Sunday, September 15, 2019

BAUAW NEWSLETTER, SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2019






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Freedom Socialist Party Monthly Meeting

Uprising in Hong Kong

For four months, the streets of China's semi-autonomous territory have seethed with millions of protestors. Standing up against Beijing's attempts to take economic and political control of the region, workers and students have shut down the airport and city streets while facing vicious attacks by police. What will it take to meet the needs of Hong Kong's working majority? Hear veteran socialist feminist Nellie Wong's analysis of the conflict and share your thoughts.

Sunday, September 15, 1:00pm
Homecooked lunch served at 12:15pm for $8-10 donation

New Valencia Hall
747 Polk Street (by Ellis), San Francisco
(near Civic Center BART, Muni Lines 19, 31, 38, 47 49)
Wheelchair-accessible
For information: 415-864-1278 •bayareafsp@socialism.com •tinyurl.com/FB-BAFSP
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Week of Action in Solidarity with Haiti
STOP THE MASSACRES IN HAITI

Saturday, September 28, 3-5pm 
Kickoff event and release of new report: 
The Lasalin Massacre and the Human Rights Crisis in Haiti
Eastside Arts Alliance
2277 International Boulevard., Oakland
3-5 pm     •     $10-20, no one turned away

Monday, September 30, 12pm
Rally to Stop the Massacres in Haiti
Old Federal Building San Francisco
450 Golden Gate Avenue @ Larkin

Wednesday, October 2, time tba 
Rally to Stop the Massacres in Haiti
Peckham Federal Building San Jose
280 S. 1st Street

Stand in solidarity with the overwhelming majority of Haitians, whose continued resistance to an illegitimate, US-backed regime has given rise to years of sustained protest against stolen elections, government corruption, poverty, land grabs, rising prices, and 15 years of UN/US military occupation. These are the conditions that drive people to leave Haiti and immigrate elsewhere seeking a means to survive. $4.2 BILLION has been stolen from government revenues. The international media has either ignored this struggle or reported in a way that blames the demonstrators for "violence." 

As resistance to this regime intensifies, so does repression. Police and paramilitary forces have responded with bullets, teargas, imprisonment and increasingly, massacres, aimed at wiping out Haiti's grassroots Lavalas movement. Over several nights in November, 2018 state-sponsored armed forces tortured, and/or murdered several hundred people, raped women in front of their families and burned homes in Lasalin, a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince with a history of resistance. 

The U.S. arms, funds and trains Haiti's military and police, and only with U.S. support can this corrupt regime remain in power. The people of Haiti deserve  to live without the daily threat of state-directed violence. It is time for the U.S. to be held accountable for its continued support of the repressive regime now in power in Haiti.

--
sent by Haiti Action Committee



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New Evidence of Innocence Spurs two Court Filings for Mumia Abu Jamal

Press Release

mobilization4mumia.com

September 9, 2019 Philadelphia—The struggle to free unfairly convicted Mumia Abu-Jamal took a significant step forward on September 3, 2019, when his attorneys submitted two documents to Pennsylvania Superior Court.
Judith L Ritter, Widener University-Delaware Law School, and Samuel Spital, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. released this statement: 
"This week, Mumia Abu-Jamal filed a brief in Pennsylvania Superior Court to support his claim that his 1982 trial was fundamentally unfair in violation of the Constitution. For example, he argues that the prosecution failed to disclose evidence as required and discriminated against African Americans when selecting the jury. And, his lawyer did not adequately challenge the State's witnesses. 
"Mr. Abu-Jamal also filed a motion containing new evidence of constitutional violations such as promises by the prosecutor to pay or give leniency to two witnesses. There is also new evidence of racial discrimination in jury selection."
Abu-Jamal has always said he is innocent and the new documents go a long way in supporting his case, undermining police and prosecution claims of how Philadelphia police officer Danny Faulkner was killed.
The filings are in response to the December 27, 2018 decision by Court of Common Pleas Judge Leon Tucker reinstating Post Conviction Relief Act (PCRA) petitions for the defendant. Tucker ruled Justice Ronald Castille unconstitutionally participated in deciding the appeals in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court after denying Mr. Abu-Jamal's motions asking for his recusal, creating an appearance of judicial bias.
The "Brief For Appellant" in support of his struggle to gain his freedom after 37 years in Pennsylvania prisons re-opens the PCRA petitions as ordered by Tucker.
The "Appellant's motion for remand to the court of common pleas to consider newly discovered evidence" ask the Superior Court that the case be sent back to the Court of Common Pleas "so that he may present newly discovered evidence."
Among the arguments resubmitted in the "Brief For Appellant:"
Ineffective Assistance of Counsel:Failure to make right argument because counsel did not know the law.
Brady Violation—District Attorney Withheld Evidence:Namely that Prosecutor said that he would look into reinstating the driver's license of key witness, Robert Chobert;
Rights Violation of fifth, sixth, and 14th Amendments:District Attorney manipulated key witness to falsely identify Abu-Jamal as the shooter.
Ineffective Assistance of Counsel:Failure to retain ballistics expert when the trial counsel knew Officer Faulkner was killed by a .44 caliber bullet even though it was known Abu-Jamal's firearm was not a .44 weapon.
Batson:Discrimination in jury selection that kept Black jurors from being sworn in.
Juror Misconduct:Several jurors violated court rules by conducting premature discussions, creating potential for prejudgment of evidence.
Basym Hassan, Philadelphia political activist, said: "The district attorney clearly violated Mumia's constitutional rights by withholding clear evidence that should have been exposed from the beginning. Throughout the entire process of Mumia's approaching the scene up until today's current developments, the law has not been applied as it was created—to get to the truth of a matter. Hopefully, Mumia will get a re-trial and the truth will finally get told. We await his release from hell."
Cindy Miller, Food Not Bombs, Solidarity and Mobilization for Mumia reminds us: "Does everybody remember on December 28, when current Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner and his staff happened to find six boxes of evidence that had not beforehand been shown? That evidence is partly the reason for this new motion."
The "Appellant's motion for remand to the court of common pleas to consider newly discovered evidence" Miller refers to, includes the suppression of evidence of improper prosecutorial interactions with the state's main two witnesses that were instrumental in ensuring Abu-Jamal's conviction. The motion charges that "Abu-Jamal's capital trial was fundamentally unfair and tainted by serious constitutional violations. Mr. Abu-Jamal respectfully requests that this Court remand the case to the Court of Common Pleas so that Mr. Abu-Jamal may litigate the claims arising from this new evidence."
Pam Africa: "Here's another example of why Mumia shoulda been home—an example of police and prosecutorial misconduct. That evidence has been there for years. It shoulda been in trial records but it was hidden. What else is hidden besides the few things that we have right here."
MOVE 9 member, Eddie Africa said: "If they deal with this issue honestly, they'll have to release him because they know what they did was wrong."
Mumia, 65-years-old, remains in SCI Mahanoy in poor health, suffering from severe itching and cirrhosis of the liver. He recently had cataract surgery in his left eye and is awaiting surgery in his right eye. He also has glaucoma. 
Janine Africa, from the MOVE 9, said: "I just got released from prison after 41 years in May. I want to say, everyone work hard to bring Mumia home so he can be taken care of and get proper medical care, and he don't deserve to be in jail from the beginning."
Mike Africa Jr. added: "The pressure of the people, and of the power of the people is squeezing the evidence of Mumia's innocence out. We shall win."


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Race for Solidarity Board Game

https://www.thegamecrafter.com/games/race-for-solidarity

Solidarity against racism has existed from the 1600's and continues until today
An exciting board game of chance, empathy and wisdom, that entertains and educates as it builds solidarity through learning about the destructive history of American racism and those who always fought back. Appreciate the anti-racist solidarity of working people, who built and are still building, the great progressive movements of history. There are over 200 questions, with answers and references.
Spread the word!!
By Dr. Nayvin Gordon

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680 Majority Latinx Workers in Mississippi Taken off their Jobs by ICE: An Injury to One is an Injury to All!
 

On August 7, the US Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) conducted raids on workers in 7 food processing plants in six Mississippi cities.

These workers came to the US to try to earn an honest living, because conditions in their home countries prevented them from living in peace, supporting their families and endangering them by military and social violence and climate changes.  US foreign policies in Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa contribute to the conditions faced by the majority of these immigrant workers.

The families, communities and cities that depend on the incomes of these workers are being disrupted representing a form of ethnic cleansing consistent with the demands of white nationalism.

Although the ICE representatives claimed that this mass raid was not ordered by the Trump administration, it fits the racist and xenophobic lies that immigrants are taking U.S. jobs. These mass raids are part of Trump's white nationalist claim of bringing back U.S. jobs.

This raid is not only a violation of human rights that needs stronger language in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, it is also an attack on the working-class, aimed a fostering greater divisions and fears. It is part of the corporate strategy to create a climate of insecurity within the working-class to super-exploit immigrant and all Southern workers.

The US South has attracted large numbers of Latinx workers.  Along with African descendants and Indigenous people the combined amount of people of color in the South is about 40 percent of the population of 108 million. What capitalism does to its most oppressed and exploited sectors sets a direction for capitalism's plans for the entire working-class.

Organized labor and working-class communities in the South, nationally and internationally must show solidarity with these workers.  They must know that they are not isolated and are part of the workers struggle.

The Southern Workers Assembly calls on all member organizations, all workers in the labor movement and communities dependent on the working-class to take some solidarity action to express solidarity with these workers and our outrage at the actions of the federal government.

Please send feedback on what action you organizations can take based on your capacity. If taken in your organizations name, add member of Southern Workers Assembly to show the mobilization of our network.

There are no walls in the workers struggle!
An injury to one is an injury to all!

- Southern Workers Assembly, August 2019

Read more about this ICE raid attack on migrant workers at:


Pay Day: ICE Raids Miss. Plant After $3.75 Million Sexual Harassment Settlement


Reuters: U.S. immigration agents arrest 680 workers at Mississippi plants

Copyright © 2019 Southern Workers Assembly, All rights reserved.
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Rocky MountNC  27802

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Political Prisoners and Assange: Carole Seligman At S.F. Assange Rally
As part of an international action to free Julian Assange, a rally was held on June 12, 2019 at the US Federal Building in San Francisco and Carole Seligman was one of the speakers. She also speaks about imperialist wars and  the cases of Mumia Abu-Jamal and Fumiaki Hoshino.
For more info:
Production of Labor Video Project
www.laborvideo.org 

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One Democratic State of Palestine
https://odspal.net


Why One Democratic State of Palestine

The colonial entity and its imperial patrons have brought the people of Palestine to a historic juncture.  We, the residents of historic Palestine, must dismantle the terms of our collective extermination so as to set up relations which reject racial segregation and mutual negation.  We must dismantle the closed structure and replace it with an open, non-imperial and humane system.  This can only be achieved by establishing One Democratic State of Palestine for its indigenous people, the refugees who were forced out of the country and its current citizens.  This is the key to a 'fair and permanent resolution of conflict' in the region, and to a 'just solution' for the Palestinian cause.  Failing this, war and mutual destruction will continue.

Call for a Palestine Liberation Movement

Call initiated by the One State Assembly, February 9, 2019
We are calling for signatures on the statement to create national and global public opinion specially among Palestinians, Arabs and international supporters about the genuine, just and long lasting solution to the seven decades of the ethnic cleansing war and catastrophe of 1948. The One Democratic State  of Palestine (ODSP) initiative stands in opposition and objection to the dead solution of the two states, the Oslo Accords and exposing the latest racist Nation-State Law that was issued by the apartheid state of Israel which emphasizes the real nature of this manufactured colonial state.
This is a crucial time in the history of our struggle, which needs all activists, individuals and organizations, to consolidate and coordinate their efforts in an organized manner to make an impact, make a difference towards the only solution that guarantees the right of return and deals with our people as one united nation on one united homeland: the One Democratic State of Palestine.
Signatories include: Richard Falk, Alison Weir, Ann Wright, Cindy Sheehan, Tariq Ali, Paul Larudee, Kevin Zeese, Joe Lombardo, Tim Anderson, Amal Wahdan, Judith Bello, Ken Stone, Issa Chaer,  Ali Mallah, Alicia Jrapko …..
Endorsers: Free Palestine Movement, Palestine Solidarity Forum (India), Syria Solidarity Movement, International Committee for Peace Justice and Dignity, Hands Off Syria Coalition, Hamilton Coalition to Stop the War, United Front Against Facism and War (Canada), Communist Reconstruction (Canada), Palestine Solidarity Association/University of Western Cape (South Africa), India Palestine Solidarity Forum, Venezuela Solidarity Network, Free Palestine Movement, Akashma News, Media Review Network,  Solidarity Net, Kenya, Human Rights in the Middle East, Cleveland Peace Action, Interfaith Council For Peace In The Middle East Northeast Ohio, Pax Christi Hilton Head, Portsmouth South Downs Palestine Solidarity Campaign
https://odspal.net/call-for-a-palestine-liberation-movement/



