Thursday, January 07, 2016

BAUAW NEWSLETTER, THURSDAY, JANUARY 7, 2016


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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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Crash Mayor Ed Lee's Inauguration - Demand Justice for Mario Woods!
SF City Hall
Fri. Jan. 8, 9:30am

 


Mayor Lee has been decidedly absent as we have sought dialogue with him about Chief Suhr's inability to run a police force. Chief Suhr has created a culture of racism and brutalization that gave those five officers permission to assassinate Mario Woods. If he will not fire Chief Suhr, who refuses to step down, then we will let him know that he can go too. If we do not get justice, he will not get peace!!! We will be at the doors of San Francisco's City Hall for the Mayor's Inauguration not in celebration, but in protest!

Read more about the struggle for justice for Mario Woods.

Sponsored by the Justice for Mario Woods Coalition, of which the ANSWER Coalition is a member.
More info: 415-821-6545 or on Facebook 

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 SUPPORTERS OF MUMIA ABU-JAMAL,AND FREE QUALITY HEALTH CARE FOR ALL:
The Oasis Clinic in Oakland, CA, which treats patients with Hepatitis-C (HCV), is calling for a demonstration to protest the outrageous price-gouging of Big Pharma corporations, like Gilead Sciences, which hike-up the cost for essential, life-saving medications such as the cure for the deadly Hepatitis-C virus, in order to reap huge profits. The Oasis Clinic’s demand is:

PUBLIC HEALTH, NOT CORPORATE WEALTH!

MOBILIZE: 12 NOON, MONDAY,  JANUARY 11, 2016
JP MORGAN HEALTH CARE CONFERENCE
WESTIN ST. FRANCIS HOTEL
335 POWELL ST. 
UNION SQUARE, SAN FRANCISCO

The Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal urges you to support this demonstration! As many as 700,000 prisoners are among the nearly 5.2 million Americans infected with HCV, according to the Center for Disease Control, and political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal is among them.

This JP Morgan investor conference is an invitation-only event which entices corporate CEOs, CFOs, investors and other opportunist big-wigs to slurp up the profits that can be made from gouging the victims of life-threatening diseases such as Hepatitis-C. This includes Gilead Sciences, the “owner” of Harvoni, which is the effective new cure for HCV.

One pill a day for 12 weeks does the trick with a 95 percent cure rate, but Gilead charges $1,000 per pill, or nearly $100,000 for a full course of treatment!!

Prisoners are among the most likely to contract Hep-C, and among the least likely to receive the newly available cure for the disease, due to both the exaggerated price, and the refusal of prison administrations to provide proper health care to inmates!

Mumia Abu-Jamal was infected in 1981, after he was shot by police and treated as a prisoner for his wounds. Falsely convicted for killing a cop and sent to death row (he’s now serving life without the possibility of parole), Mumia’s infection began to show symptoms in 2015, which is typical for this slow-incubating but usually fatal (if untreated) disease. Mass mobilization by supporters is the only reason Mumia got any medical attention at all, and he is still denied the curative Harvoni treatment which alone can ensure his survival! The PA prison system is trying to kill Mumia by medical neglect!

In violation of National Institute of Health (NIH) regulations, Gilead canceled its program to supply a certain amount of the drug at low cost.   And the New York Times reported that in "a complicated deal to sell hepatitis drugs at a small fraction of their usual cost while imposing tight restrictions intended to protect lucrative markets in the West... for the past year, Gilead has sold the drug to the Egyptian government for about $10 a pill."

Mumia Abu-Jamal, though he suffered near death for lack of treatment last year, is the first one to point out that he is only one of many. He supports the demands for treatment of some 10,000 prisoners in Pennsylvania alone who suffer from HCV infection.

In a recent federal appeal, lawyers fighting for treatment of Mumia brought out evidence in court of a secret PA Department of Corrections (DOC) protocol which explicitly provides for observation, but not treatment, of HCV infected prisoners! 

WE DEMAND:

PUBLIC HEALTH, NOT CORPORATE WEALTH!

IMMEDIATE AND FREE TREATMENT FOR ALL HCV-INFECTED PRISONERS!

NO EXECUTION BY MEDICAL NEGLECT!

JAIL DRUG PROFITEERS, FREE MUMIA!

This message from:
Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal
PO Box 16222 • Oakland CA 94610 • www.laboractionmumia.org
06 January 2016

Mumia Is Innocent!  Free Mumia!

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Chelsea Manning Support Network

Defend Chelsea Manning

Here are two important ways you can support Chelsea:

1. Give the gift of a donation to the Chelsea Manning Defense Fund

Attorneys Nancy Hollander and Vincent Ward are well into the process of preparing for Chelsea's first legal appeal next year. The appeals process has the potential to take decades off Chelsea's 35 year prison sentence. Donate Today!

2. Send her a birthday message:

CHELSEA E. MANNING 89289
1300 N Warehouse Rd
Ft Leavenworth KS 66027-2304

Super secret insider info: Not only are Chelsea Manning shirts and stuff already 50% off in our online store, if you use discount code "chelsea" during check out, you'll get an additional 50% off. That is insane, so please don't tell anyone else, as we can't afford for this news to get out too broadly. Here's the link to the store, just for you Bonnie.

Chelsea honored in Advocate's 40 under 40!

"In blogs, tweets, and handwritten letters from prison, the former Army intelligence specialist is still trying to change the world."
"I often hear and read that many people all over the world consider me a ‘whistleblower’ or a ‘heroine.’ This experience can be a little intimidating at times," she tells The Advocate. "That’s an idea that would be a lot to live up to! I don’t feel like I can live up to the expectations of being a ‘heroine.’ I don’t have any special powers or abilities like a comic book super hero. I actually feel a lot more vulnerable than that. In fact, I am very vulnerable. I just try to be myself, and that’s all I aspire to be.” Read more...

