Monday, February 13, 2017

BAUAW NEWSLETTER, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2017




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Sensible Cinema
Sponsored by UU Social Justice Council
Long Distance Revolutionary 
Friday, February 17, 6:30pm
Unitarian Universalist Center 
1187 Franklin Street @ Geary Boulevard
For the month of February, which is Afro-American History Month, Sensible Cinema will pay tribute to a living martyr of the Twenty-First Century, Mumia Abu Jamal, rather than featuring  one from past centuries by screening the film Long Distance Revolutionary.  
Unlike any other film about Mumia  Abu Jamal  this definitive documentary directed by Stephen Vittoria  focuses on his dramatic life as a writer, journalist and revolutionary from Pennsylvania's  Death Row.  

Through prison interviews, archival footage and dramatic readings and aided by a chorus of voices, including  Cornel  West, Alice Walker, Angela Davis and others this riveting film explores Mumia's life before, during and after Death Row. (120 MINS.)
As usual, popcorn and other refreshments will also be available.
Free Admission donations appreciated).  For more information please contact:
Melvin Starks (mcs104@hotmail.com) or Larry Danos (415-722-6480)

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ANSWER Coalition
palestine.jpgNational March and Rally
Support Palestine in D.C.! Protest AIPAC!
Sunday, March 26 - Gather 12 Noon
March from the White House to the Convention Center
At last year's AIPAC conference, Donald Trump made an outrageous pledge: "We will move the American embassy to the eternal capital of the Jewish people, Jerusalem ... The Palestinians must come to the table knowing that the bond between the United States and Israel is absolutely, totally unbreakable." Now that he is the president, Trump seems dead set on following through on his promise.
This would be an extreme provocation that tramples on the Palestinian right to self-determination. Every progressive person needs to mobilize to stop this.
In the short time since Trump took the oath of office, the Israeli government has already announced thousands of new illegal settler homes in the Palestinian territories seized in the 1967 war. The Palestinian people need our solidarity now more than ever as they resist these wanton acts of aggression.
From Palestine to Mexico, all the walls have got to go!
Just like Trump is encouraging Israel to step up its violation of Palestinian rights, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is cheer leading for Trump's extreme right agenda. On Jan. 28, Netanyahu sent this outrageous tweet:
tweet.png
The fight for justice for Palestine and the fight to stop the Trump Agenda are one in the same! 

Join the National Rally and March on Sunday, March 26
Al-Awda, The Palestine Right To Return Coalition and the ANSWER Coalition will once again spearhead this National Rally to Support Palestine in DC 2017!
This rally will start at the White House with thousands of people from across the nation and around the world, and end up in front of AIPAC's annual convention! AIPAC is the primary organization lobbying to continue the brutal illegal occupation of Palestine for over 68 years.
We must protest to end this outrageous lobby that ultimately supports the oppression and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people. Please come out and support the Palestinian people in their noble struggle to be free.

End U.S. aid to Israel — End the occupation now!

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ANSWER Coalition · United States
This email was sent to karenlee726@gmail.com.
To stop receiving emails, click here.
You can also keep up with ANSWER Coalition on Facebook.

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John T. Kaye invited you to Moms Clean Air Force's event
People's Climate March
Saturday, April 29 at 9 AM EDT
Washington, District of Columbia in Washington, District of Columbia


Going
  

Interested
  

Not Interested
Join us April 29th in Washington, DC to let Trump know that we won't let him destroy the environment on our watch. There is no denying it: Donald Trump's election is a threat to the future of our pla...
John T. Kaye and Dave Schubert are going.
  

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Committee to Stop FBI Repression (stopfbi.net)

Rasmea Defense Committee statement - December 21, 2016

Rasmea retrial set for May 16, 2017

Support the defense now!


This morning, Rasmea Odeh and her defense attorney Michael Deutsch were called into Judge Gershwin Drain's courtroom in Detroit, where the judge and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Tukel were in attendance. The parties all agreed on May 16, 2017, as the new starting date for Rasmea's retrial.

The defense committee will continue to send regular updates regarding any pre-trial hearings or other appearances that Rasmea must make between now and the retrial, as well as requests to participate in regular defense organizing and activities.

In addition, we urge supporters to continue to
call U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade
 at 313-226-9100,
or tweet @USAO_MIE
and demand that she stop wasting taxpayer money, that she stop persecuting a woman who has given so much to U.S. society, and that she #DropTheChargesNow against Rasmea.

Lastly, and in the spirit of the season, please help us win #Justice4Rasmea by making your end-of-year donation to the defense fund! We thank you all for your continued support!



Background info

Statement from Tuesday, December 13


U.S. Attorney extends political attack on Rasmea, brings new indictment against the Palestinian American


Today, U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade announced that a grand jury she had empaneled returned a new, superseding indictment against Rasmea Odeh for unlawful procurement of naturalization. This new indictment, just four weeks before her retrial, is a vicious attack by prosecutors desperate after a series of setbacks in their case against the Chicago-based Palestinian American community leader. From the outset, the government has attempted to exclude and discredit evidence of Rasmea's torture at the hands of Israeli authorities, but the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the prosecution, which led to the retrial; and the government's own expert affirmed that Rasmea lives with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Knowing that it faces the real prospect of losing a retrial before a jury, the U.S. Attorney's office has reframed its case against Rasmea, putting allegations of terrorism front and center. In the first trial in 2014, prosecutors were barred from using the word "terrorism," because Judge Gershwin Drain agreed the word would bias the jury. The new indictment adds two allegations that preclude this protection: first, that the crimes she was forced by torture to confess to are "terrorist activity"; and second, that she failed to report an alleged association with a "Designated Terrorist Organization." Despite the government's claim that this is a simple case of immigration fraud, this new indictment is written to ensure that Rasmea stands before a jury as an accused terrorist.

The Rasmea Defense Committee is urging supporters to call U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade at 313-226-9100, or tweet @USAO_MIE, and demand that she stop wasting taxpayer money, that she stop persecuting a woman who has given so much to U.S. society, and that she #DropTheChargesNow against Rasmea. In addition, the committee is calling on supporters to help win #Justice4Rasmea by donating to the defense and organizing educational events about the case.

"They [the prosecutors] are switching course because they know that a jury will believe Rasmea," says Nesreen Hasan of the Rasmea Defense Committee and its lead organization, the U.S. Palestinian Community Network. "We have always said, from day one, that this is a political case, and that the government is prosecuting Rasmea as part of a broader attack, the criminalization of the Palestine liberation movement. This new indictment is literally the same charge, with the same evidence - immigration forms. Only now, they want to paint Rasmea, and all Palestinians, as terrorists. The real criminals in this case are the Israelis who brutally tortured Rasmea 45 years ago, as well as those in the U.S. government who are trying to put her on trial for surviving the brutality committed against her."

Prosecutors will be disappointed to find that these new allegations fail to erode Rasmea's support. People have mobilized by the hundreds for countless hearings, every day of her 2014 trial, and her appeal earlier this year. "We have people ready to come from across the Midwest to stand with Rasmea in Detroit on January 10, but we are also prepared to adjust those plans to be there whenever we are needed," says Jess Sundin of the Committee to Stop FBI Repression, who lives in Minneapolis and has mobilized dozens of Minnesotans and others in support of the defense. "We will redouble our organizing and fundraising work, and make certain Rasmea has the best defense possible."

According to lead defense attorney Michael Deutsch, "We also intend to challenge this indictment as vindictive and politically-motivated."

Visit www.justice4rasmea.org for more information.

### End ###
Copyright © 2016 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
MinneapolisMN  55414

Add us to your address book

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100,000 protest in San Francisco, CA

Pictures From Women's
Marches on Every Continent



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Dear Friend,

The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC) is now in Contempt of Court

On January 3, 2017, Federal District Court Judge Robert Mariani ordered the DOC to treat Mumia with the hepatitis C cure within 21 days.

But on January 7, prison officials formally denied Mumia's grievances asking for the cure. This is after being informed twice by the court that denying treatment is unconstitutional.


John Wetzel, Secretary of the PA DOC, is refusing to implement the January 3rd Federal Court Order requiring the DOC to treat Mumia within 21 days. Their time has run out to provide Mumia with hepatitis C cure!

Mumia is just one of over 6,000 incarcerated people in the PA DOC at risk with active and chronic Hepatitis C. Left untreated, 7-9% of people infected with chronic hep C get liver cancer every year.  

We need your help to force the DOC to stop its cruel and unusual punishment of over 6,000 people in prison with chronic hepatitis C. Click here for a listing of numbers to call today!


Water Crisis in the Prison


Drinking water remains severely contaminated at the prison in which Mumia and 2,500 others are held, SCI Mahanoy in Frackville, PA. Mumia filed a grievance regarding the undrinkable water: read it here.

We are asking you to call the prison now to demand clean drinking water and hepatitis C treatment now! 


