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Spotlight from the Northbay Uprising Media Collective
The latest issue of the People's Tribune is now being distributed across the Northeast San Pablo Bay Area through 1st Amendment Distributions [1stamendmentdistro.blogspot.com].
People's Tribune online: [peoplestribune.org] [facebook.com/Peoples-Tribune-211243388899178]
Recommended Radical Newsletters:
* Popular Resistance newsletter: "Using Courts To Build The Movement" (2016-03-06) [archive.is/rSzUh]
A list of gatherings, workshops, and educational events in the greater Bay Area region
* "Silenced Memories: Lori Berenson's reflections on political imprisonment and the omitted voices of collective remembrance in post-conflict Peru"
Sunday April 10, 6:00-8:00 pm
La Pena - 3105 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley
$5 at the door (suggested donation for event costs)
Lori Berenson was a political prisoner in Peru for 20 years on charges of collaborating with an insurgent organization, the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA). She recently completed her sentence and has returned to the United States. Prior to living in Peru she worked in El Salvador with the FMLN (Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front) during the national peace process.
For more information: 415-205-9111
Stories are reviewed and provided by Northbay MDS Committees and Affiliates
BAY AREA SOLIDARITY
Updates on campaigns for Peace, Justice, & Freedom across the greater Bay Area, Norcal, and Socal
* "Hundreds Rally in S.F. to Demand Justice for Alex Nieto at Opening of Civil Trial" (2016-03-02, by David Walters, socialistorganizer.org) [archive.is/2NqDY]
* (2016-03-04, Floyd Harris Jr.):
I want to thank everyone for their love and support for the Fresno Black Lives Matter event at New Light For New Life Church of God tomorrow on Saturday March 5, 2016 at 9:00am. We are proud of our young people who made the Black Lives Matter banner. Many people from Fresno, Madera and around the world has help to make this event to be a success. We are fired up and ready to go in Fresno, California. Your servant Rev. Dr. Floyd D. Harris, Jr.
Activists in the Student Labor Coalition at UC Berkeley are asking you to sign the following two petitions. One is calling for charges to be dropped against student activist John Penilla for disrupting an event on campus at which the two guest speakers crossed a picketline set up by the students in support of the campus workers:
* Drop the charges against John Penilla! [http://is.gd/W2C4v9]
The other is for a boycott of speakers at UC Berkeley in solidarity with workers demanding university protections and attempting to unionize:
* Boycott Speakers at UC Berkeley in Solidarity with Workers [http://is.gd/U12ix1]
* "Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians learns of Santa Barbara County opposition" (2016-03-03) (.pdf) [http://is.gd/BcLCHT]:
Today the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash were informed that the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors voted on March 1, 2016 to oppose the taking of the tribe’s 2.13 acres of land into federal trust. These parcels are often referred to as Mooney-Escobar.
The Mooney-Escobar properties are south of Highway 246 and east of the Chumash Casino and Resort. Mooney contains ornamental landscaping maintained by the tribe on a CalTrans easement. Escobar contains the crossing of Sanja Cota Road over one of the tributaries of the Zanja De Cota Creek. This crossing flooded periodically until the tribe – at its own expense and with no assistance from the County – built the bridge that is located on the Escobar parcel. The Tribe now maintains the entirety of Sanja Cota Road with no assistance from the County.
More recently on August 6, 2015, the Tribe obtained a permit from the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board to use reclaimed treated waste water to irrigate the landscaping on Mooney and Escobar and which will soon include the new tribal gas station and convenience store on the south east corner of Edison street and Highway 246. The use of reclaimed water will save hundreds of thousands of gallons of drinking water during the California drought.
The Tribe also filed for an overpayment of property taxes paid on both Mooney and Escobar to which the County Assessor has not yet responded. “For all intents and purposes, the County has abandoned these parcels and has provided no meaningful services such that these parcels are defacto parts of the Santa Ynez Reservation,” said Vincent Armenta, Tribal Chairman of the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians. “The Notice of Decision to take Mooney and Escobar into federal trust on February 16, 2016 merely makes the annexation official.”
Chairman Armenta said that the decision by County Board of Supervisors to appeal the Mooney Escobar fee to trust decision further proves the hostility of the County towards the Tribe and its projects and the lack of any meaningful services the County provides to the Tribe and the entire Santa Ynez Valley.
The Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians owns and operates the Chumash Casino Resort, which is located on the tribe’s reservation on Highway 246 in Santa Ynez, California. The tribe also owns Hotel Corque, Root 246 and the Hadsten House in Solvang and two gas stations in Santa Ynez. As the largest employer in the Santa Ynez Valley, the tribe employs more than 1,700 residents of Santa Barbara County.
BAY AREA SOLIDARITY: Updates on campaigns across the Nation!
* "Nationwide solidarity with Flint" (2016-03, peoplestribune.org) [archive.is/UnFDP]
* "Performers, artists hold #JusticeforFlint event" (2016-03-05, workers.org) [archive.is/uu86j]: In the tradition of Black actors and artists like Harry Belafonte who used their celebrity to help advance the Civil Rights Movement, Blackout for Human Rights organized a free public event, #JusticeforFlint, at Flint’s Whiting Auditorium on Feb. 28, as well as an online fund drive. A surprise appearance by Michigan-born Motown music legend Stevie Wonder capped the performances by artists from Michigan and around the country.
On-stage testimony by Flint residents and young organizers highlighted a spirit of resilience and struggle, but also the personal cost imposed on them by the state government. A high school student who was told only a few weeks ago that water at her private school was unsafe said students had originally been directed to buy water from vending machines. Elementary school students talked about skin eruptions and other illnesses from washing with lead-laden water and of bathing with baby wipes.
Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, the Flint pediatrician who sounded the lead poisoning alarm, pointed out that Flint families have been fighting for justice for almost two years, but no one heard their voices. “They needed evidence that our kids were being poisoned. And our water is still not safe. The 18 months of corrosive untreated water damaged our infrastructure, and we still cannot drink from our taps. That is not justice.”
Dr. Hanna-Attisha continued: “Lead, even before this, was an environmental injustice. Our Flint kids had higher lead levels than those kids in the suburbs, even before this. And after this, those disparities significantly widened. That is the last thing our kids need. They already have too many obstacles for success.” She cited Flint’s 40 percent poverty rate and lack of nutrition sources. “Our work is just beginning. It will continue for decades to come.” She thanked the performers for providing the best medicine — laughter and enjoyment.
Latino/a community representatives sat on stage with actor and author Hill Harper and explained that without Spanish language information many Latin American families attempted to make the water safe by boiling it — which only concentrated the lead levels. Undocumented residents are fearful of bringing their children in for testing because of the climate of repression. Harper spoke strongly for Black-Brown unity against common oppression.
Fighting to stop human rights violations
Filmmaker Ryan Coogler, the founder of Blackout for Human Rights, is from Oakland, Calif., the home of militant International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 10. A delegation from Local 10 came to Flint, including its past Secretary-Treasurer Clarence Thomas and Stacey Rodgers, who authored a resolution “For Labor Action to Stop Flint’s Poisoned Water Crisis and Hold Michigan’s Governor Snyder Accountable.” It was passed unanimously by not only Local 10 but the San Francisco Labor Council. Read the full resolution at [tinyurl.com/j6gx2ao].
Coogler’s first film, “Fruitvale Station” (2013), followed by the critically acclaimed “Creed” in 2015, was made to expose and stop blatant police killing like that which took Oscar Grant’s life in 2009, captured for all to see on cellphone video. As the videoed killings of Black and Brown men, women and children have continued and accelerated, Coogler and his colleagues founded Blackout to use their considerable creativity and talent for the same purpose.
According to a press release for the event, Blackout for Human Rights is a collective of filmmakers, artists and activists “devoting their resources to address the staggering number of human rights violations in the United States.” The collective includes Michael B. Jordan, Ava DuVernay, David Oyelowo and many others. In January Blackout hosted #MLKNOW at Riverside Church in Harlem. That event didn’t shy away from the revolutionary words of slain Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, which were also heard in video clips shown on the Flint screen.
As of Feb. 29, #JusticeforFlint raised more than $145,000 in donations to help Flint organizations. A Flint People’s Hearing is planned for March 5, sponsored by Flint Rising, Flint Democracy Defense League and Michigan Faith in Action.
* "Longshore Unionists Travel to Michigan for #JusticeForFlint" (2016-03-02, by Stacey Rogers, ILWU Local 10, published by Vallejo Post weekly newspaper, Post News Group):
Photo caption: International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 10 members Clarence Thomas and Stacey Rodgers attended the Justice for Flint event last weekend in Michigan.
I was moved to action be-cause when I first learned of the water contamination, I literally felt ill. Clean water is a human right. Our bodies are 70 percent water. I also have a great-uncle and cousins who live in Flint, making it much more personal
for me. My resolution was passed unanimously by the other union members and taken to the San Francisco Labor Council where it, too, was passed. Oakland native Ryan Coogler is extremely busy these days, but not busy enough to forego humankind in the struggle. He is the writer and director of box office hits Creed and Fruitvale Station. In addition to recently be-ing named Warner Brothers' Creative Talent Ambassador in the United Kingdom, Coogler is set to direct Marvel's Black Panther film, due for release in 2018.
Longshore Unionists Travel to Michigan -
The 29-year-old director co-founded Blackout for Human Rights with Selma director, Ava Duvernay. The organization is a collective of celebrities, artists, musicians, educators, activists, religious leaders and everyday citizens working to end human rights violations against fellow Americans. Coogler and Duvernay called on their Hollywood connections and others to come together Sunday, Feb. 28 in Flint, Michigan for the #JusticeForFlint event, a free night of top-notch entertainment and fund-raising to build solidarity and awareness around the on-going lead and bacteria contamination water crisis in Flint. "When something like this
happens to a community that's overwhelmingly made up of the working poor, of people of color, there's no way you can turn a blind eye," Duvernay told reporters. "It's a systemic human rights violation, and it touches everybody," Coogler said of his motivation for Justice For Flint. Hosted by comedian Hannibal Burress, the show included performances and appearances by Jasiri X, Ledisi, Jesse Williams, Robert Glasper, Musiq Soulchild, Hill Harper, Royce Da 5'9", Flint Mayor Karen Weaver, Jazmine Sullivan, Jussie Smollet, Estelle, Vic Mensa, Andra Day, Mark Ruffalo, Janelle Monde, Stevie Wonder and others.
Flint Michigan, once a thriving industrial town, was home to a General Motors plant and the site of historic organized labor actions, has been at the top of the news for the last two months. For more than two years, Flint residents have been ex-posed to lead- and bacteria-contaminated water from the Flint River and told that the discolored, murky water was safe to drink. So far nine deaths in the city have been attributed to Legionnaire's disease, a result of the contamination. Many people are suffering from ailments that run the gamut from skin rashes to loss of concentration. Lead poisoning causes irreversible brain damage.
Michigan Governor Snyder's administration explained the decision to move water supply from Lake Huron to the dirty Flint River as a cost-cutting measure, but many are skeptical about that. As the story continues to unfold about who knew what and when, many have called for Snyder's resignation, criminal charges and an end to emergency man-agers in the state of Michigan. The benefit #JusticeForFlint so far has raised over $156,000. You can donate by texting the word "Justice" to 83224. All funds raised will go directly to a community action fund that will assist Flint residents most harshly affected by the poisoned water.
* "Police victims’ families are fueling the Black Lives Matter movement" (2016-02-20, by Cephus ‘Uncle Bobby’ Johnson, uncle of Oscar Grant) [archive.is/s9QeJ] [begin excerpt]:
Oscar Grant would spark a movement that would change forever the world view on policing. He was martyred for a movement that we see circling the world today to oppose police terrorism. Oscar is an example of why the Black Panthers came into existence in Oakland. [...]
The activism in Oakland today parallels both the activism periods to end police brutality in Oakland, the 1940s and 1950s and the Black Panthers’ activism beginning in 1966. However, a new source of activism has been added today: the victims’ families.
This is significant because the family activism role has added a new dimension to the long tradition of activism in Oakland. With the help of that dimension, for the first time in California policing history, a police officer – Johannes Mehserle – was charged, arrested, convicted and sent to jail.
The critical role of the families cannot be overemphasized. Never in United States history have families fueled activism as we see in the 21st century. And now they are coming together.
The families of nationally known police victims, such as the Sandra Bland family, Eric Garner family, Tamir Rice family, Rekia Boyd family, Emmett Till family, Michael Brown family, Sean Bell family and more, plus local families, such as the Alan Blueford, Alex Nieto, Mario Woods, Oscar Grant families and others affected by police terrorism will be together in Oakland to discuss “Policing in the 21st Century: Where Do We Go from Here” with legendary Oakland Black Panther Party members Ericka Huggins, Tarika Lewis, David Hilliard and Clarence Thomas.
To hear the truth, you must let the suffering speak. Martin Luther King said it this way: “Cowardice asks the question, is it safe? Expediency asks the question, is it politic? Vanity asks the question, is it popular? But conscience asks the question, is it right? And there comes a time when we must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but one must take it because it is right.”
This is a CALL TO ACTION: WILL YOU STAND?
* Photo caption: Rise Up October, a national protest against police terror held Oct. 24-24 in New York City, culminated the final day in a mass march and rally, “Rise Up: Which Side Are You On?” Cephus Johnson was a featured speaker.
* Photo caption: In Ferguson, Missouri, on Aug. 9, 2015, Oscar Grant’s Uncle Bobby, Brother Shahid and Michael Brown Sr. support each other on the one year anniversary of the police murder of Michael Brown Jr.
* On Oct. 31, 2015, in London, Cephus Johnson spoke at the annual United Families and Friends Coalition’s March for Justice to the No. 10 Downing home of the British prime minister. Both videos were recorded then:
- "'We Had Community Involvement' - Cephus Johnson on Oscar Grant and Fighting Against Police Violence" [youtube.com/watch?v=0RuTZOO706o]: Cephus 'Uncle Bobby' Johnson, uncle of Oscar Grant, whose murder by Californian police was the subject of the Hollywood film Fruitvale Station, came to London to speak at the United Family and Friends Campaign march, an annual march of remembrance for victims of police violence. Grant's case was a rare example of a trial in which a police officer was convicted and sentenced for manslaughter.
- "Fruitvale Uncle Bobby at United Families March for Justice 2015" (2015-11-01) [www.youtube.com/watch?v=PdW9-50ea3Y]: Annual UFFC march to Downing Street... A group of Families 17 year campaign, seeking public enquiries into the spate of state deaths of their loved ones, who were killed while in custody. This year they were joined by Uncle Bobby, who's nephew Oscar Grant was killed at Fruitville Station by police in the USA.
* Photo caption: Cephus Johnson’s Love Not Blood Campaign sponsored a reception for police victims’ families during the Justice or Else 20th anniversary of the Million Man March in Washington, D.C., last October.
* "Families of Police Victims Come Together in Bay Area" (2016-03-02, by Cephus 'Uncle Bobby' Johnson, published by Vallejo Post weekly newspaper, Post News Group):
The 2016 Oscar Grant birthday "Love Not Blood" Campaign and the Oscar Grant Foundation sponsored a Policing in the 21st Century event, about "Where do we go from here," Saturday, Feb. 27 at the First African Methodist Episcopal Church 3701 Telegraph Ave. in Oakland. The community packed the event to witness the testimonials from police victim families across the United States. Since the murder of Oscar Grant on Jan. 1, 2009, there has been an increase nationally in the number of murder and man-slaughter charges filed against officers for on-duty shooting, according to data compiled by Philip Stinson, an associate professor of criminal justice in Ohio. Only 18 officers were charged in 2015, more than in the previous four years combined,' though 1,140 were killed by the police, according to The Counted, a project by the Guardian. This increase in police prosecutions is the result of families' involvement in the Black Lives Matter Movement.
Eric Holder described the prevailing lack of data collection as "unacceptable," before he stepped down as US attorney general in April 2015. The US government has no comprehensive record of the number of people killed by law enforcement. This lack of basic data has been glaring, amid the protests, rebellion, and world-wide debate set in motion by the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old, in Ferguson, Missouri in August 2014. —The Guardian agrees with families, analysts, campaign groups, activists and authorities who argue that such accounting is a prerequisite for an informed public discussion about the use of force by police. Between 2005 and 2012, just 1,100 police departments – a fraction of America's 18,000 police agencies – reported a "justifiable homicide" to the FBI. In order to grasp the pain of this genocide committed against children of color and the mantra of Black Lives Matter, we must remember Mamie Till Mobley's decision to open the casket of her son's beaten, swollen body. She urged the world to look at her son.
Beatrice Johnson, aka Auntie B, co-founder of the Love Not Blood Campaign says: "These families realize –understanding the legacy of Mamie Till Mobley decision to leave the casket open – that in order to come to grips with their tragedy, they must see their child as being crucified on the cross of racial police injustice."
"They must feel that in order for their child's life not to be in vain, they must use these moments to illuminate all of the dark corners of policing in America and help push the American community toward what we now call the Black Live Matter Movement for justice," said Johnson.
These families, like Mamie, have become activists, speaking to large crowds about police brutality and advocating for justice for their child. What has empowered them to speak? Unity. "If you want to hear the truth, you must let the suffering speak." These are the words from many mothers from their experience at Oscar Grant Legacy Weekend.