Call for A Palestine Liberation Movement and One Democratic State of Palestine

We say YES to the just national struggle for our rights, which unifies the living energies of our people. We are inspired by our glorious history, our great leaders and their decisive battles, our martyrs, our prisoners, our restless youth and those in refugee camps, waiting on the realization of their inalienable right of return. We say NO to begging at the doors of the occupiers in pursuit of crumbs. This has led Palestinians and will lead them to more division and bloody infighting
Palestine was colonized for strategic, imperial reasons: it is at the junction of three continents, with key transport links and easy access for the hegemonic powers on their way to the oil wealth of the Arab nations. But the colonists could not evacuate the Palestinian people, who have lived here for more than 6,000 years.
After a century of dealing with the European colonial states and American imperialism, our Arab nation has been betrayed, and is still being betrayed, by the terror of these countries.
The illusion that Zionists want peace must be confronted. When will we wake up? We cannot speak of a national state for the Palestinians if we do not liberate ourselves from our petty differences while under siege and occupation. We have to recognize reality: that we continue in a period of national liberation, not in a period of state building.
For this reason we believe in the need to withdraw completely from farcical negotiations with the colonial entity. These only cover up and legalize the occupation. They suggest fair solutions which don't exist, deepening Palestinian conflicts and leading to bloody infighting.
The national liberation stage must precede the construction of the national state. Recognizing this provides a compass to guide us in our national priorities and relations with others. This means no more agreements with the occupiers. They will not commit to agreements, and experience shows they are part of a great deception, falsely called a 'peace process'.
This 'Peace Process' became a façade for the colonial entity to proceed with a so-called 'political solution'. Really, they needed Palestinian participation to pave the way for the oppressive Arab regimes to end the boycott and 'normalize' relationships with the entity.
As Arab markets were closed to the Zionist entity by a blockade, it was necessary to find ways to open them through 'normalization'. But Palestinian resistance had generated popular sympathy in the Arab and Islamic world, and formed a major obstacle to this 'normalization'. Zionist leader Shimon Perez admitted: "The main goal of the Oslo conventions was not Palestinians, but rather normalization with the Arab world and opening its markets."
Yet national liberation requires confronting, not submitting to, foreign hegemony. We say that the leadership of our national movement has ignored this, and has instead engaged in binding relations with the occupying entity and its patrons.
The history of the colonial entity in Palestine is nothing more than a history of the destruction of the Palestinian people and their civilization. Two thirds of our people have been displaced and more than 90% of our land has been stolen. Our land, water and houses are stolen and demolished every day, while apartheid walls are built and the racist nation-state law is being enforced by Israeli legislators. There is also a permanent aggression against the peoples of the region, to subjugate them through Salafist terrorism and economic siege.
The USA supports the Zionist entity with money, weapons, missiles and aircraft, while protecting it from punishment at the UN, recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, abolishing its financial support for the United Nations Refugees and Work Agency (UNRWA) and halting its financial aid to the Palestinian Authority. How can the USA or its regional puppets ever be 'honest brokers' for the people of Palestine?
The invaders falsely used divine religion in attempts to destroy the indigenous people and their cultures. They said this was an 'empty land', available for another people with no land, but with the 'divine promise' of a religious homeland. Yet hiding settler colonization behind the banner of Judaism wrongly places responsibility on religion for the crimes of the colonizers.
We have no problem with 'Jewish' people in Palestine. That problem emerged in capitalist Europe, not in our countries. We are not the ones to create a solution to Europe's 'Jewish problem'. Rather, we have to deal with colonization and foreign hegemony in our region.
The colonial entity and its imperial patrons have brought the people of Palestine to a historic juncture. We, the residents of historic Palestine, must dismantle the terms of our collective extermination so as to set up relations which reject racial segregation and mutual negation. We must dismantle the closed structure and replace it with an open, non-imperial and humane system. This can only be achieved by establishing One Democratic State of Palestine for its indigenous people, the refugees who we were forced out of the country and its current citizens. This is the key to a 'fair and permanent solution of conflict' in the region, and to a 'just solution' for the Palestinian cause. Failing this, war and mutual destruction will continue.
Yet the old Palestinian leadership has presided over regression. They make agreements for the benefit of the colonial entity and its patrons. They abandon 1948 Palestine and the refugees. They collaborate with our enemies while delivering no tangible benefit for our people.
For these reasons we say that this leadership has become a real obstacle to any future development or advancement for our people. This leadership has lost its qualifications to lead national action. It looks to its own benefit and is too weak to learn the lessons of the anti-colonial movements of the peoples of Asia, Africa and the Americas. It does not see the advances elsewhere in challenging US hegemony. It does not even see the resistance in the Arab and Muslim World, when they manage to foil US and Zionist projects.
Our movement must be an organic part of the Arab Liberation Movement, putting an end to foreign hegemony, achieving national unity and liberating Palestine from the current apartheid system. Yet this great humanitarian goal directly clashes with the interests of the dominant triad - the forces of global hegemony, settler apartheid and the comprador Arab regimes.
We warn all against chasing the myth of 'two contiguous states' in Palestine. This is a major deception, to portray ethnic enclaves within Palestine as an expression of the right to popular self-determination. The goal must be to replace apartheid with equal citizenship and this can only be achieved by establishing One Democratic State in historic Palestine for all, including its indigenous people, the refugees who we were forced out of the country and its current citizens, including those who were drawn into the country as settlers through the Zionist project.
Palestinian parties negotiating for unity and reform should focus on restoring liberation to the core of the Palestinian National Charter. The Arab homeland will never be liberated and unified by subordination to the USA! It will only be liberated by confronting and ending colonial and imperial dominance.
We say YES to national unity in the framework of our Palestinian Liberation Movement, freed from deceptive agreements which only serve the hegemonic powers and comprador regimes.
LONG LIVE PALESTINE, liberated from racial colonization and built on the foundations of equality for all its citizens, rejecting segregation and discrimination by religion, culture or ethnicity; friends with its regional neighbours and with all progressive forces of the world!
**Your Signature**


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The Campaign To Bring Mumia Home

Brother Delbert Africa Needs Our Help

             
        

ONA MOVE
The MOVE Organization would like to bring to people's attention a very dangerous situation that is currently occurring with our Brother Delbert Africa. For the past two weeks Delbert has been suffering from severe swelling from the bottom of his waist all the way down to his toes. For the past two weeks prison officials at SCI Dallas have ignored Delbert's request for medical until this past week when several calls were made to his counselor. A medical visit was finally scheduled for this past Wednesday 7/31/2019 where it was explained to Delbert that he has a fluid build up which required to be drained. Delbert was immediately taken to an outside hospital; as of today 8/3/2019 we still do not know where Delbert is.
For several days now Delbert has been kept incommunicado from calling his MOVE Family, His Blood Daughter, and even his lawyer. Prison officials and also hospital officials will not give any one information pertaining to where Delbert is at.

Something very suspicious is happening here and it appears the same pattern that occurred with Phil Africa in 2015 where a simple stomach virus turned to a weeklong trip to the outside hospital held incommunicado from family and friends to return back to the prison and be placed in hospice care and to only die a day later. In 1998 Merle Africa who had a stomach virus was forced in her cell and told she was dying only to die a couple of hours later.
This system has no issue with murdering MOVE people and that's what they are trying to do with Delbert now. They have already given ground by letting innocent MOVE people out on parole and they do not want to do this with Delbert. As we said before, this system has always seen Delbert as the leader and isolated him and this latest tactic is no different. Delbert is set to go before the board this September after winning his appeal; now this happens.

As of now, we have heard that it has been stated based on the medical report given from Outside medical they are stating that Delbert has Anemia, High Potassium, High Psa's, Acute malignancy of lower intestines, Kidney Trouble, and Suspicion of prostate cancer. The only thing that Delbert has agreed to with any treatment or exams is the submission of a catheter to be used.

Delbert has requested a phone call to his MOVE Family, which neither the prison nor the hospital will allow. We are highly suspicious that this prison has done something to Delbert to bring on these symptoms so quickly. They could not kill Delbert August 8th after the brutal beating they gave him and now they want to finish the job before he can come home on parole.

These officials are so arrogant; this is the same way they murdered Phil Africa and Merle Africa .
As we have stated before, they have isolated our Brother so they can kill him. They won't let anyone speak to him. This is very dangerous!!!

We need people now to call
SCI Dallas Superintendent Kevin Ransom 570 675-1101
Geisenger Hospital 570 808-7300
We want people to demand that Delbert Orr Africa Am4895 be allowed to call his MOVE Family and let them know what's going on.

Even Though it's the weekend we are still asking people to call and Monday we are going full blast .
The MOVE Organization
People can reach
Sue Africa 215 387-4107
Carlos Africa 215 385-2772
Janine Africa 610 704 4524

          

"When a cause comes along and you know in your bones that it is just, yet refuse to defend it--at the moment you begin to die. And I have never seen so many corpses walking around talking about justice" 

-Mumia Abu-Jamal
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50 years in prison: 
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!

FREE Chip Fitzgerald 
Grandfather, Father, Elder, Friend
former Black Panther 
              
Romaine "Chip" Fitzgerald has been in prison since he was locked up 50 years ago. A former member of the Black Panther Party, Chip is now 70 years old, and suffering the consequences of a serious stroke. He depends on a wheelchair for his mobility. He has appeared before the parole board 17 times, but they refuse to release him.

NOW is the time for Chip to come home!

In September 1969, Chip and two other Panthers were stopped by a highway patrolman. During the traffic stop, a shooting broke out, leaving Chip and a police officer both wounded. Chip was arrested a month later and charged with attempted murder of the police and an unrelated murder of a security guard. Though the evidence against him was weak and Chip denied any involvement, he was convicted and sentenced to death.

In 1972, the California Supreme Court outlawed the death penalty. Chip and others on Death Row had their sentences commuted to Life imprisonment with the possibility of parole. All of them became eligible for parole after serving 7 more years. But Chip was rejected for parole, as he has been ever since. 

Parole for Lifers basically stopped under Governors Deukmajian, Wilson, and Davis (1983-2003), resulting in increasing numbers of people in prison and 23 new prisons. People in prison filed lawsuits in federal courts: people were dying as a result of the overcrowding. To rapidly reduce the number of people in prison, the court mandated new parole hearings:
·        for anyone 60 years or older who had served 25 years or more;
·        for anyone convicted before they were 23 years old;
·        for anyone with disabilities 

Chip qualified for a new parole hearing by meeting all three criteria.

But the California Board of Parole Hearings has used other methods to keep Chip locked up. Although the courts ordered that prison rule infractions should not be used in parole considerations, Chip has been denied parole because he had a cellphone.

Throughout his 50 years in prison, Chip has been denied his right to due process – a new parole hearing as ordered by Federal courts. He is now 70, and addressing the challenges of a stroke victim. His recent rules violation of cellphone possession were non-violent and posed no threat to anyone. He has never been found likely to commit any crimes if released to the community – a community of his children, grandchildren, friends and colleagues who are ready to support him and welcome him home.

The California Board of Parole Hearings is holding Chip hostage.

We call on Governor Newsom to release Chip immediately.

What YOU can do to support this campaign to FREE CHIP:


1)   Sign and circulate the petition to FREE Chip. Download it at https://www.change.org/p/california-free-chip-fitzgerald
Print out the petition and get signatures at your workplace, community meeting, or next social gathering.

2)   Write an email to Governor Newsom's office (sample message at:https://docs.google.com/document/d/1iwbP_eQEg2J1T2h-tLKE-Dn2ZfpuLx9MuNv2z605DMc/edit?usp=sharing

3)   Write to Chip: Romaine "Chip" Fitzgerald #B27527,
CSP-LAC
P.O. Box 4490
B-4-150
Lancaster, CA 93539

--
Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 863.9977 https://freedomarchives.org/

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Lost In the System 

By Mahmud Khabir Al-Matin
The system in which I attempt to discuss today is a familiar place in the world. The name of this system varies from mouth to mouth in casual conversation, or heated debates. Some call it Gulags, others call it the Prison Industrial Complex, others the human warehouse.
I agree with all these names and more, including the numerous books that have surfaced in the last two decades about mass incarceration. This system as we know it holds 2.5 million people and some of them they refuse to let go regardless of rehabilitation, programming certifications, college, and ignorant youthful mistakes. I am one of those 2.5 million and counting.
On June 4, 2019 after having served 31 years of my life in which I've turned 18 in Union County Jail in Elizabeth, New Jersey, I was transferred to Rikers Island where I turned 19 and was sentenced to 25 years to life in 1991. I was finally granted parole after being denied four times. I convinced the Commissioners by the grace of Allah that I was no longer that easily influenced teenager.
I was no longer a threat to society. I was a college graduate twice. I was in school working on a degree at Ulster Community College through Hudson Link Prison Education Program funded by Mr. Warren Buffett and his sister Doris, and many other famous people—to name a few: Harry Belafonte, Ice-T and Coco his wife. (See HudsonLink.org website). I was a teacher's aide helping men whose reading level was below fifth-grade, as well as math. I was the Imam's clerk and taught Arabic. I had numerous letters from staff requesting my release. Some staff were retaliated against for such belief and reprimanded although New York DOCCS rules state that staff should write these reports. I am the author of an urban novel entitled Can't Stop the Grindand a book of poetry entitled From the Mind of the Incarcerated Slavethat has yet to be published. I gave speeches in the prison grassroots events regularly.
I had become a father and a husband. I had written articles about "the system," the comrade brother Rashid who was the codefendant of Assata Shakur and Abdul Majid (Anthony Laborde) who was placed in solitary confinement with me on two separate occasions. Once was in Wende Correctional Facility, and the last before his death and Elmira, for organizing and other false charges.  I had also written articles in the Bay View on the death of Hugo Pinell and how it was our obligation to adopt his daughter as our sister, daughter, and niece.
However, on June 4, 2019, the day when billions of Muslims are celebrating the end of Ramadan, I was waiting in the cell to go home. My family and I had been told there were no warrants or detainers, no reason for my further incarceration. My brothers had catered a beautiful meal for the evening for me, daughters and sons-in-law to partake, after the evening prayer. I was dressed in full Islamic attire—full-length prayer robe and Kufi. Instead of my release, I was told that my backpack that I was to pick up from Hudson with a laptop computer and suits of clothing as part of the coming home package, and pages of trial transcripts and books would have to stay. I was taken into custody by Union County sheriffs and my family was told to leave the parking lot. I was not coming out. My daughter Aminati and my wife who is a strong prison advocate on Prison Radio's "Voices Beyond the Wall" on WKBR 91.3 Radiowas crushed. My wife has not gotten back on the radio because she can't speak without breaking down.
I was placed in a filthy bullpen with walls smeared with all types of disgusting looking substances while foot-shackled and waist-cuffed. I was told I would not be allowed to wear a black Kufi and my attire was confiscated as I was given a tan uniform. I was given one phone call to let everyone know what happened. I had not seen any judge and within 48 hours I was zoomed off at 5:00 A.M. to Trenton State Prison, which sent me to Central Reception Assignment Facility (CRAF) butt naked in a jumpsuit and flip-flops. I was issued #550844, and old number and simply told I would see Classification. This is 31 years later. My family was not allowed to speak to me for a week. Upon seeing Classification I was told owed time—16 years with a five-year stipulation. The Classification Committee removed six years from the back of the sentence and gave me an early parole date of November 2023 plus 202 to jail credit days. This was my punishment for getting a reversal in 1994 and being re-sentenced, which in the original judgment of conviction showed there was a 256 Gap time days plus 202 jail credit and another eight months missing.
The judge has since died and on a motion has been filed to amend the judgment of conviction to reflect 1014 days are owed to me on the front of the sentence and 1059 on the back which under State v. HernandezState v. Beatty and State v. Rippy, I am entitled to every day. This time would put me at an immediate Parole Board to be released, or at least a halfway house, which, under New Jersey law, for which anyone who is 36 months short of the earliest release is eligible. I am in need in legal representation. I have been given a Public Defender and assigned Judge Deitch in Union County who is reviewing the pro se motion.
Today I need people to contact Judge Deitch at 908-787-1650 extension #21250 or in a written letter of support that such a motion be granted for an Amended Judgment under indictment # 88-12-2105. The address to write to the Judge Deitch is: County Courthouse, 2 Broad St., Elizabeth, NJ 07201. Otherwise I will continue to be lost in the system. Your help in my liberation as a changed, conscious man is imperative. No prison do I wish to be lost in, although I remain strong under such tormenting conditions. Please feel free to write.
Write to:
Mahmud Khabir Al-Matin
#550844 (3 Wing IT 152 Top)
East Jersey State Prison
Lock Bag 'R'
Rahway, NJ 07065


