Sunday, January 06, 2013

BAUAW NEWSLETTER—SUNDAY, JANUARY 6, 2013

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Bay Area United Against War Newsletter


Table of Contents:

A. ARTICLES IN FULL

B. EVENTS AND ACTIONS

C. SPECIAL APPEALS AND ONGOING CAMPAIGNS

D. VIDEO, FILM, AUDIO. ART, POETRY, ETC.


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A. ARTICLES IN FULL (Unless otherwise noted)


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1) A Soaring Homicide Rate, a Divide in Chicago
By
January 2, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/03/us/a-soaring-homicide-rate-a-divide-in-chicago.html?hp

CHICAGO — This city’s 471st homicide of 2012 happened in the middle of the day, in the middle of a crowd, on the steps of the church where the victim of homicide 463 was being eulogized. Sherman Miller, who was 21, collapsed amid gunfire not far from the idling hearse that was there to carry away James Holman, 32, shot to death a week earlier.

The funeral shooting at St. Columbanus Catholic Church on the South Side left neighbors fretting that no place, not even a church, felt safe any longer. “It’s become the Wild Wild West,” said Charles Childs Jr., who had watched from across the street as mourners screamed and scattered.

The shooting, on Nov. 26, was one more jarring reminder of just how common killings seem to have grown on the streets of Chicago, the nation’s third-largest city, where 506 homicides were reported in 2012, a 16 percent increase over the year before, even as the number of killings remained relatively steady or dropped in some cities, including New York.

But the overall rise in killings here blurs another truth: the homicides, most of which the authorities described as gang-against-gang shootings, have not been spread evenly across this city. Instead, they have mostly taken place in neighborhoods west and south of Chicago’s gleaming downtown towers.

Already, 2013 began with three gun homicides on New Year’s Day, two of them on the South Side. Like other cities, Chicago has long been a segregated place, richer and whiter on the North Side, and the city’s troubling increase in killings has accentuated a longstanding divide.

“It’s two different Chicagos,” said the Rev. Corey B. Brooks Sr., the pastor of New Beginnings Church on the South Side, who had led the funeral service for Mr. Holman the day shots rang out, then found himself leading Mr. Miller’s funeral service a week later. The authorities here have described both shootings as gang related. “If something like that had happened at the big cathedral in downtown Chicago or up north at a predominantly white church, it would still be on the news right now, it would be such a major thing going on.”

More than 80 percent of the city’s homicides took place last year in only about half of Chicago’s 23 police districts, largely on the city’s South and West Sides. The police district that includes parts of the business district downtown reported no killings at all. And while at least one police district on the city’s northern edge saw a significant increase in the rate of killings, the total number there still was dwarfed by deaths in districts on the other sides of town, and particularly in certain neighborhoods.

Along the streets downtown and in neighborhoods on the North Side not far from Lake Michigan, some residents acknowledged that they had heard about a rise in the city’s homicide rate, but said it had not affected their own sense of safety. “This area is a bit of a Garden of Eden,” said Gwen Sylvain, as she walked dogs along a residential street not far from the Loop.

Others said they rarely had reason to go to the Chicago’s South or West Sides, only a few miles away, and some longtime residents said they had never once ventured to such neighborhoods. Police business on the North Side rarely seems to rise beyond an overly enthusiastic Cubs fan or a parking quibble, said Kyong Lee, who said that in the past he had, without consequence, forgotten to lock up his family’s shoe repair business.

In Back of the Yards, a South Side neighborhood near the city’s old meatpacking district, the tenor was far different. Mothers spoke of keeping their children inside from the moment school ended, and businessmen of decisions to lock the front doors of their shops during business hours. “I don’t go out at night,” said Jesse Martinez, who recalled the gun pressed to his head as he was robbed a few years ago inside the hat and boot store he has run for 32 years.

Over all, crime in Chicago dropped 9 percent in 2012 from the year before in what city officials say was the largest decrease in 30 years. Among crimes that saw dips last year: rape, robbery and car theft. With the city’s longtime gangs splintering into factions and increasing problems with retaliatory violence, homicides rose suddenly in the first three months of the year — running some 60 percent ahead of the year earlier — creating a pace that slowed significantly as the year went on.

City officials attributed the improvement to a broad anti-gang strategy that includes an elaborate police audit of gang members, removal of vacant buildings and efforts to involve neighbors. Some have called for increased gun control legislation; of 7,000 guns recovered by the Chicago police in recent months, handguns are most common, but 300 were assault weapons.

“A child shot is a child of the City of Chicago,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who lives on the North Side, said in an interview in which he addressed the long-held divisions in a city known for its endless array of distinct neighborhoods on the North, South and West Sides. “Don’t anybody think that it’s ‘over there,’ ” the mayor said. “It’s a tear on this city.”

No arrests have been made in the deaths of Mr. Holman or Mr. Miller, who died on the steps of the church that Al Capone’s mother once attended regularly and where Barack Obama distributed food to the needy just after he was elected president in 2008. The authorities say three guns were believed to be present when Mr. Miller died. The police say Mr. Miller was carrying a gun. And bullet casings from two other weapons were found on the steps.

At Mr. Miller’s funeral in December, a large contingent of Chicago police officers waited outside.

“It’s gotten to the point, unfortunately, where something as significant as a funeral is subject to gang violence, and I can’t even believe that we’re having this conversation,” Garry McCarthy, the police superintendent here, said in an interview. “I’m not willing to gamble that maybe they’re not going to bring their guns this time.”

Inside that funeral, at another church on the city’s South Side, Mr. Brooks stood near Mr. Miller’s coffin, recalling what had happened at the last funeral. “Ever since then,” Mr. Brooks told Mr. Miller’s mother, who sat before him, “my heart has been so torn.”

As friends of the deceased stepped past his framed photograph to stand at a microphone, Mr. Brooks called for peace in the church, read out his own cellphone number (in case, he said, anyone needed it), and stopped one young man from launching into a rap, for fear, Mr. Brooks said later, of what new trouble that might stir.

In a corner of the church, a friend of Mr. Miller revealed text messages he had sent to her during Mr. Holman’s funeral, minutes before he was shot: “dis preacher like he talkin straight to me,” one of the messages read. “He talkin bout hurts and pain. I cant run from the pain cause its gone hurt me worse if I’m by myself because I gotta think about everything.” In tears, she recalled how she had replied to the texts with questions, but Mr. Miller never responded.



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2) Secrecy of Memo on Drone Killing Is Upheld
By
January 2, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/03/us/judge-rules-memo-on-targeted-killing-can-remain-secret.html?ref=world


WASHINGTON — A federal judge in Manhattan refused on Wednesday to require the Justice Department to disclose a memorandum providing the legal justification for the targeted killing of a United States citizen, Anwar al-Awlaki, who died in a drone strike in Yemen in 2011.

The ruling, by Judge Colleen McMahon, was marked by skepticism about the antiterrorist program that targeted him, and frustration with her own role in keeping the legal rationale for it secret.

“I can find no way around the thicket of laws and precedents that effectively allow the executive branch of our government to proclaim as perfectly lawful certain actions that seem on their face incompatible with our Constitution and laws while keeping the reasons for their conclusion a secret,” she wrote.

“The Alice-in-Wonderland nature of this pronouncement is not lost on me,” Judge McMahon wrote, adding that she was operating in a legal environment that amounted to “a veritable Catch-22.”

A lawsuit for the memorandum and related materials was filed under the Freedom of Information Act by The New York Times and two of its reporters, Charlie Savage and Scott Shane. Wednesday’s decision also rejected a broader request under the act from the American Civil Liberties Union.

David E. McCraw, a lawyer for The Times, said the paper would appeal.

“We began this litigation because we believed our readers deserved to know more about the U.S. government’s legal position on the use of targeted killings against persons having ties to terrorism, including U.S. citizens,” Mr. McCraw said. “Judge McMahon’s decision speaks eloquently and at length to the serious legal questions raised by the targeted-killing program and to why in a democracy the government should be addressing those questions openly and fully.”

Jameel Jaffer, a lawyer with the A.C.L.U., said his group also planned to appeal. “This ruling,” he said, “denies the public access to crucial information about the government’s extrajudicial killing of U.S. citizens and also effectively greenlights its practice of making selective and self-serving disclosures.”

A Justice Department spokesman said only that lawyers there were reviewing the decision.

Judge McMahon’s opinion included an overview of what she called “an extensive public relations campaign” by various government officials about the American role in the killing of Mr. Awlaki and the circumstances under which the government considers targeted killings, including of its citizens, to be lawful. The Times and the A.C.L.U. argued that the government had waived the right to withhold its legal rationale by discussing the program extensively in public.

(Samir Khan, a naturalized American citizen who lived at times on Long Island and in North Carolina, was also killed in the strike, on Sept. 30, 2011. Another strike two weeks later killed a group of people including Mr. Awlaki’s 16-year-old son, Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, who was born in Colorado.)

President Obama and Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta both acknowledged that the United States played a role in the elder Mr. Awlaki’s death, Judge McMahon wrote. But she focused in particular on a March speech by Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. at Northwestern University.

When United States citizens are targeted for killing, Mr. Holder said, the Constitution’s due process protections apply. But due process does not require “judicial process,” he added.

On the one hand, Judge McMahon wrote, “the speech constitutes a sort of road map of the decision-making process that the government goes through before deciding to ‘exterminate’ someone ‘with extreme prejudice.’ ” On the other hand, the speech was “a far cry from a legal research memorandum.”

The government’s public comments were as a whole “cryptic and imprecise,” Judge McMahon said, and were thus insufficient to overcome exemptions in the freedom of information law for classified materials and internal government deliberations.

“It lies beyond the power of this court to conclude that a document has been improperly classified,” she wrote, rejecting the argument that legal analysis may not be classified.

Judge McMahon said she had not reviewed the withheld documents, including the one at the heart of the case, which was prepared by the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel. She said the memorandum must contain more detailed legal analysis than the broad statements in Mr. Holder’s speech “unless standards at O.L.C. have slipped dramatically.”

The Times published an account of the Office of Legal Counsel memorandum in October 2011, citing people who had read it.

Even as she ruled against the plaintiffs, the judge wrote that the public should be allowed to judge whether the administration’s analysis holds water.

“More fulsome disclosure of the legal reasoning on which the administration relies to justify the targeted killing of individuals, including United States citizens, far from any recognizable ‘hot’ field of battle, would allow for intelligent discussion and assessment of a tactic that (like torture before it) remains hotly debated,” she wrote.



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3) Pakistani Girl Shot by Taliban Will Stay in Britain
By
January 2, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/03/world/middleeast/pakistani-girl-shot-by-taliban-will-stay-in-britain.html?ref=world


The father of a teenage Pakistani activist shot in the head by the Taliban for advocating girls’ education has been given a diplomatic post in Britain. The activist, Malala Yousafzai, 15, has been recovering at a hospital in Birmingham, England, after being shot in October in Pakistan. The Taliban have vowed to target her again. Her father, Ziauddin, has been appointed Pakistan’s education attaché in Birmingham, virtually guaranteeing that Ms. Yousafzai will remain in Britain. Her case has generated worldwide recognition of the struggle for women’s rights in Pakistan. In a sign of her reach, Ms. Yousafzai made the shortlist for Time magazine’s Person of the Year for 2012.

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4)  Babs Tucker Hunger Strike, UK
DAY 4230: DECEMBER 31ST 2012.

http://www.brianhaw.tv/index.php/blog/1361-31122012-hunger-strike-started-27th-december-2012

From: babs tucker
To: mayor@london.gov.uk ; cccmailbox-commissioner' semail@met.police.uk ; akemal@westminster.gov.uk ; martin.forshaw@weightmans.com ; sarah.winfield@met.police.uk

Subject: Hunger Strike Started December 27th 2012.
Date: Mon, 31 Dec 2012 15:02:24 +0000

Hunger Strike: Started on December 27th 2012.
My name is Babs Tucker.

****Freedom**** of Expression is the most important right you can exercise to bring about change peacefully.

I did not come to Parliament Square to die and I do not want to die. I came to Parliament Square because people everywhere are entitled to - live - in peace, without the constant illegal wars being waged by government.

I have been campaigning in Parliament Square, with Brian Haw's Parliament Square Peace Campaign, 24/7 for seven years, during which time I have been unlawfully arrested 47 times and imprisoned twice without trial in Holloway Women's Prison in North London.


Our campaign's 24/7 presence reflects the fact that while wars rage and Parliament continues to only sit part-time, with many long breaks, the people do care about one another, all the time, in all weather.

We remind government that the horrendous brutality of the illegal wars have led to millions of innocent civilians suffering and dying in Iraq and Afghanistan.

On January 16th 2012, Westminster Council along with many Metropolitan Police endangered our lives by stealing our tents and their contents from Parliament Square in the middle of winter when the night time temperatures regularly plummet to well below zero degrees Celcius.


I was not prosecuted within twenty eight days as necessary under S145 (5) of the newly introduced Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011. The state knew they were breaching Health and Safety Law and wanted by making our physical survival impossible, for us to just walk away.

However, somehow I survived last winter without any shelter at all, although I was in constant pain for three months because while my body was constantly fighting the cold weather and associated dangers, I could never remain warm enough. I lost some feeling in my fingertips from frostbite. The year dragged out into the wettest on record in the UK.

As the year wore on, the state has continued desperate attempts to illegally remove our peaceful campaign. 


In a revolving door process the Mayor of London, Westminster Council, and the Metropolitan Police all continued thefts of property they already had to return, from January 16th 2012, along with some illegal prosecutions over basic items we use for survival.

This woman and mother is the first person in the universe to face criminal prosecution for peaceful possession of an ..umbrella !!!! and two blankets while campaigning.

The state intend to hasten a break down of the human immune system, which placed under constant stress, fighting the elements, will mean we go or die.

It is illegal for the state to make their endangering of life a condition of our Freedom of Expression.

The daily dangers we face from our immune systems being compromised by constant exposure to all weathers include dehydration, deep vein thrombosis, frost bite, hypothermia, coma and death.

Only recently, police illegally dragged Neil out of his car while he was insured and had his 24/7 vehicle insurance number on him. Neil suffered badly bruised ribs from the violent assault by police, which has left him in constant pain. 


While Neil was recovering we then both came down with flu, which has been much harder for him to overcome properly, because his immune system was already under too much stress just from the constant pain of trying to deal with badly bruised ribs with inadequate shelter. And so Neil ended up very ill which has prevented him campaigning. Without our tents, a recently returned umbrella, does not provide sufficient shelter or opportunity to properly maintain a healthy body - and - immune system.