Help us continue to cover
100% of Chelsea's legal fees
!

Please donate today!



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When Drone Whistleblowers are Under Attack,

What Do We Do?

STAND UP, FIGHT BACK!



 We honor Stephan, Michael, Brandon and Cian!

These four former ex-drone pilots have courageously spoken out publicly against the U.S. drone assassination program.  They have not been charged with any crime, yet the U.S. government is retaliating against these truth-tellers by freezing all of their bank and credit card accounts.  WE MUST BACK THEM UP!
Listen to them here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=43z6EMy8T28

PLEASE HELP THEM:

1.  Sign up on this support network:
         www.facebook.com/events/1502272456740302/

2.  Sign this petition  NOW:
               https://www.change.org/p/barack-obama-congress-attorney-general-loretta-lynch-protect-the-drone-assassination-program-whistleblowers?recruiter=436431670&utm_source=share_for_starters&utm_medium=copyLink

3.  Call and email officials TODAY, listed below and on FB site.

4.  Ask your organization if they would join our network.


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Statement of Support for Drone Whistleblowers
(Code Pink Women for Peace: East Bay, Golden Gate, and S.F. Chapters 11.28.15)

Code Pink Women for Peace support the very courageous actions of four former US drone operators, Michael Haas, Brandon Bryant, Cian Westmoreland, and Stephan Lewis, who have come under increasing attack for disclosing information about “widespread corruption and institutionalized indifference to civilian casualties that characterize the drone program.” As truth tellers, they stated in a public letter to President Obama that the killing of innocent civilians has been one of the most “devastating driving forces for terrorism and destabilization around the world.”* These public disclosures come only after repeated attempts to work privately within official channels failed.

Despite the fact that none of the four has been charged with criminal activity, all had their bank accounts and credit cards frozen. This retaliatory response by our government is consistent with the extrajudicial nature of US drone strikes.

We must support these former drone operators who have taken great risks to stop the drone killing. Write or call your US Senators, your US Representatives, President Barack Obama, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, and CIA Director John Brennan demanding that Michael Haas, Brandon Bryant, Cian Westmoreland, and Stephan Lewis be applauded, not punished, for revealing the criminal and extrajudicial nature of drone strikes that has led to so many civilian deaths.

Petition

URGENT: Sign and Share NOW! Drone Whistleblower Protection Petition
https://www.change.org/p/barack-obama-congress-attorney-general-loretta-lynch-protect-the-drone-assassination-program-whistleblowers?recruiter=436431670&utm_source=share_for_starters&utm_medium=copyLink

Contacting your Government
- White House comment line: 202-456-1111
 
- Email President Obama: president@whitehouse.gov and cc info@whitehouse.gov
 
- White House switchboard: 202-456-1414 for telephone numbers of your Senators and Representatives.

- Email your Senators and Representatives:
http://www.house.gov/representatives/
http://www.senate.gov/senators/contact/


-Contact Ashton Carter Secretary of Defense: Go to http://www.defense.gov/About-DoD/Biographies/BiographyView/Article/602689 and select appropriate icon.

- Contact John Brennan, CIA Director: Go to
https://www.cia.gov/about-cia/leadership/john-o-brennan.html and select appropriate icon.

For more information on the 4 Drone Whistleblowers:
https://www.facebook.com/events/1502272456740302/
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=43z6EMy8T28

(Must see Democracy Now interview with the 4 drone operators)

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/nov/18/life-as-a-drone-pilot-creech-air-force-base-nevada

*http://thefreethoughtproject.com/drone-pilots-bank-accounts-credit-cards-frozen-feds-exposing-murder/#fqt0crLvckG2OdbD.99

Code Pink Women for Peace: eastbaycodepink@gmail.com



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Save Ashraf Fayadh

Palestinian poet sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia.

Ashraf Fayadh, Palestinian refugee poet and artist living in Saudi Arabia, has been sentenced to death by a Saudi court, on charges of apostasy or abandoning his faith in Islam. The charges appear to be based on his poetry and writing and also maybe a form of retaliation for posting an online video showing Saudi religious police lashing a man in public.

Fayadh is a Palestinian refugee who was born in Saudi Arabia and has become a leading member of the young Saudi art scene. He was arrested in January 2014, his identity documents confiscated, and held for a lengthy period without charge. He was then sentenced to four years in prison and 800 lashes; after he appealed; he was re-tried last month and sentenced to death. He did not have legal representation.

Fayadh is being sentenced to death after having been jailed for more than 22 months in the Saudi city of Abha without clear legal charges beyond “insulting the Godly self” and having “ideas that do not suit the Saudi society.” These charges are based on the complaint of a reader’s interpretation of Fayadh's 2008 poetry collection titled, Instructions Within.

“According to Fayadh’s friends, when the police failed to prove that his poetry was atheist propaganda, they began berating him for smoking and having long hair,” reported the Guardian. Fayadh said his poetry book, Instructions Within, is “just about me being [a] Palestinian refugee…about cultural and philosophical issues. But the religious extremists explained it as destructive ideas against God.”

This is not the first time that Saudi authorities have arrested Ashraf Fayadh. The poet was detained before after a Saudi citizen filed a complaint with the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice accusing Fayadh of having “misguided and misguiding thoughts.” Fayadh was bailed out of jail at the time, only to get arrested again. According to sources close to Fayadh, the poet has been denied both visitation and legal representation rights.

