Friday, January 02, 2015

BAUAW NEWSLETTER, FRIDAY, JANUARY 2, 2015

Prison Radio posted in $10k in 10 Days to Protect Prisoners' Right to Speak!

Prison Radio   


Please check out this statement from Michelle Alexander (see below) and support the lawsuit to protect prisoners' right to speak in PA. Every donation counts. Really! It's not what you give. It's that you give. And your donation will be doubled by the Redwood Justice Fund. We can only win this legal battle with everyone's support #KeepMumiaOnAir
 

Please Donate now!

Big thanks to Chris Tinson, @Christopher Bangs, @Terence McCormack, Daniel Marc Perlmutter, Marian Douglas-Ungaro, @Anton Kerkula and anonymous donors. We're making it happen together. Thank you!

bit.ly/defendfreespeech


Protect Freedom of Speech & Keep Mumia on the Air

www.indiegogo.com

Overturn Senate Bill 508: defend the First Amendment rights of prisoners, journalists and all of us.
 

Statement from Michelle Alexander:
Please support this effort to raise funds to overturn legislation adopted in Pennsylvania that empowers prosecutors to silence prisoners - bar them from speaking publicly in any form. This law was passed in response to Goddard College students inviting Mumia to deliver their commencement address from behind prison walls. But this isn't just about Mumia. This law threatens the ability of ANY prisoner in Pennsylvania to speak to the media if a victim objects, in clear violation of free speech principles. If the law is allowed to stand, it will make it even more difficult than it already is for people in prison to have their voices heard. And you can be certain that copycat legislation will be adopted in other states whenever prisoners actually succeed in getting their message heard on the outside. This law needs to be overturned now.

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Bay Area United Against War Newsletter

Table of Contents:

A. EVENTS AND ACTIONS

B. ARTICLES IN FULL




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A. EVENTS AND ACTIONS



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Peña Nieto "not welcome" in Washington, DC PDF Print E-mail
Displaying barack_enrique.jpg PROTEST AGAINST ENRIQUE PEÑA NIETO'S VISIT TO WASHINGTON, DC 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Enrique Peña Nieto, the President of Mexico, has been invited by Barack Obama to visit the White House on Tuesday, January 6, 2015. Join UStired2, SOA Watch, Mexicanos Sin Fronteras, and others in Washington DC to denounce the use of U.S. taxpayer money for the continued militarization and violence pepretuated by the U.S. and Mexican governments in the name of the "Drug War".

This invitation by President Obama comes in the middle of a crisis of legitimacy of the Peña Nieto government as 100s of thousands of Mexicans have marched in the streets to oppose the Drug War after the enforced disappearances of 43 students from Ayotzinapa in Guerrero state. The Ayotzinapa 43 have become a symbol of the over 100,000 murdered and 25,000 disappeared in the last 8 years since the escalation and increased militarization of the Drug War by the U.S. and Mexican governments. It is a shameless exhibition of the open support of Peña Nieto's Narco-Government and a slap in the face of the Mexican people in their rightful clamor for security, wellbeing, peace, democracy, and true justice.

THE MASSACRE IN IGUALA AND DISAPPEARANCE OF 43 TEACHING STUDENTS FROM AYOTZINAPA IS JUST ONE AMONG MANY STATE CRIMES...
In spite of the international outcry, Obama and his administration continue to support the outrageously corrupt and criminal government of Peña Nieto with millions of dollars through Plan Mexico. Therefore, the United States and Obama are also responsible for the current tragedy in Mexico.

As part of the mobilizations in Mexico and in solidarity with all victims of the Mexican government, including the 43 disappeared students from Ayotzinapa and their families, SOA Watch, USTired2, and  MEXICAN@S SIN FRONTERAS (in coordination with other groups) call for bringing Mexicans abroad, our friends in solidarity with Mexico and the people of the United States, organizations and social movements to participate together in a Day of Protest against Enrique Peña Nieto's visit in the United States.

We invite to peaceful demonstrations all across the US, in front of embassies and consulates in other countries as well as in Mexico, because:

THEY TOOK THEM ALIVE AND WE WANT THEM BACK ALIVE!
JOIN US IN WASHINGTON, D C!

