Tuesday, September 30, 2014

October Month of Resistance to Mass Incarceration

 
 
 

FCC considering move to ban NFL Redskins team name

The Federal Communications Commission is considering whether to punish broadcasters for using the moniker of the Washington NFL team, the Redskins, a word many consider a slur to Native Americans, the agency's chairman indicated on Tuesday.

The FCC, which enforces broadcast indecency violations, has received a petition from legal activist John Banzhaf III, asking that regulators strip local radio station WWXX-FM of its broadcasting license when it comes up for renewal for using the name "Redskins."
Banzhaf says the word is racist, derogatory, profane and hateful, making its use "akin to broadcasting obscenity."
Read More US Patent Office cancels Redskins trademark registration
"We'll be looking at that petition, we will be dealing with that issue on the merits and we'll be responding accordingly," FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler told reporters.

More:  http://www.cnbc.com/id/102037057

Airline Passenger With Ebola Is Under Treatment in Dallas

A man who took a commercial flight from Liberia that landed in Dallas on Sept. 20 has been found to have the Ebola virus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Tuesday. He is the first traveler to have brought the virus to the United States on a passenger plane.
 
He was not ill during the flight, health officials said. Symptoms developed several days after he arrived, and he is being treated at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas.
 
A team from the C.D.C. is being dispatched to Dallas to trace any contacts who may have been infected, including health care workers and others with whom the patient spent time in Dallas.
 
Source:  http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/01/health/airline-passenger-with-ebola-is-under-treatment-in-dallas.html
 
 

Julian Assange Fires Back At Eric Schmidt And Google's 'Digital Colonialism'

ECUADORIAN SOIL -- A police officer stands just inside the lobby of 3 Hans Crescent, a nondescript apartment building just around the corner from Harrods of London and a few blocks south of Hyde Park. He's watching the door to apartment 3b, a mini-flat that has for two years been the home of WikiLeaks' Julian Assange.

On the building's stoop stands another cop. Near him is parked a festive, multicolored paddy wagon. Several other officers loiter nearby, all of them charged with making sure Assange doesn't step outside the apartment, the home of the Ecuadorian Embassy, where he has asylum.

One officer tells The Huffington Post that if Assange does step out, he and his colleagues have been instructed to pick him up and taxi him to the nearest police station. The officer notes dryly that his past assignments -- guarding visiting royalty and American presidents as far back as Jimmy Carter -- have been significantly more glamorous. "I've guarded kings and queens and presidents," he says. "Julian Assange?"

Inside, the officers' unwanted charge is wary of his embassy lookouts. He moves quickly to stop a visitor from opening the flat's front door, warning that he'd be visible to the lobby's watchman. For our interview, he asks for the chair farthest from the door that offers him his daily protection.

...Assange’s new book hit the shelves last Wednesday -- the day after Schmidt's latest book, How Google Works, was released.

The two have engaged in a bit of public sparring. "Julian is very paranoid about things. Google never collaborated with the NSA and in fact, we've fought very hard against what they did," Schmidt told ABC News last week. "We have taken all of our data, all of our exchanges, and we fully encrypted them so no one can get them, especially the government."

"He's of course writing from the, shall we say, luxury lodgings of the local embassy in London," Schmidt added.

At the luxurious flat, HuffPost asked Assange to respond.

"Eric Schmidt has a difficult job defending what Google has become and that he uses -- Google uses private collection," said Assange. "The revelations, the Snowden revelations, showed that he did hand over the information to the U.S. government. I think it’s sad he that feels it’s necessary to resort to ad hominem attacks, but I understand that he has no real arguments to defend Google’s position."

More:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/30/julian-assange-eric-schmi_n_5905804.html

Local tribal members missing out on Cobell checks; 7,326 people from Red Lake, Leech Lake and White Earth on Whereabouts Unknown list

Tribal members nationwide started receiving Cobell settlement checks in the past few weeks from what has been dubbed one of the largest lawsuits ever against the federal government. Yet, thousands of people in Red Lake, Leech Lake and White Earth have not been paid -- because their whereabouts are unknown.

The Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians keeps a list of people with Individual Indian Money accounts who do not have current addresses listed. An IIM is part of the criteria to receive a Cobell settlement check.

There are 1,352 members of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians on the list; 1,471 Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe members and 4,503 members of the White Earth Nation listed. To view the list, visit www.indiantrust.com and click on the Whereabouts Unknown map. The U.S. Department of Interior also keeps a list of IIM accounts without recent addresses at www.doi.gov/ost/wau.

More:  http://www.bemidjipioneer.com/content/local-tribal-members-missing-out-cobell-checks-7326-people-red-lake-leech-lake-and-white

Tribes lay whooping on IRS

WASHINGTON — If there is an arm of the federal government that postures itself as the bully on the block: it is the IRS. However, when the IRS came to Indian Country and attempted to trample on the rights of tribes, they ended up taking a whooping from tribes and their friends in Congress.

Last week the United States House of Representatives passed a much celebrated bill that was years in the making that will allow for tribes to escape the illegal harassment of tribal governments by the Internal Revenue Service. H.R.3043 better known as the Tribal General Welfare Exclusion Act passed the House by a vote of 277-141 and is being praised by tribal leaders and law makers alike.

“This bill means that the IRS has to respect the sovereignty of our tribal nations and the treaties that our past leaders secured for this generation and others to come,” said Oglala Sioux Tribal President Bryan Brewer. “If we are trying to take care of our people the IRS will no longer be able to interfere with our programs or services. It is a measure of respect of our treaties. If there is any ambiguity in the statute the IRS will be forced to side with tribes. It is a great step forward for sovereignty and the Oglala and the plains tribes have led it.”

The bill had been in the works for years and came about in response to attempts by the Internal Revenue Service to individually tax tribes and tribal members for benefits they received from tribal government programs. When one tribal-leader from Standing Rock attempted to inform the IRS that tribal nations had certain rights and exemptions guaranteed by treaty law, he was told by an IRS field agent that “ you can read your treaty in jail.”

More:  http://www.indianz.com/News/2014/015191.asp

Dark side of the boom

North Dakota’s oil rush brings cash and promise to reservation, along with drug-fueled crime

FORT BERTHOLD INDIAN RESERVATION, N.D. — Tribal police Sgt. Dawn White is racing down a dusty two-lane road — siren blaring, police radio crackling — as she attempts to get to the latest 911 call on a reservation that is a blur of oil rigs and bright-orange gas flares.

“Move! C’mon, get out of the fricking way!” White yells as she hits 102 mph and weaves in and out of a line of slow-moving tractor-trailers that stretches for miles.