Protest Drinking Water Contamination Rally
When: 
From 4-6pm on Thursday, Feb 9
Where: Governor's Office- 200 South Broad St, Philadelphia
We're sending our mailing to you, including this brilliant poster by incarcerated artist Kevin Rashid Johnson. Keep an eye out it next week!
Cuando luchamos ganamos! When we fight, we win!

Noelle Hanrahan, Director

About the recently appealed Court victory:

On January 3rd, a federal court granted Mumia Abu-Jamal's petition for immediate and effective treatment for his Hepatitis-C infection, which has hitherto been denied him. The judge struck down Pennsylvania's protocols as "deliberate indifference to serious medical need."

This is a rare and important win for innocent political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal in a court system that has routinely subjected him to the "Mumia exception," i.e., a refusal of justice despite court precedents in his favor. Thousands of Hep-C-infected prisoners throughout Pennsylvania and the US stand to benefit from this decision, provided it is upheld. 

But, it is up to us to make sure that this decision is not over-turned on appeal--something the State of Pennsylvania will most likely seek.

Hundreds demonstrated in both Philadelphia and Oakland on December 9th to demand both this Hep-C treatment for prisoners, and "Free Mumia Now!" In Oakland, the December 9th Free Mumia Coalition rallied in downtown and then marched on the OPD headquarters. The Coalition brought over two dozen groups together to reignite the movement to free Mumia; and now we need your support to expand and build for more actions in this new, and likely very dangerous year for political prisoners. 

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Protect Kevin "Rashid" Johnson from Prison Repression!

PLEASE FORWARD WIDELY

WHEN: Anytime
WHAT: Protect imprisoned activist-journalist Kevin "Rashid" Johnson
FACEBOOK EVENT: https://www.facebook.com/events/1794902884117144/


On December 21, 2016, Kevin "Rashid" Johnson was the victim of an
assault by guards at the Clements Unit where he is currently being held,
just outside Amarillo, Texas. Rashid was sprayed with OC pepper gas
while handcuffed in his cell, and then left in the contaminated cell for
hours with no possibility to shower and no access to fresh air. It was
in fact days before he was supplied with new sheets or clothes (his bed
was covered with the toxic OC residue), and to this day his cell has not
been properly decontaminated.

This assault came on the heels of another serious move against Rashid,
as guards followed up on threats to confiscate all of his property – not
only files required for legal matters, but also art supplies, cups to
drink water out of, and food he had recently purchased from the
commissary. The guards in question were working under the direction of
Captain Patricia Flowers, who had previously told Rashid that she
intended to seize all of his personal belongings as retaliation for his
writings about mistreatment of prisoners, up to and including assaults
and purposeful medical negligence that have led to numerous deaths in
custody. Specifically, Rashid's writings have called attention to the
deaths of Christopher Woolverton, Joseph Comeaux, and Alton Rodgers, and
he has been contacted by lawyers litigating on behalf of the families of
at least two of these men.

As a journalist and activist literally embedded within the bowels of the
world's largest prison system, Rashid relies on his files and notes for
correspondence, legal matters, and his various news reports.
Furthermore, Rashid is a self-taught artist of considerable talent (his
work has appeared in numerous magazines, newspapers, and books);
needless to say, the guards were also instructed to seize his art
materials and the drawings he was working on.

(For a more complete description of Rashid's ordeal on and following
December 21, see his recent article "Bound and Gassed: My Reward for
Exposing Abuses and Killings of Texas Prisoners" at
http://rashidmod.com/?p=2321)

Particularly worrisome, is the fact that the abuse currently directed
against Rashid is almost a carbon-copy of what was directed against
Joseph Comeaux in 2013, who was eventually even denied urgently needed
medical care. Comeaux died shortly thereafter.

This is the time to step up and take action to protect Rashid; and the
only protection we can provide, from the outside, is to make sure prison
authorities know that we are watching. Whether you have read his
articles about prison conditions, his political or philosophical
polemics (and whether you agreed with him or not!), or just appreciate
his artwork – even if this is the first you are hearing about Rashid –
we need you to step up and make a few phone calls and send some emails.
When doing so, let officials know you are contacting them about Kevin
Johnson, ID #1859887, and the incident in which he was gassed and his
property confiscated on December 21, 2016. The officials to contact are:

Warden Kevin Foley
Clements Unit
telephone: (806) 381-7080 (you will reach the general switchboard; ask
to speak to the warden's office)

Tell Warden Foley that you have heard of the gas attack on Rashid.
Specific demands you can make:

* That Kevin Johnson's property be returned to him

* That Kevin Johnson's cell be thoroughly decontaminated

* That Captain Patricia Flowers, Lieutenant Crystal Turner, Lieutenant
Arleen Waak, and Corrections Officer Andrew Leonard be sanctioned for
targeting Kevin Johnson for retaliation for his writings

* That measures be taken to ensure that whistleblowers amongst staff and
the prisoner population not be targeted for any reprisals from guards or
other authorities. (This is important because at least one guard and
several prisoners have signed statements asserting that Rashid was left
in his gassed cell for hours, and that his property should not have been
seized.)



Try to be polite, while expressing how concerned you are for Kevin
Johnson's safety. You will almost certainly be told that because other
people have already called and there is an ongoing investigation – or
else, because you are not a member of his family -- that you cannot be
given any information. Say that you understand, but that you still wish
to have your concerns noted, and that you want the prison to know that
you will be keeping track of what happens to Mr Johnson.

The following other authorities should also be contacted. These bodies
may claim they are unable to directly intervene, however we know that by
creating a situation where they are receiving complaints, they will
eventually contact other authorities who can intervene to see what the
fuss is all about. So it's important to get on their cases too:

TDCJ Ombudsman: ombudsman@tdcj.texas.gov

The Inspector General:  512-671-2480

Let these "watchdogs" know you are concerned that Kevin Johnson #1859887
was the victim of a gas attack in Clements Unit on December 21, 2016.
Numerous witnesses have signed statements confirming that he was
handcuffed, in his cell, and not threatening anyone at the time he was
gassed. Furthermore, he was not allowed to shower for hours, and his
cell was never properly decontaminated, so that he was still suffering
the effects of the gas days later. It is also essential to mention that
his property was improperly confiscated, and that he had previously been
threatened with having this happen as retaliation for his writing about
prison conditions. Kevin Johnson's property must be returned!

Finally, complaints should also be directed to the director of the VA
DOC Harold Clarke and the VA DOC's Interstate Compact Supervisor, Terry
Glenn. This is because Rashid is in fact a Virginia prisoner, who has
been exiled from Virginia under something called the Interstate Compact,
which is used by some states as a way to be rid of activist prisoners,
while at the same time separating them from their families and
supporters. Please contact:

VADOC Director, Harold Clarke
804-887-8081
Director.Clarke@vadoc.virginia.gov

Interstate Compact director, Terry Glenn
804-887-7866

Let them know that you are phoning about Kevin Johnson, a Virginia
prisoner who has been sent to Texas under the Interstate Compact. His
Texas ID # is 1859887 however his Virginia ID # is 1007485. Inform them
that Mr Johnson has been gassed by guards and has had his property
seized as retaliation for his writing about prison conditions. These are
serious legal and human rights violations, and even though they occurred
in Texas, the Virginia Department of Corrections is responsible as Mr
Johnson is a Virginia prisoner. Despite the fact that they may ask you
who you are, and how you know about this, and for your contact
information, they will likely simply conclude by saying that they will
not be getting back to you. Nonetheless, it is worth urging them to
contact Texas officials about this matter.

It is good to call whenever you are able. However, in order to maximize
our impact, for those who can, we are suggesting that people make their
phone calls on Thursday, January 5.

And at the same time, please take a moment to sign the online petition
to support Rashid, up at the Roots Action website:
https://diy.rootsaction.org/petitions/prison-activist-gassed-in-clements-unit-prison-texas-law-enforcement-is-violently-out-of-control

Rashid has taken considerable risks in reporting on the abuse he
witnesses at the Clements Unit, just as he has at other prisons. Indeed,
he has continued to report on the violence and medical neglect to which
prisoners are subjected, despite threats from prison staff. If we, as a
movement, are serious about working to resist and eventually abolish the
U.S. prison system, we must do all we can to assist and protect those
like Rashid who take it upon themselves to stand up and speak out. As
Ojore Lutalo once put it, "Any movement that does not support their
political internees ... is a sham movement."

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To learn more about Kevin "Rashid" Johnson, the abuses in the Texas
prison system, as well as his work in founding and leading the New
Afrikan Black Panther Party-Prison Chapter, see his website
athttp://www.rashidmod.com

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As Robert Boyle, Esq. said, "The struggle is far from over: the DOC will no doubt appeal this ruling. But a victory! Thanks Pam Africa and all the Mumia supporters and all of you."

