Friday, May 10, 2013

BAUAW NEWSLETTER: SATURDAY, MAY 11, 2013

Protest for Mumia At Warriors Game Sunday

Sunday, May 12th, at 11:30a.m. sharp


Oakland Teachers for Mumia, the group that held the controversial teach-in on Mumia Abu-Jamal in the Oakland Public Schools, is holding a demonstration in front of the Oakland Coliseum Arena this Sunday, May 12th, at 11:30 a.m. sharp, before the Warriors playoff game, to protest the censorship by Shaquille O'Neal of the new documentary film about Mumia, Long Distance Revolutionary.  O'Neal, in a move that could only satisfy the police, canceled the showing of the movie at the last minute at a theater he owns in Newark, New Jersey.

The documentary has already had successful showings in nearly 20 cities, including Oakland, NYC, Miami, Seattle, Calgary, New Orleans, D.C.,  and Philly itself, Mumia's hometown, where its run has been extended. This cancellation will serve to further the 30-year campaign of the Fraternal Order of Police to make sure Mumia dies in prison.

Contact:
Bob Wells,  510-595-7811
Bob Mandel, 510-523-7892


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Stop the media blackout on Bradley Manning’s trial!

Sign our petition demanding that he ensure journalists can record Bradley Manning’s court martial proceedings!  When you sign our petition, our e-mail system will send a message on your behalf to the office of Secretary of Defense.

http://www.bradleymanning.org/featured/stop-the-media-blackout-on-bradley-mannings-trial


*****

Want to flashmob for WikiLeaker Bradley Manning?

Some San Francisco activists and all-around fun folks are organizing a flash mob on Saturday, June 1st, an International Day of Action for whistle-blower Bradley Manning before his court martial begins.  And we want YOU to join us!

Wondering what a "flash mob" is?  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flash_mob)

Our flash mob, which we view as a creative way to bring public attention to the plight of Bradley Manning, will consist of people in military-style jackets saluting, then removing the jackets to reveal "Free Bradley Manning" t-shirts while dancing to Michael Jackson's "They Don't Care About Us."

The dance comes from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YklR5sRMHm0 but will be easier and shorter (sans Drill). If you don't know the dance, we're going to teach you! We don't care if you 'dance' or not. Practice will be on all Mondays leading up to the day of action.

Practice times: Mondays, 7:45 - 9:30pm, starting now. This Monday (April 22nd) we'll start from the beginning of the dance, and teach the first half.
Practice location: Feintech room @ ODC (351 Shotwell b/w 17th & 18th Streets in the Mission)

Instructional videos:
Full speed (we're skipping Drill, so start at 1:10): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0B1yMhpfBoQ
Breakdown: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jeaICotBAUc

Please RSVP to join our practices on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/610475588979938

Hasta la victoria! (See you Monday.)
Leez, Emma and Mariko

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Petition to Free Lynne Stewart: Save Her Life - Release Her Now!
Urgent: Please sign the petition for compassionate release for Lynne Stewart
http://www.change.org/petitions/petition-to-free-lynne-stewart-save-her-life-release-her-now-2
URGENT ALERT

THE INTERNATIONAL PETITION CAMPAIGN TO FREE LYNNE STEWART AND SAVE HER LIFE NEARS ITS GOAL

 
This morning, directly following two expedited communications to Charles R. Samuels, Jr.,Director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, from former Attorney General Ramsey Clark, Probation Officers charged with inspecting and approving the residence designated for Lynne Stewart's recovery upon her Compassionate Release, were dispatched this morning to the home of her son, Attorney Geoffrey Stewart.

Geoffrey Stewart notified Ralph Poynter and the international campaign that the officer in charge APPROVED the residence and so notified him. Thus, a critical step in the process has been met, paving the way for Lynne Stewart's Compassionate Release, subject to the approval of Sentencing Judge John Koetl.

As Ramsey Clark wrote yesterday in his second urgent communication to Director Samuels:

"Further medical tests reveal that the cancer that had metastasized rapidly to her lungs, lymph nodes and shoulder remains aggressive. If the series of chemotherapy treatments slowed its spread in certain areas, it has not attenuated in her lungs.

"It is this alarming development that adds particular urgency to the need for compassionate release as reflected in the finding and recommendation of the Warden at FMC Carswell. The sustained treatment and preparations by the medical team at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City are critical to her survival.

"With the coordination of Lynne Stewart's daughter-physician, Dr. Zenobia Brown, the renowned specialist team at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center is on stand-by, in urgent attendance upon Lynne Stewart's arrival.

"I know you will understand the exigent circumstances that impel me to appeal to you for immediate action in this matter."

Lynne Stewart's email shortly ago conveys the gravity of her condition and the impediments she continues to face under prison conditions:

"Unfortunately that cancer which is located on my lungs remains the same -- untouched by chemo, still Stage 4. My oncologist was not in her office today. (She was at the prison! Another example of the breakdown in communication)  and I will have to be transported once again with chains, handcuffs  and all) to Fort Worth to discuss what's next, as her PA had no clue.

"As for me, I am hoping for Sloan Kettering and home."

AS WE APPROACH 15,000 SIGNATORIES ON THE CUSP OF THIS MAJOR VICTORY, NOW IS THE TIME TO INTENSIFY OUR CAMPAIGN AS NEVER BEFORE.


The petition is at: http://www.change.org/petitions/petition-to-free-lynne-stewart-save-her-life-release-her-now-2

Latest signers include: Medea Benjamin, William Blum, Noam Chomsky, Rosa Clemente, Abdeen Jabara, Bianca Jagger, Margaret Ratner Kunstler, Mark Lane, Staunton Lynd, Holly Maguigan, James Petras, James Ridgeway and Ellen Yaroshefsky.

Lynne Stewart responded to the moving and powerful statement by Father Miguel D'Escoto Brockmann, renowned liberation theologist, former Foreign Minister of Nicaragua and President of the United Nations General Assembly:

"Father D'Escoto, You honor me by your support of my supreme effort to force this government to act compassionately; but I do marvel that we have been comrades for many decades and will remain so. We have a marvelous fellow traveler in my beloved Ramsey Clark!! My love and respect to you and once again, RESPUETO Y AMOR .

Lynne.

ASK FIVE OF YOUR FRIENDS OR COLLEAGUES TO SIGN THE PETITION. PUT THE PETITION ON YOUR FACEBOOK PAGE AND SEND YOUR TWITTER MESSAGE NOW.

This update was prepared by Mya Shone, Ralph Schoenman and Ralph Poynter, co-coordinators of the International Petition Campaign to Save the Life  of Lynne Stewart.

For more information, go to http://www.lynnestewart.org

Write to Lynne Stewart at:

Lynne Stewart #53504-054



Federal Medical Center, Carswell

PO Box 27137

Fort Worth, TX 76127

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BOOK:

ANNOUNCING:  IZ, by Robert Davis, originally published by Lost Books Press, is now available on Kindle for $7.

       This odyssey of a 13 yr. old musical prodigy born into a family of hustlers, criminals and fanatics, takes place at the height of the Vietnam War. It has been called “a masterpiece,” “porno,” “the product of a deranged mind,” “a wonderful comic romp,” and various unmentionable things. When it first appeared in 1995, it won no awards and sold few copies. Very few – and those mainly to relatives and friends who after reading it quit speaking to the author.

       But thanks to cheap digital publishing, the world may now be ready for IZ.

       Izzy Aronson, on Kindle, is definitely ready for the world.

[Just had to pass this around. It's a great little novel with a real flavor of San Francisco in those times....Bonnie Weinstein]

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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) The Michael Moore of the Grade-School Lunchroom




2) Mumia Film Banned in Newark!  Shaquille O'Neal To Blame?
 The Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal
  PO Box 16222, Oakland CA 94610.
  www.laboractionmumia.org
  510.763.2347.




3) Hospital Billing Varies Wildly, Government Data Shows
By , and
May 8, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/08/business/hospital-billing-varies-wildly-us-data-shows.html?hp&_r=0




4) With Hours Left to Go, Execution Is Postponed
By
May 7, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/08/us/willie-j-manning-granted-stay-of-execution.html?ref=us 




5) A Dream of Trees Aglow at Night
By
May 7, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/08/business/energy-environment/a-dream-of-glowing-trees-is-assailed-for-gene-tinkering.html?ref=business




6) Stephen Hawking Joins Boycott Against Israel
By ISABEL KERSHNER
May 8, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/09/world/middleeast/stephen-hawking-joins-boycott-against-israel.html?hp




7) Seventeen Officers Removed From Nuclear Watch
By
May 8, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/09/us/17-air-force-officers-removed-from-nuclear-watch.html?ref=us




8) Woman Rescued in Bangladesh Rubble 17 Days After Building Collapse
By JULFIKAR ALI MANIK and
May 10, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/11/world/asia/bangladesh-collapse-death-toll.html?hp




9) Carbon Dioxide Level Passes Long-Feared Milestone
By
May 10, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/11/science/earth/carbon-dioxide-level-passes-long-feared-milestone.html?hp




10)   U.S./Israel Hands Off Syria!
A Statement by the United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC)

United National Antiwar Coalition
UNACpeace@gmail.com
UNAC
P.O. Box 123
Delmar, NY 12054
518-227-6947
www.unacpeace.org
(please forward widely)




11) Troubled Life in Malcolm X’s Shadow Comes to a Violent End
By and
May 10, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/11/nyregion/troubled-life-in-malcolm-xs-shadow-comes-to-a-violent-end.html?hp
12) Retailers Are Pressed on Safety at Factories
By
May 10, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/11/business/global/clothing-retailers-pressed-on-bangladesh-factory-safety.html?ref=world 




13) Why Federal Efforts to Ensure Clean Tap Water Fail to Reach Faucets Nationwide
By
May 10, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/11/us/safe-drinking-water-elusive-for-many-in-california.html?ref=us










 







 
 




 

 





















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1) The Michael Moore of the Grade-School Lunchroom

Guerrilla filmmakers often face crackdowns by the powers that be, and Zachary Maxwell is no exception.

His hidden-camera documentary was almost derailed last year when he was caught filming without permission by a fearsome enforcer – the lunchroom monitor in his school cafeteria.

“She sent me to my teacher, and my teacher told me to delete everything,” said Zachary, who is now 11.

Zachary pretended to delete the day’s shots. After that lapse in production security, he said, “I fired my lookouts.”

What his teacher didn’t know, though, was that Zachary had six months of footage shot surreptitiously in the cafeteria, forming the spine of his 20-minute movie “Yuck: A 4th Grader’s Short Documentary About School Lunch.”

Next month, the film (watch trailer), which has been playing the festival circuit, will be screened at the Manhattan Film Festival.

Like many things in the life of a fourth grader, Zachary’s movie started as a dispute with his parents. He told them that he wanted to start packing his own lunch, but they were skeptical. Lunch is free at his school, P.S. 130 Hernando De Soto in Little Italy, and his parents liked the look of the Department of Education’s online menus, which describe delicious meals, full of whole grains and fresh vegetables, some even designed by celebrity chefs.

“I told them that’s not what they were actually serving me,” Zachary said. “But I don’t think they believed me.”

So he smuggled in a camera in his sweatshirt pocket the next day and filmed lunch.

“When I came back home and showed them the footage, they were like, ugh!” he said.

Soon, Zachary and his father, a lawyer and video hobbyist, were cutting together the footage he brought home every day. (In the film, Zachary goes by the name Zachary Maxwell, though Maxwell is his middle name. His family asked that their last name be withheld because of Zachary’s age.)

In the film, Zachary, who is not above cheesy costumes and goofy special effects, makes a point that is under the radar of most conversations about the quality of school lunches: that despite the Education Department’s efforts to improve nutrition, there is a disconnect between the wholesome meals described on school menus and the soggy, deep-fried nuggets frequently dished up in the lunchrooms.

The film offers no shortage of examples. On a day advertising “cheesy lasagna rolls with tomato basil sauce, roasted spinach with garlic and herbs,” for instance, Zachary is handed a plastic-wrapped grilled cheese sandwich on an otherwise bare plastic foam tray.

A “Pasta Party” is described as “zesty Italian meatballs with tomato-basil sauce, whole grain pasta, Parmesan cheese and roasted capri vegetables.” Meatballs and pasta show up on the tray, if none too zesty-looking, but the vegetables are nowhere to be seen.

Salads devised by the Food Network chefs Rachael Ray and Ellie Krieger are similarly plagued by missing ingredients. On the day Ms. Ray’s “Yum-O! Marinated Tomato Salad” is listed, Zachary is served a slice of pizza accompanied by a wisp of lettuce.

Ms. Krieger’s “Tri-color Salad” is a no-show on one day it is promised, and on another, it lacks its cauliflower, broccoli and red peppers. The shreds of lettuce and slice of cucumber could still be described as tri-color, Zachary points out, if you count “green, light green and brown.”

Indeed, among the 75 lunches that Zachary recorded – chosen randomly, he swears – he found the menus to be “substantially” accurate, with two or more of the advertised menu items served, only 51 percent of the time. The menus were “totally” accurate, with all of the advertised items served, only 16 percent of the time. And by Zachary’s count, 28 percent of the lunches he recorded were built around either pizza or cheese sticks.

