Hosted by Dr.G., Minister of Information of the Northbay MDS.
Tune in Thursdays 4 to 5pm (PST), at 89.5FM in the northeast San Pablo Bay Area, or on a Smart Phone [link], Desktop U-stream [link], Live Mp3 (.pls) stream [link], Netbook [link].
Be a Community Journalist with our Community Journalist's Notebook [link]. Send news & info to [NorthbayMDS@) gmail.com]! Northbay Uprising News scripts [link]. Archived webpages at (archive.org) and at (archive.is) are available even if the original is taken down. News links are provided for educational purposes only, and do not constitute an endorsement of political tendencies, or, of foreign governments. Circumvent "Error 451" [archive.is/WOZXx] by using the proxy server at [webproxy.to] or, by using Tor Browser [http://is.gd/r18EVD].
Spotlight from the Northbay Uprising Media Collective
Alex Garcia de Aztlan [facebook.com/AlexGarciadeAztlan]
- "Missing you / RIP" series [archive.is/SFvEd] [archive.is/2mbOO] [archive.is/nOSbo] [archive.is/pBs8q]
- "Death Star" [archive.is/ru7XQ]
- "The Advocate" [archive.is/ergC0]
- "The Black Knight" [archive.is/U3UhO]
- "Cesar Chavez: The Mighty" [archive.is/HDMWq]
- "Super MLK" [archive.is/R4o3m]
- "Role Model" [archive.is/2Wd2h] [archive.is/bIIZO] [archive.is/oP7gQ] [archive.is/c364R]
- "Don't Tread on Us [Either]" [archive.is/WXdzn]
- "Pow Wow: Geronimo" [archive.is/VUyyG]
- "The Brave" series [archive.is/I5Tl0] [archive.is/ipTVX]
A list of gatherings, workshops, and educational events in the greater Bay Area region
Saudi Arabia and its Global Role
Friday, April 22 2016 @ 07:00 PM
San Jose Peace and Justice Center
48 S. 7th St San Jose CA
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, a sacred pillar of the dollar and U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, has come under increasing scrutiny for its ambiguous role in the conflicts unleashed by the Arab Spring, most notably in Bahrain, Yemen, Syria, and in the rise of ISIS. Saudi Arabia's global role is rooted in the unique juxtaposition of ultra authoritarian rule by the royal family, extreme oil wealth, and the exceptionalism of being home to the two holy cities.
Sharat G. Lin writes on global political economy, the Middle East, labor migration, and public health. He is a research fellow and former president of the San Jose Peace and Justice Center. He has lived in Saudi Arabia.
MAY DAY 2016 International Workers Day March & Rally
Sunday, May 1st – 11 AM
UNION HALL - ILWU, Local 10
400 North Point Street, San Francisco CA
Economic & Social Justice for all Working People!
Sonoma County Taxes for Peace
Sunday, May 8, 4:30 PM
We meet to educate and support around resistance to War Taxes. Contact Ruth Paine for info: (707) 576-6654.
Also see nwtrcc.org
Friends House, Commons B living room, 684 Benicia Dr., Santa Rosa
Veterans for Peace monthly meeting
Monday, May 9, 7-9 PM
Veterans For Peace is an international organization made up of military veterans, military family members, and allies. We accept veteran members from all branches of
service. We are dedicated to building a culture of peace, exposing the true
costs of war, and healing the wounds of war. For more info,
visit: [www.veteransforpeacesonoma.net] or email [VFPChapter71@)gmail.com]
Santa Rosa Vets Memorial Building, 1351 Maple Ave., Santa Rosa
Thursday, May 12, 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
SHUT DIABLO CANYON! Fukushima Response is a regional network of concerned individuals working together to spur demands for action in response to the devastated Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan. Our active monitoring program seeks to "Make the Invisible Visible", and we are organizing to close Diablo Canyon, California's last nuke. Come early and enjoy a treat to support our host.
See [fukushimaresponse.org] or call [707-823-9203] for more info.
Apple Box Cafe', 224 B Street, Petaluma
Trash the TPP
Saturday, May 14, 10 AM - Noon
Trash the TPP meets to push back against the Trans Pacific Partnership, a "trade" deal that threatens our welfare, the environment and our democracy. More info: [meetup.com/Trash_the_TPP]
Peace and Justice Center, 467 Sebastopol Avenue, Santa Rosa
Occupy Sonoma County Presents March Against Monsanto
Saturday, May 21, 2-5:00 PM
Join millions of people in over 400 cities and 50 countries.
March & Rally, Vendors, Food, Pay-What-You-Can Plant Sale and Free Seed Exchange.
Volunteers Needed! For more info: [707-877-6650] or [OccupySonomaCounty.org]
Sebastopol Downtown Plaza
Sonoma County Ongoing Peace Vigil schedule
• Santa Rosa -Andy Lopez Free Speech picket line, Tuesdays from 10am-noon at the Hall of Justice in Santa Rosa.
• Santa Rosa - Mendocino Ave. & College Ave. intersection, Fridays, Noon-1:00 p.m.
• Healdsburg - The Plaza (downtown), Thursdays, 6:00-7:00 p.m.
• Sonoma - The Plaza (downtown), Fridays, 5:00-6:00 pm
• Sebastopol - Hwy. 116 and Bodega Hwy, Fridays, noon
South Bay Peace Vigils / Protests
San Jose Peace and Justice Center [www.sanjosepeace.org]
Mondays, 5-6pm in San Jose:
Corner of Market & San Carlos Streets, south end of Cesar Chavez Park (near Convention Center Light Rail Station). Justice for Palestinians weekly protest against Apartheid Israeli occupation, aggression & terror.
Thursday, 4-5pm in Hayward:
Sidewalk at the park being renovated at Foothill Blvd & E St. You are invited to attend a weekly Palestine Vigil. South Alameda County Peace and Justice Coalition's signs call to Americans: "End the Occupation of Palestine & Iraq", "No Apartheid Wall in Palestine", "Stop Aid to Israel"
Fourth Fridays, 7:15 am in Sunnyvale:
At the corner of Mathilda Avenue and 3rd Avenue in front of the Lockheed Martin main gate. Please join the Pacific Life Community for a monthly vigil against nuclear weapons. Every 4th Friday and every Friday during Advent and Lent. First Lenten vigil: Friday, Feb. 12.
Fridays, 5-6pm in San Jose:
#FridayPeaceMLK in front of the Martin Luther King Library, 150 E. San Fernando Street. This vigil began with the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in October 2001 and has been ongoing for over 14 years.
Saturdays and Sundays, 11:30am-1pm in San Jose:
Winchester and Stevens Creek, near Valley Fair and Santana Row. This protest began with the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003 and has been ongoing for 12 and a half years.
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
* "Harassment and Backdoor Maneuvers Alleged in Aftermath of Police Shooting" (2016-04-11, missionlocal.org) [archive.is/9Bvuc]
* "SF police chief faces criticism while explaining latest shooting" (2016-03-14, sfgate.com) [archive.is/K0P5x]
Posted to "JUSTICE 4 Luis Demetrio Gongora Pat, killed by SFPD 4-7-16" [www.facebook.com/groups/230409604013458/237859876601764]
* (2016-04-13, Ruth Jeanette Sakheim): The police commission sat like bumps on a log.
One commissioner showed concern that SFPD murdered Luis Gongora and that they raided the encampment and slashed tents with a knife.
Carlos asked them if it was okay for police to slash a car's tires when making a traffic stop.
Other than that, and a smattering of comments from activists, business as usual at City Hall.
I don't think we should dignify it with our presence
but should be outside kicking and screaming
so the public sees it and it can be spread on social media.
See y'all tomorrow.
* (2016-04-13, Sylvia Rorem): Hearing Gongora's friend crying at the Town Hall today.... it was incredibly painful to witness his honest, beautiful grief while knowing it meant absolutely nothing to those SFPD monsters. They're probably text-laughing about it right now.
Each time they kill a person, it means more than one death. They kill not just the victim but his family, friends, and community. This is genocide.
* (2016-04-14, Jee Bee):
TONIGHT Thursday April 14 at 6pm-8pm
350 Rhode Island, SF.
Please join us at the meeting of the Justice 4 Mario Woods Coalition.
We are outraged at the most recent murder by SFPD
- this time of Luis Gongora.
At least seven witnesses have come forward,
contradicting the police version of events.
The surveillance tape also contradicts police claims that they attempted to de-escalate.
On the contrary - they opened fire seconds after exiting their vehicles.
Another unnecessary and senseless murder by SFPD !
Please join us in our demands:
1-FIRE CHIEF SUHR
2-CHARGE KILLER COPS WITH MURDER
3-INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATION of SFPD (civil rights investigation as demanded by Public Defender Jeff Adachi:
Justice 4 Luis Gongora
Justice 4 Amilcar Perez-Lopez
Justice 4 Alex Nieto
Justice for ALL victims of police violence
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH
(Justice for O'Shaine Evans, and justice for Matt Hoffman, Alice ANgel Brown, Filimoni, Herbert Benitez, all killed by SFPD between Alex and Mario.)
* "SFPD Raid Homeless Camp at the Site of Thursday's Police Killing of Jose Luis Gongora" (2016-04-10, by Frank Sosa, antipoliceterrorproject.org, via Indybay.org Newswire) view photos at [archive.is/dlE6F] [begin excerpt]:
At approximately 11:45 p.m. on Saturday Night, members of the San Francisco Police department raided and harassed the homeless community on Shotwell betweend 17 and 18th Streets, the site of Thursday's killling of Jose Luis Gongora.
On Saturday night, approximately 6 members of the San Francisco Police Department raided the encampment on Shotwell Street between 17th and 18th Streets, the site of Thursday's police killing of Jose Luis Gongora. Witnesses, including us, gathered in response to a call from The Alex Nieto Coalition spokespeson Adriana Camarena on social media who received a phone call alerting her of the sudden police presence. Witnesses told The Anti Police-Terror Project that police officers knocked over objects with sticks, including several memorial candles that lined the front of Gongora's tent which is still at the scene. The officers were not keen on us filming their actions as they shined their flashlights directly into our camera lens as we tried to capture them dismantling several tents. Witnesses also saw them slashing into shelters with a knife.
"This is retaliation for witnessing a police shooting" stated Camerena at the scene. Her sentiment rang true as the police did not completely destroy or remove the encampment. After several more witnesses arrived, they got in their vehicles and left, leaving several tents and various scattered objects completely intact. Residents of the encampment did not know what to expect next, but nonetheless began to clean up their belongings, while some went back to bed. [end excerpt]
Photo showing remains of Gongora vigil candle that had been destroyed with extreme hostility by SFPD.
* photo (2016-04-14) [archive.is/zYLPT]: Elvira & Refugio Nieto went to the Townhall meeting and afterwards to the altar to pay their respects to Luis Gongora, RIP.
* "An Apology to Alex Nieto, Idriss Stelley, and their Family and Friends" (2016-04-11, Alan Schlosser and Claudia Center, ACLU Criminal Justice and Drug Policy, Racial Justice) [archive.is/in0rJ]:
We owe an apology to our community, and especially to the family and friends of Alex Nieto and Idriss Stelley. In our January letter to the US Department of Justice,
we mischaracterized the shooting deaths of Alex Nieto and Idriss Stelley.
We included language regarding Alex Nieto that was in published reports, but was both disputed by the family, and not relevant to the police shooting.
And, we did not provide details that would be important in understanding the circumstances in which Alex Nieto and Idriss Stelley were killed.
Both men were shot and killed by San Francisco police officers who used grossly excessive force in situations that required care, attention, and expertise.
However, the language in our January letter to the DOJ failed to make that clear.
For that, we deeply apologize.
We will do better.
Thank you to everyone who brought the problematic nature of this language to our attention.
Alan Schlosser is Senior Counsel with the ACLU of Northern California.
Claudia Center is a Senior Staff Attorney with the National ACLU Disability Rights Program.
Susan Mizner is Disability Counsel with the National ACLU Disability Rights Program.
* "Medical marijuana supporters picket outside courthouse" (2016-04-19, napavalleyregister.com) [archive.is/pIeWB], photo caption: About a dozen protesters were outside the Criminal Courthouse on Third Street on Monday morning picketing the trial of Hakeem Mwata Brown, owner of a medical cannabis dispensary.
* Earth Week Rally for Justice [www.facebook.com/events/580144372137378/]:
Thursday | April 21, 2016 | 12:00 pm
Lennar Downtown Sales Office | 645 Howard, San Francisco, CA
From the Bayview to the Mission to Treasure Island, the mega-developer LENNAR is toxic for our communities!!
Bayview Hunters Point has very high cancer rates, likely due to the many pollution sources including the Superfund site at the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard near the homes of thousands of Black and Brown families. When your neighborhood is killing you who do you hold accountable? Developers, city officials, regulatory agencies need to STOP CONTAMINATING & DRIVING DISPLACEMENT IN OUR COMMUNITIES! ¡BASTA YA! ENOUGH!!
Lennar, with full support of City Hall, is building a huge residential and commercial development on and next to toxic and radioactive contaminated land at the former Hunters Point Naval Shipyard site. Lennar is building a similar large-scale development on contaminated land at Treasure Island, and both sites and the contamination being left in place are threatened by rising sea levels due to climate change. Lennar is also planning major developments at Candlestick Point and in the Mission District that threaten to gentrify and displace long-time low-income, people of color residents threatened by the epidemic of massive rent increases across the city. Lennar’s development projects have already caused the eviction of scores of residents from Yerba Buena Island.
* "Statement from 'First They Came for the Homeless' on the Berkeley Post Office Eviction" (2016-04-15, by Mike Zint, Indybay.org Newswire) [archive.is/jHcGd]: For 17 months and 12 days, a hand full of protesters occupied the post office in protest of the theft of our commons. During that time, we helped to bring attention to the sale of the downtown Berkeley post office. We installed community oriented services to reaffirm our ownership of this property. Those services included feeding those in need, a free box for donated items, a free library, a newspaper stand, a place for public posting of literature, outreach for the homeless, and a community garden. These services were utilized by everyone, housed and homeless alike. Thousands were fed, hundreds were clothed, and dozens of homeless were able to replace "confiscated" gear.
During the occupation, our protest also defended the library books from the incinerator by occupying the main library and confronting the head librarian. The head librarian quite his job within 24 hours.