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Support Chuck Africa for Parole

Michael Africa Jr. started this petition to Pennsylvania Governor


Charles Sims Africa #AM 4975 has been in prison since age 18. He is now 59 years old and a recovering cancer patient. He has been eligible for parole since 2008 but continually denied because of  his political views.
Charles has 8 codefendants. Two has died in prison, four has been released from prison onto parole. Chuck's sister Debbie Sims Africa is one of the four codefendants released onto parole.
Since coming home from prison, Debbie is thriving. Our community of support has supported Debbie to excel and we are committed to do the same for Chuck so that he can excel as well. 
http://chng.it/Yprs8pXBBp

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On Abortion: From Facebook

Best explanation I've heard so far..., Copied from a friend who copied from a friend who copied..., "Last night, I was in a debate about these new abortion laws being passed in red states. My son stepped in with this comment which was a show stopper. One of the best explanations I have read:, , 'Reasonable people can disagree about when a zygote becomes a "human life" - that's a philosophical question. However, regardless of whether or not one believes a fetus is ethically equivalent to an adult, it doesn't obligate a mother to sacrifice her body autonomy for another, innocent or not., , Body autonomy is a critical component of the right to privacy protected by the Constitution, as decided in Griswold v. Connecticut (1965), McFall v. Shimp (1978), and of course Roe v. Wade (1973). Consider a scenario where you are a perfect bone marrow match for a child with severe aplastic anemia; no other person on earth is a close enough match to save the child's life, and the child will certainly die without a bone marrow transplant from you. If you decided that you did not want to donate your marrow to save the child, for whatever reason, the state cannot demand the use of any part of your body for something to which you do not consent. It doesn't matter if the procedure required to complete the donation is trivial, or if the rationale for refusing is flimsy and arbitrary, or if the procedure is the only hope the child has to survive, or if the child is a genius or a saint or anything else - the decision to donate must be voluntary to be constitutional. This right is even extended to a person's body after they die; if they did not voluntarily commit to donate their organs while alive, their organs cannot be harvested after death, regardless of how useless those organs are to the deceased or how many lives they would save., , That's the law., , Use of a woman's uterus to save a life is no different from use of her bone marrow to save a life - it must be offered voluntarily. By all means, profess your belief that providing one's uterus to save the child is morally just, and refusing is morally wrong. That is a defensible philosophical position, regardless of who agrees and who disagrees. But legally, it must be the woman's choice to carry out the pregnancy., , She may choose to carry the baby to term. She may choose not to. Either decision could be made for all the right reasons, all the wrong reasons, or anything in between. But it must be her choice, and protecting the right of body autonomy means the law is on her side. Supporting that precedent is what being pro-choice means.", , Feel free to copy/paste and re-post., y
Sent from my iPhone

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Celebrating the release of Janet and Janine Africa
Take action now to support Jalil A. Muntaqim's release


Jalil A. Muntaqim was a member of the Black Panther Party and has been a political prisoner for 48 years since he was arrested at the age of 19 in 1971. He has been denied parole 11 times since he was first eligible in 2002, and is now scheduled for his 12th parole hearing. Additionally, Jalil has filed to have his sentence commuted to time served by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. Visit Jalil's support page, check out his writing and poetry, and Join Critical Resistance in supporting a vibrant intergenerational movement of freedom fighters in demanding his release.

48 years is enough. Write, email, call, and tweet at Governor Cuomo in support of Jalil's commutation and sign this petition demanding his release.

http://freedomarchives.org/Support.Jalil/Campaign.html
Write:
The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of the State of New York
Executive Chamber State Capital Building
Albany, New York 12224

Michelle Alexander – Author, The New Jim Crow
Ed Asner - Actor and Activist
Charles Barron - New York Assemblyman, 60th District
Inez Barron - Counci member, 42nd District, New York City Council
Rosa Clemente - Scholar Activist and 2008 Green Party Vice-Presidential candidate
Patrisse Cullors – Co-Founder Black Lives Matter, Author, Activist
Elena Cohen - President, National Lawyers Guild
"Davey D" Cook - KPFA Hard Knock Radio
Angela Davis - Professor Emerita, University of California, Santa Cruz
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz - Native American historian, writer and feminist
Mike Farrell - Actor and activist
Danny Glover – Actor and activist
Linda Gordon - New York University
Marc Lamont Hill - Temple University
Jamal Joseph - Columbia University
Robin D.G. Kelley - University of California, Los Angeles
Tom Morello - Rage Against the Machine
Imani Perry - Princeton University
Barbara Ransby - University of Illinois, Chicago
Boots Riley - Musician, Filmmaker
Walter Riley - Civil rights attorney
Dylan Rodriguez - University of California, Riverside, President American Studies Association
Maggie Siff, Actor
Heather Ann Thompson - University of Michigan
Cornel West - Harvard University
Institutional affiliations listed for identification purposes only
Call: 1-518-474-8390

Email Gov. Cuomo with this form

Tweet at @NYGovCuomo
Any advocacy or communications to Gov. Cuomo must refer to Jalil as:
ANTHONY JALIL BOTTOM, 77A4283,
Sullivan Correctional Facility,
P.O. Box 116,
Fallsburg, New York 12733-0116


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Painting by Kevin Cooper, an innocent man on San Quentin's death row. www.freekevincooper.org

Decarcerate Louisiana

Declaration of Undersigned Prisoners
We, the undersigned persons, committed to the care and custody of the Louisiana Department of Corrections (LDOC), hereby submit the following declaration and petition bearing witness to inhumane conditions of solitary confinement in the N-1 building at the David Wade Corrections Center (DWCC). 
Our Complaint:
We, the Undersigned Persons, declare under penalty of perjury: 
1.    We, the undersigned, are currently housed in the N-1 building at DWCC, 670 Bell Hill Road, Homer, LA 71040. 
2.    We are aware that the Constitution, under the 8th Amendment, bans cruel and unusual punishments; the Amendment also imposes duties on prison officials who must provide humane conditions of confinement and ensure that inmates receive adequate food, clothing, shelter, medical care, and must take reasonable measures to guarantee the safety of the inmates. 
3.    We are aware that Louisiana prison officials have sworn by LSA-R.S.15:828 to provide humane treatment and rehabilitation to persons committed to its care and to direct efforts to return every person in its custody to the community as promptly as practicable. 
4.    We are confined in a double-bunked six-by-nine foot or 54 square feet cell with another human being 22-hours-a-day and are compelled to endure the degrading experience of being in close proximity of another human being while defecating. 
5.    There are no educational or rehabilitation programs for the majority of prisoners confined in the N-1 building except for a selected few inmates who are soon to be released. 
6.    We get one hour and 30 minutes on the yard and/or gym seven days a week. Each day we walk to the kitchen for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, which takes about one minute to get there. We are given ten minutes to eat. 
7.    The daily planner for inmates confined in the N-1 building is to provide inmates one hour and 30 minutes on yard or gym; escort inmates to kitchen for breakfast, lunch, and dinner to sit and eat for approximately ten minutes each meal; provide a ten minute shower for each cell every day; provide one ten minute phone call per week; confine prisoners in cell 22-hours-a-day. 
8.    When we are taking a shower we are threatened by guards with disciplinary reports if we are not out on time. A typical order is: "if you are not out of shower in ten minutes pack your shit and I'm sending you back to N-2, N-3, or N-4"—a more punitive form of solitary confinement. 
9.    When walking outside to yard, gym or kitchen, guards order us to put our hands behind our back or they'll write us up and send us back to N-2, N-3, N-4. 
10.  When we are sitting at the table eating, guards order us not to talk or they'll write us up and send us back to N-2, N-3, N-4. ) 
11.  Guards are harassing us every day and are threatening to write up disciplinary reports and send us back to a more punitive cellblock (N-2, N-3, N-4) if we question any arbitrary use of authority or even voice an opinion in opposition to the status quo. Also, guards take away good time credits, phone, TV, radio, canteen, and contact visits for talking too loud or not having hands behind back or for any reason they want. We are also threatened with slave labor discipline including isolation (removing mattress from cell from 5:00 A.M. to 9:00 P.M.,) strip cell (removing mattress and bedding and stationery from cell for ten to 30 days or longer), food loaf  (taking one's meal for breakfast, lunch, or dinner and mixing it all together into one big mass, bake it in oven and serve it to prisoners for punishment.)
12.  When prison guards write up disciplinary reports and transfer us to the more punitive restrictive solitary confinement in N-2, N-3, N-4 or N-5, guards then enforce an arbitrary rule that gives prisoners the ultimatum of sending all their books and personal property home or let the prison dispose of it. 
13.  Louisiana prison officials charge indigent prisoners (who earn less than four cents an hour) $3.00 for routine requests for healthcare services, $6.00 for emergency medical requests, and $2.00 for each new medical prescription. They wait until our family and friends send us money and take it to pay prisoners' medical bills. 
Our concerns:
14.  How much public monies are appropriated to the LDOC budget and specifically allotted to provide humane treatment and implement the rehabilitation program pursuant to LSA- R.S.15:828? 
15.  Why does Elayn Hunt Correctional Center located in the capitol of Louisiana have so many educational and rehabilitation programs teaching prisoners job and life skills for reentry whereas there are no such programs to engage the majority of prisoners confined in the N-1, N- 2, N-3, and N-4 solitary confinement buildings at DWCC. 
16.  It is customary for Louisiana prison officials and DWCC prison guards to tell inmates confined in the prison's cellblocks to wait until transfer to prison dormitory to participate in programs when in fact there are no such programs available and ready to engage the majority of the state's 34,000 prisoner population. The programs are especially needed for prisoners confined in a six-by-nine foot or 54 square feet cell with another person for 22-or-more-hours-per-day. 
17.  Why can't prisoners use phone and computers every day to communicate with family and peers as part of rehabilitation and staying connected to the community? 
18.  Why do prisoners have to be transferred miles and miles away from loved ones to remote correctional facilities when there are facilities closer to loved ones? 
19.  Why are prison guards allowed to treat prisoners as chattel slaves, confined in cages 22-or-more-hours-per-day, take away phone calls and visitation and canteen at will, and take away earned good time credits for any reason at all without input from family, one's peers and community? 
20.  Why do the outside communities allow prison guards to create hostile living environments and conditions of confinement that leaves prisoners in a state of chattel slavery, stress, anxiety, anger, rage, inner torment, despair, worry, and in a worse condition from when we first entered the prison? 
21.  Why do state governments and/or peers in the community allow racist or bigoted white families who reside in the rural and country parts of Louisiana to run the state's corrections system with impunity? For example, DWCC Warden Jerry Goodwin institutes racist and bigoted corrections policies and practices for the very purpose of oppression, repression, antagonizing and dehumanizing the inmates who will one day be released from prison. 
22.  David Wade Correctional Center Colonel Lonnie Nail, a bigot and a racist, takes his orders from Warden Jerry Goodwin, another racist and bigot. Both Goodwin and Nail influences subordinate corrections officers to act toward prisoners in a racist or bigoted manner and with an arrogant attitude. This creates a hostile living environment and debilitating conditions of confinement for both guards and prisoners and prevents rehabilitation of inmates.
23.  In other industrialized democracies like Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands, et al, it is reported that no prisoner should be declared beyond reform or redemption without first attempting to rehabilitate them. Punitive or harsh conditions of confinement are not supported because they see the loss of freedom inherent in a prison sentence as punishment enough. One Netherlands official reported that their motto is to start with the idea of "Reintegration back into society on day one" when people are locked up. "You can't make an honest argument that how someone is treated while incarcerated doesn't affect how they behave when they get out," the official added. 
24.  Additionally, some Scandinavian countries have adopted open prison programs without fences or armed guards. Prisoners who prove by their conduct that they can be trusted are placed in a prison resembling a college campus more than a prison. The result is a 20 percent recidivism rate, compared to a 67 percent rate in the United States. 
25.  The National Commission on Correctional Health Care (NCCHC) in a position statement says: "Prolonged (greater than 15 consecutive days) solitary confinement is cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment, and harmful to an individual's health."
 What We Believe: 
26.  We believe that when the greater portion of public monies goes to war and the military, this leaves little funds left for community reinvestment and human development.The people have less access to resources by which to get a better idea of human behavior and rely on higher education instead of prison to solve cultural, social, political, economic problems in the system that may put people at risk to domestic violence and crime as a way to survive and cope with shortcomings in the system. 
27.  We believe that investing public monies in the rehabilitation program LSA-R.S.15:828 to teach prisoners job and life skills will redeem inmates, instill morals, and make incarcerated people productive and fit for society. 
28.  We believe that confining inmates in cellblocks 15-or-more=hours-per-day is immoral, uncivilized, brutalizing, a waste of time and counter-productive to rehabilitation and society's goals of "promoting the general welfare" and "providing a more perfect union with justice for all." 
29.  We believe that corrections officers who prove by their actions that incarcerated people are nothing more than chattel slaves are bucking the laws and creating hardening criminals and these corrections officers are, therefore, a menace to society. 
Our Demands:
30.  We are demanding a public conversation from community activists and civil rights leaders about (1) the historic relationship between chattel slavery, the retaliatory assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, and the resurrection of slavery written into the 13th Amendment; (2) the historic relationship between the 13th Amendment, the backlash against Reconstruction, Peonage, Convict Leasing, and Slavery; (3) the historic relationship between the 13th Amendment, the War Against Poverty, the War on Drugs, Criminal Justice and Prison Slavery. 
31.  We demand that the Louisiana legislature pass the Decarcerate Louisiana Anti-Slavery and Freedom Liberation Act of 2020 into law and end prison slavery and the warehousing of incarcerated people for the very purpose of repression, oppression, and using prisoners and their families and supporters as a profit center for corporate exploitation and to generate revenue to balance the budget and stimulate the state economy. 
32.  We are demanding that Warden Jerry Goodwin and Colonel Lonnie Nail step down and be replaced by people are deemed excellent public servants in good standing with human rights watchdog groups and civil rights community. 
33.  We are demanding that the LDOC provide public monies to operate state prison dormitories and cellblocks as rehabilitation centers to teach incarcerated people job and life skills five-days-a-week from 7:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. 
34.  We are demanding that the LDOC release a public statement announcing that "from this day forward it will not support punitive or harsh conditions of confinement," and that "no prisoner should be declared beyond reform or redemption without first attempting to rehabilitate them."
35.  We are demanding that the prison cellblocks be operated as open dormitories (made in part a health clinic and part college campus) so that incarcerated people can have enough space to walk around and socialize, participate in class studies, exercise, use telephone as the need arise. Prisoners are already punished by incarceration so there is no need to punish or further isolate them. Racism and abuse of power will not be tolerated. 
36.  We are demanding an end to unjust policies and practices that impose punishments and deprive incarcerated people of phone calls, visitation, canteen, good time credits, books and other personal property that pose no threat to public safety. 
37.  We are demanding that LDOC provide incarcerated people cellphones and computers to communicate with the public and stay connected to the community. 
38.  We are demanding the right to communicate with reporters to aid and assist incarcerated persons in preparing a press release to communicate to the public Decarcerate Louisiana's vision and mission statements, aims, and plans for moving forward. 
39.  We are demanding the right to participate in the U.S.-European Criminal Justice Innovation Project and share our complaint, concerns, and demands for a humane corrections program. 
40.  We are only demanding the right to enough space to create, to innovate, to excel in learning, to use scientific knowledge to improve our person and place and standing in the free world. The rule of law must support the betterment and uplifting of all humanity. As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., said: "injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." 
41.  We demand that the responsibility for prisoner medical care be removed from DOC wardens and place it under the management of the state's health office; increase state health officer staff to better monitor prisoner healthcare and oversee vendor contracts. 
42.  We have a God-given right and responsibility to resist abuse of power from the wrongdoers, to confront unjust authority and oppression, to battle for justice until we achieve our demands for liberation and freedom. 
We, the undersigned, declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct. 
Executed on this 28th Day of January 2019. 
Ronald Brooks #385964 
David Johnson #84970 
Freddie Williams #598701 
Earl Hollins #729041 
James Harris #399514 
Tyrone Carter #550354 
Kerry Carter #392013 
Ivo Richardson #317371 
Rondrikus Fulton #354313 
Kentell Simmons #601717 
Jayvonte Pines #470985 
Deandre Miles #629008 
Kenneth P. #340729 
Brandon Ceaser #421453 
Tyronne Ward #330964 
Jermaine Atkins #448421 
Charles Rodgers #320513 
Steve Givens #557854 
Timothy Alfred #502378 
—wsimg.com, January 2019
https://img1.wsimg.com/blobby/go/1f4bce95-7ddd-4b2d-8ee7-d8edf36f394f/downloads/Declaration_of_Undersigned_Prisoners.pdf?ver=1555809786117