In just five years, the Bakken formation in North Dakota has gone from producing about 200,000 barrels to 1.1 million barrels of oil a day, making North Dakota the No. 2 oil-producing state, behind Texas, and luring thousands of workers from around the country.

But there is a dark side to the multibillion-dollar boom in the oil fields, which stretch across western North Dakota into Montana and part of Canada. The arrival of highly paid oil workers living in sprawling “man camps” with limited spending opportunities has led to a crime wave -- including murders, aggravated assaults, rapes, human trafficking and robberies -- fueled by a huge market for illegal drugs, primarily heroin and methamphetamine.

Especially hard-hit are the Indian lands at the heart of the Bakken. Created in 1870 on rolling grasslands along the Missouri River, Fort Berthold (pronounced Birth-Old), was named after a U.S. Army fort and is home to the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation -- known as the MHA Nation, or the Three Affiliated Tribes.

More:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/national/2014/09/28/dark-side-of-the-boom/

Tribes seek to take last of Indian boarding school lands

On the coattails of its days as Hay Camp, Rapid City was a fledgling municipality in 1898 when the Indian boarding school doors first opened.

It was the era of federal Native American assimilation policy, when Native American children of elementary-school age were stripped of their families, made to don Anglo-American haircuts and clothes and ultimately forced to conform to white mores of the early 20th century — often through laborious vocational training.

In Rapid City, that meant children from tribes throughout the Northern Plains were funneled into roughly 1,200 acres of prime west-side acreage dedicated by the federal government to the Rapid City Indian Boarding School.

Only the Sioux San Hospital, an original structure of the facility, continued to operate when the failed boarding school was shuttered in 1933. The swath of land from Sioux Park west to Canyon Lake was eventually dissolved into just three lots, totaling roughly 165 acres, that remain under tax-free federal trust.

Now, 16 tribes from South Dakota, North Dakota and Nebraska want those three parcels — spiritual land guaranteed to the Sioux Nation as part of the 1868 Treaty of Fort Laramie — turned over to tribal care.

More:  http://rapidcityjournal.com/news/local/article_7c7a1be3-06a2-512e-af15-0cbb51215c91.html

The New iPhone's Best Feature Is One the NSA Will Hate

The tech giant's newest toy, the iPhone 6, was built with encryption in mind. It protects emails, photos and contacts with the help of a unique mathematical algorithm — one created by the person using the phone and unknown to Apple itself. Now, if a court orders Apple to divulge the contents of a particular phone, all it will get in return is a garbled mess of numbers and letters; according to the company, it could take up to five and a half years to crack the code without the phone owner's permission.

This, of course, poses a problem for the country's various security agencies, which haven't previously dealt such a high level of encryption. "What concerns me about this is companies marketing something expressly to allow people to hold themselves beyond the law," James B. Comey, director of the FBI, reportedly said at a press conference on Thursday.

Comey argued that certain activities — kidnappings and acts of terror, for instance — will be harder to catch now that investigators don't have easy access to smartphones.
"The notion that someone would market a closet that could never be opened — even if it involves a case involving a child kidnapper and a court order — to me does not make any sense," he said.

More:  http://mic.com/articles/99914/the-new-i-phone-s-best-feature-is-one-the-nsa-will-hate

Cruel and usual punishment in jails and prisons

The 8th Amendment bans cruel and unusual punishment. Yet it happens every day in prisons across the country. Putting aside capital punishment, which I would argue is cruel and unusual on its face, Americans are ignoring a host of horrific conditions that inmates are subjected to. This is not only morally and constitutionally dangerous; it is also bad public policy, because the prisoners being badly treated today will be back in our communities tomorrow.

New Documents Shed Light on One of the NSA's Most Powerful Tools

...we're releasing several key documents about Executive Order 12333 that we obtained from the government in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit that the ACLU filed (along with the Media Freedom and Information Access Clinic at Yale Law School) just before the first revelations of Edward Snowden. The documents are from the National Security Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency, and others agencies. They confirm that the order, although not the focus of the public debate, actually governs most of the NSA's spying.

In some ways, this is not surprising. After all, it has been reported that some of the NSA's biggest spying programs rely on the executive order, such as the NSA's interception of internet traffic between Google's and Yahoo!'s data centers abroad, the collection of millions of email and instant-message address books, the recording of the contents of every phone call made in at least two countries, and the mass cellphone location-tracking program. In other ways, however, it is surprising. Congress's reform efforts have not addressed the executive order, and the bulk of the government's disclosures in response to the Snowden revelations have conspicuously ignored the NSA's extensive mandate under EO 12333.

The order, issued by President Ronald Reagan in 1981, imposes the sole constraints on U.S. surveillance on foreign soil that targets foreigners. There's been some speculation, too, that the government relies directly on the order — as opposed to its statutory authority — to conduct surveillance inside the United States.

More:  https://www.aclu.org/blog/national-security/new-documents-shed-light-one-nsas-most-powerful-tools

March Against Police Violence Will Shut Down Georgetown Saturday

March to Shut Down Georgetown A coalition of grassroots demonstrators will march in a major commercial area demanding “Justice for Michael Brown” and other significant changes in policing practices. On Saturday, October 4, 2014, beginning at 7:00 p.m. demonstrators will gather at the Foggy Bottom Metro Station in Washington DC and march to Georgetown.

Saturday’s march and rally will build on all of the past events, bringing together many organizations and individuals. The initial sponsors of the event include the National Black United Front, the ANSWER Coalition, We Act Radio, the Party for Socialism and Liberation and the American Muslim Alliance, as well as independent organizing networks that have sprung up in the wake of Michael Brown’s killing.
 
 
 

Monday, September 29, 2014

Nebraskans Raise Their Voices in Fight Against Keystone XL Pipeline

NELIGH, Neb. — From the edge of a rye field teeming with grasshoppers, Willie Nelson and Neil Young sang on Saturday in opposition to the proposed Keystone XL project, warning through lyrics that a “company wants to build a tar sand pipeline where it don’t belong.”
 
The site of the concert — a patch of farmland where 26 acres of corn were harvested early to create a makeshift parking lot — was as unlikely as the coalition of Nebraskans who have united against Keystone XL and made this state the legal and emotional center of the pipeline opposition.
 
“I’ve told them, ‘You’ll have to haul me out from in front of that bulldozer, because I’m going to protect this farm,’  ” said Art Tanderup, who with his wife, Helen, hosted the concert. Their land in the rolling hills of northeast Nebraska would be directly along the pipeline route.
 
It has been six years since TransCanada, an energy company, first proposed this 1,179-mile crude-oil pipeline to southern Nebraska from Alberta. In that time, a group of Nebraska farmers, ranchers, Native Americans and city-dwelling environmentalists has held meeting after meeting to rally opposition to the pipeline and forge a delicate trust as it worked toward a common goal.
 
