Daily Archives: November 20, 2020

2020-11-20: News Headlines

Martha Grevatt (2020-11-20). Yet another death in Cleveland jail. workers.org Cleveland On Nov. 9 Shone Trawick became the third person to die in Cleveland's Cuyahoga County Jail this year and the 12th jail death since June 2018. Trawick is the first casualty to be blamed on violence by another prisoner. Those in nearby cells reportedly screamed for help on hearing . . . |

Staff (2020-11-20). "A Huge Blow to Civil Society": Egypt Arrests Leading Human Rights Monitors in Latest Crackdown. democracynow.org In Egypt, the executive director of the country's leading human rights group has been arrested as part of an unprecedented crackdown on activists and journalists. Gasser Abdel-Razek was arrested at his home just days after two other staffers for the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights were also arrested. The move signals a major escalation of repression from the government of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who has imprisoned thousands of people since he came to power after the 2013 overthrow of former President Mohamed Morsi. "These arrests are a huge blow to civil society in Egypt," says Sharif Abdel Kouddo…

Sheren Khalel (2020-11-20). 'The French government has no right': CAIR slams Macron's 'ultimatum' to Muslims. middleeasteye.net 'The French government has no right': CAIR slams Macron's 'ultimatum' to Muslims | Muslim-American civil rights group labels French president's order to establish 'National Council of Imams' under government parameters 'hypocritical and dangerous' | Fri, 11/20/2020 – 19: 58 | "> | The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) condemned French President Emmanuel Macro…

A Guest Author (2020-11-20). 'Accelerate our efforts' to free Mumia. workers.org By Angela Davis Professor Angela Davis, herself once a political prisoner, is a founding member of Critical Resistance, a national organization dedicated to dismantling the prison industrial complex. On Nov. 16, Davis delivered the following remarks during the virtual press conference "Freedom & Abolition: A critical moment in the fight . . . |

MEE staff (2020-11-20). US senators urge Egypt to take action in case of detained Christian activist. middleeasteye.net US senators urge Egypt to take action in case of detained Christian activist | Legislators ask Cairo to allow fair trial for Ramy Kamel or drop charges and release him | Fri, 11/20/2020 – 19: 02 | Ramy Kamel is prominent Coptic Christian activist and founder of rights group Maspero Youth Union (Twitter) | A pair of bipartisan senators called on the Egyptian government to take action in the case of an imprisone…

Betsey Piette (2020-11-20). Pennsylvania prisons: Breeding grounds for coronavirus. workers.org Philadelphia When the coronavirus first became a global pandemic in the spring of 2020, there were widespread demands, met with promises from state officials, to release particularly vulnerable incarcerated workers. Some states and municipalities did release people, but never in the numbers the situation warranted. In April, protesters in Philadelphia . . . |

MEE staff (2020-11-20). UN experts warn 50 people face possible executions in Iraq after unfair trials. middleeasteye.net UN experts warn 50 people face possible executions in Iraq after unfair trials | After 21 executions this week, UN experts urge Baghdad to halt mass capital punishment | Fri, 11/20/2020 – 22: 08 | Statement by UN experts notes there are currently about 4,000 prisoners slated for execution (AFP/File photo) | UN human rights experts have said 50 Iraqi prisoners face possible execution next week following convict…

Common Cause (2020-11-20). Thursday 12/3: What's Next for Civil Rights: Democracy in the 117th Congress Town Hall w/ Common Cause. indybay.org Online via Zoom…

_____ (2020-11-20). Dozens File Federal Suit Alleging Chicago Police Abuse This Year. popularresistance.org "The (Chicago Police Department) and other city agencies responded to these demonstrations with brutal, violent, and unconstitutional tactics that are clearly intended to injure, silence and intimidate plaintiffs and other protesters," according to the more than 200-page lawsuit. "These abuse tactics include beating protesters with batons — often striking them in the head; tackling and beating protesters while on the ground; using chemical agents against protesters; falsely arresting protesters; and trapping protesters in enclosed areas."

Karl Grossman (2020-11-20). BNL lawsuit and the impacts of national nuclear laboratory. nationofchange.org Brookhaven National Laboratory "continues to show almost no regard for its neighbors…Is this any way for a government-funded agency to treat its neighbors?"

