News

In an Age of Climate Change, Even “Titanic II” Is Not Safe From Icebergs

Truth Out - Tue, 11/13/2018 - 14:47

Titanic II is set to sail in 2022. It’s a $500 million replica of the doomed Titanic that hit a North Atlantic iceberg in 1912. A local news report about the new ship postulated this logical but not valid prevailing attitude regarding climate change today: “The Titanic II will undoubtedly have less trouble with icebergs because of global warming.”

This statement could not be further from reality. If we as a culture could just remember that climate change is almost always not as it seems, it might be possible that we could survive as a species. On a warmer planet, cold extremes can become more common, drought can increase with more rainfall and icebergs can become more numerous.

The Cold Extremes

It’s not that a warming planet gets colder: Because more ice melts when it is warmer, the Arctic warms faster than the rest of the planet as ice reflects 90 percent of the sun’s energy back into space without it being trapped on Earth by the greenhouse effect. It’s called “Arctic amplification.”

This warming differential between the North and the rest of the planet changes the global pattern of jet stream circulation. The loops in the jet stream that drive weather systems around the world can become larger, extend further to the South and tend to move West to East more slowly.

The results are things like Hurricane Harvey’s stall that created a 25,000-year flood event across coastal Texas. Hurricane Sandy’s unprecedented left turn into New York and New Jersey was another, caused by a stalled-out, high-pressure system over Greenland. Likewise, the stall of Hurricane Florence can at least partially be attributed to climate change weakening hurricane steering currents. “Snowmageddon,” “Snowpocalypse” and “Snowzilla” are terms that have been used to describe monster snowstorms that have become more or less regular occurrences across the US Northeast and parts of Northwestern Europe since about 2009. These extreme winter storms really help show how Arctic amplification works.

Arctic Ocean summertime water temperatures are up to 14 degrees Fahrenheit warmer in some places. But even if the entire Arctic was 14 degrees warmer in winter, it’s still 30 degrees below. The wandering jet stream then picks up Arctic storms and pushes them farther South, bringing unseasonably cold weather more often. Refer to the term “polar vortex” in your memory bank.

Increased Drought With More Rainfall

An oxymoron, “simple physics” can quickly explain much of why the globe has experienced drought despite increased rainfall. Evaporation increases nonlinearly with warming. That is, a little more warming creates a lot more evaporation. Plants don’t really care how much it rains; they care how much moisture is in the soil.

The great beetle kill across the high-altitude and high-latitude forests of the world is being enhanced because of plant stress from “apparent drought,” which is being caused by greater evaporation. Less soil moisture due to more evaporation can actually create drought conditions that did not exist in our old climate with the same amount of precipitation.

Increased Icebergs on a Warmer Planet

So why is the Titanic II not any safer from icebergs on a warming planet? Increased melt in Greenland, where the Titanic-killing iceberg originated, has found its way to the bottom of the ice sheet through crevasses. This melt water does two things: It lubricates the ice sheet and allows it to flow toward the sea faster, and it can literally float the ice sheet up off Greenland’s bedrock by a few inches, further enhancing the flow of ice to the sea.

These things have caused iceberg discharge from Greenland to increase more than 500 percent from 2000 to 2011 (and undoubtedly more since). This increased iceberg discharge, along with the melt that caused it, is responsible for a lot of the increasing sea level rise we have been experiencing. The resulting fresh water has also pooled on the surface of the North Atlantic and caused a 40 percent decrease in flow of the Gulf Stream.

An iceberg swarm off the mouth of the Ilulissat Icefjord, West Greenland. Ice discharge from Greenland has increased more than 500 percent since 2000.An iceberg swarm off the mouth of the Ilulissat Icefjord, West Greenland. Ice discharge from Greenland has increased more than 500 percent since 2000.Bruce Melton

Importantly for the Titanic II (and the rest of us), iceberg migration into the North Atlantic has increased since 1900. Their numbers have doubled from the long-term average of about 450 a year to about 1,000 today.

The Meaning of This

Processing global warming psychologically is the key to saving our species. In order to develop behaviors that can make a difference, first we have to understand how critically these new behaviors are needed. Climate change is fraught with challenges that obscure the need for changed behavior, and the three counterintuitive results of rising global temperatures listed above are only the beginning.

Possibly the biggest challenges can be found in the way we talk about the weather. The prior quote about the Titanic II is part of this challenge. If our media spokespersons can’t get it right, this means that the knowledge they transfer to us is faulty. With climate change and with the Titanic II, this means trouble.

The discussion goes way beyond icebergs, though. Media outlets are where nearly all of us get much of our climate-related knowledge. Within the media, weather persons and meteorologists represent those that transfer the largest amount of such knowledge. Our weather institutions share much of the challenge that is represented by media’s knowledge transfer, too. What happens when the National Weather Service updates its precipitation and temperature averages every 10 years? The averages change, of course.

It’s standard practice in meteorology to be as accurate as possible. This requires updating average temperatures so that we know important things like when the first or last frost occurs, or the energy needs for heating or cooling, or when the water will be warm enough to go to the lake. So, every 10 years, the old temperature and precipitation numbers change. The effects on our society are easiest to see with warming temperatures.

Today’s average temperature for a certain day is warmer than it was 10 years ago, and that temperature 10 years ago was warmer than it was 10 years before that. When our weathercasters tell us that the temperature was average for this day, they mean it’s average for the day relative to the new averages the National Weather Service updates every 10 years. So, even though Earth’s average temperature has been warmer than the 20th century average for more than 400 months in a row, every month since 1984, we have still heard that the temperature on any given day was just about perfectly average.

Because the temperature varies so widely from day to day, this may not be an invalid statement, but the concept remains that what is meant by “average” or “normal,” relative to our old climate, rarely enters into the discussion.

So, to increase awareness to a level that is warranted by what so many and so highly knowledgeable scientists say is the single most important issue our society has ever faced, we must pay more attention to how we talk about the weather. This means we all need to help our weather professionals with their discussion behaviors too.

The post In an Age of Climate Change, Even “Titanic II” Is Not Safe From Icebergs appeared first on Truthout.

