Saturday, March 24, 2012


MAY DAY 2012







Carlos Montes' next court date is Tuesday, March 27 - Call Holder and Obama!

Stop the Frame-up of Carlos Montes!
Court Hearing to Uncover FBI Lies
Tuesday, March 27, Call In Day

President Obama at 202-456-1111
Attorney General Eric Holder at 202-514-2001

Demand:"Drop the charges against Carlos Montes. There is no evidence!"
Contact us and let us know how your calls went:

The FBI wants to frame up Carlos Montes. At his next court hearing on Tuesday, March 27 in Los Angeles, Carlos Montes' lawyer will obtain results from discovery motions on how FBI special agent Matt Weber worked with L.A. Sheriff Detective Don Lord and the Joint Terrorism Task Force in this frame-up attempt.
If you are in the Los Angeles area... Join us at the court!

Tuesday, March 27, 8:00 AM
Criminal Courts Bldg.
211 West Temple St, Los Angeles
Dept. 123 on the 13th floor
For more info go to


Bay Area United Against War Newsletter
Table of Contents:




Emergency Scream-out & Press Conference for Trayvon Martin and Ramarley Graham
Monday, March 26, 2012, 11:00am - 12:00pm at Hall of Injustice -850 Bryant st San Francisco


Subject: FW from code pink: Occupy Oakland ENDORSES our NO WAR ON IRAN
April 17th Action!!!

We're happy to bring you GREAT news! The awesome Occupy Oakland folks voted UNANIMOUSLY to endorse our proposal for a NO WAR ON IRAN action to coincide with the Global Day of Action Against Military Spending, April 17th, from noon-5 at the Oakland Federal Building.

This is what we've been hoping for and working towards: getting the anti-war message front and center with the Occupy movement!!! So let's BE THERE!

So PLEASE mark your calendars, call in PINK, and join us in front of the Oakland Federal Building Tuesday, April 17th, the final day our U.S. income taxes - to pay for wars - are due!

Come bring your ideas & resources & help us plan this action on Saturday, March 24th, 11am-1pm at Mudrakers Cafe, 2801 Telegraph Ave, Berkeley! Thus far we are working on a press conference, maybe a march to/from the Post Office, visual timeline of US. military aggression, street theater, FOOD, music, banner drops, and???

PROPOSAL: Endorse Global Day of Action Against Military Spending NO WAR ON IRAN with CodePINK, anti-war groups, Tuesday, April 17th noon-5pm, Oakland Federal Building

HELLO, we are here as part of CodePINK:Women4Peace, WAK:Women Against Killing, Grandmothers Against War & other activist anti-war groups.

We in CodePINK & WAK work to enable, value and project specifically women's voices, womenâ€(tm)s ideas, womenâ€(tm)s actions, womenâ€(tm)s leadership, as we work to end all forms of violence, especially the violence of “warâ€ and military occupation.

The imminent threat of a new war against Iran carries with it the real danger of yet another horrendous global, human, environmental (not to mention political,etc) catastrophe, while the present wars continue that same horrendous devastation.

The voice of the U.S. people needs to be heard to STOP this from happening, and we would like to work especially with Occupy, with individuals, communities, and working groups to amplify and direct our tactics, actions, and solutions.

As part of our NO WAR ON IRAN actions, NO NEW WARS, END ALL WARS, we are calling for a protest & occupation in front of the Oakland Federal Building in conjunction with the Global Day of Action AGAINST MILITARY SPENDING. And on the day our income taxes - that pay for wars & occupations ââ€" are due.

Also, Help clarify what wars ‘abroadâ€(tm) have to do with wars at home: foreclosures, racism, budget cuts, misogyny, homelessness, military & prison industrial complex

We hope Occupy will vote to endorse this NO WAR ON IRAN Action as a joint action with CodePINK & other anti-war groups & individuals. We also hope that as a result of this Action together, we can begin an occupy working group or committee that will have regular report-backs to the G.A.

The protest thus far will include banner drops, visuals: timeline of US military aggression, especially against Iran, FOOD, educational exercises, music, group discussions, die-ins, teach-ins, and other ACTIONS.
NO WAR ON IRAN ACTION: Occupy & War(s)
April 17th, Tuesday, 12:00 noon - 5pm
Oakland Federal Building

War and the Military & Prison Industrial Complex are and have always been integral to forming and building of our politics, our economy, our culture and our very country.

In 2011, we spent TWO BILLION dollars a DAY on wars, military occupations, attacks against other nations, primarily peoples of color.

In the U.S., we have 4-5% of the worldâ€(tm)s people while we consume 25-60% of the worldâ€(tm)s resources. We are able to secure so many resources because of our military and our willingness to engage our military might in the conquering, capturing, destroying of people, their lands, their resources - people with miinimal weaponry and military technology.

We spend more on our military than every other country in the world combined.

The U.S. military is the largest single consumer of fossil fuels.

Everything we have obtained in this country, from the very land we stand on to all our ‘richesâ€(tm), we have gotten through genocide, enslaving, torturing, and/or killing someone: from the first time Europeans set foot on this soil to commit genocide against Indigenous Peoples, to enslaving African peoples, to declaring wars against Mexicans, to sending troops off this continent to protect U.S. business interest, steal resources, & occupy the lands of others - mostlly peoples of color - beginning in 1801 when the marines occupied Libya for 4 years, until this very day.

We have over 1000 military bases (that we know about) in over 150 countries in our world of about 192 countries.

In 2011, 52% of our federal discretionary budget supplied by income taxes, went to the military; 7% to education; 5% to health care.

War profiteers, as Lockheed Martin, Boeing, General Atomics, make much more profits then Goldman Sucks and/or banks.

We invite individuals and working groups from Occupy to come and participate with us in this Global Day of Action against Military Spending, END WARS, NO NEW WARS specifically NO WAR ON IRAN, Tuesday, April 17th, noon â€" 5pm.

Again we are asking at this G.A. if you will endorse this Global Day of Action Against Military Spending, Tuesday, April 17th & join us at the Oakland Federal Building, noon - 5pm.

This action will be taking place on: APRIL 17th, Tuesday, from 12 noon until 5PM at the Oakland Federal Building, 1301 Clay Street, Oakland

You are invited to participate in any way, pass out flyers, spread the word. PLEASE come to our next organizing meeting every Saturday, 11-1pm at Mudrakerâ€(tm)s cafÃ(c) - on the flyer. All are invited.

In solidarity and action,
Xan Sam Joi
work for peace; hold all life sacred; eliminate violence


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 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: [] | [] | [] | [NYC General Assembly - May Day]


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!!!

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.

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.



Occupy the PGA in Benton Harbor, MI May 23-27, 2012

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

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!

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


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



Attack Dogs used on a High School Walkout in MD, Four Students Charged With "Thought Crimes"


Common forms of misconduct by Law Enforcement Officials and Prosecutors


Organizing & Instigating: OCCUPY - Ronnie Goodman


Rep News 12: Yes We Kony


The New Black by The Mavrix - Official Music Video

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


Japan One Year Later presents Japan One Year Later Japan One Year Later


The CIA's Heart Attack Gun


Channel 2 investigation highlights racial discrepancies in marijuana arrests


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


The Invisible American Workforce


Labor Beat: NATO vs The 1st Amendment

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:, 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


Anti-War Demonstrators Storm Pentagon 1967/10/24


Liberal Hypocrisy on Obama Vs Bush - Poll


Greek trade unionists and black bloc October 2011!


The Battle of Oakland
by brandon jourdan plus

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.


Officers Pulled Off Street After Tape of Beating Surfaces
February 1, 2012, 10:56 am


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

More at The Real News


Defending The People's Mic
by Pham Binh of Occupy Wall Street
The North Star
January 20, 2012
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.


"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


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: (


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.

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.


NATO, G8 In Chicago: More Details Released, City Grants First Protest Permit
January 12, 2012


Release Bradley Manning
Almost Gone (The Ballad Of Bradley Manning)
Written by Graham Nash and James Raymond (son of David Crosby)

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 -


FREEDOM ROAD - A Tribute to Mumia sung by Renn Lee


(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.


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.


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.


School police increasingly arresting American students?

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.


"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


1293. Big Coal Don't Like This Man At All (Original) - with Marco Acca on guitar

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:

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).

To see the complete lyrics and chords please click here:

You can see a playlist of my mining songs here:

You can hear a playlist of my original songs (in alphabetical order) here:

For lyrics and chords of all my songs, please see my website:


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.


We Are the 99 Percent

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

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


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

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


We Are The People Who Will Save Our Schools


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


The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom: Documentary Footage (1963)


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

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


Busby: Fukushima 'criminal event' calls for investigation
Uploaded by RussiaToday on Dec 27, 2011!

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.


HALLELUJAH CORPORATIONS (revised edition).mov




ILWU Local 10 Longshore Workers Speak-Out At Oakland Port Shutdown

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
For further info on the action and the press conferernce go to:
Production of Labor Video Project


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

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.