... At Saturday’s Harvest the Hope concert, where about 8,000 people turned off the gravel road to spend the afternoon at the Tanderup farm, many spoke emotionally and at length about their opposition to the pipeline and the problems they fear it portends.
 
Leaders of Native American tribes from Nebraska and South Dakota said they would take whatever steps necessary to protect their land. Landowners told reporters they feared the pipeline would tarnish the soil for their grandchildren. And Mr. Nelson and Mr. Young tied Keystone XL to the broader issues of climate change and corporate influence in politics. They urged Nebraskans to continue working to block the pipeline’s construction and protect the environment.
 
More:  http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/30/us/keystone-xl-pipeline-nebraska-opponents.html
 
 

Why Rumors Outrace the Truth Online

It’s no surprise that interesting and unusual claims are often the most widely circulated articles on social media. Who wants to share boring stuff?
 
The problem, however, is that the spread of rumors, misinformation and unverified claims can overwhelm any effort to set the record straight, as we’ve seen during controversies over events like the Boston Marathon bombings and the conspiracy theory that the Obama administration manipulated unemployment statistics.
 
Everyone knows there is dubious information online, of course, but estimating the magnitude of the problem has been difficult until now.
 
To see just how these false and unverified claims are shared, Craig Silverman, a journalist and fellow at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University, has developed Emergent, a tool that tracks the dissemination of rumors online on topics ranging from a Microsoft acquisition (true, Mr. Silverman says) to a supposed pumpkin spice condom created by Durex (false, Mr. Silverman says).
 
More: 
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/30/upshot/its-so-much-more-fun-to-spread-rumors-than-the-truth.html
 
 

Animal Abuse Gains Traction as a Serious Crime, With Jail More Often the Result

For reasons he has not fully explained, Andre Robinson kicked a stray cat several yards. A video of the kick was posted on Facebook. He was soon arrested.
 
Had it been a person he kicked, Mr. Robinson, 22, most likely would have received a quick plea bargain requiring no jail time — if, that is, he had even been arrested. And had he kicked that gray cat a few years ago, a similar outcome might have awaited him.
 
But now, every time Mr. Robinson has appeared in court in Brooklyn, animal-rights activists have surrounded him, attending his hearings and calling for a jail sentence. He has not even received a plea offer from prosecutors — extremely rare in misdemeanor cases.
 
Mr. Robinson, with one seemingly unconsidered kick, has unwittingly placed himself at the center of an impassioned, growing debate.
 
More:  http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/30/nyregion/animal-abuse-gains-traction-as-a-serious-crime-with-jail-more-often-the-result.html
 
 
 
 

In Rare Rebuke for Rikers Officers, Judge Urges Firing of 6 Who Beat Inmate

The judge’s decision is a fresh indication that pressure by federal prosecutors, as well as scrutiny by the media, may be starting to have an impact on the way such brutality cases, long tolerated at the Department of Correction, are handled.
 
Nevertheless, the fact that two and a half years elapsed between the episode and the judge’s decision underscores what continues to be a crucial issue at Rikers: the slow pace of internal investigations of guards accused in brutality cases.
 
Last week, the United States attorney for the Southern District, Preet Bharara, warned he would sue the city if officials did not deliver quickly enough on promised overhauls. In August, his office released a scathing 79-page report that found a “deep-seated culture of violence” at Rikers toward adolescent inmates. And an article by The New York Times in July documented 129 cases of inmates, many with mental illnesses, who were severely injured in altercations with guards last year.
 
Both the federal report and the Times article highlighted how rare it was for officers to be punished for acts of brutality.
 
More:  http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/30/nyregion/in-rare-decision-judge-urges-firing-for-6-rikers-island-officers-who-beat-inmate.html
 
 

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Drones (HBO)

http://youtu.be/K4NRJoCNHIs

Can We Do Without a Global Climate Treaty?

The goal of last week’s climate summit at the United Nations was “to raise political momentum for a meaningful universal climate agreement in Paris in 2015.” But previous attempts at such agreements have ended in frustration.

Should world leaders give up on the idea of a strong international treaty on global warming as a pipe dream, or continue to pursue it despite the long-running difficulties? Would other paths be more fruitful?

Read the discussion:  http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2014/09/28/is-a-global-climate-treaty-only-a-pipe-dream/real-progress-on-emissions-can-lead-to-a-global-pact

Head-Scratching Case of the Vanishing Bees



http://nyti.ms/1rDKCs2

In 1872, a merchant ship called the Mary Celeste set sail from New York, and four weeks later was found by sailors aboard another vessel to be moving erratically in the Atlantic Ocean 400 miles east of the Azores. Curious, those sailors boarded the Mary Celeste, only to find nary a soul. The cargo was intact, as were supplies of food and water. But there was no sign of the seven-man crew, the captain, or his wife and daughter, who had gone along for the journey. To this day, what turned that brigantine into a ghost ship remains a maritime mystery.

It was with a nod to this history that when bees suddenly and mysteriously began disappearing en masse in Britain several years ago, the phenomenon came to be known there as Mary Celeste Syndrome. Beekeepers in this country were similarly plagued. Honeybees, those versatile workhorses of pollination, were vanishing by the millions. They would leave their hives in search of nectar and pollen, and somehow never find their way home. On this side of the Atlantic, though, the flight of the bees was given a more prosaic name: colony collapse disorder.
 
What caused it remains as much of a head-scratcher as the fate of the Mary Celeste, but the serious consequences for American agriculture were clear. And thus it draws the attention of this week’s Retro Report, part of a series of video documentaries examining major news stories from the past and analyzing what has happened since.
The centrality of bees to our collective well-being is hard to overstate. They pollinate dozens of crops: apples, blueberries, avocados, soybeans, strawberries, you name it. Without honeybees, almond production in California would all but disappear. The United States Department of Agriculture estimates that nearly one-third of everything that Americans eat depends on bee pollination. Billions of dollars are at stake each year for farmers, ranchers and, of course, beekeepers.
 
But in the fall and winter of 2006-07, something strange happened. As Dave Hackenberg, a beekeeper in central Pennsylvania and in Florida, recalled for Retro Report, he went to his 400 hives one morning and found most of them empty. Queen bees remained, but worker bees had vanished.
 
More:  http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/29/us/the-head-scratching-case-of-the-vanishing-bees.html
 
 
 
 

Arms Trade Treaty Gains Momentum with 50th Ratification

UNITED NATIONS, Sep 28 2014 (IPS) - With state support moving at an unprecedented pace, the Arms Trade Treaty will enter into force on Dec. 24, 2014, only 18 months after it was opened for signature.