Categories: News

A poem about the Paradise Papers

Global Muckracker - Tue, 11/13/2018 - 14:34

Now for something a bit different… in celebration of it being one year since we released the Paradise Papers.

It’s not every day a poem is written about a global investigation. So when we learned that University of British Columbia professor Philip Resnick had penned one about the Paradise Papers, we had to get a copy.

Professor Resnick told ICIJ he writes a number of political poems.

“This one spoke to the shared concern I have with your journalists regarding the rampant inequality and tax evasion that characterizes the global system.”

Related articles

However, the professor said he feared his “bleak evaluation” had been borne out with the top 1 to 5 percent continuing to “rule the roost.”

“Countries like the United States have gone even further down the road of inequality,” he said, noting the “hefty tax cuts voted this past year.”

“Still, it is important to keep sounding the alarm about fiscal paradises and tax evasion and publicize some of the more egregious examples that can be uncovered.”

The Paradise Papers

“Not Ceaser now, but money, is all.”

— Alain de Lille, 12th-century monk

So the Fourth Estate has come to our rescue,
telling truths about power
That the powerful only whisper to themselves.
Will it change an iota
now that we know the feints and subterfuges
by which fortunes can escape
the gatekeepers meant to keep
the ship of state afloat 
where rock stars rub shoulders with royals,
political fundraisers with CEOs,
in the game of tax evasion and high finance?
Age-old suspicions will be confirmed,
a few indignant voices will be stirred,
as the masters of the universe carry on undeterred
in worshipping the deity that reigns on earth.

The post A poem about the Paradise Papers appeared first on ICIJ.

Categories: News

America Then and Now

Truth Out - Tue, 11/13/2018 - 14:31

The post America Then and Now appeared first on Truthout.

Categories: News

Neo-Nazi Splinter Group Chats Shows a Fractured, Violent Movement

Unicorn Riot - Tue, 11/13/2018 - 14:23
Sale Creek, TN – Following the disastrous Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville in August 2017, the white supremacist movement in the United States fractured into various smaller groups. One of the groups, the National Socialist Legion (NSL), has emerged more recently, founded by former…

The post Neo-Nazi Splinter Group Chats Shows a Fractured, Violent Movement appeared first on UNICORN RIOT.

Categories: News

It’s Spreading: Now the British Media Is Pushing Microchipping In The UK

The Organic Prepper - Tue, 11/13/2018 - 12:19
by Adam Palmer

It’s no coincidence that a veritable public relations advertisement concealed as an article in the Daily Mail regarding the microchipping of thousands of Swedish people would soon … Read the rest

The post It’s Spreading: Now the British Media Is Pushing Microchipping In The UK appeared first on The Organic Prepper.

Categories: News

In November We Remember Those Who Gave Everything

It's Goin Down - Tue, 11/13/2018 - 06:08

The post In November We Remember Those Who Gave Everything appeared first on It's Going Down.

Veteran Tariq Khan reflects on the hollow legacy of Veterans Day and connects the history of November 11 to remembering those who fought for a better world.

By Tariq Khan and other BRRN members

On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918, the working class people who made up the rank-and-file of the world’s most deadly militaries of the era, ceased firing at each other. This armistice unofficially ended the “war to end all wars.” And in several nations, November 11 became Armistice Day; a solemn day to reflect on the murderous futility of militarism, and to commit to peace. A tradition was born of observing a moment of silence at 11:00 am on November 11. To this day some still uphold this tradition.

But the notion of a war to end war was always a lie. As long as there is the rule of capital, as long as there is empire, as long as there is colonization, as long as there is racial domination, as long as there is patriarchy, as long as there is the state – there is war. After a second, larger, more technologically advanced war to end wars, as the U.S. entered a period of constant war, of proxy war, of secret war, of Cold War, the President of U.S. Empire Dwight Eisenhower changed Armistice Day, a solemn day of peace, to Veterans Day, a day to glorify militarism — not to be confused with Memorial Day or Armed Forces Day, which are likewise days the U.S. government has appointed to mystify the public’s mind with patriotic militaristic lies.

Tomb stones with flags at Arlington national cemetary.

So here we are on November 11th.

November 11th. In 1831, Black people across Southampton County, Virginia, rebelled against slavery. Led by Nat Turner, the rebels walked silently from one slave labor camp to another, killing enslavers and freeing enslaved people along the way. The state and ordinary white society responded with murderous cruelty to uphold white supremacy and slavery. White vigilantes extrajudicially tortured and murdered some 120 Black people, regardless of involvement in the rebellion. The state executed some 55 Black people suspected of involvement with the rebellion. On November 11, 1831, in Jerusalem, Virginia, the state hanged Nat Turner, then flayed his body and beheaded him, to terrorize other Black people into submission. Through this kind of sadistic, ritualistic, group cruelty against Black people in Virginia, white people reestablished white domination in the region. November 11th.

Painting portraying Nat Turner and fellow slaves planning rebellion.

November 11th. In 1886, exploited and abused industrial workers across the United States called for a general strike for the eight-hour day. At the McCormick plant in Chicago, the company locked out the union members and hired scabs to replace them. Police escorted the scabs to the plant, and when the workers moved to block the scabs from crossing the line, police shot two of them to death, at least two others died later from the wounds. The most influential labor organizers in Chicago at the time were anarchists affiliated with the International Working People’s Association. In response the anarchists held a mass meeting at Haymarket Square to protest the violence of the police. Without provocation, the police advanced against the crowd to violently break up the meeting. Someone threw a handmade bomb at the police, killing one officer. The police responded by firing indiscriminately; so indiscriminately that many of their shots hit other officers. Without evidence, police charged eight anarchist labor organizers for throwing the bomb, some of the accused anarchists were not even present at the meeting. The judge made it clear that even if they were not guilty of throwing the bomb, they were guilty of that most egregious crime against capital: organizing labor. The Haymarket Trial has since become famous globally as one of the great sham trials of U.S. history. Five defendants ended up sentenced to death: Louis Lingg, George Engel, Adolph Fischer, Albert Parsons, and August Spies. Lingg committed suicide in his cell. November 11, 1886, the state hanged Engel, Fischer, Parsons, and Spies. August Spies shouted, “The day will come when our silence will be more powerful than the voices you are strangling today!” Engel and Fischer shouted, “Hurrah for anarchy!” Albert Parsons shouted, “Let the voice of the people be heard! O—”, and the executioner sprung the trap. November 11th.

