The best chance for anti-people politicians is to discredit Bernie Sanders – and they’re trying.

Bernie talks to youth

Anti-people politicians think they can win the presidency by discrediting @BernieSanders – and they're trying #p2

NJ State Senators act to end prison-based gerrymandering

Prison-based gerrymandering is destructive to the families of incarcerated individuals. The NJ State legislator is trying to end this practice #p2

The 6th USCT at Trenton Barrack’s 3 Centuries of Black Soldiers 2018 event

Chuck at 3 Centuries

6th USCT member Ari Lopez Wei filmed this short video of the troop at the 2018 Three Centuries of Black Soldiers event at the Trenton Barracks Museum which took place the last weekend of Black History Month. It is sponsored by the museum and the 6th USCT re-enactment troop.

Inspiring messages of strength and hope in music videos by First Nation youth

Many Paths
Source: Many Paths … “The place where I was born is perfect”
Worth music video group shot
Source: Worth music video

Adams Lake (all girl) Indian Band’s “Worthy” carries a message of hope for youth:

The light will glow and inspire your journey … when you get a little older everything will be all right… you are worthy, you are worthy

Many Paths music video
Source: Many Paths music video

“Many Paths” with Kawacatoose First Nation youth

I’m going to keep my head up and make better decisions. You have to walk in my shoes to understand my position … If there’s one thing that a native people lack, the love and care – so unfair as I’m looking back … We walk the land of many paths, a narrow road that will lead us back to a life that we had …

When the Dust Settles
Source: When the Dust Settles

“When the Dust Settles” by Oxford House, Manitoba

… so many can relate with these broken-down homes … with a little bit of pride and a little bit of hope … we have been blinded with all we have been through, we’re always reminded it’s time we live true. When the dust settled you can see clearly, there’s hope where our home is, hold your tears. read more

Gov. Murphy will provide $2.1M for free legal help for NJ immigrants in need

New Americans in NJ
Source: Immigration Council

Newark, NJ – Governor Phil Murphy has announced that he intends to allocate $2.1M to fund free legal representation for immigrants facing detention or deportation who cannot afford private attorneys. In New Jersey, the vast majority of immigrant detainees fight their deportation cases without an attorney. It is not surprising that only 14% of unrepresented detainees are successful and able to remain in the United States, given the complexities of our immigration laws and the challenges of gathering evidence while incarcerated. Individuals facing deportation have no right to appointed counsel.

“While the funding will not be enough to ensure representation for all of the approximately 2,000 immigrants currently detained in New Jersey detention facilities for civil immigration violations, it is a promising first step towards protecting the due process rights of both long-time New Jersey residents with deep ties to our communities and who have families who would be devastated by their detention and deportation, as well as recently arrived immigrants fleeing violence and persecution in their home countries,” said Nicole Miller, Legal Services Director for the American Friends Service Committee’s Immigrant Rights Program (AFSC) in Newark, NJ. “AFSC has been representing immigrant detainees for over 20 years in New Jersey and we have seen firsthand the significant impact that legal representation has on a detainee’s ability to present their case to an immigration judge. It also ensures that detainees are treated with dignity and respect as they navigate a dehumanizing immigration system that tears families and communities apart.”

“We will continue to advocate on behalf of immigrant detainees and look forward to a day where the state of New Jersey fully funds a universal representation program that provides access to counsel to all immigrants detained in New Jersey and facing deportation,” stated Chia-Chia Wang, AFSC’s Director of Organizing and Advocacy.

AFSC, the ACLU of New Jersey and the Seton Hall Law School Immigrant Rights Clinic recently issued a report entitled “The Meaning of Counsel in the Immigration System: New Jersey Case Stories”, that highlights the importance of access to counsel for detained immigrants in New Jersey by documenting the stories of eleven New Jersey immigrants detained in immigration detention centers, many of whom are AFSC clients.

Join John Legend in the conversation to FreeAmerica

John Legend invites you to join Free America
John Legend invites you to join FreeAmerica

Join the conversation with John Legend on his listening tour of American prisons for the FreeAmerica project.

“FreeAmerica is a multi-year culture campaign initiated by John Legend to change the national conversation about our country’s misguided policies and transform America’s criminal justice system.”

Its ambitious goal is to end mass incarceration in the United States of America. Get involved.