"Everyone has to get on board to keep the pressure on. We have an opportunity here that we have never had before. We are going to do it as a unified community, everyone together." - Pam Africa  

Let me be honest. We fundraise like we breathe. We have to. We are going to win-- with your key help. We've got until midnight tomorrow to raise just $2,021! We're 97% there. Please pitch in today to help us reach $60K!

Tomorrow your phone will ring with a special message from Mumia. In it, he says, "This is indeed a serious time for me, and for us all. It is not easy to take on the state and prevail; however, it is right to do so. With your help, we may be able to prevail. This is Mumia Abu-Jamal, thanking you for supporting Prison Radio."

John, the clock's running out- but it's not too late to chip in and help us reach our goal! You can open the airwaves for prisoners to speak out in this urgent time of massive incarceration.

Will you pitch in with a gift of $103, $35 or even $250 to bring us to our goal by midnight and amplify the voices of prisoners?
CONTRIBUTE 
Thank you for being a part of this struggle.

Cuando luchamos ganamos! When we fight we win!

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

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

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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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Defying the Tomb: Selected Prison Writings and Art of Kevin "Rashid" Johnson featuring exchanges with an Outlaw Kindle Edition

by Kevin Rashid Johnson (Author), Tom Big Warrior (Introduction), Russell Maroon Shoatz(Introduction)

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http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B013RU5M4S



Join the Fight to Free Rev. Pinkney!

Click HERE to view in browser

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

UPDATE:

Today is the 406th day that Rev. Edward Pinkney of Benton Harbor, Michigan
languishes in prison doing felony time for a misdemeanor crime he did not
commit. Today is also the day that Robert McKay, a spokesperson for the
Free Rev. Pinkney campaign, gave testimony before United Nations
representatives about the plight of Rev. Pinkney at a hearing held in
Chicago. The hearing was called in order to shed light upon the
mistreatment of African-Americans in the United States and put it on an
international stage. And yet as the UN representatives and audience heard
of the injustices in the Pinkney case many gasped in disbelief and asked
with frowns on their faces, "how is this possible?" But disbelief quickly
disappeared when everyone realized these were the same feelings they had
when they first heard of Flint and we all know what happened in Flint. FREE
REV. PINKNEY NOW.

Please send letters to:
Marquette Branch Prison
Rev. Edward Pinkney N-E-93 #294671
1960 US Hwy 41 South
Marquette, MI 49855

Please donate at http://bhbanco.org (Donate button) or send checks to BANCO:
c/o Dorothy Pinkney
1940 Union St.
Benton Harbor, MI 49022

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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State Seeks to Remove Innocent PA Lifer's Attorney! Free Corey Walker!


The PA Office of the Attorney General (OAG) filed legal action to remove Corey Walker's attorney, Rachel Wolkenstein, in November 2014. On Tuesday, February 9, 2016 the evidentiary hearing to terminate Wolkenstein as Corey Walker's pro hac vice lawyer continues before Judge Lawrence Clark of the Dauphin County Court of Common Pleas in Harrisburg, PA.

Walker, assisted by Wolkenstein, filed three sets of legal papers over five months in 2014 with new evidence of Walker's innocence and that the prosecution and police deliberately used false evidence to convict him of murder. Two weeks after Wolkenstein was granted pro hac vice status, the OAG moved against her and Walker.

The OAG claims that Wolkenstein's political views and prior legal representation of Mumia Abu-Jamal and courtroom arrest by the notorious Judge Albert Sabo makes it "intolerable" for her to represent Corey Walker in the courts of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Over the past fifteen months the OAG has effectively stopped any judicial action on the legal challenges of Corey Walker and his former co-defendant, Lorenzo Johnson against their convictions and sentences to life imprisonment without parole while it proceeds in its attempts to remove Wolkenstein.

This is retaliation against Corey Walker who is innocent and framed. Walker and his attorney won't stop until they thoroughly expose the police corruption and deliberate presentation of false evidence to convict Corey Walker and win his freedom.

This outrageous attack on Corey Walker's fundamental right to his lawyer of choice and challenge his conviction must cease. The evidence of his innocence and deliberate prosecutorial frame up was suppressed for almost twenty years. Corey Walker must be freed!

Read: Jim Crow Justice – The Frame-up Of Corey Walker by Charles Brover

Go to FreeCoreyWalker.org to provide help and get more information.


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The Oasis Clinic in Oakland, CA, which treats patients with Hepatitis-C (HCV), demands an end to 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!


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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Major Battles On
For over 31 years, Major Tillery has been a prisoner of the State.
Despite that extraordinary fact, he continues his battles, both in the prison for his health, and in the courts for his freedom.
Several weeks ago, Tillery filed a direct challenge to his criminal conviction, by arguing that a so-called "secret witness" was, in fact, a paid police informant who was given a get-out-of-jail-free card if he testified against Tillery.
Remember I mentioned, "paid?"
Well, yes--the witness was 'paid'--but not in dollars. He was paid in sex!
In the spring of 1984, Robert Mickens was facing decades in prison on rape and robbery charges. After he testified against Tillery, however, his 25-year sentence became 5 years: probation!
And before he testified he was given an hour and a ½ private visit with his girlfriend--at the Homicide Squad room at the Police Roundhouse. (Another such witness was given another sweetheart deal--lie on Major, and get off!)
To a prisoner, some things are more important than money. Like sex!
In a verified document written in April, 2016, Mickens declares that he lied at trial, after being coached by the DAs and detectives on the case.
He lied to get out of jail--and because he could get with his girl.
Other men have done more for less.
Major's 58-page Petition is a time machine back into a practice that was once common in Philadelphia.
In the 1980s and '90s, the Police Roundhouse had become a whorehouse.
Major, now facing serious health challenges from his hepatitis C infection, stubborn skin rashes, and dangerous intestinal disorders, is still battling.
And the fight ain't over.
[©'16 MAJ  6/29/16]
Major Tillery Needs Your Help and Support
Major Tillery is an innocent man. There was no evidence against Major Tillery for the 1976 poolroom shootings that left one man dead and another wounded. The surviving victim gave a statement to homicide detectives naming others—not Tillery or his co-defendant—as the shooters. Major wasn't charged until 1980, he was tried in 1985.
The only evidence at trial came from these jailhouse informants who were given sexual favors and plea deals for dozens of pending felonies for lying against Major Tillery. Both witnesses now declare their testimony was manufactured by the police and prosecution. Neither witness had personal knowledge of the shooting.
This is a case of prosecutorial misconduct and police corruption that goes to the deepest levels of rot in the Philadelphia criminal injustice system. Major Tillery deserves not just a new trial, but dismissal of the charges against him and his freedom from prison.
It cost a lot of money for Major Tillery to be able to file his new pro se PCRA petition and continue investigation to get more evidence of the state misconduct. He needs help to get lawyers to make sure this case is not ignored. Please contribute, now.

HOW YOU CAN HELP
    Financial Support: Tillery's investigation is ongoing, to get this case filed has been costly and he needs funds for a legal team to fight this to his freedom!
    Go to JPay.com;
    code: Major Tillery AM9786 PADOC
    Tell Philadelphia District Attorney
    Seth Williams:
    Free Major Tillery! He is an innocent man, framed by police and and prosecution.
    Call: 215-686-8711 or

    Write to:
    Major Tillery AM9786
    SCI Frackville
    1111 Altamont Blvd.
    Frackville, PA 17931

      For More Information, Go To: Justice4MajorTillery/blogspot
      Call/Write:
      Rachel Wolkenstein, Esq. (917) 689-4009RachelWolkenstein@gmail.com





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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

        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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        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 Team Lorenzo Johnson

        Dear Supporters and Friends,


        Show your support for Lorenzo by wearing one of our beautiful new campaign t-shirts! If you donate $20 (or more!) to the Campaign to Free Lorenzo Johnson, we will send you a t-shirt, while supplies last. Make sure to note your size and shipping address in the comment section on PayPal, or to include this information with a check.




        Here is a message from Lorenzo's wife, Tazza Salvatto:


        My husband is innocent, FREE HIM NOW!
        Lorenzo Johnson is a son, husband, father and brother. His injustice has been a continued nightmare for our family. Words cant explain our constant pain, I wish it on no one. Not even the people responsible for his injustice. 
        This is about an innocent man who has spent 20 years and counting in prison. The sad thing is Lorenzo's prosecution knew he was innocent from day one. These are the same people society relies on to protect us.

        Not only have these prosecutors withheld evidence of my husbands innocence by NEVER turning over crucial evidence to his defense prior to trial. Now that Lorenzo's innocence has been revealed, the prosecution refuses to do the right thing. Instead they are "slow walking" his appeal and continuing their malicious prosecution.
        When my husband or our family speak out about his injustice, he's labeled by his prosecutor as defaming a career cop and prosecutor. If they are responsible for Lorenzo's wrongful conviction, why keep it a secret??? This type of corruption and bullying of families of innocent prisoners to remain silent will not be tolerated.
        Our family is not looking for any form of leniency. Lorenzo is innocent, we want what is owed to him. JUSTICE AND HIS IMMEDIATE FREEDOM!!! 