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New Prison and Jail Population Figures Released by U.S. Department of Justice

By yearend 2017, the United States prison population had declined by 7.3% since reaching its peak level in 2009, according to new data released by the Department of Justice. The prison population decreases are heavily influenced by a handful of states that have reduced their populations by 30% or more in recent years. However, as of yearend 2017 more than half the states were still experiencing increases in their populations or rates of decline only in the single digits. 
Analysis of the new data by The Sentencing Project reveals that: 
  • The United States remains as the world leader in its rate of incarceration, locking up its citizens at 5-10 times the rate of other industrialized nations. At the current rate of decline it will take 75 years to cut the prison population by 50%.
      
  • The population serving life sentences is now at a record high. One of every seven individuals in prison – 206,000 – is serving life.
      
  • Six states have reduced their prison populations by at least 30% over the past two decades – Alaska, Connecticut, California, New Jersey, New York, and Vermont.  
  • The rate of women's incarceration has been rising at a faster rate than men's since the 1980s, and declines in recent years have been slower than among men.
      
  • Racial disparities in women's incarceration have changed dramatically since the start of the century. Black women were incarcerated at 6 times the rate of white women in 2000, while the 2017 figure is now 1.8 times that rate. These changes have been a function of both a declining number of black women in prison and a rising number of white women. For Hispanic women, the ratio has changed from 1.6 times that of white women in 2000 to 1.4 times in 2017. 
The declines in prison and jail populations reported by the Department of Justice today are encouraging, but still fall far short of what is necessary for meaningful criminal justice reform. In order to take the next step in ending mass incarceration policymakers will need to scale back excessive sentencing for all offenses, a key factor which distinguishes the U.S. from other nations. 

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[Note: China's population is 1,419,147,756* as of April 26, 2019 with 1,649,804 in prison***; while the population of the USA is 328,792,291 as of April 27, 2019** with 2,121,600 in prison.*** 
*http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/china-population/
**https://www.census.gov/popclock/
***https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_incarceration_rate]


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Courage to Resist
daniel hale drone activist
Drone vet turned activist facing 50 years for whistle-blowing
Daniel Hale, an Air Force veteran and former US intelligence analyst was arrested May 9th and charged with violating the Espionage Act. Daniel is a well-known anti-drone activist who has spoken out a number of anti-war events and conferences. He's a member of About Face: Veterans Against the War, and he's featured in the documentary "National Bird." For years, Daniel has expressed concern that he'd be targeted by the government.  Learn more.
Podcast: "There were US anti-war soldiers all over the world" - Hal Muskat
"I told my command officer that I wasn't going to, I was refusing my orders [to Vietnam] … In his rage, he thought if he court-martialed me, he'd have to stay in the Army past his discharge date." While stationed in Europe, Hal Muskat refused orders to Vietnam and joined the GI Movement, resulting in two court martials. This Courage to Resist podcast was produced in collaboration with the Vietnam Full Disclosure effort of Veterans For Peace. Listen to Hal Muskat's story.



Chelsea Manning returned to jail after brief release; Faces half million dollar fine in addition to another 18 months prison
Since our last newsletter less than two weeks ago, Chelsea Manning was freed from jail when the grand jury investigating Julian Assange and WikiLeaks expired. However, a few days later, she was sent back to jail for refusing to collaborate with a new grand jury on the same subject. District Court Judge Anthony Trenga ordered Chelsea fined $500 every day she is in custody after 30 days and $1,000 every day she is in custody after 60 days -- a possible total of $502,000. Statement from Chelsea's lawyers.
Stand with Reality Winner, rally in DC
June 3, 2019 at 7pm (Monday)
Lafayette Square, Washington DC 
Please join friends and supporters as we raise awareness of the persecution of this young veteran and brave truth teller. This marks two years of imprisonment of Reality for helping to expose hacking attempts on US election systems leading up to the 2016 presidential election. For more info, visit the "Stand with Reality" pages on Twitter or FacebookOrder "Stand with Reality" shirts, banners, and buttons from Left Together protest shirts.


COURAGE TO RESIST ~ SUPPORT THE TROOPS WHO REFUSE TO FIGHT!
484 Lake Park Ave #41, Oakland, California 94610 ~ 510-488-3559
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Funds for Kevin Cooper

https://www.gofundme.com/funds-for-kevin-cooper?member=1994108

For 34 years, an innocent man has been on death row in California. 

Kevin Cooper was wrongfully convicted of the brutal 1983 murders of the Ryen family and houseguest. The case has a long history of police and prosecutorial misconduct, evidence tampering, and numerous constitutional violations including many incidences of the prosecution withholding evidence of innocence from the defense. You can learn more here . 

In December 2018 Gov. Brown ordered  limited DNA testing and in February 2019, Gov. Newsom ordered additional DNA testing. Meanwhile, Kevin remains on Death Row at San Quentin Prison. 

The funds raised will be used to help Kevin purchase art supplies for his paintings . Additionally, being in prison is expensive, and this money would help Kevin pay for stamps, paper, toiletries, supplementary food, and/or phone calls.

Please help ease the daily struggle of an innocent man on death row!




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Don't extradite Assange!

To the government of the UK
Julian Assange, through Wikileaks, has done the world a great service in documenting American war crimes, its spying on allies and other dirty secrets of the world's most powerful regimes, organisations and corporations. This has not endeared him to the American deep state. Both Obama, Clinton and Trump have declared that arresting Julian Assange should be a priority. We have recently received confirmation [1] that he has been charged in secret so as to have him extradited to the USA as soon as he can be arrested. 
Assange's persecution, the persecution of a publisher for publishing information [2] that was truthful and clearly in the interest of the public - and which has been republished in major newspapers around the world - is a danger to freedom of the press everywhere, especially as the USA is asserting a right to arrest and try a non-American who neither is nor was then on American soil. The sentence is already clear: if not the death penalty then life in a supermax prison and ill treatment like Chelsea Manning. The very extradition of Julian Assange to the United States would at the same time mean the final death of freedom of the press in the West. 
The courageous nation of Ecuador has offered Assange political asylum within its London embassy for several years until now. However, under pressure by the USA, the new government has made it clear that they want to drive Assange out of the embassy and into the arms of the waiting police as soon as possible. They have already curtailed his internet and his visitors and turned the heating off, leaving him freezing in a desolate state for the past few months and leading to the rapid decline of his health, breaching UK obligations under the European Convention of Human Rights. Therefore, our demand both to the government of Ecuador and the government of the UK is: don't extradite Assange to the US! Guarantee his human rights, make his stay at the embassy as bearable as possible and enable him to leave the embassy towards a secure country as soon as there are guarantees not to arrest and extradite him. Furthermore, we, as EU voters, encourage European nations to take proactive steps to protect a journalist in danger. The world is still watching.
[1] https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/16/us/politics/julian-assange-indictment-wikileaks.html
[2] https://theintercept.com/2018/11/16/as-the-obama-doj-concluded-prosecution-of-julian-assange-for-publishing-documents-poses-grave-threats-to-press-freedom/
https://internal.diem25.org/en/petitions/1

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Words of Wisdom

Louis Robinson Jr., 77
Recording secretary for Local 1714 of the United Auto Workers from 1999 to 2018, with the minutes from a meeting of his union's retirees' chapter.

"One mistake the international unions in the United States made was when Ronald Reagan fired the air traffic controllers. When he did that, the unions could have brought this country to a standstill. All they had to do was shut down the truck drivers for a month, because then people would not have been able to get the goods they needed. So that was one of the mistakes they made. They didn't come together as organized labor and say: "No. We aren't going for this. Shut the country down." That's what made them weak. They let Reagan get away with what he did. A little while after that, I read an article that said labor is losing its clout, and I noticed over the years that it did. It happened. It doesn't feel good."

[On the occasion of the shut-down of the Lordstown, Ohio GM plant March 6, 2019.]
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/05/01/magazine/lordstown-general-motors-plant.html

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Get Malik Out of Ad-Seg


Keith "Malik" Washington is an incarcerated activist who has spoken out on conditions of confinement in Texas prison and beyond:  from issues of toxic water and extreme heat, to physical and sexual abuse of imprisoned people, to religious discrimination and more.  Malik has also been a tireless leader in the movement to #EndPrisonSlavery which gained visibility during nationwide prison strikes in 2016 and 2018.  View his work at comrademalik.com or write him at:

Keith H. Washington
TDC# 1487958
McConnell Unit
3001 S. Emily Drive
Beeville, TX 78102
Friends, it's time to get Malik out of solitary confinement.

Malik has experienced intense, targeted harassment ever since he dared to start speaking against brutal conditions faced by incarcerated people in Texas and nationwide--but over the past few months, prison officials have stepped up their retaliation even more.

In Administrative Segregation (solitary confinement) at McConnell Unit, Malik has experienced frequent humiliating strip searches, medical neglect, mail tampering and censorship, confinement 23 hours a day to a cell that often reached 100+ degrees in the summer, and other daily abuses too numerous to name.  It could not be more clear that they are trying to make an example of him because he is a committed freedom fighter.  So we have to step up.


Who to contact:
TDCJ Executive Director Bryan Collier
Phone: (936)295-6371

Senior Warden Philip Sinfuentes (McConnell Unit)
Phone: (361) 362-2300

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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.

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.

Major Tillery has Fought his Conviction and Advocated for Other Prisoners for over 30 Years

Major Tillery Needs Your Help:


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:
    Security Processing Center
    Major Tillery AM 9786
    268 Bricker Road
    Bellefonte, PA 16823
    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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    ILPDC NEWSLETTER BANNER
      

    On Monday March 4th, 2019 Leonard Peltier was advised that his request for a transfer had been unceremoniously denied by the United States Bureau of Prisons.

    The International Leonard Peltier Defense Committee appreciates and thanks the large number of his supporters who took the time to write, call, email, or fax the BOP in support of Leonard's request for a transfer.
    Those of us who have been supporting Leonard's freedom for a number of years are disappointed but resolute to continue pushing for his freedom and until that day, to continue to push for his transfer to be closer to his relatives and the Indigenous Nations who support him.
    44 years is too damn long for an innocent man to be locked up. How can his co-defendants be innocent on the grounds of self-defense but Leonard remains in prison? The time is now for all of us to dig deep and do what we can and what we must to secure freedom for Leonard Peltier before it's too late.
    We need the support of all of you now, more than ever. The ILPDC plans to appeal this denial of his transfer to be closer to his family. We plan to demand he receive appropriate medical care, and to continue to uncover and utilize every legal mechanism to secure his release. To do these things we need money to support the legal work.
    Land of the Brave postcard-page-0

    Please call the ILPDC National office or email us for a copy of the postcard you can send to the White House. We need your help to ask President Trump for Leonard's freedom.
      


    Free Leonard Peltier!


    Art by Leonard Peltier
    Write to:
    Leonard Peltier 89637-132
    USP Coleman 1,  P.O. Box 1033
    Coleman, FL 33521

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

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    1) Revolutionary Socialism is the Primary Political Ideology of The Red Nation
    The Red Nation, September 7, 2019
    https://therednation.org/2019/09/07/revolutionary-socialism-is-the-primary-political-ideology-of-the-red-nation/

    Adopted September 6, 2019 By The Red Nation

    "I firmly believe that the philosophy of my ancestors lines up quite tidily with the philosophy of communism. I make no apology for my principles." —Lee Maracle
    "Socialism is for the people. If you're afraid of socialism, you're afraid of yourself." —Fred Hampton

    Introduction 

    This position paper of the Third General Assembly formally adopts revolutionary socialism and liberation as the primary political ideology of The Red Nation. While incomplete, the purpose of this proposal is to articulate the basic principles of revolutionary socialism and Marxism and its connection to Indigenous socialism and communism. By adopting this proposal, we commit ourselves to the study and practice of revolutionary socialism (also known as scientific socialism) by aligning ourselves with the long traditions of resistance that predate Marxism itself. Nonetheless, Marxism has become the weapon of the poor and colonized throughout the world and largely outside of Europe, a weapon we now take up as our own. Marxism is the five-fingered fist—the hand of the worker, the peasant, the colonized—and our traditions of resistance are the power behind that fist.
    Marxism is a tool for making revolution, first and foremost. But it is a useless tool unless wielded properly by the oppressed. Our traditions of Indigenous resistance wield Marxism, not to uphold European traditions, but to emancipate ourselves from the colonizers by destroying that which destroys us, and building and rebuilding our nations according to our traditions and cultures so that our human and nonhuman relations and thus all people may live. And we cannot merely destroy capitalism, without the foresight and knowledge of replacing it with a more humane and just system without rulers and without colonizers. That system is called socialism, which seeks to destroy the class system and the ruling classes, redistribute land and wealth to its proper owners, and restore dignity to the humble people of the earth. Put simply, socialism is people power. Socialism puts people before profits. Socialism aligns with Indigenous traditions of relationality as we seek to be good relatives to other humans and other-than-humans. Socialism is the natural state of humanity, to live and work towards peace and justice.
    Communism is the greatest expression of love for the people and our nonhuman relatives. And it is the only solution for a planet on the brink of destruction at the hands of the ruling bourgeoisie and their backwards ideologies and institutions. 