Amnesty international stated, “We condemn these acts of intimidation targeting Ashraf Fayadh as part of a wider campaign inciting hate against writers and using Islam to justify oppression and to crush free speech. We express our solidarity with Fayadh, hoping to increase support for the poet as well as pressure to release him. Our efforts should come together to ensure the proliferation of free speech and personal freedoms. We specifically call on Saudi intellectuals to express solidarity with Fayadh against Takfiris’ intimidation practices meant to silence poets, writers, and artists like him. Let the flag of creativity fly free and remain innovative. Remaining silent towards Fayadh’s detention is an insult to knowledge, literature, culture, and thought as well as to freedom and human rights.”

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network joins the call for the immediate freedom of Ashraf Fayadh. His imprisonment, persecution and death sentence by the Saudi regime reflects the deeply reactionary and far-right role played by the Saudi regime in the region—alongside its close imperial partners in the United States, Canada and Europe—that threatens Palestinian and Arab culture, life, and movements and works to block and suppress any struggle for liberation.

One hundred Arab intellectuals have called for Fayadh’s release and so far over 10, 000 people have signed an AI petition to save his life. Please sign and share the petition. https://secure.avaaz.org/en/petition/Amnesty_international_Save_the_palestinian_poet_and_artist_Ashraf_Fayadh/?tUPvwdb

To take further action:

1. Call the Saudi Embassy in your area and demand freedom for Ashraf Fayadh. In the United States, call 202-342-3800. In Canada, call 613-237-4100. Find the embassy in your country here: http://embassy.goabroad.com/embassies-of/saudi-arabia

2. Protest at the Saudi Embassy in your area for freedom for Ashraf Fayadh. Print signs and materials, and gather outside the Saudi embassy with Palestine rights activists, artists and others to demand his freedom. See the list of Saudi embassies here: http://embassy.goabroad.com/embassies-of/saudi-arabia

3. Contact your government officials. The Saudi regime is a close partner of the United States, Canadian and various European governments. Demand that your government pressure the Saudi regime to release Fayadh. In Canada, Call the office of the Foreign Minister, St├ęphane Dion, at 613-996-5789 and demand Canada pressure Saudi Arabia to release Fayadh, or email: stephane.dion@parl.gc.ca. In the U.S., call the White House (202-456-1111) and the U.S. State Department (202-647-9572); demand the U.S. pressure Saudi Arabia to release Fayadh. In the EU, contact your Member of the European Parliament—you can find your MEP here:

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/meps/en/map.html

Please also write letters, Facebook posts, emails or send Facebook messages to your local politicians, newspapers and friends to publicize this dire case and spread the information about the situation of Ashraf Fayadh.

—Steven Katsineris

Information from Amnesty International, Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network and AVAAZ.

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Commute Kevin Cooper's Death Sentence

Sign the Petition:
http://www.savekevincooper.org/pages/petition.php


Urge Gov. Jerry Brown to commute Kevin Cooper's death sentence. Cooper has always maintained his innocence of the 1983 quadruple murder of which he was convicted. In 2009, five federal judges signed a dissenting opinion warning that the State of California "may be about to execute an innocent man." Having exhausted his appeals in the US courts, Kevin Cooper's lawyers have turned to the Inter American Commission on Human Rights to seek remedy for what they maintain is his wrongful conviction, and the inadequate trial representation, prosecutorial misconduct and racial discrimination which have marked the case. Amnesty International opposes all executions, unconditionally.

"The State of California may be about to execute an innocent man." - Judge William A. Fletcher, 2009 dissenting opinion on Kevin Cooper's case

Kevin Cooper has been on death row in California for more than thirty years.

In 1985, Cooper was convicted of the murder of a family and their house guest in Chino Hills. Sentenced to death, Cooper's trial took place in an atmosphere of racial hatred — for example, an effigy of a monkey in a noose with a sign reading "Hang the N*****!" was hung outside the venue of his preliminary hearing.

Take action to see that Kevin Cooper's death sentence is commuted immediately.

Cooper has consistently maintained his innocence.

Following his trial, five federal judges said: "There is no way to say this politely. The district court failed to provide Cooper a fair hearing."

Since 2004, a dozen federal appellate judges have indicated their doubts about his guilt.

Tell California authorities: The death penalty carries the risk of irrevocable error. Kevin Cooper's sentence must be commuted.

In 2009, Cooper came just eight hours shy of being executed for a crime that he may not have committed. Stand with me today in reminding the state of California that the death penalty is irreversible — Kevin Cooper's sentence must be commuted immediately.

In solidarity,

James Clark
Senior Death Penalty Campaigner
Amnesty International USA

News Updates


  • Death Row Stories
    Kevin Cooper's case will be the subject of a new episode of CNN's "Death Row Stories" airing on Sunday, July 26 at 7 p.m. PDT. The program will be repeated at 10 p.m. PDT. The episode, created by executive producers Robert Redford and Alex Gibney, will explore how Kevin Cooper was framed by the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department and District Attorney.Viewers on the east coast can see the program at 10 p.m. EDT and it will be rebroadcast at 1 a.m. EDT on July 27. Viewers in the Central Time zone can see it at 9 p.m. and midnight CDT. Viewers in the Mountain Time zone can see it at 8 p.m. and ll p.m MDT. It will be aired on CNN again during the following week and will also be able to be viewed on CNN's "Death Row Stories" website.
Kevin Cooper: An Innocent Victim of Racist Frame-Up - from the Fact Sheet at: www.freekevincooper.org
 
Kevin Cooper is an African-American man who was wrongly convicted and sentenced to death in 1985 for the gruesome murders of a white family in Chino Hills, California: Doug and Peggy Ryen and their daughter Jessica and their house- guest Christopher Hughes. The Ryens' 8 year old son Josh, also attacked, was left for dead but survived.