                                  Lorenzo's wife,
                                   Tazza Salvatto
        Lorenzo is continuing to fight for his freedom with the support of his lead counsel, Michael Wiseman, The Pennsylvania Innocence Project, the Jeffrey Deskovic Foundation for Justice, and the Campaign to Free Lorenzo Johnson.
        Thank you all for reading this message and please take the time to visit our 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
                                             or
                      Directly on ConnectNetwork -- instructions here

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

        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

        freelorenzojohnson.org

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        B. ARTICLES IN FULL


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        1)  Addiction Treatment Grew Under Health Law. Now What?
         FEB. 10, 2017
        https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/10/health/addiction-treatment-opiods-aca-obamacare.html
        ?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=first-column-region
        &region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0

        MANCHESTER, N.H. — Chad Diaz began using heroin when he was 12. Now 36 and newly covered by Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, he is on Suboxone, a substitute opioid that eases withdrawal symptoms and cravings, and he is slowly pulling himself together.
        "This is the best my life has gone in many, many years," Mr. Diaz, a big man wearing camouflage, said as he sat in a community health center here.
        If Congress and President Trump succeed in dismantling the Affordable Care Act, he will have no insurance to pay for his medication or counseling, and he fears he will slide back to heroin.
        "If this gets taken from me, it's right back to Square 1," he said. "And that's not a good place. I'm scary when I'm using. I don't care who I hurt."

        As the debate over the fate of the health law intensifies, proponents have focused on the lifesaving care it has brought to people with cancer, diabetes and other physical illnesses. But the law has also had a profound, though perhaps less heralded, effect on mental health and addiction treatment, vastly expanding access to those services by designating them as "essential benefits" that must be covered through the A.C.A. marketplaces and expanded Medicaid.
        The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a left-leaning research group, calculates that 2.8 million people with substance use disorders, including 220,000 with opioid disorders, have coverage under the A.C.A. As the opioid epidemic continues to devastate communities nationwide, public health officials say the law has begun to make a critical difference in their ability to treat and rehabilitate people.
        "Of all the illnesses, this is one where we've seen very dramatic changes and where we stand to lose the most ground if we lose the A.C.A.," said Linda Rosenberg, president and chief executive of the National Council for Behavioral Health, adding that treatment programs have begun to be integrated into primary care clinics and health care systems nationwide.
        During the presidential campaign, Mr. Trump pledged to rid the country of Obamacare but also to address the opioid epidemic and expand access to drug treatment. Many of the states hardest hit by opioids — including Ohio, West Virginia and Kentucky — voted for Mr. Trump, but some Republican governors have expressed concern about what might happen to people being treated for addiction if their party repeals or scales back the health law.
        John Kasich, the Republican governor of Ohio, where the Medicaid expansion has covered 700,000 people, has been particularly outspoken about its success in his state. "Thank God we expanded Medicaid because that Medicaid money is helping to rehab people," Mr. Kasich said during a bill signing in January.
        There is still a long way to go. Waiting lists for treatment persist, and many people still lack access, particularly in the 19 states that have opted not to expand Medicaid. Nationwide, 78 people die every day from opioid overdoses, according to the surgeon general, and the number is still rising. And paradoxically, even as the number of opioid prescriptions in the United States has finally started falling, expanded health coverage has probably made it easier for some people to obtain the drugs.
        "There's no doubt in my mind that improving access to health care during an era in which opioids are being overprescribed would lead to more addiction," said Dr. Andrew Kolodny, the director of Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing and an addiction specialist.
        While 23 million Americans suffer from a substance use disorder, the surgeon general said in a report last year that only one in 10 was receiving treatment as of 2014, the first year people got coverage through the health law. "Now what we're doing is playing catch-up," said Michael Botticelli, director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy during the last two years of the Obama administration.
        In the past, a third of private insurance plans sold on the individual market did not cover addiction treatment, according to federal health officials, and those that did imposed strict limits. Medicaid covered little besides inpatient detox. Now, more health care providers are offering and getting reimbursed for outpatient counseling and medications like Suboxone and Vivitrol, which have been shown to reduce the potential for relapse.
        The health law encourages primary care doctors to incorporate addiction treatment into their practices. It provided grants to several hundred community health centers around the country, many in rural areas, to begin or expand mental health and medication-assisted treatment, which combines counseling and drugs like Suboxone.
        This is a big improvement from the days when treatment typically was offered through scattered, poorly funded stand-alone clinics that did not necessarily provide evidence-based treatment and had long waiting lists, said Richard Frank, a professor of health economics at Harvard Medical School.
        "The whole system is being pushed more toward looking like modern health care," said Dr. Frank, who worked at the Department of Health and Human Services in the Obama administration.
        The 21st Century Cures Act, which Congress passed in December with strong bipartisan support, could build on the progress by providing $1 billion nationwide over the next two years to expand drug treatment around the country, with an emphasis on medication-assisted treatment. The federal government will soon begin distributing the money to states, which will allot it to treatment programs, particularly in high-need areas. But if people lose their insurance, Dr. Frank said, they may well lose access to these new options.
        In Kentucky about 11,000 people were receiving addiction treatment through Medicaid by mid-2016, up sharply from 1,500 people in early 2014, according to the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, a health policy research group. In West Virginia, Ms. Rosenberg of the National Council for Behavioral Health said, her group's member organizations — nonprofit providers of mental health and addiction treatment — are now treating 30,000 people a year, up from 9,000 before the health law.
        Here in New Hampshire — which Mr. Trump won resoundingly in the Republican primary and lost by a hair in November — more than 10,000 people have received addiction treatment after gaining coverage through the Medicaid expansion, said Michele Merritt, senior vice president and policy director at New Futures, a nonprofit advocacy group. Small treatment centers throughout the state that had never been able to bill insurance before have started doing so, she said, allowing them to hire more counselors and accept more patients.
        "We're just beginning to implement these exchanges in a way that people know about them," said Senator Jeanne Shaheen, a New Hampshire Democrat, referring to the exchanges created under the health law. Getting rid of them, she said, "makes no sense."
        Others note that even with more treatment options, the number of deaths in places like New Hampshire continues to rise. The state ranks first nationwide in per capita overdose deaths from fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid that is now killing more people here than heroin. Republicans here have also criticized state health officials for not tracking how many Medicaid enrollees who receive addiction treatment end up relapsing.
        In Pennsylvania, where 124,000 people have received addiction treatment under the Medicaid expansion, health officials were disturbed by early data showing that two-thirds of those who went to detox got no other treatment services. So Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, is designating 45 "Centers of Excellence" — primary care clinics where people can also get addiction and mental health treatment, with frequent follow-up and a team of providers closely tracking their progress.
        The new model is in use here at the Manchester Community Health Center, where Mr. Diaz receives treatment. The center had offered minimal services for substance abuse before the health law.
        Now, three years later, it has undergone substantial changes. More than 40 percent of its patients had been uninsured; today, only 20 percent are. The center used to have one building, a staff of 55 and 7,500 patients; today, it has clinics in four locations, a staff of 230 and more than 16,000 patients, about 800 of whom have substance abuse issues.
        It has two providers who are licensed to prescribe medication-assisted treatment, which it is expanding to 60 patients, including pregnant women, the center's priority. "The number may sound low as far as how many we're treating," said Julie Hazell-Felch, director of behavioral health at the center. "But it's a multitude of services they're receiving and they're in here weekly," she said, seeing nurses, a behavioral health clinician and a medical provider, and giving urine samples and receiving their medications.
        If the Affordable Care Act is repealed, the center stands to lose more than $6 million in funding, mostly Medicaid revenue, about a third of its $18 million annual budget.
        "We would not be able to keep all four sites open," said Kris McCracken, president and chief executive of the health center.
        She added: "There are only two avenues to go: You either prevent and treat, or you street. That's what will happen. People will end up back on the street."

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        2)  Mexican Government Rejects Findings of Misconduct in Missing Students Case
         FEB. 10, 2017
        https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/10/world/americas/mexico-missing-students-investigation.html?ref=world

        MEXICO CITY — The final version of an internal review by the Mexican government into the conduct of investigators searching for 43 missing students has rejected an earlier report that found that the officials' mishandling of suspects and evidence broke the law.
        The original review described such serious wrongdoing, beginning with the illegal arrest of key suspects, that it threatened the foundations of the government's legal case. The new review, led by a different official, wiped clean the most damning of those violations, leaving the government's version of the case intact.
        The investigators' actions amounted only to technical violations, according to the new report, which was prepared by the inspector general of the attorney general's office and given to the students' families on Thursday.

