Sunday, September 22, 2019




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Sign by Carole Seligman

The march in Melbourne on Friday was the largest in Australia, with an estimated 100,000 demonstrators. 
CreditCreditAsanka Ratnayake/Getty Images

Kenyans marched through the Nairobi city center. CreditBen Curtis/Associated Press



 


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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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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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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

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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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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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    1) Protesting Climate Change, Young People Take to Streets in a Global Strike
    By Somini Sengupta and Anne Bernard, September 20, 2019
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/20/climate/global-climate-strike.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage
    A group protesting in Lahore, Pakistan.CreditArif Ali/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images



    Anxious about their future on a hotter planet, angry at world leaders for failing to arrest the crisis, hundreds of thousands of young people poured into the streets on Friday for a day of global climate protest. 

    In New York City the main demonstration got underway around midday, but participants began assembling early at Foley Square and it was clear that turnout would be large. By midafternoon, the New York City mayor's office estimated the crowd at 60,000.
    "I'm feeling very hopeful," said Azalea Danes, 20, a senior at the Bronx High School of Science. "This is our first inter generational strike." 
    Thousands of marchers eventually made their way out of the square, turning south on Broadway and heading toward an afternoon rally at Battery Park. Youth leaders led the group in chants of "you had a future and so should we" and "we vote next" as they marched.


    Many brought handmade signs. "Think or Swim," one read. 
    Strikes were planned in each of the 50 United States. By late morning, protesters across the Eastern Seaboard were streaming out of schools and office buildings, pooling around steps of local city halls. The police in Baltimore blocked roads as students arrived on foot, scooter and skateboard. In St. Petersburg, Fla., about 200 protesters convened at City Hall, including one dressed as a polar bear with a sign that said "Climate Action Now." 
    In Des Moines, Iowa, around 500 protesters with signs gathered outside the State Capitol under a cloudless sky, sweat rolling down their faces as temperatures hovered around 83 degrees Fahrenheit, or about 28 Celsius.
    A day after Tropical Storm Imelda swamped parts of southeast Texas, crowds in Houston chanted, "Our streets flood, so we flood the streets."
    Many websites went dark in solidarity with the protests or posted statements of support. Groups of scientists, doctors and technology sector workers were also joining the strikes in various locations.

    More than 1,500 employees of Amazon planned to walk out from the company's Seattle headquarters and other office locations, after months of pressing the technology company to issue a comprehensive climate plan. Workers at Google, Facebook and Twitter also said they planned to participate.

    Demonstrations in North and South America will be the culmination of a day of global strikes that began almost 24 hours earlier as morning broke in the Asia-Pacific region. 
    More than 100,000 protested in Melbourne, in what organizers said was the largest climate action in Australia's history. The rally shut down key public transport corridors for hours. In Sydney, thousands gathered in the Domain, a sprawling public park just a short walk east of the Central Business District — grandparents escorting their children holding homemade signs, groups of teenagers in school uniforms, parents handing out boxed raisins to their young children.
    As morning arrived farther west, banners in Kenya's capital, Nairobi, ranged from serious to humorous. One read, "Climate Emergency Now." Another said, "This planet is getting hotter than my imaginary boyfriend." In Mumbai, children in oversize raincoats marched in the rain. Thousands turned out in Warsaw, the capital of coal-reliant Poland.

    Rarely, if ever, has the modern world witnessed a youth movement so large and wide, spanning across societies rich and poor, tied together by a common if inchoate sense of rage. 
    Roughly 100,000 demonstrators gathered around the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin on a bright but unseasonably chilly day in Berlin, according to the police. 
    Demonstrators there held signs reading: "Stop the Global Pyromania," "Short-Haul Flights Only for Insects," and "Make the World Greta Again."
    "We all know what the problem is," said Antonia Brüning, 14, marching nearby, next to the Reichstag, with a group of her friends from school. "So why isn't anything happening?"
    Across Britain, there were protests from Brighton to Edinburgh. The turnout in London was large, with organizers estimating more than 100,000 participants.

    Theo Parkinson-Pride, 12, was passing by the Palace of Westminster with his mother Catherine, 45, who said she had emailed her son's school to tell them he would be missing classes on Friday. "I said to my mum, I feel this is more of important than school today because soon there may be no school to go to," Theo said.
    Want climate news in your inbox? Sign up here for Climate Fwd:, our email newsletter.
    At a time of fraying trust in authority figures, children — who by definition have no authority over anything — are increasingly driving the debate over how to avert the most catastrophic effects of climate change. Using the internet, they are organizing across continents like no generation before them. And though their outsize demands for an end to fossil fuels mirror those of older environmentalists, their movement has captured the public imagination far more effectively.
    "What's unique about this is that young people are able to see their future is at risk today," said Kumi Naidoo, the head of Amnesty International and a longtime campaigner for environmental issues. "I certainly hope this is a turning point."

