Sunday, February 22, 2015


SF Anti-war Protest on 12th Anniversary of U.S. Invasion of Iraq

Saturday, March 21, 12 noon, Powell and Market Sts.

In solidarity with the “Spring Rising” protest at the White House on Mar. 21

Stop Pres. Obama’s proposed new 3-year AUMF – Authorization for Use of Military Force!

End U.S. War and Occupation in the Middle East and Central Asia – U.S. Out!

No to U.S. sanctions and intervention vs. Iran, Venezuela, Korea, Cuba, Mexico, Russia, Haiti and everywhere

Free Palestine – End U.S. Aid to Israel!

Fund People’s Needs, Not Endless War!

To Endorse or Volunteer reply to:
More info: 415-821-6545 or visit

To join the Facebook event for Spring Rising:
For more information, click here:



Cancel the #DetroitWater Debt and Start Afresh

Sign the petition:

We call on the City of Detroit and the newly-formed Great Lakes Water Authority to cancel the existing debts of Detroit Water and Sewerage customers and start afresh with simple, affordable rates: all customer past-due balances are wiped clean.

Last year, Detroit made international headlines when tens of thousands of residents lost their access to water through an aggressive shut-off program by the water department.

The city of Detroit has endured decades of economic turmoil, drastic depopulation and repeated mismanagement. The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) is over $5 billion in debt (over $4,500 per family in the metro Detroit area).To compensate, they have increased rates over 119% in the last decade.¹Residents who fall behind on their bills risk water shutoff, and in 2014 that’s exactly what happened to tens of thousands of Detroiters.

The shutoff program didn't work, and the DWSD collected less than 3% of the over $100 million currently owed.² A large number of the families who entered into payment plans last year are now defaulting on them yet again because they lack sufficient income.

In contrast, a voluntary bond tender offer initiated during the shutoffs allowed the city to renegotiate high interest rates on municipal water bonds and save over $250 million in interest fees for the city.³

The bond markets know that Detroit's water debt is junk and the city will unlikely ever be able to pay the current interest rates, which is why Default Trends proclaimed Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) its "Biggest Default of 2014".⁴

Corruption in the DWSD has been rampant, with former Department head Victor Mercado currently serving an 8-month federal corruption sentence for "conspiracy to commit extortion" by padding department contracts and rigging bids that netted his business associates millions. Although many of those contracts are now being scrutinized by the city's legal team, Detroiters are still paying dearly for the fraud of past leaders.

The overbearing Detroit water debt has a human side, too: it has pushed Detroit into an outright humanitarian crisis. Rates of infectious disease and sickness are up dramatically, leading the National Nurses union recently to declare a 'Public Health Emergency' in Detroit.⁵The water department is significantly under-staffed and water infrastructure is crumbling, leading to leaks that cost taxpayers tens of millions annually. The department is unable to address these time-sensitive issues due to lack of funding, as it currently spends 46% of its operating revenue on debt service to banks - the largest line-item by far in its budget.

We call on the City of Detroit and the newly-formed Great Lakes Water Authority to cancel the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department's existing debts and start afresh with simple, affordable rates: all customer past-due balances are wiped clean.

Detroit's existing water/sewerage rate structure is highly-regressive and unaffordable for too many families. We call on the city to implement the 2005 Water Affordability Plan to ensure that no family pays more than the EPA-recommended threshold for water, including "lifeline rates" for essential quantities of drinking/bathing water.

The water department acknowledges that 90% of its operating costs are fixed⁷, meaning they don't depend upon how much water is consumed by users. Still, they charge usage-based rates that fluctuate dramatically with weather (up to 18% decrease in usage) and with broader demographic shifts in the region (2/3 of Detroit's population has left the city since 1950). Creating a progressive rate structure based at least partially upon a family's income - as is done with many public services like streetlights, schools, libraries, etc - would more equitably distribute the burden of operating a system relied upon by over 4 million people for essential drinking water.

The Detroit Water Brigade has provided emergency relief and advocacy to hundreds of families since June of 2014, including providing immediate financial assistance to families currently without water.⁸We've seen first-hand the disastrous effects of these harsh, debt-driven austerity policies.

We pledge to escalate this campaign in the coming months until we bring relief to the tens of thousands of metro Detroit families living without water today and the millions living precariously with unaffordable water rates.