    U.S. imperialism is the number one enemy of the planet.

    Our socialism is rooted in Indigenous resistance, African slave rebellions, and European labor history. It is also rooted in the nations of the Tri-Continental—of Asia, Africa, and the Americas—that aligned themselves against the primary enemy of the planet: U.S. imperialism. Indigenous peoples were the first victims of European imperialism and invasion. The U.S. inherited that mantle and has exported the settler colonial project to the rest of the globe by plundering and killing other darker nations. We are internationalists. 
    As Indigenous nations, who are in the United States but not entirely of it, we align ourselves with the Third World. We seek to end the oppressive relations between European nations and the Third World. This means opposing U.S. imperialism at all turns, denouncing all U.S. imperialist wars, and aligning ourselves with the poorer nations of the world in the defense of their sovereignty and self-determination. The U.S. must get out of everywhere, including Turtle Island! 
    Global climate change is also not a Third World problem—it's a first world problem. Nations like the United States consume and produce the most carbon. This concentration of wealth and consumption derives from the histories of African slavery, Indigenous genocide, and European settler colonialism. Thus, the struggle against the multinational oil and gas corporations is an anti-imperialist struggle in which Indigenous nations are leading the fight. But we also recognize that our socialism, our freedom and emancipation, can never come at the expense of our Third World comrades and relatives.
    Marx and Engels developed their theories of change and history from the vantage point of the laboring European proletariat. Industrial capitalism, however, didn't begin solely in the English factory. The hands that picked the cotton that was weaved in English textile mills were African—stolen from their homelands and enslaved by European masters. The land where the cotton grew had to be cleared of Indigenous people and Indigenous title to make way for the plantation economy, the main driving force behind the expansion of modern capitalism. Thus, the expansion of African slavery fueled the dispossession of Indigenous peoples.  
    U.S. settler colonialism was thoroughly a racial project of genocide and Indigenous elimination, which is an enduring structure that changes over time. After all, even the so-called Five Civilized Tribes who had adopted the plantation economy and African slave system from their European counterparts were themselves dispossessed and extirpated from their lands. And both freed Africans and Indigenous people fought as soldiers and scouts for the U.S. settler wars of extermination against western Indigenous nations and overseas campaigns of conquest. Despite their military service in the U.S. imperialist army, their stations within settler society have always been subordinate to white Europeans. They faced Jim Crow segregation, police violence, mass incarceration, and the continued settler occupation of Indigenous lands. We reject settler colonialism and U.S. imperialism as the means of emancipation for the working class and for colonized people.
    Our communist and anti-imperialist principles to which we ascribe are as follows: 
    1.    End the unequal relations between European and colonized nations. 
    2.    End the violent competition between the nations of exploiters and colonizers. 
    3.    End the plunder of the earth for profit.

     Marxism is not European. Socialism is Indigenous.

    Marxism is founded on the expropriated knowledges of non-capitalist Indigenous societies. Although Marx himself was wrong about many things, Marxism, as a science, has a built-in self-correcting mechanism that has helped revolutionaries throughout the world build off the political theory Marx first formulated. If this were untrue, there would be no Russian Revolution, no African Revolution and decolonization movement, no Vietnamese liberation, no Bolivarian Revolution, no Cuban Revolution, no Chinese Revolution, etc.Each adopted Marxism and applied it to its specific and unique circumstances by building off the long struggles against exploitation and European imperialism.
    Even for Indigenous peoples in the Americas, the concepts and theories of decolonization explicitly derive from Marxist revolutionary movements. It's dishonest for us to not recognize this history. It's not because of Marx or European thinkers that these revolutions were successful. It's because Marxism is the science of revolution for the poor masses, the colonized, and the wretched of the earth. Fundamentally, Marxism is the science of how to get free. It is the study of class struggle. 
     If capitalism upholds the systems of racism, settler colonialism, heteropatriarchy, and imperialism, then we cannot use capitalism to undo these systems. It's not enough to just be anti-capitalist. Like our ancestors we must be forward-thinking by drawing from and amplifying our non-capitalist social relations as Indigenous peoples, not to make Indigenous traditions relevant to Marxism or socialism but to make socialism and Marxism relevant to our struggle as Indigenous peoples. 
    You cannot fight fire with fire. You cannot fight capitalism with Indigenous capitalism. You cannot fight nationalism with hyper-nationalism. You can only fight fire with water. And the solution to all these ills—and it is what capitalists and colonists hate the most—is socialism.If capitalism is burning the planet, then socialism is the water to douse the flame. Water is life. We all need water to live, but we don't need capitalism.
    And for us to fight colonialism, we must ensure that our nations can live. But our nationalism cannot mirror the bourgeois settler nationalism of colonial states, which is premised on exclusion and white supremacy. We adopt a revolutionary Indigenous nationalism that aligns with the most oppressed and marginalized first, within and outside our own communities. And we recognize that by organizing production—for our food, medicines, resources, etc.—according to need and not profit is the only possible path forward according to our traditions.
    The philosophy of communism neatly lines up with the philosophy of our Indigenous ancestors. Friedrich Engels admitted as much when in the 1888 English edition of the Communist Manifesto he added a footnote to the famous line: "The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggle." He clarified, "That is, all written history," making note specifically of Lewis Henry Morgan's study of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, which was a communistic, classless, and democratic society before European invasion. Moreover, it was the relative gender equality of Indigenous societies that inspired the suffragettes—white women seeking parity with white men. The study of Indigenous societies, the inherent equality and freedom they engendered among producers and the common ownership of property and social institutions, also inspired European workers to demand eight-hour workdays and the abolition of child labor. And, in the final analysis, despite their own limited understandings, Marx and Engels, the founders of the modern communist movement, had developed theories of emancipation largely from the expropriated knowledges of Indigenous and communal people, whose examples they relied on to prove that capitalism is neither inevitable nor natural. But, in fact, communism is both natural and inevitable.
     This is not to suggest Indigenous societies were utopias—no society is perfect. It is, however, important to understand that Indigenous peoples have been knocked off the path of their natural social development to live in balance and correct relations. We are not trying to recreate the past so much as steer Indigenous nations back on their communal developmental path that has been destroyed or seriously distorted by capitalist social relations.

    The United States is not a "nation of immigrants" but a nation of colonizers. 

    Whereas contemporary racial identity politics attempts to mask or obscure class antagonisms, a class struggle that doesn't overturn white supremacy and settler colonialism frees no one. We are not seeking parity with colonizers or further integration into a colonial system. We're seeking to end settler and white supremacy entirely over Black, Indigenous, and colonized people. We aim to end the colonial system entirely.
    Why? The United States, as a nation of European colonizers, had no feudal or communal past. Unlike other nations in history who transitioned from feudalism to capitalism, the United States was the first nation born entirely as a capitalist state. It was constructed from the ground up according to the nightmare vision of European slave owners and Indian killers—the nation's founding bourgeois ideologies. The United States began as an oppressor nation, as a colonizer of oppressed people, and its function remains so.It not only has a capitalist ruling class, but all strata and classes of white Europeans among its ranks are encouraged to become preoccupied with the aims of the ruling class through petty racial privileges and private property ownership, the guiding stars of white settler nationalism. We reject those national and settler aspirations and ask our comrades in struggle to reject them as well.
    The current U.S. colonial state is not only an instrument of racial and class rule; it is also an instrument of imperialist plunder and the oppressor of nations. It thus obscures its own internal divisions of colonizer and colonized. The United States fabricates national myths by calling itself a "nation of immigrants" to hide its unnaturalness and crimes. Immigrants come to a land to integrate within the existing legal, social, and political orders. The first European settlers came to colonize, to destroy and replace existing Indigenous legal, social, and political orders. The United States is, therefore, more accurately described as a "nation of colonizers." Immigrants don't come in chains; you can't immigrate to a land you already belong to; and refugees fleeing imperialist violence are not immigrants. 
    We recognize that the colonial state keeps in place irreconcilable class antagonisms, between rich and poor, between settler and Native. The state is first and foremost police and military violence. Its legitimacy is maintained by force. It's primary function is enforcing capitalist social relations. The veneer of "representative democracy" is only possible because the ruling classes have crushed and will continue to crush any alternative to capitalism by mobilizing the police and military. 
    In this sense, Indigenous people are the first "Red Scare." Because we held land in common and represented an alternative to the settler state (whether it be by taking in escaped slaves or mounting armed resistance,) we had to be annihilated. Today, because we adopt revolutionary socialism as our struggle and vision for a free society, we are the second coming of the "Red Scare." But we are not exclusive in our struggles for freedom. We align ourselves with all colonized and oppressed people of the world. Only imperial borders and nation-states that are not of our own making divide our common humanity. Therefore, our struggle transcends the state, but we are not naive enough to turn away from the state as a site of struggle.
    We understand that state power is nearly impossible to achieve, since Indigenous peoples are a minority. Yet, in alliance with other colonized and oppressed peoples, we can take state power, not to become the new rulers of a capitalist society, but to use the mechanisms of the state to wage our rightful struggle against our class enemies—the rich. A socialist state uses the power and democracy of the masses to undo the privileges and wealth of the ruling classes and the colonial elite, even among our own people. A socialist state seeks to destroy itself because it is built in the shell of the old. But it has to be wielded by the oppressed in the service of the oppressed to achieve freedom and the abolition of the state itself, because, whether we like it or not, the state is the primary organizer of society. And through a decolonized socialist state, we will reorganize society to redistribute wealth and land by taking it back from those who stole it from us in the first place.
    We recognize the fallacy that capitalists and settlers will simply give up their wealth and privilege if we win their hearts and minds. Their wealth and privilege were earned by force and it is kept in place by violence. Any challenge to that authority, whether it's democratic or "non-violent," will always be met with violence. Even the fallacy of democracy is upheld by force. A capitalist government, even if it is "democratic," will always serve the interests of the ruling classes no matter how much we reform it. As revolutionaries, our focus is not to organize and appeal to the oppressors for our rights. Our role is to organize the oppressed to build authentic democracy from the ground up. And we cannot wait for someone else to save us. Only we can save ourselves.
    Marxism and socialism take up the position of the poor. That is why they are derided and hounded by the rich and powerful, because they work in the interests of the colonized and oppressed. We advocate for socialist revolution as the only means of achieving decolonization.

    Indigenous liberation is the tip of the spear.

    Class is fundamentally about power. The class system was imported to our lands and it upholds racism, sexism, homophobia, and settler colonialism. Indigenous nations are not immune to this system, and, in fact, have internalized it as their own. Indigenous nations face a double class oppression—first as Native people colonized by a foreign power and second as poor people. Only revolutionary socialism that seeks decolonization and the abolition of the class system can emancipate us from the ills plaguing our nations. 
    Only through creating a revolutionary organization can we hope to facilitate decolonization on the path towards socialism. No revolution in history ever came about spontaneously. The conditions of a rebellion (war, slavery, starvation) may have been spontaneous, but the successful defeat of the oppressors always required determined and effective organization of a disciplined and highly-trained revolutionary cadre. This is the difference between rebellion and revolution. Rebellion is a temporary protest that seeks the recognition of those in power to change their minds. Revolution seeks to build power from below and doesn't require the recognition of the rulers—but seeks to entirely replace them with people power and the organized masses. Rebellion is a nascent phase that can lead to revolution. But it is not guaranteed. Revolutionaries, however, guide rebellion to revolution. To do so requires a lifetime commitment, building the revolutionary organization which is the vehicle of democracy and struggle, and the unwavering belief that things can and will change.
    The Red Nation is a multinational organization, representing many different Indigenous nations. Yet we recognize a common oppression, a common experience, among Native people. We are oppressed because of our Indigenousness. Therefore, as our name suggests, we are seeking to unify as a nation in this hemisphere and beyond. But our nation is one in which many nations fit. We do not privilege one Indigenous experience over the other (for example, Lakota or Diné, urban or Rez, Anglo or Spanish, etc.). But our diversity and our plurality is our strength, not our weakness. We should actively seek to create and build alliances with non-Indigenous people and struggles but our primary struggle is dedicated to building our organization and unifying our people and nations. Only a revolutionary organization, dedicated to the principles of socialism, equality, democracy, freedom, and Indigenous liberation, is capable of doing that work. But we must submit to a collective will for liberation by abandoning bourgeois individualism and narrow nationalism.
    We recognize that we cannot simply make use of the ready-made machinery of the capitalist state, and that we must work towards the abolition of the police, prison, and related systems of capitalist and colonial violence. We fight for the reorganization of the economic system according to socialist principles and the democratic control over the means of production and distribution of goods, while also not reproducing unequal colonial relations. We support the growth of workers' unions and seek to revolutionize unions towards decolonization and socialism. We reject the notion that capitalism can be administered or reformed towards more humane ends. We do, however, support policies and office-holders (even our own members if elected) that work against the interests of colonialism, capitalism, and the ruling classes, while maintaining socialist revolution as the only solution.
    We encourage our membership to develop revolutionary socialism within their own nations so long as it is dedicated to the liberation of all relations. We also recognize that our traditions have been distorted as tools for oppression. If a tradition becomes a shackle, it must be broken. And while our specific nations and the lands in which we inhabit take priority for our political, cultural, and spiritual development, it should never come at the expense of others or exclude people or beings removed by force or displaced from their homelands. Therefore, the struggle of The Red Nation may take on national Indigenous characteristics depending on region and geography, but it is fundamentally dedicated to national liberation for all Indigenous peoples, which is contingent upon the liberation of everyone and the planet. 
    The Red Nation, September 7, 2019
    https://therednation.org/2019/09/07/revolutionary-socialism-is-the-primary-political-ideology-of-the-red-nation/

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    2) Without Homes, or a State: In Dorian-Battered Bahamas, Haitians Are Hard Hit
    By Frances Robles and 
    Haitians who survived Hurricane Dorian's assault on Great Abaco Island, before they were evacuated. Many lost everything.CreditCreditDaniele Volpe for The New York Times


    NASSAU, Bahamas — Kerline Mildor escaped the wreckage of Hurricane Dorian with her three children and the clothes on her back.
    Ms. Mildor, 33, an immigrant from Haiti who lived on Great Abaco Island in the Bahamas for 14 years, lacks Bahamian citizenship. Her children, born in the Bahamas, are stateless, among the thousands stuck in immigration limbo with nationality to neither country.
    They were sent by plane to Nassau, where they are staying with 80 other people in a makeshift shelter at the Calvary Haitian Baptist Church, where their present is bleak and their future uncertain.

