GO TO DC TO FIGHT FOR BLACK SELF-DETERMINATION, REPARATIONS, SOCIAL JUSTICE, PEACE JAN. 14, 2017

Black is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations mobilizes mass march independent of ruling class parties

Calls for solidarity among the oppressed

March info at http://blackisbackcoalition.org/ 

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

December 20, 2016

Black folks who should be shouting defiance to racists from both parties will instead hurl insults at Vladimir Putin and join hands with the CIA and war profiteers next month, in Washington. However, there will be another presence in DC. The Black is Back Coalition “will declare to the world its intention to fight for Black self-determination in every aspect of life, ‘despite the rise of Donald Trump and his version of white nationalism.’”

 “The Black servants of the Democratic Party have made a pact with that section of the U.S. ruling class that has rallied around Hillary Clinton.”

The Police State of America

If the U.S. ruling class and the spies and national security goons that serve them wanted to divert attention from the crimes and crises of capitalism, they have temporarily succeeded. In this insane post-election season, all the corporate media talk about is the outrageous fiction that Russia is the greatest threat to American domestic peace and tranquility. Jim Crow stole the election, as usual, but the corporate media and Hillary Clinton’s minions blame it on the Russians.

Tens of thousands of people will descend on Washington to denounce Donald Trump’s inauguration — which, given his horrific appointments and domestic policies, would be the righteous thing to do. If Clinton had won, she too should have been confronted with vast crowds of demonstrators determined to bring her “to heel” for crimes of mass Black incarceration and a whole list of other offenses against humanity.

But it is already clear that the useless and self-serving Black Misleadership Class, who work for the Democratic Party rather than for their Black constituents, will be making common cause with the CIA and the war profiteers, shouting their worthless heads off about Vladimir Putin who — to paraphrase Muhammad Ali — never called anybody the N-word, that we know of, or kicked millions of poor women and children off welfare, or imposed a reign of terror in Black communities. That was the Clintons, remember?

“Black people are their own liberators.”

Anti-Donald Trump protest is held at Trump Tower on 5th Avenue in New York, Dec 20, 2015

The Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations will also be in Washington around the time of the inauguration — on January 14, the day before Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday. But, the coalition will not join hands with Hillary’s friends on Wall Street and the Pentagon. Instead, Black Is Back will declare to the world its intention to fight for Black self-determination in every aspect of life, “despite the rise of Donald Trump and his version of white nationalism.”

The Black is Back Coalition is telling the incoming administration that Black people are their own liberators. And, that is a very different kind of message than you’ll be hearing from the Black servants of the Democratic Party, who have made a pact with that section of the U.S. ruling class that has rallied around Hillary Clinton, a raving, maniacal war criminal who is culpable in the death of millions.

The Black Misleadership Class can imagine no other way to function except to become junior partners with one powerful group of oppressors or the other. Independent Black politics is alien to them, because they see no money in it — no profit in the liberation of other Black people. And so, they methodically sacrifice Black folks’ interests, and the hopes and dreams of all oppressed peoples, in return for some squatting room at the feet of the enemy.

Video below: Published on Apr 22, 2015

“We came, we saw, he died”. Gaddafi was sodomised with a knife. She laughed at his brutal murder. NATO’s assault on Libya under the pretext of a ‘humanitarian mission’ to protect civilians led to the deaths of thousands of civilians and the destabilisation of a relatively prosperous state.

The Black Misleaders have no shame, and no demands either, except that they get paid. The Black is Back Coalition, on the other hand, has put forward a 19 point agenda to guide the fight for Black self-determination, a human right of all peoples and the basis of solidarity among the oppressed — points that will be thoroughly discussed on January 14th at Freedom Plaza, at 14thStreet and Pennsylvania Avenue, in Washington, DC.

The struggle is not about choosing between Trump and Clinton; it’s about Black self-determination and bringing down this evil system.

For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to http:// www.BlackAgendaReport.com. 

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.

National Black Political Agenda for Self-determination

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DOROTHY BUKOWSKI, MOTHER OF VOD EDITOR, PASSES AWAY DEC. 22; VISITATION AND FUNERAL DEC. 26, 27, 2017

Dorothy Loretta Ellis Bukowski, at home during my last visit with her there in November.

MEMORIAL

BY DIANE BUKOWSKI

December 25, 2016

Visitation

Mon.Dec. 26, 2-8 pm    Sawyer-Fuller Funeral Home 2125 12 Mile w. of Woodward Berkley, MI

Funeral:

Tues. Dec. 27, Family Hour 9:30 AM Mass 10 AM      Church of the Transfiguration 25225 Code Rd. (w. of Lahser at Ten Mile) Southfield, MI

 

SOUTHFIELD—Dorothy Loretta Ellis Bukowski, 94, mother of this paper’s editor and her six siblings, died December 22, 2016 in hospice, succumbing to complications from surgery performed at Southfield’s Providence Hospital earlier in November. Mrs. Bukowski and her late husband of 60 years, Robert Bukowski, also had ten grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

I am the oldest of Robert and Dorothy Bukowski’s seven children, all born and raised in Detroit after our parents’ marriage on Oct. 18, 1947. One sibling, Paul Bernard Bukowski, passed away Oct. 29, 1972 in a car accident.

This is a personal eulogy to my dear Mother, who along with my father was always there for everyone in their extended family, and loved each one of us equally despite differences that developed as we grew older. They taught us to love others as well, instilling no racial bias into our upbringing.

I left my family home near 7 Mile and Greenfield at the age of 18, moving deeper into the city. My parents were the last white family to remain in our immediate Detroit neighborhood, despite the racist real-estate blockbusters who descended on the area after the 1967 rebellion. They finally moved to another Black-majority city, Southfield, in the 1980’s, only after their new neighbors encouraged them to do so because of rising problems with drug dealing in their neighborhood. They always maintained fond ties with their neighbors in both communities.

Dorothy Ellis on graduation from the University of Detroit, 1943

My mother was born in New York City, N.Y. on Feb. 5, 1922. She was raised there with her dear sisters Gloria and Ardith until her own mother, Dorothy (nee Grotz) Ellis, passed in 1931. For several years afterwards, she was raised by her maternal grandmother and relatives and always had fond memories of that time in her life. When her father, Arthur Ellis, remarried, the family moved first to Chicago and then here to Detroit.

My mother attended the all-female Rosary College outside Chicago, and then graduated from the University of Detroit in 1943, one of only a few women among hundreds of men attending the school at that time.

She worked for a time as a kindergarten teacher, during which time she told me she learned never to raise her voice with the children, a lesson that carried over into our own upbringing. She also worked at Henry Ford’s main plant for a time during the war doing clerical work. She made lifelong women friends during her time at those schools and jobs. I was always astonished at the number of birthday cards she got every year from across the country.

Dorothy Ellis married my father Robert Bukowski, a native of Bay City, Michigan, on Oct. 18, 1947. They lived for a short while in an apartment building on Lothrop in Detroit, near West Grand Blvd. and Second. That was my first home. When my mother became pregnant with my brother Michael, they moved to a small bungalow at 19189 Murray Hill, where they raised the rest of us—Mark, Paul, John, Eileen and Jean.

Father Robert and mother Dorothy Bukowski with Diane Bukowski in her office at Detroit Human Rights Department, late 1990’s.

I will never know how my mother did it, cooped up in that little house with seven children. She told me the fifties were a blur to her. The family had no car for several years. My father traveled to his job by streetcar and bus and took us grocery-shopping in a little red wagon. After he finally bought a car, he used it to work at the small tax and accounting firm he established in 1959, the Bob Bukowski Tax Service, at 7 Mile and Conant. He worked very hard to support all of us, coming home during tax season to fall asleep on the couch. My brother John and sister Eileen later went to work with him, and carried the business on after he retired.

My mother did not learn to drive until many decades later, but when she did, it was like letting a bird out of its cage. I was highly distressed when she gave up driving at the age of 92, knowing how much it had meant to her.

My family belonged to Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish during its time in Detroit. I was astonished to discover in 1983, when our union local AFSCME 457 participated in a march commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s 1963 March on Washington, that famed civil rights hero and martyr Viola Liuzzo also belonged to our parish. I met Mrs. Liuzzo’s children on that march. I discovered Dr. King, union leaders Walter Reuther and Jimmy Hoffa, and numerous other nationally known icons attended her funeral held in our small church, which had been converted from the grade school’s gymnasium.

My Aunt and Godmother Gloria Shuster, Cousin Tim Shuster, and Mother during one of her many visits to see her sister in Florida.

Viola Liuzzo’s spirit must have lived on in my parents, both of whom supported me in my lifetime of political work. My father brought my sister Eileen to see me speak at an anti-war rally in Kennedy Square in the early ‘70’s. He always told people he was proud that I was a “fighter.” My parents had a subscription to the Michigan Citizen during the time I reported for it from 2000 to 2010. They shared the paper with their next-door neighbor and close friend Roy McAlister, Sr. after finishing it.

When I was falsely arrested for covering a fatal state trooper chase on E. Davison in 2008, my mother and some siblings came to support me during my sentencing hearing. My mother’s hearing was failing at the time, and she did not hear Judge Michael Hathaway say at the beginning that he was not going to give me prison time, so she sat through the sentencing in agonized suspense until he gave me probation and community service. But she did hear the many supporters who had come for the hearing tell her what a wonderful daughter she had.

My Aunt Gloria, Uncle Don and my favorite cousin Tim Shuster also supported me during that trial. They sent supportive emails to me throughout the trial. Every time my Aunt Gloria, who is my godmother, sends me a card, she always tells me to keep on with my work fighting for the people.

Mother and my dear friend Cornell Squires during visit to the graves of my father and brother earlier this year, after having lunch. Cornell prayed over my Mother at the hospital in November, a week before he passed unexpectedly of a heart attack on Nov. 19, 2016.

As my siblings grew older, they had their own children of course. My mother and dad were always there to help take care of their grandchildren, especially when my sisters’ initial marriages ended in divorce and they needed the help. Every holiday season, we were all welcomed into their Southfield home. My mother cooked wonderful holiday meals for all of us, assisted by my sisters and sisters-in-law (I never did learn to cook—I think my mother didn’t want me to be a housewife.)

After my Dad passed in 2008, and my mother later gave up driving, my siblings John, Eileen and Jean visited overnight, did housework, cooking, shopping and other chores for my mother. We all took her on various excursions during that time. My last outing with my mother was our visit to the DIA this year to see its “Dance Art” exhibit, and then go to lunch at . Many times, my mother did not feel well enough to go out, however, so then I would visit with her at home, bringing us a Jet’s vegetarian pizza for dinner, flowers, and mystery books I had taken to reading at night to relieve the stress of reporting on Detroit’s distressing circumstances in the Voice of Detroit.

