small minority that continue to commit crimes. For this reason, the court has previously recognized that children should not be condemned to die in prison without being given a "meaningful opportunity to obtain release based on demonstrated maturity and rehabilitation."

The criminologists who promoted the superpredator theory have acknowledged that their prediction never came to pass, repudiated the theory and expressed regret. They have joined several dozen other criminologists in an amicus brief to the court asking it to strike down life without parole sentences for children convicted of murder. I urge the justices to apply the logic and the wisdom of their earlier decisions and affirm that the best time to decide whether someone should spend his entire life in prison is when he has grown to be an adult, not when he is still a child.

Gail Garinger, a juvenile court judge in Massachusetts from 1995 to 2008, is the state's child advocate, appointed by the governor.

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10) Lawyer: Scott Olsen Was Hit by Beanbag Round
"'It looks like one officer intentionally shot him,' Olsen's attorney says."
By: Zoe Corneli
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
http://www.baycitizen.org/occupy-movement/story/lawyer-scott-olsen-was-hit-bean-bag/?utm_source=Newsletters&utm_campaign=2269fbf0dd-March_15_Daily_Newsletter&utm_medium=email&mc_cid=2269fbf0dd&mc_eid=33d2755225

Iraq war veteran Scott Olsen was hit in the head with a beanbag round during an Occupy Oakland protest last fall, his attorney told The Bay Citizen Wednesday. The shot fractured Olsen's skull.

The question of how Olsen was injured, and by whom, has been the subject of intense speculation and an ongoing police department investigation.

Mark Martel, Olsen's attorney, said the Oakland Police Department had given him the information a couple of weeks ago, but had not stated explicitly whether it was an Oakland police officer who fired the round.

Olsen was hit during a confrontation between officers and demonstrators on Oct. 25, hours after officers removed the Occupy Oakland encampment from the plaza in front of Oakland's City Hall. The department requested help from at least 17 other law enforcement agencies to evict the camp and respond to the protest that followed.

Oakland police have acknowledged using beanbag bullets and tear gas to disperse protesters that night.

Sgt. Chris Bolton, the Oakland Police Department's chief of staff, said he could not confirm what type of munition struck Olsen because the department's investigation into the incident is still open.

"Obviously in an investigation into Scott Olsen, one of the core questions to be asked is, 'What hit him in the head, and who caused an object to hit him in the head?'" Bolton said.

Olsen had previously said he believed he had been hit with a tear gas canister.

"The difference is significant, because a tear gas canister, you don't shoot at a person," said Martel, who called the development "troubling" and said he planned to file a lawsuit against the city and the police department.

"It looks like one officer intentionally shot him," he said.

The Oakland Police Department is currently conducting an internal investigation into the police response to Occupy protests on Oct. 25 and Nov. 2. The city of Oakland is conducting a separate investigation simultaneously, led by Thomas Frazier, a former Baltimore police commissioner and former deputy chief in San Jose. Court-appointed monitors who oversee the police department are also conducting a review of the department's response to Occupy Oakland.

The Oakland Police Department has assembled a full-time team of at least three investigators to deal specifically with complaints related to Occupy Oakland, Bolton said. The members were pulled from elsewhere within the department, including the communications and criminal investigations divisions, he said, but "typically not from patrol."

The department is reviewing video footage captured by television cameras, personal cameras and cell phones, and police officers' lapel cameras. One widely viewed video taken by news reporter Ali Winston shows people carrying Olsen, who is bleeding from the head. The people tell Winston that Olsen was shot.

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

Another video taken by KTVU shows Olsen lying on the ground, surrounded by protesters, when an officer lobs an object into the group, releasing smoke.

Martel said he planned to file claim forms with the city of Oakland this week, the precursor to the lawsuit.

The claim will list the damages Olsen experienced as a result of his injury, including about $200,000 in medical bills, many of which are covered by insurance; violation of constitutional rights; pain and suffering; and lost income. Olsen recently lost his job at an information technology company because he was not able to work full-time, Martel said.

