Monday, December 30, 2013


Federal Government Asks Judge to Grant Lynne Stewart Compassionate Release from Prison

By Democracy Now!
The Bureau of Prisons has submitted a request to the judge in Lynne Stewart’s case, asking him to grant “compassionate release” to 74-year-old jailed civil rights attorney who is dying from stage IV breast cancer. Scroll down to read the order.
“This morning, the government, meaning the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, on behalf of the Bureau of Prisons, filed a motion before Federal Judge John Koeltl, requesting that Lynne Stewart be re-sentenced to time served,” said Bob Boyle, one of Stewart’s lawyers. “This means she would be eligible—if he signs the order—for immediate release. There is every indication that will sign the order, since he said so on the record, when we made the motion back in July to have her be released.”
Boyle says he fully expects Stewart to be released in the next few days, and return to New York City where she will live with her son. He says she and her family have been told the news and are extremely relieved and grateful.
Democracy Now!, December 31, 2013

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


    January 1, 12:00 Noon - Oscar Grant 5th annual vigil/celebration at Grant Station (Fruitvale BART Station)

All Families of Love one killed by Gun Violence, Please bring an 8x10 photo and Love one favorite color balloon to be release.

Come meet us at the Grant Station for the 5th annual vigil/celebration for Oscar Grant to be held on New Year’s Day at the Grant Station (Fruitvale BART Station).

Join the Oscar Grant family on this Day of Remembrance!...


•    Family of murdered victims
•    Artist
•    Community Activist

LIVE Performances:

•    Libation
•    African-Native-Latino Ceremony
•    Poetry, music, spoken word
•    Candle lighting, Balloon Releasing
•    Words of inspiration Min. Keith Muhammad
•    RGB--Young Gifted and Black--Our Children


Ryan Coogler -- Director of Fruitvale Station

Skyler Jett -- Preforming "Peace is the Answer"

Taylor Burrise,


Rankin Scroo,

Kev Choice,


Jasiri X -- Preforming

Ras Ceylon ", Ras Ceylon is an emcee, educator and organizer bringing revolutionary music, a hip-hop meets reggae dynamic and explosively conscious lyrics."

Sellassie Blackwell Lyrical, Positive Hip Hop. artist representing the Bay Area will be doing a tribute to Oscar Grant.

And many more artist to be announced


1. We Are ALL STILL Oscar Grant
2. We should never forget
3. Release a balloon in the name of your Love one Killed
4. Come to embrace and Support all who have lost a Love one to Gun Violence
5. Show your Love to Oscar Grant daughter, Tatiana, now 8yrs old

Much Love from Tatiana and family of Oscar Grant, Hope to see you at the vigil!! "We Are All Still Oscar Grant".

There will be poetry, music, spoken word, candle lighting, Balloon releasing and speak out.

“Every tragedy represents an opportunity to move the agenda for justice forward.” We cannot forget and will not forget what happen on January 1, 2009 at 2:11 am. Join us in remembering and celebrating our martyr comrade brother, Oscar Grant. His life was taken to remind us that We Are All Oscar Grant.

It was the COMMUNITY that led to the resignation of Alameda County District Attorney Tom Orloff.

It was the COMMUNITY that led to the resignation of Bart Chief of Police, Chief Gee.

It was the COMMUNITY that led to the resignation of Bart General Manager, Dorothy Dugger.

It was the COMMUNITY that led to the resignation of police officer Johannes Mehserle.

It was the COMMUNITY that led to the Department of Justice to open a investigation of Civil Rights violation against the Bart Police.

It was the COMMUNITY that led the demonstration Downtown Oakland, making it known, "No Justice, No Peace".

It was the COMMUNITY that joined with the ILWU Local 10 to shutdown l the ports in Northern California.

It was the COMMUNITY that helped usher in the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals establishing that using stun guns without an imminent threat of harm is unreasonable.

The COMMUNITY have made HISTORY, not VICTORY for the first time in 458 years of California History a officer was charged, arrested, convicted and sentenced to prison for killing a unarmed Black Man in the line of duty. Victory is when we have DESTROYED a racist criminal justice system and replaced with a true Freedom, Justice & Equality for ALL people!

Visit the Oscar Grant Committee at 



PVT Chelsea Manning tells TIME Magazine what she's thankful for this year

For their special Thanksgiving edition, TIME Magazine asked WikiLeaks whistleblower PVT Chelsea Manning what she's thankful for this year.  Her answer was published alongside those from Michelle Obama, Joe Biden, and 14 other well-known public figures.  Her response, while demonstrating wisdom beyond her years, is one that many people who work for the betterment of society will appreciate:

"I’m usually hesitant to celebrate Thanksgiving Day. After all, the Puritans of the Massachusetts Bay Colony systematically terrorized and slaughtered the very same Pequot tribe that assisted the first English refugees to arrive at Plymouth Rock. So, perhaps ironically, I’m thankful that I know that, and I’m also thankful that there are people who seek out, and usually find, such truths.  I’m thankful for people who, even surrounded by millions of Americans eating turkey during regularly scheduled commercial breaks in the Green Bay and Detroit football game; who, despite having been taught, often as early as five and six years old, that the “helpful natives” selflessly assisted the “poor helpless Pilgrims” and lived happily ever after, dare to ask probing, even dangerous, questions.
Such people are often nameless and humble, yet no less courageous. Whether carpenters of welders; retail clerks or bank managers; artists or lawyers, they dare to ask tough questions, and seek out the truth, even when the answers they find might not be easy to live with.

I’m also grateful for having social and human justice pioneers who lead through action, and by example, as opposed to directing or commanding other people to take action. Often, the achievements of such people transcend political, cultural, and generational boundaries. Unfortunately, such remarkable people often risk their reputations, their livelihood, and, all too often, even their lives.

Malcolm X began to openly embrace the idea, after an awakening during his travels to the Middle East and Africa, of an international and unifying effort to achieve equality, and was murdered after a tough, yearlong defection from the Nation of Islam. Martin Luther King Jr., after choosing to embrace the struggles of striking sanitation workers in Memphis over lobbying in Washington, D.C., was murdered by an escaped convict seeking fame and respect from white Southerners. Harvey Milk, the first openly gay politician in the U.S., was murdered by a jealous former colleague. These are only examples; I wouldn’t dare to make a claim that they represent an exhaustive list of remarkable pioneers of social justice and equality—certainly many if not the vast majority are unsung and, sadly, forgotten.

So, this year, and every year, I’m thankful for such people, and I’m thankful that one day—perhaps not tomorrow—because of the accomplishments of such truth-seekers and human rights pioneers, we can live together on this tiny “pale blue dot” of a planet and stop looking inward, at each other, but rather outward, into the space beyond this planet and the future of all of humanity.

For those who don't already know, PVT Chelsea Manning grew up in a conservative community in the Midwest.  She suffered a dysfunctional home life, and she was bullied at school for being gay.  She was even homeless for a period, working two part-time jobs to get by.  She dreamed of one day going to college, and for this reason joined the Army at the age of 19.  A few years later she realized she was not gay, but transgender; since she was in the Army, her only option was to hide her identity while working 14 hour days in a war zone. Through all these obstacles, she has remained committed to educating herself, asking the hard questions, and taking risks in the name of helping other people.

This year, we give thanks for PVT Manning's humanist idealism, her bravery, and her unyielding belief that through the work of dedicated individuals our society can and will be made more just.  It is not only her actions, but also her unique individualism, that has inspired thousands of people around the world to action.  We hope you'll join us in showing thanks for Chelsea by making a gift to ensure her legal appeals process is fully funded.  35 years is far too harsh a punishment for showing the public the truth.

Donate to Support the Legal Appeals

So far we've raised just over $16,000 of the $40,000 needed.  Please help us meet our goal by Chelsea's birthday on December 17th.

“When I chose to disclose classified information, I did so out of a love for my country and a sense of duty to others.”-Pvt. Manning

Here are three important ways you can support Chelsea:

1. Make a gift to the Private Manning Defense Fund. We are currently in the middle of a fund drive to raise $40,000 for her legal appeals and personal needs, including visits from family.
2. Send her a message at:
PVT Bradley E Manning
1300 N Warehouse Rd
Ft Leavenworth KS 66027-2304

Please note that regular letter paper must be used, as cardstock will be turned away.
3. Hold a party with friends and neighbors to raise money for Chelsea’s legal defense. Whether a dinner party, cocktail party or concert, bringing people together for an evening of education and socializing is a great way to kindle some social consciousness. On each person's way out the door, you can ask them to add a personal message on a joint letter to Chelsea. If you want your party to be public, send information about your event to

Help us continue to cover 100%
of Pvt. Manning's legal fees! Donate today.

484 Lake Park Ave #41, Oakland CA 94610



Bay Area United Against War Newsletter

Table of Contents:













(Unless otherwise noted)













1) A Lifeline for the Poor, Free Phone Service Faces Legal Battle
December 27, 2013

2) Benefits Ending for One Million Unemployed
December 27, 2013

3) Despair at Guantánamo
December 27, 2013

4) Reported Sexual Assaults in Military Increase
December 27, 2013

5) The Pardon of Alan Turning
By Barry Sheppard
December 28, 2013
Via Email

6) Members of Jewish Student Group Test Permissible Discussion on Israel
December 28, 2013 

7) A Rare Elected Voice for Socialism Pledges to Be Heard in Seattle
December 28, 2013 

8) French 'Millionaire's Tax' Gets Constitutional Go-Ahead
December 29, 2013

9) The Slow Demise of Capital Punishment
December 29, 2013 

10) Uncle Sam’s Sweatshops
December 29, 2013 

11) A.D.H.D. Experts Re-evaluate Study’s Zeal for Drugs
December 29, 2013 

12) Brazil Forging Economic Ties With Cuba, While Hiring Its Doctors
December 29, 2013

13) Clothing Brands Sidestep Blame for Safety Lapses
December 30, 2013 

14) U.S. Frees Last of Uighur Detainees From Guantánamo
December 31, 2013

15) Social Media as a Megaphone to Pressure the Food Industry
December 30, 2013










1) A Lifeline for the Poor, Free Phone Service Faces Legal Battle
December 27, 2013

AUSTELL, Ga. — From her trailer with a rusting roof on Lot 54, Donna James uses the free Samsung cellphone provided by a federal program to speak with friends who give her rides, clerks at medical offices, a case worker, emergency dispatchers and, of course, bill collectors.

“If it weren’t for my free phone, there were a few times I wouldn’t have made it to the hospital,” said Ms. James, who is unemployed because of chronic health issues and has no other telephone or Internet connection in her home. She is among the 15.3 million people in the United States who receive the Lifeline telephone service because they meet income guidelines or are enrolled in programs like Medicaid or food stamps.

But the fundamental feature of the program on which Ms. James relies — 250 minutes of free wireless service a month — is at the center of a legal battle linked to a new tactic to reduce fraud in the program. The outcome could have far-reaching consequences for the telecommunications industry and millions of impoverished Americans.

Alarmed by accounts of households that have more than one subsidized phone — a breach of federal guidelines — and other allegations of fraud, the Georgia Public Service Commission voted earlier this year to make this state the first to require phone companies to collect a fee of at least $5 a month from Lifeline users.

As an alternative, in an effort to force the service providers to better police phone usage, the commission also said that the companies could, for the same compensation they already receive from the government, offer participants 500 minutes a month. But the companies denounced that option.

Georgia regulators made their move about three years after the Government Accountability Office reported that officials from 21 states “indicated that they were somewhat or very concerned about consumer fraud in the Lifeline program.”

Georgia’s mandate, which had been scheduled to take effect in January before a judge in Atlanta granted an injunction last week, prompted outrage from some advocates for the poor, and a legal challenge from a trade group that represents cellphone companies. The group argued that Georgia was circumventing federal law to set rates.

But the author of the regulation has argued that the fee’s benefits outweigh the risks, and would do much to reduce Georgia’s share of fraud in the Lifeline program, which began in 1985 and was expanded to include wireless coverage two decades later.

“There’s always going to be collateral damage when you’re having a war, and we’re having a war with fraud and abuse,” Commissioner H. Doug Everett told WABE Radio in October.

Stan Wise, one of two public service commissioners who voted against the new regulation, conceded that the Lifeline program has been rife with misconduct, but warned that the fee would be ineffective and damaging.

“What it really does is harm those in the most need and the ones that the program was designed to help,” Mr. Wise said. “If you have three Lifelines and it’s important to you have the three phones, what’s $15 to you if you’re promoting fraud?”

Although Mr. Everett has staked out an atypical approach to combating Lifeline fraud, the program’s troubles have received widespread attention.

Aware of the criticisms, the Federal Communications Commission, which cited the potential for “a significant burden on some classes of Lifeline consumers” when it turned back a plan in 2012 to impose monthly fees across the country, has started a campaign to clean up the program, including the introduction of new national databases tracking eligibility and participation.

But if Georgia’s new policy can survive in court, it could be replicated elsewhere by anxious state regulators.

“These sorts of cases are relatively unusual,” said James B. Speta, a professor at Northwestern University who specializes in telecommunications law. “So in a second state or a third state, they will certainly look at what happened in Georgia.”

As the legal battle plays out, Georgia residents who have Lifeline phones are beginning to contemplate what they will do if the fee is put in effect.

Ms. James, who has a monthly budget of about $350, said she was likely to have to choose between her phone and one of the six prescription medications she takes every day.

“I’ve got medicines I’ve got to buy with $5,” said Ms. James, 47, who lives just northwest of Atlanta and said she has medical debts well into six figures after numerous hospitalizations.

Others who have the Lifeline phones, including the 60-year-old Brenda Florence, said they would immediately return their devices.

“They’re supposed to be free,” said Ms. Florence, who pays for a home phone landline and cell service but also participates in Lifeline because she receives Medicaid benefits. “I’m going to put it in the box and mail it back.”

In Georgia, where nearly 721,000 people use Lifeline, the debate has also exposed a fissure among those who work to aid people in poverty.

At the Christian Aid Mission Partnership, which provides food and clothing to the region’s poor and sometimes hosts phone providers offering their wares, officials said they endorsed the state’s new effort to stem fraud.

“I think there should be some skin in the game,” said Linda Oviatt, the organization’s outreach director. But she added that she generally supported the Lifeline program because it was “a godsend” for many of her clients.

Other advocates for the poor, though, have been sharply critical of Georgia’s plan.

“The proposed fee simply serves as a penalty on the poor,” the Rainbow PUSH Coalition wrote in an October letter to commissioners. “It is, in essence, a tax being arbitrarily applied to those who can least afford it and an incursion by the P.S.C. on the free market business practices of private companies.”