The protest will take place on Tuesday, January 6, 2015 in Lafayette Square in front of the White House (1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20500) starting at 10:00 AM.

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SHUT DOWN CREECH!

Mass Mobilization to Stop Drone Wars!

A Convergence For Peace in the Nevada Desert


Join us March 4-6, 2015 at Creech Air Force Base, Indian Springs, Nevada, for a national mobilization of nonviolent resistance to shut down killer drone operations in Afghanistan, Pakistan,Yemen, Somalia, and everywhere. Sponsored by CODEPINK: Women for Peace, Nevada Desert Experience , Veterans For Peace, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, and Voices for Creative Nonviolence. CODEPINK will also hold vigils daily on March 2nd and 3rd, prior to the official beginning of this Creech Convergence For Peace, and welcomes everyone to join them.


In 2005, Creech Air Force Base secretly became the first U.S. base in the country to carry out illegal, remotely controlled assassinations using the MQ-1 Predator drones, and in 2006, the more advanced Reaper drones were added to its arsenal.  Creech drone personnel sit behind computers in the desert north of Las Vegas and kill "suspects" thousands of miles away.  Recent independent research indicates that the identity of only one out of 28 victims of U.S. drone strikes is known beforehand. Though officials deny it, the majority of those killed by drones are civilians. In 2014, it was leaked that the CIA's criminal drone assassination program, officially a separate operation from the Air Force's, has been piloted all along by Creech's super-secret Squadron 17. 


Since 2009 dozens of activists have been arrested for allegedly trespassing at Creech, in attempts to stop the indiscriminate killing and burning of innocent people by drones.  At the trial of the "Creech 14," the first Americans prosecuted for trespass at a drone base, former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark testified that "to have a baby burn to death because of a 'no trespass'  sign would be poor public policy, to put it mildly."  In a time of burning children, the "no trespass" signs attached to the fences that protect the crimes perpetrated with drones are not legitimate, and they do not command our obedience.  After all, it is the U.S. military that is guilty of lethal trespassing.


The US drone program is rapidly proliferating as air bases are being converted to drone bases across the U.S. and abroad, but Creech remains the primary air base in U.S. state-sponsored global terrorism. Creech is where the killer drone program started--it is where we shall end it.


We must put an end to this desecration of our Mother Earth and all creatures who inhabit it.

We must put an end to the dehumanization of lives from Ferguson to Palestine to Pakistan.

We must close all foreign U.S. military bases.  Money for human needs. 

We must put an end to drone warfare, drone surveillance, and global militarization.

We must...
SHUT CREECH DOWN! 

More details to come soon!

Sign up on facebook https://www.facebook.com/events/1525740921010540/?context=create&previousaction=create&source=49&sid_create=3742154553#

Or contact:

Toby Blomé of Code Pink, 510-215-5974 (h)

Brian Terrell of VCNV and NDE,   773-853-1886

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Save the Date - UNAC National Conference, May 8 - 10, 2015


UNAC is the major national antiwar coalition in the U.S. today.  The existence of a United National Antiwar Coalition is vital and we need your financial support to continue our work and to expand.

With U.S. wars today accelerating and expanding globally in various forms – from drone attacks on Yemen and Pakistan, never-ending wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, support to neo-fascists in Ukraine, and proliferating Africom forces to threats of war for regime change in Syria – we have an obligation to do whatever is possible to educate the public and to take action to stop the carnage.

The wars abroad are connected to global warming with most wars fought over energy resources with the U.S. war machine as the largest polluter.

At home, we see hugely growing income inequality, a militarized and racist police force, mass incarceration of Blacks and Latinos, and a massive police state apparatus that includes global surveillance and laws to quell dissent.

In spite of the trillions spent by the U.S. corporate war government and its controlled media propaganda machine to keep us in check, the people are fighting back.  We’ve been inspired and strengthened by the hundreds of thousands of new activists taking to the streets of this country to stop police brutality, to build Occupy encampments, to fight for decent wages, to demand full rights for immigrants, to win marriage equality, to end global warming, to demonstrate solidarity with the besieged people of Gaza, and to protest unending U.S. wars.