My last memory of my dear Mother a week before she went to Providence Hospital is of her standing in the doorway of our home, waving good-bye and telling me to drive safely, as she always did. I took the photo at the top of this memorial of her at that time, comfortable and happy in her home. She told me to be sure to send it to her dear sister Gloria, her closest friend and confidante for 92 years.

Further details at 

http://v3.fserv.net/bin/get/obit.php?fid=4447

Mother at DIA “DANCE” art exhibit June 12, 2016


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DIRTY DEALINGS: GIL HILL’S ROLE IN ‘WHITE BOY RICK’ CASE, CHARLES LEWIS AND EDDIE JOE LLOYD FRAME-UPS

Richard Wershe, Jr. set to be paroled soon after giving info on Hill, others to feds; film to feature Hill’s alleged attempt to have him killed

Hill was key player in 1976 frame-up of juvenile lifer Charles Lewis, whose court files mysteriously ‘disappeared;’ Worthy wants life again for Lewis

On Nov. 11, judge denied Lewis’ motion to dismiss case, ordered files ‘re-constituted’  by prosecutor, state-appointed defense, then JLWOP hearing

Hill supervised team that obtained false confession in famous Eddie Joe Lloyd case; he also interviewed teens who claimed Lewis killed policeman despite interviews to the contrary in Freep article published a day later

SADO attorney Newman has refused to credit Lewis’ innocence despite mounting evidence; agreed to new file to be used in Miller hearing which is missing key documents

By Diane Bukowski

December 23, 2016 Updated December 24, 2016

“White Boy Rick” Wershe, Jr. at initial trial.

Charles Lewis after incarceration at 17.

DETROIT – News is hitting the airwaves and print media everywhere that Richard Wershe, Jr., a Detroit drug dealer and police snitch since the age of 14 known popularly as “White Boy Rick,” will likely be paroled soon after serving 29 years in state prisons.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy earlier dropped her opposition to Wershe’s release.

Wershe and juvenile lifer Charles Lewis, currently fighting Worthy’s effort to keep him locked up for life after serving 41 years for a crime he says he did not commit, based on a court file that “disappeared,” have a major player in common in their life stories.

DPD homicide chief Gil Hill in earlier days.

That is the late Gilbert Hill, formerly head of Detroit’s police homicide unit and president of the Detroit City Council. Wershe says he gave information about Hill’s alleged cover-ups in homicide cases and connections with convicted drug dealers to the feds, hoping for an early release.

Kevin Dietz of Channel Four News reported Sept. 6 (above) that an upcoming documentary on Wershe’s life, “650 Lifer: The Legend of White Boy Rick,” will include an interview with admitted hitman Nate Boone Craft, killer of 30 people, who claims Hill tried to recruit him to kill Wershe in prison.

According to Dietz, Craft says in the film, “This came from Gill Hill’s mouth to me, ‘We got to make sure it don’t get back to no one,’ and I said, ‘You know me, none of my hits lead to no one. . . .I was told to kill White Boy Rick. He said, ‘125,000, I’ll make sure you get it as long as that boy is dead.’ His key word, ‘Dead.’”

Hitman Nate Boone Craft

In Lewis’ case, then Sgt. Gilbert Hill covered up the involvement of the owner and occupants of a white Lincoln Mark IV in the July 31, 1976 killing of Detroit police officer Gerald Sypitkowski, Their involvement was attested to by eyewitnesses including Sypitkowski’s partner Dennis Van Fleteren in  a Detroit Free Press story published ONE DAY after the event.

Hill went on to target Lewis instead, who has so far served 41 years of a juvenile life without parole sentence for the Sypitkowski killing. 

VOD recently unearthed the Freep’s Aug. 1, 1976 article on the Sypitkowski killing from the website newspapers.com. Photostats of the article, “Off-Duty Policeman is Slain Leaving Bar,” are included in this story. The article includes NO interviews with ANYONE who saw Lewis, or three juveniles who testified that they were with him when he allegedly shot Sypitkowski, or the yellow Ford Gran Torino they claimed to be driving at the scene.

“Police released few details of the 2 a.m. shooting or the investigation other than to say that initial reports that the officer had been shot from a passing car were false,” the article says.

However, it gives numerous witness statements contradicting what turned out to be Sgt. Gil Hill’s claim. It says basically what Van Fleteren said in Lewis’ trial transcripts, that he, another officer and a bartender had been with Sypitkowski at Oty’s Bar on Harper near Barrett before Sypitkowski decided to walk back to his car at T.C. Kennels, a dog training center where he had worked during a “two-week vacation.”

“Then came a flash from the muzzle of a gun and the sound of a shot, according to the witnesses,” the article continues. “A white late model Mark IV Lincoln was seen driving slowly westward with its lights out, past the place where Sypitkowski lay shot in the head. .. The three men took down the license number of the car and another off-duty policeman radioed the description to police via a citizens’ band radio. Police reportedly gave chase along Outer Drive and arrested suspects in the car, but they were released after questioning.”

The article says, “According to Sgt. Gilbert Hill, there was ‘no way’ the fatal shot could have come from a car on the road, so the men were not charged.” (Bolded text is from original Freep article.)

Later Freep coverage indicated that police arrested the owner of the car, Leslie Nathanial, after raids at two homes associated with him. Nathanial claimed police brutality, including gunfire, and that his car was impounded and destroyed by police, which of course would have destroyed pertinent evidence. Nathanial was released.

Lewis told VOD that Hill’s name and signature is “all over” documents that resulted in charges being brought against him. He said that Hill conducted the initial interviews of the three juveniles who were the ONLY ones to testify that LEWIS killed Sypitkowski at his trials, despite the testimony of Van Fleteren and other eyewitnesses to the contrary, told to the Freep the day after the killing.

Lewis says Hill coerced the teens into testifying against him with threats of prosecution against them.

Maher dismissed the jury in the first trial without known cause. Lewis was convicted in the second trial. He says he has always believed the first jury voted to acquit him.

Hill later supervised investigators who obtained a notorious false confession from Eddie Joe Lloyd to the rape and murder of 16-year-old Michelle Jackson in 1984, according to documents in a federal civil case filed by noted attorney David Robinson.

Lloyd, who has since passed, was fully exonerated by the efforts of the University of Michigan Innocence Clinic, which included DNA evidence. The lawsuit, which included Hill as a defendant, resulted in a $3.25 million out of court settlement for Lloyd’s family. (See lawsuit at http://voiceofdetroit.net/wp-content/uploads/Eddie-Joe-Lloyd-case-Hill-involved-para-75.pdf

VOD filed a Freedom of Information Act request asking for all Detroit Police Department documents including witness statements and other evidence on the Lewis case, but was told they did not exist. 

Eddie Joe Lloyd after exoneration.

However, at a hearing in front of Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Qiana Lillard Oct. 28, Assistant Wayne County Prosecutor Jason Williams said on the record that HE has the DPD files, a trial transcript and Lewis’ prison record to aid in “re-constructing” Lewis’ file as Lillard  ordered Nov. 11.

Lillard gave a deadline of Jan. 6-13 to re-construct the file, but Lewis told VOD today that his state-appointed attorney Valerie Newman of the State Appellate Defenders Office (SADO) told him the file is already complete, and that she is satisfied with it and will proceed onward to a Miller hearing to be scheduled sometime in the future based on that file. He said she has not provided him with a copy of the file, which is now a public record as a court file, or provided him with any input into its reconstruction.

Valerie Newman (r) snuggles with Thomas Highers, one of two brothers earlier released as falsely charged after her representation.

He said he asked her if the police-videotaped interviews with the juveniles are in the file, and she said no, they are not needed.

He said he asked Newman asked if a subsequent “Pearson” evidentiary hearing transcript, in which five officers testified that Van Fleteren was competent at the scene when he identified the real killer(s), is in the file.

Newman said no, they could not find it, although the transcript is attached to Lewis’ federal court filings as indicated in an earllier VOD story which included a copy of the transcript. (See transcripts at http://voiceofdetroit.net/wp-content/uploads/Charles-Lewis-transcript-Pearson-hearing.pdf and http://voiceofdetroit.net/wp-content/uploads/Charles-Lewis-transcript-2-Pearson-hearing.pdf.)

He said Newman said essentially that she still believes Lewis is guilty as charged and plans to proceed with a Miller hearing on his case, evidently at sometime in the future as none is on the court docket yet. Lewis has been trying to get various experts hired for such a hearing, including a crime scene reconstructionist, and a mitigation hearing specialist , but he said Newman has not hired any experts to his knowledge.

Newman and representatives of SADO have repeatedly refused ANY interviews with VOD on their role in Lewis’ case, even a “No comment.”

Hill also testified at Lewis’ two trials. Lewis’ mother Rosie Lewis said Hill came to the family’s home asking about her son’s whereabouts under the pretense that the house next door had been broken into. She said Lewis was not home at that point. Lewis, a talented musician, has always said he was playing with a band called “Pure Pleasure” at a UAW Local 212 hall then located in Detroit when Sypitkowski was killed.

Hill’s remarks that the fatal shot “could not have come” from the white Mark IV Lincoln were based on alleged medical examiner testimony that Van Fleteren was shot from only two feet away.

However, a Wayne County Medical Examiner testified on cross examination at Lewis’ trial that gunshot powder in Sypitkowski’s head could have come from a shotgun fired from up to seven feet away, consistent with the drive-by story.

Lewis, who became an accomplished jail-house attorney and writer, has fought his conviction in both state and federal courts for all the time he has been jailed.

Most recently, Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Qiana Lillard on Nov. 11 denied Lewis” motion to dismiss his case due to the complete loss of his court file. Lewis’ motion cited criminal case precedents dating from the U.S. Supreme Court in 1957, and later from Michigan courts. (Motion below story.)

Lewis is one of over 360 “juvenile lifers” in Michigan, 147 from Wayne County, sentenced to die in prison for crimes committed as children.

Ninety-eight percent of the Wayne County juvenile lifers are Black. But Worthy has asked that the highest number in the state, 63, be re-sentenced to life without parole, after the U.S. Supreme Court twice found such sentences unconstitutional. In both decisions, the USSC said only “the rarest child” should be sentenced to life without parole.

Lewis’ motion additionally addresses factors beyond the USSC Miller v. Alabama (2012) and Montgomery v. Louisiana (2016) decisions.

Judge Lillard contended in her order that the loss of Lewis’ file was essentially not relevant to holding a so-called “Miller” mitigation hearing in his case. (See order at http://voiceofdetroit.net/wp-content/uploads/Charles-Lewis-order-11-11-16.pdf)

However a current 2014 state statute governing juvenile lifer re-sentencing says,

APA Jason Williams and SADO atty. Valerie Newman conduct secret conference with Judge Lillard; Charles Lewis had not been brought into court yet.