Back on Lot 54, Ms. James, whose kitchen on a recent day was cluttered with boxed and canned foods, said she thought the debate should focus less on complex legal arguments. She merely wants to keep her aging flip phone. “It’s so hard on someone who is on a fixed, fixed income,” she said. “It was just an honor to get something that is going to help me.”



2) Benefits Ending for One Million Unemployed
December 27, 2013

WASHINGTON — An emergency federal program that acts as a lifeline for 1.3 million jobless workers will end on Saturday, drastically curtailing government support for the long-term unemployed and setting the stage for a major political fight in the new year.

The program, in place since the recession started in 2008, provides up to 47 weeks of supplemental unemployment insurance payments to jobless people looking for work. Its expiration is expected to have far-reaching ramifications for the economy, cutting job growth by about 300,000 positions next year and pushing hundreds of thousands of households below the poverty line.

An extension of the unemployment program did not make it into the two-year budget deal that was passed just before Congress left on its winter recess. When the federal program expires, just one in four unemployed Americans will receive jobless benefits — the smallest proportion in half a century.

“I really depend on unemployment,” said David Davis of Chantilly, Va., adding that the $1,600 a month he receives is helping keep him afloat while he interviews for new positions. “I’ve got a résumé that knocks your socks off. The reason for this long period of unemployment is that the work just isn’t there.”

At one point, Mr. Davis, 68, made more than $100,000 a year as an information technology expert and web designer. He is now living on ramen noodles and $140 he counted out from his change jar. Since being laid off over the summer, he has missed mortgage payments, forcing him to take out a reverse mortgage on his home. He sold his car and got a late-1990s model Ford Taurus, and is looking to cut his utility and cellphone bills. Soon, he might start taking Social Security.

“It’s very stressful,” Mr. Davis said. “At least I’ve had the ability to maneuver my finances so I don’t wind up homeless. That’s one goal, to avoid living on the street or in my car.”

Democrats on Capitol Hill are pushing for an extension of the program, though the constrained fiscal environment makes its reinstatement somewhat less likely, aides said. Members of the Republican leadership have indicated that they might be willing to extend the benefits, but only if Democrats offset the new spending with other cuts.

On Friday morning, President Obama called Senator Jack Reed, Democrat of Rhode Island, and Senator Dean Heller, Republican of Nevada, to extend his support for their proposal to extend emergency unemployment benefits for three months.

“The president said his administration would, as it has for several weeks now, push Congress to act promptly and in bipartisan fashion to address this urgent economic priority,” said Josh Earnest, a White House spokesman.

As the last payments are distributed, Democrats have initiated a campaign aimed at shaming Republicans — particularly those in leadership and in swing districts — for letting the program expire over the holiday season.

“I don’t know if our colleagues who have opposed passing the unemployment-insurance legislation know or care about the impact on families,” said Nancy Pelosi of California, the House minority leader. “The impact is very, very strong. It hurts the dignity of a family, of a worker.”

Americans United for Change, a liberal group, is running an advertisement on cable television stations. “You know who had a Merry Christmas? The richest 1 percent, that’s who. Republicans in Congress made sure of that, protecting billions in taxpayer giveaways,” it says. “For those facing tough times? Republicans stripped 1.3 million Americans of jobless benefits — folks who want to work, but cannot find a job — kicking them to the curb during Christmas.”

Republican aides said they remained willing to negotiate. “Why didn’t they offer a plan that met the speaker’s requirements — fiscally responsible, with something to create jobs — or any plan, for that matter, before they left for the holidays?” asked Michael Steel, a spokesman for John A. Boehner of Ohio, the speaker of the House.

Some Democrats have suggested that continuing the program for three months, with the estimated $6 billion in spending offsets coming from agricultural subsidies in the farm bill.

But some conservatives have shown stauncher opposition.

“I do support unemployment benefits for the 26 weeks that they’re paid for,” said Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky on Fox News. “If you extend it beyond that, you do a disservice to these workers. When you allow people to be on unemployment insurance for 99 weeks, you’re causing them to become part of this perpetual unemployed group in our economy.”

The loss of benefits is expected to drain billions in consumer spending from the economy next year. People losing their federal benefits — often benefits they expected to continue to receive for weeks or months into 2014 — described cutting back on Christmas, driving less, turning off the heat, draining retirement accounts, applying for food stamps, readying to move in with relatives and missing mortgage payments.

The psychological toll is significant, too.

“I get up. I check my messages. I go through my ritual,” said Margie Bogash, 52, a laid-off medical laboratory manager in Pennsylvania, describing her job application process. “When I’m done cleaning up around my house, I sit down, I go on again. When I can’t sleep, I go on again. The past year has been very stressful — it’s still just very stressful.”

Ms. Bogash said the loss of benefits has spurred her husband to collect his Social Security payment early, meaning smaller benefit checks in perpetuity.

Extending the program for a year would cost an estimated $25 billion. But because recipients tend to immediately spend the money they receive in unemployment benefits, the effect on the economy will be amplified, economists said. The left-of-center Economic Policy Institute has said that the end of the program will cut job growth in 2014 by about 310,000 positions. Michael Feroli, the chief United States economist at JPMorgan Chase, has estimated that the loss of income will cut the country’s annual growth rate by about 0.4 percentage points in the first quarter of 2014.

“We are certainly seeing long-term unemployment as this deeply entrenched problem at a time when the economy seems to be growing,” said Christine L. Owens of the National Employment Law Project, a research and advocacy group. “This crisis of long-term unemployment has been unprecedented and remains unprecedented. It underscores that we need to maintain and frankly strengthen the kind of supports that long-term unemployed workers need to get jobs.”

Economists expect that the end of the emergency jobless benefits will, surprisingly, lead to a sharp drop in the unemployment rate, by as much as 0.5 percentage points.

That is in part because the loss of benefits might spur some workers to intensify their job search, or accept an offer they might have turned down.

Since her federal benefits expired, Jamie Young, a library scientist living in Portland, Ore., has accepted a part-time job, taking a large reduction in her income. “It’s embarrassing for me,” she said. “I dread going to parties or social functions and having people ask me what I do.” Her unemployment has also spurred her to donate her eggs for $6,000 in compensation.

But the unemployment rate will primarily drop as workers, especially older workers, drop out of the labor force. Those receiving unemployment benefits are required to demonstrate that they are actively looking and applying for jobs. Without those benefits, and requirements, economists said, many might give up.

Analysts also believe the end of the federal program will lead to an increase in poverty. Already, cuts to unemployment insurance payments and reductions in the weeks of benefits have meant that the program has lifted fewer people out of poverty: 1.7 million Americans in 2012, down from 2.3 million in 2011 and 3.2 million in 2010.

“The opportunities that were there for my brother and my parents, they don’t seem to be there,” said Brett Ivey, a 29-year-old college graduate in Seattle, who lives on his $329-a-week unemployment insurance payment and about $15 a week in food stamps. “There’s hundreds of people fighting for the same job, just trying to get by.”

Ashley Parker contributed reporting from Honolulu.



3) Despair at Guantánamo
December 27, 2013

In April, when a hunger strike by detainees at the prison in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, was in its third month, Pentagon officials agreed with defense lawyers that the underlying cause was a growing despair among prisoners who have been in detention for a decade with no hope of getting out. The protest, which at its height involved 106 of the 166 prisoners there this summer, served to put the Guantánamo issue back on the radar in Washington.

The National Defense Authorization Act for 2014, signed on Thursday by President Obama, includes a long-sought provision easing the Pentagon’s ability to transfer to countries other than the United States detainees rated as low threats. Mr. Obama, who has wavered on his early vows to shut down the prison, praised Congress for this change, though he stressed that the prison remained a blight on the nation’s reputation.

The improved transfer policy helps, but a petty policy change at the prison this month shows how perverse the situation has become. The military says it will no longer report the number of prisoners on hunger strike, according to a report in the Miami Herald. A spokesman for the facility said the military “will not further their protests by reporting the numbers to the public.” The numbers of detainees being force-fed by prison authorities, which dropped into the teens in recent months, offered the world a window into the prison, which has been shrouded in secrecy even though its motto is “safe, humane, legal, transparent detention.” Eighty-six of the remaining prisoners — more than half — were designated three years ago for transfer to another country, provided that security concerns could be satisfied. Yet the transfer plan was left adrift in the face of political combat. Even if the new defense bill spurs progress in reducing the detainee population, the delivery of credible justice for those at the Guantánamo prison camp is far from complete.



4) Reported Sexual Assaults in Military Increase
December 27, 2013

The number of sexual assaults reported across the United States military rose by about 50 percent in the 2013 fiscal year compared with 2012, the Defense Department said Friday. Preliminary data showed there were slightly more than 5,000 reports of sexual assault during the year. The latest numbers were released a week after President Obama ordered military leaders to review the problem.



5) The Pardon of Alan Turning
By Barry Sheppard
December 28, 2013
Via Email

On Christmas Eve the Queen of England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland,
and the Commonwealth deigned to pardon one of the twentieth century's most
important mathematicians of the crime of homosexuality.

In 1952 Alan Turing was tried and convicted of engaging in sex with other
men. He was then presented with the choice of prison or chemical castration.
He chose the latter, estrogen treatments that caused him to grow breasts,
made him impotent, and sent him into depression. He was fired from his job
with the British government. Washington barred him from entering the United
States, which he had often visited to work with mathematicians in Bell Labs.

In 1954 he ate an apple laced with cyanide, which was ruled a suicide.

He was 41 years old.

In 1936 Turing developed a model of the "universal computing machine," a
concept which lies behind all computers. Other subsequent mathematical
models of computers have been found to be equivalent to what has become
known as the "Turing machine."

Besides this accomplishment, Turing broke the German enigma code in the
Second World War, and proved two important mathematical theorems, and other

The law under which Turing was convicted was repealed in 1967. But in the
years since, attempts to have him pardoned were repeatedly rebuffed. The
most recent was last year, 50 years after his conviction, when Parliament
voted down a motion to pardon him.

The reasoning of the majority of this most august body was that since the
law was the law in 1952, and Turing had knowingly violated it, he was a
lawbreaker and lawbreakers cannot be pardoned. This decision provoked an
immediate response, when 10,000 signed a petition that Turing be put on the
new 10-pound note.

There was international outrage in addition. All this led to the Queen's
pardon this year. The wording of the pardon itself is disgusting: "Now Know
Ye: that We, in consideration of circumstances humbly represented unto Us,
are Graciously pleased to extend Our Grace and Mercy unto the said Alan
Mathison Turing and to grant him Our Free Pardon posthumously in respect of
said convictions."

The "We" and "Us" and "Our" refer to the Queen's double personhood, as both
the physical person Elizabeth II and as the embodiment of the "body
politic," which is immutable and "utterly void of Infancy and Old Age." It's
something like the Pope's "We," which refers to him and God.

But Turning does not need forgiving because he did nothing wrong. If any
entity requires being extended Grace and Mercy it is the UK government for
its crime against Turing, which arguably directly led to his death.

Turing was pardoned because of his fame and accomplishments. But some 75,000
men were convicted under the same law as Turing, of whom 26,000 are still
alive. Turing's pardon should be extended to the 75,000, and would improve
the lives of the 26,000 today.

A final thought -- those reading this are doing so on a "Turing machine."



6) Members of Jewish Student Group Test Permissible Discussion on Israel
December 28, 2013

At Harvard, the Jewish student group Hillel was barred from co-sponsoring a discussion with a Palestinian student group. At Binghamton University, a Hillel student leader was forced to resign his position after showing a film about Palestinians and inviting the filmmaker’s brother to speak. And on many other campuses, Hillel chapters have been instructed to reject collaboration with left-leaning Jewish groups.

At American colleges, few values are as sacred as open debate and few issues as contested as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But Hillel, whose core mission is to keep the next generation of Jews in the fold, says that under its auspices one thing is not open to debate: Those who reject or repudiate Israel have no place.

This month, the students at the Swarthmore Hillel rebelled, declaring themselves the first “Open Hillel” in the nation. They will not abide by Hillel guidelines that prohibit chapters from collaborating with speakers or groups that “delegitimize” or “apply a double standard” to Israel.

The Hillel dispute has amplified an increasingly bitter intra-Jewish debate over what is permissible discussion and activism about Israel on college campuses.

In a major step affecting that dispute, professors in the 5,000-member American Studies Association voted this month to boycott Israeli academic institutions over Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians.

Hillel’s defenders say that in an atmosphere so hostile to Israel, Jewish campus organizations must draw parameters and that this is why Hillel established new guidelines in 2010.

Alan M. Dershowitz, a professor at Harvard Law School who was once a faculty adviser for the Harvard Hillel, said in an interview: “I don’t think this is a free-speech issue. The people who want divestment and boycotts have plenty of opportunity to speak on campus. The question is a branding one. You can see why Hillel does not want its brand to be diluted.”

In interviews, some students said that college should be a place for no-holds-barred discussions about Israel and that Hillel should host those discussions, since Hillel emphasizes inclusion and takes its name from a rabbinical sage who welcomed intellectual challenge.

“Hillel does a fantastic job of bringing together Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, secular students, and respecting everyone’s different religious practice,” said Rachel Sandalow-Ash, a student active in the Hillel at Harvard. “But in the political realm, that sort of pluralism just doesn’t exist, and students who have more dissident views on Israel are excluded in many ways.”

Joshua Wolfsun, a student on the Swarthmore Hillel board, said, “There are a lot of really smart people across the political spectrum on Israel that we want to talk to, and we feel that Hillel should not have a political litmus test on who is allowed and who is not.”

In a manifesto, the Swarthmore Hillel students proclaimed: “All are welcome to walk through our doors and speak with our name and under our roof, be they Zionist, anti-Zionist, post-Zionist, or non-Zionist.”

But the president and chief executive of Hillel, Eric D. Fingerhut, responded to them in a letter saying that “ ‘anti-Zionists’ will not be permitted to speak using the Hillel name or under the Hillel roof, under any circumstances.”

The organization’s guidelines specify that it will not host or work with speakers or groups that deny the right of Israel to exist; “delegitimize, demonize or apply a double standard to Israel”; support boycotts, divestment or sanctions against Israel; or “foster an atmosphere of incivility.”

A nationwide online petition in support of the Swarthmore Hillel’s rejection of those guidelines has gathered 1,200 signatures.

In an interview, Mr. Fingerhut said, “If we’re an organization that is committed to building Jewish identity and lifelong connections to the Jewish world and to Israel, then we certainly have to draw lines.”