Convicted in an atmosphere of racial hatred in San Bernardino County CA, Kevin Cooper remains under a threat of imminent execution in San Quentin.  He has never received a fair hearing on his claim of innocence.  In a dissenting opinion in 2009, five federal judges of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals signed a 82 page dissenting opinion that begins: "The State of California may be about to execute an innocent man." 565 F.3d 581.

There is significant evidence that exonerates Mr. Cooper and points toward other suspects:

  The coroner who investigated the Ryen murders concluded that the murders took four minutes at most and that the murder weapons were a hatchet, a long knife, an ice pick and perhaps a second knife. How could a single person, in four or fewer minutes, wield three or four weapons, and inflict over 140 wounds on five people, two of whom were adults (including a 200 pound ex-marine) who had loaded weapons near their bedsides?

  The sole surviving victim of the murders, Josh Ryen, told police and hospital staff within hours of the murders that the culprits were "three white men." Josh Ryen repeated this statement in the days following the crimes. When he twice saw Mr. Cooper's picture on TV as the suspected attacker, Josh Ryen said "that's not the man who did it."

  Josh Ryen's description of the killers was corroborated by two witnesses who were driving near the Ryens' home the night of the murders. They reported seeing three white men in a station wagon matching the description of the Ryens' car speeding away from the direction of the Ryens' home.

  These descriptions were corroborated by testimony of several employees and patrons of a bar close to the Ryens' home, who saw three white men enter the bar around midnight the night of the murders, two of whom were covered in blood, and one of whom was wearing coveralls.

  The identity of the real killers was further corroborated by a woman who, shortly after the murders were discovered, alerted the sheriff's department that her boyfriend, a convicted murderer, left blood-spattered coveralls at her home the night of the murders. She also reported that her boyfriend had been wearing a tan t-shirt matching a tan t-shirt with Doug Ryen's blood on it recovered near the bar. She also reported that her boyfriend owned a hatchet matching the one recovered near the scene of the crime, which she noted was missing in the days following the murders; it never reappeared; further, her sister saw that boyfriend and two other white men in a vehicle that could have been the Ryens' car on the night of the murders.

Lacking a motive to ascribe to Mr. Cooper for the crimes, the prosecution claimed that Mr. Cooper, who had earlier walked away from custody at a minimum security prison, stole the Ryens' car to escape to Mexico. But the Ryens had left the keys in both their cars (which were parked in the driveway), so there was no need to kill them to steal their car. The prosecution also claimed that Mr. Cooper needed money, but money and credit cards were found untouched and in plain sight at the murder scene.

The jury in 1985 deliberated for seven days before finding Mr. Cooper guilty. One juror later said that if there had been one less piece of evidence, the jury would not have voted to convict.

The evidence the prosecution presented at trial tying Mr. Cooper to the crime scene has all been discredited…         (Continue reading this document at: http://www.savekevincooper.org/_new_freekevincooperdotorg/TEST/Scripts/DataLibraries/upload/KC_FactSheet_2014.pdf)

     This message from the Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal. July 2015

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For Immediate Release – Thursday, October 29, 2015 
Solitary Prisoners' Lawyers Slam CDCR for Sleep Deprivation

Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition

SAN FRANCISCO – Yesterday, lawyers for prisoners in the class action case Ashker v. Brown submitted a letter condemning Pelican Bay prison guards' "wellness checks," which have widely been viewed as sleep deprivation. The letter was submitted to United States Magistrate Judge Nandor Vadas, and calls on the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) to put an end to the checks.

Last month, prisoners achieved a historic victory in the settlement of Ashker v. Brown where the indefinite long term solitary confinement was effectively ended in California, with Magistrate Judge Vadas currently monitoring implementation of the settlement terms.

The guards at Pelican bay Security Housing Units have been conducting disruptive cell checks every 30 minutes around the clock for three months, causing prisoners widespread sleep disruption. The process is loud and according to prisoners, "the method and noise from the checks is torture."

Attorneys representing Pelican Bay SHU prisoners have just completed extensive interviews with prisoners who demand that "the every 30-minute checks have to be stopped or people are going to get sick or worse." In addition, they report that regular prison programs have been negatively impacted.

"To sleep is a fundamental human right," said Anne Weills, a member of the prisoners' legal team and one of the attorneys who conducted the interviews with prisoners in Pelican Bay. "To take away such a basic human right amounts to severe torture, adding to the already torturous conditions of being in solitary confinement."

Most prisoners report low energy, exhaustion and fatigue. Most state that they have trouble concentrating. They try to read, but they nod off and/or can't remember what they have read. Their writing is much slower ("I can't think to write"), and describe the constant welfare checks as having a negative impact on their mental state.

While this recent attorney survey was specifically focusing on sleep deprivation and its effects, prisoners volunteered information about the negative impact of these frequent checks: yard policy and practice has reduced access to recreation, access to showers has been reduced, programs and meals are being delayed, and property for those newly transferred to Pelican Bay is still being delayed and withheld.

Sleep deprivation constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. Prisoners and their attorneys are demanding that these checks be halted.
--
Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org


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UPDATE:

Albert Woodfox, Angola Inmate, Can Be Tried 3rd Time, Court Rules


Free Albert Woodfox!

On June 8, 2015 a federal judge granted Louisiana prisoner Albert Woodfox unconditional release. Albert's conviction had already been overturned three times - most recently in 2013 - yet every time the state has appealed.