UNAC has played an active, often leadership role, in all of the antiwar and social justice movements of our time.  While most activists are focused on their particular issues, the most vital role we can play is to connect the issues to their source.  All of the injustices and crimes we protest, stem from the imperialist insatiable drive for expanding profit and control – and the U.S. is the largest imperialist power militarily and economically.  When there should be plenty for all, only the obscenely wealthy benefit while the rest of the 99% struggle just to survive.

Some of our recent major accomplishments:
·       Initiated protest against NATO and 15,000 marched in Chicago in 2012.
·        Called for immediate actions against threats of war and coups directed at Libya, Iran, No. Korea, Africa, Latin America,    Ukraine, and maintaining the U.S. presence in Iraq and Afghanistan.
·        Organized a national tour for Afghan leader Malalai Joya.
·        Sent representatives to international NATO protests and conferences.
·        Serve on the Board of the National Coalition to Protect Civil Freedoms to act against Islamophobia , racist attacks on Muslims, and attacks on our civil liberties.
·        Participated in national efforts to organize anti-drone actions.
·        Campaigned to defend victims of government repression who speak out and expose Washington’s crimes, including Rasmea Odeh, Mumia abu Jamal, Lynne Stewart, Chelsea Manning, and the Midwest activists targeted by the FBI.
·        Produced national educational conference calls featuring experts on topics such as U.S. intervention in Africa, the destruction of Libya, the developing wars in Syria, and others.
·        Built an antiwar contingent in the massive New York City Climate Change march and built Climate Change action in other cities around the country.
·        Helped organize protests against Israel’s attack on Gaza
·        Helped organize protests against the murder of Blacks by white police and the militarization of the police forces in the U.S.

UNAC has a history of bringing hundreds of activists together at large national conferences to learn about the issues of the day, to discuss the way forward and to vote on an Action Program for the coming period.

The UNAC conference next May will bring activists from all the movements in motion to cross-fertilize these struggles.  We are particularly dedicated to bringing young activists together to support and learn from each other.  For this, we need your help to offer subsidies to leaders from Ferguson, from the border wars in the southwest, from the Native Americans who are fighting against the pipelines ruining their lands, from the Students for Justice in Palestine, and many others.

Please give generously so that we can continue our work to bring harmony and justice to the peoples of this earth.

You can send a check to UNAC at PO Box 123, Delmar, NY 12054 or click the button below to contribute on-line with your credit or debit card.

 https://www.unacpeace.org/

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On Behalf of Wadiya Jamal and
Mumia Abu-Jamal,
A Contribution Request


The message following is a forward from:
Rachel Wolkenstein
Sister, Advocate and Friend of the Extended Family

Samiya “Goldii” Abdullah, a daughter of Wadiya Jamal and Mumia Abu-Jamal died on December 17, 2014 after years of battle with breast cancer. Samiya would have been 37 this January 9 and is survived by two young daughters, Aiyanah and Aaiyah, affectionately known as Dolly and Puddy, ages eleven and four.

Samiya was a remarkable woman. She was accomplished as a musician, an activist and rapper on social justice, particularly in the struggle for Mumia’s freedom. She devoured books and education. During her long, often debilitating illness, Samiya finished her Masters Degree in School and Mental Health Counseling from the University of Pennsylvania with honors. She was dedicated to her young daughters and wanted them to grow up loving each other as much as she did her brothers and sisters. And she wanted her daughters to see Mumia (called “Pop Pop” by them) walk out of prison and home with their grandmother, Wadiya.

Samiya's active fight for Mumia's freedom, began at the young age of four. Mumia wrote about this in “The Visit” printed in Live from Death Row in 1994. This was recreated in the movie "Mumia: Long Distance Revolutionary."

"My father is still considered to be a dangerous individual … his mind is what they fear, there is over- whelming evidence that would exonerate him of his conviction.
"He is an innocent man and the commonwealth has always known this, but being too Black, too smart, and too strong … The government will silence anyone that possesses the power to open the minds of the people."   
                     —Goldii

Samiya’s strength, character and spirit were nurtured by Wadiya and Mumia and are being passed on to her daughters.

