Wednesday, August 01, 2018

BAUAW NEWSLETTER, WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 1, 2018



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"Give me your tired, your poor 
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. 
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. 
Send these, the homeless. Tempest-tost to me, 
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"


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 Donate to the Haiti Emergency Relief Fund using the 'Donate' button ***
URGENT ALERT: NEW REBELLION IN HAITI 
SUPPORT GRASSROOTS RESISTANCE & INDEPENDENT MEDIA
The spark that lit the most recent rebellion was an announcement by the Haitian Prime Minister Jack Guy Lafontant that gas, diesel and kerosene prices would be raised by 38-51%.  Haitians took to the streets en-masse across the country.  After just two days, the growing grassroots mobilization forced the government to rescind the gas price increases.  But the protests escalated into a two-day general strike, barricades blocking streets and highways in cities throughout the country.  PM Jack Guy Lafontant resigned but it was too little too late.  The Haitian people are demanding the removal of the US-backed and fraudulently-elected president, Jovenel Moïse.
WHAT LED TO THIS LATEST UPRISING:
·        The Jovenel Moïse government's announcement of a double-digit increase in fuel prices, increasing the cost of gas by about $1.20/gallon, sparked the latest protests which began July 6th
·        Government corruption including the theft of $3.8 billion from PetroCaribe by officials - those named include two former prime ministers as well as heads of private firms in Haiti.  
·        Ongoing attacks on Haiti's grassroots majority, including the burning of public markets, targeting market women; government land theft and demolition of homes; teachers not being paid; attacks on student protesters; and the violence of poverty – 59% of Haitians live on less than $2/day, 24.7% on less than $1.25.
·        Ongoing repression.  As of July 6th, independent media on the ground Radio Timoun reported five people killed and many wounded by gunfire by police and government-sponsored paramilitary; more protestors have been killed or injured since.
·        Fourteen years of corrupt government since the 2004 US-backed coup that removed Haiti's first democratically-elected president, much loved Jean/Bertrand Aristide, and imposed a UN/US military occupation.  The massive election fraud that made Jovenel Moïse president in 2017.  Fanmi Lavalas, the party of Aristide and the poor majority, said on July 8th, 2018: "The cauldron of corruption and lies has been boiling non-stop 24 hours a day. The time has come to overturn it, for Haitians to begin to see the light of peace. Haiti is for all Haitians."
THE IMPORTANCE OF INDEPENDENT MEDIA IN HAITI:
·        Independent media including Radio and Tele Timoun have been vital to spread the news of what is actually going on rather than spouting the US Embassy/Haitian government line. 
·        Independent Haitian journalists have increasingly been targeted and some killed for reporting the truth and giving a voice to the people's movement.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:

Donate to support independent GRASSROOTS MEDIA IN HAITI, so it can continue to share news and information among people in all parts of Haiti, and with the rest of the world.  

Make a tax-deductible donation to the 
Haiti Emergency Relief Fund using the 'Donate' button  via their fiscal sponsor Eastbay Sanctuary Covenant's Paypal

For more info: Haiti Action Committee www.haitisolidarity.net  @HaitiAction1 & on FACEBOOK


Issued by the Global Women's Strike & Women of Color GWS – please donate to HERF & circulate your networks.

--

sent by Haiti Action Committee
www.haitisolidarity.net



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Hands Off Julian Assange
Don't allow the arrest of journalist whistleblower, Julian Assange
August 1, 2018, NOON
S.F. Ecuador Consulate
235 Montgomery St., S.F.

Endorsed by:
WorkWeek Radio
Project Censored
United Public Workers For Action www.upwa.info
Socialist Action
Ann Garrison, Journalist, San Francisco Bay View, Black Agenda Report
Randy Credico, NYC Journalist, and WBAI Radio Host will speak by cell phone
Dr. Darrell Whitman, OSHA Whistleblower
The US has been pressuring the Ecuadorian government to force the removal of Julian Assange because of the US embarrassment over the release of emails of governments and politicians. The British government has also spent millions of dollars to surround the consulate and the May government plans to arrest Assange as soon as he is pushed out of the consulate. The effort to silence Julian Assange is not just about him but silencing all journalists who release information that threatens the exposure of government corruption and crimes. The refusal of the US government to prosecute those involved in US crimes in Iraq, Libya and around the world despite the evidence of these crimes provided by WikiLeaks is further reason why the US government is so interested in arresting Assange. 
Journalists are also under attack globally and the right of journalists to write and publish material about these activities is something that must be defended. The US and UK government officials are united in continuing the silencing of journalists and those who want to hold them responsible for the crimes of their governments around the world.

It is time to stand up for Assange and all journalists who are speaking truth to power.

Don't Force Assange Out Of Ecuadorian Consulate!
Hands Off Journalists and Whistleblowers!
Prosecute the Real Criminals!


To Endorse Rally & For Further Information:
info@upwa.info


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Dangerous far right forces are planning another demonstration at Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park in Berkeley on August 5, 2018.


The Berkeley far right mobilization is being organized in conjunction with a far right "Freedom March" in Portland, Oregon, planned for the day before on Saturday, August 4, 2018.  The Portland far right rally has been initiated by a group that was engaged in street fighting in Portland as recently as June 30 of this year. Many far right activists from the Pacific Northwest are planning to first attend the demonstration in Portland on August 4 and then to travel to Berkeley for the demonstration on August 5. Far Right organizations are now threatening to hold additional rallies in Oakland and Berkeley this summer and fall.
These West Coast mobilizations are scheduled to take place one week prior to a  "White Civil Rights Rally" planned for August 12 in Washington, DC. This mobilization will take place on the one-year anniversary of the violent "Unite the Right" demonstration in Charlottesville, Virginia when a neo-Nazi murdered anti-racist activist Heather Heyer. Unite the Right organizer Jason Kessler is also behind the White Civil Rights Rally this year in DC.
The far right is attempting to reassert itself on the streets of U.S. cities one year after it was exposed for its violence and its neo-nazi sympathies in Charlottesville but was peacefully outnumbered in Boston and the Bay Area.
Solidarity Against Fascism Eastbay (SAFEBay) is organizing a peaceful, non-violent counter protest on Sunday August 5th . The counter protest will start at 2:00 in Ohlone Park (Playground and Greenway) in Berkeley, located across the street from the North Berkeley BART station. At 3:00, some folks and organizations will leave the area and others will march to the Martin Luther King Jr. Plaza, in downtown Berkeley, where the far right will be rallying.


Sweep Out the Fascists: A Festival of Resilience

Endorsed by:
Solidarity Against Fascism East Bay (SAFEBay) 
SURJ Bay Area
SURJ S.F.
National Lawyer Guild S.F. Bay Area Chapter
East Bay DSA Socialist Feminist Caucus
DSA Communist Caucus
DSA San Francisco
International Socialist Organization
Movement Generation
Critical Resistance Oakland
John Brown Anti-Klan Committee
Catalyst
Bay Area Queer Antifascist Network
International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network
Folsom Lake College Campus Antifascist Network
Punks for Progress


Last August (2017), groups of white supremacists, aided by police and politicians, attempted to take over Berkeley's Martin Luther King Jr. Park in order to build a base in the Bay. A crowd of thousands—including students, unionists, faith-based activists, teachers, and other everyday people—was there to confront them. We worked together to shut down the fascists and send them packing. Nationally, we sent a message that hate will not be welcome in the Bay. (Photo essay of 8/27 here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/kellyjohnsonrevelationaryphotography/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1371548832961154)

Once again, a group of white supremacists, Trump supporters, and fascists has announced a rally in downtown Berkeley for August 5, 2018. This event is part of a week-long nationwide "commemoration" of the hateful acts that took place nearly a year ago in Charlottesville, in which DeAndre Harris was beaten and Heather Heyer murdered. It is our duty to loudly and publicly reject their hate and to redouble our efforts in building a truly just and liberatory world. 

We are calling on all members of our community to assemble together to stop white supremacist and state violence from growing. As history demonstrates, regular maintenance is required by people of heart and conscience to shut down white supremacy and fascism, which are foundational violences of this settler-colonial state. We've got to tend to the relationships and values that fuel, nourish, and inspire us to build a vision of collective liberation. 

On August 5, we will gather to maintain a Bay Area free of fascism and white supremacy, sweeping out those that seek to deport, cage, harm, or extinguish members of our communities. Attacks on immigrants, Black and Indigenous people and other people of color, Muslims, the un-housed, queer and trans folks, disabled people, and/or women are becoming more prevalent as fascism reasserts itself in governments, state agencies, and increasingly organized groups across the globe. In the US, law enforcement, ICE and other deportation agents, and the jails and prisons work to remind people that this country was built on Indigenous land, on the backs of enslaved people, and that the prison industrial complex currently functions to maintain racial capitalism. We are reminded of this every time police kill another Black, Brown, and/or trans person in the streets. This country was founded on white supremacy and we must rise up with others around the world in an international movement to resist the fascism of both government and vigilantes. It's time to take out the trash. 

This is a community-wide call for each of us to perform critical community maintenance by removing fascists and white supremacists from our community. This will be a festival of resilience starting in Ohlone Park at 2pm going to MLK park for August 5, 2018. Featuring local artists, activists, musicians, comedians and everyday people. Our rally will send a clear message: "No hate in the Bay."
#TrashtheFash #FashFreeBayArea 
Join SAFEBay on Friday evening (August 3rd at 7:00pm) for and Art Build and Public Forum as we organize and come together to protect our communities. 

Fascists and other far-right racists that are again planning to meet in Berkeley, on August 5th. They're attempting to reassert the far right on the streets of U.S. cities after it was exposed in Charlottesville and outnumbered in Boston and the Bay Area last summer. We will not be silenced or intimidated. The massive demonstrations of last August in Boston and the Bay Area proved that when we come together, we can protect our communities and politically defeat the bigots.

There will be a panel presentation on who these racists and fascists are, why they keep coming to the Bay, and ways to stay safe during that weekend. SafeBay will also talk about the counter-rally planned, and why it's important to show up as a community.

There will be free art supplies for people to create signs and banners for the counter-rally, but please feel free to bring your own too!



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Mass Action: No Nazis, No KKK in D.C.
Sunday, August 12, 2018, 11:00 A.M.
Lafayette Park, Washington D.C.

On August 12, the same white supremacist movement which murdered Heather Heyer in Charlottesville, Virginia (exactly one year earlier) are bringing their racist roadshow to Lafayette Park in front of the White House. They are coming to Washington because they want to fan the flames of racism throughout the country. They were thrilled when Donald Trump said that their fascist ranks included "some very fine people".

We won't stand for that, or let this disgusting event go unanswered!

The vast majority of people in the Washington, D.C., area and throughout the country reject the message of the Nazis, KKK and other white supremacists. They are coming to Washington to be deliberately provocative. They are trying to prove that the fascist right wing is now a legitimate part of the political landscape.

We won't allow Washington, D.C., to be used as a stage to promote white supremacist hatred. This is a moment that demands action, not passivity. It is critically important to show that the forces opposed to racism, anti-immigrant bigotry, Islamophobia, anti-LGBTQ hatred and anti-Semitism will not be silenced or intimidated.

We urge you to help mobilize and support this protest against racism. We know that you believe just as much as we do that the disgusting forces who make up the "unite the right" coalition must be visibly rejected by the people of this country.

Initiating organizations include: ANSWER Coalition, Party for Socialism and Liberation, Justice First, Link-UP, Justice Center en El Barrio NYC, Internationalist Students Front-George Washington University, GW Queer Radicals, Philadelphia Liberation Center.

Click here to endorse this protest against racism:
http://www.answercoalition.org/sign_on_mass_action_aug_12_no_nazis_no_kkk_in_d_c?utm_campaign=aug12_counterprotest&utm_medium=email&utm_source=answercoalition


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Right now, Californians have the opportunity to make waves not just in our state, but around the globe. Together, we can make California the first major economy in the world to stop all new fossil fuel development and embark on a racially, economically just transition to 100% clean energy.
In the past year Trump has launched unprecedented attacks on frontline communities, the Clean Power Plan, and the EPA. Meanwhile, Governor Brown would like to build his legacy around the climate - but he has yet to stand up to Big Oil and prioritize a clean energy future for all of us. Now Governor Brown is hosting the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco September 12-14 with public officials from around the world.
That's why we're planning the largest climate march the West Coast has ever seen – days before the Summit, as part of a global day of action. Sign up to march in San Francisco on September 8.
Eight weeks later, millions more will take these demands to the polls, making Climate, Jobs, and Justice deciding issues in the mid-term elections and beyond.
We won't be acting alone. Bay Resistance is working with the California Environmental Justice Alliance, Idle No More SF Bay, 350, People's Climate Movement, and hundreds of other labor, faith, environmental justice, and community groups.
Mark your calendars to Rise for Climate, Jobs & Justice on September 8th. Then sign up to paint the largest street mural ever with us that day, so elected officials hear our message loud and clear!
In solidarity,
Kung, Celi, Kimi, Irene, and the Bay Resistance team

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Kevin "Rashid" Johnson Self Portrait, 2013

To: Virginia Department of Corrections; Chief of VA Corrections Operations David Robinson

We call on the Virginia Department of Corrections to immediately release Kevin "Rashid" Johnson from solitary confinement and not to transfer him again out of state.
Why is this important?


Click here to sign this petition.

Kevin "Rashid" Johnson has been a Virginia prisoner (#1007485) since 1990. During his imprisonment, he became a human rights advocate and a journalist. His journalistic work in particular exposes abuses by prison administration and staff. His related steps toward litigation have resulted in his being "interstate compacted" or transferred back-and-forth between state prisons.

Currently, Rashid is being held in solitary confinement with no legitimate security justification at Sussex I State Prison in Virginia. Between 2012 and June of 2018, he has been transferred to prisons in three other states (Oregon, Texas, and Florida) before being returned to a different prison in Virginia. He was kept in solitary confinement in Texas and Florida, where he witnessed and suffered many acts of abuse by prison staff. All this, in reprisal for his political and journalistic activity.

Each state prison transfer has subjected Rashid to serious abuses -- the most recent being caged in a freezing cold cell without heat or a blanket for over a week. Over the years, Rashid has had his life threatened by corrections officers and endured explicit, violent retaliation for exercising his First Amendment right of protected free speech. 

Rashid expects to be transferred again soon and to be subjected to more serious conditions of extreme isolation.

Kevin Rashid Johnson does not advocate for violence or illegal activity and has not been charged with anything of the like during his imprisonment. He is not a threat to the Virginia Department of Corrections – he is an imprisoned journalist and human rights advocate – and should be released from solitary confinement immediately.

Help by adding your name here.

Solitary confinement has been increasingly recognized by courts and society as a torturous means of punishment. This punitive measure has been imposed on Kevin Johnson not because of any violent conduct on his part but because of his relentless exposure of abuses by prison officials, his willingness to challenge those abuses through the legal system, and his efforts to educate fellow prisoners and encourage them to challenge by peaceful means the unhealthy and humiliating conditions to which they are subjected. Using solitary confinement as a tool to silence someone who exposes prison abuses and advocates for prison reform is a human rights abuse and unconstitutional.

Click here to demand the immediate release of Kevin Johnson from solitary confinement and for the VADOC not to transfer him again out of state.

After signing the petition, please use the tools on the next webpage to share it with your friends.

This work is only possible with your financial support. Please chip in $3 now. 

-- The RootsAction.org Team

P.S. RootsAction is an independent online force endorsed by Jim Hightower, Barbara Ehrenreich, Cornel West, Daniel Ellsberg, Glenn Greenwald, Naomi Klein, Bill Fletcher Jr., Laura Flanders, former U.S. Senator James Abourezk, Frances Fox Piven, Lila Garrett, Phil Donahue, Sonali Kolhatkar, and many others.

Background:
Defying the Tomb: Selected Prison Writings and Art of Kevin "Rashid" Johnson featuring exchanges with an Outlaw 
Kevin "Rashid" Johnson: The Rising Tide of Hate in Amerika: A Sign of the Times





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immigrant camps
US Military Ordered to Host Massive Immigrant Concentration Camps
We believe that all military personnel have a moral and legal obligation to refuse to comply with any order that involves collaboration with these camps.
Actual concentration camps are in the process of development at military bases across the Southern United States. This isn't the first time in US history that facilities are being constructed and used to imprison large numbers of a persecuted minority in a relatively small area with inadequate facilities (the definition of a concentration camp). Previous examples of this are now infamous, such as the so-called Japanese internment camps. We're now on the brink of adding a new chapter to this dark history.
Potential locations have been identified as:
  • Tornillo Port of Entry, Texas - capacity 360 teenagers CURRENTLY ACTIVE
  • Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas - capacity 45,000
  • Fort Bliss, Texas
  • Dyess Air Force Base, Texas
  • Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas - capacity 20,000
  • Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Air Station, California - capacity 47,000
  • Navy Outlying Field Wolf and Silverhill, Alabama - capacity 25,000
  • Yuma Marine Corps Air Station, Arizona
  • Concord Naval Weapons Station, California - capacity 47,000 CANCELLED
D O N A T E
to support resistance



Military officials, in response to pressured deadlines from the White House, have stated that these camps can begin to be operational by mid-August. Estimates are that capacity for another 10,000 people can be added each month. The White House's stated timeline of 45 days out from June 27th has local base commanders scrambling and caught unaware.
In addition to providing the land, military personnel will construct the camps while private agencies will manage the operations. While this simplified explanation of operations seeks to minimize the military's role, it omits the endless capacities in which the armed forces will surely be facilitating the functioning of these camps such as with water, electricity, sewage, trash, and all of the other services to go allow with sustaining tens of thousands of immigrant detainees.
The military is strictly prohibited from domestic policing as stated in the constitution yet military personnel are being drafted into doing just that with this rising domestic enforcement of immigration policy. Just because Trump/Sessions Co. declares a war on immigrants, doesn't make it an actual war. Being quite clearly an illegal order, the question is who will refuse to aid and abet?
> > READ OUR FULL STATEMENT HERE

COURAGE TO RESIST ~ SUPPORT THE TROOPS WHO REFUSE TO FIGHT!
484 Lake Park Ave #41, Oakland, California 94610 ~ 510-488-3559
www.couragetoresist.org ~ facebook.com/couragetoresist
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All Hands on Deck:  Get Malik Washington out of Ad-Seg!