Martel said he expects to file the lawsuit within the next month.

Meanwhile, Olsen is experiencing memory problems and his speech is still "not normal," Martel said.

"He's a tough kid, he keeps a good state of mind," Martel said. "I think he's somewhat of a stoic. He's not a whiner."

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11) Don't Cut Pensions, Expand Them
By TERESA GHILARDUCCI
March 15, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/16/opinion/pension-funds-for-the-public.html

ON Thursday morning the New York State Legislature agreed to a deal limiting pensions for future public employees. The state thus joins 43 others that have recently enacted legislation curtailing public retirement benefits.

Though New York needs to reduce its spending, the cuts come at a particularly bad time: over a third of New York workers, both public and private, approaching retirement age have less than $10,000 in liquid assets. As a result, those workers are projected to be poor or near poor in retirement, with an average budget of about $7 a day for food and approximately $600 a month for housing.

Fortunately, there's an easy solution. Rather than curtailing public and private pensions, New York and other states could save millions of workers from impending poverty by creating public pensions for everyone.

While the recession bears some blame for the looming retirement crisis, experts agree that the primary cause is more fundamental: Most workers do not have retirement accounts at work. Over half of the workers in New York State, more than four million people in 2010, do not participate in retirement plans with their current employers, while over half of American workers do not have pension plans at work.

Private-sector pensions have been on the retreat for decades. In fact, in the late 1970s and early '80s, Congress, worried about the dismal rate of pension coverage, tried to remedy the situation by extending 401(k) plans, originally designed for executives, to everyone, while also passing a law to create individual retirement accounts.

The problem is that these steps set up incentives through the tax code, which means that the biggest benefits go to the highest earners - people who, moreover, would probably have saved anyway. Today 79 percent of such tax breaks go to the top 20 percent of workers.

Meanwhile, despite extensive commercial advertising for retirement planning, coverage for ordinary people stalled. And even many of those who do save for retirement fail to consistently put away the 5 to 10 percent of their pay necessary to adequately supplement their Social Security benefits.

In response, in late February California State Senator Kevin De León and Darrell Steinberg, the Senate president pro tempore, introduced legislation that would allow private-sector workers in California to enroll in a modest, state-operated retirement program financed by the workers and their employers - at virtually no cost to taxpayers.

This would increase coverage because employers would put every worker into a plan, either their own or the California plan. In the California version workers could opt out; some will, but most workers once in a plan will stay in.

Also in February, John Liu, the New York City comptroller, called for a similar plan for New York City residents. His program would pool employee and employer contributions into a professionally managed, citywide retirement fund.

Both plans would use the same professional staff and institutional money managers that invest the state and city pension funds to manage contributions made by participating employers and employees in the private sector.

This is a vital step: public pension plans usually outperform 401(k) plans and individual retirement accounts, because instead of a single worker managing a single account, large institutional plans pool workers of all ages, diversify the portfolio over longer time periods, use the best professional managers that aren't available for retail accounts and have the bargaining power to lower fees and prioritize long-term investment.

By some estimates, costs for public pensions are over 45 percent lower than for individual 401(k) plans. Of course, since these plans would be financed by workers and their employers, there would be no cost to taxpayers.

Saving for retirement is never easy. But finding a safe place to put your money these days is even harder. Opening up public pension options to everyone is a cheap, simple way to help.

Teresa Ghilarducci, a professor of economics at the New School, is the author of "When I'm Sixty-Four: The Plot Against Pensions and the Plan to Save Them."

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12) A Meter So Expensive, It Creates Parking Spots
[Just think--if they make parking meters $100.00 per hour--how many more parking spaces there would be for the 1/10th of the One Percent! Why not make it illegal for any person earning less than a million dollars a year to park anywhere in the city--then fine them their yearly pay if their car is found parked on the street; put them in jail if they can't pay their fine; and then to work without pay as prison labor! My oh my what creative thinkers these people are! Way to go to create parking spaces in this congested city! ...bw]
By MICHAEL COOPER and JO CRAVEN McGINTY
March 15, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/16/us/program-aims-to-make-the-streets-of-san-francisco-easier-to-park-on.html?ref=us

SAN FRANCISCO - The maddening quest for street parking is not just a tribulation for drivers, but a trial for cities. As much as a third of the traffic in some areas has been attributed to drivers circling as they hunt for spaces. The wearying tradition takes a toll in lost time, polluted air and, when drivers despair, double-parked cars that clog traffic even more.