Youth incarceration
Source: freeamerica.org

The North: a new collection of interactive multimedia stories of Newark that “must be told”

The NorthAuthor of Unfinished Agenda: Urban Politics in the Era of Black Power Dr. Junius Williams introduces The North multimedia storytelling project with these words:

THESE STORIES MUST BE TOLD
Sometime ago, those of us who entered political movements for change walked on our first picket line or marched in our first demonstration. At some point we got hooked on concepts like “Freedom”, “Direct Action” and “Resistance” to get rid of Jim Crow racism. Eventually we came to learn how to spend time in jail, survive police and vigilante violence; to organize poor and working class black people; to extract perks and building blocks from federal programs and build coalitions among unpredictable community groups; to fight city hall; to negotiate agreements that produced opportunities and skill development for community development; and to manage campaigns to elect black politicians.

But then one day we looked around and realized that many of our friends (and enemies) who made that journey, or similar journeys, were no longer with us….to laugh with, relive old conquests, or just tell lies. Too many have moved to places unknown, gotten sick, or passed on to the next life.

So many of our collective stories go untold.

These stories must be told, and hence the evolution of this project entitled, The North: Civil Rights and Beyond in Urban America. read more

Kim Guadagno is an immigrant hate machine echoing 45’s rhetoric

Immigrants
Steve Rhodes via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Gubernatorial candidate Kim Guadagno released a TV ad on October 12 reiterating her statement from the first gubernatorial debate referring to undocumented immigrants as “murderers and rapists”, using disparaging language like that of Donald Trump.

“Phil Murphy was very clear in the debate that he condemns murderous acts committed by anyone and that the people who commit those crimes should be prosecuted,” said Chris Estevez, President of the Latino Action Network. “Guadagno’s Trump-like approach paints all immigrants and Latinos as murderers and rapists.” LAN has condemned Guadagno’s statement.

According to Rudy Rodas, another LAN official, “Programs that deputize local police to carry out federal immigration enforcement, like that instituted by Kim Guadagno when she served as Sherriff of Monmouth County, make communities less safe since law abiding immigrants are less likely to report crimes or cooperate with police investigations when they fear that they will also be detained.”

“We have faith that New Jersey voters are intelligent people who won’t fall for Kim Guadagno’s Donald Trump impersonation and her hateful and divisive speech toward immigrants,” concluded Estevez.

Photo source: Steve Rhodes via Flickr under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 license

San Juan mayor responds to 45’s genocidal tweets: without help we will die

Mayor Cruz

The Nation reported on October 12, “San Juan Mayor Carmen Cruz woke up to Trump’s vindictive tweets on Thursday, and she texted a long message to Representative Luis Gutierrez of Chicago, who shared it with reporters.”

Follow Mayor Cruz on Twitter

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Here’s the body of the Mayor’s message:

Puerto Ricans have suffered greatly in the past month. Two hurricanes devastated our homes and our electrical infrastructure leaving us without the essentials to survive: drinkable water, food and medicine. But perhaps more frustrating has been the devastating actions, time after time, by a President whose tweets, comments and actions seem to be taken out of a book on “how to add insult to injury” rather than a book on “how to help during a humanitarian crisis”. He is simply incapable of understanding the contributions, the sacrifices and the commitment to democratic values that Puerto Ricans have shown over decades. His actions are unbecoming of a leader of the free world.

Mr President, you seem to want to disregard the moral imperative that your administration has been unable to fulfill. Your replacement of the FEMA Coordinator in Puerto Rico is an admission that things are not going the way they should. Your tweets and comments just show desperation and underscore the inadequacy of your government’s response to this humanitarian crisis. It is not that you do not get it, it is that you are incapable of empathy and frankly simply cannot get the job done.

Ever since this ordeal began, San Juan has had over 300 sustained volunteers from the United States. Good, hard working people from New York, Florida, California, Texas and many others who embody the fundamental values of compassion, ingenuity and hard work that you are certainly unable to express. These men and women, most of them union workers, have literally taken care of our bodies and souls. They did not come for a photo op or to throw paper towels and insults at us. They came to help, something you seem to be unable to grasp. These volunteers have seen the horror that you continue to want to dismiss. They embody the true spirit of the American values that you dismiss with every inappropriate and derogatory action and comment.

Tweet away your hate to mask your administration’s mishandling of this humanitarian crisis. While you are amusing yourself throwing paper towels at us, your compatriots and the world are sending love and help our way. Condemn us to a slow death of non drinkable water, lack of food, lack of medicine while you keep others eager to help from reaching us since they face the impediment of the Jones Act.