Several weeks ago, friends and supporters of incarcerated freedom fighter Comrade Malik Washington were overjoyed to hear that he was getting released, finally, from Administrative Segregation (solitary confinement) at Eastham Unit in Texas--until TDCJ pulled a fast one, falsely claiming that he refused to participate in the Ad-Seg Transition Program to get him released back to general population.  
This is a complete lie:  Malik has been fighting to get out of Ad-Seg from the moment he was thrown in there two years ago on a bogus riot charge (which was, itself, retaliation for prison strike organizing and agitating against inhumane, discriminatory conditions).  
Here's what actually happened:  when Malik arrived at Ramsey Unit on June 21, he was assigned to a top bunk, which is prohibited by his medical restrictions as a seizure patient.  TDCJ had failed to transfer his medical restrictions records, or had erased them, and are now claiming no record of these restrictions, which have been on file and in place for the past ten years.  Malik wrote a detailed statement requesting to be placed on a lower bunk in order to avoid injury; later that night, he was abruptly transferred back to Ad-Seg at a new Unit (McConnell).  
Malik was told that Ramsey staff claimed he refused to participate in the Ad-Seg Transition program--this is NOT true, and he needs to be re-instated to the program immediately!  He also urgently needs his medical restrictions put back into his records!
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We are extremely concerned for Malik's safety, and urgently need the help of everyone reading this. Please take one or more of the following actions, and get a couple friends to do the same!
1. Call Senior Warden Phillip Sifuentes at Malik's current facility (McConnell) and tell them Keith Washington (#1487958) must be transferred out of McConnell and re-admitted to the Ad-Seg Transition Program!
Phone #: (361) 362-2300 (**048) 00 --  ask to be connected to the senior warden's office/receptionist--try to talk to someone, but also can leave a message. 
Sample Script: "Hello, I'm calling because I'm concerned about Keith H. Washington (#1487958) who was recently transferred to your facility.  I understand he was transferred there from Ramsey Unit, because he supposedly refused to participate in the Ad-Seg transition program there, but this is not true; Malik never refused to participate, and he needs to be re-admitted to the transition program immediately!  I am also concerned that his heat restrictions seem to have been removed from his records.  He is a seizure patient and has been on heat and work restriction for years, and these restrictions must be reinstated immediately."
Please let us know how your call goes at blueridgeABC@riseup.net
2. Flood TDCJ Executive Director Bryan Collier with calls/emails!  You can use the above phone script as a guide for emails.  
(936) 437-2101 / (936) 437-2123

3. Flood TDCJ with emails demanding that Malik's health restrictions and work restrictions be restored: Health.services@tdcj.texas.gov

You can use the call script above as a guide; you don't need to mention the Ad-Seg situation, but just focus on the need to restore his heat and work restrictions!

4. File a complaint with the Ombudsman's Office (the office in charge of investigating departmental misconduct); you can use the above phone script as a guide for emails.

5. Write to Malik!  Every letter he receives lifts his spirit and PROTECTS him, because prison officials know he has people around him, watching for what happens to him.

Keith H. Washington
#1487958
McConnell Unit
3100 South Emily Drive
Beeville, TX 78103







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Listen to 'The Daily': Was Kevin Cooper Framed for Murder?

By Michael Barbaro, May 30, 2018
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/30/podcasts/the-daily/kevin-cooper-death-row.html?emc=edit_ca_20180530&nl=california-today&nlid=2181592020180530&te=1




Listen and subscribe to our podcast from your mobile deviceVia Apple Podcasts | Via RadioPublic | Via Stitcher

The sole survivor of an attack in which four people were murdered identified the perpetrators as three white men. The police ignored suspects who fit the description and arrested a young black man instead. He is now awaiting execution.

On today's episode:
• Kevin Cooper, who has been on death row at San Quentin State Prison in California for three decades.



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Last week I met with fellow organizers and members of Mijente to take joint action at the Tornillo Port of Entry, where detention camps have been built and where children and adults are currently being imprisoned. 

I oppose the hyper-criminalization of migrants and asylum seekers. Migration is a human right and every person is worthy of dignity and respect irrespective of whether they have "papers" or not. You shouldn't have to prove "extreme and unusual hardship" to avoid being separated from your family. We, as a country, have a moral responsibility to support and uplift those adversely affected by the US's decades-long role in the economic and military destabilization of the home countries these migrants and asylum seekers have been forced to leave.

While we expected to face resistance and potential trouble from the multiple law enforcement agencies represented at the border, we didn't expect to have a local farm hand pull a pistol on us to demand we deflate our giant balloon banner. Its message to those in detention:

NO ESTÁN SOLOS (You are not alone).

Despite the slight disruption to our plan we were able to support Mijente and United We Dream in blocking the main entrance to the detention camp and letting those locked inside know that there are people here who care for them and want to see them free and reunited with their families. 


We are continuing to stand in solidarity with Mijente as they fight back against unjust immigration practices.Yesterday they took action in San Diego, continuing to lead and escalate resistance to unjust detention, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and to ICE. 

While we were honored to offer on-the-ground support we see the potential to focus the energy of our Drop the MIC campaign into fighting against this injustice, to have an even greater impact. Here's how:
  1. Call out General Dynamics for profiteering of War, Militarization of the Border and Child and Family Detention (look for our social media toolkit this week);
  2. Create speaking forums and produce media that challenges the narrative of ICE and Jeff Sessions, encouraging troops who have served in the borderlands to speak out about that experience;
  3. Continue to show up and demand we demilitarize the border and abolish ICE.

Thank you for your vision and understanding of how militarism, racism, and capitalism are coming together in the most destructive ways. Help keep us in this fight by continuing to support our work.


In Solidarity,
Ramon Mejia
Field Organizer, About Face: Veterans Against the War


P.O. Box 3565, New York, NY 10008. All Right Reserved. | Unsubscribe
To ensure delivery of About Face emails please add webmaster@ivaw.org to your address book.


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Feds extend deadline for public comments on future draft

The feds initially provided only a few days for the public to submit comments regarding the future of the draft in the United States. This mirrored their process of announcing public hearings with only a few days notice. Due to pressure, they have extended the deadline for your online comments until September. 

They need to hear from us!

  • It's time to end draft registration once and for all.
  • Don't expand the draft to women. End it for everyone.
  • No national service linked to the military--including immigration enforcement.
  • Until the US is invaded by a foreign power, stop pretending that the draft is about anything other than empire.
  • Submit your own comments online here.
As we have been reporting to you, a federal commission has been formed to address the future of draft registration in the United States and whether the draft should end or be extended.
The press release states "The Commission wants to learn why people serve and why people don't; the barriers to participation; whether modifications to the selective service system are needed; ways to increase the number of Americans in service; and more."
Public hearings are currently scheduled for the following cities. We encourage folks to attend these hearings by checking the commission's website for the actual dates and locations of these hearings (usually annouced only days before).

  • July 19/20, 2018: Waco, TX
  • August 16/17, 2018: Memphis, TN
  • September 19/21, 2018: Los Angeles, CA
For more background information, read our recent post "Why is the government soliciting feedback on the draft now?"

Courage to Resist Podcast: The Future of Draft Registration in the United States

We had draft registration resister Edward Hasbrouck on the Courage to Resistpodcast this week to explain what's going on. Edward talks about his own history of going to prison for refusing to register for the draft in 1983, the background on this new federal commission, and addresses liberal arguments in favor of involuntary service. Edward explains:
When you say, "I'm not willing to be drafted", you're saying, "I'm going to make my own choices about which wars we should be fighting", and when you say, "You should submit to the draft", you're saying, "You should let the politicians decide for you."
What's happening right now is that a National Commission … has been appointed to study the question of whether draft registration should be continued, whether it should be expanded to make women, as well as men register for the draft, whether a draft itself should be started, whether there should be some other kind of Compulsory National Service enacted.
The Pentagon would say, and it's true, they don't want a draft. It's not plan A, but it's always been plan B, and it's always been the assumption that if we can't get enough volunteers, if we get in over our head, if we pick a larger fight than we can pursue, we always have that option in our back pocket that, "If not enough people volunteer, we're just going to go go to the draft, go to the benches, and dragoon enough people to fight these wars."
The first real meaningful opportunity for a national debate 
about the draft in decades . . .
Courage to Resist -- Support the Troops Who Refuse to Fight!
484 Lake Park Ave. No. 41, Oakland, CA 94610
510-488-3559

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Incarceration Nation
Emergency Action Alert:
RELEASE DRAFTERS OF THE AGREEMENT TO END HOSTILITIES FROM SOLITARY CONFINEMENT
In October, 2017, the 2 year court monitoring period of the Ashker v. Governor settlement to limit solitary confinement in California expired. Since then, the four drafters of the Agreement to End Hostilities and lead hunger strike negotiators – Sitawa Nantambu Jamaa, Arturo Castellanos, George Franco, and Todd Ashker, have all been removed from general population and put in solitary in Administrative Segregation Units, based on fabricated information created by staff and/or collaborating "inmate informants." In Todd Ashker's case, he is being isolated "for his own protection," although he does not ask for nor desire to be placed in isolation for this or any reason. Sitawa has since been returned to population, but can still not have visitors.
Please contact CDCr Secretary Scott Kernan and Governor Edmund G. Brown and demand CDCr:
• Immediately release back into general population any of the four lead organizers still held in solitary
• Return other Ashker class members to general population who have been placed in Ad Seg 
• Stop the retaliation against all Ashker class members and offer them meaningful rehabilitation opportunities
Contact Scott Kernan. He prefers mailed letters to 1515 S Street, Sacramento 95811. If you call 916-324-7308, press 0 for the Communications office. Email matthew.westbrook@cdcr.ca.gov and cc: scott.kernan@cdcr.ca.gov
Contact Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.,  c/o State Capitol, Suite 1173, Sacramento, CA 95814; Phone: (916) 445-2841Fax: (916) 558-3160; Email: https://govapps.gov.ca.gov/gov39mail/
As a result of the administrative reviews established after the second prisoner hunger strike in 2011 and the Ashker settlement of 2015, California's SHU population has decreased from 3923 people in October 2012 to 537 in January 2018.  Returning these four men and many other hunger strikers back to solitary in the form of Ad Seg represents an intentional effort to undermine the Agreement to End Hostilities and the settlement, and return to the lock 'em up mentality of the 1980's.
Sitawa writes: "What many of you on the outside may not know is the long sordid history of CDCr's ISU [Institutional Services Unit]/ IGI [Institutional Gang Investigator]/Green Wall syndicate's [organized groups of guards who act with impunity] pattern and practice, here and throughout its prison system, of retaliating, reprisals, intimidating, harassing, coercing, bad-jacketing [making false entries in prisoner files], setting prisoners up, planting evidence, fabricating and falsifying reports (i.e., state documents), excessive force upon unarmed prisoners, [and] stealing their personal property . . ." 
CDCr officials are targeting the Ashker v. Governor class members to prevent them from being able to organize based on the Agreement to End Hostilities, and to obstruct their peaceful efforts to effect genuine changes - for rehabilitation, returning home, productively contributing to the improvement of their communities, and deterring recidivism.
Please help put a stop to this retaliation with impunity. Contact Kernan and Brown today:
Scott Kernan prefers mailed letters to 1515 S Street, Sacramento 95811. If you call 916-324-7308, press 0 for the Communications office. Email matthew.westbrook@cdcr.ca.gov and cc: scott.kernan@cdcr.ca.gov
Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.,  c/o State Capitol, Suite 1173, Sacramento, CA 95814; Phone: (916) 445-2841Fax: (916) 558-3160; Email: https://govapps.gov.ca.gov/gov39mail/
Read statements from the reps: 
Todd – We stand together so prisoners never have to go through the years of torture we did  (with Open Letter to Gov. Brown, CA legislators and CDCR Secretary Kernan)




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"There Was a Crooked Prez"
By Dr. Nayvin Gordon

There was a crooked Prez, and he walked a crooked mile,
He found a crooked lawyer upon a crooked isle,
They bought a crooked election which caught a crooked mission,
And they both lived together in a little crooked prison.

April 28, 2018

"Trumpty Dumpty"
By Dr. Nayvin Gordon

Trumpty Dumpty sat on his wall,
Trumpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the kingpin's forces and all the KKKlansmem
Couldn't put Trumpty together again.

July 25, 2018

Dr. Gordon is a California Family Physician who has written many articles on health and politics.


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It is so beautiful to see young people in this country rising up to demand an end to gun violence. But what is Donald Trump's response? Instead of banning assault weapons, he wants to give guns to teachers and militarize our schools. But one of the reasons for mass school shootings is precisely because our schools are already militarized. Florida shooter, Nikolas Cruz, was trained by U.S. Army Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps (JROTC) program while he was in high school.
Yesterday, Divest from the War Machine coalition member, Pat Elder, was featured on Democracy Now discussing his recent article about the JROTC in our schools. The JROTC teaches children how to shoot weapons. It is often taught by retired soldiers who have no background in teaching. They are allowed to teach classes that are given at least equal weight as classes taught by certified and trained teachers. We are pulling our children away from classes that expand their minds and putting them in classes that teach them how to be killing machines. The JROTC program costs our schools money. It sends equipment. But, the instructors and facilities must be constructed and paid for by the school.
The JROTC puts our children's futures at risk. Children who participate in JROTC shooting programs are exposed to lead bullets from guns. They are at an increased risk when the shooting ranges are inside. The JROTC program is designed to "put a jump start on your military career." Children are funneled into JROTC to make them compliant and to feed the military with young bodies which are prepared to be assimilated into the war machine. Instead of funneling children into the military, we should be channeling them into jobs that support peace and sustainable development. 
Tell Senator McCain and Representative Thornberry to take the war machine out of our schools! The JROTC program must end immediately. The money should be directed back into classrooms that educate our children.
The Divest from the War Machine campaign is working to remove our money from the hands of companies that make a killing on killing. We must take on the systems that keep fueling war, death, and destruction around the globe. AND, we must take on the systems that are creating an endless cycle of children who are being indoctrinated at vulnerable ages to become the next killing machine.  Don't forget to post this message on Facebook and Twitter.
Onward in divestment,
Ann, Ariel, Brienne, Jodie, Kelly, Kirsten, Mark, Medea, Nancy, Natasha, Paki, Sarah, Sophia and Tighe
P.S. Do you want to do more? Start a campaign to get the JROTC out of your school district or state. Email divest@codepink.org and we'll get you started!

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October 20-21, 2018

Cindy Sheehan and the Women's March on the Pentagon

A movement not just a protest

By Whitney Webb
WASHINGTON—In the last few years, arguably the most visible and well-publicized march on the U.S. capital has been the "Women's March," a movement aimed at advocating for legislation and policies promoting women's rights as well as a protest against the misogynistic actions and statements of high-profile U.S. politicians. The second Women's March, which took place this past year, attracted over a million protesters nationwide, with 500,000 estimated to have participated in Los Angeles alone.
However, absent from this women's movement has been a public antiwar voice, as its stated goal of "ending violence" does not include violence produced by the state. The absence of this voice seemed both odd and troubling to legendary peace activist Cindy Sheehan, whose iconic protest against the invasion and occupation of Iraq made her a household name for many.
Sheehan was taken aback by how some prominent organizers of this year's Women's March were unwilling to express antiwar positions and argued for excluding the issue of peace entirely from the event and movement as a whole. In an interview with MintPress, Sheehan recounted how a prominent leader of the march had told her, "I appreciate that war is your issue Cindy, but the Women's March will never address the war issue as long as women aren't free."
War is indeed Sheehan's issue and she has been fighting against the U.S.' penchant for war for nearly 13 years. After her son Casey was killed in action while serving in Iraq in 2004, Sheehan drew international media attention for her extended protest in front of the Bush residence in Crawford, Texas, which later served as the launching point for many protests against U.S. military action in Iraq.
Sheehan rejected the notion that women could be "free" without addressing war and empire. She countered the dismissive comment of the march organizer by stating that divorcing peace activism from women's issues "ignored the voices of the women of the world who are being bombed and oppressed by U.S. military occupation."
Indeed, women are directly impacted by war—whether through displacement, the destruction of their homes, kidnapping, or torture. Women also suffer uniquely and differently from men in war as armed conflicts often result in an increase in sexual violence against women.
For example, of the estimated half-a-million civilians killed in the U.S. invasion of Iraq, many of them were women and children. In the U.S. occupation of Afghanistan, the number of female casualties has been rising on average over 20 percent every year since 2015. In 2014 alone when Israel attacked Gaza in "Operation Protective Edge," Israeli forces, which receives $10 million in U.S. military aid every day, killed over two thousand Palestinians—half of them were women and children. Many of the casualties were pregnant women, who had been deliberately targeted.
Given the Women's March's apparent rejection of peace activism in its official platform, Sheehan was inspired to organize another Women's March that would address what many women's rights advocates, including Sheehan, believe to be an issue central to promoting women's rights.
Dubbed the "Women's March on the Pentagon," the event is scheduled to take place on October 21—the same date as an iconic antiwar march of the Vietnam era—with a mission aimed at countering the "bipartisan war machine." Though men, women and children are encouraged to attend, the march seeks to highlight women's issues as they relate to the disastrous consequences of war.
The effort of women in confronting the "war machine" will be highlighted at the event, as Sheehan remarked that "women have always tried to confront the war-makers," as the mothers, daughters, sisters and wives of the men and women in the military, as well as those innocent civilians killed in the U.S.' foreign wars. As a result, the push for change needs to come from women, according to Sheehan, because "we [women] are the only ones that can affect [the situation] in a positive way." All that's missing is an organized, antiwar women's movement.
Sheehan noted the march will seek to highlight the direct relationship between peace activism and women's rights, since "no woman is free until all women are free" and such "freedom also includes the freedom from U.S. imperial plunder, murder and aggression"that is part of the daily lives of women living both within and beyond the United States. Raising awareness of how the military-industrial complex negatively affects women everywhere is key, says Sheehan, as "unless there is a sense of international solidarity and a broader base for feminism, then there aren't going to be any solutions to any problems, [certainly not] if we don't stop giving trillions of dollars to the Pentagon."
Sheehan also urged that, even though U.S. military adventurism has long been an issue and the subject of protests, a march to confront the military-industrial complex is more important now than ever: "I'm not alarmist by nature but I feel like the threat of nuclear annihilation is much closer than it has been for a long time," adding that, despite the assertion of some in the current administration and U.S. military, "there is no such thing as 'limited' nuclear war." This makes "the need to get out in massive numbers" and march against this more imperative than ever.
Sheehan also noted that Trump's presidency has helped to make the Pentagon's influence on U.S. politics more obvious by bringing it to the forefront: "Even though militarism had been under wraps [under previous presidents], Trump has made very obvious the fact that he has given control of foreign policy to the 'generals.'"
Indeed, as MintPress has reported on several occasions, the Pentagon—beginning in March of last year—has been given the freedom to "engage the enemy" at will, without the oversight of the executive branch or Congress. As a result, the deaths of innocent civilians abroad as a consequence of U.S. military action has spiked. While opposing Trump is not the focus of the march, Sheehan opined that Trump's war-powers giveaway to the Pentagon, as well as his unpopularity, have helped to spark widespread interest in the event.