Theresa Smith, mother of Caesar Cruz, Anaheim, CA, said, "I was overwhelmed with emotion. Being with the other mothers and families of those who have lost a loved one to police brutality gives me the strength to continue the fight. We must continue to stay united."
Marian Tolan, mother of Robbie Tolan, Bellaire Texas, said, "The Oscar Grant Legacy Weekend was a tremendous experience. The families of police shooting victims and gun violence victims bonded like never before. We will get justice for our sons and daughters. We will never give up."
Photo: From front row, L-R: Toni Taylor (Cary Ball), Marion Gray-Hopkins (Gary Hopkins), Les-lie McSpadden (Michael Brown), Geneva Reed-Veal (Sandra Bland), Samaria Rice (Tamir Rice); From back row, L-R: Shelia Banks (Cory Jones), Valerie Bell (Sean Bell), Darlene Cain (Dale Graham), Gwendolyn Carr (Eric Garner), Greta Willis (Kevin Cooper), Chante Bland (Sandra Bland sister), Wanda Johnson (Oscar Grant), Marian Tolan (Robbie Tolan)
More photos from [lovenotbloodcampaign.com]:
TOWARDS REVOLUTIONARY SOLUTIONS
* "42 Ways to Build a Liberated Society Beyond Capitalism" (by James Herod) [archive.is/JAHe2] [begin excerpt]: It’s time to start associating again, not because of tradition, but because we know that’s what we want. These associations will have to be defended because they are going to be viciously attacked. Our main fighting and militancy should be saved for defending the new social arrangements we are creating, and not in attacking capitalist institutions directly. We must not forget that practically the entire world is embedded in capitalist relations and we are dependent on these for survival. If we destroy capitalist relations and structures before we have created for ourselves alternative means of survival we will die. So the emphasis has to shift to building the new world we want and then defending it from attack, even as we try to abandon, gut, and vacate capitalist premises and practices.
This proposed strategy has been criticized for not being militant, for withdrawing from confrontation with corporations and the state. This is a misperception, probably caused by this strategy’s rejection of so many traditional tactics like demonstrations. But there is no way that we could create the free associations we want without confronting ruling-class power.
What To Do -
- Form a Neighborhood Association
- Form an Employees’ Association
- Form a Cooperative Housing Association
- Build a Meeting Hall
- Organize Worker-Owned Businesses
- Try to Convert Local Business Families to the Democratic Autonomous Way of Life
- Change Jobs and Move to Worker-Managed Projects as Opportunities Emerge
- Set up Local Currencies
- Organize a Community Land Trust
- Will Your House to a Community-Controlled Trust Fund
- Start Switching to Solar/Wind Energy
- Start Growing Some of Our Own Food
- Set up a Neighborhood Storehouse to Facilitate Mutual Aid
- Support Orthomolecular Medicine and the Preventive Health Care Movement
- Do Not Work Hard at Our Jobs
- Organize Locally to Stop Ruling-Class Offensives in the Community
- Start Applying Criminal Laws to Capitalists and Government Officials
- Democratize All Voluntary Associations
- Reject Mainstream Divisions of Social Knowledge
- Don’t Watch Television or Listen to the Radio
- Support Independent Media
- Don’t Buy into the Culture Industry or Commodified Entertainment
- Recover the Capacity for Self-Defense
- Start Negotiating Global Agreements
- Abolish War
- Get Control over Union Pension Funds
- Don’t Cooperate with the Police
- Don’t Join the Military or Become a Cop
- Do Not Become a Boss
- Reject Robert’s Rules of Order
- Do Not Deposit Your Money in Corporate Banks
- Try Not to Fall into Debt
SOLIDARITY WITH THE NEW AFRICAN NATION!
Black Power! Revive the Community! Defend the Nation!
* " 'If Blacks can’t rise up, nobody is really secure,' says activist" (2016-03, interview by Steve Teixeira, peoplestribune.org) [archive.is/akjSA]: Melina Abdullah is chair of the Pan African Studies Department at Cal State LA, and a well-known activist. In January of 2015 she was part of an encampment outside the LA Police Department protesting recent cop killings of Blacks. She and fellow camper Sha Dixon were arrested for trespassing when they tried to deliver a list of demands to LAPD Chief Beck. “We are not a threat,” she told reporters, “We are two women who are armed with letters.”
One year later, Dr. Abdullah commented about the links between the struggle against cop killings of Blacks and the struggle to defend those economically at the bottom of America. “Black Lives Matter was birthed in 2013, and by the end of 2015 you’re seeing a Black student movement all across the country.”
“Young Blacks on and off campus are catching hell . . . the way they are assaulted, police killings. Young Black folks have targets on their backs and they know it. You can either walk around as prey, or be a lion and fight back. Students have talked about how the movements in the streets, like Black Lives Matter, have emboldened them.”
She added that while many Black students have a degree of economic security, many are poor and most have some personal connection to those suffering poverty. “Even the most middle class Black folks are tied to poorer folks because there’s not enough openness in the system for all to move forward”. But she added, “When we talk about police killings, the Black poor are occupied and terrorized to a greater degree…It’s really important that folks understand that liberation begins with those at the very bottom.”
She explained the perspective of her department as being that “We think of Black people as a group targeted for the most State violence. Blacks are killed at 8 times the rate of Whites. Black people are upwards of 70% of the L.A. Skid Row population, and have the highest rate of school suspensions, and highest imprisonment.” But she said this benefitted the class at the top, not all non-Blacks. “It’s important for non-Blacks to see that if Blacks can’t rise up, nobody is really secure.”
Malcolm said you can’t have capitalism without racism. If you aspire to the Black capitalist ranks, you’re separated from the Black masses, like Herman Cain, Ben Carson … freedom requires toppling capitalism.”
She pointed to billionaire politician Donald Trump as promoting the worst ideals of his class, to the detriment of the masses of all colors. “Trump appeals to the worst fears of those of us who occupy the bottom rung, like the poor White folks who are Trump supporters. He has Black folks saying, “build that wall” against immigrants, Whites saying, “they’re all terrorists” about Muslims, and wealthy Latinos saying “keep the rest out.” Everybody is pointing a finger at everyone else . . . but we never look up to who is making things so bad.”
Photo caption: Justice march for “Africa,” who was killed by the LAPD outside his Skid Row tent.
* “Countering the Confederate ‘Spring’: the Assault on Black Political Power in Jackson, MS” (2016-03-03, navigatingthestorm.blogspot.com) [archive.is/K5WVh] [begin excerpt]: The racist and utterly reactionary Republican legislative majorities that dominate the South are on an aggressive march this legislative session. From Texas to Florida, Arkansas to Virginia, and all the states in-between, they are employing cut-throat strategies and tactics to pass a package of regressive, exploitative and outright anti-human legislation drawn up by the likes of ALEC (the American Legislative Exchange Council) [alec.org] and other right-wing think tanks. They are attacking the right to vote, Black voting districts, the right to education, access to housing, workers rights to organize themselves, wage protections, alternative energy plans, marriage equality, and the list goes on.
While reactionary legislative initiatives are nothing new to the South, the moves being made in 2016 are rather exceptional. In many respects, the Republican initiatives of 2016 are reminiscent of their “Redeemer” predecessors from the Democratic Party from the 1890’s, when they systematically replaced all of the reconstruction based constitutions of the Southern states and formally instituted legally based “Jim Crow” regimes. See “They called themselves Redeemers – the Rise of White Supremacy” (americanhistoryusa.com) [archive.is/8PcvB]. This reactionary assault is being driven by desperation in part. The settlers that form the base of the Republic Party are utterly terrified by the demographic trends projected for the US over the next 50 years. See “US Demographic Shift will have Huge Political Impact” (voanews.com) [archive.is/HQt1c]. They are scared of the day when the US is no longer a “white man’s country” that it will translate into the end of their social dominance and “way of life.” These reactionary initiatives are therefore maneuvers of position in preparation for long-term trouble, a “battening down the hatches” as it were, to secure their social rule and ability to exploit and oppress non-white people for as long as possible.
Some of the most strategic initiatives being pursued by the Republican legislature this session aim at weakening the Black political and economic power vested in Mississippi’s capital and largest city, Jackson. Jackson became a majority Black city in the 1980’s. It elected its first Black mayor, Harvey Johnson, in 1997. Since the late 80’s and early 90’s Jackson’s Black community has been struggling to translate its numeric and electoral strength into economic power for the benefit of the vast majority of city’s working class people. This struggle took a radical turn in 2013 when Jackson elected the “most revolutionary Mayor in the United States”, noted revolutionary organizer and human rights attorney, Chokwe Lumumba. See “Chokwe Lumuba: Remembering ‘America’s Most Revolutionary Mayor” (democracynow.org) [http://is.gd/9kscoj]. Chokwe was elected in part to institute a program of economic democracy based on cooperative economics and participatory governance. See “The Jackson Plan: A Struggle for Self-Determination, Participatory Democracy and Economic Justice (mxgm.org) [http://is.gd/NdvP9X]. The Jackson Plan that Chokwe struggled to implement challenged white economic hegemony in Jackson and temporarily halted initiative on some of their major gentrification plans, like Vision 2022, the One Lake proposal, etc. See “Vision 2022: A Regional Vision (jacksonfreepress.com) [archive.is/nRFxi]. Chokwe’s Mayoralship demonstrated the real potential of Black political power translating into economic power. It was this potential that the reactionary political and economic forces that dominate the capitol and the state resolved themselves to never let occur again. These reactionary forces are seeking to destroy the potential of Black socio-economic power in Jackson by dismantling the city and seizing control over its strategic assets, assets that are a lifeline for the city and the potential basis for its self-determined redevelopment and revitalization.
Seizing Jackson’s Airports -
One set of targets is the city’s airports. Senate Bill 2162, proposed by Republican Senator John Harkin from Flowood, calls for the elimination of the Jackson Municipal Airport Authority (JMAA), which is currently appointed by the Mayor of Jackson and confirmed by the City Council. The Bill calls for the Jackson controlled JMAA to be replaced by a new Jackson Metropolitan Airport Authority that would be primarily controlled by the Governor and commissioners from Rankin and Madison counties (Jackson is primarily situated in Hinds County, but it has incorporated parts in other counties, i.e. the Evers Airport which it owns is in Rankin County and Tougaloo College and adjacent lands which are situated in Madison County). See the text of the bill [archive.is/GWiN8].
This takeover initiative is about weakening Black political power, ensuring ongoing white control over the city’s resources, and the acquisition of strategic property. Jackson has been in possession of two airport facilities since the early 1960’s, Hawkins Field and the Jackson Medgar Wiley Evers Airports. Jackson’s authority over these facilities was never questioned until the Mayoral administration of Chokwe Lumumba. During Chokwe’s short tenure as Mayor, from July 1st, 2013 through February 25th, 2014, he was able to install an entirely new, all Black, JMAA Board. In January 2015 the JMAA Board hired the airports first Black Chief Executive Officer, Carl Newman. Under the leadership of Mr. Newman and the JMAA Board, the airport became a fully solvent , “in the black” entity and redirected the majority of its contracts to contractors who live in Jackson, the majority of whom are Black. Prior to this shift, the airport was often in the red and the vast majority of the contracts that were awarded by the airport were awarded to contractors from Rankin and Madison counties, the overwhelming majority of whom were white. It was this loss of income, and the projected loss of future profit, that prompted Senator Harkin and the Republican leadership to advance the takeover initiative.
See “Unfriendly Skies: Can Jackson Save its Airport?” (jacksonfreepress.com) [archive.is/NWcOD], and “The Battle for the Jackson Airport: Can the State Take it Away?” (jacksonfreepress.com) [archive.is/HnvF7].
Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions -
We believe that the only way that we are going to be able to push back, defeat, and eventually reverse these seizures is to punish the moneyed interests situated in Rankin and Madison counties that seek to seize Jackson’s infrastructure and control its political future. Both of these counties are extremely vulnerable to campaigns of economic reprisal because their economies are essentially dependent upon Jackson’s. Virtually none of the commercial enterprises in either of these counties can survive without patronage from the residents of Jackson. Neither county possesses the population density necessary to sustain their commercial and industrial enterprises on their own. They are fully dependent upon patronage from Jackson. This fact can and must be used in Jackson’s favor in this fight. To this end, the Coalition for Economic Justice is calling for a massive Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) strategy to be employed against Rankin and Madison counties, and if need be, the state itself.
The aim of the BDS campaign is to financially cripple Senator Harkin, the Republican legislative delegation, and the regional capital forces (financiers, developers, etc.) that support them, with the objective of having them return the assets that they are poised to seize back to the municipality and people of Jackson. We pursue this in the following manner:
1. Boycott. We call on all of the residents of Jackson and our allies throughout Mississippi, the United States and the World to cease and desist from any and all economic activities in Rankin or Madison counties. When our airports are seized, we implore all Jacksonians and any and everyone venturing to our city to bypass the Evers airport and instead fly into Memphis or New Orleans and utilize one of the cooperative transport services that we are going to construct to come to Jackson.
2. Divestment. We call on all of the residents of Jackson and our allies everywhere to remove any and all capital you have invested in banks, businesses, real estate, or other economic endeavors, such as municipal or county bonds, from Rankin and Madison counties. We need everyone to encourage your civic, spiritual, and economic associates and organizations to do the same.
3. Sanctions. We call on all of the civic and spiritual institutions based in Jackson and throughout the country and the world to censure Rankin and Madison counties for their support of the undemocratic seizure of Jackson’s resources. We also call on municipalities, counties (parishes), state and national governments to censure and sanction these counties for their egregious violations of the fundamental human rights of the residents of Jackson. All of these institutions should cease all trade and civic engagement with Rankin and Madison counties until Jackson’s resources are returned back to their rightful owners.
We encourage everyone to join the Coalition for Economic Justice in making a public pledge to support our Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign. Although, we are encouraging everyone to start engaging in this campaign of economic warfare immediately, we are going to officially launch the campaign on Friday, April 1st, 2016 to counter and contrast with Confederate History Month, which was proclaimed by Governor Phil Bryant to let the people of the world know what’s truly “going down” in Mississippi from the perspective of his party and supporters.
We aim to SHUT THIS MADNESS DOWN!
But, we need you to join us to make it happen.
Send your pledges to [info@)coalitionjustice.org].
You can also pledge on Facebook and Twitter by making a public announcement that is linked to the Coalition for Economic Justice via the Jackson People’s Assembly at [facebook.com/JxnPeoplesAssembly] or [@JXNPeoples].
Ways to help -
- Mobilizing Support. The Coalition for Economic Justice will be calling for national days of action and action caravans to come to Jackson to support our mass mobilizations and direct actions as the campaign develops and progresses. We want to encourage all those interested in supporting our efforts to be alert for these action calls and to move in formation when they are issued. To stay abreast of the mobilization efforts follow these Facebook pages [facebook.com/JxnPeoplesAssembly], [facebook.com/MXGMnational], or [facebook.com/CooperationJackson].
- Media Support. We need this story told to the world. We encourage progressive journalists, documentarians, and academics to use all the communicative mediums at your disposal to share our story and help us build a resistance movement capable of defeating this reactionary onslaught. For narrative support and local guidance contact the Media and Communications Committee of the Coalition for Economic Justice at [info@)coalitionjustice.org]. [end excerpt]
information collected by the Committee to Defend Public Education!
* "1,000+ students protest school budget cuts in Boston" (2016-03-08, rt.com) [archive.is/PybTf]
information collected by the Worker's Defense Committee [http://is.gd/VOkmLr]
* "Take Action! Celebrate & Stand with El Super Women in Pico Rivera!" (2016-03-07, calaborfed.org):
El Super Workers are mothers, daughters, sisters, caretakers and family providers. They have stood strong to fight for good jobs now and for future generations. Stand with them on Wednesday, March 9th at 4pm at the Pico Rivera El Super.
And if you haven't yet already- be sure to follow Justice for El Super Workers on Facebook to stay up to date on the workers'fight for justice at El Super [facebook.com/justiceforelsuperworkers].
Join Workers as they call on Walmart to Improve Worker Safety and Compensation for on the Job Injuries!
Stand with Walmart workers as they call on the nation’s largest private employer to improve worker safety and compensate for workplace injuries. This action comes after 16-year Walmart employee, Maria, broke her hip on the job. Maria has been fighting Walmart to pay her medical bills and for her to get a home nurse.
Details on the rally:
WHEN: March 10, 2016 at 9:30 am
WHERE: Walmart store, 30600 Dyer Street, Union City, CA
Students, teachers, and unions to host first Mayoral candidate forum at Fresno State on March 19 -
On Saturday, March 19 leading candidates to become Fresno’s next Mayor will take to the stage to answer questions from the community about their vision for the city’s future. Fresno City Council member, Lee Brand, Fresno County Supervisor, Henry R. Perea and Vice-President of the Leadership Council, Rev. H. Spees, have all agreed to participate.
The forum is being hosted by the Fresno Central Labor Council and other community organizations. If you live in Fresno- this free event is one you won't want to miss!
WHEN: SATURDAY, MARCH 19
TIME: 10 A.M. – 1 P.M.