But San Francisco is trying to shorten the hunt with an ambitious experiment that aims to make sure that there is always at least one empty parking spot available on every block that has meters. The program, which uses new technology and the law of supply and demand, raises the price of parking on the city's most crowded blocks and lowers it on its emptiest blocks. While the new prices are still being phased in - the most expensive spots have risen to $4.50 an hour, but could reach $6 - preliminary data suggests that the change may be having a positive effect in some areas.

Change can already be seen on a stretch of Drumm Street downtown near the Embarcadero and the popular restaurants at the Ferry Building. Last summer it was nearly impossible to find spots there. But after the city gradually raised the price of parking to $4.50 an hour from $3.50, high-tech sensors embedded in the street showed that spots were available a little more often - leaving a welcome space the other day for the silver Toyota Corolla driven by Victor Chew, a salesman for a commercial dishwasher company who frequently parks in the area.

"There are more spots available now," said Mr. Chew, 48. "Now I don't have to walk half a mile."

San Francisco's parking experiment is the latest major attempt to improve the uneasy relationship between cities and the internal combustion engine - a century-long saga that has seen cities build highways and tear them down, widen streets and narrow them, and make more parking available at some times and discourage it at others, all to try to make their downtowns accessible but not too congested.

The program here is being closely watched by cities around the country. With the help of a federal grant, San Francisco installed parking sensors and new meters at roughly a quarter of its 26,800 metered spots to track when and where cars are parked. And beginning last summer, the city began tweaking its prices every two months - giving it the option of raising them 25 cents an hour, or lowering them by as much as 50 cents - in the hope of leaving each block with at least one available spot. The city also has cut prices at many of the garages and parking lots it manages, to lure cars off the street.

It is too early to tell whether the program is working over all, but an analysis of city parking data by The New York Times found signs that the new rates are having the desired effect in some areas. While only a third of the blocks in the program have hit their targeted occupancy rates in any given month since the program began, the analysis found, three-quarters of the blocks either hit their targets or moved closer to the goal. The program has been a bit more successful on weekdays.

Of course, price is only one factor that influences behavior. About a fifth of the time prices rose but more spaces filled up, or prices fell but fewer people parked. And the full effects of the phased-in price changes have yet to be felt, because the most expensive spots cannot hit the $6-an-hour maximum until next year at the earliest.

Jay Primus, who manages the program for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, said city was trying to reduce traffic and pollution and make parking easier - and not just to raise revenues. "We only need a few people to see there is a price difference and choose to park in a different location to open up just a few spaces here and there," he said.

Meters here can now charge different prices at different times of the day, and the city has lengthened or eliminated time limits. Since the city made it easier to pay for parking with credit cards, and began a program that allows people to find spots and pay for them on their mobile phones - so they no longer have to run out of meals to feed the meters - fewer parking tickets have been issued.

The program is the biggest test yet of the theories of Donald Shoup, a professor of urban planning at the University of California, Los Angeles. His 2005 book, "The High Cost of Free Parking," made him something of a cult figure to city planners - a Facebook group, The Shoupistas, has more than a thousand members. "I think the basic idea is that we will see a lot of benefits if we get the price of curbside parking right, which is the lowest price a city can charge and still have one or two vacant spaces available on every block," he said.

But raising prices is rarely popular. A chapter in Mr. Shoup's book opens with a quote from George Costanza, the "Seinfeld" character: "My father didn't pay for parking, my mother, my brother, nobody. It's like going to a prostitute. Why should I pay when, if I apply myself, maybe I can get it for free?" Some San Francisco neighborhoods recently objected to a proposal to install meters on streets where parking is now free. And raising prices in the most desirable areas raises concerns that it will make them less accessible to the poor.