Different wings of the same warbird

Sheehan has rejected accusations that the march is partisan, as it is, by nature, focused on confronting the bipartisan nature of the military-industrial complex. She told MintPress that she has recently come under pressure owing to the march's proximity to the 2018 midterm elections—as some have ironically accused the march's bipartisan focus as "trying to harm the chances of the Democrats" in the ensuing electoral contest.
In response, Sheehan stated that: 
"Democrats and Republicans are different wings of the same warbird. We are protesting militarism and imperialism. The march is nonpartisan in nature because both parties are equally complicit. We have to end wars for the planet and for the future. I could really care less who wins in November."
She also noted that even when the Democrats were in power under Obama, nothing was done to change the government's militarism nor to address the host of issues that events like the Women's March have claimed to champion.
"We just got finished with eight years of a Democratic regime," Sheehan told MintPress. "For two of those years, they had complete control of Congress and the presidency and a [filibuster-proof] majority in the Senate and they did nothing" productive except to help "expand the war machine." She also emphasized that this march is in no way a "get out the vote" march for any political party.
Even though planning began less than a month ago, support has been pouring in for the march since it was first announced on Sheehan's website, Cindy Sheehan Soapbox. Encouraged by the amount of interest already received, Sheehan is busy working with activists to organize the events and will be taking her first organizing trip to the east coast in April of this year. 
In addition, those who are unable to travel to Washington are encouraged to participate in any number of solidarity protests that will be planned to take place around the world or to plan and attend rallies in front of U.S. embassies, military installations, and the corporate headquarters of war profiteers.
Early endorsers of the event include journalists Abby Martin, Mnar Muhawesh and Margaret Kimberley; Nobel Peace Prize nominee Kathy Kelly; FBI whistleblower Coleen Rowley; and U.S. politicians like former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney. Activist groups that have pledged their support include CodePink, United National Antiwar Coalition, Answer Coalition, Women's EcoPeace and World Beyond War.
Though October is eight months away, Sheehan has high hopes for the march. More than anything else, though, she hopes that the event will give birth to a "real revolutionary women's movement that recognizes the emancipation and liberation of all peoples—and that means [freeing] all people from war and empire, which is the biggest crime against humanity and against this planet." By building "a movement and not just a protest," the event's impact will not only be long-lasting, but grow into a force that could meaningfully challenge the U.S. military-industrial complex that threatens us all. God knows the world needs it.
For those eager to help the march, you can help spread the word through social media by joining the march's Facebook page or following the march'sTwitter account, as well as by word of mouth. In addition, supporting independent media outlets—such as MintPress, which will be reporting on the march—can help keep you and others informed as October approaches.
Whitney Webb is a staff writer forMintPress News who has written for several news organizations in both English and Spanish; her stories have been featured on ZeroHedge, theAnti-Media, and21st Century Wire among others. She currently lives in Southern Chile.
MPN News, February 20, 2018
https://www.mintpressnews.com/cindy-sheehan-and-the-womens-march-on-the-pentagon-a-movement-not-just-a-protest/237835/

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Major George Tillery
MAJOR TILLERY FILES NEW LEGAL PETITION
SEX FOR LIES AND
MANUFACTURED TESTIMONY
April 25, 2018-- The arrest of two young men in Starbucks for the crime of "sitting while black," and the four years prison sentence to rapper Meek Mill for a minor parole violation are racist outrages in Philadelphia, PA that made national news in the past weeks. Yesterday Meek Mills was released on bail after a high profile defense campaign and a Pa Supreme Court decision citing evidence his conviction was based solely on a cop's false testimony.
These events underscore the racism, frame-up, corruption and brutality at the core of the criminal injustice system. Pennsylvania "lifer" Major Tillery's fight for freedom puts a spotlight on the conviction of innocent men with no evidence except the lying testimony of jailhouse snitches who have been coerced and given favors by cops and prosecutors.

Sex for Lies and Manufactured Testimony
For thirty-five years Major Tillery has fought against his 1983 arrest, then conviction and sentence of life imprisonment without parole for an unsolved 1976 pool hall murder and assault. Major Tillery's defense has always been his innocence. The police and prosecution knew Tillery did not commit these crimes. Jailhouse informant Emanuel Claitt gave lying testimony that Tillery was one of the shooters.

Homicide detectives and prosecutors threatened Claitt with a false unrelated murder charge, and induced him to lie with promises of little or no jail time on over twenty pending felonies, and being released from jail despite a parole violation. In addition, homicide detectives arranged for Claitt, while in custody, to have private sexual liaisons with his girlfriends in police interview rooms.
In May and June 2016, Emanuel Claitt gave sworn statements that his testimony was a total lie, and that the homicide cops and the prosecutors told him what to say and coached him before trial. Not only was he coerced to lie that Major Tillery was a shooter, but to lie and claim there were no plea deals made in exchange for his testimony. He provided the information about the specific homicide detectives and prosecutors involved in manufacturing his testimony and details about being allowed "sex for lies". In August 2016, Claitt reaffirmed his sworn statements in a videotape, posted on YouTube and on JusticeforMajorTillery.org.
Without the coerced and false testimony of Claitt there was no evidence against Major Tillery. There were no ballistics or any other physical evidence linking him to the shootings. The surviving victim's statement naming others as the shooters was not allowed into evidence.
The trial took place in May 1985 during the last days of the siege and firebombing of the MOVE family Osage Avenue home in Philadelphia that killed 13 Black people, including 5 children. The prosecution claimed that Major Tillery was part of an organized crime group, and falsely described it as run by the Nation of Islam. This prejudiced and inflamed the majority white jury against Tillery, to make up for the absence of any evidence that Tillery was involved in the shootings.
This was a frame-up conviction from top to bottom. Claitt was the sole or primary witness in five other murder cases in the early 1980s. Coercing and inducing jailhouse informants to falsely testify is a standard routine in criminal prosecutions. It goes hand in hand with prosecutors suppressing favorable evidence from the defense.
Major Tillery has filed a petition based on his actual innocence to the Philadelphia District Attorney's Larry Krasner's Conviction Review Unit. A full review and investigation should lead to reversal of Major Tillery's conviction. He also asks that the DA's office to release the full police and prosecution files on his case under the new  "open files" policy. In the meantime, Major Tillery continues his own investigation. He needs your support.
Major Tillery has Fought his Conviction and Advocated for Other Prisoners for over 30 Years
The Pennsylvania courts have rejected three rounds of appeals challenging Major Tillery's conviction based on his innocence, the prosecution's intentional presentation of false evidence against him and his trial attorney's conflict of interest. On June 15, 2016 Major Tillery filed a new post-conviction petition based on the same evidence now in the petition to the District Attorney's Conviction Review Unit. Despite the written and video-taped statements from Emanuel Claitt that that his testimony against Major Tillery was a lie and the result of police and prosecutorial misconduct, Judge Leon Tucker dismissed Major Tillery's petition as "untimely" without even holding a hearing. Major Tillery appealed that dismissal and the appeal is pending in the Superior Court.
During the decades of imprisonment Tillery has advocated for other prisoners challenging solitary confinement, lack of medical and mental health care and the inhumane conditions of imprisonment. In 1990, he won the lawsuit, Tillery v. Owens, that forced the PA Department of Corrections (DOC) to end double celling (4 men to a small cell) at SCI Pittsburgh, which later resulted in the closing and then "renovation" of that prison.
Three years ago Major Tillery stood up for political prisoner and journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal and demanded prison Superintendent John Kerestes get Mumia to a hospital because "Mumia is dying."  For defending Mumia and advocating for medical treatment for himself and others, prison officials retaliated. Tillery was shipped out of SCI Mahanoy, where Mumia was also held, to maximum security SCI Frackville and then set-up for a prison violation and a disciplinary penalty of months in solitary confinement. See, Messing with Major by Mumia Abu-Jamal. Major Tillery's federal lawsuit against the DOC for that retaliation is being litigated. Major Tillery continues as an advocate for all prisoners. He is fighting to get the DOC to establish a program for elderly prisoners.
Major Tillery Needs Your Help:
Well-known criminal defense attorney Stephen Patrizio represents Major pro bonoin challenging his conviction. More investigation is underway. We can't count on the district attorney's office to make the findings of misconduct against the police detectives and prosecutors who framed Major without continuing to dig up the evidence.
Major Tillery is now 67 years old. He's done hard time, imprisoned for almost 35 years, some 20 years in solitary confinement in max prisons for a crime he did not commit. He recently won hepatitis C treatment, denied to him for a decade by the DOC. He has severe liver problems as well as arthritis and rheumatism, back problems, and a continuing itchy skin rash. Within the past couple of weeks he was diagnosed with an extremely high heartbeat and is getting treatment.
Major Tillery does not want to die in prison. He and his family, daughters, sons and grandchildren are fighting to get him home. The newly filed petition for Conviction Review to the Philadelphia District Attorney's office lays out the evidence Major Tillery has uncovered, evidence suppressed by the prosecution through all these years he has been imprisoned and brought legal challenges into court. It is time for the District Attorney's to act on the fact that Major Tillery is innocent and was framed by police detectives and prosecutors who manufactured the evidence to convict him. Major Tillery's conviction should be vacated and he should be freed.

Major Tillery and family

HOW YOU CAN HELP
    Financial Support—Tillery's investigation is ongoing. He badly needs funds to fight for his freedom.
    Go to JPay.com;
    code: Major Tillery AM9786 PADOC

    Tell Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner:
    The Conviction Review Unit should investigate Major Tillery's case. He is innocent. The only evidence at trial was from lying jail house informants who now admit it was false.
    Call: 215-686-8000 or

    Write to:
    Major Tillery AM 9786
    SCI Frackville
    1111 Altamont Blvd.
    Frackville, PA 17931
    For More Information, Go To: JusticeForMajorTillery.org
    Call/Write:
    Kamilah Iddeen (717) 379-9009, Kamilah29@yahoo.com
    Rachel Wolkenstein (917) 689-4009, RachelWolkenstein@gmail.com


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    Free Leonard Peltier!

    On my 43rd year in prison I yearn to hug my grandchildren.

    By Leonard Peltier


    Art by Leonard Peltier

    Write to:
    Leonard Peltier 89637-132 
    USP Coleman I 
    P.O. Box 1033 
    Coleman, FL 33521
    Donations can be made on Leonard's behalf to the ILPD national office, 116 W. Osborne Ave, Tampa, FL 33603

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    Whistleblower Reality Winner Accepts Responsibility for Helping Expose Attacks on Election Systems
    After more than a year jailed without bail, NSA whistleblower Reality Winner has changed her plea to guilty. In a hearing this past Tuesday, June 26th, she stated - "all of these actions I did willfully." If this new plea deal is approved by the judge, she will have a maximum prison sentence of five years as opposed to the ten years she faced under the Espionage Act.
    Speaking to the family's relief due to this plea deal, Reality's mother Billie sharedthat "At least she knows it's coming to an end." "Her plea agreement reflects the conclusion of Winner and her lawyers," stated Betsy Reed, "that the terms of this deal represent the best outcome possible for her in the current environment."
    In a recent campaign status update Jeff Paterson, Project Director of Courage to Resist, reiterated the importance of continuing to support Reality and her truth-telling motives. "We cannot forget this Trump Administration political prisoner. Reality needs us each to do what we can to resist." Although Courage to Resist is no longer hosting Reality's defense fund, online monetary support can be contributed to the Winner family directly at standwithreality.org. Reality's inspiring artwork also available for purchase at realitywinnerart.com.
    "It's so important to me as her mom to know just all the people that are writing her, who are touching her, who are reaching out to her giving her that strength and that support . . . Please don't stop that" said Billie Winner-Davis. "And we'll always make sure that everybody knows where she's at, where you can write to her, how you can help her. You know, we'll continue to do that. Just follow us on FacebookFollow us on Twitter. We will continue to do that for her."
    Reality will remain at the Lincoln County jail near Augusta, Georgia, for the next few months pending the sentencing hearing and hopefully will then be transferred to a facility closer to her family.

    COURAGE TO RESIST ~ SUPPORT THE TROOPS WHO REFUSE TO FIGHT!
    484 Lake Park Ave #41, Oakland, California 94610 ~ 510-488-3559
    www.couragetoresist.org ~ facebook.com/couragetoresist


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    Working people are helping to feed the poor hungry corporations! 
    Charity for the Wealthy!

    GOP Tax Plan Would Give 15 of America's Largest Corporations a $236B Tax Cut: Report

    By Jake Johnson, December 18, 2017

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    1) Idaho Inmates Hacked Prison Service for $225,000 in Credit
    By Jacey Fortin, July 27, 2018
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/27/us/idaho-prison-hack-jpay-nyt.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fbusiness&action=click&contentCollection=business&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=4&pgtype=sectionfront

    JPay tablets allow inmates to communicate with family members via emails and video calls. They are also used to access music, simple games and reading materials.

    Hundreds of prison inmates in Idaho found a way to add hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of credit to their personal accounts, officials discovered this month.
    The prisoners were not inflating their bank accounts, but rather their JPay accounts. JPay is a service that inmates can use to communicate with the outside world; for example, by using secure tablets or kiosks to send emails or listen to music.
    The Idaho Department of Correction learned about the hacking on July 2, and an investigation revealed that 364 inmates at five correctional facilities "had improperly credited their JPay accounts by $224,772.40," Jeff Ray, the department's spokesman, said in a statement.
    "This conduct was intentional, not accidental," he said. "It required a knowledge of the JPay system and multiple actions by every inmate who exploited the system's vulnerability to improperly credit their account."

    The inmates inflated their accounts by taking advantage of a quirk in the system that did not cost taxpayers money. Of the 364 inmates, 50 credited their accounts with more than $1,000 apiece, and one person managed to accumulate nearly $10,000.

    In recent years, tablets designed for prison use have become increasingly popular. JPay is one of the country's biggest prison financial services providers and has business in dozens of states. Inmates can use JPay to communicate with family members via emails, video calls and money transfers. Some can also access music, simple games or reading materials.
    "While the vast majority of individuals use our secure technology appropriately, we are continually working to improve our products to prevent any attempts at misuse," Jade Trombetta, the company's spokeswoman, said in an email on Thursday.
    "In this case, a number of individuals were found to have improperly credited their accounts, creating credits that could be used to purchase content. Once the issue was discovered it was quickly corrected."

    Tablets have been marketed as a way to incentivize good behavior. But the companies that offer them have also been criticized for profiting from a captive market; when prisoners or their correspondents have to pay to communicate, the costs can add up.
    The state's Department of Correction said that JPay had recovered more than $65,000 worth of improper credits, and the department had charged inmates with disciplinary offenses that could temporarily revoke privileges or tighten security for some.
    "JPay has also suspended the ability of the inmates to download music and games until they compensate JPay for its losses," Mr. Ray said. "The inmates are still able to use JPay to send and receive email."

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    2) How the Suffrage Movement Betrayed Black Women
    By Brent Staples, July 28, 2018
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/28/opinion/sunday/suffrage-movement-racism-black-women.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=opinion-c-col-left-region&region=opinion-c-col-left-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-left-region
    Susan B. Anthony during a portrait session circa 1891.

    The suffragist heroes Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony seized control of the feminist narrative of the 19th century. Their influential history of the movement still governs popular understanding of the struggle for women's rights and will no doubt serve as a touchstone for commemorations that will unfold across the United States around the centennial of the 19th Amendment in 2020.
    That narrative, in the six-volume "History of Women's Suffrage," betrays more than a hint of vanity when it credits the Stanton-Anthony cohort with starting a movement that actually had diverse origins and many mothers. Its worst offenses may be that it rendered nearly invisible the black women who labored in the suffragist vineyard and that it looked away from the racism that tightened its grip on the fight for the women's vote in the years after the Civil War.
    Historians who are not inclined to hero worship — including Elsa Barkley BrownLori Ginzberg and Rosalyn Terborg-Penn — have recently provided an unsparing portrait of this once-neglected period. Stripped of her halo, Stanton, the campaign's principal philosopher, is exposed as a classic liberal racist who embraced fairness in the abstract while publicly enunciating bigoted views of African-American men, whom she characterized as "Sambos" and incipient rapists in the period just after the war. The suffrage struggle itself took on a similar flavor, acquiescing to white supremacy — and selling out the interests of African-American women — when it became politically expedient to do so. This betrayal of trust opened a rift between black and white feminists that persists to this day.
    This toxic legacy looms especially large as cities, including New York, prepare monuments and educational programs to celebrate the centennial of the 19th Amendment, ratified in 1920, which barred the states from denying voting rights based on gender. Black feminists in particular are eager to see if these remembrances own up to the real history of the fight for the vote — and whether black suffragists appear in them.
    The famous suffrage convention convened in Seneca Falls, N.Y., in 1848 featured Stanton and her partner-in-arms, Lucretia Mott, in addition to the towering figure of Frederick Douglass, the abolitionist and dyed-in-the-wool supporter of women's rights who was on his way to becoming one of the most famous speakers of the century. Were it not for Douglass's oratory, the historian Lisa Tetrault tells us in "The Myth of Seneca Falls," the "controversial" resolution demanding the vote for women might actually have failed. 
    It became clear after the Civil War that black and white women had different views of why the right to vote was essential. White women were seeking the vote as a symbol of parity with their husbands and brothers. Black women, most of whom lived in the South, were seeking the ballot for themselves and their men, as a means of empowering black communities besieged by the reign of racial terror that erupted after Emancipation.
    The tension escalated in the run-up to the 15th Amendment, a provision that ostensibly barred the states from denying Negro men the right to vote. Reasonable people could, of course, disagree on the merits of who should first be given the vote — women or black men. Stanton, instead, embarked on a Klan-like tirade against the amendment. She warned that white woman would be degraded if Negro men preceded them into the franchise. Admiring historians have dismissed this as an unfortunate interlude in an exemplary life. By contrast, the historian Lori Ginzberg argues persuasively that racism and elitism were enduring features of the great suffragist's makeup and philosophy. 
    Similarly, the historian Faye Dudden wrote that Stanton "dipped her pen into a tincture of white racism and sketched a reference to a nightmarish figure, the black rapist," and lashed out from the pages of the suffragist paper that she and Anthony published. Her message — that passage of the 15th Amendment would mean only degradation for women at the hands of Negro men — must have cheered the Ku Klux Klan as it terrorized the black South.