I ask every American that has love, and not hate in their hearts, to stand with Puerto Rico and let this President know we WILL NOT BE LEFT TO DIE. I ask the United Nations, UNICEF and the world to stand with the people of Puerto Rico and stop the genocide that will result from the lack of appropriate action of a President that just does not get it because he has been incapable of looking in our eyes and seeing the pride that burns fiercely in our hearts and souls.

No one needs an invitation to help, to feed the hungry, to cure the sick, to give a helping hand to those in need. Simply put: HELP US. WITHOUT ROBUST and CONSISTENT HELP, WE WILL DIE.

Mr. President fulfill your moral imperative towards the people of Puerto Rico.

Carmen Yulin Cruz
Mayor of San Juan read more

Nick Cannon kills it in ‘Stand for What’ video

Source: Nick Cannon Stand for What
Nick Cannon’s Stand for What via YouTube

Published Sep 24, 2017


Stand For what?!
You want me to stand for a song that continues to remind me of all the harms that have done me wrong?
Stand for what?!
For your Army that none of our sons truly belong
Stand for what?
The 100 years it took them to convince Congress to become the anthem after 40 failed attempts
Stand for what?
Your forefathers who really just Pimps.
Stand for What?
A song about War, not freedom
That’s how you want to lead them
Brainwash your people? that’s how you want to treat em
Slavemasters whips to Cops night sticks, that’s how you continue to beat em.
Stand for what
the beginning of Slavery in 1619
Or the end of those Black Marines of 1814
That’s really what the lyrics are about
They may have taken the word slave out
but they forget to remove the slave connotations from their brains and they mouth The mentality to make America Greater than your imagination is how you pout
Hating because we burned down their White House
Gave proof through the night, that its light out
For the old elitist white man thinking
Drunk off they ass with power at baseball games singing and drinking

Man stand for what?

Stand for something or fall for dumb shit!

Stand for what

To salute the Red White and Blue, on a Flag where my Colors not reflected

Stand for what
To uphold laws that were embedded to have my community negatively affected
Stand for what
Your racist systemic melodies of mind manipulating rhetoric?
Did you know the government pays Sports organizations for plays, to make people more patriotic
This MK Ultra Soul control needs to stop it
I can still love my country and hate that fucked up song about rockets, and bombs bursting air
Reminds me of Charlottesville’s vicious glares
And police shootings with no care like the dash cameras wasn’t there.
Stand for what
Monuments and statues of old slave masters
Constant reminders of our nations disasters
The Heros in Houston, the Doctors, the Poets and the Pastors.
That’s who I want to shape our greatness after
I honor and respect our men and women of service
But we’ve been taught to idolize wars without purpose
The majority of our Militaries casualties are minority soldiers
So let’s make statues of those warriors because they truly deserve it
Mt Rushmore was built by the Ku Klux Klan, so why the fuck should I have respect for those men

Damn, This is not my country and it’s not yours either.
Go back to Africa? I wish we never had to leave it
But the entire World is our neighborhood
So why do we perceive certain blocks to be bad and other blocks to be good?

Instead of glorifying the past we gotta focus on the future
Dick Gregory warned me if U speak up They probably gonna shoot ya!

But I shout for his eternal voice along with Martin, Malcolm and Marcus Garvey and
march wholeheartedly for their legacy
Because I’ll say it loud as you can see
Fuck Francis Scott Key and Robert E. Lee
They don’t represent me and neither do either of these hypocritical political parties
I am a native to the cosmic and Universal God Energy.

Even though the constitution really doesn’t apply to me
I’ll try to exercise my freedom of speech

So you can tell them you heard it from me.
Yeah I said it
Brutality, Historic Fallacies and
All war is wrong and so is that fucking song!
It’s Been way too long!
It’s time to make a change and acknowledge that your home of the brave was built on the back of a Slave.

So bowing down to a true King
Is the only way to let freedom ring

Stand for what?

I ain’t standing For Shit… except Kaepernick!

Lyrics and video ©2017 Nick Cannon #SpokenSundays #StandForWhat #poetry Hat tip to Chuck Saunders for the share

Why an American in England cried in the rain next to a statue of Abraham Lincoln

Statue Lincoln in Lancashire
Source: Lily Seville

Lily Seville posted this story on Facebook August 18 and made it publicly available so it can be shared.

I haven’t told any stories from England since I got home but it seems like maybe we could all use a good story about a civil war statue, a good story about an American President, and a good story about the power of the common people against the rich and powerful, so I’m going to start with this one. It’s probably for the best that you’re reading this here because I haven’t managed to tell this story in person without crying.