A spokeswoman for the Education Department, Marge Feinberg, said in an e-mail that vegetables and fruit were served daily and she suggested that Zachary must have chosen not to take the vegetables served in his cafeteria.

“It would not be the first time a youngster would find a way to get out of eating vegetables,” she wrote. Zachary responded that he always took every item he was offered.

Until this past September, Ms. Feinberg said, schools did have some freedom to deviate from the systemwide lunch menus. New federal regulations for the current school year set stricter guidelines for what elements need to be on each child’s plate.

On Monday, Zachary thought he was in trouble again when he was sent to the principal’s office and found two men in black suits waiting for him.

They turned out to be representatives from the Education Department’s Office of School Food, he said, who complimented him on his movie, asked for feedback on some new menu choices, and took him on a tour of the cafeteria kitchen.

There, Zachary met one of his school’s cooks, and got some insight into her thinking.

“She wants us to be happy,” he reported. “So she cooks what she thinks the kids will like.”

Then he sat down for lunch with the officials. The adults ate the cafeteria lunch of chicken nuggets, carrots and salad.

Zachary had pork and vegetable dumplings – brought from home.




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2) Mumia Film Banned in Newark!  Shaquille O'Neal To Blame?
 The Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal
PO Box 16222, Oakland CA 94610.
www.laboractionmumia.org
510.763.2347.

See "Long Distance Revolutionary" now in Philadelphia, and soon in Sebastopol, CA
from the Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal

PLEASE FORWARD WIDELY

05 May 2013

The new film about Mumia Abu-Jamal, "Mumia - Long Distance Revolutionary," which has been successfully showing in theaters all across the US, was banned from a theater in Newark NJ recently, apparently at the behest of basketball legend Shaquille O'Neal.  The film was set to open last April 26th, but after extensive preparations had been made, it was suddenly cancelled.  Suspicion falls on O'Neal, who is the co-owner of the CityPlex-12 where the film was to be shown, and is a strong supporter of the Newark Police Department, as well as other cop shops nationally.

"Long Distance Revolutionary," which chronicles the life of the respected journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal, as well as the viciously racist police regime obtaining in Philadelphia at the time of the crime for which he was sent to death row, has had sold out performances in New York, LA and Oakland, as well as showing well in 23 other cities.  But it was cancelled in Newark as a "cold business decision," according to theater management.  O'Neal, who has a former Newark police officer as his security chief, had met with his owner-partners just prior to the cancellation. 

Ever since the police-orchestrated framing of Mumia—which began at the scene of the shooting of a police officer in Philadelphia's inner city in December 1981—the Fraternal Order Of Police (FOP) has been trying to kill Mumia.  The Justice Department conspired in the frame-up of Mumia.  Another man confessed to the 1981 killing, and fingered corrupt cops as the real instigators of this murder, but the courts refused to hear it.  Cops all over the country fume to this day that the execution of Mumia has now been set aside, in favor of life without the possibility of parole.  Shaquille O'Neal now appears to be part of the on-going campaign to shut Mumia up forever.   We say: Free Mumia Now!

MORE INFORMATION BELOW...

More information on this outrageous banning of an important documentary follows in two articles, below.  Journalist Linn Washington, and Nation blogger Dave Zirin, detail the circumstances of this censorship of Mumia.  Scroll down...

SEE THE FILM IN PHILADELPHIA, AND WEST COAST SHOWINGS…

For those who haven't already seen this film, "Mumia - Long distance Revolutionray" is currently playing in Philadelphia, at the Landmark "Ritz at the Bourse," 400 Ranstead St, Philadelphia (4th St btwn Market & Chestnut).  Starting on May 3rd, it is scheduled for one week.

And in Northern California:  "Long Distance Revolutionary" starts at the Rialto Cinema, 6868 McKinley St, Sebastopol, on Friday May 10th.  Showtimes/info at: 707 525-4840.

Also, Portland, Oregon: Clinton St Theater, starting June 14th.

Check film play-dates/times here: http://firstrunfeatures.com/mumia_playdates.html

NEW REVIEW OF LONG DISTANCE REVOLUTIONARY...

An interesting new review of the film appeared in the Washimgton Post:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/therootdc/post/long-distance-revolutionary-examining-the-life-of-mumia-abu-jamal/2013/05/01/5d56fe1c-b272-11e2-baf7-5bc2a9dc6f44_blog.html

INFORMATION ON THE FILM BANNING IN NEWARK, NJ FOLLOWS…

1. From: http://www.thiscantbehappening.net/node/1698

Shaq Attack on Mumia:

NBA Star Censors Film on Famous Radical Inmate

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 09:00

by: Linn Washington Jr.

Was it simply a “cold business decision” or a callous act of censorship?

This is the question swirling around legendary pro-basketball player Shaquille O’Neal who put a power move on Stephen Vittoria blocking this respected filmmaker’s showing of his latest documentary at the movie complex O’Neal co-owns in downtown Newark, NJ, the city where both of these men were born.

Representatives of O’Neal’s movie complex have claimed in private conversations with Newark activists that they cancelled Vittoria’s film solely because it is inconsistent with their screening practice, countering claims their cancellation sought to squelch the film because of its content.

Vittoria planned to show his latest documentary “Mumia: Long Distance Revolutionary” at the CityPlex-12 on April 26.

But as the final publicity/ticket sales push for the scheduled screening was about to go into high gear, Vittoria discovered on April 11 that CityPlex-12 management had cancelled the booking and halted all marketing efforts. Theater officials reportedly even fired a staff member who had worked with Vittoria.

“No official reason was given or has been given for the cancellation,” Vittoria said. “We found out through a source at the theater that shortly after a meeting between theater owners Boraie Development and Shaquille O’Neal the film was cancelled.”

The suddenness of the cancellation, accompanied by initial silence on the reason why, fueled speculation that the cancellation involved the film’s subject matter, thus triggering claims of censorship.

Vittoria’s critically acclaimed film is about imprisoned journalist/author Mumia Abu-Jamal. Unlike past films that focus on ‘whodunit’ aspects of this contentious case, Vittoria’s film examines the ‘who’ of Abu-Jamal.

An imprisoned journalist, Abu-Jamal has written over a half dozen acclaimed books and thousands of commentaries during his decades in prison – most spent on death row – following his 1982 conviction for killing a Philadelphia policeman. Abu-Jamal worked as an award-winning radio reporter bprior to his 1981 arrest.

One of the many favorable reviews of Vittoria's film states that it “puts a human face on its subject, for so long now just an anti-capital-punishment icon…” A New York Times review of “Long Distance” credited illuminating views about Abu-Jamal in the film from leading activists like Dick Gregory and academics like Michelle Alexander.

O’Neal has a long-term interest in law enforcement, associating himself in a reserve capacity with police agencies in Los Angeles and Miami, two cities where he played professional basketball before retiring in 2011 with an impressive string of NBA championships, scoring titles and MVPs.

One controversy in the Abu-Jamal case is abuses by Philadelphia police, including officers tampering with murder scene evidence and intimidating eyewitnesses.

In 1981, the year of Abu-Jamal’s arrest, Philadelphia police charged five persons with high-profile murders, proclaiming each guilty. However, evidence later proved the innocence of four of those five –- including releasing one from death row –- leaving only Abu-Jamal still imprisoned. Courts have repeatedly rejected Abu-Jamal's appeals despite evidence of innocence (inclusive of police improprieties) -- evidence that far exceeded what was uncovered in those four other flawed and overturned convictions.

Vittoria said he “expected some backlash to the film because of the truth tends to aggravate the wealthy and corporate elite as well as those who support a false narrative about Mumia Abu-Jamal.” He called the cancellation of the film a “cowardly move” by the CityPlex-12 and a “direct insult” to the people of Newark.

Newark activist Lawrence Hamm, chairman of the People’s Organization for Progress, stated he met with CityPlex-12 management urging them to reconsider the cancellation, even pledging to employ the coalition of 170 organizations and churches he has assembled to ensure a sold-out performance.

Hamm has stated that management told him the cancellation was a “cold business decision” arising from the complex’s claimed practice of only showing Hollywood studio-produced films. Hamm notes that management did acknowledge having shown at least one independent film.

Last August, CityPlex-12 served as the venue for the Paul Robeson Awards of the Newark Black Film Festival that honored films all independently produced. That film festival, launched in 1974, has utilized the CityPlex movie complex for screenings since 2001, beginning under previous ownership.

Vittoria and his supporters counter CityPlex-12 claims of ‘cold business decision’ arising from fear of economic loss by noting the ticket sales success of “Long Distance Revolutionary” when it opened in NYC on February 1 as #3 in the country for documentaries,adding that it was #1 for documentaries during the March 1 opening in Los Angeles and was #1 during the March 8 opening in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The multi-screen CityPlex-12, which is the only movie theater in downtown Newark, features a premiere hi-tech auditorium, dubbed the SHAQ-DX, in reference to O’Neal’s nickname Shaq.

This movie facility that underwent a multi-million-dollar renovation/expansion before formally reopening last fall, received rave reviews from Newark’s Mayor Cory Booker, who considers this venue part of his efforts to revive the long-depressed city, the largest in New Jersey.

This Newark movie cancellation controversy is not the first high-profile incident igniting charges of censorship directed against Abu-Jamal. In 1994, for example, National Public Radio cancelled airing commentaries by Abu-Jamal on prison life that the public network had commissioned him to write from death row. NPR bowed to pressure from police and right-wing politicians like then powerful U.S. Senator Bob Dole, who threatened to slash NPR’s federal funding if it went ahead with the project.

Censorship even extends to others examining Abu-Jamal. In 1997 NPR canceled airing a poem it commissioned from award-winning poet Martin Espada when the subject of Espada’s work was Abu-Jamal’s then death-row plight. Philadelphia’s mainstream media has placed a blackout on two insightful books on the Abu-Jamal case: the 2003 Killing Time extensive examination by investigative reporter Dave Lindorff, who lives in a Philadelphia suburb, and J. Patrick O’Connor’s 2008 The Framing of Mumia Abu-Jamal that names the probable killer of Officer Daniel Faulkner.


While pressure from police drives much of this censorship, Abu-Jamal’s critiques of America’s discriminatory status-quo is a salient element in the censorship, which resembles the censorship once directed at legendary black activists like singer-actor Paul Robeson and author Richard Wright. That New York Times review of Vittoria’s documentary cites Abu-Jamal’s “radicalized” views, saying they are distrustful of “the political system…and the very notion that America is at heart the land of the free.”

Intense censorship drove Robeson into destitute obscurity in the decades before his 1976 death in Philadelphia. And censorship/racism drove Wright to flee the U.S. for France in 1946, spending the remainder of his life there. Perhaps not surprisingly, Wright’s writer daughter, Paris-based Julia Wright, is a leading activist in France for Abu-Jamal.

Newark activists plan protests in front of the CityPlex-12.

“We condemn the decision to cancel this film on Mumia to the fullest and we call upon all of our Mumia supporters…to rally around our community’s right to artistic self-determination,” states a press release issued by Newark activist Zayid Muhammad, who has been active in the Abu-Jamal case since 1990.

Note: Linn Washington Jr. is a recurring interview subject in Vittoria’s documentary film. Washington has followed the Abu-Jamal case since Abu-Jamal’s December 9, 1981 arrest.

2. From the Nation:

Did Shaquille O'Neal Just Box Out Mumia?

Dave Zirin on April 25, 2013 - 11:13 AM ET
 
Why did Newark’s only movie theater, co-owned by Shaquille O’Neal, just pull a scheduled showing of a documentary about Mumia Abu-Jamal? No one is talking, but this is a story that stinks worse than the Jersey swamps. For the unfamiliar, Mumia Abu-Jamal is perhaps the most famous of the 2.4 million people behind bars in the United States. He has spent the last three decades as not only a prisoner but a political lightning rod, with the Fraternal Order of Police demanding his execution after the killing of Philadelphia Officer Daniel Faulkner. Following thirty years on death row, Mumia’s sentence was commuted to life without the possibility of parole last year.

Mumia’s supporters, which include Amnesty International, the European Union and Nelson Mandela, have continued to point out both the inconsistencies in the state’s case and the prosecution’s use of political and racially based arguments—leaning on his history as a Black Panther and radical journalist—to assure his conviction. Numerous books and documentaries have made this case. The documentary in question here is something different. Titled MUMIA: Long Distance Revolutionary, its focus is on his contribution as an author and commentator from behind bars. The film is a trenchant look at the way people can produce politics and art in the most dire of circumstances. (Full disclosure: I am briefly interviewed in the film, discussing my correspondence with Mumia about the intersection of sports and politics.)

The film has, by documentary standards, been a box-office success, with sold out shows in Los Angeles, Oakland and New York City. The director and producer, Stephen Vittoria, was especially excited to bring it to Newark, the city of his birth. As he said to me, “I know what Newark has been through. I know what the people of Newark have been through…. The city and people of Newark deserve economic redevelopment as well as access to culture. It seemed like a perfect locale to show the film. The theater announced it and it was ready to play.”