    Douglass was clearly wounded by what he described as the "employment of certain names, such as 'Sambo,' and the gardener, and the bootblack … and all the rest," but gracefully declined to answer insult with insult. Instead, he summarized in dramatic fashion the differences between the interests of black and white suffragists — and the case for federal protection of black voters.
    "When women, because they are women," he said, "are hunted down through the cities of New York and New Orleans; when they are dragged from their houses and hung upon lampposts; when their children are torn from their arms and their brains dashed out upon the pavement; when they are objects of insult and outrage at every turn; when they are in danger of having their homes burnt down over their heads; when their children are not allowed to enter schools; then they will have an urgency to obtain the ballot equal to our own." 
    Douglass cut to the central fallacy of the white suffragist push — that African-American women could magically separate their blackness from their femaleness.
    The 15th Amendment was, of course, ratified. Women would wait another 50 years for the 19th. Racism intensified among suffragists as they neared their goals. African-American luminaries like the noted anti-lynching crusader Ida B. Wells and the civil rights leader Mary Church Terrell became more deeply and publicly engaged. 
    As in other instances, suffragists outside the South used the racism in the Jim Crow states as an excuse for their discriminatory treatment of their black suffragist sisters. Black women's suffrage clubs that sought formal affiliation with the national white suffrage movement were discouraged from doing so on the grounds that admitting them might anger white Southerners. It has since become clear that this was a ruse Northern whites used to obscure their own discriminatory policies.

    The most blatant example of accommodationism came in 1913 when organizers of a huge suffragist parade in Washington demanded that black participants march in an all-black assembly at the back of the parade instead of with their state delegations. Wells famously refused. Terrell, who marched in a colored delegation as requested, believed at the time that white suffragists would exclude black women from the 19th Amendment — nicknamed the Anthony Amendment — if they thought they could get away with it. These episodes fueled within the African-American community a lasting suspicion of white suffragists and of the very idea of political cooperation across racial lines.
    Historians are rightly warning groups involved in suffrage commemorations not to overstate the significance of the 19th Amendment. It covered the needs of middle-class white women quite nicely. But it meant very little to black women in the South, where most lived at the time and where election officials were well practiced in the art of obstructing black access to the ballot box. As African-American women streamed in to register, Southern officials merely stepped up the level of fraud and intimidation.
    By this time, the former suffragists of the North were celebrating the amendment and were uninterested in fighting discrimination against women who were suffering racial, as opposed to gender, discrimination. As the historian Rosalyn Terborg-Penn writes: "Within a few years, white supremacy was victorious throughout the South. Unlike Black men, who had been disenfranchised within 20 years after the ratification of the 15th Amendment, Black women had lost the vote in less than a decade." It would take another half-century — and a new suffrage campaign, with black women in a leading role — before that black community was fully enfranchised, through the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
    The recent uproar over the monuments to white supremacy that dominate public spaces in the South has put civic groups on notice that memorials often convey pernicious messages and perpetuate historical wrongs. Organizers need to keep that in mind as they commemorate a movement in which racism clearly played a central role.
    Brent Staples joined the Times editorial board in 1990 after working as an editor of the Book Review and an assistant editor for metropolitan news. Mr. Staples holds a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Chicago.
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    3) Mother of Dead Woman Says Medics Told Her She Could Not Afford Ambulance
    By Mihir Zaveri, July 29, 2018
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/29/us/black-woman-ambulance-cost-florida.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fus&action=click&contentCollection=us&region=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=2&pgtype=sectionfront

    Crystle Galloway was taken to the hospital by her mother after she fell in the bathroom. Her mother said that when she called 911, medical workers told her she could not afford the ambulance trip.

    Nicole Black got a call around 1:45 a.m. on July 4 that her daughter Crystle Galloway had fallen in the bathroom of her Tampa, Fla., condominium and that something was wrong.
    She had hit her head, Ms. Galloway's daughter said, and by the time Ms. Black raced from her home two blocks away, she was slumped over the bathtub, foaming at the mouth and her lips were swollen.
    Ms. Black called 911. Later that day, Ms. Galloway slipped into a coma. She died five days after.
    But weeks later, questions persist about what happened after the 911 call and whether race played a role in how Ms. Black and her daughter were treated. Four emergency medical workers have been placed on paid leave and face a disciplinary hearing on Tuesday.
    Ms. Black said that the responders told her she could not afford the $600 ambulance ride to take her daughter to the hospital, and that she was directed by the medics to drive her there on her own. Ms. Black said she believed her family was treated poorly because they are black.

    Officials in Hillsborough County, which provided the emergency medical response, disputed her account, denied that race played a role and said Ms. Black herself said she wanted to take her daughter to the hospital.
    But officials acknowledged other troubling issues: Nobody took Ms. Galloway's vitals at the scene; responders failed to get a signed confirmation from Ms. Black that her daughter wouldn't use the ambulance; and, in a follow-up report, medical workers indicated that they had not arrived at the scene at all that morning.
    Mike Merrill, the county administrator, put all four medical workers on paid leave.
    Ms. Black on Saturday would not disclose specific medical information about her daughter, but she said she did not believe she would have died if the responders had acted differently.
    "I'm devastated," Ms. Black said. "I feel like my chest has been ripped open."
    At a news conference last week, Mr. Merrill said he deeply regretted "that this has happened, and clearly this is unacceptable."
    "My deepest sympathies to the family, and my deepest apologies for my fire medics not properly performing and caring for this patient," he said.

    On June 27, Ms. Galloway had a cesarean section, giving birth to a boy. Recent news reports have highlighted the high rates of maternal mortalityamong black women. Nationally, they are three to four times as likely to die in pregnancy or childbirth as white women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    Mr. Merrill said on Saturday that he had not received any information that would indicate that race was a factor influencing the medical workers' actions, or that if they had acted differently, Ms. Galloway would have survived.
    The county identified the emergency medical workers as John Morris, 36, a lieutenant; Justin Sweeney, 36, and Andrew Martin, 28, both fire medics; and Cortney Barton, 38, an acting lieutenant. They could not be reached for comment.
    In statements released by the county, the responders described helping Ms. Galloway down the stairs of her home and placing her into Ms. Black's car, but they denied refusing to take her.
    "By the time we realized that no information was obtained, the mother had already left the scene," Lieutenant Morris wrote.
    He said that Ms. Black was "adamant" she would take her daughter to the emergency room and that "at no point would I advise against a person being transported by our rescue."
    Derrik Ryan, president of Hillsborough County Firefighters Local 2294, said Ms. Black's description of what happened was "not factual." He said that the medical workers did not "talk her out of going to the hospital" and that they did not talk about the cost of the ambulance trip.

    Mr. Ryan called the assertion that race played a role in their interactions "totally ridiculous."
    He acknowledged that the medical workers failed to get Ms. Galloway's vitals and should have gotten Ms. Black to sign a document stating that they would not be taking Ms. Galloway to the hospital. He said that a medical worker mistakenly entered into a report that they didn't reach Ms. Galloway.
    "Did we make minor mistakes on that call? Absolutely," Mr. Ryan said. "We did not kill that lady and we did not refuse to transport that lady."
    Mr. Merrill said two Hillsborough County sheriff's deputies who also responded that night had some discussion with Ms. Black about the cost of transporting her daughter to the hospital.
    In a statement, a sheriff's office spokesman said Ms. Black had asked one of the deputies if emergency medical workers would take Ms. Galloway to the hospital and if she would have to pay for the transport. According to the statement, the deputy responded affirmatively to both questions but did not further discuss the ambulance or its cost with Ms. Black.
    After Ms. Black filed a complaint, the sheriff's office conducted a review and "determined no violations of agency policy or standards occurred," the statement read.

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    4) Think Summer Child Care Is Tough? Low-Income Families Deal With That All Year
    By Julia Henly, July 29, 2018
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/29/opinion/child-care-summer-low-income.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=opinion-c-col-right-region&region=opinion-c-col-right-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-right-region


    Summertime throws into relief the mismatch between work and family life.
    Working parents in middle- and upper-income families have stitched together activities for kids by now. Maybe the 6-year-old is enrolled in art camp and taekwondo, the 10-year-old is learning to code and improving her basketball skills, and a nanny or babysitter fills in the gaps.
    But the gaps in care that frustrate well-off families over the summer are a constant in the lives of lower-income parents, who disproportionately work jobs with schedules that are not limited to weekday hours and can change unexpectedly. It's a year-round second job to find safe, let alone enriching, supervision for their kids.
    As part of a study my colleagues and I did on the child-care arrangements of parents in the retail sector, a part-time department store sales clerk told me that she had worked a different schedule each day the prior week: on Sunday she worked from noon to 5 p.m., on Monday from 2 to 8:30 p.m., on Wednesday from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. and on Saturday from 1:30 to 9 p.m.
    Over 40 percent of American children live with a parent who mostly works during hours when schools aren't open and traditional child care isn't available — during the early mornings, evenings, weekends or overnight — and these work schedules are often changing at the last minute. Some parents choose these shifts as part of a shared caregiving strategy with a spouse, but most don't have a choice.

    Another participant in our study, a full-time cashier at a home improvement store and mother of a 4-year-old, told me in describing her schedule: "Everything is different and open. Nothing is consistent." She takes her son to a home-based child-care center most days. But when she has to work nights or weekends, she relies on her mother, grandmother or cousin. "Without my family," she said, "I wouldn't be able to do it."
    In a 2015 survey of low-income families receiving government child-care subsidies that my research team and I conducted, 38 percent indicated that they received less than one week's notice of their work schedule, 33 percent reported that their work hours varied either "sometimes" or "a lot" and 33 percent said that they either "sometimes" or "very often" had to go into work unexpectedly or stay later than scheduled.
    Yet only 8 percent of child-care centers and 34 percent of listed home-based child-care programs offer care during nontraditional hours. And even these programs are rarely set up to accommodate families with last-minute or variable needs.
    This mismatch between child-care needs and work demands forces parents to assemble a complicated bundle of arrangements, often with both formal and informal caregivers. These arrangements can be unstable and difficult to maintain, stress relationships and threaten the stability of already precarious work situations.

    There are several steps we can take to address this problem.
    One could imagine child-care centers that remained open 24/7 and accepted variable and last-minute enrollment. But widespread use of this model probably wouldn't work. Few businesses could afford the staffing necessary to care for an unpredictable number of children. And many parents wouldn't want to leave their kids at child-care centers over dinner and bedtime anyway.
    A better solution would be to properly compensate informal caregivers, who are likely to continue to do the biggest share of child care. In most states, they can get reimbursed for serving families that receive the Child Care and Development Block Grant. But the funding only serves 15 percent of eligible families, and most of it goes to subsidize center care.
    Ultimately, employers have to be part of the solution. Flexible work environments and family-friendly labor practices are critical pieces of the puzzle. Some employers have stepped up by giving employees more predictable hours and greater input into their work schedules. One experiment at Gap stores in Chicago and San Francisco showed sales and productivity increased as a result.
    Beyond voluntary employer efforts, a few state and local governments have strengthened policies to support working families and have passed scheduling laws that increase the predictability of workers' hours. Yet, so far just 10 states and around 30 cities or counties have paid sick leave laws. Only four states offer paid family leave. And only Oregon, Washington, D.C., and six cities have passed laws to reduce unpredictable scheduling practices. More should do the same.
    Whether it's just the summer or year-round, many families could use a great deal more help aligning paid work with caregiving responsibilities. Working parents need a fuller range of children's programs and labor market policies that reflect the realities of work and family life.

    Julia Henly is an associate professor in the School of Social Service Administration and co-director of the Employment Instability, Family Well-Being and Social Policy Network at the University of Chicago.

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    5) More Cities and States Should Divest From Private Prisons
    By Scott M. Stringer and Javier H. Valdés, July 30, 2018
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/30/opinion/private-prisons-immigration-divest.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=opinion-c-col-right-region&region=opinion-c-col-right-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-right-region

    Activists rallied against financial institutions' support of private prisons and immigrant detention centers near Wall Street in May.

    The Trump administration's decision to separate migrant children and their parents at the border and its anemic efforts to reunite families since the reversal of that policy have been widely condemned as cruel. But the president's so-called solution — to imprison immigrants as families in detention centers — is equally abhorrent.
    This policy, which will undoubtedly cause immense human suffering, has one clear beneficiary: the private prison industry.
    In recent decades, private prison operators have opened facilities that detain immigrants and their children. This means that many times, when a mother escapes life-threatening dangers in her home country and arrives in the United States only to be imprisoned in one of these facilities, they profit. When a family seeking refuge in this country is put behind bars, they profit. When a new center needs to be opened because law enforcement officers are arresting more immigrants, they profit.
    This industry has turned human suffering into a billion-dollar business.
    It's long been known that the conditions in private prisons are dismal. In 2014, the American Civil Liberties Union report "Warehoused and Forgotten" chronicled the conditions faced by immigrants in these institutions. This investigation uncovered evidence that people held in private prisons were denied access to functioning toilets and proper medical care and served inedible food, and had no opportunity to challenge excessive use of solitary confinement.

    A 2016 Justice Department report found that there were more safety and security problems in private prisons than in those run by the Federal Bureau of Prisons. This partly explains why the Obama administration began phasing out the use of private prisons — an order Attorney General Jeff Sessions reversed.
    They also explain why New York City was proud to be the first city in the country to divest from private prison companies in its pension fund investments.
    Pension funds have a fiduciary duty to make sound investments that grow their portfolios and help fund retirement benefits for their members. That means constantly evaluating the long-term viability and risk of investments across the pension funds' portfolios, which is what the New York City Comptroller's Office does every day.
    Private prisons fail that basic risk assessment. That's because the industry's bottom line depends on locking people up. And when you imprison people for money, it means you have to choose between padding the bottom line and spending the money needed to create safe and healthy conditions. Too often, the bottom line wins out. These companies have a financial interest in perpetuating the inhumane "zero tolerance" policies whose consequences we now see on the front page of the news each day. Consequently, as an investment, they're at the whims of a seesawing political climate. This combined with the moral issues surrounding private prisons has convinced us that they are imprudent for investors to own and for banks to finance.

    In May 2017, the boards of all five of New York City's pension funds passed resolutions requiring divestment, declaring that "investment in for-profit prison companies exposes the system to undue legal and regulatory risks and worker-safety issues that are inconsistent with the board's risk profile and objectives."
    Others have followed our lead. Philadelphia's pension board voted last year to divest its holdings in private prisons. City Council members in Cincinnati have pushed for the same. This month, New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli sold the state pension funds' remaining stocks in the private prison industry, making our state the first to fully withdraw from it.
    Leaders across the country should recognize that in addition to their human costs, private prison companies are part of an industry that poses major financial risks to cities and states. It's clearer than ever that we should put our money elsewhere.

    Scott M. Stringer is the Comptroller of New York City. Javier H. Valdés is the co-executive director of Make the Road New York.

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    6) An Artist Honors Tamir Rice, One Orange Object at a Time
    By Jillian Steinhauer, July 29, 2018
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/29/arts/design/tamir-rice-cleveland-triennial-orange-rakowitz.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=mini-moth&region=top-stories-below&WT.nav=top-stories-below

    Some of the orange objects donated by residents of Cleveland or collected by Michael Rakowitz at the opening of "A Color Removed," a tribute to Tamir Rice, at the Spaces gallery on July 14.

    CLEVELAND — Boxes of pizza and trays filled with steaming food lined wooden tables at the Spaces art gallery here. Visitors to a recent opening could help themselves, but if they chose corn on the cob or chicken nuggets, they had to reach over the sign that read: "Please enjoy this offering of Tamir Rice's favorite foods, to make him present in a project that is about his death."
    The installation, by Michael Rakowitz, an Iraqi-American artist and professor based in Chicago, is titled "A Color Removed," and it asks, Can you remove a color — and a symbol of safety — from an entire city? Mr. Rakowitz is trying to do just that, as a tribute to Tamir, the 12-year-old boy who was playing with a pellet gun when he was fatally shot in 2014 by a Cleveland police officer, Timothy Loehmann. The police chief, Calvin Williams, said that the pellet gun had been "indistinguishable from a real firearm" because it was lacking its orange safety cap. A grand jury did not indict Mr. Loehmann, who was fired last year for lying on his employment application.
    "When that minor object got isolated, it was outrageous and infuriated me, but at the same time I thought, 'That's something to talk about, because we're talking about color,'" said Mr. Rakowitz, whose art practice often involves trying to execute impossible-seeming actions, including reconstructing — from disposable materials — all the artifacts looted from the National Museum of Iraq.

    "If we need an indirect way of talking about black and white, maybe we can talk about red and yellow," he said of his Cleveland project. In other words, maybe metaphor can be a useful way of getting at the reality of race. As Mr. Rakowitz said, "We are living in spaces where color is removed every day with the shootings of young black men."

    The artist was also struck by a coincidence: in Arabic, the word "tamir" means "date," a food found in abundance in his family's home country and a frequent subject of his work. "That's where you realize you're living in a world where it really is all connected," he says. He saw Tamir Rice's death as both a local tragedy and something more universal: "the brutality of difference being marked on somebody's body."
    Mr. Rakowitz proposed "A Color Removed" in a lecture at Case Western Reserve University in April 2015 but the project went mostly dormant. Then, in 2017, when plans were being made for Front, a new art triennial in Cleveland, it was revived.
    With the triennial proposing Cleveland as "An American City," Christina Vassallo, the executive director of Spaces, an alternative art venue, offered Mr. Rakowitz's show. "There is nothing more American than disintegrating community-police relations," she said.
    Last fall, Mr. Rakowitz held workshops here where attendees were prompted to think about racial justice and the right to safety: Who has it, and how is it represented? He began working with the graphic designer Amir Berbić to create collection bins that are now placed at institutions around the city. Branded in red and yellow, the bins invite viewers to donate orange objects, which make up the physical installation of "A Color Removed." Orange clothing, construction equipment, toys and household items fill the gallery. Some objects are especially poignant, including a plastic figure of a child holding a sign that reads, "Caution: Children at Play," and the life jacket of a Syrian refugee who never reached Europe.

    Orange objects donated to Mr. Rakowitz for his art gallery show, his effort to remove the color from the city of Cleveland as a statement on the right to safety.

    A scene from Mr. Rakowitz's opening.