I know with certainty that even I, am very unlikely to survive another winter without our tents, and so I have taken the serious step of beginning a hunger strike. This is not something I have ever done in seven years of peacefully campaigning here.

The purpose of my hunger strike on the doorstep of government, where we campaign, is to highlight to government their injustice in not returning our tents which are necessary for our survival as we peacefully exercise our right to Freedom of Expression now.

After fasting for five days, it is a calm opportunity to quietly reflect.

I am not asking for any concession from the law. Westminster Council had twenty eight days from January 16th 2012, to prosecute me on the pavement, and the Mayor of London had fourteen days from August 17th 2012, to agree proceedings from our being on the grass.

Through this hunger strike, I am peacefully, politely and respectfully making a simple request for the immediate return of our tents that we are legally entitled to have here and which in providing small respite, are necessary for our - very - survival, now.

Our campaign here still has much work to do.

As the West continues it's relentless march of horror and destruction through the Middle East, people come up to us in Parliament Square every day and thank us for visibly continuing the 24/7 struggle for all people, outside Parliament.

That is our Freedom of Expression.

Babs Tucker
Parliament Square Peace Campaign
www.brianhaw.tv

    
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5) Subway Deaths Haunt Those at Trains’ Controls
By
January 3, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/04/nyregion/subway-deaths-haunt-those-at-trains-controls.html?hp

Late one December morning in 2005, Tracy Moore was pulling her R train into the Steinway Street station in Queens. It is a sloping stretch of track, undulating “like a roller coaster,” Ms. Moore said. She was traveling about 30 miles per hour.

There was a man, maybe 5-foot-3, well coifed in a white shirt and suit jacket. She noticed him immediately, but not in time. He jumped.

The next moment, the man’s contact with the electrified rail was all she would be able to imagine when she went to bed over the next six months. She said she was unable to sleep for more than two hours at a time.

“I was always seeing it, you know?” Ms. Moore, 45, from Staten Island, said. “I see him alive and....”

In the last month, the cases of two men who were pushed to their deaths on the tracks have focused attention on the subway system’s most harrowing outcome. But for the men and women who operate New York City’s trains, these episodes represent an occasion to induct two new people to a grim fraternity with hundreds of members. With dozens of people jumping and falling to their deaths on the tracks every year, any of the five million passengers who ride the city’s subway every day can reasonably expect to be driven by someone who has seen, heard or even felt someone perish right in front of them.

Decades later, the operators say, the images are vivid. The slender fellow in the jacket and tie, bending his knees at the platform’s edge. The reveler stumbling on the tracks at dawn, wobbly in her evening best, unable to stagger away in time. An arm reaching up, hopefully, then disappearing in a flash.

“As cruel as it makes it sound, for the individual it’s over,” said Curtis Tate, a former operator whose train struck and killed a man in 1992. “It’s just beginning for the train operator.”

In 2012, 55 people died after being hit by subway trains in New York, an increase of eight deaths compared with 2011. This year has already begun on a grisly note. Around 5:20 a.m. on New Year’s Day, the police said, a woman believed to be in her 20s lay down on the tracks at West 34th Street and was killed by a northbound No. 2 train.

Train operators have come to learn certain rules of thumb. Expect about a death across the system per week, perhaps less in a good year. Prepare for more around the holidays. (Statistics do not support the idea that suicides go up at those times, but workers say they believe it to be true.) Operators who go five years without a “12-9” — transit code for a passenger under a train — should count themselves lucky. One operator, Kevin Harrington, 61, said he had recorded “10 or 11” since 1984, one fatal.

If their train kills a passenger, operators are now given three days off. If a passenger is struck but not killed, “it’s case by case,” said Jim Gannon, a spokesman for the Transport Workers Union. For near misses or crashes with only minor injuries, workers are expected back the next day.

Many workers involved in fatal hits can take months to return if they go on compensated leave while recovering from trauma or other psychological conditions. Some never return to their old jobs at all, seeking transfers to jobs as station agents or other off-track posts, or even retiring if they have already worked many years.

The Transport Workers Union said the operator at the helm of the train during the first shoving case last month — when Ki-Suck Han, 58, died beneath a Q train at 49th Street on Dec. 3 — had not yet returned to work. The operator on Dec. 27, when Sunando Sen, 46, was shoved in the path of a No. 7 train at the 40th Street-Lowery Street station, was back at work on Thursday, the union said.

Howard Rombom, a psychologist based on Long Island who specializes in fatal subway cases, said an initial hurdle for operators was recognizing they were not at fault. “The train operators understand that there is a possibility in their career that this is going to happen,” Dr. Rombom said. “It’s not an unusual occurrence that makes them special.”

Some, including Ms. Moore, have attended support groups for operators involved in deaths.

Many patients are also treated using desensitization therapy, Dr. Rombom said, particularly if they are unable to return to work quickly. He might first ask patients to enter the subway system, but not necessarily ride a train. Next, he might suggest that they try riding. Then, if the patients are comfortable, they can ride in the front of a train.

Often, some operators said, the trauma does not set in until after the initial procedural steps have been completed. An operator knows to place the train in an emergency stop. If the train is fully or partially in the station, passengers are allowed to get off. The operator reports the crash to a Metropolitan Transportation Authority command center, which removes power to the rail.

Kevin Ortiz, a spokesman for the authority, said operators were often asked to “observe the results of the impact” — the macabre scene on the track — so they could communicate with first responders about the passenger’s condition and begin helping investigators gather information after a death. They are also expected to submit urine tests for drugs or alcohol within two hours.

But at times, this timeline is upended by the operator’s psychological state. Mike Casella, 59, from Queens, said that after his G train struck and killed a man at Flushing Avenue 25 years ago, the shock of the accident caused him to lose all feeling beneath his waist. Mr. Casella was able to swing himself out of his cab and into a passenger seat, he said, before his conductor traveled from his perch four cars away to help. Mr. Casella was hospitalized for one day.

Others have endured more subtle effects: a slightly missed mark at the station where their crash occurred, where concentration can be elusive; a heightened aversion to teenage passengers who jokingly threaten to push friends from the platform; a keen eye for “platform matadors,” as they are known among operators — riders whose heads or limbs lurch above the tracks as the train approaches, only to be pulled away at the last second.

Ms. Moore said her sleeping condition compelled her to turn to sedatives like Ambien, despite a longstanding dislike of prescription drugs. She did not return to work for nearly a year. Less than two weeks after she did, she said, she was operating another R train, zipping through a tunnel in Queens at over 30 m.p.h. She asked a supervisor if she could slow down. “He said, ‘Ms. Moore, slow down if you want to slow down,’ ” she recalled.

Moments later, as she pulled the train around a curve, a track worker was looking up at her. He darted to safety just in time.

“If I wouldn’t have slowed down, he would have definitely been dead,” she said. “Maybe it was my inner sense. God knew I couldn’t stand another one of those things. I would have been in the loony bin.”


Wendy Ruderman contributed reporting.



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6) Malala Yousafzai Discharged From Hospital


Malala Yousafzai, the 15-year-old Pakistani schoolgirl who survived an assassination attempt by Taliban militants, was discharged from Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, England, on Thursday.

Ms. Yousafzai "is well enough to be treated by the hospital as an outpatient for the next few weeks," the hospital said in a statement. "She is still due to be readmitted in late January or early February to undergo cranial reconstructive surgery as part of her long-term recovery, and in the meantime she will visit the hospital regularly to attend clinical appointments."

The complete text of the statement was posted on the hospital's Web site, along with video of the girl walking out of her hospital room under her own power.

Dr. David Rosser, the hospital's medical director said: "Malala is a strong young woman and has worked hard with the people caring for her to make excellent progress in her recovery."

Ms. Yousafzai became an outspoken advocate for the education for girls in Pakistan at the age of 11, when the BBC's Urdu-language service published her "Diary of a Pakistani Schoolgirl." The blog chronicled life under Taliban rule, after her home in the Swat Valley was overrun by the Islamist militants in 2009. (Later that year, the girl and her father were featured in a documentary by my colleague Adam Ellick.)

She was shot in the head by a militant in October and airlifted to England for treatment the same month.

Her father, Ziauddin, has been appointed to a three-year term as Pakistan's education attaché in Birmingham, ITV News reported on Wednesday.

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7) Lawyers, Saying DNA Cleared Inmate, Pursue Access to Data
By
January 3, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/04/us/lawyers-saying-dna-cleared-inmate-pursue-access-to-data.html?hp


MOUNT OLIVE, W.Va. — Convicted of robbing and raping an 83-year-old woman, Joseph A. Buffey at 19 was no one’s idea of a choirboy. A marijuana smoker and high school dropout, he was out thieving on the night in question 11 years ago and broke into the Salvation Army near the woman’s home to steal the bell-ringing money.

He confessed to the rape and was sentenced to 70 years in the maximum security prison here in southern West Virginia where road names end in “Hollow” and “Creek” and coal is king. But for much of the past decade he has claimed that he was pressed into the confession and a plea deal by the police and his lawyer. He said he never entered the victim’s home, never touched her.

After years of being ignored, Mr. Buffey recently learned that DNA tests from intimate material at the crime scene establish with certainty the identity of the rapist: another man incarcerated at a different state prison who had a history of assaulting women.

If proceedings go as his lawyers hope, Mr. Buffey’s story will be one more in the several hundred exonerations nationwide brought about partly by new DNA techniques, many involving false confessions. But it took 18 months of litigation to get the state to test the DNA against its database of felons, and Mr. Buffey’s lawyers say his case is therefore something more: proof that laws are needed to remove the databases from the exclusive grip of prosecutors and law enforcement to make them available to defense lawyers.

“There is incredible exculpatory power in the databases that the government has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on over the years,” said Nina Morrison, a senior lawyer in the case. “But law enforcement runs the databases, and even when you go to court to force their hand, they throw up roadblocks. And judges say they don’t have the power to force them.”

Steven Benjamin, president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, said getting access to these databases was a major concern and one that is on the agenda of his group’s winter meeting next month in Washington.

“This is a national problem, a huge and recurring one,” he said. “Juries expect the defense to be able to prove that if your client didn’t do it, who did? Science doesn’t belong to the government, but they act like it does. Unless the defense is given access to this information, the playing field remains uneven in criminal justice.”

Almost every state has a law permitting some post-conviction DNA testing (although the Supreme Court has ruled that it is not a constitutional right). But only nine — Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio and Texas — have laws granting defendants access to the DNA databases, known as the Combined DNA Index System, or Codis.

Many legal experts, even some prosecutors, think that number needs to be greatly expanded as states and the federal government increase the size of the databases.

“You’d think there would be a federal rule or a statute in every state creating the clear obligation to do a Codis search in any case where the defense wants it,” said Brandon L. Garrett, a professor of law at the University of Virginia.

In a case last year in Washington, D.C., DNA evidence was used to free a man who had spent more than two decades in prison for a rape he had not committed, but the United States attorney did not disclose the identity of the man linked by Codis to the crime. Sandra K. Levick of the Public Defender Service there has resorted to the Freedom of Information Act to try to oblige the government to reveal his identity.

“This is terribly vital information, not only to exonerate the innocent but also to learn what went wrong and to use that knowledge to improve our criminal justice system,” Ms. Levick said.

In the case of Mr. Buffey, Barry Scheck, co-director of the Innocence Project, which is working to free him, contended that the state had no interest in exploring DNA evidence after it had Mr. Buffey’s confession. “This state was more interested in covering up what happened here than in finding the person who committed a vicious rape of an old woman and could have been on the streets committing more of them.”

The assistant prosecutor, David J. Romano, vigorously rejected Mr. Scheck’s accusations. Mr. Buffey, he said, “is not low IQ.” He continued: “Raping an 83-year-old lady is about as bad as it gets. Why would someone plead guilty and say they were sorry several months later if they really had no participation in it? The fact that someone else’s DNA has been identified only tells us that someone else took part. Buffey could have penetrated without ejaculation.”

Sitting in a loose khaki uniform in the prison’s tiny cinder-block visiting room, Mr. Buffey said he had not “slept a wink” since he heard the news of the DNA match. “They have finally actually found who it was,” he said. Asked why he confessed to something he had not done, he replied, “I know it’s hard to believe, but you’d be surprised what you’d confess to under certain circumstances.”

The details of Mr. Buffey’s case are murky. He was with two men that night, both recreational drug users who had been in trouble before, and they were a quarter-mile from the rape victim’s house in the town of Clarksburg. The victim was the mother of a Clarksburg police officer, so detectives took the crime personally, and the town’s 16,000 inhabitants were stunned. The victim, who is still alive at 94 but suffering now from dementia, told the police then that there had been one attacker who raped and sodomized her after leading her around her house with a knife in search of cash. She never mentioned a second man.

Mr. Buffey’s lawyer, Thomas Dyer, said in a telephone interview that he assumed Mr. Buffey had participated in the rape and robbery and that was why he sought a plea deal. Mr. Dyer believed — mistakenly — that given Mr. Buffey’s age, he would get a minimal sentence and serve only 10 years.

Mr. Buffey said that at Mr. Dyer’s urging he confessed and apologized but then regretted it and tried to take back the plea. Mr. Dyer said it was too late. Later Mr. Buffey unsuccessfully sought a new trial, partly on grounds of lawyer incompetence.

The Innocence Project lawyers got involved in this case after Mr. Buffey sent them a letter a few years ago. When they ran the test on the victim’s rape kit in the spring of 2011 and it showed that it was not Mr. Buffey’s DNA present at the crime scene, they asked to run the results through the West Virginia database of felons to see if another match existed. The judge approved, but the prosecutor refused, saying that the laboratory that had done the testing was not certified by the state. The judge then said he did not have the authority to order the state to violate its own rules.

The Innocence Project offered to run the test again through a certified lab. But the prosecutor turned down the request, saying there was “no good reason to do so” and adding, “the state does not believe such testing will or can prove the defendant’s innocence after his guilty plea.”

The judge ordered the test to go forward. The state again resisted but a month ago backed down.

Some prosecutors are open to a change in rules governing Codis. “We, as law enforcement and prosecutors, are obligated to seek the truth and follow the evidence, and DNA should be entered into Codis,” said Scott Burns, executive director of the National District Attorneys Association. “It seems like there should be laws for it, and I agree that the defense should be given the information.”

Controversy also exists over who should be included in Codis — all felons or also those charged but not yet convicted. The Supreme Court will hear a case from Maryland on this issue early this year.