    The generational outcry comes as planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions continue to soar, even as their effects — including rising seas, intensifying storms, debilitating heat waves and droughts — can be felt more and more. 
    Average global temperatures have risen by about 1 degree Celsius since the start of the industrial age, and the world as a whole remains far from meeting its obligations under the Paris Agreement, the landmark climate accord designed four years ago, to keep temperatures from rising to catastrophic levels. President Trump has said the United States, which has contributed more emissions than any country since the start of the industrial age, will pull out of the accord.

    An early test of the student protests will come on Monday when world leaders assemble at United Nations headquarters to demonstrate what they are willing to do to avert a crisis. Their speeches are unlikely to assuage the youth strikers, but whether the youth protests will peter out or become more confrontational in the coming weeks and months remains to be seen. More protests are planned for Monday in several cities.
    "They're going to call 'BS,'" Dana R. Fisher, a sociologist at the University of Maryland who studies contemporary protest movements, said of the protesters. "It's great for people at the United Nations summit to posture and say they care about this issue, but that's not enough to stop the climate crisis. These kids are sophisticated enough to recognize that."
    "Adults are, like, 'respect your elders.' And we're, like, 'respect our futures,'" said Jemima Grimmer, 13, on Friday in Sydney. "You know, it's a two-way street, respect, and I'm angry that I have to be here."
    Certainly, this is not the first time in modern history that young people have been stressed about their future and galvanized around a cause. Young people led social movements against the Vietnam War and for civil rights in the United States. So, too, against apartheid and in the global antinuclear movement.

    This is a new generational revolt, though. It's not against injustice in a particular country, nor against a war. This is about the future on a hotter planet. Young people worry about the cataclysmic impact of climate change on their future, coloring where they will live, how they will grow their food, and how they will cope with recurrent droughts and floods. The internet allows them to mobilize. They often know more about the issue than their parents do.

    Whether they will have any direct impact is unlikely to be clear for years.
    Megan Mullin, a political scientist at Duke University, said she saw no evidence that the youth protests would move the political needle on climate change in a state like hers.
    "The challenge is translating something that is a global movement into a kind of concentrated political pressure than can influence government decisions," she said. "It needs to be translated to influencing decision makers who aren't already convinced."
    In the United States, climate strikers — nearly two-thirds of whom are women and girls — have been unusually engaged. Half had attended other protests, including for gun control laws and women's rights, according to a survey that Dr. Fisher carried out among 660 climate strikers. By comparison, 40 percent of survey-takers outside the United States had attended protests on other social issues.
    "They are mobilized around an issue of consistent concern across countries and across geographic areas," Dr. Fisher said. "It spans the developing-developed country divide. There aren't that many issues that would unify in such a manner. And we all know the burden of climate change will fall on these kids' shoulders when they are adults. They are acutely aware as well."

    Reporting was contributed by Lewis Fischer from Melbourne, Tacey Rychter from Sydney, Palko Karasz from London, Christopher Schuetze from Berlin, Ann Klein from Des Moines, Iowa, and Emily Rueb from New York.

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    2) Trump Focuses on Defending Saudis, Not Striking Iran, for Now
    By Helene Cooper and Michael Crowley, September 20, 2019
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/20/world/middleeast/trump-iran-saudi-arabia.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage
    Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, announced Friday that the United States would deploy a modest number of troops to the Persian Gulf in response to attacks on Saudi oil facilities.CreditCreditAlex Wong/Getty Images

    WASHINGTON — President Trump is sending a modest deployment of American troops to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, along with air and missile defense systems, in response to the attacks on Saudi oil facilities, which the administration blames on Iran.
    Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper called the decision, which came on Friday during a White House meeting with top national security officials, "defensive in nature." Defense Department officials said the Pentagon would deploy additional antimissile batteries to Saudi Arabia and might also deploy additional warplanes. The aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln may extend its stay in the region as well, the officials said.
    Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the precise number of American troops headed to the region had not been determined, but that it would be a "moderate deployment" in the hundreds, not thousands.
    Mr. Trump had been weighing whether to take direct military action against Iran in response to the attacks on Saudi Arabia, which rattled global energy markets and which Secretary of State Mike Pompeo this week 

    At the White House on Friday, Mr. Trump boasted that he could order a retaliatory strike "in one minute," and boasted equally that his current restraint should be seen as a sign of strength and toughness.
    Although the administration is not ruling out military strikes, senior officials indicated that, for now, the president was content to remain within the parameters of defense, not offense. Pressed by reporters about whether the administration was still considering so-called kinetic action, or military strikes, Mr. Esper said, "That's not where we are right now."
    A senior United States official estimated that additional American forces sent to the region would number in the low hundreds. At the Pentagon, the president's decision was interpreted to be at the more restrained end of the spectrum of options, especially since American officials have expressed their increasing certainty in recent days that Iran was responsible for the attack.
    Mr. Esper said Friday night that the Pentagon was now convinced that the attacks did not emanate in Yemen.
    He also said that both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates asked for additional support from the United States this week.