“MCL 769.25 (7) At the hearing under subsection (6), the court shall specify on the record the aggravating and mitigating circumstances considered by the court and the court’s reasons supporting the sentence imposed. The court may consider evidence presented at trial together with any evidence presented at the sentencing hearing.” 

Judge Lillard evidently dug deep to find a 1911 civil divorce case to support her position.

“As a court of record, the court has the inherent authority to restore the lost records from Defendant’s file, Newton v. Newton, 166 Mich, 421, 416 (1911) and the Court will now exercise that authority,” Lillard said in her “Order and Opinion Denying Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss and Motion to Sentence to a Term of Years.”

Some of Charles Lewis’ supporters outside Frank Murphy Hall before his hearing Oct. 11, 2016.

“The People and the State Appellate Defenders Office are hereby ordered to meet with representatives of the Wayne County Clerk’s Office to arrange for restoration of the files from copies of the various documents in their possession.” She said the file must be finalized by Jan. 6, 2017, and that the parties would be given until Jan. 13, 2017 to challenge the validity of the file.

She did not include Lewis as one of the parties to be involved in the re-construction, although her order addresses his motion separately from one filed by Newman for a term of years. Lillard also denied that motion, likely indicating advance bias in favor of life without parole prior to even holding a Miller hearing.

Charles Lewis during Oct. 11 hearing. Photo: Sarah Cwiek, Michigan Radio

The key USSC case Lewis cited in his motion, Chessman v. Teets, was decided in Chessman’s favor precisely because he was not present during the reconstitution of trial transcripts in his case. Although Newman says she represents Lewis and speaks for him, his positions differ drastically from hers.

Lewis says regarding the Newton v. Newton case that it was based on a dissenting opinion without legal weight. (See opinion at http://voiceofdetroit.net/wp-content/uploads/Newton-v-Newton.pdf).

“Judge Ostrander filed a dissenting opinion and relied upon three compiled Laws 10276-10280,” Lewis told VOD. “Mind you the statute relied upon by Judge Ostrander was repealed over a hundred years ago. And the decision has no legal weight because it was a dissenting opinion, but it says ‘An act to provide for the restoration of lost records, papers or other proceedings in court records.’”

In his motion to re-sentence Lewis to life without parole, APA Jason Williams contends,“Defendant’s crime in the current case was not the result of unfortunate yet transient immaturity, but, rather, evinced irreparable corruption that requires a Life without parole sentence. Defendant is deserving of a sentence of Life without the possibility of parole.”

He cites no specific evidence regarding that contention. Lewis has been incarcerated since the age of 17 and has demonstrated his numerous talents as a musician, writer and legal analyst in prison since that time. He has helped politically educate fellow prisoners as well.

After the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that juvenile life without parole sentences are unconstitutional in the U.S., the last country in the world to use them, Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Edward Ewell granted Lewis a re-sentencing on  October 17, 2012, before the state statutes referring such cases to the parole board were included in Michigan laws in 2014. 

“. . .this Court will interpret Defendant’s motion as a successive Motion for Relief from Judgment pursuant to MCR 6.502(G)(2) because there has been a retroactive change in the law–specifically, the United States Supreme Court ruling in Miller v. Alabama, supra, regarding mandatory sentencing for juveniles,” Ewell ruled. “Thus, for all the reasons stated, Defendant’s Motion to Remand to the Third Circuit Court for entry of sentence that complies with Miller v. Alabama is hereby GRANTED.” (See order below story.)

Ewell’s ruling was overturned on appeal, based on claims that Miller was not retroactive. Lewis contends that those COA and state Supreme Court decisions were invalidated by the subsequent USSC ruling in Montgomery v. Louisiana on Jan. 25, 2016 that Miller is indeed retroactive. He says he should not be re-sentenced under the state statutes passed AFTER Ewell’s order, but have his case remanded to the trial judge for open adjudication.

Related documents:

http://voiceofdetroit.net/wp-content/uploads/Judge-Lillard-order-reconstructing-Charles-Lewis-file.pdf

http://voiceofdetroit.net/wp-content/uploads/CLmotiondismiss92616.pdf

http://voiceofdetroit.net/wp-content/uploads/EwellOrder101712.pdf

Related stories:

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2016/11/28/case-of-zerious-meadows-challenges-michigans-draconic-juvenile-lifer-re-sentencing-practices/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2016/11/08/good-news-in-timothy-kincaid-juvenile-lifer-case-judge-recommends-immediate-parole/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2016/10/26/free-charles-lewis-mich-juvenile-lifers-re-sentenced-to-die-in-prison-rally-fri-oct-28/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2016/10/13/support-for-charles-lewis-mich-juvenile-lifers-strong-at-hearing-oct-11-bring-them-home-now/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2016/10/07/stop-new-death-penalty-for-mich-juvenile-lifers-rally-tues-oct-11-for-charles-lewis-others/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2016/09/10/new-hope-for-michigan-juvenile-lifer-charles-lewis-as-others-await-long-delayed-justice/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2016/09/04/free-charles-lewis-wayne-co-juvenile-lifers-dying-in-prison-rally-at-hearing-tues-sept-6/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2016/08/18/genocide-state-s-a-d-o-subject-michigan-juvenile-lifers-to-more-cruel-and-unusual-punishment/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2016/08/02/michigan-files-for-jlwop-for-80-of-juvenile-lifers-fed-court-wants-all-parole-eligible/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2016/07/26/worthy-others-want-large-portion-of-juvenile-lifers-to-die-in-prison-despite-ussc-rulings/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2016/06/02/stop-torturing-michigans-juvenile-lifers-with-state-delays-freedom-now/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2016/05/24/free-charles-lewis-innocent-juvenile-lifer-who-has-spent-41-years-in-state-prisons/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2016/05/18/michigan-juvenile-lifers-score-6th-circuit-appeals-court-victory-in-hill-v-snyder/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2016/04/30/why-is-juvenile-lifer-charles-lewis-still-in-prison-16-yrs-after-his-case-was-dismissed/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2016/04/12/dying-in-prison-michigan-juvenile-lifers-get-new-hope-under-montgomery-still-face-obstacles/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2013/02/12/u-s-judge-rules-all-michigan-juvenile-

lifers-eligible-for-parole/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2012/10/28/michigans-juvenile-lifers-want-state-to-comply-with-u-s-supreme-court-ruling/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2012/08/16/michigan-challenges-u-s-supreme-court-ruling-on-juvenile-life-without-parole/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2012/07/02/us-supreme-courts-juvenile-lifer-decision-brings-hope-to-thousands/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2012/07/02/nations-high-court-ends-mandatory-life-without-parole-sentences-for-youth/

#FREECHARLESLEWISNOW, #FREEZERIOUSMEADOWSNOW, #STOPWARONBLACKYOUTH, #FREEMICHIGANJUVENILELIFERS


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NEW ERA DETROIT SPONSORS FUNDRAISER SAT. DEC. 10, 2016 @ 3-5 PM

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VETERANS PLAN ‘HUMAN SHIELD’ TO PROTECT DAKOTA ACCESS PIPELINE PROTESTERS

rt-logoU.S. Commission on Civil Rights Denounces Force vs. Protesters

Class Action Lawsuit Filed

✔@RT_America

December 1, 2016

Protesters demonstrate against the Energy Transfer Partners' Dakota Access oil pipeline near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in Cannon Ball, North Dakota. REUTERS/Andrew Cullen

Protesters demonstrate against the Energy Transfer Partners’ Dakota Access oil pipeline near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in Cannon Ball, North Dakota. REUTERS/Andrew Cullen

More than 2,000 US military veterans have formed Veterans Stand for Standing Rock and plan to act as a human shield around protesters demonstrating against the Dakotas Access Pipeline.

Over 2,000 members of Veterans Stand for Standing Rock are planning to travel to a campsite near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, to create a human barrier between protesters and law enforcement this weekend. The news comes just a day following the US Commission on Civil Rights accusing law enforcement of using “military-style equipment and excessive force” against Native American protesters.

standing-rock-mapErrick Lizandro Marroquin, one of the Veterans Standing for Standing Rock members, told RT America’s Ed Schultz that they acknowledge the risks of coming into conflict with law enforcement or other authorities that have been accused of excessive force.

“When we get there, we’re not just Latinos, blacks or whites, we are veterans,”  Marroquin stated. “So, they will be shooting or threatening the uniform of the United States military. But it doesn’t have to get to this point.”

The veterans are not only hoping to offer some protection to the protesters, but also a respite from demonstrating.

We want to give them a moment of peace so we can take a little bit of pressure off,” Ashleigh Jennifer Parker, a Coast Guard veteran and spokeswoman for Veterans Stand for Standing Rock, told USA Today.

Oceti Sakowin campsite, occupied to stop Dakota Access Pipeline

Oceti Sakowin campsite, occupied to stop Dakota Access Pipeline

The veterans will be going to the Oceti Sakowin campsite, which has been the target of a number of recent orders from the government. This weekend will be a critical time for the camp, as the US Army Corps of Engineers announced that it would close the protest camp on Saturday. While authorities say they do not plan to forcibly remove protesters, all remaining persons would be subject to prosecution and arrest.

On Monday, Governor Jack Dalrymple (R) ordered an emergency evacuation of the camp, citing harsh weather conditions. In addition, local law enforcement announced plans to block supplies from entering the campsite but walked back on that, claiming they would only check vehicles for prohibited supplies and issue fines of as much as $1,000 for violating the governor’s order.View image on Twitter

However, that did little to deter Veterans Stand for Standing Rock, who appear motivated to support the cause.

I figured this was more important than anything else I could be doing,” Guy Dull Knife, 69, a Vietnam War Army veteran, told Reuters.

Dull Knife has been at the campsite for months and will soon by joined by many more veterans, including Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) and a major in the Hawaii Army National Guard.

Parker explained to USA Today that she and the other veterans are not concerned about violent treatment, because it would only bring more attention to the cause.

We’re hoping if we stand together in formation and look the aggressors in their face… if they can treat us the same way [as protesters] then that should showcase to the American people what’s going on up there,” Parker said.

‘Excessive military-style force’ used against DAPL protesters, says US Commission on Civil Rights 

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December 1, 2016

A woman holds a branch of cedar during a prayer ceremony on Backwater Bridge during a protest against plans to pass the Dakota Access pipeline near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, U.S. November 27, 2016. © Stephanie Keith / Reuters

A woman holds a branch of cedar during a prayer ceremony on Backwater Bridge during a protest against plans to pass the Dakota Access pipeline near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, U.S. November 27, 2016. © Stephanie Keith / Reuters

The US Commission on Civil Rights has suspected “disproportionate” use of excessive force and “military-style” equipment by police against the Dakota Access Pipeline protests. The activists have also filed a lawsuit, alleging illegal use of “highly dangerous weaponry.”