Meanwhile, Mr. Buffey remains in prison, awaiting a March hearing when his lawyers will argue that the DNA match with another inmate means he should not spend another day behind bars.



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8)Mississippi: Another Guilty Plea in Racial Attacks
By

January 3, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/04/us/mississippi-another-guilty-plea-in-racial-attacks.html?ref=us


A sixth man has pleaded guilty in racially motivated attacks by young whites against blacks in Jackson. Joseph Paul Dominick, 21, of Brandon pleaded guilty Thursday to conspiracy to commit a hate crime. He faces up to five years in prison. Prosecutors say that starting about April 2011, the group drove from mostly white Rankin County into Jackson, where they harassed and assaulted blacks. The attacks culminated in the death of James Craig Anderson in June 2011, which prompted the investigation. Prosecutors say Mr. Dominick did not participate in the killing but was part of other group attacks, in which he threw bottles and used slingshots against blacks.



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9) Middle Finger Flashed in ’06 Lives On in Suit
By
January 3, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/04/nyregion/obscene-gesture-produces-6-years-of-legal-battling.html?ref=nyregion


There is usually no mistaking the act or intent of extending a middle finger.

Take John Swartz, for example. In May 2006, Mr. Swartz was a passenger in a car in a rural part of upstate New York when he spotted a police car that was using a radar speed-tracking device.

Mr. Swartz, a Vietnam veteran and retired airline pilot, acted on instinct to show his displeasure: he extended his right arm outside the passenger’s side window, and then further extended his middle finger over the car’s roof.

The reaction was swift. The officer followed the car; words were exchanged; backups were called; and Mr. Swartz was arrested on a charge of disorderly conduct.

He later filed a civil rights lawsuit, and although a lower court judge dismissed the case, the prestigious United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Manhattan reversed that decision on Thursday, ruling that Mr. Swartz’s lawsuit can go forward.

The appellate decision offers a rich thumbnail sketch of the history and significance of the raised middle finger, one that traces possibly the first recorded use of the gesture in the United States to 1886, “when a joint baseball team photograph of the Boston Beaneaters and the New York Giants showed a Boston pitcher giving the finger to the Giants.”

Mr. Swartz’s intent, 120 years later, was undoubtedly similar.

He made the gesture as his fiancée and now wife, Judy Swartz, was driving on the Sunday evening before Memorial Day through St. Johnsville, a village of under 2,000 people, about 50 miles northwest of Albany.

“I couldn’t see the officer, didn’t know who he was,” Mr. Swartz, 62, recalled on Thursday. He explained that his gesture was provoked by his anger that the local police were spending their time running a speed trap instead of patrolling and solving crimes.

“It was very disheartening,” Mr. Swartz said. “They’d do it constantly to the point where they ignored all of their other duties.”

The officer with the radar device, Richard Insogna, did see the gesture.

But in a curious instance of mistaken middle-fingered intent, Officer Insogna suggested in a deposition that he saw the finger as a potential call for help and followed the car because he thought Mr. Swartz “was trying to get my attention for some reason” and because he “wanted to assure the safety of the passengers.”

Thomas K. Murphy, a lawyer representing the officer and a sheriff’s deputy who was also sued in the case, said that Mr. Swartz’s gesture toward the officer was not common for their community and that Officer Insogna “had a concern and decided he should act on the concern.”

“This is St. Johnsville, New York,” Mr. Murphy said. “Not the Bronx. Not Manhattan. It’s a sleepy little town.”

Indeed, Paul J. Browne, the chief spokesman for the New York Police Department, suggested that if its officers “locked up everyone who gave the middle-finger salute, traffic would grind to a halt.”

According to Mr. Swartz’s account, Officer Insogna appeared behind them as the couple arrived at a relative’s house. There, Mr. Swartz got out but was ordered back into the car by the officer, who said he was making a “traffic stop.”

After more officers arrived, Mr. Swartz was arrested after muttering to himself about his own behavior, the ruling said.

The charge was later dropped.

The 14-page opinion, written by Judge Jon O. Newman for a three-judge panel, expressed skepticism at the officer’s explanation of why he had followed the car.

“Perhaps there is a police officer somewhere who would interpret an automobile passenger’s giving him the finger as a signal of distress,” Judge Newman wrote.

“But the nearly universal recognition that this gesture is an insult deprives such an interpretation of reasonableness,” he added.

In the ruling, Judge Newman wrote that the act of “giving the finger” dated back centuries. He cited, for example, sources that trace the use of the gesture to ancient Greece, when it was used by Strepsiades to insult Aristotle and by Diogenes to insult Demosthenes.

The ruling also noted the work of Ira P. Robbins, a professor of criminal law at American University who has studied the history of the gesture and is the author of the article “Digitus Impudicus: The Middle Finger and the Law.”

The lifting of the middle finger has a long history in popular culture, covering a president (George W. Bush), a vice president (Nelson A. Rockefeller), a Super Bowl halftime performer (M.I.A.) and even a possible future mayoral candidate in New York (Joseph J. Lhota was described in a 2000 article as cheerfully making the gesture at a reporter in City Hall while he was deputy mayor).

The ruling, which was joined by Judges Gerard E. Lynch and Raymond J. Lohier Jr., makes no finding on the merits of Mr. Swartz’s claim of an illegal traffic stop, false arrest and malicious prosecution.

His lawyer, Elmer Robert Keach III, said Thursday that he had written to the judge in Utica who dismissed the suit to ask that it be placed on the trial calendar.

Regardless of the outcome, Mr. Swartz said that giving an officer the finger was a one-time occurrence. “I never did it before and I haven’t done it since,” he said, adding, “It’s not something I’m proud of.”


Wendy Ruderman contributed reporting.

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10) Student died after being restrained in alleged shoplifting
Jan. 3, 2013
http://www.jsonline.com/news/crime/student-died-after-being-restrained-in-alleged-shoplifting-bn8830n-185606331.html

The Milwaukee County district attorney's office is reviewing the death of a Nathan Hale High School student who stopped breathing after getting restrained for allegedly trying to shoplift at a West Allis convenience store.

Customers at the store restrained Corey Stingley, 16, outside VJ's Food Mart, 9206 W. Schlinger Ave., on Dec. 14, police said.

Police and paramedics revived him, and doctors at Froedtert Hospital in Wauwatosa later determined that Stingley had suffered major brain damage, according to medical updates posted by Stingley's family.

Stingley died Saturday.

"It's unfortunate. Nobody should die over a shoplifting incident," said acting West Allis Police Chief Charles Padgett. He added: "It's unusual and tragic for everyone involved."

After the incident the three customers were taken into custody for questioning and one of them was referred to the district attorney's office on suspicion of causing injury, the chief said.

The department referred the one case but anticipated the DA's office would review the conduct of all the people involved, Padgett said.

Padgett did not identify Stingley, but his family confirmed that he was the youth involved in the incident. Stingley was a running back on Hale's varsity football team, and also ran track, said Brian Vissers, a spokesman for the school district.

The police chief gave this account based on witness interviews and reports by the officers:

The three adult male customers confronted Stingley inside the store after Stingley reportedly attempted to put several alcohol items in a school backpack.

A "tussle" broke out, with Stingley resisting the men, and the confrontation continued outside. Surveillance video cameras captured the incident inside the store but not outside.

West Allis police were called at some point, and officers were surprised to arrive at the shoplifting call about 4 p.m. to find Stingley being restrained by the trio. Officers initially handcuffed the teen but removed the cuffs and began CPR after realizing he was not breathing, Padgett said.

After police and fire personnel revived him, Stingley was transported to Froedtert, where he was on life-support equipment until his death.

Investigators are still sorting out the exact sequence of events inside the store. At one point it appears Stingley returned the items to the store clerk's counter after being confronted, Padgett said.

Padgett declined to talk about what method of restraint was used by the men, citing the ongoing investigation.

He called the legal issues "complicated."

People have the right to make a citizen's arrest in such a situation and can restrain a suspect, but they have to be aware of what impact their actions are having, Padgett said.

"There is a line you can't cross," he said, emphasizing that he does not know whether that line was crossed. That will be up to the DA's office to decide, the chief said.

Assistant District Attorney Mark Williams, the chief homicide prosecutor, said his unit got the case Wednesday but predicted it would take days of review before any charging decisions were made.

The Journal Sentinel requested copies of police reports and the videotaped evidence under the state's open records law, but police said they would be withheld because the case is still under investigation. The Milwaukee County medical examiner's office would not release its report on the death, at the request of the West Allis police. A spokeswoman said an autopsy had been completed but no cause of death had yet been determined.

A CaringBridge website set up by Stingley's family - visited more than 6,000 times - said he did not survive the brain injuries he sustained. The family referred the Journal Sentinel to the site.

"Corey was a special young man with many gifts and talents who loved life and shared his energy with all," the site says. "Corey was a treasured son, brother, nephew, friend and teammate who will certainly be missed and will remain with us in spirit, which he had an abundance of, for living life to the maximum."

The site says he was critically injured in an incident that followed a "misunderstanding" at the store. It added that "the three individuals responsible for his injuries were arrested with criminal charges pending."

At West Allis Hale, the principal announced Stingley's death on Wednesday, Vissers said. Counselors were made available, he said, but most of Stingley's friends had already known about his death for a few days and had time to process it. He said the school agreed to supply Stingley's Hale Huskies football jersey to his family.

Services for Stingley are set for Saturday at Parklawn Assembly of God Church, 3725 N. Sherman Blvd., Milwaukee, according to the CaringBridge site. Visitation will be from 10 a.m. to noon, with the service at noon.

Jesse Garza of the Journal Sentinel staff contributed to this report.
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11) And at the Bottom of the Wage Scale ...
New York Times Editorial
January 4, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/05/opinion/meanwhile-at-the-bottom-of-the-wage-scale.html?hp

Nearly a million low-wage workers in 10 states will get a modest raise this year. In Rhode Island, a new law has raised the state’s minimum wage by 35 cents an hour, to $7.75, which will work out to an average annual raise of $510 for 11,000 Rhode Islanders. In nine other states — Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Oregon, Vermont and Washington — laws that peg the minimum wage to inflation will result in increases of 10 cents to 15 cents an hour, for hourly wages ranging from $7.35 in Missouri to $9.19 in Washington.

By contrast, the federal minimum wage has been stuck at $7.25 an hour since 2009. In all, 19 states and the District of Columbia set their minimums above that level, providing a much needed lift for the lowest-paid workers. But state efforts are no substitute for a higher federal minimum because the ability to earn a minimally acceptable income should not depend on where a worker lives.

Will Congress finally raise the federal minimum wage this year? It would be the least that lawmakers could do. In the fiscal cliff deal, lawmakers locked in big tax breaks for wealthy investors and for heirs of multimillion-dollar estates. At the same time, they allowed the payroll tax cut for low- and middle-income taxpayers to expire, without enacting new provisions to ease the blow. The lowest-paid workers will be hit the hardest. In the states that raised their minimum wage this year, much of the increase will be eaten up by the higher payroll tax. In the other states, paychecks will simply be smaller.

Efforts to raise the minimum invariably run into arguments that employers, especially small businesses, cannot afford to pay a higher wage. But the evidence shows that most low-wage employees work for large companies, which have largely recovered from the recession and have reinstituted generous pay packages for executives. As for low-wage workers at small businesses, many are waitresses and other “tipped” workers for whom the federal minimum wage is $2.13 an hour, where it has been since 1991. Clearly, there is ample room for an increase.

A related argument is that a higher minimum wage destroys jobs, especially employment for teenagers. But research shows that most low-wage workers are over the age of 20 and suggests that paying them a higher wage could actually create jobs by bolstering consumer spending.

A higher minimum wage is also an obvious way to counter the accelerating trend toward low-wage work and growing income inequality. For decades, various forces, including the decline in unionization and the global competition for jobs, have pushed down wages in the United States. But the situation has become worse in the last few years, as most of the middle-wage jobs lost during the recession have been replaced with lower-paid work.

Raising the minimum wage is always a fight. Congress has approved legislation to do so only three times in the last 30 years. President Obama promised to take on this fight back in 2008, when he called for a federal minimum wage of $9.50 an hour by 2011, indexed to inflation. It is past time to keep the promise.

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12) North Carolina governor pardons 'Wilmington 10'
By Steve Almasy, CNN
updated 6:14 PM EST, Tue January 1, 2013
http://www.cnn.com/2012/12/31/justice/north-carolina-wilmington-10/index.html


(CNN) -- Forty years after they were convicted by a jury of firebombing a grocery store in Wilmington, North Carolina, civil rights activists who became known as the "Wilmington 10" were pardoned Monday by the state's outgoing governor.

"These convictions were tainted by naked racism and represent an ugly stain on North Carolina's criminal justice system that cannot be allowed to stand any longer," said Gov. Beverly Purdue. "Justice demands that this stain finally be removed."

In 1972, nine black men and one white woman were convicted in the store firebombing in the coastal city despite their claims of innocence and their supporters' vehement argument that the defendants were victims of racially biased prosecutors.

Their sentences were reduced in 1978 by the state's governor then, Jim Hunt, and two years later their convictions were overturned in federal court for reasons of misconduct by the prosecutors.

But until Monday there were no pardons, and the sting of the guilty verdicts still followed the six surviving members of the group that was known nationwide as the Wilmington 10.

Perdue said that among the key evidence that led her to grant pardons of innocence were recently discovered notes from the prosecutor who picked the jury. The notes showed the prosecutor preferred white jurors who might be members of the Ku Klux Klan and one black juror was described as an "Uncle Tom type."

Perdue also pointed to the federal court's ruling that the prosecutor knew his star witness lied on the witness stand. That witness and other witnesses recanted a few years after the trial.

Timothy Tyson, a North Carolina historian and a visiting professor at Duke University, said he was given the notes two years ago and started to go through them recently when the NAACP called again for pardons for the Wilmington 10.

"It was pretty shocking stuff," he told CNN on Monday.

There were at least six potential jurors with "KKK Good!!" written next to them, he said. Next to a woman's name it said, "NO, she associates with Negroes."

On the back of the legal pad, the prosecutor, Jay Stroud, had apparently written the advantages and disadvantages of a mistrial, Tyson said. One of the advantages was a fresh start with a new jury.

Stroud told the Wilmington StarNews in October that the handwriting on the legal pad was his, but people were misinterpreting his notes.

"I could have had an all-white jury, but I didn't want to do that. Why would I leave a KKK on the jury?" Stroud said.

He told the newspaper that he wanted "blacks who could be fair" on the jury.