But some students active in Hillel say the lines are either muddy or wrong. Hillel’s adult staff members on more than a dozen campuses have refused to allow J Street U, an affiliate of the liberal group J Street, to co-sponsor events. The explanation was that donors to Hillel do not support J Street, which supports a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict but is critical of Israeli settlement building and the occupation of the West Bank.

J Street is challenging the dominance of the more conservative establishment Israel lobby, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. Leaders of Hillel and Aipac recently published an essay in The New York Jewish Week hailing their partnership on campuses.

David Eden, a spokesman at Hillel, said that each of the 550 campus Hillel branches worldwide was independently funded. “But as far as Hillel international is concerned,” he said, “J Street and J Street U and other groups are more than welcome.”

In contrast, the leaders of Jewish Voice for Peace, a group that supports the boycott and divestment movement, say their organization has been unable to affiliate or work with any campus Hillel in the United States.

Hillel chapters have also shunned collaborations with Palestinian student groups, which tend to support boycott and divestment.

That is what happened at Harvard. Hillel held a dinner with about 15 students for Avraham Burg, a leftist former speaker of the Israeli Parliament. The students then walked over to the Quincy House dormitory for Mr. Burg’s speech — Hillel refused to host the speech because it was co-sponsored by the Palestine Solidarity Committee.

Showing documentary films about the Palestinian experience has also caused friction on many campuses. In one case, Benjamin Sheridan, a senior at Binghamton University, part of the State University of New York, said he arranged a showing last year of the Academy Award-nominated film “5 Broken Cameras” and a talk by the filmmaker’s brother, a Palestinian angry about the occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The event was sponsored by Dorm Room Diplomacy, a student group that holds video conferences between American and foreign students.

Mr. Sheridan said he was forced to resign from the board of Bearcats for Israel, a Hillel affiliate, and from a paid internship promoting study abroad programs in Israel. He said the Hillel director told him he could no longer hold these positions because he had broken the guidelines and put donations to Hillel at risk. (Mr. Eden, the spokesman for Hillel, disputed this, saying fellow students forced Mr. Sheridan out.)

Mr. Sheridan, 21, wears a wristband that says “Israel Is Strong” in Hebrew. He spent his gap year in Israel, has an Israeli flag in his dorm room and did an internship at the American Jewish Committee.

“The second I question Israel — Israeli policies, not its existence — all of a sudden I’m a pariah?” he asked. “If Hillel is going to be the group that represents all Jews, how can it say, ‘On Israel we have one policy only’?”




7) A Rare Elected Voice for Socialism Pledges to Be Heard in Seattle
December 28, 2013

SEATTLE — People are used to liberals running things around here. But nobody reckoned with Kshama Sawant. Ms. Sawant, a 41-year-old economics teacher and immigrant from India, took a left at liberal and then kept on going — all the way to socialism.

When she takes a seat on Seattle’s nine-member City Council on Jan. 1, representing the Socialist Alternative Party, she will become one of the few elected socialists in the nation, a political brand most politicians run from.

But Kshama Sawant (pronounced SHAH-mah sah-WANT) heartily embraces the label. Ask her about almost any problem facing America today, and her answer will probably include the “S” word as the best and most reasonable response. Socialism is the path to real democracy, she says. Socialism protects the environment. Socialism is the best hope for young people who have seen their options crushed by the tide of low-wage, futureless jobs in the post-recession economy.

“The take-home message for the left in general is that people are looking for alternatives,” she said in an interview, discussing her victory over a veteran Democrat by a margin of 3,100 votes of about 184,000 cast in a citywide contest. “If you ask me as a socialist what workers deserve, they deserve the value of what they produce.”

Progressive liberals — some of whom might look radical as well, at least to conservatives — made inroads in other places on Election Day, notably in New York City, where Bill de Blasio won the mayor’s race partly on his plan to address the gulf between the “two New Yorks” of poverty and wealth.

Here in Seattle, Mayor-elect Ed Murray, a former state senator and a leader of the state’s drive to allow same-sex marriage, promised support for an idea that was central to Ms. Sawant’s campaign: a $15 minimum wage in the city, matching the highest in the nation. He said in an interview that he saw momentum in cities across the country in addressing income inequality.

“The commonality is the expression of a progressive impulse based on the shrinking middle, as more people slip into poverty and as more wealth is concentrated in fewer hands,” Mr. Murray said.

Seattle Republicans, mostly watching from the sidelines, also see a trend to the left. They say a socialist on the City Council will probably fit right in.

“I don’t think she differs that much from other Council members,” the chairwoman of the King County Republican Party, Lori Sotelo, said of Ms. Sawant.

Leftist critiques of capitalism have a long past in the Northwest, historians said, from the Wobblies in lumber camps in the early 20th century, as the Industrial Workers of the World were called, to Seattle’s general strike of 1919 and the anarchist movement that still stirs occasionally now. A socialist was elected mayor of Seattle as recently as 1922.

“She tapped into a growing discontent,” James N. Gregory, a professor of history at the University of Washington, said of Ms. Sawant. “But she also built off a framework of liberalism and economic liberalism that is pretty widely, strongly based in Seattle.”

The spotlight on Ms. Sawant, as one of only a handful of self-avowed socialists to be elected to a city council in a major American city in decades, experts say, could be intense. Her party has supported Ralph Nader for president, but its website also links to the writings of the Bolshevik leader Leon Trotsky. It put up municipal candidates in Boston and Minneapolis this year, though none won. The Socialist Party USA, an older group, regularly fields candidates in state and federal races. Senator Bernard Sanders of Vermont calls himself a socialist, though he was elected as an independent.

“If she remains only an activist, she’ll be a one-shot wonder,” said the Rev. Rich Lang, the pastor of University Temple United Methodist Church in Seattle and a Sawant supporter. But if she moves too far toward the center, “she’ll be shot down from the left as a compromiser,” he said. “There’s tremendous pressure on her.”

So should an elected 21st-century socialist hark back to the old Marxist passions of labor and capital, or more toward the welfare-state model of market regulation and high taxes on the rich?

Ms. Sawant, during the interview, sometimes responded one way, sometimes another.

Asked about Boeing, which is currently in a standoff with its biggest union and is threatening to expand outside its historic home base in the Puget Sound region, Ms. Sawant said the company was guilty of “economic terrorism” by “holding not only Boeing workers but the entire state’s economy hostage to their endless desire for profits.”

On the idea of a $15 minimum wage, though, she was more subtle.

Mr. Murray, the mayor-elect, recently announced the creation of a committee of business executives, labor leaders and politicians, including Ms. Sawant, that would develop recommendations for increasing the minimum wage and report back to him early next year.

Asked if she might be co-opted by sitting on a committee alongside a representative of the Chamber of Commerce, Ms. Sawant responded, “I think that should always be a concern.”

“But if we’re serious about fighting for the interests of workers,” she added, “that means engaging with people who don’t agree with me.”

The daughter of a schoolteacher and a civil engineer, Ms. Sawant said she was seared by the disparities between the rich and the poor around Pune, India, which is near Mumbai and where she grew up. But she was also shocked, and radicalized, she said, by finding sharp income inequality in America when she immigrated here in her 20s.

She drifted away from computer software engineering, her first love — she once dreamed of being a “math geek,” she said — and began studying economics, which she now teaches at Seattle Central Community College. She lost her first run for public office two years ago, when she challenged a Democrat for a state legislative seat. But she said she learned a valuable lesson in targeting voters; this year, she aggressively, and successfully, courted transgender people and other groups.

She holds no illusions, however, that a hidden bloc of socialist voters is ready to mobilize for her re-election campaign in 2015. That election could be more complicated for her, as Seattle voters this year changed the Council’s composition from all citywide seats to geographic districts for most members.

No one, not even Ms. Sawant, believes that a socialist-majority district exists in Seattle. So she will try to draw support from the disgruntled voters who helped elect her this year. And she is counting on them to feel the same in 2015 as they did in 2013. “They’re just fed up,” she said.



8) French 'Millionaire's Tax' Gets Constitutional Go-Ahead
December 29, 2013

PARIS — France's Constitutional Council gave the green light on Sunday to a 'millionaire's tax', to be levied on companies that pay salaries of more than 1 million euros ($1.38 million) a year.

The measure, introduced in line with a pledge by President Francois Hollande to make the rich do more to pull France out of crisis, has infuriated business leaders and soccer clubs, which at one point threatened to go on strike.

It was originally designed as a 75 percent tax to be paid by high earners on the part of their incomes exceeding 1 million euros, but the council rejected this, saying 66 percent was the legal maximum for individuals.

The Socialist government has since reworked the tax to levy it on companies instead, raising the ire of entrepreneurs.

Under its new design, which the Council found constitutional, the tax will be an exceptional 50 percent levy on the portion of wages exceeding 1 million euros paid in 2013 and 2014.

Including social contributions, its rate will effectively remain roughly 75 percent. The tax will, however, be capped at 5 percent of the company's turnover.

The Council, a court made up of judges and former French presidents, has the power to annul laws if they are deemed to violate the constitution. (Reporting by Emile Picy; Writing by Natalie Huet; Editing by Mark Trevelyan)



9) The Slow Demise of Capital Punishment
December 29, 2013

More states are coming to recognize that the death penalty is arbitrary, racially biased and prone to catastrophic error. Even those that have not abolished capital punishment are no longer carrying it out in practice.

In 2013, Maryland became the sixth state to end capital punishment in the last six years. Eighteen states and the District of Columbia have abolished the penalty, and it is dormant in the federal system and the military. Thirty states have had no executions in the last five years.

As it becomes less frequent, the death penalty also becomes more limited to an extremely small slice of the country, and therefore all the more arbitrary in its application. All 80 death sentences in 2013 came from only about 2 percent of counties in the entire country, and all 39 executions — more than half occurred in Texas and Florida — took place in about 1 percent of all counties, according to a new report by the Death Penalty Information Center. Eighty-five percent of all counties have not had a single execution in more than 45 years.

Public support for the death penalty — an important factor in the Supreme Court’s consideration of its constitutionality — is at its lowest level in four decades, and 40 percent of people surveyed by Gallup say they do not believe it is administered fairly. Surely that is due in part to the hundreds of exonerations based on DNA testing — including 18 death-row inmates — which continue to reveal irreparable failures throughout the system.

Of course none of this matters to, say, Troy Davis or Cameron Todd Willingham, both of whom were executed in recent years despite deep doubts about their guilt. Nor is it of much use to the 3,100 people still sitting on death row around the country.

The argument is not that all of these people are innocent, or that they deserve to be released. Most would be justly imprisoned for most if not all of their life. But the death penalty as applied in America now — so thoroughly dependent on where the defendant lives and how much money he can spend on his defense — violates the constitutional guarantees of due process and equal protection, and no longer can overcome the Eighth Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishments.

The dishonor and shame of capital punishment are further highlighted by the current shortage of lethal-injection drugs, a “crisis” resulting from the refusal of European drug makers to provide them for executions. As a result, states that use lethal injection have turned to unregulated compounding pharmacies, and have even passed laws to hide the identity of those pharmacies and the chemical makeup of the drugs. This only underscores the fact that when it comes to the death penalty, the United States is virtually alone in the Western world. In a 1994 case, Justice Harry Blackmun wrote: “I feel morally and intellectually obligated simply to concede that the death penalty experiment has failed. It is virtually self-evident to me now that no combination of procedural rules or substantive regulations ever can save the death penalty from its inherent constitutional deficiencies.” How long must we wait before a majority of justices agree?



10) Uncle Sam’s Sweatshops
December 29, 2013

The American government has pushed retailers like Walmart and Gap to demand better working conditions at factories in the developing world that make their merchandise. But it turns out that the government, which buys more than $1.5 billion of clothes from overseas factories, does not follow its own advice.

Factories in Bangladesh, Haiti, Cambodia and elsewhere that make uniforms for federal workers often violate basic labor standards, according to a report in The Times by Ian Urbina. (Most American military uniforms are made in the United States.) One Cambodian factory that makes clothes sold on Army and Air Force bases has employed children as young as 15. A factory in Bangladesh that makes uniforms for the General Services Administration beats workers to keep them in line.

These conditions are common in poor countries where local and national governments are too weak or corrupt to enforce their own labor laws. That is why it’s important that retailers and American government agencies inspect and monitor factories to make sure they are not buying from businesses that exploit workers or put them in harm’s way. A building collapse in Bangladesh that killed more than 1,100 workers in April drove that message home to many clothes companies. More than 120 Western retailers have since agreed to seek better conditions.

Administration officials say they understand the importance of this issue; a presidential executive order last year tightened rules against using factories that employ forced labor. But many government agencies that use middlemen exercise little or no oversight over the factories that are used. And stores that sell more than $1 billion in clothes on military bases every year outsource factory inspections to private retailers that have done a poor job of monitoring suppliers. The government must do better. Federal agencies can start by disclosing the names of all factories they use; Congress could then order an investigation of the labor violations in those facilities. Next, agencies should jointly develop a code of conduct for overseas factories as well as an inspection regimen. Washington might also consider joining the retailers who have agreed to improve building safety in Bangladesh. In these and other ways, the federal government would improve the lives of millions of workers and set an example for the private sector to follow.



11) A.D.H.D. Experts Re-evaluate Study’s Zeal for Drugs
December 29, 2013

Twenty years ago, more than a dozen leaders in child psychiatry received $11 million from the National Institute of Mental Health to study an important question facing families with children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: Is the best long-term treatment medication, behavioral therapy or both?

The widely publicized result was not only that medication like Ritalin or Adderall trounced behavioral therapy, but also that combining the two did little beyond what medication could do alone. The finding has become a pillar of pharmaceutical companies’ campaigns to market A.D.H.D. drugs, and is used by insurance companies and school systems to argue against therapies that are usually more expensive than pills.

But in retrospect, even some authors of the study — widely considered the most influential study ever on A.D.H.D. — worry that the results oversold the benefits of drugs, discouraging important home- and school-focused therapy and ultimately distorting the debate over the most effective (and cost-effective) treatments.

The study was structured to emphasize the reduction of impulsivity and inattention symptoms, for which medication is designed to deliver quick results, several of the researchers said in recent interviews. Less emphasis was placed on improving children’s longer-term academic and social skills, which behavioral therapy addresses by teaching children, parents and teachers to create less distracting and more organized learning environments.

Recent papers have also cast doubt on whether medication’s benefits last as long as those from therapy.