    The new deployment adds to the 2,000 troops the United States has deployed to the Middle East since June as a show of force following a series of Iranian provocations, including attacks on oil tankers in the Persian Gulf and the downing of an American surveillance drone off its coast. Roughly 500 of those troops have gone to Saudi Arabia.
    Days after the American surveillance drone was shot down this summer, Mr. Trump approved a limited military strike on Iran — but on June 20 called off the operation at the last minute. Officials said that a covert cyberoperation was carried out instead.
    [Sign up for the weekly At War newsletter to follow growing tensions between the United States and Iran.]
    Earlier Friday, Mr. Trump announced a new round of sanctions against Iran's national bank, and the administration is said to be considering a range of additional actions, including more cyberattacks. And, at next week's United Nations General Assembly meeting, Mr. Trump and Mr. Pompeo are expected to press for a diplomatic front against Iran, although many nations — including close allies — hold the administration accountable for rising tensions in the Persian Gulf region following Mr. Trump's withdrawal from a nuclear deal with Iran.
    In describing the new sanctions, Mr. Trump said the move constituted the "highest sanctions ever imposed on a country," but analysts called it unlikely to inflict substantially more damage to an Iranian economy already suffering from an American economic chokehold.
    On the one hand, Mr. Trump volunteered that the United States boasts a "totally renovated" military that includes "new nuclear," adding, "The nuclear is at a level that it's never been at before." Mr. Trump said on Wednesday that he was not considering a nuclear strike on Iran, so it was unclear why he raised the subject of nuclear weapons again on Friday.
    He also seemed to revel in his authority to launch a quick strike. Speaking to reporters in the Oval Office alongside the visiting prime minister of Australia, Scott Morrison, he said, "I could do it right here in front of you and that would be it."

    On the other hand, Mr. Trump complained that in 2016 he had been cast unfairly as a warmonger who was "going to blow everybody up." He said that "people are very surprised" and "thrilled" that he has not employed the military against Iran. Responding to complaints that he has shown weakness in recent months by not responding to Iranian aggression with force, Mr. Trump retorted, "Actually, in my opinion, it shows strength."
    And while reiterating that it would be easy to deal Iran a crippling blow, he said, "I'm not looking to do that if I can."
    But he kept his options open. Speaking alongside Mr. Morrison at a news conference later in the day, Mr. Trump cautioned that he was not facing an imminent decision. "Plenty of time," he said.
    The Iranian foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, said on Thursday that a military strike against Iran by the United States or Saudi Arabia would result in "an all-out war."
    The latest sanctions affect the Central Bank of Iran and the National Development Fund of Iran, "the last remaining source of funds," said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who joined Mr. Trump in the Oval Office. "This is very big," Mr. Mnuchin said.
    Last year, the United States took the rare step to designate the head of the central bank, Valiollah Seif, as a global terrorist, and accused the bank of funneling money to Hezbollah.
    In addition to sanctioning Mr. Seif last year, the Treasury Department reimposed sanctions related to purchases of American dollars by the Iranian government, which had been suspended as part the international nuclear accord.

    The new sanctions to the central bank are an additional layer over what the United States has already levied, said Ryan Fayhee, a partner at Hughes Hubbard & Reed who heads the firm's sanctions, export controls and anti-money laundering practice. The impact of the new penalties on the development fund, Mr. Fayhee said, depends on how active or well-funded it is. If the fund has access to oil revenues, he said, the sanctions could have an impact. He said the extent of central bank interest and property in the United States is not known.
    Tehran denies any role in the attacks, which hit two of the kingdom's most important oil facilities, and Mr. Trump has stopped short of assigning definitive blame.
    On Thursday, Mr. Pompeo said the president wanted a peaceful route. And in a briefing for reporters ahead of next week's United Nations General Assembly, a senior administration official said the gathering would offer an opportunity for Trump officials to consult with a broad range of partners and allies.
    President Hassan Rouhani of Iran may attend the international gathering, but has ruled out a potential meeting with Mr. Trump, who says that he wants to negotiate with the Iranians to resolve tensions over their nuclear program and foreign interventions throughout the Middle East.

    Eric Schmitt, Alan Rappeport and Eileen Sullivan contributed reporting.

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    3) You Might Not Want to Eat Bugs. But Would You Eat Meat That Ate Bugs?
    Companies across the globe are banking on it.
    By Eduardo Garcia, September 21, 2019
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/21/climate/insects-animal-feed-climate-change.html
    Insects being raised for animal feed inside a vertical farm in South Africa.Credit