The Commission has also called for officials to deescalate tensions and guarantee safety of protesters exercising their First Amendment Rights.

Native Americans protesting DAP at U.S. District Courthouse in Washington, D.C. Aug. 24, 2016

Native Americans protesting DAP at U.S. District Courthouse in Washington, D.C. Aug. 24, 2016

Those demonstrating against the pipeline’s proposed route under a river less than a mile from the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota have been attacked by dogs, seriously injured by rubber bullets and exposed to water cannons in freezing temperatures by law enforcement.

The Commission’s statement begins with a reminder that November is Native American Heritage Month and that the protest “have highlighted the intersection of numerous issues the Commission has investigated recently, including the excessive use of force by police, the civil and sovereign rights of Native Americans, and environmental justice.”

The Commission expressed concern over reports of “military-style equipment and excessive force” being used against Native American protesters, “who are more likely than any other racial group to be killed by police.”

“Protesters have a constitutional right to peacefully assemble and lawfully express their concerns about the environmental and cultural impacts of the pipeline,” it said. “We call upon federal, state, and local officials and law enforcement to work together to deescalate the situation and guarantee the safety of protesters to exercise their First Amendment rights.”

Standing Rock protesters under attack

Standing Rock protesters under attack

On Monday, several protesters filed a class action lawsuit against Morton County and law enforcement agencies, who they accuse of “illegal use of force,” including “highly dangerous weaponry,” on the night of November 20 and early morning of November 21.

Protesters behind the lawsuit are seeking “an immediate court order to prohibit the unlawful use of excessive force.”

Nine activists, including five Native Americans, have also filed a mass-action complaint, in which they are seeking “compensatory, general and special damages” after sustaining injuries.

Water protectors under attack at Standing Rock,

Water protectors under attack at Standing Rock

One of the activists, Vanessa Dundon of the Navajo Nation, was hit in the eye with a tear gas canister, shot by police. Another water protector, Jade Kalikolehuaokakalani Wool, had her face burned after two grenades blew up near her head. He had to be hospitalized. Crystal Wilson was shot with a water cannon, tear gassed and shot with a munition. An activist who was filming police was hit from a water cannon and then in the hand with a munition, which resulted in several bone fractures.

“No orders to disperse, or warnings were given before deployment of these high levels of force against the unarmed water protectors. On this night, over 200 water protectors, including Plaintiffs, were injured by excessive police force, some of them very seriously,” the group said.

fusion-trump-wants-a-big-beautiful-pipeline-text-trump-is-5735610Demonstrators are concerned the pipeline would threaten the water source of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe. The company behind the oil pipeline, Energy Transfer Partner, has seen its pipelines leak at least 18,845 barrels of oil since 2005 and has been fined over $22 million by the US government for environmental and other violations since 2010.

It highlighted a preliminary Environmental Assessment of the pipeline by US Army Corps of Engineers which determined a pipeline route near Bismarck, which the Commission points out is a largely white area, was not viable because of its “proximity to municipal water supply lines.”“The pipeline also poses a threat to the water supply of the Standing Rock Sioux, which raises issues of environmental justice and the lack of power of marginalized communities to have a say in the environmental health of their communities,” the statement continued.


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CASE OF ZERIOUS MEADOWS CHALLENGES MICHIGAN’S DRACONIC JUVENILE LIFER RE-SENTENCING PRACTICES

Zerious Bobby Meadows

Zerious Bobby Meadows

Meadows has been incarcerated for 47 years, since the age of 16

On Sept. 23, Judge Bruce Morrow sentenced Meadows to 25-45 yrs. with a credit of 16,930 days; Chief Judge Timothy Kenny signed off on sentence

Prosecution appealed, demanding 60 year max; case awaits COA hearing

Support Edward Sanders and David Walton at re-sentencing Tues. Nov. 29 at 9 a.m. — Judge James Chylinski should look at Meadows case

 “I really don’t feel that there should be every door slammed shut on a sixteen-year-old.” – Detroit Recorders Court Judge Susan Borman, 1975

 By Diane Bukowski

 November 25, 2016

Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Bruce Morrow

Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Bruce Morrow

DETROIT – A ray of light has broken through the mean clouds surrounding Michigan’s draconic juvenile lifer re-sentencing processes, in the case of Zerious Bobby Meadows.

On Sept. 23, Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Bruce Morrow re-sentenced Meadows to a term of 25-45 years with a time-served credit of 16, 930 days. The sentence was signed off on by Chief Criminal Court Judge Timothy Kenny. It should have meant Meadows’ immediate release.

However, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy appears determined to exact every pound of flesh possible from the county’s juvenile lifers, even if it means their dying in prison. She appealed Judge Morrow’s re-sentence of Meadows, without giving notice during the hearing. She claims that state statutes governing juvenile lifer re-sentencing MANDATE a maximum term of 60 years for those for whom the prosecutor does not re-recommend JLWOP. She has also asked for his case to be re-assigned to another judge. The case has now been stayed pending an appeals court decision.

worthy-kym-a-dn-clarence-tabb-jr

Wayne Co. Pros. Kym Worthy at odds with Morrow, Kenny

Wayne County Circuit Judge Timothy Kenny.

Wayne County Circuit Court Criminal Chief Judge Timothy Kenny.

Mr. Meadows was sentenced to juvenile life without parole (JLWOP) for a crime of felony murder committed in 1970 when he was 16. He has now served 47 years in prison and is 62 years old. He has a stellar prison record, with only 3 misconducts in 47 years, the last 20 years ago. He also has  a large number of family members and friends ready to support him on release, according to his attorney Melvin Houston.

At the time of Meadows’ sentencing on re-trial in 1975, then Recorders Court Judge Susan Borman challenged the practice of sending children to die in prison.

Recorders Court Judge Susan Borman

Recorders Court Judge Susan Borman (top r) with others inducted into Recorders Court in 1973 including noted Judge James Del rio (seated at right).

“. . . I really don’t feel that there should be every door slammed shut on a sixteen-year-old, Judge Borman said. “I think there should be some room after the serving of a very long sentence, true, there should be some room for eventual parole in a case such as this.  I think that there is something wrong with the law that gives the court no discretion at all. Where the defendant has to spend the rest of his natural life behind bars, and it is particularly tragic in a case where it is a sixteen-year-old child that has been convicted.”

The Appeals Court has granted a prosecution motion for immediate consideration, but denied the prosecution’s motion to waive production of the transcripts. Once those are received, the higher court’s decision should affect the cases of hundreds of other juvenile lifers being automatically re-sentenced to the maximum term of 60 years. That maximum  is referred to in state laws meant to undercut the U.S. Supreme Court’s historic Miller v. Alabama (2012) and Montgomery v. Louisiana (2016) rulings that juvenile life without parole is unconstitutional, “cruel and unusual punishment.”

Juvenile lifer Edward Sanders

Edward Sanders

david-walton

David Walton

Those juvenile lifers include individuals like Edward Sanders, who brought Meadows’ case to VOD’s attention, and David Walton.

Their re-sentencing hearing is set for Tues. Nov. 29 at 9 a.m. in front of Judge James Chylinski. They are asking family and friends to turn out in force. Both have been locked up 41 years since the ages of 17, for a drive-by killing in which they were not the shooters. Both have excellent prison records as well. Sanders graduated from college in prison and has become a jailhouse lawyer, while Walton

With regard to Meadows, Atty. Houston told the Court of Appeals that recent court decisions are not in line with Worthy’s stance.

He cites a 2016 decision by the Sixth Circuit Court in Starks v. Easterling, which says, “lengthy sentences that approach or exceed a defendant’s life expectancy, regardless of whether that sentence bears the title ‘life without parole,’ constitutes ‘cruel and unusual’ punishment when imposed on youth, and violates the constitutional mandates of Miller and Montgomery.” Wayne County is within the Sixth Circuit’s jurisdiction.

Parole board hearing

Parole board hearing

Houston continues, “Absent the court issuing an individualized sentence for Mr. Meadows based on the extensive evidence presented, the court would be abdicating its responsibility. Another ruling Atty. Houston cites from says, “Placing the decision with the Parole Board, with its limited resources and lack of sentencing expertise, is not a substitute for a judicially imposed sentence.”

In a 2015 article, How Parole Boards Keep Prisoners in the Dark and Behind Bars, the Washington Post reported, “In 1997, the Michigan board published a report trumpeting its transformation into “a Parole Board that is much less willing to release criminals who complete their minimum sentences — and much less willing to release criminals at all, forcing many to serve their maximum sentences.”

Former Michigan Gov. John Engler made parole nearly impossible.

Former Michigan Gov. John Engler made parole nearly impossible.

Stephen Marschke, head of Michigan's first Engler-appointed parole board.

Stephen Marschke, head of Michigan’s first Engler-appointed parole board.

Attorney Houston responded to the prosecutor’s appeal of Mr. Meadows’ re-sentencing under MCL 769.25a(4)(c).

That statute, Atty. Houston says, “sets the maximum as 60 years and does not prevent a term of less than 60 years. Therefore, Mr. Meadows’ sentence of 25-45 years is within the statute’s limits. The phrase ‘a maximum of 60 years’ means just that—the maximum must be 60 years. If the legislature wanted to deprive the sentencing court of any and all jurisdiction in this matter, it would easily have said ‘no less than 60 years.’ The People’s interpretation is not only contrary to Miller and Montgomery, it is inconsistent with some of the provisions recently addressed by the Michigan Supreme Court in People v. Lockridge . . .” 

He compares this to language in MCL 769.25 which DOES include the language “not less than 60 years.”

“This supports the legislative intent to treat those who had already served long, unconstitutional sentences, like Mr. Meadows, and for whom the court had the opportunity to review the evidence of behavior and rehabilitation after years (in this case 47 years!) should have the authority to render a proportional sentence based on the evidence,” Atty. Houston writes.

Florida juvenile lifer Christopher Burton

Florida juvenile lifer Christopher Burton

As one precedent, he cites an unpublished decision by the 13th Judicial Circuit Court of Florida, which struck down a state statute requiring a mandatory minimum sentencing of 40 years for juvenile lifers there, calling it unconstitutional. The case is State of Florida vs. Christopher Burton.

Miller requires ‘that a sentence  follow a certain process—considering an offender’s youth and attendant characteristics—before imposing a particular penalty,” Circuit Judge William Fuente wrote in the decision. “But the mandatory sentencing provision of section 775.082(1)(b) prevents a sentencing court from exercising the full extent of judicial discretion that Miller requires. This facet of the statute is irreconcilable with prevailing Eighth Amendment jurisprudence.”

Houston says Mr. Meadows at the age of 62 is not the same person he was at 16.