Staff (2020-11-19). Headlines for November 19, 2020. democracynow.org U.S. COVID-19 Death Toll Passes 250,000; Nearly 1% of U.S. Population Currently Infectious, Pfizer to Seek Emergency Authorization of COVID-19 Vaccine, Touting 95% Efficacy, Lawsuit Alleges Tyson Foods Managers Wagered on Meatpackers' Coronavirus Infection Rate, COVID-19 Surge Overwhelms Hospitals as Healthcare Workers Fall Ill, Biden Says Trump's Refusal to Concede Could Set Back Vaccine Rollout by Months, Arizona Secretary of State Faces Death Threats as Trump Promotes Election Conspiracy Theories, Democratic Congressmembers Reelect Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House, Australian Military Apologizes to Afghan…

MEE staff (2020-11-19). Saudi court sentences Salman al-Odah's brother to five years in prison. middleeasteye.net Saudi court sentences Salman al-Odah's brother to five years in prison | Khaled al-Odah's sentencing comes three and a half years after he was detained for showing solidarity with his brother on social media | Thu, 11/19/2020 – 17: 39 | Khaled al-Odah was also issued a travel ban preventing him from leaving the country (Abdullah Alaoudh/Twitter) | Saudi Arabia sentenced the brother of jailed cleric Salman al-O…

Bryant Arroyo (2020-11-19). COVID-19 protocols: Recipe for disaster in Pennsylvania prisons. workers.org Bryant Arroyo (left) with Joe Piette of WWP Prisoners Solidarity Committee. Incarcerated workers across Pennsylvania are demanding that Department of Corrections Secretary John Wetzel reverse his disastrous decision to begin mass transfers of prisoners at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. The following commentary is from jailhouse organizer and environmentalist . . . |

Tim Wheeler (2020-11-19). Karl Yoneda and Elaine Black—star-crossed lovers in a class war. peoplesworld.org In October 1987, I covered a rally in Washington, D.C., for the People's Daily World celebrating the federal government's apology for the mass incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II. The event, which drew hundreds to the U.S. Capitol steps, was sponsored by the Japanese American Citizens League. Among those who flew into town …

Gloria Rubac (2020-11-19). Ramsey Prison terrorizes Texas incarcerated. workers.org Just like in this 1970s Houston Chronicle photo, Texas prisoners still pick cotton with armed guards on horseback overseeing them. Prisoners earn $0.00 an hour. "We're already stressed out because of the virus. We've all had it, and now there are new threats that it's returning. On top of that, . . . |

MEE staff (2020-11-19). Amnesty urges G20 leaders to 'stand up for brave activists' jailed in Saudi Arabia. middleeasteye.net Amnesty urges G20 leaders to 'stand up for brave activists' jailed in Saudi Arabia | Women's empowerment features prominently on G20 Agenda, despite several activists languishing in jail or facing trial | Thu, 11/19/2020 – 18: 17 | Protesters gather at Saudi embassy in Washington to remember slain Middle East Eye columnist Jamal Khashoggi (AFP/File photo) | Member states of the Group of 20 (G20) meeting in thi…

_____ (2020-11-19). Inmate Kitchen Workers Forced To Serve Expired Meat In Prison. popularresistance.org Arizona – Incarcerated people who work in the kitchens at the Eyman, Lewis and Yuma state prisons claim they were forced to serve expired meat to their fellow inmates, resulting in foodborne illnesses. | Several inmates report being diagnosed with H. pylori infections, which they attribute to the food and unsanitary conditions in the kitchens. The inmates say they were subsequently put on antibiotics in recent days and weeks to treat the infections. | KJZZ is not naming the inmates because they fear retaliation for speaking out about the prison conditions.

Elise Swain (2020-11-19). Anti-Nuclear Pacifists Get Federal Prison Terms for Nonviolent Protest. zcomm.org The most dedicated peace activists you've never heard of are headed to federal prison amid a deadly pandemic…

Spencer Garcia (2020-11-19). Remembrance, Resilience, and Response: Addressing An Epidemic of Violence Against Trans and Non-Binary People. aclu.org Each year on Nov. 20,

RT (2020-11-18). Covid-19 lockdown declared at Belmarsh prison holding Julian Assange — partner fears his life is in 'serious risk'. rt.com The London prison block where WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange is being held has been locked down even harder after three inmates tested positive for Covid-19. Assange's partner Stella Morris says she's worried for his life. | "We've introduced further safety measures following a number of positive cases," a spokesperson for Her Majesty's Prison Service confirmed to British media on Wednesday, amid reports that three inmates at House Block 1 at Belmarsh have tested positive for the virus. | Assange has been held at the high-security prison in southeast London since his April 2019 arrest at the Ecuadorian e…

