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National Prison Strike Begins: Prisoners in 17 States Demand End to “Slave Labor” Behind Bars
Democracy Now: Prisoners across the country are set to launch a nationwide strike today (August 21 - on the 47th anniversary of the killing of Black Panther George Jackson, who was shot and killed by guards during an escape attempt from San Quentin prison) to demand improved living conditions, greater access to resources and the “end of modern day slavery.” Prisoners in at least 17 states are expected to participate in the coordinated sit-ins, hunger strikes, work stoppages and commissary boycotts from today until September 9—the 47th anniversary of the Attica prison uprising. ... Prisoners first called for the strike in April, after a bloody altercation broke out at the Lee Correctional Institution in South Carolina, leaving seven prisoners dead and 17 others seriously injured. It was the deadliest prison riot in the United States in a quarter of a century. Six of the seven prisoners killed were African-American.... Visit Website ]
Aug 24, 2018, 12:20pm

News
Florida Police Chief Told Cops to Arrest Random Black People to Boost Stats
Charles Rabin, Jay Weaver and David Ovalle, Miami Herald: The indictment was damning enough: A former police chief of Biscayne Park and two officers charged with falsely pinning four burglaries on a teenager just to impress village leaders with a perfect crime-solving record. ... But the accusations revealed in federal court last month left out far uglier details of past policing practices in tranquil Biscayne Park, a leafy wedge of suburbia just north of Miami Shores. ... “If they have burglaries that are open cases that are not solved yet, if you see anybody black walking through our streets and they have somewhat of a record, arrest them so we can pin them for all the burglaries,” one cop, Anthony De La Torre, said in an internal probe ordered in 2014. “They were basically doing this to have a 100% clearance rate for the city.”... Visit Website ]
Jul 13, 2018, 1:43pm

News
Michigan Judge Rules Kids Don't Have a Fundamental Right to Literacy
Lori Higgins, Detroit Free Press: Few could dispute the importance of literacy. But children have no fundamental right to learn to read and write, according to a federal judge. ... The ruling came in a federal lawsuit that was closely watched across the U.S. because of its potential impact: Filed on behalf of Detroit students, it sought to hold a dozen state officials — including Gov. Rick Snyder — accountable for what plaintiffs said were systemic failures that deprived Detroit children of their right to literacy. ... The lawsuit sought remedies that included literacy reforms, a systemic approach to instruction and intervention, as well as fixes to crumbling Detroit schools. Earlier this month, officials with the Detroit Public Schools Community District said it would cost $500 million to bring school buildings up to par... Visit Website ]
Jul 3, 2018, 3:04pm

News
Supreme Court Punts on Gerrymandering, Keeps Partisan Maps in Place
Nina Sparling: How a Minority Party Stays in Power ... Partisan gerrymandering is alive and well after the United States Supreme Court opted not to issue a decision in pivotal cases from Wisconsin and Maryland ... The decision leaves states free to continue to draw election districts to gain partisan advantage. ... With the support of Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Stephen Breyer, Justice Elena Kagan issued a concurring opinion that outlined something of a roadmap for how to build tighter cases around partisan gerrymandering going forward.... Visit Website ]
Jun 19, 2018, 11:51am

News
Ecuador Continues Playing Hardball With Assange
James Cogan: On Monday Ecuadorian Foreign Minister María Fernanda Espinosa was elected to a one-year term as president of the United Nations General Assembly. On Tuesday she declared that her government would continue blocking WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange from all communications and deny him any personal visitors. On Wednesday it became 10 weeks since Ecuador’s government deprived Assange of his rights, which it is obliged to honor after granting him political asylum in its London embassy in 2012. ... After the vote, Espinosa again hinted that Ecuador is working to force Assange out of the embassy into the clutches of waiting police and the prospect of extradition to the United States on charges of espionage. She stated she was in discussion with both British authorities and Assange’s lawyers. “I think all parties are interested in finding an outlet, a solution, to this complex situation,” she declared... Visit Website ]
Jun 7, 2018, 5:06pm

News
Black activist jailed for his Facebook posts speaks out about secret FBI surveillance
Sam Levin, The Guardian, UK: Rakem Balogun spoke out against police brutality. Now he is believed to be the first prosecuted under a secretive US effort to track so-called ‘black identity extremists’ ... Balogun, who lost his home and more while incarcerated, is believed to be the first person targeted and prosecuted under a secretive US surveillance effort to track so-called “black identity extremists”. In a leaked August 2017 report from the FBI’s Domestic Terrorism Analysis Unit, officials claimed that there had been a “resurgence in ideologically motivated, violent criminal activity” stemming from African Americans’ “perceptions of police brutality”. ... The government’s own crime data has largely undermined the notion of a growing threat from a “black identity extremist” [BIE] movement, a term invented by law enforcement. In addition to an overall decline in police deaths, most individuals who shoot and kill officers are white men, and white supremacists have been responsible for nearly 75% of deadly extremist attacks since 2001... Visit Website ]
May 11, 2018, 9:55am

News
Churches make a drastic pledge in the name of social justice: To stop calling the police
Julie Zauzmer, Washington Post: Now, the church has joined a small handful of like-minded congregations with a radical goal: to stop calling the police. Not for mental health crises, not for graffiti on their buildings, not even for acts of violence. These churches believe the American police system, criticized for its impact especially on people of color, is such a problem that they should wash their hands of it entirely. ... The churches call their drastic approach “divesting” from policing. ... The churches that commit to ending their use of police resources are training members in alternate responses to danger ... As members discuss self-defense, they’ve also decided that they will not arm anyone at the church with any weapon... Visit Website ]
Apr 21, 2018, 10:15am