portraits of haymarket martyrs

November 11th. In 1919, a patriotic gang of American Legion members attacked an Industrial Workers of the World union hall. During the celebrations of Armistice day in Centralia Washington, the local American Legion chapter (A far right-wing U.S. veterans organization) Stormed the town’s IWW union hall. This was part of an escalating pattern of wanton violence by the bosses and the state to undermine the efforts of the IWW to organize lumber workers and exactly a year after a similar raid during the Armistice Day celebrations of 1918 had destroyed their previous hall. This time IWW members resisted. In a shootout with the Legion six were killed but the hall was eventually stormed by the police with all inside arrested. During the shootout Wesley Everest, an IWW member, lumber worker, and draftee who served much of his time in military prison for refusing to salute the flag, fled from the back of the building. He was soon swarmed by the legion. He killed one assailant but was then beaten, including in the face with rifle butts, and dragged through the streets to the city jail where he was left on the floor without treatment. In the middle of the night the police returned him to the reactionary mob who lynched him and shot him at the town bridge. The remaining prisoners were tortured by the police as the mob outside called for their deaths. The police later retrieved Everest’s dead body and returned it to the jail, in full view of the other Wobblies in the jail, with the noose still around his neck, to terrorize them. Seven IWW members were sentenced to prison terms of up to 40 years for the shootout but none of those who participated in the lynching were even tried, in spite of the fact that the members of the lynch mob were well-known to the public, and even bragged about it. The lynching of Wesley Everest makes the alliance between the state, capital, and murderous reactionaries abundantly clear. November 11th.

Mural depicting centralia massacre

So here we are at another November 11th, with a white nationalist head of state massing troops at the already hyper-militarized border as a political ploy to intimidate asylum seekers, and we’re supposed to celebrate militarism: thank the veterans of U.S. invasions and occupations for their “service” to this blood-stained empire. Veterans Day is a patriotic erasure of state violence and people’s struggle. Rather than celebrate militarism, take moment this November 11 to remember the martyrs of the social revolution: Nat Turner, Louis Lingg, Albert Parsons, August Spies, George Engel, Adolph Fischer, Wesley Everest, and all those whose lives have been stolen by the violence of the state and reactionary vigilantes. Hurrah for anarchy!

Tariq Khan is a military veteran and member of Black Rose/Rosa Negra Anarchist Federation in Central Illinois. For more on his personal story we recommend listening to Tariq’s podcast interview with It’s Going Down, “Into the Eye of the Troll Storm.” We also recommend other writings by Tariq Khan “The ‘Left-Wing Terrorism’ Narrative Doesn’t Understand Violence” and “3 Reasons Why We Need A More Revolutionary July 4.”

Categories: News

Sussex 2 Sussex: From Death Row to An Empty Cell

It's Goin Down - Tue, 11/13/2018 - 05:08

The post Sussex 2 Sussex: From Death Row to An Empty Cell appeared first on It's Going Down.

A report from Black liberation prisoner Kevin “Rashid” Johnson, as the State continues to move and harass him.

Because I struggle to give a voice and human face to and to publicize abuses suffered by my imprisoned peers, help them challenge their mistreatment and work to educate them on their human rights and true role within Amerika’s overall exploitative, oppressive and racist political-economic system, officials have always aimed to isolate me from them.

When years of these repressive efforts failed, in 2012 the Virginia Department of Corruption’s (VDOC) new token Black director, Harold Clarke had me transferred out of state. Because I continued this work everywhere else I went. I was subsequently expelled from three other states (Oregon, Texas and Florida). Texas and Florida being recognized by the courts and media as two of Amerika’s most corrupt and abusive prison systems and Oregon among its most racist.[1]

When Florida gave Virginia an ultimatum to come get me within five days, this left Virginia little option but to take me back since they couldn’t arrange to send me elsewhere on such short notice. So, on June 12th I was returned to Red Onion State Prison where I immediately began publicizing abuses. After only a month there I was moved to Virginia’s Sussex 1 State Prison and put on death row, although I have no death sentence.

Apparently this seemed the ideal immediate place to isolate me, since only three men remained on Virginia’s Death Row and are held in an otherwise empty 44-cell pod where they could be housed in cells far away from me. Also, despite the “dangerous” stigma prison officials love to project against Death Row prisoners, they are recognized to be the least problematic of all prisoners. In this regard Virginia officials apparently expected their Death Row prisoners to meekly accept orders not to communicate with me. Their plan failed miserably.

So three months later (on October 17th) I was transferred to Sussex 2 State Prison and put in solitary confinement with designs to make my living conditions decidedly worse.

Life on Death Row

Throughout my stay at Sussex 1State Prison the Death Row prisoners refused orders to not talk to me despite the warden’s trying everything from attempted bribery and threats, to revoking privileges and trying to make living condition harsher on Death Row.

Officials there were vocally incensed by my publicizing the case of Thomas Porter, one of the Death Row men, and his successful legal battles that ended Virginia’s practice of confining its Death Row population in permanent solitary confinement.[2]

But what outraged them in particular was my ability to use the Death Row telephones to communicate with outside people and the media.

This allowed me to conduct numerous radio interviews and talk to various journalists during and about the August 21-September 9 Nationwide Prison Strike and concerning prison abuses, to participate in prisoner advocacy discussion forums, and other prisoner support-related events; to develop and advance important political work; and to restore familial bonds and social relations cut off by years in solitary confinement where phone use is not allowed (as in Oregon and Texas) or extremely limited (as in Virginia and Florida).

When it was discovered that I was using the phones (due to a correspondent letting on in a letter to me that we’d talked on the phone), the calls – which are automatically recorded by the automated prison phone system – were listened to and the warden came down on the Death Row prisoners and guards alike, trying to determine how I’d gotten the phones.