“There was lost opportunity to give kids the advantage of both and develop more resources in schools to support the child — that value was dismissed,” said Dr. Gene Arnold, a child psychiatrist and professor at Ohio State University and one of the principal researchers on the study, known as the Multimodal Treatment Study of Children With A.D.H.D.

Another co-author, Dr. Lily Hechtman of McGill University in Montreal, added: “I hope it didn’t do irreparable damage. The people who pay the price in the end is the kids. That’s the biggest tragedy in all of this.”

A.D.H.D. narrowly trails asthma as the most frequent long-term medical diagnosis in children. More than 1 in 7 children in the United States receive a diagnosis of the disorder by the time they turn 18, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. At least 70 percent of those are prescribed stimulant medication like Adderall or Concerta because, despite potential side effects like insomnia and appetite suppression, it can quickly mollify symptoms and can cost an insured family less than $200 a year.

Comprehensive behavioral (also called psychosocial) therapy is used far less often to treat children with the disorder largely because it is more time-consuming and expensive. Cost-conscious schools have few aides to help teachers assist the expanding population of children with the diagnosis, which in some communities reaches 20 percent of students. Many insurance plans inadequately cover private or group therapy for families, which can cost $1,000 a year or more.

“Medication helps a person be receptive to learning new skills and behaviors,” said Ruth Hughes, a psychologist and the chief executive of the advocacy group Children and Adults With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. “But those skills and behaviors don’t magically appear. They have to be taught.”

Accepting no support from the pharmaceutical industry — “to keep it clean,” Dr. Arnold said — the National Institute of Mental Health gathered more than a dozen top experts on A.D.H.D. in the mid-1990s to try to identify the best approach. Over 14 months, almost 600 children with the disorder ages 7 to 9 across the United States and Canada received one of four treatments: medication alone, behavioral therapy alone, the combination, or nothing beyond whatever treatments they were already receiving.

The study’s primary paper, published in 1999, concluded that medication “was superior to behavioral treatment” by a considerable margin — the first time a major independent study had reached that conclusion. Combining the two, it said, “did not yield significantly greater benefits than medication” alone for symptoms of the disorder.

In what became a simple horse race, medication was ushered into the winner’s circle.

“Behavioral therapy alone is not as effective as drugs,” ABC’s “World News Now” reported. One medical publication said, “Psychosocial interventions of no benefit even when used with medication.”

Looking back, some study researchers say several factors in the study’s design and presentation to the public disguised the performance of psychosocial therapy, which has allowed many doctors, drug companies and schools to discourage its use.

First, the fact that many of the 19 categories measured classic symptoms like forgetfulness and fidgeting — over academic achievement and family and peer interactions — hampered therapy’s performance from the start, several of the study’s co-authors said.

A subsequent paper by one of those, Keith Conners, a psychologist and professor emeritus at Duke University, showed that using only one all-inclusive measurement — “treating the child as a whole,” he said — revealed that combination therapy was significantly better than medication alone. Behavioral therapy emerged as a viable alternative to medication as well. But his paper has received little attention.

“When you asked families what they really liked, they liked combined treatment,” said Dr. Peter Jensen, who oversaw the study on behalf of the mental health institute. “They didn’t not like medicine, but they valued skill training. What doctors think are the best outcomes and what families think are the best outcomes aren’t always the same thing.”

Just as new products like Concerta and extended-release Adderall were entering the market, a 2001 paper by several of the study’s researchers gave pharmaceutical companies tailor-made marketing material. For the first time, the researchers released data showing just how often each approach had moderated A.D.H.D. symptoms: Combination therapy did so in 68 percent of children, followed by medication alone (56 percent) and behavioral therapy alone (34 percent). Although combination therapy won by 12 percentage points, the paper’s authors described that as “small by conventional standards” and largely driven by medication.

Drug companies ever since have reprinted that scorecard and interpretation in dozens of marketing materials and PowerPoint presentations. They became the lesson in doctor-education classes worldwide.

“The only thing we heard was the first finding — that medication is the answer,” said Laura Batstra, a psychologist at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands.

Using an additional $10 million in government support to follow the children in the study until young adulthood, researchers have seen some of their original conclusions muddied further. Many experts interpret these more recent findings as showing the dissipation of medication’s effects; others counter that going off the medication, as many children did, would naturally dampen continuing positive effects.

Most recently, a paper from the study said flatly that using any treatment “does not predict functioning six to eight years later,” leaving the study’s original question — which treatment does the most good long-term? — largely unanswered. “My belief based on the science is that symptom reduction is a good thing, but adding skill-building is a better thing,” said Stephen Hinshaw, a psychologist at the University of California, Berkeley, and one of the study researchers. “If you don’t provide skills-based training, you’re doing the kid a disservice. I wish we had had a fairer test.”



12) Brazil Forging Economic Ties With Cuba, While Hiring Its Doctors
December 29, 2013

RIO DE JANEIRO — The conditions around the public health clinic in the vast slum of Jacarezinho are precisely what most Brazilian doctors prefer to avoid: dealers of crack cocaine ply their trade along dilapidated train tracks, and the odor from a crematory for stray dogs overwhelms patients and medical workers.

“Of course I knew this mission wouldn’t be easy,” said Idarmis González, 45, one of the more than 4,500 Cuban doctors the Brazilian government is hiring to work in far-flung villages in the Amazon and slums in major cities. “We go where other doctors do not,” said Ms. González as she examined an infant suffering from dehydration and diarrhea.

Faced with a wave of street protests in 2013 over deplorable public services, President Dilma Rousseff has made the hiring of Cuban doctors a cornerstone of her response to the turmoil, overriding the resistance of doctors’ unions to sending the Cubans, trained in a Communist country that says it has a surplus of doctors, into neglected parts of Brazil’s public health system.

But the project also points to a broader ambition of Brazil’s government, which is vying to exert influence in Cuba as the authorities in Havana slowly expose the island nation’s economy to market forces.

Brazilian exports to Cuba are surging, quadrupling over the past decade to more than $450 million a year. The inroads made by Brazilian companies in Cuba, relying on loans from Brazil’s national development bank and aid projects that share Brazil’s expertise in tropical agriculture, reflect a sophisticated projection of soft power in a country where Washington’s influence remains negligible.

“This is Brazil playing the long strategic game in the Caribbean,” said Julia E. Sweig, director for Latin American studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Cuba benefits, too. Its medical diplomacy, established decades ago with the export of doctors to developing countries, is reaping a major dividend with Brazil’s new project, worth as much as $270 million a year to Cuba’s government. The medical alliance bolsters ties between the countries, a prospect that Brazilian leaders have been vigorously cultivating since the 1990s.

For Brazil, the payoff is obvious: It now ranks among Cuba’s largest trading partners, behind Venezuela and China. For Venezuela, Cuba’s top ally and the supplier of about 100,000 barrels a day of subsidized oil, ideology forms the basis for stronger ties; for Brazil the relationship is more about finding opportunities for Brazilian companies.

For instance, a Brazilian soap opera produced by the Globo network, “Avenida Brasil,” now appears on Cuban state television, offering viewers a taste of life in Rio de Janeiro’s gritty suburbs.

Building on Brazilian assistance programs to lift Cuban farm yields, Brazilian soybean and rice farmers are also emerging as top suppliers of food to Cuba.

But Brazil’s top project in Cuba is the $900 million upgrade of the Port of Mariel by the construction giant Odebrecht, the same company that has carried out various infrastructure projects in South Florida.

While Washington’s prolonged economic sanctions prevent most American companies from doing business with Cuba, Brazil’s efforts to gain a foothold in Cuba come at a time when the island’s economic relations are in a state of flux.

Venezuela remains Cuba’s top benefactor, but it is unclear whether Venezuela can sustain such largess as it confronts economic troubles of its own. Venezuela and Cuba recently delayed a $700 million nickel venture, and talk of other cooperation projects has died down. At the same time, Chinese exports to Cuba have climbed sharply. Chinese tourist buses can be seen outside big hotels, Chinese-built Geely cars have become de rigueur for Cuban officials and thousands of students studying the Spanish language fill hostels and Havana’s tiny strip of Chinese-Cuban restaurants.

Brazil’s profile within Cuba remains far more subtle, but the arrival of thousands of Cuban doctors, many of whom are black, has made a big splash here, shaking Brazil’s medical establishment and revealing some painful tensions over race and privilege. “These doctors from Cuba are slave doctors,” said Wellington Galvão, director of the physicians union of Alagoas in northeast Brazil, repeating an assessment of the project by critics who contend that the conditions faced by the Cubans in Brazil are degrading.

Under terms of the program, which is managed in part by the Pan American Health Organization, the Cubans are not allowed to bring their families to Brazil and receive only a fraction of their monthly salary of about $4,255. The rest is paid to Cuba’s government, providing it with a new source of hard currency.

Supporters of the project in Brazil retort that the description of the Cuban doctors as slaves is a sign of thinly veiled racism and class bias among the medical establishment. Ms. Rousseff herself has lashed out at what she called “prejudice” against the Cubans.

Brazil ranks well below neighboring Argentina and Uruguay with just 1.8 doctors per 1,000 people, according to the World Bank, so hiring the Cubans could be seen as a savvy political move by Ms. Rousseff, who is running for re-election next year. “I’m just happy to have a doctor, period, whether he’s Cuban or not,” said Sthefani Nogueira, 21, after a gynecological exam at a public clinic in the Rio neighborhood of Realengo, performed by Israel Fernández, 47, a Cuban doctor who arrived here in October.

With the project in its infancy, pitfalls could still emerge. After Venezuela began hiring Cuban doctors in 2003, hundreds of them fled their posts to request asylum in the United States.

In Brazil, Latin America’s largest democracy, confusion has persisted over whether the Cuban doctors arriving here will be able to request political asylum. A spokeswoman for the Justice Ministry said that the Cubans would be able to request refugee status if they said that they were being persecuted for their political beliefs, though she said none had taken that step in 2013.

Brazil’s efforts to deepen ties with Cuba have encountered other problems. Dealing a blow to Cuba’s ambitions of increasing oil production, the Brazilian oil company Petrobras halted an offshore exploration operation in Cuban waters after drilling produced disappointing results. And Odebrecht, the Brazilian construction giant, has had to wage legal battles with some Cuban-Americans in Florida over its activities in Cuba.

But the doctors who return to Cuba from Brazil may carry with them the seeds of new perspectives after witnessing Brazil’s efforts to respond to the recent street protests and other forms of political dissent. “Brazil is a model for Cuba in that it has managed to develop its economy with peace and consensus,” said Roberto Veiga, the editor of a Cuban magazine funded by the German Bishops’ Conference.

Simon Romero reported from Rio de Janeiro, and Victoria Burnett from Mexico City. Taylor Barnes contributed reporting from Rio de Janeiro.



13) Clothing Brands Sidestep Blame for Safety Lapses
December 30, 2013

PARETS DEL VALLÈS, Spain — From a sleek gray distribution center near Barcelona, the global fashion brand Mango ships 60 million garments in a year. Automated conveyor belts whir through the building like subway lines, sorting and organizing blouses, sweaters and other items to be shipped around the world. Human hands barely touch the clothes.

Five thousand miles away in Bangladesh, the Phantom Tac factory in the industrial suburb of Savar was a hive of human hands. Hundreds of men and women hunched over sewing machines to produce garments in an assembly line system unchanged for years. Speed was also essential, but that just meant people had to work faster.

Last spring, as it pushed forward with global expansion plans, Mango turned to Phantom Tac to produce a sample order of polo shirts and other items. Then, on April 24, the Rana Plaza factory complex collapsed, killing more than 1,100 people in the deadliest disaster in garment industry history, and destroying Phantom Tac and other operations in the building.

Now, eight months later, the question is what responsibility Mango and other brands should bear toward the victims of Rana Plaza, a disaster that exposed the murkiness and lack of accountability in the global supply chain for clothes. Under intense international pressure, four brands agreed last week to help finance a landmark $40 million compensation fund for the victims.

But many other brands, including Mango, have so far refused to contribute to the fund. Mango argues that it is not responsible because it had not “formalized a commercial relationship” with Phantom Tac. Company officials say that Mango was still conducting quality inspections and factory audits of Phantom Tac, and that the factory had not started producing samples for an order of 25,000 items.

But in interviews conducted over several months, supervisors and other employees from Phantom Tac said work to make samples for Mango had already begun when Rana Plaza collapsed. Fabric was being marked and cut, and some workers say some sample shirts were already being stitched.

“There was an urgency among the bosses,” said Mohammed Mosharuf Hossain, 28, who worked in a cutting section. “The managers told us to finish the Mango products urgently. They said if we could finish this work quickly, we might get more orders from Mango.”

For global brands and retailers, Rana Plaza has forced a reckoning over how to reconcile the mismatched pieces in their supply chains. Technology and investment are transforming the upper end of the industry, enabling Mango and other brands to increase sales, manage global inventories with pinpoint precision and introduce new clothes faster than ever — all as consumers now expect to see new things every time they visit a store.

But these brands depend on factories in developing countries like Bangladesh, where wages are very low and the pressure to work faster and cheaper has spawned familiar problems: unsafe buildings, substandard work conditions and repeated wage and labor violations. Consumers know little about these factories, even as global brands promise that their clothes are made in safe environments.

Phantom Tac could be regarded as an unlikely attempt to prove that a Bangladeshi factory could be socially responsible and make a profit. It was partly owned by a Spaniard, David Mayor, who had won orders from several Spanish brands. He had teamed up with a Vatican missionary in rural Bangladesh to offer a training program for female workers. And he had experimented with creating a website to allow consumers in the West to connect virtually with the workers sewing their clothes.

But the pressures on Phantom Tac to meet deadlines and make money made those social goals difficult to achieve. Employees said the factory was busy but had suffered setbacks: Inditex, the global clothing giant that owns Zara and Lefties, had canceled orders a year earlier after the factory failed a social compliance audit. And several employees said other problems had arisen after underage workers were discovered working as helpers.

Now, Mr. Mayor has disappeared. He did not respond to email requests for interviews, and his family in Spain declined to reveal his whereabouts. His Bangladeshi business partner, Aminul Islam, is in jail in connection with the collapse.

Factories like Phantom Tac in Bangladesh and the Mango operations in Spain are part of the same supply chains, but might as well be from different worlds.

In Spain, visitors to Mango’s design center, a short drive from the distribution warehouse, are greeted in the lobby by an installation from the Spanish artist Jaume Plensa. A Picasso hangs in the office of Mango’s chairman, Isak Andic. Employees eat in a light-filled cafeteria or can relax in an upstairs area filled with ferns called “the greenhouse.”