Eight states – Argentina, the Bahamas, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Czech Republic, Saint Lucia, Portugal, Senegal and Uruguay – ratified the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) at a special event at the United Nations this past Thursday, Sep. 25, pushing the number of states parties up to 53.

As per article 22 of the treaty, the ATT comes into force as a part of international law 90 days after the 50th instrument of ratification is deposited.

According to a statement by the Control Arms coalition, “The ATT is one of the fastest arms agreements to move toward entry into force.”

The speed at which the treaty received 50 ratifications “shows tremendous momentum for the ATT and a lot of significant political commitment and will,” said Paul Holtom, head of the peace, reconciliation and security team at Coventry University’s Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations.

“The challenge now is to translate the political will into action, both in terms of ensuring that States Parties are able to fulfil – and are fulfilling – their obligations under the Treaty,” Holtom told IPS in an email.

So what are the requirements under the ATT?

More:  http://www.ipsnews.net/2014/09/arms-trade-treaty-gains-momentum-with-50th-ratification/

Frac Sand Industry Impacting Thousands Who Live Near Mines

In a raspy voice, farmer Victoria Trinko spoke alongside environmental advocates and researchers this week, detailing how her life has changed in the three shorts years since a frac sand mine began operating within a half-mile of her Chippewa County farm.

“I could feel the dust clinging to my face and the grit in my teeth,” Trinko said on a conference call with reporters to release the “Communities at Risk: Frac Sand Mining in the Upper Midwest” report.

By the end of 2012, she was diagnosed with asthma and had started to use an inhaler. She has installed a $1,000 air filtration system in her home. When her daughter visited from Australia, she told her the house smelt like a barn that had just been swept out.
Trinko has not opened the windows of her house since the fall of 2012.

“The billowing of silica sand has not abated since the mine was constructed in 2011. One truck passes down my road every three minutes or less,” she said. “My life has been negatively impacted by this industry. I am resisting the idea of moving. But a person’s life is priceless.”

According to the report, there are thousands of others living in close proximity to sand mines and processing centers, with little to no oversight by the government to monitor the impacts of the industry on the water supply or the air quality.

According to the report, the boom of the industry is occurring in a 33-county area that stretches from western Wisconsin over to eastern Minnesota and into northern Iowa.

More:  http://www.popularresistance.org/report-frac-sand-industry-impacting-thousands-who-live-near-mines/

FBI To Enlist Local Police In Mass DNA Collection

Remember that time the Supreme Court ruled that our DNA is basically just like our fingerprints, and cops can snatch it from us subsequent to arrest? Remember the giant biometrics project the FBI has been spending at least a billion dollars of our money building (with many of the details kept secret), called ‘Next Generation Identification’? With those powers and monies combined, the FBI this week announced its plans “to accelerate the collection of DNA profiles for the government’s massive new biometric identification database.” Like with other biometrics collection schemes, the FBI aims to get local police to do the groundwork.
 
What could go wrong?
 
 
 

The Mass Incarceration Movement Can Learn From The Climate Struggle

As the eyes of the social justice world turn to the UN climate summit this week, those of us involved in the struggle against mass incarceration would do well to examine the history of the campaign for climate justice. A starting point to connect the histories of the two movements might be illusions of progress. For the past four years, anti-mass incarceration activists have celebrated the first annual declines in the nation’s prison population since the late 1970s. The message about the US criminal legal system seemed to be spreading far and wide. Eric Holder was calling for releasing people with drug offense convictions. A New York Times editorial in May stated: “The American experiment in mass incarceration has been a moral, legal, social and economic disaster. It cannot end soon enough.”

Even conservatives like Newt Gingrich and Rand Paul came on board to denounce the excessive use of imprisonment. The success stories of states like Texas in cutting prison populations made the rounds to appreciative audiences who increasingly became convinced a new “convergence” of agendas would be sufficient to reverse a disgraceful social policy episode.

Last week, the movement got a wake-up call. The steady decline in prison numbers suddenly went the other way. The Bureau of Justice’s annual statistical analysis of prisoner populations for 2013 showed that total numbers were up, by a mere 0.3 percent, but up nonetheless. To make matters worse for carceral optimists, poster child Texas showed an increase in prison population, with its nation-leading incarcerated cohort climbing from 157,900 to 160,295. So what does this mean for the convergence of agendas that was supposed to take us past the tipping point in ending mass incarceration?

More:  http://www.popularresistance.org/the-mass-incarceration-movement-can-learn-from-the-climate-struggle/

At Least 38 Injured As Police And Protesters Clash In Hong Kong

Hours after the police sought to break up the protest, large crowds of demonstrators remained nearby, sometimes confronting lines of officers and chanting for them to lay down their truncheons and shields. Police officers were also injured in skirmishes with protesters. Streets of a city known as a safe enclave for commerce became a nighttime battleground.
 
“Hong Kong has gone crazy,” he added. “It is no longer the Hong Kong I know, or the world knows.”
 
Some protest leaders called on students to retreat, citing fears that the police would use rubber bullets on the crowd. The Hong Kong government said the police warned residents to “leave peacefully and in an orderly manner, otherwise officers would use a higher level of force.”
 
More:  http://www.popularresistance.org/at-least-38-injured-as-police-and-protesters-clash-in-hong-kong/
 
 

Police Sergeant Pleads Guilty to Disconnecting Camera and Beating Handcuffed Man

After 18 years on the force, a New York police sergeant has resigned and pleaded guilty to deprivation of rights under color of law for beating a handcuffed man inside the Fulton police station. After pulling the video camera out of the wall, Sgt. Joseph Arigo beat the handcuffed man then lied to his supervisors and filed two false reports to cover up his actions. Arigo had originally been charged with third-degree assault, making a punishable false written statement, and falsifying business records.

Gary Bloss was arrested the night of June 28 on a parole warrant. Taken to the Fulton police station, Bloss sat on a bench in the booking room with his hands cuffed behind his back yelling at the cops. Although Bloss did not threaten any of the officers or himself, Sgt. Arigo disconnected the video camera before entering the room. Bloss recalled arguing with Arigo when the 18-year veteran began choking the handcuffed man and punching him repeatedly in the face.

Arigo slammed Bloss’ head into the bench and continued punching him in the face. As Arigo started choking Bloss again, Officer Sean Hanks quietly fled from the booking room.

“While Gary was arguing with me, Sgt. Arigo walked into the booking room,” admitted Officer Hanks in his deposition. “Sgt. Arigo pushed Gary down onto the bench and began punching him.”

“Sgt. Arigo was yelling at Gary that he told him not to disrespect him in his house,” Hanks recalled. “Sgt. Arigo hit him several times, and I left the booking room.”