Free Albert Woodfox!
End the Injustice. Don’t Oppose Bail for Albert Woodfox

In 1972 a young white prison guard named Brent Miller was fatally stabbed inside Louisiana State Penitentiary, also known as “Angola.” Although no physical evidence tied Albert Woodfox to the crime, he was immediately assumed to be guilty and placed in solitary confinement; 23 hours a day isolated in a small cell, four steps long, three steps across. He was eventually convicted of the crime after trials tainted with constitutional violations and other legal issues, and has been held in solitary confinement, fighting to prove his innocence ever since.

Albert believes that he and fellow prisoners, Herman Wallace and Robert King, were placed in solitary confinement in retaliation for their activism and outspoken critique of injustice. All three men were members of the Black Panther Party and campaigned for better treatment, racial solidarity, and an end to the brutal sexual slavery in prison. Woodfox, Wallace and King came to be known as the Angola 3.

Albert Woodfox’s conviction has been overturned three times - most recently in 2013 on the basis of racial discrimination in the selection of a grand jury foreperson. In late 2014, an appeals court upheld the decision in Alberts favor, and on February 6, his lawyers filed for bail. After years of the State of Louisiana appealing decisions in Albert’s favor, It is critical that Governor Bobby Jindal show leadership, and ensure that Albert’s cruel and unjust isolation is not his legacy. April 2015 will mark 43 years since Woodfox was first placed solitary - for a crime he maintains that he didn't' commit, a claim that much of the available evidence supports. It is time for the State to let the wisdom of the courts stand and ensure his release.

Amnesty International



Bay Area United Against War Newsletter

Table of Contents:








Protest War Criminal Netanyahu’s Speech to Joint Session of Congress

Tuesday, March 3, 5:00 pm, Israeli Consulate, 456 Montgomery St., San Francisco

Join us on March 3 to say: No to War Criminal Netanyahu - No New War on Iran - End the Colonial Occupation of Palestine - End U.S. Aid to Israel!

More info: 415-821-6545 or




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...

More details to come soon!

Sign up on facebook

Or contact:

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

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



Justice for Rasmea: All out for March 12!

On March 12, Rasmea is set to appear once again in the Detroit courtroom of Judge Gershwin Drain, this time for a sentencing hearing. We are seeking letters to the judge requesting leniency.

For this round of letters, we are NOT looking for a mountain of individual statements, but rather letters from prominent individuals who represent broader constituencies. We need you to work with leaders of faith-based, labor, and community organizations, as well as student governments, student organizations (national), prominent professors, and legislators in your area to draft and submit letters.

Below you will find an outline you can use to draft these letters, but it is important for the authors to write them in their own voices. Letters should be submitted by February 4 to

Stay tuned! Keep sharing Rasmea’s story and organizing fundraisers. Watch for calls for your support as we prepare for sentencing and appeal. Our organizing is key to winning #Justice4Rasmea.

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Copyright © 2015 Committee to Stop FBI Repression, All rights reserved.
Thanks for your ongoing interest in the fight against FBI repression of anti-war and international solidarity activists!
Our mailing address is:
Committee to Stop FBI Repression
PO Box 14183
Minneapolis, MN 55414



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.



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."   

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”:

This message has been sent to you by:

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

Donate Now
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$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


P.O. Box 411074 San Francisco, CA 94141 415-706-5222



Campaign to Free Lorenzo Johnson

Lorenzo Speaks Concerning Prosecution's Brief:
JANUARY 1, 2015—The prosecutor has run away from (almost) every issue raised in my PCRA by begging the Court to dismiss everything as “untimely”. When they don’t do this, they suggest that me and my lawyers were “defamatory” towards either my former prosecutor Christopher Abruzzo or Detective Kevin Duffin, in our claims they withheld, misused or hid evidence of my Innocence, in order to secure an unjust conviction in this case. If I charged, a year ago, that about a dozen AGs (attorneys general) were involved in circulating porno via their office computers, people would’ve laughed at me, and seen me as crazy.

But, guess what? During 2014, we learned that this was the truth. How can it be defamatory to speak the truth? Notice the OAG (Office of Attorney General), never said the obvious: That AG Abruzzo didn’t inform the Defense about the relationship between his Motive Witness and his head detective (Victoria Doubs and Det. Duffin); that Det. Duffin doesn’t deny Doubs was his god-sister, and that she lived in his family home, or that he assisted her whenever she got into trouble.