        The final report is "a clear example that they are covering up and diluting" investigators' responsibilities, said Mario Patrón, director of the Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez Human Rights Center in Mexico City and the families' legal representative.
        "We feel the government's priority is no longer finding the truth about what happened to the students, but is much more concerned with hiding the reasons behind a historical cover-up," Mr. Patrón added.
        The students' disappearance has shaken the government of President Enrique Peña Nieto, becoming emblematic of Mexico's inability to provide security to its citizens and its failure to confront the corruption that riddles law enforcement.
        Outside experts have repeatedly raised questions about the government's handling of the investigation in the weeks after the students vanished in September 2014, prompting the internal review.
        The first version was completed in August but was never approved by the attorney general. It was obtained by The New York Times in December.
        The students' families were quick to condemn what they said was an attempt to whitewash the internal investigation.
        "The problem is that the evidence was tampered with and the entire investigation has been manipulated and now they are denying the right to truth of 43 families," said Mario González, the father of one of the missing students.
        Mexican prosecutors have contended that the students were dragged off buses by local police officers and handed over to a drug gang, which killed them and burned their bodies at a garbage dump. Gang members were ordered to scoop the ashes into plastic bags and throw the bags into a river.
        But the government account rests largely on confessions from people suspected of being drug hit men swept up in a dragnet around the southern city of Iguala, where the students, who attended a rural teachers' college, disappeared.
        Last year, a group of experts with the Inter-American Human Rights Commission cast doubt on much of the evidence underpinning the government's version.
        The five experts uncovered detailed evidence showing that 17 key suspects were tortured and that commanders at the local army battalion and the federal police were aware of the police attacks on the students but stood by. The experts' group discarded the theory that such an intense fire could have taken place in the garbage dump.
        Finally, they discovered that the lead investigator, Tomás Zerón de Lucio, had taken one of the suspects, Agustín García Reyes, to the bank of the San Juan River on Oct. 28, 2014, without recording the visit in the case file.
        A bone found at the riverbank the following day was identified as belonging to one of the students, raising suspicions among the families that the evidence was planted.
        Mr. Zerón's unrecorded visit led to the internal review by the attorney general's inspector general. Although the families were told they would see the review on Aug. 18, it was withheld at the last minute and never released. The inspector general, César Alejandro Chávez Flores, abruptly resigned four weeks later. The attorney general at the time, Arely Gómez, resigned in October to become the federal comptroller.
        That first review painted a sweeping picture of dysfunction, the first time that the government itself had acknowledged the errors in its investigation.
        Six key suspects were picked up over the course of a day and spontaneously confessed in identical wording to being members of the local drug gang Guerreros Unidos. Their subsequent arrests, based on those statements, were arbitrary and illegal, the first review found.
        Mr. Zerón also took Mr. García Reyes to the riverbank without a defense lawyer, and then left the crime scene unguarded overnight, the review found. Dates were muddled, documents missing.
        The review concluded that Mr. Zerón's misconduct, along with the actions of prosecutors and forensic technicians in the days before and after the riverbank visit, violated the victims' right to justice. It called for further investigation to determine if the misconduct warranted criminal penalties.
        But the final report read very differently.
        It maintained that the arrests of the six suspects were legal and contended that Mr. Zerón's riverbank visit was only an administrative infraction.
        The inspector general who replaced Mr. Chávez Flores, Adriana Campos López, told the victims' parents that investigators were in a hurry to solve the case, spurring Mr. Zerón's visit to the riverbank. Mr. Zerón has defended his actions as legitimate police work.
        The final review, which refers his administrative sanction to the federal comptroller's office, takes the same position.
        But the families were unwilling to accept such reasoning.
        "The new inspector general gave us a resolution that basically makes fun of the 43 students' families," said Mr. González, the father of one of the students.

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        3)  A Rare Survivor of a Philippine Drug Raid Takes the Police to Court
         FEB. 10, 2017
        https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/10/world/asia/a-rare-survivor-of-a-philippine-drug-raid-takes-the-police-to-court.html?ref=world

        MANILA — The drug raid ended like so many others in the Philippines, with all the suspects shot by the police.
        But one of them, Efren Morillo, a 28-year-old fruit and vegetable vendor, did not die.
        As the only known survivor of a so-called buy-bust operation, Mr. Morillo has provided a chilling first-person account that challenges the government's assertion that the thousands of suspects killed in President Rodrigo Duterte's antidrug campaign were killed by the police in self-defense. And his testimony lies at the heart of the first court case to challenge that campaign.
        According to his sworn affidavit, none of the five suspects were drug users and none were armed.
        The police took two of them, including Mr. Morillo, inside a house, handcuffed, Mr. Morillo said. Three others were lined up at a clearing near a ravine, ordered to kneel, their hands tied behind their backs.
        There was begging and crying as the police shot each man at close range, Mr. Morillo said.
        "Thoroughly frightened that I might be shot again, I closed my eyes and played dead," he said. As he lay on the floor bleeding, he said, he overheard the police officers talking about planting guns and drugs because they had found none there.
        When the police officers left the house, he took a chance and fled.

        On Friday, an appeals court ruled on a petition filed by Mr. Morillo and the families of the four other victims, issuing a protection order keeping the police away from them, ordering the officers involved to be transferred to another station and ordering the police to disclose any evidence against the suspects that led to the drug raid.
        While the plaintiffs' lawyers said the ruling would have no direct bearing on the broader antidrug effort or set a precedent for other cases, activists said it undermined the program's credibility and could result in more cases challenging it.
        "It encourages other victims or families of victims who are similarly situated to use the legal process and start filing cases," said Arpee Santiago, a lawyer at the Ateneo Human Rights Center in Manila, adding that the case was also an opportunity "to test the strength and integrity" of Philippine courts.
        Mr. Santiago said the ruling sends "a clear message that not everyone will take this sitting down."
        The Philippine National Police has not commented publicly on the case, and a spokesman did not return calls seeking comment on Friday. The police officers involved were under instructions not to talk to the news media.
        The case comes as the antidrug program has been temporarily suspended after two police officers on the drug force were accused of killing a Korean businessman in a botched kidnapping.
        Mr. Duterte has promised that it will resume. Since he began the campaign when he took office last June, at least 3,600 people have been killed and possibly thousands more.
        If the police operation last August was unusual in having a survivor, it was typical in many respects, including the poverty of the victims.
        It took place at the ramshackle home of the Daa family, three generations crammed together in a patchwork of plastic and plywood perched on a slope overlooking the country's largest open dump.
        The four men who were killed were all garbage collectors and scavengers who eked out a living from the city's trash.
        According to interviews with several members of their families, they ate food that they found in the dump, washing partly eaten meat and then refrying it. They collected metal to sell for scrap.
        Maria Belen Daa, 61, the mother of one of the victims, sometimes worked as a maid and a laundrywoman.
        On a hot Sunday afternoon, five plainclothes police officers and two women walked up a snaking footpath through tall grass strewn with garbage and animal feces to the Daa home. Mr. Morillo was playing pool with Marcelo Daa and another friend in a shack on one side of the yard. The other two men were resting on hammocks in back.
        The police said the women had pointed out Mr. Daa and his friends as drug dealers, but in their official report they said it was a "chance encounter" by policemen on patrol. In media interviews before they were instructed not to speak about the case, the officers said they had caught the men holding a drug session.
        The police officers drew their guns and shouted, "Don't move!" Mr. Morillo said.
        According to the police report, Mr. Morillo and his friends pulled guns, shouting, "You will not get us alive!" before shooting at the police. The officers said they responded by shooting the suspects. No police officers were wounded.
        According to Mr. Morillo, the men raised their hands and were handcuffed and frisked while the police searched the house. He and his friends had no weapons, he said.
        "Visibly annoyed with us" after finding nothing more than a toy gun, the police took two of the men inside and three outside.
        "Then the policemen shot the victims, one by one, execution style," according to the court petition.
        Then the officers helped themselves to bottles of soft drinks and crackers from a small shop owned by the Daa family, Ms. Daa said.
        "What they did was shameful," she said. "We only use torn tarps for walls. We have rusted tin roofing. How can we have money from drugs as they alleged? How can they say that my son sold drugs?"
        Her son Marcelo, 31, a wiry man with bleached blond hair, had three children, ages 4 to 14. He was not perfect, Ms. Daa said, but he never smoked, drank alcohol or used drugs. Instead, he gave money to family and friends in need whenever he earned extra from scavenging.
        Nor did he own a gun, she said, which costs more than what anyone in this poverty-stricken part of town earns in a year, a place where many residents have learned to live with just a meal a day to survive.
        "That is why my heart aches," she said. "Just because we are poor, they think they can step on us."
        Mr. Morillo, who was shot in the chest, eventually made it to a hospital and recovered. He was charged with assaulting a police officer and is out on bail. Through a lawyer, he declined to be interviewed.
        He is lying low, the lawyer, Rommel Bagares, said, and was under the protection of the Commission on Human Rights, which has questioned the killings under the Duterte administration.
        Mr. Bagares said this was the first such case because other victims had been afraid to challenge the police.
        "We have a survivor," he said. "And he is willing to bear witness to the murders."
        He said the next step was to file murder charges against the police officers. "If the pieces of evidence we have are properly appreciated, we will get indictments," he said.
        There may be other cases as well. Since he filed the case, Mr. Bagares said, he has received queries from other victims. A coalition of seven law firms has been set up to collaborate on them.
        After countless deaths, he said, "there has to be a legal challenge to the madness."
        The families of the victims welcomed the court ruling even as they doubted its effect.
        "Nobody knows whether this would stop this mission to kill poor people or small-time drug addicts," Ms. Daa said. "There are still frequent reports of killings in poor communities here. It's hard to cage a beast once it has tasted blood."