Soon after came the move to Sussex 2 State Prison, where the abuse began as soon as I stepped off the transportation van.

Here We Go Again

Now keep in mind that I was never charged with a single rule infraction while at Sussex 1 State Prison, whereas here at Sussex 2 State Prison they’ve been breaking every rule and policy in my treatment and have been confronting me with provocations and threats of violence including, for example, mobs of guards brandishing weapons and, (like scenes from the 2004 Abu Ghraib detainee torture scandal), with large unmuzzled dogs barking and lunging wildly at me – one of which was held only inches from me on October 17th as he repeatedly reared up on his hind legs attempting to bite me.

Upon my arrival at Sussex 2 State Prison, I was confronted by just such a mob with the aforementioned dog.

Following going through a search I was taken to a filthy cell having a commode full of blood. All neighboring cells had been emptied of occupants, and in violation of the state fire and building codes my cell door was chained and padlocked shut, preventing its ability to be opened by the electronic central control system that is used to open and close all other cells in the cellblock.

I was placed on a blatantly illegal special status, some of the conditions of which are posted outside the cell door, which include 1) that I be kept under direct watch of a guard sitting directly in front of my cell 24/7. 2) that staff not talk to me, 3) that I not receive out-of-cell exercise, 4) that my meals be served on special rubber trays without cups or utensils – I was expected to navigate eating all foods (including e.g. rice, soups, beans, oatmeal, etc.) with bare filthy hands like an animal. I in turn refused to accept meals under these conditions.

Additionally I’ve been denied all personal property and was given no cleaning or hygiene supplies. I’m being denied all stationary so I can’t send out personal letters.

Unlike other prisoners I cannot shave nor receive haircuts, and have been refused the intake orientation which all prisoners are required to receive upon being newly assigned to a VDOC prison, which notifies him/her of the prison’s rules and procedures, explains how to access medical, dental and mental health services, how to file grievances and requests, for services etc. Also without this orientation the prisoner will be denied all mail, because the orientation packet contains forms s/he must sign and forward to the mailroom consenting to the state’s procedures on handling and searching incoming mail. If the forms aren’t signed and filed by the prisoner, all incoming mail except legal mail will be automatically returned to sender.

And each time I leave the cell I’m subjected to a large security escort. In fact on October 20th I was escorted just a few yards from my cell to the shower by a group of guards in full body riot armor accompanied by another unmuzzled dog. I am also denied the right to confidential calls with my attorney. After pressing a number of complaints I was allowed to speak briefly with my attorney – after initially being denied calls to him – but only as guards sat listening to my conversation (a violation of attorney/client privilege).

On top of all this I am refused all consideration by the Sussex 2 State Prison medical department for complications related to my condition of chronic high blood pressure.

So essentially I’m sitting idle, chained and padlocked inside an empty cell, as official make a violent spectacle of me.

And who said corruption doesn’t fear publicity?

Dare to Struggle Dare to win!
All Power to the People!

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Since this article was sent out by Rashid, VADOC transferred him yet again, first back to Sussex 1 State Prison, and then from there to Indiana, where he is currently being held at the Reception-Diagnostic Center in Plainfield.  He is currently in a cell with no property. He has no extra underwear to change into. The cell is, of course, dirty. He’s in solitary confinement. They are refusing him his stationary and stamps, so he can’t write out. We will provide updates as we receive more information.

Endnotes

[1] See rashidmod.com and the sections with various articles and exposés on Oregon, Texas and Florida prison conditions, most containing extensive documentary support.

[2] See Kevin “Rashid” Johnson, “Heroic or Heinous: The Death Penalty Case of Thomas Porter” (2018) available at rashidmod.com

Categories: News

#TexasFightBack: Protest Katie Hopkins on Campus

It's Goin Down - Tue, 11/13/2018 - 04:58

The post #TexasFightBack: Protest Katie Hopkins on Campus appeared first on It's Going Down.

University of Texas students’ call on Austin to protest Katie Hopkins, a British white nationalist who has encouraged Europe to meet migrants with “gunships”

On Tuesday November 13, UT students and greater Austin residents will gather outside UT’s Patton Hall to protest white nationalist Katie Hopkins’ scheduled speech. The UT chapter of Turning Point USA is hosting Hopkins, who is known for her extreme anti-migrant and Islamophobic rhetoric. Hopkins has advocated for the use of “gunships” against refugees entering Europe and a “final solution” for Muslims. In 2017, she collaborated with Defend Europe, a white supremacist organization with ties to Generation Identity.

Antifascist UT students mark the actions of Turning Point USA’s new chapter with concern. As Texans prepare to welcome the Central American migrant caravan, Hopkins brings racist sentiments that have incited violence against Muslims and migrants in her home country of the UK.

White supremacy is not an ideological position to be debated, it is a political force to be dismantled. While Turning Point masks their complicity in white nationalism under the guise of free speech, we know that these speakers do not come for good faith “dialogue” or honest “debate,” but to propagandize and normalize their rhetoric and the violence it entails. The ties between Hopkins’s rhetoric and spikes in hate crimes are not accidental—they are evidence of the direct link between white nationalist speech and the political project of white supremacy, which entails violence and domination.

Our response to fascism is not to appeal to institutions like the State, Police, or the University—which themselves are built upon a foundation of white supremacy and regularly collaborate with fascist movements—but to organize community responses. We have put out a call for a mass mobilization to oppose Eurofash Katie Hopkins and Turning Point USA in order to drown out, shut down, and raise the costs associated with white nationalist activities. We believe in mobilizing our communities to defend ourselves against rising fascism—whether it manifests in white nationalist speakers, or the everyday white supremacy at the core of our society.

¡No pasarán!

#TexasFightBack

Categories: News

Vaughn 17 Court Support Summary, 2nd Week

It's Goin Down - Tue, 11/13/2018 - 04:47

The post Vaughn 17 Court Support Summary, 2nd Week appeared first on It's Going Down.

Report from court on the end of the second week of Vaughn 17 trial.