Why not? Because it is true. How can you defame someone who defames himself? Mr. Christopher Abruzzo, Esq., when a member of the higher ranks of the OAG, sent and/or received copious amounts of porno to other attorneys general and beyond. What does this say about his sense of judgment? He thought enough about his behavior to resign from his post in the Governor’s Cabinet. If he thought that his behavior was okay, he’d still be sitting in the Governor’s cabinet, right? The OAG cannot honestly oppose anything we’ve argued, but they try by seeking to get the Court to do their dirty work, how? By denying an Evidentiary Hearing to prove every point we’ve claimed.

The prosecution is trying desperately to avoid dealing with the substance of my claims in Com. v. Lorenzo Johnson. So, they slander my Legal Team and blame them for defaming the good AG’s and Cops involved with this case. They try to do what is undeniable, to deny that they hid evidence from the Defense for years. They blamed me for daring to protest the hidden evidence of their malfeasance and other acts to sabotage the defense. They claim that they had an “Open File” policy with my trial counsel. But “Open File” is more than letting an attorney read something in their office. If it’s a search for the truth it must include what is turned over to the attorney, for how do we really know what was shown to her?

They say it is inconceivable that an attorney would read a file, beginning on page nine (9), and not ask for the preceding eight (8) pages. Yet, it is conceivable if trial counsel was ineffective for not demanding the record of the first eight pages. Pages that identify the State’s only witness as a “SUSPECT” in the murder for which her client was charged! How could such an attorney fail to recognize the relevance of such an issue, barring their sheer Ineffectiveness and frankly, Incompetence.

By seeking to avoid an evidentiary hearing, the prosecution seeks to avoid evidence of their wrongdoing being made plain, for all to see. If they believe I’m wrong, why not prove it? They can’t. So they shout I filed my appeal untimely, as if there can ever justly be a rule that precludes an innocent from proving his innocence! Not to mention the fact that the prosecution has failed to even mention the positive finger prints that ay my trial they said none existed. Don’t try to hide it with a lame argument about time. When isn’t there a time for truth? The prosecution should be ashamed of itself for taking this road. It is unworthy of an office that claims to seek justice.

After the trial verdict The Patriot-News (March 18, 1997) reported, “Deputy Attorney General Christopher Abruzzo admitted there were some serious concerns about the strength of the evidence against Johnson and praised the jury for doing a thorough job.” I guess he forgot to mention all of the evidence he left out to show Innocence.

Now, more than ever, Lorenzo Johnson needs your support.
Publicize his case; bring it to your friends, clubs, religious
and social organizations. 



Write: Lorenzo Johnson
            DF 1036
            SCI Mahanoy
            301 Morea Rd.
            Frackville, PA 17932

 Email: Lorenzo Johnson through code:
              Lorenzo Johnson DF 1036 PA DOC



Click HERE to view in browser
Join the Fight to Free Rev. Pinkney!

On December 15, 2014 the Rev. Edward Pinkney of Benton Harbor, Michigan was thrown into prison for 2.5 to 10 years. This 66-year-old leading African American activist was tried and convicted in front of an all-white jury and racist white judge and prosecutor for supposedly altering 5 dates on a recall petition against the mayor of Benton Harbor.

The prosecutor, with the judge’s approval, repeatedly told the jury “you don’t need evidence to convict Mr. Pinkney.” And ABSOLUTELY NO EVIDENCE WAS EVER PRESENTED THAT TIED REV. PINKNEY TO THE ‘ALTERED’ PETITIONS. Rev. Pinkney was immediately led away in handcuffs and thrown into Jackson Prison.

This is an outrageous charge. It is an outrageous conviction. It is an even more outrageous sentence! It must be appealed.

With your help supporters need to raise $20,000 for Rev. Pinkney’s appeal.

Checks can be made out to BANCO (Black Autonomy Network Community Organization). This is the organization founded by Rev. Pinkney.  Mail them to: Mrs. Dorothy Pinkney, 1940 Union Street, Benton Harbor, MI 49022.

Donations can be accepted on-line at – press the donate button.

For information on the decade long campaign to destroy Rev. Pinkney go to and “Pinkney”).