That was on the minds of some parkers on Drumm Street, where the midday occupancy rate on one block fell to 86 percent from 98 percent after prices rose. Edward Saldate, 55, a hairstylist who paid nearly $17 for close to four hours of parking there, called it "a big rip-off."

Tom Randlett, 69, an accountant, said that he was pleased to be able to find a spot there for the first time, but acknowledged that the program was "complicated on the social equity level."

Officials note that parking rates are cut as often as they are raised. And Professor Shoup said that the program would benefit many poor people, including the many San Franciscans who do not have cars, because all parking revenues are used for mass transit and any reduction in traffic will speed the buses many people here rely on. And he imagined a day when drivers will no longer attribute good parking spots to luck or karma.

"It will be taken for granted," he said, "the way you take it for granted that when you go to a store you can get fresh bananas or apples."

Michael Cooper reported from San Francisco, and Jo Craven McGinty from New York. Malia Wollan contributed reporting from San Francisco.

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13) Parents of Slain Black Teen Want FBI Investigation
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
March 16, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2012/03/16/us/ap-us-neighborhood-watch-death.html?ref=us

SANFORD, Fla. (AP) - The parents of a black teenager fatally shot by a white neighborhood watch volunteer called on the FBI Friday to take over the investigation, saying they no longer trusted the local police department.

Meanwhile, the shooter's father is defending his son, saying he is not a racist and did not provoke the altercation that led to the shooting.

The parents of Trayvon Martin told an Orlando press conference they no longer trust the Sanford Police Department. Their 17-year-old son was fatally shot last month as he returned to a Sanford home during a visit from Miami.

Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton accused Sanford police of botching the investigation and criticized them for not arresting 28-year-old George Zimmerman, who says he shot Trayvon Martin in self-defense. Martin was not armed. They say the police department hasn't arrested Zimmerman because he is white and their son was black.

"Do we really believe that if Trayvon Martin would have pulled the trigger, he would not be arrested?" said Benjamin Crump, their attorney. "This is obviously a cover-up, and we need a sweeping overhaul of the Sanford Police Department."

Sanford police Sgt. David Morgenstern said the department stands by its investigation but welcomes help from any outside agency. FBI agent David Couvertier said the agency has been in contact with Sanford police and is monitoring the case.

Meanwhile, Zimmerman's father delivered a letter to the Orlando Sentinel on Thursday saying the way his son is being depicted in the media is cruel and misleading. He also says his son has received death threats and moved out of his home. George Zimmerman is Hispanic and grew up in a multiracial family, the statement says.

"He would be the last to discriminate for any reason whatsoever ...," the letter says. "The media portrayal of George as a racist could not be further from the truth."

No one disputes that Zimmerman shot Martin on the night of Feb. 26. Martin, who was visiting from Miami, was walking back to the home of his father's fiancée after going to the store to buy candy for his little brother and an iced tea for himself. It was raining, and Martin was walking with the hood of his jacket pulled over his head.

Zimmerman called 911 from his sports utility vehilcle, saying he had spotted a suspicious person walking in the multi-racial neighborhood. The 911 tape has not been released, but officials say the dispatcher told him to stay in his SUV and an officer would be there momentarily. But Zimmerman for unknown reasons got out. He and Martin fought, according to witnesses. At some point Zimmerman pulled a gun and shot Martin, who died at the scene. Zimmerman told Sanford police he acted in self-defense. He has not been arrested or charged.

Sanford investigators say they have turned over their evidence to prosecutors for them to decide whether Zimmerman should be charged.

The letter Zimmerman's father gave the Sentinel says George Zimmerman didn't get out of the SUV to confront Martin.

"At no time did George follow or confront Mr. Martin. When the true details of the event became public, and I hope that will be soon, everyone should be outraged by the treatment of George Zimmerman in the media," the letter said.

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