    "They brought us here and told us that it was going to be good," she said. "They serve us rotten food and have us sleeping on the floor. Some dogs are living better. I have seen dogs who live better, in very nice cages."

    The populations of Abaco and Grand Bahama Islands were evacuated after Dorian killed at least 50 people and left 1,300 unaccounted for. A new tropical storm was threatening to hit the same area on Saturday.
    While many Dorian survivors arrived in the nation's capital and stayed at the homes of friends and relatives, more than 2,000 others — almost all Haitians — are staying in shelters with nowhere to go, no prospects for work and precarious legal status.
    Many more Haitians are feared dead, because they may have stayed behind to ride out the storm in their unsafe squatter settlements, distrustful of government shelters.
    An entire community of people who already had a contentious history with the Bahamian government is now homeless and, in some cases, in fear of deportation.

    Haitians are notoriously stigmatized in the Bahamas, where they are often blamed for crime and feel that Bahamians discriminate against them. A policy enacted in 2014 requiring all people to have passports was largely seen as a way to crack down on Haitian immigrants and their children.

    In an interview with The New York Times, the minister of immigration, Elsworth Johnson, said the government had suspended deportation roundups in areas affected by the storm, and shelters are considered sanctuaries. But while the government is providing services to survivors regardless of their country of origin, the legal status of migrants affected by the storm will not be ignored forever, he said.
    He seemed to suggest that the undocumented in the Nassau shelters are particularly at risk if they venture outside.
    "Eventually persons will come out of those shelters, and we know that people are leaving those shelters, and if they're not properly documented, then we apply the law," Mr. Johnson said.
    The Bahamian government, he said, will not give asylum to storm survivors, because that requires proof of political persecution.
    Carl Bethel, the attorney general, said immigrant and Bahamian survivors are treated equally. The children have rights to health care and education, and Haitians and Bahamians stay in the same shelters.
    Nonetheless, many shelter inhabitants say that virtually everyone in them is Haitian, and the government has offered little guidance as to what will be done with them.

    "I am not looking for answers tomorrow. I need answers today," said Rodney Louis, 52, who is living at the Kendal Isaacs gymnasium with his family. "I have been asking for help since last Thursday and I haven't heard anything. They feed us, but I want a house to live in. I need a job."

    Fred R. Smith, a human rights lawyer, said the government should spend the influx of storm-related foreign aid to provide safe and sanitary housing for the thousands of people of Haitian descent who provide low-cost labor in construction and domestic help. Many Haitians have work permits, or are entitled to them, and the government has long ignored their living conditions, he said.
    Mr. Smith filed an injunction against the government for its plans to bulldoze Pigeon Peas and the Mudd, the informal settlements on Great Abaco Island where many Haitians lived and were subjected to deportation raids and demolitions, even though many actually paid rent.
    Hurricane Dorian, oddly, accomplished the government's plan to raze the shantytowns.
    "I made the argument in court that they could not demolish those homes, because they had no place to go," Mr. Smith said. "Now they are homeless. What are they going to do with them?"
    Mr. Smith noted that if only 2,000 people are in shelters, many Haitian people are still unaccounted for. "Where are all those people?" he said.
    "This is a huge issue that needs to be addressed," Mr. Smith said. "The honeymoon of helping people is going to end very quickly."

    Esther Innocent, 13, said children of Haitian descent like her, born in the Bahamas but lacking the right to Bahamian citizenship because their parents are not citizens, are scared they could be deported.
    "It's terrifying," Esther, an eighth-grader, said. "I have never been to Haiti."
    Esther is staying with her mother and twin brothers at the gym, where she said that although they are grateful for the food and shelter, she notices slights that she attributes to Bahamian xenophobia.
    "I notice that the Bahamian people here get juice," she said. "They give us water."
    Many Haitians interviewed said that they had no safety net of relatives, because all of them also had lived in the informal settlements obliterated by the storm.

    "If I were to make a list of the things I need, I would have to write a book," said Fedline Homere, 27, who moved to the Bahamas from Haiti when she was 12 and has three stateless children.
    She said it costs $2,000 a year to arrange for work permits, a sum she cannot afford.
    "First thing I want is to get out of this country and go somewhere better," she said. "I don't know if the government even knows I exist. You can never feel safe. The shelter is better than staying on Abaco, because I have food. But I need to get out of here."
    Several people said they hoped to join relatives in Miami.
    President Trump made clear this week that United States immigration authorities would step up vigilance in checking for storm survivors who lacked a valid reason to be in the Bahamas in the first place.

    "Everybody needs totally proper documentation because, look, the Bahamas had some tremendous problems with people going to the Bahamas that weren't supposed to be there," Mr. Trump said Monday. "I don't want to allow people that weren't supposed to be in the Bahamas to come into the United States, including some very bad people and some very bad gang members, and some very, very bad drug dealers. So we're going to be very, very strong on that."
    Karl Henri Chatelier, the first secretary of the Haitian Embassy in Nassau, said his country was not in the position to be making demands of the Bahamian government on behalf of Haitian citizens.
    "We cannot say that if they stay, they are going to be persecuted," Mr. Chatelier said Thursday outside one of the shelters. "We want to make sure they are well treated, want to make sure they are in good health. When you are not in your living room, not in your bed, things will be difficult for you."
    At the church shelter, some storm survivors got so upset recounting the conditions that uniformed soldiers warned Times journalists doing the interviews against "inciting a riot."
    "I think Haitians and Bahamians are being treated the same: bad," said Timothy Rolle, one of the few Bahamians at the shelter, whose furious diatribe contributed to the soldier's admonition.
    A few hours later, after a week at the shelter, the survivors were provided air beds.


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    3) New York Uncovers $1 Billion in Sackler Family Wire Transfers
    In a court filing, the state attorney general's office says that it has found new account transfers by members of the family that owns Purdue Pharma, the maker of opioids.
    By Danny Hakim, September 13, 2019
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/13/health/sacklers-purdue-opioids.html

    Demonstrators outside the company headquarters of Purdue Pharma, owned by the Sackler family, in Stamford, Conn., on Thursday.Credit


    The New York attorney general's office said on Friday that it had tracked about $1 billion in wire transfers by the Sackler family, including through Swiss bank accounts, suggesting that the family tried to shield wealth as it faced a raft of litigation over its role in the opioid crisis. 
    Earlier this week, thousands of municipal governments and nearly two dozen states tentatively reached a settlement with the Sackler family and the company it owns, Purdue Pharma, maker of OxyContin. It was unclear if the new disclosure would change the thinking of any of the parties that agreed to the settlement.
    The attorneys general of a majority of states, including New York and Massachusetts, have already balked at the proposed deal, contending that the Sackler family has siphoned off company profits that should be used to pay for the billions of dollars in damage caused by opioids.

    The wire transfers are part of a lawsuit against Purdue and individual Sacklers in New York. Letitia James, now the state's attorney general, had issued subpoenas last month to 33 financial institutions and investment advisers with ties to the Sacklers in an effort to trace the full measure of the family's wealth.

    "While the Sacklers continue to lowball victims and skirt a responsible settlement, we refuse to allow the family to misuse the courts in an effort to shield their financial misconduct," Ms. James said in a statement. "Records from one financial institution alone have shown approximately $1 billion in wire transfers between the Sacklers, entities they control, and different financial institutions, including those that have funneled funds into Swiss bank accounts," she added. 
    Forbes has estimated that the family fortune is worth $13 billion, a figure the family has not disputed, but many state attorneys general believe that the family has far more hidden away, as a safeguard against the cascade of litigation.

    In addition to the thousands of lawsuits in state and federal court aimed at Purdue itself, some 26 states have named the Sacklers individually, with more, most recently North Carolina, having announced they are about to pursue family members as well.
    The Sacklers and Purdue have contested the legal actions. 
    "Purdue has already produced more than 51 million pages of documents to the state, including voluminous financial and business information," a lawyer representing Purdue said in a filing in the New York case earlier this month. The company is seeking to quash subpoenas, calling them "premature, facially defective, overbroad" as well as "harassing, and an improper attempt to avoid the rules and procedures governing party discovery."

    Representatives of the company and some of the family members had no immediate comment Friday afternoon. 
    A statement from a firm representing Mortimer D.A. Sackler, a former Purdue board member, said: "This is a cynical attempt by a hostile A.G.'s office to generate defamatory headlines to try to torpedo a mutually beneficial settlement that is supported by so many other states and would result in billions of dollars going to communities and individuals across the country that need help."
    New court documents filed by Ms. James's office Friday afternoon presented only initial findings, from a single unnamed financial institution that has responded to the subpoenas issued by her office. 
    A series of transfers involving Mortimer D.A. Sackler was highlighted in the filings. In one case, $64 million was transferred in 2009 from a previously unknown trust called Purdue Pharma Trust MDAS, through a Swiss bank account in the Bailiwick of Guernsey, in the Channel Islands, and then to Mr. Sackler, the filing said. 
    Transfers to Mr. Sackler from another trust, called Heatheridge Trust Company Limited, were also routed through the same Swiss bank, the filing said, while some transfers from a third trust, called Millborne Trust Company Limited, were routed through a different Swiss bank account.

    Mr. Sackler also directed millions of dollars' worth of the transfers to two real estate entities that owned a house in Amagansett on Long Island and a Manhattan townhouse, according to the court filing. 
    The statement released on behalf of Mr. Sackler said: "There is nothing newsworthy about these decade-old transfers, which were perfectly legal and appropriate in every respect."
    But investigators believe that the initial records reviewed show that there is much more to be learned before a fair resolution can be reached.

    In a letter to the court Friday, a lawyer in the attorney general's office, David E. Nachman, wrote: "Already, these records have allowed the state to identify previously unknown shell companies that one of the Sackler defendants used to shift Purdue money through accounts around the world and then conceal it in at least two separate multimillion-dollar real estate investments back here in New York, sanitized (until now) of any readily detectable connections to the Sackler family." 
    The tentative settlement announced earlier this week, involving nearly 2,300 cases in federal court and 23 states, included terms that Purdue Pharma would file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy imminently. Typically, when a company begins bankruptcy proceedings, all litigation against it is, at least temporarily, stayed. 
    Whether such bankruptcy protections would extend to individual Sacklers is in dispute. States like New York are seeking to find the sources of the Sackler fortune, hoping to reclaim portions of it, particularly in the event that a Purdue bankruptcy could constrain payouts to litigants.

    Various Sacklers have, until 2018, been on the company's board of directors; Dr. Richard Sackler is a former president and chairman of the company's board. In many reported articles, books and legal papers, members of the family have been accused of encouraging aggressive sales tactics of OxyContin.
    The family also has long ties abroad. It still owns Mundipharma, a pharmaceutical company that sells drugs overseas, including OxyContin. In addition, it has familial ties in England and has made its philanthropic presence felt in museums in London and Paris.
    It was unclear whether Ms. James's initial findings of new Sackler funds would influence the parties that have agreed to the settlement. 
    "Saying there's a billion in transfers doesn't mean anything to me unless it leads to a lot more information," said Joe Rice, one of the lead counsels for the municipalities that reached the settlement agreement. Getting a comprehensive picture of the family's international wealth would require an "Easter egg hunt over some period of time," he said, and a further complication is that not all of the family members served on the board of Purdue Pharma. 
    But Adam Zimmerman, an expert in complex litigation at Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, said the new details could make it harder for Sackler family members to protect their personal assets in bankruptcy proceedings. 
    "The bigger question is how this is going to affect what many cities have already agreed to," he added. "We might see, with these allegations, more state A.G.'s saying they are opposed to it, and maybe even some cities." 
    He also pointed to potential criminal liability, as did Elizabeth Burch, a professor at the University of Georgia School of Law.

    "This will give those that are objecting lots of wiggle room to argue for a broader scope of" disclosure, she said in an email, adding that it "could lead to criminal exposure for the Sacklers (if it hasn't already)." 
    "I'm thrilled to see the litigation process bringing this kind of information to light," she said.

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    4) Margaret Atwoods's Dystopia, and Ours
    In the sequel to "The Handmaid's Tale," the truth saves. If only that still worked in real life.
    By Michelle Goldberg, September 14, 2019
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/14/opinion/sunday/margaret-atwood-the-testaments-handmaids-tale.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage

    CreditCreditSamplerman


    After Donald Trump’s election, sales of “The Handmaid’s Tale,” Margaret Atwood’s canonical 1985 novel of theocratic totalitarianism, spiked, along with other dystopian classics like George Orwell’s “1984.” Atwood’s book takes place in a world where a clique of Christian fundamentalists have overthrown the United States government and instituted the rigidly patriarchal Republic of Gilead. Environmental calamity has left many people infertile, and an unfortunate class of women who can have children, the Handmaids, are stripped of their identities and consigned to reproductive slavery for the elite.
    It’s hardly surprising that in 2016 the book resonated with people — particularly women — stunned that a brazen misogynist, given to fascist rhetoric and backed by religious fundamentalists, was taking power despite the wishes of the majority of the population. As the Trump administration proceeded, and once unthinkable things became unremarkable, Atwood’s classic seemed more and more prescient.
    In “The Handmaid’s Tale,” a mother trying to flee across the border to Canada has her daughter snatched from her arms. Doctors who perform abortions are hanged as murderers. I don’t know if that felt far-fetched in 1985, but in 2019 Alabama passed a law making most abortions a crime punishable by up to 99 years in prison.

    “This may not seem ordinary to you now, but after a time it will,” Aunt Lydia, a villainous enforcer for the Gilead regime, tells women being forcibly conscripted as Handmaids. In Trump’s America, “The Handmaid’s Tale” came to represent determination to not let that happen, a determination also represented by the Resistance refrain, “This is not normal.” (You don’t hear that phrase much anymore; Aunt Lydia’s words were truer than many of us realized.)