    At an insect farm in Cape Town, the bugs are hungry. 
    More than 8 billion flies being raised in South Africa by the start-up company  gobble 250 metric tons of food and farm waste, like corn stalks, potato peelings and damaged vegetables, every day. 
    "There's actually no such thing as waste. It's just stuff in the wrong place. Our flies think it is wonderful to eat," the firm's chief executive, Jason Drew, said on the phone recently from the airport in Johannesburg.
    AgriProtein is among a small number of start-ups that are using insect larvae to produce protein-rich ingredients for animal feed. This nascent industry could help feed a growing human populationin a way that's less damaging to the environment.
    Insect farming has long been promoted as the solution to these problems, in large part because bugs are very efficient at turning organic material into digestible proteins. The black soldier fly larvae favored by the "insect protein" industry can become  bigger after eating organic waste for 10 days.
    Producers say that breeding larvae requires less water and land than growing soybeans, and no chemical fertilizers or pesticides.
    And bugs are nutritious. insect meal could replace from 25 percent to 100 percent of soybean meal or fish meal used in animal feed with no adverse effects.
    While convincing people in Western nations to eat wriggly worms instead of juicy steaks would be an enormous challenge, using insect protein to feed animals instead of soy and fish may not be that hard.
    opened one of the world's s in June in the Netherlands, while other producers, including  and AgriProtein, are building large facilities to turn billions of insects into animal protein every month. Large farming companies like  and  are also investing in this sector.
    By breeding insects in vertical farms, these companies can produce large amounts of feed in less space than traditional farms, their proponents say.
    "Having these vertical indoor farms is a way to control all parameters and increase overall efficiency. It's much easier to monitor and control risks in an indoor farm than an outdoor farm," said Antoine Hubert, the chief executive and co-founder of Ynsect, which breeds mealworm in an automated plant in eastern France.
    And these insects are essentially recyclers that can turn huge amounts of organic waste into protein.
    "I've been to facilities that can digest a hundred tons a day of waste with these insects. That's a hundred tons of waste that won't go into a landfill. A hundred tons of waste that won't produce greenhouse gases. A hundred tons of waste that won't potentially pollute the soils with pathogens," said Jeffery Tomberlin, an entomologist at Texas A&M University who has been studying the black soldier fly for over two decades.
    The beauty of the industry, Mr. Tomberlin said, is that black soldier fly larvae can also be reared in small farms, allowing agricultural areas to turn their organic waste into a valuable product.
    Proponents say this industry makes sense from a biological standpoint because insects are part of the natural diet of many animals, especially chicken and fish.
    "The high-protein ingredient we produce is being targeted toward aquaculture. I think the big end goal of this industry is to try to offset some of the needs for wild-harvested fish to produce fish meal," said Liz Koutsos, the chief executive of Enviroflight, which opened what it says is the first commercial-scale insect rearing facility in the United States last November.
    Aquaculture is the world's fastest-growing food industry, and one that requires large amounts of wild fish. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, from 1995 to 2015, the production of industrial aquaculture feeds increased sixfold, from eight to 48 million metric tons a year.
    Despite the possibilities, the insect protein industry faces many challenges.
    Regulatory hurdles have hampered its growth in Europe and the United States, where black soldier fly products can be used to feed poultry and some fish species but not other animals, and there is no regulatory approval for the use of other insect species for this purpose.
    But companies are confident that regulators in the United States will lift those restrictions soon.
    "Regulators from the E.U., the U.S. and Asia are quickly understanding that this is a natural process," said Mr. Drew, whose company plans to open facilities in California, the Netherlands, Singapore and South Korea. "Regulators tend to support this type of industry rather than hamper it because it has immense environmental benefits."
    But to scale up operations, these companies also need to diversify their product portfolio, optimize production methods and raise large amounts of capital.
    Dr. Koutsos said that insect protein companies are like chicken farmers in the 1920s, a time when chicken rearing was mostly a backyard operation and not the large-scale industry it is now.
    "The beautiful thing is that with a 50-day life cycle from birth to breeding, which is a very short life cycle, our 1920s model will evolve much more rapidly than with longer-lived animals," Dr. Koutsos said. "So we will make great strides in this industry and its ability to have an impact on the environment very, very quickly."





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    4) What Does It Mean to ‘Look Like Me’?
    Minorities can find it gratifying to see people who resemble them onscreen. But resemblance is a tricky thing.
    By Kwame Anthony Appiah, September 21, 2019
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/21/opinion/sunday/minorities-representation-culture.html

    Jun Cen


    It’s a formula that we turn to again and again to affirm the value of inclusion, especially in the realm of popular culture: the importance of people who “look like me.”
    The actor Eva Longoria, who appears in the film “Dora and the Lost City of Gold,” in which the principals are played by Latinx actors, has said she had to take the part because of what the film represented “for my community and for people who look like me.” The playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney, explaining what drove him to create the new television drama series “David Makes Man,” which follows the life of a black boy in a public-housing project, observed: “John Hughes made several movies that depicted the rich interior lives of young white American men and women. I just want the same for people who look like me.” The comedian Ali Wong inspired the writer Nicole Clark to confess that she “didn’t think she liked stand-up until a few years ago, when I realized the problem was the lack of comedians who look like me and tell jokes that I ‘get.’”
    The “look like me” formula appeals because it feels so simple and literal. We can think of a black or Asian toddler who gets to play with dolls that share her racial characteristics, in an era when Barbie, blessedly, is no longer exclusively white. The emotions it speaks to are real, and urgent. And yet the celebratory formula is trailed by jangling paradoxes, like tin cans tied to a newlywed’s car.
    For one thing, nobody means it literally. Asians don’t imagine that all Asians look alike; blacks don’t think all blacks look alike. Among Latinx celebrities, Eva Mendes doesn’t look like Cameron Diaz; Sammy Sosa doesn’t look like … .Sammy Sosa