    But as the project expanded from a strictly conceptual one to a community-based one, some onlookers raised questions: Did people of color really need art to remind them they weren't safe? Was it acceptable for an artist who isn't black or from Cleveland to make work about Tamir Rice? Where was Tamir's mother, Samaria Rice, in all this?
    Those concerns came to a head in April, at a dinner where a number of black Cleveland artists spoke honestly and critically about the project. Mr. Rakowitz and Ms. Vassallo responded by inviting them in: Amanda King(along with the youth photographers in her art program, Shooting Without Bullets), M. Carmen Lane, RA Washington, and Amber N. Ford made their own work about racial violence for the show. Their contributions are a more explicitly personal counterpoint to the collection of orange objects, since all were living in Cleveland when Tamir was shot.
    "I watched a city fail her son and fail Ms. Rice under my roof," said Mr. Washington, a writer and the founder of a bookstore called Guide to Kulchur, where community members gathered at the time to process Tamir's death. "Participating in this felt like a nod to that."
    Over the years, members of the "Color Removed" team said they had tried to reach Tamir's mother through various intermediaries, without success. But after the dinner, Ms. King, who is an adviser to Ms. Rice, agreed to pass on a request: Could Mr. Rakowitz cook lunch for her? Ms. Rice agreed. She said that the artist "seemed sincere" when she met him, although she was upset that she hadn't been involved from the beginning.

    Ms. Rice, the mother of Tamir, who was killed by a policeman in 2014 when the youngster was playing with a pellet gun whose orange safety cap had been removed. Ms. Rice is starting the Tamir Rice Afrocentric Center in her son's honor.

    Ms. Rice ultimately agreed to allow the use of Tamir's name in "A Color Removed," and she became an artistic collaborator, making her own contribution with orange toys on poster board. It's the focus of the installation, resting beneath a neon sign that blares "SAFE" and a framed photograph of her son. "I know the power of art," Ms. Rice said in a speech at the opening, which felt both celebratory and solemn. "Tamir and his sister Tajai loved the arts. They participated in art classes at Cudell Recreation Center, where Tamir was murdered. Tamir loved to create, to express himself. The process brought him joy."
    In the gallery, pieces of orange paper explain that Ms. Rice is working to sustain her son's legacy through the Tamir Rice Afrocentric Center, which will offer after school arts programs and mentoring for teenagers in Cleveland. Mr. Rakowitz plans to give elements of the installation — the orange objects and communal table — to Ms. Rice to use as she pleases, when the exhibition closes on Sept. 30.

    Ms. Rice's artistic contribution to the project, "A Color Removed," at Spaces.

    "What does it mean if you move beyond good intentions?" he asked. "It means that we're talking then about advocacy, about accountability."
    "I'm very skeptical of socially engaged art that ends with a happy ending, because we're not living in that world," he added. He said he hopes others will also follow through on commitments to help, rather than reverting to complacency — a sentiment that echoes Ms. Rice's own.
    People in Cleveland aren't "making enough noise," she said, "and I don't really know why. So I guess I got to make it with the center, and they have to make it with their art."

    A Color Removed
    Through Sept. 30, SPACES, 2900 Detroit Avenue, Cleveland; 216-621-2314, spacesgallery.org.

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    7)  Woman Says She Was Fired by Cricket Australia for Abortion-Rights Tweets
    By Lewis Evan Fischer, July 30, 2018
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/30/world/australia/cricket-abortion-lawsuit.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fworld&action=click&contentCollection=world&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=5&pgtype=sectionfront

    he Cricket Australia headquarters in Melbourne. An Australian woman says the organization fired her after she urged expanded abortion access in posts on Twitter.

    SYDNEY, Australia — An Australian woman who says she was fired after posting tweets in support of greater access to abortion has filed a lawsuit against her former employer and will fight to get her job back.
    Angela Williamson, who worked in a government relations and public policy role at Cricket Australia, the sport's governing body here, said she was told her position had become "untenable" amid concerns that she insulted the Tasmanian state government in the series of Twitter posts this year.
    The case, which is under review by the government's Fair Work Commission, includes allegations that a senior member of the Tasmanian government disclosed to Cricket Australia that Ms. Williamson, a former Tasmanian government staff worker, had undergone an abortion herself.
    Ms. Williamson, a 39-year-old mother of three, says she was among the first women in Tasmania to have to fly to mainland Australia for an abortion after the island state's only dedicated abortion clinic closed in January because of high running costs.

    Australia's abortion laws are governed at the state level, and vary widely. South Australia was the first state to legalize the procedure, in 1969, with the restriction that the patient's life, physical or mental health must be in danger.
    Despite being decriminalized in Tasmania in 2013, abortion is not currently available through the state's public health system, which offers mostly free or low-cost care. Some private clinics in Hobart, the state capital, offer the procedure at a comparatively steep cost: one listed it at 2,500 Australian dollars, or about $1,850.
    That lack of accessibility is what drove Ms. Williamson to post on Twitter, she said.
    "I'm not a victim. I'm not seeking pity," she told The Sydney Morning Heraldin an interview published on Sunday. "And I'm not going to be quiet about reproductive health and surgical terminations."
    "The doors were closed to me," she said in the interview. "There was no pathway for me to access a surgical termination in Tasmania."
    Ms. Williamson added that she had to take time off work to go to Melbourne. "At the time, it made me feel alone and scared."

    "On my way home on the plane I was upset," she said. "But I decided I wasn't going to allow anyone to go through this again."
    Ms. Williamson has subsequently been critical of the Tasmanian government on the issue. In a June Twitter post, she said that its refusal to offer abortion through the public health system was "irresponsible, gutless and reckless."
    Her lawyer, Kamal Farouque, said that Ms. Williamson should be compensated and that she would fight to be reinstated at Cricket Australia.
    "The Fair Work Act says you can't be sacked because of your political opinion, so we think that the case is pretty compelling," he said. "It also touches on an issue that I think is quite important to a lot of people: To what extent will employers try to use their social media policies to regulate people's private activities?"
    Mr. Farouque added that cases like Ms. Williamson's could deter people from participating in public debate out of fear of possible reprisal by their employers.
    "A decision like this has the effect of killing public debate, and that's not right," he said.
    On Monday, Ms. Williamson posted a petition on change.org calling for equal access to abortion for all Australians. As of Monday evening, it had gotten more than 5,500 signatures.

    Cricket Australia confirmed in a statement it had ended her employment in late June but would not comment on the circumstances or legal proceedings.
    "Cricket Australia respects an individual's right to their opinion," the organization said. "However, it expects that employees will refrain from making offensive comments that contravene the organization's social media policy."
    Cricket Australia is generally held in high esteem by the public but has been recovering from a tainted image after a cheating scandal led to the suspension this year of the team's captain, Steve Smith.

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    8) The Worst Drug Crisis in American History
    By Jessica Bruder, July 31, 2018
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/31/books/review/beth-macy-dopesick.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=photo-spot-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

    A memorial wall remembering local victims of drug use and drug-related violence in Portsmouth, Ohio, 2012.




    DOPESICK 
    Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company That Addicted America
    By Beth Macy
    Illustrated. 376 pp. Little, Brown & Company. $28.
    In 2000, a doctor in the tiny town of St. Charles, Va., began writing alarmed letters to Purdue Pharma, the manufacturer of OxyContin. The drug had come to market four years earlier and Art Van Zee had watched it ravage the state's poorest county, where he'd practiced medicine for nearly a quarter-century. Older patients were showing up at his office with abscesses from injecting crushed-up pills. Nearly a quarter of the juniors at a local high school had reported trying the drug. Late one night, Van Zee was summoned to the hospital where a teenage girl he knew — he could still remember immunizing her as an infant — had arrived in the throes of an overdose.
    Van Zee begged Purdue to investigate what was happening in Lee County and elsewhere. People were starting to die. "My fear is that these are sentinel areas, just as San Francisco and New York were in the early years of H.I.V.," he wrote.

    Since then, the worst drug crisis in America's history — sparked by OxyContin and later broadening into heroin and fentanyl — has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives, with no signs of abating. Just this spring, public health officials announced a record: The opioid epidemic had killed 45,000 people in the 12-month span that ended in September, making it almost as lethal as the AIDS crisis at its peak.

    Van Zee's prophecy and other early warnings haunt the pages of "Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company That Addicted America," a harrowing, deeply compassionate dispatch from the heart of a national emergency. The third book by Beth Macy — the author, previously, of "Factory Man" and "Truevine" — is a masterwork of narrative journalism, interlacing stories of communities in crisis with dark histories of corporate greed and regulatory indifference.
    Macy began investigating the drug epidemic in 2012, as it seeped into the suburbs around her adopted hometown, Roanoke, Va., where she worked for 20 years as a reporter at The Roanoke Times. From there, she set out to map the local onto the national. "If I could retrace the epidemic as it shape-shifted across the spine of the Appalachians, roughly paralleling I-81 as it fanned out from the coalfields and crept north up the Shenandoah Valley, I could understand how prescription pill and heroin abuse was allowed to fester, moving quietly and stealthily across this country, cloaked in stigma and shame," she writes.
    The word "allowed" is a quiet curse. The further Macy wades into the wreckage of addiction, the more damning her indictment becomes. The opioid epidemic didn't have to happen. It was a human-made disaster, predictable and tremendously lucrative. At every stage, powerful figures permitted its progress, waving off warnings from people like Van Zee, participating in what would become, in essence, a for-profit slaughter. Or as Macy puts it: "From a distance of almost two decades, it was easier now to see that we had invited into our country our own demise."
    Particularly grotesque is the enthusiasm with which Purdue peddled its pills. In the first five years OxyContin was on the market, total bonuses for the company's sales staff grew from $1 million to $40 million. Zealous reps could earn quarterly bonuses as high as $100,000, one former salesperson told Macy, adding, "It behooved them to have the pill mills writing high doses." Doctors were plied with all-expense-paid resort trips, free tanks of gas and deliveries of Christmas trees and Thanksgiving turkeys. There were even "starter coupons" offering new patients a free 30-day supply. As sales rocketed into the billions, noxious side effects began to emerge. Chief among them was the creation of a legion of addicts who, desperate to stave off withdrawal, made the leap to cheap heroin and, later, fentanyl. ("Four out of five heroin addicts come to the drugs … through prescribed opioids," Macy notes pointedly.)

    Many of the casualties have been young adults. In a poignant early scene, Macy joins a mother at the grave of her 19-year-old son. Kristi Fernandez wants to know "how Jesse went from being a high school football hunk and burly construction worker to a heroin-overdose statistic, slumped on someone else's bathroom floor." That question — and its larger implications — becomes an engine for the entire investigation, driving it forward with plain-spoken moral force.

    In the sprawling cast of "Dopesick," parents like Fernandez stand out. They have been galvanized by loss. Ed Bisch, an I.T. worker in Philadelphia, hadn't even heard of OxyContin when it killed his 18-year-old son in 2001. He went on to build a message board, OxyKills.com, that became a parental support network and information clearinghouse. It attracted the attention of Lee Nuss, a grieving mother in Palm Coast, Fla., and together they started a grass-roots protest group: Relatives Against Purdue Pharma. One of the most memorable images of their work together formed during a civil trial against Purdue in Tampa, where Nuss came to a courtroom bearing the urn with her son's ashes. Lawyers complained. The judge ordered it removed. "My son is not here in body, but he is definitely here in spirit," Nuss told her friends. "He might have left the building, but he will be back!"
    Macy introduces so many remarkable people that, midway through "Dopesick," readers may find it challenging to keep track of them. (Imagine the writer as the literary equivalent of a triage doctor, with more patients to stabilize than she can linger on.) Taken as a whole, however, this gripping book is a feat of reporting, research and synthesis. Among myriad sources, Macy cites the influence of two earlier works on the crisis: Sam Quinones's "Dreamland," which followed the heroin trail back to the Mexican county of Xalisco, and Barry Meier's "Pain Killer," published in 2003, which first brought Van Zee's heroic work to light.
    The final third of "Dopesick" is dedicated to recovery — the steep uphill climb facing former addicts and, more broadly, the nation. Here, Macy follows the struggle of Tess Henry, a former honor-roll student, athlete and poet, who tries to stay sober while raising a young son. Macy spends months driving Tess to Narcotics Anonymous meetings, charts her relationship with her mother and hopes for the best when Tess disappears, falling out of communication and into sex work.
    This is the place where a traditional storytelling arc tells us to seek redemption. Macy advocates for medical-assisted therapies to help victims of the crisis and notes some pockets of progress. But the epidemic continues to grow, aided by a legal system that criminalizes victims and a health care framework that treats patients as consumers.
    While Macy offers some glimmers of hope — chief among them the will of parents and advocates to keep fighting — what echoes long after one closes this book are the unsettling words of Tess Henry's mother about her daughter: "There is no love you can throw on them, no hug big enough that will change the power of that drug."

    Jessica Bruder teaches narrative writing at the Columbia School of Journalism and is the author of "Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century."

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    9)  Israel Doesn't Want to Be My State
    By Sayed Kashua, July 30, 2018
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/30/opinion/israel-nationality-law-palestinian-citizens.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=opinion-c-col-right-region&region=opinion-c-col-right-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-right-region

    Israelis marching at Damascus Gate in Jerusalem in May to mark the occupation of East Jerusalem in 1967.

    We were driving our rental car out of Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv. "Dad," my oldest daughter said as we listened to the radio, "what's the Nationality Law?" 
    "It's a law that says Israel is a Jewish state," I replied.
    "But wasn't it always that way?" she wondered, and rightly so.
    "Yes. Bottom line, it's always been that way."
    "I don't get it," my middle son said. "I thought you said we were citizens."
    "We are," I answered.
    "But we're not Jewish, right?" 
    "No, we're not."
    "Then I don't get it," my youngest son complained.

    "It's a little complicated," I tried to explain. And it really was complicated to explain the law that Israel's Parliament passed earlier this month without using terms like "racial segregation," "discrimination" and "supremacy." How was I going to explain to a 12-year-old that he is a citizen of a state that holds that he is inferior because of his non-Jewish origins? "Not everyone in the country is Jewish," I said. "At least 20 percent of the citizens are not. But it's a country where Jews enjoy rights that others don't have. Meaning, non-Jews are less equal than Jews."
    "Can't we be Jewish then?" my youngest son asked, as if he'd instantly solved the inequality problem. 
    "Sorry," I told him, "that's not up to me. According to Israeli law, in order to be Jewish you have to have a Jewish mother. So it's not my fault; it's your mom's."
    "Great," my wife protested, "now you're shouldering me with your children's inequality?"
    When Israel was founded on the ruins of the Palestinian people in 1948, it was defined as a Jewish state. The Israeli flag was always a Jewish one, bearing a Star of David; the national anthem invokes the "Jewish soul," excluding anyone who is not Jewish from these national symbols. The Palestinians who became Israeli citizens when the state was founded — like my family — have always been viewed as an undesirable demographic burden and subjected to discrimination.
    So what does the issuance of the Nationality Law change? In essence, perhaps not that much. It has turned de facto racism into de jure racism.
    The law asks progressive Israelis — both Jewish and Palestinian — to suspend our fantasies of equal rights and a future in which all the country's citizens, regardless of religion, race or gender, have a sense of belonging. It seeks to legislate what Israel has been effectively telling non-Jewish minorities all along: You will never be a part of this country, you will never be equal, you are doomed to be unwanted citizens forever, to be inferior to the Jews to whom the state belongs and for whom it was founded. A state in which Judaism is the only national expression permissible by law will, by definition, reject any minority member who wishes to be part of it, even if he is, like me, fluent in its culture or, as I do, writes literature in its language, respects its laws, serves its society.

    Israel's message to its Arab citizens is that it does not wish to be our state. Moreover, it prefers to be the state of people who were born elsewhere, who do not speak its language, have never visited it or paid it taxes or served it in any way. The State of Israel will welcome these foreigners, wherever they are from, as long as they are considered Jewish by Orthodox Jewish law. Individuals who are lucky enough to have been born to Jewish mothers can — practically overnight — receive Israeli citizenship, join the ruling race and become masters of the native population.
    The Nationality Law prevents the possibility of multiculturalism in Israel and rejects any collective history or memory other than the Zionist one. By revoking Arabic's status as an official state language, the law delivers yet another blow to the culture that has been vying for a position since Israel was founded. Article 7 of the Nationality Law, whereby the state shall regard Jewish settlement as a national value and work to advance it, has a distinctly colonialist tone, addressing Jewish settlement without any mention of the 20 percent of the population who are Arabs and who live in crowded conditions, under continuous threat of having their land appropriated. 
    While the message to Arab citizens within the State of Israel is unequivocal, the Nationality Law is murky when it comes to the Palestinians who reside in the West Bank and Gaza. What are the limits of the law, and to whom does it apply, in a state that avoids declaring its borders and refuses to accept those determined by international law? Doesn't the fact that Israel controls the Palestinians in the Occupied Territories through military rule mean that it is now a state in which one population has civil rights and a second population is under occupation and lacks civil rights?
    The powerful right wing in Israel wishes to annex the West Bank, or large parts of it, and some voices have been saying that Israeli law should be instated in the Occupied Territories, too. If this were to occur, how would the Nationality Law apply to the millions of Palestinians under occupation? Would there still be a prohibition against any definition other than the national-Jewish one? Does this law not aim to prevent any possibility of national Palestinian fulfillment in the State of Israel as conceived by the right wing — namely, one Jewish state from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River, in which only Jews are permitted self-actualization and granted a national identity? 
    It seems the only hope for the remaining millions of Palestinians to avoid losing what is left of their home is to find a Jewish mother who will agree to adopt them.
    Sayed Kashua is the author, most recently, of "Native: Dispatches From an Israeli-Palestinian Life." This essay was translated by Jessica Cohen from the Hebrew.

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    10) Inside the World of Racist Science Fiction
    By Ian Allen, July 30, 2018
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/30/opinion/inside-the-world-of-racist-science-fiction.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=opinion-c-col-right-region&region=opinion-c-col-right-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-right-region

    White supremacist literature secured with stones at the Aryan Nations World Congress at Farragut State Park, Idaho, in 2003.

    As I watched the televised 2016 presidential debates, listening to the then-candidate Donald Trump arguing various points with Hillary Clinton, a chill went down my spine. I was in the middle of writing a new play, a comic parody of white supremacist fiction. With his hyperbolic attacks on immigrants and minorities — African-Americans "living in hell," Latino "gangs roaming the street" and insinuations that a long list of Jewish philanthropists and politicians was conspiring against him — Mr. Trump sounded like a character straight out of my research.
    Trump's habit of echoing the racist far right is now well-known, but back then, everyone was unsure of what was even happening, let alone what to call it. Two years later — after Richard Spencer, after Charlottesville — the public has heard a lot about white supremacist culture. But I'd argue that we haven't quite heard enough. To understand their ideologies and why they support this president so strongly, we need to examine their literature. 
    The books act as a kind of binding agent, a Bible-like codification of basic principles that underpin the various denominations. And yet, for understandable reasons, they remain largely unknown. Journalists are inclined to avoid name-checking the books publicly, for fear of inadvertently promoting them. This is no longer a winning strategy. Heidi Beirich, who tracks far-right hate groups for the Southern Poverty Law Center, agrees. "We needed to have been talking about these books for decades," she asserts. "They're very influential, they're reaching the highest levels of power, they're having an impact on terrorism, on policy, and so on. Not talking about them is just wrong." So, let's talk.
    Most of the books are self-published. Others are distributed by small, activist imprints or the publishing arms of white nationalist organizations. They are sold online, at gun shows or person to person. This scattershot distribution system makes it hard to track sales, but the more popular titles are estimated to have sold hundreds of thousands of copies. I acquired some out-of-print titles from rare book dealers. They are dog-eared, annotated and often inscribed.