“The whole thing caught me off guard,” said Hanks. “Sgt. Arigo is the sergeant, and I didn’t want to attempt to step in, not knowing how he would have reacted.”

As Hanks reached the dispatch desk, he noticed the surveillance cameras had been disconnected. Hanks returned to the booking room to find Arigo digging through a first aid kit while Bloss began bleeding onto the floor. After Arigo cleaned the blood off the floor, Bloss was placed in a holding cell.

More:  http://www.nationofchange.org/2014/09/29/police-sergeant-pleads-guilty-disconnecting-camera-beating-handcuffed-man/

Redux: Open Letter to the Knights of Columbus. Once a man knows the truth, how can he turn his back?

October 12, 2009

International Headquarters
Knights of Columbus
1 Columbus Plaza
New Haven, Connecticut  06510


Dear Supreme Council, Sub-Councils, and Members:

Most of what was known of Christopher Columbus in 1881, the year when the Knights of Columbus was founded, has now been shown by historians to be myth. 

In fact, the true story of Columbus is one of genocide.  The historical record clearly shows that Columbus and his marauding band enslaved, beat, raped, tortured, and murdered Indigenous Peoples and then used Indian bodies as food for their hunting dogs. Within four years of Columbus' arrival on Hispaniola, he and his men had killed or exported one-third of the original Indian population of 300,000.

This is the event “celebrated” each year on Columbus Day.

From a humble beginning, your organization has now grown to more than 1.7 million members--the largest lay Catholic organization in the world.  The Order’s years of service to those in need are renowned.  However, the role you played, in 1934, in requesting the establishment of this shameful national holiday cannot be ignored.

We Americans do not celebrate Milosevic Day.  We do not celebrate the “meeting of cultures” in Rwanda. We do not celebrate Pol Pot or Adolph Hitler.  Imagine their victims’ pain and the public outcry if we did.

Why then do we honor Christopher Columbus?

We understand that you are men of faith and hold this man in high esteem for “bringing Christianity to the New World”.  The reality, however, is that this man opened the Atlantic slave trade and launched one of the greatest waves of genocide known in history. Rather than being motivated by religious fervor or altruism, Columbus was motivated by self-interest and greed fueled by his failure to achieve his goal and a desperate need to repay his investors. His ships brought missionaries to this region, it’s true, but also a cargo of death and destruction from which the First Nations of the Americas have never recovered.

It isn’t often that the mistakes of the past can be undone, but that is the opportunity before you.  If you truly embrace and seek to further a “culture of life,” as you have resolved to do, have the courage of your convictions.

Renounce Christopher Columbus:

1. Select a new, more suitable designation for your organization (perhaps the name of your founder Father Michael J. McGivney), but a worthy title under which to continue your good work; AND

2. As you did in 1934, make your voices heard in the halls of Congress and the White House.  Withdraw your support for this shameful national holiday.

Once a man knows the truth, how can he turn his back? 

A nation that celebrates Christopher Columbus, celebrates and thereby condones his horrific deeds... and this we must never do.

In Solidarity with the Indigenous Peoples,


Friends of Peltier
Time to set him free... Because it’s the RIGHT thing to do.

www.FreePeltierNow.org

---

A Call to Action

You’ve heard it said: True change occurs from the bottom up. Reach out to, educate, and create a dialogue directly with the Knights of Columbus membership. You can identify a local council at http://www.kofc.org/un/findCouncil/index.action.

Also Contact:

Knights of Columbus Headquarters
1 Columbus Plaza
New Haven, CT 06510
Telephone: (203) 752-4000
E-mail:
info@kofc.org
Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/KnightsofColumbus
Google+:  https://plus.google.com/106872034535735019930/posts
Twitter:  @KofC (http://twitter.com/kofc

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Oneida, WI: 22-25 October event to focus on effects of boarding schools on Native Americans

 
 
 

How to stop defending DC’s terrible NFL mascot

For as long as you can remember, you’ve cheered for DC’s NFL team. You’ve talked about them constantly – by name. You’ve given them money. There are pictures of you wearing their jersey all over the internet.

Before, this just meant you were a football fan. But today, this means that you’re a racist?

You don’t have to agree with these people to recognize that they’re in a legitimately terrible situation. Realizing that you’ve been unwittingly doing something wrong can be confusing, embarrassing, and even infuriating. The rising tide of outrage against Washington’s football mascot seems like a bait-and-switch to fans who never heard much criticism before. Most of the name’s defenders are people who just grew up cheering for the team that dad cheers for. Or they started paying attention in 1991, when Mark Rypien led DC to the Superbowl. Or they got used to pulling for the home team at the local sports bar.

No wonder they’re so defensive!

If you’re one of the still sizeable faction of Americans who still back DC’s NFL brand, I get you. And I don’t think you’re a terrible person. But I do think it’s time to change your mind.

Misunderstanding racism

At the root of the controversy, there’s a basic misunderstanding of what it means to support a racist mascot – and what racism means in general.

Americans are used to thinking of racism as bigotry – as personal, intentional hatred and disrespect. That’s what our most vivid collective memories of racism look like: plantation owners raping their slaves, cops racial profiling, basketball team owners ranting in disgust about black fans.

What we are not used to thinking about is racism without bigotry. Everything we hate about racism – the way that it singles people out, handicaps them, dehumanizes them, and attacks them, all on the basis of their race – these things can persist without villainous bigots sneering and plotting.

That’s because the legacy of bigots can persist long after they’re gone.

Polls won in blood

In the case of Native Americans, the problem with DC’s football team began long before “Redskin” was even a word.

It began when Europeans invaded their land, displaced them from their homes, and perpetrated mass murders often falling well within the realm of genocide. The original sin came when Native Americans lost their voice in America.

That’s why it’s horrifically beside the point to insist that a majority of Americans – you know, the ones who are alive because their ancestors weren’t wiped out – are okay with the name. Would the native population in 1492 have been okay with DC’s team name? Who knows! But ordinarily, we don’t justify polls on the grounds that, even though many of the respondents were murdered, maybe the outcome might have been the same.

Are you a bigot who’d be willing to shoot a Native American with a musket and steal the stretch of prairie where he raised his children? Probably not! But when you start gloating about ESPN’s polling numbers, you’re enjoying the unfair, racist advantage that bigots on the frontier won for you long ago.

Invisible suffering

Another example of how racism shapes the debate over DC’s team name comes from our perception of the stakes among Native Americans.

A common refrain among defenders of the mascot – aggressively promoted by Dan Snyder’s PR machine – is that Native Americans actually support it. They see the name as a tribute and a memorial to their heritage, and as a celebration of their power and bravery.