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        4)  Illegal Voting Gets Texas Woman 8 Years in Prison, and Certain Deportation
         FEB. 10, 2017
        https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/10/us/illegal-voting-gets-texas-woman-8-years-in-prison-and-certain-deportation.
        html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fus&action=click&contentCollection=us&region=rank&module=
        package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=1&pgtype=sectionfront

        Despite repeated statements by Republican political leaders that American elections are rife with illegal voting, credible reports of fraud have been hard to find and convictions rarer still.
        That may help explain the unusually heavy penalty imposed on Rosa Maria Ortega, 37, a permanent resident and a mother of four who lives outside Dallas. On Thursday, a Fort Worth judge sentenced her to eight years in prison — and almost certainly deportation later — after she voted illegally in elections in 2012 and 2014.
        The sentence for Ms. Ortega, who was brought to this country by her mother as an infant, "shows how serious Texas is about keeping its elections secure," Ken Paxton, the Texas attorney general, said in a statement. Her lawyer called it an egregious overreaction, made to score political points, against someone who wrongly believed she was eligible to vote.

        "She has a sixth-grade education. She didn't know she wasn't legal," said Ms. Ortega's lawyer, Clark Birdsall, who once oversaw voter fraud prosecutions in neighboring Dallas County. "She can own property; she can serve in the military; she can get a job; she can pay taxes. But she can't vote, and she didn't know that."
        The punishment was strikingly harsh for an offense that usually merits far less jail time, if any. A second fraudulent ballot case in metropolitan Fort Worth ended in 2015 with probation.
        Ms. Ortega insisted in court that she had been unaware that she was ineligible to vote and was confused by registration forms and explanations by election officials.
        Prosecutors for Mr. Paxton and Tarrant County said that she had lied and that the same forms and conversations proved it. A jury convicted her Wednesday of two felony charges.
        Mr. Birdsall said Mr. Paxton's office had been prepared to dismiss all charges against Ms. Ortega if she agreed to testify on voting procedures before the Texas Legislature. But the Tarrant County criminal district attorney, Sharen Wilson, vetoed that deal, he said, insisting on a trial that would showcase her office's efforts to crack down on election fraud.
        Both the attorney general's office and the county prosecutor declined to comment on the specifics of Mr. Birdsall's statement, citing privacy rules for plea-bargain negotiations. A spokeswoman for Ms. Wilson, Sam Jordan, said any negotiations were only "discussions," a description Mr. Birdsall disputed.
        Ms. Ortega's conviction looks to be an early volley in a reinvigorated partisan war over voting rights — a war led in Texas by Mr. Paxton, who has crusaded against voter fraud. (Coincidentally, he faces legal issues of his own: state securities fraud charges and a federal lawsuit stemming from efforts to recruit investors for a technology company; he has denied wrongdoing.)
        Last year, federal courts curbed or nullified Republican-backed laws making it harder to vote, saying they reduced turnout by Democratic-leaning minorities, deliberately or otherwise.
        Texas's strict voter-ID law was among them. A federal appeals court ruled last year that the law hurt Latinos and African-Americans, who were less likely to have the IDs. It later ordered state officials to change their public education campaign on new ID rules.
        With President Trump's election, a new Justice Department and a new conservative nominee to the Supreme Court, Republicans have renewed their push for strict voting requirements in the name of combating fraud. Experts widely dismiss the fraud claims as unfounded. In unguarded moments, a number of Republican politicians have acknowledged as much.
        Ms. Ortega's case is unusual not just for its harshness but for its circumstances. Many fraud convictions that draw prison sentences — and some that do not — involve clear efforts to influence election results. Texas prosecutors won prison sentences for four men who moved into a hotel in 2010 to claim residency so they could sway a local election. A woman in Brownsville, Tex., was placed on five years' probation for casting five absentee ballots under different names in elections in 2012.
        Lawyers offered no clear motive for Ms. Ortega's decision to cast ballots beyond her desire to participate in elections.
        Ms. Ortega, a native of Monterrey, Mexico, came to Texas with her mother when she was an infant. More than a decade later, the family was scattered after the mother was arrested and deported. Two brothers born in Dallas automatically gained citizenship; Ms. Ortega became a permanent resident and gained a green card, her brother Tony Ortega, 35, said in an interview.
        As a Dallas County resident, she registered to vote and later cast ballots in elections in 2012 and 2014, her lawyer, Mr. Birdsall, said. While that was illegal, there was no attempt to break the law, he maintained: Some government forms allow applicants to declare that they are permanent residents, but the voting registration form asks only whether an applicant is a citizen.
        Lacking the permanent resident option, he said, she ticked the "citizen" box. When the county later mailed her a registration card, he said, she believed she "was good to go."
        Ms. Ortega moved to neighboring Tarrant County and again registered, but this time checked a box affirming that she was not a citizen. When her application was rejected in March 2015, the trial showed, she called election officials and told them that she had previously voted in Dallas County without difficulty.
        Told that she could not vote unless she was a citizen, she asked for another application, and returned it with a check in the box affirming citizenship. That raised questions, and law enforcement officials arrested her on fraud charges.
        Jonathan White, an assistant attorney general who helped prosecute the Ortega case with Tarrant County officials, said the evidence of fraud was unambiguous. "She told the elections office she was a citizen," he said. "She told everyone else she wasn't," including a recorded statement to prosecutors in which she said she was a citizen of Mexico.
        Mr. Birdsall said the arrest and prosecution are punishing a woman for her own confusion over whether residency and citizenship confer the same rights.
        "She wasn't trying to topple the country," he said. "She was trying to make more serious decisions about our country than the 50 percent of the people who didn't bother to vote in the last election."
        "This country is so inflamed by this Donald Trump nonsense that they've turned her into a whipping boy," he said.
        Ms. Ortega is now in a Fort Worth jail awaiting transfer to a state prison. Her four children, ages 13 to 16, are being cared for by siblings and her fiancé, Oscar Sherman, 27, a trucker who said her arrest had scotched their plans to marry. The children's fate is unclear. Mr. Sherman lacks legal custody; her siblings are still debating their options.
        Ms. Ortega's future is bleak. The federal government frowns on giving green cards to felons. "She'll do eight years in a Texas prison," Mr. Birdsall said. "And then she'll be deported, and wake up blinking and scratching in a country she doesn't know."
        Far-right websites have seized on Ms. Ortega's conviction as proof that Mr. Trump is right about rampant fraud and efforts by Democrats to steal the November election.
        There is, however, at least one flaw in that story: Ms. Ortega was a registered Republican.
        "She voted for Mitt Romney over Barack Obama in the 2012 election. In 2014 she voted for our current attorney general, Ken Paxton," Mr. Birdsall said. "And guess what? He's the one responsible for prosecuting her."

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        5)  Chicago Officer Who Shot Teenager and Bystander Will Not Be Charged
         FEB. 10, 2017
        https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/10/us/chicago-robert-rialmo-quintonio-legrier-bettie-jones.html?rref=
        collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fus&action=click&contentCollection=us&region=rank&module=package&v
        ersion=highlights&contentPlacement=2&pgtype=sectionfront

        CHICAGO — A police officer here who fatally shot an innocent bystander and a 19-year-old wielding a baseball bat will not face state charges, prosecutors announced on Friday.
        The decision brought an end to a case that raised questions about training and the use of force by Chicago police, and one that came at the height of public outcry about other police shootings here.
        The Cook County state's attorney's office said it found insufficient evidence to prove that Robert Rialmo, the police officer, was not legally justified in the shooting in the early-morning hours of Dec. 26, 2015, at a home on this city's West Side.
        Officer Rialmo was responding to 911 calls from the home when he shot and killed Quintonio LeGrier, a college student, as well as a neighbor, Bettie Jones, who had merely answered the front door for the police.
        In a memo, prosecutors said that Mr. LeGrier had moved toward Officer Rialmo with an aluminum baseball bat over his head in a threatening manner, and that a bat, under Illinois law, may be considered a deadly weapon.
        If Officer Rialmo was legally justified in firing at Mr. LeGrier, the prosecutors said, he also could not be held criminally liable for the death of Ms. Jones, even though she was a bystander.
        The shooting occurred at the height of scrutiny over police conduct in this city, not long after the Justice Department announced it would investigate police practices here, and after Chicago officials had been ordered to release video in the shooting of Laquan McDonald, a black teenager who was shot 16 times by a white police officer.
        The deaths of Ms. Jones and Mr. LeGrier had rekindled anger among activists, and had called attention to the way the police respond to situations involving people in mental or emotional distress.