We urge your support to the efforts to Free Rev. Pinkney!Ramsey Clark – Former U.S. attorney general,
Cynthia McKinney – Former member of U.S. Congress,
Lynne Stewart – Former political prisoner and human rights attorney
Ralph Poynter – New Abolitionist Movement,
Abayomi Azikiwe – Editor, Pan-African News Wire<
Larry Holmes – Peoples Power Assembly,
David Sole – Michigan Emergency Committee Against War & Injustice
Sara Flounders – International Action Center


I am now in Marquette prison over 15 hours from wife and family, sitting in prison for a crime that was never committed. Judge Schrock and Mike Sepic both admitted there was no evidence against me but now I sit in prison facing 30 months. Schrock actually stated that he wanted to make an example out of me. (to scare Benton Harbor residents even more...) ONLY IN AMERICA. I now have an army to help fight Berrien County. When I arrived at Jackson state prison on Dec. 15, I met several hundred people from Detroit, Flint, Kalamazoo, and Grand Rapids. Some people recognized me. There was an outstanding amount of support given by the prison inmates. When I was transported to Marquette Prison it took 2 days. The prisoners knew who I was. One of the guards looked me up on the internet and said, "who would believe Berrien County is this racist."  

New Court Date on 4 Motions for Rev. Pinkney 

TUES, FEB. 24 1pm Berrien County Court 

Background to Campaign to free Rev. Pinkney

Michigan political prisoner the Rev. Edward Pinkney is a victim of racist injustice. He was sentenced to 30 months to 10 years for supposedly changing the dates on 5 signatures on a petition to recall Benton Harbor Mayor James Hightower.

No material or circumstantial evidence was presented at the trial that would implicate Pinkney in the purported5 felonies. Many believe that Pinkney, a Berrien County activist and leader of the Black Autonomy Network Community Organization (BANCO), is being punished by local authorities for opposing the corporate plans of Whirlpool Corp, headquartered in Benton Harbor, Michigan.

In 2012, Pinkney and BANCO led an “Occupy the PGA [Professional Golfers’ Association of America]” demonstration against a world-renowned golf tournament held at the newly created Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course on the shoreline of 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 the recall campaign against Mayor Hightower, who opposed a program that would have taxed local corporations in order to create jobs and improve conditions in Benton Harbor, a majority African-American municipality. Like other Michigan cities, it has been devastated by widespread poverty and unemployment. 

The Benton Harbor corporate power structure has used similar fraudulent charges to stop past efforts to recall or vote out of office the racist white officials, from mayor, judges, prosecutors in a majority Black city. Rev Pinkney who always quotes scripture, as many Christian ministers do, was even convicted for quoting scripture in a newspaper column. This outrageous conviction was overturned on appeal. We must do this again!

To sign the petition in support of the Rev. Edward Pinkney, log on to:

Contributions for Rev. Pinkney’s defense can be sent to BANCO at Mrs Dorothy Pinkney, 1940 Union St., Benton Harbor, MI 49022

Or you can donate on-line at




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

November 24, 2014 by the Chelsea Manning Support Network
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!

Courage to Resist
484 Lake Park Ave. #41
 Oakland, CA 94610











1) When One Penalty Is Enough



2) As Walmart Gives Raises, Other Employers May Have to Go Above Minimum Wage



3) Israeli Court Ruling on Protester’s Death Is Criticized



4) Bus Ads Highlight U.S. Taxpayer Funding of “Israel’s War Crimes”
By Elaine Pasquini
February 20, 2015

Advertisements calling attention to Israel’s brutal 51-day military assault on Gaza last summer, as well as its continuing illegal occupation and confiscation of Palestinian land, went on display on San Francisco municipal buses Feb. 2.

Israel’s military assault on Gaza from July 7 to August 16, 2014 killed 2,131 Palestinians, including 1,473 civilians—501 of them children; wounded 11,000; and left at least 110,000 people homeless.

The ads, reading “ISRAEL’S WAR CRIMES, YOUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK,” were a joint project of the Free Palestine Movement and Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign (SeaMAC). The Free Palestine Movement has been organizing and participating in public advertising of this kind for more than two years, placing ads on buses and Bay Area Rapid Transit trains in San Francisco, a billboard in Sacramento, and buses in Denver.

These ads counter hateful anti-Muslim advertisements purchased by right-wing blogger Pamela Geller’s American Freedom Defense Initiative, which ran on the same buses in January. San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, District Attorney George Gascón and other city leaders condemned Geller’s advertisements, calling them racist and Islamophobic, but acknowledged they were protected free speech.

The website was created to accompany the advertisements and bring attention to—and condemn—the more than $3 billion in American taxpayer dollars the U.S. gives to Israel every year. News and information about this use of U.S. taxpayer money and efforts to end the funding, including tax exemptions for projects in Israel that support human rights abuses, can be found on the site. The Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign,, utilizes direct education through public forums, church and school presentations, and other face-to-face events to point out how U.S. support for Israel enables Israel’s continued oppression and subjugation of the Palestinian people.     




