US wants to ‘make an example’ of Assange in jail, UN expert claims

London: The United States government has promised that Julian Assange will get a fair trial on espionage charges, rejecting the accusation of a United Nations expert that the administration “intends to make an example of him” with excessive charges and jail time.

It has challenged the assessment of the expert, the UN’s Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer, that Assange would “be exposed to a real risk of torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment” if he ended up in a US jail.

But Melzer has warned that extradition to the US would severely and dangerously worsen Assange’s already fragile psychological state.

The WikiLeaks founder is in a London jail awaiting a legal fight against extradition to the US, where he has been charged with conspiracy to receive and disclose top secret documents allegedly obtained from army whistleblower Chelsea Manning in 2010….

Julian Assange brandishes a 2016 UN report that found he was being detained unlawfully.

Julian Assange brandishes a 2016 UN report that found he was being detained unlawfully. CREDIT:NINEVMS

Chicago Teachers Show Solidarity in Venezuela

CTUTeachersWithKids (1)

Caracas, Venezuela – A delegation of members from the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) arrived in Caracas, Venezuela last week. Their goals were to learn what they could from Venezuela’s Bolivarian Revolution, exchange views on effective education and to show solidarity with the students, teachers and social movements of Venezuela.

The trip falls on the heels of a union resolution that was passed by the CTU Executive Board and House of Delegates. The resolution calls for an end to U.S. intervention in Venezuela. Delegation member and CTU Area Vice President Sarah Chambers explains, “Through major economic hardships, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro never closed a single public school or a single health clinic. This stands in stark contrast to our experience in Chicago, where Mayor Rahm Emanuel closed 50 public schools and several mental health clinics in a single year.”

The teachers’ delegation met with leaders from the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry, Ministry of Communes, Ministry of Education, Adult Education Teachers, and students, as well as on-the-ground activists.

One important meeting was when the delegation sat down with Vladimir Castillo, the Venezuelan Director of International Affairs. They learned that Chavez started to talk about socialism in 2005, at the World Social Forum in Brazil, and that a few years after 2007 and 2008, community councils emerged as a result.

Community councils are comprised of around 100 families living in the same area, which estimates to about 400-500 people in total. Chavez also had communes in mind as a fundamental part of the new state. Communes are organizations encompassing several community councils. When communes began, there were a lot of difficulties to channel funds to them. They were neither part of the state nor corporations. They were just organized communities not able to exercise the full strength of their power. The government ended up creating a new set of laws, the Popular Power Laws, which allowed the government to provide money to them directly, which resulted in government-empowered communes.

RELATED CONTENT: Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) Delegation to Venezuela

Projects received different amounts depending on the needs and the scale of the projects. The funds would go to a communal account under the direct responsibility of two members of the communes, the supervision of the commune board, and the community as a whole. This is to ensure that the funds are being managed correctly and going to the stated projects.

Castillo stated that it was easier to form communes in the countryside, since many were naturally working together to farm and to produce goods. This also came naturally to indigenous people, since they often live in collective communities working together. The essence of communes was to produce goods and services, to obtain sustainability, and to address community issues in order for people to improve their own living conditions….

Pan-African Journal: Worldwide Radio Broadcast July 28, 2019 Edition

Listen to the Sun. July 28, 2019 edition of the Pan-African Journal: Worldwide Radio Broadcast hosted by Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan-African News Wire. The program features our regular PANW report with dispatches on the continuing threat of United States military intervention in the South American state of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela; the United Nations envoy to Somalia has welcomed the deployment of more Ugandan troops to Somalia where a bomb attack recently killed the mayor of the capital of Mogadishu along with five others; Muslims from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have been banned from attending the pilgrimage to Mecca for Hajj due to the Ebola Virus Disease pandemic; and South African miners impacted by a deadly work-related disease have been awarded compensation for their claims. In the second and third hours we conclude our monthlong focus on the Cuban Revolution. We will look back at the Bay of Pigs invasion coordinated by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in April 1961 and its defeat by the Cuban revolutionary government headed by Premier Fidel Castro. Finally we review the contributions of Che Guevera and his impact on the western political imagination.

Milwaukee, August 5, 2019: End Prison Slavery!