Today, Albert is still behind bars after spending four decades in cruel, unjust solitary confinement. He believes that he and fellow prisoners, Herman Wallace and Robert King, were first placed in solitary confinement in retaliation for their activism. All three men were members of the Black Panther Party. Together, they came to be known as the Angola 3.

It is time for the State of Louisiana to stop standing in the way of justice. Call on Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal to ensure Albert's cruel and unjust confinement is not his legacy. Learn more

http://act.amnestyusa.org/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=1839&ea.campaign.id=35593&ea.tracking.id=Country_USA~MessagingCategory_PrisonersandPeopleatRisk&ac=W1506EAIAR2&ea.url.id=414689&forwarded=true

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Amnesty for all those arrested demanding justice for Freddie Gray!

 

Amnesty for ALL those arrested
demanding justice for Freddie Gray!

Sign and distribute the petition to drop the charges!
Spread this effort with #Amnesty4Baltimore

"A riot is the language of the unheard"
— Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

An estimated 300 people have been arrested in Baltimore in the last two weeks. Many have been brutalized, beaten and pepper-sprayed by police in the streets, and held for days in inhumane conditions. Those arrested include journalists, medics and legal observers.

One individual arrested for property destruction of a police vehicle is now facing life in prison and is being held on $500,000 bail. That's $150,000 more than the officer charged with the murder of Freddie Gray.  

The legal system has made it clear that they care more about broken windows than broken necks; more about a CVS than the lives of Baltimore's Black residents.

They showed no hesitation in arresting Baltimore's protesters and rebels, and sending in the National Guard, but took 19 days to put a single one of the killer cops in handcuffs. This was the outrageous double standard that led to the Baltimore Uprising.

 Sign the petition to drop the charges on all who have been arrested.

Petition to Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake

Download PDF of Petition 

http://www.answercoalition.org/amnesty_for_all_those_arrested_demanding_justice_for_freddie_gray?utm_campaign=baltimore_amn1&utm_medium=email&utm_source=answercoalition

Mayor Stephanie C. Rawlings-Blake
City Hall, Room 250,
100 North Holliday St.,
Baltimore, MD 21202

Dear Mayor Rawlings-Blake:

I stand in solidarity with those in Baltimore who are demanding that all charges be dropped against those who rose up against racism, police brutality, oppressive social conditions and delay of justice in the case of Freddie Gray. The whole world now recognizes that were it not for this powerful grassroots movement, in all its forms, there would be no indictment.

It is an outrage that peaceful protesters have been brutalized, beaten and pepper-sprayed by police in the streets, and held for days in inhumane conditions. Those arrested include journalists and legal observers.

Even the youth who are charged with property destruction and looting should be given an amnesty. There is no reason a teenager -- provoked by racists and justifiably angry -- should be facing life in prison for breaking the windows of a police car.

The City of Baltimore should work to rectify the conditions that led to this Uprising, rather than criminalizing those who took action in response to those conditions. Drop the charges now!

Sincerely,
[add your name below]

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MUMIA ABU-JAMAL COURT UPDATE FROM PRISON RADIO

Devastating cross examination
Dateline: 12-23-2015 Scranton PA Federal Court


Day Two of "Abu-Jamal v. Kerestes" had fireworks equal to the opening round on Friday. The arguments for a Preliminary Injunction continued before the U.S. District Court in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

It was a day of dueling doctors, admissions, explosive documents, and first hand testimony, which debated the constitutional right to healthcare while in prison.  The question: does Mumia Abu-Jamal receive life saving new anti viral drugs that cure Hepatitis C? Or will Judge Robert Mariani's federal court allow the Department of Corrections in Pennsylvania to deny any treatment for chronic Hepatitis C - and maintain (a just revealed protocol) that calls for "denying care" and "monitoring imates" while the virus ravages the body causing irreversible organ damage.   

The morning featured vigorous cross examination.  Dr. Joseph Harris, deftly handled Department of Corrections cross, emphasizing this key point: the cure for Hep C is clearly the medical standard of care. And denial of treatment is no treatment for a progressive and infectious disease.

In a last minute addition to the witness list the DOC questioned dermatologist Dr. Schleicher who first treated Mumia's devasting skin condition in Feb. of 2015.  The Department of Corrections through this expert unconvincingly asserted that Mumia's skin condition was unrelated to Hepatitis C, and that his low platelet counts, anemia of chronic disease, abnormal liver function tests, are not caused by Hep C.

At 12:10 of the hearing a withering cross exam by Robert Boyle (Attorney for Abu-Jamal) exposed Schleicher's limited diagnostic acumen, his failure to monitor Mumia's two hospital ICU admissions and the illuiminating fact that he did not follow up on Geisinger Medical Center's recommendation in May for an Hep C viral load test.  He got him to admit that "he did not know much about Hep C". Schleicher has continued to treat Mumia, and it was revealed was unaware that the infectious disease specialist hired by the department of Corrections, Dr. Ramon Gadea, had recommended on September 9th treatment for Hepatitis C in response to Mumia's ongoing ravaged skin. Notably, Dr. Gadea and the onsite doctors at SCI Mahanoy who see Mumia in the infirmary on a weekly basis were not called to testify.  It can be presumed that  their testimony would have been unfavorable to the DOC.
 