5) Dock workers, shippers face off at the Port of Oakland
February 18, 2015

West Coast ports are badly congested. Ships are backed up, unable to find a berth to unload their cargo. Longshore contract negotiations are deadlocked between the shipowners and terminal operators of the Pacific Maritime Association and dockworkers represented by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union. With big retailers and agribusiness screaming, President Obama has sent in Labor Secretary Tom Perez.

The PMA’s tough negotiating ploy has intentionally created a port crisis. The PMA, echoed by the business press, claims greedy workers engaging in work slowdowns are to blame. Yet the employers, after dragging out negotiations for nine months, have closed ports this past holiday weekend. They previously had ended night work to stop paying overtime and shift premiums, thus employers have slashed available work time in one week by 75 percent. In 2002, when PMA locked out longshore workers and shut down West Coast ports, the media conflated it with a workers’ strike. Is this a bad media rerun?

What’s really brewing here is an assault on one of the last bastions of union power left in the United States, the ILWU. In the last five years, the ILWU has faced union-busting attacks by mining titan Rio Tinto and the ABCD grain monopolies (Archer Daniels Midland, Bunge Limited, Cargill Inc. and Louis Dreyfus Commodities), which control 90 percent of the world’s grain distribution. In both cases, the union conceded key contract provisions, and now maritime monopolies are smelling blood.

Two of the biggest global port employers, Ports America Inc. and Stevedoring Services of America were until recently owned in large part by the insurance monolith AIG and Goldman Sachs, respectively. This is “Wall Street on the waterfront,” and they’re out to gut the power of the ILWU, the union hiring hall, and curtail union action by using arbitrators.

Yet when longshore workers stop work, it’s often because of safety issues in a dangerous industry whose rate of work-related fatalities exceeds that of firefighters.

When Bay Area longshore workers shut down ports to protest Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s union-busting activities, that state’s AFL-CIO called the ILWU “the moral compass of the labor movement.” And when Oakland police nearly killed Iraq War veteran Scott Olsen during an Occupy movement protest, 30,000 outraged demonstrators marched into the port, closing it in protest and in solidarity with longshore workers battling the nonunion Export Grain Terminal in Longview, Wash. Shades of the 1934 San Francisco General Strike frightened West Coast port employers.

ILWU longshore jobs pay decent wages and benefits, but far less than employers claim. If a rising tide can lift all boats, then these jobs and benefits will continue to set standards for other workers. But, if Wall Street on the waterfront breaks the ILWU, wages and living standards will be driven down for all.

Don’t forget the lesson of PATCO, the air traffic controllers union destroyed by Ronald Reagan, while other unions sat idly by. The consequences devastated the entire labor movement. And, in 2012, President Obama sent Coast Guard vessels against the ILWU protesting a scab ship at the Export Grain Terminal. Longshore workers need to use their power to stop concessionary contracts, and all working people should have their back.

Jack Heyman, a retired ILWU member, has worked in the San Francisco Bay Area as a longshoreman and boatman for over 30 years. He chairs the Transport Workers Solidarity Committee. ( 



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9) Even as Many Eyes Watch, Brutality at Rikers Island Persists



10) A Deal That Preserves Greece’s Place in Eurozone, and Fiscal Restraints

BRUSSELS — Just a month ago, after being propelled to power by a wave of anger at Greece’s economic miseries, Alexis Tsipras declared his left-wing Syriza party’s election victory the start of a Europe-wide revolt against austerity. “Europe is going to change,” he said before setting off on a tour of European capitals to rally support for a more relaxed new direction.

The “anti-austerity revolution” proclaimed by Syriza and its fans elsewhere, however, has now fizzled, its passions doused by the political reality that leaders in the rest of Europe do not want to join or, more important, finance the Greek-led revolt.

Greece’s hoped-for new dawn for Europe ended on a rain-drenched Friday evening in the Justus Lipsius Building, a huge, Soviet-style Brussels office block where finance ministers from the 19 countries that use the euro — known as the Eurogroup — had gathered for their third emergency meeting in two weeks.

A deal negotiated there lifted the threat of bankruptcy hanging over Greece and with it the immediate risk that it might have to leave the eurozone and the 28-member European Union, an exit that would have delivered a grave blow to Europe’s six-decade drive for integration.