End Prison Slavery

Two IWW members will be at Milwaukee Central Library, 814 W. Wisconsin, meeting room 2A, on Monday, August 5, 5:00-6:30 PM. They will be working on some of the activity they regularly do for the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee, supporting the campaign against arbitrary regulations at Columbia Correctional, support for hunger strikers, coalition efforts to shutdown the Milwaukee Secure Detention Facility, and connecting different networks inside prison walls. Our work includes research, writing letters, data entry, and developing ideas for disrupting the horror that is the Wisconsin prison system. Come by if you want to see what’s involved with this organizing, ask questions, and maybe get involved in this. Free coffee and snacks are provided. Let us know if you need a ride to be able to attend. This gathering will be followed by our strategy meeting at 6:30 p.m., visitors are welcome to attend this as well.


Milwaukee July 31, 2019: Informational Picketing with Local 9 at MIllerCoors

Image may contain: 9 people, people smiling, people standing, crowd and outdoor

Informational Picketing with Local 9 at MIllerCoors

Picketing will be from 7 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.
3939 W Highland Blvd, Milwaukee, WI 53208
(In Front of Corporate Headquarters)
1:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
4251 W State St, Milwaukee, WI 53208
(At the Miller Tour Center)
We are expecting the peak time to be from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. after first shift gets out.

UAW Region 4

July 31, 2019 – NC Hunger Strike At Scotland Correctional Begins!

July 31 - Hunger Strike Begins in North Carolina, fist holding phone

Wed, July 31
8 am EST – allllll dayyyyy longgg

Requests for notaries necessary for legal actions and grievances against conditions at this razor-wire plantation are being consistently ignored. Many of these grievances are against Scotland denying those held captive in solitary confinement of their recreation time. Scotland’s staff will simply claim that recreation is “canceled”. NCDOC’s own Policy and Procedures (Chapter C, Section .1206 (B)) guarantees that those on “restrictive housing” (solitary confinement) shall be allowed to recreation outside of the cell five days a week for one hour a day. Scotland is violating their own policies and causing severe harm to all those  forced to be confined to a small cell 24/7.

Furthermore, Scotland’s so-called medical staff conducts what are called “seg checks” at 1am-2am every night when everyone is asleep. This seg check involves banging on everyone’s window disrupting their sleep and startling them. Sleep deprivation is widely recognized as a method of torture.

Call (910) 844-3078 and ask to speak to Captain Henderson and Superintendent Katie Poole

Record calls if possible. Leave long messages on voicemails. Call multiple times and disrupt their operations. Remember that denial and obstruction are standard operating procedures for them.

Report any and all info received to

Suggested call script:

“Hi my name is ________, The world is watching and is in support of the hunger strikers there at Scotland Correctional Institution. We are well aware of your violations in denying them a legal notary and throwing out their grievances. Multiple grievances have been made against your “cancellations” of recreation in spite of your Policy and Procedures manual stating that those on restrictive housing shall be allowed to rec outside of the cell for five days out of the week for one hour a day. Many humanitarian organizations have been informed on Scotland Correctional Institution’s violations that directly torture those you confine to a cell 24/7. 

We have also been informed that Scotland’s so-called medical staff has been conducting “seg checks” at unreasonable hours of the night, 1am-2am every night when everyone is clearly asleep. These seg checks involve medical staff banging on everyone’s door, disrupting their sleep and causing further psychological harm. 

These methods of torture will be widely exposed and we not quit until they have ceased.”

*”Inmates assigned to Administrative Segregation, and Disciplinary Segregation, Intensive Control, Maximum Control, High Security Maximum Control, Protective Control, shall be allowed one hour per day, five days per week exercise outside the cell, unless safety or security considerations dictate otherwise. Medical authorities may grant exceptions to the five times per week exercise requirement for specific reasons. The exercising of an inmate or the inmate’s refusal to exercise shall be documented on form DC-141.”  (

Crusaders of Justica Opens Office in Manitowoc, Wisconsin With Ribbon Cutting Ceremony – Members Vow to Fight For Justice By Mobilizing Exploited Families

Photos July 28, 2019: WI BOPM

Crusaders Of Justicia

(920) 320-9283

Crusaders of Justicia mobilizes exploited families and their allies to fight for justice. We will target fundamental issues impacting our communities, not just symptoms.

Tales of Resistance: Births and Rebirths of Comandante Chávez

On occasion of Chávez’s 65th birthday, VA columnist Jessica Dos Santos looks back on his achievements and stresses the need to defend his legacy.