It was actually the second jury that ruled on the case. The first jury was dismissed after a mistrial was declared when Stroud said he was ill. That jury had two whites.

Tyson said the early 1970s were "really hard and really bad" and a "bubbling cauldron" of racially heated struggles in the state.

North Carolina had the largest number of Ku Klux Klan members in the country, he said, but there was also a strong African-American freedom movement.

"(The time) was seething with anger and resentment and fear and rage," he said.

And one of the Wilmington 10 was the Rev. Benjamin Chavis, whom Tyson described as a handsome, fearless civil rights leader who came from a brilliant family.

He was a threat to the "old guard" of North Carolina leaders.

Chavis was a target for police even before the firebombing occurred, Tyson said.

Chavis, who would become the head of the NAACP in 1993, was paroled in 1979.

Most of the others involved in the case struggled after they were set free.

"Things went badly for them," Tyson said. "Many of them had their health broken in prison."


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13) Teen's In-Custody Shooting Sparks Outrage
People who knew Haslip, including family friend and Pastor Caleb Henderson, don’t deny he was a gang member, but the way he died is a shock to them all.
By Jacob Rascon and Stephanie Miranda
Monday, Dec 31, 2012
http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Teenager-Fatally-Shot-by-Deputy-in-Moreno-Valley-185339072.html

An Ontario teenager who was fatally shot while handcuffed by deputies in Moreno Valley last week was armed during the incident, a police spokesperson said Monday.

The suspect, later identified as Lamon Khiry Haslip, 18, died Friday night as deputies answered a gang-related call in the 25000 block of Fir Avenue.

Haslip’s friends and neighbors, including Pastor Caleb Henderson, do not deny he was a gang member, but contest the way in which he was killed.

"No one should be shot, handcuffed with hands behind their back," Henderson said.

Byttany Haines and her boyfriend Daniel Aguilar said they saw the deadly incident up close.

"He didn’t move; he wasn’t screaming; he didn’t try to resist; he was handcuffed," Aguilar said.

The Riverside County Sheriff’s office told NBC4 a deputy chased down and arrested Haslip while responding to a "man with a gun" call. When backup arrived, the office said Haslip "rolled over" and revealed a gun.

Haines said that’s when deputies started screaming for the teen to “get down.”

"And you hear one shot and he doesn’t move after that, you know he’s dead," Haines said. "I started screaming, I cried and I just kept yelling, 'Call the news, you guys can’t just do that to people.'"

Aguilar said the incident was disturbing.

"I felt like crying you know because I never seen anyone get popped like that," Aguilar said.

Anita Morris, Haslip’s aunt, said the man’s father is in prison and his mother lives out of state. Morris said she always believed Haslip would turn his life around and is devastated he won’t get that chance.

"I like him to be remembered by his smile," Morris said.

Deputies found a loaded gun on Haslip. His friends and family said that doesn’t mean much since he couldn’t have used the weapon. "If there’s a gun in play, no way he could have grabbed and controlled it," Henderson speculated.



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14) A Stock Market Streak That Has Drawn Few Cheers
By
January 5, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/06/your-money/a-stock-market-winning-streak-has-drawn-few-cheers.html?_r=0


ON May 30, 1982, Cal Ripken Jr. played a solid game in the infield for the Baltimore Orioles. He did it again the next game and the game after that and the next game, too. Ripken didn’t miss a game for 16 years.

At first, no one noticed his perfect attendance record. But thanks to the obsessive data crunching of baseball statisticians, people eventually began to celebrate. That unbroken string of games turned into the Streak — 2,632 consecutive games, a run of lunchbox heroism that shattered the seemingly unbreakable, 2,130-game record of Lou Gehrig, the fabled Iron Horse of the Yankees.

Baseball’s legions of statisticians have made it easy to track Ripken’s achievements — as well as those that are far more obscure. (Who held the Orioles’ club record for most consecutive games until Ripken broke it on May 4, 1985? Does anyone care? No matter, it’s in the books: Brooks Robinson, another superstar infielder, with 463 games.)

Making money is, arguably, the true national pastime of the United States. While the financial game isn’t always analyzed with quite the same élan as baseball, Paul T. Hickey, co-founder of the Bespoke Investment Group, has unearthed a noteworthy financial streak — one that is still under most people’s radar.

Each day in 2012, as well as in these early days of 2013, he says, the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index has closed in positive territory for the calendar year. Here’s another way of putting it: In 2012, the index never had a daily close below the closing level for 2011. And despite endless worries about the so-called fiscal cliff, the streak lives on.

How unusual is this?

“Going back to 1928, there have only been eight other years where the index went an entire year of trading up year-to-date every single day,” Mr. Hickey says. The last time was in 1979.

The odds that the current streak will be sustained through a second calendar year are quite low. Since 1928, it’s happened only once — in 1975 and 1976, a period not remembered as being particularly strong for equities.

Today, many people don’t see the market as worth the bother, either. “Although the current bull market is approaching four years in duration, if you talk to the average investor, many will not even call it a bull market,” Bespoke wrote last week in its annual report on the markets. “In 2012, the S.& P. 500 was up by more than 10 percent, but if you asked most casual observers how the market was doing, they would probably tell you that it was flat, or maybe even down.”

That may help explain why the current streak hasn’t received more attention, Mr. Hickey said in an interview. Cogitating about it may induce cognitive dissonance, because the streak attests to the market’s consistently strong performance while many wise commentators have been stressing the market’s uncertainty and turbulence.

“The numbers don’t lie,’ Mr. Hickey said. “We’ve been having a bull market streak when many people don’t even realize we’re in a bull market.”

The reasons for the market’s persistent buoyancy may not be appealing, Mr. Hickey said. It’s possible that stocks have performed well primarily because of the expansive monetary policy of central banks and because of governments’ heightened intervention in the financial system and the economy.

“But whatever the reasons,” he said, “if you bought stocks in March 2009 at the bottom of the market, you can sell them today at a tremendous premium.”

In fact, a $1,000 investment in an S.& P. 500 index fund made in March 2009 would be worth more than $2,000 today.

Yet many investors are “disconnected from the stock market these days and that’s understandable,” Mr. Hickey said, given the enormous losses suffered in the financial crisis and in the collapse of the Internet bubble less than a decade before that.

The current rally may still have legs precisely because many investors have so far failed to participate in it. They may become reaccustomed to the idea that stocks can be very profitable, he said.

Crunch the numbers for the last year or so and you’ll see that active investors actually “have been risk-on, not risk-off,” he said. Last year, growth stocks generally fared better than the traditionally safe dividend payers, he observed. And stocks of companies that derive a high proportion of their revenue from the domestic market generally outperformed foreign stocks. They also fared better than domestic stocks with high international exposure.

In short, the bull market that started in March 2009 remains very much intact, he said.

You might not know that from financial headlines that have often focused on weakness in the economy and on the myriad crises in Europe, the Middle East and Washington.

In fact, many sentiment indicators suggest that investors remain quite worried, and that the market’s rise last week may have simply been a world-didn’t-end rally, a collective sigh of relief.

On Monday, the last day of 2012, there were rumors of a breakthrough in the impasse in Washington, and the S.& P. 500 rose 1.7 percent, its best year-ending day since 1974.

On Wednesday, the market soared 2 percent on news that the so-called fiscal cliff had been dodged in a last-minute deal. That built a cushion for the rest of the week. Stocks wavered on Thursday and rose on Friday — finishing 2.8 percent above their closing level for 2012.

STILL, the market’s perch is precarious, in the view of many strategists. Will Geisdorf, senior global analyst at Ned Davis Research, for example, said last week that while the bull market was intact, a short-term correction was very likely, if only because the market had risen so rapidly.

“We have a cautious view for the next four or five weeks,” he said, though the medium-term outlook is “decidedly bullish.”

The deal reached in Washington created a new series of seemingly crucial deadlines in March. That’s when the federal government is expected to hit its debt ceiling, when its spending authorization bill will need approval, and when cuts in domestic and military spending will begin if no action is taken. The market turbulence may well be disconcerting.

But for now, the streak lives on. Perhaps it’s time to take a little notice.

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15) Health Insurers Raise Some Rates by Double Digits
By
January 5, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/06/business/despite-new-health-law-some-see-sharp-rise-in-premiums.html?hp


Health insurance companies across the country are seeking and winning double-digit increases in premiums for some customers, even though one of the biggest objectives of the Obama administration’s health care law was to stem the rapid rise in insurance costs for consumers.

Particularly vulnerable to the high rates are small businesses and people who do not have employer-provided insurance and must buy it on their own.

In California, Aetna is proposing rate increases of as much as 22 percent, Anthem Blue Cross 26 percent and Blue Shield of California 20 percent for some of those policy holders, according to the insurers’ filings with the state for 2013. These rate requests are all the more striking after a 39 percent rise sought by Anthem Blue Cross in 2010 helped give impetus to the law, known as the Affordable Care Act, which was passed the same year and will not be fully in effect until 2014.

In other states, like Florida and Ohio, insurers have been able to raise rates by at least 20 percent for some policy holders. The rate increases can amount to several hundred dollars a month.

The proposed increases compare with about 4 percent for families with employer-based policies.

Under the health care law, regulators are now required to review any request for a rate increase of 10 percent or more; the requests are posted on a federal Web site, healthcare.gov, along with regulators’ evaluations.

The review process not only reveals the sharp disparity in the rates themselves, it also demonstrates the striking difference between places like New York, one of the 37 states where legislatures have given regulators some authority to deny or roll back rates deemed excessive, and California, which is among the states that do not have that ability.

New York, for example, recently used its sweeping powers to hold rate increases for 2013 in the individual and small group markets to under 10 percent. California can review rate requests for technical errors but cannot deny rate increases.

The double-digit requests in some states are being made despite evidence that overall health care costs appear to have slowed in recent years, increasing in the single digits annually as many people put off treatment because of the weak economy. PricewaterhouseCoopers estimates that costs may increase just 7.5 percent next year, well below the rate increases being sought by some insurers. But the companies counter that medical costs for some policy holders are rising much faster than the average, suggesting they are in a sicker population. Federal regulators contend that premiums would be higher still without the law, which also sets limits on profits and administrative costs and provides for rebates if insurers exceed those limits.

Critics, like Dave Jones, the California insurance commissioner and one of two health plan regulators in that state, said that without a federal provision giving all regulators the ability to deny excessive rate increases, some insurance companies can raise rates as much as they did before the law was enacted.

“This is business as usual,” Mr. Jones said. “It’s a huge loophole in the Affordable Care Act,” he said.

While Mr. Jones has not yet weighed in on the insurers’ most recent requests, he is pushing for a state law that will give him that authority. Without legislative action, the state can only question the basis for the high rates, sometimes resulting in the insurer withdrawing or modifying the proposed rate increase.

The California insurers say they have no choice but to raise premiums if their underlying medical costs have increased. “We need these rates to even come reasonably close to covering the expenses of this population,” said Tom Epstein, a spokesman for Blue Shield of California. The insurer is requesting a range of increases, which average about 12 percent for 2013.

Although rates paid by employers are more closely tracked than rates for individuals and small businesses, policy experts say the law has probably kept at least some rates lower than they otherwise would have been.

“There’s no question that review of rates makes a difference, that it results in lower rates paid by consumers and small businesses,” said Larry Levitt, an executive at the Kaiser Family Foundation, which estimated in an October report that rate review was responsible for lowering premiums for one out of every five filings.

Federal officials say the law has resulted in significant savings. “The health care law includes new tools to hold insurers accountable for premium hikes and give rebates to consumers,” said Brian Cook, a spokesman for Medicare, which is helping to oversee the insurance reforms.

“Insurers have already paid $1.1 billion in rebates, and rate review programs have helped save consumers an additional $1 billion in lower premiums,” he said. If insurers collect premiums and do not spend at least 80 cents out of every dollar on care for their customers, the law requires them to refund the excess.

As a result of the review process, federal officials say, rates were reduced, on average, by nearly three percentage points, according to a report issued last September.

In New York, for example, state regulators recently approved increases that were much lower than insurers initially requested for 2013, taking into account the insurers’ medical costs, how much money went to administrative expenses and profit and how exactly the companies were allocating costs among offerings. “This is critical to holding down health care costs and holding insurance companies accountable,” Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said.

While insurers in New York, on average, requested a 9.5 percent increase for individual policies, they were granted an increase of just 4.5 percent, according to the latest state averages, which have not yet been made public. In the small group market, insurers asked for an increase of 15.8 percent but received approvals averaging only 9.6 percent.

But many people elsewhere have experienced significant jumps in the premiums they pay. According to the federal analysis, 36 percent of the requests to raise rates by 10 percent or more were found to be reasonable. Insurers withdrew 12 percent of those requests, 26 percent were modified and another 26 percent were found to be unreasonable.

And, in some cases, consumer advocates say insurers have gone ahead and charged what regulators described as unreasonable rates because the state had no ability to deny the increases.

Two insurers cited by federal officials last year for raising rates excessively in nine states appear to have proceeded with their plans, said Carmen Balber, the Washington director for Consumer Watchdog, an advocacy group. While the publicity surrounding the rate requests may have drawn more attention to what the insurers were doing, regulators “weren’t getting any results by doing that,” she said.

Some consumer advocates and policy experts say the insurers may be increasing rates for fear of charging too little, and they may be less afraid of having to refund some of the money than risk losing money.

Many insurance regulators say the high rates are caused by rising health care costs. In Iowa, for example, Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, a nonprofit insurer, has requested a 12 to 13 percent increase for some customers. Susan E. Voss, the state’s insurance commissioner, said there might not be any reason for regulators to deny the increase as unjustified. Last year, after looking at actuarial reviews, Ms. Voss approved a 9 percent increase requested by the same insurer.

“There’s a four-letter word called math,” Ms. Voss said, referring to the underlying medical costs that help determine what an insurer should charge in premiums. Health costs are rising, especially in Iowa, she said, where hospital mergers allow the larger systems to use their size to negotiate higher prices. “It’s justified.”

Some consumer advocates say the continued double-digit increases are a sign that the insurance industry needs to operate under new rules. Often, rates soar because insurers are operating plans that are closed to new customers, creating a pool of people with expensive medical conditions that become increasingly costly to insure.

While employers may be able to raise deductibles or co-payments as a way of reducing the cost of premiums, the insurer typically does not have that flexibility. And because insurers now take into account someone’s health, age and sex in deciding how much to charge, and whether to offer coverage at all, people with existing medical conditions are frequently unable to shop for better policies.