    The genre ranges broadly in tone and topic, from dark, foreboding dramas to broad, slapstick comedies; from neo-Confederate romances to futuristic dystopian nightmares. They're dangerous and disgusting, for sure, but they're also absurdly stupid and, on the whole, very badly written. As a playwright who specializes in edgy humor, I find them endlessly fascinating. Their vocabulary of broad stereotypes, paranoid fantasies and preposterous global-takeover schemes is the stuff comedy is made of. 
    I have a particular affinity for the sci-fi books. One of the most popular is Ward Kendall's 2001 "Hold Back This Day," which imagines a future in which the evil all-powerful "World Gov" has forcibly united the population of Earth under one religion and, by way of enforced race-mixing, one uniformly brown-skinned population. Jeff Huxton is a "skoolplex" administrator and one of the world's few remaining white people. He slowly learns to cherish his white skin, becomes radicalized and joins a terrorist group called "Nayra" ("Aryan" spelled backwards!). They hijack a spaceship and travel to Avalon, a secret all-white colony on Mars, which has been transformed into a paradisiacal homeland.
    Mr. Kendall, who has written a series of similar books, said in an interview on the website of his publisher, Counter-Currents, that "Hold Back This Day" was inspired by a concern that "whites may well have to fight a racial 'Alamo' in some darkened future year as a last-ditch effort against extinction." The title of his novel is intended to ask, "Do we whites want to 'hold back this day' of doom, or not? Because either we stand up now and take action, or we'll just have to leave it to the last generation of whites to deal with. But by then, however, it may well be too late."
    In "Bedford: A World Vision," another futuristic novel, abortion is encouraged, old people are euthanized and legally regimented political correctness has cowed Caucasians into submission. Written by a former Alabama public-school teacher named Ellen Williams and first published in 2000, the book's obsessions are rooted in "Christian Identity" paranoia, channeling its racist ideologies through fears of a perceived threat to white Christians. Its two protagonists, Horace and Virginia Pruitt, are on trial after having been accused by their 13-year-old son, Adam, of taking him to church against his will — a criminal act in Ms. Williams's dystopia. The plot, as it were, thickens when it is revealed that he has been swayed by a sexual relationship with his male gym teacher, whom he is dating. In Ms. Williams' reckoning of the future, pedophilia is not only tolerated, it's sanctioned. Thus poor Virginia and Horace are left helpless to save their son from the jaws of debauchery.

    The author bio on the dust jacket claims that Ms. Williams has also written "several dramatic monologues," which she presents to various "Southern heritage groups and historical societies" (read: neo-Confederate rallies). My copy of the book is inscribed "To Bettye," with a handwritten quotation (usually attributed to Edmund Burke) that is often cited in the movement: "All that is required for evil to prevail is that good men do nothing."

    Among the many titles in the white supremacist canon, "The Turner Diaries" is the most important and one of the few titles recognized by mainstream Americans. Written by William Pierce, then-head of the neo-Nazi group the National Alliance, and published in 1978 under the pseudonym Andrew Macdonald, it is a fictitious diary written by its hero, Earl Turner. A young white man, Turner joins a terrorist group called "the Order," which commits a series of attacks designed to incite a wider race war. One thing leads to another and a nuclear-armed battle is waged between Turner's forces and the government, which in Mr. Pierce's telling is run by Jews and blacks. The plot climaxes with the establishment of a white ethno-state, and Turner is martyred. The novel ends with a memorial: "He gained immortality for himself on that dark November day," it reads, 
    and in so doing he helped greatly to assure that his race would survive and prosper, that the Organization would achieve its worldwide political and military goals, and that the Order would spread its wise and benevolent rule over the earth for all time to come. 
    "The Turner Diaries" was an innovation of sorts, a hybrid of fantasy and how-to, and it has inspired hundreds of terrorist attacks in the United States and Europe, including the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, which killed 168 people and injured 684 others. The attack was a copycat of the one Mr. Pierce outlined in the book, right down to the time of day and type of explosives used. Pages of the book were found in a plastic bag in the car of the plot's leader, Timothy McVeigh. The mainstream attention caused a kind of miniboom in the genre that lasted into the early 2000s, as other would-be authors, Mr. Kendall and Ms. Williams among them, tried their hand at writing fiction.
    Sitting beside "The Turner Diaries" at the top of the white supremacist best-seller list is Jean Raspail's 1973 novel, "The Camp of the Saints." It is a brooding parable that warns of the dangers of immigration and is something of a standout for being relatively well written, even in translation from the original French. Mr. Raspail's caustic, often-humorous, ellipses-littered prose is reminiscent of that of his fellow countryman Louis-Ferdinand Céline, whose own history as a Nazi sympathizer cast a shadow over his otherwise brilliant work.
    The book's central "problem" begins in Belgium, where priests are encouraging the adoption of Indian children as a form of charity. In an early scene, a roiling sea of desperate Indian mothers — "wretched creatures" — storms the gates of the Belgian embassy in Kolkata, each with a child in her outstretched arms. The country is soon swamped with these adoptions, and authorities announce an end to the policy.
    But it's too late; the mob gains strength as the Indians are joined by Arabs and other nonwhites. They eventually grow to one million strong, board a flotilla and set sail for France. The country's liberal government hesitates to defend against the onslaught, and as it stammers and acquiesces, the immigrants begin to enter the country. France's whites retreat northward, but are eventually absorbed by the demographic shift, and the trend spreads throughout Europe, as indigenous populations and other "hoards" are inspired to rise up. They eventually take over the world, erasing the white race from existence.
    White supremacists seem convinced that the novels' "white genocide" is coming to life, and are petitioning Mr. Trump for help. This past spring, Andrew Anglin, the deeply sinister and darkly clever force behind Daily Stormer, the most Millennial-y neo-Nazi site on the web, started to spread the news of a "migrant caravan" that was moving through Central America, toward the United States-Mexico border. It was a protest march, organized by the Central American pro-immigration activist group Pueblo Sin Fronteras. The march has taken place every year since 2010 without ever getting much traction in the press.
    But Mr. Anglin saw an opportunity in the implication of a literal enactment of "The Camp of the Saints." He rallied his troll army to petition Mr. Trump to use the word "caravans" publicly, and on April 1, he did. In fact, he and Vice President Mike Pence used the word multiple times, then issued an order to send the National Guard to the border. The story dominated the news cycle for days, and Mr. Anglin took a well-deserved victory lap, bragging that "the media was not talking about this, only the alt-right was, and Trump is posting about it — so he does hear us."

    It is unlikely that Mr. Trump has read any of these books. But members of his staff undoubtedly have. His former aide Steve Bannon is a fan of "The Camp of the Saints" and refers to it often — in knowing, offhand ways that betray both his familiarity with racist literature and his awareness of his target audience's reading habits. Another administration official, Julie Kirchner, was named ombudsman at the Customs and Border Protection after spending 10 years as the executive director of the Federation for American Immigration Reform. That organization, which Southern Poverty Law Center has designated a hate group, was founded by John Tanton, who runs The Social Contract Press, which is the current publisher of "The Camp of the Saints."
    The point is not that there is a direct line between, say, "The Turner Diaries" and the Oval Office. Rather, it's that the tropes that define the Trump administration's rhetoric and policies — apocalyptic xenophobia, anti-Semitic conspiracies, racist fear-mongering — are also the tropes that define white-supremacist literature. To the hundreds of thousands of fans of Mr. Kendall, Ms. Williams and other writers, Mr. Trump must seem like a character out of racist central casting: a rule-breaking white knight who will stop at nothing to root out the conspiracies and take on their race's enemies. No wonder the bond between Mr. Trump and the far right is so strong: Not only is he a hero out of their novels, but in supporting him, they have become heroes themselves.
    Ian Allen is a playwright. His new play, "How to Win a Race War," will open in Washington this fall.

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    11) A Migrant Boy Rejoins His Mother, but He's Not the Same
    By Miriam Jordan, July 31, 2018
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/31/us/migrant-children-separation-anxiety.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

    Thiago often becomes anxious when his mother, Ana Carolina Fernandes, is out of his sight.

    PHILADELPHIA — Before they were separated at the southwest border, Ana Carolina Fernandes's 5-year-old son loved playing with the yellow, impish Minion characters from the "Despicable Me" movies. Now his favorite game is patting down and shackling "migrants" with plastic cuffs.
    After being separated from his mother for 50 days, Thiago isn't the same boy who was taken away from her by Border Patrol agents when they arrived in the United States from Brazil, Ms. Fernandes said last week.
    When they first got home after being reunited, the boy — whom she hadn't nursed in years — pleaded to be breast-fed. When visitors showed up at the family's new home in Philadelphia, he crouched behind the sofa.
    "He's been like that since I got him back," Ms. Fernandes said. "He doesn't want to talk to anyone."

    Thiago is among nearly 3,000 children who were forcibly removed from a parent at the border this spring as part of the Trump administration's new "zero-tolerance" immigration policy. After a national backlash, President Trump ended family separations on June 20, and more than 1,800 separated children have been reunited with their parents over the past few weeks.
    But many of the children released to their parents are exhibiting signs of anxiety, introversion, regression and other mental health issues, according to reports from lawyers, immigrant advocates and volunteers working with reunited families.
    "Our volunteers are seeing the significant and real toll that these traumatic separations have had on these children's and these families' lives, which persist even after reunification," said Joanna Franchini, who is coordinating a national network of volunteers working with migrant children and their parents called Together & Free.

    A 3-year-old boy who was separated from his mother has been pretending to handcuff and vaccinate people around him, behavior he almost certainly witnessed in Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody, according to those working with him. A pair of young siblings burst into tears when they spotted police officers on the street.

    Most children who are experiencing problems so far display acute anxiety around routines that separate them briefly from their parents, such as when the adult bathes or goes into another room, said those who are monitoring these reports.
    "These kids don't want to be without their mothers; it triggers a feeling of abandonment, or that their mother will be taken away from them," said Luana Biagini, a paralegal who has been working with reunited Brazilian families.
    "I have mothers complaining that their child was more outgoing and talkative, and now they are quiet and unresponsive. Some take a while to process information or a situation, and Mom has to say, 'Hey, hey wake up,''' said Ms. Biagini, who works at the Jeff Goldman law firm in Boston.
    The recent round of separations was hard on children in part because the parents themselves were so traumatized, according to those who have worked with the families. In some cases, children were torn from their parents' arms amid tears and pleas. Other children appear to have been duped — told they were being taken to play with other children but never returned to the parent.
    Often, parent and child were prevented from communicating for weeks or longer. In limbo and confused, many children likely internalized the separation as a punishment, experts say.
    Decades of research have concluded that children traumatically separated from their parents have a high likelihood of developing emotional problems, cognitive delays and long-term trauma. More recent studies have found that separation can impair memory and normal production of cortisol, a hormone produced in response to stress.

    "There is no greater threat to a child's emotional well-being than being separated from a primary caregiver. Even if it was for a short period, for a child, that's an eternity," said Johanna Bick, a psychology professor at the University of Houston who studies adverse experiences in childhood.

    Factors such as how long a parent and child were apart, how emotionally fraught and abrupt their split-up was and the difficulty of the family's journey through Mexico can all influence the long-term outcome for separated children.
    Responsive parenting, professional intervention and other steps can act as buffers that mitigate the trauma.
    "The bad news is that the first few years of life are a sensitive period of brain development; what happens can have dramatic impact later," said Ms. Bick, whose research has focused on children placed in foster care and institutions. "The good news is that children are resilient, and early intervention can benefit them."
    The Trump administration placed separated children in about 100 shelters, often hundreds of miles away from their parents. While the basic needs of young children were met in the shelters, the environment was more restrictive than it was nurturing. For safety reasons, children were not permitted to touch each other. Staff members in most shelters were allowed to hold the youngest children, age 4 and under, but instructed to keep older children at arm's length.
    A small share of children, about 10 percent of those removed from a parent, were placed with a foster family. But one foster family often takes in several children, making it difficult for any one to receive personal attention.

    Asked if he got hugs from his foster family, Thiago wagged his finger "no," and then softly said, "They didn't like me."
    Yet returning to a loving parent can also be painful.
    "Kids differ in the way they respond, but it is naïve to think that these reunions could be joyful," said Oliver Lindhiem, a clinical psychologist at the University of Pittsburgh who has researched children who experienced separation. "Things don't go back to the way they were."

    After prolonged separation, he said, children often swing between being withdrawn and clingy.
    Thiago and his mother were apprehended by the Border Patrol in New Mexico on May 22. The next day, officers informed Ms. Fernandes and other Brazilian mothers detained at the same border facility that their children would be removed from them. Thiago cried himself to sleep when his mother broke the news to him. Another boy had a panic attack and had to be hospitalized.
    "When the officer came for Thiago, he had to carry him in his arms because he was so sleepy," Ms. Fernandes said. "Then he began to cry."
    About four days later, Ms. Fernandes, who had been transferred to a federal prison, was summoned to take a phone call. A woman on the line informed her that Thiago had shut down. He refused to eat. He wouldn't bathe.
    Thiago was put on the phone, sobbing uncontrollably. She urged her son to eat. She assured him that they would be together soon.

    But several weeks passed before mother and child would speak again. Ms. Fernandes had no idea that Thiago had been flown to Los Angeles and placed with a foster family.
    After posting bond and being released from detention on June 10, Ms. Fernandes was handed a toll-free number to locate her son. She called the number immediately after arriving in Philadelphia, where she moved in with relatives, but she had to have help from a Boston lawyer, Jesse Bless, to get Thiago released.
    It didn't happen until July 13. When she spotted her son at baggage claim at the airport, Ms. Fernandes said, she ran toward him, her heart racing. "I cried and hugged him — but he didn't even care. He stood there frozen," she recalled.
    When Thiago first spoke, he asked to talk to his grandmother in Brazil and made the first of what would be several calls a day by WhatsApp.

    That night, he approached his mother's breasts, wanting to nurse. Figuring it would soothe him, Ms. Fernandes gave him a baby bottle with milk, a comfort which soon turned into a habit.
    As time has passed, Thiago is still sometimes moody and aloof, dashing into the closet suddenly to avoid interaction.

    But other times, he lets down his guard.
    At a Brazilian restaurant, he was excited by the desserts in a display case and later dug into a flan while watching "Peppa Pig" cartoons on a cellphone.
    But when his mother disappeared momentarily, he became antsy and frightened. "Where's my mom?" he asked repeatedly, his eyes darting around the room. On her return, Thiago asked why she had taken so long.
    Later, assuming the air of a cool cop, he donned plastic green shades, shoved a plastic gun in his shorts and swaggered toward his red bicycle with training wheels. He cackled with glee as he raced his 8-year-old relative Rogerio to a playground, where he fearlessly dangled from a jungle gym and swung from a rope.
    He pleaded to go to the community swimming pool on the edge of the park, and Ms. Fernandes signed Thiago and Rogerio up for the last two spots in a free swim class.
    But on the first day of lessons, Thiago bolted from the pool as soon as the instructor approached him.
    Ms. Fernandes said she is thinking of finding a therapist for her son, because whatever is wrong, it does not seem to be quickly going away. "My son used to be carefree," she said. "He wasn't this way."

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    12) How One Agency Built a Multimillion-Dollar Business in Migrant Children
    By Liz Robbins, July 31, 2018
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/31/nyregion/cayuga-centers-immigration-separated-children.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

    A group of children thought to have been taken from their parents at the Southwest border played soccer near the West Harlem location of the Cayuga Centers child welfare agency.Credit


    When 17-year-old Destani Williams ran away from an upstate New York residential treatment program in May 2017 and was found dead a week later, it was but the latest in a string of troubling incidents at Cayuga Centers, a 166-year-old child-welfare agency.
    In the year leading up to her death, three workers were arrested on charges of abuse, and the agency was sued for negligence as a result. The local police in Auburn, N.Y., complained about hundreds of emergency calls to deal with runaway residents and violent incidents on the campus, which included residents injuring police officers, throwing chairs through windows and wielding shards of glass to cut staff members.
    "It seems that Cayuga Centers has evolved into a business whose priority is making money as opposed to a family service that helps youth meet the challenges of life," Officer Joseph Villano, the president of the local police union, wrote in August 2017 to the agency's board of trustees in a letter that was made public.

    But by then, Cayuga Centers was far along in its transition from a modest nonprofit specializing in residential programs in the Finger Lakes region, first into an agency providing foster care services in New York City and beyond, and then into the country's largest provider of foster care homes for unaccompanied minors — migrant children who had come to the U.S. border alone.

    In 2013, the year before it first signed a contract with the federal government to provide foster care for migrant children, Cayuga Centers had a $1.1 million deficit. These days, it operates in three states, with $48.7 million in annual revenue in fiscal 2017. The bulk of that money has come from the federal government — a total of $123 million since 2014, including $29.5 million since May, in an apparent rush to increase its capacity to deal with the children entering from the Southwest border who had been separated from their parents as part of the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy.
    In June, it was revealed that Cayuga was caring for more than 300 of those children in New York City.
    City and federal officials say they have had no major problems with Cayuga Centers' work in foster care and have plans to expand to accommodate more children.
    But an investigation into Cayuga's history found that as the agency was shifting its focus to working for the federal government, problems were festering at its upstate campus. A spokesman for the Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees the office charged with the care of unaccompanied minors, declined to say whether HHS knew about the issues upstate as it kept pouring money into contracts with Cayuga.
    A growing number of the young people being placed at its upstate campus had serious behavioral issues, which earned Cayuga more money per child, but also presented more problems for which the staff was ill-prepared, according to former employees. Staff turnover accelerated, leaving less-experienced employees to care for residents.

    Some county caseworkers became reluctant to place children with Cayuga because of its poor reputation for safety, a former employee said. The beds were not being filled, and with losses of $2 million, Edward Myers Hayes, 65, the chief executive, closed the residential campus in February, laying off 120 workers. He said it was a business decision that had nothing to do with focusing on the immigrant program. "We had no idea that it would grow," Mr. Hayes said in an interview.
    "It's not a bad program for the agency to do fiscally," Mr. Hayes said of providing foster care for unaccompanied minors, then added, "I think we all would tell you that we would gladly wave goodbye to the contract tomorrow if it meant that the root problems — poverty and violence and victimization in Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala — were solved."