        Mr. LeGrier had experienced emotional problems in the months before his death, family members said, and had himself placed three 911 calls to the police that night, reporting, at points, that someone was trying to kill him.
        Family members of the dead expressed outrage on Friday at the decision. Basileios J. Foutrisa lawyer for the LeGrier family, called the decision "more of the same," with one law enforcement agency protecting another.
        "He called for help — to get shot?" Janet Cooksey, Mr. LeGrier's mother, said at a news conference. "I don't understand that. I have no words for that. And yet this cop is not going to jail? He's still on the force? I don't understand the society that we live in today."
        Latisha Jones, a daughter of Ms. Jones's, said that her mother was "an innocent woman and she did no wrong," and recalled sharing Christmas dinner with her hours before her death.
        "He took a great woman from us that we can never get back," Latisha Jones said. "The only thing we have is memories and pictures on T-shirts."
        Both families have filed civil lawsuits in the case.
        "Bettie Jones was at her home, she was in her house," said Larry R. Rogers Jr., a lawyer for the Jones family. "She was doing everything right that day."
        Officer Rialmo is on administrative duty at the Police Department, officials said, as an investigation continues into whether he violated department procedures.
        But Joel A. Brodsky, a lawyer for Officer Rialmo, said that prosecutors made "the right decision," that his client had faced "a life-threatening attack" and that he expected him to eventually return to patrol.
        "He had no choice but to discharge his weapon in order to save his life and potentially that of his partner, and that's what he did," Mr. Brodsky said. "He feels horrible about having to do that. And what compounds it is the tragedy that an innocent person was killed."
        After the shooting, Officer Rialmo sued Mr. LeGrier's estate, claiming emotional trauma for Ms. Jones's death, and then sued the city for what he claimed was inadequate training.
        The charging decision was issued by Eric Sussman, an assistant prosecutor, rather than Kim Foxx, the Cook County state's attorney, who was elected last fall to replace a longtime incumbent who was heavily criticized for her handling of police conduct cases.
        Ms. Foxx previously worked for a law firm that represents the estate of Ms. Jones, her office said, so she played no role in reviewing Officer Rialmo's case or in the final decision not to bring charges.

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        6)  Trump Drops Defense of Obama Guidelines on Transgender Students
         FEB. 11, 2017
        https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/11/us/politics/trump-transgender-students-injunction.html?hpw&rref=
        us&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=well-region&region=bottom-well&WT.nav=bottom-well&_r=0

        The Trump administration has dropped the federal government's challenge to a nationwide injunction issued last year that blocked the fulfillment of Obama administration guidelines stating that transgender students' access to bathrooms and other gender-segregated school facilities was protected under existing federal civil rights law.
        The injunction was issued in August by Judge Reed O'Connor of the Federal District Court for the Northern District of Texas as part of a lawsuit filed by more than a dozen states over the Obama administration's position that Title IX, the federal law that bans sex discrimination in schools, protects transgender students.
        Under that interpretation, transgender students have access to facilities like bathrooms and locker rooms that correspond with their gender identity, a proposition to which social conservatives strongly object. They argue that allowing transgender students to use those facilities poses a threat to the privacy and safety of other students.
        The Obama administration appealed the injunction and requested that it apply only to states involved in the lawsuit and not nationwide. Oral arguments in that case were scheduled to begin on Tuesday, but on Friday, the Justice Department withdrew the previous administration's challenge.
        "The parties are currently considering how best to proceed in this appeal," the department said in a legal brief to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

        The decision changed little in the short term because the nationwide injunction has been in effect since August, but it signaled a significant change in the government's approach to transgender issues under President Trump. Mara Keisling, the executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, called the move a "callous attack" on "the dignity and safety of transgender students."
        "While the immediate impact of this initial legal maneuver is limited, it is a frightening sign that the Trump administration is ready to discard its obligation to protect all students," she said in a statement. "Transgender students are not going away, and it remains the legal and moral duty of schools to support all students."
        The Obama administration evolved into an ardent defender of transgender students, suing North Carolina over a law there restricting transgender people's access to public bathrooms, locker rooms and changing rooms. In May, the administration warned public school districts that they could face lawsuits or a loss of federal funds if they did the same.
        "A school may not require transgender students to use facilities inconsistent with their gender identity or to use individual-user facilities when other students are not required to do so," officials from the Education and Justice Departments said in the letter.
        The political environment has changed dramatically since then.
        Sarah Warbelow, the legal director of the Human Rights Campaign, a leading L.G.B.T. advocacy group, said the Justice Department's decision on Friday to let the injunction stand could portend its position on a closely watched Supreme Court case: a lawsuit filed by a transgender student in Virginia, Gavin Grimm, against his school district.
        Mr. Grimm sued the Gloucester County School Board two years ago after it denied him access to the boys' bathroom and told him to use a separate bathroom in a converted janitors' closet, the kind of arrangement the Obama administration rejected in its letter to schools in May.
        The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled in Mr. Grimm's favor in August, pointing to the Obama guidelines on transgender students and Title IX. The school board appealed that decision to the Supreme Court, where oral arguments are scheduled to begin next month.
        Ms. Warbelow said Mr. Grimm's supporters hoped the Justice Department would file an amicus brief in support of his case, but, she added, "the fact that they chose to say they were fine with this injunction applying nationwide certainly suggest that will not be the case."

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        7)  World War II Bomb Removal in Greece Forces 72,000 From Homes
         FEB. 12, 2017
        https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/12/world/europe/world-war-ii-bomb-greece.html?ref=world

        ATHENS — In Greece's biggest peacetime evacuation ever, about 72,000 people left their homes in the city of Thessaloniki on Sunday as experts defused and removed a World War II bomb from below a gas station.
        Hundreds of police officers in Thessaloniki, the country's second-largest city, began knocking on doors early in the morning to remind residents within a radius of two kilometers, about 1.2 miles, to leave their homes.
        Though locals had been given several days' warning, with leaflets posted around the city and an online campaign by the local authorities, some were reluctant to leave and had to be convinced by police that their properties would remain intact. "The security measures might be excessive, but it's better to be excessive and be safe," Greece's public order minister, Nikos Toskas, warned in a televised message.
        The bomb was found last week under the gas station during excavation work aimed at expanding storage tanks. It was about five feet long and weighed about 550 pounds — three-fifths of which was explosive, and the rest casing. The bomb had been dropped onto Thessaloniki by Allied forces in 1943 or 1944, toward the end of Greece's occupation by Nazi Germany, according to the Greek news media.

        On Sunday, residents were transported by bus to schools and sports venues. Greek television broadcast images of bemused pensioners, many of whom lived through the Nazi occupation of Greece, sitting on plastic chairs and drinking bottled water provided by the local government. Others carried pet cats in boxes through empty streets or led wide-eyed children by the hand as army officers stood guard near the cordoned-off gas station.
        Hundreds of refugees who have been living at a former toilet paper factory, including many Syrians who fled strife in their country, were taken by aid workers to the city's archaeological museum for the day. They were given snacks and taken to see the artifacts, aid workers said.
        "The refugees accepted the situation with stoicism and understanding," Vassilis Karambidis, who runs the center, told Greece's state-run news agency. "There were no protests, and those who were reluctant initially ultimately came round to the need to vacate the center."
        Over the course of an hour and a half, three Greek military pyrotechnic experts defused the bomb in an operation that "went very smoothly," Apostolos Tzitzikostas, the regional governor, told reporters. He had declared a state of emergency in the city for the operation, suspending train routes and church services.
        The bomb was loaded onto an army vehicle and taken to a military shooting range near the city to be destroyed, Mr. Tzitzikostas said. About five hours after the defusion, residents started returning home.
        A local military spokesman, Colonel Nikolaos Fanios, played down the operation, noting that army experts had defused similar bombs found near the city's international airport in the past. "This is a routine event for the army," he told the Greek news media.
        The discovery of the bomb in a densely populated area, however, made Sunday's evacuation necessary, he said, noting that an accidental explosion would have resulted in deaths within the two-kilometer radius.