These state-of-the-art facilities are just the beginning: Mango already operates other distribution centers in China, Hong Kong and Turkey, and it has broken ground for a massive new complex in Spain. Last year, Mango produced a total of 110 million garments and accessories; within a decade, company officials say, the company hopes to produce 300 million garments and roughly quintuple annual sales to 10 billion euros, or about $14 billion.

This growth strategy comes after Mango responded to the global recession by slashing prices, expanding offerings and opening stores in countries like China and Russia. This increased sales but has placed a premium on efficiency, cost and speed. In the past, Mango sent new items to stores every four to six weeks; now it is every 15 days. Technology has enabled Mango’s distribution center in Spain to track global sales, down to a single item in a single store, and then ship out boxes of refill orders within eight hours.

“The new facility will be faster, bigger and more efficient,” said Jordi Torra Marin, a project manager.

In Bangladesh, the business environment presents a sharp contrast. Phantom Tac was on the fifth floor of Rana Plaza, which was named after the family of the building’s owner, Sohel Rana. Mr. Rana, now in jail awaiting charges in the collapse, was a local political strongman, with close ties to elected officials in Savar and a reputation for criminal activities. Workers inside Rana Plaza say that when Mr. Rana needed people to stage a political march or a protest, he demanded that factory bosses release some workers from each factory to participate.

Mr. Rana also extracted profits: He controlled food services that served snacks to workers during overtime. Several workers complained about the foul taste of the food. Mr. Rana also claimed the leftover remnants of fabric produced by each factory and sold them into the lucrative local recycling market. And, workers say, he took any garments that did not meet quality standards and sold them in local markets.

“He was so powerful,” said Mohammad Liton, 25, a quality controller at Phantom Tac. “He had his own gang. They used to operate businesses.”

David Mayor was a buyer when he met Aminul Islam, who was operating a different factory in the center of Dhaka, the national capital. They started Phantom Tac together, which seemed like a good fit, since Mr. Mayor had connections with foreign brands, especially those in Spain. Soon, Mr. Mayor was bringing in orders, workers said, or leading foreign buyers on tours of the factory.

Mr. Mayor also had a social agenda. In 2007, Mr. Mayor joined with Brother Massimo Cattaneo, a Roman Catholic missionary, and financed a training program for young girls from rural Bangladesh. He eventually hired about a dozen of the graduates into his own factory.

He also wanted to give consumers a better understanding of how their clothes were made. Ashley Wheaton, who had worked for a nonprofit group in Dhaka, was hired to develop a website where consumers could type in a code taken from the sales tag of an item and then learn about the Bangladeshi women who made the garment they had bought. As an experiment, Mr. Mayor opened a shop in Dhaka where the clothes were marked with the codes.

“He had this idea about what he wanted to accomplish,” Ms. Wheaton said. “He really did want to change the way things are done. But he was pragmatic. He knew it had to make money and be sustainable.”

But money became a problem. Ms. Wheaton left after about seven months, as the factory began tightening expenses. Eventually, Mr. Mayor also stopped funding the training program, which Brother Massimo has kept afloat through church money and donations.

Workers at Phantom Tac said deadline pressures were relentless. Margins were so tight that several workers say midlevel managers used two sets of accounting ledgers to hide excessive overtime or other wage violations. Workers also said a problem with child labor arose in 2012 after a buyer discovered several teenagers working as helpers, the lowest-level position in the factory.

By January 2013, Phantom Tac had corrected the child labor issue and was trying to win new business, including from Mango. Mango had sent buyers to the factory as well as inspectors to conduct an audit of working conditions, workers say.

“We all knew about Mango’s audit team,” said Mr. Hossain, the man from the cutting section. “There was an announcement on the loudspeaker. They told everyone to work properly. They wanted to impress them.”

It worked. Labor activists searching the rubble of Rana Plaza found order forms from Mango to Phantom Tac for adult polo shirts and some children’s items. By April, but before the collapse, the fabric for the Mango order had already arrived, several employees say. Work was underway on samples to be sent to Mango for approval. One worker, Mohammed Sohel, said some sample shirts had already been sent for quality testing by Mango, only for Phantom Tac to be told of a flaw in the collar.

“David came to the factory and explained how to correct the collar,” Mr. Sohel said.

Another employee, Mohammed Sumon Prodhan, who worked in quality control, said seamstresses had been making samples of green polo shirts for Mango the day before Rana Plaza collapsed.

In a recent interview at Mango’s design center in Spain, Jose Gomez, vice president of international business development, cited Mango’s involvement in a major consortium of brands that have agreed to help finance safety upgrades to Bangladeshi factories as evidence of the company’s commitment to improve conditions.

But on the separate issue of compensation for victims, Mr. Gomez denied that Mango had started production at Phantom Tac because, he said, the company’s auditing process was not complete.

Asked if he was certain no work was underway, Mr. Gomez said, “What I understand is what I told you.”

Eva Kreisler, a coordinator for the anti-sweatshop group Clean Clothes Campaign in Spain, said that Mango’s explanation was unconvincing and that the company had a moral obligation to help the victims of Rana Plaza.

Another Spanish retailer, El Corte Inglés, is one of four brands that have agreed to contribute to the $40 million fund. Officials say other brands must come forward if full funding is to be achieved.

“Definitely, they should contribute to the fund,” Ms. Kreisler said of Mango. “It is quite shameful that they still won’t contribute to bring justice to the workers.”

On the day before Rana Plaza collapsed, cracks appeared in the third floor of the building. It was temporarily closed, and an engineer, upon inspecting the cracks, said the building should remain closed. But Mr. Islam, the co-owner of Phantom Tac, called a longtime factory supervisor and implored him and others to return to work, citing pressing deadlines.

Mr. Islam even went to the building himself and made his ritual evening prayers.

“He called me,” said Mohammad Minhaj Uddin Nannu, the longtime supervisor. “He said, ‘Why are you all scared? You shouldn’t be. I’m here.’ ”

The next morning, Rana Plaza collapsed, before Mr. Islam arrived at his office.

Jim Yardley reported from Parets Del Vallès, Spain, and Savar, Bangladesh. Julfikar Ali Manik contributed reporting from Savar, and Silvia Taulés from Parets Del Vallès.



14) U.S. Frees Last of Uighur Detainees From Guantánamo
December 31, 2013

WASHINGTON — In what the Pentagon called a “significant milestone” in the effort to close the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, the military announced Tuesday that the United States had transferred three Chinese detainees to Slovakia.

The three were the last of 22 ethnic Uighurs from China who were captured after the American invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 and brought to Guantánamo.

Although the military decided that the three men were not at war with the United States and that they should be released — and a judge ordered them freed in 2008 — they remained stranded because of difficulties in finding a safe and agreeable place to send them.

“The United States is grateful to the government of Slovakia for this humanitarian gesture and its willingness to support U.S. efforts to close the Guantánamo Bay detention facility,” said Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary. “The United States coordinated with the government of Slovakia to ensure the transfer took place in accordance with appropriate security and humane treatment measures.”

With these transfers, a total of nine detainees have departed Guantánamo in December, and 11 since last summer, when President Obama revived his stagnant efforts to close the prison by appointing Cliff Sloan as a new State Department envoy for the effort to winnow down its population of low-level detainees. There are 155 prisoners remaining at Guantánamo. Of those, about half have long been approved for transfer if security conditions can be met in the receiving country, the bulk of whom are Yemenis.

In a statement, Mr. Sloan said, “We deeply appreciate Slovakia’s humanitarian assistance in accepting these three individuals from Guantánamo who were in need of resettlement,” and he portrayed the relationship between the United States and Slovakia as strong and close.

“All 22 Uighurs from Guantánamo now have been resettled to six different countries, and these three resettlements are an important step in implementing President Obama’s directive to close the Guantánamo detention facility,” he said.

The Uighurs have long served as a particularly high profile symbol for opponents of the Guantánamo policy. Leaked dossiers for the three detainees sent to Slovakia — Yusef Abbas, Hajiakbar Abdulghupur, and Saidullah Khalik — say that at least as early as 2003, the military had determined they were “not affiliated with Al Qaeda or a Taliban leader” and should be released.

But the United States could not repatriate the Uighurs because the Chinese government has a history of mistreating Uighurs as it deals with ethnic unrest in its vast Central Asian border region of Xinjiang, where Uighurs are the largest ethnic group; the American military believed some of the Uighurs had received weapons training at a camp in Afghanistan run by a separatist Uighur group. Other countries were reluctant to take them, in part because of Chinese diplomatic pressure.

In 2006, the Bush administration sent five of the Uighurs to Albania, but destinations for the rest remained elusive. In 2008, a federal district court judge ordered the remaining 17 be brought into the United States. But in February 2009, the federal appeals court for the District of Columbia overturned that ruling, saying the judiciary could not order the executive branch to admit a foreigner into the country. The Supreme Court declined to review the matter.

Meanwhile, in the spring of 2009, the Obama administration nearly resettled two of the men in the care of a Uighur community in Northern Virginia, as a test case and in hopes of inducing other countries to take detainees. But a congressional backlash scuttled the plan and helped foster an atmosphere in which lawmakers imposed transfer restrictions on detainees.

Greg Craig, who was Mr. Obama’s White House counsel in the first year of the administration and was closely involved in efforts to resolve the Uighurs’ fate, celebrated the departure of the last Uighurs from Guantánamo.

“From the beginning, we knew that one test of our determination to close Guantánamo would be measured by what happened to the Uighurs,” Mr. Craig said of the final transfers. “That the last of the Uighurs has now left Guantánamo is an important milestone. They didn’t belong there in the first place.”

Amid intense lobbying by the United States, in 2009 four were sent to Bermuda and six to Palau, and in 2010 two went to Switzerland. In a twist, however, releasing the rest became a problem because the remaining five detainees refused offers to go to certain countries, extending their imprisonment for years.

All five rejected offers to go to Palau or the Maldives, officials said. Last year, El Salvador offered to take them in, and two accepted that offer while the final three are said to have rejected that opportunity, too, and held out for something they liked better.

Last summer, according to an American official familiar with the matter, Costa Rica offered to take the remaining three, and the deal advanced enough that in September the Obama administration notified Congress that it intended to transfer them. But China pressured Costa Rica to withdraw its offer, and it did so.

Their transfers to Slovakia, which the military said were voluntary, come days after Mr. Obama signed into law a new version of the annual National Defense Authorization Act. In that law, Congress extended restrictions on transferring Guantánamo detainees into the United States, but relaxed some restrictions on transferring them to other countries.

In a statement he issued when he signed the bill on Dec. 26, Mr. Obama reiterated his belief that closing the Guantánamo prison was a good policy and suggested vaguely that some of the transfer restrictions might be unconstitutional constraints on his powers, echoing assertions he has made when signing previous versions of the law.

“The detention facility at Guantánamo continues to impose significant costs on the American people,” Mr. Obama said. “I am encouraged that this act provides the executive greater flexibility to transfer Guantánamo detainees abroad, and look forward to working with the Congress to take the additional steps needed to close the facility.”




15) Social Media as a Megaphone to Pressure the Food Industry
December 30, 2013

Renee Shutters has long worried that food dyes — used in candy like blue M&M’s — were hurting her son, Trenton.

She testified before the Food and Drug Administration, but nothing happened. It wasn’t until she went online, using a petition with the help of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, that her pleas to remove artificial dyes from food seemed to be heard.

Mars, the candy’s maker, is now hinting that it may soon replace at least one of the dyes with an alternative derived from seaweed.

“I’ve really thought about calling them,” Ms. Shutters said about Mars. “I’m not trying to be this horrible person. What I’m really thinking is that this is an opportunity for their company to lead what would be an awesome publicity coup by taking these dyes out of their products.”

While the F.D.A. continues to allow certain dyes to be used in foods, deeming them safe, parents and advocacy groups have been using websites and social media as powerful megaphones to force titans of the food industry to reconsider the ingredients in their foods and the labeling and processing of their products. In several instances in the last year or so, major food companies and fast-food chains have shifted to coloring derived from spices or other plant-based sources, or changed or omitted certain labels from packaging.

Matthew Egol, a partner at Booz & Company, the consulting firm, said that while food companies had benefited from social media to gain rapid insight into trends, data on what products to introduce and which words to use in marketing, they also had been the target of complaints that sometimes become magnified in an online environment.

Mr. Egol said companies were approaching the negative feedback they get with new tools that help them assess the risks posed by consumer criticism. “Instead of relying on a P.R. firm, you have analytical tools to quantify how big an issue it is and how rapidly it’s spreading and how influential the people hollering are,” he said. “Then you can make a decision about how to respond. It happens much more quickly.”

From Cargill’s decision to label packages of its ground beef that contain “pink slime,” or what the industry prefers to call finely textured meat, to PepsiCo’s decision to replace brominated vegetable oil in Gatorade with a natural additive at the behest of a teenager, corporations are increasingly capitulating to consumer demands.

Companies are reluctant to admit a direct connection between the crusades of consumers like Ms. Shutters or Vani Hari, a blogger known as the Food Babe, and their decisions to tweak products, but the link seems clear. More than 140,000 people have signed Ms. Shutters’s petition on petroleum-based food dyes, and dozens have commented on Ms. Hari’s posts about some of the ingredients in items on Chick-fil-A’s menu.

“We’ve always tried to be a customer-focused organization,” said David B. Farmer, vice president for product strategy and development at Chick-fil-A. “What has clearly changed is some of the channels of communications, which wasn’t a factor in the past like it is today. We’ve had to adapt to that.”

Two years ago, Ms. Hari marveled in a blog post about the nearly 100 ingredients in a Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich and took issue with some of them, like MSG, artificial colors and TBHQ, or tertiary butylhydroquinone, which is used as a preservative in many foods.

“TBHQ is a derivative of butane,” she said in a telephone interview. “The F.D.A. says TBHQ cannot exceed 0.02 percent of fats and oils in a product, but consumers who are eating a sandwich that has it plus French fries and other things that also have it in a single meal may be getting more than that.” She followed that post with another, offering a recipe her readers could use to make a chicken sandwich that is a pretty fair imitation of Chick-fil-A’s — but with only 13 ingredients, none of them artificial.

Chick-fil-A eventually responded, inviting Ms. Hari in October 2012 to spend a day at its headquarters in Atlanta, where she discussed her concern about some ingredients as well as larger issues like the use of chicken from animals whose feed contains antibiotics and the potential for labeling products that have genetically engineered components.

“They went out of their way to make sure I got all the info I needed,” Ms. Hari said. “We sat down and put together a road map of my concerns and then laid out how they would start addressing them and what I would prioritize on a white board.”