I was in Manchester with a bit of time to spare on a cool, sometimes rainy morning that reminded me of home. Since I had a minute I turned on Pokemon Go on the off chance that there would be a Mr. Mime in range. As luck would have it there was one only two blocks away from my intended destination! The game led me to a small square and as I approached I could’ve sworn that it had an enormous statue of Abraham Lincoln right in the middle of it. Much to my dismay the closer I got, the more it looked like Lincoln. When I was close enough to read the inscription I learned that it was in fact, a statue of Lincoln. What was a statue of Lincoln doing in a lonely square in Northern England?!

Then it got weirder.

There was a large blue sticker that was somewhat haphazardly stuck onto the base of the statue that said something along the lines of “talking statues of Manchester” and had a QR code with no further explanation. There was no question, I had to know what that QR code said! I immediately installed a QR scanner and no sooner had I clicked the shutter button then my phone rang. That was weird and more than a little creepy, but if they say one thing about me when I’ve gone it will be that I never passed on an adventure.

I answered the phone.

There was no preamble, no explanation, just a man’s voice saying “to the working men of Manchester” he then continued in beautiful, archaic prose to praise the workers of Manchester and thank them for their courage and sacrifice. It seemed to be a letter and when it came to an end it was signed “Abraham Lincoln”. When he had finished uttering his name President Lincoln hung up on me. It was a tantalizing letter to a child of Lincoln’s far future standing alone in a rainy square, 4,500 miles away from home. President Lincoln did not bother to list the brave acts or to sum up the sacrifice. Why would he? The people of Manchester knew what they had done.

Luckily, after the phone call ended a screen popped up offering links to learn more. I stood in the drizzle, read an amazing story and wondered why I had never heard it before.

As you probably know during the Civil War the North imposed a Naval blockade on the South. The economic hardship that this caused was an important factor in the North’s victory. What I didn’t know was that the blockade also badly hurt the people of Lancashire, England. At that time the mills of Northern England produced the fabric that clothed the world. Seventy five percent of all the cotton grown on Southern plantations was sent to Lancashire where it was spun, dyed, and woven.

A year into the war and the embargo found Northern England in real distress. Sixty percent of its mills were shuttered, thousands of people were without work. The desperate wealthy mill owners started lobbying the British government to send the British Navy to break the blockade and let the cotton through.

Then an amazing thing happened. The workers themselves organized a mass meeting in the Manchester Union Hall to discuss the matter and those working class men, who had the very most to lose, chose to refuse cotton grown by enslaved hands. The blockade held and the men did indeed lose. In one town alone only five out of thirty-nine mills continued to operate. People went without fuel for heat, there was wide spread starvation, families lost their homes. And still–an ocean and a world away from a war in a place they had never seen–the people of Manchester chose to live and die by their values. They would not support slavery.

When the war ended that letter came from President Lincoln and it was followed shortly after by ships loaded with food and supplies for the people of Lancashire from the people of America, in gratitude.

And that is how I ended up crying in the rain 4,500 miles from home, in a square named for Lincoln in a country that he never set foot in.

I also caught my Mr. Mime.

If you are interested in reading the letter you can do so here.

If you want to read more about the history you can do so here and here.

I have made this post public so that it can be easily shared if you know someone who could use a hopeful story too ~ Lily Seville

Ed note: This story came to me via Han Broekman. Thanks for the beautiful share, Han.

Update from a Standing Rock volunteer after #45 orders attack on the camp

Protect the Sacred at Standing Rock
Source: hpr1.com

“Injustice Anywhere is a threat to Justice everywhere.” ~ Dr. King

This is an update from a Standing Rock volunteer. It’s not pleasant.

Friends,

I have returned from Standing Rock with my mind blown, my heart broken and my spirit troubled with foreboding of a deepening tragedy. Volunteering as a legal observer with the Water Protector Legal Collective I witnessed several confrontations between Water Protectors (WP) and law enforcement: national guard, sheriffs and private security (LE).

On 1/18/17 – 1/19/17 I observed WP with their hands in the air chanting “hands up don’t shoot” being fired upon at a range of 10 to 15 feet. Tear gas canisters and rubber bullets ( rubber bullets are regular bullets covered in rubber) were used against unarmed WP who had been singing and praying. I observed national guard chasing WP off the Backwater bridge, firing at people running away. I heard people choking and gagging from tear gas. I saw access to the WP medic vehicles being blocked. I spoke with medics and WP who described bullets penetrating flesh and causing terrible injuries, including to one media person who nearly lost his finger when his camera was targeted.