The theater in question, Cineplex 12, Newark’s only major theater, was more than ready. They had put an extraordinary amount of resources into making the film a splash, setting up an exclusive press screening, pitching stories to all the state’s major newspapers and planning a high-profile opening night featuring Newark’s famed poet Amiri Baraka. It’s remarkable for a movie theater to put this much public relations weight behind any film’s opening, let alone a documentary.

Hours before the tickets were available for sale, something even more remarkable took place. Higher-ups at the theater had the showing cancelled. Was Shaq part of that decision? I can’t say definitively because everyone’s lips are buttoned tighter than a pair of black jeans in Hoboken. Here, however, is what we do know. Shaq, who was raised for a period in Newark and still has family in the city, is the Cineplex’s co-owner. According to very good authority, Shaq, alongside his security chief, former Newark police officer Jerome Crawford, spoke with the co-Cineplex owners of Boraie Development about the film. Repeated efforts to get comment from O’Neal about the content of that discussion as well as the decision to not show the film have gone unanswered, but here are some other things we know for sure.

When O’Neal purchased the theater, he held a press conference alongside Newark Mayor Corey Booker, and pointedly thanked “the Newark Police Department” which “helped raise” him. The future Hall of Famer has long held court about his dreams of becoming a police officer. He has been sworn in as a “reserve police officer” in both Miami and Los Angeles. When in action, the results have been very unfortunate. On a ride-along, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, an internal affairs report was issued after Shaq was accused of shoving the head of a suspect in a toilet and flushing repeatedly. He was cleared of these charges and his connection to the police has gone unbroken, including charity work with the Fraternal Order of Police. The FOP, once again, has spent decades agitating for Mumia’s execution.

Shaq and the theater aren’t commenting about the cancellation of the Newark showings, but Mumia is. He said, “Now it seems there are a lot of people in power who don’t want you to see Long Distance Revolutionary. Ask yourself, why? Newark, New Jersey, is more than just a depressed city. It was once the place where famed black leader and controversial figure Paul Robeson lived, studied and became the Paul Robeson who became the center of history. Controversy isn’t a bad thing—it’s a good thing, but it’s always what the controversy is about. A lot of people don’t want you to see Long Distance Revolutionary…. Ask yourself, why? And then make your own decision. I know you’ll make the right one.”

I do hope Shaquille O’Neal and the executives at Boraie Development answer for themselves. They should disavow the mere thought that they would Bigfoot a film just because they find it offensive. What’s particularly sad is that Shaq could use his ample powers of speech and considerable cultural platform to speak out against the film if he’s so inclined. Here’s a scenario for Shaq: show the film. Then go onstage after the debut to explain why he thinks that Mumia should be punished and the film disrespects the police. Let him publish an oped in the Newark Star-Ledger. He should, if inclined, kick the film’s butt like it was Greg Ostertag. But don’t do this. Whether you ordered the film not to run or are just looking the other way, don’t deny the city of Newark, which you claim to love, a film just because you have the power to do so. Those aren’t the actions of The Big Aristotle. They’re the actions of a big bully.

The long aftermath of 9/11 is a tale of torture, disappearance and war crimes. Read David Cole’s take in this week’s issue of The Nation.

Related Topics: Racism and Discrimination | Sports | Media





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3) Hospital Billing Varies Wildly, Government Data Shows
By , and
May 8, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/08/business/hospital-billing-varies-wildly-us-data-shows.html?hp&_r=0

A hospital in Livingston, N.J., charged $70,712 on average to implant a pacemaker, while a hospital in nearby Rahway, N.J., charged $101,945.

In Saint Augustine, Fla., one hospital typically billed nearly $40,000 to remove a gallbladder using minimally invasive surgery, while one in Orange Park, Fla., charged $91,000.

In one hospital in Dallas, the average bill for treating simple pneumonia was $14,610, while another there charged over $38,000.

Data being released for the first time by the government on Wednesday shows that hospitals charge Medicare wildly differing amounts — sometimes 10 to 20 times what Medicare typically reimburses — for the same procedure, raising questions about how hospitals determine prices and why they differ so widely.

The data for 3,300 hospitals, released by the federal Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, shows wide variations not only regionally but among hospitals in the same area or city.

Government officials said that some of the variation might reflect the fact that some patients were sicker or required longer hospitalization.

Nonetheless, the data is likely to intensify a long debate over the methods that hospitals use to determine their charges.

Medicare does not actually pay the amount a hospital charges but instead uses a system of standardized payments to reimburse hospitals for treating specific conditions. Private insurers do not pay the full charge either, but negotiate payments with hospitals for specific treatments. Since many patients are covered by Medicare or have private insurance, they are not directly affected by what hospitals charge.

Experts say it is likely that the people who can afford it least — those with little or no insurance — are getting hit with extremely high hospitals bills that may bear little connection to the cost of treatment.

“If you’re uninsured, they’re going to ask you to pay,” said Gerard Anderson, the director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Hospital Finance and Management.

The debate over medical costs is growing louder, spurred partly by President Obama’s overhaul of the health insurance system.

Hospitals, in particular, have come under scrutiny for charges that are widely viewed as difficult to comprehend, even for experts. “Our goal is to make this information more transparent,” Jonathan Blum, the director of the agency’s Center for Medicare, said in an interview.

The data covers bills submitted from virtually every hospital in the country in 2011 for the 100 most common treatments and procedures performed in hospitals, like hip replacements, heart operations and gallbladder removal.

The hospitals were not given the data before its release by Medicare officials.

Some hospitals contacted Tuesday said that the higher bills they sent to Medicare reflected the fact that they were either teaching hospitals or they had treated sicker patients.

For example, billing records showed that Keck Hospital of the University of Southern California charged, on average, $123,885, for a major artificial joint replacement, six times the average amount that Medicare reimbursed for the procedure and a rate significantly higher than the average for other Los Angeles area hospitals.

“Academic medical centers have a higher cost structure, and higher acuity patients who suffer from many health complications,” the hospital said.

The hospital added that it wrote off any difference between what it charged and what Medicare paid, rather than seeking to collect it from patients. Centinela Hospital Medical Center, also in Los Angeles and owned by Prime Healthcare Services, charged $220,881 for the same procedure.

A spokesman said the hospital served a sicker and older patient base.

The data showing the range of hospital bills does not explain why one hospital charges significantly more for a procedure than another one. And Medicare does pay slightly higher treatment rates to certain hospitals — like teaching facilities or hospitals in areas with high labor costs.

Mr. Blum, the Medicare official, said he would have anticipated variations of two- to threefold at the most in the difference between what hospitals charge.

However, hospitals submitted bills to Medicare that were, on average, about three to five times what the agency typically pays to treat a condition, an analysis of the data by The New York Times indicates. And variations between what hospitals charge may be even greater.

Mr. Blum said he could not explain the reasons for that large difference.

An official at the American Hospital Association, a trade group, said there was a cat-and-mouse game between hospitals and insurers that affects what hospitals charge.

As insurers demand bigger discounts from a hospital, a facility may raise its charges to protect its bottom line, that official, Caroline Steinberg, said. “The hospital raises its rate to cover the discount,” said Ms. Steinberg, who is the group’s vice president for trends analysis.

Robert Zirkelbach, a spokesman for America’s Health Insurance Plans, the nation’s largest association of health insurers, said some member companies were reporting sharp price increases of 20 to 30 percent for some services. Some insurers are seeking similar price increases from policy holders.

“There’s very little transparency out there about what doctors and hospitals are charging for services,” Mr. Zirkelbach said. “Much of the public policy focus has been on health insurance premiums and has largely ignored what hospitals and doctors are charging.”

Ms. Steinberg said that the Affordable Care Act required that hospital charges be limited for patients who qualify.

“That’s driving all of the rates for uninsured patients towards the same amount that Medicare pays,” she said.

That big variation in what hospitals charge Medicare exists even in procedures that are standardized and do not involve patient complications, the Times analysis of the data shows.

For a cardiac procedure in which a small tube, or stent, is implanted to open up a clogged blood vessel, the average hospital charge is over four times the average Medicare payment.

In addition, bills submitted by profit-making hospitals to Medicare are typically higher than those submitted by nonprofit centers, the analysis found.

Government hospitals typically billed Medicare less than either nonprofit or profit-making hospitals, the data shows.

Medicare payments represent about 91 cents of every dollar that a hospital spends on treatment, Ms. Steinberg said.

Mr. Anderson, the hospital finance expert, said that private insurers negotiated rates with hospitals that were typically about 30 percent above what Medicare pays. He understands that hospitals will often charge above the Medicare rate, but he said the huge premiums at some hospitals make no sense.

“If you’re charging 10 percent more or 20 percent more than what it costs to deliver the service, that’s an acceptable profit margin,” Mr. Anderson said. “Charging 400 percent more than what it costs has no rational basis in it at all.”


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4) With Hours Left to Go, Execution Is Postponed
By
May 7, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/08/us/willie-j-manning-granted-stay-of-execution.html?ref=us

A Mississippi man scheduled to be put to death on Tuesday was granted a stay of execution by the State Supreme Court, after the United States Department of Justice sent lawyers and officials involved in the case several letters disavowing the degree of certainty expressed by F.B.I. forensic experts at the man’s trial.

About 2 p.m., just four hours before the scheduled execution, the court voted 8 to 1 to grant a reprieve “until further order” to Willie Jerome Manning, 44, who was convicted in 1994 of murdering two college students.

The justices in favor did not explain their reasoning or put a time limit on the reprieve. The dissenting justice issued a blistering objection, saying Mr. Manning had exhausted the challenges to his conviction and attacking the Justice Department for the letters, along with several other unrelated issues.

Starting Thursday, the Justice Department sent three letters calling certain aspects of the trial testimony of two F.B.I. experts “erroneous.” Defense lawyers cited these letters as reasons to put off the execution until DNA tests could be conducted on crime scene evidence, including a rape kit, a request that Mr. Manning had made unsuccessfully several times before.

The state attorney general, Jim Hood, denied the requests, saying that there was “overwhelming evidence of guilt” and that the letters did not repudiate the testimony of the F.B.I. experts, but only made some clarifications.

In a statement on Tuesday evening, Mr. Hood said his office had filed a report with the court stating that the rape kit, along with some other physical evidence, was not found to have biological residue that could be tested for DNA.

Lawyers for the Innocence Project, who are helping Mr. Manning’s defense, said that in more than a dozen exoneration cases in the past, DNA samples had been found in rape kits years or even decades after the samples initially tested negative for any biological evidence.

The Justice Department letters offered to make the F.B.I. available to conduct DNA testing on hair fragments found at the scene.

Many involved in the case, as well as outside legal experts, said they could not recall the Justice Department’s sending such letters in the last few days before an execution.

“I think the term is ‘unprecedented,’ ” said Forrest Allgood, the original prosecutor.

In December 1992, Jon Steckler and Tiffany Miller were found killed. A token found at the crime scene appeared to be among several items stolen from a car that same night, items that Mr. Manning was later found to have been trying to sell.

Other than hair fragments found in Ms. Miller’s car, little forensic evidence was presented at trial. One witness testified that Mr. Manning had confessed to the murders while in jail, though defense lawyers said the witness’s account was inconsistent with known facts.

Another witness, a former girlfriend, said she had once seen Mr. Manning firing a gun into a tree. An F.B.I. firearms expert testified that bullets found in the tree had been fired from the same gun as the bullets used in the murders.

A letter sent by the Justice Department late Monday said a firearms expert could not testify that “a specific gun fired a specific bullet to the exclusion of all other guns in the world.”

“The examiner could testify to that information, to a reasonable degree of scientific certainty, but not absolutely,” the letter read.

Mr. Allgood, the prosecutor, said he believed the distinction, “quite frankly, is semantics.”

It was not the only testimony the Justice Department expressed reservations about. In two previous letters, federal officials challenged a separate F.B.I. expert’s analysis of hair fragments, saying the expert could not have determined that the hairs were from an African-American, as he testified. An expert could say only that a hair fragment “possesses certain traits that are associated” with a racial group, the letter said.




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5) A Dream of Trees Aglow at Night
By
May 7, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/08/business/energy-environment/a-dream-of-glowing-trees-is-assailed-for-gene-tinkering.html?ref=business


Hoping to give new meaning to the term “natural light,” a small group of biotechnology hobbyists and entrepreneurs has started a project to develop plants that glow, potentially leading the way for trees that can replace electric streetlamps and potted flowers luminous enough to read by.

The project, which will use a sophisticated form of genetic engineering called synthetic biology, is attracting attention not only for its audacious goal, but for how it is being carried out.

Rather than being the work of a corporation or an academic laboratory, it will be done by a small group of hobbyist scientists in one of the growing number of communal laboratories springing up around the nation as biotechnology becomes cheap enough to give rise to a do-it-yourself movement.

The project is also being financed in a D.I.Y. sort of way: It has attracted more than $250,000 in pledges from about 4,500 donors in about two weeks on the Web site Kickstarter.