In many of these cases, the costs are increasing significantly, and the rates therefore cannot be determined to be unreasonable. “When you’re allowed medical underwriting and to close blocks of business, rate review will not affect this,” said Lynn Quincy, senior health policy analyst for Consumers Union.

The practice of medical underwriting — being able to consider the health of a prospective policy holder before deciding whether to offer coverage and what rate to charge — will no longer be permitted after 2014 under the health care law.



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16) The Quality of Mercy, Strained
New York Times Editorial
January 5, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/06/opinion/sunday/the-quality-of-mercy-strained.html?hp


Barack Obama has rarely exercised presidential clemency to grant pardons and restore the civil rights of convicted criminals, a power that Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt and other presidents used with dedication to correct injustices in the legal system.

Mr. Obama has pardoned only 22 people, fewer than any president since the modern era of pardons began in 1900. He has granted a pardon for 1 out of every 50 applicants, compared with 1 out of 33 for George W. Bush, 1 of 8 for Bill Clinton and 1 of 3 for Ronald Reagan.

In part, this has been a reaction to Presidents Clinton and Bush, both of whom compromised the pardon power with cronyism. But the basic problem may be that Mr. Obama allowed himself to be crippled by the pardon process itself. That process is managed by the Justice Department, which receives applications for clemency and makes recommendations to the White House.

Presumably, the president is willing to use acts of clemency to right the wrongs of the sentencing and judicial systems. Yet the same cannot be said of the Justice Department, which has a prosecutorial mind-set. It has undermined the process with huge backlogs and delays, and sometimes views pardons as an affront to federal efforts to fight crime.

Over the years, too, the process appears to have been tainted by racial bias. As ProPublica documented in an analysis of Bush administration pardons, whites benefited from pardons four times as often as members of minority groups, even though blacks alone made up 38 percent of the federal prison population. That report prompted a continuing Justice Department review by its Bureau of Justice Statistics.

In addition, the department’s pardon office is run by a Bush-appointed lawyer, Ronald L. Rodgers, whose professional conduct has been excoriated by the Justice Department’s own inspector general and referred to the deputy attorney general for possible administrative action. In 2008, in transmitting a proposed pardon to the White House, Mr. Rodgers misrepresented the views of both the United States attorney who made the recommendation and the judge who seconded it. The prisoner was denied a pardon.

One simple and immediate way for the president to reinvigorate the pardons process is to choose a person of stature and energy — say, a federal judge — to steward his administration’s pardon duties. At the same time, he can end the department’s conflict of interest by replacing the pardons office with a new bipartisan commission under the White House’s aegis, giving it ample resources and real independence.

There is much good to be done, for the sake of justice as well as mercy. Many federal inmates are serving egregiously long prison terms under mandatory minimum sentencing schemes. Mr. Obama could use the pardon power to grant clemency to some long-term prisoners, until Congress reforms those laws. He could also use that power to spare some federal offenders who have completed their prison terms from the legal restrictions that have kept them from getting jobs, places to live, business licenses and the chance to vote.

And he could address the unfortunate consequences of the nation’s unfair drug sentencing laws. As of November 2011, there were at least 5,000 federal prisoners serving sentences for crack cocaine who deserved consideration for reduced sentences after a major reform of federal drug laws in 2010. Those prisoners were sentenced when the penalty for crimes involving crack was far more severe than for crimes involving powder cocaine; in 2010, Congress reduced that difference, but the older sentences remained unchanged.

In 2003, Justice Anthony Kennedy observed that the pardon power had been “drained of its moral force.” The Constitution grants the president alone the power to grant “pardons for offenses against the United States.” It is time for Mr. Obama to vigorously exercise this august and singular responsibility.

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17) As Biofuel Demand Grows, So Do Guatemala’s Hunger Pangs
By
January 5, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/06/science/earth/in-fields-and-markets-guatemalans-feels-squeeze-of-biofuel-demand.html?ref=world


GUATEMALA CITY — In the tiny tortillerias of this city, people complain ceaselessly about the high price of corn. Just three years ago, one quetzal — about 15 cents — bought eight tortillas; today it buys only four. And eggs have tripled in price because chickens eat corn feed.

Meanwhile, in rural areas, subsistence farmers struggle to find a place to sow their seeds. On a recent morning, José Antonio Alvarado was harvesting his corn crop on the narrow median of Highway 2 as trucks zoomed by.

“We’re farming here because there is no other land, and I have to feed my family,” said Mr. Alvarado, pointing to his sons Alejandro and José, who are 4 and 6 but appear to be much younger, a sign of chronic malnutrition.

Recent laws in the United States and Europe that mandate the increasing use of biofuel in cars have had far-flung ripple effects, economists say, as land once devoted to growing food for humans is now sometimes more profitably used for churning out vehicle fuel.

In a globalized world, the expansion of the biofuels industry has contributed to spikes in food prices and a shortage of land for food-based agriculture in poor corners of Asia, Africa and Latin America because the raw material is grown wherever it is cheapest.

Nowhere, perhaps, is that squeeze more obvious than in Guatemala, which is “getting hit from both sides of the Atlantic,” in its fields and at its markets, said Timothy Wise, a Tufts University development expert who is studying the problem globally with Actionaid, a policy group based in Washington that focuses on poverty.

With its corn-based diet and proximity to the United States, Central America has long been vulnerable to economic riptides related to the United States’ corn policy. Now that the United States is using 40 percent of its crop to make biofuel, it is not surprising that tortilla prices have doubled in Guatemala, which imports nearly half of its corn.

At the same time, Guatemala’s lush land, owned by a handful of families, has proved ideal for producing raw materials for biofuels. Suchitepéquez Province, a major corn-producing region five years ago, is now carpeted with sugar cane and African palm. The field Mr. Alvarado used to rent for his personal corn crop now grows sugar cane for a company that exports bioethanol to Europe.

In a country where most families must spend about two thirds of their income on food, “the average Guatemalan is now hungrier because of biofuel development,” said Katja Winkler, a researcher at Idear, a Guatemalan nonprofit organization that studies rural issues. Roughly 50 percent of the nation’s children are chronically malnourished, the fourth-highest rate in the world, according to the United Nations.

The American renewable fuel standard mandates that an increasing volume of biofuel be blended into the nation’s vehicle fuel supply each year to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels and to bolster the nation’s energy security. Similarly, by 2020, transportation fuels in Europe will have to contain 10 percent biofuel.

Large companies like Pantaleon Sugar Holdings, Guatemala’s leading sugar producer, are profiting from that new demand, with recent annual growth of more than 30 percent. The Inter-American Development Bank says the new industry could bring an infusion of cash and jobs to Guatemala’s rural economy if developed properly. For now, the sugar industry directly provides 60,000 jobs and the palm industry 17,000, although the plantations are not labor-intensive.

But many worry that Guatemala’s poor are already suffering from the diversion of food to fuel. “There are pros and cons to biofuel, but not here,” said Misael Gonzáles of C.U.C., a labor union for Guatemala’s farmers. “These people don’t have enough to eat. They need food. They need land. They can’t eat biofuel, and they don’t drive cars.”

In 2011, corn prices would have been 17 percent lower if the United States did not subsidize and give incentives for biofuel production with its renewable fuel policies, according to an analysis by Bruce A. Babcock, an agricultural economist at Iowa State University. The World Bank has suggested that biofuel mandates in the developed world should be adjusted when food is short or prices are inordinately high.

Concerned about the effects of its biofuel mandate on world hunger, the European Commission recently proposed amending its policy so that only half of its 2020 target could be met by using biofuels made from food crops or those grown on land previously devoted to food crops.

The current American mandate, established in 2007 by Congress, can be waived by the Environmental Protection Agency, but, according to law, such adjustments focus on domestic issues like cases in which biofuel “requirements would severely harm the economy of a state, a region or the United States,” the agency said in an e-mail when asked for comment.

Once nearly self-sufficient in corn production, Guatemala became more dependent on imports in the 1990s as a surplus of subsidized American corn flowed south. Guatemalan farmers could not compete, and corn production dropped roughly 30 percent per capita from 1995 to 2005, Mr. Wise said.

But cheap imports disappeared once the United States started using corn to fulfill its 2007 biofuels standards. “The use of maize to make biofuel has led to these crazy prices,” said Guy Gauvreau, head of the United Nations World Food Program in Guatemala. It “is not ethically acceptable,” he added.

In part because the agency’s primary food supplement is a mix of corn and soy, it cannot afford to help all of the Guatemalan children in need, Mr. Gauvreau said; it is agency policy to buy corn locally, but there is no extra corn grown here anymore. And Guatemalans cannot go back to the land because so much of it is being devoted to growing crops for biofuel. (Almost no biofuel is used domestically.)

The southwestern village of La Ayuda is now an island of rickety dwellings in the middle of a giant African palm plantation. Félix Pérez, 51, used to grow corn, beans and fruit behind his home. He now walks about three miles to a cheap hillside plot that he rents for four months of the year. “Every day it’s more difficult to survive since we live off the land, and there’s less and less,” he said.

Although African palm was practically nonexistent in Guatemala two decades ago, palm oil is now the country’s third-largest export, after sugar and bananas, with exports rising by more than a third in 2011, according to United Nations trade statistics.

Although Susana Siekavizza, executive director of Grepalma, the local industry association, said that Guatemalan palm is currently exported for cooking oil, the high prices that it commands reflect heightened global demand for a crop also used in biofuel. It is exported in a raw form that can be distilled into biofuel in the receiving country, and Ms. Siekavizza said there was “interest” in manufacturing fuel in Guatemala.

Production of sugar cane, long a mainstay Guatemalan crop, has also skyrocketed as biofuels opened new market opportunities. Pantaleon Sugar Holdings, which once exported only food products, now uses 13 percent of its production for fuel. Local sugar prices have doubled.

For Guatemala’s largest landowners, long-term leases with large biofuel companies are more profitable and easier to manage than cattle ranching or renting to subsistence farmers.

In small towns like San Basilio, representatives of one palm company are pressing farmers to lease their fields.

“I’m trying not to because I need that land to grow corn,” said one farmer, Gilberto Galindo Morales, 46. But he added that farming has become difficult as nearby plantations divert and deplete rivers to feed industrial-scale irrigation systems. Ash from burning cane fields after harvest also damages his corn crop and irritates his children’s lungs, he said.

With sometimes violent confrontations over land and labor, plantation gates are secured with armed guards. Still, Ms. Siekavizza of the trade group contends that the belief that palm cultivation is robbing people of food is “more myth than reality” since much of Guatemala’s terrain and soil composition “is not well suited to growing corn.”

In the remote Mayan villages in the north of the country, the incursion of plantations has brought a few good jobs and some training, but many complain of low wages and the backbreaking nature of the work, which mostly involves picking the small red fruits from African palm trees or off the ground. “We sold our land, so now we have to work, but I think it’s better when you grow your own,” said Juana Paula Tec Choc in the village of El Cancellero. “At least then you have some security.”

A report last year by the United States Department of Agriculture noted Guatemala’s potential for biofuel production, saying that palm plantations tended to be on “underutilized” agricultural land and applied no dangerous pesticides to the trees; that assessment could be important for getting palm-based fuel approved for use in the United States.

But villagers in El Cancellero disputed that, saying they suspected chemical poisoning was behind the mysterious deaths of four young children last year. On a recent afternoon, a crop duster buzzed overhead, and workers wearing tanks fitted with spray hoses trudged along a narrow road that separates what remains of the village from endless rows of squat palms.


Mike McDonald contributed reporting.







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B. EVENTS AND ACTIONS


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PLEASE HELP STAND WITH THESE MOTHERS ON JANUARY 8, 4:30 IN STOCKTON CA
Dionne Smith Downs (James Rivera's mama) and other mothers are calling out for support on Jan. 8 in Stockton, when the new mayor will be sworn in.

Folks coming from out of town should plan to meet at the courthouse in Stockton at 4:00 p.m., 425 N. El Dorado Street, STOCKTON.
People in Stockton and Central Valley please meet at 2:00 p.m. at the courthouse in Stockton
,
Dionne has yet to receive any documents from the city that purport to explain why the cops who were involved in her son's murder were absolved of accusations of wrongdoing.  And she has yet to receive from the city any documents that purport to explain the circumstances under which her son was released from the juvenile facility from which he was alleged to have escaped.
 
James Rivera's family demands that the Stockton Police and the District Attorney immediately give them the following:

All of James' personal property
The police report
The police car dashcam video
THE FAMILY IS DEMANDING:

An independent investigation into the assasination of James Rivera, Jr. in July of 2010 by Stockton Police and San Joaquin County Sheriffs.


JUSTICE FOR EARNEST DUENEZ, JAMES RIVERA, LUTHER BROWN, ALAN BLUEFORD and all victims of police terror.

For more information on the Car Caravan from Oakland, please call Ms. Smith-Downs at 209-518-7997.

They shoot us down, we shut them down

****SHUT 'em DOWN****SHUT 'em DOWN****SHUT 'em DOWN****SHUT 'em DOWN****SHUT 'em DOWN****SHUT 'em DOWN****SHUT 'em DOWN****SHUT 'em DOWN****SHUT 'em DOWN****SHUT 'em DOWN****SHUT 'em DOWN****SHUT 'em DOWN****SHUT 'em DOWN****SHUT 'em DOWN****SHUT 'em DOWN****SHUT 'em DOWN****SHUT 'em

--
Visit the Oscar Grant Committee at www.oscargrantcommittee.weebly.com. 

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Come out and support the Legacy:

LaPena, 3105 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley

Special collections of unseen photos of the Black Panther Party's social programs (survival programs pending revolution) and  a few photos from the BPP's International office in Africa.

Curated by:  Billy X Jennings

January 3 - February 28, 2013  ART OPENING:  January 18, 6-9 p.m.

for more information:  www.itsabouttimebpp.com or call 916-455-0908

Call the Oscar Grant Committee at 510-239-3570 and visit us at www.oscargrantcommittee.weebly.com. 

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CHOWCHILLA FREEDOM RALLY

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Rally begins at 3PM at VSPW.

Rides available by bus and carpool. Contact chowchilla.rally@gmail.com or 415-255-7036 x 314

Caravans leaving from MacArthur BART in Oakland at 10:30AM and Chuco's Justice Center in Inglewood at 8:30AM. We will gather at 2PM at SE corner of Ave. 24 and Fairmead Blvd off Highway 99 in Chowchilla.