WHERE: Peter’s Education Center, Fresno State. (corner of Shaw/Woodrow)
* "Tech Bus Drivers Choose Teamsters Local 853 as their Union" (2016-03-07, calaborfed.org):
Continuing the trend of tech workers organizing (Facebook bus drivers organized last year! [archive.is/aJAay]), 100 bus drivers with WeDriveU chose Teamsters Local 853 as their union last week. Bus drivers for WeDriveU help keep Silicon Valley running smoothly as they safely shuttle workers to and from companies like Google and Facebook.
Rome Aloise, International Vice President and principal officer of Teamsters Local 853 said of the victory [archive.is/AmUzU]: “We appreciate that WeDriveU has respected the rights of these drivers to be represented by a union of their choice. This is a good thing for the company, the drivers and Google, who will get well-compensated drivers, who will be experienced and safe in transporting Google’s valuable employees.”
Great news for the bus drivers and their union, and the labor movement!
* "Workers unionize with UFCW Local 324 at Orange County's first licensed pot shop" (2016-03-07, calaborfed.org):
Congratulations are in order for the workers of South Coast Safe Access in Santa Ana for making history and joining the labor family! They are the first workers in the medical cannabis industry in Orange County to unionize!
From Orange County Register: “This is a game changer,” said Derek Worden, president of South Coast Safe Access. “We’re bringing something to the industry that really doesn’t exist” in the county.
The contract provides employees minimum starting pay of $13.50 an hour, health benefits, vacation and paid pension contributions.
Read more about this historic victory here [archive.is/Z0eZg]. Onward!
* "BOYCOTT DRISCOLL'S! Support the One-Year Anniversary March from San Quintin to Tijuana (March 17-20, 2016)!" (2016-03-03):
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
We write this message to urge you to support the fighting farmworkers and their new independent union in the Valley of San Quintin (Baja California, Mexico) on the one-year anniversary of their strike against Driscoll's and other U.S. growers.
While the tenacious struggle of the close to 70,000 farmworkers in San Quintin has finally compelled the Mexican government to grant legal recognition to their independent union -- the Alianza de Organizaciones Nacional, Estatal y Municipal por la Justicia Social Alianza and its new national parent union, the Sindicato Independiente Nacional Democrático de Jornaleros Agrícolas -- the growers, most of whom are U.S. agribusiness conglomerates, still refuse to sit down with the new union to negotiate a collective-bargaining agreement.
To commemorate the one-year anniversary of their strike, the leaders of the Alianza are organizing a three-day march from San Quintin to the border city of Tijuana on March 17-20, 2016. Their goal is to promote a national and international boycott of Driscoll's produce and to bring the company to the bargaining table to sign an enforceable contract with the workers.
Already numerous trade unions and central labor councils nationwide -- including the Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC, AFL-CIO) and its president, Baldemar Velasquez -- have gotten on board with the boycott and are working to promote it widely within the U.S. labor movement.
Working people across the United States -- and their unions -- are invited to support the Boycott Driscoll's Campaign.
Please join the One-Year Anniversary March from San Quintin to Tijuana on March 17-20. Get your union or community to send you (and other members of your organization) to participate in the march, or to join the San Quintin farmworkers when they make their entry to Tijuana and head to the border crossing for the final mass rally.
If you cannot make the trip, please send a donation to help finance this historic march. For more information about how you can help, please contact Al Rojas at email@example.com.
Al Rojas, Nativo Lopez and Alan Benjamin
On behalf of the Driscoll's Boycott Campaign Committee
* "ONE YEAR OF STRUGGLE FOR JUSTICE! 'Justicia' for the Farmworkers in San Quintin, Mexico!" (2016-03-03, by Nativo Lopez):
On March 17, 2015, more than 70,000 agricultural workers from the San Quintin region of Baja California, Mexico, established an independent union and declared a strike throughout the region. The issues were increased pay, improved working conditions, recognition of their independent union, an end to sexual abuse and harassment of women workers, child labor, among other demands.
The strike resulted in the intervention by the Mexican government with police forces to break the strike. Many were arrested, some beaten, and the ranchers refused to recognize their demands and the union. The majority of the farm-owners are Mexican with some Americans, but the biggest purchaser of their product (berries and vegetables) is the multi-national Driscoll's Corporation. This company is based in California and has large tracts of land used for growing in Santa Maria, Calif., and other regions. Think strawberries and other berry versions.
Driscoll's is the largest supplier of these fruit and vegetable products for Walmart and Costco, in both Mexico and the U.S.
The name of the workers' organization formed by the workers themselves in San Quintin is Alianza de Organizaciones Nacional, Estatal, Municipal por la Justicia Social, which later gave rise to the independent union under the name of Sindicato Independiente Nacional Democratico de Jornaleros Agricolas, which was founded in Tijuana on November 30, 2015. The union was officially recognized by the Mexican federal government on January 7, 2016. It already has affiliates in various states of the Mexican Republic and continues to affiliate more entities. While it began in San Quintin, Baja California, Mexico it is now recognized nationally.
The workers' grievances have never been addressed by the farm owners or by Driscoll's, which is why the union called for an international boycott of Driscoll's. Driscoll's took the position that it is not the direct contractor of the labor force (they have sub-contracted through BerryMex, which is really a subsidiary of Driscoll's), therefore it is not responsible to address the grievances.
The boycott of Driscoll's has already been recognized by numerous labor bodies affiliated with the AFL-CIO, and has spread nationally throughout Mexico and the United States.
During the height of the strike in March, April, and May of 2015, Driscoll's arranged for H-2 visas (agricultural guest-worker visas) for numerous strikers to work on its farms in California, and this had the effect of driving a wedge among the strikers. Most of these farmworkers have now returned to San Quintin to tell the stories of the abuses they suffered at the hand s of Driscoll's. They are now preparing affidavits to that effect.
The use of H-2 workers recruited by Driscoll's for the purpose of breaking the strike in San Quintin is an absolute violation of the H-2 provisions in federal immigration statutes. This is the very thing that many immigrant rights organizations raised in opposition to the immigration bill approved by the U.S. Senate in 2013, which contemplated a massive guest-worker type program for industries across the board.
Disney World was recently caught violating the terms of the use of H-B2 workers by displacing U.S. workers. In the case of Driscoll's, the use of H-2 agricultural workers had the effect of attempting to break a strike in Mexico and displacing other migrant workers in California, including legal and undocumented farmworkers.
That is why, more than ever, we must expand the Boycott Driscoll's Campaign.
Hasta la victoria, siempre!
* "Support the San Quintin Farmworkers' One-Year Anniversary March from San Quintin to Tijuana (Mexico)! Why We Should Not Buy Into the Corporate 'Equitable Food Initiative' " (2016-03-03, by Alan Benjamin):
Driscoll's Corporation is no dummy when it comes to fighting a union-organizing drive and preventing the signing of a collective-bargaining agreement with a bona-fide union.
In addition to wielding the "stick" against the 70,000 farmworkers in the valley of San Quintin, Baja California, Mexico (five hours south of the border city of Tijuana) by calling in the federal and municipal police in Mexico in attempt to defeat a strike that broke out on March 17, 2015, Driscoll's has enlisted other corporations and, alas, a few unions with the "carrot" of co-optation.
Driscoll's and other growers with interests in San Quintin have joined forces with two large retailers -- Costco and Walmart -- as well as with the top leaders of the United Farm Workers union to establish the Equitable Food Initiative (or EFI) to hoodwink U.S. customers into accepting the fiction that their "Trustmark Label" guarantees that farmworkers in San Quintin are working under fair and equitable conditions in the camps.
This process of "social labeling" is not new; it is a worldwide ploy -- some call it a "plague" -- used by the bosses, with the support of compliant trade union officials who should know better. In the garment industry in Asia, the social labeling is rampant.
Why is this a trap?
The main reason is that this is an instrument wielded by the bosses to prevent union organizing and the signing of enforceable collective-bargaining agreements that codify workers' rights and that seriously address the basic demands for higher wages and improved working conditions / benefits raised by the workers. Having a contract means that workers and their unions have binding agreements, enforced by labor laws, to ensure that the rights and working conditions established in a contract are not violated. If a corporation in Mexico does not abide by Mexican labor law, they can be sued and forced to pay considerable sums to the union.
In the case of San Quintin, the UFW has been put forward by Driscoll's, Costco, Walmart and some other growers as a "partner" in the effort to place a "Trustmark Label" on all agricultural produce emanating from the San Quintin Valley. Having the UFW on board is an important means in the company's attempt to draw the independent union established by the workers in San Quintin -- the Alianza de Organizaciones Nacional, Estatal y Municipal por la Justicia Social -- into this trap.
What do the bosses offer the Alianza in exchange for this "social label?"
Again, the corporations are not stupid: They come in with proposals that at first glance seem acceptable. They offer a one-time wage increase and some cosmetic improvements in working conditions for the workers. This happens often in other industries the world over. In China, for example, the Mattel Corporation created a "model factory" where the media and the international trade unions were all invited to witness the "huge improvements" in working conditions for the workers producing toys for the U.S. market. This was just one factory, however; all the workers in the rest of the Mattel-supplying factories across China remained in near-slave-like conditions.
Indeed, the model factories and farms established by corporations promoting their "social labels" are usually the only production units of their kind; other factories (or farms) producing for them are generally left in atrocious conditions. But the corporate media, all-too-often subservient to the bosses and to the politicians in their pockets, are usually happy with limiting their visits to these model units.
As expected, Driscoll's did come down to San Quintin with an offer to improve wages and conditions if the Alianza and the 70,000 workers who support this independent union were to agree to sign onto the Equitable Food Initiative and forgo their right to collective-bargaining and to a union that fights for the members' interests.
But the leadership of the independent union stood their ground. They said they were happy to learn that the growers were concerned about improving wages and working conditions -- but they added that if the corporations were truly concerned about equity in the farms of San Quintin, they should sit down as soon as possible to negotiate a fair and equitable collective-bargaining agreement with the workers and their designated union: the Alianza. Anything else, they insisted, would simply be a PR stunt aimed at pursuing their union-busting agenda under a different form.
Viva la Unión!
HANDS OFF OUR HOMES!
* "San Jose renters struggling to survive" (2016-03, peoplestribune.org) [archive.is/1Y1M2]: Renters in San Jose continue to live under enormous pressures from egregious rents and a lack of enforcement around tenant concerns with unsafe living environments. Landlords face no accountability for their inability to keep units up to standards and tenants feeling secure.
Just shy of a year of organizing to increase tenant protections in the city by dramatically strengthening the city’s Apartment Rent Ordinance (ARO) and enacting just cause eviction protections throughout the city, an analysis of San Jose’s Apartment Rent Ordinance has been released by the Economic Roundtable. It was contracted by the city’s Housing Department.
The preliminary report found that median rent increases for units under the rent control ordinance have exceeded those for non-ARO units; median rents for ARO housing units rose 21% percent between 1990-2014 while non-ARO units rose at 13% during the same period. The allowable rent increases under the ARO (at 8%) are above the annual rate of increase in market rates in the whole Bay Area, which has been an average of 4.7% since 1980. “As a result, the ARO has had little if any impact on overall rents,” states the report.
The report confirms what tenants and advocates have been expressing all along. Being a landlord of an ARO apartment is very profitable. The study also shows that tenants in ARO apartments have a lower-income, are overburdened with rent, and live in overcrowded units. The existing ordinance has not helped keep rents low and keep families in their homes.
Jose P. has lived in a rent controlled 3-bedroom apartment for 14 years in San Jose’s District 1, seeing his rent increase from $1,600 to $2, 600 this year. He’s had to rent out the other rooms in his apartment, even converting the living room into a bedroom to make enough money for the rent.
The current landlord only contacts tenants to collect rent when its a few days late and to personally inform tenants of rent increases without warning. He will go door to door to inform the tenants that the following month rents will be increased, and that if they cannot afford it they can move out. Some folks in the complex have made the decision to leave after outrageous rent increases. Jose says that’s nearly impossible as a single father of 3 kids. “Who’s going to rent to me?” he asks.
“We pay 10 sometimes 11%, this time I paid 3% more over the limit. Who care[s] about it?” he asks. “Only myself, so I have to pay whatever the landlord wants.”
Jose has shared his story with not only Mayor Liccardo, but with his councilmember Chappie Jones. “They are not living the way that we are living; they don’t pay the rent that we’ve been paying or make the salaries we make. So they don’t really care if we survive or not,” he said.
Jose lives next to a similar ARO complex with another owner where the rent is $1,600. “There is no rent control,” Jose adds.
information collected by the Committee to
DEFEND THOSE WITHOUT HOMES!
* "Formerly homeless mother speaks at Super Bowl protest" (2016-03, peoplestribune.org) [archive.is/GXyir]: Editor’s note: This is a transcript of a speech given at the Super Bowl-NFL corporate takeover of downtown San Francisco and harassment of the homeless.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA— I am very happy to be here with you to take a stand today. They have changed San Francisco so much for their private party. They have privatized public space. My child’s park that she plays in right over there is now part of Super Bowl City. They have armed guards with military assault rifles, wearing body armor, they’re driving these trucks that look like they should be in Desert Storm. I was going to have to submit to a search in order to go to the park with my daughter—that’s ridiculous! They shouldn’t be allowed to take over public space like this. The way they’re sweeping homeless people out of the encampments, trying to get them out of the way so the city can maintain its reputation in front of the tourists and visitors to the Super Bowl, is disgusting. They treat homeless people worse than anyone would treat a dog.
Four years ago I was homeless myself in San Francisco, when I was pregnant with my daughter, living right around here actually, sleeping in the BART stations, down at the Ferry Building or just around the corner in the Financial District, and I’ve seen what they do during the sweeps. They kick people awake, they steal your possessions and you never get them back, you lose your blankets, your tarp, everything. They take it as evidence of your criminal activity, if you are sitting, sleeping, lying, anything. Actually, once I got cited for sleeping when I was awake!
We can’t let people be treated in this inhumane way. We are in a city with incredible wealth and we have one of the largest homeless populations in the nation. The way we treat our most vulnerable communities shows who we are as a city. We have politicians who are hateful towards the homeless. It’s just disgusting the way people are treated in this city. I know people who are still out on the streets living, and protesting, comrades here and in the East Bay, and they deserve better. Thank you all for being here!
Photo caption: Protesters against the corporate takeover of San Francisco by the NFL during the privatized Super Bowl party and the harassment and sweeps of homeless people.
COMMUNITY FASCISM WATCH
* "Dictatorship in Michigan: Flint Water Warriors expose the truth" (2016-03, peoplestribune.org) [archive.is/34lOq] [begin excerpt]: The poisoning of the people in Flint shows what happens to workers who are no longer needed. As robots replace workers, our democracy is going by the wayside to protect the profits of a corporate ruling class as it coldly discards anything that won’t make a profit, including people. The Emergency Manager system of rule set up in Michigan to privatize public assets, including water, is a corporate dictatorship. It is a form of fascism. It is coming to all of America if not stopped.
Although the government, state and federal, may say they are trying to alleviate people’s suffering, an entire city has been poisoned. People will deal with this for the rest of their lives. Furthermore, the Emergency Manager dictatorship that allowed for the poisoning still remains in place in some Michigan cities. This paves the way for more horrendous crimes. Furthermore, while the Nestlé corporation pumps water for free, tens of thousands in Michigan are having their water shut off, unable to pay soaring rates.
The positive side of this story is the determination of the people of Flint. Without their perseverance, the truth would never have been told. There has also been an unprecedented groundswell of solidarity from people across the country who, in the face of government inaction, are embracing the people of Flint.
The people of Flint, and America, are demanding nothing less than a government that cares for and provides for their wellbeing, health and basic needs. This is the battleground. It is part of the fight for the ultimate solution—a truly cooperative society where the corporations are taken over by the people and run in the interest of society. In this new society, no one would be homeless or hungry, and no one’s children would be poisoned by uncaring dictators. [end excerpt]
* "Voices from Benton Harbor" (2016-03, peoplestribune.org) [archive.is/1GiIG]: “There’s an inequality problem here. There’s no due process. There’s judges sitting here for years locking up 15-year-olds living in extreme poverty. When you have poverty and no jobs, you’re going to have crime. People are starving here. Rev. Pinkney was an advocate. He fought for the low man on the totem pole. He asked why they build $50 million golf courses and then close down a whole school system? They brought a financial manager in. What did he manage? He just put the nail in the coffin for the corporations. —Linda and John Bey, Benton Harbor
“I think they should lock Snyder up. He took lives. Others are locked up for nothing. Their lives will never be reversed. It’s a means of genocide against the poor, especially the Blacks. I know a lot of whites are affected also. We must all realize if you are working class, poor, Black, green, or grey, we’re in the same boat. As long as they keep us divided they win.” — Emma Kinnard, Benton Harbor
Community Fascism in Vallejo, the "City of God":
* "Say No to Coal Pollution in the Bay: Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. It looks like developers are trying to fool all of us who love San Francisco Bay- twice" (2016-03, by Sejal Choksi-Chugh, Executive Director of San Francisco Baykeeper, baykeeper.org) [archive.is/VaANK]:
For the second time in less than a year, development threatens the Bay with contamination from coal. Developers are proposing to build a shipping terminal on the shore of Mare Island Strait in Vallejo. They may be trying to pull the same trick that an Oakland developer used: get permits to build the shipping terminal first, and then wait until later to admit that it will be used to export coal.