Of course, this is mostly untrue, as demonstrated by the most rigorous and credible polling we have. But one thing racism prevents us from seeing is that Snyder’s argument is mostly beside the point.

Think about this: suppose you wore the team jersey in the presence of three close Native American friends. Two of them think it’s pretty cool that you’ve shown an appreciation for their culture. But one of them is deeply upset by it. He explains to you that he doesn’t like the way you’re drawing attention to the color of his skin, and adds that his great, great grandfather was killed because of a bounty on his head that used the team’s name.

Would you keep wearing the jersey? And tell your friend that he just doesn’t understand what the team name really means? And that he’s outnumbered two-to-one by Native Americans who are okay with it?

Or would you just stop wearing it, and maybe find another way to show your appreciation for Native American culture that someone you care about doesn’t find hurtful and insulting?

The solution here isn’t just obvious – it’s natural. It’s how most people would respond to the situation if it were a real, personal problem instead of an abstract national debate. It’s just a basic principle of human decency that we should avoid unnecessarily hurting people when we can. This isn’t about being politically correct or enforcing controversial leftist ideals about racial justice. It’s just about being a humane, functional adult.

But again, we run into the same issue as with polls: there just aren’t many Native Americans around anymore. So the issue doesn’t feel real and personal. We can ignore it, or arrive at the wrong conclusion about it, and we probably won’t ever run into any of the people our decision affects. The bigots of America’s past forced Native Americans out of our lives, and that impacts how we think about them.

Racism without bigotry

That’s what it means to be a racist in the debate over DC’s team name.

It isn’t about malice against Native Americans, or hate, or even disrespect – certainly not in the ordinary sense of those words.

More often, it’s about enjoying advantages we didn’t even know we had. Or failing to appreciate the real, personal stakes for victims we’ve never met.

In that sense, the racism surrounding DC’s team name resembles much of the racism in America today. Sure, interpersonal bigotry still plagues our society, and we shouldn’t downplay its role in the injustices visited upon racial minorities every day. But some of the biggest problems of racism are systematic and institutional. We may not have enslaved black Americans, but we profit directly from the uneven economic playing field slave owners built at their expense. We may not have not have supported deporting Americans of Mexican ancestry, but our families enjoyed the jobs taken from them.

We aren’t born with an exhaustive command of history or some comprehensive understanding of what the rest of the world is going through.  That’s why the beginning of wisdom means recognizing how little we actually know.

For the partisans of DC’s mascot, wisdom begins with acknowledging that maybe we didn’t know enough about the name when we were using it all those years. The crime isn’t in admitting ignorance. The crime is to deny it.

 Source: http://baltimorepostexaminer.com/stop-defending-dcs-terrible-nfl-mascot/2014/09/27

Navajo woman targeted by NFL team's lawsuit remains defiant

Amanda Blackhorse stood in her gravel drive, waving at visitors. She wore skinny jeans, a loose black top and swipes of liquid cat-eye liner. Loops of fine turquoise beads dangled from her ears.

Two guests pulled up, followed by two men in a car marked security. Her long black hair whipped in the hot wind as she explained to two officers that her visitors were journalists, not lost tourists. They eyed the reporter and photographer, smiled and left.
Blackhorse has gotten used to the occasional security check-ins since the NFL's Washington Redskins filed suit against her and four other Native American advocates who have been fighting to get the team to change its name, which is described as a slur in at least eight mainstream dictionaries.

Blackhorse and the other plaintiffs in the 2006 Blackhorse et al vs. Pro-Football Inc. case argued that the team's name was offensive and therefore not eligible for trademark registration. In June, the U.S. patent office's trademark board agreed and revoked six team trademarks. Blackhorse and the other plaintiffs received no monetary award.

In August, the team filed a new suit, Pro-Football Inc. vs. Blackhorse et al, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. They alleged the trademark board improperly penalized them "based on the content of the team's speech in violation of the First Amendment."

The suit argues the team "has been unfairly deprived of its valuable and long-held intellectual property," although it retains its trademark rights until this case, or an appeal, is settled.

The new lawsuit seeks no damages or action from Blackhorse, and she stands to gain nothing financially if she wins.

More:  http://www.azcentral.com/longform/news/local/arizona/2014/09/25/amanda-blackhorse-nfl-washington-suing-defiant/16128077/

Prospect of tighter White House security touches nerve in Washington

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The prospect of more of the U.S. capital being closed off after an intruder got into the White House has struck a nerve in Washington over public space being eroded by barricades and bollards.

The possible tightening of security around the president's residence, a highly visible symbol of democracy and a prime draw for tourists and protesters alike, raises questions like whether safety trumps openness or whether a capital city can ever be entirely safe, analysts said.

The week after a 42-year-old Iraq war veteran climbed the 7-foot (2.1-meter) wrought-iron fence, sprinted across the lawn with a knife in his pocket and entered the executive mansion through an open door, law enforcement officials erected a second fence around parts of the White House.

They are considering further measures including closing more sidewalks to pedestrians, setting up additional barriers and possibly searching the bags of people approaching the building, the Washington Post and the New York Times said, citing unnamed sources.

"So you're going to further isolate the White House. Why don't we just move the White House out to West Virginia or something?" said Steven Bucci, a national security expert at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank.

Increased security measures have shut off large parts of the capital in the last 20 years, especially after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York, Washington and Pennsylvania that killed almost 3,000 people.

They have included the closing off of traffic on Pennsylvania Avenue and a second street around the White House, and the shutting off of the West Terrace of the Capitol, which offers a sweeping view of the National Mall's museums and monuments.

The Supreme Court's front doors are sealed off. The former head of the Capitol Police, which oversees security at the white-domed landmark, has advocated making a dozen blocks around it a no-drive zone to block potential car bombs.

FREEDOM AND OPENNESS

Judy Scott Feldman, president of the National Coalition to Save Our Mall, said more closings would only erode Washington's democratic symbolism.

"We are the capital of a nation dedicated to freedom and openness," she said. "Fear can't be our dominant planning principle."

Safeguarding the president and his family, other top U.S. officials and visiting foreign leaders is the responsibility of the U.S. Secret Service, which has been battered by drinking and prostitution scandals in recent years.

The agency began reviewing White House security after veteran Omar Gonzalez made it into the White House on Sept. 19, at a time when President Barack Obama and his family was not present.

Gonzalez, who faces an unlawful entry charge, told an agent he needed to get information to the president about the atmosphere collapsing, according to court documents. A House of Representatives oversight committee has scheduled a hearing on the breach for Tuesday.

The Secret Service declined to say if it had settled on permanent measures to raise White House security.