We organized liberty city in response to the new anti homeless laws. During that action we demonstrated the ability of homeless to care for themselves. Within two weeks, we sheltered around 8% of Berkeley's homeless at city hall. In doing so we also provided storage, food, shots and registration for the homeless peoples dogs, stability, and an opportunity to heal. We managed to help three addicts stay off methamphetamine for the duration of the city hall occupation. All this was done at no cost to the city.
Approximately 5 weeks ago, BPD instructed a group of known addicts and dealers to move their tents and gear onto postal property, 100 feet from the front door of the high school. Lt. Rateaver of BPD was the ranking officer. He told me I was not doing a good enough job keeping the drugs out as his officers were instructing them where to set up. He also said that we were responsible for them. I immediately sent an email to the mayor, city council, the police chief, and community members. The result of this was for BPD to move them 10 feet away, into the community garden, and to again instruct them where to set up. I sent a second email, this time including the principal of the school. No action was taken. Instead, this group was allowed to operate an open air drug market, and use drugs publicly while high school students were present. Members of this group were repeatedly arrested, and allowed to return. Their behavior was used to discredit what we were doing, in spite of our history of not allowing drugs into the protest.
The raid directly targeted the protesters only. I was dragged violently down the street after I could not physically move fast enough. The dealers were given over an hour to move. Four protesters were cited, including a 70 year old lady who slept in front of the post office on city property. The drug dealers received no citations. Our personal property was destroyed in the process of confiscation. The drug dealers were able to collect their property. Postal police did not allow us to retrieve valuables. Those valuables contained Mayoral candidate Mike Lee's tablet and computer. This raid has damaged Mike's campaign. He lost valuable information crucial to his run for mayor.
The occupation was not in violation of the rules governing behavior on postal property. The rules clearly state the the guidelines do not apply to areas of postal property where the sidewalk is adjacent and indistinguishable from municipal sidewalks. Electioneering and voter registration were permitted, and we were doing both.
It is obvious that laws were broken. But not by the protesters. Postal police, BPD, and members in city government did. They all need to be held accountable. The community needs to understand the truth about what happened. In Berkeley, the poor do not have rights. There is no equal protection under the law, and there is no first amendment. No matter how many positive things we accomplished, we will never count.
And lastly, the city services offered would have put us in a bug infested, bacteria infested, crime infested homeless shelter where the employees practice favoritism and abuse the residents. No thank you, I was doing just fine taking care of myself, and in the process, I created an environment of care for all those in need. That is what Berkeley just lost.
BAY AREA SOLIDARITY: Updates on campaigns across the Nation!
* "600+ Arrests in Nation's Capital Aimed at Rapidly 'Shifting Political Weather' ; Causes championed by Democracy Spring 'are the defining issues of our time,' says Congressional Progressive Caucus" (2016-04-14, commondreams.org) [archive.is/ntgsT]
* "Protests Against Money in Politics Hold Little Interest for Beltway’s ‘Political Junkies’ " (2016-04-14, fair.org) [archive.is/9INha]
TOWARDS REVOLUTIONARY SOLUTIONS
* "Democracy Awakening: A Call to Action for People and the Planet; Corporate influence over our democracy is one of the biggest threats to our food, water and climate" (2016-04-13, foodandwaterwatch.org) [archive.is/BrrHU]
* "What would society look like with universal basic income? It may seem blasphemous to neoliberals, but a universal basic wage may be the only choice we have" (2016-04-15, newstatesman.com) [archive.is/WsRIR]
The false road of "social justice" according to the capitalist non-profit industry, where it feels good to tell people to be good, expand capitalism, and forget about anyone else but yourself!
* "Andrew Young Institute & Solano Community College Create Social Justice Program" (2016-04-16, Vallejo News) [archive.is/53N2R]: The Andrew Young Global Institute of Vallejo and Solano Community College have partnered up to provide a two-day social justice program titled, "At the Intersession Where Worlds Collide: Ethical Leadership Among Educational, Business, and Community Professionals." The Andrew Young Institute was created to assist in the economic growth in Vallejo by developing a partnership between local public officials and business leaders that help youth earn their high school diplomas, and enter college.
This program will present the opportunity to work with Dr. Walker Fluker, a leading educator on Ethical Leadership and author of, "Ethical Leadership: The Quest for Character, Civility and Community."
END PATRIARCHY! COMBAT MISOGYNY!
* "Harriet Tubman chosen as the new face of the $20 bill" (2016-04-20, latimes.com) [archive.is/eIPqw] [beign excerpt]: Harriet Tubman will replace President Andrew Jackson on the front of the $20 bill, a Treasury Department official said Wednesday.
The official did not give a timetable for the change, saying only that the department is looking to make it as quickly as possible without compromising security. [...]
An organization called Women on 20s conducted an online poll last year, saying a woman should appear on the $20 bill in Jackson’s stead and asking which one. Tubman, an abolitionist and key figure in the Underground Railroad, came in first, followed by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, civil rights hero Rosa Parks and Cherokee Nation Chief Wilma Mankiller. [end excerpt]
LUCHA PARA LA NUEVA AZTLAN!
* "Driscoll's Boycott: Safeway in Watsonville has another protest regarding them selling Driscoll's strawberries!" photos (2016-04-09, by AutumnSun, via Indybay.org Newswire) [archive.is/qY6Vx]:
Another demonstration at Watsonville Safeway along with demand letter to Safeway to stop selling Driscoll strawberries. Safeway said no, of course!
- Security calls for backup! [archive.is/QmTES]
- The protest go on. [archive.is/rMegd]
- Discussion of demand letter [archive.is/o5r57]
- Safeway says no! [archive.is/NF7uM]
* "'Hope everyone pukes on your artisanal treats': fighting gentrification, LA-style; Hardline tactics succeed in keeping outsiders away from Boyle Heights, the Latino community that is the last holdout to Los Angeles gentrification" (2016-04-19, theguardian.com) [archive.is/CUY6z] [begin excerpt]: An eclectic coalition of residents, business owners, feminists, Maoists and other activists stands guard, working the levers of local government, deploying zoning and legal arguments – and occasionally intimidating perceived interlopers.
The goal is to avoid a flood of money and outsiders which it fears would drive up rents, drive out residents and erase a cradle of Chicano identity.
“Gentrification is a violent threat. When we feel it we may react in an angry way, through fear,” said Xochitl Palomera, an activist with the group Corazón Del Pueblo. “Boyle Heights is not going down without a fight. We know what we’re up against and we’re not afraid. Our roots run deep here.”
Marco Amador, who co-founded a collective space called Espacio 1839, said the battle was not just against gentrification. “It’s about how capitalism works. We’re not just fighting realtors, we’re fighting American capitalism.” [end excerpt]
Photo caption: Servir al Pueblo (Serve the People) activists in Boyle Heights, east Los Angeles, left to right: Lupe, Alex, Facundo, EJ, Diana, Daniel in Mariachi Plaza.
* Serve The People - Los Angeles [youcaring.com/the-masses-557554]
Serve The People - Los Angeles exists solely to serve the people.
"From the masses, to the masses." - Mao Zedong
ABOUT US -
Serve the People – LA is a community service and political empowerment organization. We seek to build revolutionary solutions to the many problems faced by our community. We are an all-volunteer, grassroots movement running twice-weekly food and clothing distribution programs in the Boyle Heights and Echo Park neighborhoods:
EVERY SUNDAY @ 4PM, HOLLENBECK PARK
EVERY FRIDAY @ 4PM, ECHO PARK LAKE
Our communities struggle with the effects of systematic displacement, deportations, unemployment, underemployment, and criminalization of our youth that destabilizes our community and creates a hostile environment for working class families, particularly women and children. Time and time again, traditional avenues for addressing these problems have failed our community: the city stands behind the process of gentrification that displaces us, the police create violence in our community rather than protect us from it, and the education that was supposed to bring us economic stability has brought us only crippling debt.
Where the established systems fail us, it is our responsibility to come together and build revolutionary solutions. We uphold the fundamental right of people to ensure a safe, healthy, and prosperous existence for themselves and their families, and to take whatever measures are necessary to ensure such an existence.
Our power to combat the forces disrupting our community lies in our solidarity, and our ability to take control over our resources and establish grassroots systems for channeling those resources to people and places where they are needed. In the process of taking direct action to solve the problems in our community, we are likewise building the power necessary to create long term solutions. We are not a charity. We provide more than temporary relief from these problems, we provide a method for transforming our entire community.
SERVE THE PEOPLE -
Over the years, the phrase has turned into a revolutionary program all throughout the world. Serve the People programs have been used by the Black Panther Party, the Brown Berets, the Young Lords and other groups of black and brown youth as an essential part of their strategy for building stronger, safer, and more just communities. STP-LA humbly follows in this tradition, building on the foundation set by these and other groups, and pushing onward until victory.
HOW YOU CAN HELP -
Serve the People relies on the support of the community to provide all of our service programs. All food, clothing, and other items distributed weekly are donated by individual supporters of STP, local businesses, churches, and other community organizations that support our work. This fundraiser will help keep our Serve The People program running and evolving. The funds will go towards storage, packaging, distribution and for buying necessary items that aren't being donated.
If you have a connection to resources that would be beneficial to our programs, have particular issues or concerns about your community, or have an idea for how to serve the people of your community, we would love to work with you! Come out to our next Community Meeting, email us, or visit us at our next distribution to talk face to face. LIKE us on Facebook for updates on the next Community Meeting. We encourage everyone interested in our programs to attend these meetings, and join us in building better communities and a better world.
SOLIDARITY WITH THE NEW AFRICAN NATION!
Black Power! Revive the Community! Defend the Nation!
* "Did the Death of a Mississippi Mayor End a Great Experiment in African American Liberation?" (2016-04-18, vice.com) [archive.is/VNNqu]
* "Update: Book club members kicked off Wine Train settle suit" (2016-04-18, napavalleyregister.com) [archive.is/3cTzk]
information collected by the Committee to Defend Public Education!
* "Three more lawmakers call for UC Davis chancellor to resign; Seven state lawmakers have called on UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi to resign; Assemblymen Mike Gatto, Freddie Rodriguez, Mark Stone cite Bee story on her PR expenditures; Four lawmakers previously cited her paid seats on corporate boards that posed conflicts" (2016-04-14, sacbee.com) [archive.is/r6SQK]
information collected by the Worker's Defense Committee [http://is.gd/VOkmLr]
* "Verizon Workers On the Line" (2016-04-13, labornotes.org) [archive.is/1pgEI], photo caption: Verizon Strike, Day 1. Some 39,000 Verizon strikers walked off the job today, including for the first time Verizon Wireless workers from seven stores. The company is pushing to offshore and outsource jobs, and to force workers away from home for up to two months at a time. Meanwhile it's making $1.8 billion in profit a month. Photos: Stand Up to Verizon and Sonia Singh.
* "40,000 Verizon Workers Strike Against Corporate 'Race to the Bottom' ; Tens of thousands protest Verizon's plan to cut middle class jobs despite raking in billions in profits" (2016-04-13, commondreams.org) [archive.is/2uYmD]
* "WFTU International Solidarity with the workers of Verizon in the USA" (2016-04-14, wftucentral.org) [archive.is/ZRDVg]
* "A Verizon worker: Why I’m striking" (2016-04-15, nydailynews.com) [archive.is/10INq]
* "Labor's New Playbook" (by Dan Mendez Moore)
* "Bauer’s Loses Permit, Teamsters Praise SFMTA’s Support for Workers" (2016-04-01, teamster.org) [archive.is/kqpM1]
* "In Synchronized Strikes Around the World, Workers #Fightfor15 Minimum-wage workers in over 300 cities and more than 40 countries are striking for a living wage" (2016-04-14, commondreams.org) [archive.is/w9WDu]
* "With Second Strike Looming, Twin Cities Janitors Clean Up" (2016-04-12, labornotes.org) [archive.is/dVcM2], photo caption: A thousand janitors who clean Minneapolis office buildings walked off the job for a day February 17 and filled downtown. The strike was part of a citywide week of action to address the Twin Cities’ extreme racial and economic inequality. Photo: SEIU Local 26.
* "Two years?! You gotta be kidding!" (2016-04-14, ufw.org) [archive.is/Qqe6i] [begin excerpt]: Gerawan workers are asking your help again over the recent pesticide spraying by a neighboring farmer that occurred at the giant tree fruit company. More than 15,000 UFW supporters signed a petition urging Fresno County’s Agricultural Commissioner to quickly investigate the pesticide incident. The government agency’s reply? The investigation could take up to two years.
"I was very disappointed with the Ag Commissioner office’s answer. They told me they were already investigating, that Gerawan wasn’t the one who sprayed the pesticides. Worst of all, they told me that cases about pesticides can take up to two years to investigate. Two years? It’s like farm worker lives aren’t important to the officials who are supposed to protect us. What if this happens again? Next time, it could be me.
"This is wrong and we need to make them move faster. We need to be protected. It’s frustrating. I feel like we’re not important to them -- but if they don’t protect us, who will?” [end excerpt]
HANDS OFF OUR HOMES!
* "Denying renters housing due to a criminal record may be illegal" (2016-04-07, by Lynda Carson, Indybay.org) [http://is.gd/DKSnF5]
* Mercury News editorial: "Rent control in San Jose needs fixed maximum" (2016-04-18, mercurynews.com) [archive.is/2sXCZ]
* "A young man's housing battle against Landlords in a growing Bay Area housing crisis" (2016-04-14, by Katalina Mendoza, via Indybay.org Newswire) [archive.is/9HNrg]. Synopsis: This story highlights the increasing terror that is being utilized to remove long term residents, or below market rate tenants from their homes. The drive for profits are creating traumas that have larger implications in the health and well being of society as a whole. In a time of societal break down, this may be an indication of the down fall of the United States of America, as there are many similar parallels to the Roman Empire. Great populist movements are sprouting up across the US to combat corruption.