Coal contains arsenic, lead and other toxins. If either of these facilities are approved to handle coal, more coal would be shipped to the Bay Area by train in open rail cars, shedding toxic dust and pieces of coal into neighborhoods near railroad tracks and San Francisco Bay’s watershed. Coal and coal dust could also be blown into the Bay if the coal is stored on the shoreline awaiting export, or during the loading of coal onto outbound ships.
Coal dust pollution can have effects that range from asthma in kids to bronchitis in adults, and it also interferes with fish reproduction. The Bay’s smallest creatures can ingest dust and tiny coal particles. Fish eat the small creatures, so the toxins could move into the bodies of anything that eats the fish, including harbor seals, shoreline birds and people who fish from Bay piers and shores.
The proposed export terminal also poses another toxic threat. The project includes a new factory at the site of a former General Mills flour mill that has been closed since 2004. Orcem, an Irish company, plans to manufacture cement, a basic ingredient of concrete and stucco, using granular blast furnace slag. Orcem emphasizes that this is a “green” type of cement, because it takes less energy to produce than the most commonly used cement, Portland cement.
But a substance as dangerous as granular blast furnace slag does not belong on the shoreline of San Francisco Bay. People who handle this slag are warned that overexposure can cause chemical burns, irreversible skin and eye damage, lung failure and cancer. Slag would arrive at the cement plant by ship. If it were spilled into the Bay as it was being unloaded, this caustic substance could harm any wildlife that happened to be nearby.
The proposed project would also harm San Francisco Bay in other ways. To build the shipping terminal and deep water port, several acres of Bay wetlands would have to be destroyed. The public would lose access to some shoreline areas that are now open, and the San Francisco Bay Trail would be disrupted.
Vallejo leaders shouldn’t let the same showdown now taking place in Oakland happen in their town. An Oakland developer concealed his plan to export up to nine million tons of Utah coal until after he got a go-ahead to build a shipping terminal on the old Oakland Army Base. For more coverage, see “Coal from Utah Threatens the Bay with Pollution” in the September 2015 issue of Bay Crossings.
Baykeeper, Sierra Club and Vallejo residents are urging Vallejo leaders to make sure they understand all the pollution risks from the proposed shipping terminal and cement plant—and stop this project before it has a chance to contaminate Vallejo and San Francisco Bay. To learn more about Baykeeper and support out work, visit our website at [baykeeper.org].
* "39-inch North Bay Aqueduct Line Break at Green Valley Road and I-80" (2016-03-04, Vallejo City Manager’s Bi-Weekly Report) (.pdf) [http://is.gd/8VHfFh]: A leak was discovered in one of the raw water lines that transports water from the North Bay Aqueduct to the Fleming Hill Treatment Plant. Water traveling through the line is treated before distribution as drinking water to customers. Crews brought in equipment to the site to dig up the pipes and make repairs.
Documenting human-rights abuse by domestic security agencies
[NorthbayCopwatch.blogspot.com] [copblock.org] [wecopwatch.org] [filmingcops.com]
* "While cops pass notes and look away, Alex Nieto’s mom talks of the death of her son; The city continues to fall into a deeper and deeper hole as the Nieto trial continues" (2016-03-07, 48hills.org) [archive.is/bqY0B] [begin excerpt]: In what has been the most overwhelming day in the Alex Nieto trial, the court heard testimony from a range of experts, mostly witnesses called by the city –but it was the testimony of Elvira Nieto that marked the end of the day and provided the emotional evidence of the impact of the shooting. And during her tearful testimony, the officers who killed her son were busy passing notes and ignoring her.The day began with the testimony of Officer Roger Morse, who was the last to arrive at the scene but the first to go near Nieto’s body after the shooting. Deputy City Attorney Margaret Baumgartner played back an audio recording from the police radio of Office Morse. “Shots fired, shots fired” the recording said. Baumgartner then played the other half of the recording, pausing briefly to ask if the officer heard anything.
Even though she repeated the question three times, Morse said he was unable to recognize or remember anything of significance from the recording. Baumgartner was trying to demonstrate that police at the scene were yelling commands, a key element of the city’s claim that Nieto ignored warnings to show his hands. She asked Morse if he remembered shouting commands at Nieto as he approached him, but Morse said: “I don’t remember, not at that time. I began shooting”.
He continued: “Nieto was in a prone position, with an arm extended and the gun was in his hand. It looked just like our gun. When his arm was extended, the way I thought he was moving, it made me believe that he had a gun.” Morse said he saw a muzzle flash so he continued to shoot at Nieto, despite the fact that the young man was down on the ground, until he was told to stop shooting. He would later learn that no shots were ever fired from Mr. Nieto and the only gunfire came from his colleagues on the scene.
On cross examination, Morse said he had never seen a Taser, except for in the movies. The jurors, who are allowed to ask questions, posed one: “Can you tell the jurors what you said to Mr. Nieto when you arrived at the scene?
“When I arrived,” Morse said, “I didn’t say anything. I don’t remember. May be I said, don’t move, there might have been some swear words. I don’t remember what I said at that time” he said. Asked if he yelled any commands at Nieto while shooting him, he said: “No I didn’t shout any commands when I was shooting.” he said. That testimony turned out to be of great significance later on in the day.
Next up on the stand was Bryan Chiles, technical compliance manager for Taser International. In an earlier deposition, Chiles had discussed time stamps from the microprocessors on the M26C Taser that Nieto was carrying (he had that weapon because he was about to report to his job as a security guard at a nightclub). The time on the chip did not match the timeline of the incident as narrated by the cops.
In brief, a microprocessor keeps an activity log that can determine the number of times the Taser is used along with timestamps. That could show whether or not Nieto actually pulled the trigger on his Taser during the incident.
However, today, Chiles introduced a different analysis to the court. He told the court that in his previous analysis he hadn’t calculated what is known as a clock drift, the phenomenon that all computer systems tend to deviate over time from the accurate or “true” time.
Chiles said he had calculated that drift, and presented a timeline that matched the testimony of the police officers. He suggested that Nieto’s Taser had been used three times from 7:18 to 7:19 pm. However, on cross examination, several aspects of his testimony proved faulty,
“At that time while discussing the calculation you said your calculations are based on speculation and logic?” Nieto Family Attorney Adante Pointer asked. “Yes” Chiles responded. Fighting back hard, Pointer went on to ask details of the analysis conducted by Chiles. Chiles acknowledged that his analysis took less than a month to complete, involved only ten samples, was never published and has never been peer reviewed.
Pointer then showed Chiles and the jury a photo of Nieto’s Taser as it was photographed at the crime scene. According to the crime scene photo, confirmed by Chiles, Nieto’s Taser was off, or in safe mode — and no laser light could be seen.
In another shot where the Taser could be seen pointing directly at the camera, Chiles testified that there was no laser light visible. “About the image of the trigger. Can you show the jury where you can see whether the Taser was on or off?” Pointer asked?
“It is bright yellow safety, you would be able to tell if it was on and off. The round piece of plastic extends out, when the safety is up it keeps it up, it will keep it on position. It won’t slide back on.” Chiles responded.
It’s hard to figure out how Nieto would have turned the Taser off while being shot at more 50 times. [end excerpt]
NORTHBAY COPWATCH: Domestic Security Agencies and private-sector partners
* "Why We Should Teach About the FBI’s War on the Civil Rights Movement" (2016-03-01, zinnedproject.org) [archive.is/UZdFZ], an attached photo [archive.is/BXLNu], caption: “Agitation Among Negroes” - A 1956 memo that details an informant was tasked to “uncover all the derogatory information” he could about Dr. King.
* "Minority report: FBI asks high schoolers, teachers to watch for signs of student terrorism" (2016-03-07, rt.com) [archive.is/9RAN3]: High school students and teachers across the US are being encouraged to watch their peers for any telltale signs that might indicate they are about to commit an act of terror.
In an advice booklet entitled ‘Preventing Violent Extremism in Schools’, the FBI says students are “ideal targets” for terrorist recruiters aiming to carry out violent attacks on US soil.
While not as blatant as the ‘Red Scare’ US loyalty review boards or the neighborly snooping fueled by McCarthyism in the 1950s, the 28-page intelligence pamphlet does suggest young US citizens keep a close eye on one another’s activities - even to the extent of monitoring student artwork and essays.
“Many times, fellow students or educators observe behaviors or are privy to another student’s communications and commitment to a violent ideology that may be indicative of future intentions,” the document states.
The booklet advises educators and students on the importance of identifying “leakage”, which it explains as “clues prefacing a violent act”. The phrase “leakage” was previously used in an FBI study called ‘The School Shooter’, which sought to instruct people on how to identify a future assailant.
These clues include “boasts, innuendos, predictions or ultimatums” conveyed in diary entries, drawings and even essays that could point to a criminal or violent activity before it has even been committed.
The guide also recommends high schools incorporate two-hour blocks of “violent extremism awareness training” into curricula.
The booklet follows other recently published FBI guidelines on teenage surveillance. A new FBI website, designed to stop teenagers from being radicalized, urges people to inform on peers using several private messaging apps; talking about traveling to places that “sound suspicious”, or engaging in “unusual language”.
It also suggests that taking pictures of a government building might be a sign that a terrorist plot is underway.
* "CIA-Sponsored Trolls Monitor Social Media & Interact With Users to Discredit Factual Information" (2013-04-10, occupycorporatism.com) [archive.is/2Fplu]
* "Surprise! Controversial Patriot Act power now overwhelmingly used in drug investigations" (2014-10-29, washingtonpost.com) [archive.is/jLqBn]
* "Intelligence Briefing" (2016-03-06, by Ex CIA Agent David Simpson, dninews.com) -
- "US Intelligence In Revolt" [archive.is/vUIpB]
- "American Intelligence: A Forced Restart" [archive.is/7M1l1]
* "Anonymous claim Twitter is shutting down their accounts for harassing ISIS" (2016-03-06, rt.com) [archive.is/Hl3Dc]
NORTHBAY COPWATCH: Five-Eyes, and other transnational partners
* " ‘Human rights abusers’ invited to ‘non-lethal’ weapons show, condemned by activists" (2016-03-07, rt.com) [archive.is/QMXxd]
* "GCHQ losing cyberwar despite £860mn extra funding – spy chief" (2016-03-07, rt.com) [archive.is/0DSYx]
from the Committee to
FREE 'EM ALL!
End the Drug War! Stop Jim Crow! Close the Torture Chambers! [solitarywatch.com] [facebook.com/incarceratedworkers] [supportprisonerresistance.noblogs.org] [denverabc.wordpress.com] [prisonlegalnews.org] [prisonbooks.info] [nycabc.wordpress.com] [powmedicaljustice.com] [sacprisonersupport.wordpress.com]. Become a Human Rights Pen Pal! [link].
* "March 18: Jail Demonstration: Freedom for all political prisoners!" (2016-03-04, Solidarity Committee for Political Prisoners-Hamburg, unofficial translation from signalfire.org) [archive.is/4FC8l]
* "Join us for March 18 – Day of action for the liberation of all political prisoners!" (2016-03-06, from Jugend Widerstand, via signalfire.org) [archive.is/tbtGH]
* "Free Rev. Pinkney!" (2016-03, peoplestribune.org) [archive.is/RZCx5]: Defender of the poor and a political prisoner—Rev. Pinkney sounded the alarm early on about the threat of the iron fist of the emergency manager system of corporate dictatorship in Michigan. Now the fight is spreading from water shutoffs in Detroit to fighting poisoned water in Flint,both of which result from the emergency manager system. The “Free Rev. Pinkney Coordinating Committee” coordinates national activities in the campaign for his defense. In the words of Rev. Pinkney, “Let’s join together and defeat this monster!” Contact us at justice4pinkney. Friend us on Facebook at [facebook.com/justice4pinkney] and join the fight to “Free Rev. Pinkney.” Make donations at [bhbanco.org].
* "Reverend Pinkney’s message cannot be silenced!" (2016-03, peoplestribune.org) [archive.is/ZAYHi]: Rev Pinkney is a political prisoner. He languishes in prison, now for over 400 days, for the ‘crime’ of exercising his democratic rights on behalf of the people of Benton harbor and beyond.
(Painting by Andy Willis)
Those who have followed his story here in the People’s Tribune, and now with a media outcry all over the US and the world, and who read his own writings, understand what a fascist attack his conviction and unjust incarceration represent. This is part of the larger attack by the corporate-controlled government, led by the dictatorial Emergency Managers in Michigan against the people who are being displaced and abandoned as the economy tanks.
The corporations that no longer need people’s labor, especially in the once heavily industrialized Rust Belt where Pinkney is active, will no longer bother to keep them alive and will exercise state terror against anyone who resists and speaks up. Now Rev. Pinkney is not being allowed to communicate beyond prison walls, because the ruling class fears his message. This will not stop the growing movement in this country, or stop his message from being heard and spread.
The corporations and the owning class must deal with the millions of people who are being thrown out of work and into dispossession, poverty and misery. People don’t put up with having their children’s future stolen from them, along with their homes and ability to live. They are furious when their water is poisoned because of greedy privatization schemes put in place by corporate dictators, as is happening in Michigan and all over the country. In Pinkney’s Benton Harbor, the Whirlpool Corporation acted as though it owned the town and could seize public spaces for its own use. The corporate-controlled government agreed. Rev. Pinkney and the people of Benton Harbor, mostly poor but not powerless, disagreed and organized. They exercised their democratic rights in a recall campaign against a corrupt mayor.
The ruling class is putting laws into place to deal with the gathering storm of protest and people’s demands for what they need to survive, whether they have money to pay for it or not. A movement is gathering all over the country to demand the right to these things, and that the government respond and provide. The corporate-ruled government can only impose fascism, and try to lock up and silence the truths spoken by such people’s leaders as Rev. Pinkney. The defense of Rev. Pinkney is a defense of our whole class.
As he has written, “it is not about Black and white, it is about the haves and the have-nots.” This message is one that strikes terror in the hearts of the oppressors and rouses people to unified action, to create a world where children aren’t poisoned or forced to go to bed hungry, and the people own and control the corporations. This message, shared by Rev. Pinkney and millions of others, is a practical vision whose time has come. Defend Rev. Pinkney and spread his message of a just and truly democratic society!
* "Listen to political prisoner Herman Bell's attorney Bob Boyle speak about Herman and parole reform in NY" (2016-03-04):
Click here (.mp3) [http://is.gd/7Fw0Xo] to listen to Herman's attorney Bob Boyle speak March 3rd on WCNY about Herman and parole reform in NY state.
Herman Bell has been to the New York state parole board six times and has been denied each time. His next parole board appearance will be in March, 2016. Each time, the board - always made of up former law enforcement personnel and former prosecutors -- reviews his very impressive record, the Bachelor's and Master's college degrees he has attained since being locked up, his job offers, his numerous letters of support from family, friends, and community members from many walks of life. They have before them evidence of all the ways Herman has helped so many people throughout the course of his confinement and is still leading a positive and progressive life despite being locked up now over four decades.
State Seeks to Remove Innocent PA Lifer’s Attorney! Free Corey Walker!
Walker, assisted by Wolkenstein, filed three sets of legal papers over five months in 2014 with new evidence of Walker’s innocence and that the prosecution and police deliberately used false evidence to convict him of murder. Two weeks after Wolkenstein was granted pro hac vice status, the OAG moved against her and Walker.
The OAG claims that Wolkenstein’s political views and prior legal representation of Mumia Abu-Jamal and courtroom arrest by the notorious Judge Albert Sabo makes it “intolerable” for her to represent Corey Walker in the courts of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Over the past fifteen months the OAG has effectively stopped any judicial action on the legal challenges of Corey Walker and his former co-defendant, Lorenzo Johnson against their convictions and sentences to life imprisonment without parole while it proceeds in its attempts to remove Wolkenstein.
This is retaliation against Corey Walker who is innocent and framed. Walker and his attorney won’t stop until they thoroughly expose the police corruption and deliberate presentation of false evidence to convict Corey Walker and win his freedom.
This outrageous attack on Corey Walker’s fundamental right to his lawyer of choice and challenge his conviction must cease. The evidence of his innocence and deliberate prosecutorial frame up was suppressed for almost twenty years. Corey Walker must be freed!
Read: Jim Crow Justice – The Frame-up Of Corey Walker by Charles Brover
Go to FreeCoreyWalker.org to provide help and get more information.
* "Defying the Tomb: Selected Prison Writings and Art of Kevin "Rashid" Johnson featuring exchanges with an Outlaw" by Kevin Rashid Johnson (Author), Tom Big Warrior (Introduction), Russell Maroon Shoatz (Introduction)
URGENT UPDATE (2016-02-16):
MAJOR TILLERY BACK IN THE HOLE!!
FEDERAL RETALIATION LAWSUIT FILED!!
Major Tillery was denied medical treatment, transferred and put in the hole “because of something prison administrators hate and fear among all things: prisoner unity, prisoner solidarity.” -Mumia Abu-Jamal
SCI Frackville prison officials put Major Tillery back in the hole!! This is more retaliation against Tillery who is now fighting to get Hepatitis C treatment. Tillery was able to get word out through another prisoner who told us that several guards in the “AC annex” have been verbally harassing and trying to provoke men with racist comments. The “AC annex” is a cell block that houses both general population and disciplinary prisoners together. We don’t have the particulars of what falsified charges they put against Major. His daughter Kamilah Iddeen heard that he got 30 days and should be out of the RHU (restricted housing unit) on March 2.