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) is converting Valley State Prison for Women (VSPW) into a men’s prison in response to a U.S. Supreme Court order to reduce overcrowding. Instead of releasing people and closing VSPW, they are squeezing over 1,000 women and transgender people into the two remaining women's prisons. The population of the other women's prison in Chowchilla, Central California Women's Facility (CCWF) is dangerously close to 4,000 even though its maximum capacity is 2,000. The conversion has aggravated overcrowding, created dangerous conditions, and health care is already getting much worse. What’s more, they have added yet another men's prison to their inhumane system. We've had enough! Come show support for all people locked up in Chowchilla's prisons and tell the Federal Judges that overcrowding must stop now!

OVERCROWDING = DEATH

BRING OUR LOVED ONES HOME!

COMMUNITY RELEASE PROGRAMS * PAROLE FOR ELDERS * RELEASE FOR MEDICAL REASONS * END LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE (LWOP)

Solidarity actions encouraged! If you cannot make the rally or do not live in California, we encourage you to organize a solidarity action on the same day in your community. Hold a demonstration in front of the DOC offices or the county jail, organize a speak-out against prisons in a public space, stand in solidarity the Chowchilla Freedom Rally! Please let us know how we can support you! Contact info@womenprisoners.org.

Interested in helping organize this event? Join our coalition! Our next meeting is Wednesday, January 2, 2013 from 6 - 8PM at the CCWP offices. 1540 Market Street, Suite 490, San Francisco. Or contact adrienne@womenpriosoners.org.

The Chowchilla Freedom Rally Coalition includes members from California Coalition for Women Prisoners, Californians United for a Responsible Budget, Justice NOW, All Of Us Or None, Legal Services for Prisoners With Children, Fired Up!, Transgender, Gender Variant, Intersex Justice Project, Critical Resistance, Youth Justice Coalition, Global Women's Strike, Occupy 4 Prisoners, Asian Pacific Islander Support Committee and the California Prison Moratorium Project.
--
Adrienne Skye Roberts
Interim Program Coordinator & Legal Advocate
California Coalition for Women Prisoners
1540 Market Street  #490
San Francisco, CA 94102
Phone 415.255.7036 x:4 l Fax 415.552.3150
adrienne@womenprisoners.org l www.womenprisoners.org

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C. SPECIAL APPEALS AND ONGOING CAMPAIGNS


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Emergency Appeal—Hunger strike in second month—solidarity funds needed for fired Colombian GM workers

Many of you have heard and met Jorge Parra, president of the Association of Injured Workers and Ex-workers of GM Colomotores (Asotrecol). Asotrecol represents the workers who were fired after sustaining work-related injuries and illnesses at GM’s plant in Bogota, Colombia. They are still fighting for the right to return to jobs at GM that they can do, or receive compensation. The occupation outside the U.S. embassy in Bogota has been maintained for over 500 days. Jorge, who is here in Detroit, is in the second month of his third hunger strike to pressure GM to negotiate with Asotrecol. Thus far GM has not met with him. The situation is urgent.

When Jorge and his coworkers were fired it left them with no source of income; their injuries prevent them from getting other jobs. For this struggle to continue funds are critically needed—for Jorge’s living expenses here and for the families of the workers who are living in tents outside the embassy. Their children, one of whom has a life threatening case of cerebral palsy, are in urgent need of medical care.

We cannot let these courageous autoworkers or their families down.

To make a donation, please send a check to ”Wellspring UCC” with “Colombia relief” on the memo line. Their mailing address is: Wellspring UCC, Box 508, Centreville VA 20122. To make a donation online through paypal visit: www.wellspringucc.org (be sure to write “Colombia relief” on the message subject line).

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Petition to US White House and State Department: Condemn Israeli Aggression in Gaza

Please spread the word far and wide about this petition.
https://www.change.org/petitions/us-white-house-and-state-department-condemn-israeli-agression-in-gaza

Please invite all of your facebook friends to the "event" to sign the petition.
https://www.facebook.com/events/510061649012070/?context=create

If you are on twitter, sign the petition there as well and pass it around.
http://twitition.com/xpj6d/

In solidarity and peace,

BlackCommentator.com

African Americans for Justice in the Middle East and North Africa
Statement Regarding the Aggression Against Gaza

African Americans for Justice in the Middle East and North Africa (AAJMENA) strongly condemns Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people in Gaza. The arguments offered by the Israeli government for its attack on Gaza are nakedly cynical in both form and content. That a truce had been negotiated, with the assistance of the Egyptian government, between Israel and Hamas only to be broken by the Israeli assassination of Hamas military commander Ahmad Jabari clearly indicates that the Netanyahu government is not interested in peace. Israel is responsible for the escalating violence and for this epic breach of human rights.

This crisis underscores a stunning power imbalance. Nuclear-armed Israel, by far the most powerful military force in the Middle East (and among the mightiest in the world), has unleashed its immense war making capacity on Gaza’s captive population, mobilizing warships and tanks and launching more than 1,000 F-16 airstrikes since the attack began. The use of such weapons on civilians is a flagrant violation of the U.S. Arms Export Control Act.

The aggression against Gaza must be understood as the latest act in the decades-long oppression of the Palestinian people at the hands of the Israeli government. Blockaded Gaza has been plunged into misery by the Israeli-U.S. effort to thwart the democratic will of the Palestinian people as demonstrated in their 2006 legislative elections. When a coup was attempted against Hamas—and failed—the Israelis sealed Gaza, spinning events to make it appear that those not interested in peace were the Palestinians. As a result, Gaza is the largest open-air prison in the world, with 1.5 million people locked into a roughly 140-square-mile strip of land. This latest humanitarian crisis has caused the disproportionate death and suffering of Palestinians, but casualties on both sides will be the consequence of Israeli aggression.

Rather than taking a stand against Israeli’s onslaught and issuing an unambiguous demand for an end to the bloodshed, the Obama administration has condemned alleged Palestinian terrorism, repeating the dishonest line that this violent attack is merely in defense of Israel (a position reinforced by the one-sided coverage of the corporate news media). This represents a massive failure on the administration’s part. For all Obama’s denunciation of the Assad regime in Syria, it appears that his administration regards the outright slaughter of civilians in Palestine as acceptable. It is crucial that we recognize the extent of U.S. complicity in the bloodshed; our tax dollars ($8.5 million a day) enable Israeli militarism at a time when those funds are desperately needed to fill gaps in services and infrastructure back home.

As African Americans and people of African descent in the U.S. from academia, activism and various social movements, we cannot remain silent. We call upon all people of good will to:

1. Endorse this statement.

2. Communicate with the White House and the U.S. Department of State to request that President Obama demand that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu and the IDF cease the bombardment of Gaza and withdraw their armed forces immediately. Insist that the U.S. condition aid to Israel on compliance with U.S. and international law.

3. Contact the Israeli embassy in Washington, D.C. and demand that Israel withdraw its forces and end the blockade.

4. Send your local media outlet a “letter to the editor” expressing outrage against the provocative and murderous acts of the Israeli government.

5. Join protests against Israeli aggression.

6. Support Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (www.bdsmovement.net) and U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (www.usacbi.org), and back the efforts of labor unions and student groups to compel their employers and administrators to divest from companies that do business in Israel.


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An Appeal from Conscientious Objectors in Israel - Resistance to serving in the I.D.F. is growing among Israeli youth.

International Support is important in strengthening and broadening this spirit of defiance:

Conscientious objector Natan Blanc sentenced to prison for the first time for his refusal to join the Israeli Army.

CO Natan Blanc, 19 years old from, Haifa, arrived, Sunday, 19 November, to the Induction Base in Tal-hashomer, where he declared his refusal to serve in the Israeli Army. he was sentenced to 10 days of imprisonment for his refusal, he also received a suspended sentence of 10 days.
In his refusal declaration Blanc wrote:
"I began thinking about refusing to conscripted into the Israeli Army during the “Cast Lead” operation in 2008. The wave of aggressive militarism that swept the country then, the expressions of mutual hatred, and the vacuous talk about stamping out terror and creating a deterrent effect were the primary trigger for my refusal. Today, after four years full of terror, without a political process [towards peace negotiations], and without quiet in Gaza and Sderot, it is clear that the Netanyahu Government, like that of his predecessor Olmert, is not interested in finding a solution to the existing situation, but rather in preserving it.  From their point of view, there is nothing wrong with our initiating a “Cast Lead 2″ operation every three or four years (and then 3, 4,5 and 6): we will talk of deterrence, we will kill some terrorist, we will lose some civilians on both sides, and we will prepare the ground for a new generation full of hatred on both sides. As representatives of the people, members of the cabinet have no duty to present their vision for the futures of the country, and they can continue with this bloody cycle, with no end in sight.  But we, as citizens and human beings, have a moral duty to refuse to participate in this cynical game."

You can read the full declaration here.

His prison address is:
Natan Blanc
Military ID 7571369
Military Prison No. 6
Military Postal Code 01860, IDF
Israel
Fax: ++972-4-9540580
Since the prison authorities often block mail from reaching imprisoned objectors, we also recommend you to send them your letters of support and encouragement via e-mail to: messages2prison@newprofile.org (hitting “reply all” to this message will send the message to the same address), and they will be printed out and delivered during visits.

Recommended Action
First of all, please circulate this message and the information contained in it as widely as possible, not only through e-mail, but also on websites, social networks, conventional media, by word of mouth, etc.
Other recommendations for action:

1. Sending Letters of Support
Please send Natan letters of support to the prison address above and via e-mail to: messages2prison@newprofile.org and Nathanbl@walla.com.

2. Letters to Authorities
It is recommended to send letters of protest on the objectors’ behalf, preferably by fax, to:
Mr. Ehud Barak,
Minister of Defence,
Ministry of Defence,
Hakirya,
Tel-Aviv 61909,
Israel.
E-mail: s...@mod.gov.il or pniot@mod.gov.il
Tel.: ++972-3-6975220
Fax: ++972-3-6962757
Copies of your letters can also be sent to the commander of the military prison at:
Commander of Military Prison No. 6,
Military Prison No. 6
Military Postal Code 01860, IDF
Israel
Fax: ++972-4-9540580
Another useful address for sending copies would be the Military Attorney General:
Denny Efroni,
Chief Military Attorney
Military postal code 9605, IDF
Israel
Fax: ++972-3-569-45-26
It would be especially useful to send your appeals to the Commander of the Induction Base in Tel-HaShomer. It is this officer that ultimately decides whether an objector is to be exempted from military service or sent to another round in prison, and it is the same officer who is ultimately in charge of the military Conscience Committee:
Gil Ben Shaul,
Commander of Induction Base,
Meitav, Tel-HaShomer
Military Postal Code 02718, IDF
Israel.
Fax: ++972-3-737-60-52
For those of you who live outside Israel, it would be very effective to send protests to your local Israeli embassy. You can find the address of your local embassy on the web.
Here is a generic sample letter, which you can use in sending appeals to authorities on the prisoners’ behalf. Feel free to modify this letter or write your own:
Dear Sir/Madam,
It has come to my attention that Natan Blanc (military ID 7571369), a conscientious objector to military service, has been imprisoned for the second time for his refusal to become part of the Israeli army, and is held in Military Prison no. 6 near Atlit.
The imprisonment of conscientious objectors such as Blanc is a violation of international law, of basic human rights and of plain morals.
I therefore call for the immediate and unconditional release from prison of Natan Blanc, without threat of further imprisonment in the future, and urge you and the system you are heading to respect the dignity and person of conscientious objectors, indeed of all persons, in the future.
Sincerely,
3. Letters to media in Israel and in other countries
Writing op-ed pieces and letters to editors of media in Israel and other countries could also be quite useful in indirectly but powerfully pressuring the military authorities to let go of the objectors and in bringing their plight and their cause to public attention.
Here are some contact details for the main media outlets in Israel:

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Contact the Obama campaign now to voice your support for Bradley!

The Obama campaign keeps track of how many calls and e-mails they get about each issue.

Contact President Obama's team now and tell them "Obama must uphold his promise to protect whistle-blowers and free Bradley Manning!"
Call: 312-698-3670

E-mail: http://barackobama.force.com/questions

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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.

Disclaimer

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

888-NLG-ECOL
(888-654-3265)

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Letter from Lynne Stewart

9/27/12 9:15 am

Once again the 2d Circuit has turned me down–this time the whole Court, en
banc. Not surprising, I was well aware that we were dealing with the Company
Store and could expect very little. Nonetheless as a favorite line from Edna
St Vincent Millay:

“Pity me that the heart is slow to learn
What the Quick mind beholds at every turn”
I never lose hope that my case will be resolved as being too obvious a
contradiction to justice for them to sustain !

Our next stop is the petition for Certiorari to the Supreme Court, asking them
to hear us. We will be trying to impress them with the significant
wrongfulness of the whole prosecution itself and of the errors at trial and
later at sentencing. Our due date is some time in late December and we are
hoping to have Amicus support, so if you are part of a group that supports
lawyers or civil rights etc. please suggest it as early as possible. Contact
Jill Shellow, my lawyer by email, for further explanations.

Looking forward to my 73 birthday on October 8, the one bright ray of light is
that my husband, Ralph Poynter, will be speaking at the National Lawyers Guild
convention held in Pasadena, California from the 10th to 14th of October.

Addressing the Plenary he will speak of my case and that of other political
prisoners locked away for decades by a vindictive government. I wish I could
attend and meet and greet and hug and laugh with my lawyer buddies of many
years and many conventions but I will have to be content with my usual micro-
management style from afar — Texas, that is !!!

Meanwhile, I continue to tough it out. I am feeling quite well after the
surgery, an infection and then a severe iron deficiency — my usual vim and
vigor are back and ready for the fight with the Supreme Court who thinks
corporations are people—what will they make of me, a real person ??!! (smile)
Join me. Bring me Home, where I can join in some of the epic battles now at
hand.

Posted in BEHIND BARS, FROM LYNNE | No Comments »

“Court Denies Lynne Stewart Re-hearing” by Jeff Mackler

September 26th, 2012
Dear Friends of Lynne Stewart,
On Monday, September 24, 2012 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
rejected Lynne’s appeal for a re-hearing before the entire court. Her original
conviction was upheld in 2009 by a three-judge panel of the Second Circuit.
The Second Circuit’s opinion was not unexpected. This was the same court that
earlier pressed Federal District Court John Koeltl to re-consider his original
28-month sentence and instead sentence Lynne to ten years.

