Monday, January 13, 2014


(UPDATE: With 50,000+ signers, our open letter has been covered in Democracy Now, the Huffington Post, and The Guardian.)
“Wall Street is about to give themselves $91.44 Billion – with a B – in holiday bonuses, even as they continue to dodge jail time for their ongoing crime spree!”1
HUH? Wall Street megabanks forced ten million people out of their homes due to the foreclosure crisis, while spending 2013 dodging the law for the blatant financial fraud that left folks homeless.2
HOW? Ten banks kicked off 2013 by paying $8.5 billion to settle complaints that they improperly foreclosed on homeowners3; in the summer, Bank of America was charged with rewarding employees who pushed the MOST people into foreclosure4; and then JPMorgan Chase rounded off the year by paying $13BN in fines to make fraud complaints go away.5
WHY? That $91.44 Billion a year could go a very long way towards undoing the vast damage done by Wall Street’s megabanks that have engaged in megafraud, not to mention go quite a long way towards curbing American homelessness in general.
How insane is our Wall Street bonus situation? Wall Street bankers are running out of ideas of how to spend the money. That’s not a joke: the Financial Times publishes “How To Spend It” magazine to help stumped Wall Street bankers figure out what to do with their fat bonus checks.
Megabankers might not spend too much time outside of the financial district, but we do, and we know that bankers are unbelievably unpopular right now. So, we’re asking them to do the right thing: give their bonuses to the people they made homeless. It doesn’t take a genius to know this is good PR – it’s a win/win for the banks!
Are you the kind of nerd, like us, who wants more details and sources? Read on!
We weren’t joking about $91.44 Billion putting us on the road to ending homelessness for good.
Seriously: The National Affordable Housing Trust is a program that, if funded for $30 billion a year for 10 years, could END homelessness in America. The banks could pay for the first two years of funding with one year of bonuses alone!6 Meanwhile, public housing – y’know, the place that the foreclosed have largely been pushed into? – has needed $21 Billion in repairs for a long time.7 That means $10.44 Billion left over – more than enough bonuses for every Wall Street banker to take many, many, many trips to Disney World, or whatever Wall Street bankers spend their money on. (Ahem.)
1. Wall St. Bonuses Over All Are Predicted to Rise 5 to 10%, New York Times.
2. The Financial Crisis: Why Have No High-Level Executives Been Prosecuted?, NY Review of Books.
USA Today: Ten banks settle foreclosure charges for $8.5 billion
3. Bank of America Bribed Employees Into Screwing Homeowners, Because Finance Is Boring.
4. Alexis Breaks Down The $13 Billion Chase Settlement.
5. Support for MID Reform Grows as NLIHC Proposal Receives National Media Attention, National Low Income Housing Coalition.
6. It’s Hard to Tell Who Hates Public Housing More: Democrats or Republicans, Disorderly Conduct.
- See more at:
 Wall Street, Return Your Bonuses to the People you made Homeless
63,689 signatures out of our goal of 65,000
The petition reads:
Dear Chase, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Bank of America:
We call on you to help the folks that you Scrooged out of their homes and end the homelessness crisis you created. Donate your $91.44 Billion in holiday bonuses to undo the damage you’ve done.
[your name here]

Complete the following to sign - we'll pass on the message.

  • Share
(UPDATE: With 50,000+ signers, our open letter has been covered in Democracy Now, the Huffington Post, and The Guardian.)
“Wall Street is about to give themselves $91.44 Billion – with a B – in holiday bonuses, even as they continue to dodge jail time for their ongoing crime spree!”1
HUH? Wall Street megabanks forced ten million people out of their homes due to the foreclosure crisis, while spending 2013 dodging the law for the blatant financial fraud that left folks homeless.2
HOW? Ten banks kicked off 2013 by paying $8.5 billion to settle complaints that they improperly foreclosed on homeowners3; in the summer, Bank of America was charged with rewarding employees who pushed the MOST people into foreclosure4; and then JPMorgan Chase rounded off the year by paying $13BN in fines to make fraud complaints go away.5
WHY? That $91.44 Billion a year could go a very long way towards undoing the vast damage done by Wall Street’s megabanks that have engaged in megafraud, not to mention go quite a long way towards curbing American homelessness in general.
How insane is our Wall Street bonus situation? Wall Street bankers are running out of ideas of how to spend the money. That’s not a joke: the Financial Times publishes “How To Spend It” magazine to help stumped Wall Street bankers figure out what to do with their fat bonus checks.
Megabankers might not spend too much time outside of the financial district, but we do, and we know that bankers are unbelievably unpopular right now. So, we’re asking them to do the right thing: give their bonuses to the people they made homeless. It doesn’t take a genius to know this is good PR – it’s a win/win for the banks!
Are you the kind of nerd, like us, who wants more details and sources? Read on!
We weren’t joking about $91.44 Billion putting us on the road to ending homelessness for good.
Seriously: The National Affordable Housing Trust is a program that, if funded for $30 billion a year for 10 years, could END homelessness in America. The banks could pay for the first two years of funding with one year of bonuses alone!6 Meanwhile, public housing – y’know, the place that the foreclosed have largely been pushed into? – has needed $21 Billion in repairs for a long time.7 That means $10.44 Billion left over – more than enough bonuses for every Wall Street banker to take many, many, many trips to Disney World, or whatever Wall Street bankers spend their money on. (Ahem.)
1. Wall St. Bonuses Over All Are Predicted to Rise 5 to 10%, New York Times.
2. The Financial Crisis: Why Have No High-Level Executives Been Prosecuted?, NY Review of Books.
USA Today: Ten banks settle foreclosure charges for $8.5 billion
3. Bank of America Bribed Employees Into Screwing Homeowners, Because Finance Is Boring.
4. Alexis Breaks Down The $13 Billion Chase Settlement.
5. Support for MID Reform Grows as NLIHC Proposal Receives National Media Attention, National Low Income Housing Coalition.
6. It’s Hard to Tell Who Hates Public Housing More: Democrats or Republicans, Disorderly Conduct.
- See more at:
(UPDATE: With 50,000+ signers, our open letter has been covered in Democracy Now, the Huffington Post, and The Guardian.)
“Wall Street is about to give themselves $91.44 Billion – with a B – in holiday bonuses, even as they continue to dodge jail time for their ongoing crime spree!”1
HUH? Wall Street megabanks forced ten million people out of their homes due to the foreclosure crisis, while spending 2013 dodging the law for the blatant financial fraud that left folks homeless.2
HOW? Ten banks kicked off 2013 by paying $8.5 billion to settle complaints that they improperly foreclosed on homeowners3; in the summer, Bank of America was charged with rewarding employees who pushed the MOST people into foreclosure4; and then JPMorgan Chase rounded off the year by paying $13BN in fines to make fraud complaints go away.5
WHY? That $91.44 Billion a year could go a very long way towards undoing the vast damage done by Wall Street’s megabanks that have engaged in megafraud, not to mention go quite a long way towards curbing American homelessness in general.
How insane is our Wall Street bonus situation? Wall Street bankers are running out of ideas of how to spend the money. That’s not a joke: the Financial Times publishes “How To Spend It” magazine to help stumped Wall Street bankers figure out what to do with their fat bonus checks.
Megabankers might not spend too much time outside of the financial district, but we do, and we know that bankers are unbelievably unpopular right now. So, we’re asking them to do the right thing: give their bonuses to the people they made homeless. It doesn’t take a genius to know this is good PR – it’s a win/win for the banks!
Are you the kind of nerd, like us, who wants more details and sources? Read on!
We weren’t joking about $91.44 Billion putting us on the road to ending homelessness for good.
Seriously: The National Affordable Housing Trust is a program that, if funded for $30 billion a year for 10 years, could END homelessness in America. The banks could pay for the first two years of funding with one year of bonuses alone!6 Meanwhile, public housing – y’know, the place that the foreclosed have largely been pushed into? – has needed $21 Billion in repairs for a long time.7 That means $10.44 Billion left over – more than enough bonuses for every Wall Street banker to take many, many, many trips to Disney World, or whatever Wall Street bankers spend their money on. (Ahem.)
1. Wall St. Bonuses Over All Are Predicted to Rise 5 to 10%, New York Times.
2. The Financial Crisis: Why Have No High-Level Executives Been Prosecuted?, NY Review of Books.
USA Today: Ten banks settle foreclosure charges for $8.5 billion
3. Bank of America Bribed Employees Into Screwing Homeowners, Because Finance Is Boring.
4. Alexis Breaks Down The $13 Billion Chase Settlement.
5. Support for MID Reform Grows as NLIHC Proposal Receives National Media Attention, National Low Income Housing Coalition.
6. It’s Hard to Tell Who Hates Public Housing More: Democrats or Republicans, Disorderly Conduct.
- See more at:
(UPDATE: With 50,000+ signers, our open letter has been covered in Democracy Now, the Huffington Post, and The Guardian.)
“Wall Street is about to give themselves $91.44 Billion – with a B – in holiday bonuses, even as they continue to dodge jail time for their ongoing crime spree!”1
HUH? Wall Street megabanks forced ten million people out of their homes due to the foreclosure crisis, while spending 2013 dodging the law for the blatant financial fraud that left folks homeless.2
HOW? Ten banks kicked off 2013 by paying $8.5 billion to settle complaints that they improperly foreclosed on homeowners3; in the summer, Bank of America was charged with rewarding employees who pushed the MOST people into foreclosure4; and then JPMorgan Chase rounded off the year by paying $13BN in fines to make fraud complaints go away.5
WHY? That $91.44 Billion a year could go a very long way towards undoing the vast damage done by Wall Street’s megabanks that have engaged in megafraud, not to mention go quite a long way towards curbing American homelessness in general.
How insane is our Wall Street bonus situation? Wall Street bankers are running out of ideas of how to spend the money. That’s not a joke: the Financial Times publishes “How To Spend It” magazine to help stumped Wall Street bankers figure out what to do with their fat bonus checks.
Megabankers might not spend too much time outside of the financial district, but we do, and we know that bankers are unbelievably unpopular right now. So, we’re asking them to do the right thing: give their bonuses to the people they made homeless. It doesn’t take a genius to know this is good PR – it’s a win/win for the banks!
Are you the kind of nerd, like us, who wants more details and sources? Read on!
We weren’t joking about $91.44 Billion putting us on the road to ending homelessness for good.
Seriously: The National Affordable Housing Trust is a program that, if funded for $30 billion a year for 10 years, could END homelessness in America. The banks could pay for the first two years of funding with one year of bonuses alone!6 Meanwhile, public housing – y’know, the place that the foreclosed have largely been pushed into? – has needed $21 Billion in repairs for a long time.7 That means $10.44 Billion left over – more than enough bonuses for every Wall Street banker to take many, many, many trips to Disney World, or whatever Wall Street bankers spend their money on. (Ahem.)
1. Wall St. Bonuses Over All Are Predicted to Rise 5 to 10%, New York Times.
2. The Financial Crisis: Why Have No High-Level Executives Been Prosecuted?, NY Review of Books.
USA Today: Ten banks settle foreclosure charges for $8.5 billion
3. Bank of America Bribed Employees Into Screwing Homeowners, Because Finance Is Boring.
4. Alexis Breaks Down The $13 Billion Chase Settlement.
5. Support for MID Reform Grows as NLIHC Proposal Receives National Media Attention, National Low Income Housing Coalition.
6. It’s Hard to Tell Who Hates Public Housing More: Democrats or Republicans, Disorderly Conduct.
- See more at:


Snowden and Manning deserve clemency
based on NYT criteria

Last week, the New York Times editorial board thrilled government transparency advocates worldwide when they released an article calling on President Obama to grant clemency to Edward Snowden. They declare him a whistleblower loud and clear in the article’s title, and detail the NSA’s legal and ethical violations which Mr. Snowden uncovered.