News
The Mexican indigenous community that ran politicians out of town
David Agren, The Guardian, UK: Cherán, in the violent state of Michoacán, will stand apart from Mexico’s electioneering season, having tackled corruption and exploitation by banishing political parties, police and gangsters ... “The only thing the parties have done is divide us,” said Salvador Ceja, Cherán’s communal lands commissioner. “Not just here – in the entire country.” ... Academics studying Cherán say the new council has largely contained corruption. Council members are paid modestly, and held to account by the neighbourhood assemblies... Visit Website ]
Apr 3, 2018, 10:42am

News
Who killed Martin Luther King Jr.? His family believes James Earl Ray was framed.
Tom Jackman, Washington Post: In the five decades since Martin Luther King Jr. was shot dead by an assassin at age 39, his children have worked tirelessly to preserve his legacy, sometimes with sharply different views on how best to do that. But they are unanimous on one key point: James Earl Ray did not kill Martin Luther King. ... Until her own death in 2006, Coretta Scott King, who endured the FBI’s campaign to discredit her husband, was open in her belief that a conspiracy led to the assassination. ... In recent years, (William) Pepper has tracked down witnesses in Memphis who support his theory of the case: that J. Edgar Hoover used his longtime assistant, Clyde Tolson, to deliver cash to members of the Memphis underworld, that those shadowy figures then hired a sharpshooting Memphis police officer, and that officer — not Ray — fired the fatal shot... Visit Website ]
Mar 30, 2018, 11:33am

News
Are you ready? This is all the data Facebook and Google have on you
Dylan Curran, The Guardian, UK: Want to freak yourself out? I’m going to show just how much of your information the likes of Facebook and Google store about you without you even realising it. ... First, every Google Ad I’ve ever viewed or clicked on, every app I’ve ever launched or used and when I did it, every website I’ve ever visited and what time I did it at, and every app I’ve ever installed or searched for. ... They also have every image I’ve ever searched for and saved, every location I’ve ever searched for or clicked on, every news article I’ve ever searched for or read, and every single Google search I’ve made since 2009. And then finally, every YouTube video I’ve ever searched for or viewed, since 2008. ... And Much More ... Visit Website ]
Mar 28, 2018, 4:25pm

News
There’s Never Been a Native American Congresswoman. That Could Change in 2018
JULIE TURKEWITZ: ALBUQUERQUE — When Deb Haaland was a child, she would rise early on this state’s sun-beaten tribal land, sling a water jar around her waist and climb the mesa overlooking her pueblo. ... It was as high as she ever thought she would go. ... Now, she is among a historic number of Native American women running for elective office. ... Ms. Haaland is a citizen of the Laguna Pueblo, a sovereign nation west of Albuquerque that is one the country’s 573 federally recognized tribes. A child of military veterans, she attended 13 public schools before graduating from high school, then started a salsa company and worked as a cake decorator before putting herself through college and law school on a mix of food stamps and student loans.... Visit Website ]
Mar 26, 2018, 3:10pm

News
Defense Department: The War On Terror Has Cost $250 Million A Day For 16 Years
Jay Cassano: American taxpayers have spent $1.46 trillion on wars abroad since September 11, 2001. ... The Department of Defense periodically releases a “cost of war” report. The newly released version, obtained by the Federation of American Scientists Secrecy News blog, covers the time from the September 11th terrorist attacks through mid-2017. ... The Afghanistan War from 2001 to 2014 and Iraq War from 2003 to 2011 account for the bulk of expenses: more than $1.3 trillion. The continuing presence in Afghanistan and aerial anti-ISIS operations in Iraq and Syria since 2014 have cost a combined $120 billion ... The report’s costs include only direct war-related expenses such as operating and maintaining bases, procuring equipment, and paying for and feeding troops. It most notably does not include the expense of veteran’s benefits... Visit Website ]
Nov 7, 2017, 3:55pm

News
Uncovering Philly law enforcement's secret bank accounts
Max Marin & Ryan Briggs: In the name of ongoing narcotics investigations, civil asset forfeiture allows Philadelphia police to seize millions in cash, cars and homes each year from ordinary citizens, even when charges aren’t brought. But what happens to these assets after they’re seized – and eventually funneled into secretive municipal bank accounts ... The records depict a slush fund for DA and police spending ... $30,000 worth of submachine guns (equipped with military-grade laser sights valued at $15,000) for police tactical units; a $16,000 website development contract; custom uniform embroidery; a $76 parking ticket; $1,000 in raccoon-removal services; a push lawn mower; a pair of outboard motors; and tens of thousands in mysterious cash withdrawals... Visit Website ]
Sep 21, 2017, 4:19pm

News
In Japan, Abe seeks repeal of the Peace Constitution
Lina Sankari: Taking advantage of tensions with North Korea, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has announced a plan to bring about constitutional reform by 2020. ... He announced his intention to revise the Peace Constitution, adopted after Japan’s surrender at the end of World War II ... Article 9 of the constitution forbids Japan from initiating war, limits the capacity of the country’s armed forces to a defense capacity only, and requires Japan to pursue “international peace based on justice and order.” ... “Without Article 9, Japanese leaders would not have been able to say ’no’ to the war in Iraq,” pointed out the constitutional expert Higuchi Yoichi in the Japan Times... Visit Website ]
May 23, 2017, 12:17pm

News
The 'Told You So' Everyone Was Dreading—First DAPL Spill Reported
Throughout the battle over the Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL), Indigenous campaigners and their allies repeatedly warned it was not a question of if, but when a breach would occur. ... Now, before the pipeline is even fully operational, those warnings have come to fruition. ... AP: Wednesday-The Dakota Access pipeline leaked 84 gallons of oil in South Dakota early last month, which an American Indian tribe says bolsters its argument that the pipeline jeopardizes its water supply and deserves further environmental review... Visit Website ]
May 10, 2017, 5:29pm


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