Lynne, a leading civil rights attorney for 30 years, was convicted in 2005 on
frame-up charges of conspiracy to aid and abet terrorism. Her crime? She
issued a press release on behalf of her client, the “blind sheik” Omar Abdel
Rachman, a leading Egyptian Islamic cleric, was also a victim of the U.S. “war
on terror” when a government-instigated frame-up trial convicted him of
conspiracy to destroy New York buildings. Typical of “conspiracy” convictions,
no evidence of wrongdoing was presented at his trial.

Rachman, a leading critic of the Hosni Mubarack dictatorship in Egypt, and now
serving a life sentence in Rochester, Minnesota, was the subject of national
attention a few months ago when Egypt’s new president, Mohammad Morsi,
embarrassed the Obama administration by demanding his release.

Lynne’s attorneys explained on Monday that “The clock now starts running on
our Petition for Certiorari to the Supreme Court. We have 90 days to get it
filed (with the possibility of a 30-day extension).”

Lynne is presently imprisoned at FMC Carswell outside of Fort Worth, Texas.
She has successfully recovered from a difficult surgery that was spitefully
delayed by prison authorities. For the past 45 days Lynne was denied all
visitors, mail and other basic prison rights on the trumped-up accusation that she violated prison rules in assisting a fellow prisoner certify a legal document.

Her spirits are high and she is now going through a backlog of some 100-plus
letters from friends and supporters.

Here’s a brief summary/timeline of Lynne’s case.
- indicted on April 9, 2002;
- on February 10, 2005, convicted on all counts of conspiracy to aid and
abet terrorism;
- on October, 17, 2006, sentenced to 28 months;
- on November 17, 2009, a US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit three-
judge panel upheld the conviction, shamelessly accusing Lynne of “knowingly
and willfully making false statements,” re-directing her case to District
Court Judge John Koeltl for re-sentencing, instructing him to consider
enhancements for terrorism, perjury, and abuse of her position as a lawyer –
an outrageous mandate intimidating Koeltl to comply.
- on November 19, 2009, Stewart jailed at MCC-NY, 150 Park Row, New York, NY;
andon July 15, 2010, Stewart re-sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for doing
her job honorably, ethically, and admirably with distinction for 30 years.
Disgracefully, Judge Koeltl explained it, saying: .”(C)omments by Stewart in
2006, including a statement in a television interview that she would do ‘it’
again and would not ‘do anything differently’ influenced (the)
decisionŠ.indicat(ing) the original sentence ‘was not sufficient’ to reflect
the goals of sentencing guidelines.”

Forgotten were Koeltl’s October 2006 comments, calling Lynne’s character
“extraordinary,” saying she was “a credit to her profession,” and that a long
imprisonment would be “an unreasonable result,” citing “the somewhat atypical
nature of her case (and) lack of evidence that any victim was harmed.”
He also considered her age (70), health (at times poor), distinguished career
representing society’s disadvantaged and unwanted, and the unlikelihood she’d
commit another “crime.” However, the Second Circuit Appeals Court intimidated
him to comply, his own career perhaps on the line otherwise.

Please write Lynne at:
Lynne Stewart
53504-054
FMC Carswell
P.O. Box 27137
Ft. Worth, Texas 76127
In solidarity,
Jeff Mackler, West Coast Coordinator
Lynne Stewart Defense Committee
-->

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 

Visiting Lynne:

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

Commissary Money:

Commissary Money is always welcome It is how Lynne pay for the phone and for
email.

Also for a lot that prison doesn't supply in terms of food and "sundries"
(pens!) (A very big list that includes Raisins, Salad Dressing, ankle sox, mozzarella (definitely
not from Antonys--more like a white cheddar, Sanitas Corn Chips but no Salsa, etc. To add money,
you do this by using Western Union and a credit card by phone or you can send a USPO money
order or Business or Govt Check. The negotiable instruments (PAPER!) need to be sent to
Federal

Bureau of Prisons, 53504-054, Lynne Stewart, PO Box 474701, Des Moines Iowa
50947-001

(Payable to Lynne Stewart, 53504-054) They hold the mo or checks for 15 days.
Western

Union costs $10 but is within 2 hours. If you mail, your return address must be
on the envelope. Unnecessarily complicated? Of course, it's the BOP !)

The address of her Defense Committee is:

Lynne Stewart Defense Committee
1070 Dean Street
Brooklyn, New York 11216

For further information:

718-789-0558 or 917-853-9759

Please make a generous contribution to her defense.

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Free Mumia NOW!

Prisonradio.org

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
MUMIA ABU-JAMAL ILLEGALLY SENTENCED TO
LIFE IMPRISONMENT WITHOUT PAROLE!
FREE MUMIA NOW!
www.FreeMumia.com
http://blacktalkradionetwork.com/profiles/blogs/mumia-is-formally-sentenced-to-life-in-prison-w-out-hearing-he-s

On August 13, 2012, without any notice and in violation of his constitutional rights and state law, Mumia Abu-Jamal was formally sentenced by Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Pamela Dembe to life imprisonment without parole. The impact of this illegal sentencing is to prevent a possible challenge to the slow death of life imprisonment. All sentences, including "mandatory" sentences, require a formal proceeding allowing the person to be sentenced the right to be heard and to challenge his sentence.

Mumia confirmed to his son Jamal and to attorney Rachel Wolkenstein during a visit with him on Sunday, August 19, 2012, that he had no prior knowledge of the re-sentencing. The record of this re-sentencing is contained in the official Court of Common Pleas Docket Sheet. In attempting to find out more details, Wolkenstein searched for the court file on August 20. But there is no file containing a record of this sentencing with the Criminal Division Court of Common Pleas Clerk. The information released so far by Elaine Rattliff, Deputy Clerk of Courts is that the sentencing followed a call from the Department of Corrections and further explanation awaits a call back from Court of Common Pleas Judge Pamela Dembe.

Notably Judge Dembe is same judge who refused in 2001 to consider a legal challenge to "hanging judge" Albert Sabo's self-confessed racism and bias against Mumia during his trial and post-conviction appeals from 1995-1998. Court reporter Terri Mauer-Carter heard Sabo declare before the start of the trial, "I'm going to help them fry the n-----."

For thirty years Mumia was kept in solitary confinement on death row under a death sentence that was illegally and unconstitutionally imposed. Federal district court Judge William Yohn ruled in December 2001 that Judge Albert Sabo incorrectly and unconstitutionally instructed the jury in deciding on life or death. Despite this decision, Mumia was kept on death row, in solitary confinement for the next ten years, while the prosecution pursued two appeals in the Federal Court of Appeals and two attempts at U.S. Supreme Court rulings to uphold the death sentence. All that time, Mumia sat in solitary confinement. According to Juan Mendez, the United Nations Special Rappatour on Torture, solitary confinement for longer than 15 days is a form of torture! Mumia should be freed from prison, now!

This latest legal outrage comes nine months after the state conceded defeat in obtaining its desired "legal lynching" of Mumia. On December 8, 2011, Philadelphia District Attorney, Seth Williams—with the support of Maureen Faulkner, the Fraternal Order of Police and former District Attorney, Philadelphia Mayor and PA governor, Edward Rendell—announced that they were no longer seeking a death sentence for Mumia. This was their recognition that it was neither legally possible nor politically advantageous to hold a new sentencing hearing.

Mumia's 1982 trial contained violations of every single element of due process and a fair trial. But it began with framing an innocent man. Mumia was framed for a crime he did not commit. His crime in the eyes of the state is that he was and continues to be "the voice of the voiceless," a former spokesman for the Black Panther Party and continuing supporter of the MOVE organization.

In his first phone call from general population on January 28, 2012, Mumia relayed the following message to his wife, Wadiya Jamal: "My dear friends, brothers and sisters – I want to thank you for your real hard work and support. I am no longer on death row, no longer in the hole, I'm in population. This is only Part One and I thank you for the work you've done. But the struggle is for freedom!"

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Police Attack Antiwar Protester
HANDS OFF NATE BUCKLEY!
http://vimeo.com/23300350#at=0

Police Brutality Against Anti War demonstrator Buffalo New York 2011
NFTA Police and anti terror task force assault anti war demonstration in Buffalo.
Nate Buckley maced while in handcuffs. His new trial date is October 16, 2012.


For updates or to donate please go to:
Sign the petition:
Watch a video of the incident: 
http://vimeo.com/23300350#at=0


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Sign the petition for the NATO 5!
Drop all charges against the NATO 5 and all anti-NATO protesters!
Protesters are still being held in Cook County Jail in Chicago. Release them all
now!
Sign the Petition Here:http://www.iacenter.org/dropchargesonnatodefendants

The charges against the NATO 5 and the others are false. All these prisoners
urgently need your solidarity. Please sign our petition. Share it with your
family, friends and coworkers. Signing the petition will generate a direct email
to:

Illinois State's Attorney Anita Alvarez
Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart
Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, and
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel,
and several other public officials, demanding all charges against the NATO5
be dropped.

Email addresses for the targets

mayor.emanuel@cityofchicago.org

garry.mccarthy@chicagopolice.org

statesattorney@cookcountyil.gov

sheriff.dart@cookcountyil.gov

Thanks for your ongoing interest in the fight against FBI repression of anti-war
and international solidarity activists!

Our mailing address is:

Committee to Stop FBI Repression

PO Box 14183

Minneapolis, MN 55414

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Tarek Mehanna - another victim of the U.S. War to Terrorize Everyone. He was
targeted because he would not spy on his Muslim community for the FBI. Under the
new NDAA indefinite military detention provision, Tarek is someone who likely
would never come to a trial, although an American citizen. His sentencing is on
April 12. There will be an appeal.

Another right we may kiss goodbye. We should not accept the verdict and continue
to fight for his release, just as we do for hero Bradley Manning, and all the
many others unjustly persecuted by our government until it is the war criminals
on trial, prosecuted by the people, and not the other way around.

Marilyn Levin

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

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HANDS OFF IRAN PETITION

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/hands-off-iran/?utm_medium=email&utm_sour\
ce=system&utm_campaign=Send%2Bto%2BFriend


(For a complete analysis of the prospects of war, click here)

http://nepajac.org/unaciran.htm

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

https://www.mecaforpeace.org/civicrm/contribute/transact?reset=1&id=25

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Justice for Albert Woodfox and Herman Wallace: Decades of isolation in Louisiana
state prisons must end

Take Action -- Sign Petition Here:

http://www.amnesty.org/en/appeals-for-action/justice-for-albert-woodfox-and-herm\
an-wallace


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WITNESS GAZA

http://www.witnessgaza.com/

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Write to Bradley

http://bradleymanning.org/donate

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

I am Bradley Manning

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-P3OXML00s

Courage to Resist

484 Lake Park Ave. #41

Oakland, CA 94610

510-488-3559

couragetoresist.org

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

Bradley Manning 89289

830 Sabalu Road

Fort Leavenworth, KS 66027

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

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

This is also a Facebook event

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=207100509321891#!/event.php?eid=2071005093\
21891

Courage to Resist needs your support

Please donate today:

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

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

Jeff Paterson

Project Director, Courage to Resist

First US military service member to refuse to fight in Iraq

Please donate today.

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

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

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

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

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The Battle Is Still On To

FREE MUMIA ABU-JAMAL!

The Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal

PO Box 16222 • Oakland CA 94610

www.laboractionmumia.org

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Call for EMERGENCY RESPONSE Action if Assange Indicted,

Dear Friends:

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

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

ANY DAY NOW . . . IN THE EVENT THAT THE U.S. INDICTS JULIAN ASSANGE HANDS OFF
WIKILEAKS! FREE JULIAN ASSANGE! FREE BRADLEY MANNING!

Join the HUMAN CHAIN AROUND THE FEDERAL BUILDING!

New Federal Building, 7th and Mission, San Francisco (nearest BART: Civic
Center)

4:00-6:00 PM on The Day FOLLOWING U.S. indictment of Assange

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/12/mannings-message-christmas-eve-i-gr/

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

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

World Can't Wait, SF Bay

415-864-5153

sf@worldcantwait.org

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KEVIN COOPER IS INNOCENT! FREE KEVIN COOPER!

Reasonable doubts about executing Kevin Cooper

Chronicle Editorial

Monday, December 13, 2010

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/12/13/EDG81GP0I7.DTL

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

http://www.savekevincooper.org/

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

URGENT ACTION APPEAL

- From Amnesty International USA

17 December 2010

Click here to take action online:

http://takeaction.amnestyusa.org/siteapps/advocacy/index.aspx?c=jhKPIXPCIoE&\
b=2590179&template=x.ascx&action=15084


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

http://www.amnestyusa.org/iar/success

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

http://www.amnestyusa.org/actioncenter/actions/uaa25910.pdf

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Short Video About Al-Awda's Work

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

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kTiAkbB5uC0&eurl

Support Al-Awda, a Great Organization and Cause!

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

To submit your tax-deductible donation to support our work, go to

http://www.al-awda.org/donate.html

and follow the simple instructions.

Thank you for your generosity!

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D. VIDEO, FILM, AUDIO. ART, POETRY, ETC.:


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

http://bauaw.blogspot.com/ or bauaw.org ...bw]

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Danny Glover Greetings to the Labour Start Global Solidarity Conference 

Join Danny Glover in supporting Nissan Mississippi workers' right to have a free and fair union election. Go to: www.labourstart.org/nissan and send a message to Nissan to stop the union busting and DO BETTER. For more information go to: www.DoBetterNissan.org.

Danny Glover, the star of Lethal Weapon and other Hollywood blockbusters, delivered a message to the LabourStart conference which opened yesterday in Sydney, Australia. 

I'd like to ask you to take a minute to watch the video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-nkZ6yi8xzY&feature=youtu.be

Then please sign up to the online campaign, here:

http://www.labourstart.org/nissan

Here's why:

Management at Nissan’s plant in Mississippi is running an aggressive and sophisticated anti-union campaign against its employees who are forming a union to achieve a voice in the workplace.

Nissan is denying these workers a fair, democratic election, and management has sent a clear message to the workforce that considering a union could cost them their job.

Supported by workers, students, community leaders and human rights activists around the world, the United Auto Workers (UAW) have launched a campaign on LabourStart calling on Nissan’s Chief Operating Officer, Toshiyuki Shiga, to intervene to make things right in Mississippi.

Speaking yesterday at the LabourStart conference now taking place in Sydney Jeffrey Moore, one of the Mississippi auto workers, said:

“Nissan workers are seeking union representation because they want fairness and a chance to be heard.  They are seeking a voice on the job just like their colleagues in Japan and elsewhere.”

“At Canton Mississippi, Nissan management is making propaganda against the UAW and intimidating workers depriving them from a free choice. This is unacceptable and against freedom of association,” said Jyrki Raina, General Secretary of IndustriALL Global Union in support of the workers’ campaign.