But an agreement to extend Greece’s bailout for four months also committed it to honor fiscal targets and other conditions it had vowed to scrap and left intact the supervising role of the so-called troika — a trio of creditor bodies that Syriza wanted banished, viewing it as the hated symbol of their country’s subordination to so-called neo-liberal economic dogma. Moreover, the finance ministers made clear that Greece will not get any more cash until it satisfies them it can keep a lid on spending, setting the stage for more tense negotiations in coming days and weeks.

Syriza still claimed victory, but few outside the party — and some within it — saw anything other than an abrupt halt to its iconoclastic vision of a “new deal” in which voters, not markets and Brussels technocrats, decide how money flows and on what terms.

Asked at a news conference on Friday whether Europe had not “trashed” Greece’s democratic will, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the Dutch finance minister and head of the Eurogroup, pointed to a basic truth in an economic bloc where voters in one country cannot tell voters elsewhere how to spend their money. “It cannot be one country that says ‘Can I have support but I will formulate my own conditions?’ ” he said.

Instead of scrapping the so-called memorandum — a package of austerity and other measures that Syriza had declared “dead” — Greece, according to a statement agreed to late Friday by the Greek and other ministers, pledged to “refrain from any rollback of measures” agreed to by previous governments, or “unilateral changes to the policies and structural reforms that would negatively impact fiscal targets, economic recovery or financial stability, as assessed by the institutions,” the new euphemism for the troika.

Communist Tendency, a small far-left group inside Syriza, denounced the commitment as a betrayal of the working class and “submission to the blackmail of the troika.”

Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble of Germany, who led opposition to Syriza’s demands for a thorough rethink of Greece’s bailout terms, took a swipe in comments to reporters late Friday at what he suggested had been the new Greek government’s dreamy illusions.

“Being in government is a date with reality, and reality is often not as nice as a dream,” said Mr. Schäuble, who has been pilloried in the Greek media as an unfeeling monster bent on deepening Greece’s economic suffering, which includes a catastrophic 25 percent contraction of the economy since 2010, along with unemployment of 26 percent over all and above 50 percent for youths.

But Friday’s settlement did not really mark the end of a five-year Greek drama that is still threatening Europe’s commitment to an “ever closer union.”

The next hurdle is a Monday deadline for Greece to submit a list of all the policy measures it plans to take to satisfy creditors’ demands. And even if Greece’s plan passes muster on Monday, the whole issue of how to help Athens and on what terms will resurface when the extended bailout, worth 240 billion euros, or $273 billion, expires in June and, as many expect, Greece needs a further infusion of cash to stave off default.

“Negotiations are just beginning,” Mr. Tsipras, Greece’s new prime minister, said in a television address on Saturday that cast the previous evening’s accord as a victory for his government. “We won the battle but not the war,” he said. “The real difficulties lie ahead.”

But his political opponents and outside observers derided Syriza’s cries of victory.

“I think it is almost a total capitulation,” said Raoul Ruparel, the head of economic research at Open Europe, a research group in London. “Tsipras gambled on austerity fatigue in Europe and thought that by flying the flag for change lots of other countries would follow his lead. None did.”

Even countries like Portugal, which also suffered through grinding austerity after it signed up for a bailout with tight conditions, stood firm alongside Germany, Finland and other northern European countries. Having slashed budgets and taken other unpopular steps, governments across Europe feared that siding with Syriza would only empower like-minded insurgent political groups in their own countries.

“Let’s not kid ourselves,” a post on a website affiliated with Syriza said on Saturday. “This proposal equals, if not a U-turn towards the Memorandum, then the burial of any meaningful debt reduction and the freezing of even the most restrained measures in favor of the people that Alexis Tsipras had personally vowed to implement.”

Speaking in Brussels, Yanis Varoufakis, the Greek finance minister, dismissed talk of defeat, pointing to a vague promise of “flexibility” included in the statement issued by the Eurogroup as a sign that Athens could still rewrite the terms. He also returned to a pugnacious tone that had infuriated Berlin and many other European capitals, warning that Friday’s deal would be “dead and buried” if creditors did not accept Greece’s proposals on Monday.

Guntram Wolff, director of Bruegel, a research group in Brussels, said Syriza had severely miscalculated from the start by taking a “confrontational approach” in a button-down European Union system that embraces quiet consensus-building and shuns emotional polemics.

But its biggest mistake, Mr. Wolff said, “was to think that all of southern Europe would align behind Greece” against what Athens has presented as German intransigence in defense of austerity for ideological reasons, or simply out of spite.