“People’s mentality is they’re victims of circumstance. They fail to realize they were victims before C Building…Those who understand the uprising needed to happen […] started from one thought (amazing)…Now I truly know the concept of the tree inside the seed… If my number gets called I’m going pro se, fuck a suit, I’ll wear a T-shirt and DOC pants…It’s gonna be epic, especially when I cross-examine their witnesses. It wasn’t about violence, that part is easy…Expose this place so the public and the government will take notice… I’d say I got their attention… […] This shit was supposed to happen.

We’re stronger on the other side of adversity. […] I appreciate you keeping me aware of what’s going on on earth…Foolish humans. Staying aware is staying alive.”

– Dwayne Staats, from transcribed excerpts of an intercepted letter read out loud in court on Friday

Yesterday, court was well-attended with supporters, with media, and also with agents/affiliates of the state. Court began early with AG Downs, defense counsel for Deric Forney, B. Gifford and pro se/defendant J. Ayers finishing questioning of a state witness from yesterday who had custody of paper documents entered as evidence in the case before they were transferred for professional forensic handwriting analysis.

The rest of the morning saw testimony from Andrew Sulner, a career forensic analyst who is also an attorney. He explained how handwriting analysis works, what it can be certain of, what it is not certain of/what it can’t rule out and how the paper documents (both the letter alleged to have been written by R. Shankaras and the letter alleged to have been written by D. Staats, but NOT the list of demands in blue ink on yellow paper that we have seen entered in evidence) were analyzed and reported on.

There was discussion about state witness from the prior week, H.J. Anderson, and his process of review under the recently retooled habitual offender statute, including how that may or may not relate to his having assisted the state in this case. We were informed that “the law is nuanced,” which was of course a mesmerizing insight.

State witness Sergeant David Weaver started testifying before lunch break, being questioned by AG Downs. We will note that he has been sitting at the state’s table the entire trial. His testimony centered on the kites that were analyzed by state witness A. Sulner. I did my best to record what he was reading from these letters accurately, but it happened very quickly and there are some parts of these in my notes that are likely either truncated or missing. It wasn’t possible for me to read them from the screens in the court, as I was sitting too far away.

Sgt. Weaver testified about the workflow with regard to cooperating witness interviews and the custody of evidence. He testified about what was included and what was emphasized in these interviews as well as why/why not. The concept of “taint” (aka “fruit of the poisonous tree” in legal parlance) was once again brought up. Sgt. Weaver routinely answered questions that he wasn’t being asked/volunteered information, and that did not go well for him in several instances.

A recording of a phone call that was alleged to have taken place between pro se/defendant J. Ayers and his sister shortly before the uprising was played for the court and Sgt. Weaver was asked about this. B. Gifford questioned Sgt. Weaver in the afternoon; his cross-examination centered on times, timeline and overall assessing the precision of both the preparation and decision-making that came out of Sgt. Weaver’s work on this case, from start to finish. In my memory, this lasted almost two hours.

The day finished with J. Ayers questioning Sgt. Weaver. In the end, he made plain before the jury that Sgt. Weaver, and thusly his work on this case, should indeed be looked at closely. “Are you aware AG Downs asked you 20 questions, and you had an answer for every one, but none for questions I asked you?”

Court will NOT be in session on Monday 11/12/2018 as courts will be closed in observance of Veterans Day. The judge informs that we will begin again on the morning of Tuesday 11/13/2018 at 10am. He also tells us we appear to be back on track time-wise, so to the best of my observance, I suspect the state will likely rest either early Tuesday or shortly thereafter. It’s possible in my analysis that, depending on what the defense presents and how extensive that may be, that the case could go to the jury by the weekend.

As always more court support is appreciated. Correspondence we’ve received consistently emphasizes the importance to the S/V 17 of outside support/advancing the “No More Lies – Remove The Disguise,” “Department Of Corruption” and “Department Of In-Justice” slogans as well.

To get to Wilmington via train from Philadelphia, take the Wilmington/Newark regional rail line. It’s about a ten minute walk to the courthouse. It is Zone 4; fare each way is between $6 and $8, depending when you leave. See SEPTA schedules there and back.

Categories: News

Twin Cities, MN: A Weekend of Solidarity Against Fascism & Anti-Semitism

It's Goin Down - Tue, 11/13/2018 - 04:35

The post Twin Cities, MN: A Weekend of Solidarity Against Fascism & Anti-Semitism appeared first on It's Going Down.

The following communique was originally published on the Conflict MN website.

It reads:

Over the weekend of November 9th, several properties owned by Julius DeRoma were attacked. Club Jäger, Hansa Corporation, and DeRoma’s home were subject to dozens of rotten eggs being flung at the targets.

DeRoma’s Club Jäger has had several problems since reopening after being exposed as a political contributor to the former KKK Grand Master David Duke. Some of those problems involve infestation of pests, other than Nazi scum.

Julius DeRoma has several ties to Nazis, Holocaust deniers, and has contributed to several fascists including Patrick Little, a vehement White Nationalist that supports violence against Jews. Patrick Little was also in contact with Robert Bowers the fascist that murdered 11 people at the Synagogue in late October. Julius DeRoma has hosted holocaust denier David Irving in 2012. Our struggle to combat fascism doesn’t stop here, and our campaign against DeRoma has only just begun.

Solidarity Means Attack.

With Love & Rage,

An Unruly Crew of Twin Cities Anti-Fascists

Categories: News

Tucson, AZ: For a Future Without Fascism, For A World Without Walls

It's Goin Down - Tue, 11/13/2018 - 04:20

The post Tucson, AZ: For a Future Without Fascism, For A World Without Walls appeared first on It's Going Down.

The following video and report was anonymously submitted to It’s Going Down, which we republish here.

It reads:

On the anniversary of Kristallnacht we dropped a banner near downtown Tucson, AZ.

We offered this small gesture in honor of  those who fell at the hands of fascism 80 years ago and in solidarity with those who rise to fight in this current moment. While we mourn in the wake of the anti-Semitic attack on the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, we also choose to fight.

For a Future Without Fascism,

For a World Without Walls,

From the borderlands to Gaza.