Frida Kahlo Diego Rivera y Trotsky Video Original


UC Davis Police Violence Adds Fuel to Fire
By Scott Galindez, Reader Supported News
19 November 11

UC Davis Protestors Pepper Sprayed


Police pepper spraying and arresting students at UC Davis


UC Davis Chancellor Katehi walks to her car!

Occupy Seattle - 84 Year Old Woman Dorli Rainey Pepper Sprayed




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


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


Shot by police with rubber bullet at Occupy Oakland


Copwatch@Occupy Oakland: Beware of Police Infiltrators and Provocateurs


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


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

POLICE STATE Criminal Cops EXPOSED As Agent Provocateurs @ SPP Protest


Quebec police admit going undercover at montebello protests

G20: Epic Undercover Police Fail



Occupy Oakland Protest

Cops make mass arrests at occupy Oakland

Raw Video: Protesters Clash With Oakland Police

Occupy Oakland - Flashbangs USED on protesters OPD LIES

KTVU TV Video of Police violence

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

Tear Gas billowing through 14th & Broadway in Downtown Oakland

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


Labor Beat: Hey You Billionaire, Pay Your Fair Share


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

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


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


#OccupyTheHood, Occupy Wall Street
By adele pham

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


Live arrest at brooklyn bridge #occupywallstreet by We are Change




The Preacher and the Slave - Joe Hill


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

How Much Is $1 Trillion?

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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



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

"Why We Can't Comment on Bradley Manning

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

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

"This email was sent to
Manage Subscriptions for
Sign Up for Updates from the White House
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Please do not reply to this email. Contact the White House

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

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


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

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


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


Julian Assange: Why the world needs WikiLeaks


Coal Ash: One Valley's Tale




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:

--Attend Joe's trial in Thunder Bay, Ontario. For more information contact: or

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.



Free-Speech Argument in Appeal of Disbarred Lawyer's Sentence
February 29, 2012

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:

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


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.


Mumia Abu-Jamal Transferred Out of Solitary Confinement, Into General Population
Posted on January 27, 2012

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: ""
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 - 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 .
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

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 -

----- Forwarded Message ----
From: ""
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 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



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.

[your name]


Urgent Appeal to Occupy and All Social Justice Movements: Mobilize to Defend the Egyptian Revolution
Endorse the statement here:

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. and


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:

---------- 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.


Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Christopher Ott, Communications Director, 617-482-3170 x322,

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:

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



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)


"A Child's View from Gaza: Palestinian Children's Art and the Fight Against Censorship" book

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:, 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]


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.!/petition/free-pfc-bradley-manning-accused-wikileaks-whistleblower/kX1GJKsD?


Say No to Police Repression of NATO/G8 Protests

The CSFR Signs Letter to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel

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

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

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

[Read the full text of the letter here:]

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

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


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




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, 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

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

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

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

Bradley Manning 89289
830 Sabalu Road
Fort Leavenworth, KS 66027

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

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

Courage to Resist needs your support
Please donate today:

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

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

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

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


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

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

Initiated by the Committee to Stop FBI Repression

Contact the Committee to Stop FBI Repression

Committee to Stop FBI Repression
to Fitzgerald, Holder and Obama

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you for your generosity! Tom Burke


The Battle Is Still On To
The Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal
PO Box 16222 • Oakland CA 94610


Call for EMERGENCY RESPONSE Action if Assange Indicted,

Dear Friends:

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

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


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

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


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

Bring all your friends - signs and banners - bullhorns.

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

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

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

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

World Can't Wait, SF Bay



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

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

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

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

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


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

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

To submit your tax-deductible donation to support our work, go to and follow the simple instructions.

Thank you for your generosity!


D. ARTICLES IN FULL (Unless otherwise noted)


1) Chicago Rejects Protesters' Plans For March During NATO Summit
March 19, 2012 2:58 PM

2) Grand Jury to Examine Death of Florida Teenager
March 20, 2012

3) Florida Shooting Focuses Attention on 'Stand Your Ground' Law
March 20, 2012, 11:47 am

4) Occupy Protesters Are Arrested at Union Square Park
March 21, 2012, 10:16 am

5) Dutch Church Is Accused of Castrating Young Men
March 20, 2012

6) Will Noam Chomsky Vote For President Obama? [You betcha!]
My Conversation with Noam Chomsky
By The State Journal
Information Clearing House, March 20, 2012

7) Jackie Robinson, Trayvon Martin and the Sad History of Sanford, Florida
Dave Zirin on March 23, 2012 - 12:16 AM ET

8) Three Plead Guilty to Hate Crimes in Killing of Black Man in Mississippi
March 22, 2012

9) Taking On Police Tactic, Critics Hit Racial Divide
March 22, 2012

10) Justice For Loretta Capeheart
In a case emerging as a major test of the free-speech rights of faculty members at public colleges, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit is being asked to decide whether Northeastern Illinois University could legally punish a professor who advised student activists by deeming her own statements of protest to be job-related."
-The Chronicle of Higher Education, August 11, 2011
An Appeal to Defend Free Speech and Academic Freedom

11) Suicides Highlight Failures of Veterans' Support System
"Noting that an average of 18 veterans commit suicide every day, Judge Stephen Reinhardt wrote, 'No more veterans should be compelled to agonize and perish while the government fails to perform its obligations.'"
March 24, 2012

12) Prosecute the killer of our son, 17-year-old Trayvon Martin
From: Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton
Date: Thu, Mar 22, 2012
Subject: Our son Trayvon

13) Officer in Bell Killing Is Fired; 3 Others to Be Forced Out
March 23, 2012

14) Both Coasts Watch Closely as San Francisco Faces Erosion
March 24, 2012

15) Maine: Governor Wins Case on Mural
March 24, 2012


1) Chicago Rejects Protesters' Plans For March During NATO Summit
March 19, 2012 2:58 PM

CHICAGO (STMW) - The city of Chicago has rejected a request by anti-war protesters to march through downtown Chicago on May 20, the first day of the NATO summit.

The protesters already had a permit to march along the same route - from Daley Plaza to McCormick Place - one day earlier. That was the date the now-moved G-8 summit was to have begun.

But when President Barack Obama moved the G-8 conference earlier this month to Camp David, Md., the protesters put in an application for a city permit that asked to move their march back a day, to Sunday, May 20, to coincide with the opening of the NATO summit.

The Chicago Department of Transportation now says the planned protest would "substantially and unnecessarily interfere with traffic" if it were held on that Sunday.

In a letter denying the application for a march that was sent to protest organizer Andy Thayer, assistant transportation commissioner Mike Simon wrote that there wouldn't be "sufficient number of on-duty police officers, or other city employees authorized to regulate traffic," on that Sunday.

Motorcades shuttling 5,000 summit attendees - including 50 heads of state - would create "significant traffic impediments which would be exacerbated by the proposed 2.64-mile parade route," Simon wrote, warning that there wasn't enough manpower to police the summit and the protest while adequately covering the rest of the city.

The city has given protesters until Thursday to accept a suggested alternate march route - from the Petrillo Music Shell in Grant Park down Columbus and Congress before eventually arriving at the site of the summit.

Thayer said the alternate route - which avoids longer stretches of Michigan Avenue and State Street - would be "far less visible and convenient for public transport." He said Monday that city officials were trying to take advantage of the G-8's move away from Chicago to stifle protest.

He said that the city's claim that it doesn't have the resources to handle a Sunday parade is "ridiculous" given that it already accepted an identical request for Saturday, May 19.

"If anything, there's less traffic on a Sunday," he said. "I literally cut and pasted the application and just changed the date."

At a meeting with city officials Monday morning, Thayer was told that a Los Angeles activist already has a permit to protest at Daley Plaza in the Sunday.

If protesters don't accept the alternate route, or quickly find a way to work with the Los Angeles activist in a way that is acceptable to the city, they will only be permitted to march the day before the summit begins.

"There isn't much point in marching on an empty building," Thayer said. "We have a First Amendment right to be within sight and sound of the world leaders when they meet."

Organizers hope that tens of thousands of protesters will march. They previously hailed the president's decision to move the G-8 summit as evidence that the political establishment is scared of large-scale protests in an election year.

Obama said at the time that he preferred to hold the G8 at Camp David because it would be a more relaxed setting for world leaders to meet.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel - who has had a battle of words over protest restrictions with activists since the original plans to host the G-8 and the NATO summits were announced last year - has repeatedly insisted that protesters' First Amendment rights will be respected. His office did not immediately respond to calls for comment Monday.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire (c) Chicago Sun-Times 2012. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


2) Grand Jury to Examine Death of Florida Teenager
March 20, 2012

MIAMI - A grand jury will hear evidence next month in the fatal shooting of an unarmed black Florida teenager by a neighborhood watch volunteer, the state attorney's office for Brevard and Seminole Counties announced on Tuesday.