Fight Back (2020-11-18). Demand immediate release of Palestinian women's movement leader Khitam Saafin. fightbacknews.org Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO) demands Israel immediately release Khitam Saafin, the president of the Union of Palestinian Women's Committees, who has been jailed without charge or trial. Saafin was taken into custody on November 2 along with six other Palestinian human rights activists. Her imprisonment is another in the long list of crimes by the callous and cruel Zionist occupiers of Palestine. | Khitam Saafin is among those who stand in the forefront of the Palestinian women's movement and is a tireless organizer for social and national liberation. She has spoken at many international venues on th…

Ralph Nader (2020-11-18). Abdicating to Boeing: An Open Letter to FAA Administrator Stephen Dickson. counterpunch.org November 13, 2020 Stephen Dickson, Administrator Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) U.S. Department of Transportation 800 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, DC 20591 Dear Mr. Dickson, It is now abundantly clear that instead of clearing out top Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) operatives who have worked to make the FAA safe for Boeing, you have thrown in your

WSWS (2020-11-18). British Medical Journal accuses UK government of the "suppression of science" wsws.org The COVID-19 pandemic and the British ruling class' criminal "herd immunity" response has created a humanitarian disaster.

Staff (2020-11-18). As COVID Deaths Soar, El Paso at Breaking Point with Hospitals & Mobile Morgues Filling Up. 18.224.45.15 Some Republican governors are dropping their resistance to mask mandates, as public health officials in the United States brace for a COVID-19 surge from the Thanksgiving holiday amid already record-high infection rates. However, Republican resistance to other public health safety measures continues as coronavirus cases in Texas reach record highs for a second time during the pandemic. El Paso County, an area along the U.S.-Mexico border where 80% of residents are Latinx, is also facing one of the worst COVID-19 outbreaks in the U.S. and now has 10 mobile morgues to hold bodies. Some prisoners are being paid just…

a guest author (2020-11-18). A survivor speaks: 'I had to defend myself'. workers.org This is a slightly edited version of a talk given at the webinar "Women and Oppressed Genders: Survival and Resistance" hosted by WWP's Prisoners Solidarity Committee on Sept. 24. Wendy Howard with daughters Bailey (left) and Miranda (right) in front of the office of the Kern County District Attorney. . . . |

MEE staff (2020-11-18). Egypt arrests another rights activist after meeting with Western diplomats. middleeasteye.net Egypt arrests another rights activist after meeting with Western diplomats | Karim Ennarah was detained in the resort town of Dahab in South Sinai while on vacation, EIPR said in a statement | Wed, 11/18/2020 – 20: 05 | Some 60,000 detainees in Egypt are political prisoners, according to an estimate by Human Rights Watch (AFP/File photo) | Egyptian authorities arrested a human rights defender on Wednesday, jus…

Eds. (2020-11-18). Tutu, Nobel laureates, call for clemency for David Gilbert, NYS imprisoned elder activist. mronline.org The Open Letter, coordinated by Fellowship of Reconciliation former Chairperson Matt Meyer, is one of many such efforts throughout the U.S. calling for relief for over-age inmates facing fatal consequences in light of multiple health crises, and throughout the world calling for freedom for all political prisoners.

Nathaniel Chase (2020-11-18). The white vote for Trump: Is multinational working class solidarity possible? workers.org Why did nearly 73 million people vote for Trump, given his disastrous pandemic response and the economic collapse? The answer, simply put, is racism. In a country built on white supremacy, from slavery and genocide to mass incarceration and imperialist war, it should come as no surprise that a substantial . . . |

Eds. (2020-11-18). Tutu, Gandhi, King descendants call for clemency for NYS imprisoned elder activist. mronline.org The Open Letter, coordinated by Fellowship of Reconciliation former Chairperson Matt Meyer, is one of many such efforts throughout the U.S. calling for relief for over-age inmates facing fatal consequences in light of multiple health crises, and throughout the world calling for freedom for all political prisoners.