The effort is not the first of its kind. A university group created a glowing tobacco plant a few years ago by implanting genes from a marine bacterium that emits light. But the light was so dim that it could be perceived only if one observed the plant for at least five minutes in a dark room.

The new project’s goals, at least initially, are similarly modest. “We hope to have a plant which you can visibly see in the dark (like glow-in-the-dark paint), but don’t expect to replace your light bulbs with version 1.0,” the project’s Kickstarter page says.

But part of the goal is more controversial: to publicize do-it-yourself synthetic biology and to “inspire others to create new living things.” As promising as that might seem to some, critics are alarmed at the idea of tinkerers creating living things in their garages. They fear that malicious organisms may be created, either intentionally or by accident.

Two environmental organizations, Friends of the Earth and the ETC Group, have written to Kickstarter and to the Agriculture Department, which regulates genetically modified crops, in an effort to shut down the glowing plant effort.

The project “will likely result in widespread, random and uncontrolled release of bioengineered seeds and plants produced through the controversial and risky techniques of synthetic biology,” the two groups said in their letter demanding that Kickstarter remove the project from its Web site.

They note that the project has pledged to deliver seeds to many of its 4,000 contributors, making it perhaps the “first-ever intentional environmental release of an avowedly ‘synthetic biology’ organism anywhere in the world.” Kickstarter told the critics to take up their concerns with the project’s organizers. The Agriculture Department has not yet replied.

Antony Evans, the manager of the glowing plant project, said in an interview that the activity would be safe.

“What we are doing is very identical to what has been done in research laboratories and big institutions for 20 years,” he said. Still, he added, “We are very cognizant of the precedent we are setting” with the do-it-yourself project and that some of the money raised would be used to explore public policy issues.

Synthetic biology is a nebulous term and it is difficult to say how, if at all, it differs from genetic engineering.

In its simplest form, genetic engineering involves snipping a gene out of one organism and pasting it into the DNA of another. Synthetic biology typically involves synthesizing the DNA to be inserted, providing the flexibility to go beyond the genes found in nature.

The glowing plant project is the brainchild of Mr. Evans, a technology entrepreneur in San Francisco, and Omri Amirav-Drory, a biochemist. They met at Singularity University, a program that introduces entrepreneurs to futuristic technology.

Dr. Amirav-Drory runs a company called Genome Compiler, which makes a program that can be used to design DNA sequences. When the sequence is done, it is transmitted to a mail-order foundry that synthesizes the DNA.

Kyle Taylor, who received his doctorate in molecular and cell biology at Stanford last year, will be in charge of putting the synthetic DNA into the plant. The research will be done, at least initially, at BioCurious, a communal laboratory in Silicon Valley that describes itself as a “hackerspace for biotech.”

The first plant the group is modifying is Arabidopsis thaliana, part of the mustard family and the laboratory rat of the plant world. The organizers hope to move next to a glowing rose.

Scientists have long made glowing creatures for research purposes, including one or more monkeys, cats, pigs, dogs and worms. Glowing zebra fish have been sold in some aquarium shops for years.

These creatures typically have the gene for a green fluorescent protein, derived from a jellyfish, spliced into their DNA. But they glow only when ultraviolet light is shined on them.

Others going back to the 1980s have transplanted the gene for luciferase, an enzyme used by fireflies, into plants. But luciferase will not work without another chemical called luciferin. So the plants did not glow unless luciferin was constantly fed to them. In 2010, researchers at Stony Brook University reported in the journal Plos One that they had created a tobacco plant that glowed entirely on its own, however dimly. They spliced into the plant all six genes from a marine bacterium necessary to produce both luciferase and luciferin.

Alexander Krichevsky, who led that research, has started a company, BioGlow, to commercialize glowing plants, starting with ornamental ones, since it is still impractical to replace light bulbs.

“Wouldn’t you like your beautiful flowers to glow in the dark?” he said, invoking the glowing foliage in the movie “Avatar.”

Dr. Krichevsky declined to provide more about the products, timetables or the investors backing his company, which is based in St. Louis.

Whether it will ever be possible to replace light bulbs remains to be seen and depends to some extent on how much of the plant’s energy can be devoted to light production while still allowing the plant to grow. Mr. Evans said his group calculated, albeit with many assumptions, that a tree that covers a ground area of 10 meters (nearly 33 feet) by 10 meters might be able to cast as much light as a street lamp.

While the Agriculture Department regulates genetically modified plants, it does so under a law covering plant pests.

BioGlow has already obtained a letter from the department saying that it will not need approval to release its glowing plants because they are not plant pests, and are not made using plant pests. The hobbyist project hopes to get the same exemption.

Todd Kuiken, senior research associate at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, who has been studying the governance of both synthetic biology and the do-it-yourself movement, said the glowing plant project was an ideal test case.

“It exposes the gaps and holes in the regulatory structure, while it is, I would argue, a safe product in the grand scheme of things,” Dr. Kuiken said. “A serious look needs to be taken at the regulatory system to see if it can handle the questions synthetic biology is going to raise.”




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6) Stephen Hawking Joins Boycott Against Israel
By ISABEL KERSHNER
May 8, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/09/world/middleeast/stephen-hawking-joins-boycott-against-israel.html?hp

JERUSALEM — Stephen W. Hawking, the University of Cambridge physicist and cosmologist, has pulled out of a high-profile conference to be held here in June in order to support an academic boycott of Israel, conference organizers and the university said on Wednesday.

The academic and cultural boycott, organized by international activists to protest Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians, is a heated and contentious issue; having Dr. Hawking join it is likely to help the anti-Israel campaigners significantly.

“Never has a scientist of this stature boycotted Israel,” said Yigal Palmor, the spokesman for Israel’s Foreign Ministry.

Organizers of the fifth annual Israeli Presidential Conference, held under the auspices of President Shimon Peres, said they had  received a letter over the weekend from Dr. Hawking, a longtime Cambridge professor, announcing his decision.

Cambridge issued a statement indicating that Dr. Hawking had told the Israelis that he would not be attending “based on advice from Palestinian academics that he should respect the boycott,” according to The Associated Press.

Earlier, the university’s director of communications, Tim Holt, said by telephone that Dr. Hawking, 71, had withdrawn from the Israel trip for health reasons. The university later said it had been told otherwise by Dr. Hawking’s office.

Israel Maimon, the chairman of the conference, strongly criticized the professor’s decision, saying in a statement, “The academic boycott of Israel is in our view outrageous and improper, certainly for someone for whom the spirit of liberty lies at the basis of his human and academic mission.”

Mr. Maimon, a lawyer and a former Israeli government cabinet secretary, added: “Israel is a democracy in which all individuals are free to express their opinions, whatever they may be. The imposition of a boycott is incompatible with open, democratic dialogue.”

There was no immediate comment from Mr. Peres’s office.

The Guardian newspaper first reported Dr. Hawking’s change of mind and cited a statement by the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine, which The Guardian said was published with Dr. Hawking’s approval. It described the cancellation as “his independent decision to respect the boycott, based upon his knowledge of Palestine, and on the unanimous advice of his own academic contacts there.”

Dr. Hawking last visited Israel and the Palestinian territories in 2006 at the invitation of the British Embassy in Tel Aviv.

Matthew Gould, the British ambassador to Israel, spoke out against the academic boycott when he received an honorary doctorate from Ben Gurion University of the Negev in December. “We believe that boycotts divide people and reduce understanding,” he was quoted as saying, “when what we need is to bring people together.”

The Oxford University Student Union decisively rejected a motion supporting a boycott of Israel in a vote in February.

Under pressure from pro-Palestinian activists, a string of high-profile artists have canceled performances in Israel in recent years, among them the Pixies, the American alternative rock band; the British rocker Elvis Costello; and Gil Scott-Heron, the American rap poet and musician who died in 2011.

Other performing artists, like Rihanna, Elton John, Rod Stewart and Madonna, have given concerts in Israel in the last few years. Barbra Streisand is slated to give two concerts in Tel Aviv in June and to perform at the Israeli Presidential Conference in honor of Mr. Peres’s 90th birthday this summer.

The conference, called “Facing Tomorrow 2013,” is billed as a meeting place for exploring the developments shaping the future of Israel, the Jewish people and the world. Its program includes former heads of state, academics, artists and business executives. Former President Bill Clinton is to receive an award from Mr. Peres.

Also listed among the speakers is Munib al-Masri, a Palestinian tycoon from the West Bank city of Nablus who has been working to promote internal Palestinian reconciliation.       

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7) Seventeen Officers Removed From Nuclear Watch
By
May 8, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/09/us/17-air-force-officers-removed-from-nuclear-watch.html?ref=us

WASHINGTON — The Air Force removed 17 officers assigned to standing watch over nuclear-tipped Minuteman missiles after finding safety violations, potential violations in protecting codes and basic attitude problems.

The action, which was taken in April, was disclosed in a blunt memo by Lt. Col. Jay Folds, the deputy commander of a unit that runs the launching control centers for Minuteman III missiles at Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota.

“We as an operations group have fallen,” Colonel Folds wrote in the memo, which complained about “rot in the crew force.”

The memo was first disclosed by The Associated Press. Air Force leaders sought to put the best face on the disclosure, casting it as an effort by commanders to hold their subordinates to exacting standards.

The secretary of the Air Force, Michael B. Donley, told Congress on Wednesday that the nuclear missile force was secure and that it was important for commanders to “ride herd” on junior officers to keep up standards.

But Bruce G. Blair, a former Minuteman missile launch control officer, said that the conditions the memo criticized were indicative of a decline of morale within the ranks of the missile force.

“The nuclear missile crews know that there is no career future for them in their field,” said Mr. Blair, who is the co-founder of Global Zero, which advocates the elimination of nuclear weapons. “And that has led to low morale, some loss of discipline and sloppier performance, including the intentional violation of nuclear safety rules.”

The memo by Colonel Folds was drafted after an inspection at the 91st Missile Wing. The wing earned the equivalent of a “D” on Minuteman III missile launching operations, The A.P. reported.

As part of the unit’s assignment, two officers are on constant alert inside an underground launching control center, where they are supposed to be ready to launch the nuclear missiles if ordered by the president.

The 17 officers who were removed from their posts will be given at least 60 days of refresher training. There are 150 officers in the unit.

“Get back to the basics and crush any rules violators,” Colonel Folds wrote. “We are, in fact, in a crisis right now.”

An Air Force spokeswoman said that the Air Force was determined to maintain its standards.

“The 91st Operations Deputy Group Commander’s e-mail was intended as an internal command communication to the unit’s officer crew force to re-emphasize the high standards expected in the nuclear mission area,” said Maj. Shelley Laver of the Air Force’s Global Strike Command.

She said that the e-mail was prompted by a “marginal rating” in one of 22 areas and that the missile wing received an overall “satisfactory rating”

“A marginal grade in one area, although passing, is less than desired to airmen who are entrusted with the most powerful weapons in our nation’s arsenal,” she said.




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8) Woman Rescued in Bangladesh Rubble 17 Days After Building Collapse
By JULFIKAR ALI MANIK and
May 10, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/11/world/asia/bangladesh-collapse-death-toll.html?hp

DHAKA, Bangladesh — In a startling development, a woman trapped for 17 days beneath the rubble of a collapsed building on the outskirts of Dhaka was discovered alive on Friday and then rushed to a nearby military hospital after rescuers pulled her free.

The woman, whose name is Reshma, had apparently been in the basement of the building, though her location is not yet definitively known. Rescuers, speaking live on national television from the wreckage site in Savar, said they were clearing debris on Friday afternoon when they saw a pipe moving. It turned out to be Reshma, shaking the pipe from below, trying to gain attention.

“Save me!” rescuers say they heard her shouting.

Her rescue was broadcast on television across Bangladesh. A garment worker, Reshma was wearing a purple and red salwar kameez as she was removed from the rubble. One of the rescuers, a soldier with the Bangladeshi Army, told television crews that Reshma had discovered food and water that had lasted until two days ago.

Another rescuer, Lieutenant Colonel Moazzem, told Bangladesh’s state news agency that he and another soldier discovered Reshma after cutting a hole to the basement.

“I told her, ‘Mother, don’t be afraid, we are here to rescue you,’ ” said Colonel Moazzem, according to the agency. “Would you like a drink of water?” He told reporters that Reshma was given saline and biscuits before rescuers removed her from the wreckage.

Ali Ahmed Khan, director general of the Bangladesh Fire Service, said Reshma was apparently inside a Muslim prayer room in the building, which had oxygen and enough clear space for her to stand up.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was rushing to the military hospital where Reshma is being treated.

The stunning discovery of a survivor transformed what had been an especially gloomy day in the recovery effort, as the death toll pushed past 1,000 victims. Five clothing factories had operated inside the building, called Rana Plaza, and more than 3,000 people were believed to be working when the structure collapsed on the morning of April 24. It is now considered the worst disaster in the history of the garment industry.

Days earlier, rescuers had given up any hope of finding more survivors and had started using heavy machinery to more quickly clear debris from the site. Before Friday, the last survivor was thought to have been a woman named Shaheena; rescuers spent more than 20 hours on April 28 trying to save Shaheena before a fire broke out, killing her. The authorities have said more than 2,000 people were rescued or escaped on their own.