Firedoglake’s Kevin Gosztola, who reported on PVT Manning’s trial last summer, praised the NYT for its support of Snowden while challenging them on another point “If Snowden is a whistleblower, what is Chelsea Manning?” This summer the NYT’s editorial board called Manning’s 35 year-sentence “excessive”, but they stopped short of calling her a whistleblower.

There are close parallels in the stories of Snowden and Manning as detailed on Gosztola’s blog:
Just as the Times makes clear that Snowden could not have gone through ‘proper channels,’ it would have been impossible for Manning as well… Had she sent specific documents in the sets to get the attention of members of Congress or had she gone to superiors within the military and said this should not be secret, she most certainly would have lost her security clearance...
Six bullet points on violations Snowden revealed and legal actions he provoked are offered by the Times editors to further advance the argument that he is a whistleblower. Certainly, the same could be done for Manning:
  • Manning revealed a video of a 2007 Apache helicopter attack, which shows two Reuters journalists being gunned down in Baghdad. The video, which featured soldiers begging superior officers for orders to fire on individuals, was withheld from Reuters, even though the media organization filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. 
  • Frago 242, which the US and the UK appeared to have adopted as a way of excusing them from having to take responsibility for torture or ill-treatment of Iraqis by Iraqi military or security forces, was revealed in the Iraq War Logs. 
  • Yemen president Ali Abdullah Saleh agreed to secretly allow US cruise missile or drone attacks that he would say were launched by his government 
  • Both the administrations of President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama pressured Spain and Germany not to investigate torture authorized by Bush administration officials 
  • US government was well aware of rampant corruption in the Tunisian ruling family of President Ben Ali and the FBI trained torturers in Egypt’s state security service. The information released by Manning was one of the “small things“ that helped to inspire the Arab Spring 
  • Al Jazeera journalist Sami al-Hajj was sent to Guantanamo Bay prison “to provide information” on the “al Jazeera news network’s training program, telecommunications equipment and newsgathering operations in Chechnya, Kosovo and Afghanistan, including the network’s acquisition of a video of [Osama bin Laden] and a subsequent interview” of bin Laden, a clear attack on press freedom 
  • Partly basing its ruling on diplomatic cables Manning released, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), the court condemned the CIA for its extraordinary rendition program and found Macedonia had been responsible for the torture and violation of German car salesman Khaled el-Masri’s rights when he was abducted. Macedonia was ordered to pay $78,500 in damages to Masri.
If you’re wondering why government transparency advocates should present a unified front in fighting for whistleblower protections, you have only to look to the words and experiences of these whistleblowers themselves. While Snowden flees persecution by the same administration and same set of laws that were used to imprison Chelsea, he has clearly stated that ”Manning was a classic whistleblower.” She “was inspired by the public good.”

Do you support both Manning and Snowden? Tell us why on our facebook page. Leave a comment, a graphic, or a picture of you holding a sign with your message. We will share some of our favorite messages and images with our 105,000+ facebook followers in the coming weeks.


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


Here are three important ways you can support Chelsea:

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

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

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

484 Lake Park Ave #41, Oakland CA 94610



Bay Area United Against War Newsletter

Table of Contents:













(Unless otherwise noted)
















1) No Jobs, No Benefits, and Lousy Pay

There is nothing good to say about the December employment report, which showed that only 74,000 jobs were added last month. But dismal as it was, the report came at an opportune political moment. The new numbers rebut the Republican arguments that jobless benefits need not be renewed, and that the current minimum wage is adequate. At the same time, they underscore the need, only recently raised to the top of the political agenda, to combat poverty and inequality.

The report showed that average monthly job growth in 2013 was 182,000, basically unchanged from 2012. Even the decline in the jobless rate last month, from 7 percent in November to 6.7 percent, was a sign of weakness: It mainly reflects a shrinking labor force — not new hiring — as the share of workers employed or looking for work fell to the lowest level since 1978. That’s a tragic waste of human capital. It would be comforting to ascribe the dwindling labor force mainly to retirements or other long-term changes, but most of the decline is due to weak job opportunities and weak labor demand since the Great Recession.

One result is that the share of jobless workers who have been unemployed for six months or longer has remained stubbornly high. In December, it was nearly 38 percent, still higher by far than at any time before the Great Recession, in records going back to 1948.

And yet, nearly 1.3 million of those long-term unemployed had their federal jobless benefits abruptly cut off at the end of last year, after Republicans refused to renew the federal unemployment program in the latest budget deal. Each week the program is not reinstated, another 72,000 jobless people who otherwise would have qualified for benefits will find there is no longer a federal program to turn to. Worse, in the Senate this week, after a show of willingness to discuss renewing the benefits, Republicans objected to a bill to do just that. They had demanded that a renewal be paid for, but they didn’t like how Democrats proposed to do that — with spending cuts at the end of the budget window in 2024 in exchange for relief today.

There was no need to pay for the benefits, which have such a crucial and positive effect — on families, the economy and poverty — that it would be sound to renew them even if the government borrowed to do so. But Republicans would rather criticize President Obama’s handling of the economy than help those left behind.

A similar dynamic is developing around the drive for a higher minimum wage. In the December jobs report, the average hourly wage for most workers was $20.35. That means that the minimum wage, at $7.25 an hour, is only one-third of the average, rather than one-half, as was the case historically. Raising the wage to $10.10 an hour, as Democrats have proposed, would help to restore the historical relationship. But even that would fall far short of the roughly $17 an hour that workers at the bottom of the wage scale would be earning if increased labor productivity were reflected in their pay, rather than in corporate profits, executive compensation and shareholder returns.



2) The Next Data Privacy Battle May Be Waged Inside Your Car

Cars are becoming smarter than ever, with global positioning systems, Internet connections, data recorders and high-definition cameras. Drivers can barely make a left turn, put on their seatbelts or push 80 miles an hour without their actions somehow, somewhere being tracked or recorded.

Automakers say they are only responding to consumer demand, and besides, they and regulators say, the new technologies help them better understand consumers and make the cars safer. But privacy advocates increasingly see something more unsettling for drivers: that someone is always watching.

Now two senators are trying to give car owners more say over some of that data. Early next week, Senator John Hoeven, Republican of North Dakota, and Senator Amy Klobuchar, Democrat of Minnesota, will introduce a bill stipulating that car owners control the data collected on the device called the event data recorder. The recorder, commonly known as a black box, collects information like direction, speed and seatbelt use in a continuous loop. It is in nearly every car today, and in September, it is set to become mandatory.

“We’ve got real privacy concerns on the part of the public,” Senator Hoeven said in a telephone interview. “People are very concerned about their personal privacy, especially as technology continues to advance,” he said, referring to revelations of spying by the National Security Agency. Fourteen states have already passed similar laws.

The data collected by the black box has already been the center of litigation by law enforcement agencies and insurance companies seeking to use the information against car owners. The bill would limit what the data could be used for and would require a warrant to release the data without the owner’s consent.

But even this legislation covers only part of what is a rapidly evolving technological landscape.

At the International CES in Las Vegas this week, automakers and technology companies announced a stream of new products and services aimed at making cars more connected.

Google announced it had a partnership with G.M., Audi, Honda and Hyundai to bring its Android platform to vehicle infotainment systems by the end of this year. At the same time, G.M. said it would start an app shop, where drivers can use apps like to book a hotel room and CitySeeker, which provides information about attractions and restaurants near the vehicle.

The days of a driver being alerted to a deal at a retailer as he drives nearby are rapidly approaching.

Many consumers, though, are unaware of just how much personal information is collected and used, privacy advocates say.

“Manufacturers do a poor job of informing consumers and explaining the privacy implications of new technology,” said Khaliah Barnes of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a consumer group based in Washington. “Often, that information is in the owner’s manual, and when’s the last time you thumbed through your owner’s manual?”

It didn’t help the automakers’ reassurances about their handling of data when Jim Farley, Ford Motor Company’s top sales executive, who is known for making off-the-cuff comments, told a panel at the CES: “We know everyone who breaks the law. We know when you’re doing it. We have GPS in your car, so we know what you’re doing.” Although he quickly added, “By the way, we don’t supply that data to anyone,” and later issued a full retraction, the comments, even if overblown and meant to be provocative, fueled the concerns.

Vehicle owners, Ms. Barnes said, should be able to request the information manufacturers record and delete information at their discretion.

“Consumers should decide what level of surveillance they want to be under,” Ms. Barnes said. “None of that should be on default. You should have to opt in.”

The Corvette’s system goes further than traditional black boxes.

A camera mounted on the windshield records the driver’s point of view and a microphone in the cabin records any noises made in the car.

Chevrolet said that the consumer owned the data, which is collected in a digital card housed in the glove compartment.

But privacy lawyers say that the information can still be used against a driver, as well as G.M. and its suppliers, in litigation or by an insurance company investigating a driver’s habits.

“The privacy and liability issues associated with the P.D.R. are as real as with any archived data that can be used by or against individuals,” said William Kohler, a lawyer at Clark Hill in Detroit.

The new brainpower in cars puts the industry in new territory with security and data privacy, said Thomas Kowalick, an expert in event data recorders and a former co-chairman of the federal committee that set the standard for black boxes.

“The major concern is not what an E.D.R. gathers now but that future in-vehicle technologies will make it possible to virtually record and track a vehicle’s movement from point A to point B,” Mr. Kowalick said.

Garmin introduced a new windshield-suctioned camera that turns on automatically when the car starts. It records wide-angle footage as well as speed, location and time in the event of a collision, and also has a microphone that can record sound from within the car.

“We hope it takes some of the ‘he said, she said’ out of an incident in your car,” said Ted Gartner, a spokesman.

He said the device’s owner also owned the data and that Garmin could not access it.

“There’s no way that we have access to that data because there’s no way to transfer the data out of the car wirelessly,” Mr. Gartner said.

Despite these and other assurances, the new products are attracting scrutiny in Washington.

On Monday, the Government Accountability Office released a report stating that some automakers were keeping private data collected from onboard navigation systems and mapping apps for varying lengths of time and that car owners could not request that it be erased.

The report, which was requested by Senator Al Franken, Democrat of Minnesota, found that the 10 automakers, navigation device manufacturers and application developers surveyed did not make owners aware of all the risks of the data collection, like allowing third parties to track their location or gather sensitive information such as their religious and political activities and preferences.

“Information about your location is extremely sensitive,” said Senator Franken, who is chairman of a Judiciary subcommittee on privacy and said he planned to introduce a bill that would legislate guidelines on when a vehicle owner’s location could be shared. “If someone has a record of your location, they can figure out where you live, where you work, the doctors you visit and where your kids go to school.”



3) Defying Japan, Rancher Saves Fukushima’s Radioactive Cows

NAMIE, Japan — His may be one of the world’s more quixotic protests.

Angered by what he considers the Japanese government’s attempts to sweep away the inconvenient truths of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, Masami Yoshizawa has moved back to his ranch in the radioactive no-man’s land surrounding the devastated plant. He has no neighbors, but plenty of company: hundreds of abandoned cows he has vowed to protect from the government’s kill order.

A large bulldozer — meant to keep out agricultural officials — stands at the entrance to the newly renamed Ranch of Hope like a silent sentinel, guarding a driveway lined with bleached cattle bones and handwritten protest signs.

“Let the Cows of Hope Live!” says one. Another, written on a yellow-painted cow skull, declares: “Nuclear Rebellion!” Inside the now overcrowded ranch, bellowing cows spill from the overflowing cattle sheds into the well-worn pasture, and even trample the yard of the warmly lit farmhouse.