The shooting last month of the teenager, Trayvon Martin, which has set off a national outcry, is also being investigated by the Justice Department.

On Tuesday, the state attorney for Brevard and Seminole, Norman R. Wolfinger, released a statement saying that a Seminole grand jury would examine the episode beginning on April 10. He asked for the public's patience while law enforcement officials continue to investigate.

"I share in the desire of the family and the community to accurately collect and evaluate all the facts surrounding the tragic death of Trayvon Martin," Mr. Wolfinger's statement said. "I respectfully request that the public remain patient as this process continues forward."

Trayvon, 17, was shot as he was walking to the home of his father's girlfriend from a convenience store in Sanford, just north of Orlando, on Feb. 26. George Zimmerman, 28, the neighborhood watch volunteer who killed Trayvon, has told the police that he shot the teenager in self-defense.

On Monday night, the Justice Department said its Civil Rights Division, in conjunction with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, would investigate Trayvon's death.

"The department will conduct a thorough and independent review of all of the evidence and take appropriate action at the conclusion of the investigation," Xochitl Hinojosa, a Justice Department spokeswoman, said in a statement. "The department also is providing assistance to and cooperating with the state officials in their investigation into the incident."

The Justice Department said it was also dispatching members of its Community Relations Service to Sanford to try to defuse tensions. The Rev. Al Sharpton was scheduled to attend a town-hall-style meeting in Sanford on Tuesday evening.

The announcement of the grand jury inquiry and the federal investigation came after demonstrations outside the Seminole County courthouse by college students and a growing number of complaints that the Sanford Police Department had mishandled the case. By Tuesday morning, more than 500,000 people had signed an online petition seeking the prosecution of Mr. Zimmerman.

The shooting has also raised new questions about Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law, which was approved in 2005. The law does not require a person who is threatened to retreat in order to claim self-defense, and Mr. Zimmerman has claimed he fired his weapon while defending himself.

The episode occurred on a rainy February night as Mr. Zimmerman was patrolling his neighborhood in his sport utility vehicle. Several break-ins had been reported in the area in recent weeks, and Mr. Zimmerman was especially alert.

He spotted Trayvon wearing a sweatshirt, with the hood draped over his head. Mr. Zimmerman, who is Hispanic, trailed him a bit. Then he called 911, the first of seven calls from Mr. Zimmerman and panicked neighbors.

The police released the 911 recordings to reporters late last week after nearly three weeks of pressure from Trayvon's parents and their supporters.

The 911 calls from the gated community in Sanford culminate with a faint voice in the distance crying and pleading for help. A gunshot is heard, and then silence. Mr. Zimmerman told the police that he had shot Trayvon in self-defense, after the two got into a fight and Mr. Zimmerman wound up on the ground.

"This guy looks like he's up to no good or on drugs or something," Mr. Zimmerman told a dispatcher in his initial call. "It's raining and he's just walking around, looking about." Mr. Zimmerman continued: "He's here now just looking at all the houses. Now he's just staring at me." Then he added a second later: "He's coming to check me out. He's got something in his hands. I don't know what his deal is. Can you get an officer over here?"

Then he got out of the car with his licensed 9-millimeter pistol, and a worried dispatcher asked: "Are you following him? O.K., you don't need to do that."

At that point, Trayvon ran, and Mr. Zimmerman continued to follow. The dispatcher told him to wait for the police. A suggestion was made that Mr. Zimmerman and the police should meet by a mailbox. But then Mr. Zimmerman changed his mind. "Actually, could you have him call me and I'll tell him where I'm at?" he said.

The next spate of calls came from anxious neighbors. A faint cry for help and terrified howls can be heard in the background. Neighbors said they had seen two men nearby in the dark. They reported hearing a gunshot.

"A guy yelled: 'Help! Oh, my God,' " one man told the dispatcher. "There is two guys in the backyard with flashlights. There is a black guy down and it looks like he's been shot and he's dead."

One caller said: "I think they're yelling 'Help!' but I don't know. Send someone quickly, please."

It is not clear from the audio whether one or two shots were fired. And, with the voice muffled in the distance, it is difficult to know which of them is crying out for help.

The police told The Orlando Sentinel on Friday they believed that the voice crying for help was Mr. Zimmerman's. They say that prosecutors have told them they do not have enough evidence to dispute Mr. Zimmerman's claim that he acted in self-defense. The case has been turned over to the state attorney's office.

"That is the circumstance we are dealing with: If we arrest, we open ourselves to a lawsuit," Sgt. Dave Morgenstern, a spokesman with the Sanford Police Department, said. "I would have to say I don't think we have conducted a racially biased investigation at all."

Sergeant Morgenstern said that Mr. Zimmerman was in contact with the police and was cooperating with the investigation. In a letter to The Orlando Sentinel, Mr. Zimmerman's father said that his son had black relatives and friends and was not the aggressor in the case.

Mr. Zimmerman, who is studying criminal justice, was arrested once in 2005 on felony charges of battery on a police officer and resisting arrest with violence. Prosecutors chose not to pursue the case.

Trayvon had no criminal record. He was suspended from his Miami high school for 10 days in February, which is the reason he was visiting his father. The family said the suspension was not for violent or criminal behavior but for a violation of school policy.

Trayvon's parents say they have no doubt that it is their son pleading for his life in the background of the audio. They say they can imagine Trayvon reacting with fright or concern upon seeing a burly stranger trailing him in his car, then getting out to follow him.

"I listened to the tapes and it just broke my heart again to hear him screaming out for help and pleading for his life, and he was still murdered," said Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon's mother. "There is no question in my mind that is his voice."

Timothy Williams contributed reporting from New York.


3) Florida Shooting Focuses Attention on 'Stand Your Ground' Law
March 20, 2012, 11:47 am

Trevor Dooley stood his ground, brandished his gun and killed a man after an argument over local skateboarding rules in a Florida town.

He argued in court last month that he had a right to do so under the state's Stand Your Ground law.

Outrage over the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, killed by a crime watch volunteer, has focused new attention on the law, which permits those in Florida "to meet force with force, including deadly force" when attacked. As my colleague Lizette Alvarez reports, the Justice Department is pursuing an investigation into Trayvon's case.

As that investigation goes forward, the law is currently being invoked as a key defense by Mr. Dooley.

The man he killed, David James, had been playing basketball with his 8-year-old daughter in September 2010 when he and Mr. Dooley began arguing over whether a boy on a skateboard had a right to ride on the court, according to an account in The St. Petersburg Times. There was a "physical confrontation," the police said, during which Mr. Dooley fired the weapon he was carrying, killing Mr. James in front of his daughter.

"You agree you do not want to go to prison for killing David James?" he was asked at the trial, according to televised footage from the courtroom.

"I don't think I should," responded Mr. Dooley, who has been charged with manslaughter but says he feared for his life during the altercation with Mr. James.

His lawyers are seeking to have the case dismissed by a judge on the grounds that the Stand Your Ground law permitted him to defend himself with deadly force.

The law extends what has been called the Castle Doctrine - that a person has the right to defend his or her home with force - to apply to people outside of the home, removing the so-called "duty to retreat." The Florida law explicitly states that no such duty exists in the state. The provision appears as part of the Florida law on the justifiable use of force by citizens.

A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.

The National Rifle Association lobbied strongly for the change to state law, which was adopted in 2005 and signed by Gov. Jeb Bush. Mr. Bush said at the time that he supported the measure because, faced with a serious threat one's life, "to have to retreat and put yourself in a very precarious position defies common sense."

In the years since the law was amended in 2005, there has been a surge in the number of cases like Mr. Dooley's and that of Trayvon Martin, killed by the neighborhood volunteer, George Zimmerman, last month. A 2010 review by The St. Petersburg Times found that rates of justifiable homicide tripled since the law was passed and that "twice a week, on average, someone's killing was considered warranted."

The paper reviewed press accounts of 93 cases involving 65 deaths in confrontations in which the new law could be applied and found that 57 of them resulted in no criminal charge or trial. In seven others that went to trial, the defendants were then acquitted.

In these cases, the Florida Supreme Court recognizes something called "true immunity." That means, according to Emily Bazelon in Slate, that the assertion of the Stand Your Ground law can be enough for a judge to dismiss a case before trial even starts.

A columnist writing in The Orlando Sentinel said the law made Florida feel "more and more like the Wild West." But it is far from unique; more than a dozen states have similar Stand Your Ground provisions.

The Orlando Sentinel published a primer on the law last weekend, answering some frequently asked questions including:

Q: How did law enforcement respond to the law?

A: Prosecutors across the state opposed the law before it was enacted Oct. 1, 2005. In the following five months, there were at least 13 shootings in Central Florida where self-defense was claimed. Out of six men killed and four more wounded in the cases, only one was armed. Some Orlando-area police agencies simply stopped investigating shootings involving self-defense claims and referred them directly to state prosecutors to decide.