Mr. Khan, the fire service director general, said work crews would “for the time being” suspend the use of heavy machinery and resume rescue searches in the remaining rubble.

“We are very delighted,” said Mr. Khan, noting that rescuers had taken pains to work carefully in case someone was still alive. “The army and fire service has been working very, very cautiously.”

The death toll, now at 1,021, has been rising quickly in recent days, and will probably keep climbing, as work crews are now removing rubble from some of the most heavily damaged sections of the building.

Located in an industrial suburb of Dhaka, the capital, Rana Plaza exemplified many of safety problems plaguing the garment industry in Bangladesh, the world’s second-leading garment exporter, trailing only China. The authorities in Bangladesh now say the building was illegally constructed, with permits obtained through political influence. The owner, Sohel Rana, now in jail, was illegally adding upper floors to the structure at the time the building collapsed, officials said.

The accident has intensified pressure on global brands and retailers that buy clothing from factories in Bangladesh to take action to improve worker safety. In November, at least 112 workers died in a fire at the Tazreen Fashions factory, which was producing clothing for Sears, Walmart and other global brands and retailers. Earlier this week, a smaller factory fire killed at least eight people.

The Rana Plaza disaster led to nationwide mourning in Bangladesh as well as outrage because it appears that the accident could have been averted. A day before the collapse, an engineer examined cracks in the structure and warned Mr. Rana, as well as owners of the garment factories, that the building was unsafe and should be closed. Instead, workers were told to come to their factories the next morning, and not long after the shifts began, the building collapsed.


Julfikar Ali Manik reported from Dhaka and Jim Yardley reported from New Delhi.



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9) Carbon Dioxide Level Passes Long-Feared Milestone
By
May 10, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/11/science/earth/carbon-dioxide-level-passes-long-feared-milestone.html?hp

The level of the most important heat-trapping gas in the atmosphere, carbon dioxide, has passed a long-feared milestone, scientists reported on Friday, reaching a concentration not seen on the earth for millions of years.

Scientific monitors reported that the gas had reached an average daily level that surpassed 400 parts per million — just an odometer moment in one sense, but also a sobering reminder that decades of efforts to bring human-produced emissions under control are faltering.

The best available evidence suggests the amount of the gas in the air has not been this high for at least three million years, before humans evolved, and scientists believe the rise portends large changes in the climate and the level of the sea.

“It symbolizes that so far we have failed miserably in tackling this problem,” said Pieter P. Tans, who runs the monitoring program at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that reported the new reading.

Ralph Keeling, who runs another monitoring program at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego, said a continuing rise could be catastrophic. “It means we are quickly losing the possibility of keeping the climate below what people thought were possibly tolerable thresholds,” he said.

The new measurement came from analyzers high atop Mauna Loa, the volcano on the big island of Hawaii that has long been ground zero for monitoring the worldwide carbon dioxide trend.

Devices there sample clean, crisp air that has blown thousands of miles across the Pacific Ocean, producing a record of rising carbon dioxide levels that has been closely tracked for half a century.

Carbon dioxide above 400 parts per million was first seen in the Arctic last year, and had also spiked above that level in hourly readings at Mauna Loa. But the average reading for an entire day surpassed that level at Mauna Loa for the first time in the 24 hours that ended at 8 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on Thursday, according to data from both NOAA and Scripps.

Carbon dioxide rises and falls on a seasonal cycle and the level will dip below 400 this summer, as leaf growth in the Northern Hemisphere pulls about 10 billion tons of carbon out of the air. But experts say that will be a brief reprieve — the moment is approaching when no measurement of the ambient air anywhere on earth, in any season, will produce a reading below 400.

“It feels like the inevitable march toward disaster,” said Maureen E. Raymo, a Columbia University earth scientist.

From studying air bubbles trapped in Antarctic ice, scientists know that going back 800,000 years, the carbon dioxide level oscillated in a tight band, from about 180 parts per million in the depths of ice ages, to about 280 during the warm periods between. The evidence shows that global temperatures and CO2 levels are tightly linked.

For the entire period of human civilization, roughly 8,000 years, the carbon dioxide level was relatively stable near that upper bound. But the burning of fossil fuels has caused a 41 percent increase in the heat-trapping gas since the Industrial Revolution, a mere geological instant, and scientists say the climate is beginning to react, though they expect far larger changes in the future.

Governments have been trying since 1992 to rein in emissions, but far from slowing, emissions are rising at an accelerating pace, thanks partly to rapid economic growth in developing countries. Scientists fear the level of the gas could triple or even quadruple before being brought under control.

Indirect measurements suggest that the last time the carbon dioxide level was this high was at least three million years ago, during an epoch called the Pliocene. Geological research shows that the climate then was far warmer than today, the world’s ice caps were smaller, and the sea level might have been as much as 60 or 80 feet higher.

Experts fear that humanity may be precipitating a return to such conditions — except this time, billions of people are in harm’s way.

“It takes a long time to melt ice, but we’re doing it,” Dr. Keeling said. “It’s scary.”

Dr. Keeling’s father, Charles David Keeling, began carbon dioxide measurements on Mauna Loa and at other locations in the late 1950s. The elder Dr. Keeling found a level in the air then of about 315 parts per million — meaning that if a person had filled a million quart jars with air, about 315 quart jars of carbon dioxide would have been mixed in.

His analysis revealed a relentless, long-term increase superimposed on the seasonal cycle, a trend that was dubbed the Keeling Curve. Subsequent research proved it was coming from the combustion of fossil fuels. Charles David Keeling died in 2005.

Countries have adopted an official target to limit the damage from global warming, which by most estimates requires that emissions stop by the time the level reaches about 450. “Unless things slow down, we’ll probably get there in well under 25 years,” Ralph Keeling said.

Yet many countries, including China and the United States, have refused to adopt binding national targets. Scientists say that unless far greater efforts are made soon, the goal of limiting the warming will become impossible without severe economic disruption.

“If you start turning the Titanic long before you hit the iceberg, you can go clear without even spilling a drink of a passenger on deck,” said Richard B. Alley, a climate scientist at the Pennsylvania State University. “If you wait until you’re really close, spilling a lot of drinks is the best you can hope for.”

Climate-change contrarians, who have little scientific credibility but are politically influential in Washington, point out that carbon dioxide represents only a tiny fraction of the air — as of Thursday’s reading, exactly .04 percent. “The CO2 levels in the atmosphere are rather undramatic,” a Republican congressman from California, Dana Rohrabacher, said in a Congressional hearing several years ago.

But climate scientists reject that argument, saying it is like claiming that a tiny bit of arsenic or cobra venom cannot have much effect. Research shows that even at such low levels, carbon dioxide is potent at trapping heat near the surface of the earth.

“If you’re looking to stave off climate perturbations that I don’t believe our culture is ready to adapt to, then significant reductions in CO2 emissions have to occur right away,” said Mark Pagani, a Yale geochemist who studies climates of the past. “I feel like the time to do something was yesterday.”


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10)   U.S./Israel Hands Off Syria!
A Statement by the United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC)
-->
United National Antiwar Coalition
UNACpeace@gmail.com
UNAC
P.O. Box 123
Delmar, NY 12054
518-227-6947
www.unacpeace.org
(please forward widely)


The May 2-3 and 4-5 nighttime bombings of Syria’s International Airport, military installations in a Damascus suburb and a military supply depot reportedly killed 300 people. The bombings were initially denied but then confirmed by Israel and soon after given the stamp of approval by the Obama Administration.

The previous week President Obama and Secretary of Defense Charles Hagel threatened to escalate U.S. intervention in Syria based on the unsubstantiated charge that Syria had employed weapons of mass destruction, in this case the deadly sarin gas.

What is incontrovertible is that U.S. allies in the region - Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia - have supplied hundreds of millions of dollars in lethal military aid to destabilize the Syrian regime. The U.S. itself claims to have supplied some $400 million in “non-lethal aid.”  The U.S., which funds Israel’s multi-billion dollar “Iron Dome” missile program, is the chief military force in the region.

No serious observers believe that Israel, the largest recipient of U.S. aid in the world, to the tune of $4 billion annually, acts without U.S. approval – the same is undeniable with regard to Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the U.S. NATO ally, Turkey.

 In the case of Qatar, a nation without an army, the U.S.-established and privatized Blackwater military installation is used daily as an operational base for the U.S. war in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere.

The U.S. Machiavellian strategy in Syria is first and foremost to advance its economic, military and regional “interests.” The latter includes deepening the isolation of Iran, whose oil wealth the U.S. corporate elite seeks to regain.

 We recognize no rights among imperial nations to determine the future of any oppressed nation on earth, not to mention the modern day neo-colonial interveners. With regard to Syria, that right belongs to the Syrian people only.

 The U.S. government is presently restrained by the mass antiwar sentiment expressed in repeated polls over the past two years. The most recent Pew Research poll indicates that 62 percent are opposed to any U.S. intervention in Syria. We must add to this the fact the U.S. bloody wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the decades long U.S. support to the Egyptian Mubarak dictatorship as well as the constant drone attacks on Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia have earned it the deep hatred of the peoples of the Middle East and beyond.

 The Iraq “weapons of mass destruction” justification for this still-raging war, that has taken the lives of 1.5 million Iraqis so far, and the ongoing war in Afghanistan, wherein the U.S. puppet Hamid Karzai regime is discredited around the world, has convinced social justice activists everywhere that the U.S. imperial rulers fight for oil and military-geographic advantage and not for peace and justice.

More than ever the U.S. and the worldwide antiwar and social justice movement must demand:

·       U.S./Israel Hands Off Syria!

·       Bring All U.S. Troops and Mercenaries Home Now!

·       Self-determination for the Syrian People!

·       No to U.S. Sanctions Anywhere!

·       End All U.S. Aid to Israel!

·       U.S. Out of the Middle East Now!



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11) Troubled Life in Malcolm X’s Shadow Comes to a Violent End
By and
May 10, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/11/nyregion/troubled-life-in-malcolm-xs-shadow-comes-to-a-violent-end.html?hp

Last week, Malcolm Shabazz, the grandson of Malcolm X, was talking to his friend Daniel Stevens when he learned that Mr. Stevens was worried that his fledgling rap career was going nowhere. Mr. Shabazz vowed to help, saying that he could get Mr. Stevens’s music into the right hands.

“I know a lot of people,” Mr. Shabazz said, Mr. Stevens recalled.

Mr. Shabazz, who earned notoriety as a 12-year-old when he set a fire that killed his grandmother, Malcolm X’s widow, pulled out his phone and made some calls. Twenty minutes later, Mr. Stevens said, Mr. Shabazz told him he had a plane ticket to Los Angeles for the next day, and an appointment to see a Hollywood producer in Beverly Hills on Mr. Stevens’s behalf.

Mr. Stevens, 34, drove Mr. Shabazz to the airport.

But Mr. Shabazz soon ended up in Mexico City, where he died early Thursday morning in a popular tourist area after being assaulted outside a bar, the authorities said. It was a violent end to a young and tumultuous life.

Mr. Shabazz had apparently decided to detour to Mexico to meet with a labor activist and a friend who had been deported in April. They were hoping to use Mr. Shabazz’s name to attract attention from the local press, apparently about the deportation, the friend said in a Facebook post.

Mr. Shabazz, 28, spent much of his life seeking to make peace with his past. After pleading guilty to the juvenile equivalent of manslaughter and arson in his grandmother’s death in 1997, he was sentenced to institutions for many of his teenage years, followed by later stints in prison for other crimes.

He lived in the shadow of his grandfather, whom he never knew, and whose legacy he tried to understand. He embraced his famous heritage and, at times, recoiled from the expectations that came with it.

On his personal Web site, he called himself “the first male heir to Malcolm X,” who had overcome “obstacle after obstacle in his life,” and since his release from prison had “been traveling throughout the U.S. and around the world speaking to different audiences about the struggles that confront this generation.”

In a prison interview with The New York Times in 2003, when he was serving time for attempted robbery, he acknowledged the power of his name.

“People know Malcolm Shabazz, whether you like me or not,” he said.

Kinte Burrell, 34, one of Mr. Shabazz’s friends from Middletown, N.Y., north of New York City in the Hudson Valley, where he had a home, said in an interview on Friday that he first met Mr. Shabazz when he was about 18.

“People would ask for his autograph and take pictures with him,” he said. “Other times, they would be like, you should have gotten more time, just because who you are, you shouldn’t get away with this.”

Such tension, Mr. Burrell said, sometimes led to fistfights. “I can see him just wanting to get away,” he said.

Friends said that in recent years, he had often ventured abroad, mostly to the Middle East. The trips, for conferences or Muslim pilgrimages, allowed him to escape his tabloid youth and to step into a role that Malcolm X also played later in life — that of an activist, shedding light on injustice and rallying for black causes worldwide.

“He wanted to be himself, but in connection with what his grandfather had been,” said Randy Short, an activist in Washington who works with groups like the International Human Rights Association of American Minorities.