    What the visual metaphor usually signifies, then, is a kinship of social identity. That was apparent in July when the soccer star Megan Rapinoe declared that “Trump’s message excludes people that look like me.” She didn’t mean extremely fit white women; she meant lesbians and gays.
    But the complexities don’t end there. When it comes to representation, two cultural conversations are happening at the same time. One is about “speaking our truths” — about exploring in-group cultural commonalities. The writer Zenobia Jeffries Warfield has explained, in this spirit, that she decided to watch films and shows only by filmmakers and performers of color “because who can tell our truths better than we can?”
    Here, the cultural conversation is about the comedians whose jokes you “get” — the in-group references that resonate with you, that trigger a knowing “nailed it!” smile. It’s about the sparks of recognition that some black viewers get watching comedies like “Insecure” and “Black-ish,” and some Asian-American viewers get from entertainments like “Fresh Off the Boat” and the Netflix feature “Always Be My Maybe.”
    That’s one way of “looking like me.” But it doesn’t quite explain the “look like me” fervor that blockbusters like “Crazy Rich Asians” and “Black Panther” inspired in Asian- and black-identified audiences. That fervor points to the other cultural conversation about representation.
    “Crazy Rich Asians,” for all its shrewd social observations, is about group of people who are anything but representative. It’s no criticism to say that a story in which the American daughter of a single working-class mother is whisked away by a billionaire to an enchanted kingdom of unfathomable richesse in Singapore has the same realism level as “The Princess Diaries.” What matters is that it’s a Hollywood film about Asians in which Asians rule. This has special significance, the writer Jiaying Fan says, when it comes to “Asian-Americans, a largely made-up group that is united, more than anything else, by a historical marginalization.”

    Paradoxically, then, a film like this appeals not by depicting that marginalization but by inverting it. We want our dreams, not just our realities, to be represented.
    The same goes for “Black Panther.” Let me go out on a limb and say that the fictional land of Wakanda isn’t a very representative picture of black life on any continent. What made the film so important, the writer Allegra Frank tells us, is that “an entire group of people that look like me” got to be heroes in a big-budget blockbuster. Yes, actors of color are often stars of such movies, but that usually feels like a casting choice, not an indelible feature of the character. It mattered that the characters in “Black Panther,” not to mention the film’s Afrofuturist vibe, were specifically and not contingently black.
    What such films deliver is a way of “looking like me” that’s as much about aspiration as identification. We say that their characters look like us; maybe what we mean is that we wish to look like them.
    Lil Nas X, whose song “Old Town Road” galloped to the top of the charts and set up a homestead there, wasn’t exactly speaking his “truth” when he rapped, “I got the horses in the back.” A young black man from Atlanta, Lil Nas X had never been on a horse. The “yeehaw agenda” — the trend of black cultural figures in rancher attire that fueled and was fueled by his country-trap hit — is chiefly an aesthetic, the cowboy counterpart to the tech-infused offerings of Afrofuturism. It proceeds in defiance of social realism, that default mode of early-stage minority representations. It’s a mash-up of memes, an exercise in cultural unbundling. That’s why Lil Nas X didn’t think twice about releasing a remix with a Korean rapper titled “Seoul Town Road.”
    Or consider Tessa Thompson, the mixed-race actor who played the superhero Valkyrie in “Thor: Ragnarok.” “I think it’s really great that young comic book readers that look like me can see themselves in a film,” she said. The Valkyries are an inheritance from Norse mythology, no doubt signal-boosted by the cliché of the Wagnerian soprano wearing horns. Should black girls be encouraged to identify with the ultimate Nordic icon? Well, why not?
    What these fantasies ask is, Who gets to tell you what you look like? It’s not a representation of identity so much as it is a renegotiation of it.
    How identity relates to identification is, of course, a complicated matter. Consider Gurinder Chadha’s recent film “Blinded by the Light,” based on a memoir by the journalist and broadcaster Sarfraz Manzoor. Set in the late 1980s, the film is about a teenager from a Pakistani family in the working-class English town of Luton. His father loses his job at the auto plant; racist hooligans pose a regular menace. Then our protagonist discovers the albums of Bruce Springsteen. The lyrics — about restive dreams amid disappointment, about a desperation to leave the hardship town of his childhood — hit him with the force of revelation.