Last year Major Tillery stood up for Mumia, telling John Kerestes, the Superintendent at SCI Mahanoy, that Mumia is dying and needs to go to the hospital. Soon afterward, Mumia was rushed to the hospital in deadly diabetic shock. For that warning and refusing to remain silent in the face of medical neglect and mistreatment of all prisoners Major Tillery was put in the hole in another prison and denied medical care for his arthritis, liver problems and hepatitis C.
Major Tillery didn’t stop fighting for medical treatment for himself and other prisoners. On February 11, Major Tillery filed a 40 page, 7-count civil rights lawsuit against the Department of Corrections, the superintendents of SCI Mahanoy and SCI Frackville and other prison guards for retaliation in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.
Major Tillery demands that the DOC stop its retaliation, remove the false misconduct from his record, provide medical treatment and transfer him out of SCI Frackville to a different prison in eastern Pennsylvania so he remains near his family.
This lawsuit is just part of Major Tillery’s fight for medical care and to protect himself and other prisoners who are standing up for justice. He has liver disease and chronic Hepatitis C that the DOC has known about for over a decade. Tillery is filing grievances against the prison and its medical staff to get the new antiviral medicine. This is part of the larger struggle to obtain Hep C treatment for the 10,000 prisoners in Pennsylvania and the estimated 700,000 prisoners nationally who have Hepatitis-C and could be cured.
Major Tillery filed a civil rights lawsuit pro se against John Wetzel, Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC), SCI Mahanoy Superintendent John Kerestes, SCI Frackville Superintendent Brenda Tritt and 17 other prison officials. The DOC punished and retaliated against Tillery for acts of solidarity with Mumia Abu-Jamal and other prisoners fighting for the fundamental human right of medical care. The lawsuit was filed in the Schuylkill County Court of Common Please on January 5, 2015.
This is a civil rights action brought by Major George Tillery, a 65 year-old African-American man to stop and remedy retaliation against him for his exercise of his First Amendment Rights. Tillery was subjected to numerous retaliatory acts by the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections and its employees, including medical neglect and medical mistreatment, unjustified cell searches, transfer to another cell block, loss of his prison job and precipitous transfer from SCI Mahanoy to SCI Frackville and then being set-up with a false misconduct and given over four months in disciplinary custody (solitary confinement).
This retaliation was intended to punish and stop Tillery from filing grievances challenging medical neglect and mistreatment of him and other prisoners, including the well-known journalist and former death row prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal. This retaliation was punishment for Tillery continuing to publicly advocate for Mumia Abu-Jamal, and to publicly expose the DOC’s neglect and mistreatment of prisoner’s medical problems as well as the DOC’s retaliation against Tillery; and continuing to file grievances objecting to these retaliatory actions by prison officials.
Throughout his over thirty years in prison serving a sentence of life without parole, Tillery has challenged his conviction and sentence, and unconstitutional restrictions on access to courts, prison conditions including security classification and placement procedures, medical treatment, and housing conditions on behalf of himself and other prisoners. He was held in solitary confinement in super-max institutions in the federal and Pennsylvania prison systems for over twenty of those years.
Tillery was the lead plaintiff in Tillery v. Owens, a class action lawsuit filed July 23, 1987, challenging the constitutionality of the conditions of confinement at the State Correctional Institution at Pittsburgh ("SCIP") located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It started as a pro se legal action by Tillery. It resulted in an historic legal order requiring remediation of unconstitutional prison conditions including deficient security, fire protection, access to the courts, over-crowded housing, medical care, mental health care and dental services. The DOC was required to make prison renovations costing more than a million dollars. See Tillery v. Owens, 719 F.Supp. 1256 (W.D.Pa.1989).
* "Major Tillery Is In The Hole: Prison Officials Have Retaliated Again" (The Nancy Lockhart Show), info about show's host [archive.is/zubZ1], archived page [http://is.gd/OXrQWL], listen to the episode (via blogtalkradio.com) [http://is.gd/iackes]
(Photo) Major Tillery, his daughter, Kamillah and his two granddaughters.
Major Tillery’s daughter, Kamilah Iddeen appeals for our support:
"It is so important that my Dad filed this lawsuit– it shows what really goes on inside the prison. Prison officials act as if my father is their property, that his family doesn’t exist, that he isn’t a man with people who love him. They lied to us every time we called and said he needed treatment. They lied and said he hadn’t told them, that he hadn’t filed grievances. The DOC plays mind games and punishes prisoners who stand up for themselves and for others. But my Dad won’t be broken.
The DOC needs to learn they can’t do this to a prisoner and his family. Justice has to be done. Justice has to be served. Please help."
Major Tillery needs your calls to the DOC. He also needs help in covering the costs of the court filing fees, copying and mailing expenses amount of over $500. Please help.
Contribute: Go to [www.JPay.com], code: Major Tillery AM9786 PADOC
Send Letters of support to:
Major Tillery AM 9786
1111 Altamont Blvd.
Frackville, PA 17931
Call prison officials
- Brenda Tritt, Superintendent SCI Frackville [570-874-4516] [btritt@)pa.gov]
- John Wetzel, Secty of the PA DOC [717-728-4109] [ra-contactdoc@)pa.gov]
- Decent medical care for Major Tillery!
- Stop the Retaliation Against Major Tillery. He should be exonerated for the false charges of drug possession and this misconduct removed from his record.
- Transfer Major Tillery from SCI Frackville back to SCI Mahanoy or to another facility in eastern Pennsylvania to remain near his family.
- Exonerate Major Tillery for the false charges of drug possession.
- Remove the false misconduct from Major Tillery’s record.
- Provide decent medical care to Major Tillery and all prisoners!
For more information:
- Kamilah Iddeen [717-379-9009] [Kamilah29@)yahoo.com]
- Nancy Lockhart [843-412-2035] [thewrongfulconviction@)gmail.com]
- Rachel Wolkenstein, Esq. [917-689-4009] [RachelWolkenstein@)gmail.com]
* "FREE THE VIRGIN ISLANDS 3 NOW! DEATH TO OLD PIRACIES! 'AMERICA'S PARADISE' HAS BEEN THEIR HELL, 44 YEARS OF POLITICAL IMPRISONMENT, WITH THE PAST 15 YEARS BEING WITHOUT EVEN THE PRETENSE OF SENTENCES" (virginislands3.yolasite.com/) [archive.is/YplV8]:
While the U.S. today declares that the natural inhabitants of the Virgin Islands have "no fundamental rights," it claims that it fairly tried these men in 1972, then held them in the U.S. federal prison system for 29 years. In 2000, even though the U.S. retired their "sentences," it directed the colonial government to hold them nonetheless, indefinitely, and illegally, and this is exactly what it has done for 15-years.
Photo: Haneef Bey (Beaumont Gereau); Abdul Azziz (Warren Ballentine); Malik Bey (Meral Smith)
WHO ARE THE VIRGIN ISLAND 3 -
THE VIRGIN ISLAND 3, FORMERLY KNOWN AS THE “VIRGIN ISLAND 5,” HAVE BEEN IMPRISONED FOR 43-YEARS FOR THE KILLING OF SEVEN WHITES AND A MULATTO AT THE FOUNTAIN VALLEY GOLF COURSE IN ST. CROIX IN 1972. EVEN THOUGH THE INCIDENT WAS DESCRIBED AS A “ROBBERY GONE BAD,” THE U.S. GOVERNMENT TREATED IT AS THE TIP OF SOME SORT OF “MAU MAU” UPRISING TO FORCE ALL WHITE PEOPLE OUT OF THE ISLES. IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING THE INCIDENT THE U.S. SENT IN AN ARMY OF RACIST WHITE FBI AGENTS, ALONG WITH 300 MARINES, AND PLACED ALL OF THE ISLES IT CLAIMS TO “OWN” UNDER A STATE OF RACIST MARTIAL LAW. THE ENTIRE BLACK POPULATION WAS SUSPECT, PARTICULARLY YOUNG BLACK MEN, WITH OVER 100 OF THEM BEING ROUNDED UP IN HOUSE TO HOUSE SEARCHES. MOST OF THE YOUNG MEN WERE SUBJECTED TO VARIOUS FORMS OF TORTURE THAT INCLUDED BEATINGS, WATER-BOARDING, ELECTRIC SHOCK, AND BEING HUNG FROM TREES AND BUILDINGS BY THEIR FEET. (for a more detailed account click this link "Maracatu" [archive.is/eLQY8])
AFTER A HASTY TRIAL, WHEN THE JURY INFORMED THE JUDGE THAT THEY COULD NOT CONVICT, HE ORDERED THEM HELD FOR NINE DAYS UNTIL THEY CAME BACK WITH GUILTY VERDICTS AGAINST ALL FIVE. WITHIN THE HOUR AFTER GETTING THE GUILTY VERDICTS THE JUDGE HAD ALL FIVE BROUGHT BEFORE HIM AND SENTENCED EACH TO EIGHT CONSECUTIVE LIFE SENTENCES, THEN HAD THEM MARCHED FROM THE COURTHOUSE DOWN TO THE HARBOR IN CHRISTENSTED. IN THE HARBOR WERE A NUMBER OF SEA PLANES THAT THEN FLEW THE FIVE OFF TO FEDERAL PRISONS IN THE UNITED STATES. THE SPEEDY ARREST, TRIAL, CONVICTION, AND IMPRISONMENT WERE INTENDED TO SEND A MESSAGE TO THE NATURAL INHABITANTS AGAINST EVEN CONTEMPLATING OPPOSING U.S. RULE, WHILE AT THE SAME TIME TO ENSURE WHITES THAT ANY BLACK UPRISING WOULD BE DEALT WITH QUICKLY, HARSHLY, AND EFFECTIVELY. THE QUICK ARREST, PROSECUTION, TRIAL, CONVICTIONS, HARSH SENTENCES, AND QUICK EXECUTION AMOUNTED TO A LYNCHING IN ORDER TO TERRORIZE THE NATURAL INHABITANTS. AND THIS IS WHY THESE MEN REMAIN IMPRISONED TO THIS DAY, IN ORDER TO MAINTAIN THAT TERROR MESSAGE.
iN 1983, WHILE BEING TRANSPORTED BACK TO PRISON IN THE STATES AFTER APPEARING BACK IN ST. CROIX FOR A COURT HEARING, , ISHMAEL LABEET HIJACKED THE PLANE AND ESCAPED TO CUBA WHERE HE WAS GIVEN POLITICAL ASYLUM AND LIVES TODAY. IN 1992, RAPHAEL JOSEPH ALONE WAS PARDONED BY THE GOVERNOR FOR GOOD BEHAVIOR, EVEN THOUGH HIS BEHAVIOR WAS NOT ANY BETTER THAN THE OTHER THREE.
IN 2000-01, ALTHOUGH THE U.S. FEDERAL BUREAU OF PRISONS RETIRED THE SENTENCES OF THE REMAINING THREE AND DISCHARGED THEM FROM ITS CUSTODY, IT DID NOT RELEASE THEM FROM DETENTION. INSTEAD OF BEING RELEASED AS REQUIRED BY LAW, THE THREE WERE ILLEGALLY "TRANSFERRED" TO THE CUSTODY OF THE COLONIAL GOVERNMENT, EVEN THOUGH THEY NO LONGER HAD SENTENCES.
MALIK, HANEEF, AND ABDUL CAN BE REACHED BY MAIL AT THE GOLDEN GROVE PRISON, IF IN FACT THEY ARE STILL THERE AND NOT BEEN SPIRITED OFF TO SOME OTHER "BLACK SITE:"
RURAL ROUTE 1, BOX 9955, KNGSHILL VI OO8500
HOWEVER, PLEASE KEEP IN MIND THAT THERE IS NO INTENT TO JUST LET THEM TO CONTINUE TO HOLD THEM, WE ARE NOT GOING TO WAIT FOR JUSTICE TO COME FROM A PLACE WERE IT DOES NOT EXIST. WE HAVE WORK TO DO IN THE ISLES RIGHT NOW. YOU CAN HELP, PLEASE FOLLOW THE PEOPLE'S ALERT BELOW. THANK YOU
ON DECEMBER 31, 2015, THE VIRGIN ISLAND 3 WERE LOCKED DOWN FOR PETITIONING THE U.S. DISTRICT COURT OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS, THE SAME COURT IN WHICH THEY WERE "TRIED" 44-YEARS AGO, TO END 15-YEARS OF BEING ILLEGALLY DETAINED BY THE COLONIAL GOVERNMENT OF THE "U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS." INSTEAD OF DUE PROCESS, INSTEAD OF JUSTICE, THEY HAVE BEEN SUBJECTED TO MORE OPPRESSION AND REPRESSION
INSTEAD OF DUE PROCESS AND JUSTICE, THEY GOT RETRIBUTION
We need people to do the following things:
* SIGN PETITION TO GOV. KENNETH MAPP (via change.org) [http://is.gd/uFRv7Q]
Click here to tell Governor Mapp to Free the 3 now
* DONATE TO THE GROUND WORK (via gofundme.com) [http://is.gd/CIRvRs]
Click here to give material support to this Fight for Justice
* LISTEN AND SHARE OUR STORIES
- "Gangs in Paradise" official documentary video [https://youtu.be/XD0-ti7mF70],
- Listen to Haneef Bey on the AmeriKKKanization of the Virgin Islands [https://youtu.be/8CizkaQ2rMs]
* Message from Kwasi Seitu for the "Virgin Island 3" [archive.is/9u0Zt]:
The Virgin Islands 3 are being denied access to their property, including their legal papers. All with the intent to deprive them of every basic human right, which goes to the human rights of all natural inhabitants of the isles.
The court has not processed their petitions in spite of having them for more than a month, which violates the rules of judicial procedure. The VI3 petitions raise the fact that they have been held for the past 15-years without a sentence, without any lawful authority. In the meantime, the 3 are being held so as to cut off their ability to communicate with their outside support. We need your help to counter this, and force their relaease.
My name is Kwasi Seitu, a veteran of the global Black struggle for justice, equality, and freedom. For the past year I have been assisting the "Virgin Islands 3," to end their political imprisonment that has gone on for over 43-years. The three are (as pictured) Haneef Bey (Beaumont Gereau), Abdul Azziz (Warren Battentine), and Malik Bey (Meral Smith). At the time these men were seized and imprisoned not one of them was over the age of 23.
Last winter the three contacted me and asked if I would assist them and this past October, I made a visit to St. Croix in order to get in close proximity and gain a more detailed understanding of their situation.
Initially, the issue appeared that they were being denied the right to apply for parole, but then as a result of that closer look, I discovered that these men do not even have a sentence. Their sentences were quietly retired by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons back in 2000-01, meaning they should have been released at that time.
I prepared for each of them petitions for the writ of habeas corpus raising the fact that they have been illegally detained by the U.S. through the various colonial governors for the past 15-years. After they each filed their petitions and on the day by law when the court should have been ordering their release, the three were instead rounded up and put into maximum-security isolation, where they remain.
On my visit I stayed with the people, I met with them, and found that a lot of them want the three released. However, because of the way the U.S. quickly convicted and imprisoned, most people do not understand what took place and what is taking place with them. As the lead strategic consultant, I need to return to the VI as quickly as possible and for a more extended stay in order to help solidify the outside support and force the government to abandon its illegal actions.
A good part of the funds raised will go to cover transportation costs, not there and back, but to travel between the three main islands (from St. Thomas to St. Croix is $80 one way). While just as much or more will be spent on printing and distributing organizing material, as well as securing meeting spaces. Again, this matter is urgent.
Please visit [www.virginislands3.yolasite.com] to learn more on their case, and [www.itj-pdn.org] to learn more about ITJ's other initiatives. And please remember that "The limits of tyrants are prescirbed by those who they oppress" Frederick Douglass
* "So just how did the U.S. come to own the Virgin Islands? The answer to that question is a very simple and undeniable one: OLD PIRACIES!" (virginislands3.yolasite.com/) [archive.is/YplV8]:
It is irrefutable historical fact that nearly all of the European nations invaded and destroyed nations they encountered in the western hemisphere, completely wiping out entire people. As with ISIS, they acted under a religious pretense that gave them the right to go out all around the non-white world and take whatever they wanted from non-Christian peoples, who they called "savages."
The Caribbean was first invaded by the Spanish beginning with Columbus, then came the French, the British, and the Danish. The Danish "purchased" three islands from the French, they called them the "Dutch West Indies," which both populated with kidnapped Africans as slaves. The British laid claim to most of the other islands to the south, along with Jamaica. The Spanish though had the three largest islands, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and two-thirds of Hispaniola.
In the late 1800s, as the U.S. finally subdued the resistance of the Natives, it went into a period of continued imperial expansion in the Pacific, Central America, and the Caribbean. The U.S. staged a war with Spain, which lasted barely two months, with Spain giving up the Philippines, Cuba, and Puerto Rico. Because the Haitian revolution had ended Spain's hold on Hispaniola, it was supposedly "independent."