I talked with a media person and was told of 4 media people on the bridge that night, 3 had their recording devices shot and the 4th, his hand. I saw a photo of a sheriff aiming a rifle directly at a media woman who was standing apart from the crowd. I heard testimony of the back of the medic pickup truck being awash in blood after evacuating wounded.

I watched, and then, inadvertently became a part of, WP being forced off the bridge by national guard who were hiding behind WP vehicles parked along the road and firing rubber bullets at fleeing people. Many people were shot in the back, the neck, the head. When LE fired at people at close range, many were shot in the genitals or in the face. I received information about DAPL security breaching the short wave radio channels of the WP with taunts such as ”come out and fight like men you faggots or we will come to Camp and fuck your women.”

There are some young warriors, who, without the support of their elders, many who want the camps cleared to mitigate the economic and social damage being suffered by the local community in having the bridge closed, have vowed to not leave the camps or to let the last section of pipeline be built.

Driving away from the area on Monday I saw a convoy of construction vehicles heading to the drill pad. Last night an indigenous website live streamed reports of drilling and construction noises coming from the drill pad.

Without the eyes of a free press these attacks and trespasses continue, with the human rights and sovereignty of indigenous peoples denied. The UN Committee on Transnational Corporations and Human Right Abuses was in Standing Rock this week to take testimony of the many transgressions against people: crop dusters spraying poison pesticides and fertilizers on the camps; hair samples indicating the presence of these chemicals; people who have been injured, beat up, arrested, strip searched; media and medics being targeted by snipers; (one medic told me he stopped wearing his Red Cross vest due to medics being targeted); praying people being attacked and the refusal of DAPL and our government to abide by the Rule of Law.

We need to stand up for our brothers and our sisters, for their way of life and, I believe, for our social contract as a democracy which is now threatened.

Please share this so word gets out what is happening, thank you.

Deborah MacKay

Hat tips to Keith D. Wright and Rachelle Brown for the share

Obama’s entire White House website, including data and Español/Spanish now live at the Obama Library site

White House website
Source: Wikipedia

All factual information from the Obama presidency is not lost! The President Obama White House website, including its Spanish language pages and its data catalog all remain publicly accessible at the ObamaWhiteHouse.gov website. Even the Obama White House social media feeds have been archived there.

Creation of this resource is another huge reason to thank President Obama: as of 23 January 2017, the incoming administration has already removed both climate change data and all Spanish language information. Pres. Obama’s team tells why he created the archive and what you’ll find there:

In January 2017, the White House website was archived as a way to preserve the online presence of the administration of President Barack Obama. Additionally, the websites for Mrs. Obama’s Let’s Move! Initiative, the We The People Petitions, and the White House Data Catalog (open.whitehouse.gov) were also preserved. These websites are historical material, “frozen in time.” They are no longer updated and links to external websites and some internal pages will not work.

These archived websites are an excellent resource for photographs, speeches, press releases, digital data, and other public domain records of the Obama Presidency from 2009–2017.

The official files making up the websites are archived in NARA’s Electronic Records Archives (ERA), however the website interface and functionality is preserved for easy use by the public through this portal. read more

Trevor Noah talks about his book on growing up in apartheid South Africa and inviting Tomi Lahren to The Daily Show

Trevor Noah on The Breakfast Club
Source: The Breakfast Club via YouTube

Trevor Noah speaks on The Breakfast Club about his autobiographical book on growing up knowing his birth – as a biracial child – was a crime in apartheid South Africa … a place where his mother had to dress as his nanny in order to be able to walk down the street with him.

Noah shares his questions and opinions on Donald Trump and speaks about his decision to invite Tomi Lahren to be his guest on The Daily Show. One reason for doing it was to have the chance to be heard by her audience, who otherwise would never learn anything about him.

Noah is a confirmed supporter of women, and women’s rights. He took fans who spoke crudely about Tomi after her show appearance. Noah told them, you can’t do that: you can’t pretend to be a defender of people rights when you turn around and make misogynistic statements about a woman.

The Breakfast Club interview is almost 50 minutes long, but well worth a listen, or a watch.

Trump Day 1: hate-based attacks, pussy-grabbing, threats – documented on reporter Shaun King’s Twitter feed

Shaun King
Source: Shaun King video clip screenshot

NY Daily News reporter Shaun King is doing something very courageous and important: documenting attacks and reports of hate incidents made by Trump supporters.

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This is in Philadelphia.

Sieg Heil, Trump, and swastikas on windows of a local store. pic.twitter.com/Bq1nFW1ipk read more