    How does Mr. Manzoor’s story relate to the “looks like me” conceit? You could argue that in some meaningful sense, Bruce Springsteen  look like him; class, too, is a dimension of identity. But a sensibility — a matter of personal identity, not a collective identity — is what really galvanizes the kid from Luton. Would he be truer to himself if he gave up Mr. Springsteen’s songs for the Bhangra-disco music that his sister favors?does
    The truth is that our best stories and songs often gain potency by complicating our received notions of identity; they’re less a mirror than a canvas — and everyone has a brush. It takes nothing away from the thrill of feeling represented, then, to point out what the most ambitious forms of art and entertainment are always telling us: Don’t be so sure what you look like.
    Kwame Anthony Appiah (@KAnthonyAppiah) is a professor of philosophy at New York University and the author, most recently, of “The Lies That Bind: Rethinking Identity.”




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    5) When Anti-Immigration Meant Keeping Out Black Pioneers
    In the 1850s, Midwestern states used harsh laws to deny free African-Americans wealth and property.
    By Anna-Lisa Cox, September 20, 2019
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/20/opinion/sunday/anti-immigration-laws-black-pioneers.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage

    Credit

    William Brown managed to get across the river safely, finding work in a small rural Illinois community close to the state’s border with Indiana. He would have known of the new anti-immigration laws, but must have been willing to risk breaking them for a better life. But a sheriff named John Watts soon arrested Mr. Brown for making his illegal crossing. When Mr. Brown could not pay the $50 fine the State of Illinois required of him, Sheriff Watts put him in chains on the Lawrence County courthouse steps and tried to sell him at auction to the highest bidder.
    This was the 1850s and Mr. Brown, an African-American, was one of many victims of some of the earliest and harshest anti-immigration laws in America — laws created by white people in Midwestern states determined to keep free black people out.
    The river William Brown crossed was the Wabash River, which runs along much of the border between Illinois and Mr. Brown’s home state, Indiana. Sheriff Watts was enforcing an 1853 law created by Illinois whites to add teeth to the state’s 1848 Constitution, which barred African-Americans from entering the state. Senator Stephen A. Douglas (the “Little Giant,” best known for his debates with Abraham Lincoln) strongly defended the State Constitution’s ban by arguing in 1850 that without it, Illinois would be filled with “old and decrepit and broken-down negroes” — a version of the “dumping ground” theme that’s been used by white politicians for so long.
    In reality, Senator Douglas had arrived as an immigrant from Vermont in 1833, decades after many free African-Americans had helped to settle Illinois. Indeed, there might not have been a state of Illinois for him to move to if African-Americans had not bravely fought in the Wabash River Valley during the War of 1812.

    Because Mr. Brown could not pay the $50 fine (and all the costs of his arrest and imprisonment), the law gave Sheriff Watts the right to sell Mr. Brown to the highest bidder to recover the county’s costs.
    We know little about William Brown, but we do know that he was a free man. If he had been enslaved, Sheriff Watts would have worked to find his enslaver and return him. The sheriff would have then received a handsome payout by the federal government for upholding the Federal 1850 Fugitive Slave Law, pushed through by a white Southern slaveholding elite intent on trampling the few rights granted by free states to African-Americans. But the primary concern of Illinois whites at that time was not enslaved people entering Illinois; it was the free people who were continuing to thrive and to rise in what had once been the Northwest Territory of the United States.
    By 1860 there were more than 330 rural settlements home to propertied African-American farmers in the five states from that territory — Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin. This region had seen the nation’s first Great Migration, the movement of tens of thousands of free black pioneers onto this frontier starting just after the American Revolution. There should have been many more settlements. But a majority of whites in those states — whites who had often arrived after African-American pioneers — were doing everything they could to keep free black people out.
    Oddly, in the early 1820s Illinois whites were willing to pick up arms and fight for the right of African-Americans to enter Illinois, as long as they were enslaved. It was the fact that Illinois was home to free African-American pioneers that seemed to bother so many of the state’s whites. Those pro-slavery whites were fighting both other whites and free African-American pioneers over whether Illinois should become a slave state.
    Things had not always been like this. Before the Louisiana Purchase, before Iowa or Texas, this territory — the United States’ first — was popularly known as “the Great West.” And its rich soil and forested land were highly desired, causing wars, conflicts and even genocide throughout the 1700s as nations fought to gain control of it from its rightful inhabitants, the Native Americans.