* "Oakland proposal to redefine affordable housing harms the poor; Redefining the definition of affordable housing, and transferring $800,000 in funds from the affordable housing trust fund to middle class income earners making as much as $110,350 a year, is an obscene way to ignore the fact that Oakland is in the midst of a housing crisis!" (2016-04-18, by Lynda Carson, Indybay.org Newswire) [archive.is/LykUA]
* "What Housing Moratorium Means for Oakland’s Tenants and Landlords" (2016-04-08, postnewsgroup.com) [archive.is/ZIocj]
* East Bay Housing Organizations [www.ebho.org]
* "San José is in a housing crisis and needs your help!!!" (2016-04-18, by Lynda Carson, Indybay.org Newswire) [archive.is/n0kwC]
information collected by the Committee to
DEFEND THOSE WITHOUT HOMES!
* "Community Sleepout #39" photo essay (2016-04-10, by Alex Darocy, Indybay.org Newswire), visit page for photos [archive.is/1XeET]: April 5 marked the 39th community sleepout organized at Santa Cruz City Hall to oppose local laws that criminalize homelessness.
As a group, their goal is to stay through the night and sleep at City Hall. Some of the participants have homes of their own and some do not. Many call themselves "Freedom Sleepers."
The Tuesday night sleepouts have become a destination point for many people on the street. Some return each week to sleep with a group. Others pass by quickly to grab a bite to eat. Many hope to find a blanket or some form of bedding. Supplies are often limited, however, and some people wind up sleeping directly on the sidewalk with nothing.
For more information about the sleepouts, see: Freedom Sleepers [freedomsleepers.org]
* "The Relative Merits of a Task Force on Homelessness" (2016-04-08, by Steve Pleich, via Indybay.org) [archive.is/ZHFmM]
* "Community Action Partnership of Solano 2015 Annual Report" (2016-04-15, Vallejo City Manager’s Bi-Weekly Report) (.pdf) [http://is.gd/Lgd2R0]: The Community Action Partnership of Solano Joint Powers Authority (CAP Solano JPA) is a combined governmental agency that coordinates between the cities of Vallejo, Benicia, Fairfield, Rio Vista, Suisun and Vacaville, as well as the County of Solano, to reduce poverty and homelessness in Solano County. Representatives from these governments serve on the CAP Solano JPA Board and meet at least monthly to fulfill their duties as Solano County’s Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) Eligible Entity and Community Action Agency. CSBG funds are received from the State and are designed to assist in alleviat-ing the causes and conditions of poverty in communities, and supports projects that reduce poverty, address the needs of low-income individuals including the homeless, migrants and the elderly, and provide services and activities to address employment, education, better use of available income, housing, nutrition, emergency services and/or health.
HomeBase, a Bay Area nonprofit public interest law firm dedicated to address-ing the social problem of homelessness, provides staffing to the CAP Solano JPA and has completed a 2015 Annual Report. The report discusses goals, accomplishments, and work with the Housing First Solano Continuum of Care, the coordinating body for efforts to address homelessness in Solano County.
The City of Vallejo’s Board Member on the CAP Solano JPA is Housing and Community Development Manager Anne Putney. For more information, please contact [anne.putney@)cityofvallejo.net] or [707-648-4408].
Read the report (.pdf) [http://is.gd/CGLYgK]
Documenting human-rights abuse by domestic security agencies
[NorthbayCopwatch.blogspot.com] [copblock.org] [wecopwatch.org] [filmingcops.com]
* "Another man killed by Sacramento Police" (2016-04-08, liberationnews.org) [archive.is/eCnqn]
* "Hundreds Rally for Bills to Curb Policing for Profit and Police Secrecy" (2016-04-11, by ACLU of Northern California, via Indybay.org Newswire) [archive.is/bDUPu] [begin excerpt]:
Policing for Profit -
SB 443, introduced by Senator Mitchell and boasting bipartisan support in the Legislature, would protect innocent Californians from unfair forfeitures by forbidding law enforcement from permanently taking and keeping someone’s money or property if that person is not convicted of a crime. For years, California law enforcement agencies have taken advantage of a loophole that allows them to take innocent people’s cash and property, and then keep a portion of the profits through civil asset forfeiture laws.
In describing the need for SB 443, Senator Mitchell stated, “The law puts a ‘finders-keepers’ tag on certain possessions of those accused of crime, which doesn’t have to come off even when the accusation is dropped. Time for a new tag: ‘No conviction – No confiscation!’”
The bill was welcomed by Bob Alexander, a Lakeport, California, resident and veteran who was stopped and had over $10,000 in cash taken from him by law enforcement – money he was carrying to buy his daughter a car. He fought to get it back, but it took nearly eight months to do so although no criminal charges were filed against him.
“That was a fight,” said Alexander. “The officers tried to scare me into submission by giving me two choices: I either said the money wasn’t mine and they would ‘call it a day’ or I told the truth and they’d slap three felonies on me. I was able to put up a fight, but I know other people might not have the means to do so.”
SB 1286, introduced by Senator Mark Leno, would restore police transparency in California by shining light on how police departments handle investigations into officer misconduct and serious uses of force. Unlike other public employees, all records related to police discipline are completely confidential and exempt from California’s Public Records Act. As a result, departments cannot disclose when an officer is guilty of misconduct, if corrective action was taken, or what the corrective action was.
Brandy Brown, a member of the Youth Justice Coalition, a youth-led organization co-sponsoring SB 1286, urged the bill’s passing. Brown had been friends with Ezell Ford, an unarmed Black man who was shot and killed by Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officers in 2014. On the day Ford was killed, both Brandy's then 1-year-old daughter and her 4-year-old nephew were outside on the balcony and saw the police shooting of Ezell not far from where they were playing.
“Senate Bill 1286 is important because we need to know the background of the people who are patrolling our neighborhoods,” said Brown. “We must pass the bill, because we are fighting for a day when we as young people of color will not be feared, hated, stopped and cuffed, locked up, locked down and locked out. We are fighting for a day when California will not lead the nation in police shootings, for a day when ‘to protect and serve’ doesn’t mean to protect property and serve the rich.”
Supporters of the bill, including Sacramento’s Black Lives Matter chapter agreed. [end excerpt]
* "Another Man Executed by the San Francisco Police; On Thursday, April 7th, in the Mission District of San Francisco, a homeless man, Luis Gongora, allegedly "brandishing" a knife, was executed on the street by SFPD" (2016-04-09, by Indybay.org Newswire) [archive.is/5Z7Jz]:
There was Alex Nieto [justice4alexnieto.org]. Then Amilcar Perez-Lopez [archive.is/Sl9EJ]. But it was Mario Woods' firing squad execution in December of 2015 [archive.is/xAimG] that lit up San Francisco, with politicians, commissioners and police pooh-bahs all pledging to "do something" about use of force policies that amount to nothing less than a license to kill. Anytime. Anywhere. Swearing to implement de-escalation techniques. Claiming they would arm officers with shields so they could deal with people holding knives.
But it was all talk; it's had no effect. Because on Thursday, April 7th, in the Mission District of San Francisco, a homeless man, Luis Gongora, allegedly "brandishing" a knife, was executed on the street by SFPD. The police say he had stood, that he was lunging at them. Witnesses say he was sitting on the ground. Police say he was waving the knife around. Witnesses say the kitchen cutting board knife was on his hip.
There is no known video of the execution per se. There isn't even a picture of the man.
What has been made available, via a surveillance camera, is a clear video of the police cars rolling up, the policemen getting out, one with a bean-bag rifle, and them shouting at the man as they approach him. There's no Youtube video available yet so I can't embed it, but it is available here (via nydailynews.com) [http://is.gd/BVrHf1], and it is only a minute twenty. The first shot occurs as the officers move out of the viewing area, at 00:38. Watch it.
The police claimed (at least initially) that they attempted to de-escalate the situation, but they are lying. The video clearly shows two officers approaching the man, one with a rifle pointed at him, one or both of them shouting at him. This is not a de-escalation technique! Especially when it is not clear that the man a) understands English and b) is not mentally ill or in some kind of altered state).
Then the one with the rifle allegedly fires four bean-bag ("less lethal") rounds at the man to no effect, or so the officers claim. (This is the same kind of weapon that tore a hole in Scott Olsen's skull on October 25th, 2011 in Oakland, CA [archive.is/J6eu0]). Finally, the officers shoot and mortally wound the Gongora (he is taken to the hospital and dies there from his wounds).
They could have de-escalated. They could have stayed where they were. The video clearly demonstrates this. Even the San Francisco Chronicle's police apologist columnist agrees [archive.is/qIR9O] [begin excerpt]:
First, the concept of "time and distance" when confronting a suspect armed with a knife didn’t happen in this case. The idea is to keep the suspect contained, give him some time to run out of steam, and hopefully defuse the situation. But video of the incident shows the cops went from leaving their cars to firing beanbag rounds in 25 seconds. Six seconds later, the first shots were fired. That doesn’t look good. [end excerpt]
No, Nevius, it NEITHER LOOKS GOOD NOR IS GOOD. They could have tried talking instead of shouting; they could have tried talking to him in Spanish, or waiting for someone to be available to do so. They could have done almost anything other than what they did do, and Luis Gongora might well still be alive. They did not. Because they didn't have any reason to.
The police no longer exist (if they ever did) to protect and serve the public. They make it clear from their statements and their attitudes that their only concern is to protect and serve themselves. Until both the laws regarding extra-judicial murder by cop are changed, and police attitudes are changed, this is not going to stop. The next execution of Alex Amilar Mario Luis Gongora is just an unknown, but certain, number of days in the future.
Note: location of the SFPD murder (via google.com/maps) [http://is.gd/7A4fbD], screengrab [archive.is/Gvg7Q]. It appears that the camera over the garage between 452 and 450 Shotwell Street in San Francisco is the one that captured the killing. This image shows the area across the street from the camera that is out of view in the video above, the tree in front of the Jeep here being the same one in the far right of the video.
Watch the video here [http://is.gd/QCH3Y8].
* "Vallejo Police Department Launches Business Watch Program" (2016-04-15, Vallejo City Manager’s Bi-Weekly Report) (.pdf) [http://is.gd/Lgd2R0]: The VPD launched “Business Watch,” a new crime prevention program, at the Empress Theater on April 11. The City-wide collaboration encourages active participation from business owners, managers and employees in cooperation with local law enforcement, with the goal of reducing crime within the business community. The program focuses on effective communication practices so that pertinent information may be shared and disseminated more accurately and efficiently. VPD plans to expand the program throughout the city of Vallejo in the coming months. For further information, contact Mary Pedretti at (707) 553-7218 or visit Community Services located at 2 Florida Street.
* "Vallejo Police Department’s K-9’s “Chase” and “Jorey” Participate in TAFB Competition" (2016-04-15, Vallejo City Manager’s Bi-Weekly Report) (.pdf) [http://is.gd/Lgd2R0]:
VPD K-9 Officers Mark Galios and Jason Bauer, along with their K-9 companions K-9 "Jorey" and K-9 "Chase," participated in the Travis Air Force Base Defender's K-9 Trial 2016. The two-day event brought in law enforcement agencies from all over Northern California to compete and test K-9 skills and abilities. Officer Bauer and K-9 "Chase" took second place in handler protection and fifth place in area search. overall in the competition. K-9 "Jorey" handled by Ofc. Galios, took 5th in area search.
* "Vallejo Citizens Experience VPD’s Virtra Use of Force Training Simulator" (2016-03-04, City Manager’s Bi-Weekly Report) (.pdf) [http://is.gd/Mwjupd]:
Several community members had the opportunity to train with the Vallejo Police Department using the Virtra Firearms Training Simulator. The simulator exposes participants to real life scenarios depicting situations that police officers a face while on duty.
The training was designed to educate the public about use of force options, split-second decision-making and the legal ramifications that officers must deal with when responding to incidents. The citizens that took part in this training exercise were recommend by members of the Chief's Advisory Board and endured a four hour training session that included material from a course that typically takes two weeks.
* "VPD Introduces Congressman Mike Thompson to Virtra Simulator Training" (2016-04-15, Vallejo City Manager’s Bi-Weekly Report) (.pdf) [http://is.gd/Lgd2R0]: The Vallejo Police Department had the pleasure of meeting with U.S. Congress-man Mike Thompson and District Representative Mel Orpilla at the VPD Mare Island Police Training Center. Lieutenant Joe Iacono and Corporal Dustin Joseph gave a tour of the facilities and discussed the department's "use of force" policies that are crucial to training police officers. Congressman Thompson and Representative Orpilla also experi-enced the Virtra Training Simulator that VPD officers regularly use in ongoing train. The City appreciates the visit and interest from Congressman Thompson and Representative Orpilla.
* "Corporal Dustin Joseph Honored at Rotary Luncheon" (2016-03-04, City Manager’s Bi-Weekly Report) (.pdf) [http://is.gd/Mwjupd]: The Vallejo Rotary Club honored Corporal Dustin Joseph during a luncheon after he was named "Officer of the Year" for 2014-2015. Corporal Joseph has served Vallejo residents for fourteen years and first began his career as a Vallejo Police Cadet while attending the California Maritime Academy.
Corporal Joseph has held various assignments through-out his career, including Patrol Officer, Crime Suppres-sion Officer, School Resource Officer, and Field Training Officer. He currently serves as a member of the Emergency Services Unit/SWAT team and is assigned to the Professional Standards Bureau as a coordinator for the cadet program.
* "Vallejo Police Sergeant Jason Potts Recognized by National Institute of Justice" (2016-03-04, City Manager’s Bi-Weekly Report) (.pdf) [http://is.gd/Mwjupd]:
Sergeant Jason Potts completed the Law Enforcement Advanc-ing Data and Science (LEADS) program and is now a LEADS scholar for the National Institute of Justice (NIJ). Among his regular duties in the VPD Internal Affairs Unit, a member of the SWAT team, and supervising the department’s bicycle patrol team and is a member of their SWAT team, Sergeant Potts also works to advance and integrate science into law enforcement policy and practice on a local and national level.
Established in 2014 through a partnership between NIJ and the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), the LEADS program is designed to develop mid-rank law enforcement officers who are committed to advancing and integrating science into law enforcement policies and practice.