“These cows are living testimony to the human folly here in Fukushima,” said Mr. Yoshizawa, 59, a gruff but eloquent man with a history of protest against his government. “The government wants to kill them because it wants to erase what happened here, and lure Japan back to its pre-accident nuclear status quo. I am not going to let them.”

Launch media viewer
At Masami Yoshizawa’s newly renamed Ranch of Hope, which is in the evacuation zone created by the 2011 disaster at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. Mr. Yoshizawa returned to take care of the abandoned cows on his own and other ranches in the area. Ko Sasaki for The New York Times
Mr. Yoshizawa is no sentimentalist — before the disaster, he raised cows for slaughter. But he says there is a difference between killing cows for food and killing them because, in their contaminated state, they are no longer useful. He believes the cows on his ranch, abandoned by him and other fleeing farmers after the accident, are as much victims as the 83,000 humans forced to abandon their homes and live outside the evacuation zone for two and a half years.
He is worried about his health. A dosage meter near the ranch house reads the equivalent of about 1.5 times the government-set level for evacuation. But he is more fearful that the country will forget about the triple meltdowns at the plant as Japan’s economy shows signs of long-awaited recovery and Tokyo excitedly prepares for the 2020 Olympics — suggesting his protest is as least as much a political statement, as a humanitarian one.
“If authorities say kill the cows,” he said, “then I resolved to do the opposite by saving them.”

The cows at the Ranch of Hope are what is left of a once-thriving beef industry in the towns around the plant.

Entire herds died of starvation in the weeks after the residents left. The cows that survived escaped their ranches to forage for food among the empty homes and streets, where they became traffic hazards for trucks shuttling workers and supplies to and from the stricken plant. Proclaiming the animals “walking accident debris,” officials from the Ministry of Agriculture ordered them to be rounded up and slaughtered, their bodies buried or burned along with other radioactive waste.

Outraged, Mr. Yoshizawa began returning to his ranch soon after to feed the remnants of the herd he had been tending. He eventually decided to return full time to turn the ranch into a haven for all of the area’s abandoned cows. Of the approximately 360 cows at his 80-acre spread, more than half are ones that others left behind.

Although he describes his protest in mainly political terms, his explanation for returning despite the possible danger is tinged with a hint of emotion. He describes his horror on visiting abandoned farms where he found rows of dead cows, their heads fallen into food troughs where they had waited to be fed. In one barn, a newborn calf hoarsely bawled next to its dead mother. He said his spur-of-the-moment decision to save the calf, which he named Ichigo or Strawberry, was his inspiration for trying to save the others left behind.

He still searches the evacuation zone for the often emaciated survivors, which he often has to pull by their ears to get them to follow him home. He tries to dodge police roadblocks; it is technically illegal for anyone to live inside the evacuation zone. Nonetheless, he has been caught a half-dozen times and forced to sign prewritten statements of apology for entering the zone. He has done so, but only after crossing out the promises not to do it again.

Mr. Yoshizawa is no stranger to challenging authority, having protested against nuclear power before. But he says he felt particularly bitter after the Fukushima accident, which he fears could permanently ruin the ranch that he inherited from his father.

It does not help that his town, Namie, felt especially deceived by its leaders. After he heard the explosions at the plant, whose smokestacks and cranes are visible from his kitchen, he and many other townspeople ended up fleeing into the radioactive plume because the government did not disclose crucial information about the accident.

“I needed to find a new philosophy to keep on living,” said Mr. Yoshizawa, who is unmarried and lives alone on the ranch. “Then I realized, why is Japan being so meek in accepting what authorities are telling them? I decided to become the resistance.”

On a recent cold morning, Mr. Yoshizawa used a small bulldozer to carry bales of yellow rice stalks to feed the cows, about two to three times the number that he says his ranch can sustainably support. The cows, mostly a breed known as Japanese Black prized for its marbled wagyu-style beef, hungrily mooed as they jostled one another to get a mouthful.

Mr. Yoshizawa says one fear is running out of feed. With the oversized herd having already grazed his pastureland to stubble, he now relies on contributions of feed and money. Another worry is what living amid the contamination is doing to the cows, and to him.

A checkup soon after the accident showed high levels of radioactive cesium in his body, though he said the number had decreased over the last two years. He tries to keep his contamination as low as possible by using filtered water and buying food on trips out of the area.

The cows, however, are constantly ingesting radioactive materials that remain in the soil and grass; since most of the donated feed he receives is from the region, it, too, is contaminated.

Ten of the cows have developed small white spots on their heads and flanks that he thinks are a result of exposure to radiation. Experts said they had never seen such spots before, but they said other causes were also possible, including a fungal infection from the overcrowding.

Mr. Yoshizawa has attracted a small following of supporters, but has his critics, too, who say he is keeping the animals alive in less than humane conditions in order to make a political point.

“Looking at the over-concentration of animals, I personally don’t think this is very humanitarian,” said Manabu Fukumoto, a pathologist at the Institute of Development, Aging and Cancer at Tohoku University who studied the white spots.

Mr. Yoshizawa notes wryly that the cows are living much longer than they would have if they had been led off to slaughter.

For now, the local authorities have come up with a very Japanese solution to Mr. Yoshizawa’s defiance: turning a blind eye. Town officials in Namie deny knowledge of him or anyone else living inside the evacuation zone — despite the fact that they have restored electricity and telephone service to the ranch.

Mr. Yoshizawa does not make himself easy to ignore. He continues to appear in Japanese news media, maintains a blog with a live webcam of the ranch and holds occasional one-man protests in front of the headquarters of the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co.

“Not all Japanese are passive,” Mr. Yoshizawa said. “My cows and I will show that there is still a chance for change.”

Hisako Ueno contributed reporting.



4) The Vicious Circle of Income Inequality



5) Mumia as Fuel for Right-Wing Agenda
Huffington Post, January 11, 2014

On Wednesday afternoon, I received an email from Fox News’ show, Hannity, about the possibility of an interview with me on the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. The heat was turned up at Fox in response to the Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing that day where Debo Adegbile was being confirmed as President Barack Obama’s nominee for assistant attorney general of civil rights at the U.S. Department of Justice.

Before long I was on the phone with one of the producers, who grilled me on my take on Adegbile’s appointment and his connection to Mumia Abu-Jamal.

I said that I am part of Mumia’s legal team, that Adegbile was never part of the small group of lawyers and staff working on the Mumia case at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, that Adegbile did not lobby for the Legal Defense Fund to take on the case, and that he simply happened to be working with the organization that had decided to take it on. I added that Fox should, however, explore why one of the most respected legal civil rights organizations in the nation, of Brown vs. Board of Education fame, would deem the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal important enough to take on. Moreover, I added, the issue around which Adegbile is being attacked surrounds a federal appeal that challenged Mumia’s death sentence, not his conviction, which was pursued rabidly and illegally by prosecutor Joe McGill in a manner that desecrated the Constitution of the United States. The federal judges agreed with the brief, and the death sentence of this world-renowned journalist was commuted to life without parole.

On this basis alone—that for over 28 years Mumia was unconstitutionally subjected to inhumane and torturous conditions on death row—Mumia should immediately be released. But in addition to being railroaded in a trial that, according to an Amnesty International Report on the case, “failed to meet minimum international standards safeguarding the fairness of legal proceedings,” the evidence in Mumia’s case suggests that an innocent man has now been imprisoned for 32 years. As the long history of Black criminalization in the U.S. demonstrates, just because a Black person is convicted doesn’t mean he/she is guilty. Ask The Innocence Project at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University.

Back to FOX News. In classic FOX form, the interview with me would not be about the case or about the appointment of Adegbile. Hannity gave ample time to Katie Pavlich who was representing the views of the prosecution, and who was clearly committed to simply echoing its conclusions.

In the end, the point of the segment was for Fox to call Mumia “a thrice-convicted cop killer” as many times as possible, and to associate that with Debo Adegbile so as to strategically energize a right-wing agenda against the gains of the civil rights movement—following the same pattern as in their successful campaign to decommission Van Jones.

At the end of the segment, I wanted out of the studio immediately, got up to walk off the set and was stopped by producers because I was about to walk through the camera as Hannity introduced the next segment. Then, while I was standing there, I decided to stay a while longer to let Hannity have it when the cameras went down. I told him that his crafty staging of inflammatory propaganda parading as political debate was cheapening a desperately needed public discussion in the U.S. and destroying the project of democracy on which it depends. Hannity’s is a false front for news, journalism, and debate, in which the opposing viewpoint is rudely cut off, and is then pummeled to the ground with a battery of lies.

True to its form, Fox News manipulated the facts of the case to depict Mumia as an unrepentant cop-killer. For example, Ms. Pavlich claimed that Mumia did not enter a not-guilty plea in court during the trial. In fact, Mumia’s attorney entered a not-guilty plea and later in the trial Mumia himself twice upheld his innocence. But as the trial began, Mumia took a vow of silence in protest of prosecutorial misconduct—the failure of the prosecution to honor its pre-trial agreement to release to the defendant important photographs and records before the start of the trial. Mumia also took a vow of silence because he wished to be his own attorney and to make an opening statement to the court—all requirements of fair trial proceeding under the Constitution, but denied to Mumia Abu-Jamal.

After the Hannity interview, FOX’s The Kelley Files interviewed Officer Daniel Faulkner’s widow, Maureen Faulkner. Mrs. Faulkner said on air that Obama’s appointment is tantamount to “spitting on all of our officers.” As I watched, I was reminded of a heart-wrenching interview I conducted a few years ago with Mumia’s sister, Lydia Barashango, who was dying of cancer. She told the film crew of Justice on Trial: The Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal that “justice for Maureen Faulkner is tied to finding out who killed Officer Daniel Faulkner. Mumia is not that person.”

Justice for Daniel Faulkner and justice for Mumia Abu-Jamal depend on an uncompromising commitment to facts, due process and truth; to date, that commitment has not been realized. As with so many other defendants, the courts failed Mumia. He was not tried by a jury of his peers; police officers tampered with evidence; and the prosecution suppressed exculpatory evidence.

The most important and least known fact of the Abu-Jamal case is that a fourth person was present at the crime scene and the prosecutor and the presiding judge repressed his presence at trial. Former TV Guide reporter and independent crimes-investigation journalist Patrick O’Connor argues convincingly in his book about the case, that that fourth person, Kenneth Freeman, killed Officer Faulkner.

Also alarming is that 15 of the 35 officers involved in collecting evidence in the case went to jail for corruption and evidence tampering within weeks of the end of Mumia’s trial. In fact, the photos taken by Pedro Polakoff, an independent photojournalist who took the first photographs of the crime scene, show evidence tampering on the part of the police and disprove the prosecution’s entire theory of the case.

Sadly, despite the overwhelming evidence of innocence in this case, Mrs. Faulkner is denouncing Obama’s appointment of Adegbile and trying Mumia before the court of public opinion on the basis of his political affiliation with the Black Panther Party, which he joined when he was a 14-year-old. Incidentally, this was the same illegal strategy used at trial by prosecutor Joe McGill to secure the death penalty in Mumia’s case. Deploying the language that has historically been used to silence those who fight against injustice—the language of McCarthyism—Mrs. Faulkner denounces Mumia as “a radical and a Black Panther.” But the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States protects freedom of speech and association and also protects against the use of political affiliation as proof of a defendant’s guilt if it is not germane to the case.