    Just a few years after the American Revolution, a group of seven white men worked together to write a document that would govern this new frontier — the Northwest Territorial Ordinance of 1787. In it, they included a clause outlawing slavery, making the Northwest Territory the largest region in the New World up to that time to have done so. And they also left out the word “white” in the document, opening up the potential for equal voting rights to all men, regardless of their color. And, as David McCullough showed in his book “,” African-American pioneers to the territory were voting. But when the white representatives to Ohio’s first state constitutional convention gathered in 1802, a majority decided to reverse the Northwest Territorial Ordinance, adding the word “white” to who could vote, stealing voting rights from African-Americans. And whites in every state formed from that territory would follow suit.
    The Pioneers
    Ohio was not the only place to have early free and propertied African-American pioneers who were aware of their rights. African-Americans had been some of the earliest settlers of the Northwest Territorial frontier. Lawrence County, Ill. — where William Brown had been put up for sale in the 1850s — had been home to African-American pioneers before Illinois became a state in 1818. The Morrises, Andersons,  and many other African-American families had been some of the earliest American pioneers in Lawrence County. They had come as propertied free blacks, building Fort Allison along the Wabash River before the War of 1812. They founded the integrated and abolitionist Mariah Creek Baptist Church in the early 1800s, and had fought in the War of 1812 under William Henry Harrison.
    Tanns
    But no amount of success, patriotism or pride could protect these African-American pioneers, for these anti-immigration laws were a backlash against a rising and increasingly successful population of propertied African-Americans across the Northwest Territory states.
    By 1851 whites in Indiana and Illinois created new state constitutions and passed laws completely barring any further free African-Americans from entering the states they helped to settle and defend. Whites in other Northwest Territory states from Ohio to Michigan passed laws to make those states unwelcoming to African-Americans. There were the notorious “black code bonds,” which required free African-Americans to find whites to sign for their good behavior and sign up or deposit a bond ranging from $500 to $1,000 in the earliest years of the 1800s, a time when a nice 100-acre farm in Massachusetts with a home and barns on it could be purchased for around $1,000. Ohio whites taxed propertied African-Americans for public schools their children were banned from attending, and whites in almost every one of those Northwest Territory states made it impossible for African-Americans to testify against whites in court.
    And before each of these prejudiced laws was passed there was a rise in violent hate speech, much of it threatening genocidal violence against free people of African descent in those states. As the Saint Louis University scholar , this hate speech was overwhelmingly targeted at African-Americans and broadly published in newspapers. Many of the politicians had successful and propertied African-American residents in their districts, yet their hate speech was filled with false and prejudiced claims about the essential laziness and violence of African-Americans.
    Silvana Siddali points out
    This hate speech and the subsequent theft of their rights did not go unnoticed or unchallenged. African-Americans pushed back, creating “Colored Conventions” that worked to undo the damage that racist whites had done in their states. In 1844, African-Americans who were gathering in their own political convention in Ohio, published their  asserting that “the Declaration of Independence, the American Bill of Rights, the Ordinance of 1787, as well as the Political Creed of every intelligent, generous and patriotic freeman, are clearly violated, nay shamefully desecrated, by that feature of our constitution that renders the color of the skin a qualification for electors.”
    opening address
    Most of these anti-immigration laws were not reversed until well after the Civil War was won — a victory made possible by African-American soldiers from across the Midwest, including William Brown. Mr. Brown survived the State of Illinois’s attempt to steal his freedom, and when it became possible for him to fight he volunteered from Indiana, his home state, to join the Union army, fighting in the terrible “Battle of the Crater” in Petersburg, Va. But even after he and other black soldiers from the Midwest had helped to preserve the Union and end slavery, whites in most of the Midwest still wanted to preserve white supremacy. When African-Americans started to arrive in Southern Illinois during the Civil War, they were described as “a worthless negro population” and “locusts.” And Indiana did not repeal all of the laws against African-American immigration in the state until 1881, 16 years after the end of the Civil War.
    Now, as our own government takes a harsher and less humane stand against migrants, we would do well to remember the old anti-immigration laws that destroyed the rights of early patriots and pioneers all in the name of preserving the prosperity and pride of people who considered themselves “white.”

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    6) Can We Make Destroying the Amazon a Crime Against Humanity?
    A group of activists wants to try.
    By Ernesto Londoño
    Since August, as vast stretches of the Amazon rainforest were being reduced to ashes and outrage and calls for action intensified, a group of lawyers and activists who have been advancing a radicalidea have seen a silver lining in the unfolding tragedy: One day, a few years from now, they imagined Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, being hauled to The Hague to stand trial for ecocide, a term broadly understood to mean the willful and widespread destruction of the environment, and one that, they hope, will eventually be on par with other crimes against humanity.
    There is no international crime today that can be used to neatly hold world leaders or corporate chief executives criminally responsible in peacetime for ecological catastrophes that result in the type of mass displacements and population wipeouts more commonly associated with war crimes. But environmentalists say the world should treat ecocide as a crime against humanity — like genocide — now that the imminent and long-term threats posed by a warming planet are coming into sharper focus.
    In Mr. Bolsonaro they have come to see something of an ideal villain tailor-made for a legal test case.

    “He has become a poster boy for the need for a crime of ecocide,” said Jojo Mehta, the co-founder of Stop Ecocide, a group that is seeking to give the International Criminal Court in The Hague the jurisdiction to prosecute leaders and businesses that knowingly cause widespread environmental damage. “It’s awful, but at the same time it’s timely.”