* "Homan Square is Chicago's new 'House of Screams'; In the 1970s and 80s, torture at one Chicago police station earned it a sinister nickname. Is history repeating itself?" (2016-04-13, theguardian.com) [archive.is/EYEei]
NORTHBAY COPWATCH: Domestic Security Agencies and private-sector partners
* "Disregarding Privacy, Court Rules Common Cell Surveillance Method is Legal; The court rejected an argument that collecting phone location data without a warrant violates the Fourth Amendment" (2016-04-14, commondreams.org) [archive.is/BDjKC]
* "Revealed: CIA Funding Companies that Specialize in Social Media Spying; In-Q-Tel reportedly investing in firms that monitor, collect, and analyze social media activities on platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram" (2016-04-15, commondreams.org) [archive.is/zXzPe]
* "Key Figures In CIA-Crack Cocaine Scandal Begin To Come Forward" (2014-10-10, huffingtonpost.com) [archive.is/ABzGm]
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].
* "Stiff resistance is a human right! Malcolm X Grassroots Movement statement on Dr. Mutulu Shakur" (2016-04-14, the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement) [archive.is/Xz4zu]
Fund-raising effort for former Panther, political prisoner Chip Fitzgerald -
Chip Fitzgerald, one of the longest-held Black Panther political prisoners, will have a parole hearing in the upcoming months. Chip has been in prison for 47 years... since he was 19 years old. As former political prisoners and allies, we have joined together to support Chip and other comrades still remaining inside. We are asking for your support in raising money for an attorney to represent Chip at his parole hearing.
Chip has a good chance of release because of changes in California parole law. Currently, people over the age of 65 who have served 25 years or more are prioritized for release. The seriousness of the original offense is no longer enough to deny parole... "some evidence" of current dangerousness is required. And Chip's age at the time of his arrest (just 19) is a factor to be considered at his hearing. Chip has also suffered from a stroke, and has had no incident reports since 2008 (when he was attacked by 2 young men and responded in self-defense).
Please join us in supporting this campaign to *FREE Chip Fitzgerald*, now 66 years old. Like all our political prisoners, he has continued to fight for justice from behind bars, and has had a positive influence on scores of young men in prison with him. We need him back in the community and with his family and comrades.
To support Chip at his parole hearing, please contribute here [http://www.plumfund.com/community-crowdfunding/aid-chip-fitzgerald].
We appreciate your support for Chip and all U.S. political prisoners and prisoners-of-war ? Free Them All!!!
In solidarity, (partial list)
Arthur LeagueFrancisco TorresAlbert Woodfox
Robert KingRichard BrownRay Boudreaux
Bruce RichardSherwin ForteManuel La Fontaine
Dorsey NunnSundiata TateDonna Willmott
Leslie MullinHarry CaryLinda Evans
Judith MirkinsonShirley HewittClaude Marks
Harold TaylorHank Jones
About Chip Fitzgerald:
Romaine "Chip" Fitzgerald was born and raised in Compton, California. Upon his release from the Youth Authority in early 1969, he joined the Southern California Chapter of the Black Panther Party.
Bruce Richard, a former member of the Party's Southern California Chapter with Chip, now a union executive, recalls: "Upon our release [from Youth Authority], we wasted no time joining the Black Panther Party. Chip worked tirelessly in various capacities in the Westside office of the Chapter. To be a Panther was a 24/7 commitment, and every single day seemed like weeks due to the volume of activities during that explosive period. We were totally consumed in the Party's Free Breakfast Program, the tutorial program, selling Panther papers, political education classes and other projects. Chip was a favorite of many in the communities we served, and the children, especially, loved him, reflected in their smiling little faces when he appeared."
In September 1969, Chip was wounded and arrested in connection with a police shoot-out. He was tried for assault on police and other, related charges, including the murder of a security guard. He was convicted and sentenced to death. He was 19 years old.
"The Greatest Threat" -
This was immediately following the early 1969 announcement by infamous FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover that "The Black Panther Party, without question, represents the greatest threat to the internal security of the country." As documented by Huey P. Newton in his widely-acclaimed Ph.D. dissertation War Against the Panthers, A Study of Repression in America, Hoover then pledged to use a special counterintelligence program, COINTELPRO, to "expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit, or otherwise neutralize the activities of Black nationalists," and, specifically targeted the Black Panther Party. Newton and other scholars document that, of the actions employed by the COINTELPRO program to carry out its agenda, 79% were "specifically directed toward destruction of the Party."
In 1972, the California Supreme Court, in California v. Anderson, declared the death penalty unconstitutional, as a violation of the Eighth Amendment protection against "cruel or unusual punishments" and of the State?s constitutional ban against both. Along with nearly 100 other men on death row at the time, Chip found his death sentence commuted to life, with the possibility of parole. Today, however, unlike 98% of those on death row in 1972 who have been released, Chip languishes in prison still, incarcerated for 47 years now. In spite of his long and brutal incarceration, Chip's dedication to the cause of the liberation of black and all oppressed people has not wavered.
THE FBI'S WAR AGAINST THE PANTHERS -
Although Hoover identified the Party as a ?threat to the internal security of the country,? he boldly stated that it was the Party's Free Breakfast for Children program, not its weapons of self-defense, that made the Party so "dangerous." Begun in the Party?s base in Oakland, California, the Free Breakfast Program grew across the nation with the rise of Party chapters during 1969, in over 40 states. Hoover charged that the Program was spreading revolutionary propaganda to all the hundreds of thousands of black families whose children participated in it, a dangerous development. Newton stated: "Since its inception, the Party [was] subject to a variety of actions by agencies and officers of the federal government intended to destroy it precisely because of the Party's political ideology and potential for organizing a sizable group of the country's population that has been historically denied equal opportunity in employment, education, housing, and other recognized basic needs."
It is well-documented that, at the end of 1969, under the direction of the FBI, Chicago police assassinated the Party?s Illinois chapter chairman Fred Hampton and leading member Mark Clark and Los Angeles police created its SWAT Team and raided the offices of the Party there, at one-location in a five-hour gun battle. This was the Party to which Chip belonged. He is a casualty of this war.
The War Continues -
Chip's incarceration cannot be viewed apart from this history of the FBI's war against the Panthers. Chip is the definition of a political prisoner, and is the longest-held Black Panther Party political prisoner. Indeed, at his last parole hearing, in July 2008, he was vigorously challenged by a Board member about his political views, past and present, and summarily denied.
Just as Chip's long incarceration is rooted in the political agenda of the State, his freedom is dependent upon political action. JOIN US to support Chip at his 2016 parole hearing.
* "This is What Freedom Looks Like... Two Months of Liberation" (2016-04-12, Angola 3 Newseltter) [archive.is/hAS63] [begin excerpt]:
Statement from the A3 Legal Team -
"On April 5, 2016, the United States District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana dismissed the long-pending civil rights action brought by Robert King, Albert Woodfox, and Herman Wallace against Louisiana Department of Corrections officials upon the joint motion of the parties. The case has been settled, and the agreement is confidential. Plaintiffs King and Woodfox are confident the Louisiana Department of Corrections will significantly overhaul its policies concerning solitary confinement in the coming months so that no one in the future will experience what they had to endure." [end excerpt]
* "Prisoners initiate hunger strikes at David Wade CC in Louisiana" (2016-04-15, by a prisoner at David Wade Correctional Center):
This is to notify you that several prisoners have begun a hunger strike openly while others are on a silent hunger strike which may endanger their safety.
The three active prisoners who began the hunger strike on April 9, 2016 are now also on what is called "extreme suicide" which is where they place you in FULL RESTRAINTS (chains)... that is shackles, handcuffs attached to a waist chain. This is done for days at a time. They are also on "strip" dressed only in a paper gown.
The torturous punitive conditions here at David Wade Correctional Center have gone on long enough. The sadistic practices by security and the administration are a violation of human rights and decency.
The administration has admitted to the infliction of corporal punishment against prisoners on lockdown. Just now as I write, they sprayed a prisoner while he was on his knees and struck him several times. They also sprayed and beat another prisoner who is mentally ill and has been on strip cell for over a year. He has also been on food loaf for a long time.
We badly need some help and support down here.
Please call if you can... just a phone call will spook them. Thank you!
Secretary of DOC James M LeBlanc225 342-6740
Deputy Sec. Eugene Powers225 342-6744
Undersec. Thomas Bickham225 342-6739
* "Jury refuses to convict prisoners in landmark 'Dallas 6' prisoner whistleblower trial; Defendants, family members and supporters declare victory and call for an end to prison abuse and corruption brought to light in testimony" (2016-04-14):
CONTACT: Shandre Delaney, mother of one of the Dallas 6 with the Human Rights Coalition [412-403-6101]; Phoebe Jones, Justice for the Dallas 6 Support Campaign and Global Women's Strike [610-505-4944]
A hung jury in the trial of the three remaining prisoner whistleblowers of the "Dallas 6" led Judge Gelb to declare a mistrial today in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, in a closely-watched case that has dragged on for six years. The three men, Andre Jacobs, Carrington Keys, and Duane Peters, defended themselves against charges of "riot" and (for Mr Keys) aggravated harassment, while exposing rampant abuse and corruption at SCI Dallas prison and in the Pennsylvania prison system generally.
The men were supported in their courageous and sustained efforts by their mothers and other family members, a wide range of supporters from the Justice for the Dallas 6 Support Campaign who came regularly to trial, and by the legal team consisting of Andre Jacobs and Carrington Keys who, according to onlookers, did a fantastic job of representing themselves, Attorney Michael Wiseman who was invaluable as counsel for Duane Peters as well as standby counsel for Carrington Keys, and Mary Deady also invaluable as standby counsel for Andre Jacobs.
Supporters say their view is the judge was fair and vow to continue their fight against the abuse that the prisoners sought to expose, as well as to protest the waste of taxpayer money prosecuting the men instead of investigating the abuse.
Attorney Michael Wiseman, Mr Keys' mother Shandre Delaney, and other family members as well as supporters are available for interviews about the Dallas 6 case.
Who are the Dallas 6?
On April 29, 2010 six courageous African American prisoner whistleblowers and jailhouse lawyers at SCI Dallas staged a peaceful protest against the widespread abuse, violence and torture by guards against Black, Latino and white prisoners which they had documented and took a stand against, with the support of Human Rights Coalition.
The abuse they documented included: beatings; mental abuse; foreign objects in food such glass, metal, feces, spit, semen and urine; mail and legal document tampering; deprivation of human contact; withholding medication; starvation and cutting off water; and coerced suicide.
When they covered their cell doors and windows in non-violent protest, prison authorities responded with vicious so-called "cell extractions" and four months later charged them with "rioting" after the criminal complaints they had filed were publicized.
Reports from each day of the trial can be found on the Dallas 6 webpage:
Justice for the Dallas 6 Support Campaign member organizations :
Abolitionist Law Center; Every Mother is a Working Mother Network; Fight for Lifers West; Germantown Friends Meeting Mass Incarceration Working Group; Global Women's Strike & Women of Color@GWS - US; Human Rights Coalition / Fed Up; Human Rights Coalition - Philadelphia; Marcellus Shale Earth First; Mishkan Shalom New Jim Crow Study-Action Group; Payday men's network; Peacehome Campaigns; Shalefield Organizing Committee.
Endorsements: Art for Justice; Brandywine Peace Community; California Families Against Solitary Confinement (CFASC); The Center for Returning Citizens (TCRC); Decarcerate PA; Defending Dissent Foundation; Global Women's Strike & Women of Color@GWS - UK; Green Party of Philadelphia (GPOP); Human Rights Defense Center - Lake Worth, Florida; Jewish Voice For
Peace - Philadelphia; People?s Opposition to War Imperialism and Racism (POWIR) - Hollywood, Florida; Philadelphia Coalition for REAL Justice; San Francisco Bay View newspaper; Sin Barras / Without (Prison) Bars -Santa Cruz; T'ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights; WHAT'S UP?! Pittsburgh; Welfare Warriors; Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) - Philadelphia.
Individual Endorsements: Pam Africa, International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal; Patrice Armstead, Building People's Power and Coalition Demanding Reinstatement
of Dr. Monteiro; Malik Aziz, Founder, Men United for a Better Philadelphia and Chairman, National Exhoodus Council; Pastor Antoinette Johnson, King Solomon Baptist Church; Dr. Anthony Monteiro; Rev. Bob Moore, Executive Director, Coalition for Peace Action (for id purposes
only); Margaret Prescod, host of "Sojourner Truth" on Pacifica Radio; Dr. Heather Ann Thompson, Professor of African American Studies & History, Temple University; Dr. Cornel West, Princeton University; Dr. Carla Willard, Africana Studies Program, Franklin & Marshall College.
Partnering with: AFSC Prison Watch.
* "Nato protester's prison term extended for throwing human waste at guard; Jared Chase, who was imprisoned on charges related to a Nato protest, has Huntington’s disease and experts say he deserves treatment not punishment" (2016-04-14, theguardian.com) [archive.is/T9Gg5], photo caption: Jared Chase said in a letter that he acted out when he does not receive the special diet or vitamins prescribed for his disease. Photograph: Illinois department of corrections
* "Clemency for my brother: Life in Prison for a Nonviolent Crime is Unjust" petition [http://is.gd/Smp2rg]:
My brother, Tim Prosser, and I grew up in a large family with seven other siblings, in a neighborhood where friends became family, and family was forever. Sounds rather idyllic in this day and age, and looking back, I suppose it was. Our lives revolved around our church, school and nearby golf course that provided a true country feel right in the midst of North St. Louis County. We spent winters sleigh riding and ice skating, and summer and fall playing soccer, soccer, and more soccer! The great outdoors, for us, was pure freedom. Freedom that my brother lost when he made a mistake and ended up in prison.
We are seeking justice for Tim by petitioning Governor Jeremiah Nixon and requesting clemency for my brother, who is serving one of the harshest sentences for a first-time drug offender in the history of the state of Missouri. Please sign our petition and help get my brother out of this inhumane sentence. Life without the possibility of parole for a nonviolent drug offense is cruelty, not justice.
For the past thirteen years, Tim has witnessed the release of child molesters, rapists, and convicted murderers, all while knowing his fate is sealed deep within the prison walls. Even the prosecuting attorney in Tim's case has had a change of heart and has written a letter to the Governor requesting clemency for Tim, a clear indication that the severity of his sentence is unjustly punitive.
Tim has been a model prisoner: he has maintained his status in the Prison Honor House for seven years, and has been a trainer for the Puppies for Parole Program since it began. All of the dogs he's trained have been adopted, and have left rescue shelters for forever homes. Our ultimate goal is for Tim to realize this same destiny, and to one day come home!