A Guest Author (2020-11-18). Colin Kaepernick: 'Free Mumia!'. workers.org During a virtual press conference Nov. 16 on the critical juncture in the fight to free political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal, Colin Kaepernick expressed his support. Kaepernick sacrificed his stellar athletic career in 2016 when he began to take a knee in protest against police terror during the playing of the . . . |

_____ (2020-11-18). Why A 58-day vigil Is Going On Outside The Governor's House. popularresistance.org Demonstrators gathered outside the Executive Mansion on Sunday to demand that Gov. Roy Cooper use his powers of pardon and clemency to protect people who are incarcerated during the pandemic. | Members of Decarcerate Now NC, a coalition of organizations which say they're working to end to mass incarceration, have been holding daily vigils outside the governor's mansion since Election Day and plan to continue through Jan. 1, when Cooper begins his second term. That's a total of 58 days. | "We stand vigil to bring attention to your Administration's ongoing failure to prioritize and appropriately protect Black lives…

Meg Sherman (2020-11-18). The Healthcare Multinational Profiting off Fraudulent Detentions. dissidentvoice.org In July 2020, US healthcare multinational UHS Delaware reached a $122million settlement with the US federal government as the result of an investigation by the FBI into fraudulent detentions of psychiatric patients for profit. Following the resolution of the investigation and civil settlement, UHS must retain an independent monitor selected by the Office of Inspector …

Laura Flanders (2020-11-18). The Media's Quadrennial Eclipse. counterpunch.org Whatever will he do next? The cable newscasters cry, eager to ply their audiences with more of the drip, drip that keeps advertisers hooked. If you're feeling withdrawal from Disaster Don's tweets, there are pictures of his golf cart and non-news of his non-lawsuits. And Joe, oh Joe, and the next four years. How will

_____ (2020-11-18). Hunger Strike Enters Third Week At California's Largest Prison. popularresistance.org In the southern part of California's Central Valley, about halfway between Bakersfield and Fresno, sits Corcoran, California—a small farming town surrounded on all sides by acres of cotton and tomato fields. | Perched at the town's southern tip are two of the state's largest prisons. Together, their denizens make up about 33% of the population of Corcoran. One of the facilities, the California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility (CSATF), is the state's single largest, housing 4,481 prisoners, about 130% of its intended capacity.

Staff (2020-11-18). Hunger Strikers Caged in the Second Wave Are "Just Trying to Survive the Winter" truthout.org "Our society created the framework for this atrocity just like the trenches of World War I created perfect incubation zones for the 1918 flu," Truthout's Kelly Hayes talks with Eric, an organizer with Oakland Abolition and Solidarity about the escalating COVID-19 outbreak at the California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility, where some imprisoned people have launched a hunger strike over unsafe, unlivable conditions. | TRANSCRIPT: | Note: This a rush transcript and has been lightly edi…

Labor Video Project (2020-11-18). "Fed Up" The SF POA Contract, Mayor Breed, Unions, The SFLC & Cops with John Crew. indybay.org Retired attorney John Crew who was ACLU Director of Police Practices talks about the effort by the Mayor of San Francisco London Breed with the leadership of the San Francisco Labor Council leadership to push through a City contract with the San Francisco Police Officers Association SF POA. He discusses the history of the SF POA including his arrest by a past president and the secret negotiations Mayor Breed and DHR Carol Eise has done with SF POA that that they are now trying to release…

Andrew Emett (2020-11-18). Lawsuit filed against Fort Worth and police officer who killed innocent woman. nationofchange.org "Defendant Dean in his prowl around the backyard of her home caused Atatiana fear and uncertainty. Dean shot Atatiana, causing pain and suffering. Dean failed to render medical aid to Atatiana."

Alex MacDonald (2020-11-17). Saudi activists tell UK MPs of brutal conditions facing political detainees. middleeasteye.net Saudi activists tell UK MPs of brutal conditions facing political detainees | Activists told a panel focusing on two detained princes that rape, torture and killing were commonplace in Saudi jails | Tue, 11/17/2020 – 11: 39 | Former Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef (R), pictured with current Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was arrested in March with little known publicly about his detention (AF…

MEE and agencies (2020-11-17). Iraq hangs 21 men for terrorism at notorious Nasiriyah prison. middleeasteye.net Iraq hangs 21 men for terrorism at notorious Nasiriyah prison | The men had been convicted under a 2005 counterterrorism law but there were no details on their specific crimes | Tue, 11/17/2020 – 08: 29 | Iraq ranks fifth among countries that carry out death sentences, according to Amnesty International (Reuters) | Iraq executed 21 men convicted of terrorism on Monday at the notorious Nasi…

Betsey Piette (2020-11-17). Kaepernick joins the call to 'Free Mumia!'. workers.org Philadelphia A virtual press conference on the critical juncture in the fight to free political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal was held here Nov. 16. A special highlight was a seven-minute message from Colin Kaepernick, expressing his support. Kaepernick sacrificed his stellar athletic career in 2016 when he began to take a . . . |