"The U.S. Secret Service is not aware of any definitive plans to add increased permanent security measures around the White House," spokesman Brian Leary said in an email.

'HOW FAR?'

Washington Mayor Vincent Gray said the security of the president and the White House was paramount but noted that people need to feel comfortable in the city, especially tourists who are vital to the local economy.

Last year, Washington had a record 19 million visitors who spent $6.7 billion, according to the tourism bureau.

Bucci, of the Heritage Foundation, said hundreds of millions of dollars had been poured into physical security in Washington since the 2001 attacks. Every government building had set-back areas and such features as concrete barriers, street-blocking bollards and its own security force, he said.

Thomas Luebke, secretary of the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, which advises on design matters in the capital, said his panel's top task since 2001 had been dealing with security features.

Luebke said there was no way to create a risk-free capital, adding, "How far do we push the need for a sense of security versus the damage to the public realm?"

Source:  http://news.msn.com/in-depth/prospect-of-tighter-white-house-security-touches-nerve-in-Washington


What it Means to be Puerto Rican for Political Prisoner Oscar López Rivera



At a time when there are more Puerto Ricans living outside the island, questions on what it means to be Puerto Rican become essential. A letter written by Puerto Rican political prisoner Oscar López Rivera deals with just that.

In it, he offers his views on Puerto Rican identities. This letter is the first entry in a newly created section of the online magazine La Respuesta, dedicated to writings by and about Oscar López Rivera. Here is an excerpt:
To be Puerto Rican means to me to carry out all the responsibilities that our citizenship demands. It means to struggle to keep our culture, our language, our history, our idiosyncrasies, our music, our dances, our culinary skills, and our roots alive, and to decolonize our minds and our homeland. It means that we should struggle to protect and preserve everything that defines the Puerto Rican nation.

The diasporic identities aren’t synonymous with Puerto Rican identity. i’m not a Nuyorican. i have lived in this country for over five and a half decades. i speak both languages, but Spanish remains my primary language. In the late 60′s a handful of Puerto Ricans put together a journal called ‘the Rican.’ i thought the name was an error. It didn’t survive because just a handful of Ricans read it and identified with it. i use Spanglish like many other diasporic Puerto Ricans do. i enjoy the poetry of Pedro Pietri and the plays written by Miguel Piñero. i believe many diasporic Boricuas can identify with Spanglish, and we can be sure it will continue morphing and evolving.
Oscar López Rivera has been imprisoned in the United States for over thirty years because of his political beliefs. López Rivera, 71, has been imprisoned for 33 years in the United States charged with “seditious conspiracy” and “conspiracy to escape” for which he received a 70-year sentence. He is a fighter for the independence of Puerto Rico, a colony of the United States. Politicians, artists, and many people across different ideologies have united to ask US President Barack Obama to pardon López Rivera, who has been called the longest held political prisoner in the western hemisphere.

To find out more, please read our previous coverage here, herehere, and here.

This article was originally published by Global Voices Online.

Source:  https://www.oximity.com/article/What-it-Means-to-be-Puerto-Rican-for-P-1

October is Stop Mass Incarceration Month

 
 
 

California Just Ended One of America's Most Despiciable Prison Practices

Gov. Jerry Brown just signed into law a measure that would forbid prisons from sterilizing inmates without obtaining proper permission.

The bill, which received unanimous support from the state's assembly and Senate, was introduced earlier this year following scrutiny from the Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR) as well as a state audit of the prison system.

"Pressuring a vulnerable population into making permanent reproductive choices without informed consent is unacceptable, and violates our most basic human rights," state Democratic Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, the bill's author, said in a statement.

The numbers: If you're surprised that legislation like this is necessary in 2014, you're not alone. But sterilization of prisoners has become a big issue in California thanks to a 2013 CIR investigation that found that nearly 150 female inmates were sterilized by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation from 2006 to 2010.

These weren't done in secret or anything, but inmates who talked to CIR alleged that prison officials coerced them into undergoing the procedure. 

"As soon as he found out that I had five kids, he suggested that I look into getting it done. The closer I got to my due date, the more he talked about it," one told CIR. "He made me feel like a bad mother if I didn't do it."

More:  http://mic.com/articles/99902/california-just-ended-one-of-america-s-most-despicable-prison-practices

How the Dark Money Regime Is Shaping 2014 Elections

Nonprofit groups, some well known (such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Americans for Prosperity, founded by the Koch brothers) and some obscure (America Inc., anyone?), have dumped huge sums of anonymous money into every competitive Senate race and many House contests. Here are five eye-opening indicators showing the rapid spread of dark money in this year’s campaign season—and why it’s going to get worse as Election Day approaches.

The $50 Million Mark

A milestone passed in late August: According to the Center for Responsive Politics, dark-money groups—nonprofits created under the 501(c)(4) and (c)(6) sections of the U.S. tax code—had by then surpassed $50 million on elections. These groups, unlike political action committees and candidates’ campaigns, do not have to disclose their donors. So some of the key players looking to sway election results remain in the shadows.

This was a new record and seven times the amount of dark money spent by the same point on House and Senate elections in 2010. And this week, dark-money spending for the 2014 cycle reached $63 million—just shy of the $69 million in dark money spent during the entire 2008 presidential election.

You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet

Every politician knows that campaign season begins in earnest after Labor Day. If recent history is any guide, there is sure to be an unprecedented last-minute blitz of dark-money spending.

More:  http://www.nationofchange.org/2014/09/28/dark-money-regime-shaping-2014-elections/

UK Government Says Never Mind What People Want, Let’s Frack

Following a nearly three-month public comment period in which more than 90 percent of the comments were opposed, the UK government announced it will go ahead with a plan to allow fracking beneath homes without the owners’ permission. Current rules allow homeowners to block shale gas projects. The government says the legal process to force them to allow them so is too time-consuming and expensive.

The Guardian of London reported that of the 40, 647 responses received, 99 percent opposed the plan. Removing 28,821 responses submitted by two environmental group campaigns, 92 percent opposed it.

“The majority of respondents included campaign text opposing hydraulic fracturing and/or the proposed change to underground access legislation and did not specifically address the questions to the consultation,” the government website said. “We acknowledge the large number of responses against the proposal and the fact that the proposal has provided an opportunity for the public to voice their concerns and raise issues. However the role of the consultation was to seek arguments and evidence to consider in developing the proposed policy. Whilst a wide range of arguments were raised and points covered, we did not identify any issues that persuaded us to change the basic form of the proposals.”

So they didn’t.

More:  http://www.nationofchange.org/2014/09/28/uk-government-says-never-mind-people-want-lets-frack/

Jay Nixon Received Thousands Of Complaints About His Response To Ferguson

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — As protests mounted following the police shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, so too did the public frustration directed at Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon — seemingly, no matter what action he took.