On behalf of Wadiya Jamal and Mumia Abu-Jamal, this is a request for funds to assist Wadiya for care of her granddaughters, Dolly and Puddy.

A financial contribution of any amount will be greatly appreciated.

Please send checks or money orders, made payable to Wadiya Jamal:

Wadiya Jamal
P.O. Box 19404
Kingsessing Postal Station
Philadelphia, PA 19143-9998

In loving memory of Samiya and in tribute to her fierce fight for life,

Rachel Wolkenstein
Sister, Advocate and Friend of the Extended Family


Hear Mumia’s Words (and Song) played before the Janazah for Samiya on December 20, 2014: “Samiya Abdullah Makes Transition”:

http://prisonradio.org/sites/default/files/audio/uploads/SamiyaAbdullahMakesTransition12-19-2.mp3?download=1

 - This fwd message is from:
The Labor Action Committee to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal,
PO Box 16222, Oakland CA 94610. www.laboractionmumia.org

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Cops vs Free Speech
How police are threatening Mumia, convicts, teachers, and all of us with censorship as well as bullets!



• The New “gag” law in Pennsylvania that seeks to silence prisoners. This law, cobbled together in days following Mumia’s recorded presentation to a commencement ceremony at Goddard College, was explicitly designed to “shut him up.” The targets of this blatantly unconstitutional law, however, include all prisoners convicted of violent crimes!

• A Law Suit has been filed to stop the “gag” law from being implemented!  Support for this effort is critical. Donations will go toward the fight against the “gag” law.

• The  suppression of the “Urban Dreams” web site by the Oakland School Board. This teacher-created site of voluntary curriculum ideas included one comparing the suppression of Mumia’s commentaries with censorship of Martin Luther King’s later writings. While the Superintendent of Schools has now promised to restore the site, we must remain vigilant!

• Both of these measures—the “gag” law in Pennsylvania, and the suppression of the Urban Dreams website—were taken at the behest of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP)!  The FOP is a highly politicized organization which seeks to silence social critics such as Mumia Abu-Jamal, and dictate the curricula in schools! The FOP and Democrat/Republican politicians will continue their attempts at intimidation and suppression, unless we act!

• Ferguson shows that black and Latino youth particularly are threatened by militarized and politicized police who shoot first and ask questions later, and frame their targets for crimes they didn’t commit. Chief targets have included Native American Activists like Leonard Peltier, militant working-class activists, Mumia Abu-Jamal, Black Panthers and Martin Luther King. Mumia is currently a top target to silence.  But anyone and everyone can be on their enemies list, and in their cross-hairs!  Fight back now!

Donate Now
to fight the “gag” law!
go to:
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/protect-freedom-of-speech-keep-mumia-on-the-air

The Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal
PO Box 16222  •  Oakland CA  •  510.763.2347
www.laboractionmumia.org

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Support Prison Radio

$35 is the yearly membership.

$50 will get you a beautiful tote bag (you can special order a yoga mat bag, just call us).

$100 will get the DVD "Mumia: Long Distance Revolutionary"

$300 will bring one essay to the airwaves.

$1000 (or $88.83 per month) will make you a member of our Prison Radio Freedom Circle. Take a moment and Support Prison Radio

Luchando por la justicia y la libertad,

Noelle Hanrahan, Director, Prison Radio

PRISON RADIO

P.O. Box 411074 San Francisco, CA 94141

www.prisonradio.org
info@prisonradio.org 415-706-5222

Pennsylvania legislators are trying to stop prisoners from speaking about their ideas and experiences. Last week, PA Representative Mike Vereb introduced a bill (HB2533) called the “Revictimization Relief Act,” which would allow victims, District Attorneys, and the Attorney General to sue people who have been convicted of “personal injury” crimes for speaking out publicly if it causes the victim of the crime “mental anguish.”

The bill was written in response to political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal’s commencement speech at Goddard College, and is a clear attempt to silence Mumia and other prisoners and formerly incarcerated people. We believe that this legislation is not actually an attempt to help victims, but a cynical move by legislators to stop people in prison from speaking out against an unjust system.