My fear is that Tim will never know freedom again. But my hope is that you will help me secure his release. Please help us encourage Gov. Nixon to grant my brother clemency and put an end to this unfair sentence. Sign and share this petition.
Thank you and many blessings to you and your family.
articles recommended by the
SAN PABLO BAY ECOLOGICAL PRESERVATION ASSOCIATION
Campaigns, info, and more [SanPabloBayEPA.blogspot.com]. Science [discardstudies.com]
* "Metropolitan Water District's Delta Islands Purchase Challenged by Lawsuit" (2016-04-14, by Dan Bacher, Indybay.org Newswire) [archive.is/pXaKn] [begin excerpt]: At the noon rally, Adam Scow, the California Director of Food and Water Watch, said, "People need to understand that MWD is not acting in the best interest of Southern Californians - it is only furthering their position as a water broker to import water to cities and utilities. In fact, the Cities of Los Angeles and Santa Monica both voted against the deal."
The plaintiffs allege that MWD's controversial land purchase is part of an attempt to divert more water from the Delta for the district's use - and that the environmental impacts resulting from that activity would be “significant” and outside any exemption from CEQA. [end excerpt]
* "Napa voters to help decide Bay Area wetlands tax" (2016-04-18, napavalleyregister.com) [archive.is/GoO7H] [begin excerpt]: Napa County Supervisor Keith Caldwell represents North Bay counties on the authority’s governing board. He sees merits to the proposed tax.
“People understand the bay is the lifeblood of all nine Bay Area counties,” Caldwell said. “The Napa River flows to the bay. Everyone has been impacted by the bay one way or another.”
People understand that having a healthy bay ecosystem requires having healthy wetlands, Caldwell said.
The Napa County Taxpayers Association opposes the measure. Jack Gray of the association said county residents have already paid for local river and wetlands restoration with the Napa River flood protection half-cent sales tax passed in 1998.
Voters neither directly created the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority nor elect its governing board, he said.
“This parcel tax is tax without any representation,” Gray said. “We (voters) were not included in the formation of this district.”
Gray is also disappointed that Napa voters don’t control their own tax destiny in this case. The measure needs a two-thirds vote to pass across the nine Bay Area counties. If the measure failed to garner support in Napa but passed in the Bay Area as a whole, Napans would still pay the parcel tax.
The San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority released a list of 100 sample projects that would be eligible for restoration grants, should the tax measure pass. Three are in Napa County.
South Napa County has already seen large wetlands restoration projects in recent years, such as the 10,000-acre Cargill salt ponds project near American Canyon. Caldwell said that money is tight to improve and manage these marshes and that the parcel tax could help fill this void. [end excerpt]
* "What drought? East Bay gated community orders homeowners to green up" (2016-04-19, bayareanewsgroup.com) [archive.is/ipBRK]
* "Watering Your Garden with City Water Injects Pharmaceuticals Into Your Veggies" (2016-04-14, by Steven Maxwell) [archive.is/0NFOT]
* "Assembly Committee “Prioritizes” State Funding For Destructive Dam Projects" (2016-04-13, by Steve Evans, The River Advocate Vol. 6 #3):
The Assembly Water, Parks, and Wildlife Committee today (4.12.16) approved a bill that prioritizes and expedites state funding for the controversial Temperance Flat Dam and Sites Reservoir. AB 1649 by Assembly Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield) establishes a new state policy that gives priority to the formation of local joint powers authorities (JPAs) pushing for the construction of new dams in the Sacramento and San Joaquin watersheds. The bill also states without any substantiating evidence that Sites and Temperance Flat will meet statewide goals and provide public benefits “to the greatest extent” than other surface and groundwater storage projects. The bill passed the committee on a bi-partisan vote.
The bill was opposed by Friends of the River, Sierra Club California, Clean Water Action, Planning and Conservation League, American Rivers, and the Winnemem Wintu Tribe. In its written testimony, Friends of the River noted, “there is currently no factual evidence that either the Temperance Flat Dam or the Sites Reservoir will meet statewide goals or provide public benefits.”
As a practical matter, legally required environmental reviews and feasibility reports are not yet completed on these projects. Moreover, draft and preliminary environmental and feasibility documents show that these projects will actually produce very little new water, will cost billions of dollars, and harm fish and wildlife and their habitat.
Of particular concern is the less than factual statement that Temperance Flat and Sites will provide the greatest extent of public benefits.
In fact, the Bureau of Reclamation’s claim that the Temperance Flat Dam on the San Joaquin River Gorge will benefit downstream salmon has been disputed by the federal EPA, California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife, and agencies involved in the San Joaquin River Restoration Project. In addition, the dam will flood nearly nine miles of river canyon recommended by the Bureau of Land Management for Wild & Scenic protection and more than 5,000 acres of public lands providing outdoor recreation and education for as much as 84,000 visitors annually.
Potential water supply and environmental benefits from the Sites Reservoir remain unquantified because the California Dept. of Water Resources has yet to release draft environmental impact and feasibility reports for this controversial project. Friends of the River is strongly concerned that water diversions from the Sacramento River to fill Sites Reservoir will harm the river’s riparian and aquatic habitats and the numerous threatened and endangered fish and wildlife species that depend on these habitats.
During the committee hearing, Assemblymember Susan Talamantes Eggman (D-Stockton) pointedly asked bill author Salas if AB 1649 basically picks “winners and losers” in regard to state funding from Proposition 1 for dam projects. Despite Mr. Salas’ denial, his bill does indeed prioritize and expedite state funding for Temperance Flat and Sites over less egregious surface storage projects like the proposed expansion of the Los Vaqueros and San Luis Reservoirs, or even more environmentally friendly groundwater storage projects.
What You Can Do:
Send an email to your Assemblymember TODAY, urging him or her to reject AB 1649 when it comes for a vote on the Assembly floor. Click here to send your email opposing AB 1649. For more information concerning AB 1649, please contact Steve Evans at (916) 708-3155, email: email@example.com.
* "EPA: Gumshoes’ depleted ranks worry former enforcers" (2016-04-12, eenews.net) [archive.is/jnt35] [begin excerpt]: U.S. EPA's former top cop is worried about the agency's ability to catch lawbreakers.
Budget cuts and staff reductions have chiseled away at the agency's workforce in recent years, leaving EPA's criminal enforcement program with fewer cops to track down crooks who dump hazardous waste, illegally spew air pollution and commit other environmental crimes.
Even as the agency has pushed to staff back up, the criminal program hasn't gotten the necessary support from top agency officials, said Doug Parker, who left his post last week as director of EPA's Criminal Investigation Division after two decades working on criminal enforcement.
The enforcement program Parker left last week is very different from the one he joined when he became a special agent in 1993, he said in a recent interview. The ranks of special agents -- EPA's "boots on the ground" -- have been depleted to nearly an all-time low.
The staffing depletion could have big consequences for the environment and the public, he said.
"EPA's criminal enforcement program is the only law enforcement organization that spans the country that focuses on environmental crime and the serious public health impacts that arise from it," said Parker, who starts next week at the law and consulting firm Earth & Water Group.
The agency now has 159 special agents despite a congressional mandate that EPA have 200 working cops. The staffing decline has come amid broader budget and staffing cuts; EPA's total staff dipped below 16,000 in fiscal 2013 and 2014, plummeting to its lowest levels since 1989.
But "as the agency has begun to hire back up in the last year," Parker said, there hasn't "been a focus on front-line enforcement agents" like special agents and inspectors. Instead, he said, it has hired more people in the policy realm, like attorneys and policy analysts. During a hiring surge by EPA this year, the enforcement and compliance office brought on 17 headquarters-based attorneys and just three new special agents, he said.
"Lawyers are more efficient to hire" than law enforcement and technical agents, he said, "but that doesn't mean it makes the most sense to do that."
Those policy staffers aren't "on the ground dealing with catastrophic explosions, people who have been harmed, facilities that need to be inspected or emergency responses," Parker said. He compared it to the Army hiring "people to staff the Pentagon" versus "people who are going to be on the front line."
At the root of the hiring problem, Parker said, is "tepid support at the political level" at EPA for criminal enforcement. "Criminal enforcement hasn't found the level of political support that it needs to be at the level that it needs to be for the American public." [end excerpt]
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].
* "Seattle, Olympia to be Sprayed With Bacteria Used For GMO Genetics (Bt): to Treat Moths" (2016-04-16, by Cassius Kamarampi) [archive.is/8Pw4o]
* "Victims of HPV Vaccine in Japan Will Sue State and Vaccine Makers" (2016-04-15, by Rishma Parpia, National Vaccine Information Center) [archive.is/aXs1G] [begin excerpt]:
Vaccine-Injured Victims Cannot Sue Vaccine Makers in the U.S -
Unlike in Japan where vaccine-injured victims can directly file a lawsuit against the state and the vaccine manufacturers, the judicial process in the U.S. for vaccine-injured victims of HPV and other government recommended or mandated vaccines is remarkably different, to say the least.
Under current U.S. federal law, no one can directly sue a vaccine manufacturer in civil court after a vaccine causes the injury or death of a minor child or adult.9 To understand how this came about, it is important to understand the historical context of this issue. [end excerpt]
* "Robert De Niro Challenges Media to Research CDC Vaccine Whistleblower" (2016-04-14, by Derrick Broze) [archive.is/BiPda]
* "3 Michigan officials charged over Flint water crisis as federal judge tosses $150mn lawsuit" (2016-04-20, rt.com) [archive.is/9D3Ek]
articles recommended by the
NO NUKES! campaign
[StopNuclearDeath.blogspot.com] [nuclear-news.net] [nukeresister.org] [nukefree.org]
* " ‘Catastrophic’: Up to 3,500 gallons of nuclear waste leak at Washington State storage site" (2016-04-19, rt.com) [archive.is/rxKXA]
* "Transformer fails, oil spills at Cook" (2016-04-10, heraldpalladium.com) [archive.is/6MOYU]: Crews are cleaning up oil at the Cook Nuclear Plant after 2,000 gallons overflowed a berm after a transformer failure, plant officials reported Saturday.
Plant spokesman Bill Schalk said there is no impact on production, the transmission grid or customers. Unit 1 is in a scheduled refueling outage and Unit 2 is continuing to produce at full capacity.
The large transformer, which failed Friday afternoon, is stationed between two transmission switchyards and holds 30,000 gallons of cooling oil, Schalk reported. Most of the spill was contained in the berm.
Cook Environmental Manager Jon Harner stated in the news release that none of the oil reached storm drains or Lake Michigan.
“We fully expect to recapture all of the oil and fully restore the area,” he said.
The Cook Fire Brigade, Indiana & Michigan Power Co. transmission workers and local fire departments monitored the transformer overnight as cleanup began, the plant reported. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and Berrien County Emergency Management was notified.
“There were a few fires that were quickly extinguished as the transformer drained and cooled,” plant officials stated in a news release.
What caused the transformer failure has not been determined, the plant reported.
* "Nuclear reactor fears after huge earthquake strikes Japan leaving 3 dead and hundreds hurt" (2016-04-14, mirror.co.uk) [archive.is/dlv7q]
* "Japan prepares for release of radioactive material from Fukushima plant" (2016-04-12, foxnews.com) [archive.is/jUdfW]
articles recommended by the
SAN PABLO BAY SOVEREIGNTY Think-tank
Individual people personally growing and distributing cannabis medicine without profit is a personal freedom, which is now being attacked in Santa Cruz County by monopolist cannabis growers!
* "Group Votes to Recommend Ban on Sale of Santa Cruz Home Grown Pot" (2016-04-10, from SLVnews.net, via Indybay.org Newswire) [archive.is/S0uqD], original [archive.is/jGtQG].
* "Enzyme discovery leads scientists further down path to pumping oil from plants" (2016-04-06, today.agrilife.org) [archive.is/d6ptR]
* "So long lithium, hello bacteria batteries? 'Microbial Rechargeable Battery: Energy Storage and Recovery through Acetate' " (2016-04-06, Environmental Science & Technology Letters, acs.org) [archive.is/Qyo5T]
* "Researchers generate clean energy using bacteria-powered solar panel" (2016-04-11, Binghamton University) [archive.is/zpi4R], photo caption: These are nine biological-solar (bio-solar) cells connected into a bio-solar panel. The panel has generated the most wattage of any existing small-scale bio-solar cells - 5.59 microwatts
articles recommended by the Committee for
Protect Earth's Sentient Life!
ANIMAL RIGHTS: Save the Whales!
* "Study links baby dolphin deaths to BP oil spill" (2016-04-12, AFP Newswire) [archive.is/lHLC4]
* "Taiwan fishing industry 'out of control': Greenpeace" (2016-04-14, AFP Newswire) [archive.is/Bl9iC]
UNITED STATES FASCISM WATCH
Documenting the process of fascism and for whom it benefits. [UnitedStatesFascism.blogspot.com] [exposefacts.org]
* "Goldman Sachs vs. Democracy Spring: America's Two-Tiered Justice System on Full Display" (2016-04-13, commondreams.org) [archive.is/Myj7S]
* "Five Big Banks Flunk Key Test, Proving They're Still 'Too Big To Fail' ; 'The goal to end too big to fail and protect the American taxpayer by ending bailouts remains just that: only a goal,' says federal regulator" (2016-04-13, commondreams.org) [archive.is/PGi9X]
* "Here’s another tax dodge for billionaires" (2016-04-11, finance.yahoo.com) [archive.is/tS1YC]. Whowhatwhy.org writes: States with low or no income taxes increasingly seem to be drawing 1 percenters from the finance industry. Unlike many types of work that must be done on-site, investing firms can be run from just about anywhere, as long as a major airport is nearby.
Capitalists fund the campaign for unrestricted illegal immigration and amnesty in order to destroy labor unions and to lower wages while creating a permanent under-class, disguised with "liberal" rhetoric designed to stifle dissent among workers against this process!