In 1885, the U.S. tried to get Denmark to sell its claims to it, but the Danes refused. In 1915, after the U.S. had destroyed the Spanish, invaded and took over Haiti. That sent a strong message to the Danes that their days were numbered, so in 1917, agreed to sell its claims to the U.S. One crime family taking over the turf of weaker crime families.
That is it, that is the U.S. only claim to the land and people of what we know as the "Virgin Islands." The last I checked, Denmark is in Europe, it did not sell the U.S. any part of that land, the only land it could claim to own.
* "Transferday" (1917) [https://youtu.be/hJwElsdCDcc]: Transferday of the Virgin Islands from Denmark to the United States 1917
* "In the Wake of the Buckaneers" travelogue video (1936, USA Department of the Interior) [https://youtu.be/FiU24umiArc]
* "All aboard for the Virgin Islands!" travelogue video (1937) [youtube.com/watch?v=kJKIuxRZwqg]
* "VIRGIN ISLANDS PREPARING COMMEMORATE 100 YEARS OF BEING"OWNED" BY THE UNITED STATES: SO, WHO'S CELEBRATING?" (virginislands3.yolasite.com/) [archive.is/YplV8]:
Now think about this, the United States is actually forcing the Virgin Islanders to celebrate being sold, bought, and held like property. Yep, and you have some kneegrows down there in the government helping to make it happen. I found this cheery promotion of the "celebration" at GoToStCroix.com [archive.is/32afZ] [archive.is/ah8j9]:
"March 31st is recognized every year in the U.S. Virgin Islands as Transfer Day, commemorating the day that the Danish West Indies were formally ceded to the United States by Denmark, becoming the U.S. Virgin Islands. March 31, 2017 will mark the 100th anniversary of Transfer Day, so special centennial events will be held to commemorate this auspicious anniversary. The U.S. Virgin Islands Centennial Commission has been formed to organize the Centennial Commemoration of Transfer Day. The Centennial Commemoration will be a territory-wide, multi-year observation with events and activities ranging from parades, concerts, and multi-cultural celebrations, to exhibitions and festivals featuring local art, dance, music, and food. The series of events is currently scheduled to start in 2015 and continue through December of 2017."
IT GOES ON INCREDIBLY:
"The goal of the festivities is to highlight the continuum of historical events and people of the U.S. Virgin Islands including the pre-Columbian period and indigenous inhabitants, Columbus and the arrival of the early Europeans, the settlement of the Danish West Indies, the forced migration of Africans, the transfer of the Virgin Islands to the United States, and the territory and it’s melting pot of people and culture today. To organize and prepare the Centennial Commemoration events, $500,000 in grant assistance has been provided under the Office of Insular Affairs’ Technical Assistance Program to the U.S. Virgin Islands Centennial Commission.
When the grant was given, Interior Assistant Secretary for Insular Areas Esther Kia’aina stated: ‘I am pleased to support Governor Kenneth Mapp, Congresswoman Stacey Plaskett, the members of the Centennial Commission and the people of the U.S. Virgin Islands as they plan their celebration of this significant milestone in the history of US-Virgin Islands relations,’ said Kia’aina. ‘The next two years leading up to the actual Centennial Celebration presents a host of opportunities to showcase their rich history and heritage as well as the future of the Virgin Islands."
And there was this, the U.S. Virgin Islands non-voting spook in Congress Stacey Paskett: [https://youtu.be/BB_qt_YL3JE].
SICK OR WHAT?
* "The U.S. Declares that Natural Inhabitants of Virgin Islands have no 'fundamental rights' "
(taken from Mother Jones 6/5/15; written by Pema Levy, Reporter MJ, email firstname.lastname@example.org)
On the other side of the case is the Obama administration, which cited century-old Supreme Court decisions that spoke of "savage," "uncivilized," and "alien races"—and many legal scholars now see as outright racist—to justify continuing to deny citizenship to these US nationals.
Over the past century, Congress has passed laws guaranteeing birthright citizenship to residents of US territories, including Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands. But American Samoa, a Pacific Island chain that is home to some 55,000 people, is the lone exception.
American Samoans are classified as noncitizen nationals. As a result, the increasing number of American Samoans living stateside are ineligible for many federal and state government jobs and benefits, including many military jobs, despite serving in the military at high rates.
They cannot vote or serve on juries. In many places, they cannot own firearms. They can apply for US citizenship—but in order to do so, they must leave American Samoa during the months- or years-long process, uprooting their lives and leaving their families and community behind while they wait for a decision.
Now a group of American Samoans is suing the Obama administration and the State Department, demanding birthright citizenship. Their argument in the case,Tuaua v. United States, is pretty straightforward: The 14th Amendment, passed in the wake of the Civil War, grants automatic citizenship to everyone born in the United States—whether in a state or a territory.
Lead plaintiff Leneuoti Tuaua, for example, is a retired public safety officer who was unable to serve as a police officer when he lived in California because he was not a citizen.
Many legal scholars agree that the amendment, which reads in part, "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States," was intended to apply to people born in US territories.
Moreover, the amendment overturned Dred Scott v. Sanford, which "was heavily about the question of whether certain constitutional protections applied in the territories," says Stephen Vladeck, a constitutional law expert at the American University Washington College of Law. "The original meaning of the Citizenship Clause seems to be fairly categorical."
Lawyers for the Obama administration argue otherwise. To back up their case, they rely heavily on a series of Supreme Court decisions that many scholars now contend are not only bad law but also racist.
The decisions, known as the Insular Cases, date back to the early 20th century, when the US had just won the Spanish-American War and acquired Puerto Rico and the far-flung new territories of Guam and the Philippines.
The US acquired American Samoa in two parts in 1900 and 1904 as part of its continued expansion. But American political leaders had a problem: They wanted the United States to become a colonial power, but they didn't want to extend constitutional protections to the overwhelmingly nonwhite residents of the new territories. As one of the friend-of-the-court brief in the current case notes, the Democratic Party's official platform in 1900 argued that "the Filipinos cannot be citizens without endangering our civilization." (via scribd.com) [http://is.gd/sRbecf].
To solve that problem, the Supreme Court came up with a bizarre, racially minded solution. The court invented two categories of territory; the Constitution applied fully in "incorporated territories," such as Arizona, which were settled mostly by white people and destined for statehood, while much of the Constitution did not apply in "unincorporated territories," such as American Samoa, which were not considered candidates for statehood, largely because of their racial and ethnic makeup.
Justice Henry Brown—famous as the author of Plessy v. Ferguson, which gave the court's blessing to segregation—refers to the inhabitants of the new territories as "savage" and "alien races" in the Insular Cases.
Brown contended that Congress would treat the territories well because it was guided by "certain principles of natural justice inherent in the Anglo-Saxon character." His colleague, Justice Edward White, hypothesized in one case [http://is.gd/R6JCG0] that granting citizenship to an "uncivilized race" in a new territory would "inflict grave detriment on the United States" from "the immediate bestowal of citizenship on those absolutely unfit to receive it."
"A lot of people are justifiably embarrassed by the Insular Cases because they really do capture an earlier imperial moment that is saturated in white supremacy," says Sanford Levinson, a constitutional law professor at the University of Texas-Austin School of Law. "What the majority in the Insular Cases argue is that you really can't imagine that Filipinos especially, but also frankly Puerto Ricans, would be welcomed into the American political community." So "they construct an understanding of the Constitution that won't require that."
Though the Obama administration is using the Insular Cases to fight birthright citizenship, its handling of the case is a bit unusual. Normally, appellate lawyers at the Justice Department's DC headquarters, known as Main Justice, become involved in cases against the government once they reach the circuit court level, American University's Vladeck explains.
But this case, now pending before the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, was briefed and argued by the lawyers at the US Attorney's Office in DC. "It's surprising to me that in a case like this, it's the US Attorney's office and not the Civil Division of the Justice Department" working on the case, Vladeck adds. "Whether that is because the Justice Department just doesn't believe this is that important a case, or whether it's because they do, I think only they know." Though no Civil Division attorneys' names appear on the briefs, a spokesman for the US Attorney's Office in DC told Mother Jones that "our office is working with attorneys from Main Justice on this matter." The spokesman added that the office "frequently represent[s] the government and government agencies in court proceedings in the District of Columbia."
Of course, the administration doesn't have to fight the American Samoans in this case at all. Although it is required to defend acts of Congress, the administration can on occasion opt out of defending a law it believes is unconstitutional. (The Obama administration's refusal in 2011 to defend part of the Defense of Marriage Act is one recent example.) The Justice Department declined to comment on the case.
Although the Samoans' case for birthright citizenship has brought together liberal legal scholars and conservative originalists concerned with adhering to the original meaning of the 14th Amendment, residents of American Samoa are divided on the question of citizenship.
The government of American Samoa has actually sided with the Obama administration in this case (via scribd.com) [http://is.gd/wcGcU3], largely out of fear that Samoans' "way of life and foundational, cultural institutions would be jeopardized if subjected to scrutiny under the Fourteenth Amendment," a brief from the government of American Samoa says. The plaintiffs contend this is not true, and current and former officials from other territories have filed a friend-of-the-court brief supporting them (via scribd.com) [http://is.gd/eRmo69].
The case isn't likely to be resolved soon. A three-judge panel of the DC Circuit heard oral arguments earlier this month, but Vladeck believes the judges—who happen to be the three most conservative judges on the DC Circuit—will ultimately rule against the American Samoans. The question then is whether the Samoans will appeal their case to the full DC Circuit, which might be more sympathetic to their cause.
"American Samoa is the only inhabited US territory whose citizens don't receive birthright citizenship," Vladeck says. "I don't know that the government has a particularly compelling reason other than history and the views and wishes of the American Samoans themselves for why American Samoa should be singled out that way."
* "Doctrine Of Discovery" (2011, Black Buffalo Media) [www.youtube.com/watch?v=5D7_FTdVmJs]: A view of "discovery" from an Indigenous perspective. "Doctrine of Discovery" from the book "Up Yours, Kemosabe!" by Dean K. Hutchins
articles recommended by the
SAN PABLO BAY ECOLOGICAL PRESERVATION ASSOCIATION
Campaigns, info, and more [SanPabloBayEPA.blogspot.com]. Science [discardstudies.com]
SAN PABLO BAY EPA: Health and the Human Ecology
Monopolists enforce a regime that does not recognize the natural right to health and life. Info [detoxproject.org].
* "Why are they poisoning our children?" (2016-03, peoplestribune.org) [archive.is/aC2WW]: Tammy Loren, a mother of four who lives in Flint, recently told the New York Times, “My trust in everybody is completely gone, out the door. We’ve been lied to so much, and these aren’t little white lies. These lies are affecting our kids for the rest of their lives, and it breaks my heart.”
The poisoning of Flint, Michigan’s water with lead and other chemicals has become an international story. Millions of people are shocked and outraged by the callous disregard for human life shown by public officials in Michigan and at the federal level.
Yet there is more to this than heartless officials. These officials are acting on behalf of a corporate ruling class and an economic system that is eliminating democracy as it coldly discards anything that won’t make a profit, including people.
In Michigan the corporations have been moving to restructure cities like Flint. The rulers need to cut social services and privatize public services to funnel more money into the pockets of their corporations. They have used the financial crisis in cities like Flint as an excuse to appoint “emergency managers” with dictatorial powers to replace local elected officials and impose austerity programs. It was Flint’s governor-appointed emergency manager who switched the city’s water supply to polluted river water to pave the way to privatize the water for the corporations. This is a form of fascism. Democracy is going by the wayside to protect the continued rule and profits of the wealthy.
More and more, human labor is no longer needed, because the computer and the robot are replacing workers. Flint had some 80,000 residents working in the auto industry in 1978, and today less than 4,000 are employed in the one auto plant remaining there.
This pattern has been repeated across the country, and despite what politicians say, the jobs are not coming back. Millions are permanently unemployed or working for wages too low to live on. Poverty, hunger and homelessness continue to rise.
The wealthy ruling class that owns the increasingly laborless factories and other workplaces has a problem—the workers they no longer need are a liability. The corporations control the government, and they don’t want money spent on workers they don’t need. What’s more, these unneeded workers are a threat to the continued rule of the corporations, because they are demanding things that a system based on private profit can’t provide. The rulers are eliminating democracy to silence them.
The people of Flint and other Michigan cities are leading the way by building their own independent organizations and waging a determined struggle. We must build a powerful movement that demands that the government guarantee food, clothing, housing, healthcare and safe water for all in our country who need it. This is a stepping-stone to building a whole new society.
The current economic system, based on the private ownership of the means of producing what we need, is coming to an end. Factories run by robots can produce tremendous abundance, but they cannot provide jobs.
As Flint shows, there is no practical solution except for we the people to take over the corporations and run them in the interest of society. In this cooperative society, the people would be in charge, no one would be homeless or hungry, and no one’s children would be poisoned by uncaring dictators.
* " ‘Dirty secret’: NJ Gov. Christie calls push for lead-poisoning protection for kids ‘overdramatized’ " (2016-03-08, rt.com) [archive.is/gBRe5]
* "Flint fallout could cost US $300bn in infrastructure upgrades to replace all lead pipes" (2016-03-06, rt.com) [archive.is/pxyrV]
* "They are Regular People, Just Like Us. And They Made the Ultimate Difference" (storyofstuff.org) [archive.is/wX83u] [begin excerpt]: Who is a real hero?
“For me, the real heroes are the everyday moms who are just trying to get dinner on the table and get their kids to do well in school, who are standing up and taking a stand against corporate polluters. People like Lois Gibbs. She was the mother at Love Canal.”
That’s what Annie Leonard said in an interview in 2011, and as the news from Flint continues to break our hearts, those words seem especially important.
We have been following the catastrophe in Flint along with everyone else, and as more details come out, Annie’s words have taken on a new and urgent significance. In many ways, the Flint disaster bears a striking resemblance to the events in Love Canal. Love Canal was where residents became ill due to buried toxic waste. Their concerns were dismissed while their families became sicker and sicker. Lois Gibbs was a mother that persisted in speaking out about the problem and demanding aid until she got it for herself and all her neighbors.
In Flint, citizens stood up again. Faced with an entire city that was getting sick, indifference from the state and no aid, these real-life Michigan heroes – dubbed the true “Flintstones” – would not give up. Initially, they trusted authorities when they said the water was safe. Later, they pushed for tests, reported the results and they asked for help again and again.
And finally the world is listening. And helping.
LeeAnne Walters is the Lois Gibbs of the Flint water crisis. In the summer of 2014, soon after the water switch, Walters’ children started get rashes when they swam or bathed in the water. By December 2014, she refused to let her children drink from the tap, but the damage was done.
There is no lead level that is considered safe, but less than 15 ppb (parts per billion) is considered acceptable by the EPA. After repeated tests, Walters’ lead level in her home rose from 104 ppb over several weeks to 13,000 ppb (5,000 ppb is considered toxic waste). Later, one of her 4-year-old twins was diagnosed with lead poisoning. Days after his diagnosis, Governor Snyder’s office stated that “Flint’s water system is producing water that meets all state and federal standards.”
In March 2015, Walters contacted EPA manager Miguel Del Toral, who tested her water and was immediately concerned with the shockingly high lead levels, he raised the alarm to his superiors and gave Walters a draft of his report. Del Toral introduced Walters to Marc Edwards, an expert whose test data helped illustrate the depth of the problem. Walters also forwarded a draft of the EPA report on the shockingly high levels of lead in her water to Curt Guyette, an investigative reporter for the ACLU. He was instrumental in exposing the Flint scandal to the world. It was largely due to Walters’ tireless efforts that the Flint water crisis came to light.
Melissa Mays is another Flint mother who kept questioning the water and was told it was safe. Her children began having issues in school and getting sick. In late 2014, her son fell off his bike and shattered his wrist (brittle bones are a sign of lead poisoning). Eventually, everyone in her family tested positive for heavy metal poisoning.
“I blame the city of Flint, I blame the governor, everybody who had any hand in this, you know, to save money. But at the end of the day when I go to sleep, I cannot forget that I’m the one that handed the water to the kids,” she said.
Melissa Mays 800 copy
Mays and her husband started Water You Fighting For? to share all of their research, and later joined forces with Walters. Advice and information poured in from Erin Brockovich, Robert Bowcock, even Lois Gibbs herself. Walters and Mays marched, protested, researched and knocked on doors, personally reaching 4,000 homes to warn residents the water wasn’t safe.
They raised the alarm in the Huffington Post, noting, “we did everything we could think to do to prove our water was toxic and that our corrupt government poisoned an entire city to save a few bucks. We protested, marched, rallied, held educational meetings, spoke with elected officials, petitioned for change, joined a lawsuit for safe water, and attended countless meetings to let them know that we wouldn’t be silenced. We’re quite proud to be part of what all the citizens of Flint have accomplished.”
This community-led coalition helped organize water filter and clean water donations, helped put a democratically-elected Mayor into office, and helped keep the pressure on to get the Governor to declare a state of emergency.
* "Replacement chemical in Teflon causing cancer in lab rats - report" (2016-03-07, rt.com) [archive.is/9UGiW]
* "The Supreme Court’s Decision Recognizes That it Makes No Sense to Stay Mercury and Air Toxics Standards" (2016-03-03, sierraclub.org) [archive.is/JKyQe]
* "Michigan draws fire over clean energy plans" (2016-02-17, UPI Newswire) [archive.is/6hj8K] [begin excerpt]: With a Supreme Court vacancy hanging over federal energy plans, the Michigan chapter of the Sierra Club cried foul after the state raised low-carbon questions.