“UAW has offered Nissan a positive, collaborative approach, but the US management is refusing partnership despite the fact that most of Nissan's operations in countries such as Mexico, Spain, UK, Russia, Japan, Australia, South Africa and Thailand are unionized and enjoy constructive labour and management relations,” said Raina.

Please spread the word -- let's make sure that Nissan is overwhelmed with messages of support for the workers in Canton, Mississippi.  Please forward this message to your fellow union members, your friends and your family.

Thank you.

Eric Lee

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Fukushima Never Again 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LU-Z4VLDGxU

"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
www.laborvideo.org
lvpsf@laborvideo.org
For information on obtaining the video go to:
www.fukushimaneveragain.com
(415)282-1908

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Labor Beat: SOJO - The Fight for Social Justice High School 
["This is not an education plan, it's a business plan." quote from the video...bw]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AEkn1wmxCcE&feature=youtu.be 

The fight for community democratic control of Social Justice High School is an important battle waged during the countdown to a possible strike of the Chicago Teachers Union in early September, 2012. And on August 31, students and faculty achieved a victory in forcing SOJO (as the High School is known) to hire back two teachers who were earlier fired for opposing destructive changes in the school's programs. All this took place in the midst of a student sit-in, an intense mass meeting of the school community, and a powerful student protest campaign that got the fired teachers reinstated.

Here are scenes from that fight: The dramatic August 23 mass meeting, testimonies of student leaders (one who reads a poem she was earlier prohibited from reading by CPS toadies), a big Chicago Teachers Solidarity Campaign indoor rally featuring speeches by the two fired teachers Angela Sangha and Katie Hogan; the student protest march two days later; the reinstatement of the two fired faculty members.

Speaking/interviewed: Andrea Guzman (Little Village community activist); Professor David Stovall (Advisory Local School Council representative); Dennis Kosuth (Chicago Teachers Solidarity Campaign member); Angela Sangha (founding teacher, Social Justice High School); Katie Hogan (founding teacher, Social Justice High School); Professor Rico Gutstein (University of Illinois - Chicago).

Please make a Donation to Labor Beat (Committee for Labor Access) and help rank-and-file tv:
https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=2F96...

Produced by Labor Beat. Labor Beat is a CAN TV Community Partner. Labor Beat is a non-profit 501(c)(3) member of IBEW 1220. Views are those of the producer Labor Beat. For info: mail@laborbeat.org, www.laborbeat.org. 312-226-3330. For other Labor Beat videos, visit YouTube and search "Labor Beat".

On Chicago CAN TV Channel 19, Thursdays 9:30 pm; Fridays 4:30 pm. Labor Beat has regular cable slots in Chicago, Evanston, Rockford, Urbana, IL; Philadelphia, PA; Princeton, NJ; and Rochester, NY. For more detailed information, send us a request at mail@laborbeat.org.

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all the sons 
By Tommi Avicolli Mecca
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fp2jvlAk8-w&list=PL835C332FF6CFF1F3&index=1&feature=plcp

Published on Aug 27, 2012 by
Men have been going off to war for centuries. In the past couple centuries, they have been migrating to other countries (especially the U.S.) for work. They have been organizing, too, to fight oppression and stop the deaths of their sons and brothers.

"And I don't know why it has to be this way again."

I wrote this song for the mothers, too, who lose their sons to war and murder by police officers. Maybe someday "it doesn't have to be this way again."

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Labor Beat: Chicago Teachers Stand Strong

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOLj6B4cF2w&feature=youtu.be

On May 23, 2012, Chicago Teachers Union held a massive rally at the Auditorium
theater to inform their membership about the coming contract struggle they face.
In the climate of school closings, budget cuts, a terrible new proposed
contract, and teacher-bashing on the part of Mayor Rahm Emmanuel and Chicago
schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizzard, CTU took to the streets to show their numbers
and appeal to the public, and within two weeks CTU was voting to authorize a
strike.

Meanwhile a few blocks away, Stand Up Chicago, Action Now, and many other
community organizations rallied against the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME,
the operator of the Chicago Board of Trade) and the $110 million tax break
they've been given by Illinois. CME is one of the most profitable companies in
the region, and yet now Illinois government is making broad cuts to social
programs needed by struggling families. These two marches converged at Jackson
and LaSalle in a unified demand for economic justice for Chicago's 99%.

Please make a Donation to Labor Beat (Committee for Labor Access) and help
rank-and-file tv:
https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=9789970

Produced by Labor Beat. Labor Beat is a CAN TV Community Partner. Labor Beat is
a non-profit 501(c)(3) member of IBEW 1220. Views are those of the producer
Labor Beat. For info: mail@laborbeat.org, www.laborbeat.org. 312-226-3330. For
other Labor Beat videos, visit YouTube and search "Labor Beat".

On Chicago CAN TV Channel 19, Thursdays 9:30 pm; Fridays 4:30 pm. Labor Beat has
regular cable slots in Chicago, Evanston, Rockford, Urbana, IL; Philadelphia,
PA; Princeton, NJ; and Rochester, NY.

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Guantanamo Bay Prisoners Were Tortured with Sesame Street

http://www.inquisitr.com/245285/guantanamo-bay-prisoners-were-tortured-with-sesa\
me-street/


Guantanamo Bay prisoners were reportedly tortured with the sounds of children's
Sesame Street songs, in an attempt to get them to talk.

Read more at
http://www.inquisitr.com/245285/guantanamo-bay-prisoners-were-tortured-with-sesa\
me-street/#HYqlyB1jssypzpFM.99


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15 yr old Teen girl in jail beating video speaks out on cop attacking her in
Police brutality case

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDzQ8Vay3Pg&feature=share

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1000 year of war through the world

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NiG8neU4_bs&feature=share

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Anatomy of a Massacre - Afganistan

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6BnRc11aug&feature=player_embedded

Afghans accuse multiple soldiers of pre-meditated murder

To see more go to http://www.youtube.com/user/journeymanpictures

Follow us on Facebook (http://goo.gl/YRw42) or Twitter
(http://www.twitter.com/journeymanvod)

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

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

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/04/02/us/the-events-leading-to-the-sooti\
ng-of-trayvon-martin.html?hp


SPD Security Cams.wmv

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9WWDNbQUgm4&feature=player_embedded

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

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFia_w8adWQ

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Private prisons,

a recession resistant investment opportunity

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DIGLDOxx9Vg

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

"Thought Crimes"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wafMaML17w

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Common forms of misconduct by Law Enforcement Officials and Prosecutors

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ViSpM4K276w&feature=related

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Organizing & Instigating: OCCUPY - Ronnie Goodman

http://arthazelwood.com/instigator/occupy/occupy-birth-video.html

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Rep News 12: Yes We Kony

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=68GbzIkYdc8

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The New Black by The Mavrix - Official Music Video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4rLfja8488

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

Japan One Year Later

http://www.onlineschools.org/japan-one-year-later/

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

The CIA's Heart Attack Gun

http://www.brasschecktv.com/videos/assassination-studies/the-cias-heart-attack-g\
un-.html


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

The Invisible American Workforce

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/8/5/new_expos_tracks_alec_private_prison

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

Labor Beat: NATO vs The 1st Amendment

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HbQxnb4so3U

For more detailed information, send us a request at mail@laborbeat.org.

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

Anti-War Demonstrators Storm Pentagon 1967/10/24

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

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

Liberal Hypocrisy on Obama Vs Bush - Poll

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

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

Greek trade unionists and black bloc October 2011

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sHMLD_Vql0o&feature=player_embedded#!

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

The Battle of Oakland

by brandon jourdan plus

http://vimeo.com/36256273

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

Officers Pulled Off Street After Tape of Beating Surfaces

By ANDY NEWMAN

February 1, 2012, 10:56 am

http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/01/officers-pulled-off-street-after-ta\
pe-of-beating-surfaces/?ref=nyregion


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

Defending The People's Mic

by Pham Binh of Occupy Wall Street

The North Star

January 20, 2012

http://www.thenorthstar.info/?p=53

Grand Central Terminal Arrests - MIRROR

Two protesters mic check about the loss of freedom brought about by the passage
of the NDAA and both are promptly arrested and whisked out of public sight.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o7Tj7tEVx8A&feature=player_embedded

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

This is excellent! Michelle Alexander pulls no punches!

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

behind the War on Drugs and its connection to the mass incarceration of Black
and Brown people in the United States.

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

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

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

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

Release Bradley Manning

Almost Gone (The Ballad Of Bradley Manning)

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

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dAYG7yJpBbQ&feature=player_embedded

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
School police increasingly arresting American students?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zl-efNBvjUU&feature=player_embedded

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

FYI:

Nuclear Detonation Timeline "1945-1998"

The 2053 nuclear tests and explosions that took place between 1945 and 1998 are
plotted visually and audibly on a world map.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I9lquok4Pdk&feature=share&mid=5408

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

We Are the 99 Percent

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

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

OccupyWallSt.org

Occupytogether.org

wearethe99percentuk.tumblr.com

http://wearethe99percent.tumblr.com/

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

Drop All Charges on the 'Occupy Wall Street' Arrestees!

Stop Police Attacks & Arrests! Support 'Occupy Wall Street'!

SIGN THE ONLINE PETITION AT:

http://bailoutpeople.org/dropchargesonoccupywallstarrestees.shtml

DROP ALL CHARGES ON THE OCCUPY WALL STREET ARRESTEES!

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

We Are The People Who Will Save Our Schools

YouTube:

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

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

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

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

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

- Flint Sit-Down Strike http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h8x1_q9wg58

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

'With babies & banners' -- 75 years since the 44-day Flint sit-down strike

http://links.org.au/node/2681

--Inspiring

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

HALLELUJAH CORPORATIONS (revised edition).mov

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ws0WSNRpy3g

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

ONE OF THE GREATEST POSTS ON YOUTUBE SO FAR!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8C-qIgbP9o&feature=share&mid=552

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

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

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3JUpBpZYwms

Uploaded by laborvideo on Dec 13, 2011

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

For more information on the ILWU Local 21 Longview EGT struggle go to

http://www.facebook.com/groups/256313837734192/

For further info on the action and the press conferernce go to:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jz3fE-Vhrw8&feature=youtu.be

Production of Labor Video Project www.laborvideo.org

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

UC Davis Police Violence Adds Fuel to Fire

By Scott Galindez, Reader Supported News

19 November 11

http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/275-42/8485-uc-davis-police-violence-add\
s-fuel-to-fire


UC Davis Protestors Pepper Sprayed

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6AdDLhPwpp4&feature=player_embedded

Police PEPPER SPRAY UC Davis STUDENT PROTESTERS!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wuWEx6Cfn-I&feature=player_embedded

Police pepper spraying and arresting students at UC Davis

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

*---------*

UC Davis Chancellor Katehi walks to her car

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=CZ0t9ez_EGI#!

Occupy Seattle - 84 Year Old Woman Dorli Rainey Pepper Sprayed

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TTIyE_JlJzw&feature=related

*---------*

THE BEST VIDEO ON "OCCUPY THE WORLD"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S880UldxB1o

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

Shot by police with rubber bullet at Occupy Oakland

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0pX9LeE-g8&feature=player_embedded

*---------*

Copwatch@Occupy Oakland: Beware of Police Infiltrators and Provocateurs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VrvMzqopHH0

*---------*

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

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Tu_D8SFYck&feature=player_embedded

*----*

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

POLICE STATE Criminal Cops EXPOSED As Agent Provocateurs @ SPP Protest

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

*----*

Quebec police admit going undercover at montebello protests

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAfzUOx53Rg&feature=player_embedded

G20: Epic Undercover Police Fail

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jrJ7aU-n1L8&feature=player_embedded

*----*

WHAT HAPPENED IN OAKLAND TUESDAY NIGHT, OCTOBER 25:

Occupy Oakland Protest

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

Cops make mass arrests at occupy Oakland

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R27kD2_7PwU&feature=player_embedded

Raw Video: Protesters Clash With Oakland Police

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CpO-lJr2BQY&feature=player_embedded

Occupy Oakland - Flashbangs USED on protesters OPD LIES

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QqNOPZLw03Q&feature=player_embedded

KTVU TV Video of Police violence

http://www.ktvu.com/video/29587714/index.html

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

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

Tear Gas billowing through 14th & Broadway in Downtown Oakland

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OU4Y0pwJtWE&feature=player_embedded

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

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YStWz6jbeZA&feature=player_embedded

*---------*

Labor Beat: Hey You Billionaire, Pay Your Fair Share

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PY8isD33f-I

*---------*

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

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DA48gmfGB6U&feature=youtu.be

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

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjKZpOk7TyM&feature=related

*---------*

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

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

*---------*

#OccupyTheHood, Occupy Wall Street

By adele pham

http://vimeo.com/30146870

*---------*

Live arrest at brooklyn bridge #occupywallstreet by We are Change

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yULSI-31Pto&feature=player_embedded

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

FREE THE CUBAN FIVE!

http://www.thecuban5.org/wordpress/index.php

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

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

One World One Revolution -- MUST SEE VIDEO -- Powerful and beautiful...bw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aE3R1BQrYCw&feature=player_embedded

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

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

Japan: angry Fukushima citizens confront government (video)

Posted by Xeni Jardin on Monday, Jul 25th at 11:36am

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVuGwc9dlhQ&feature=player_embedded

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

FREE BRADLEY MANNING

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

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

"Why We Can't Comment on Bradley Manning

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

The We the People Terms of Participation explain that 'the White House may
decline to address certain procurement, law enforcement, adjudicatory, or
similar matters properly within the jurisdiction of federal departments or
agencies, federal courts, or state and local government.' The military justice
system is charged with enforcing the Uniform Code of

Military Justice. Accordingly, the White House declines to comment on the
specific case raised in this petition...

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

BRADLEY MANNING "BROKE THE LAW" SAYS OBAMA!

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

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

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

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

Labor Beat: Labor Stands with Subpoenaed Activists Against FBI Raids and Grand
Jury Investigation of antiwar and social justice activists.

"If trouble is not at your door. It's on it's way, or it just left."

"Investigate the Billionaires...Full investigation into Wall Street..." Jesse
Sharkey, Vice

President, Chicago Teachers Union

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

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

Julian Assange: Why the world needs WikiLeaks

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bVGqE726OAo&feature=player_embedded

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

Coal Ash: One Valley's Tale

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6E7h-DNvwx4&feature=player_embedded


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