Mrs. Faulkner’s life-long campaign against Mumia Abu-Jamal is fueled, yes, by pain, but also by a blind anger that has been nurtured, misdirected and manipulated by the Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police (FOP). Her statements are, in part, a response to the new petition, launched by The Campaign to Bring Mumia Home that calls on the Department of Justice to support the release of Mumia Abu-Jamal. Our aim is to get a million signatures. Please help us reach that goal by forwarding the link to your networks:

Those whose careers would be destroyed if the truth surfaced in this case argue that the failure of the appellate process to grant Abu-Jamal relief on his conviction is proof of his guilt. However, as was recently demonstrated in the case of Herman Wallace of the Angola 3, the appellate system in the United States very often fails the defendants. The problem with the appellate process is that following a series of regressive, states’ rights laws passed in the 1990s, such as the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, appellate judges are forced to accept the “factual” rulings of lower courts, without regard for the tampered and falsified evidence often manufactured by the police and relied upon by the lower courts.

Because the appellate process is stacked against Mumia Abu-Jamal and hundreds-of-thousands of other defendants, the only available route to justice amidst the crisis of mass incarceration and political imprisonment in the U.S. is open debate and discussion—precisely what Hannity and his friends at FOX are intent on crushing.

Mumia is a present-day Scottsboro Boy, and we must demand that Pennsylvania reveal his innocence now, not 80 years later the way Alabama did with the Scottsboro Boys.
In the 1990s, the Movement to Free Mumia brought hundreds-of-thousands of people into the streets and deployed the political pressure that stopped Mumia’s execution—twice! After Mumia’s death sentence was ruled unconstitutional, the Philadelphia District Attorney, Seth Williams, decided not to pursue the death penalty once again. He feared that doing so might galvanize an international movement that would descend on his city and expose the manner in which the courts, politicians and the police conspired to silence and imprison this radical journalist who is arguable, the Nelson Mandela of our time. Victories like these are rare during downturns in struggle, but our victory in winning Mumia’s release from death row coincided with a shift in consciousness in the U.S. occasioned by the economic crisis that began in 2008, the execution of Troy Davis, the emergence of the Occupy Movement, the murder of Trayvon Martin, the struggle against Stop and Frisk and the emergence of a new, embryonic but growing movement against mass incarceration.

Given this shift, The Campaign to Bring Mumia Home believes that it makes more sense than ever to begin to imagine a world in which Mumia Abu-Jamal walks amongst us. For this reason we are hard at work building a strategic grassroots movement that takes to the streets and shifts the current media representation of this case, nationally and especially in Philadelphia.

Like the struggle that freed Mandela, the fight to free Mumia is bound up in the struggle to build a better world.

For those who watched my interview with Fox News, this is what I would have said on Hannity if I hadn’t been interrupted. These are the talking points that will bring Mumia home:

1. Mumia is innocent.

2. On the night that Officer Faulkner was shot there were four persons at the crime scene. But the prosecutor, Joe McGill, and the trial judge, Albert Sabo, concealed the presence at the crime scene of that fourth person at trial. In fact, the presence of that fourth person, the passenger in the Volkswagen which Officer Faulkner had stopped, was acknowledged by prosecutor Joe McGill in another trial that was happening concurrently, surrounding the same crime scene. This key, exculpatory evidence—that there was another person at the crime scene who was the passenger—was hidden from the defense and the jury. Why?

3. It is well documented, in declassified memos, that the Philadelphia police in consultation with COINTELPRO had for many years been trying to peg a crime on former Black Panther and muckraking radio journalist, Mumia Abu-Jamal, whose reporting on police brutality, corruption in City Hall and the MOVE organization had long been a thorn on the side of the establishment. Now the Philadelphia police had their man and they were going to do everything in their power to frame him.

4. The clearest sign that the Abu-Jamal trial was a miscarriage of justice came only two weeks after the end of the trial, when its lead investigator, police inspector Alfonzo Giordano, was tried and eventually convicted of rank corruption, extortion and tampering with evidence.

5. Because almost all the jurors that heard Mumia’s case were white, they believed the testimony of the police. A jury of Mumia’s peers would have known better. Shortly after Mumia’s trial, one third of the police officers involved in collecting evidence in his case were convicted of corruption and tampering with evidence to obtain a conviction. Happening concurrently was also an investigation of the Philadelphia Police Department by the U.S. Department of Justice—the largest ever conducted of a police department in the United States. That investigation concluded that the level of corruption and tampering with evidence on the part of the Philadelphia police and its homicidal behavior against Black and brown detainees “shocks the conscience.”

6. Upon arrival at the scene of the crime, the police who found Mumia on the ground with a bullet from Daniel Faulkner’s gun in his gut proceeded to beat Mumia to a pulp and throw him into a paddy wagon where they beat him up some more. Approximately an hour later, they drove him to the hospital and threw him on the ground at the entrance of the Emergency Room.

7. The prosecution pegged the murder of Officer Daniel Faulkner on Mumia based on the perjured testimony of three witnesses who said, 60 days later, that Mumia confessed to the shooting while in the hospital. This was contradicted, however, by the testimony of Dr. Anthony Coletta, who was with him from the moment he entered the hospital. Dr. Coletta said that Mumia was barely conscious and in a state of shock, and that the trauma produced by Mumia’s bullet wound and the beating he had endured at the hands of the cops meant that medically, Mumia was incapable of speaking. In addition, the police report written on the night of the incident by the officer assigned to Mumia at the hospital, Gary Wakshul, states that “The Negro male made no comment.”

8. The first photographs taken of the crime scene were taken by a regularly published freelance photographer, Pedro Polakoff. He repeatedly called the police to give them those photographs, but the cops never responded. Polakoff assumed that Mumia was guilty and forgot about the issue. In 2006 these photographs were discovered and studied by Dr. Michael Schiffman of Heidelberg University in Germany. The photos disprove the prosecution’s entire case theory. They also show that the police lied and tampered with evidence. Officer James Forbes, who testified in court that he had properly handled the guns allegedly retrieved at the crime scene, is photographed holding the guns with his bare hands, destroying all potentially significant fingerprints. Most importantly, the Polakoff photos also point to the presence of a fourth person at the crime scene: Officer Faulkner’s hat is pictured resting on top of the Volkswagen on the side of the passenger-seat, suggesting that he may have had a conversation with the passenger.

9. Exonerating evidence abounds in the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. Because Mumia is known the world-over for his commentaries and writings on inequality and because he has spent so much of his time in prison offering a radical critique and analysis of mass incarceration, a victory in Mumia’s case would open up a much larger conversation in the mainstream about the crisis of mass and political imprisonment in the U.S.

Johanna Fernandez is a professor of History at Baruch College (CUNY)

—Huffington Post, January 11, 2014



6) Food Stamp Cut Hits Ky. County Harder Than Most

BOONEVILLE, Ky. — Rosanna Troyer is coping with the drop in her federal food assistance from $367 to $303 by cutting back on meat purchases and buying more canned goods and macaroni and cheese.

Her 12-year-old daughter is already sick of the hot dogs they've been eating frequently at their home in Owsley County, which has the lowest median household income of any U.S. county outside Puerto Rico.

"She says 'mom, can't we have something else? I told her, you got to wait, maybe next month," said the 36-year-old Troyer.

Troyer is one of the more than 47 million Americans who receive food stamps, all of whom saw their allotment drop on Nov. 1 as a temporary benefit from the 2009 economic stimulus ran out. Few places feel the difference as profoundly as Owsley County, an overwhelmingly white and Republican area whose own representative in Congress voted against renewing the benefit.

The drop came ahead of the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon Johnson's call for a "War on Poverty," an initiative aimed at expanding the government's role in education and health care as poverty reduction strategies. The food stamp program grew out the initiative Johnson launched with his Jan 8, 1964 speech.

The programs played a role in bringing Owsley County and other parts of Appalachia out of what has been described as "third-world conditions" where people died of starvation, said Jason Bailey, director of the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy in Frankfort.

"The absolute level of poverty is better," Bailey said. "But, the gap between central Appalachia and the rest of the country has not closed. In a relative sense, it's just as big."

Across Kentucky, nearly 900,000 people who need food stamps saw a proposed cut of $40 billion from the food stamp program, also known Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. And, with the cut in benefits, it appears the gap will widen, particularly in a place like Owsley County in a rural, poor area in Kentucky's Appalachian foothills, said Jason Dunn, director of the Division of Family Support for the Kentucky Cabinet of Health and Family Services.

Owsley County, home to 4,722 residents, is poor even by Appalachian standards. Its median household income of $19,351 is the lowest outside of Puerto Rico, according to census results. The county is more than 99 percent white.

In 2009, the last year available, government benefits accounted for 53 percent of personal income.

Over 41 percent of residents — four in 10 — fall below the poverty line. In 2011, the most recent year available, 52 percent received food stamps.

"It's a very poor county and I see a lot of people struggling, I mean it isn't a day you see somebody, pushing strollers or a cart down the street trying to find pop cans so they can take it in ... to get a little bit of change," Troyer said. "It's tough."

Republican U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers, who represents the 5th Congressional District that includes Owsley County, voted not to renew extra funding for the food assistance program that had been allocated as part of the federal stimulus in 2009 — a vote critics called a cutback — even though it affects about a third of his constituents. Rogers said the program is needed in eastern Kentucky, but is also badly in need of reforms to keep "scammers, lottery winners, gamblers and others who may be able to work" out of the program. Rogers won re-election in 2012 with 84 percent of the vote.

Conservatives are pushing cuts as they seek to target benefits to the neediest people, arguing that those who are truly hungry should have no problem getting assistance if they apply. The final bill will most likely crack down on states that give recipients $1 in heating assistance in order to trigger higher food stamp benefits. Republicans say anyone who truly qualifies for a higher benefit still can get it through SNAP.

State Sen. Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, represents Owsley County and the neighboring area. Stivers said food assistance and other War on Poverty programs have helped some people break the cycle of poverty, but left others "accustomed to it and created a cycle of dependence."

Stivers said dependence caused by food stamps and other assistance has led to a devaluing of education among some recipients and contributed to drug abuse in the region.

"If you had extreme poverty 50 years ago and you continue to have extreme poverty 50 years from then, and probably maybe even more poverty, can you sit here and say it has quantifiable measurements of success?" Stivers said. "And I think the numbers would tell you it probably has not been a success."

Cleda Turner, the director of Owsley County Outreach charitable organization, sees the poverty every day. The Outreach center packs food backpacks weekly for students identified by schools as being in need. The backpacks, which contain non-perishable foods such as peanut butter and boxed goods, are given out on Friday to ensure the children have food for the weekends.

"In the winter time there is always a greater need," said Turner, a native of the county. "There's a greater need for covers, like blankets and quilts. There's more need for food because of the heat bills going so high."

Turner has spoken with families who have seen food stamps cut by $200 per month. In some cases, Turner said, senior citizens are being forced to decide between buying medication and paying for food.

"And a lot of them do without medicines because they can't afford them," Turner said.

Troyer, who has been receiving food assistance for two months, says she is finding ways to shop smarter, make due with what is available and learn to love hot dogs.

"I wasn't really surprised, I just kind of grin and bear it, you do what you can do, that's about it," Troyer said.

Lovan reported from Booneville, Ky. Barrouquere reported from Louisville, Ky.



7)  Detroit Auto Show 2014
Protesters show frustration at automakers ahead of Detroit show
By Jim Lynch 
The Detroit News, January 12, 2014

Protesters voiced a wide range of frustrations in downtown Detroit on Sunday, January 12, 2014, ahead of this week’s start of the 2014 North American International Auto Show.

A crowd of over 30 people holding placards and chanting slogans paraded across the street from Cobo Center, where the eyes of the auto world will be fixed for the next two weeks. The good feelings generated by the auto industry’s rebound in recent years haven’t been shared with everyone, according to many of those on hand Sunday.