Mr. Short said he had been helping Mr. Shabazz complete an autobiography.

Because he had no relationship with his father, “he saw his grandfather as his dad, and in many conversations he would say, ‘People need to understand I have a lot of him in me,’ ” Mr. Short said.

He never seemed short of patrons who were eager to help.

David N. Dinkins, the former mayor of New York, and Percy E. Sutton, a former Manhattan borough president who had been Malcolm X’s lawyer, stepped in to represent him after the fire. Most recently, Cynthia McKinney, the former Democratic congresswoman from Georgia, said she “had taken him under my wings,” in an attempt “to help and look out for him.”

In 2011, he joined Ms. McKinney on a trip to Libya, shortly before the country erupted in civil war. In one photo, he can be seen smiling in dark sunglasses in front of a large portrait of Muammar el-Qaddafi, the Libyan leader, who was later deposed and killed. In a blog post on March 9, he wrote that he had met Mr. Qaddafi.

He also wrote on Facebook that he had studied in Damascus for more than a year, and that he had been making plans to go to Iran for a film festival and to give a lecture on violence in cinema.

The trip never happened.

Mr. Shabazz wrote on his blog that soon after he began appearing on Press TV, a news outlet based in Iran, the police in and around Middletown began to harass him.

He claimed that he was being investigated by a counterterrorism team with the F.B.I.

“I was picked up by authorities after I filed for a visa to Iran, and two days before my departure,” he wrote.

In Middletown, he was known to come and go, his friends said.

Mr. Stevens met him about two years ago when Mr. Shabazz came into the barbershop where he worked. Mr. Shabazz saw the tattoo of Malcolm X on Mr. Stevens’s forearm.

“He told me who he was, and we started talking, and we had a lot of things in common,” Mr. Stevens said.

Last week, he recalled, Mr. Shabazz had pressured him about why he was not “doing anything with your music.”

“It’s the kind of business where you got to know somebody,” Mr. Stevens told him.

After going to Los Angeles, Mr. Shabazz texted Mr. Stevens, joking that the people he was with in California did not like New Yorkers.

Within days, he was in Mexico City.

He was taken to a hospital early Thursday morning after a night out near Plaza Garibaldi, a tourist area in the historical center of Mexico City, filled with bars and restaurants, where foreign tourists are known to often be taken advantage of.

Officials said they were investigating the case.

On Friday, his family released a statement. “He now rests in peace in the arms of his grandparents and the safety of God,” the family said.


Kia Gregory reported from New York, and Damien Cave from Mexico City. Karla Zabludovsky contributed reporting from Mexico City. Sheelagh McNeill contributed research.





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12) Retailers Are Pressed on Safety at Factories
By
May 10, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/11/business/global/clothing-retailers-pressed-on-bangladesh-factory-safety.html?ref=world


A wide spectrum of government officials, investors and religious groups are warning major retailers like Walmart, Benetton and Gap that they could face financial repercussions from consumers, damage to their stock value or sustained public protests if they do not adopt stricter garment manufacturing standards.

With the death toll rising above 1,000 two weeks after an eight-story factory building collapsed in Bangladesh, organizations and officials say they have been growing impatient with American and European retailers and apparel brands because only two companies — PVH, the parent company of Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger; and Tchibo, a German retailer — have signed onto a binding agreement on safety standards for factories. That agreement would commit companies to allow independent inspections of the apparel factories they use, to terminate business at factories that do not quickly correct violations and to underwrite needed safety improvements. For example, many garment factories in Bangladesh lack basic means for workers to flee in case of fire — specifically fire escapes and smokeproof enclosed staircases.

Avaaz, a human rights group, has collected 875,000 signatures on a petition urging Gap and H&M to sign on to the plan to commit to fire safety improvements at Bangladesh factories. New York City’s comptroller, John C. Liu, who oversees city pension funds owning more than five million Walmart shares, is warning the company that it risks damage to its public image unless it does more on factory safety in Bangladesh.

And the Rev. Seamus P. Finn, representing shareholders from the Catholic organization Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, has been circulating a letter among religious organizations — groups that control more than $100 billion in assets — to express displeasure with the nation’s retailers. He says the retailers have not done nearly enough to improve workplace safety for the more than three million garment workers in Bangladesh.

“What happened in Bangladesh is a game-changer because of the gravity of the situation and the tremendous loss of life,” Father Finn said. “People are really coming to life about this and saying, ‘We need to do something.’ ”

Not just Western retailers are encountering more pressure after the April 24 collapse of the Rana Plaza building outside Dhaka, the Bangladeshi capital. The nation’s government — known for lax building code enforcement — has suddenly grown tougher, closing 18 factories for safety violations. Three of those factories were run by the Nassa Group, the country’s largest clothing exporter, which counts Walmart and Sears among its customers. Last weekend, the government also announced it would hire hundreds of additional factory inspectors.

The United States government has also been pressing Bangladesh and the apparel manufacturers there over safety. In January — two months after the Tazreen factory fire in Bangladesh killed 112 workers — the United States trade representative notified Bangladesh that Washington might withdraw, suspend or limit that country’s trading privileges. The trade representative was responding in part to a complaint that the A.F.L.-C.I.O. filed, asserting that the Bangladesh government had worked in concert with its apparel manufacturers to suppress labor unions.

“There are serious concerns in Bangladesh related to freedom of association, worker safety and other issues,” a senior official in the trade representative’s office said on Friday. The trade representative’s office says it will decide in June whether to take action against Bangladesh, although under esoteric trade rules, any penalties could not be directed against that country’s apparel industry.

The most visible pressures that retailers have faced are street protests, including one in Barcelona, where demonstrators wore shirts with fake blood stains to protest Mango, Benetton and other retailers. In the United States, university chapters of United Students Against Sweatshops have helped organize a series of demonstrations this week against Gap in Boston, Los Angeles, New York and Washington to press it on factory safety.

Alex Wilks, campaign director of Avaaz, which has 21 million members worldwide, said its online petition was aimed at the chief executives of Gap and H&M. The petition says, “Your companies and other multinationals profit from cheap labor, and can do much more to reduce the dangers of the places where your products are made.” Bangladesh, the world’s second-largest apparel exporter after China, has the lowest minimum wage in the world — $37 a month — which has helped it attract billions of dollars in orders from the West.

“We feel that H&M and Gap are well placed to turn what have become death traps into safe factories,” Mr. Wilks said. “We’re targeting these two companies because they’ve made commitments to ethics, and we feel that this leadership makes them well placed to not only lead their own companies but also to lead the rest of the industry to sign up to these strong and enforceable agreements.”

Two weeks ago, the German government sponsored a conference of retailers, apparel brands and antisweatshop groups that sought to push the companies to agree to take strong safety measures in Bangladesh. The antisweatshop groups have set Wednesday, May 15, as a deadline to persuade retailers to join the PVH-Tchibo plan, and they say that any retailers that do not sign will be the target of new protests.

Saying that his company has a strong reputation on social responsibility, Bill Chandler, a Gap spokesman, insisted that the attacks against his company were misplaced. “It’s perplexing that they’re targeting us when we’re a leader in taking action on the ground while many others are passively sitting on the sidelines,” he said.

Gap has hired a respected fire safety expert to inspect the dozens of factories it uses in Bangladesh. Gap has also said it will spend $22 million for fire safety improvement there.

H&M, in a statement, said that improving fire and building safety in Bangladesh was one of its priorities. “We are working at full speed to reach the best solution with other stakeholders,” the company said.

Mr. Liu has been singling out Walmart in particular. “The tragedy in Bangladesh may finally bring home the lesson to Walmart and others that they are responsible for their suppliers,” he said. Walmart, Gap and H&M did not use any of the five factories in the building that collapsed, but customs records show that two American companies — the Children’s Place and Cato Fashions — bought significant amounts of apparel from factories there over the last year.

Jane Singer, a Children’s Place spokeswoman, said the company was evaluating the PVH-Tchibo proposal. “We have not reached any decisions at this point, but are committed to supporting changes to improve safety and working conditions,” she said.

Kevin Gardner, a Walmart spokesman, said the retailer was working to develop strong standards from its suppliers to create “a truly innovative, ethical and sustainable supply chain.”

The union-owned Amalgamated Bank and the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility are circulating letters among shareholders to exert pressure on numerous retailers.

Father Finn noted that Gap and other companies had adopted their own programs for Bangladesh. “Every company wants its own code of conduct and enforcement mechanism,” he said. “They’re sure their way of doing things is better than their competitors’. But we believe we need a comprehensive plan that includes many companies.”

Kellie A. McElhaney, an expert on corporate social responsibility at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, predicted that these pressures would hardly sway the companies. “They are feeling a lot of pressure, but it’s not coming from consumers. It’s coming from N.G.O.’s,” she said, referring to nongovernment organizations. “They’re not feeling it in the marketplace. I believe they’re going to do the bare minimum. The N.G.O.’s need to make more consumers aware of this.”


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13) Why Federal Efforts to Ensure Clean Tap Water Fail to Reach Faucets Nationwide
By
May 10, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/11/us/safe-drinking-water-elusive-for-many-in-california.html?ref=us


MONSON, Calif. — Laura Garcia was halfway through the breakfast dishes when the spigot went dry. The small white tank beneath the sink that purified her undrinkable water had run out. Still, as annoying as that was, it was an improvement over the days before Ms. Garcia got her water filter, when she had to do her dishes using water from five-gallon containers she bought at a local store.

Ms. Garcia’s well water, like that of her neighbors, is laced with excessive nitrates, a pollutant associated with agriculture, septic systems and some soils. Five years ago, this small community of 49 homes near the southern end of the Central Valley took its place on California’s priority list of places in need of clean tap water.

Today the community is still stuck on that list, with no federal help in sight.

Monson’s situation has parallels in places around the country, large and small, seeking federal funds under the Safe Drinking Water Act. The Environmental Protection Agency distributes these funds to state agencies that are supposed to identify problems and underwrite solutions. By the E.P.A.’s calculations, no state has been as inept in distributing the money as California.

The state’s most recent priority list contained 4,925 applications. Some have been on the list for a dozen years. Some have been abandoned by the original applicants. Some are getting the federal funds quickly; others are in limbo. Of $1.5 billion in federal money sent to California and cycled through a revolving fund, $455 million lay fallow earlier this year while the priority list grew.

Monson, an unincorporated town in Tulare County, has a particular bureaucratic challenge. The community has no legal status, so it cannot apply on its own. Yet other entities, like Tulare County, which has offered to add pipelines to send clean water down the road to Monson from the town of Sultana’s water system, have only recently been empowered to apply on Monson’s behalf.

Local philanthropy, in the form of a Tulare County Rotary initiative, has tried to help, donating filters like the one under Ms. Garcia’s sink. These are welcome, Ms. Garcia said, speaking through an interpreter. But, she added, “That’s not a permanent solution.”

Since this cluster of 118 people does not qualify as a town, a water district or anything else that the California Department of Public Health recognizes as a valid applicant, another group must act on its behalf.

Monson is hardly alone. According to Jared Blumenfeld, the regional administrator of the E.P.A., nearly a quarter of all the small water systems in California are in the Central Valley. One-quarter of these dispense water that fails to meet all of the E.P.A’s health requirements.

To fix the problems, however, requires access to engineering and financial management resources beyond the reach of the needy communities, Mr. Blumenfeld said. “We require the state to be sure the people they fund have managerial, financial and administrative capacity to deal” with their water issues.

Though there is hope that Tulare County will be able to get the grant for Monson, he said, “some people, smart people, are trying to solve these problems and feeling frustrated.”

Mr. Blumenfeld himself was frustrated enough to issue a public rebuke to California last month. In a letter to Ron Chapman, the director of the state’s Public Health Department, he wrote, “Many of California’s critical drinking-water infrastructure needs remain unmet.”

He added: “California needs $39 billion in capital improvements through 2026 for water systems to continue to provide safe drinking water to the public. Given this tremendous need, it is crucial that California fully utilize” the revolving fund that is the repository for the federal aid, as well as hundreds of millions of dollars in loan repayments from local water systems. The state was given 60 days to report how it was going to fix the internal accounting problems and get money out.

Does Monson’s long wait reflect a larger pattern of undistributed funds in small communities? In a written response, the spokeswoman for the California Department of Public Health, Anita Gore, replied, “Small water systems often lack the technical expertise and funding to prepare funding applications, hire consultants to get their projects ‘shovel-ready’ and to make them happen.”

She added that the state “has found that these systems require greater assistance than larger water systems, and is working to simplify its procedures and provide more technical assistance.”

More than 800 of the applicants on the state priority list represent communities of fewer than 100 people.

Maria Herrera, who works for the Community Water Center, a local nonprofit, said “the process for Monson to secure funding to solve its drinking water challenges has had many false starts and roadblocks.” She added that the difficulty in satisfying the state “has delayed Monson’s ability to get clean drinking water and forced residents to live without safe drinking water.”

At the moment, Tulare County is planning on Monson’s behalf, and has suggested alternatives, including that pipeline from Sultana.