“Mr. Meadows was a juvenile when he was arrested in this case and has since matured into an adult; in other words, the person convicted of setting fire to the Turner’s home back in 1970 is not the same person who was resentenced on September 23, 2016. Mr. Meadows completed his G.E.D., as well as some post-high school education while incarcerated. He has also completed both AA and NA programs offered by the MDOC.

Meadows has extensive family support, says his attorney Melvin Houston.

Meadows has extensive family support, says his attorney Melvin Houston.

“Mr. Meadows’ work performance has received numerous positive evaluations. . . These reports note that Mr. Meadows is a good worker, doing a good job, and that he takes pride in completing assignments. Mr. Meadows was recommended for and completed Machine Shop I and II. He has clearly taken advantage of the opportunities made available to him by the MDOC.”

Houston adds, “On a personal note, Mr. Meadows enjoys broad support from his large circle of family and friends. He has seven surviving siblings, along with numerous nieces and nephews. Since his incarceration began, the record shows Mr. Meadows has received at least one visit each month from either his mother (his father, who passed away about twenty years ago, was also a frequent visitor), one of his sisters, one of his brothers, the children of his siblings, or one of his many friends. Because of this large support network, Mr. Meadows will have a stable place to live with the support of people who love him.”

The Appeals Court panel that will rule on Mr. Meadows’ re-sentencing is composed of Christopher M, Murray, Presldlng Judge, and Judges Karen M. Fort Hood and Michael J, Riordan.

Related documents:

http://voiceofdetroit.net/wp-content/uploads/MeadowsCOAanddefense.pdf

http://voiceofdetroit.net/wp-content/uploads/Meadowsexhibits.compressed.pdf

http://voiceofdetroit.net/wp-content/uploads/Starks-v-Easterling-Sixth-Circuit.pdf

Related stories:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/the-power-and-politics-of-parole-boards/2015/07/10/49c1844e-1f71-11e5-84d5-eb37ee8eaa61_story.html

http://www.rudoilaw.com/michigan-parole-boards#.WDyZK9UrLIU

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2016/11/08/good-news-in-timothy-kincaid-juvenile-lifer-case-judge-recommends-immediate-parole/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2016/10/26/free-charles-lewis-mich-juvenile-lifers-re-sentenced-to-die-in-prison-rally-fri-oct-28/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2016/10/13/support-for-charles-lewis-mich-juvenile-lifers-strong-at-hearing-oct-11-bring-them-home-now/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2016/10/07/stop-new-death-penalty-for-mich-juvenile-lifers-rally-tues-oct-11-for-charles-lewis-others/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2016/09/10/new-hope-for-michigan-juvenile-lifer-charles-lewis-as-others-await-long-delayed-justice/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2016/09/04/free-charles-lewis-wayne-co-juvenile-lifers-dying-in-prison-rally-at-hearing-tues-sept-6/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2016/08/18/genocide-state-s-a-d-o-subject-michigan-juvenile-lifers-to-more-cruel-and-unusual-punishment/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2016/08/02/michigan-files-for-jlwop-for-80-of-juvenile-lifers-fed-court-wants-all-parole-eligible/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2016/07/26/worthy-others-want-large-portion-of-juvenile-lifers-to-die-in-prison-despite-ussc-rulings/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2016/06/02/stop-torturing-michigans-juvenile-lifers-with-state-delays-freedom-now/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2016/05/24/free-charles-lewis-innocent-juvenile-lifer-who-has-spent-41-years-in-state-prisons/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2016/05/18/michigan-juvenile-lifers-score-6th-circuit-appeals-court-victory-in-hill-v-snyder/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2016/04/30/why-is-juvenile-lifer-charles-lewis-still-in-prison-16-yrs-after-his-case-was-dismissed/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2016/04/12/dying-in-prison-michigan-juvenile-lifers-get-new-hope-under-montgomery-still-face-obstacles/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2013/02/12/u-s-judge-rules-all-michigan-juvenile-lifers-eligible-for-parole/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2012/10/28/michigans-juvenile-lifers-want-state-to-comply-with-u-s-supreme-court-ruling/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2012/08/16/michigan-challenges-u-s-supreme-court-ruling-on-juvenile-life-without-parole/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2012/07/02/us-supreme-courts-juvenile-lifer-decision-brings-hope-to-thousands/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2012/07/02/nations-high-court-ends-mandatory-life-without-parole-sentences-for-youth/

#FreeZeriousMeadowsNOW#Justice4TimothyKincaid, #Justice4WaymonKincaid, #FreeCharlesLewis, #FreeEdwardSanders, #FreeDavidWalton, #FreeMichiganJuvenileLifers, #FreeMichiganParolableLifers, #TeardownPoliceStatePrisonNation


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BELOVED DETROIT PEOPLE’S ACTIVIST CORNELL SQUIRES CALLED HOME TO THE ANCESTORS NOV. 19, 2016

Cornell Squires at twenty-year memorial for Lamar Grable, dead at the hands of serial killer kop Eugene Brown and his partner Vicki Yost Sept. 21, 1996.

Cornell Squires (in yellow shirt)  at twenty-year memorial for Lamar Grable, dead at the hands of serial killer kop Eugene Brown and his partner Vicki Yost Sept. 21, 1996. To Cornell’s right are Lamar’s mother and brother Arnetta and Aaron Grable. Lamar’s father Herman Vallery is seated at right, being interviewed by TV Media. Others are Juanita Young, seated in front of Cornell, Mertilla Jones, grandmother of Aiyana Jones, and Joshua Lopez. Oct. 22 Coalition members Young and Lopez flew in from New York for the event. Cornell Squires  along with Arnetta Grable and Herman Vallery helped co-found the Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

CORNELL’S GRANDCHILDREN CORDAI AND ARI, BY HIS BELOVED SON CORNELL EMMANUEL, LOVED THEIR GRANDPA, WHO THEY CALLED “PAPA BEAR.”

UPDATE: FUNERAL ARRANGEMENTS:

KERNAN FUNERAL HOME 

1020 FORT STREET, LINCOLN PARK

VISITATION SUN. NOV. 27 1-5 PM

SERVICE MON. NOV. 28  AT FUNERAL HOME

FAMILY HOUR 10 A.M.  SERVICE 10:30 A.M.

CORNELL EDWARD SQUIRES, Sunrise JUNE 18, 1957 Sunset NOVEMBER 19, 2018 Loving father of Cornell. Cherished son of Vester and the late Eugene. Dear brother of Eugene Jr., Jeanette and Calvin (Kelly). Proud grandfather of Cordai and Ari. Loved dearly by nieces and nephews Freddie, Maurice, Morgan and Camille.

For further information, visit http://www.kernanfs.com/obituaries/Cornell-Squires/

map

Commentary by Voice of Detroit staff

November 20, 2016 

The late Mayor of Jackson, MS. Chokwe Lumumba at appeals court hearing where Mr. Lumumba represented Squires.

The late Mayor of Jackson, MS. Chokwe Lumumba at appeals court hearing where Mr. Lumumba represented Squires. They are now both at rest with the ancestors.

DETROIT — The world is a much smaller place today since the passing of our beloved brother, dear friend to so many, dear son, father, brother and grandfather, and fellow activist Cornell Squires on Nov. 19, 2016, at the age of 59.

His heart was larger than that world. It will never be the same without him; we will mourn him for the rest of our lives, but be assured that we will follow in his footsteps as well. He taught so many so much and was an inspiration for the ages.

Cornell Squires, born June 18, 1957, passed away unexpectedly but peacefully, likely of a heart attack, as he was assisting his long-time dear friend Arnetta Grable, Sr. at the hotel where she was temporarily staying in Southfield, Michigan. He took a brief rest in a chair, and went to sleep. Then he went home to Allah, the Great Spirit, God, or the many other names under which people know that eternal life force. Cornell himself was extremely spiritual and began each day by calling his dear mother Vester Squires to pray with her.

Cornell Squires (r) and supporters of his son and young cousins who had been framed up by “Robocop” William Melendez march on Detroit’s old 4th Precinct in 2000. This was 3 years before the feds charged Melendez and 17 other cops with running a Ramparts-style ring that terrorized the southwest side. Squires’ son was falsely accused of attempted carjacking; his young cousins’ home was invaded by Detroit police who planted drugs there. Squires himself was previously assaulted by Detroit cop Robert Feld, a beating which Squires father Eugene Squires and mother Vester Squires stopped.His father had a heart attack which later proved fatal.

Cornell Squires (r) and supporters of his son and young cousins who had been framed up by “Robocop” William Melendez march on Detroit’s old 4th Precinct in 2000. This was three years before the feds charged Melendez and 17 other cops with running a Ramparts-style ring that terrorized the southwest side. Squires’ son was falsely accused of attempted carjacking; his young cousins’ home was invaded by Detroit police who planted drugs there. Squires himself was previously assaulted by Detroit cop Robert Feld, a beating which Squires father Eugene Squires and mother Vester Squires stopped.His father had a heart attack which later proved fatal. Cornell was a co-founder of the Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality along with Arnetta Grable and Herman Vallery.

Mrs. Squires, Cornell’s son Cornell Emmanuel and Cornell Emmanuel’s mother Carla, grandson Cordai, Cornell’s brothers, Mrs. Grable and her son Aaron Grable and daughter’s friend Shae gathered at the hotel after his death, along with several fellow activists including this writer, to grieve his passing. His family will be announcing his funeral arrangements shortly, which will be published here.

Cornell Squires () with anti-foreclosure activists (l to r) Beverly Kindle-Walker, Kamala El, Queen Mother and

Cornell Squires () with anti-foreclosure activists (l to r) Beverly Kindle-Walker, Kamala El, and Queen Mother Dr. Nefertiti-El.

“It’s time for younger and older men alike to stand against corruption, police brutality, and all injustice in our communities,” Cornell, a reporter and photographer for Voice of Detroit, wrote in an article April 9, 2015, last year.

“Americans must stand up for the truth and our personal freedom! All human beings have a constitutional right for equality and God given rights no man can take away! God is the true lawgiver.”

He continued, “America has a double standard in our legal system and we must demand a new legal system immediately! This is also an unfair, hateful, malicious, ungodly and disrespectful system to our city’s residential homeowners and the taxpayers in our communities.” (See full article at http://voiceofdetroit.net/2015/04/19/stop-police-murders-and-frame-ups-of-our-black-youth-jail-killer-cops/.)

Cornell Squires (2nd from right) with Rev. Edward Pinkney of Benton Harbor, Cindy Darrah, Marcina Cole

Cornell Squires (2nd from r) with Rev. Edward Pinkney of Benton Harbor,  framed up and imprisoned by Whirlpool’s political lapdogs, and other Detroiters including Cindy Darrah, Marcina Cole, and Kim Green. They traveled to Benton Harbor May 24, 2014 for Pinkney court hearing.