Standing Up for Mumia

The mid afternoon featured Dr. Suzanne Ross and Dr. Johanna Fernandez.  The value of these two frequent and long term visitors to Mumia was in the compelling details that they provided describing Mumia's injuries, acute sysmptoms, and deteriorating health.  Some examples from the acute period of symptoms in the spring and summer included Mumia's slurred words, elephant skin, scales and bloody cracks in his skin on 90% of his body, extreme weakness, swelling of his limbs, and loss of mental acuity.  When cross-exmamined both Ross and Fernandez were unapologetic, as they expounded on Mumia's innocence, unjust incarceration, and the state's naked attempts to silence him.

As those who know Mumia personally realize, the man just does not complain, and is frankly unable to describe his own vulnerablity.  As such, this testimony was key.  Present through video streaming throughout the proceedings Mumia was, as Dr. Fernandez testified is part of his character, simply stoic.  Before this devastating health crisis, there were only a handful of occasions that he has gone to sick call during 34 years of incarceration.  This might be surprising for a man who is known to the world as a writer and eloquent pubic commentator. 

Key Evidence Exposed


In an explosive revelation: Bret Grote of the Abolitionist Law Center, dissected the testimony of DOC defense witness infirmary administrator, Mr. Steinhart - revealing that there is a written Hep C treatment protocol that was developed this year.  Grote appealed to the judge, and he required that the DOC immediately produce a copy of the document.  Laura Neal, DOC counsel quickly tried to surpress the public release of the document, calling for it to remain under seal.  Overheard in the courtroom, DOC associate defense counsel noted that they did not want this document available publically because it would increase the department's liability in the class action pending for inmate Hep C treatment.  Debate continues Wed morning on whether this document will be sealed.  A Right To Know request  by Prison Radio requesting the document was filed with the state during break requested by the judge so he could read the protocol

On tap: Cross Examination of DOC expert- Dr. Jay Cowan, notoriously head of Riker's Island Medical Center. 

The doctors and lawyers that enforce the PA Department of Corrections policy have got a problem. Healthcare is a constitutional right, even for those who are incarcerated.   Proving that the DOC has been "deliberately indifferent"  the required standard for a preliminary injunction and relief in this case clearly has been met by Abu-Jamal's attorneys.

Please make a contribution to defend Mumia's right to treatment!  

please forward: this video www.bit.ly/curehimnow

Luchando por la justicia y la libertad,

Noelle Hanrahan
Noelle Hanrahan
Director
To give by check:
PO Box 411074
San Francisco, CA
94141

Stock or legacy gifts:
Noelle Hanrahan
(415) 706 - 5222


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CANCEL ALL STUDENT DEBT!

Sign the Petition:

http://cancelallstudentdebt.com/?code=kos



Dear President Obama, Senators, and Members of Congress:


Americans now owe $1.3 trillion in student debt. Eighty-six percent of that money is owed to the United States government. This is a crushing burden for more than 40 million Americans and their families.

I urge you to take immediate action to forgive all student debt, public and private.

American Federation of Teachers
Campaign for America's Future
Courage Campaign
Daily Kos
Democracy for America
LeftAction
Project Springboard
RH Reality Check
RootsAction
Student Debt Crisis
The Nation
Working Families


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Campaign to Free Lorenzo Johnson
 
Updates from the New "Team Free Lorenzo Johnson":
Thank you all for your relentless effort in the fight against wrongful convictions and your determination to stand behind Lorenzo.

To garner even more support for Lorenzo Johnson, we have been hard at work updating the website and developing an even more formidable and dedicated team. Please take a moment to visit the new site here.

During the month of July, Lorenzo wrote two new articles for The Huffington Post titled "When Prosecutors Deny Justice for the Innocent," and "Hurry Up and Wait for Justice: The Struggle of Innocent Prisoners." In these articles, Lorenzo discusses the flaws in the criminal justice system, which he deems is a "serious problem in this country."

Lastly, Lorenzo has a message to you all.

A Letter from Lorenzo:

July 23, 2015
Dauphin County Prison
Harrisburg, PA

Dear Supporters,

I hope all is well with everyone and your families. As for myself, I'm still on my journey in pursuit of my vindication. Sorry for my website being shut down for a couple of weeks. It was being transferred to a new provider and management. I'm back and will do my best to keep everything up to speed with what's taking place.

I would like to thank ALL of my loyal supporters in the U.S. and in the MANY different counties that have signed on to support my innocence. Thanks for all of the letters, emails, photos, etc. Like I always say, I get energy to carry on and inspiration hearing form you, please stay engaged in my struggle.

As of this moment, nothing has changed, but – the continued delay tactics are constantly being used by my prosecutor, Deputy Attorney General William Stoycos. With the mounting of evidence that supports my innocence and police and prosecution misconduct claims that is steadily piling up, you would think that I would be having a couple of evidentiary hearings on my actual innocence appeal that have been pending since August 5, 2013.

At the time of this writing, I've been moved from SCI-Mahanoy to Dauphin County Prison and locked down for 23 hours and 40 minutes a day. In the 20 minutes I get to come out, I get to take a shower and make a short call. Prosecutor Stoycos had me moved so I can be a witness in his attempt to have my codefendant Corey Walker's attorney removed from representing him. How dare he call into question an attorney who is seeking justice for her client, when prosecutor Stoycos himself violated multiple constitutional rights of mine and Mr. Walker, that led to us being in prison for 20 years and counting.

Prosecutor Stoycos is continuously abusing his power and his endless resources he has at his disposal. He is not tough on crime, he's tough on Innocent Prisoners. Prosecutor Stoycos is doing everything in his power to prevent justice from taking place. I encourage everyone to continue to speak out against my nightmare, invite others to get involved by going to my website and signing my Freedom Petition and whatever else they're willing to do.