Most important for her was where Chick-fil-A buys its chicken, and her second priority was removing artificial dyes from the company’s products. “That was one of the easiest things for them to get rid of, I thought,” she said.

This month the company told Ms. Hari that it had eliminated the dye Yellow No. 5 from its chicken soup, and reduced sodium in the soup. It is testing a peanut oil that does not contain TBHQ and will start testing sauces and dressings made without high-fructose corn syrup in the coming year.

The company said its decision to address some of Ms. Hari’s concerns was just a step in a long-term effort to improve and enhance its menu to give consumers what they want. “We’ve been working through the menu, starting with the removal of all trans fat between 2006 and 2008, taking high-fructose corn syrup out of bread, some dressings, some ice cream and milk shakes and reducing sodium across the board,” said Jodie Worrell, Chick-fil-A’s nutritionist.

Last year, the company added oatmeal to its yogurt fruit cups, and it offers fruit cups as an alternative to fries on its menu at no extra charge, “even though it’s more expensive,” Ms. Worrell said.

Kraft withstood Ms. Hari’s criticism for its use of petroleum-based dyes in its popular macaroni and cheese. But the company announced quietly last month that it would no longer use Yellow No. 5 and Yellow No. 6 dyes in its Shapes line of macaroni and cheese beginning in 2014.

Kraft is replacing the dyes with colorings derived from spices like turmeric and paprika. It is also adding more whole grain to the Shapes products, which are shaped like cartoon characters, and reducing the sodium and saturated fats they contain.

“Our Shapes products are popular with families,” Lynne Galia, a spokeswoman for Kraft, wrote in an email. “Parents have told us they would like fun mac and cheese varieties with the same great taste but improved nutrition.”

Asked whether the changes were made in response to Ms. Hari’s crusade, Ms. Galia wrote that they were made as part of the company’s continuing efforts to deliver better nutrition in its products. “We’re always listening to consumers,” she wrote. “In this particular case, we’ve been working on the relaunch for quite some time.”

She said that it took about a year and a half to reformulate the products, and that one of the challenges food companies face when confronted by consumers demanding change is getting them to understand how complicated that change can be.

Food companies must work with suppliers to determine what’s possible, then suppliers have to make the new ingredient in bulk. That ingredient is then tried in the recipe, and the recipe goes through tweaks to try to achieve the same viscosity, texture and other attributes contributed by the old ingredient.

“Then it goes to a validation stage, where we might have a sensory panel made up of folks who have trained capabilities and can apply science to determine if we’re matching the original flavor,” Mr. Farmer of Chick-fil-A said. “And then we test it with customers to get their feedback.”

Some changes come at little cost, others force a higher price. When Chick-fil-A changed its salads, for instance, replacing iceberg lettuce with leaf lettuce and adding options like fresh blueberries, it raised the price it charges for them to cover some of the additional costs. “It’s a more expensive product, but we’re selling significantly more salads because that’s what the customer wants,” Mr. Farmer said.

Similarly, Mars had to receive F.D.A. approval to replace FD&C Blue No.1, the petroleum-based dye it uses for blue M&M’s, with a blue dye derived from spirulina, an algae, that is often used in confectionary and chewing gum. “As a company, we continue to explore the use of naturally sourced colors,” Mars said in a statement. “While we do not currently use spirulina extract, its approval is a step toward providing us the option to produce confectionary products made with this naturally sourced color.”

Ms. Shutters said she was happy to hear about the potential new dye. She omitted all foods containing petroleum-based dyes from her son’s diet a few years ago, hoping it would help improve his focus, ease fidgetiness and make him more cooperative in his hockey practice.

“His schoolteacher just about passed out when he went back after the break,” she said. “I’m not kidding you, it was a miracle that we figured it out. I never realized until then how big an impact what you eat can have.”






























































U.S. Court of Appeals Rules Against Lorenzo Johnson’s
New Legal Challenge to His Frame-up Conviction!
Demand the PA Attorney General Dismiss the Charges!
Free Lorenzo Johnson, Now!

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit denied Lorenzo Johnson’s motion to file a Second Habeas Corpus Petition. The order contained the outrageous declaration that Johnson hadn’t made a “prima facie case” that he had new evidence of his innocence. This not only puts a legal obstacle in Johnson’s path as his fight for freedom makes its way (again) through the state and federal courts—but it undermines the newly filed Pennsylvania state appeal that is pending in the Court of Common Pleas.

Stripped of  “legalese,” the court’s October 15, 2013 order says Johnson’s new evidence was not brought into court soon enough—although it was the prosecution and police who withheld evidence and coerced witnesses into lying or not coming forward with the truth! This, despite over fifteen years and rounds of legal battles to uncover the evidence of government misconduct. This is a set-back for Lorenzo Johnson’s renewed fight for his freedom, but Johnson is even more determined as his PA state court appeal continues.

Increased public support and protest is needed. The fight for Lorenzo Johnson’s freedom is not only a fight for this courageous man and family. The fight for Lorenzo Johnson is also a fight for all the innocent others who have been framed and are sitting in the slow death of prison. The PA Attorney General is directly pursuing the charges against Lorenzo, despite the evidence of his innocence and the corruption of the police. Free Lorenzo Johnson, Now!

—Rachel Wolkenstein, Esq.
   October 25, 2013

For more on the federal court and PA state court legal filings.
Hear Mumia’s latest commentary, “Cat Cries”
Go to: for more information, to sign the petition, and how to help.





Call and write Ft Leavenworth today and tell them to honor Manning's wishes around her name and gender:
Chelsea's supporters were awarded the title “absolutely fabulous overall contingent” at the San Francisco Pride Parade

Call: (913) 758-3600

Write to:
Col. Sioban Ledwith, Commander
U.S. Detention Barracks
1301 N Warehouse Rd
Ft. Leavenworth KS 66027

Private Manning has been an icon both for the government transparency movement and LGBTQ activists because of her fearlessness and acts of conscience. Now, as she begins serving her sentence, Chelsea has asked for help with legal appeals, family visits, education, and support for undergoing gender transition. The latter is a decision she’s made following years of experiencing gender dysphoria and examining her options. At a difficult time in her life, she joined the military out of hope–the hope that she could use her service to save lives, and also the hope that it would help to suppress her feelings of gender dysphoria. But after serving time in Iraq, Private Manning realized what mattered to her most was the truth, personal as well as political, even when it proved challenging.

Now she wants the Fort Leavenworth military prison to allow her access to hormone replacement therapy which she has offered to pay for herself, as she pursues the process to have her name legally changed to ‘Chelsea Elizabeth Manning.’

To encourage the prison to honor her transgender identity, we’re calling on progressive supporters and allies to contact Fort Leavenworth officials demanding they acknowledge her requested name change immediately. Currently, prison officials are not required to respect Chelsea’s identity, and can even refuse to deliver mail addressed to the name ‘Chelsea Manning.’ However, it’s within prison administrators’ power to begin using the name ‘Chelsea Manning’ now, in advance of the legal name change which will most likely be approved sometime next year. It’s also up to these officials to approve Private Manning’s request for hormone therapy.

Call: (913) 758-3600

Write to:
Col. Sioban Ledwith, Commander
U.S. Detention Barracks
1301 N Warehouse Rd
Ft. Leavenworth KS 66027

Tell them: “Transgender rights are human rights! Respect Private Manning’s identity by acknowledging the name ‘Chelsea Manning’ whenever possible, including in mail addressed to her, and by allowing her access to appropriate medical treatment for gender dysphoria, including hormone replacement therapy (HRT).”

While openly transgender individuals are allowed to serve in many other militaries around the world, the US military continues to deny their existence. Now, by speaking up for Chelsea’s right to treatment, you can support one brave whistleblower in her personal struggle, and help set an important benchmark for the rights of transgender individuals everywhere. (Remember that letters written with focus and a respectful tone are more likely to be effective.) Feel free to copy this sample letter.

Earlier this year, the Private Manning Support Network won the title of most “absolutely fabulous overall contingent” at the San Francisco Pride Parade, the largest celebration of its kind for LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning) people nationwide. Over one thousand people marched for Private Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning in that parade, to show LGBTQ community pride for the Iraq War’s most well-known whistleblower.

Help us continue to cover 100%
of Pvt. Manning's legal fees! Donate today.

484 Lake Park Ave #41, Oakland CA 94610




Please sign the NEW petition for Lynne Stewart.

Your signature will send a letter to Bureau of Prisons Director Samuels and to Attorney General Holder requesting that they expedite Lynne Stewart’s current application for compassionate release. The NEW petition is at

Free Lynne Stewart: Support Compassionate Release

Free Lynne Stewart: Support Compassionate Release

By Ralph Poynter, Brooklyn, NY
Renowned defense attorney Lynne Stewart, unjustly charged and convicted for the “crime” of providing her client with a fearless defense, is dying of cancer while imprisoned in the Federal Medical Center, Carswell, Texas.

Your action now can lead to her freedom so that she may live out her remaining days with the comfort and joy of her family and those closest to her, including her devoted husband Ralph Poynter, many children, grandchildren, a great grandchild and lifelong friends.

The conservative medical prognosis by the oncologist contracted by the prison is that Lynne Stewart has but 16-months to live. Breast cancer, in remission prior to her imprisonment, reached Stage Four more than a year ago, emerging in her lymph nodes, shoulder, bones and lungs.

Despite repeated courses of chemotherapy, cancer advances in her lungs, resistant to treatment. Compounding her dire condition, Lynne Stewart’s white blood cell count dropped so low that she has been isolated in a prison hospital room since April 2013 to reduce risk of generalized infection.

Under the 1984 Sentencing Act, upon a prisoner’s request, the Bureau of Prisons can file a motion with the Court to reduce sentences “for extraordinary and compelling reasons,” life threatening illness foremost among these.

Lynne Stewart’s recent re-application for compassionate release meets all the criteria specified in guidelines issued by the Bureau of Prisons in August 2013.

These “new guidelines” followed a searing report and testimony before Congress by the Department of Justice’s Inspector General Michael Horowitz. His findings corroborated a definitive report by Human Rights Watch. Inspector General Horowitz excoriated the Federal Bureau of Prisons for the restrictive crippling of the compassionate release program. In a 20-year period, the Bureau had released a scant 492 persons – an average of 24 a year out of a population that exceeds 220,000.

Over 30,000 people of conscience from all walks of life in the United States and internationally took action to free Lynne Stewart following her first application for compassionate release in April of this year.

Among those who raised their voices are former Attorney General Ramsey Clark – who was co-counsel in the case that led to Lynne Stewart’s imprisonment, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, former President of the United Nations General Assembly, Father Miguel D’Escoto Brockmann, Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Corrigan Maguire, Ed Asner, Daniel Berrigan, Liz McAllister Berrigan, Richard Falk, Daniel Ellsberg, Noam Chomsky, Cornell West, Dick Gregory, Alice Walker and Bianca Jagger.

They along with thousands of individuals and organizations, such as the Center for Constitutional Rights, the National Lawyers Guild and Lawyers Rights Watch Canada, directed letters, phone calls and public declarations to the Federal Bureau of Prisons Director Charles E. Samuels, Jr. and to Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr.

Dick Gregory has refused all solid food since April 4 and his remarkable moral witness will not end until Lynne Stewart is released.

We call upon all to amplify this outpouring of support. We ask all within our reach to convey to Bureau of Prisons Director Samuels his obligation to approve Lynne Stewart’s application and instruct the federal attorney to file the requisite motion for Lynne Stewart’s compassionate release.

Please sign this new petition and reach out to others to sign. The letter below will be sent on your behalf via email to Charles E. Samuels, Jr., Director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons and to Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. Telephone calls also can be made to the Bureau of Prisons:
(202) 307-3250/3262.
Write to Lynne Stewart at:
Lynne Stewart #53504-054Unit 2N
Federal Medical Center, Carswell
P.O. Box 27137
Fort Worth, TX  76127

or via:

What you can do:
Demand Compassionate Release for Lynne Now!

Write and call:

President Obama
The White House
Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20500
(202) 456-1111

Attorney General Eric Holder
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20530-0001
(202) 353-1555

Charles E. Samuels, Jr.
Director, Federal Bureau of Prisons
320 First Street, NW
Washington, DC 20534
(202) 307-3250/3262

Write to Lynne Stewart:
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


Kimberly Rivera

Imprisoned pregnant resister seeks early release for birth

  • Print
495 supporters from around the world write letters in support of clemency application
By James Branum and Courage to Resist. November 4, 2013
Fort Carson, Colorado – Imprisoned war resister PFC Kimberly Rivera has submitted a clemency application seeking a reduction by 45 days in the 10 month prison sentence she received for seeking asylum in Canada rather return to her unit in Iraq.

The request for clemency was based on humanitarian reasons due to pregnancy. Unless clemency is granted, Private First Class Kimberly Rivera will be forced to give birth in prison and then immediately relinquish custody of her son while she continues to serve the remainder of her sentence.