Q: Can an unarmed person legally pose a deadly threat?

In case after case during the past six years, Floridians who shot and killed unarmed opponents have not been prosecuted. Former National Rifle Association President Marion Hammer, a major force behind the law's passage, cited her own size and age in 2006 interview with the Sentinel about what she would do if confronted by a younger and larger aggressor.

"I'm 4-foot-11. I'm 67 years old," she said. "If you came at me, and I felt that my life was in danger or that I was going to be injured, I wouldn't hesitate to shoot you."

The law may explain why local police did not charge Mr. Zimmerman for killing Trayvon. But further details may cast doubt on the circumstances of their encounter and whether it would fall under the law's provisions.

A female friend of Trayvon talked to him by cellphone moments before he died. "He said this man was watching him, so he put his hoodie on. He said he lost the man," the girl told ABC News. "I asked Trayvon to run, and he said he was going to walk fast. I told him to run but he said he was not going to run." A call to 911 by Mr. Zimmerman also appeared to indicate that he followed Trayvon.

Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote on his blog for The Atlantic magazine that "the more I see of this, the less I think 'Stand Your Ground' will save Zimmerman."


4) Occupy Protesters Are Arrested at Union Square Park
March 21, 2012, 10:16 am

Several protesters were arrested early Wednesday after scores of Occupy Wall Street demonstrators converged on Union Square Park in Lower Manhattan, the authorities said.

In all, six protesters were taken into custody after the hours-long face-off on a range of charges, including resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and obstructing governmental administration, according to a spokesman for the New York Police Department.

"They were blocking pedestrian traffic," said the spokesman, who could not provide an estimate of the crowd's size. "They were given a lawful order to disperse and when they subsequently refused, they were arrested." The spokesman asked that his name not be used.

The police sweep prevented about 200 Occupy Wall Street protesters from sleeping in the park. Officers also seized books and other materials.

Commanders said that the books and other items were "unattended property" and could not remain on the sidewalk. Protesters claimed that the books were their property.

After a few moments of shouting back and forth, dozens of officers plunged into the crowd from two directions, shoving protesters and causing some to stumble backward and fall. Officers threw two people to the ground, including a woman who lay on her back for several minutes before an ambulance arrived to attend to her.

As protesters tried to help the injured woman, officers placed an additional line of metal barricades on a sidewalk south of the park.

A moment later, a protester darted forward and kicked a section, sending the linked barricades skidding a short distance toward the police. Dozens of police officers then rushed forward once again, pushing the barricades into the crowd, and forcing the protesters backward 40 feet or more.

Lopi LaRoe, an artist from Brooklyn, said that she was kneeling next to the injured woman when the police surged into the crowd.

"The cops reacted without order," she said. "It was scary."

Officers made the first arrest at about 12:20 a.m., on the southeast corner of Union Square at East 19th Street, the police said.

Hours later, at about 4:30 a.m., five more protesters were arrested opposite 4 Union Square South, the police said.

A spokesman for the New York Fire Department said it had no record of injuries in the clash.

Protesters had gathered in Union Square Park after the police closed Zuccotti Park - the site where the Occupy Wall Street movement first emerged last year - in Lower Manhattan on Saturday night.

In the following days, they established a presence in Union Square Park, distributing literature from tables and holding meetings. Small groups of protesters slept in a plaza at the southern end of the park. Some declared that a long-term encampment was in the making.

But around midnight on Tuesday more than 100 police officers arrived at Union Square, and a commander ordered the protesters from the plaza and onto the sidewalk along 14th Street. Then, as protesters chanted "Bloomberg, beware. Zuccotti Park is everywhere," the police placed metal barricades around the plaza as protesters objected.

"Are they going to block off every single park we go to?" asked Faith Laugier, from Spanish Harlem.

About 200 protesters milled on the sidewalk. Some lay down wrapped in blankets. Others distributed books from plastic crates. At one point, some protesters pushed over the barricades ringing the plaza, which were quickly righted by the police.

At about 2 a.m., lines of police officers pushed through the crowd on the sidewalk, ordering those sitting or lying down to get up.

Later, the police seized crates of books. They also disposed of stacks of pamphlets and fliers that could be seen being dumped into the back of a sanitation truck parked on 14th Street.

By 5 a.m., however, the officers had withdrawn to the edges of the park and the protesters once again were free to stand or sit on the sidewalk along the north side of 14th Street. Soon, more than two dozen of them once again wrapped themselves in blankets and lay down to sleep.

On Wednesday morning, Norman Siegel, a longtime civil rights lawyer, said that he had received several phone calls overnight on Wednesday. He said that some public parks, including Union Square - with a long history of civil disobedience - have a 1 a.m. curfew, but that the police tend to enforce those rules selectively, which adds uncertainty and confusion about what rights apply for peaceful protest.

He said that the rules as applied to Zuccotti Park, a privately owned public space, were being applied inconsistently as well by the police.

"We're getting into the spring and there needs to be a meeting between Mayor Bloomberg, the police and O.W.S. and civil rights lawyers," Mr. Siegel said. "The cornerstone of a democracy is the right to protest. We need leadership of bringing people together. The O.W.S. people are not going to disappear, and the police are here, obviously. Why stay on a road to confrontation?"

He said the tension was building between the Occupy protesters and the police officers.

"We're going to see more demonstrations," he said, but city leaders must work to avoid the potential for violent confrontations. "The mayor seems to have a tin ear on this."


5) Dutch Church Is Accused of Castrating Young Men
March 20, 2012

BRUSSELS - A young man in the care of the Roman Catholic Church in the Netherlands was surgically castrated decades ago after complaining about sexual abuse, according to new evidence that only adds to the scandal engulfing the church there.

The case, which dates from the 1950s, has increased pressure for a government-led inquiry into sexual abuse in the Dutch church, amid suspicions that as many as 10 young men may have suffered the same fate.

"This case is especially painful because it concerns a victim who was victimized for a second time," said Peter Nissen, a professor of the history of religion at Radboud University in the Netherlands. "He had the courage to go to the police and was castrated."

It is unclear, however, whether the reported castration was performed as a punishment for whistle-blowing or what was seen as a treatment for homosexuality.

In 2010, about 2,000 people complained of abuse by priests, church institutions or religious orders in the Netherlands after the Roman Catholic Church commissioned an inquiry. It finally concluded that the number of actual victims over several decades could be 10 times higher.

That committee, led by Wim Deetman, a former education minister, was presented with evidence of the castration case when it was contacted by a friend of the young man, who was castrated in 1956, two years before his death in a road accident.

Since the case emerged, the Deetman Commission has issued a detailed justification of its actions, contending that it was unable to reach any conclusions on the case from the evidence at its disposal.

The victim, Henk Heithuis, lived in Catholic institutions from infancy after being taken into care. When he complained about sexual abuse to the police, Mr. Heithuis, 20 at the time, was transferred to a Catholic psychiatric hospital before being admitted to the St. Joseph Hospital in Veghel, where he was castrated.

Cornelius Rogge, a sculptor whose family became friends with Mr. Heithuis, informed the Deetman Commission about the case, contacting an investigative journalist and author, Joep Dohmen, when there was no clear sign of a follow-up.

On Dutch television, Mr. Rogge described how he knew that the castration had taken place and said he believed that there were other victims.

"We once asked Henk to drop his pants when the women were not present," Mr. Rogge said. "He did that. He was totally maimed. That was a huge shock for us, of course."

Mr. Heithuis had also described his ordeal verbally, Mr. Rogge said.

"He was strapped to a bed," Mr. Rogge said, describing Mr. Heithuis's statement. "In one stroke, his scrotum was cut out. Then he was taken to an infirmary to rest and recover. Then the other boys received the same treatment. He could hear them screaming."

Mr. Dohmen, the investigative journalist who broke the news in the daily NRC Handelsblad, said that correspondence from the 1950s and Mr. Heithuis's testimony to Mr. Rogge suggested that there could have been an additional nine cases. Mr. Dohmen said he uncovered another case. A gay man, who had not been abused, was also castrated, he said. That man has asked that his identity not be made public.

Mr. Dohmen said he could not provide further evidence of the other possible victims.

In an e-mailed comment, Mr. Rogge said he believed that the castration was a punishment.

Mr. Dohmen said that the man accused of abusing Mr. Heithuis was investigated but not prosecuted. He was transferred to Nova Scotia, where he started a home for boys.


6) Will Noam Chomsky Vote For President Obama? [You betcha!]
My Conversation with Noam Chomsky
By The State Journal
Information Clearing House, March 20, 2012

March 20, 2012 State Journal-I have been reading Noam Chomsky's work for several years and from the very beginning his work inspired me. Whether you agree with him or not, I think everyone agrees that he has been the most influential critic of U.S. policy in our time. This conversation is one we had over e-mail. I've e-mailed him before, but have never gone back and forth with him so much. Here is my conversation with Noam Chomsky:

kcrob2001: It seems to me that all presidential candidates, those who have a chance to win, are the same. I believe it to be a fact that no matter their party affiliation, each candidate is pretty much the same person but will run this machine in a different way. The Democrats will always run on their "for the people" campaign, and the Republicans will always run on their "lower taxes" campaign. Neither side will improve this country, and I believe that because this is happening our country will fall very soon.