    The first prominent call to outlaw ecocide was made in 1972 by Prime Minister Olaf Palme of Sweden, who  on the environment.
    hosted the United Nations’ first major summit
    In his keynote address at the conference, Mr. Palme argued that the world urgently needed a unified approach to safeguard the environment. “The air we breathe is not the property of any one nation, we share it,”  “The big oceans are not divided by national frontiers; they are our common property.” That idea got little traction at the time and Mr. Palme having made little headway in the quest to establish binding principles to protect the environment.
    he said.died in 1986 
    During the 1980s and 1990s, ecocide as a grave crime as they debated the authorities of the International Criminal Court, which was primarily established to prosecute war crimes. But when the court’s founding document, known as the Rome Statute, went into force in 2002, language that would have criminalized large-scale environmental destruction had been stripped out at the insistence of major oil producing nations.
    diplomats considered including
    In 2016, the court’s top prosecutorwithin its jurisdiction that featured the “destruction of the environment, the illegal exploitation of natural resources or the illegal dispossession of land.”
     signaled an interest in prioritizing cases 

    That move came as activists seeking to criminalize ecocide had been laying the groundwork for a landmark change to the court’s remit. Their plan is to get a state that is party to the Rome Statute — or a coalition of them — to propose an amendment to its charter establishing ecocide as a crime against peace. At least two-thirds of the countries that are signatories to the Rome Statute would have to back the initiative to outlaw ecocide for the court to get an expanded mandate, and even then it would only apply to countries that accept the amendment. Still, it could change the way the world thinks about environmental destruction.
    Richard Rogers, a lawyer who specializes in international criminal law and human rights, said that if ecocide campaigners and countries suffering the effects of climate change put forward a narrow definition of the crime, it could quickly garner widespread support. “We’ve seen in the past few years a huge shift in public opinion, and we’re entering a phase where there is going to be huge pressure on governments to do more,” said Mr. Rogers, a partner at , a firm that advises companies and governments on risk mitigation.
    Global Diligence
    Given the number of countries and businesses that would recoil at the prospect of being held criminally responsible for environmental damage, he said, it is vital to come up with criteria that reserve prosecution for cases in which “massive and systematic” environmental destruction is done “knowingly or intentionally.”
    Environmental activists say there is no shortage of culprits who could be put on trial if the world were to decide to outlaw ecocide. But few are as compelling as Mr. Bolsonaro, a far-right former Army captain who campaigned on a promise to roll back the land rights of indigenous people and open protected areas of the Amazon to mining, farming and logging.
    From an evidentiary standpoint, Mr. Bolsonaro is an attractive potential defendant because he has been so starkly disdainful of his own country’s environmental laws and regulations. He vowed to put an end to fines issued by the agency that enforces environmental laws. He has asserted that protecting the environment matters only to vegans. He complains that Brazil’s 1988 Constitution set aside too much land to indigenous communities who “don’t speak our language.”
    Since Mr. Bolsonaro took office in January,  significantly, setting the stage for the thousands of fires that began raging last month. Government agencies tasked with protecting the environment warn meanwhile that they are
    deforestation in the Amazon has increasedat a breaking point as a result of budget and personnel cuts.
    Mr. Bolsonaro is by no means the only world leader reviled by environmentalists. President Trump has been assailed for rolling back environmental regulations and pulling out of .
    the Paris climate accord

    Facing a cascade of international pressure and a boycott of some Brazilian exports, Mr. Bolsonaro last month ordered a military operation to put out fires in the Amazon. But the government’s overriding message has been that the world’s angst about the Amazon is an unwelcome and unwarranted intrusion on Brazil’s sovereignty.


    Eloísa Machado, a law professor at Fundação Getúlio Vargas University in São Paulo, said Mr. Bolsonaro’s dismantling of environmental protections, which have decimated the Amazon’s indigenous communities, may already meet the criteria of crimes against humanity under existing international law. They could, she said, amount to genocide. She and a team of scholars are drafting a complaint the International Criminal Court could use as a blueprint to open an investigation against Brazil.
    There is good reason to be skeptical that the International Criminal Court, which has long been criticized for slow prosecutions and for pursuing a narrow range of cases, could emerge as an effective bulwark against climate change. In nearly two decades the court , and its caseload has consisted mainly of African leaders.
    has won only four convictions
    “The I.C.C. never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity,” Mr. Rogers said. “But I think it’s a huge opportunity for the I.C.C. to show that it’s a court for the 21st century, a court that adapts to the needs of the people it needs to be serving.”
    In the best of cases, campaigners to outlaw ecocide say it would take a few years to muster the support they need to amend Rome Statute. But merely raising the profile of the debate over penalizing ecocide could go a long way toward shaping the risk assessment of corporations and world leaders who until now have regarded environmental disasters mainly as public relations nightmares.
    “We use criminal law as the line between what our culture accepts and what it doesn’t,” Ms. Mehta said. “Once you have a criminal law in place you start to change the culture.”
    Ernesto Londoño is the Brazil bureau chief, based in Rio de Janeiro. He was previously an editorial writer and, before joining The Times in 2014, reported for The Washington Post.

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