* "Local Anchor exposes 'Partnership for a New American Economy' " (2016-04-15, NumbersUSA) [archive.is/A9DDQ]
* "$3 Trillion Black Hole Could Destroy Economy: 'True Extent of Pension Problem Has Been Obscured' " (2016-04-12, by Mac Slavo) [archive.is/UqDSl]
* "Five Taxpayer-Supported Corporations that Paid Their CEOs More than Uncle Sam" (2016-04-15, commondreams.org) [archive.is/zl7Gw]
* "Illinois Judge Allows Anti-Choice Group to Continue Targeted Attack Campaign; An anti-choice group has launched what a lawsuit describes as a “campaign of harassment, intimidation, and invasion of privacy" in hopes of disrupting Planned Parenthood's operations" (2016-04-13, rewire.news) [archive.is/fTiu6]. Whowhatwhy.org writes: The group Created Equal can continue posting the graphic billboard of company Stericycle’s CEO and others next to an image of an ‘aborted child’ with the hashtag ‘Killers Among Us’, says an Illinois judge.The ruling comes despite Stericycle having no involvement with abortions or the procurement of fetal tissue.
* "UC Davis spent thousands to scrub pepper-spray references from Internet; UC Davis sought to eliminate negative search results for school and chancellor; Strategic communications budget soared during Katehi’s tenure; Students occupying area outside Katehi’s office call for her resignation" (2016-04-13, sacbee.com) [archive.is/deRWw]
* "UC Davis Spent $175,000 in an Attempt to Scrub This Story from the Internet; Documents reveal university contracted with firm to "clean up" the school's online reputation after November 2011 pepper-spraying of students" (2016-04-14, commondreams.org) [archive.is/sZiAI]
USA FASCISM: Military State
* "How Not to Audit the Pentagon; Five Decades Later, the Military Waste Machine Is Running Full Speed Ahead" (2016-04-10, by William D. Hartung, intro from tomdispatch.com) [archive.is/5ERyV]
* "Pentagon misled Congress to block sexual assault reform – report" (2016-04-19, rt.com) [archive.is/cN00f]
USA FASCISM: Two Party Dictatorship
* "2016: The Year Americans Found Out Our Elections Are Rigged" (2016-04-12, by Nick Bernabe) [archive.is/AjlAO]
* " ‘Good morning disenfranchisement’: New York primary tainted by voting irregularities" (2016-04-19, rt.com) [archive.is/Wooqp]
* "New York cares: Primaries marred by allegations of voter fraud, suppression" (2016-04-20, rt.com) [archive.is/zS228]
* " ‘Deeply troubled’: New York’s top lawyer investigates voting irregularities in primary" (2016-04-21, rt.com) [archive.is/WPorE]
* "Release of Clinton’s Wall Street Speeches Could End Her Candidacy for President" (2016-04-15, huffingtonpost.com) [archive.is/XiQDQ]
* "Democratic Debate: Clinton Dangerously Trumpets Obama’s Record" (2016-04-15, wallstreetonparade.com) [archive.is/Jnioz] [begin excerpt]: During the series of Democratic debates, including the one last night hosted by CNN, Hillary Clinton has repeatedly trumpeted the record of President Obama in signing tough legislation to rein in Wall Street abuses when questioned on her money spigot flowing from Wall Street. According to her logic, since Obama’s campaign and his Super Pacs took plenty of money from Wall Street and went ahead and enacted tough Dodd-Frank reform legislation, why should her integrity be questioned. [end excerpt]
* "Did Blacks Really Endorse the 1994 Crime Bill?" (2016-04-13, nytimes.com) [archive.is/V7ldP], a response to the Clintons' claim that while President Bill Clinton was in office, his policies benefited and were popular among the New African people of the USA... a fabrication evident to anyone who remembers the 1990s.
* "Hillary Clinton on Donald Trump: 'Everyone Sees This Bigotry for What It Is' " (2016-04-13, abcnews.go.com) [archive.is/LE8sA]
* "If You Think Voter ID Is About Voter Fraud, This Republican Congressman Has News For You" (2016-04-06, thinkprogress.org) [http://is.gd/HEDFhM] [begin excerpt]: The voter ID bill signed into law by Republican Gov. Scott Walker is a solution in search of a problem, as study after study shows voter fraud isn’t a real issue in Wisconsin or elsewhere. But as another recent paper indicates, voter ID laws do have one benefit, at least for Republicans — suppressing reliably Democratic votes.
During an interview with a local TV station yesterday, Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-WI) admitted as much. Asked by a reporter why he thinks Ted Cruz or Donald Trump can become the first Republican to carry Wisconsin in a presidential election since 1984, Grothman said, “Now we have photo ID, and I think photo ID is gonna make a little bit of a difference.”
There’s truth to Grothman’s statement, even if he didn’t mean to be so direct about it. The aforementioned paper shows that by making it more difficult for minorities to vote, voter ID benefits Republicans.
“Democratic turnout drops by an estimated 8.8 percentage points in general elections when strict photo identification laws are in place,” compared to just 3.6 percentage points for Republicans, researchers from the University of California, San Diego write.
Even worse for the left is the impact on such laws on who turns out.
“For strong liberals the estimated drop in turnout in strict photo identification states is an alarming 7.9 percentage points,” researchers found. “By contrast, strong conservatives actually vote at a slightly higher rate — 4.8 points — in strict ID states, all else equal.” [end excerpt]
* "Trump campaign manager will not be prosecuted, sources say; Reporter who accused Corey Lewandowski of battery may still pursue defamation case" (2016-04-13, politico.com) [archive.is/wojnG]
* "The GOP 'should be ashamed of themselves for allowing this kind of c**p to happen,' Trump booms as he renews attacks over Republican delegate 'dirty tricks' ; Donald Trump spoke to 5,000 people in an upstate New York rally planned less than 24 hours earlier; Hammered the Republican party as 'dirty tricksters' for allowing Colorado's 34 convention delegates to be handed to Ted Cruz without citizen voting; 'They took the votes away from the people in Colorado,' Trump boomed; 'people are burning up their Republican cards because they want a vote' ; Also slammed Hillary Clinton as a liar and recalled her cattle-futures and whitewater scandals from the 1990s" (2016-04-13, dailymail.co.uk) [archive.is/qiE7J]
* "Let Me Ask America a Question: How has the ‘system’ been working out for you and your family? No wonder voters demand change" (2016-04-14, by Donald J. Trump via wsj.com) [archive.is/TVFtB] [begin excerpt]: The only antidote to decades of ruinous rule by a small handful of elites is a bold infusion of popular will. On every major issue affecting this country, the people are right and the governing elite are wrong. The elites are wrong on taxes, on the size of government, on trade, on immigration, on foreign policy.
Why should we trust the people who have made every wrong decision to substitute their will for America’s will in this presidential election? [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]
* "Only 6% of Americans trust the media – survey" (2016-04-18, rt.com) [archive.is/OdlBA]
* "The Fed Sends a Frightening Letter to JPMorgan and Corporate Media Yawns" (2016-04-14, wallstreetonparade.com) [archive.is/PGhp8]
* "Superdelegates should not be included when reporting on election results on CNN" (retrieved 2016-04-17, pac.petitions.moveon.org) [archive.is/kfExv]: Superdelegates are not determined through the election process and should not be included in delegate counts reported during election coverage. Superdelegates may, and have been known to, change which candidate they support, often based on the popular vote. This practice is misleading, especially to less informed viewers.
USA FASCISM: Artificial Poverty and Starvation
* "The gender pay gap: In California, it adds up to $39 billion" (2016-04-13, latimes.com) [archive.is/re66H] [begin excerpt]: A woman who works full time in California makes a median of $42,486, compared with a median salary of $50,539 for a man, according to an analysis of Census Bureau data conducted by the National Partnership for Women and Families, an advocacy group.
That makes for a difference of about $8,000 per year, or the average cost of six months of rent in the state.
Latina women are further behind — they earn just 43 cents for every dollar earned by a white man in California. Black women earn 63 cents, and Asian women earn 72 cents.
In total, women in the state would earn $38.8 billion more per year if their pay were in line with men.
Most of the pay gap amounts to an occupation gap: Women tend to go into fields where salaries are lower and perform jobs that pay less.
That’s a key takeaway from a January study by two Cornell economists, Francine Blau and Lawrence Kahn, published by the National Bureau of Economic Research. They found that 51% of the difference in the compensation of women and men is related to the fact that female workers are more concentrated in underpaid sectors, like nursing or education, and in lower-level roles.
Women have managed to overtake men in education and almost completely catch up in experience over the past three decades. But the divide in the types of careers women and men gravitate toward still persists, and seems to hold back women's pay. [end excerpt]
* "GOP attack on Lifeline budget will hurt Oakland’s poor & millions more; The Republicans are scheming to cut off phone service to millions of the poor, elderly, and disabled by attacking the Universal Lifeline Program with H.R.4884" (2016-04-13, by Lynda Carson, Indybay.org Newswire) [archive.is/ny7ED]
* "ACLU Sues Over Failing Public Defense System in Fresno County, California; Tens of Thousands Go Without Legal Representation that the Constitution Guarantees" (2015-07-15, aclunc.org) [http://is.gd/9CsmCY]
* "Constitutional Fail: Fresno County's Public Defense System is Broken" (2016-07-21, aclunc.org) [http://is.gd/n19anz]
* "Fresno Ruling: California Can’t Get Away With Not Paying for Public Defenders" (2016-04-12, aclunc.org) [http://is.gd/X3TLmq]
* "Phillips v. State of California (Fresno Public Defense)" (2016-04-13, aclunc.org) [http://is.gd/2wrdNH]
* "A disproportionate share of blacks and Latinos lose their driver's licenses because of unpaid tickets, study finds" (2016-04-11, latimes.com) [archive.is/w16PM] [begin excerpt]: African Americans and Latinos in California are more likely than others to lose their driver's licenses because of unpaid tickets and then to be arrested for driving with suspended licenses, according to a report released Monday.
The report, by the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, examined U.S. Census Bureau data, records from the California Department of Motor Vehicles and information from 15 police and sheriff's departments in the state to document by race the impact of unpaid traffic fines.
"Individuals who cannot afford to pay an infraction citation are being arrested, jailed and prosecuted, and are losing their licenses and their livelihoods," the report said. "The communities impacted by these policies are disproportionately communities of color." [...]
In Los Angeles County, black people make up 9.2% of the population but accounted for 33% of those arrested for driving with a suspended license from September 2013 to September 2015, the report said.
Whites represent 26.8% the county but accounted for only 14.8% of those arrested at that time for driving with a suspended license. During that time, 85% of 20,000 people arrested by the L.A. County Sheriff's Department for driving with suspended licenses were black and Latino, according to the report.
In San Francisco, 5.8% of the population is black, but 48.7% of those arrested for traffic warrants in 2014 and 2015 were African American. Whites make up 41.2% of the city's population but accounted for only 22.7% of the arrests, according to the lawyers' group. [...]
Kacey Campbell, 34, an African American disabled veteran, was among the millions of Californians who lost his license because of traffic debt. A ticket issued in Compton in 2006 for failing to wear a seat belt was followed by a ticket in Los Angeles for driving with a suspended license. The fines eventually ballooned to $5,000, and Campbell didn't have a license for about eight years.
Campbell said in an interview that he tried to resolve the tickets at L.A. County Superior Court. "The best I came out with was 800 hours of community service and a $200 fine," he said.
At the time, he and his family were living in a homeless shelter, he was receiving therapy for post traumatic stress disorder and his disabled premature daughter was in the hospital, he said. He did not do the community service.
A few weeks later he saw a flier from A New Way of Life, a nonprofit group that provides services to low-income residents in South Los Angeles, and called for help. A lawyer for the group managed to have his tickets and fines dismissed, he said.
"If a lawyer is present to represent you, they know you are serious, and they know the lawyer knows the law," said Campbell, who earns a living as a gardener and musician and now lives in Palmdale. "They just can't slam you like they would a regular individual." [end excerpt]
WORLD FASCISM WATCH
Documenting the global economic dictatorship
* "Capitalism & Other Kids' Stuff" (51 minutes, worldsocialism.org) [youtube.com/watch?v=1kWM6JZUjv8]: In April 2005 on World Poverty Day it was estimated that at least 30,000 children were dying each day as a result of the poverty they endured. On that same day a new Pope was crowned and hundreds of thousands of people came from around the globe to see the event in Rome. Millions saw it on TV. The cameras did not show any of the 30,000 children that died that day. How is it that the world can be more interested in seeing a new Pope crowned than it is in the death of 30,000 children, every day?
"Capitalism & Other Kids' Stuff" tries to find answers to questions about why we live the way we do and possible alternatives.
* "Panama Papers Offer More Evidence That Free Trade Isn’t Really Free; As much as President Clinton and President Obama like to talk about "free trade" deals, the truth is that the working class ends up paying" (2016-04-13, commondreams.org) [archive.is/dejxV]
* "$1,400,000,000,000: Oxfam Exposes the Great Offshore Tax Scam of US Companies; 'We can't go on with a situation where the rich and powerful are not paying their fair share of tax, leaving the rest of us to foot the bill' " (2016-04-14, commondreams.org) [archive.is/FveI2]
* "Wealth doesn't trickle down – it just floods offshore, research reveals; A far-reaching new study suggests a staggering $21tn in assets has been lost to global tax havens. If taxed, that could have been enough to put parts of Africa back on its feet – and even solve the euro crisis" (2012-07-21, theguardian.com) [archive.is/o8nbV]
* " 'Seriously Sinister': Foremost Bank Whistleblower Says CIA Behind Panama Papers; Former UBS banker questions why all the names that have surfaced from tax evasion leak 'are the direct quote-unquote enemies of the United States' " (2016-04-13, commondreams.org) [archive.is/SWKfQ]
* "US, Canada & Ukraine vote against Russia’s anti-Nazism resolution at UN" (2014-11-22, rt.com) [archive.is/6Qy9H]
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]
* "Police discover ‘baby farm’ in India where newborns are sold for $1,500" (2016-04-18, rt.com) [archive.is/dQF0W]
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].