Syriza’s belief that Spain, Portugal and Italy would rally to its anti-austerity crusade was fed in part by the rapturous reception Mr. Tsipras and his lieutenants received from like-minded anti-establishment parties ahead of Greece’s election in January.

“A wind of change is blowing in Europe,” Pablo Iglesias, leader of Spain’s upstart Podemos party, told a Syriza pre-election rally in Athens. “The name of that change in Greece is Syriza, and the name of the change in Spain will be Podemos.”

But the surging fortunes of populist parties, left and right, across Europe only made sitting leaders more wary of Syriza and its policies, even those tired of Brussels-mandated budget cuts.

The anti-austerity cause also lost some of its momentum as the European Union began to let up on some of its previously harsh demands for cuts and the European Central Bank announced that, starting in March, it would buy up 60 billion euros worth of government bonds in an effort to spur growth.

Soon after taking power in Athens late last month, Mr. Tsipras and Mr. Varoufakis launched a tour of European capitals, impressing fashion mavens with their cool youthful attire, particularly their lack of ties, but also ruffling feathers with their sometimes impetuous comments.

As Syriza hit the road, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany and Mr. Schäuble quietly pressed their own case for financial discipline, looser labor laws and other change, inviting European leaders to Berlin even as Ms. Merkel took the lead in brokering an abortive truce to the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

In between trips to Brussels last Monday and again on Friday for emergency finance ministers’ meetings, Mr. Schäuble, a stern 72-year-old who has used a wheelchair since a failed assassination attempt in 1990, attended a presentation given in Berlin by the finance minister of Portugal, one of the southern European nations Greece viewed as natural allies. Like Greece, Portugal endured years of austerity after appealing for a financial lifeline.

But the Portuguese minister, Maria Luís Albuquerque, spoke in Berlin of very different lessons from austerity. She proudly detailed how Portugal had endured and emerged from a bailout aimed at mending her nation’s tattered finances. It was all about “regaining credibility” and sticking to rules, she said.

The next day, just a few hours before his finance minister flew to Brussels, Mr. Tsipras continued his own campaign to show that Greece was not beholden to Germany or other creditors and had friends elsewhere. He boarded a visiting Chinese warship in the Greek port of Piraeus and spoke of the “special importance” of investment from China.

Niki Kitsantonis contributed reporting from Athens, Alison Smale from Berlin, and Gaia Pianigiani from Rome.



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14) Greece Readies Reform Promises
(Writing by David Stamp; Editing by Giles Elgood)



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Research Shows White Privilege is Real



16) Israeli Forces Kill Palestinian Man in West Bank Clashes
“'This 19-year-old young man was asleep in his house, but when he heard the noise, he went to his roof to see what was happening,' Mr. Bakri told Voice of Palestine radio. 'Israeli snipers immediately opened fire and shot him in cold blood,' he said."



17) Eurozone Approves Greece Bailout Overhaul Plan
Also see: Greek Plan Submitted to Eurogroup Finance Ministers (PDF)

BRUSSELS — Eurozone finance ministers on Tuesday approved Greek proposals aimed at easing the hardships created by a huge international bailout, extending that program by four more months.

The decision by the finance ministers means “national procedures for extension of the Greek programme can begin,” Valdis Dombrovskis, a vice president at the European Commission, wrote on his Twitter account.

The reworking of the bailout program by the new Greek government included pledges to take a disciplined approach to budgets, spending and tax collection, while remaining committed to easing the “humanitarian crisis” caused by years of economic hardship and high unemployment.

In trying to achieve that delicate balance — to meet the demands of its European creditors in order to keep the loan money flowing, but without reneging on the anti-austerity campaign promises on which it was elected — the government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras may find a difficult road ahead, even with the backing of the eurozone finance ministers.

The extension is expected to require the approval of lawmakers in Greece, Austria, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Netherlands and Slovakia before a Saturday deadline, when the European portion of the bailout is set to expire.

In a statement, the so-called Eurogroup of finance ministers from the 19 countries that use the euro said they approved the Greek proposals in an afternoon conference call, after having consulted with Greece’s other major lenders, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank.

“The institutions provided us with their first view that they consider this list of measures to be sufficiently comprehensive to be a valid starting point,” the Eurogroup wrote.

Mario Draghi, the president of the European Central Bank, said the Greek measures were a “valid starting point” and suggested that he might be open to changes in the conditions imposed by Greece’s creditors.