    Growing Problems

    The agency had the humblest of beginnings — as the Cayuga Asylum for Destitute Children, an orphanage that opened in 1852 at the tip of Owasco Lake in Auburn.
    A century later, Cayuga was operating group residential programs for troubled teens, many referred by state family courts, on its campus there. In the 1990s, it also offered a community-based program — services to families to keep their children out of foster care — and another for people with developmental disabilities.
    Mr. Hayes, who has a master's in public administration, took over Cayuga in 1995, and made his ambitions for expansion clear in an interview with the local paper, The Citizen. "What are other people doing and how do we get that?" he said.
    In 2002, the agency began offering foster care upstate, in which children were placed with families, rather than living in residential centers, and they went to public schools. It expanded that foster care model to the Bronx in 2003, and later to Florida and Delaware.

    Young girls cover their faces as they enter Cayuga Centers' West Harlem location, where many children separated from their parents at the border were part of the foster care program.

    But even as Cayuga was seeking to broaden its reach, the residential program in Auburn, which included a drug recovery program for some of the teenagers, was facing problems. From 2013 to 2018, the New York State Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs, a state oversight agency, recorded 164 allegations of abuse and neglect at Cayuga, with 54 claims substantiated.

    By 2016, the agency, which could accommodate 53 young people at a time in four residential buildings, had shifted away from its youth drug recovery programs and began bringing in more difficult-to-place children. The "enhanced" daily rate the state paid Cayuga to care for them was $818, state records show.
    In August of that year, three employees were arrested on charges of dragging a 13-year-old resident across the floor, according to a Justice Center report. Two of the employees physically restrained the victim for 25 minutes by lying on top of her, and then falsified records of the incident, the report said. The employees pleaded guilty to lesser charges and did not do jail time, court records show. All three were fired, and a lawsuit against Cayuga Centers is pending.
    That same year, during a construction project at the agency's headquarters in Auburn, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration found that Cayuga had improperly removed asbestos and four people were exposed to it, violations it deemed "serious." It fined the agency $8,016.75.
    As word spread among county caseworkers about conditions on campus, they avoided sending children there. "They were concerned with the lack of programming and the lack of safety on the campus," said Sue Walsh, a former intake specialist at Cayuga, whose job was to solicit referrals.
    Officer Villano of the Auburn police said that Cayuga Centers treated the police like its own personal security staff. He said officers were constantly called to the campus to investigate violent incidents. Runaways were bolting at an alarming rate, Mr. Villano said: 515 calls from 2014 to 2017.
    Mr. Hayes noted that because Cayuga was designated a nonsecure residential program, the doors were not locked from the inside.

    "They didn't have the trained staff to deal with the individuals they had there," Mr. Villano said.
    By last summer, he and his police force had enough, writing to Cayuga's board of directors, "They are in over their head and everyone else is paying the price."
    Staff turnover is always high when dealing with hard-to-place children in residential programs, social welfare officials say. But to John Henry, a former agency trainer who left Cayuga in 2015, the turnover was fed by the lack of emotional or educational support for staff members after their initial training.
    "I walked away after 27 years because I was tired of seeing good people, people I was really rooting for, get chewed up and spit out," Mr. Henry said.
    The problem, he said, originated in the operating philosophy that Mr. Hayes, the executive director, reiterated: "Ready. Fire. Aim."
    The motto was supposed to inspire staff to be entrepreneurial and to seize opportunities. But when it came to dealing with young people's lives, Mr. Henry said, it was irresponsible. "You're going into something unprepared," he said.
    But it was hard for employees to question Mr. Hayes for fear of being fired, Mr. Henry said, adding that the chief executive's management style was one of "intimidation and bullying."
    "Yeah, I'm demanding," Mr. Hayes said. "But I think I've treated people fairly."
    Then came the death of the teenager, Destani Williams. Destani had already run away weeks earlier from the female-only residence on the Cayuga campus. One night in mid-May, when the residence was staffed with less-experienced employees, she ran away with another resident, Morgan Eppinger. A week later, Destani was brought to a hospital in the town of Dunkirk, N.Y., 170 miles away, where she was pronounced dead.

    The Erie County Medical Examiner said it was not authorized to reveal the cause of death. The police said an investigation is still pending. Her grandmother, Mamie Harris, 80, said in an interview from Rochester that she still had not heard from Cayuga Centers about how Destani died. "They were supposed to help her," Ms. Harris said.
    The Justice Center conducted an investigation, but said it could not comment on its findings because of a state privacy law.
    "The state investigated this situation thoroughly and found that the agency did not have responsibility," Mr. Hayes said, and added that even he did not know the cause of death.

    Mr. Hayes said that other residential centers face similar challenges, which state officials acknowledged. "It's hard work and we're dealing with very damaged children," he said.

    Shifting to Foster Care

    Caring for migrant children has proved less complicated for the agency because they live in foster homes until they can be placed with sponsors or relatives — generally for a few months or less. The children spend their days at one of the agency's centers where they receive educational instruction and clinical services.
    After starting with state foster care, in 2013, Cayuga responded to a request for proposals from the federal government, which was looking for care for unaccompanied minors who had been coming across the border in increasing numbers, by saying it could provide foster care for 48 children. In 2014, the government raised that number and signed a deal for 300 placements with Cayuga.

    According to Cayuga's most recent tax filings, from July 1, 2016, through June 30, 2017, the agency could care for about 400 children at a time; they served approximately 1,720 children over the course of the year. Cayuga received more than $28 million in governmental grants that year, for an average of about $16,000 per child, with the money allotted to building costs like rent, foster family payments, clothing, food, educational programming and medical care.
    In 2016, the agency tried to get into the business of running a residential shelter for the federal government, when Mr. Hayes jumped on an opportunity to operate a temporary shelter outside of Dallas. But the local juvenile justice board voted against it because it did not want to house undocumented immigrant children there.
    State welfare officials for both Florida and Delaware said that there were no allegations of abuse or neglect submitted for Cayuga's foster care programs in those states. Marisa Kaufman, a spokeswoman for New York's Administration for Children's Services, said, "Cayuga's rate of maltreatment in foster homes is in line with the systemwide average." According to city statistics, about 1 percent to 2 percent of children in the system have been the subject of a substantiated abuse or neglect allegation.
    A.C.S. says it is helping the agency prepare to expand its program in the city.
    Cayuga said it could not disclose information about its program for unaccompanied minors — not even the number of children in its care — citing the demands of its contract with the Office of Refugee Resettlement, the federal agency that oversees the care of unaccompanied minors.
    When asked about its monitoring of Cayuga, the spokesman for the Department of Health and Human Services, Kenneth Wolfe, said that there had been three "significant incident reports" involving the agency since December, but said he could not disclose the details. All three received an "appropriate and thorough response," enabling Cayuga to be "compliant," he said.

    Separated Children

    Though Cayuga's contract called for it to provide 600 placements this spring, administrators said they did not realize they were receiving children separated from their parents, as opposed to children who came to the border unaccompanied, until they arrived in New York. In those first few weeks, the agency seemed overwhelmed, according to lawyers visiting the center.
    "When I first realized that there were separated children that we were taking, I was concerned that people were enabling it to happen," said David Connelly, the chairman of the board of Cayuga Centers. But he said he believed that his agency could provide a humane solution to the crisis, "The important thing is that these children are not warehoused — and that we are not warehousing them."

    Even as children were arriving, Cayuga Centers continued to advertise for more foster families and for staff, holding weekly on-the-spot job interviews. Separately, it has put out notices requesting bilingual foster families, advertising in English and Spanish the $1,000 a month per child in tax-free payments foster families could receive.
    Every morning, cars roll up to its two centers, one in East Harlem and another on 125th Street near Broadway, dropping children off for day programs. At night and on weekends, the children stay with foster families, as many as eight to a house, often sleeping in bunk beds. During the day, the children can be seen near the 125th Street center, playing soccer and other games on the grounds of Manhattanville Houses.
    Many of the separated children have now left Cayuga's care. In interviews, a dozen separated children ages 5 to 17 and some parents generally praised the treatment received while in Cayuga's care. The foster homes were mostly in the Bronx and Upper Manhattan, with Spanish-speaking foster parents, many of them Dominican.
    Yolany Padilla, from Honduras, said her 6-year-old son, Jelsin, went to performances with his foster mother, a professional singer of traditional Dominican music, and danced bachata with her and the several other foster children living at her home.
    But Jefferson Che Pop, also 6, from an indigenous village in Guatemala, was returned to his father, Hermelindo Che Coc, with a rash on both arms, his stomach and back, and a bruise above his eye that he said he had received when he had fallen out of bed, his father said. Mr. Che Coc said in a telephone interview that he did not blame Cayuga Centers or the foster family for his son's physical condition. "I thought I would never see him again," he said.
    Meanwhile, the federal government has asked Cayuga to increase its capacity to 900 children in the next month, said Alphonso David, the counsel for Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, who said all agencies were required to report an increase to the state. Cayuga had not yet done that, so it was unclear, Mr. David said, whether it would still be receiving unaccompanied children coming from the border in the coming weeks.
    And even despite the millions of dollars in government grants it received to care for these children, it is still soliciting donations through an Amazon Wish List for items for the children: backpacks, coloring books, crayons, jump ropes, lunchboxes, art supplies, a portable badminton net and other sporting equipment. A link on the Cayuga website allowed the public to donate through PayPal.

    Annie Correal and Luis Ferré-Sadurní contributed reporting; Susan Beachy contributed research.

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    13) 'Global Greening' Sounds Good. In the Long Run, It's Terrible.
    By Carl Zimmer, July 30, 2018
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/30/science/climate-change-plants-global-greening.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=second-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

    Plant growth is increasing because of rising carbon dioxide. But plants return carbon dioxide into the atmosphere at night, in a process called respiration.

    "Global greening" sounds lovely, doesn't it?
    Plants need carbon dioxide to grow, and we are now emitting 40 billion tons of it into the atmosphere each year. A number of small studies have suggested that humans actually are contributing to an increase in photosynthesis across the globe.
    Elliott Campbell, an environmental scientist at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and his colleagues last year published a study that put a number to it. Their conclusion: plants are now converting 31 percent more carbon dioxide into organic matter than they were before the Industrial Revolution. 
    Climate change denialists were quick to jump on Dr. Campbell's research as proof that increased carbon dioxide is making the world a better place.
    "So-called carbon pollution has done much more to expand and invigorate the planet's greenery than all the climate policies of all the world's governments combined," the Competitive Enterprise Institute declared shortly after the study came out.

    "The best messages are positive: CO2 increases crop yields, the earth is greening," wrote Joseph Bast, the chief executive officer of the Heartland Institute, in an October 2017 email obtained by EE News
    In June, Mr. Bast co-authored an opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal in which he cited Dr. Campbell's work as evidence of the benefits of fossil fuels. Our unleashing of carbon dioxide contributes "to the greening of the Earth,"he said. 
    Recently I talked Dr. Campbell, and as it turns out, he feels people like Mr. Bast are drawing the wrong lessons from his research. Here are four reasons he believes nobody should be celebrating "global greening."

    More Photosynthesis Doesn't Mean More Food

    Yes, we now get far more food from each acre of farmland than we did a century ago. But extra carbon dioxide only accounts for a small fraction of the increase.
    "A 30 percent increase in photosynthesis does not translate into a 30 percent increase in strawberries off the land," said Dr. Campbell.

    While photosynthesis does pull carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, much of that gas goes right back into the air. The reason: At night, the chemical reactions in plants essentially run backward. In a process known as respiration, plants pump out carbon dioxide instead of pulling it in.
    "Part of the story is that photosynthesis is going up, and part of the story is that so is respiration," said Dr. Campbell.
    While the increase in photosynthesis is greater than that of respiration, the ultimate benefit to crops has been small — and it doesn't explain our modern agricultural revolution. 
    "The driving factor has to be the fertilizers, the seed varieties, the irrigation," Dr. Campbell said.

    Extra Carbon Dioxide Can Make Plants Less Nutritious

    A number of studies indicate that plants that grow in extra carbon dioxide often end up containing lower concentrations of nutrients such as nitrogen, copper and potassium.
    As more carbon dioxide gets into the atmosphere, the problem will grow. "There's definitely strong evidence that quality will be affected," said Dr. Campbell.
    It's not clear why this happens. In a paper published in the journal Current Opinion in Plant Biology in June, Johan Uddling of the University of Gothenburg in Sweden and his colleagues speculated that microbes are to blame.

    Just as carbon dioxide speeds up photosynthesis, it may also increase the rate at which soil microbes take up nutrients, leaving less for plants to suck in through their roots.
    If we eat food that lacks nutrients, we become more vulnerable to a host of diseases. Recently, a team of researchers at Stanford University studied how future changes to crops could affect the world's health. The findings were grim. 
    In Southeast Asia, for example, the researchers estimated that the rate of iron deficiency may rise from 21.8 percent to 27.9 percent by 2050.
    Deficiencies in iron and other nutrients could make millions of people more vulnerable to diseases including malaria and pneumonia, leading to many premature deaths.

    More Plants Won't Prevent Climate Change

    It's not just strawberries and other crops that are taking in extra carbon dioxide. So are the forests, grasslands and other wild ecosystems of the world.
    When scientists take into account both extra photosynthesis and respiration, they estimate that plants remove a quarter of the carbon dioxide we put in the atmosphere.
    "That's on par with what China emits," said Dr. Campbell. "And China is the biggest global polluter."

    Even more remarkably, the plants have been scrubbing the same fraction of carbon dioxide out of the air even as our emissions explode. 
    "Every year we build more power plants, and every year the plants take out more CO2," Dr. Campbell said.
    But that isn't cause to celebrate. It's a bit like hearing that your chemotherapy is slowing the growth of your tumor by 25 percent.
    Despite global greening, carbon dioxide levels have climbed over the past two centuries to levels not seen on Earth for millions of years. And the carbon dioxide we've injected into the atmosphere is already having major impacts across the planet.
    The six warmest years on record all occurred after 2010. The weather has already become more extreme. Sea levels have risen. The oceans are acidifying.
    If plants keep on absorbing only a quarter of our carbon dioxide in the future, then we can expect all these trends to get stronger.
    In other words, if global greening isn't saving us now, we can't rely on it to save us in the future.

    Global Greening Won't Last Forever

    There's still a lot that Dr. Campbell and his colleagues don't understand about global greening. Most importantly, they don't know how long it will last.
    As temperatures rise and rainfall patterns change, plants may stop soaking up extra carbon dioxide.
    "Plants are quietly scrubbing the air of one China's worth of carbon. What frightens me is knowing this can't go on forever," said Dr. Campbell. "If respiration catches up with photosynthesis, this huge carbon reservoir could spill back into our air."
    "There's a wild card out there."

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    14)  Migrant Families Have Been Reunited. Now, a Scramble to Prevent Deportations.
    By Miriam Jordan, July 30, 2018
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/30/us/migrant-families-deportations.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fus&action=click&contentCollection=us&region=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=2&pgtype=sectionfront

    Immigrant rights activists rallied outside the federal courthouse in McAllen, Tex., last week. The government has completed reunifications of more than 1,800 migrant families separated under the "zero-tolerance" policy

    LOS ANGELES — The federal government last week completed reunifications of more than 1,800 migrant families separated under the Trump administration's "zero-tolerance" policy, but immigrant advocates were set to be back in court Tuesday to block what they said was another imminent threat: plans to swiftly deport up to 1,000 of the newly reunited families.
    In separate filings in San Diego and Washington, lawyers asked the courts to order a stay on deporting any of these families and to make sure parents are allowed to remain in the United States as long as needed to help their children pursue claims for asylum from unsafe conditions in Central America.
    Judge Paul Friedman of the Federal District Court of the District of Columbia scheduled a hearing Tuesday on a request for a temporary restraining order to halt what could be hundreds of removals for parents who have already exhausted their immigration appeals — but whose children may well have better cases for remaining in the country.
    Nearly 3,000 children were forcibly separated from their parents under the "zero-tolerance" immigration policy carried out earlier this year.

    Critics say that many parents have been confused or coerced into signing forms that waive their children's right to asylum in the hope of being reunited with them quickly. The latest court filings argue that parents have a right to remain in the country and help their children pursue their asylum cases.
    "We want to make sure these kids are not summarily deported before they have a chance to apply for asylum. Their parents in many instances are the only ones able to articulate their fear," said T. Clark Weymouth, pro bono partner at the international law firm that filed the case in Washington, Hogan Lovells.
    Judge Dana M. Sabraw is considering a similar issue in the Federal District Court in San Diego. He is also considering the fate of an estimated 711 children who could not be reunited with their families because their parents were for various reasons deemed "ineligible," including more than 460 parents who were most likely deported already without their children.
    Government lawyers have argued that all parents were allowed to choose whether to waive asylum for their children and leave the country with them or allow the children to remain behind and pursue asylum cases. The Trump administration has accused adult migrants of using their children to secure entry into the United States.
    Several lawyers for the latest plaintiffs spent time at detention facilities in recent weeks, Mr. Weymouth said, and concluded that without the legal challenge, there would be no impediment to the government deporting the children with their parents as quickly as possible.

    "We had signals that was about to happen," said Zachary Best, one of the lawyers.
    The reason that children have different prospects for asylum protection has to do with the way immigration authorities handled their cases when they were separated from their parents at the border. Under the "zero-tolerance" policy, anyone who illegally crossed the border outside of a legal entry station has been referred for possible criminal prosecution. Under the previous family separation policy, later rescinded by President Trump, any child accompanying the adult was taken away and designated as an "unaccompanied alien child," a classification normally used for adolescents who arrive at the border alone.
    As a result of that designation, children are eligible for legal remedies independent of their parents. They can make an asylum claim before a judge and remain in the country until their case has moved through an immigration court, a process that can take years. If they do not demonstrate a credible fear of persecution in their home country on an initial interview, adults are often targeted for quick deportation. Adults who illegally cross the border, as opposed to surrendering to Border Patrol agents at a legal port of entry, are often not permitted to apply for asylum, though immigrant advocates have argued that they should legally be entitled to do so.
    So complicated has the deportation issue become that it now appears that some parents who were reunited with their children in recent weeks have been separated from them once again — this time because they expressed a desire to allow their child to pursue an asylum claim.
    A legal filing over the weekend alleges that several fathers, after being reunited with their adolescent children, were given three choices: to be deported with their children; be deported alone and allow their children to stay; or wait to consult a lawyer. They said that the first option had been pre-selected for them when they were handed the forms.
    When they tried to choose the second option — to be removed from the country alone and allow their children to stay behind to pursue a separate asylum case — agents with Immigration and Customs Enforcement became angry at them, the fathers said in their court challenge.
    The problem with the waiver form, their lawyers argued, is that it did not make the consequences clear — that by selecting the option to be deported with their child, a parent was waiving the child's right to pursue asylum.
    In the case of the fathers, all chose to be deported alone. In their declarations, they said they were not allowed to say goodbye to their children. The children, they said, had to wave to them from inside a bus.