* "We’re speeding toward a climate change catastrophe — and that makes 2016 the most important election in a generation; How the U.S. confronts climate change will shape the world for generations; neither Clinton nor Trump seems to care" (2016-04-10, salon.com) [archive.is/xre6C]
* "Vindication: Protesters Who 'Put Arms Trade on Trial' Acquitted; 'We invite you to question why it is us—and not the war makers and profiteers—that are on trial', protesters had said" (2016-04-15, commondreams.org) [archive.is/ZAUeA]
Activists at the SHUT DOWN CREECH action at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada, a major site for the operation of weaponized US drones. Eight were arrested on March 31st, 2016.
photos from 2016 Shut Down Creech Action can be seen at:
- "Shut Down Creech" photos essay (via pjcsonoma.org) [archive.is/mHLB4]
- "Drone Whistleblowers Seminar at UNLV" (2016-03-31, via pjcsonoma.org) [archive.is/TDI6h]
- "Day of Action" (2016-04-02, pjcsonoma.org) [archive.is/zdHKo]
Save the Date April 30th for Documentary "Drone"
the Reel Work Labor Film Festival, in conjunction with
Bill Motto VFW Post 5888, the “Post for Peace”
and Veterans for Peace - Chapter 11, Santa Cruz
America’s Drone Program: the Dark Realities of Modern Warfare
a showing of the film “DRONE", directed by Norwegian filmmaker Tonje Hessen Schei, 2014
followed by guest speaker, Ray McGovern, former CIA analyst for 27 years, turned whistleblower and peace advocate!
Saturday April 30th, 7-9:30PM
Veterans Memorial Building, downtown Santa Cruz (located next to the Post Office)
“DRONE" attempts to tell the truth about the USA/CIA drone war on “terror," the largest targeted assassination program in history, often gone awry.
It features interviews with:
- People living under drones in Pakistan
- Families of innocent civilian victims
- Former drone pilots turned whistleblowers, their moral struggles, and PTSD
- Activists standing up to confront this dark, closeted, and illegal warfare
more info about the film available at [archive.is/lDk8h].
more info here from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism about the actual effects of the Drone Program being waged in our name and with our dollars [archive.is/t9wup].
Featured guest speaker Ray McGovern is a former army intelligence officer who then joined the CIA and worked there for 27 years. He provided morning security briefings to 4 US presidents, from John F. Kennedy to George H. W. Bush.
Since retiring, he has embraced a path of advocacy for truth-telling and peace.
In January 2003, Ray helped create Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) to expose the way intelligence was being falsified to ”justify” war on Iraq and continued to advocate against a war sold to the world with lies.
On March 2, 2006, as an act of conscience after the revelations of torture at Abu Ghraib in Iraq, Ray returned the Intelligence Commendation Medallion given him at retirement for "especially meritorious service”, explaining, "I do not want to be associated, however remotely, with an agency engaged in torture."
Involved in many protests and vigils all over the country, he is currently awaiting trial for a civil disobedience action at Hancock Air Force Base in Syracuse, NY, as part of the "Jerry Berrigan Hancock 12". Hancock AFB is one of the major sites in the USA from which weaponized drones are operated all over the world.
Also a teacher at various colleges, Ray currently teaches a course at the Servant Leadership School titled "On the Morality of Whistleblowing.”
for more info on Ray [raymcgovern.com].
this event is also being co-sponsored by;
- the Romero Institute
- ACLU of Santa Cruz
- Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom of SC
- Peace and Freedom Party, SC
- Food Not Bombs
- CodePINK SC
- People United for Peace of SC County
a schedule for the full Reel Work Labor Film Festival 2016 can be found at [reelwork.org].
* "Innocent Man Begs America to Stop Trying to Murder Him with Drone Strikes" (2016-04-14, by Michaela Whitton) [archive.is/IJV5E]
* "Pentagon wants drones to replace some US troops in Sinai" (2016-04-12, AFP Newswire) [archive.is/TxyMu]
* "This is why the Navy didn't shoot down Russian jets" (2016-04-15, navytimes.com) [archive.is/rd5O6]
* [archive.is/MLI27]: There has been lot of complaining today about a Russian plane flying "dangerously close" to a US ship. So I've made a helpful diagram just for you.
* "Putin: Space Important Field for Russia-US Cooperation Despite Differences; The space industry is an important field for cooperation between Russia and the United States, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday" (2016-04-12, sputniknews.com) [archive.is/TQhQQ]
* "First Joint EU-Russian ExoMars Mission to Reach Mars Orbit October 16; The ExoMars spacecraft, the first ever Russia-EU project on the search of life on Mars, will reach the Red Planet's orbit on October 16" (2016-04-11, sputniknews.com) [archive.is/USWRx]
* "Defending Attack on Libya, Clinton Blames Obama—And Suggests Repeat for Syria; Former secretary of state mounts questionable defense of disastrous intervention in Libya during Democratic debate" (2016-04-15, commondreams.org) [archive.is/LJz1d]
* " 'The suffering is staggering': 6 Yemeni children killed or wounded daily in U.S.-backed Saudi war; millions face catastrophe UN report warns the violence and torment Yemen's youth endure amid 1 year of Saudi bombing 'shatters their world' " (2016-03-31, salon.com) [archive.is/WDmDZ]
* "UK private military firm hired ex-child soldiers from Sierra Leone for Iraq ops" (2016-04-18, rt.com) [archive.is/eQdMV]
* "Emergency Appeal on Behalf of Human Rights Activists in Odessa, Ukraine" (2016-04-17, United National Antiwar Coalition UNAC):
It’s been nearly two years since the world was shocked by reports of the deaths of scores of pro-democracy activists at the hands of extreme right-wing forces in the city of Odessa, Ukraine.
It was barely three months after a violent, right-wing coup overthrew the elected Ukrainian government. The activists had set up a tent city in Odessa’s historic Kulikovo Square to publicize their demand for a national referendum to decide the legitimacy of the coup.
On May 2, a large mob led by organized fascist groups set fire to the camp, forcing the activists to retreat into the nearby five-story House of Trade Unions. The building was then set on fire. Many died of smoke inhalation or were burned alive. Some jumped to their deaths. Some of those attempting to flee the building were shot or beaten to death. One pregnant woman was strangled. At least 46 activists were killed and many more were injured. (You can find many Internet videos. A good overview is here: [youtube.com/watch?v=yflMScowPfk])
Every week since the massacre, family members, friends and supporters, organized as the Mothers Committee for May 2, have held memorials in Kulikovo Square. These memorials are often harassed by the same or similar right-wing thugs, many of whom belong to neo-Nazi organizations.
The Mothers Committee is now planning a large memorial for this May 2 to mark the second anniversary of the massacre. The fascist organizations have publicly declared that they will not allow the memorial to take place.
In response to this very serious situation, and in consultation with our contacts in Odessa, UNAC is working to re-focus the world’s attention on Odessa, in the hope that this might help convince the U.S. and Ukrainian governments that allowing an attack on the memorial would not be in their best interests.
As part of this effort, UNAC will be sending a delegation of U.S. human rights activists to Odessa to monitor the memorial. We also sent a statement to the United Nations Human Rights Committee endorsing the call by the Mothers Committee for an international investigation into the 2014 massacre. Significantly, one of the leading fascist organizations, called Maidan, has formally asked the U.N. to deny this request.
YOU CAN HELP!
We have drawn up a statement calling on the city government of Odessa, the federal government of Ukraine and the U.S. government to ensure that the civic rights of those attending the May 2 memorial, including the U.S. monitors, are respected (see statement below). The statement also again endorses the Mothers Committee's call for an international investigation into the events of May 2, 2014.
We are now appealing to human rights and progressive organizations and prominent individuals to sign on to this statement. We are asking you to help with this effort. Please send endorsements to: [UNACpeace@)gmail.com] or click here to add your name: [unacpeace.org/ukrainepetition.html]
TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE!
In order to be effective, we will need to send the statement to the Odessa, Ukrainian and U.S. authorities as soon as possible. At the same time, we will be releasing the statement to the world media.
We know that all of us are busy with many responsibilities and campaigns and that it’s difficult to take on new and unexpected tasks, especially ones that are not within our regular agendas.
We appeal to you to make an exception in this case. The lives of good, progressive people are at stake. The family members in the Mothers Committee are committed to holding their memorial. The fascist groups are committed to stopping it. UNAC believes that focusing the world’s attention on Odessa can help.
Please support this effort.
* Statement in support of the May 2 memorial to be held in Odessa, Ukraine, and for a United Nations investigation into the tragic events of May 2, 2014:
On May 2, 2016, a memorial will be held in Odessa, Ukraine, to honor the memory of scores of pro-democracy activists who were brutally murdered on that date in Odessa two years ago.
There is no reason for the City authorities to forbid a peaceful memorial, but right-wing radicals - some of whom are believed to have been involved in the events of 2014 - have declared that they will not allow it to proceed.
The tragedy of Odessa and the continuing danger of right-wing violence in that beautiful city is of growing concern to decent-minded people around the world.
Therefore, we the undersigned representatives of human rights organizations in the United States and other countries hereby call on the governments of Odessa, Ukraine and the United States to ensure that the civic rights of those attending the May 2 memorial in Odessa will be respected, including the delegations of international monitors who will be present on that day.
We further respectfully appeal to the United Nations Human Rights Committee to initiate an international investigation into the events of May 2, 2014, as requested by family members, friends and supporters of those who died on that day.
According to widely published reports, protesters opposed to the February 2014 coup that overthrew Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych had set up a symbolic tent city in Odessa’s Kulikovo Square, in front of the five-story House of Trade Unions. On May 2, right-wing soccer fans, whipped up by pro-coup activists, attacked and burned the tent city, driving the much smaller group of protesters into the union building. The mob then set the building on fire. At least 46 people died from burns, smoke inhalation, gunfire and beatings. Many more were wounded. It was the worst case of violence in Odessa in many decades.
Ever since the massacre, representatives of the families of those who died have held weekly vigils to honor the memory of their loved ones. Many of these memorials have been harassed by pro-coup groups. As recently as April 10, a large gathering of people celebrating the liberation of Odessa from Nazi occupation was attacked by right-wing thugs. These same forces are now are threatening to physically prevent the second May 2 anniversary memorial from taking place.
At a formal meeting of the U.N. Human Rights Committee held on March 21 in Geneva, family members and their supporters asked the committee to initiate a long-overdue impartial investigation into the events of May 2, 2014. For their part, the pro-coup forces are expressing their opposition to such an investigation. This contradiction alone should make clear which side wants the truth to be revealed and which side wants it to remain hidden.
Again, we call on the United Nations to initiate the requested investigation. And we call on the governments of Odessa, Ukraine and the United States to ensure that the civic rights of those attending the May 2 memorial in Odessa are respected.
[Names of endorsing organizations & individuals here.]
Please click here to sign this statement [unacpeace.org/ukrainepetition.html].
This statement was initiated by the United National Antiwar Coalition (www.UNACpeace.org), a broad coalition of peace and justice organizations in the United States. UNAC encourages the circulation of this petition among human rights organizations all over the world. Please send all new endorsements to:
UNAC, PO Box 123, Delmar, NY 12054 USA; Email: UNACpeace@gmail.com
Weapons for a New World Order
* "Airbus Defence and Space wins contract for Solid State Recorder to fly on NASA-ISRO SAR Mission (NISAR)" (2016-04-12, airbusdefenceandspace.com) [archive.is/6qdqv]
* "NASA selects Pluto Orbiter, Extreme Environments Rover and 11 other pioneering technologies for development" (2016-04-11, nasa.gov) [archive.is/k9uSH] [begin excerpt]: NASA has selected 13 proposals through NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC), a program that invests in transformative architectures through the development of pioneering technologies.
Among the selected are: a concept for reprogramming microorganisms that could use the Martian environment to recycle and print electronics; a two-dimensional spacecraft with ultra-thin subsystems that may wrap around space debris to enable de-orbiting; and a method of computational imaging that leverages extrasolar intensity fluctuations to detect “echoes” from planets and other structures orbiting a distant star. [end excerpt]
* "A US Department of Space" (2016-04-14, by Madhu Thangavelu, SpaceDaily.com) [archive.is/pmmTI]:
Perhaps now is the time for aspiring candidates for the highest office to start painting bold visions for America's future, to consider a US Department of Space that can play a vital role both in the domestic and in the international policy of our nation. Besides helping to build up infrastructure of friendly nations, align the projects and goals of various spacefaring nations, assist in global space projects like space based solar power or building a planetary defense system to thwart potentially hazardous asteroids and comets, creating and running international manned missions to Mars, orbital space debris mitigation and monitoring and tackling various aspects of climate change, a Department of Space would also help to coordinate the activities of private fledging space companies here in America, that have a history of being squashed by NASA trying to protect the agency's own charter and monopoly.
A range of options available to the next administration include asking NASA to play the role of global coordinator at one end to proposing a completely new organization and charter for space activity on the other. NASA could, in theory, create a new division to coordinate such activity, evolving and extending the ISS model of international collaboration, but such activity would clearly distract resources and personnel from NASA's leading-edge space technology and mission charter, and detract from the agency's core competence. The creation of a US Department of Space might however help to balance these two poles, and perhaps even play a catalytic role. And the private space sector could use a moderating, synergizing body between it and the government space sector.
Even before the imminent arrival of routine suborbital space tourism flights by Virgin Galactic, the FAA is involved, studying the potential impact and safety on airline traffic. As commercial space flight comes of age, we can expect the Dept. of Commerce, NOAA and OSHA to become important players as well. And the State Department has already played a notoriously myopic role in suppressing space commerce and setting a highly lucrative industry back for decades under the ITAR / MTCR pretext.
Global projects are different in mission and scope than national projects. Space projects like planetary defense, space based solar power platforms and orbital debris mitigation impact all people around the globe, and so such projects need a different kind of administration and charter. A world space organization along the lines of other UN agencies may be hard to evolve from the existing charter of the UN Office of Outer Space Affairs(OOSA).
NASA has a history of being told to do too much with too little for too long and may not be able to handle all these auxiliary functions that will be thrust upon it soon without radical changes to the agency's charter. It is perhaps better for the agency to stay close to its original charter, as the administrator Mr.Bolden has indicated, and provide leadership in its area of core competence; high risk technology development and deep space, endurance-class manned missions to destinations beyond Earth orbit, to the Moon, Mars and asteroids.
A Department of Space must not be misconstrued as a threat by Congress or the administration as a way to break up NASA or split up its already stretched budget. Nor should it be portrayed as a stealthy effort by the US Department of Defense trying to exert influence globally.
An USC team project from 2011 had presented a case that the Department of Space should operate at a budget level of some 60B dollars, consistent with other departments, of which NASA should have $20B to build, test and fly daring, leading-edge technology missions into deep space. The remaining $40B is suggested for the Dept. of Space that will then handle all the coordination functions between large global space infrastructure development projects, NASA and other partner nation agencies and the private sector.