    At the first Women’s March, protesters carried signs with slogans like, “Make Margaret Atwood fiction again!” and “‘The Handmaid’s Tale’s not an instruction manual!” A TV adaptation of the novel, which debuted on Hulu in April 2017, had been in the works before the election, but it gained a new gravity. “It’s not that anything in the script changed. But the frame changed, so that people were going to see it differently,” Atwood told me last year, when I had the chance to interview her onstage at the Women in the World summit. Soon, the Handmaids’ costume was adopted by feminist protesters all over the country, and in several other parts of the world.
    You could argue that all this is melodrama; living under Trump may be degrading, but American women are incomparably freer than those in, for example, Saudi Arabia, a society that seems far closer to Gilead than our own. Then again, in “The Handmaid’s Tale,” America hadn’t crumbled all at once. Recalling her old existence, the book’s heroine wondered at how normal life went on even as horrors filled the newspapers. “Nothing changes instantaneously: In a gradually heating bathtub, you’d be boiled to death before you knew it,” she says.
    In the rise of reactionary populism in the West, Atwood herself saw a shrinking distance between reality and the world she’d imagined. “Instead of moving away from Gilead, we started moving towards it, especially in the United States,” she said in London on Tuesday. In February 2017, she said, she informed her publisher she was writing a “Handmaid’s Tale” sequel.
    That triumphant and long-awaited new novel, “The Testaments,” came out this week. It would be a literary event in any period; in ours, it’s a cultural phenomenon. Atwood launched the book with a sold-out live event at London’s National Theater that was broadcast at around 1,000 cinemas around the world. Readers lined up at bookstores at midnight ahead of its release, like kids awaiting the new “Harry Potter.” Reviews have been mostly glowing. It’s been shortlisted for the Booker Prize.
    Naturally, “The Testaments” is being mined for insights into our current predicament. That’s the point of dystopias — to figure out where society might be going. But here’s what’s shocking about the book: Rather than a warning, it reads, in 2019, like wish fulfillment. Instead of a new glimpse of hell, it’s a riveting and deeply satisfying escapist fantasy. Gilead is far more barbarous than all but a few contemporary societies, but it’s vulnerable in a way that modern populist autocracies are not, because even if women have little power in Gilead, truth does.

    “The Handmaid’s Tale” came out near the end of the Cold War, and Atwood has said she was inspired by mid-20th-century works of anti-totalitarian speculative fiction like “1984” and Ray Bradbury’s“Fahrenheit 451.” These books depict closed, airless societies, where despots control access to information, which is charged with tremendous importance. In “1984,” history has been obliterated. In “Fahrenheit 451,” all books are banned, while in “The Handmaid’s Tale” reading is illegal for (most) women. The regimes in these books are smothering and all-encompassing, but facts could, at least theoretically, endanger them.
    For a long time, the notion that truth threatens totalitarianism was taken for granted. In the Soviet Union, the regime jammed foreign radio broadcasts, and people risked prison to pass around forbidden books. “Living within the lie can constitute the system only if it is universal,” wrote Vaclav Havel in 1978, a decade before he became the first post-Communist president of what was then Czechoslovakia. He continued: “There are no terms whatsoever on which it can coexist with living within the truth, and therefore everyone who steps out of line denies it in principle and threatens it in its entirety.”
    This is the case in Gilead, and it’s what gives words their salvific potential. The heroine of “The Handmaid’s Tale” describes herself as “ravenous for news,” and is sustained by the mock Latin phrase “Nolite te bastardes carborundorum,” which translates to “Don’t let the bastards grind you down.” It is scratched, presumably by one of her predecessors, on the floor of the closet in the room where she sleeps. (This phrase has since become totemic, reproduced on T-shirts and in tattoos, necklaces and needlepoint.)
    Words are even more important in “The Testaments.” (If you don’t want spoilers, you should stop reading now.) One of the book’s great surprises is that the seemingly fanatical Aunt Lydia is actually Part of the Resistance Inside the Gilead Administration, and she does a better job of it than the anonymous Trump official who wrote the New York Times Op-Ed essay. An opportunist rather than a true believer, she joined the new regime to avoid being killed by it, and though she’s complicit in its crimes, she helps take it down by publishing its secrets.
    Like “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “The Testaments” has a coda set far in the future, at a Gileadean studies academic symposium. The information released by Aunt Lydia, a scholar says, “touched off the so-called Ba’al Purge that thinned the ranks of the elite class, weakened the regime, and instigated a military putsch as well as a popular revolt.” It’s this that makes “The Testaments” feel so optimistic. Imagine: a world where exposing the misdeeds of a regime could unravel it!
    That’s been a constant hope of the Trump years. Those who abhor him have dreamed of seeing his depravity and corruption proven in a way that can’t be denied, whether with the fabled pee tape, the Mueller report or rumored outtakes from “The Apprentice” where he’s said to spout racial slurs. Yet again and again, Trump’s depravity and corruption are proven in a way that can’t be denied, and it doesn’t matter.
    We’ve all heard him boasting of sexual assault on tape. The Mueller report found that the Trump campaign “expected it would benefit electorally from information stolen and released through Russian efforts.” A Times investigation documented abundant evidence of tax fraud by Trump, and showed that he owes much of his wealth to his father. Prosecutors said he directed hush money payments to a pornographic film actress and a former Playboy model, campaign finance crimes that helped land his former attorney in prison. You don’t need a secret recording to prove the president is a racist; the evidence is on Twitter.

    And it’s not just in America that truth has lost its political salience. Naked censorship continues to exist, but it’s augmented by the manipulation of search algorithms, and by trolls and bots harassing dissidents and spreading misinformation and conspiracy theories. Truth is less suppressed than drowned out. Contemporary propaganda, write P.W. Singer and Emerson T. Brooking in “LikeWar: The Weaponization of Social Media,” “is colorful and exciting, reflecting the tastes of the digital age. It is a cocktail of moralizing, angry diatribes, and a celebration of traditional values, constantly mixed with images of scantily clad women.” There’s a solemn churchlike hush in Gilead. Modern authoritarianism is often as lurid and cacophonous as a casino.
    Dystopian fictions that extrapolate from this shift are starting to appear. (Though young adult novels had a head start: “The Hunger Games” foresaw the nightmare of fascism run as a reality show.) There’s a scene in “Years and Years,” a recent series co-produced by HBO and the BBC, where Vivienne Rook, the sly British demagogue played by Emma Thompson, is asked about the spread of fraudulent, digitally created videos of her political rivals making inflammatory statements. “Oh, of course they’re fake videos. Everyone can see they’re not real,” she says to an interviewer. Then she adds, with faux concern, “All the same, they really did say those things, didn’t they?” Soon after, she is elected prime minister.
    “Years and Years” is harrowing because it’s only half a step away from our present, where reality feels as if it’s disintegrating under the weight of digital simulacra and epistemological nihilism. Ultimately, though, it concludes with the same Enlightenment assurance as “The Testaments.” Rook’s government falls after guerrilla activists broadcast live footage from her secret migrant concentration camps. Nothing similar, needless to say, happened in the United States when pictures of our own squalid migrant camps emerged. If there was a theme song of our era, it would be Leonard Cohen’s “Everybody Knows.”
    “Writing dystopias and utopias is a way of asking the reader the question, ‘Where do you want to live?’” Atwood said when I talked to her last year. “And where you end up living is going to depend partly on what you do now.” “The Testaments,” it turns out, isn’t a dystopian work at all. It’s utopian. By the time it’s over, Gilead is a relic, and scholars in a more enlightened time are studying the women who subverted it. Praise be! Our descendants should be so lucky.

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    5) Brett Kavanaugh Fit In With the Privileged Kids. She Did Not.
    Deborah Ramirez’s Yale experience says much about the college’s efforts to diversify its student body in the 1980s.
    By Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly, September 14, 2019
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/14/sunday-review/brett-kavanaugh-deborah-ramirez-yale.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage

    The yearbook photo of Deborah Ramirez in The Yale Banner in 1987.


    Deborah Ramirez had the grades to go to Yale in 1983. But she wasn’t prepared for what she’d find there.
    A top student in southwestern Connecticut, she studied hard but socialized little. She was raised Catholic and had a sheltered upbringing. In the summers, she worked at Carvel dishing ice cream, commuting in the $500 car she’d bought with babysitting earnings.
    At Yale, she encountered students from more worldly backgrounds. Many were affluent and had attended elite private high schools. They also had experience with drinking and sexual behavior that Ms. Ramirez — who had not intended to be intimate with a man until her wedding night — lacked.
    During the winter of her freshman year, a drunken dormitory party unsettled her deeply. She and some classmates had been drinking heavily when, she says, a freshman named Brett Kavanaugh pulled down his pants and thrust his penis at her, prompting her to swat it away and inadvertently touch it. Some of the onlookers, who had been passing around a fake penis earlier in the evening, laughed.

    To Ms. Ramirez it wasn’t funny at all. It was the nadir of her first year, when she often felt insufficiently rich, experienced or savvy to mingle with her more privileged classmates.

    “I had gone through high school, I’m the good girl, and now, in one evening, it was all ripped away,” she said in an interview earlier this year at her Boulder, Colo., home. By preying upon her in this way, she added, Mr. Kavanaugh and his friends “make it clear I’m not smart.”
    Mr. Kavanaugh, now a justice on the Supreme Court, has adamantly denied her claims. Those claims became a flash point during his confirmation process last year, when he was also fighting other sexual misconduct allegations from Christine Blasey Ford, who had attended a Washington-area high school near his.
    Ms. Ramirez’s story would seem far less damaging to Mr. Kavanaugh’s reputation than those of Dr. Ford, who claimed that he pinned her to a bed, groped her and tried to remove her clothes while covering her mouth.

    But while we found Dr. Ford’s allegations credible during a 10-month investigation, Ms. Ramirez’s story could be more fully corroborated. During his Senate testimony, Mr. Kavanaugh said that if the incident Ms. Ramirez described had occurred, it would have been “the talk of campus.” Our reporting suggests that it was.
    At least seven people, including Ms. Ramirez’s mother, heard about the Yale incident long before Mr. Kavanaugh was a federal judge. Two of those people were classmates who learned of it just days after the party occurred, suggesting that it was discussed among students at the time.
    We also uncovered a previously unreported story about Mr. Kavanaugh in his freshman year that echoes Ms. Ramirez’s allegation. A classmate, Max Stier, saw Mr. Kavanaugh with his pants down at a different drunken dorm party, where friends pushed his penis into the hand of a female student. Mr. Stier, who runs a nonprofit organization in Washington, notified senators and the F.B.I. about this account, but the F.B.I. did not investigate and Mr. Stier has declined to discuss it publicly. (We corroborated the story with two officials who have communicated with Mr. Stier.) 
    Mr. Kavanaugh did not speak to us because we could not agree on terms for an interview. But he has denied Dr. Ford’s and Ms. Ramirez’s allegations, and declined to answer our questions about Mr. Stier’s account.
    Yale in the 1980s was in the early stages of integrating more minority students into its historically privileged white male population. The college had admitted its first black student in the 1850s, but by Ms. Ramirez’s time there, people of color comprised less than a fifth of the student body. Women, who had been admitted for the first time in 1969, were still relative newcomers.
    Mr. Kavanaugh fit the more traditional Yale mold. His father was a trade association executive, his mother a prosecutor and later a judge. They lived in tony Bethesda, Md., and owned a second home on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. As a student at a prominent Jesuitall-boys school, Georgetown Prep, Mr. Kavanaugh was surrounded by the sons of powerful Washington professionals and politicians. He was an avid sports fan and known to attend an annual teenage bacchanal called “Beach Week,” where the hookups and drinking were more important than the sand and swimming.
    Ms. Ramirez grew up in a split-level ranch house in working-class Shelton, Conn., perhaps best known for producing the Wiffle ball, and didn’t drink before college. Her father, who is Puerto Rican, rose through the Southern New England Telephone Company, having started as a cable splicer. Her mother, who is French, was a medical technician.

    Before coming to Yale, Ms. Ramirez took pride in her parents’ work ethic and enjoyed simple pleasures like swimming in their aboveground pool, taking camping trips and riding behind her father on his snowmobile. She was studious, making valedictorian at her Catholic elementary school and excelling at her Catholic high school, St. Joseph.
    She and her parents took out loans to pay for Yale, and she got work-study jobs on campus, serving food in the dining halls and cleaning dorm rooms before class reunions.
    She tried to adapt to Yale socially, joining the cheerleading squad her freshman year, sometimes positioned at the pinnacle of the pyramid. But Ms. Ramirez learned quickly that although cheerleading was cool in high school, it didn’t carry the same cachet at Yale. People called her Debbie Cheerleader or Debbie Dining Hall or would start to say “Debbie does … ” playing on the 1978 porn movie “Debbie Does Dallas.” But Ms. Ramirez didn’t understand the reference. 
    “She was very innocent coming into college,” Liz Swisher, who roomed with Ms. Ramirez for three years at Yale and is now a physician in Seattle, later recalled. “I felt an obligation early in freshman year to protect her.”
    There were many more unhappy memories of college. Fellow students made fun of the way she dropped consonants when she spoke, but also ribbed her for not being fluent in Spanish. They mocked her knockoff black-and-red Air Jordans. They even questioned her admission on the merits. “Is it because you’re Puerto Rican?” someone once asked her.
    “My mom would have preferred me to go to a smaller college — looking back at it, she was right,” Ms. Ramirez said. At Yale, “they invite you to the game, but they never show you the rules or where the equipment is.”
    It wasn’t until she got a call from a reporter and saw her account of Mr. Kavanaugh described as “sexual misconduct” in The New Yorker that Ms. Ramirez understood it as anything more than one of many painful encounters at Yale.

    Ms. Ramirez also did not see herself as a victim of ethnic discrimination. The college campuses of the 1980s had yet to be galvanized by the identity and sexual politics that course through today’s cultural debates.
    Years after graduating, however, she started volunteering with a nonprofit organization that assists victims of domestic violence — the Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence, or SPAN. She became a staff member for a time and continues to serve on its board. Gradually she embraced her Puerto Rican roots.
    This awakening caused Ms. Ramirez to distance herself from the past. She fell out of touch with one Yale friend — who had asked Ms. Ramirez to be her daughter’s godmother — after the friend’s husband made fun of a book she was reading on racial identity. The husband, a Yale classmate, was one of the students she remembered being at the dorm party that difficult night.
    “If I felt like a person in my life wasn’t going to embrace my journey or would somehow question it,” she said, “I just let them go.”
    Mr. Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings were wrenching, as he strained to defend his character after Dr. Ford’s searing testimony. Thousands of miles away, Ms. Ramirez, who was never asked to testify, also found the hearings distressing. Her efforts to backstop her recollections with friends would later be cited as evidence that her memory was unreliable or that she was trying to construct a story rather than confirm one.
    Ms. Ramirez’s legal team gave the F.B.I. a list of at least 25 individuals who may have had corroborating evidence. But the bureau — in its supplemental background investigation — interviewed none of them, though we learned many of these potential witnesses tried in vain to reach the F.B.I. on their own.
    Two F.B.I. agents interviewed Ms. Ramirez, telling her that they found her “credible.” But the Republican-controlled Senate had imposed strict limits on the investigation. “‘We have to wait to get authorization to do anything else,’” Bill Pittard, one of Ms. Ramirez’s lawyers, recalled the agents saying. “It was almost a little apologetic.”

    Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Democrat of Rhode Island and member of the Judiciary Committee, later said, “I would view the Ramirez allegations as not having been even remotely investigated.” Other Democrats agreed.
    Ultimately, Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa and chairman of the Judiciary Committee, concluded, “There is no corroboration of the allegations made by Dr. Ford or Ms. Ramirez.” Mr. Kavanaugh was confirmed on Oct. 6, 2018, by a vote of 50-48, the closest vote for a Supreme Court justice in more than 130 years.
    Still, Ms. Ramirez came to feel supported by the very Yale community from which she had once felt so alienated. More than 3,000 Yale women signed an open letter commending her “courage in coming forward.” More than 1,500 Yale men issued a similar letter two days later.
    She also received a deluge of letters, emails and texts from strangers containing messages like, “We’re with you, we believe you, you are changing the world,” and “Your courage and strength has inspired me. The bravery has been contagious.”
    College students wrote about how Ms. Ramirez had helped them find the words to express their own experiences. Medical students wrote about how they were now going to listen differently to victims of sexual violence. Parents wrote about having conversations with their children about how bad behavior can follow them through life. One father told Ms. Ramirez he was talking to his two sons about how their generation is obligated to be better.
    Ms. Ramirez saved all of these notes in a decorative box that she keeps in her house, turning to them even now for sustenance. One person sent a poem titled “What Is Justice” that has resonated deeply with her.
    “You can’t look at justice as just the confirmation vote,” she said. “There is so much good that came out of it. There is so much more good to come.”
    This essay is adapted from the forthcoming book “The Education of Brett Kavanaugh: An Investigation.”
    Robin Pogrebin is a reporter on the Culture Desk, where she covers cultural institutions, the art world, architecture and other subjects. She is also the author with Kate Kelly of "The Education of Brett Kavanaugh: An Investigation." @rpogrebin  Facebook
    Kate Kelly covers Wall Street, its political influence and inner workings. She previously worked at The Wall Street Journal and as an on-air reporter at CNBC. She is the author of the best-selling book “Street Fighters.” @katekelly
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    6) Homeless Residents Got One-Way Tickets Out of Town. Many Returned to the Streets.
    As cities offer transportation passes to get homeless people to a more stable destination, some worry whether they are sending people to insecurity in a new place.
    By Mike Baker, September 14, 2019
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/14/us/homeless-busing-seattle-san-francisco.html?action=click&module=News&pgtype=Homepage

    CreditCreditAmanda Lucier for The New York Times


    SEATTLE — The solution is cheap and simple: As cities see their homeless populations grow, many are buying one-way bus tickets to send people to a more promising destination, where family or friends can help get them back on their feet.
    San Francisco’s “Homeward Bound” program, started more than a decade ago when Gov. Gavin Newsom of California was the city’s mayor, transports hundreds of people a year. Smaller cities around the country — Myrtle Beach, S.C., and Medford, Ore., among them — have recently committed funding to the idea.
    And in Seattle this past week, a member of the King County Council proposed a major investment into the region’s busing efforts, fearing that the city was on the receiving end of homeless busing programs from too many other cities. 

    But do these transport programs actually help people find stable housing? For many of those offered a bus ticket, they do not.

    In San Francisco, city officials checking on people in the month after busing them out of town found that while many had found a place to live, others were unreachable, missing, in jail or had already returned to homelessness. Within a year, the city found that one out of every eight bus ticket recipients had returned and sought services in San Francisco once again.
    In Portland, Ore., a city that has spent three years sending hundreds of its homeless residents around the country, the numbers were worse. Officials found that three months after the departures, nearly half of those transported who could be reached had lost their promised housing.
    “That’s a pretty high failure rate,” said Nan Roman, who leads the National Alliance to End Homelessness. “If we were housing people, I don’t think saying 50 percent of them returned to homelessness after a housing intervention would be acceptable.”
    Busing programs have been a staple response to homelessness for years, but in the past, Ms. Roman said, some cities seemed to use them as a way to export their troubles. 
    The newer programs, she said, are designed to provide homeless people a critical path to stability by linking them with familiar support systems. But she said cities may need to do a better job of screening what is realistically waiting at a new destination and to hand travelers off to services near their new homes.

    Jeff Kositsky, the head of San Francisco’s Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing, said he considered that city’s program a success and would do so even if the city’s outcome numbers were worse. He said it was an effort that cost the city little in comparison to other housing services, it helped many people and it freed up resources to assist others.
    Portland began its program in 2016. Not wanting to send a troubled person into a place with no support, organizers put protocols in place: Providers must first call ahead to make sure there is a legitimate housing option. Some clients receive luggage to help retain their possessions. For those who might have difficulty on a long bus trip, a plane ticket is also an option.
    The city sent away 383 people in the most recent fiscal year, with the top destinations since the start of the program being Las Vegas (29 people), Seattle (17) and Phoenix (12). Fifty-eight percent of those who could be reached after three months remained housed, but most were unreachable.

    “It’s not a panacea,” conceded Denis Theriault, a spokesman for Multnomah County’s Joint Office of Homeless Services. But the city is sticking with the program, he said, noting that it is allowing some vulnerable people to go from homelessness to stability.
    Seattle has taken a less formal approach to relocation, with no dedicated program for busing.
    Seattle offers bus and other transportation help as part of a larger bucket of flexible, one-time financial assistance that can be used in a variety of ways, such as paying parking tickets so someone can regain access to a vehicle, or helping a person with unsightly scars get a wig during the pursuit of a job.
    “Our approach is to find the best thing, and that clearly is not always a bus ticket,” said Meg Olberding, a spokeswoman with Seattle’s Human Services Department.

    Citing programs in San Francisco and elsewhere, a member of the King County Council, Reagan Dunn, recently proposed a large expansion of the region’s bus-ticket programs, arguing that it has taken on too much of the burden.

    “Seattle has become a dead-end street for the nation’s homeless population,” said Mr. Dunn, who has proposed $1 million for an effort to expand the county’s transportation option.
    But surveys in King County, which includes Seattleshow the problem is largely homegrown. Sixteen percent of the city’s homeless population became homeless outside the county, and 5 percent reported being outside of Washington State when they lost their housing.
    Some of those who might be potential clients in any expanded program said transport can be helpful — in some cases. Kyle Calitri, 36, who was lying on a red mat outside a shelter in downtown Seattle on Friday afternoon, said he has largely lived on the streets since he was a teenager. More than a decade ago, while living homeless in Tennessee, a church helped him get back to family in Florida with a bus ticket. That was a vital opportunity that gave him some temporary stability, he said, though he has continued to live a transient life in recent years.
    With the possibility of new funding, he said, he was going to look into the option to help his wife.
    Various nonprofits in the Seattle area have already provided some bus tickets. The Seattle-area United Way funded about 116 trips outside the region last year, said Lauren McGowan, senior director for Ending Homelessness and Poverty at United Way of King County.

    But Ms. McGowan said the idea of committing more money to such programs might be counterproductive when there were so many other urgent needs. She said most people the nonprofit works with are from the Seattle area, where their personal and professional networks are centered, and she worries that spending money on bus tickets to advance a narrative of “reunification” may be an excuse to simply encourage homeless people to go away. 
    In some cases, she said, people have arrived in Seattle on bus passes from other regions without any housing support lined up.
    “Just shipping someone out of town to experience homelessness somewhere else is furthering the trauma that person experiences,” she said, “and furthering this crisis that we have all over the country.”

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    7) Julian Assange Must Stay in Jail as Flight Risk, U.K. Judge Rules
    By Palko Karasz, September 13, 2019
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/13/world/europe/julian-assange-arrest.html

    CreditCreditFrank Augstein/Associated Press


    LONDON — Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, must remain in prison until an extradition hearing next year, a judge in London ruled on Friday, citing a “history of absconding,” according to British news agencies.
    Mr. Assange had been scheduled to be released next week, after serving a 50-week sentence for jumping bail in 2012 and taking refuge in Ecuador’s London embassy rather than accepting extradition to Sweden to face a rape accusation.
    But he is wanted in the United States, where he faces charges of conspiracy to hack government computers, and of obtaining and publishing secret documents in 2010.

    Mr. Assange has also been under attack for WikiLeaks’ release during the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign of thousands of Democratic Party emails stolen by Russian hackers, in what investigators say was an effort to damage the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton.

    But Mr. Assange, who denied that the emails were stolen, has not been charged in connection with their release.
    At the hearing Friday, District Judge Vanessa Baraitser told Mr. Assange that as a person facing extradition, he would have to remain in prison, the BBC reported. “In my view I have substantial ground for believing if I release you, you will abscond again,” she said.
    When asked if he understood what was going on, Mr. Assange, who appeared via video link from Belmarsh Prison in Southeast London, wearing a loosefitting T-shirt, said, “Not really.”
    “I’m sure the lawyers will explain it,” he said, according to the British television network ITV.
    Lawyers for Mr. Assange and other supporters have described him as in deteriorating physical and mental health. He was said to be too unwell to attend one previous hearing even by video link.
    Mr. Assange’s legal team did not immediately respond to questions. According to ITV, his lawyers declined to make an application for bail on Friday.

    Mr. Assange has been relying on the support of lawyers for years, as he fought multiple charges in different countries. Hailed as a hero for transparency by some, and cursed as a criminal by others, his latest appearances in the limelight have all been connected to those judicial proceedings.
    While his role in publishing classified details of the United States’ military actions in Iraq and Syria have earned him praise, WikiLeaks’ publication of Democratic Party emails alienated many supporters.
    The United States has had Mr. Assange in its sights since 2010, when his organization published a giant trove of classified documents, mostly about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Last year an indictment, accidentally unsealed, revealed a single count of computer hacking, saying he had conspired with the former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to hack into a Pentagon computer network.
    After British police arrested Mr. Assange in April, dragging his frail, unkept figure out of Ecuador’s Embassy, where he had been living for seven years, the United States moved to formally request Mr. Assange’s extradition.
    The Obama administration held back from pressing more serious charges against Mr. Assange. But things appeared different under President Trump. In May, the United States added 17 charges to the list, including violating the Espionage Act, a move that has raised profound First Amendment issues.
    Mr. Assange’s extradition promises to be a long and difficult process, decided by the courts but complicated by questions of high-level diplomacy and politics.
    In May, a United Nations expert who had visited Mr. Assange in prison said his punishment amounted to “psychological torture,” and accused Britain and the United States of “ganging up” on him.

    A further complication came in May when Swedish prosecutors said they would reopen an investigation into the rape allegationagainst Mr. Assange.
    If Sweden issued an arrest warrant, it would be up to Home Secretary Priti Patel — the British cabinet minister in charge of policing and security matters — to decide whether the American or Swedish request should have precedence.

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    8) Transgender Woman Found Burned Beyond Recognition in Florida, Officials Say
    By Mariel Padilla and 




    The body of a black transgender woman, said by the authorities to have been burned beyond recognition, was found inside an abandoned car in Florida.
    The victim, Bee Love Slater, 23, was the 18th transgender person known to have been killed in the United States this year, according to Human Rights Campaign, a civil rights organization that tracks anti-transgender violence.
    The authorities had to use dental records to identify her after she was found on Sept. 4 just outside of Clewiston, Fla., a city on the southwest side of Lake Okeechobee, Steve Whidden, the Hendry County sheriff, said Saturday night in an interview. 

    Sheriff Whidden said investigators were treating the case as a homicide, but had not uncovered any evidence to suggest that the killing was a hate crime.

    “We don’t have anything that would show that it’s a hate crime right now,” he said. “We possibly have a motive, but I can’t say what that is at this time.”
    The authorities are examining a series of social media posts directed at Ms. Slater before her death, according to Sheriff Whidden, who said that while they were not direct threats, they wished harm on Ms. Slater.
    “There were some Facebook posts made — that this person needs to die,” said Sheriff Whidden, who would not elaborate on whether posts were made by an individual or more than one person because of the ongoing investigation. 
    Advocates for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender crime victims said Ms. Slater’s death was part of what they said was an alarming spate of violence against transgender people.
    The Human Rights Campaign said she was the 18th transgender person to have died by violent means so far this year. In 2018, advocates tracked at least 26 such deaths, the majority of whom were black transgender women.

    “These victims are not numbers — they were people with hopes and dreams, loved ones and communities who will miss them every day,” the group said on Twitter after Ms. Slater’s death. 
    Janet Taylor, a former longtime Hendry County commissioner, said on Saturday that the death jolted the tight-knit city of Clewiston, which is about 65 miles west of West Palm Beach.
    “That’s the feel of the community, that this is really a hate crime,” Ms. Taylor said. “Sexual preferences — we can’t be judgmental about that. Our community just wants justice done for her family.”
    Ms. Taylor, who is the founder of Glades Lives Matter, a community action group, said Ms. Slater was not from the immediate area and was believed to be from Pahokee, Fla., which is about 30 miles from Clewiston. 
    “She didn’t deserve what she got,” Ms. Taylor said. 
    The American Medical Association called violence against transgender people an “epidemic” and voted at a conference in June to adopt new policies to help prevent this violence. 
    “According to available tracking, fatal anti-transgender violence in the U.S. is on the rise and most victims were black transgender women,” Bobby Mukkamala, an association board member, said in a statement
    The new policies include educating people on the disproportionate number of fatal attacks on black transgender women and supporting a standardized database of hate crimes.

    “The number of victims could be even higher due to underreporting, and better data collection by law enforcement is needed to create strategies that will prevent anti-transgender violence,” Dr. Mukkamala said. 
    The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida said in a statement on Facebook: “Our society needs to work to ensure transpeople can live without fear.”
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    9) Autoworkers Union Calls for Strike Against G.M.
    By Neal E. Boudette, September 15, 2019
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/15/business/autoworkers-union-general-motors.html

    CreditCreditJake May/The Flint Journal, via Associated Press


    The United Automobile Workers said Sunday that it planned to go on strike at General Motors at midnight after the two sides could not reach an agreement on a new labor contract.
    The current bargaining agreement expired at midnight on Saturday, with the union and company far apart on most of the major issues on the table.

    The U.A.W. is pushing G.M. to improve wages, reopen idled plants and add jobs at others. G.M. wants workers to share a greater portion of their health care costs. Although the company has been earning substantial profits in North America, it has idled four plants in the United States amid a softening of overall demand and a steep drop in sales of cars.

    The strike plan was authorized on Sunday morning by a unanimous vote at a meeting of U.A.W. regional leaders in Detroit.

    “Today, we stand strong and say with one voice, we are standing up for our members and for the fundamental strike of working class people in this nation,” Terry Dittes, a union vice president, said after the meeting.
    In a statement, G.M. said it has offered to make more than $7 billion in investments in plants in the United States, add 5,400 jobs and increase pay and benefits.
    “We presented a strong offer that improves wages, benefits and grows U.S. jobs in substantive ways, and it is disappointing that the U.A.W. leadership has chosen to strike at midnight tonight,” the company said. “We have negotiated in good faith and with a sense of urgency. Our goal remains to build a strong future for our employees and our business.”

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