On a positive note, I just enrolled in warehouse management trade and started on July 13th. Unfortunately, you're only allowed to miss a couple of days and Prosecutor Stoycos had me temporarily transferred on July 14th … It's extremely hard on Lifers to get into these trades due to the fact that Lifers are placed at the back of the list of ALL vocational classes. I try to further my education every chance I get, so when I do come home, I will be certified in different work.

The month of the hearing has come and left, without me being brought to the courthouse … I'm one of MANY innocent prisoners who endures this non-stop madness in our pursuit of Justice and Freedom. Now that my webpage is almost caught up to speed, I promise prompt updates and as everyone knows that contacted me directly, I personally reply to those in the states and out of the country. For those who can make a financial contribution, everything counts. Take care and let's continue to fight until we achieve Freedom, Justice, and Equality for all innocent prisoners.

"The Pain Within"

Free the Innocent
Lorenzo "Cat" Johnson

[Note: Lorenzo has since been transferred back to SCI Mahanoy and can be reached at his usual address.]

Thank you all for reading this message and please take the time to visit the new website and contribute to Lorenzo's campaign for freedom!

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

 Email: Through JPay using the code:
              Lorenzo Johnson DF 1036 PA DOC
                                     or
              Directly at LorenzoJohnson17932@gmail.com

Have a wonderful day!
- The Team to Free Lorenzo Johnson


freelorenzojohnson.org

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Join the Fight to Free Rev. Pinkney!

Click HERE to view in browser

http://www.iacenter.org/prisoners/freepinkney-1-28-15/


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 bhbanco.org – press the donate button.

For information on the decade long campaign to destroy Rev. Pinkney go to bhbanco.org and workers.org(search "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

MESSAGE FROM REV. PINKNEY

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."

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: tinyurl.com/ps4lwyn.

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 bhbanco.org.

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COURAGE TO RESIST

http://couragetoresist.org/

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

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
510-488-3559
couragetoresist.org


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B. ARTICLES IN FULL


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1) Militiamen Occupy Oregon Wildlife Office in Protest of Ranchers’ Prison Terms


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2)  Michael Pollan: What You Should Eat to Be Healthy
A new documentary helps consumers navigate a food system complicated by globalization and industrialization.
http://www.alternet.org/food/michael-pollan-what-you-should-eat-be-healthy?akid=13845.229473.kBHxLN&rd=1&src=newsletter1048309&t=7

A new documentary from Kikim Media based on Michael Pollan’s bestselling book, In Defense of Food, helps consumers navigate a food system complicated by globalization and industrialization.

“I’ve been writing about the food system for a very long time,” Pollan said in the trailer for the new film. “But what I kept hearing from readers was ‘yeah yeah yeah, you told me where the food comes from and how the animals live and everything, but what I want to know is what should I eat.'”

In the film, Pollan attempts to answer that very question: What should I eat to be healthy? He addresses what he has called the “American paradox: the more we worry about nutrition, the less healthy we seem to become.”

We’re consuming “edible food-like substances” rather than actual food, Pollan said. By actual food, he means the food people ate for thousands of years before we became dependent on processed foods.

“You don’t have to be a scientist to know how to eat,” said Marion Nestle, professor of nutrition at New York University. “Just go around the outside of the supermarket and pick up fruits, vegetables and meat, and stay out of the processed foods, because they’re fun to eat once in a while, but they shouldn’t be daily fare.”

From Tanzania to Peru to U.S. grocery stores, Pollan helps eaters find their way through the barrage of faulty nutritional science and misleading marketing claims. He advocates for a more simplified approach to eating, one based on common sense and old-fashioned wisdom. Using a more holistic approach to medicine, Pollan focuses on the macro level (eating whole foods) rather than the micro level (seeking out particular nutrients).

The film covers everything from the latest science on omega-3s and -6s, to sugar’s effect on the body and why we crave it so badly. Pollan unpacks nutritional guidelines and investigates the benefits of a plant-based diet, and the crucial role your gut plays in your overall health.

Pollan is well known for his simple food rules—he’s even got an entire book devoted to the topic. In this film, Pollan says the solution to America’s health crisis is undeniably simple: Eat Food. Not Too Much. Mostly Plants.

For years, Pollan has advocated for a climate-friendly diet built on regenerative organic agriculture—also known as carbon farming—in which soils are a carbon sink rather than a source of carbon pollution. He argues that this diet is not only essential for a healthy planet, but also essential for human health. “Four of the top 10 things that will kill you are chronic diseases linked to diet,” Pollan explains in the trailer.

So if you’re planning to set weight loss resolutions this New Year’s or are seeking a low-impact diet (which, by the way, makes you a climatarian), then be sure to watch Pollan’s new documentary. It will air on PBS at 9 p.m. ET Wednesday and premier at the Mill Valley Film Festival in October 2016.
Cole Mellino is a writer based in Cleveland, Ohio, where he covers news for EcoWatch.
 

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3) Supreme Court, in Recusal Case, May Find Itself Looking Inward


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4) Economists Take Aim at Wealth Inequality


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5) Takata Emails Show Brash Exchanges About Data Tampering


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6) What if the Oregon Protesters Were Black or Muslim? Debate Ensues
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7) Jeremy Corbyn, British Labour Leader, Finishes Shadow Cabinet Reorganization


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8) Gun Control and White Terror
By Charles M. Blow
January 7, 2015
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/07/opinion/gun-control-and-white-terror.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=opinion-c-col-left-region&region=opinion-c-col-left-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-left-region

On Tuesday, in an emotionally charged speech, President Obama announced a series of relatively modest executive orders to aid in preventing guns from getting into the wrong hands.