Unfortunately military regulations provide no provisions for her to be able to breastfeed her infant son while she is in prison.
Fort Carson Senior Commander Brigadier General Michael A. Bills will be making a decision on PFC Rivera’s clemency request in the coming weeks.
PFC Rivera’s case made international news when she was the first female US soldier in the current era to flee to Canada for reasons of conscience. After a protracted struggle through the Canadian legal system, she was deported back to the United States in September 2012. She was then immediately arrested and sent back to the Army to stand trial.
In an interview with Courage to Resist  on the eve of her court-martial, Rivera said, “When I saw the little girl [in Iraq] shaking in fear, in fear of me, because of my uniform, I couldn’t fathom what she had been through and all I saw was my little girl and I just wanted to hold her and comfort her. But I knew I couldn’t. It broke my heart. I am against hurting anyone… I would harm myself first. I felt this also made me a liability to my unit and I could not let me be a reason for anyone to be harmed—so I left... Even though I did not fill out the official application to obtain conscientious objector status, I consider myself a conscientious objector to all war.”
On April 29, 2013, PFC Rivera pled to charges of desertion. She was sentenced by the military judge to fourteen months in prison, loss of rank and pay, and a dishonorable discharge; thanks to a pre-trial agreement her sentence was reduced to an actual sentence to ten months of confinement and a bad-conduct discharge.
Kimberly Rivera has been recognized by Amnesty International as a “prisoner of conscience.” She is the mother of four children, ages 11, 9, 4 and 2.
Kimberly Rivera’s request for clemency was accompanied by 495 letters of support, written by family members, friends, as well as members of Amnesty International from 19 countries.
“We have many organizations to thank for the outpouring of support for Kimberly Rivera, including Amnesty International, Courage to Resist, the War Resisters Support Campaign of Canada, Veterans for Peace and Coffee Strong,” said James M. Branum, civilian defense attorney for PFC Rivera. “We also want to recognize the tireless efforts of local supporters in Colorado Springs and San Diego who have taken the time to visit Kim in prison as well as to provide important support to Kim’s family in her absence.”
While the official clemency request is now complete, supporters of PFC Rivera are still encouraged to continue to speak out on her behalf. Letters in support of PFC Rivera’s clemency request can be sent directly to:
Brigadier General Michael A. Bills
c/o Fort Carson Public Affairs Office
1626 Ellis Street
Suite 200, Building 1118
Fort Carson, CO 80913
(fax: 1-719-526-1021)
Supporters are also encouraged to sign an online petition posted at:

Photos: Top-Kimberly with husband Mario during her court martial. Middle-Kimberly in Canada prior to being deported. Bottom-Courage to Resist rallies outside Canadian Consulate, San Francisco CA, prior to Kimberly's forced return.
Initial press release by The Center for Conscience in Action, an Oklahoma City-based organization dedicated to the intersection of peace, conscience and direct action. CCA’s Legal Support Project provides low and no cost legal representation to military service members seeking discharge on the grounds of conscience.
For more information or to schedule an interview about this subject, please contact James M. Branum, lead defense counsel for PFC Rivera, at 405-494-0562 or girightslawyer(at)gmail(dot)com. Consolidated Brig Miramar generally forbids inmates from doing interviews with the press, but you are welcome to see if an exception can be made by contacting the Brig Public Affairs office at 858-577-7071.
Additional case updates will be posted at and




Two campaigns that need funds – Please donate!

Cartoon by Anthonty Mata for CCSF Guardsman

We are working to ensure that the ACCJC’s authority is not renewed by the Department of Education this December when they are up for their 5-year renewal. Our campaign made it possible for over 50 Third Party Comments to be sent to the DOE re: the ACCJC. Our next step in this campaign is to send a delegation from CCSF to Washington, D.C. to give oral comments at the hearing on December 12th. We expect to have an array of forces aligned on the other side who have much more money and resources than we do.
So please support this effort to get ACCJC authority revoked!

Save CCSF members have been meeting with Attorney Dan Siegel since last May to explore legal avenues to fight the ACCJC. After much consideration, and consultation with AFT 2121’s attorney as well as the SF City Attorney’s office, Dan has come up with a legal strategy that is complimentary to what is already being pursued. In fact, AFT 2121’s attorney is encouraging us to go forward.
The total costs of pursuing this (depositions, etc.) will be substantially more than $15,000. However, Dan is willing to do it for a fixed fee of $15,000. He will not expect a retainer, i.e. payment in advance, but we should start payments ASAP. If we win the ACCJC will have to pay our costs.

Checks can be made out to Save CCSF Coalition with “legal” in the memo line and sent to:
Save CCSF Coalition
2132 Prince St.
Berkeley, CA 94705
Or you may donate online:



16 Years in Solitary Confinement Is Like a "Living Tomb"
American Civil Liberties Union petition to end long-term solitary confinement:
California Corrections Secretary Jeffrey Beard: We stand with the prisoners on hunger strike. We urge you to comply with the US Commission on Safety and Abuse in America’s Prisons 2006 recommendations regarding an end to long-term solitary confinement.
Sign the petition:
In California, hundreds of prisoners have been held in solitary for more than a decade – some for infractions as trivial as reading Machiavelli's "The Prince."

Gabriel Reyes describes the pain of being isolated for at least 22 hours a day for the last 16 years:

“Unless you have lived it, you cannot imagine what it feels like to be by yourself, between four cold walls, with little concept of time…. It is a living tomb …’ I have not been allowed physical contact with any of my loved ones since 1995…I feel helpless and hopeless. In short, I am being psychologically tortured.”

That’s why over 30,000 prisoners in California began a hunger strike – the biggest the state has ever seen. They’re refusing food to protest prisoners being held for decades in solitary and to push for other changes to improve their basic conditions.

California Corrections Secretary Jeffrey Beard has tried to dismiss the strikers and refuses to negotiate, but the media pressure is building through the strike. If tens of thousands of us take action, we can help keep this issue in the spotlight so that Secretary Beard can’t ignore the inhumane treatment of prisoners.

Sign the petition urging Corrections Secretary Beard to end the use of long-term solitary confinement.

Solitary is such an extreme form of punishment that a United Nations torture rapporteur called for an international ban on the practice except in rare occasions. Here’s why:

The majority of the 80,000 people held in solitary in this country are severely mentally ill or because of a minor infraction (it’s a myth that it’s only for violent prisoners)
Even for people with stable mental health, solitary causes severe psychological reactions, often leading people to attempt suicide
It jeopardizes public safety because prisoners held in solitary have a harder time reintegrating into society.

And to add insult to injury, the hunger strikers are now facing retaliation – their lawyers are being restricted from visiting and the strikers are being punished. But the media continues to write about the hunger strike and we can help keep the pressure on Secretary Beard by signing this petition.

Sign the petition urging Corrections Secretary Beard to end the use of long-term solitary confinement.

Our criminal justice system should keep communities safe and treat people fairly. The use of solitary confinement undermines both of these goals – but little by little, we can help put a stop to such cruelty.

Thank you,
Anthony for the ACLU Action team
P.S. The hunger strikers have developed five core demands to address their basic conditions, the main one being an end to long-term solitary confinement. They are:

-End group punishment – prisoners say that officials often punish groups to address individual rule violations

-Abolish the debriefing policy, which is often demanded in return for better food or release from solitary

-End long-term solitary confinement

-Provide adequate and nutritious food

-Expand or provide constructive programming and privileges for indefinite SHU inmates

“Solitary - and anger - in California's prisons.” Los Angeles Times July 13, 2013
“Pelican Bay Prison Hunger-Strikers' Stories: Gabriel Reyes.” TruthOut July 9, 2013
“Solitary confinement should be banned in most cases, UN expert says.” UN News October 18, 2011
"Stop Solitary - Two Pager"

What you Didn't know about NYPD's Stop and Frisk program !


Egypt: The Next President -- a little Egyptian boy speaks his remarkable mind!


Wealth Inequality in America

[This is a must see to believe]



Read the transcription of hero Bradley Manning's 35-page statement explaining why he leaked "state secrets" to WikiLeaks.

March 1, 2013


The statement was read by Pfc. Bradley Manning at a providence inquiry for his formal plea of guilty to one specification as charged and nine specifications for lesser included offenses. He pled not guilty to 12 other specifications. This rush transcript was taken by journalist Alexa O'Brien at Thursday's pretrial hearing and first appeared on



Call for a Compassionate Release for Lynne Stewart:
Attorney General Eric Holder: 202-514-2001
White House President Obama: 202-456-1414
Bureau of Prisons Director Charles Samuels: 202-307-3198 ext 3

Urgent: Please sign the petition for compassionate release for Lynne Stewart

For more information, go to

Write to Lynne Stewart at:

Lynne Stewart #53504-054
??Federal Medical Center, Carswell
PO Box 27137
Fort Worth, TX 76127



You Have the Right to Remain Silent: NLG Guide to Law Enforcement Encounters

Posted 1 day ago on July 27, 2012, 10:28 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt

Occupy Wall Street is a nonviolent movement for social and economic justice, but in recent days disturbing reports have emerged of Occupy-affiliated activists being targeted by US law enforcement, including agents from the FBI and Department of Homeland Security. To help ensure Occupiers and allied activists know their rights when encountering law enforcement, we are publishing in full the National Lawyers Guild's booklet: You Have the Right to Remain Silent. The NLG provides invaluable support to the Occupy movement and other activists – please click here to support the NLG.

We strongly encourage all Occupiers to read and share the information provided below. We also recommend you enter the NLG's national hotline number (888-654-3265) into your cellphone (if you have one) and keep a copy handy. This information is not a substitute for legal advice. You should contact the NLG or a criminal defense attorney immediately if you have been visited by the FBI or other law enforcement officials. You should also alert your relatives, friends, co-workers and others so that they will be prepared if they are contacted as well.

You Have the Right to Remain Silent: A Know Your Rights Guide for Law Enforcement Encounters

What Rights Do I Have?

Whether or not you're a citizen, you have rights under the United States Constitution. The Fifth Amendment gives every person the right to remain silent: not to answer questions asked by a police officer or government agent. The Fourth Amendment restricts the government's power to enter and search your home or workplace, although there are many exceptions and new laws have expanded the government's power to conduct surveillance. The First Amendment protects your right to speak freely and to advocate for social change. However, if you are a non-citizen, the Department of Homeland Security may target you based on your political activities.

Standing Up For Free Speech

The government's crusade against politically-active individuals is intended to disrupt and suppress the exercise of time-honored free speech activities, such as boycotts, protests, grassroots organizing and solidarity work. Remember that you have the right to stand up to the intimidation tactics of FBI agents and other law enforcement officials who, with political motives, are targeting organizing and free speech activities. Informed resistance to these tactics and steadfast defense of your and others' rights can bring positive results. Each person who takes a courageous stand makes future resistance to government oppression easier for all. The National Lawyers Guild has a long tradition of standing up to government repression. The organization itself was labeled a "subversive" group during the McCarthy Era and was subject to FBI surveillance and infiltration for many years. Guild attorneys have defended FBI-targeted members of the Black Panther Party, the American Indian Movement, and the Puerto Rican independence movement. The NLG exposed FBI surveillance, infiltration and disruption tactics that were detailed during the 1975-76 COINTELPRO hearings. In 1989 the NLG prevailed in a lawsuit on behalf of several activist organizations, including the Guild, that forced the FBI to expose the extent to which it had been spying on activist movements. Under the settlement, the FBI turned over roughly 400,000 pages of its files on the Guild, which are now available at the Tamiment Library at New York University.

What if FBI Agents or Police Contact Me?

What if an agent or police officer comes to the door?

Do not invite the agents or police into your home. Do not answer any questions. Tell the agent that you do not wish to talk with him or her. You can state that your lawyer will contact them on your behalf. You can do this by stepping outside and pulling the door behind you so that the interior of your home or office is not visible, getting their contact information or business cards and then returning inside. They should cease questioning after this. If the agent or officer gives a reason for contacting you, take notes and give the information to your attorney. Anything you say, no matter how seemingly harmless or insignificant, may be used against you or others in the future. Lying to or misleading a federal agent is a crime. The more you speak, the more opportunity for federal law enforcement to find something you said (even if not intentionally) false and assert that you lied to a federal officer.

Do I have to answer questions?

You have the constitutional right to remain silent. It is not a crime to refuse to answer questions. You do not have to talk to anyone, even if you have been arrested or are in jail. You should affirmatively and unambiguously state that you wish to remain silent and that you wish to consult an attorney. Once you make the request to speak to a lawyer, do not say anything else. The Supreme Court recently ruled that answering law enforcement questions may be taken as a waiver of your right to remain silent, so it is important that you assert your rights and maintain them. Only a judge can order you to answer questions. There is one exception: some states have "stop and identify" statutes which require you to provide identity information or your name if you have been detained on reasonable suspicion that you may have committed a crime. A lawyer in your state can advise you of the status of these requirements where you reside.

Do I have to give my name?

As above, in some states you can be detained or arrested for merely refusing to give your name. And in any state, police do not always follow the law, and refusing to give your name may make them suspicious or more hostile and lead to your arrest, even without just cause, so use your judgment. Giving a false name could in some circumstances be a crime.

Do I need a lawyer?

You have the right to talk to a lawyer before you decide whether to answer questions from law enforcement. It is a good idea to talk to a lawyer if you are considering answering any questions. You have the right to have a lawyer present during any interview. The lawyer's job is to protect your rights. Once you tell the agent that you want to talk to a lawyer, he or she should stop trying to question you and should make any further contact through your lawyer. If you do not have a lawyer, you can still tell the officer you want to speak to one before answering questions. Remember to get the name, agency and telephone number of any investigator who visits you, and give that information to your lawyer. The government does not have to provide you with a free lawyer unless you are charged with a crime, but the NLG or another organization may be able to help you find a lawyer for free or at a reduced rate.

If I refuse to answer questions or say I want a lawyer, won't it seem like I have something to hide?

Anything you say to law enforcement can be used against you and others. You can never tell how a seemingly harmless bit of information might be used or manipulated to hurt you or someone else. That is why the right not to talk is a fundamental right under the Constitution. Keep in mind that although law enforcement agents are allowed to lie to you, lying to a government agent is a crime. Remaining silent is not. The safest things to say are "I am going to remain silent," "I want to speak to my lawyer," and "I do not consent to a search." It is a common practice for law enforcement agents to try to get you to waive your rights by telling you that if you have nothing to hide you would talk or that talking would "just clear things up." The fact is, if they are questioning you, they are looking to incriminate you or someone you may know, or they are engaged in political intelligence gathering. You should feel comfortable standing firm in protection and defense of your rights and refusing to answer questions.

Can agents search my home or office?

You do not have to let police or agents into your home or office unless they have and produce a valid search warrant. A search warrant is a written court order that allows the police to conduct a specified search. Interfering with a warrantless search probably will not stop it and you might get arrested. But you should say "I do not consent to a search," and call a criminal defense lawyer or the NLG. You should be aware that a roommate or guest can legally consent to a search of your house if the police believe that person has the authority to give consent, and your employer can consent to a search of your workspace without your permission.

What if agents have a search warrant?

If you are present when agents come for the search, you can ask to see the warrant. The warrant must specify in detail the places to be searched and the people or things to be taken away. Tell the agents you do not consent to the search so that they cannot go beyond what the warrant authorizes. Ask if you are allowed to watch the search; if you are allowed to, you should. Take notes, including names, badge numbers, what agency each officer is from, where they searched and what they took. If others are present, have them act as witnesses to watch carefully what is happening. If the agents ask you to give them documents, your computer, or anything else, look to see if the item is listed in the warrant. If it is not, do not consent to them taking it without talking to a lawyer. You do not have to answer questions. Talk to a lawyer first. (Note: If agents present an arrest warrant, they may only perform a cursory visual search of the premises to see if the person named in the arrest warrant is present.)

Do I have to answer questions if I have been arrested?

No. If you are arrested, you do not have to answer any questions. You should affirmatively and unambiguously state that you wish to assert your right to remain silent. Ask for a lawyer right away. Do not say anything else. Repeat to every officer who tries to talk to or question you that you wish to remain silent and that you wish to speak to a lawyer. You should always talk to a lawyer before you decide to answer any questions.