Noam Chomsky: It's true that their are similarities, but it's not quite the case. Obama is quite different from the Republican candidates, and the constituencies of the two political organizations differ, which helps lead to different policies. Over a long stretch, for example, working people have made out better under Democratic than Republican administrations--which is kind of ironic, because the white working class is now mostly Republican, not on economic but on "social" and "cultural" issues.

kcrob2001: Obama isn't what his voters wanted him to be. It seems to me that his voters expected him to save the country and all would be well, but that is obviously not happening. In your career, have you ever come to a solid conclusion that the structure of the U.S. government is unsavable? What I mean is, there isn't a force of any kind that would combat the inner erosion we are seen now.

Noam Chomsky: It's not a matter of Yes or No but of More or Less. There have been plenty of times when popular pressures led to improvements, sometimes major ones.

kcrob2001: I've said that a democracy can't last, and I believe you have written about how shaky a democracy can be. Do you think another system of government would produce better results, and would it be possible to make such a shift using popular pressures?
Noam Chomsky: What we're seeing is that a partial democracy is being shredded by concentrated domestic power. Authentic democracy would have a much better chance to thrive and flourish, I think. I don't know of any preferable alternative.

kcrob2001: With the government structure we have now I see no reason to vote for candidates who run for office under that structure. It seems to me that in voting one has to pick the lesser of two evils rather than vote for a respected candidate. Do you vote, or see the need to?

Noam Chomsky: I agree. One has to pick the lesser of two evils, and there are substantial differences. If I were in a swing state, I'd vote against any Republican (hence necessarily for Obama).

kcrob2001: I think Obama will win because there is no credible Republican candidate. I certainly would rather he get re-elected than to see the likes of Mitt Romney in the white house.

Noam Chomsky: I hope you're right, but there are a lot of uncertainties.

-Information Clearing House, March 20, 2012


7) Jackie Robinson, Trayvon Martin and the Sad History of Sanford, Florida
Dave Zirin on March 23, 2012 - 12:16 AM ET

Sanford, Florida is a city that will now be known for all times as the place where Trayvon Martin was killed for the crime of Living While Black. It was also the place whose institutions - the police department, the local press, and even the city morgue - treated Trayvon and his body in ways that should disturb anyone with a shred of conscience.

The city of Sanford also has a history that speaks to the racism many believe to be at the heart of why Trayvon was killed and why his killer was never arrested. I'm not arguing that Sanford, Florida is somehow more or less twisted than anywhere else. Last month, unarmed, 18-year-old Ramarley Graham was killed in his bathroom by police in New York City. Last week Dane Scott Jr. in Del City, Oklahoma was killed by police after a "scuffle." The state Medical Examiner's office, however, declared Scott's death a homicide. The murder of Trayvon Martin is only a "local issue" if we understand "local" to mean local communities across the country.

But Sanford, Florida does have its own history and it includes a collective moment of intolerance and bigotry that almost derailed the history of the man Martin Luther King called "a freedom rider before freedom rides," Jackie Robinson.

Before Robinson broke Major League Baseball's color line in 1947 as a member of the Brooklyn Dodgers, he spent a season desegregating the minor leagues, playing for the Dodgers AAA team, the Montreal Royals. The Royals held Spring Training in Sanford.

Dodgers General Manager Branch Rickey, after so many years, thought he knew Florida. He believed that Robinson's presence could go over if efforts were taken to ruffle as few feathers as possible. Robinson, on Rickey's instructions, didn't try to stay at any Sanford hotels. He and his wife didn't eat out at any restaurants not deemed "Negro restaurants." He didn't even dress in the same locker room as his teammates.

Rickey thought that would be enough. He thought he knew Florida. But he didn't know Sanford.

As Jean West, a school teacher in Florida, wrote, "Branch Rickey had miscalculated the degree to which Jim Crow was entrenched in Sanford. As an example, an inanimate object, a second-hand piano, purchased in 1924 from the courthouse for use in a segregated school in nearby Oviedo, was filed as a 'Negro Piano' in the school board's record; living human beings challenging segregation certainly would not be tolerated."

It wasn't. The mayor of Sanford was confronted by what the author describes as a "large group of white residents" who "demanded that Robinson and Wright be run out of town."

The Mayor caved. On March 5, the Royals were informed that they would not be permitted to take the field as an integrated group. Rickey was concerned for Robinson's life and sent him to Daytona Beach. His daughter, Sharon Robinson, remembered, "The Robinsons were run out of Sanford, Florida with threats of violence."

This was a low moment for Jackie. The man whose number 47 is retired throughout Major League Baseball almost quit and rejoined the Negro Leagues.

The team then took an extraordinary step. As the late tennis star Arthur Ashe wrote in A Hard Road to Glory, Rickey, ''moved the entire Dodger pre-season camp from Sanford, Florida, to Daytona Beach due to the oppressive conditions of Sanford.'' That sounds heroic and it speaks well for Rickey's fierce desire to forge ahead with "the Great Experiment", racists be damned. But for the mob in Sanford, they had made, at least for the moment, a successful stand. In cites and small towns across the south, Jackie Robinson's mere presence provoked challenges to power and provoked real, meaninful change. In Sanford, change did not come that easily.

What does this tell us? Maybe nothing, maybe everything. If nothing else, the line between Jackie Robinson and Trayvon Martin points to how institutional and systemic racism actually is. We might have short memories, but institutions only change when they are confronted and challenged. In Sanford, racist institutions took root. Now we bear the horrifying fruit.

[Dave Zirin is the author of "The John Carlos Story" (Haymarket) and just made the new documentary "Not Just a Game." Receive his column every week by emailing Contact him at]


8) Three Plead Guilty to Hate Crimes in Killing of Black Man in Mississippi
March 22, 2012

ATLANTA - Federal hate-crime charges for the racially motivated murder of James C. Anderson in Jackson, Miss., were unsealed Thursday, leading to three guilty pleas from white men who admitted they used to drive into the city from a neighboring county determined to find blacks to assault.

In a series of court hearings orchestrated by state and federal prosecutors, Deryl Dedmon, 19, and his friends John A. Rice, 18, and Dylan Butler, 20, were charged in the morning in United States District Court in Jackson with one count each of conspiracy and one of violating Mr. Anderson's civil rights. They pleaded guilty in the afternoon.

They face up to five years for the conspiracy charge and up to life for the hate-crime violations. It was the first time the new federal hate-crime law, enacted in 2009, has been used in the Deep South.

The law expanded the definition of hate crimes and allowed broader cooperation between states and the federal government.

On Wednesday, Mr. Dedmon admitted in state court that he drove his truck over Mr. Anderson, 47, in a motel parking lot just before dawn last June 26. He was sentenced to two life sentences without a chance for parole.

The murder, whose race-based implications were slow to surface, shot to national prominence when surveillance video surfaced. In it, Mr. Anderson could be seen stumbling and then being struck by a Ford F-250 with Mr. Dedmon at the wheel.

Mr. Anderson's death prompted marches in Jackson and accusations that the police and local prosecutors were not being aggressive enough with the case. Initially, only two of the seven teenagers involved were charged with crimes, and one of those was reduced to simple assault.

This week, with more of the case against the teenagers unveiled, it became clear that they had been going into Jackson looking for blacks to harass and assault since at least April, often targeting drunk or homeless people they thought would be less likely to report the crimes.

Mr. Anderson, who had locked his keys in his truck and who appeared to be intoxicated, was standing near his vehicle in a parking lot of the motel just off the highway when the teenagers attacked him.

His family argued against the death penalty in the case and urged that the matter be used to promote racial reconciliation in the city.

Sentencing on the federal charges is not likely to take place for months. Meanwhile, investigators said they were continuing to examine the involvement of the other four people who were in the parking lot that night.

"I think the prosecutors hope the pressure will mount," said Morris Dees, co-founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center, who has also helped Mr. Anderson's family file a wrongful death lawsuit against the seven.

Mr. Dees said Mr. Dedmon was likely to serve what is expected to be a 50-year sentence in federal prison before beginning his state sentences.

"It would be dangerous for him to serve his time in a Mississippi state prison that has a predominantly black population, given the nature of these crimes," he said.


9) Taking On Police Tactic, Critics Hit Racial Divide
March 22, 2012

ALBANY - Black and Latino lawmakers, fed up over the frequency with which New York City police officers are stopping and frisking minority men, are battling what they say is a racial divide as they push legislation to rein in the practice.

The divide, they say, is largely informed by personal experience: many who object to the practice say that they have themselves been stopped by the police for reasons they believe were related to race.