The nation's highest court last week granted a stay of the so-called Clean Power Plan pending a review in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Michigan, one of a handful of states questioning the plan, said it decided to suspend efforts to comply with the rule while it waits for a resolution in the lower courts.
Mike Berkowitz, the legislative director for the Michigan chapter of the Sierra Club, said Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, already on the environmental hot seat for Flint's drinking water contamination, is showing a lack of commitment to climate policies.
"His decision to pull the plug on a common-sense plan to reduce carbon pollution in Michigan is shameful and is just another example of his failure to lead and protect Michigan's families and natural resources," he said in a statement. [end excerpt]
* "White House stands by Clean Power Plan" (2016-02-10, UPI Newswire) [archive.is/Dv0Hj]
Trans-national corporations conduct human rights abuses abroad, while treating the people in the jurisdiction where they are chartered with a little more courtesy and "green-washing", or, the practice of deception through advertising depicting "green values".
* "Ivory Coast toxic spill victims launch Dutch suit" (2016-03-02, AFP Newswire) [archive.is/v28lJ]
* "NGOs sue Monsanto, EU food safety watchdog over pesticide" (2016-03-02, AFP newswire) [archive.is/vjcpo]
* "Thalidomide’s true cost: 10k miscarriages, infant deaths in Britain alone" (2016-03-07, rt.com) [archive.is/JbBn0]
articles recommended by the
NO NUKES! campaign
[StopNuclearDeath.blogspot.com] [nuclear-news.net] [nukeresister.org] [nukefree.org]
* " ‘Unusual event’: Oconee nuclear reactor shut down after transformer explosion & fire" (2016-03-07, rt.com) [archive.is/fuei7]
* "Florida nuclear plant cooling water leaking into national park - study" (2016-03-08, rt.com) [archive.is/lNKnj]
* "Nuclear Waste Illegally Dumped in Kentucky Landfill; Radioactive drilling waste was illegally dumped at a landfill in Kentucky, according to state officials. Now, they’re issuing warnings and investigating how the nuclear waste ended up at the dump site" (2016-02-28, sputniknews.com) [archive.is/5YA4o]
* "Fukushima causes mutations & DNA damage with ‘no end in sight’ – Greenpeace" (2016-03-05, rt.com) [archive.is/36Dyr]
* "Former TEPCO bosses indicted over Fukushima disaster" (2016-02-29, AFP Newswire) [archive.is/gYTQW]
* "Fukushima Disaster Shows Need to Continue Improving NPP Safety Measures; The 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan served as a lesson for nuclear power plants in other countries to continue improving safety measures against natural disasters, an Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) report said" (2016-03-01, sputniknews.com) [archive.is/P1WPD]
* "Mexico issues alert after theft of radioactive material" (2016-02-29, AFP Newswire) [archive.is/XakDL]
* "India to Allocate $440Mln Annually for Nuclear Power Investments; India will increase its investment in nuclear power to up to 30 billion rupees (almost $440 million) per year, the country's finance minister, Arun Jaitley, said on Monday, unveiling a budget for the 2016-2017 fiscal year" (2016-02-29, sputniknews.com) [archive.is/1NW1C]
* " ‘Daredevilry, disregard’: Trident radiation blunders exposed in military report" (2016-03-07, rt.com) [archive.is/5GWLh]
articles recommended by the
SAN PABLO BAY SOVEREIGNTY Think-tank
* "Biofuels from algae: a budding technology yet to become viable" (2016-02-29, Joint Research Centre for the European Commission's in-house science service, ec.europa.eu) [archive.is/ZQ6NR] [begin excerpt]: Despite high expectations and extensive research and investment in the last decade, technological options are still in developing stages and key resources for algal growth are still too onerous for economically viable production of algal biofuels, according to a JRC literature review. No large-scale, commercial algae-to-biofuels facilities have been implemented up until the end of 2015. [end excerpt]
Photo caption: With a 7% EU cap on the final consumption of biofuels produced from agricultural crops, algae have received closer attention in the last decade as a source of advanced biofuels.
* "Researchers’ new advance in quest for second generation biofuels" (2016-03-01, york.ac.uk) [archive.is/O7LCz] [begin excerpt]: Scientists at the University of York are part of an international research team that has made a significant step forward in understanding the processes naturally occurring enzymes use to degrade microbe-resistant biomass, a key aim in the development of biofuels.
The research is part of ongoing study of a recently discovered family of enzymes produced by fungi and bacteria, which are able to break down tough cellulose-based materials such as plant stems.
Understanding the chemistry behind these natural processes will help scientists to recreate and potentially improve them for industrial purposes, principally the production of biofuels from sustainable sources. [end excerpt]
David Garner, Head of Media Relations
UK Tel: work +44 (0)1904 322153
* "Study: Bubbles boost efficiency of biorefinery systems" (2016-03-01, UPI Newswire) [archive.is/86z6t]
* "Clean Energy Collective Co-Founds Community Solar Trade Association; Coalition for Community Solar Access to help cultivate community solar market growth" (2016-02-10, investorideas.com) [archive.is/ERoMm]
* "New technique for turning sunlight into hydrogen" (2016-02-16, phys.org) [archive.is/C4NPk] [begin excerpt]: A team of Korean researchers, affiliated with UNIST has recently pioneered in developing a new type of multilayered (Au NPs/TiO2/Au) photoelectrode that boosts the ability of solar water-splitting to produce hydrogen. According to the research team, this special photoelectrode, inspired by the way plants convert sunlight into energy is capable of absorbing visible light from the sun, and then using it to split water molecules (H2O) into hydrogen and oxygen. [end excerpt]
* "UTA researchers devise more efficient materials for solar fuel cells" (2016-02-16, uta.edu) [archive.is/fwNrm]
* "Eltek Passes 10,000 Hybrid-Solar Telecom Sites Installed" (2016-02-29, solardaily.com) [archive.is/LIOZe], (Reuters Newswire) [archive.is/JDuXQ]
UNITED STATES FASCISM WATCH
Documenting the process of fascism and for whom it benefits. [UnitedStatesFascism.blogspot.com] [exposefacts.org]
* "The Revenge of the Lower Classes and the Rise of American Fascism" (2016-03-02, by Chris Hedges) [archive.is/8P3gx]
The word "Liberty" refers to the right to monpolise economic activity into a private bureaucracy beholden to foreign interests. Remember that capitalism, when imposed by the USA against foreigners, degrades the quality of life and institutes artificial famine, disrupting lives and killing millions in Latin America, Africa, Arabia and wherever else the USA has imposed an economic dictatorship. The propaganda by USA clandestine agencies against "communism" and socialism is utilized to divert attention from the reality, and, instead, such propganda focuses on the quality of life evident by the upper-class of "free market" societies.
* "5 Ways Socialism Destroys Societies" (2014-02-25, townhall.com) [archive.is/Hsmgf]
* "Joe Biden: U.S. doesn't need 'socialism' " (2016-01-20, edition.cnn.com) [archive.is/N03oL]
* "Socialism Is a Dangerous Path for America" (2015-03-07, by THOMAS J. DONOHUE President and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, uschamber.com) [archive.is/YKoz3] [begin excerpt]: Our free market system has fostered the most innovative, prosperous, and entrepreneurial country on earth. It’s why the American economy today remains the envy of the world. It’s the reason we have access to cutting-edge technology, groundbreaking drugs, and other world-class inventions that continue to improve our lives. It enables small businesses and large corporations alike to innovate and take risks, continually delivering better products and smarter services. And it gives all Americans opportunities to pursue their dreams and be rewarded for their success—no matter who they are or where they come from.
Beyond U.S. shores, free markets have had a similarly positive and powerful impact. Studies have shown that nations that transition to free market economies see literacy rates and life expectancy go up, while things like poverty levels and pollution go down. Moreover, there’s a strong correlation between those who enjoy economic freedom and those who enjoy personal freedoms.
In short, the free enterprise system works. It’s a system to celebrate, not vilify.
Socialism, conversely, has been tried and has failed time and time again. Though it promises equality and prosperity, socialism inevitably leads to misery and poverty. It’s an upside-down system—instead of the government serving the people, the people serve the government. It’s an economic perversion that fundamentally undermines incentive, discourages risk taking, stunts innovation, and facilitates tyranny. [end excerpt]
* "Victims of Communism" quiz meme have become a joke among literate USA residents who care even to respond. Some typical comments found with the meme featuring assassinated USA President John Kennedy (murdered by clandestine agencies who feared President Kennedy was a "communist") [archive.is/iStaL] [archive.is/kXNb9] [archive.is/cjL2f].
* "This One Photo Captures Why Americans Can’t Win Against Wall Street" (2016-03-04, wallstreetonparade.com) [archive.is/1KLDh]
* "Did Small Investors Get Fleeced in the 1089-Point Plunge on August 24?" (2015-09-10, wallstreetonparade.com) [archive.is/jBHq7]
* "Sorry, It's Not A 'Law Of Capitalism' That You Pay Your Employees As Little As Possible" (2013-08-07, businessinsider.com) [archive.is/u5Nt9]
* "Georgia's hateful new law" (2016-03-04, by Michael Pisano, moveon.org): The Georgia Legislature recently passed HB 757 ("The First Amendment Defense Act")—a hateful, sweeping piece of legislation that will protect anyone who chooses to discriminate against the LGBT community, interracial couples, single mothers, divorced individuals, people having sex outside of marriage, and more. This bill cannot be allowed to stand [archive.is/mRxxa].
Last year, Indiana tried to pass a similarly discriminatory "religious freedom" law, but outrage from Indiana-based businesses forced lawmakers to back down [archive.is/MuRWw]. We can stop this law in Georgia too.
HB 757 is a shameful piece of legislation that distorts the First Amendment of the United States Constitution to protect and cultivate organized hatred and bigotry. It creates an economic safe space for those who wish to promote hatred and intolerance. One Georgia lawmaker even admitted the legislation will protect the Ku Klux Klan's agenda [archive.is/b8clS].
In a letter prior to the bill's passage, Americans United for Separation of Church and State Legislative Director Maggie Garrett urged lawmakers to oppose this horrific legislation, pointing out that it will allow individuals, businesses, and even taxpayer-funded organizations to refuse services and benefits to individuals based on arbitrary objections to that person's lifestyle choices, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and a number of other factors.
The state of Georgia should not be rewarded by the residency of AMC's "The Walking Dead," nor should those connected with the show be associated with this kind of backwards ideology.
* "Corporations own America!" (2016-03, by Rev. Edward Pinkney) [archive.is/QWXxo]: Corporate interests, not the people, for all intents and purposes now own America. Moneyed interests control the political process and routinely pour millions of dollars into political campaigns. They have completely corrupted the political process, and this is especially true in Berrien County, Michigan, where it is no longer a secret.
The health and wellbeing of corporate structures are placed before the health and well-being of communities, no matter how many people are trapped in poverty, no matter how much corporate policies widen the already alarming gap between rich and poor, no matter how much human havoc is wreacked among working people whose livelihoods are threatened by corporate restructuring or downsizing, no matter how many more known toxic substances are poured into our ground, our air and our food; no matter how many young people are sent to decrepit schools that cannot even afford textbooks, where teaching has become more about crowd control than education in communities where real chances for young people making it in the world get smaller and smaller.
The top five percent of our population takes home half the nation’s income; huge and profitable companies lay off thousands of employees for no other reason than to increase their stock prices and already outrageous executive compensation packages. Congress and other elected officials grant huge subsidies and tax breaks for “corporate welfare” amounting to billions of dollars. The welfare and life and safety of the average American is increasingly crushed underneath it all.
Many economic concerns pour through the halls of our government like lava; financial interests are unabashedly placed ahead of the collective good. We spend billions upon billions to support certain industries, rather than to support our children, in organized business interests can afford highly paid lobbyists to make it happen, in both legal and illegal ways. The influence of money on the political process is a fast-growing malignant cancer in America.
“Corporate welfare,” tax subsidies to the wealthiest corporations, increases to the tune of billions of dollars, take place while Head Start programs are obliterated. If we believe in the principle of equality, then the rich should not be granted greater opportunities than the poor.
We the people must say enough is enough and fight the corporations.
Editor’s note: The corporations in Benton Harbor, especially Whirlpool and the local government and court system they rule, put Rev. Pinkney behind bars to try to stop the movement—but it hasn’t worked. The movement continues to grow.
USA FASCISM: Military State
* "Veteran Affairs whistleblowers claim retaliation for complaints about doctor" (2016-03-04, rt.com) [archive.is/Blj60]
USA FASCISM: Two Party Dictatorship
Is Hillary Clinton a neocon? Meet Robert Kagan, the neoconservative Hillary appointed in the US State Dept. [youtube.com/watch?v=pRV-N0bI_LY]
* "One Thing Is Certain: America Clearly Fails at Presidential Elections" (2016-03-01, ivn.us) [archive.is/aqygh]
* "Payday Loan Sharks Have Good Friend in Government: Democratic Party Chair; In backing bill to delay or block payday lender regulations, DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Shultz is aligning herself with the Republican Party" (2016-03-01, commondreams.org) [archive.is/mXZVa]
* "OPEN LETTER ON DONALD TRUMP FROM GOP NATIONAL SECURITY LEADERS" (2016-03-02, warontherocks.com) [archive.is/wPOU5]
* "Questions Arise Over Trump’s Relationship With Late John Gotti Associate" (2016-03-07, bipartisanreport.com) [archive.is/pqLhM]
Bernie Sanders is a sexist, according to "black propaganda" from Hillary Clinton. Here's "proof" [archive.is/IzSeV].
* "Socialism, Bernie Sanders and the working class" (2016-03-04, fightbacknews.org) [archive.is/RdrbO]
* "UNDERSTANDING THE SANDERS REVOLUTION"
From a post on Facebook
Let me see if I get this correctly:
Bernie Sanders went on demonstrations in the early 1960s, but then took a 50-year break until 2014.
So he skipped the anti-Vietnam War movement, the women’s movement and the other critical social movements of his generation.
Now he supports working people, but thinks its ok to bomb them in other countries.
And he’s for democracy, but he supports monarchies and Israeli apartheid.
He’s for government transparency, but wants Snowden to stand trial.
He’s independent, but has always supported the corporate Democratic Party candidates.
He’s against police violence, but thinks the police are a socialist institution.
He voted against the Iraq War, but then voted to fund it.
He’s battling the Washington establishment, but he’s a lifelong professional politician.
He’s against Hillary Clinton, but has pledged to support her after she wins the primary.
He’s a democratic socialist, but assures us he will not threaten capitalism.
And he has proclaimed that his vote in Iowa was the beginning of a Political Revolution...
So - he’s getting movement activists off the streets and signing them up to strengthen the Democratic Party, a party that destroys progressive movements, so he can lead the revolution that will end Democratic Party politics, in order to move to a kind of socialism that preserves capitalism?
Makes total sense.
* "Why Trump?" (2016-03-03, commondreams.org) [archive.is/j7eqS] [begin excerpt]: Donald Trump is winning Republican presidential primaries at such a great rate that he seems likely to become the next Republican presidential nominee and perhaps the next president. Democrats have little understanding of why he is winning — and winning handily, and even many Republicans don't see him as a Republican and are trying to stop him, but don't know how. There are various theories: People are angry and he speaks to their anger. People don't think much of Congress and want a non-politician. Both may be true. But why? What are the details? And Why Trump?
Many people are mystified. He seems to have come out of nowhere. His positions on issues don't fit a common mold.
He likes Planned Parenthood, Social Security, and Medicare, which are not standard Republican positions. Republicans hate eminent domain (the taking of private property by the government) and love the Trans-Pacific Partnership (the TPP trade deal), but he has the opposite views on both. He is not religious and scorns religious practices, yet the Evangelicals (that is, the white Evangelicals) love him. He thinks health insurance and pharmaceutical companies, as well as military contractors, are making too much profit and wants to change that. He insults major voting groups, e.g., Latinos, when most Republicans are trying to court them. He wants to deport 11 million immigrants without papers and thinks he can. He wants to stop all Muslims from entering the country. What is going on?
The answer requires a bit of background not discussed in the media to date. [end excerpt]
USA FASCISM: State Media Watch
Documenting propaganda issued by the monopolist media and members of the state security regime that uphold the economic dictatorship, imperialist wars, and the "New Jim Crow" regime [mediamatters.org]
* "ABC, CBS, And NBC News Made An Intentional Decision To Ignore Bernie Sanders" (2015-12-11, politicususa.com) [http://is.gd/cxd0BP]
* "Washington Post Ran 16 Negative Stories on Bernie Sanders in 16 Hours" (2016-03-08, fair.org) [archive.is/P8RIM] [begin excerpt]: The Washington Post was sold in 2013 to libertarian Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who is worth approximately $49.8 billion.