What if I speak to government agents anyway?

Even if you have already answered some questions, you can refuse to answer other questions until you have a lawyer. If you find yourself talking, stop. Assert that you wish to remain silent and that you wish to speak to a lawyer.

What if the police stop me on the street?

Ask if you are free to go. If the answer is yes, consider just walking away. If the police say you are not under arrest, but are not free to go, then you are being detained. The police can pat down the outside of your clothing if they have reason to suspect you might be armed and dangerous. If they search any more than this, say clearly, "I do not consent to a search." They may keep searching anyway. If this happens, do not resist because you can be charged with assault or resisting arrest. You do not have to answer any questions. You do not have to open bags or any closed container. Tell the officers you do not consent to a search of your bags or other property.

What if police or agents stop me in my car?

Keep your hands where the police can see them. If you are driving a vehicle, you must show your license, registration and, in some states, proof of insurance. You do not have to consent to a search. But the police may have legal grounds to search your car anyway. Clearly state that you do not consent. Officers may separate passengers and drivers from each other to question them, but no one has to answer any questions.

What if I am treated badly by the police or the FBI?

Write down the officer's badge number, name or other identifying information. You have a right to ask the officer for this information. Try to find witnesses and their names and phone numbers. If you are injured, seek medical attention and take pictures of the injuries as soon as you can. Call a lawyer as soon as possible.

What if the police or FBI threaten me with a grand jury subpoena if I don't answer their questions?

A grand jury subpoena is a written order for you to go to court and testify about information you may have. It is common for the FBI to threaten you with a subpoena to get you to talk to them. If they are going to subpoena you, they will do so anyway. You should not volunteer to speak just because you are threatened with a subpoena. You should consult a lawyer.

What if I receive a grand jury subpoena?

Grand jury proceedings are not the same as testifying at an open court trial. You are not allowed to have a lawyer present (although one may wait in the hallway and you may ask to consult with him or her after each question) and you may be asked to answer questions about your activities and associations. Because of the witness's limited rights in this situation, the government has frequently used grand jury subpoenas to gather information about activists and political organizations. It is common for the FBI to threaten activists with a subpoena in order to elicit information about their political views and activities and those of their associates. There are legal grounds for stopping ("quashing") subpoenas, and receiving one does not necessarily mean that you are suspected of a crime. If you do receive a subpoena, call the NLG National Hotline at 888-NLG-ECOL (888-654-3265) or call a criminal defense attorney immediately.

The government regularly uses grand jury subpoena power to investigate and seek evidence related to politically-active individuals and social movements. This practice is aimed at prosecuting activists and, through intimidation and disruption, discouraging continued activism.

Federal grand jury subpoenas are served in person. If you receive one, it is critically important that you retain the services of an attorney, preferably one who understands your goals and, if applicable, understands the nature of your political work, and has experience with these issues. Most lawyers are trained to provide the best legal defense for their client, often at the expense of others. Beware lawyers who summarily advise you to cooperate with grand juries, testify against friends, or cut off contact with your friends and political activists. Cooperation usually leads to others being subpoenaed and investigated. You also run the risk of being charged with perjury, a felony, should you omit any pertinent information or should there be inconsistencies in your testimony.

Frequently prosecutors will offer "use immunity," meaning that the prosecutor is prohibited from using your testimony or any leads from it to bring charges against you. If a subsequent prosecution is brought, the prosecutor bears the burden of proving that all of its evidence was obtained independent of the immunized testimony. You should be aware, however, that they will use anything you say to manipulate associates into sharing more information about you by suggesting that you have betrayed confidences.

In front of a grand jury you can "take the Fifth" (exercise your right to remain silent). However, the prosecutor may impose immunity on you, which strips you of Fifth Amendment protection and subjects you to the possibility of being cited for contempt and jailed if you refuse to answer further. In front of a grand jury you have no Sixth Amendment right to counsel, although you can consult with a lawyer outside the grand jury room after each question.

What if I don't cooperate with the grand jury?

If you receive a grand jury subpoena and elect to not cooperate, you may be held in civil contempt. There is a chance that you may be jailed or imprisoned for the length of the grand jury in an effort to coerce you to cooperate. Regular grand juries sit for a basic term of 18 months, which can be extended up to a total of 24 months. It is lawful to hold you in order to coerce your cooperation, but unlawful to hold you as a means of punishment. In rare instances you may face criminal contempt charges.

What If I Am Not a Citizen and the DHS Contacts Me?

The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) is now part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and has been renamed and reorganized into: 1. The Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS); 2. The Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CBP); and 3. The Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). All three bureaus will be referred to as DHS for the purposes of this pamphlet.

? Assert your rights. If you do not demand your rights or if you sign papers waiving your rights, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) may deport you before you see a lawyer or an immigration judge. Never sign anything without reading, understanding and knowing the consequences of signing it.

? Talk to a lawyer. If possible, carry with you the name and telephone number of an immigration lawyer who will take your calls. The immigration laws are hard to understand and there have been many recent changes. DHS will not explain your options to you. As soon as you encounter a DHS agent, call your attorney. If you can't do it right away, keep trying. Always talk to an immigration lawyer before leaving the U.S. Even some legal permanent residents can be barred from returning.

Based on today's laws, regulations and DHS guidelines, non-citizens usually have the following rights, no matter what their immigration status. This information may change, so it is important to contact a lawyer. The following rights apply to non-citizens who are inside the U.S. Non-citizens at the border who are trying to enter the U.S. do not have all the same rights.

Do I have the right to talk to a lawyer before answering any DHS questions or signing any DHS papers?

Yes. You have the right to call a lawyer or your family if you are detained, and you have the right to be visited by a lawyer in detention. You have the right to have your attorney with you at any hearing before an immigration judge. You do not have the right to a government-appointed attorney for immigration proceedings, but if you have been arrested, immigration officials must show you a list of free or low cost legal service providers.

Should I carry my green card or other immigration papers with me?

If you have documents authorizing you to stay in the U.S., you must carry them with you. Presenting false or expired papers to DHS may lead to deportation or criminal prosecution. An unexpired green card, I-94, Employment Authorization Card, Border Crossing Card or other papers that prove you are in legal status will satisfy this requirement. If you do not carry these papers with you, you could be charged with a crime. Always keep a copy of your immigration papers with a trusted family member or friend who can fax them to you, if need be. Check with your immigration lawyer about your specific case.

Am I required to talk to government officers about my immigration history?

If you are undocumented, out of status, a legal permanent resident (green card holder), or a citizen, you do not have to answer any questions about your immigration history. (You may want to consider giving your name; see above for more information about this.) If you are not in any of these categories, and you are being questioned by a DHS or FBI agent, then you may create problems with your immigration status if you refuse to provide information requested by the agent. If you have a lawyer, you can tell the agent that your lawyer will answer questions on your behalf. If answering questions could lead the agent to information that connects you with criminal activity, you should consider refusing to talk to the agent at all.

If I am arrested for immigration violations, do I have the right to a hearing before an immigration judge to defend myself against deportation charges?

Yes. In most cases only an immigration judge can order you deported. But if you waive your rights or take "voluntary departure," agreeing to leave the country, you could be deported without a hearing. If you have criminal convictions, were arrested at the border, came to the U.S. through the visa waiver program or have been ordered deported in the past, you could be deported without a hearing. Contact a lawyer immediately to see if there is any relief for you.

Can I call my consulate if I am arrested?

Yes. Non-citizens arrested in the U.S. have the right to call their consulate or to have the police tell the consulate of your arrest. The police must let your consulate visit or speak with you if consular officials decide to do so. Your consulate might help you find a lawyer or offer other help. You also have the right to refuse help from your consulate.

What happens if I give up my right to a hearing or leave the U.S. before the hearing is over?

You could lose your eligibility for certain immigration benefits, and you could be barred from returning to the U.S. for a number of years. You should always talk to an immigration lawyer before you decide to give up your right to a hearing.

What should I do if I want to contact DHS?

Always talk to a lawyer before contacting DHS, even on the phone. Many DHS officers view "enforcement" as their primary job and will not explain all of your options to you.

What Are My Rights at Airports?

IMPORTANT NOTE: It is illegal for law enforcement to perform any stops, searches, detentions or removals based solely on your race, national origin, religion, sex or ethnicity.

If I am entering the U.S. with valid travel papers can a U.S. customs agent stop and search me?

Yes. Customs agents have the right to stop, detain and search every person and item.

Can my bags or I be searched after going through metal detectors with no problem or after security sees that my bags do not contain a weapon?

Yes. Even if the initial screen of your bags reveals nothing suspicious, the screeners have the authority to conduct a further search of you or your bags.

If I am on an airplane, can an airline employee interrogate me or ask me to get off the plane?

The pilot of an airplane has the right to refuse to fly a passenger if he or she believes the passenger is a threat to the safety of the flight. The pilot's decision must be reasonable and based on observations of you, not stereotypes.

What If I Am Under 18?

Do I have to answer questions?

No. Minors too have the right to remain silent. You cannot be arrested for refusing to talk to the police, probation officers, or school officials, except in some states you may have to give your name if you have been detained.

What if I am detained?

If you are detained at a community detention facility or Juvenile Hall, you normally must be released to a parent or guardian. If charges are filed against you, in most states you are entitled to counsel (just like an adult) at no cost.

Do I have the right to express political views at school?

Public school students generally have a First Amendment right to politically organize at school by passing out leaflets, holding meetings, etc., as long as those activities are not disruptive and do not violate legitimate school rules. You may not be singled out based on your politics, ethnicity or religion.

Can my backpack or locker be searched?

School officials can search students' backpacks and lockers without a warrant if they reasonably suspect that you are involved in criminal activity or carrying drugs or weapons. Do not consent to the police or school officials searching your property, but do not physically resist or you may face criminal charges.


This booklet is not a substitute for legal advice. You should contact an attorney if you have been visited by the FBI or other law enforcement officials. You should also alert your relatives, friends, co-workers and others so that they will be prepared if they are contacted as well.

NLG National Hotline for Activists Contacted by the FBI





Free Mumia NOW!

Write to Mumia:

Mumia Abu-Jamal AM 8335

SCI Mahanoy

301 Morea Road

Frackville, PA 17932

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Rachel Wolkenstein

August 21, 2011 (917) 689-4009






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

Censorship" book



Justice for Albert Woodfox and Herman Wallace: Decades of isolation in Louisiana

state prisons must end

Take Action -- Sign Petition Here:\







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=2071005093\


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.



The Battle Is Still On To


The Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal

PO Box 16222 • Oakland CA 94610




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!











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








Exceptional art from the streets of Oakland:

Oakland Street Dancing




On Gun Control, Martin Luther King, the Deacons of Defense and the history of Black Liberation


Fukushima Never Again

"Fukushima, Never Again" tells the story of the Fukushima nuclear plant meltdowns in north east Japan in March of 2011 and exposes the cover-up by Tepco and the Japanese government.

This is the first film that interviews the Mothers Of Fukushima, nuclear power experts and trade unionists who are fighting for justice and the protection of the children and the people of Japan and the world. The residents and citizens were forced to buy their own geiger counters and radiation dosimeters in order to test their communities to find out if they were in danger.

The government said contaminated soil in children's school grounds was safe and then

when the people found out it was contaminated and removed the top soil, the government and TEPCO refused to remove it from the school grounds.

It also relays how the nuclear energy program for "peaceful atoms" was brought to Japan under the auspices of the US military occupation and also the criminal cover-up of the safety dangers of the plant by TEPCO and GE management which built the plant in Fukushima. It also interviews Kei Sugaoka, the GE nulcear plant inspector from the bay area who exposed cover-ups in the safety at the Fukushima plant and was retaliated against by GE. This documentary allows the voices of the people and workers to speak out about the reality of the disaster and what this means not only for the people of Japan but the people of the world as the US government and nuclear industry continue to push for more new plants and government subsidies. This film breaks

the information blockade story line of the corporate media in Japan, the US and around the world that Fukushima is over.

Production Of Labor Video Project

P.O. Box 720027

San Francisco, CA 94172

For information on obtaining the video go to:



1000 year of war through the world


Anatomy of a Massacre - Afganistan

Afghans accuse multiple soldiers of pre-meditated murder

To see more go to

Follow us on Facebook ( or Twitter


The recent massacre of 17 civilians by a rogue US soldier has been shrouded in

mystery. But through unprecedented access to those involved, this report

confronts the accusations that Bales didn't act alone.

"They came into my room and they killed my family". Stories like this are common

amongst the survivors in Aklozai and Najiban. As are the shocking accusations

that Sergeant Bales was not acting alone. Even President Karzai has announced

"one man can not do that". Chief investigator, General Karimi, is suspicious

that despite being fully armed, Bales freely left his base without raising

alarm. "How come he leaves at night and nobody is aware? Every time we have

weapon accountability and personal accountability." These are just a few of the

questions the American army and government are yet to answer. One thing however

is very clear, the massacre has unleashed a wave of grief and outrage which

means relations in Kandahar will be tense for years to come: "If I could lay my

hands on those infidels, I would rip them apart with my bare hands."

A Film By SBS

Distributed By Journeyman Pictures

April 2012


Photo of George Zimmerman, in 2005 photo, left, and in a more recent photo.\


SPD Security Cams.wmv


Kids being put on buses and transported from school to "alternate locations" in

Terror Drills


Private prisons,

a recession resistant investment opportunity


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 and Instigating: OCCUPY - Ronnie Goodman


Rep News 12: Yes We Kony


The New Black by The Mavrix - Official Music Video


Japan One Year Later


The CIA's Heart Attack Gun\



The Invisible American Workforce


Labor Beat: NATO vs The 1st Amendment

For more detailed information, send us a request at


The Battle of Oakland

by brandon jourdan plus


Officers Pulled Off Street After Tape of Beating Surfaces


February 1, 2012, 10:56 am\



This is excellent! Michelle Alexander pulls no punches!

Michelle Alexander, Author of The New Jim Crow, speaks about the political


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


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




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...

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



"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


Release Bradley Manning

Almost Gone (The Ballad Of Bradley Manning)

Written by Graham Nash and James Raymond (son of David Crosby)


Julian Assange: Why the world needs WikiLeaks


School police increasingly arresting American students?



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?


We Are The People Who Will Save Our Schools



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



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


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




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


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


Live arrest at brooklyn bridge #occupywallstreet by We are Change




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


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


Coal Ash: One Valley's Tale



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