Britt Fussel, the public works director in Tulare County, said he also hoped to use grant money not just to study different options but also to have one ready to go. “It’s easy to find money for shovel-ready projects; it’s hard to find money for planning,” he said.

This approach, too, was rejected. “I’m in the process of modifying the scope of work,” Mr. Fussel said.

The public health spokeswoman, Ms. Gore, said the state was working closely with the county to expedite things. She wrote: “Tulare County submitted an application on behalf of the unincorporated community of Monson in early 2012. We anticipate the planning project will be completed in mid-2014. Typically, construction projects run about three years to completion, but that depends on what options are identified in the planning study.”




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B. EVENTS AND ACTIONS


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Friday May 10: James Connolly Songs of Freedom


Some of you may remember Mat Callahan from the bands The Looters, Wild Bouquet, and much earlier Prairie Fire, as well as the San Francisco Mission District performance space and artist collective Komotion (http://foundsf.org/index.php?title=Komotion_International:_DEFINING_MOMENTS).

Please check out his latest project, and let others know about it

James Connolly - Songs of Freedom

Friday, May 10 at 7:30PM
518 Valencia (16th and Valencia in San Francisco)

Mat Callahan will report on the progress of the project to republish Songs of Freedom, a songbook edited by Irish revolutionary James Connolly and published in 1907 in New York. A year ago, Mat first announced plans to record a selection of the songs for a CD and to reproduce the original Songs of Freedom along with two other long forgotten song books containing Connolly's stirring lyrics. Now, the project is nearing completion. Tonight's event is being held to announce plans for publication and tours in Ireland in October 2013 and the US in 2014. Our publisher, PM Press, will be taking advance orders and we will be raising funds for the transportation of musicians to the various events being planned to launch this historic publication. Mat and Yvonne Moore will perform songs chosen from this repertoire. We hope to see you there!
 
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DRONE WARFARE:  The Reality on the Ground in Pakistan

Saturday, May 11, 2013 ~ 2pm to 4pm

Ecumenical Peace Institute Office

2539 Telegraph (near Dwight) in Berkeley

2pm Refreshments with Swedish Nyckelharpa and Fiddle music by Toby Blome, Marilyn Jackson & friends

2:30 Presentation by Toby Blome

Last October, Toby Blome joined 33 other Americans on the CodePink Peace Delegation to Pakistan, to learn firsthand about the consequences of drone warfare in Pakistan and to support the growing resistance to U.S. drone strikes. She will report on first hand accounts about life under daily drone surveillance in Waziristan, Pakistan, the civilians lost to hellfire missiles, the survivors’ stories, and the many ways everyday life throughout Pakistan has been seriously altered by the U.S. War on Terror.  Learn the full story of how Obama's secret wars, using remotely controlled unmanned planes to carry out illegal targeted killing, have caused significant collateral damage and are ultimately counterproductive by inciting anti-American rage and animosity.

Toby Blome, a physical therapist and former educator, is an organizer with the San Francisco chapter of CODEPINK, a women-led peace & social justice organization.  She has been very involved in the drone warfare resistance movement in the U.S. since 2009.           

 Donation Requested $10.  No one turned away for lack of funds. For more information contact us at http://www.epicalc.org; epicalc@gmail.com, 510/655-1162

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Peace Action of San Mateo County presents:


Joystick Warfare: On the Legality and Morality of Combat Drones


DATE/TIME: Mon, May 13, 7:00pm-9:00pm
   
LOCATION:  Unitarian Universalists of San Mateo, 300 E. Santa Inez, San Mateo

COST:      Free...contributions will be accepted.

Washington doesn't like to talk about its use of military drones. No wonder: they just might be illegal under U.S. and international law...to say nothing of the Administration's so-called "targeted killing" program and its insistence that even U.S. citizens are legitimate targets of warfare from afar.

Paul George, Director of the Peninsula Peace and Justice Center, will take a look at drone warfare and the U.S. drone program: Where and how often are they being used to launch missiles? Who are the targets? And who is actually being killed by the drones? And we'll raise the question: Should our country be using combat drones in its citizens' names?
The UUSM is wheelchair accessible. 

MORE INFO:
Website: http://www.sanmateopeaceaction.org
Email:  smpa@sanmateopeaceaction.org
Phone:  650-342-8244
Contact: Mike Caggiano

upj-bayarea is a communication tool for organizing in and around San Francisco, CA, with United for Peace and Justice. This list is for organizing, not general political information sharing nor news reporting. Action items and discussions, related to work that UPJ is considering, are most welcome.

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Rally for Bradley Manning.

Join us at Fort Meade on June 1, 2013.


By the Bradley Manning Support Network, February 25, 2013.

http://www.bradleymanning.org/activism/rally-for-bradley-manning-at-fort-meade-june-1-2013

• 1pm Gather (Reece Road and US 175, Fort Meade, Maryland)

• 2pm March

• 3pm Rally and Speak Out

Sponsored by the Bradley Manning Support Network and the national Veterans for Peace organization, with the help of Courage to Resist, and many other groups.

After more than three years of imprisonment, including nine months of torture, Nobel Peace

Prize nominee Bradley Manning’s trial is finally scheduled to begin June 3, 2013, at Fort Meade,

Maryland. The outcome of this trial will determine whether a conscience-driven 25-year-

old WikiLeaks whistle-blower spends the rest of his life in prison. Bradley believed that the

American people have a right to know the truth about what our government does around the

world in our name. We the People must send a message to the military prosecuting authority,

and President Obama, that Bradley Manning is a patriot and heroic truth-teller.

June 1st is the International Day of Action to Support Bradley Manning. Join us at Fort Meade on

the eve of Bradley’s court martial. Solidarity actions are welcome at bases, recruiting centers and US

embassies worldwide. We ask that Veterans for Peace join us in cosponsoring these historic events.

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Monday, June 3, 2013

ATTEND THE BEGINNING OF US v. BRADLEY MANNING

8:30 am, enter Fort Meade at Reece Road and US 175, Fort Meade, Maryland

9:00 am scheduled daily start of hearings at Magistrate Court

4432 Llewellyn Avenue, Fort Meade, MD. It is 2 miles from the Main Gate.

The court martial is expected to last 6-12 weeks. Supporters are encouraged to attend as many days of

this trial as they are able.

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Parking for Saturday, June 1, 2013. We hope to come to an understanding with local

authorities regarding the best place for supporters to park for the Saturday rally. Parking is

available about one mile south near Blue Water Blvd (Weis Market) and US 175. We’ll try to

help shuttle folks as needed.

Portable toilets are expected to be available.

Join us in the courtroom for the trial beginning June 3, 2013. Drive (or taxi) to the Fort Meade Visitor

Control Center at the Fort Meade Main Gate (all the other gates are for military ID holders only), Reece Road and US 175, Fort Meade, Maryland. We suggest arriving when the visitor center opens at 7:30am, and certainly before 8:15am. The proceedings are scheduled to begin at 9am daily. The multiple layers of security take time to navigate, and procedures often change from day to day. Each person will need a valid state or federal photo ID such as a driver’s license, state photo ID card, or passport. Foreign passports are accepted. Anyone driving on to Fort Meade will be required to submit their driver’s license, vehicle registration, and printed (not digital) proof of insurance. Your vehicle will be subject to search, and you may be required to cover over political bumper stickers on your vehicle. Consider walking on base if there are any questions at all regarding your vehicle and paperwork.

The proceedings will be held at the Magistrate Court, 4432 Llewellyn Ave, Fort Meade, MD

20755 (this is one mile from the Visitor Center). Electronic devices, including cell phones,

computers, cameras, are not allowed in the courtroom, and should be left in your vehicle.

There are no pre-registration requirements for the public to attend the proceedings. However,

those wishing to attend as credentialed media should contact the US Army Military District of

Washington Public Affairs Office at 202-685-4645.

GETTING THERE

The Fort Meade Main Gate is less than 10 miles south of the Baltimore-Washington DC

International (BWI) airport. It is located between Washington DC and Baltimore MD.

Driving:

From Washington, DC, take MD-295 N towards BALTIMORE to US 175 EAST, then follow

175 EAST until you come to Reece Road. From Baltimore, MD, take MD-295 S towards

WASHINGTON to US 175 EAST, then take 175 EAST until you come to Reece Road.

Buses:

We hope to charter buses for supporters from both downtown Washington DC and Baltimore,

Maryland.

There is regional bus service from BWI Airport to the Arundel Mills Shopping Center (Bus 017).

Then take the CTC K to the Main Gate. For a Google Maps public transit view of this option:

http://alturl.com/3ehis

Train:

Note that the nearby Odenton MARC train station serves commuter trains only and does not

run on the weekend. Amtrak does not stop at this station.

WHERE TO STAY

There are many hotels serving this area just south of the BWI Airport. The closest of these are

5-6 miles from the Ft. Meade Main Gate. One option is Aloft Arundel Mills, 7520 Teague Rd,

Hanover, MD, 21076 (866-539-0036), $80-$100 night. A hotels.com search of the area turns up

rooms nearby starting at $60 a night. The only lodging really close to the Ft. Meade Main Gate

is the White Gables Motel; however, for a number of reasons, we strongly suggest avoiding it.

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Please Sign Immediately and pass on!

EMERGENCY CALL! JOIN US IN STOPPING TORTURE IN US PRISONS!

June 21, 22 and 23 Will Be Days of Solidarity With the Struggle to End Prison Torture!

          
Tens of thousands of people imprisoned in the US are being subjected to torturous, inhumane conditions.  Many are:

·       Held in long term solitary confinement; locked in tiny, windowless, sometimes sound proof, cells; cut off from fresh air and sunlight for 22-24 hours every day and given small portions of food that lacks basic nutritional requirements.
·       Denied human contact and violently taken from their cells for petty violations.
·       Put in solitary arbitrarily, often because of accusations of being members of prison gangs based on dubious evidence, and have no way to challenge the decisions of prison authorities to place them in solitary.

Many are forced to endure these conditions for months, years and even decades!  Mental anguish and trauma often results from being confined under these conditions.  Locking people down like this amounts to trying to strip them of their humanity.

These conditions fit the international definition of torture!  This is unjust, illegitimate and profoundly immoral.  WE MUST JOIN IN AN EFFORT TO STOP IT, NOW!

People imprisoned at Pelican Bay State Prison in California have called For a Nation-wide Hunger Strike to begin on July 8, 2013. They have also issued a call for unity among people from different racial groups, inside and outside the prisons.  People who are locked down in segregation units of this society’s prisons, condemned as the “worst of the worst,” are standing up against injustice, asserting their humanity in the process.  We must have the humanity to hear their call, and answer it with powerful support!

A Nation-wide and World-wide Struggle Needs to Be launched NOW to bring an End to this widespread Torture Before those in the Prisons Are Forced to Take the Desperate step of going on hunger strikes and putting their lives on the line!
                                                                                              
To the Government: We Demand an Immediate End to the Torture and Inhumanity of Prison House America – Immediately Disband All Torture Chambers.  Meet the demands of those you have locked down in your prisons!

To People in this Country and Around the World: We Cannot Accept, and We Should Not Tolerate This Torture.  Join The Struggle to End Torture in Prisons Now!

To Those Standing Up in Resistance Inside The Prisons: WE SUPPORT YOUR CALL FOR UNITY IN THIS FIGHT, AND WE WILL HAVE YOUR BACKS!

June 21, 22 and 23 Will Be Days of Solidarity With the Struggle to End Prison Torture!  There will be protests, cultural events, Evenings of Conscience, sermons in religious services, saturation of social media – all aimed at laying bare the ugly reality of wide spread torture in US prisons and challenging everyone to join in fighting to STOP it.

Send Your endorsements (name . and if you wish, organization and/or title,  to:
StopMassIncarcerationBayArea@gmail.com

For more information and to join in this struggle contact the Stop Mass Incarceration Network at:
http://www.stopmassincarceration.org/support-california-prison-hunger-strikers.html


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C. SPECIAL APPEALS AND ONGOING CAMPAIGNS


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Wealth Inequality in America

[This is a must see to believe video...bw]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=QPKKQnijnsM

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

March 1, 2013

Alternet

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

http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/bradley-mannings-surprising-statement-court-details-why-he-made-his-historic?akid=10129.229473.UZvQfK&rd=1&src=newsletter802922&t=7

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Please forward widely

Lynne Stewart Emergency Alert!

Dear Friends,

Below you will find today's critical communication from longtime Lynne Stewart supporter, Betty Davis. The information concerns Lynne's health and her legal status.

As you will read below Lynne's breast cancer has returned. Lynne was successfully treated, we had hoped, two years ago and given a clean bill of health, as much as such diagnoses can be counted on. But a single spot was found on one lung a few months ago. Now another has appeared on the other lung and others in her upper back, all associated with her original breast cancer.

Her husband Ralph Poynter told me today that Lynne's condition was still very treatable and that a cure was not at all to be ruled out and especially so if prison officials allowed her the expert treatment afforded her previously in a prominent New York City hospital. Lynne's request to be moved to that facility was denied. She is to be treated in a prison related facility, but fortunately under the direction of and using the protocols of her doctor/daughter, who is expected to be with Lynne at any moment.