Public records obtained by The Associated Press show that Nixon received thousands of phone calls and hundreds of emails, letters and faxes from people throughout Missouri and the world in the weeks after the Aug. 9 shooting. Most of the correspondence was critical of the governor — first for not intervening quickly enough as armored police fired tear gas on protesters, then later for appearing to call for the prosecution of the white officer who shot the black 18-year-old while the investigation is ongoing.

The documents display a diversity of public outrage. Some people blamed Nixon for a heavy-handed police response to protesters. Others chided him for not publicly doing enough to support police. Some comments were crude and profane. Others offered advice on how to restore peace in the streets from people emphasizing their expertise.

Nixon said he read none of it — though his staff did — because he was so focused on getting the difficult situation under control.

"There aren't a lot of ways to deal with shootings of this nature, conduct of this nature, that don't touch a lot of very emotional, value-laden positions that Missourians hold," Nixon told the AP.

From a public perception standpoint, "it's kind of a no-win situation" for Nixon, said Eric Morris, an assistant communications professor at Missouri State University.

More:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/28/jay-nixon-ferguson_n_5896080.html

Who’s Getting Caught In The “School-to-Prison” Pipeline? And Why?

The U.S. prison population is disproportionately black. The same racial disparity can be seen in the students who are punished in the nation’s schools. The connection between these two phenomena are stronger — and more insidious — than many may understand.

A crisis continues to unfold in the United States’ prisons, where the prison population is vastly disproportionate to the country’s general population demographics. Per 2013 data from the U.S. Census Bureau, blacks represented 13.2 percent of the U.S. population, yet, according to the Sentencing Project, blacks represented 38 percent of all individuals in federal or state prisons, as of 2011.

This imbalance has manifest at a time when for-profit prisons are posting record profits and announcing their expansion into other segments of the post-judicial corrections portfolio. For example, as reported by the Wall Street Journal, Corrections Corporation of America — the nation’s largest for-profit prison operator — has responded to calls coming from some states regarding the high cost of long-term housing of inmates by announcing expansions of the company’s prison rehabilitation, drug counseling and prisoner re-entry programs.

This diversification has created the impression that the CCA is not only seeking to be the primary jailer in many states, but is also seeking to offer the alternative to incarceration in these communities. In light of the CCA’s and other for-profit prison operators’ heavy political lobbying and the private prison industry’s record for having a higher racially disproportionate population than what exists in comparable public prisons, there is reason to believe that CCA and other for-profit prison operators are succeeding in “gaming the system.”

More:  http://www.popularresistance.org/whos-getting-caught-in-the-school-to-prison-pipeline-and-why/

 

The CIA Monitored The Destruction Of Reporter Gary Webb

Eighteen years after it was published, “Dark Alliance,” the San Jose Mercury News’s bombshell investigation into links between the cocaine trade, Nicaragua’s Contra rebels, and African American neighborhoods in California, remains one of the most explosive and controversial exposés in American journalism.
 
The 20,000-word series enraged black communities, prompted Congressional hearings, and became one of the first major national security stories in history to blow up online. It also sparked an aggressive backlash from the nation’s most powerful media outlets, which devoted considerable resources to discredit author Gary Webb’s reporting. Their efforts succeeded, costing Webb his career. On December 10, 2004, the journalist was found dead in his apartment, having ended his eight-year downfall with two .38-caliber bullets to the head.
 
These days, Webb is being cast in a more sympathetic light. He’s portrayed heroically in a major motion picture set to premiere nationwide next month. And documents newly released by the CIA provide fresh context to the “Dark Alliance” saga — information that paints an ugly portrait of the mainstream media at the time.
 
On September 18, the agency released a trove of documents spanning three decades of secret government operations. Culled from the agency’s in-house journal, Studies in Intelligence, the materials include a previously unreleased six-page article titled “Managing a Nightmare: CIA Public Affairs and the Drug Conspiracy Story.” Looking back on the weeks immediately following the publication of “Dark Alliance,” the document offers a unique window into the CIA’s internal reaction to what it called “a genuine public relations crisis” while revealing just how little the agency ultimately had to do to swiftly extinguish the public outcry. Thanks in part to what author Nicholas Dujmovic, a CIA Directorate of Intelligence staffer at the time of publication, describes as “a ground base of already productive relations with journalists,” the CIA’s Public Affairs officers watched with relief as the largest newspapers in the country rescued the agency from disaster, and, in the process, destroyed the reputation of an aggressive, award-winning reporter.
 
 
 

Nov. 1: Peace Through Revolution Rally And March

The history of U.S. and European white power is a history of war and violence inflicted upon the peoples of the world. It is a history of land theft and slavery that gave rise to the dominant world capitalist economy.

It is a history of the attack on Africa that led to the enslavement of an entire continent and its inhabitants, many of whom were forcibly dispersed throughout the world to work like beasts to create white wealth.

It is a history of the invasion, attack and occupation of the lands now called the Americas, resulting in the annihilation of whole populations whose survivors have been forced to endure conditions of extreme poverty and brutality.

While the various European states attempt to distinguish themselves from each other, Europe achieved its core identity in modern history through its multi-lingual, multi-ethnic unity based on enslaving and colonizing much of the world, the process that gave birth to capitalism and white power on a global scale.

Under this parasitic system half the people of Africa must eke out an existence on one U.S dollar a day so that Europe and North America can enjoy the highest standard of living on the planet.

Of the seven billion human beings on the planet 80 percent are forced to survive on less than 10 dollars a day while fully half are left to subsist on only two and a half dollars daily because the value of our resources and labor are stolen from us.
In the face of more than 500 years of brutality, repression and enslavement the majority of humanity has risen up in fierce resistance to the imperialist peace that has determined that we starve and suffer that that Europe and North America can thrive.
After all is said and done, after all the diversionary tales of African, Islamic and bedraggled terrorists threatening U.S. -made and supplied Apache helicopters, missile-laden drones and F-16 fighter jets, originating in lands hosting the majority of the world’s nuclear weapons, the truth remains that people want social justice, peace and reparations.

It is those weapons of mass destruction in the possession of U.S. and European white power that stand between the people and our aspirations for happiness and the return of our stolen wealth.

The resistance of the oppressed of the Earth is the real basis of this era of permanent imperialist warfare.

It is not sufficient to cry and pray for peace.

The answer is not peace that can be achieved by a cessation of struggle by the oppressed.

The answer is social justice and reparations, which can only be achieved by resistance to oppression and winning power to the people.

More:  http://www.popularresistance.org/nov-1-peace-through-revolution-rally-and-march/