“They cheated their workers,” said 54-year-old Detroiter Tom Stephenson, speaking about the Big Three automakers. “They accepted bailouts from the taxpayers even though they were supposedly too big to fail. So yeah, now they’re operating on a profit. For the workers, it has meant four-tier contracts, loss of healthcare, loss of benefits, loss of rights on the job.

“It’s a nightmare.”

Many of those participating in the protest Sunday were linked with Autoworker Caravan, a group formed to back union workers in the industry. Those workers, they said, have not enjoyed the spoils of the economic turnaround that their employers have.

Signs in the crowd included: “No more two-tier or three-tier wages, we are all equals,” “Whose recovery is it?” and “Divided we beg, united we demand.”

UAW Chrysler retiree Bob McReavy, 72, drove in from his home in Ortonville on Sunday to participate in the protest. He spoke angrily about the $1.8 billion in tax breaks afforded to businesses by Governor Rick Snyder, while homeowners like himself were penalized by reductions in the Homestead property tax credit.

Those moves do nothing but feed the perception that the deck is stacked in favor of corporate interests and against the little guy, he said. And nowhere does that seem more prevalent than in the auto industry.

“I‘m fed up with the way we’re being treated—all of us, everybody,” McReavy said. “(Automakers are) making billions and we’ve got third-tier wages now—people working for $8 an hour. ...And they’re back to paying their CEOs $20 million a year.”

—The Detroit News, January 12, 2014



8) Profiting Off the Sick, Injured and the Healthy
By Bonnie Weinstein
Socialist Viewpoint Vol. 14, No. 1

According to a December 11, 2013 article in the New York Times by Gretchen Reynolds titled, “Exercise as Potent Medicine,”1

“Exercise can be as effective as many frequently prescribed drugs in treating some of the leading causes of death, according to a new report. The study raises important questions about whether our healthcare system focuses too much on medications and too little on activity to combat physical ailments.”

One of the challenges of the study, the article points out, was that while “They ended up with data covering 305 past experiments that, collectively, involved almost 340,000 participants, which is an impressive total. …Most of the volunteers had received drugs. Only 57 of the experiments, involving 14,716 volunteers, had examined the impact of exercise as a treatment.”

The pharmaceutical industry does not pay for experiments measuring the effectiveness of exercise and diet on health.

In fact, according to Dr. Ioannidis, one of the doctors who worked on the report, “‘Only five percent’ of the available and relevant experiments in his [Dr. Ioannidis’s] new analysis involved exercise. ‘We need far more information’ about how exercise compares, head to head, with drugs in the treatment of many conditions, he said, as well as what types and amounts of exercise confer the most benefit and whether there are side effects, such as injuries. Ideally, he said, pharmaceutical companies would set aside a tiny fraction of their profits for such studies. But he is not optimistic that such funding will materialize, without widespread public pressure.”

Basically, exercise is not profitable and could, in fact, cut into the profits of the pharmaceutical industry. But it gets worse.

Connecting the dots

According to a December 14, 2013 article in the Times by Alan Schwarz titled, “The Selling of Attention Deficit Disorder,”2 with the sub-head: “The Number of Diagnoses Soared Amid a 20-Year Drug Marketing Campaign,”

“After more than 50 years leading the fight to legitimize attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, Keith Conners could be celebrating.

“Severely hyperactive and impulsive children, once shunned as bad seeds, are now recognized as having a real neurological problem. Doctors and parents have largely accepted drugs like Adderall and Concerta to temper the traits of classic A.D.H.D., helping youngsters succeed in school and beyond.

“But Dr. Conners did not feel triumphant this fall as he addressed a group of fellow A.D.H.D. specialists in Washington.

“He noted that recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that the diagnosis had been made in 15 percent of high school-age children, and that the number of children on medication for the disorder had soared to 3.5 million from 600,000 in 1990. He questioned the rising rates of diagnosis and called them ‘a national disaster of dangerous proportions.’

“The numbers make it look like an epidemic. Well, it’s not. It’s preposterous,’ Dr. Conners, a psychologist and professor emeritus at Duke University, said in a subsequent interview. ‘This is a concoction to justify the giving out of medication at unprecedented and unjustifiable levels.’”

The article goes on to point out,

“The rise of A.D.H.D. diagnoses and prescriptions for stimulants over the years coincided with a remarkably successful two-decade campaign by pharmaceutical companies to publicize the syndrome and promote the pills to doctors, educators and parents. With the children’s market booming, the industry is now employing similar marketing techniques as it focuses on adult A.D.H.D., which could become even more profitable.”

These drugs have become so pervasive that the TV cartoon-show, The Simpsons, featured a segment in one of the shows where ten-year-old Bart Simpson, who is prescribed Ritalin for his failings in school, sings this little ditty to the tune of “Popeye the Sailor Man,”

“When I can’t stop my fiddlin’

I just takes me Ritalin

I’m poppin’ and sailin’, man!”

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with Bart except that he hates school and homework.

The pharmaceutical industry doesn’t examine the deteriorating quality of our public education system; the over crowded classes filled with children at or below the poverty line. They don’t study the effects on health of the school to jail pipeline; the deteriorating neighborhoods; joblessness; poor diet and sedentary lifestyles not to mention the lack of safe and healthy outdoor spaces and activities for children and adults. Instead they devise a pill that makes people more manageable in an unmanageable, unhealthy and unsafe environment. This is not healthcare; it’s chemical control.

In a November 24, 2011 Times article titled, “Payments to Doctors by Pharmaceutical Companies Raise Issues of Conflicts,”3 by Emily Ramshaw and Ryan Murphy,

“Nationwide, pharmaceutical manufacturers routinely pay medical professionals to assess a new product or to help contribute to the drug company’s sales. The companies fly medical professionals to seminars and conferences and may also pay speaking fees. State-employed doctors and researchers are generally no exception, though they are supposed to comply with their individual institutions’ conflict-of-interest policies.”

This article goes on to point out,

“State [Texas] records show that of the 74 doctors and psychiatrists statewide who have routinely prescribed the highest number of costly antipsychotic drugs to patients on Medicaid, the joint state-federal health insurance program for the disabled, children and the very poor, ten received payments from drug companies in 2009-11—from $11,000 to $180,000 each.

“All but one got the payments from the maker of the drug they most commonly prescribed.”

It is unconscionable for anyone in the medical profession to take money from a pharmaceutical company to push their drugs onto patients. How can their motives be trusted?

In a November 13 2013 article in the Times by John D. Abramson and Rita F. Redberg titled, “Don’t Give More Patients Statins,”

“On Tuesday, the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology issued new cholesterol guidelines that essentially declared, in one fell swoop, that millions of healthy Americans should immediately start taking pills—namely statins—for undefined health ‘benefits.’

“This announcement is not a result of a sudden epidemic of heart disease, nor is it based on new data showing the benefits of lower cholesterol. Instead, it is a consequence of simply expanding the definition of who should take the drugs—a decision that will benefit the pharmaceutical industry more than anyone else.”

It goes on,

“This may sound like good news for patients, and it would be—if statins actually offered meaningful protection from our No. 1 killer, heart disease; if they helped people live longer or better; and if they had minimal adverse side effects. However, none of these are the case.

Statins are effective for people with known heart disease. But for people who have less than a 20 percent risk of getting heart disease in the next ten years, statins not only fail to reduce the risk of death, but also fail even to reduce the risk of serious illness…based on the same data the new guidelines rely on, 140 people in this risk group would need to be treated with statins in order to prevent a single heart attack or stroke, without any overall reduction in death or serious illness.

“At the same time, 18 percent or more of this group would experience side effects, including muscle pain or weakness, decreased cognitive function, increased risk of diabetes (especially for women), cataracts or sexual dysfunction.

“Perhaps more dangerous, statins provide false reassurances that may discourage patients from taking the steps that actually reduce cardiovascular disease. According to the World Health Organization, 80 percent of cardiovascular disease is caused by smoking, lack of exercise, an unhealthy diet, and other lifestyle factors. Statins give the illusion of protection to many people, who would be much better served, for example, by simply walking an extra ten minutes per day.”

The picture is clear

The U.S. doesn’t have healthcare, it has a billion-dollar, profit-driven, health-industry orchestrated by the pharmaceutical titans and their health insurance partners. Their goal is not to heal the sick but to make as much profit as possible off them. They will pursue their profits even when it means pushing unnecessary and harmful drugs on healthy children and adults. Ordinary checks and balances are overlooked when the primary goal is to increase the rate of profits by selling us more drugs. U.S. drug companies are the biggest drug-pushers in the world but don’t even spend a second behind penitentiary bars.

“Obamacare” has been nothing but a billion-dollar boondoggle for the healthcare and health insurance industries. In some places in the country under the so-called “Affordable Health Care Act,” the cost for healthcare can be as much as 20 percent of a person’s income. In northwestern Wisconsin for instance, a person earning $50,000.00-per-year has to spend more than 19 percent of his/her income, or $9,801.00 annually, just to buy one of the cheapest healthcare plans.4 And buy one you will or get fined!

Healthcare is our right, and it should be free to all

We can’t have faith in a healthcare industry that’s out for profits at the expense of people. The doctors and hospitals that go along with the insurance and pharmaceutical companies can’t be trusted to have our health and wellbeing in mind.

The only way we can make sure our healthcare is healthy again, is to nationalize the whole industry and turn it into a not-for-profit, free healthcare system. The insurance industry should be abolished; the pharmaceutical companies cannot remain in private hands either. They must be nationalized and their profits confiscated to provide top-quality healthcare for all—including maintaining a healthy environment and living conditions. Food, housing, clothing, education, healthcare and a beautiful, clean and safe environment are rights that belong to everyone. A person can’t be healthy without them.

4 “New Health Law Frustrates Many in Middle Class,” by Kate Thomas, Reed Ableson and Jo Craven McGinty, December 20, 2013



9) A Flashback to the Reign of J. Edgar Hoover

I was a college sophomore in April 1971, still mourning the death of Jimi Hendrix, when I learned that a campus organization to which I belonged was being spied on by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The news landed in the mailbox of the Black Student Union — at what is now known as Widener University, not far from Philadelphia — in an envelope stuffed with documents that had been stolen from an F.B.I. office in nearby Media, Pa.

The burglars referred to themselves as the Citizens Commission to Investigate the F.B.I. The streets were soon teeming with agents who tried in vain to find them. But the mailings continued, reaching news organizations, members of Congress and people like us who had been placed under surveillance.

A fledgling organization at the time, the Black Student Union was hardly a hotbed of revolutionary agitation. We sponsored cultural events, played a bit of a role in campus politics, recruited black students and threw the occasional party. We were flattered to find that the boogeyman of the era, J. Edgar Hoover, found us worthy of surveillance; it gave us more significance than we deserved and seemed to place us on the level of fearsome outfits like the Weathermen and the Black Panthers.

The excitement turned to chagrin as we read the documents. The F.B.I. described us as an incompetent and “basically dormant” group that had displayed no “radical or militant ideas.” Based on that judgment, the bureau should have focused its attentions elsewhere. Instead, the Philadelphia office said that it would develop informants on the Black Student Union’s leaders so that it could become “aware of their identity and background.” In other words, innocence was no defense; people who came under unwarranted scrutiny might never escape it.

The F.B.I. agents on the Black Student Union case were either lazy or inept; they targeted the wrong people as purported “leaders” of our group. They could easily have learned who the actual leaders were from the local or campus newspapers. Instead, they relied on an informant who knew us only from a distance and who fingered two people so peripheral to the group that it was a stretch to call them members.