We are still hopeful for a positive outcome, even under the most difficult conditions.

Meanwhile, Lynne's appeal preparations for a hearing before the U.S. Supreme Court are now in progress, with Lynne having assembled a first rate team of attorneys including members of the Center for Constitutional Rights and the National Lawyers Guild.

Lynne campaigned for Mumia's freedom for the several years that she was free on bail and traveling the country in her own defense. She was present at Mumia's court hearing in Philadelphia and appeared on Democracy Now!, with Mumia phoning in in her defense.

I urge you to carefully read the material below and lend a hand. The stakes are high. We will continue to demand the finest medical treatment for Lynne and, of course, continue to campaign for her freedom and immediate release.

Lynne, a prominent civil rights attorney of 30 years, was the victim of a government-orchestrated 2005 frame-up trial that was riddled with violations of fundamental legal principles. She was convicted on five counts of conspiracy to aid and abet terrorism. This was based on the government's charge that her public issuance a press release on behalf of her client, the "blind sheik" Omar Abdel Rachman, an Egyptian cleric who was similarly framed up and imprisoned for life on "terrorism" charges, was illegal.

Ironically, Rachman's freedom is today being demanded by Egypt's new President Mohamed Morsi.

Lynne, 72, was originally convicted and sentenced to 28 months in prison, but this "light" sentence was contested by the reactionary U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and her sentence was outrageously increased to 10 years, by the compliant Federal District Court trial judge, John Koeltl.

I urge you to write to Lynne and convey your love and solidarity. She toured the Bay Area several times in previous years, always speaking to admiring and stunned audiences, who realized that Lynne's case was central to everyone's civil liberties. Lynne's conviction was a message to all attorneys that defense of the unpopular, defense of democratic rights and especially defense of Muslim victims of government persecution, was dangerous. Lynne's conviction and extended sentence served to massively chill the defense bar.

Lynne's freedom and life itself in large part depends on our solidarity.

Write Lynne at:

Lynne Stewart 53504-054

Federal Medical Center Carswell

P.O. Box 27137

Fort Worth, Texas 76127

Send your generous contribution payable to:

Lynne Stewart Organization

1070 Dean Street

Brooklyn, New York 11216

In solidarity,

Jeff Mackler, West Coast Coordinator

Lynne Stewart Defense Committee

510-268-9429

jmackler@lmi.net

 URGENT MESSAGE OF APPEAL FOR LYNNE STEWART- THE PEOPLE'S ATTORNEY

Greetings

It  is urgent  that you  listen  to  the audio email below.  It is  the latest update  from  Ralph Poynter,  Mya Shone  &  Ralph Schonmann about LYNNE STEWARTS fate in prison.

Lynne Stewart's breast cancer is spreading to her lungs and shoulders.  She needs immediate treatment NOW.  The prison authorities have known

this since September.

WE   ARE  ALSO  IN THE   PROCESS   OF LAUNCHING  HER  APPEAL  TO  THE   SUPREME  COURT.  DEADLINE FEBRUARY 21, 2013.

All we are asking you to:

Listen to the audio below and update yourself on the facts. Check out the website as well.

   You don't have to write the prison authorities because THEY READ EVERYTHING WE SEND AND TELL HER SO.

Send this email out to all your listservs, especially to LAWYERS because we are asking ALL ATTORNEYS SUPPORT HER CERT , (A REQUEST FOR THE SUPREME COURT TO HEAR HER CASE.)

 When it comes to the oppressed, there is no such thing as law or justice.  THEREFORE, the movement determines the argument before the courts, not this myth of justice before the law. We need attorneys who understand this and understand that LYNNE STEWART was one of  the very few attorneys who understood this. She never had her political prisoners surrender their right to self defense or self determination.  In her trial when questioned she still defended this human right and her right to give her clients the best defense possible.  When she was resentenced from 28 months to ten years, one of the reasons was that  SHE "SHOWED NO REMORSE." SHE DOES NOT FEEL REMORSE FOR DEFENDING THE BILL OF RIGHTS, therefore, we should defend her and all POLITICAL PRISONERS.

BETTY DAVIS

NEW ABOLITIONIST MOVEMENT

Write a letter  of support to    Lynne Stewart-   53504 - 054,     FEDERAL MEDICAL CNTR, CARSWELL,  P.O. BOX 27137,  FT. WORTH, TEXAS 76127.

-----Original Message---

    But, to listen to the report, go to:

128 kbps version (hi fi):

http://www.takebackwbai.org/lynnestewart/2013-01-16.LynneStewartReport-128.mp3

32 kbps version (lo fi):

http://www.takebackwbai.org/lynnestewart/2013-01-16.LynneStewartReport-32.mp3

    Please listen from the links here in this email.      Let me know what you think.

   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omar_Abdel-Rahman

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 PLEASE SIGN THIS STATEMENT, GET YOUR ORGANIZATION TO SIGN, AND FORWARD WIDELY!

TO SIGN ON, CONTACT Sundus Seif, brooklyncollegesjp@gmail.com

Statement of Support for Brooklyn College Students for Justice in Palestine:

We Condemn Attacks Against Advocates for BDS and Palestinian Rights!

We the undersigned deplore the efforts of politicians and others to bully student activists and faculty and to smear supporters of boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) against Israel as anti-Semites.

In recent days, opponents of an event on BDS to be held on campus February 7th have attacked the organizers and scheduled speakers, internationally renowned philosopher Judith Butler and Palestinian human rights activist Omar Barghouti, as well as the political science department and university administration for co-sponsoring the event. This is just the latest in a series of incidents involving attempts to silence criticism of Israel at Brooklyn College.

Opponents of the February 7 event have made deeply offensive and inflammatory accusations against supporters of BDS, with State Assemblyman Alan Maisel going so far as to warn of “the potential for a second Holocaust here.” Other prominent critics include lawyer Alan Dershowitz, who has openly called for the United States and Israel to use torture, and State Assemblyman Dov Hikind, a follower of the late Meir Kahane, an Israeli-American rabbi whose racist Kach movement has been outlawed by the US and Israel as a terrorist organization for advocating the expulsion of Palestinians from Israel and the occupied territories and for carrying out violent terrorist attacks against Palestinians and others.

It is outrageous and perverse to conflate BDS proponents and our stance in support of equal rights and freedom for Palestinians with anti-Semitism and Nazism. Contrary to the claims of these detractors, the BDS movement is an inclusive, nonviolent, civil society-led campaign whose goal is to pressure Israel into respecting Palestinian human rights and abiding by international law, in the absence of action on the part of the US government and international community to do so. It is comprised of people of all faiths and backgrounds, including many Israeli and American Jews. Leaders of the BDS movement have always rejected and condemned any and all forms of racism and bigotry, including anti-Semitism. As SJP-BC’s mission statement says, we “reject any form of hatred or discrimination against any religious or ethnic group.”

As supporters of Palestinian rights and of academic freedom and free speech on campus, we commend Brooklyn College President Karen Gould for showing leadership and not succumbing to pressure from bullies like Dershowitz and Hikind, who seek to suppress criticism of Israel by smearing advocates of Palestinian freedom and equality as bigots.

For nearly 65 years, Palestinians have been dispossessed, colonized, and denied the most basic of human rights and freedoms by Israel. For more than 45 years, they have endured a brutal and illegal Israeli military occupation that becomes more entrenched each day. More than 11 million Palestinian refugees, the survivors and descendants of the approximately 750,000 Palestinians who were ethnically-cleansed during Israel’s creation in 1948, are prevented from exercising their internationally-recognized right of return to the land and homes they were expelled from simply because they are not Jewish, while those Palestinians who remained inside Israel after 1948, who make up about 20% of the population today, face widespread institutionalized discrimination and are treated as second- or third-class citizens. As the international community looks on and does nothing to hold Israel accountable for its actions, global civil society is taking the lead with BDS.

In light of the attacks, we pledge our continued support to SJP’s efforts to educate the public about Israel’s grave and systematic abuses of Palestinian human rights and the racist, apartheid regime Israel has instituted in the territories it controls between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.

For more information, visit SJP Brooklyn College's website at www.brooklynsjp.com or email us at brooklyncollegesjp@gmail.com.

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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)

decisionĊ .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:

http://natebuckleydefense.wordpress.com/

Sign the petition:

https://www.change.org/petitions/district-attorney-drop-the-charges-against-nate-buckley

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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NYC RESTAURANT WORKERS DANCE & SING FOR A WAGE HIKE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_s8e1R6rG8&feature=player_embedded

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

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

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qzYKisvBN1o&feature=player_embedded

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

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 avimecca

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

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Japan One Year Later

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

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The CIA's Heart Attack Gun

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

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The Invisible American Workforce

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

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Labor Beat: NATO vs The 1st Amendment

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

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

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Anti-War Demonstrators Storm Pentagon 1967/10/24

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

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Liberal Hypocrisy on Obama Vs Bush - Poll

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

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Greek trade unionists and black bloc October 2011

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

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The Battle of Oakland

by brandon jourdan plus

http://vimeo.com/36256273

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Officers Pulled Off Street After Tape of Beating Surfaces

By ANDY NEWMAN

February 1, 2012, 10:56 am

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

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Defending The People's Mic

by Pham Binh of Occupy Wall Street

The North Star

January 20, 2012

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

Grand Central Terminal Arrests - MIRROR

Two protesters mic check about the loss of freedom brought about by the passage

of the NDAA and both are promptly arrested and whisked out of public sight.

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

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This is excellent! Michelle Alexander pulls no punches!

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

strategy

behind the War on Drugs and its connection to the mass incarceration of Black

and Brown people in the United States.

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

If you think Bill Clinton was "the first black President" you need to watch this

video and see how much damage his administration caused for the black community

as a result of his get tough attitude on crime that appealed to white swing

voters.

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

2012.

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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

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School police increasingly arresting American students?

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

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FYI:

Nuclear Detonation Timeline "1945-1998"

The 2053 nuclear tests and explosions that took place between 1945 and 1998 are

plotted visually and audibly on a world map.

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

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We Are the 99 Percent

We are the 99 percent. We are getting kicked out of our homes. We are forced to

choose between groceries and rent. We are denied quality medical care. We are

suffering from environmental pollution. We are working long hours for little pay

and no rights, if we're working at all. We are getting nothing while the other 1

percent is getting everything. We are the 99 percent.

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

OccupyWallSt.org

Occupytogether.org

wearethe99percentuk.tumblr.com

http://wearethe99percent.tumblr.com/

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

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

SIGN THE ONLINE PETITION AT:

http://bailoutpeople.org/dropchargesonoccupywallstarrestees.shtml

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

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HALLELUJAH CORPORATIONS (revised edition).mov

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

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ONE OF THE GREATEST POSTS ON YOUTUBE SO FAR!

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

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

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

Uploaded by laborvideo on Dec 13, 2011

ILWU Local 10 longshore workers speak out during a blockade of the Port of

Oakland called for by Occupy Oakland. Anthony Levieges and Clarence Thomas rank

and file members of the union. The action took place on December 12, 2011 and

the interview took place at Pier 30 on the Oakland docks.

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

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

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

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

Production of Labor Video Project www.laborvideo.org

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

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

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Shot by police with rubber bullet at Occupy Oakland

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

*---------*

Copwatch@Occupy Oakland: Beware of Police Infiltrators and Provocateurs

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

*---------*

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

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

*----*

Quebec police admitted that, in 2007, thugs carrying rocks to a peaceful protest

were actually undercover Quebec police officers:

POLICE STATE Criminal Cops EXPOSED As Agent Provocateurs @ SPP Protest

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

*----*

Quebec police admit going undercover at montebello protests

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

G20: Epic Undercover Police Fail

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

*----*

WHAT HAPPENED IN OAKLAND TUESDAY NIGHT, OCTOBER 25:

Occupy Oakland Protest

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

Cops make mass arrests at occupy Oakland

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

Raw Video: Protesters Clash With Oakland Police

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

Occupy Oakland - Flashbangs USED on protesters OPD LIES

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

KTVU TV Video of Police violence

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

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

Oakland

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

Tear Gas billowing through 14th & Broadway in Downtown Oakland

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

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

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

*---------*

Labor Beat: Hey You Billionaire, Pay Your Fair Share

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

*---------*

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

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

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

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

*---------*

#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

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FREE THE CUBAN FIVE!

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

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

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

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

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FREE BRADLEY MANNING

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

I received the following reply from the White House November 18, 2011 regarding

the Bradley Manning petition I signed:

"Why We Can't Comment on Bradley Manning

"Thank you for signing the petition 'Free PFC Bradley Manning, the accused

WikiLeaks whistleblower.' We appreciate your participation in the We the People

platform on WhiteHouse.gov.

The We the People Terms of Participation explain that 'the White House may

decline to address certain procurement, law enforcement, adjudicatory, or

similar matters properly within the jurisdiction of federal departments or

agencies, federal courts, or state and local government.' The military justice

system is charged with enforcing the Uniform Code of

Military Justice. Accordingly, the White House declines to comment on the

specific case raised in this petition...

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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