Senator Kevin S. Parker, a Brooklyn Democrat, recalled several occasions when, as a high school student walking home in Flatbush, he was stopped by the police, patted down, told to empty his pockets, produce identification and divulge his destination.

Assemblyman Karim Camara, a Democrat from Brooklyn, remembers greeting a woman who was walking down a street in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, when, he said, officers in plain clothes approached him and demanded to know who he was, where he was going and whether he had any guns or drugs.

And when Senator Adriano Espaillat, a Manhattan Democrat, was just 14, he said, detectives threw him against a wall and patted him down in Washington Heights, in Manhattan, when he was on his way to buy a Dominican newspaper for his father.

The lawmakers say the racial imbalance with which stop-and-frisk is applied has a corollary effect: Many white legislators have remained silent on the issue, or have supported the police, revealing a racial gap over attitudes toward the practice.

"There is an ethnic divide on who's being stopped and frisked, and there is an ethnic divide on who's fighting against the policy," said State Senator Eric L. Adams, a Democrat and a retired police captain from Brooklyn.

The lawmakers' effort to set off a debate in Albany is taking place with an increased focus on the interplay between race and public safety. It was highlighted in New York by the fatal shooting last month of Ramarley Graham, 18, by a police officer in the Bronx, and nationally by the fatal shooting last month of Trayvon Martin, 17, by a neighborhood watch volunteer in Florida. The young men were unarmed.

"Both illustrate the perils of racial stereotyping when individuals are empowered with the capacity to make life and death decisions," said Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries, a Brooklyn Democrat. He said the shootings had "further emboldened legislators to continue to fight to deal with the out-of-control stop-and-frisk practices."

The split among Albany lawmakers over the stop-and-frisk issue reflects a divide among New York City voters: according to a Quinnipiac University poll released on March 13, 59 percent of white voters approve of it, and 27 percent of black voters do.

Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly, facing increased complaints about the practice, has pushed back hard against critics. Last week, assailed by the City Council over the practice, Mr. Kelly said that the policy was an important policing tool intended to reduce the violence that has victimized blacks and Hispanics, and that, "What I haven't heard is any solution to the violence problems in these communities."

"People are upset about being stopped," he continued, "yet what is the answer?"

According to the Police Department, 96 percent of shooting victims last year, and 90 percent of murder victims, were minorities.

"There's more police assigned to a place like East New York than, say, a precinct in Riverdale," said the Police Department spokesman, Paul J. Browne, "so the police are going to be in a position to observe suspicious behavior more frequently."

The Police Department has said that it conducted a record 684,330 stops last year, and that 87 percent of those stopped were black or Hispanic. About 10 percent of the stops led to arrests or summonses and 1 percent to the recovery of a weapon, according to the Center for Constitutional Rights, which has examined police data.

But the Police Department frames the numbers in a different way: last year, it said, it recovered 8,000 weapons, 800 of them handguns, via stops. And over the last decade, the number of murders has dropped by 51 percent, "in part because of stop, question and frisk," Mr. Browne said.

Some white elected officials have strongly criticized the stop-and-frisk policy. They included the Manhattan borough president, Scott M. Stringer, and the public advocate, Bill de Blasio, both of whom are likely candidates for mayor; and Brad Lander and Daniel Dromm, who are on the Council. Senator Michael Gianaris, a Democrat from Queens, has offered a bill that would make it illegal for the department to set a quota for the number of stops officers must make.

Mr. Stringer said it was important for elected officials "who look like me" to help broaden the coalition of New Yorkers fighting against stop-and-frisk.

But race continues to dominate discussion of the issue. Assemblyman Keith L. T. Wright, a black Democrat from Harlem, is still smarting over a legislative debate he had in 2008 with Assemblyman David R. Townsend Jr., a white Republican from central New York, on a proposal to prohibit racial profiling. Mr. Townsend said part of good police work involved questioning people who seemed out of place in a particular neighborhood, regardless of their race.

"If you were spotted in an affluent section of Oneida County where we don't have minority people living, and you were driving around through these houses, and I was a law enforcement officer and a highway patrol, I would stop you to say, No. 1: 'Are you lost? Is there something we can help you with, or what are you doing here?' " Mr. Townsend said to Mr. Wright.

Two years ago, the Legislature passed a law requiring police officials in New York City to no longer store the names and addresses of people stopped but not charged. Gov. David A. Paterson, the state's first African-American governor, signed the measure despite objections not only from city officials, but also, he said, from an all-white panel advising him on the issue.

In a recent interview, Mr. Paterson, a Democrat, said his views of the measure were informed by his own experience, which included being stopped three times by the police.

"It's a feeling of being degraded," he said. "I think that's what people who it hasn't happened to don't understand."

Now, Mr. Jeffries is sponsoring a bill that would make it a violation, not a crime, to possess small quantities of marijuana in public view. The bill, he said, would curb the tens of thousands of arrests each year that result when officers stop people and ask them to empty their pockets, leading to the revelation of small amounts of marijuana.

Mr. Wright has been urging passage of a bill that would prohibit police officers from stopping people based solely on their race or ethnicity. Mr. Parker is behind legislation to create the post of inspector general for the police.

And in the Council, Jumaane D. Williams has introduced bills that would require officers to inform people they stop that they can refuse to be searched and make mandatory and citywide a pilot program in which officers give those stopped a business card with a phone number, in case they want to lodge a complaint.

Mr. Williams has had his own run-ins with police. He said he was stopped in Brooklyn last year, after he had bought a BMW, by officers who said, "We want to make sure it's yours." And, in an episode that drew widespread publicity, he was detained by the police last year after an argument with officers over whether he was allowed to use a closed sidewalk during the West Indian American Day Parade.

"We know that the legislation is not going to stop stop-and-frisk," he said. "What we're trying to do is provide more accountability with the N.Y.P.D. and their practices and policies."


10) Justice For Loretta Capeheart
In a case emerging as a major test of the free-speech rights of faculty members at public colleges, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit is being asked to decide whether Northeastern Illinois University could legally punish a professor who advised student activists by deeming her own statements of protest to be job-related."
-The Chronicle of Higher Education, August 11, 2011
An Appeal to Defend Free Speech and Academic Freedom


Anthony Arnove, Editor, Haymarket Books

The Coalition Against Corporate Higher Education (CACHE)

Noam Chomsky, Institute professor (emeritus), MIT

Mike Davis, Professor, UC Riverside

William Keach, Professor, Brown University

Deepa Kumar, Associate Professor, Rutgers University

Scott McLemee, Inside Higher Ed

Michael Ratner, President of the Center for Constitutional Rights

Hector R. Reyes, Associate Professor, Harold Washington College, Vice Chair, HWC Chapter, AFT Local 1600

Helen C. Scott, Associate Professor, University of Vermont

Marvin Surkin, Professor, Long Island University, Ramapo College

Free speech and academic freedom are at stake for all in Professor Loretta Capeheart's struggle with her employer: Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU) in Chicago. Loretta needs our support now.

Capeheart is a ten year tenured professor at NEIU and a respected union and community activist. NEIU administrators have systematically targeted her for years. Administrators have attempted to slander Capeheart and denied her a department chair position and earned merit increases.

These attacks resulted from Capeheart's union activities, anti-war work, and her attempts to promote the rights of students and faculty, especially Latino/a faculty.

NEIU has used the infamous Garcetti case against Capeheart's free speech claims. This has wide ranging implications against working people's rights to exercise free speech. In the Garcetti case, the Supreme Court held that the limits imposed on free speech should not be applied to academic settings. Unfortunately, the lower court in Capeheart's case did just that, ignoring the direction of the Supreme Court. Other federal courts have similarly misapplied Garcetti endangering the rights of all workers to speak. The decision of the lower court leaves workers with fewer rights. The appeal, before the 7th Circuit Court of appeals will either reject those limits or further establish them. Either way, this case could move to the Supreme Court.

NEIU President Sharon Hahs has presided over a spectacle of scandal. Just last year, she and her provost were served no confidence votes by the faculty. This year the Dean of Students committed suicide shortly after being reorganized out of his job, and two Vice Presidents have been exposed for partaking in a "double dipping" scheme.

NEIU hired the union busting law firm Franczek Radelet. The same firm is used against the Chicago Teachers Union and other workers' rights organizations.

Join us in defending Professor Capeheart in her fight for academic freedom and free speech for all faculty and students. For more information visit the Defend Loretta Capeheart website.

Here's how you can help:

--Support the campaign financially. Loretta has spent almost $100,000, well beyond her limited means in her attempt to defend free speech. We need individual and institutional financial backing to continue this fight. You can make a donation by sending a check to Thomas D. Rosenwein, Glickman, Flesch & Rosenwein, 230 West Monroe St., Suite 800, Chicago, IL 60606, memo: Loretta Capeheart Defense.

--Show your solidarity by resolutions in your union, your faculty senate, or other organization through which you can gain support. Send messages of support to

--Please circulate this appeal letter, the website and sign the petition.