Despite being ideologically opposed to the Democratic Party (at least in principle), Bezos has enjoyed friendly ties with both the Obama administration and the CIA. As Michael Oman-Reagan notes, Amazon was awarded a $16.5 million contract with the State Department the last year Clinton ran it. Amazon also has over $600 million in contracts with the Central Intelligence Agency, an organization Sanders said he wanted to abolish in 1974, and still says he “had a lot of problems with.” FAIR has previously criticized the Washington Post for failing to disclose, when reporting on tech giant Uber, that Bezos also owns more than $1 billion in Uber stock. [end excerpt]
USA FASCISM: Artificial Poverty and Starvation
* "1 in 2 US Kids Live in Poverty, Worse for Minorities; Single-parent families and less educated parents do not necessarily account for the high number — the recession does" (2016-03-03, telesurtv.net) [archive.is/DftRn]: Nearly half of U.S. children live close to the poverty line, according to a new report that counters the belief that households with two highly educated parents are necessarily better off.
"These data challenge the prevailing beliefs that many still hold about what poverty looks like and which children in this country are most likely to be at risk," said Dr. Renée Wilson-Simmons, director of the National Center for Children in Poverty at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, which released the report Thursday.
Black, Latino and Native American children are still more likely to live under the poverty line — 60 percent of them, compared to 30 percent of white and Asian children — but the disparity has remained largely the same since the 2008 financial crisis.
Overall, though, the number of kids living in poverty grew by 18 percent since the recession, and those living in low-income households grew by 10 percent.
The younger the child, the more likely he or she is to live in poverty; adults are also less likely to live below the poverty line, with one out of every three in the United States living in low-income households.
"The fact is, despite the significant gains we've made in expanding nutrition and health insurance programs to reach the children most in need, millions of children are living in families still struggling to make ends meet in our low-growth, low-wage economy," said Wilson-Simmons.
WORLD FASCISM WATCH
Documenting the global economic dictatorship
* "Council On Foreign Relations - Know Your Nazis" (2016-03-05, by ex-CIA Agent David Simpson, dninews.com) [archive.is/vDKOl]
* "Harper 2.0? Trudeau Says Canada Needs More Tar Sands Pipelines; The Liberal prime minister argues that building more pipelines to transport dirty tar sands oil is necessary to fund Canada's transition to a green future" (2016-03-03, commondreams.org) [archive.is/wVTDy]
* "The Need for «CSO» Teams in Russia, Serbia, China, and Elsewhere" (2016-03-08, strategic-culture.org) [archive.is/DtMqW]: When a single multi-billionaire controls not only America’s Radio Free Europe/Radio Free Asia/Radio Liberty operations in Munich and Prague and he virtually owns and operates such non-profit non-governmental organizations like Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, national governments targeted by such a menace should take notice and respond aggressively. George Soros will continue to dominate the foreign policy of a Hillary Clinton administration. Soros recently donated $8 million to boost her presidential campaign.
Nation-states that have been and will continue to be targeted by Soros’s «soft power», which has always received more than a «wink and a nod» from the US Central Intelligence Agency, which bequeathed to him operations of the Cold War propaganda radio stations after the end of the Cold War, should establish «Counter-Soros Operations» teams, or «CSOs», within foreign ministries or information services to keep track of Soros’s huge propaganda empire and its own destabilization operations.
Many nations have information ministries that serve to disseminate their own views on various subjects and events – the generally accepted term being «propaganda». However, Soros’s operations are so intricately woven into the fabric of so many national governments, international organizations, NGOs, political parties, universities, media outlets, and labor and social movements, it actually takes a full-time effort to track these entities and their activities. Soros operatives have even penetrated Wikipedia in its English and various other language formats to spread disinformation and one-sided propaganda.
There is clearly a requirement for a restricted access interactive database for national governments agreeing to contribute intelligence on Soros and all his related and linked activities to share in its fruits. There is little doubt that Soros takes much of his marching orders from the US Central Intelligence Agency – with which he has enjoyed a long association – and the influence operations elements of the US State Department and National Security Council. All of Soros’s interwoven links through his varied business, intelligence, and social networks would be a main focus of a Counter-Soros Operation, whether a national undertaking or a cooperative measure taken by interested governments.
The leaked US State Department classified cables provides examples of how Soros’s operations are part and parcel of the US foreign policy and intelligence apparatuses. Many are unaware that before George Soros became so involved with crafting US foreign policy, his older brother Paul Soros was involved in fronting for port facility projects around the world that were clearly in the interest of senior US officials, most notably, Henry Kissinger. Kissinger served as Secretary of State and National Security Adviser, and for a time held both posts simultaneously, during the Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford administrations.
Declassified US State Department cables show that Paul Soros’s company, Soros Associates Consulting Engineers, was negotiating a new international airport deal – Aero Isla – with the Argentine government on August 9, 1974, the day Nixon resigned from office and when Kissinger took full command of American intelligence operations and foreign policy. Although Argentina’s president was Isabel Peron, the civilian successor to the previous military junta regime, the military complex still wielded tremendous control over the nation’s affairs, including control of seaport operations.
In 1976, the State Department, still commanded by Kissinger, helped arrange a deal for Paul Soros to bid on a Libyan port project. As Kissinger stated in a cable to the US embassy in Tripoli, «No US company has won major prime contract outside of Libya's hydrocarbon sector since 1969». It was in 1969 that Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi overthrew the corrupt King and established the «people’s» republic. Ironically, George Soros was involved in fostering the «Arab Spring» revolution that ultimately led to Gaddafi's overthrow and assassination, celebrated by Mrs Clinton with the response: «We came, we saw, he died», followed by her trademark cackling and sociopathic laughter.
Any Counter-Soros Operation must take into account the close links between Soros’s Open Society Institute/Foundation and quasi-official entities and NGOs, those based in the United States and abroad. Soros operations represent a multi-headed hydra with tentacles extending into the United Nations, the European Union, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, the International Criminal Court, the Munich Security and Bilderberg conferences, Refugees International; the New School for Social Research in New York; the World Economic Forum at Davos; and private foundations like the Ford, Rockefeller, and Carnegie Foundations and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung in Germany; and even the Eurovision contest.
Soros operations around the world must come under even closer scrutiny if Mrs Clinton is elected the next US president. As of February 2016, Soros donated $6 million to Clinton’s super-Political Action Committee (Super PAC) called Priorities USA Action. Under a Clinton administration, Soros will yield even greater power over American foreign policy than he did during the Barack Obama administration.
Soros closely coordinates his destabilization efforts with the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), both ciphers for the CIA. Soros pretends to combat the right-wing and conservative elements around the world by financing leftist and «social democratic» parties and movements. This merely a clever smokescreen which is engineered not to promote the «left» but to control it. The long-serving president of the CIA-linked NED, Carl Gershman, began his anti-Communist activities on behalf of the CIA as the executive director for Social Democrats USA (SDUSA), an ostensibly left-of-center party. However, SDUSA was a front for the CIA to control moderate leftists in order to derail the influence of Marxists and Communists in the Democratic Party and among the labor unions. The same Soros tactic was used to promote the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) that endorsed pro-business and neo-conservative and neo-liberal Democratic politicians like Bill and Hillary Clinton at the expense of pro-labor and anti-Wall Street Democratic politicians. Today, this Soros contrivance is known as the Third Way.
Soros has managed to infiltrate and neutralize a number of leftist political parties around the world and particularly those in Europe that have questioned the framework and future of the European Union. The governing SYRIZA party of Greece, Podemos in Spain, and Five Star in Italy have all been infiltrated by Soros operatives, now known as «Sorosites» (akin to «parasites»), who, like their collegial Trotskyist counterparts from the last century, are only interested in circumventing leftist movements not advancing their basic doctrines. SYRIZA, which ran on a platform of rejecting EU-dictated austerity measures, quickly decided to warmly embrace them. Podemos in Spain will do the same if it joins a future government. Soros, like a fatal cancer, infiltrates a body politic, infects it, and ultimately kills it.
The muscle behind the «Bulldozer Revolution» that overthrew Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic, OTPOR! and the Center for Applied Nonviolent Action and Strategies (CANVAS), as well as their leader Srdja Popovic, a so-called pro-democracy agitator, were all unmasked as US intelligence assets. Their textbook themed revolution operations were later fully utilized on the streets of Tbilisi, Kiev, Chisinau, Moscow, Skopje, Bucharest, Sofia, Budapest, Podgorica, and farther afield in Damascus, Benghazi, Tunis, Cairo, Bangkok, Beirut, Hong Kong, Caracas, Quito, and Tehran.
To combat Soros International and its American and Western European and Israeli sponsors, the answer is to create units that will 1) identify the threats; 2) employ active measures, including raids on Soros-financed offices and arrests of troublemaking ringleaders; 3) widely publicize the nature of the Soros operations and the organizations and individuals who are behind them; 4) permanently neutralize the threats under the guise of national security, anti-racketeering and anti-money laundering laws currently on the books, and conspiracy to commit street violence. Any measures that are less daunting will turn out to be quite useless.
* "Awkward Seas and Exclusive Economic Zones" (2013-04-25, territorialmasquerades.net/) [archive.is/wl8Oj] [begin excerpt]: At the root of this global sea-grab is the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), a treaty that took a nation’s territorial sea, which extends for 12 nautical miles, and added a 200-mile resource zone—a new territorial extension called an “Exclusive Economic Zone” (EEZ). Nolan does not get into this, but the EEZ is one of those awkward geographies that characterizes the sea as a political space: the EEZ at the same time couples and de-couples political and economic sovereignty. [end excerpt]
* "Imperial Archipelagos; China, Western Colonialism and the Law of the Sea" (2013-02, by Peter Nolan, newleftreview.org) [archive.is/dgoKh] [begin excerpt]: The [Diaoyu/Senkaku island] territory in question is of historical and strategic significance, and it may well possess substantial natural resources, to which [China] would gain access if its claims were successful. However, the resources of the South China Sea need to be seen in comparative perspective with those obtained by the US and the former European colonial powers through the enactment of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
UNCLOS effected a revolutionary change in the law of the sea by allowing countries to establish a new resource zone called the ‘exclusive economic zone’ (EEZ) adjacent to their territorial sea, and which extends 200 nautical miles from the baselines from which the territorial sea is measured.
Yet while the complex contention between China and its neighbours over maritime resources has dominated Western discussions, the colossal resource grab by former colonial powers that UNCLOS facilitated has almost entirely escaped international attention.
A critically important part of UNCLOS is the provision that islands are entitled to the same maritime zones as land territory, with each allowed an EEZ of 200 nautical miles (370 kilometres).
Some of these islands are exotic tourist destinations, others are wildlife reserves, others still house scientific research stations; many are regarded as eccentric anachronisms. However, these ‘scattered remnants’ of the old colonial empires turned out to be far more significant than most people realize. These far-distant territories are often of immense strategic significance, with many of them containing American naval and air-force bases, as well as reconnaissance facilities. Under UNCLOS, they have also become important in the allocation of legally enforceable property rights over the world’s natural resources.
[He writes about the South Atlantic (Falklands et al), which is, by far, the Britain’s largest EEZ.]
Britain also retains several exotic remnants of its eighteenth-century slave empire in the Caribbean and North Atlantic, including Anguilla, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Montserrat and the Turks and Caicos Islands. Their total land area is only 1,093 square kilometres, and their population around 201,000 people. But their EEZ is 903,000 square kilometres, about the same as China’s undisputed EEZ.
Though the UK’s total EEZ is enormous, it pales by comparison with that of France. The latter’s overseas EEZ, legacy of its colonial empire, is more than thirty times the size of that of metropolitan France (Table 3). Its former slave-based sugar colonies in the Caribbean and North Atlantic have a combined exclusive zone of 903,000 square kilometres; those in the Indian Ocean total 2.58 million, while France’s EEZ in the Pacific Ocean is no less than 6.9 million square kilometres.
A year after UNCLOS was enacted, [Ronald] Reagan duly proclaimed the EEZ of the United States [even though the U.S. is not a signatory]. It is the largest of any state by a wide margin, encompassing more than 12 million square kilometres, larger by a fifth than the land area of the United States; according to one legal scholar, ‘Reagan’s proclamation can be characterized as the largest territorial acquisition in the history of the United States’
An important justification for the UN’s establishment of the concept of the ‘exclusive economic zone’ was the desire to reduce damage to exhaustible natural resources. It was hoped that establishing clear national property rights over those resources would transform the areas in question from open-access ‘global commons’ into regions of conservation. [end excerpt]
WORLD FASCISM WATCH: Weapons for a New World Order
* "HRL demonstartes the potential to enhance human intellect's existing capacity to learn new skills" (2016-02-10, hrl.com) [archive.is/stWrF], video [youtube.com/watch?v=oIvdvG_zj6A]
* "Brain Boost: ONR Global Sponsors Research to Improve Memory through Electricity" (2016-02-29, Office of Naval Research - Corporate Strategic Communications, onr.navy.mil) [archive.is/7AWKH] [begin excerpt]: In a breakthrough study that could improve how people learn and retain information, researchers at the Catholic University Medical School in Rome significantly boosted the memory and mental performance of laboratory mice through electrical stimulation.
The study, sponsored by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) Global, involved the use of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation, or tDCS, on the mice. A noninvasive technique for brain stimulation, tDCS is applied using two small electrodes placed on the scalp, delivering short bursts of extremely low-intensity electrical currents.
“In addition to potentially enhancing task performance for Sailors and Marines,” said ONR Global Commanding Officer Capt. Clark Troyer, “understanding how this technique works biochemically may lead to advances in the treatment of conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety—which affect learning and memory in otherwise healthy individuals.”
The implications of this research also have great potential to strengthen learning and memory in both healthy people and those with cognitive deficits such as Alzheimer’s.
“We already have promising results in animal models of Alzheimer’s disease,” said Dr. Claudio Grassi, who leads the research team. “In the near future, we will continue this research and extend analyses of tDCS to other brain areas and functions.”
After exposing the mice to single 20-minute tDCS sessions, the researchers saw signs of improved memory and brain plasticity (the ability to form new connections between neurons when learning new information), which lasted at least a week. This intellectual boost was demonstrated by the enhanced performance of the mice during tests requiring them to navigate a water maze and distinguish between known and unknown objects.
Using data gathered from the sessions, Grassi’s team discovered increased synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus, a region of the brain critical to memory processing and storage. [end excerpt]
* "Solar cells as light as a soap bubble; Ultrathin, flexible photovoltaic cells from MIT research could find many new uses" (2016-02-25, news.mit.edu) [archive.is/Shv7K]
* "Quantum dot solids: this generation’s silicon wafer?" (2016-02-24, mediarelations.cornell.edu) [archive.is/tmmbD]
* "MIT’s new quantum computer could render today’s encryption useless" (2016-03-07, rt.com) [archive.is/52Lkw]
* "California researchers reveal how to hack a 3D printer" (2016-03-02, UPI Newswire) [archive.is/PJdLh]
* "World's First Parallel Computer based on Bimolecular Motors; A study reports the realization of a parallel computer based on designed nanofabricated channels explored in a massively parallel fashion by protein filaments propelled by molecular motors" (2016-02-26, tu-dresden.de) [http://is.gd/RbuQJ8], (.pdf) [http://is.gd/W2E9kN]
WORLD FASCISM WATCH: #OPDeathEaters
A study of the personal ideologies and social practices of those who benefit from the global capitalist regime. [WorldFascists.blogspot.com]
* "Sir Fixed it for Jim; How did Jim fix it so that his child abuse was never examined?" (tomminogue.com) [archive.is/FW0AP]
information collected by the
SOLANO PEACE, JUSTICE, AND FREEDOM COALITION
[SolanoPeaceJustice.blogspot.com], for justice, dignity and human rights, and an end to the USA's endless wars, in harmony with Principle 1 & 6 of International Law [archive.is/tmncz], the 5 protocols of the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) [archive.is/LhUTj], and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights [archive.is/U1Ota].
Free Ride to SHUT DOWN CREECH
2 Vans headed to SHUT DOWN CREECH: Make Reservations now please!
Leaving from East Bay, funded by National CODEPINK
SECOND VAN: Leaves on Tuesday March 29
Both vans return Sat., March 2. Make reservations asap to get a seat:
Contact Toby at email@example.com, 510-215-5974
HOT NEWS: http://emilyyatesdoeseverything.com/
Emily Yates, playful and upbeat singer/songwriter/banjo-ukulele musician is likely to be on the Mar. 29 van.
She is almost 100% committed to come to Creech and hopes to play in the Camp Justice Concert on Thurs., Mar. 31.
For the BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE of AFGHANISTAN, won't you join us at Creech to Stand Together to STOP DRONES?
Please sign up soon so we can better plan. http://shutdowncreech.blogspot.com/
* "Obama Prolongs Sanctions on Russia Over Ukraine Crisis" (2016-03-03, abcnews.go.com) [archive.is/hJtNc]
* "NATO Address: 'Putin Did It' " (2016-03-05, by Ex CIA Agent David Simpson, dninews.com) [archive.is/R0CnZ]
* "Plan B-52. The United States to practise a nuclear attack on Russia in Norway" (2016-03-02, dninews.com) [archive.is/JWSH6]
* "U.S. Nazi Puppets Ukraine Junta Planning War With Russia... Lunatics!" (2016-02-29, novorossia.today) [archive.is/UbB6l]
* "US army is getting dangerously small: US military commander" (2016-03-09, presstv.com) [archive.is/kLTpC]. Says a military commander of the largest military in the world: "We can only wage 2, maybe 3 wars at a time and annihilate the world 11 times over with our nuclear arsenal. A sad state of affairs for an empire such as ours."