Cornell Squires cannot be replaced. He was unique in that he had no personal agenda. He was motivated by a true love for the people, as Che Guevara said. He cared about each individual he worked with, their families, and their individual problems. He freely gave his heart and hard work to each person he worked with for justice.

When called to help, he would arrive with his large, calm, reassuring presence, comfort those who needed it, and go on with whatever work was needed for them.

Cornell fought to free juvenile lifer Charles Lewis, attending and covering his court hearings. He was a dear friend of Lewis' mother and sister Rosie and Wendy Lewis.

Cornell fought to free juvenile lifer Charles Lewis, attending and covering his court hearings. He was a dear friend of Lewis’ mother and sister Rosie and Wendy Lewis.

As a paralegal with We the People for the People, RicoBusters, the Detroit Active and Retired Employee Association (DAREA), the Coalition to Free Rev. Edward Pinkney, the Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality, the National Oct. 22 Coalition, the Detroit Black Farmers, and numerous other groups, he personally assisted thousands of people across Detroit and Michigan in saving their homes, their children from state kidnapping and from prison, and their very lives in the battle against police murders.

Cornell recently did tireless paralegal work to stop the outrageous imprisonment of Mary Stafford, sentenced to 1-10 years by Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Michael Hathaway after a “deed fraud” trial of Mrs. Stafford and her husband Clifford Stafford, rife with judicial and prosecutorial misconduct, and based on falsified evidence.

Cornell took on the battle against the Dearborn police in the case of Terry Jerome Jones, injured for life by Dearborn police for “walking while Black,” down Michigan Avenue on Sept. 4, 2011. He helped Jones’ cousin Antoinette Austin initiate and fight an ongoing lawsuit against the city and the police. He went on to cover the brutal killing of Kevin Matthews, another mentally challenged man, by a Dearborn cop on Dec. 23, 2015.

VIDEO BELOW BY CORNELL SQUIRES

Earlier, with his dear friend the late great attorney Leonard Eston, one of the last great legal warriors from the 1960’s, Cornell fought hundreds of cases, many times with no compensation. Cornell and Leonard Eston successfully restored the law license of the late people’s hero and Mayor of Mississippi, Chokwe Lumumba, also a friend of Cornell’s.

Leonard Eston

Leonard Eston

One of the people they helped was Ed Wilcox, a Detroiter whose neck was broken by the six white Southfield cops in 2009. They pulled him out of his car, threw him on the ground, put a foot on his neck, and tasered him four times. He nearly died from the beating.

He survived chiefly by yelling just so he could breathe before a friend took him to the hospital, and doctors discovered a disc had nearly severed his spine, which would have left him a paraplegic. He still suffers from seizures causing his arms and legs to shake, pain, and has to take medication just to sleep.

Cornell and Leonard Easton worked with him on a federal lawsuit which got thrown out of the Eastern District six times before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals sent it back and ordered the district to deal with it. After Eston passed, Cornell kept working with Wilcox, filing a case with the U.S. Department of Justice, going to U.S. Rep. John Conyers, and also to Barbara McQuade of the Detroit Attorney General’s office.

Gwen Mingo, still at home in Brush Park.

Gwen Mingo, still at home in Brush Park.

Another dear friend Cornell went all out to support in her battles against her own eviction and the gentrification of Brush Park was Gwendolyn Mingo. She herself became a leader of hundreds, fighting to preserve the homes of families who had lived there for decades. The area has now become a playground for the well-to-do, including a complex of sports arenas for the Red Wings, Pistons, Tigers, and Lions, all of them owned by multi-billionaires, surrounded by luxury condo developments, restaurants and retail establishments. But through Gwen’s efforts, aided by Cornell, Arnetta Grable, Ron Seigel of the Michigan Citizen, and numerous others, she still lives in her own home there.

Cornell was also a City of Detroit retiree. He worked for 12 years as an EMS technician, and fought the administration to get better ambulances and conditions for the workers. Then he was forced to fight for his disability pension, which he only started receiving last year, many years after he had to leave the job due to stress and harassment by management.

Cornell Squires (rear) interviewed and reported on massive lay-offs taking place in the Detroit Water and Sewerage Dept. He is shown here with (l to r) laid-off workers Sammy Barber, Edward Collins, and Dean E. Fox Sr. after interview at Bert's.

Cornell Squires (rear) interviewed and reported on massive lay-offs taking place in the Detroit Water and Sewerage Dept. He is shown here with (l to r) laid-off workers Sammy Barber, Edward Collins, and Dean E. Fox Sr. after interview at Bert’s.

He joined the struggle with the Detroit Active and Retired Employee Association after the emergency manager takeover of Detroit, and the phony bankruptcy which followed. He worked on the legal committee which helped draft ongoing lawsuits against the drastic cuts retirees experienced to their annuity savings fund and health care.

Cornell worked with Bert Dearing of Bert’s Warehouse and Theater to draft a federal lawsuit which put a stay on the foreclosure and takeover of Dearing’s property, part of the assault on Black-owned businesses in Detroit. Cornell himself was previously a business owner, of a car lot on Detroit’s southwest side. He also worked tirelessly to find opportunities for the youth in his distressed far southwest neighborhood for recreation and employment.

Photo by Cornell Squires at Doll's Go-Kart track on Oakman near Grand River. Cornell was good friends with owners Ron and Darlene Hereford, and worked with them to stop theft of this property as well as the frame-up of their son.

Photo by Cornell Squires at Doll’s Go-Kart Track on Oakman near Grand River. Cornell was good friends with owners Ron and Darleen  Hereford, and worked with them to stop theft of this property, and the frame-up of their son.

Cornell recently began attending meetings of New Era Detroit, held at Bert’s Warehouse every Thursday. He was excited to see young Detroiters beginning to organize independently for the future of the youth and of Detroit.

All of those who benefited from Cornell’s love and hard work will have many stories to tell. The Voice of Detroit invites all to contribute to the coverage of this great man’s life by either submitting their comments below or writing their own articles and sending them to diane_bukowski@hotmail.com or the Voice of Detroit, P.O. Box 32684, Detroit, MI  48232.

Cornell Squires speaks at rally against tax foreclosures and home auctions. He called all foreclosures illegal because of the lack of yearly property assessments. He was recently working on exposing the fact that all the Wayne County Sheriff's Deeds in these foreclosures have been illegally notarized with a rubber stamp, not a signature, and are invalid.

Cornell Squires speaks at rally against tax foreclosures and home auctions. He called all foreclosures illegal because of the lack of yearly property assessments. He was recently working on exposing the fact that all the Wayne County Sheriff’s Deeds in these foreclosures have been illegally notarized with a rubber stamp, not a signature, and are invalid.

Cornell’s death felt like a grenade lobbed through our chests, leaving a huge hole that will nonetheless eventually heal, cradling him and his heart and spirit at the center of our beings.

Part of the story of Cornell’s life with the Voice of Detroit, the Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality, the Detroit Active and Retired Employees Association, and the battle for Michigan’s juvenile lifers is portrayed here in photos. There will be much more to come after his home-going ceremonies are complete.

Cornell, you carried out your mission with courage, bravery, unbounded love, and unflagging determination and you were loved by thousands. When God felt it was time and your mission was complete, he called you home. Rest in his loving arms and the arms of your late father Eugene Squires, and late brother Odell Squires, in power and in peace, and in our love.

The world as we know it will never be the same without you. Love you forever, Cornell.

At April 28, 2015 rally for Terrance Kellom, 19, executed by ICE and Detroit police earlier that month, members of the Original Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality: (l to r) Lamar Grable with his mother Arnetta Grable Jr., Butch Carrington, Arnetta Grable Sr., Herman Vallery, and Cornell Squires.

At April 28, 2015 rally for Terrance Kellom, 19, executed by ICE and Detroit police earlier that month, members of the Original Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality: (l to r) Lamar Grable with his mother Arnetta Grable Jr., Butch Carrington, Arnetta Grable Sr., Herman Vallery, and Cornell Squires.

Cornell marched with protesters in Inkster April 3, 2015 against the brutal beating of Floyd Dent by "Robocop" William Melendez, the same cop who framed Cornell's son.

Cornell (right) marched with protesters in Inkster April 3, 2015 against the brutal beating of Floyd Dent by “Robocop” William Melendez, the same cop who framed Cornell’s son.

Cornell (center) helped Luis and Cecilia Espinoza fight for custody of their youngest child against CPS.

Cornell (center) helped his dear friends Luis and Cecilia Espinoza fight for custody of their youngest child against CPS in 2011. He also worked with them to stop the foreclosure of their home.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Cornell Squires with dear friends

espinoza-family-2011Cornell is shown at right  with (l to r) Mailauni Williams, her mother Lennette Williams, behind them Ron Hereford, and Arnetta Grable, Sr. He and Arnetta fought for Lennette to maintain custody of her daughter and control of her finances against vicious Probate Court officials who savaged a settlement awarded to the Williams family related to hospital neglect in Mailauni’s birth.

CORNELL SQUIRES WAS AN ACTIVE MEMBER OF RICOBUSTERS. ONE OF THEIR MANY VIDEOS IS SHOWN BELOW.  

Related stories:

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2016/11/02/family-friends-want-release-not-re-sentencing-for-charles-lewis-condemn-appointed-atty-newman/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2016/09/29/community-honors-lamar-grable-murdered-20-yrs-ago-by-detroit-cops-eugene-brown-vicki-yost/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2016/04/05/activists-say-wayne-co-tax-foreclosures-illegal-violation-of-indigenous-rights-domestic-terrorism/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2016/02/17/outrage-judge-michael-hathaway-gives-mary-stafford-1-10-yrs-no-evidentiary-hearing/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2015/11/08/layoffs-flood-detroit-water-dept-risk-public-health-rising-debt-higher-rates-more-shut-offs/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2015/09/30/federal-lawsuit-alleging-fraud-unclean-hands-forestalls-seizure-of-berts-marketplace/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2015/05/04/support-man-injured-for-life-by-dearborn-police-for-walking-while-black-tues-may-5-10-am/

NO JUSTICE FOR YOUNG DETROIT DAD TERRANCE KELLOM; WORTHY REFUSES TO PROSECUTE KILLER COP(S) AGAIN

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2015/03/29/unprecedented-katrina-of-tax-foreclosures-to-hit-detroit-wayne-county-march-31/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2014/05/27/dismiss-all-charges-against-rev-pinkney-court-fri-may-30-save-benton-harbor-boycott-whirlpool/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2011/10/09/%E2%80%9Ci-want-my-mother-to-come-home-espinoza-trial-continues-oct-14-10-a-m/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2015/12/25/family-mourns-detroits-kevin-matthews-killed-by-white-dearborn-cop-natl-march-jan-4-2016/

‘RICOBUSTERS’ FIGHT CRIMINAL INJUSTICE SYSTEM, ‘DOMESTIC TERRORISM’ BY CORPORATE OLIGARCHY


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FEDERAL JUDGE ORDERS WATER DELIVERY TO FLINT RESIDENTS –BLACK AGENDA REPORT

Protest against poisoning of Flint residents

Protest against poisoning of Flint residents

black-agenda-reportby BAR editor and columnist Dr. Marsha Adebayo

November 15, 2016 

Dr. Marsha Abedayo

Dr. Marsha Abedayo

Lead kills brain cells, but it took a federal judge to order that households in Flint, Michigan, be delivered four cases of bottled water to prevent further damage to their health. Meanwhile, the perpetrators of the mass poisoning “were rewarded with blanket immunity and protection by the State.” One wonders, “How different the reaction of the Obama administration would have been had ISIS claimed responsibility.”