The proposal would expand background checks through a clarification of existing regulations, increase funding for mental health care, and promote the development of smart guns.

The speech itself accomplished more than the executive actions are likely to accomplish. Viewed in political terms, the president injected this issue more firmly into the national debate as only a president can. Because a sitting president, even an exiting one, is always in the next presidential race: Other candidates are either running, at least in part, against his legacy or to extend it.But there is one point that I was aching to hear articulated that wasn’t covered in the president’s speech, and is rarely mentioned in discussions about gun regulations: How our response to gun regulations is not now, nor has ever been, wholly ideological but is also ethnocentric and class-based.

I firmly believe that part of the current intransigence is because those gun homicides disproportionately affect poor minorities. (Gun suicides disproportionately affect white people.) Indeed, the only time that national figures seem to get fully engaged is in the wake of mass shootings that involve white people, either as shooters or victims.

Indeed, you have to explore the history of gun regulations to fully appreciate its racial dimensions.

In 2011, Adam Winkler spoke about his book “Gun Fight,” and the origins of gun control, saying, according to The Wall Street Journal:

“It was a constant pressure among white racists to keep guns out of the hands of African-Americans, because they would rise up and revolt.”He continued:

“The KKK began as a gun-control organization. Before the Civil War, blacks were never allowed to own guns. During the Civil War, blacks kept guns for the first time — either they served in the Union army and they were allowed to keep their guns, or they buy guns on the open market where for the first time there’s hundreds of thousands of guns flooding the marketplace after the war ends. So they arm up because they know who they’re dealing with in the South. White racists do things like pass laws to disarm them, but that’s not really going to work. So they form these racist posses all over the South to go out at night in large groups to terrorize blacks and take those guns away. If blacks were disarmed, they couldn’t fight back.”

It was about white terror.

After Prohibition and the Depression gave rise to gangsters and outlaws who posed a threat to white America’s sense of safety, the Firearms Act of 1934 was passed. As the gun law expert Robert Spitzer, of the State University of New York at Cortland, told NPR in 2013, the law required machine gun owners to pay a hefty tax, be fingerprinted and be listed on a national registry; as a result, sales of machine guns plummeted.

Again, white terror, but this time from other white people.

America was again stirred to action on gun control when, in 1967, armed members of the Black Panthers entered a largely white place of power — the California State Legislature. As The Times’s film critic A. O. Scott noted in his review of Stanley Nelson’s fascinating documentary “The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution”:

“When a group of Panthers demonstrated at the Statehouse in Sacramento carrying loaded rifles and shotguns, the organization drew national news attention and (at least temporarily) rallied many political conservatives, including Gov. Ronald Reagan, to the cause of gun control.”

Reagan said of the Panthers’ action at the time:

“I don’t think that loaded guns is the way to solve a problem that should be solved between people of good will. And anyone who would approve of this kind of demonstration must be out of their mind.”

(This episode stands in stark contrast to the armed white men now occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon.)

In response to the Panthers, the California legislature passed and Reagan signed the Mulford Act, which banned the open carry of firearms in the state. The N.R.A. supported the measure. The bill’s author, Don Mulford, said at the time, “We’ve got to protect society from nuts with guns.”

Edward Wyckoff Williams even claimed in The Root in 2013 that “the NRA actually helped craft similar legislation in states across the country.”

The year after the Mulford Act, the federal Gun Control Act of 1968 was passed.

Once again, white terror.In recent decades, as the N.R.A.’s political power has grown, it has also taken on more of an absolutist position against any new regulations and politicians largely have bowed to the group’s stance.

Two notable exceptions were the 1993 Brady Bill requiring background checks for gun purchase and the assault weapons ban of 1994 — which has since expired — both of which were signed by Bill Clinton.

But in addition to the N.R.A.’s influence, the face of homicides is becoming increasingly black and poor — two groups we have traditionally marginalized and ignored.

As Richard V. Reeves and Sarah Holmes of the Brookings Institution pointed out last month, 77 percent of white gun deaths are suicides while 82 percent of black gun deaths are homicides.

But even then, it’s not the whole of the black population at risk of these homicides.

As William J. Wilson, also of Brookings, wrote last month:

“Segregation by income amplifies segregation by race, leaving low-income blacks clustered in neighborhoods that feature disadvantages along several dimensions, including exposure to violent crime. As a result, the divide within the black community has widened sharply. In 1978, poor blacks aged twelve and over were only marginally more likely than affluent blacks to be violent crime victims — around forty-five and thirty-eight per 1000 individuals respectively. However, by 2008, poor blacks were far more likely to be violent crime victims — about seventy-five per 1000 — while affluent blacks were far less likely to be victims of violent crime — about twenty-three per 1000, according to Hochschild and Weaver.”

There is now precious little political will to further inhibit the largely white gun-buying population — according to the Pew Research Center, whites are twice as likely as blacks or Hispanics to have a gun in the home — in order to help reduce the scourge of homicides among poor black people, particularly when the shooters are often black themselves. These killings are simply attributed to racial culture rather than to the complicated interplay between poverty, crime and gun culture.

And, since the federal government wouldn’t do enough to deal with this problem, local municipalities have employed other methods to get guns — many of them illegal — out of the hands of criminals. But those efforts, such as New York City’s morally indefensible racial dragnet program called stop-and-frisk, did as much damage as good in the black communities.

Lawmakers refused to act, and local politicians and police departments overreacted. Poor black people were caught in the middle.

That, alas, is less about a response to white terror, than a nonresponse to black pain.


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Posted by: bonnieweinstein@yahoo.com

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