While to us this seems like a clear violation of the first amendment, unfortunately the PA General Assembly doesn’t appear to agree, and they have fast-tracked the bill for approval and amended another bill (SB508) to include the same language. The legislation could be voted on as early as Wednesday.

If this bill passes, it will be a huge blow to the movement against mass incarceration. People inside prisons play a leading role in these struggles, and their perspectives, analysis, and strategies are essential to our work. Incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people who write books, contribute to newspapers, or even write for our Voices from the Inside section would run the risk of legal consequences just for sharing their ideas.

That’s why we are asking you to take action TUESDAY OCTOBER 14 by calling Pennsylvania lawmakers to tell them that prisoners should not be denied the right to speak.

Please call your legislators and demand that they vote NO on HB2533 and SB508. You can look up contact information at http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/home/findyourlegislator/.

We are also asking folks to call the following Senate leaders and ask them to stop the bill from moving forward:

Senate Majority Whip Pat Browne  (717) 787-1349

Senate Minority Whip Anthony Williams  (717) 787-5970

Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi  (717) 787-4712

Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa (717) 787-7683

Not sure what to say on the phone? Click here for a sample call script.

Want to write a letter to your legislators, or looking for more talking points? Click here for more info!

- See more at: http://decarceratepa.info/freespeech#sthash.TtdN3AkI.dpuf


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COURAGE TO RESIST
http://couragetoresist.org/

New Action- write letters to DoD officials requesting clemency for Chelsea!

November 24, 2014 by the Chelsea Manning Support Network
mchugh_md
Secretary of the Army John McHugh
President Obama has delegated review of Chelsea Manning’s clemency appeal to individuals within the Department of Defense.
Please write them to express your support for heroic WikiLeaks’ whistle-blower former US Army intelligence analyst PFC Chelsea Manning’s release from military prison.
It is important that each of these authorities realize the wide support that Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning enjoys worldwide. They need to be reminded that millions understand that Manning is a political prisoner, imprisoned for following her conscience. While it is highly unlikely that any of these individuals would independently move to release Manning, a reduction in Manning’s outrageous 35-year prison sentence is a possibility at this stage.
Take action TODAY – Write letters supporting Chelsea’s clemency petition to the following DoD authorities:
Secretary of the Army John McHugh
101 Army Pentagon
Washington, DC 20310-0101
The Judge Advocate General
2200 Army Pentagon
Washington, DC 20310-2200
Army Clemency and Parole Board
251 18th St, Suite 385
Arlington, VA 22202-3532
Directorate of Inmate Administration
Attn: Boards Branch
U.S. Disciplinary Barracks
1301 N. Warehouse Road
Fort Leavenworth, KS 66027-2304
Suggestions for letters send to DoD officials:
  • The letter should focus on your support for Chelsea Manning, and especially why you believe justice will be served if Chelsea Manning’s sentence is reduced.  The letter should NOT be anti-military as this will be unlikely to help
  • A suggested message: “Chelsea Manning has been punished enough for violating military regulations in the course of being true to her conscience.  I urge you to use your authorityto reduce Pvt. Manning’s sentence to time served.”  Beyond that general message, feel free to personalize the details as to why you believe Chelsea deserves clemency.
  • Consider composing your letter on personalized letterhead -you can create this yourself (here are templates and some tips for doing that).
  • A comment on this post will NOT be seen by DoD authorities–please send your letters to the addresses above
This clemency petition is separate from Chelsea Manning’s upcoming appeal before the US Army Court of Criminal Appeals next year, where Manning’s new attorney Nancy Hollander will have an opportunity to highlight the prosecution’s—and the trial judge’s—misconduct during last year’s trial at Ft. Meade, Maryland.
Help us continue to cover 100% of Chelsea’s legal fees at this critical stage!
> > > Please donate today! < < <




Courage to Resist
484 Lake Park Ave. #41
 Oakland, CA 94610
510-488-3559
couragetoresist.org

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B. ARTICLES IN FULL




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1) From the New ‘Annie’ Movie, Lessons on Money and Inequality
By


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2) The Big Economic Unknowns of 2015, From
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3) Crowd Gathers in Brooklyn to Protest a Police Shooting