“The Flint water crisis is the pathway for future genocidal acts against Africans in America just as the Tuskegee experiment was the pathway to Flint.”

For nearly one year, EPA and state officials (and presumably the president) knew, according to Congressional testimony, that residents of Flint, Michigan, were drinking, bathing, washing dishes in lead-poisoned water, and providing formula laced with poisoned water to infants. There is little hope for Flint’s predominantly black children who have ingested, and absorbed dangerous levels of lead. The poisoning of Flint’s water supply was simply the latest act of domestic terrorism towards Africans in America.

Ice sculpture at State Capitol Building in Lansing, MI.

Ice sculpture at State Capitol Building in Lansing, MI.

But, the horror of the Flint water crisis has not stopped.  What has stopped is the corporate media coverage of the carnage.

This week, a federal judge, David Lawson, ruled that residents of Flint who continue to face lead contamination of their water supply are entitled to delivery of free bottled water to their homes.  State officials must deliver each week four cases of bottled water to Flint households that don’t have “properly installed taps.”  This ruling, while important, clearly falls short of the dignity and respect Flint residents deserve. In fact, the State of Michigan, without remorse or shame, has argued against such provisions.

“If the residents of Flint were considered fully human or valued citizens why should they have to fight for the provision of clean water?”

Flint residents have complained that the approximate $234 million that has been committed by the state of Michigan is inadequate to replace lead service lines, provide additional healthcare, clean water and water filters. Victims of this crisis have voiced concern that phone lines to arrange for water delivery and staffing at water stations have proved insufficient to meet the needs of the community. In addition, the State reduced service hours and eliminated service at water supply stations altogether on Sundays. One resident complained:

“Most of the people who’ve called [the phone service] never had people come out. It’s just not staffed.”

The late Tashi Kiya at protest against water shut-offs in Detroit.

The late Tashi Kiya at protest against mass water shut-offs in Detroit.

The State has argued that water delivery to qualifying households is an additional unnecessary expense costing $9 million.  It was this same kind of argument that led the City Manager appointed by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder in April, 2014, to switch the city’s water supply to the polluted Flint River and then failed to require the city, because of financial considerations, to use corrosion controls to prevent lead from leaching off water pipes to private homes.

If the residents of Flint were considered fully human or valued citizens why should they have to fight for the provision of clean water? As humans and citizens this is their right! The State has shown, once again, that Black lives do not matter in Flint and that residents will have to fight for life-sustaining water.

The poisoning of Flint water should be considered an act of terror and should have been prosecuted under US terrorism laws and all involved indicted for domestic terror.  But not one senior EPA or state official was fired or indicted — criminal blame was reserved for low-level technicians.  The poisoning was never treated as an “emergency” situation. In fact, until residents of Flint started to protest, federal and state officials were content to allow the poisoning to continue.

“Victims of this crisis have voiced concern that phone lines to arrange for water delivery and staffing at water stations have proved insufficient to meet the needs of the community.”

Pres. Obama greeted by Mich. Gov. Rick Snyder on his arrival in Flint.

Pres. Obama greeted by Mich. Gov. Rick Snyder on his arrival in Flint.

What this crisis has clearly exposed is that Flint was a deliberate poisoning of a low-income Black community. The perpetrators of this terrorist act were rewarded with blanket immunity and protection by the State.  The EPA Administrator and Governor of Michigan will soon reap the benefits of being “good Germans” as they leave public service for lucrative private sector positions.

It took President Obama nearly two years to travel to Flint for what was promoted as a “briefing.”  How different the reaction of the Obama administration would have been had ISIS claimed responsibility for poisoning Flint.

The EPA had the power to issue a cease and desist order against the State of Michigan under the Safe Drinking Water Act  (SDWA Section 1431) that allows the EPA to seize control of State’s water system:

ti_graphics_lead-effects-on-children“… Upon receipt of information that a contaminant that is present in or likely to enter a public water system or an underground source of drinking water … that may present an imminent and substantial endangerment to the health of persons, the EPA administrator may take any action she deems necessary to protect human health.”

According to congressional testimony by EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, the EPA’s paltry excuse for not invoking congressionally mandated emergency powers was that they wanted to allow Michigan State agencies enough time to settle this matter.  In the interim, women suffered miscarriages, Flint residents suffered strokes, and children developed neuro-toxic levels of lead poisoning that impact their intellectual and cognitive function.

“The EPA Administrator and Governor of Michigan will soon reap the benefits of being ‘good Germans’ as they leave public service for lucrative private sector positions.”

EPA head Gina McCarthy testifying at Congress Sept. 15, 2015 about Flint water crisis. That is obviously NOT a jug of Flint water at her side.

EPA head Gina McCarthy testifying at Congress Sept. 15, 2015 about Flint water crisis. That is obviously NOT a jug of Flint water at her side.

Members of Congress called for the resignations of both the Michigan Governor and the EPA Administrator.  While Obama did not have the power to unseat an elected Governor, he has the power to fire EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy who serves at the pleasure of the president.

His decision was to leave McCarthy in place presumably because of the good job she performed in Flint. What is perhaps most revealing about the background story of the poisoning incident is that President Obama, by leaving McCarthy as head of the EPA, reaffirmed his faith in her abilities to carry out the mandate of his administration, including handling the more than over 300 additional water systems throughout the country, primarily in Black and low income communities, that indicate toxic levels of lead in the water.

tuskegee-studyHistory will judge that the Flint water crisis is the pathway for future genocidal acts against Africans in America just as the Tuskegee experiment was the pathway to Flint. One should note that the Tuskegee experiment (1932-1972), conducted by the US Public Health Service, consisted initially of a sample size of 399 Black men. The Flint water poisoning “experiment” (starting in 2014) consisted of a city of nearly 100,000 residents. The escalation of organized violence, such as Tuskegee and Flint should trigger a mass movement to protect African life particularly as we contemplate policies of the Trump Administration.

Dr. Marsha Adebayo is the author of the Pulitzer Prize nominated: No FEAR: A Whistleblowers Triumph over Corruption and Retaliation at the EPA. She worked at the EPA for 18 years and blew the whistle on a US multinational corporation that endangered South African vanadium mine workers. Marsha’s successful lawsuit led to the introduction and passage of the first civil rights and whistleblower law of the 21st century: the Notification of Federal Employees Anti-discrimination and Retaliation Act of 2002 (No FEAR Act). She is Director of Transparency and Accountability for the Green Shadow Cabinet and serves on the Advisory Board of ExposeFacts.com.

Related stories from VOD:

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2016/02/15/bi-partisan-deal-led-to-flint-water-poisoning-for-profit-the-karegnondi-water-authority-kwa/ 

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2016/01/20/boycott-michigan-jail-snyder-cronies-for-flint-lead-poisoning-domestic-terrorism-racism/ 

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2015/10/16/flint-water-and-the-no-blame-game-true-files-fed-complaint-re-disparate-impact/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2015/10/13/will-regional-takeover-of-detroit-water-make-residents-of-6-counties-drink-flint-water/ 

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2015/12/21/rachel-maddow-slams-gov-rick-snyder-for-poisoning-flints-water-emergency-manager-act/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2015/11/08/layoffs-flood-detroit-water-dept-risk-public-health-rising-debt-higher-rates-more-shut-offs/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2014/09/10/detroit-bankruptcy-great-lakes-water-authority-to-steal-largest-asset-of-largest-u-s-black-city-4/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2014/08/21/near-catastrophic-failure-of-detroit-sewage-pumps-caused-detroit-floods-toledo-water-crisis-city-retirees-say/

#FLINTLIVESMATTER, #STOPWATERSHUTOFFS, #WATERISARIGHT, , #DETROITBELONGSTOITSPEOPLE, #STOPGENOCIDE


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SO THIS IS HOW THE U.S. ‘REVOLUTION’ WILL UNFOLD

to-exist-is-to-resist

“The secret of joy is resistance” — Alice Walker

rt-logo

RT America 

✔@RT_America

The White House

The White House Flickr

By Dan Glazebrook*

November 12, 2016

Editorial

In late 2012, Peter Turchin, a professor at the University of Connecticut made a startling claim, based on an analysis of revolutionary upheavals across history.

He found there are three social conditions in place shortly before all major outbreaks of social violence: an increase in the elite population; a decrease in the living standards of the masses; and huge levels of government indebtedness.

The statistical model his team developed suggested that, on this basis, a major wave of social upheaval and revolutionary violence is set to take place in the US in 2020. His model had no way to predict who would lead the charge; but this week’s election gives an indication of how it is likely to unfold.

Final U.S. electoral college results

UPDATE: President-elect Donald J. Trump’s electoral vote total now stands at 290 after winning #Arizona http://on.rt.com/7ud9

Let’s take the first condition, which Turchin calls “elite overproduction,” defined as “an increased number of aspirants for the limited supply of elite positions.” The US has clearly been heading in this direction for some time, with the number of billionaires increasing more than tenfold from 1987 (41 billionaires) to 2012 (425 billionaires). But the ruling class split between, for example, industrialists and financiers, has apparently reached fever pitch with Trump vs. Clinton.

As Turchin explains, “increased intra-elite competition leads to the formation of rival patronage networks vying for state rewards. As a result, elites become riven by increasing rivalry and factionalism.” Indeed, based on analysis of thousands of incidents of civil violence across world history, Turchin concluded that “the most reliable predictor of state collapse and high political instability was elite overproduction.”

Homeless in downtown Detroit, now a gentrified playground for the rich. Fifty-nine percent of Detroit's children live in poverty.

Homeless in downtown Detroit’s Campus Martius, now a gentrified playground for the rich. Fifty-nine percent of Detroit’s children live in poverty.

The second condition, popular immiseration, is also well advanced. Forty-six million US citizens live in poverty (defined as receiving an income less than is required to cover their basic needs), while over 12 million US households are now considered food insecure. While this figure has been coming down consistently since 2011 (when it reached over 15 million), it remains above its pre-recession (per-2007) levels.