But he said that Athens needed to provide more details about what it had in mind, and that any existing conditions the Greeks did not like would have to be replaced “with measures of equal or better quality.”

The International Monetary Fund also gave the Greek proposals a lukewarm reception. Christine Lagarde, managing director of the I.M.F., welcomed commitments by Athens to fight tax evasion and corruption. But she warned that the Greek measures were “generally not very specific” and suffered a lack of “clear assurances” in “perhaps the most important” areas, like pensions, value added tax, privatizations and labor market law.

Greek stocks rose sharply in midafternoon trading, with the Athens index up about 10 percent and bank shares rising more than 15 percent. Interest rates on Greek 10-year bonds fell to about 8.4 percent. ​

The Eurogroup statement formally closes a chapter in the bitter standoff between Greece and countries like Germany and Finland, where there is deep mistrust of the new anti-austerity government in Athens. That mistrust nearly derailed weeks of late-night bargaining in Brussels.

But the statement was also a sign that lenders would continue to closely scrutinize Greece’s finances and that they could make additional demands on Athens before disbursing a loan of €7.2 billion, or about $8.2 billion — money the Greek government needs to meet its debt obligations. Under bailouts in 2010 and 2012, Greece has been granted €240 billion in exchange for pursuing various economic overhauls.

“We call on the Greek authorities to further develop and broaden the list of reform measures, based on the current arrangement, in close coordination with the institutions,” the Eurogroup wrote, referring to the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank.

Among the overhauls are plans to improve management of the national budget, and to enact changes to Greece’s taxation system, including changes to sales tax policy, “with a view to limiting exemptions while eliminating unreasonable discounts,” according to a letter that Yanis Varoufakis, the Greek finance minister, submitted to Mr. Dijsselbloem.

The letter emphasized Greece’s commitment to curbing tax evasion, particularly among the wealthy, and said that fighting corruption was “a national priority.”

The government also committed not to reverse existing privatization plans and said it would review planned sell-offs with a focus on bolstering “the state’s long-term benefits.”

In addition to streamlining the public sector, the government will review public spending at every level and will modernize the pension system in an effort to end “loopholes and incentives that give rise to an excessive rate of early retirements.”

The country still plans to raise the minimum wage, one of the government’s pre-election promises, but pledges to do so in a way that safeguards competitiveness, the letter said.

Greek television reported that some members of Mr. Tsipras’s cabinet had expressed objections to certain overhauls set out in Greece’s letter to the Eurogroup. But — in a sign that the dissent was controllable, at least for the moment — no ministers made public statements criticizing the proposed changes.

The opportunity for Greece to submit the proposals was one of the few concrete concessions it won in an accord reached with its creditors late on Friday in Brussels. That accord brought to an end the bitter standoff that began when Mr. Tsipras pledged to redraw or scrap the bailout agreement after he came to power in January.

European and Greek officials spent much of Monday exchanging drafts of the proposals to pare back austerity measures while ensuring that Greece can still meet fiscal obligations.

The government of Mr. Tsipras had an opportunity to put its “political stamp” on a bailout plan if it respected budget targets, Mr. Dijsselbloem told the parliamentary committee.

The deal to extend the country’s bailout program with European creditors by four months is subject to the approval of the Greek Parliament, where some members of Mr. Tsipras’s radical-left Syriza party have called the plan a capitulation after the party’s anti-austerity campaign promises.

Also on the list submitted by Mr. Varoufakis are plans to crack down on the smuggling of fuel and tobacco, which cost the Greek economy billions of euros a year in unrecovered tax revenue; to address tax arrears and nonperforming bank loans; and to support struggling homeowners who are unable to meet their mortgage payments.

The overhauls will also address what the new government has described as Greece’s “humanitarian crisis,” which it attributed to years of austerity, by offering measures including food stamps and free electricity for the poor, a package that Syriza has estimated would cost some €1.8 billion.

The government also plans to review a pilot program seeking to guarantee a minimum income to poor families, according to criteria like the number of children in a household or the number of unemployed. The pilot was introduced in the fall by the previous administration, offering monthly payments of €250 to €500 to families, at an estimated total cost of €750 million to €1 billion.

But the cost of extending the plan nationwide, as the new government aims to do, remains unclear.

Athens said in the letter that the assistance measures would be mostly “nonpecuniary” and would have “no negative fiscal effect.”

James Kanter reported from Brussels, and Niki Kitsantonis from Athens. Jack Ewing contributed reporting from Frankfurt.





























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