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4) As Medicaid Rolls Swell, Cuts in Payments to Doctors Threaten Access to Care


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5) Three Shots From Police Killed Los Angeles [UNARMED] Man, Autopsy Finds


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6) Victims of G.M. Deadly Defect Fall Through Legal Cracks


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7) Free Reverend Edward Pinkney
National defense campaign building
By Abayomi Azikiwe
San Francisco Bay View, December 23, 2014
http://sfbayview.com/2014/12/national-defense-campaign-building-for-rev-edward-pinkney/

Michigan political prisoner Reverend Edward Pinkney is now being held in Jackson state prison. He remains in good spirits despite the racist injustice that has landed him in detention over manufactured claims that he changed the dates on five signature entries on a recall petition designed to remove Benton Harbor Mayor James Hightower.

During the course of the trial there was no material or circumstantial evidence presented that would implicate Pinkney in the purported five felonies. Many believe that the Berrien County activist and leader of the Black Autonomy Network Community Organization (BANCO) is being punished by the local authorities for opposing the corporate program of Whirlpool Corporation, which is headquartered in Benton Harbor.

In 2012, Pinkney and BANCO led an “Occupy the PGA” demonstration against the world-renowned golf tournament that was held at the newly-created Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course on Lake Michigan. The course was carved out of Jean Klock Park, which had been donated to the City of Benton Harbor decades ago.

Berrien County officials were determined to defeat a recall campaign against Mayor Hightower of Benton Harbor, who opposed a program to tax local corporations in an effort to create jobs and improve conditions in the majority African American municipality. Benton Harbor, like other Michigan cities, has been devastated by widespread poverty and unemployment.

Statements of support pour in

This is not the first time that Pinkney has been imprisoned for his political activities. In 2007 he was convicted in a second trial, with the first ending in a hung jury, for “mishandling” absentee ballots during a recall election involving two Benton Harbor city commissioners. The results of the elections removing the officials were overturned after criminal charges were filed against the BANCO leader.

Pinkney was sentenced to one year under house arrest and four more years of probation. Later in 2007, he was charged with violating the terms of his sentence for allegedly threatening a judge in Berrien County.

The threat charge stemmed from an article he wrote in the People’s Tribune newspaper based in Chicago where he quoted scriptures from the Old Testament. He was ordered imprisoned for three to ten years.

The charges were overturned in late 2008 by the Michigan Appeals Court after the activist received widespread support from the civil liberties, ecumenical and academic communities across the country. He was released at the end of 2008 and successfully completed his probation, returning to full-time activism in Berrien County.

Pinkney in 2008 from his prison cell ran for United States Congress on the Green Party ticket in Michigan. He received 3,500 votes in a challenge to Fred Upton, a Republican congressman and heir to the Whirpool corporate dynasty.

A statement issued December 17 by Green Party Watch says: “The overt targeting of an African-American activist for a politically motivated prosecution is reminiscent of recent episodes involving Chuck Turner and Elston McCowan, both Greens who challenged the power structures in their communities. In a system where police officers regularly kill unarmed African-American men without facing trial, it is especially galling that the same system sentences an African-American activist to up to ten years imprisonment on trumped-up, politically motivated charges.”

Black Agenda Report, a well-known media outlet opposing the corporate influence over African American politics in the U.S., wrote in a December 17 editorial: “This may seem like an Old Jim Crow story, about a preacher from a small, mostly Black town who wanted only to help his people through the voting process, but is set upon by backward whites determined to maintain their monopoly on political power. And, it is true; Old Man Jim Crow is alive and well on the banks of Lake Michigan.”

This same editorial goes on, saying: “But it is the New Jim Crow, the Mass Black Incarceration State, that has snatched 66-year-old Reverend Pinkney away to what could become life in prison. The judge and prosecutor said that Pinkney’s 12 past and present felony convictions make him a career criminal, even though each count stems from an elections process. The Old Jim Crow would have unapologetically sent Pinkney to the chain gang for being an uppity Black man, but the New Jim Crow simply piled on a bunch of felonies to put him away as a serial criminal, allowing the system to claim that race had nothing to do with it.”