Whether fascism comes in the form of nazis marching in Chemnitz or the U.S. military mobilizing in the borderlands, we’ll rise to meet the challenge.

Categories: News

Ann Arbor, MI: Banner Drop To “Remember Aura Rosser, Murdered by A2 Cops”

It's Goin Down - Tue, 11/13/2018 - 04:14

The post Ann Arbor, MI: Banner Drop To “Remember Aura Rosser, Murdered by A2 Cops” appeared first on It's Going Down.

The following report and photos was anonymously sent to It’s Going Down, which we report here.

It reads:

On the snowy morning of Friday November 9th, a banner was hung on a pedestrian overpass over I-94 in Ann Arbor to greet workers as they commuted into the city. Reading “Remember Aura Rosser, Murdered by A2 Cops” the banner both calls on the passer-by to remember Aura, while directly laying the blame for her death at the feet of the Ann Arbor Police Department.

Aura Rosser was murdered on November 10, 2014 by Ann Arbor police. Ann Arbor police officers Mark Raab and David Ried responded to a police call from Rosser’s partner. Within 5 to 10 seconds of arriving at the home, officer Raab discharged his taser while Ried shot and killed her.

Officer Ried’s decision to kill Aura must be seen within the context of national and international disregard for the lives of Black and Brown people.

Aura was a Black woman, mother of three, an artist, and a Lansing native who moved to Ann Arbor a month before being murdered. By accounts of those who knew and loved her, she was a beautiful, creative, and soulful woman. She was smart and strong, and defended herself against the exploitative men in her life.

We need to commemorate her artistry, her poetry, her motherhood, her being in this world. She had friends and family. She had spirit. She loved. She stood up for herself. She did not need to die. We demand justice for Aura Rosser!

For more information and context, see below:

  • The State “investigated” the killing, publishing their report. In critical response is the People’s Retort.
  • Who Killed Aura Rosser,” an essay exposing the systemic forces behind Aura’s killing.
Categories: News

Phone Zap!: Get Comrade Malik Out of Solitary!

It's Goin Down - Tue, 11/13/2018 - 04:12

The post Phone Zap!: Get Comrade Malik Out of Solitary! appeared first on It's Going Down.

IWOC member and prison rebel Comrade Malik is in need of help! Take part in the call-in campaign to help get him out of solitary!

PHONE ZAP: TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 13th, 9AM – 1PM

Incarcerated activist Keith “Malik” Washington has experienced intense, targeted harassment ever since he began speaking out against the brutal conditions faced by incarcerated people in Texas and nationwide–but over the past few months, prison officials have intensified this retaliation even further.

In Administrative Segregation (solitary confinement) at McConnell Unit, Malik has experienced frequent humiliating strip searches, medical neglect, mail tampering and censorship, confinement 23 hours a day to a cell that reached 100+ degrees in the summer, and other daily abuses too numerous to name.

Most importantly, Malik’s placement in Ad-Seg is a textbook example of political repression: a punitive response to organizing against the exploitation and dehumanization of prison slavery.

Please make calls to the prison officials below to demand Malik’s release from Ad-Seg and an immediate END to abuses against him!

BACKGROUND

Malik was thrown into Ad-Seg in 2016 for endorsing the nationwide prison strike to #EndPrisonSlavery. To this day, prison officials acknowledge that he is in solitary for political activism–that is, for encouraging people to engage in non-violent tactics of work refusal and boycotts of prison industries.

And it gets worse: Malik was cleared for release from Ad-Seg back in June, but the decision was abruptly reversed on the basis of “information” allegedly received by a shadowy, unaccountable intelligence operation called a Fusion Center–information that has never been disclosed, evaluated or verified by anyone, ever.

WHO TO CONTACT

Make the calls on Tuesday (ideally between 9AM-1PM) and send emails to addresses provided. Call script provided below!

TDCJ Executive Director Bryan Collier
Phone: (936)295-6371
Email: exec.director@tdcj.texas.gov

McConnell Unit Senior Warden Philip Sinfuentes
Phone: (361) 362-2300
Email: philip.sifuentes@tdcj.texas.gov

TCDJ Region IV Director Miguel Martinez
Phone: (361) 362-6328
Email: miguel.martinez@tdcj.texas.gov

WHAT TO SAY

“Hello, I’d like to talk to _______. I’m calling because Keith Washington’s (TDC#1487958) placement in Ad-Seg is a clear case of political repression and retaliation, which has no connection whatsoever to any legitimate security or safety concern.

You are trying to make an example out of him, and I demand that the intense harassment and retaliation against Keith cease immediately, especially the strip searches, medical neglect, and mail tampering he has been subjected to on your watch.

Most importantly, I’m calling to demand that you convene a special review of Keith’s placement in Ad-Seg and release him back to general population ASAP.

I am well aware that Keith was cleared for release from Ad-Seg by the State Classification Committee back in June, and the abrupt reversal of that decision was made on the basis of information that has NEVER been disclosed to Malik or any other person, and has never been independently evaluated or verified–in other words, it’s a pure fiction, another clear indicator of the political repression he is facing. I demand you release Malik from Ad-Seg immediately–his placement there is completely illegitimate!”

——-

NEW TO PHONE ZAPS? HERE ARE SOME POINTERS!

– When you call, ask for the specific individuals listed above, but don’t expect to reach them; it’s totally fine to leave a message with their receptionist.

– Don’t be surprised if they try to transfer you a million times, keep you on hold, etc. Just talk to or leave a message with whoever you can.

– Don’t be surprised if they lie to you (“Oh, Keith is doing just fine”)–just stick to the script/talking points

– Don’t feel you have to be overly polite or overly rude; just go with whatever feels natural!

– Use the buddy system! Make the calls with one or more friends!

– Report your call: post how your call went (what they said, if they mentioned that others have called, etc)

—–

WRITE TO MALIK!

View his work at comrademalik.com or write him at:

Keith H. Washington
TDC# 1487958
McConnell Unit
3001 S. Emily Drive
Beeville, TX 78102

Categories: News

Philly: Keystone State Skinheads Plan to Attend “We The People” Rally

It's Goin Down - Tue, 11/13/2018 - 03:21

The post Philly: Keystone State Skinheads Plan to Attend “We The People” Rally appeared first on It's Going Down.