11) Suicides Highlight Failures of Veterans' Support System
"Noting that an average of 18 veterans commit suicide every day, Judge Stephen Reinhardt wrote, 'No more veterans should be compelled to agonize and perish while the government fails to perform its obligations.'"
March 24, 2012

Francis Guilfoyle, a 55-year-old homeless veteran, drove his 1985 Toyota Camry to the Department of Veterans Affairs campus in Menlo Park early in the morning of Dec. 3, took a stepladder and a rope out of the car, threw the rope over a tree limb and hanged himself.

It was an hour before his body was cut down, according to the county coroner's report.

"When I saw him, my heart just sank," said Dennis Robinson, 51, a formerly homeless Army veteran who discovered Mr. Guilfoyle's body. "This is supposed to be a safe place where a vet can get help. Something failed him."

Mr. Guilfoyle's death is one of a series of recent suicides by veterans who live in the jurisdiction of the Department of Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System. The Palo Alto V.A. is one of the agency's elite campuses, home to the Congressionally chartered National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. The poor record of the Department of Veterans Affairs in decreasing the high suicide rate of veterans has already emerged as a major issue for policy makers and the judiciary.

On Wednesday, the V.A. Inspector General in Washington released the results of a nine-month investigation into the May 2010 death of another veteran, William Hamilton. The report said social workers at the department in Palo Alto made "no attempt" to ensure that Hamilton, a mentally ill 26-year-old who served in Iraq, was hospitalized at a department facility in the days before he killed himself by stepping in front of a train in Modesto.

The Bay Area was also shocked by the March 14 death of Abel Gutierrez, a 27-year-old Iraq war veteran, who the police said killed his mother and his 11-year-old sister before shooting himself. Two weeks earlier the Gilroy Police Department intervened to ask the V.A. to help Mr. Gutierrez.

An examination of each case reveals faulty communication inside the V.A. system, which missed opportunities to help the veterans.

"I know people at the V.A. care a lot and work hard, but it's a pattern that's disturbing," said Representative Jerry McNerney, a Democrat from Pleasanton who serves on the House Veterans Affairs Committee. "It doesn't look good."

Last May, a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit accused the department of "unchecked incompetence" and ordered it to overhaul the way it provides mental health care and disability benefits.

Noting that an average of 18 veterans commit suicide every day, Judge Stephen Reinhardt wrote, "No more veterans should be compelled to agonize and perish while the government fails to perform its obligations." The department appealed, and Judge Reinhardt's opinion has been temporarily vacated, pending a ruling from a an 11-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit.

Gordon Erspamer, a San Francisco lawyer representing the two groups that brought the suit, Veterans for Common Sense and Veterans United for Truth, said it was "incredible that this sorry record of ineptitude and lack of procedures for emergency cases continues even under the watchful eye of the Ninth Circuit."

Two weeks before Mr. Gutierrez's death, his family called the Gilroy Police Department and asked for officers to come to their home "to get him some help," according to Sgt. Chad Gallacinao, a spokesman for the police department. Sergeant Gallacinao said a police officer who was also a military veteran was dispatched to the house and took notes.

Two days later, Sergeant Gallacinao said, the officer returned to the Gutierrez home with a representative of the Community Veterans Project, a nonprofit organization that trains law enforcement officials in interaction with psychologically wounded veterans.

"They made contact with the V.A. specifically to obtain services for Mr. Gutierrez," Sergeant Gallacinao said.

Dave Bayard, a V.A. spokesman in Los Angeles, confirmed that a call had been placed to the Vet Center in Santa Cruz, but said the request was mild. "It wasn't like 'This guy is really in need of mental health,' " Mr. Bayard said.

The V.A. said Mr. Gutierrez had briefly received care at a department facility in Washington State, where he was a National Guardsman, but never visited a department campus in California.

In an e-mail, Kerri Childress, spokeswoman for the V.A. Palo Alto Health Care System, said that despite the intervention of the Gilroy Police Department in Mr. Gutierrez's case, "We had no way of knowing he was even in the area."

Shad Meshad, a Vietnam War veteran and former combat medic who heads the National Veterans Foundation, was unpersuaded. "It's about time that they don't make excuses," Mr. Meshad said. "Why would you say it's not serious when the police called?"

Mr. Meshad said the responses of Mr. Bayard and Ms. Childress were typical of the "finger-pointing" exhibited by the department when tragedy strikes.

Before Mr. Hamilton killed himself, he said he saw demon women and regularly talked to a man he had killed in Iraq. He had been admitted to the Palo Alto V.A.'s psychiatric ward before on nine separate occasions. Three days before he died, Mr. Hamilton's father brought him to a community hospital in Calaveras County, which, according to hospital records obtained by The Bay Citizen, tried to transfer him to three V.A. hospitals, including the one in Palo Alto. But at 4:39 p.m., a department social worker wrote that day in his notes, the Palo Alto facilities "would not accept a transfer of a veteran for admittance this late in the day."

Later that night, Mr. Hamilton was admitted to David Grant Medical Center at Travis Air Force base in Fairfield. That Sunday, the medical center discharged Mr. Hamilton. Within hours, he was dead.

V.A. officials have said they have no record of Mr. Hamilton being denied care and that their records do not show any telephone calls between the Calaveras County hospital and the Palo Alto V.A. But the inspector general's report revealed that the Palo Alto hospital had no method of tracking incoming calls and that "no outgoing calls were recorded" from any Veterans Affairs Medical Center extension.

During the investigation into Mr. Hamilton's death, the inspector general learned of yet another incident, in May 2011, when the doctor on duty refused to accept a veteran for treatment. According to the report, the psychiatrist said, "We don't accept patients for transfer at night."

In an e-mailed response to questions, Dr. Stephen Ezeji-Okoye, deputy chief of staff of the Palo Alto V.A., said that since Mr. Hamilton's death his network had "revised our tracking mechanism so we are better able to analyze the disposition of any cases referred to the V.A. Palo Alto Health Care System." Dr. Ezeji-Okoye said the Palo Alto V.A. had always accepted psychiatric patients 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

Ms. Childress, the agency spokeswoman, said the Palo Alto V.A. was committed to improving the quality and availability of mental health care. The hospital is building a new 80-bed inpatient mental health center, she said, which is scheduled to open in June. It will have "patient access to enclosed, landscaped gardens" and "ample use of natural light to all internal patients," she said, with a color scheme "specifically selected to support the healing process."


12) Prosecute the killer of our son, 17-year-old Trayvon Martin
From: Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton
Date: Thu, Mar 22, 2012
Subject: Our son Trayvon

Why This Is Important

On February 26, our son Trayvon Martin was shot and killed as he walked to a family member's home from a convenience store where he had just bought some candy. He was only 17 years-old.

Trayvon's killer, George Zimmerman, admitted to police that he shot Trayvon in the chest. Zimmerman, the community's self appointed "neighborhood watch leader," called the police to report a suspicious person when he saw Travyon, a young black man, walking from the store. But Zimmerman still hasn't been charged for murdering our son.

Trayvon was our hero. At the age 9, Trayvon pulled his father from a burning kitchen, saving his life. He loved sports and horseback riding. At only 17 he had a bright future ahead of him with dreams of attending college and becoming an aviation mechanic. Now that's all gone.

When Zimmerman reported Trayvon to the police, they told him not to confront him. But he did anyway. All we know about what happened next is that our 17 year-old son, who was completely unarmed, was shot and killed.

It's been nearly two weeks and the Sanford Police have refused to arrest George Zimmerman. In their public statements, they even go so far as to stand up for the killer - saying he's "a college grad" who took a class in criminal justice.

Please join us in calling on Angela Corey, Florida's 4th District State's Attorney, to investigate my son's murder and prosecute George Zimmerman for the shooting and killing of Trayvon Martin.


13) Officer in Bell Killing Is Fired; 3 Others to Be Forced Out
March 23, 2012

The New York City police detective who fired the first shots in the 50-bullet barrage that killed Sean Bell in 2006 has been fired, and three others involved in the shooting are being forced to resign, law enforcement officials said on Friday.

The decision came after a Police Department administrative trial in the fall found that the detective, Gescard F. Isnora, had acted improperly in the shooting that killed Mr. Bell on what was supposed to have been his wedding day and that he should be fired.

"There was nothing in the record to warrant overturning the decision of the department's trial judge," Deputy Commissioner Paul J. Browne said on Friday night.

Law enforcement officials said word of Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly's decision came late Friday. Detective Isnora, an 11-year veteran, will not collect a pension, one official said. "He loses everything," the official said.

Three other officers - Detectives Marc Cooper and Michael Oliver, who fired shots at Mr. Bell; and Lt. Gary Napoli, a supervisor who was at the scene but did not fire any shots - are being forced to resign.

Detectives Isnora, Cooper and Oliver were acquitted in a criminal trial in 2008 on charges of manslaughter, assault and reckless endangerment.