Government and private space activities are both necessary to keep the space industry in good competitive shape. Just as the Human Genome Project was accelerated by Celera Genomics, a small biotech company, large government sponsored space programs can benefit from small space companies, acting as catalysts for quick results.
To quote president Lincoln, "Government should do for the people what they cannot do better for themselves", and laying down the framework for large space projects, like other public works for the common good, fall under this category. Large space infrastructure development projects cannot be initiated or created by private investors alone. Space solar power or orbital debris mitigation, fuel depots or interplanetary missions or even large space based observatories, all remain the domain of NASA and the government. However, building components and servicing these large systems, once put in place, could be a healthy sector for private space company participation.
The International Space Station (ISS) could be better managed by a separate organization modeled after the old Intelsat structure or similar, and space companies, especially these small and agile ones that produce at very high efficiency should be nurtured to support ISS operations, relieving NASA to accelerate the agency's cutting-edge goals. The role of the Dept. of Space must be one of coordination between government, international and private space activity. Can NASA aspire to change its deeply ingrained culture and become such an entity ? If we look at the history of failed private space efforts, the answer is no.
Should the 21st century creation and maintenance of National Security Infrastructure depend on DoD obsolete practices and a few established sole source suppliers, or should it be spread out over a much larger and more competitive commercial sector including small business ? If government civil jobs protection is the goal, then we might stay with status quo(though it appears clearly unsustainable), but if true jobs expansion is what we seek, then we might want a much more vigorous overhaul that includes private sector at the core of all formulation plans. Put into effect under the former Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, it is good to see that this transition is already in progress, reshaping procurement and administration procedures, across all DoD units.
Human space activity remains a special arena of human endeavor that is able to bring the finest minds of diverse friendly nations together in peaceful projects of progressive development. Spacefaring nations that once aimed their nuclear arsenals at each other have now joined forces to support the buildup and operations of International space Station. The next stage in this development is handing over the reins to global commerce and economic development. It is good to see this happening as private space companies like Spacex and Orbital Sciences start to service the global space infrastructure, starting with the ISS.
We might do well to pay attention to the fact that eight minutes into flight, space travel puts people in a global regime, that upsets twentieth century political dogma and Machiavellian statecraft, and pushes us think as a truly globally connected species. Human space activity exemplifies Cosmopolitanism, the philosophy that holds all people everywhere share the same values while respecting cultural differences and accepting plurality. Facing global problems, both man-made and natural, of unprecedented proportions, we are truly blessed to be able to shape our destiny with timely progress in technologies that are at the core of human space activity.
Space remains the ultimate frontier, especially for those resilient economies, even during this downturn. Among all spacefaring nations today, the US constitution, that resonates with the freedom of Man, is the best suited for expanding space related activities. Can US space policy be reshaped to encompass a globally inclusive, civilian, cosmopolitan paradigm? Can the US shepherd the spacefaring nations of the world in undertaking visionary space infrastructure development projects to tackle global threats with large programs like planetary defense and orbital debris mitigation or monitoring pollution or climate change?
In this election year, rather than wait till the last minute to use NASA and space activity as one more item or hook on the debate agenda, it would be good to hear the views of the candidates and how they intend to articulate space activity, especially about nurturing the growth of an entirely new, innovative and homegrown private space industry. Despite the actions of these last few years by a polarized US Congress willing to self-inflict wounds even as a fragile global economy tries to recover, there are a few silver linings to the dark clouds on the horizon. One such arena of common pride among the leadership is NASA and space activity. It A department of Space would help inspire the next generation of space explorers and set them on a path of discovery and open up new opportunities.
As the established spacefaring nations start combining efforts with emerging space powers to plan and execute missions to the Moon, Mars and beyond, the creation of a US Dept. of Space might help the US administration to synergetically combine the energies of both the government space programs of the world and coordinate the various private space projects as well as assist the globe of nations in peaceful collaboration through the pursuit of excellence in progressive, peaceful space activities. Such a department would also help spur the US space industry, a truly 21st century endeavor.
- Readers might like to look over USC team project titled "The US Department of Space" here [http://is.gd/ceSX1E], including the following reports: "Cosmic Synergy - Administration-Enterprise Alliance" (2012) [http://is.gd/NlVZSm]; "The US Department of Space" (2011) [http://is.gd/UIuN7s]; "Eden Shield - Concept and Strategies for Planetary Defense" (2011) [http://is.gd/YVuAUJ], including the section titled "Directed Energy System Concepts" (.pptx, automatic download) [http://is.gd/QuT6BM] containing the following diagrams of interest:
12/17/2013 Directed Energy System Concepts for Asteroid Threat Mitigation pg. 16
• Directed Energy Systems offer many options
• Trajectory Alteration
• Resonance Destabilization
• Further modeling and research necessary
Ground DE-STAR over Space -
• No extreme launch or maintenance costs
• Easier to power and maintain
• Space qualification is unneeded
• Easier to evolve & upgrade
• DoD application
• Debris removal application
• Multiple systems across the surface of Earth for continuous target engagement
• Aviation/Public concerns
• Political use
• Atmospheric effects
12/17/2013 Directed Energy System Concepts for Asteroid Threat Mitigation pg. 17
Philip Lubin ; Gary B. Hughes ; Johanna Bible ; Jesse Bublitz ; Josh Arriola ; Caio Motta ; Jon Suen ; Isabella Johansson ; Jordan Riley ; Nilou Sarvian ; Deborah Clayton-Warwick ; Jane Wu ; Andrew Milich ; Mitch Oleson • Mark Pryor ; Peter Krogen ; Miikka Kangas; Directed energy planetary defense. Proc. SPIE 8876, Nanophotonics and Macrophotonics for Space Environments VII, 887602(September 24, 2013); doi:10.1117/12.2030228.
Vorontsov, M.A.; Weyrauch, T. Beresnev, L.A.• Carhart, G.W.; Ling Liu; Aschenbach, K., "Adaptive Array of Phase-Locked Fiber Collimators: Analysis and Experimental Demonstration,"Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics, IEEE Journal of, vol.15, no.2, pp.269,280, March-april 2009
"Asteroid Fast Facts." Asteroid and Comet Watch (blog), November 3, 2011. http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/asteroids/overview/fastfacts.html (accessed December 8, 2013 ). http•//neo ipl nasa gov/ca/ "Impact Risk." Near Earth Object Program(blog), December 8, 2013. http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/risk/ (accessed December 8, 2013). Britt, D.T., Yeomans, D., Housen, K., and Consolmagno, G., Asteroid Densities. EAR-A-5-DDR-ASTEROID-DENSITIES-V1.1. NASA Planetary Data System, 2002. Statler, Tom. "Rotation of Near-Earth Asteroids." http://www.phy.ohiou.eduhss/NEA_Rotation.html (accessed December 8, 2013). http//www killerasteroids org/images/asteroids comets to scale jpg Itokawa [ [Web Photo]. ]. Retrieved from http://www.psi.edu/sites/default/files/imported/pgwg/imagesin „ Laser Ablation [ [Web Graphic]. ]. Retrieved from htto://www.astrobio.net/images/gallervimages images/Gallery Image 8898.ipg Bekey, I.,(1997) articles.adsabs.harvard.edu/cgi-bin/nph-iarticle_query?1997ESASP.393-699B&data_type=PDF_HIGH&whole_paper=YES&type=PRINTER&filetype=.pdf Asteroids. ((n.d.)). Retrieved from http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/text/asteroids.txt Choi, C. ((2013, April 10)2013, April 10).Asteroids: Formation, discovery and exploration. Retrieved from http://www.space.com/51-asteroids-formation-discovery-and-exploration.html
• (2005, October 31). Asteroid Eros Reconstructed [ [Web Photo]. ]. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:WholeEros.ipg,
• Mathilde [ [Web Photo]. ]. Retrieved from http://en wikipedia org/wiki/File.(253) mathilde ipg
• Petit, D. (Array). (2008, April 29). Saturday Morning Science [ [Web Video]. ]. Retrieved from http•//www youtube com/watch,v=iXYlrw2.1Qwo
• (2006, October 18). Breaking a Wine Glass Using Resonance [ [Web Video]. ]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17taXgvCNOE
• Gustafso. Resonance. Retrieved from http://www.math.utah.edu/-gustafso/2250resonance.pdf
(2007, June 23). [ [Web Photo]. ]. Retrieved from httn-Hen wikipedia org/wiki/File-Airbornelaserturret ipg, (2013, April ). [ [Web Photo]. ]. Retrieved from http-//www.scitechmag.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/HIGH-ENERGY-LIQUID-LASER-AREA-DEFENSE-SYSTEM-HELLADS.ipg
• (2013, October 04). [ [Web Photo]. ]. Retrieved from http://a.abcnews.com/images/US/ht navy laws weapon tk 130804 wg.ing,
• [ [Web Graphic]. ]. Retrieved from http://www.teachengineering.org/collection/cub /lessons/cub images/cub space8 lesson03 figure2.ipg About optical table performance specifications. ((n.d.)). Retrieved from [http://www.newport.com/About-Optical-Table-Performance-Specifications/168086/1033/contentaspx]
- "The US Department of Space" proceedings may be accessed here [vimeo.com/33937720]
- Article author Madhu Thangavelu bio page [archive.is/x42QQ], Conductor, ASTE 527 Graduate Space Concepts Studio; Dept. of Astronautical Engineering and the School of Architecture - University of Southern California
archive.is/dfpE8] [begin excerpt]: Going into space is now within your grasp.
A tiny spacecraft being developed at Arizona State University is breaking the barrier of launch cost, making the price of conducting a space mission radically cheaper.
“With a spacecraft this size, any university can do it, any lab can do it, any hobbyist can do it,” said Jekan Thanga, assistant professor in the School of Earth and Space Exploration and head of the Space and Terrestrial Robotic Exploration (SpaceTREx) Laboratory .
Thanga and a team of graduate and undergraduate students — including Mercedes Herreras-Martinez, Andrew Warren and Aman Chandra — have spent the past two years developing the SunCube FemtoSat. It’s tiny — 3 cm by 3 cm by 3 cm. Thanga envisions a “constellation of spacecraft” — many eyes in many places. A swarm of them could inspect damaged spacecraft from many angles, for example. [end excerpt] Another version of the article [archive.is/K3MTj].
Photo caption: The SunCube FemtoSat and the three-tiered version have a propulsion system, data collection and communications capability. The three-tiered one also has space for a payload.
* "Slovakia to send its first ever satellite into space" (2016-04-11, Astrowatch.net) [archive.is/ap9Hp], photo caption: SkCUBE satellite being presented at a press conference on Jan. 7, 2016.
* "A graphene chip filters light to boost communications" (2016-04-06, actu.epfl.ch) [archive.is/MJ70X]
* "From IT to black holes: Nano-control of light pioneers new paths; Breakthrough chip for nano-manipulation of light paves way for next generation optical technologies and enables deeper understanding of black holes" (2016-04-07, RMIT University) [archive.is/qOpPE]
* "From IT to black holes: nano-control of light pioneers new paths" (2016-04-08, arc.gov.au) [archive.is/YYiu1]: A research team at RMIT University has created a breakthrough chip for the nano-manipulation of light, paving the way for next gen optical technologies and enabling deeper understanding of black holes. Led by Australian Laureate Fellow, Professor Min Gu, the team designed an integrated nanophotonic chip that can achieve unparalleled levels of control over the angular momentum (AM) of light. The pioneering work opens new opportunities for using AM at a chip-scale for the generation, transmission, processing and recording of information, and could also be used to help scientists better understand the evolution and nature of black holes. “Our discovery could open up truly compact on-chip AM applications such as ultra-high definition display, ultra-high capacity optical communication and ultra-secure optical encryption. It could also be extended to characterise the AM properties of gravitational waves, to help us gain more information on how black holes interact with each other in the universe,” said Professor Gu.
Image: Min Gu and Nanophotonic Chip. RMIT University's Professor Min Gu with the breakthrough nanophotonic chip that can harness the angular momentum of light.
* "Study: Electrical brain stimulation enhances creativity" (2016-04-14, UPI Newswire) [archive.is/MwHlT] [begin excerpt]: When scientists used Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation, or tDCS, to stimulate a portion of the brain linked with creative thinking, study participants responded more creatively to a series of verbal cues.
"We found that the individuals who were most able to ramp up activity in a region at the far front of the brain, called the frontopolar cortex, were the ones most able to ramp up the creativity of the connections they formed," Adam Green, a psychology professor at Georgetown, explained in a news release.
"Since ramping up activity in frontopolar cortex appeared to support a natural boost in creative thinking, we predicted that stimulating activity in this brain region would facilitate this boost, allowing people to reach higher creative heights," Green added.
Participants were able to forge more creative analogical links between word sets and produce more creative associations between words when their frontopolar cortex was stimulated via tDCS. [end excerpt]
* "Intracellular recordings using nanotower electrodes" (2016-04-08, Toyohashi University Of Technology, via phys.org) [archive.is/QoCkj], image caption: 120-µm-height 'nanotower' electrode is punching a cell membrane. Silicon growth technology and three-dimensional nano/microfabrication techniques realize such high-aspect-ratio intracellular electrodes.
* "Elizabethkingia outbreak spreads; source still a mystery" (2016-04-13, kctv5.com) [archive.is/8R80i] [begin excerpt]: The Illinois Department of Public Health confirmed one case of Elizabethkingia in a resident who died earlier this year.
The individual had the same strain of Elizabethkingia that has been confirmed in 57 patients in Wisconsin since November. Eighteen of those individuals have died. All of those infected had "at least one serious underlying illness" and most are older than 65, according to the Wisconsin of Health Services.
It's unknown whether the deaths were caused by the infection, the existing health conditions or the combination of both.
The number of cases in Wisconsin may continue to rise as the state health department continues to investigate possible cases.
Last month, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services reported a case of the infection in their state. At the time, CDC spokesman Tom Skinner told CNN the Michigan case was not a complete surprise, given that health departments across the country were asked to be on the lookout for Elizabethkingia infections after the outbreak in Wisconsin was identified. [end excerpt]
Articles reflecting the views of war planners
* "Air Force releases study on future air superiority" (2016-04-11, UPI Newswire) [archive.is/Wf6pG]