Update from Philly Antifa that neo-Nazi skinheads have stated on online forums that they plan to rally alongside Proud Boys and militia members in Philadelphia on November 17th. A mass mobilization under the banner of #PushBack has been planned. More info here.

ALERT: Keystone State Skinheads co-founder and de-facto leader Bob Gaus plans to bring a crew of KSS boneheads to the “We The People” rally being organized in Philly on Nov 17th by the Proud Boys and Three Percenter militia members. Fellow KSS member Bryan Vanagaitis has also been on the event page “liking” various comments.

The rally organizers have refused to bar them from attending, instead making vague statements about “displays of hate” not being allowed. What does that mean? It means nazis welcome, as long as you act in a media-friendly way.

Several KSS members are currently under indictment for a bias attack in Avalon, PA in which they attacked a black man at a bar. The last time an organized group of KSS came to Philly, they brutally attacked 2 Anti-Racists who were on the way to protest them.

We need EVERYONE in the streets to #pushback against this alliance of Nazis, Proud Boys and Threepers on the 17th! The rally organizers have their plausible deniability and that’s all that matters to them. KSS has a group of nazi-sympathizing rubes to use as cover and to swell their numbers. Stay safe, bring lots of friends, and don’t be intimidated by these bigots!

UPDATE: A few of the organizers of “We The People” are claiming that they’ve told KSS they “are not wanted.” We are skeptical considering it took them hours to acknowledge that KSS intended to attend (while posting other updates on the event page) despite it being brought to their attention almost immediately by some of their own supporters. They then made the statement we refer to above about “displays of hate” not being allowed but made no comment about nazis THEMSELVES attending until, again, people called them on it. It seems at least possible, if not likely, that WTP organizers are being dishonest. Sports Beer and Politics, in particular, has a history of denying nazis will attend their rallies, rallying and marching with nazis, and then denying it after the fact or claiming ignorance. It is also very possible that KSS will show up regardless knowing that WTP organizers won’t do anything and that the cops will protect them, and then try and target Anti-Racists out to protest. For the sake of safety, we are assuming KSS will be out and about in Philly on November 17th and others should plan accordingly.

Categories: News

Mexico: A Modest Agitation, Full of Rage, Against the 50-Year Prison Sentence of Our Compañero Miguel Peralta

It's Goin Down - Tue, 11/13/2018 - 02:40

The post Mexico: A Modest Agitation, Full of Rage, Against the 50-Year Prison Sentence of Our Compañero Miguel Peralta appeared first on It's Going Down.

Yesterday, a group of anarchists carried out an act of disruption in the “Anarchists” exhibit in the National Museum of Revolution in Mexico City. The action was an act of solidarity with anarchist political prisoner Miguel Peralta after his recent 50-year sentence, along with solidarity for the other six political prisoners of Eloxochitlán de Flores Magón, Oaxaca who still await sentencing. It was an act of remembrance for the recently deceased compañeros Kevin Garrido and Mijail Zhlobitsky. Furthermore, it was an act of disruption of the institutionalization and commodification of anarchist history in Mexico, into political party discourses and state-run museums and anniversary celebrations. Communique

On October 26th, 2018, the judge Juan Leon Montiel of the Mixed District Court of Huautla de Jiménez, Oaxaca, dictated a 50-year sentence against our anarchist compañero, Miguel Peralta, Mazateco prisoner and member of the Community Assembly of Eloxochitlán de Flores Magón. This sentence was dictated after four years of incompetence, irregularities and other obstacles led by the Zepeda cacique family in collusion with this judge and other state authorities. It is evident that Elisa Zepeda, now local representative for MORENA, who also holds the position of municipal president in Eloxochitlán, is behind this resolution, imposed according to her logic of power and terror against the organized community. While six other prisoners of the assembly continue imprisoned without sentence and dozens of families are displaced and threatened, Elisa Zepeda and her cacique group, in collusion with state power and protected by her political party, make use of the conventional clientelist tools to obtain legal immunity: protection through money, political favors, intimidation, fabrication of crimes, incarceration and dispossession. These clientelist tools accompany the escalation of power led by the current MORENA representative.

On the other hand, the alliance between MORENA and the liberal “citizenship” wing of anarchism are seen as the respectable, appropriate subjects. They seek to make anarchy an ideology inoffensive to power. They seek to extract the “critical” current from anarchism making it fit perfectly in this so-called “Fourth Transformation”. This new governmental regime seeks to break down radical and revolutionary social struggle, homogenizing social movements as part of the democratic government. It seeks to distance social struggle from an anarchist rupture, of confrontation and conflict, of direct action and solidarity beyond the written word. We know that it is blood which makes anarchism not simply a static and easily absorbed ideology to be revendicated in museums, commemorations and official celebrations, but an active revolutionary practice attuned to struggles and resistances, in solidarity with the communities that resist the attacks brought by capital, the state and its caciques.

What would the anarchists from the beginning of the century think now that they are locked in the National Museum of Revolution? What would Práxedis, Librado and Ricardo think of the failed anti-Indigenous, anti-province and anti-worker project of modernity that now waters down their legacy making peace with the new governmental power?

What is happening now in Eloxochitlán backed by the MORENA political party, feeds the ego and power of the cacique Zepeda family. Like their predecessor slave owners, they usurp the legacy of struggle to impose repression on the community that saw the birth of Ricardo Flores Magón, accumulating power and seeking to displace the community of their autonomy. That is to say, their unquestionable capacity for self-determination.

In front of the museum exhibit—a cadaveric image of the institutional revolution—we have decided to rupture this state spectacle of institutional hypocrisy. We have decided to rupture the absorption of indomitable forces into the historicist, paralyzing and collaborationist gaze, to show our solidarity with the struggle for the freedom of Eloxochitlán de Flores Magón, for anarchist prisoners generally and against the carceral system in its totality.