The woman they mistakenly designated a leader wore her hair in a spectacular Afro reminiscent of Angela Davis. The man — an amiable soul who had a brooding countenance and an impressive Afro of his own — was guilty of nothing more than looking the revolutionary part.

The burglary exposed a patently illegal domestic spying program that monitored the lives of innocent Americans with the help of an extensive network of informants. Cointelpro, for counterintelligence program, was created under Hoover in 1956, and by this time was aimed mainly at antiwar groups, civil rights organizations and black “hate groups.” (In Hoover’s world, the latter seemed to mean any organizations that used the words “black” or “Afro” in their name.)

The portrait of the F.B.I. that began to emerge with the burglary, and was gradually filled in during the ensuing years, showed a voracious surveillance machine that hounded innocent people and tried to destroy their reputations. The Media burglars were never arrested and their identities were unknown to the general public until last week when their story was told in a new book, “The Burglary: The Discovery of J. Edgar Hoover’s Secret FBI,” by Betty Medsger, a former Washington Post reporter.

The Media burglary, the Watergate break-in and revelations that the Central Intelligence Agency was operating illegally inside the country led to a congressional investigation, conducted under the leadership of Senator Frank Church, Democrat of Idaho. The Church committee’s findings led to stronger oversight and the curtailment of F.B.I. powers.

Those safeguards were breached in the wake of 9/11, when Congress passed the Patriot Act. More recently, the stolen documents released last year by Edward Snowden, a former National Security Agency contractor, showed that new technology has enabled government surveillance on a vast scale. Four decades after the Media burglary, Americans are, if anything, less protected from unjustified spying than they were during the tyrannical reign of J. Edgar Hoover.



10) Critics Say Chemical Spill Highlights Lax West Virginia Regulations

Launch media viewer
The Elk River in Charleston, W.Va. A coal-processing chemical spill last week cut off water to more than 300,000 people. Tyler Evert/Associated Press

Last week’s major chemical spill into West Virginia’s Elk River, which cut off water to more than 300,000 people, came in a state with a long and troubled history of regulating the coal and chemical companies that form the heart of its economy.

“We can’t just point a single finger at this company,” said Angela Rosser, the executive director of West Virginia Rivers Coalition. “We need to look at our entire system and give some serious thought to making some serious reform and valuing our natural resources over industry interests.”

She said lawmakers have yet to explain why the storage facility was allowed to sit on the river and so close to a water treatment plant that is the largest in the state.

Ms. Rosser and others noted that the site of the spill has not been subject to a state or federal inspection since 1991. West Virginia law does not require inspections for chemical storage facilities — only for production facilities.

Some other states do require inspections of chemical storage facilities. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin said he was working with Randy Huffman, the secretary of the State Department of Environmental Protection, to come up with recommendations aimed at avoiding future leaks.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reported Sunday that a team of experts from the United States Chemical Safety Board asked the state three years ago to create a new program to prevent accidents and releases in the Kanawha Valley, known as Chemical Valley.

That came after investigation of the August 2008 explosion and fire that killed two workers at the Bayer CropScience plant in Institute, W.Va. No program was produced, and another team from the same board is expected to arrive Monday to investigate this accident.

Critics say the problems are widespread in a state where the coal and chemical industries, which drive much of West Virginia’s economy and are powerful forces in the state’s politics, have long pushed back against tight federal health, safety and environmental controls.

“West Virginia has a pattern of resisting federal oversight and what they consider E.P.A. interference, and that really puts workers and the population at risk,” said Jennifer Sass, a senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council and a lecturer in environmental health at George Washington University.

But Mr. Huffman disputed that accusation, noting that West Virginia’s economy is more heavily dependent than other states on the coal and chemical industries. “Based upon the types of industrial activity, how does it compare to the rest of the country? It’s not in context.” Although he added, “That’s no excuse for any incident where someone gets hurt.”

Efforts to clean up the spill showed signs of improvement on Sunday.

“The numbers look good, and like last night, they are very encouraging,” Governor Tomblin said in a news conference on Sunday. “I believe we’re at a point where we can say we’re seeing light at the end of the tunnel.”

Officials said tests conducted at a water treatment plant downstream from the site of the leak showed little to no traces of contamination on Sunday morning, allowing testing to move to the next phase.

Once the testing is complete, the water company plans to begin lifting the do-not-use ban by zones. The work will start in downtown Charleston and three other “priority zones” that include the city’s four major hospitals and 25,000 customers who use more than half of the company’s water, said Jeff McIntyre, the president of West Virginia American Water.

“I don’t believe we’re several days from starting the lift, but I’m saying not today,” Mr. McIntyre said.

Government offices and many businesses planned to reopen on Monday, while many schools in the affected areas would remain closed, officials said.

“Stores are open,” said Jimmy Gianato, the state director of homeland security. “We’re starting to get back to normal.”

No charges have been filed against Freedom Industries, the company that owns the plant, but the United States attorney’s office has already begun an investigation into the spill.

“Whenever you have a discharge of a pollutant or a hazardous substance you have potential violation of the environmental laws,” said Booth Goodwin, the United States attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia, according to a news report on

This is not the first chemical accident to hit West Virginia’s Kanawha Valley.

After an explosion at a West Virginia chemical plant owned by Bayer CropScience killed two employees in 2008, a 2010 congressional investigation found that managers refused for several hours to tell emergency responders the nature of the blast or the toxic chemical it released. It also found that they later misused a law intended to keep information from terrorists to try to stop federal investigators from learning what had happened. The plant manufactured the same chemical that was processed in a giant 1985 explosion that killed 10,000 in Bhopal, India.

West Virginia is also no stranger to accidents in the coal industry.

In 2012, federal prosecutors charged David C. Hughart, a top executive at Massey Energy, a West Virginia coal operator, with a felony count and a second misdemeanor conspiracy count related to the deaths of 29 coal miners in a 2009 explosion at West Virginia’s Upper Big Branch mine. Prosecutors said that Mr. Hughart and others knowingly conspired to violate safety laws at Massey’s mines and worked to hide those violations by giving advance warnings of surprise inspections by the Mine Safety and Health Administration.

In 2009, an investigation by The New York Times found that hundreds of workplaces in West Virginia had violated pollution laws without paying fines. In interviews at the time, current and former West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection employees said their enforcement efforts had been undermined by bureaucratic disorganization; a departmental preference to let polluters escape punishment if they promised to try harder; and a revolving door of regulators who left for higher-paying jobs at the companies they once policed.

In June 2009, four environmental groups petitioned the E.P.A. to take over much of West Virginia’s handling of the Clean Water Act, citing a “nearly complete breakdown” in the state.

“Historically, there had been a questionable enforcement ethic,” said Matthew Crum, a former state mining director at the state’s Department of Environmental Protection.

Cindy Rank, chairwoman of the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy’s mining committee, said that the coal lobby has wielded great influence in crafting state environmental regulations. “Accidents are always preventable. For the most part I think that’s true in these disasters that keep happening,” she said. She recalled negotiations over a groundwater protection bill from the early 1990s. “We swallowed hard and allowed the coal industry to get away with a lot in that bill,” she said.

Coral Davenport reported from Washington, and Ashley Southall from New York. Daniel Heyman contributed reporting from Charleston, W.Va., and Jack Begg from New York.



11) As Conjugal Visits Fade, a Lifeline to Inmates’ Spouses Is Lost

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Ebony Fisher, 25, on the road to her mother’s house outside Vicksburg, Miss. The conjugal visits she has with her husband, who is serving a 60-year term, are slated to end soon. William Widmer for The New York Times
PARCHMAN, Miss. — To spend time alone with the man she married four months ago, Ebony Fisher, 25, drives nearly three hours through the flat cotton fields of the Mississippi Delta until she pulls into a gravel lot next to the state’s rural penitentiary.

She joins her husband, who in 2008 began serving a 60-year sentence for rape, aggravated assault and arson, in a small room with a metal bunk and a bathroom. For an hour, they get to act like a married couple.

“That little 60 minutes isn’t a lot of time, but I appreciate it because we can just talk and hold each other and be with each other,” said Ms. Fisher, who is studying to be a surgical assistant.

But conjugal visits, a concept that started here at the Mississippi State Penitentiary as a prisoner-control practice in the days of Jim Crow, will soon be over. Christopher B. Epps, the prison commissioner, plans to end the program Feb. 1, citing budgetary reasons and “the number of babies being born possibly as a result.” In Mississippi, where more than 22,000 prisoners are incarcerated — the second-highest rate in the nation — 155 inmates participated last year.

Launch media viewer The penitentiary opened in 1903 as a series of work camps. Conjugal visits began because it was thought that they could compel black inmates to work harder in the fields. William Widmer for The New York Times

Since they began here in the early 1900s, when the penitentiary was just called Parchman Farm, conjugal visits have been an unlikely barometer of racial mores and changing times both in Mississippi and in states like California and New York, where married same-sex couples can participate.

In the 1970s, new prisons often included special housing for what had come to be called extended family visits. But by 1993, only 17 states allowed conjugal visits. Mississippi is one of just five that have active programs.

In California and New York, they are called family visits and are designed to help keep families together in an environment that approximates home. Some research shows that they can help prisoners better integrate back into the mainstream after their release.

Visits in those states, and in Washington and New Mexico, can last 24 hours to three days. They are spent in small apartments or trailers, often with children and grandparents, largely left alone by prison guards. Visitors bring their own food and sometimes have a barbecue.

In New York, about 8,000 family visits were arranged last year, a figure that corrections officials say has declined. Of those, 48 percent were with spouses. The rest were with family members such as children or parents.

Studies cited by Yale law students in a 2012 review of family visitation programs showed that the programs could work as powerful incentives for good behavior, help reduce sexual activity among prisoners and help strengthen families.

Though what qualifies prisoners for the visits varies from state to state, all must have records of good behavior and be legally married. In most, prisoners in maximum security or on death row are denied the visits. Federal prisons do not allow them.

Mississippi ended its more extensive family visitations last year but left in place the hourlong visits, which since their inception a century ago have been designed more as a way to control inmates than nurture relationships.

“Conjugal visits have been a privilege,” said Tara Booth, a spokeswoman for the Mississippi Corrections Department. “So in that sense, it has, as other internal opportunities, helped to maintain order.”

The notion of allowing prisoners to have sex was born here shortly after Parchman Farm opened in 1903 as a series of work camps on 1,600 acres of rich Delta farmland. Inmates, most of whom were black, were used as free farm labor in an arrangement not that far removed from slavery.

Set in the middle of the birthplace of the blues, Parchman Farm has been the subject of many songs written by classic bluesmen like Bukka White and others who did time here.

The warden at the time believed sex could be used to compel black men to work harder in the fields, according to a history on the practice produced in the 1970s by Tyler Fletcher, who founded the department of criminal justice at the University of Southern Mississippi in 1973. So black prisoners were allowed time on Sunday with spouses or, more often, prostitutes.

By the 1940s, makeshift lean-tos and shacks built by inmates for the visits gave way to formal facilities, and white inmates were more likely participants than black ones.

Announced in December, the decision to stop the hourlong conjugal visits came as a surprise to the handful of prison spouses who rely on them. Several have taken to Facebook and other online forums and written to lawmakers to try to save what they say is an essential part of their relationships. A Mississippi prisoners’ advocacy group and a Memphis-based civil rights organization have planned a rally for Friday in Jackson, the state capital, to protest the policy change.

But State Representative Richard Bennett, Republican of Long Beach, wants the practice stopped, and he said no amount of protest would change his mind.

He said he learned about conjugal visits a few years ago when an elementary school principal told him a student of hers had shown up with a photograph of a new sibling. The student’s mother was incarcerated. The baby had been conceived during a conjugal visit.