A national conference call was held on Thursday, December 18, designed to build a defense campaign. Former Vermont State Senator Ben-Zion Ptashnik initiated the call through the People Demanding Action (PDA) organization.

The conference call included activist members of the clergy, electoral reform organizers, former Green Party candidates, progressive Democrats, the People’s Tribune newspaper, Moratorium NOW! Coalition and others. The call provided an update on the case and plans to publicize the plight of Reverend Pinkney and the people of Berrien County, recruit a legal team and organize a fundraising drive to proceed with an appeal.

Ptashnik and Victoria Collier wrote in Truth-out.org on December 16, 2014: “Concerned activists and clergy associated with People Demanding Action, a national social justice organization, are circulating a petition to ministers and various organizations. The petition is to be forwarded to the U.S. Justice Department and Attorney General Eric Holder, asking for an investigation into the circumstances of Pinkney’s trial and sentencing.”

To sign the petition in support of Reverend Edward Pinkney log on to:

http://salsa.wiredforchange.com/o/6405/c/10113/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=10735

Contributions for the defense of Reverend Pinkney can be sent to BANCO at 1940 Union St., Benton Harbor, Michigan 49022.

Messages of support for Reverend Pinkney and concern for his welfare should be sent to Warden Randall Haas, G. Robert Cotton Correctional Facility, 3500 North Elm Road, Jackson MI 49201, phone: 517-780-5600. Encourage the media to ask the warden to arrange an interview with Reverend Pinkney.

Send some love and light to Reverend Pinkney, who is said to be locked down 23 hours a day: Reverend Edward Pinkney, 294671, G. Robert Cotton Correctional Facility, 3855 Cooper St., Jackson MI 49201.

Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of Pan-African News Wire. Pan-African News Wire is the world’s only international daily pan-African news source, is designed to foster intelligent discussion on the affairs of African people throughout the continent and the world.
San Francisco Bay View, December 23, 2014
http://sfbayview.com/2014/12/national-defense-campaign-building-for-rev-edward-pinkney/



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8) Fed Up: Florida Crowd Forms Human Shield to Protect Man Police Try to Arrest for Smoking Marijuana
Signs that citizens have had enough of hyper-aggressive policing abound.
By Zaid Jilani
December 31, 2014
http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/fed-florida-crowd-forms-human-shield-protect-man-police-try-arrest-smoking?akid=12639.229473.LDx65Q&rd=1&src=newsletter1029578&t=3

In addition to the mass protests nationwide against police brutality, incidents where ordinary citizens speak up, start recording and attempt to intervene when they see excessive and abusive cop behavior are being reported more frequently.

Earlier this month in New York City, a woman angrily denounced police who were beating an already restrained teenage boy as others made sure to film the incident to hold the plainclothes officer accountable. It is possible that the assembled and outraged crowd prevented further abuse, and with the help of the cellphone video, the cop faced at least some discipline from the department.

This past weekend in Delray Beach, Florida, dozens of people quickly organized to stop what they believed to be a petty and unnecessary arrest.

That night, Delray Police entered a neighborhood after seeing a man walking down the street smoking. The officers thought the smoke smelled like marijuana, so they decided to pursue the man. When the man entered a home nearby, the police followed and tried to apprehend him. They were surprised when about 20 people came out of the home and surrounded the man to prevent the arrest from taking place.

“They formed this shield and started to get aggressive,” one of the officers said.

“The next thing they know, there's 70 to 75 people out there,” another officer who was on the scene reportedly said. “The officers had to use pepper spray to get the people back.”

The crowd grew rowdy, and at some point an object was hurled at the windshield of a police cruiser. By the end of the night police had detained four people, on charges including inciting a riot.

The incident could foretell greater citizen intervention against what they perceive to be abusive and unnecessary policing and shows the urgency of reining in the over-criminalization of American life.

Zaid Jilani is an AlterNet contributing writer. Follow @zaidjilani on Twitter.

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9) Scientists Alter Crops With Techniques Outside Regulators’ Scope


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10) Despite Thaw, American Base at Guantánamo Still Stings for Cubans
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11) Three Al Jazeera Journalists Remain in Jail After Egyptian Court Orders a Retrial


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