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        8)  From Protests to 'Pussy Hats,' Trump Resistance Brews Online
         FEB. 12, 2017, 10:03 A.M. E.S.T.
        https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2017/02/12/technology/ap-us-tec-trump-resistance-social-media.html?src=busln

        NEW YORK — The revolution may not be televised — but it apparently will be tweeted. And Facebooked. And Instagrammed.
        Not long after President Donald Trump temporarily barred most people from seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the U.S., social activist Dex Torricke-Barton took to Facebook. "I'm thinking of organizing a rally," he posted. Within a few hours, more than 1,000 people expressed interest. The resulting protest a week later, in front of San Francisco's City Hall, drew thousands more.
        Torricke-Barton is far from alone. From organizing protests on the fly to raising money for refugee and immigrant rights groups, people have been using social media to fuel the resistance against Trump in ways their organizing predecessors from the 1960s could have hardly imagined.
        ROOTS OF PROTEST

        In Queens, New York, for instance, a group of 27 women met up to write postcards to their state and local representatives during a "Postcard-Writing Happy Hour" organized through Facebook.
        And on Ravelry, the social network for knitters and crocheters, members have been trading advice and knitting patterns for the pink "pussy hats" that emerged as a symbol during the Women's March on Washington and similar protests elsewhere after Trump's inauguration.
        "This is an incredible project because it's mixed between digital and physical," says Jayna Zweiman, one of the founders of the Pussyhat Project. "We harnessed social media for good."
        In 1969, activists planned massive marches around the U.S. to protests the war in Vietnam. The protests, called the Moratorium, drew millions of people around the world. But "it took months, a lot of effort, a national office of the organization to get it off the ground," says Christopher Huff, a Beacon College professor focused on social movements of the 1960s. "The women's march was achieved at a much larger scale at a fraction of the time."
        This immediacy is both an asset and a disadvantage. While online networks help people rally quickly around a cause, Huff says, they don't necessarily help people grasp the "long-term effort" required to sustain a movement.
        ONLINE, THEN OFF
        In Silicon Valley and across the tech world, Trump's travel ban created a stir that went well beyond the industry's usual calls for deregulation and more coding classes for kids. Between aggregating donations, issuing fiery statements, and walking out of work in protest, tech company executives and employees took up the anti-Trump cause at a scale not seen in other industries.
        New York-based Meetup, for instance, broke with nearly 15 years of helping people form and join interest groups on a non-partisan basis. "We're vital plumbing for democracy," the company wrote in a Medium post this week. "But after Donald Trump's order to block people on the basis of nationality and religion, a line had been crossed."
        So Meetup held a company-wide "resist-a-thon" — a riff on the hackathons tech companies hold to devise new technologies — to help people get involved in the anti-Trump movement known as "the resistance." It then unveiled more than 1,000 new "#resist" Meetup groups that people can join for free (it's normally $15 a month to run a group). As of Wednesday, some 35,000 people had joined the #resist Meetup groups, and scheduled 625 events around the world.
        Torricke-Barton, who in earlier incarnations wrote speeches for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Alphabet Chairman Eric Schmidt, said he and two sisters of Iranian descent organized their last-minute protest using Facebook groups and Messenger. That's quite a contrast with Torricke-Barton's earlier experience protesting violence in Darfur more than a decade ago.
        Back then, "lawyers, marketers, communications people would help you get (the protests) off the ground ... networks had to be created in advance," he said. "Now, protests can start without any kind of infrastructure."
        FOLLOW THE MONEY
        Shortly after Trump's order, the venture capitalist Bijan Sabet tweeted a link to the fundraising platform Crowdrise alongside an explanation of his support for the American Civil Liberties Union— and then asked his followers to do the same.
        Sabet figured it might take as long as two months to reach his $50,000 goal. It took three days. That weekend, the ACLU raised $24 million, far more than the $4 million it receives in a typical year.
        Sabet, whose father is from Iran, says he's seeing civic involvement "level up," and that social media is pushing that along. Previously, he said, people would maybe say, "yeah, I'm a bit frustrated, but I don't have all the information, I don't know how to get involved." Now, there's no excuse.
        LITTLE THINGS
        The effects of social media aren't limited to huge efforts.
        A week or so after the election, Marisa Frantz, an art director in Cerrillos, New Mexico, created a private Facebook group called "America is Watching." To join, all people had to do was comment "yes." If they then posted their zip code in comments, Frantz would send them contact information for their senators and representative, Frantz's sister-in-law, Sarah Bailey Hogarty, explained in an email.
        "Like many of us, I was floundering around feeling terrible and afraid," said Hogarty, a digital producer for the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. "I wanted to do something, but I had no idea where to start."
        Hogarty called the group her "foothold to resistance." Now, the group has more than 1,000 members across the U.S. and organizes weekly "calls to action," such as contacting senators and representatives about a particular issue determined by a poll of the group.
        Groups like this demonstrate how social media has helped "lower the barrier to entry" into social activism, in the words of Tarun Banerjee, a sociology professor at the University of Pittsburgh.
        "What social media can do really well is spread awareness," Banerjee said. "Can people make President Trump back down because of social media? Probably not. But it can shine the light."

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        9)  Immigration Agents Arrest 600 People Across U.S. in One Week





        Federal immigration officials arrested more than 600 people across at least 11 states last week, detaining 40 people in the New York City area, law enforcement officials said on Sunday.
        It remained unclear whether the actions by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents were part of continuing operations to round up illegal immigrants with criminal convictions or a ramping-up of deportations by the Trump administration.
        President Trump proclaimed on Twitter early Sunday morning: “The crackdown on illegal criminals is merely the keeping of my campaign promise. Gang members, drug dealers & others are being removed!”

        But Gillian Christensen, acting press secretary for the Department of Homeland Security, said, “The focus of these targeted enforcement operations is consistent with the routine, targeted arrests carried out by ICE’s Fugitive Operations Teams on a daily basis.”
        The contradiction heightened an already swelling fear among immigrants and their advocates.
        The New York operation was planned one week ago and was part of a national action that was planned several weeks ago, Immigration and Customs Enforcement said.
        “New York was late to the game,” said an agency official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because details about who had been detained were still being learned. The official said the arrests had not been impromptu and had been planned around individuals’ routines, adding that a fuller account would be available on Monday.
        “All these people are in violation of some sort of immigration law,” the official said, adding that some of their convictions included rape and aggravated assault. “We’re not going out to Walmart to check papers — we know who we are going out to seek.”
        At least in the New York area (including Long Island), fewer people were arrested than during an Obama administration enforcement sweep in August, when 58 people were arrested.
        The Obama administration was especially active in deporting unauthorized immigrants, most notably in 2012, when 409,849 people were deported. In 2015, Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced the arrests of more than 2,000 people nationwide in one week, targeting criminals. And the Obama administration was still sweeping up low-priority immigrants last summer.
        Nevertheless, Steven Choi, the executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition, said last week’s action was worrisome because it seemed to be only the beginning.
        “It really doesn’t matter if it’s business as usual from ICE’s perspective — at some point, we know that they will start to ramp up enforcement activity,” Mr. Choi said in an interview. He added that a Jan. 25 executive order from the president about ensuring public safety included the bolstering of the immigration force.
        Mr. Trump’s executive order also vastly expanded the group of immigrants considered priorities for deportation, including those without criminal records.
        When asked if the recent operations had incorporated the new priorities, a Homeland Security official, speaking on the condition of anonymity because operations were continuing, said, “The president has been clear in saying that D.H.S. should be focused on removing individuals who pose a threat to public safety, who have been charged with criminal offenses, who have committed multiple immigration violations or who have been deported and re-entered the country illegally.”
        About 160 foreign nationals were recently arrested in six counties in the Los Angeles area, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials. An additional 200 were arrested last week in Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. And about 200 were arrested across Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri and Wisconsin.
        At least some of the rumors circulating on social media over the weekend proved to be false, including reports of raids in Jackson Heights, Queens, and in Huntington Station on Long Island. Similarly, immigration advocates in Kansas City, Mo., were on alert after hearing rumors that Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents planned to arrest people who were on their way to worship on Sunday.
        “Absolutely not!” Ms. Christensen, the Homeland Security spokeswoman, said. “That is completely false and an example of the many kinds of irresponsible, baseless fear-mongering we’ve been seeing.”
        Through a statement from his spokeswoman Rosemary Boeglin, Mayor Bill de Blasio tried to reassure New York City’s immigrants on Sunday. “New Yorkers should rest assured that city officials, including the N.Y.P.D., will never ask about your immigration status, and the N.Y.P.D. will never become immigration enforcement agents,” Ms. Boeglin said.
        New York is a so-called sanctuary city, which means that it generally does not comply with requests by immigration authorities to hold illegal immigrants who have committed low-level crimes. Mr. Trump has threatened to withhold federal funding for such cities.
        On Long Island, activity by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents had not yet reached the level of the large-scale enforcement seen under the George W. Bush administration. In one week in 2007, 170 people were arrested in Nassau and Suffolk Counties, said Pat Young, the program director of the Central American Refugee Center on Long Island.
        “At least so far, it’s important to know that in the New York area, we haven’t had checkpoints; we haven’t had sweeps,” he said, adding that he had had to quash rumors all day about where immigration officials had conducted their activities. “They are taking place at homes.”

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