In 2012, Mr. Bennett introduced a bill to end the visits. It did not get much attention, so he will try again when the Legislature meets this month. He said he was aware of Mr. Epps’s plans, but wanted a permanent ban. Officials have not offered any figures on the number of babies born or the program’s cost.

“I don’t think it’s fair to the children conceived and to the taxpayers,” he said. “You are in prison for a reason. You are in there to pay your debt, and conjugal visits should not be part of the deal.”

But Tina Perry, 49, a production manager at a small newspaper in eastern Mississippi, said the spouses of prisoners should not be forced to suffer any more than they already do. And the state, she said, should not take away something that is inexpensive and infrequent but essential.

She has been visiting her husband in prison every couple of months for eight years. He is serving time for molesting his former wife’s daughter, and has 19 more years to go. Ms. Perry said he was innocent. She called the surroundings, a small room with a thin mattress, “nasty” but said it was an hour she treasured nonetheless.

“It’s your husband,” she said. “You take what you can get.”

Ms. Fisher, whose husband is facing 60 years, said she was heartbroken because no more conjugal visits meant no children.

“Let me have that option,” she said. “I feel like they are taking away my choice.”

But officials who want the practice to be stopped say the state should not be helping to produce children who will be raised by single parents and possibly need state support.

There are concerns, too, about cost and H.I.V. transmission.

Women interviewed about the visits said they would be willing to pay to defray costs. And they made it clear that the visits were not about the sex. They are about privacy in a world where every letter is opened, every call monitored. Regular visits are crowded with other prisoners and their families.

“You never just get husband and wife time,” said Amy Parsons, an office worker in Arkansas who drives eight hours to see her husband, who was convicted of aggravated assault. His release date is 2022.

“It’s not romantic, but it doesn’t matter,” she said. “I just want people to realize it’s about the alone time with your husband. I understand they are in there for a reason. Obviously they did something wrong. But they are human, too. So are we.”



12) Ranbaxy Says F.D.A. Lists Possible Violations at Punjab Drug Plant

MUMBAI — Ranbaxy Laboratories, India’s largest drug maker, said Monday that the United States Food and Drug Administration had raised concerns about possible violations in manufacturing practices at a plant in the northern state of Punjab.

Ranbaxy said in a statement to the Bombay Stock Exchange that after a recent F.D.A. inspection of the generic drug maker’s facility in Toansa, Punjab, the regulator had given Ranbaxy a form that lists possible violations of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act of the United States.

Ranbaxy said it was assessing the document and would work to resolve the regulator’s concerns as soon as possible.

Shares of Ranbaxy fell as much as 9.2 percent on Monday after the announcement, and finished the day down 5.4 percent.

Four months earlier, the F.D.A. announced a ban on any imports made by Ranbaxy’s factory in Mohali, Punjab, causing the drug maker’s stock to fall 30 percent.

Pharmaceutical analysts said that after such a warning, the F.D.A. typically allows the company a period of time to fix the problems identified. If the regulator is not satisfied with the remedial steps, it might issue a warning letter, which precludes new product approvals for the facility until the concerns are addressed but allows the facility to continue to supply products that are already approved.

If the problems are severe, the F.D.A. could issue an import alert, which prohibits a company from shipping products from a particular facility to the United States.

All of Ranbaxy’s main manufacturing plants in India — in Dewas, in Madhya Pradesh; Paonta Sahib, in Himachal Pradesh; and Mohali — are already prohibited from exporting pharmaceuticals to the United States, the company’s biggest market, because of quality control issues. Ranbaxy pleaded guilty to violating American drug safety rules last year and paid $500 million in fines. The only Ranbaxy facility allowed to make drugs for the American market is Ohm Laboratories, which is in the United States.

Ranbaxy does not make finished drugs for the United States at its Indian plants. Instead, it processes ingredients that are then made into the final form of drugs at Ohm or in partnership with another drug maker.

The Toansa facility, the latest to come under an F.D.A. alert, supplies roughly 70 percent of Ranbaxy’s active pharmaceutical ingredients needed for the United States market, said Arvind Bothra, a pharmaceutical analyst at Religare, a financial services company based in New Delhi.

‘‘If this plant also comes into F.D.A. issues, it means that the company has not spruced up its quality controls even four years after continued F.D.A. supervision,’’ he said. ‘‘That raises concerns whether, over all, the company would be able to come out of this F.D.A. scrutiny.’’

The rising demand for generic drugs in the United States has led to tighter regulatory scrutiny and more frequent inspections at Indian drug makers.

‘‘India has the second-highest number of U.S.F.D.A.-approved facilities outside of the United States,’’ Mr. Bothra said, ‘‘and as the export of generic pharmaceuticals from India have been rising at a rapid pace, the relevance of Indian manufacturers and Indian facilities have also increased.’’

He added that the F.D.A. had increased the frequency of its inspections of foreign plants, from about once in two years to once a year, as a part of the agency’s efforts to increase its efficiency and reduce the timelines for drug approvals.

Sarabjit Kour Nangra, vice president of research for the pharmaceutical industry at Angel Broking in Mumbai, said Ranbaxy’s operations in the United States were likely to be disrupted unless it could find an alternative supply of key raw materials.

‘‘While we await more clarity from the management on the exact impact on the financials, the company could trade at a huge discount to its peers,’’ Ms. Nangra said.



13) US tested biological weapons in Japan’s Okinawa in the 60s – report
Published time: January 12, 2014 11:50
Edited time: January 13, 2014 12:06

The American army conducted experiments with biological weapons aimed at destroying rice crops on the Japanese island of Okinawa in the 60s, Kyodo news agency reports. The alleged target of the tests was the China and Southeast Asia region.

Citing classified US documents, Japanese news agency Kyodo said the US military carried out experiments on their sovereign territory between 1961 and 1962. At this time Japan’s southern island of Okinawa was still under post-WWII, US jurisdiction. The US did similar tests in Taiwan and the American mainland, notes Kyodo.

The American army experimented with rice blast fungus – a plant pathogen – which infects rice crops with disastrous effects. The pathogen latches onto the rice plant as a spore and produces lesions and spots all over the rice plant and then reproduces.

A single lesion can generate a thousand spores in one night alone, while an entire cycle – lasting about a week – can have a devastating effect on rice crops.

Kyodo reports that tests were conducted over a dozen times, and mentions test sites, Nago and Shuri, in Okinawa. The US army reported some success in their experiments and the gathering of “useful data”.

"Field tests for stem rust of wheat and rice blast disease were begun at several sites in the (US) Midwest and south and in Okinawa with partial success in the accumulation of useful data,"
wrote Kyodo, citing its documents.

The US government discarded all its biological weapons in 1969 and discontinued testing, after a leak of chemical weapons made 20 American soldiers stationed on the island sick. Moreover, residents had to be evacuated from the surrounding area and were reported to still be suffering the effects of the toxins two years after the leak.

In response to public outrage, the US government was forced to launch Operation Red Hat – a mission to remove all the biological weapons stored on Okinawa.

Six years later in 1975, Washington signed the international convention against production and possession of biological weapons.

Okinawa came back under Japanese jurisdiction in 1972, but the US still keeps a military presence of around 50,000 troops on the island.

Their presence is a constant source of tension with local populations due to crimes committed by servicemen, disruptions caused by military flights and land use by the US military.



14) The Girl Next Door as the Face of Poverty
Jack Monroe Has Become Britain’s Austerity Celebrity

SOUTHEND, England — First she stopped heating her apartment. She put furniture in front of the radiators to forget they were there. She unscrewed light bulbs, cut the hot water and sold most of what she owned to feed her 2-year-old son.

Then she blogged about it in a post called “Hunger Hurts” that soon went viral: “Poverty is the sinking feeling when your small boy finishes his one Weetabix and says ‘more mummy, bread and jam please mummy’ as you’re wondering whether to take the TV or the guitar to the pawn shop first, and how to tell him that there is no bread or jam.”

Jack Monroe, who changed her name from Melissa because “I’m just not a Melissa,” is an unlikely ambassador for Britain’s poor, although now one with a book contract worth 25,000 pounds, or $41,000. The sudden slide two years ago of this 25-year-old single mother into poverty and her plucky online diary chronicling the everyday reality of life on the bread line as “A Girl Called Jack” have turned her into a celebrity very much of her time: In austerity Britain she is an austerity star courted by politicians, charities and even supermarket chains. People routinely ask for her autograph.

Ms. Monroe has more than 31,000 followers on Twitter and now writes a weekly food column for The Guardian, with recipes costing less than a pound a head. Her austerity cookbook is due in February. More than once has she been told that she does not really “seem poor.”

“My parents are still together. They’ve always worked, I’ve always worked, I had a decent, well-paid job — but within the space of six months I found myself going to bed hungry,” Ms. Monroe said one recent morning in her kitchen. For most of 2012 she had £10 a week for food.

Her story unsettles. There is no familiarity in her path to temporary poverty because Ms. Monroe, fresh-faced and articulate, is so eminently familiar herself. As a neighbor in this southern English seaside town put it: “She could be anybody’s daughter.”

It has made her a popular pawn in the debate about the future of the welfare state.

The Guardian dubbed her “the face of modern poverty,” proof that in post-financial crisis Britain neither a sluggish job market nor a shrinking benefit system can be relied upon to maintain a basic living standard. The opposition Labour Party recruited her for a campaign against high energy prices. The charity Oxfam made her one of its “ambassadors,” and the supermarket chain Sainsbury’s picked her for a television spot.

Others, on the right, dismiss her as “The Guardian’s favorite poor person.” In a scathing piece last November, Richard Littlejohn at the pro-Conservative Party Daily Mail called her the poster girl of “Welfare Britain,” mocking her kale pesto pasta recipe for 48 pence a head, or less than 80 cents.

Ms. Monroe insists she is “nobody’s paid face.” She turned down an offer from Tesco. Sainsbury’s is where she has always shopped and priced her recipes. She is giving most of her fee to charity, keeping only £1,600. Sometimes she tires of having to justify herself: “It’s almost like people want to see me hungry again.”

Until November 2011, Ms. Monroe was working in the call center of a fire station, making £27,000 a year. But after returning from maternity leave, her request to be taken off the night shift, because as a single parent she had no child care at night, was denied. She had to quit.

In the following months she got deeper into debt as benefit payments arrived late and utility payments bounced. She fell behind on rent, and the more than 300 job applications she filled out came to nothing.

It was not until July 30, 2012, when she wrote “Hunger Hurts,” that Ms. Monroe publicly came out as poor.

Poverty gave her a voice, she says today. As for the many other families struggling to put food on the table, she hopes her experience will help politicians understand that more than perhaps ever in the history of the modern welfare state, “poverty can happen to anyone.”



15) California: Officers Acquitted in Death

Two Fullerton police officers who were videotaped in a violent struggle with a homeless man during an arrest were acquitted Monday of killing him. The 2011 arrest was captured on a 33-minute surveillance video that showed the man, Kelly Thomas, struggling with six police officers, who hit him, kneed him and jolted him with an electric stun gun as he was on the ground, calling out for his father. Former Officer Manuel Ramos was acquitted of second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter; former Cpl. Jay Cicinelli was acquitted of involuntary manslaughter and excessive use of force. The prosecutor said charges would be dropped against a third officer, Joseph Wolfe. The defense said Mr. Thomas started the confrontation by refusing to heed police orders. His father said Mr. Thomas had schizophrenia and did not understand the officers.


















a free concert of original songs

featuring Tommi Avicolli Mecca, Joel Mark and Diana Hartman

Saturday Feb. 1 at 8pm and Sunday Feb. 2 at 3pm
Eric Quezada Center, 518 Valencia/16th

Says Tommi, who wrote the songs and monologues in the show:

"This boy is just so strange" is something a nun said (in a heavy South Philly accent of course) to my Mama because I draped my sweater over my shoulder "like a girl" (gender non-conformity was not something the brides of jesus understood), it's also the name of my latest musical excursion, which could be called "how I survived the gender binary system" or Tommi, the sissy rock opera.