VA columnist Jessica Dos Santos looks back on Chávez's legacy and vision on his 65th birthday. (Venezuelanalysis)


President Hugo Chávez was born on July 28, 1954. However, as Gabriel García Márquez would say, “human beings are not born for good the day their mothers give birth to them, rather life forces them to be reborn time and again.”

Thus, Chávez was reborn, by natural birth or emergency C-section, every time the times and the national context demanded he reinvent himself.

That is how we got to know Chávez the politician, the philosopher, the historian, the economist, the soldier, the religious man, and you can go on counting. But, in each of these lives, culture was ever present.

The first time he spoke about “culture” was during his electoral campaign in June 1998: “Children, when they get to school, they need to receive a dignifying message that will raise their spirits and not repress them. We should prepare them with freedom, with dignity, through culture and education. Our education, our culture, is one of the areas that needs emergency action. We need to put a stop to children on the streets. We can’t have kids on the streets, kids need to be in school, fly kites, play football, and be happy.”

And that’s what I was: a 9 year-old carajita listening to him in the old living room TV set. But outside my building, in a busy neighborhood of Caracas, tons of kids slept in the streets. It was hard to believe this man would one day achieve what he promised. But he did.

Within the first months of his term, the government was able to remove kids from the streets. Not by disappearing them in the kind of “social prophylaxis” employed in the past, nor putting them in child exploitation networks, but through a profoundly integral social care.

Later, another milestone was hit. The average number of new people learning how to read and write jumped from 5 to 137 thousand a year. And finally, seven or eight years later, Unesco declared Venezuela a “territory free from illiteracy” after certifying the literacy of 1.7 million people….


Photo: WI BOPM, Spring 2019

Unitarian Universalists for Justice in the Middle East: SUPPORT OUR FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHT TO BOYCOTT!

An Action of Immediate Witness at the UUA 2019 General Assembly sponsored by
Unitarian Universalists for Justice in the Middle East


This Action of Immediate Witness calls on Unitarian Universalists and UU organizations to support our constitutionally protected right to boycott.

The movement for Palestinian human rights has grown stronger in recent years with student groups, faith groups, unions and academic associations all coming out in support of Palestinian rights and in many cases calling for boycotts and divestment from corporations complicit in violations of Palestinian human rights.

This growth in support for Palestinian rights has led to a backlash from all those who are threatened by criticism of Israel. The backlash has taken many forms including a major effort to damage the movement for Palestinian rights with legislation aimed at intimidating or even criminalizing participation in boycotts directed at changing Israeli behavior Divestment is a kind of boycott and much of the legislation refers to divestment as well as to boycotts.

Since 2014 over 100 measures targeting the use of boycotts in support of Palestinian rights have been introduced at local, state and federal levels. Twenty-seven different states have adopted such laws. Several such bills have also achieved wide support in the US Congress, although no bill has as yet passed both houses to become law. Some of the more extreme federal legislation that has been proposed calls for prison sentences of twenty years and fines of one million dollars.

This massive effort to pass anti-boycott legislation is both surprising and disturbing given that the US Supreme Court determined in 1982 that boycotts are a form of free speech protected by the First Amendment (NAACP vs the State of Mississippi), and given that such laws have recently been declared unconstitutional by Federal courts in Kansas, Arizona and Texas. The ACLU takes no position on Palestinian rights but has vigorously opposed all of the anti-boycott legislation

The initiators of this anti-boycott legislation are not really concerned about constitutionality. They know that cases on appeal may take years to reach the Supreme Court and in the meantime their legislation will serve to frighten off those wishing to support Palestinian human rights with the time-honored, non-violent and constitutional means of boycotts.

But we must recognize, along with the ACLU, that all of us are threatened by this attack on our fundamental rights. Today it is supporters of Palestinians who are threatened, tomorrow it may be supporters of farm workers, Black Americans, indigenous people, immigrants, LGTBQIA people or prisoners. Broad opposition to these anti-boycott laws should be based on their unconstitutional, anti-democratic character and separate from one’s views concerning how to support Palestinians.

This Action of Immediate Witness calls on Unitarian Universalist and UU organizations to oppose these anti-boycott laws by reaching out to their representatives at state and federal levels. We also ask UUs to sign UUJME’s petition calling on Congress to oppose this legislation or collect signatures via a paper version and mail them to the indicated address.