We do not want to improve the cages nor the prisons. We do not want to reform the laws nor strengthen the institutions. We are not even here to demand justice. With this action, we are here to shout our rejection of this lie that seeks to legitimize “radicals” in power. We are here to shout against the usurpation of histories of below; of those that struggle, attack and resist; of the communities that organize against the repressive state; of the individuals who break with the common sense of oppression and decide to take action. We are here in support of the many compañerxs past and present, who flee from the spotlight of power, who would completely despise being converted into dead relics beneath monumental ruin, the panoptic museum of decorated cadavers called the National Museum of Revolution.

Anarchism has nothing to do with something dissected in a museum. Such an exhibition doesn’t give life to anarchism nor confront oppression. Our agitation today is an explicit act of solidarity with compañero Kevin Garrido, assassinated in Chile a few days ago, inside prison. Also, in memory of the anarchist compañero Mijail Zhlobitsky who attacked the central offices of the secret Russian police, unfortunately dying in the action. We know that his impulse was in rejecting the global carceral system that represses, manipulates and tortures those that decide not to submit to the miserable reality imposed by capitalism. Furthermore, a rejection of the state form designed to sustain and protect it. Let this action be a modest reminder that anarchism cannot be reconciled with power or parties, not with judges nor institutions. Thus, we express our disgust and total repudiation of the state’s attempt at citizen pacification.

We wholeheartedly despise the 50-year sentence dictated against our compañero Miguel Peralta and we will not contain the fury it has generated in us. That is why we have come here and took the time to give back a little of what will never appear in the universities, museums nor anarcho-anniversaries. We struggle for the freedom of our compañerxs, against all power that is sustained by massive and systemic imprisonment. The populist desire does not confuse us. We know that the state is the enemy, its parties and defenders. Although they disguise themselves as human rights defenders, nongovernmental organizations and those inspired by anarchism, their position of power makes transparent our irreducible posture from below against their authority and for total freedom.

Nobody is free until everyone is free!

While more want to petrify our history, we will be active and more opaque.

Freedom to all anarchist prisoners!

In memory of our compañeros Kevin Garrido and Mijail Zhlobitsky!

Anarchists in solidarity with the prisoners of the Community Assembly of Eloxochitlán de Flores Magón

Categories: News

Professor sues university for being punished after calling female transgender student 'sir'

Citizens for Legitimate Government - Mon, 11/12/2018 - 22:15

Professor sues university for being punished after calling female transgender student 'sir' | 12 Nov 2018 | A professor at a small public university in Ohio is suing officials at the school after he received a written rebuke for not addressing a transgender student using the preferred gender pronouns. Nicholas Meriwether, a philosophy professor at Shawnee State University, filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court this month against university officials. The lawsuit asserts that university officials violated his constitutional rights by compelling him to speak in a way that contradicts his religious beliefs, according to NBC News.

Categories: News

Judge denies Scott request for injunction against Broward County

Citizens for Legitimate Government - Mon, 11/12/2018 - 21:46

Judge denies Scott request for injunction against Broward County | 12 Nov 2018 | Broward Circuit Judge Jack Tuter said Monday that he would not issue an injunction in response to a request from Gov. Rick Scott (R) that the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and county sheriffs impound ballots and voting machines in the county when they're not in use, according to CBS Miami. The announcement comes a day after Scott filed a pair of emergency motions in Palm Beach and Broward County courts, as legal action intensifies over the too-close-to-call Senate race between the governor and Sen. Bill Nelson (D)...In addition to this injunction, Scott also filed an emergency motion on Sunday, asking a judge to halt the inclusion of ballots from Palm Beach County in the final tally that were counted after the Saturday deadline to submit the unofficial vote count.

Categories: News

Fox News Twitter accounts stop posting after protest against presenter Tucker Carlson

Citizens for Legitimate Government - Mon, 11/12/2018 - 21:14

Fox News Twitter accounts stop posting after protest against presenter Tucker Carlson | 12 Nov 2018 | Fox News has completely stopped posting on Twitter, apparently because of a disagreement with the company. The station's usually prolific account, which has nearly 20 million followers, hasn't tweeted in days. The station has not offered a public explanation of the blackout but numerous reports suggested it was the consequence of a falling out between Fox News and Twitter. The outage came shortly after protestors went to presenter Tucker Carlson's house, after posting his address online -- which the network appears to believe was taken down too slowly.

Categories: News

Commemoration for Sandy Lake Tragedy Seeks Healing

Unicorn Riot - Mon, 11/12/2018 - 21:14
Big Sandy Lake, MN – Descendants, relatives, and people from all walks of life have come to Big Sandy Lake, Minnesota for the last two decades to commemorate the catastrophic Sandy Lake Tragedy of 1850, in which over 400 indigenous Anishinaabeg people died from U.S.…

The post Commemoration for Sandy Lake Tragedy Seeks Healing appeared first on UNICORN RIOT.

Categories: News

This co-op solar project will be owned by the community

Grassroots Economic Survival - Mon, 11/12/2018 - 18:27
Link: This co-op solar project will be owned by the community members it benefits

In Sunset Park, a waterfront neighborhood in central Brooklyn, nearly 30% of residents live below the poverty line. The neighborhood has dealt with a history of environmental burdens, particularly due to an expressway that runs above one of its main streets. For residents, high energy costs compound the air quality concerns produced by passing traffic and the presence of three nearby fossil fuel plants. A new initiative, though, is working to bring renewable energy to the neighborhood–and following a cooperative ownership model that’s helped stabilize energy prices in rural America.

[...]

[O]n the roof of the Brooklyn Army Terminal–a decommissioned army building now owned and being redeveloped by the NYC Economic Development Corporation as a local business hub–a partnership between NYCEDC, the nonprofit Solar One, the cooperative financing agency Co-op Power, and the local environmental advocacy group Uprose is creating a, 80,000-square-foot solar garden. Once completed, it will be one of the first examples of a cooperatively owned urban power supply, and potentially a model for other city coalitions to follow when looking for mutually beneficial ways to repurpose public rooftops as communal solar energy sources.

Read the rest at Fast Company

 

Go to the GEO front page

Categories: News

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