And to paraphrase Liza, it's Tommi with an "i" not Tommi with a "y."

From a working-class Italian neighborhood in South Philly and the wild and wonderful gay liberation movement of the early 70s to the very gay Castro in San Francisco in the 90s, this musical winds around a lifetime and comes out somewhere in the social construct called the present.

They say that southern Italians (both sides of the family are from il mezzogiorno) are born with an opera libretto not a silver spoon. I've been singing since I can remember, sometimes to the horror of neighbors and family, especially after I got a guitar for graduation and struggled to learn chords.

Featuring Joel Mark on acoustic bass and Diana Hartman on vocals, she also plays various characters. Funded by a grant from Faetopia. FREE, but donations gladly accepted and shared among the performers. ALSO RUNS SUNDAY FEB. 2 at 3pm.



New Trial Date for Beale AFB Anti-Drone Protestors Arrested April 2013

"Wheatland 4", Anti-Drone Protestors to Put Drone Warfare on Trial
    (Defendants:  Martha Hubert, Robin Ryan, Bill Doub and Toby Blome)

When:   February 3,    (Original date was Jan. 13)
Where:   Sacramento, U.S. Courthouse, 50l  I St.
8:00-9:00 am:   Pre-trial Anti-Drone Rally, and press conference outside the courthouse
9:00am:  Trial begins. 

In April, 2013, 5 activists were arrested on April 30, 2013, while attempting to deliver a letter to the Commander at Beale AFB during a nonviolent protest of drone warfare.  4 of the defendants face trespassing charges and a maximum of 6 months in jail.  Barry Binks, the 5th arrestee had his charges dropped due to his veteran status.  Please attend the pre-trial rally and join the trial to stand in unity with us against the brutality and illegality of drone warfare.





















Sireen Khudairy Appeal Update.

Sireen Khudairy was arrested again at 4am on Tuesday 7th January 2014. According to reports she has been taken to Huwwara military point. When the Israeli army took her from her home they didn't show any papers to her or the person she was with.

This follows eight months of harassment of this 24-year-old Palestinian woman who is a teacher, activist and supporter of the non-violent action against the Israeli occupation. She was previously imprisoned from May to July 2013, and has been subjected to frequent harassment ever since. See further details at:

Please help by contacting your Embassies urgently to demand her release and spread her appeal widely. Follow updates on:

Please contact us to let us know any action you take. We will pass this information on to her family. Thanks for your solidarity and support.  

Steven Katsineris, January 2014


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

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

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

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

—Rachel Wolkenstein, Esq.
   October 25, 2013

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





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

Call: (913) 758-3600

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

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

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

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

Call: (913) 758-3600

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

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

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

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

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

484 Lake Park Ave #41, Oakland CA 94610




Kimberly Rivera

Imprisoned pregnant resister seeks early release for birth

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

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

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

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




Two campaigns that need funds – Please donate!

Cartoon by Anthonty Mata for CCSF Guardsman

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-End long-term solitary confinement

-Provide adequate and nutritious food

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

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

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


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


Wealth Inequality in America

[This is a must see to believe]



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

March 1, 2013


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



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

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

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

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

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

What Rights Do I Have?

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

Standing Up For Free Speech

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

What if FBI Agents or Police Contact Me?

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

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

Do I have to answer questions?

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

Do I have to give my name?

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

Do I need a lawyer?

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

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

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

Can agents search my home or office?

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

What if agents have a search warrant?

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

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

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

What if I speak to government agents anyway?

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

What if the police stop me on the street?

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

What if police or agents stop me in my car?

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

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

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

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

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

What if I receive a grand jury subpoena?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Can I call my consulate if I am arrested?

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

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

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

What should I do if I want to contact DHS?

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

What Are My Rights at Airports?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What If I Am Under 18?

Do I have to answer questions?

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

What if I am detained?

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

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

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

Can my backpack or locker be searched?

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


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

NLG National Hotline for Activists Contacted by the FBI





Free Mumia NOW!

Write to Mumia:

Mumia Abu-Jamal AM 8335

SCI Mahanoy

301 Morea Road

Frackville, PA 17932

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Rachel Wolkenstein

August 21, 2011 (917) 689-4009






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

Censorship" book



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

state prisons must end

Take Action -- Sign Petition Here:\







Write to Bradley

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

I am Bradley Manning

Courage to Resist

484 Lake Park Ave. #41

Oakland, CA 94610


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

Bradley Manning 89289

830 Sabalu Road

Fort Leavenworth, KS 66027

The receptionist at the military barracks confirmed that if someone sends

Bradley Manning a letter to that address, it will be delivered to him."

This is also a Facebook event!/event.php?eid=2071005093\


Courage to Resist needs your support

Please donate today:

"Soldiers sworn oath is to defend and support the Constitution. Bradley Manning

has been defending and supporting our Constitution." --Dan Ellsberg, Pentagon

Papers whistle-blower

Jeff Paterson

Project Director, Courage to Resist

First US military service member to refuse to fight in Iraq

Please donate today.

P.S. I'm asking that you consider a contribution of $50 or more, or possibly

becoming a sustainer at $15 a month. Of course, now is also a perfect time to

make a end of year tax-deductible donation. Thanks again for your support!

Please click here to forward this to a friend who might also be interested in

supporting GI resisters.



The Battle Is Still On To


The Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal

PO Box 16222 • Oakland CA 94610




Reasonable doubts about executing Kevin Cooper

Chronicle Editorial

Monday, December 13, 2010

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

death row!


- From Amnesty International USA

17 December 2010

Click here to take action online:\


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

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



Short Video About Al-Awda's Work

The following link is to a short video which provides an overview of Al-Awda's

work since the founding of our organization in 2000. This video was first shown

on Saturday May 23, 2009 at the fundraising banquet of the 7th Annual Int'l

Al-Awda Convention in Anaheim California. It was produced from footage collected

over the past nine years.


Support Al-Awda, a Great Organization and Cause!

Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition, depends on your financial

support to carry out its work.

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

and follow the simple instructions.

Thank you for your generosity!











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








Exceptional art from the streets of Oakland:

Oakland Street Dancing




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


Fukushima Never Again

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

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

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

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

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

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

Production Of Labor Video Project

P.O. Box 720027

San Francisco, CA 94172

For information on obtaining the video go to:



1000 year of war through the world


Anatomy of a Massacre - Afganistan

Afghans accuse multiple soldiers of pre-meditated murder

To see more go to

Follow us on Facebook ( or Twitter


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

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

confronts the accusations that Bales didn't act alone.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Film By SBS

Distributed By Journeyman Pictures

April 2012


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


SPD Security Cams.wmv


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

Terror Drills


Private prisons,

a recession resistant investment opportunity


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

"Thought Crimes"


Common forms of misconduct by Law Enforcement Officials and Prosecutors


Organizing and Instigating: OCCUPY - Ronnie Goodman


Rep News 12: Yes We Kony


The New Black by The Mavrix - Official Music Video


Japan One Year Later


The CIA's Heart Attack Gun\



The Invisible American Workforce


Labor Beat: NATO vs The 1st Amendment

For more detailed information, send us a request at


The Battle of Oakland

by brandon jourdan plus


Officers Pulled Off Street After Tape of Beating Surfaces


February 1, 2012, 10:56 am\



This is excellent! Michelle Alexander pulls no punches!

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


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

and Brown people in the United States.

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

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

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


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




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

the Bradley Manning petition I signed:

"Why We Can't Comment on Bradley Manning

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

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

platform on

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

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

similar matters properly within the jurisdiction of federal departments or

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

system is charged with enforcing the Uniform Code of

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

specific case raised in this petition...

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



"He broke the law!" says Obama about Bradley Manning who has yet to even be

charged, let alone, gone to trial and found guilty. How horrendous is it for the

President to declare someone guilty before going to trial or being charged with

a crime! Justice in the U.S.A.!

Obama on FREE BRADLEY MANNING protest... San Francisco, CA. April 21, 2011-

Presidential remarks on interrupt/interaction/performance art happening at

fundraiser. Logan Price queries Barack after org. FRESH JUICE PARTY political


Release Bradley Manning

Almost Gone (The Ballad Of Bradley Manning)

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


Julian Assange: Why the world needs WikiLeaks


School police increasingly arresting American students?



Nuclear Detonation Timeline "1945-1998"

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

plotted visually and audibly on a world map.


We Are the 99 Percent

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

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

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

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

percent is getting everything. We are the 99 percent.

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


We Are The People Who Will Save Our Schools



In honor of the 75th Anniversary of the 44-Day Flint Michigan sit-down strike at

GM that began December 30, 1936:

According to Michael Moore, (Although he has done some good things, this clip

isn't one of them) in this clip from his film, "Capitalism a Love Story," it was

Roosevelt who saved the day!):

"After a bloody battle one evening, the Governor of Michigan, with the support

of the President of the United States, Franklin Roosevelt, sent in the National

Guard. But the guns and the soldiers weren't used on the workers; they were

pointed at the police and the hired goons warning them to leave these workers

alone. For Mr. Roosevelt believed that the men inside had a right to a redress

of their grievances." -Michael Moore's 'Capitalism: A Love Story'

- Flint Sit-Down Strike

But those cannons were not aimed at the goons and cops! They were aimed straight

at the factory filled with strikers! Watch what REALLY happened and how the

strike was really won!

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



HALLELUJAH CORPORATIONS (revised edition).mov




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

Uploaded by laborvideo on Dec 13, 2011

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

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

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

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

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

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

Production of Labor Video Project


UC Davis Police Violence Adds Fuel to Fire

By Scott Galindez, Reader Supported News

19 November 11\


UC Davis Protestors Pepper Sprayed


Police pepper spraying and arresting students at UC Davis


UC Davis Chancellor Katehi walks to her car!

Occupy Seattle - 84 Year Old Woman Dorli Rainey Pepper Sprayed




Shot by police with rubber bullet at Occupy Oakland


Copwatch@Occupy Oakland: Beware of Police Infiltrators and Provocateurs


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


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

were actually undercover Quebec police officers:

POLICE STATE Criminal Cops EXPOSED As Agent Provocateurs @ SPP Protest


Quebec police admit going undercover at montebello protests

G20: Epic Undercover Police Fail



Occupy Oakland Protest

Cops make mass arrests at occupy Oakland

Raw Video: Protesters Clash With Oakland Police

Occupy Oakland - Flashbangs USED on protesters OPD LIES

KTVU TV Video of Police violence

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


Tear Gas billowing through 14th & Broadway in Downtown Oakland

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


Labor Beat: Hey You Billionaire, Pay Your Fair Share


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

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


#Occupy Wall Street In Washington Square: Mohammed Ezzeldin, former occupier of

Egypt's Tahrir Square Speaks at Washington Square!


#OccupyTheHood, Occupy Wall Street

By adele pham


Live arrest at brooklyn bridge #occupywallstreet by We are Change




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

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


Japan: angry Fukushima citizens confront government (video)

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


Labor Beat: Labor Stands with Subpoenaed Activists Against FBI Raids and Grand

Jury Investigation of antiwar and social justice activists.

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

"Investigate the Billionaires...Full investigation into Wall Street..." Jesse

Sharkey, Vice

President, Chicago Teachers Union


Coal Ash: One Valley's Tale



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