Trump’s policies are likely to sharply reverse this decrease. Trump’s second promise in his ‘contract with voters’ is a “hiring freeze on all federal employees,” amounting to a new onslaught on public sector jobs. This is in addition to what seems to be a promise to end the direct funding of state education (to, in his words, “redirect education dollars to…parents”), and to end all federal funding to so-called ‘sanctuary cities’, that is cities which do not order the state harassment of immigrants or force employers to reveal the nationalities of their workers. These cities are some of the most populated in the country, including NYC, LA, Dallas, Minneapolis and over two dozen others.

Well-to-do partiers across the street from homeless in Campus Martius.

Well-to-do partiers across the street from homeless in Campus Martius.

In concert with his avowed intention to lower taxes on the wealthy, including slashing business tax from 35 to 15 percent; to smash hard fought workers’ rights (under the mantra of ‘deregulation’); and to scrap what little access to healthcare was made available to the poor through Obamacare – not to mention his threat to start a trade war with China – poverty looks set to skyrocket. It is not hard to see how social unrest will follow.

As for the third condition–government indebtedness – it is hard to see how the massive tax breaks Trump has proposed can lead to anything else.

Turchin writes that “As all these trends intensify, the end result is state fiscal crisis and bankruptcy and consequent loss of military control; elite movements of regional and national rebellion; and a combination of elite-mobilized and popular uprisings that manifest the breakdown of central authority.”

Police prepare to raid home of Aiyana Jones, 7, who was shot to death in the head as her two little brothers, parents, grandmother and other relatives looked on in Detroit, May 16, 2010

Detroit Police raid team approaches home of Aiyana Jones, 7. They shot her to death as her two little brothers, parents, grandmother and other relatives looked on: Detroit, May 16, 2010

But Trump is also preparing for that. Exempt from his public spending cuts, of course, are police and military budgets, both of which he promises to increase. And when questioned on the issue of police brutality last year, Trump said he wanted to see the police be given more powers. In other words, the tacit impunity which currently exists for police violence looks set to be legalized. And history shows that there is nothing like police impunity to spark a riot.

Meanwhile, as his policies fail to deliver the land of milk and honey he has promised, the demonization of scapegoats will continue. Having already vowed to round up and deport two million immigrants, and to ban Muslims from entering the US, it is already clear who these scapegoats will be. However, as well as migrants, popular anger will also be directed toward whatever namby-pamby liberals have blocked him from waging his promised war against them: be it Congressmen, judges, trade unions, pressure groups, or whoever. A combination of increased executive powers plus the use of his newly mobilized mass constituency will be directed toward purging these ‘enemies within’.

Trump is already planning to move auto jobs from Michigan.

Trump is already planning to move auto jobs from Michigan.

“My model suggests that the next [peak in violence] will be worse than the one in 1970” says Turchin, “because demographic variables such as wages, standards of living and a number of measures of intra-elite confrontation are all much worse this time”. All that remains to be seen is – who will win.

dan-glazebrook*Dan Glazebrook is a freelance political writer who has written for RT, Counterpunch, Z magazine, the Morning Star, the Guardian, the New Statesman, the Independent and Middle East Eye, amongst others. His first book “Divide and Ruin: The West’s Imperial Strategy in an Age of Crisis” was published by Liberation Media in October 2013.

It featured a collection of articles written from 2009 onwards examining the links between economic collapse, the rise of the BRICS, war on Libya and Syria and ‘austerity’. He is currently researching a book on US-British use of sectarian death squads against independent states and movements from Northern Ireland and Central America in the 1970s and 80s to the Middle East and Africa today.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.


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FREEDOM RIDER: DUMP THE DEMOCRATS FOR GOOD–BLACK AGENDA REPORT

us-election-results-2016-graphFreedom Rider: Dump the Democrats for Good

black-agenda-report

Margaret Kimberley

Margaret Kimberley

By BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

November 8, 2016

(Photos added by VOD)

Donald Trump, the white nationalist that claimed to oppose the corporate establishment, appears to have won the U.S. presidency. But, “even the victory of the openly bigoted Trump poses an opportunity to right our political ship.” The Democrats were not “our” party, but the party that thought they owned us. Their “rejection must be complete and blame must be laid squarely at their feet” for raising those chickens that have come home to roost.

“The Democrats were so entrenched in their corruption and self-dealing that they didn’t see the Bernie Sanders campaign for modest reform as the savior it might have been.”

This columnist did not see a Donald Trump victory coming. The degree of disgust directed at an awful candidate was more than I had predicted. Neither the corporate media, nor Wall Street nor the pundits nor the pollsters saw this coming either. Their defeat and proof of their uselessness is total. Those of us who rejected the elite consensus and didn’t support Hillary Clinton should be proud.

Bill Clinton and Barack Obama at Democratic National Convention,

Bill Clinton and Barack Obama at Democratic National Convention,

Black people are now in fear and in shock when we ought to be spoiling for a fight. All is not lost. Even the victory of the openly bigoted Trump poses an opportunity to right our political ship. Not the electoral ship, the political one.

For decades Black Americans have been voting for people who have done them wrong. Bill Clinton got rid of public assistance as a right, and undid regulations that kept Wall Street in check. He put Black people in jail and yet Black people didn’t turn on him until he and his wife tried to defeat Obama. But Obama gave us more of the same. Bailouts of Wall Street, interventions and death for people all over the world, and a beat down of Black people who still loved him. Despite the fear of Republican victory we end up losing whenever a Democratic presidential candidate wins.

Linda Willis at protest in Detroit, 2012

Linda Willis at protest in Detroit, 2012; Detroit is now stripped of its assets under bankruptcy; banks profit.

“Obama bailed out banks, insurance companies, Big Pharma and even Ukraine.”

Victory is ours if we dump the Democrat Party and their Black misleaders. The Democrats were so entrenched in their corruption and self-dealing that they didn’t see the Bernie Sanders campaign for modest reform as the savior it might have been.

Instead they marched in lock step with a woman who was heartily disliked. Sanders went along as the sheep dog who led his flock straight over the cliff. The Democrats inadvertently galvanized people who had stopped participating in the system and who want change from top to bottom.

One of our biggest problems lies not in facts but in perceptions. What did Democrats do for Black people? The Democrats ship living wage jobs off shore in corrupt trade deals like NAFTA and TTP. They don’t prosecute killer cops or raise the minimum wage. Trump will be hard pressed to deport more people than Obama did. The list of treachery is very long.

Protest against Flint water crisis/Photo: Record Eagle

Protest against Flint water crisis/Photo: Record Eagle

When Donald Trump asked Black people, “What have you got to lose?” his words were met with derision. But in reality he posed a good question. What do we have to show for years of Democratic votes?

Obama bailed out banks, insurance companies, Big Pharma and even Ukraine. But he didn’t rebuild Detroit or New Orleans. The water in Flint, Michigan is still poisoned and the prisons are still full.

“There may be opportunity in this crisis if we dare to seize it.”

The outpouring of love for Barack Obama was purely symbolic. In state after state, Black people who gave him victory in 2008 and 2012 stayed home. They loved seeing him and his wife dressed up at state dinners but they were never fully engaged in politics because that is not what Democrats want. The love was phony and void of any political intent. Donald Trump will be president because of that veneer of political activism.

South African President Nelson Mandela and Libyan Pres. Muammar Gadhafi after first U.S. bombing; Hillary Clinton later gave the orders to assassinate Gadhafi in second wave of US/NATO annihilation of Libya.

South African President Nelson Mandela and Libyan Pres. Muammar Gadhafi after first U.S. bombing; Hillary Clinton later gave the orders to assassinate Gadhafi in final US/NATO annihilation of Libya.

As for white people who voted for Trump, of course many of them are racists. However they are not without valid complaints. They don’t want neoliberalism but Black people don’t either. They don’t want wars around the world and neither do Black people. We corrupt our own heritage of radicalism in favor of shallow symbolism.

While we slept walk in foolish nostalgia for Obama and cried at the thought of him leaving office, white people kept their hatred of Hillary to themselves or lied to pollsters. They want America to be great again, great for them. White nostalgic yearnings are dangerous for Black people, and we must be vigilant. But there may be opportunity in this crisis if we dare to seize it.

Republicans have been the white people’s party for nearly 50 years. Trump just made it more obvious. He didn’t tell us anything we didn’t already know. We don’t have to be the losers in this election. Let us remember what we have achieved in our history. Half of Black Americans didn’t even have the right to vote in the 1960s yet made earth shattering progress in a short time. But we must understand the source of that progress. It came from struggle and daring to create the crises that always bring about change.

“The dread of redneck celebration should not be our primary motivation right now.”

Black Panther Party led revolutionary movement in 1960's and 70's.

Black Panther Party led revolutionary movement in 1960’s and 70’s, fighting for self-determination.

Yes white people will strut for president Trump but that doesn’t mean we must submit as if we are in the Jim Crow days of old. We have ourselves to rely on and we can reclaim our history of fighting for self-determination. The dread of redneck celebration should not be our primary motivation right now. Before we quake in fear at white America we must send the scoundrels packing.

The Black politicians and the Democratic National Committee and the civil rights organizations that don’t help the masses must all be kicked to the proverbial curb. The rejection must be complete and blame must be laid squarely at their feet.

Those of us who voted for the Green Party ticket of Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka must stand firmly and proudly for our choice. We must strategize on building a progressive party to replace the Democrats who never help us. We must applaud Julian Assange and Wikileaks for exposing their corruption. There should be no back tracking on the fight to build left wing political power.

“We must strategize on building a progressive party to replace the Democrats who never help us.”

dems-blind-blacksThe Black people who didn’t return to the polls shouldn’t be blamed either. Those individuals must have personal introspection that is meaningful and political. Their lack of enthusiasm speaks to Democratic Party and Black misleadership incompetence. We should refrain from personal blame and help one another in this process as we fight for justice and peace.

The end of the duopoly is the first step in liberation. Staying with a party that literally did nothing was a slow and agonizing death. Sometimes shock therapy is needed to improve one’s condition. If we don’t take the necessary steps to free ourselves this election outcome will be a disaster. Instead, why not bring the disaster to the people who made it happen? The destruction of the Democratic Party and creation of a truly progressive political movement is the only hope for Black America.

Video below: Glen Ford of Black Agenda Report speaks at Black is Back Coalition meeting in April, 2016.

Margaret Kimberley’s Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR, and is widely reprinted elsewhere. She maintains a frequently updated blog as well as at http://freedomrider.blogspot.com. Ms. Kimberley lives in New York City, and can be reached via e-Mail at Margaret.Kimberley@BlackAgendaReport.com

http://blackagendareport.com/dump_the_democrats_for_good


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