A fourth officer who fired his gun during the episode, Detective Paul Headley, has already left the department, and a fifth, Officer Michael Carey, was exonerated in the department's administrative trial.

Detective Cooper and Lieutenant Napoli, who worked in the department for more than 20 years, will receive their pensions, a law enforcement official said. Detective Oliver, who has served for 18 years, may collect on a pension on the 20th anniversary of his start date, the official said.

The shooting of Mr. Bell, 23, who did not have a gun, occurred in the early morning on Nov. 25, 2006, as Mr. Bell and two friends were leaving a strip club in Jamaica, Queens, where they had been celebrating. The case drew widespread scrutiny of undercover police tactics.

Prosecutors questioned the judgment of the officers, with one arguing in the department's trial that Detective Isnora overreacted, leading to "contagious firing" from those who followed his cue.

Detective Isnora testified that he thought Mr. Bell and a friend were about to take part in a drive-by shooting. He has said he believed, after overhearing a heated argument in front of the strip club, that the friend had a gun.

In July 2010, the city agreed to pay more than $7 million to settle a federal lawsuit filed by Mr. Bell's family and two of his friends.

Sanford A. Rubenstein, a lawyer who has represented the Bell estate and the two men wounded along with Mr. Bell, said, regarding Detective Isnora, "The police commissioner followed the trial judge's ruling, which was clearly appropriate based on the evidence." Of the other disciplined officers, Mr. Rubenstein said, "I think the fact that they're no longer on the police force is appropriate."

Mr. Isnora's lawyer, Philip E. Karasyk, said, "The commissioner's decision to terminate Detective Isnora is extremely disheartening and callous and sends an uncaring message to the hard-working officers of the New York Police Department who put their lives on the line every day."

Michael J. Palladino, the president of the Detectives' Endowment Association, called Detective Isnora's firing "disgraceful, excessive, and unprecedented."

He continued: "Stripping a police officer of his livelihood and his opportunity for retirement is a punishment reserved for a cop who has turned to a life of crime and disgraces the shield. It is not for someone who has acted within the law and was justified in a court of law and exonerated by the U.S. Department of Justice."

Many detectives were bracing for the decision after Deputy Commissioner Martin G. Karopkin, acting as the trial judge, recommended the punishment in November.

One law enforcement official said that, as the reality of the decisions sink in, they could have a drastic impact on how detectives view their work, particularly in the department's undercover programs.

William K. Rashbaum contributed reporting.


14) Both Coasts Watch Closely as San Francisco Faces Erosion
March 24, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO - The explosive waves of Ocean Beach, a 3.5-mile stretch separating the city from the gray edge of the Pacific Ocean, have long been a draw for tourists, local families and an international tribe of surfers.

But every few years, stormy surf driven by the weather pattern known as El Niño grinds away at a thinning section of beach, pulling sand out to sea. Some comes back, but two years ago, bluffs collapsed and massive amounts of sand disappeared for good.

Holding back the sea here seems as impossible as holding back the fog. But planners see Ocean Beach as a top priority in a long roster of Bay Area sites threatened by inundation because of what lies on its landward side: the Great Highway, a $220 million wastewater treatment plant and a 14-foot-wide underground pipe that keeps sewage-tainted storm water away from the ocean.

The question facing at least eight local, state and federal agencies boils down to this: With California officials expecting climate change to raise sea levels here by 14 inches by 2050, should herculean efforts be made to preserve the beach, the pipe and the plant, or should the community simply bow to nature?

"We are in some ways the tip of the spear for this issue," said Benjamin Grant, a city planner who is leading a study of the problem for the nonprofit San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association, or SPUR.

Mr. Grant describes the beach's south end as "an erosion hot spot." But, he said, all coastal communities will have to grapple with rising seas.

A disruptive rate of sea-level rise is one of the most daunting potential consequences of climate change. Recently, researchers warned in two new studies that severe coastal flooding could occur regularly in the United States by the middle of the century and that California would be among the states most affected. Previous studies have suggested that the rise in sea levels is poised to accelerate globally, although the evidence that this is happening is not yet definitive.

"Communities will be forced to respond in one way or another to the increased erosion and coastal storm damage," economists at San Francisco State University concluded in a recent study. Communities can either plan for the long term or improvise, storm by storm, until ad hoc solutions are inadequate, they warned.

Officials in cities across the United States and Canada are staying in close touch with San Francisco planners. "People often wait to see what California does" about environmental hazards, said Gary B. Griggs, a professor of earth and planetary sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz. "So we have a chance to have a big impact."

Locally, hundreds of millions of dollars ride on the Ocean Beach decision. The San Francisco State study projects that sea-level rise there could impose costs of more than $650 million by 2100 if nothing is done. The big-ticket items are the components of the Oceanside Water Pollution Control Plant and related structures, which were completed in 1993 to meet Environmental Protection Agency demands for cleaner wastewater.

Erosion, of course, is a perennial issue for beachfront communities, and Ocean Beach, artificially expanded more than a century ago, has always been vulnerable. But as the planet warms, the problem is expected to become far more severe all along the northern Pacific Coast. Sand bluffs in the Bay Area, which for decades have eroded by an average of more than a foot a year, are expected to collapse at an ever-faster clip.

The options are to keep installing hard structures in front of vulnerable areas, replenish the sand or simply retreat and let the shoreline move where it will.

Each has a cost. Building walls or piling up riprap protects infrastructure. But it amplifies wave action as water ricochets off the hard surface with enough energy in its retreat to scour the sand. The scouring hastens the disappearance of bluffs and beach.

"The pros of riprap are that it can be long term," said John R. Dingler, an oceanographer with the Army Corps of Engineers. The cons, he said, are that "there will be no beach at high tide."

The armoring of the coastline interferes with beachgoers, infuriates environmentalists and surfers and disturbs vegetation and bird habitats. But after destructive storms, it has been San Francisco's solution of choice in recent years, with city bulldozers dumping thousands of tons of rock and chunks of concrete, granite and brick sidewalks into new breaches.

Two years ago, after fierce storms tore at the underpinnings of the Great Highway, the city created a revetment, or free-form wall, out of 12,000 tons of boulders. Yet last summer, the California Coastal Commission denied the city permission to install more armor and refused to issue retroactive permits for two existing structures. The city sued; the case is pending.

Mark Massara, a local lawyer and an avid surfer who has spent two decades lobbying and litigating over coastal disputes, is fiercely critical of the piles of stone. "No one is willing to move or adapt - they think we can armor everything," he said. "Guess what? Not everything can be defended."

Environmentalists tend to prefer the second solution: replenishing the shore with some of the tons of sand regularly dredged by the Army Corps of Engineers to ensure that the waters are deep enough for cargo ships rumbling away from the Golden Gate Bridge. With enough sand, dunes could be rebuilt to mimic those that once covered the area, they say; areas on or near the beach are critical to the survival of species like the bank swallow, which nests in burrows inside sandy bluffs on the beach's southern edge and is listed as threatened in California.

The corps is considering an infusion of sand that could cost $10 million. It would last perhaps three or four years, Mr. Dingler estimated. "Our economists said, given the value of the infrastructure, it's a worthwhile endeavor to try it once and see what really happens," he said. Still, one bad El Niño storm could undo everything, he added.

After severe storms in early 2010, repair work left the southern section of the Great Highway closed for much of the year.

The draft plan prepared by SPUR calls for reducing the northern part of the highway to two lanes from four, closing the southern section, and rerouting traffic inland, at an estimated cost of $30 million.

That "enables us to do significant retreat - removing the road and taking advantage of that space," said Mr. Grant, the planner. (The idea has not been welcomed by all the commuters or neighborhoods involved.)

The overflow pipe would no longer be protected by the Great Highway; instead, workers would build a low wall scarcely higher than the pipe itself, topped by a cobblestone berm that would slope down toward the surf. (Estimated cost: $60 million.) New sand dunes would protect the waste treatment complex itself.

When SPUR's final draft is ready next month, all of the agencies involved must agree on the plan. Michael Carlin, the chief operating officer of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, said that each agency receives constant updates and that they "are all being brought along."

When the proposed solution is ready, he said, "I believe there will be buy-in from all."

Mr. Grant predicted that far more coastal communities would face hard choices like these before long. "Especially around beaches," he said, "because they are so dynamic and they are so beloved."


15) Maine: Governor Wins Case on Mural
March 24, 2012

Gov. Paul R. LePage was within his rights last year when he removed a mural depicting the history of the labor movement from a state office building, a federal judge ruled Friday. The judge, John A. Woodcock Jr. of Federal District Court, dismissed a lawsuit contending that Mr. LePage, a Republican, violated the Constitution and the state's contract with the artist when he removed the mural. The judge agreed that the governor, who said the mural bowed to organized labor, is entitled to engage in "government speech," a doctrine that says the government is free to express itself.