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    15) Activist Mike Treen tasered, kidnapped, and detained in Israel
    By Redline, July 31, 2018
    https://rdln.wordpress.com/2018/07/31/activist-mike-treen-tasered-kidnapped-and-detained-in-israel/

    Unite trade union national director and veteran socialist activist Mike Treen

    We have now received a direct report from Mike in Givon Prison.
    He was tasered repeatedly by the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) while in the wheelhouse of the Al Awda and subsequently tightly handcuffed. He received injuries to his face and head and was bleeding but is now recovering.
    Of Mike’s fellow flotilla members one was tasered in the head, a 69-year-old female surgeon received a head injury and a senior Canadian passenger received a foot injury and had to be treated in hospital.
    The IOF takeover of the boat conducted by armed and masked soldiers was clearly violent with many passengers and crew assaulted, roughly handled and hit. 
    Local civil rights lawyers met with all those detained a few hours ago. All their belongings, including their passports have been seized and not returned, despite promises they would if they co-operated.
    Despite KiaOra Gaza contacting the New Zealand Hon. Consul in Tel Aviv requesting assistance we are unaware of any contact, visit or action from the New Zealand Government or its representatives to assist.
    (update at 4pm Monday 31st July – The Honorary Consul has now been to see Mike. Winston Peters has responded to the letters sent to him but the Government has taken no specific action apart from alerting the Cairo embassy to Mike’s situation).
    The next flotilla boat, the “Freedom” continues to approach Gaza.
    Previous report (6.15am 31st July NZ time)
    Eyewitnesses report that Unite Union leader Mike Treen’s boat was hijacked in a violent raid and that he and the rest of the crew are being held in Givon prison, near Tel Aviv.
    Two Israeli citizens who were on board have been charged and released on bail and, contrary to the Israeli military’s claim that the raid on the Al Awda was “without exceptional incident”, Zohar Chamberlain Regev, the boat leader, reports that at the time of boarding: “People on board were tasered and hit by masked IOF soldiers. We did not get our passports or belongings before we got off the boat. Do not believe reports of peaceful interception.” 
    Mr Regev also reports seeing blood on the deck of the Al Awda as the last participants were being dragged off the ship, which is very alarming given the extreme violence shown by Israel to past flotillas. We are awaiting information about Mike’s condition, charges he may face and what the Israeli’s intend to do with the remaining 20 flotilla participants they have imprisoned.
    The international Freedom Flotilla have engaged local lawyers who are trying to gain access to them.
    The New Zealand Freedom Flotilla organiser, Roger Fowler QSM, has written to Gad Propper, the New Zealand Honorary Consul in Tel Aviv requesting assistance, particularly information about Mike’s situation and condition including his health, any medical treatment he may need, any charges he may be facing, and if he has been allowed to legal assistance (see below).
    Unite national secretary Gerard Hehir is calling on the Acting Prime Minister to condemn the Israeli actions in the strongest way:
    “This was a violent military attack on a civilian vessel and a violation of international law. Forcibly taking Mike Treen from international waters to a country which is not their destination is an act of kidnapping, which is also unlawful under the International Convention of the Law of Sea.”
    “It is interesting that the two Israeli citizens released on bail have been charged with trying to enter Gaza. Not only does Israel not want the world to see what it is doing to the people of Gaza, but it makes it illegal for its own citizens to go there and see for themselves. So much for freedom and democracy in Israel”.

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    16) Intoxicating Freedom, Gripping Fear 
    Mumia Abu-Jamal on life as a Black Panther
    By Ed Pilkington
    The Guardian, July 30, 2018
    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jul/30/intoxicating-freedom-gripping-fear-mumia-abu-jamal-on-life-as-a-Black-panther
    Mumia Abu-Jamal

    The letter was dated August 30, 2016. Written in black ink in spidery, meticulous handwriting, it proclaimed at the top of the page: “On a Move!,” the mantra of the Move group of Black liberationists from Philadelphia who clashed violently with the city’s police force 40 years ago, sending nine of them to prison for decades.
    The author was Mumia Abu-Jamal, who is the closest thing that exists today to an imprisoned Black Panther celebrity. He joined the Black Panther party in the 1960s when he was just 14, and later became a prominent advocate for the Move organization.
    For the past 36 years he has been incarcerated in Pennsylvania prisons, including two decades spent on death row, having been convicted of murdering a police officer at a Philadelphia street corner in 1981. His case has reverberated around the world, inspiring admiration and opprobrium in equal measure, in what has become a global cause-celebre.
    As such, he could be regarded as the figurehead of the cadre of imprisoned African-American militants who are still behind bars today. Collectively they amount to the unfinished business of the 1970s Black liberation struggle, as they languish still in prison in some cases almost half-a-century after they went in.
    B­y the Guardian’scount, there are 19 of them, two women included. That headcount is very slowly being diminished, as the debate around whether they have earned their freedom grows more intense with every passing year.
    Last week one of Abu-Jamal’s peers, Robert Seth Hayes, was released from a New York maximum security prison on parole having served 45 years for the murder of a city transit officer.
    I had sent that initial letter to Abu-Jamal to ask his views about Albert Woodfox, a former Black Panther from Louisiana who had been held in solitary confinement in a six-foot-by-nine-foot concrete box for 43 years until his release a few months earlier. 
    In my opening letter to Abu-Jamal, I’d mentioned that the warden of Angola penitentiary in the 1990s, Burl Cain, had tried to justify keeping Woodfox in total isolation for four decades because of the prisoner’s commitment to “Black Pantherism.”
    Abu-Jamal, 64, found that expression very diverting, judging by his response. Until Woodfox’s “illegal and unjust imprisonment,” he wrote back, “I had never heard nor read of the so-called crime of ‘Black Pantherism’! Leave it to the prisoncrats of Angola to actually coin the term!”
    Then Abu-Jamal did something that was to become familiar to me over the ensuing months. He took that one comment of a Louisiana prison warden and riffed off it to create an entire social theory of modern American society.
    “As we see from the obscene and unprecedented mass incarceration of Black people,” he wrote, “‘Black Pantherism’ is but a synonym for Blackness itself. For in a society deeply imbued with white supremacy, Blackness is itself a crime.”
    Abu-Jamal spent 20 years on death row and during that time concerns about the fairness of his death sentence drew international attention. Amnesty International took up his cause, the New York Times crowned him the “world’s best known death-row inmate” and a Paris street was named after him. Among the movie stars, writers and intellectuals who protested on his behalf were Paul Newman, Alice Walker, Salman Rushdie and Noam Chomsky.
    As impressive as the high-profile support he attracted over the years was the vitriol he inspired in detractors. Philadelphia police unions worked tirelessly to keep him on death row and since he was moved to the general prison population in 2012 they have continued to work equally tirelessly to prevent him going free.
    Maureen Faulkner, the widow of Daniel Faulkner, the police officer Abu-Jamal was convicted of murdering, has been equally consistent. Earlier this year she wrote a column in the Philadelphia Inquirerin which she said the real political prisoners in this story were her family. “We committed no crime, yet we received life sentences with no possibility of parole or reprieve.”
    In April, when Abu-Jamal’s case came up before a Philadelphia judge in a legal dispute over the handling of his appeals, Maureen Faulkner appearedon the steps of the court and proclaimed to local TV cameras: “Mumia Abu-Jamal will not—not ever—be free, and I will make sure of that.”
    My initial letter to Abu-Jamal in August 2016 developed into a correspondence that continues two years later. Over time it mushroomed into a larger project in which I reached out to several of his peers—Black radicals incarcerated like him for decades—in an attempt to understand how they came to be given such lengthy sentences and how they cope with their enduring punishment today. 
    At a time when America is still grappling with the racial legacy of slavery and segregation, when the issue of police brutality has welled up again through Black Lives Matter, when at least one in four Black males born today can expect to end up in prison, and when inequality shows no sign of abating for African Americans, there is renewed interest in the perspective of the Black Panthers. Just ask Beyoncé, who injected a Black Panther homage into the 2016 Super Bowl.
    And so Abu-Jamal and I began to correspond. We would contact each other through a closed email network set up by the Pennsylvania prison system.
    With each email I would try and probe a little deeper, trying to get under the skin of what it was to be a Black radical for whom, in some sense, time had stood still through long years of incarceration. Sometimes he would answer in short staccato emails, as though his mind were elsewhere; sometimes he would be thoughtful and expansive.
    Sometimes he didn’t reply for weeks. It’s remarkable how busy a man locked up around the clock can be. “I’ve been meaning to write to you,” he said in November 2017, “but my projects (I just finished my booklet last nite) have eaten my time—oops, I’m about to get on the phone…” 
    In our exchanges he reflected on how he had become involved as a teenage boy in the Black resistance struggle of the late 1960s, and why decades later so many Black militants remain behind bars. He talked also about how his militancy as a former Panther relates to the critical movements of today, notably Black Lives Matter, which controversially he called a “continuum” of the Black Panthers.
    Early on, I asked him why he thought the judicial system had borne down on him singularly harshly by giving him the death penalty. He replied in an email on September 23, 2016: “I think we posed an existential challenge to the very legitimacy of the System—and it unleashed unprecedented fury from the State. That’s why they used any means, even illegal, to extinguish what they saw as a Threat.” 
    He added: “The State reserves its harshest treatment for those it sees as revolutionaries.”
    Mumia Abu-Jamal was born Wesley Cook and brought up in a low-income African American neighborhood of Philadelphia. He was given the name Mumia by a high school teacher as part of a class on African culture and he later changed his last name to Abu-Jamal (“father of Jamal”) when his son was born in 1971.
    In 1968, when he was 14, a friend introduced him to a copy of the Black Panther party’s newspaper, and he was instantly transfixed. “A sister gave me a copy of The Black Panthernewspaper and I was dazzled,” he wrote to me in an email. “I made up my mind to become one of them.”
    Three years of head-spinning activity ensued as a Black Panther in Philadelphia. The party, though relatively small in numbers, quickly began to make an impact with its revolutionary talk, its audacious opposition to police brutality in Black neighborhoods, and its social programs that quickly expanded to include food and clothing banks for low-income communities and even Black Panther elementary schools.
    The city at that time, he told me, was a place of “intoxicating freedom, and gripping fear. The freedom? To be active in a part of a vast Black Freedom Movement was Living, Breathing, Being Freedom. We spoke and acted in the world in ways our parents never dreamed possible.”
    The fear? “Every Panther knew, in her/his heart, that the State was willing to kill a Panther in his/her bed.”
    He was alluding to the death of Black Panther leader Fred Hampton in a police raid on a Panther house in Chicago in December 1969. Hampton was shot and killed while asleep in bed. A subsequent federal investigation into the killing found that in the shoot-out the Panthers had fired one bullet, while the police fired up to 99.
    “I was one of several Panthers sent to Chicago,” Abu-Jamal wrote in an email. “We entered the apartment. We saw the bullet holes which raked the walls. We saw the mattress, swollen with Fred’s blood. I was 15.”
    The death of Hampton was just one of several bloody shootouts that erupted as confrontations between law enforcement and the Panthers became more frequent. Many years later it was revealed that the FBI had put several prominent members of the movement—the teenage Abu-Jamal included—under a vast web of surveillance.
    The FBI’s director J. Edgar Hoover had come to see the Panthers, with their links to revolutionary parties around the world and growing popularity in Black inner cities, as a major threat to national security. He instructed his agents to redirect the secret domestic surveillance operation, known as “COINTELPRO,” specifically onto Black radicals. 
    Abu-Jamal recalled the naivety that existed within the Panther party about the governmental forces targeted at them.
    “We didn’t know about COINTELPRO. When people raised questions, we’d laugh at them and tell them: ‘Stop being paranoid!’ The very idea the government would read your mail, or listen to your phone calls, was crazy! We never believed we were important enough.”
    The FBI certainly did think them important enough. It made sure the party was thoroughly infiltrated with informers, leaders were rounded up and imprisoned, internal dissent fomented. By 1970 open warfare had started to break out between west coast and east coast factions of the party, leading to threats, expulsions and internecine violence. 
    An exodus of Panthers began, among them Abu-Jamal who quit the party towards the end of 1970. From then, he turned his hand to journalism, becoming a prominent reporter on Philadelphia race relations as well as a vocal supporter of Move.
    It was not until 1982 that the Black Panther party formally disbanded. By then Abu-Jamal was already in captivity and facing murder charges relating to the death of Officer Faulkner.
    The events of the early hours of December 9, 1981 have been the subject of reams of analysis and conjecture over the past almost four decades. Faulkner carried out a traffic stop at an intersection in Philadelphia, pulling over William Cook, Abu-Jamal’s younger brother.
    Abu-Jamal at that time was working as a taxi driver to supplement his journalism income. He happened to be driving past when he spotted the altercation between Faulkner and his brother.
    A shootout occurred. Faulkner died at the scene from gunshot wounds. Abu-Jamal was shot once in the stomach. In June 1982 he was put on trial, found guilty and sentenced to death.
    Since then he has consistently professed his innocence of the charges leveled against him, though he has declined to discuss what actually did happen that night. I wrote to Abu-Jamal in June asking him whether he’d talk to me about Faulkner’s death. I said: “So what did happen? What do you recollect of the incident? Who shot Officer Faulkner?”
    Earlier this month he replied to me. He began the email by saying that he’d just returned from the eye doctor who in order to inspect his inner eye had dilated his pupils. “My vision is so impaired that I can’t read the newspaper so this won’t be long, I haffa be quite brief.”
    He did address his case, in general terms. “The question arises, how can you getta fair result with an unjust, unfair process? Due process. A judge who wuzza life member of the FOP [Fraternal Order of Police] said at one of my hearings: ‘Justice is just an emotional feeling’.” 
    Abu-Jamal did not address in the email my questions about the specifics of his own case.
    While doubts persist about the nature of the crime, what is not in doubt is that Abu-Jamal’s prosecution, as he remarked, was riddled with flaws. Amnesty International investigated it in 2000 and concluded that though they could not pronounce on his guilt or innocence, “numerous aspects of this case clearly failed to meet minimum international standards.”
    A long struggle to fend off execution followed, sending reverberations around the globe. Twice he had a death warrant issued that would have sent him to the death chamber; twice it was averted in the courts.
    It took two decades of almost constant appeals to overturn his death sentence in a federal court. Since moving off death row, he has more privileges but he’s less in the limelight now, less of an international figure, as he alluded to when I asked him how much mail he receives. “I probably get 6-10 pieces a day or 30 to 50 pieces a week (which is nothing like I used to get.)”
    He has slowed down in recent years in other ways too. “I used to read two to three books a week. Now? Two per month. It’s a different environment. I leave the cell often here: not so on death row.”
    As he gets older, health becomes more of an issue. He fought a tough legal battle after the Pennsylvania department of corrections denied him treatment for Hepatitis C, winning a federal court ruling that has set a precedent that will help thousands of other prisoners across the country defeat the virus. 
    He complains though that the prison authorities are still denying treatment to many inmates on grounds they aren’t sick enough. “People are dying from their denials and delays. Literally. $$$ over life.”
    Despite health issues, he keeps closely engaged with political currents. In March I asked him what he thought were the similarities and contrasts between the Black Panthers in the 1970s and Black Lives Matter today. I was curious to see whether he was critical of BLM in an echo of the criticism the Panthers directed in the 1970s at the civil rights movement—that it’s a reformist compromise rather than the Black power revolution that’s needed.
    He replied that in his view the Panthers and BLM are “part of a continuum. The BPP was born in an age of global revolution. Black Lives Matter came into being during an era of sociopolitical conservatism, and rightist ideological ascendance. What is possible is subject to the zeitgeist of the period.”
    He went on: “I am reminded of [Frantz] Fanon’s adage: ‘Every generation must, out of relative obscurity, find its destiny, and fulfill it or betray it.’ I think both movements have done so, if only in their own ways.”
    He also keenly follows his fellow imprisoned Black radicals’ efforts to gain their freedom, decades after they were arrested. In one email, sent in May, he commented on the release of Herman Bell, a former Black Panther and member of its clandestine wing the Black Liberation Army, who had secured his own parole a couple of months before partly by denouncing his involvement in the struggle. There was “nothing political” in the double police killing that he was involved in, Bell told the parole board, “it was murder and horribly wrong.”
    Abu-Jamal told me that in his view Bell’s release was the exception that proves the rule. “If a man is only truly parole-eligible if he renounces his political ideas, how could those who aren’t ‘eligible’ because they aren’t renunciators be seen as anything but political prisoners?”
    There are many who will disagree with the argument that the 19 imprisoned Black Panthers and Move members are political prisoners. For the police unions and the families of victims, they are “cop killers,” pure and simple.
    Yet no one could accuse Abu-Jamal of being a “renunciator.” Since coming off death row he has been resentenced and put onto life without parole. That means that he has no chance of ever persuading a parole board to release him, which in turn, paradoxically, has given him his own kind of freedom—to speak his mind.
    “Parole is a political tool,” he wrote. “It’s especially used against radicals to punish them for their political beliefs. I think it should be abolished. Period.”
    One of the most evocative emails he sent me was composed on New Year’s Eve last year. Maybe the end of the year had put him in a reflective mood, or maybe the calendar means nothing to a man who has lived for 37 years in a cell. 
    In any case, he started riffing again, this time about the U.S. justice system. He talked about how parole appeared to be a pipe-dream for Black radicals in particular. 
    He referenced the Move 9 again, the group from his home town of Philadelphia, six of whom will next week mark the 40th anniversary of their incarceration. He spoke too of other former Black Panthers who had in recent years been granted release orders only to have them overturned by the higher courts.
    Then he switched, in his own rather professorial way, to a more personal point. “What I always find interesting is how profoundly different the American systems of ‘justice’ are from those that exist abroad,” he wrote. “Under Pennsylvania law, life means life, with no parole eligibility for anybody.”
    For “anybody,” read Mumia Abu-Jamal. He went on to spell out for my benefit his probable fate. 
    Legal scholars and activists in Pennsylvania have a name for it, he said: “Death by incarceration.”
    The Guardian, July 30, 2018
    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jul/30/intoxicating-freedom-gripping-fear-mumia-abu-jamal-on-life-as-a-Black-panther

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