No justice for Ramarley Graham

first_imgRamarley Graham was shot in his bathroom by police officer Richard Haste. The unarmed Bronx teenager was killed on Feb. 2, 2012, in front of his grandmother and six-year-old brother.Graham’s family had to endure more grief on May 15 when Judge Steven L. Barrett threw out Haste’s indictment for manslaughter. Barrett claims the grand jury was told to ignore whether Haste thought Graham had a gun.Nobody ever saw Ramarley Graham with a gun. The cops themselves said all they saw on the street was Graham allegedly adjusting his waistband.That was enough for police to chase the Black teenager, to break down the door to his home and for Haste to pull the trigger.Judge Barrett said that Haste’s so-called justification was “central to this case.” What justification is there to shoot an unarmed person? “There might be a different measure of reasonableness,” said Barrett, if the cop thought Graham was armed. (, May 8)There was nothing reasonable about Richard Haste killing Ramarley Graham in his own bathroom.The family, all the Bronx outragedThis latest outrage won’t prevent ­Graham’s family from seeking justice for their son.“We are going to keep fighting no matter what,” said Ramarley’s father, Frank Graham. “We will never stop until justice is served in this case, until Richard Haste goes to prison for murdering our son.” (, May 16)The killing of Ramarley Graham is another bloody example of the racist war against poor people. In New York City alone, cops have killed at least 228 people since Amadou Diallo was shot 41 times on Feb. 4, 1999.None of the killers in blue has been sent to jail. Former Gov. George Pataki moved the trial of Diallo’s killers out of the Bronx to guarantee their acquittal.The cop who killed unarmed Malcolm Ferguson on March 1, 2000, in the Bronx was never even indicted. Neither was the policeman who killed 13-year-old Nicholas Naquan Heyward Jr. on Sept. 22, 1994, in Brooklyn’s Gowanus Houses.The two detectives who pumped 22 bullets into 18-year-old Anthony Rosario and 21-year-old Hilton Vega on Jan. 12, 1995, in the Bronx were never brought to justice. The killers had been volunteer bodyguards for former Mayor Rudy Giuliani.Nineteen-year-old Timur Person was shot five times by police in the Bronx, killing him on Dec. 13, 2006. Three weeks before, 50 bullets were fired at Sean Bell in Jamaica, Queens, killing him on what was to be his wedding day.The only reason any cops were indicted for killing Sean Bell were massive protests, which included 50,000 people marching down Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. After a non-jury “bench” trial, the judge sent the killers free.The FBI lied when it proclaimed former Black Panther Party member Assata Shakur to be a terrorist. Fortunately, Shakur is shielded by 11 million Cuban people, who’ve also provided asylum for many other political prisoners.The real terrorists in the Bronx, and everywhere in the United States, are the police.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Detroit rallies for Rasmea Odeh, Palestine

first_imgPalestine solidarity demonstration in West Bloomfield faces off Zionists.WW photo: Abayomi AzikiweTwo public actions in solidarity with Palestinians were held on July 31 in the Detroit metropolitan area.A hearing in federal court for Rasmea Odeh, a 67-year-old Palestinian-American woman who lives in Chicago, was held in downtown Detroit. Odeh is facing criminal charges for alleged immigration fraud.This community activist, who has been living in the United States for two decades, is a former political prisoner of the state of Israel. Like thousands of others who have resisted the illegal occupation of her nation, Odeh was subjected to torture during her detention in Israeli prisons.A brochure circulated by the Arab American Action Network states, “In the early morning of Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013, Rasmea Yousef Odeh, the Associate Director of the Arab American Action Network (AAAN), was arrested at her home by agents from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). She was indicted in federal court that same morning, charged with Unlawful Procurement of Naturalization, an allegation based on answers she gave on a 20-year-old immigration application.”Dozens of supporters from Chicago, Minneapolis and locally in Detroit gathered outside the federal courthouse beginning at 1 p.m. A spirited picket line was held calling for dropping the charges against Odeh.Statements of solidarity were delivered by the Michigan Emergency Committee Against War & Injustice (MECAWI), the Council on American-Islamic Relations Michigan and the Committee to Stop FBI Repression.A motion by Odeh’s defense lawyers to recuse Judge Paul D. Borman from hearing the case due to his pro-Zionist sympathies was rejected. According to the Electronic Intifada, “Defense attorneys filed that motion on 14 July and on 30 July submitted additional evidence, including the fact that Borman has donated thousands of dollars to the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces as well as to Near East Report, a publication of the Israel lobby group AIPAC [American Israel Public Affairs Committee], through his philanthropic foundation The Borman Fund.” (July 30)Additional court papers were filed detailing the nature of the torture Odeh suffered during her incarceration in Israel beginning in 1969. AAAN Executive Director Hatem Abudayyeh told Electronic Intifada, “It would be prejudicial if the government was able to submit the conviction from Israel or evidence from the crime Rasmea is alleged to have participated in. Rasmea and her attorneys are rejecting that conviction and calling it an unlawful one, as it was obtained through torture.”Another hearing has been set for Sept. 2 in Detroit.Zionist conference draws protestThat same evening in West Bloomfield Township, one of the wealthiest suburbs in the U.S., a gathering of the Michigan Chapter of the Zionist Organization of Amer­ica took place. Supporters of the Palestinian people announced they would protest outside the conference hall. Earlier, at the Rasmea Odeh demonstration, it was rumored that a large pro-Zionist group would be present to defend IDF actions.A vigil in support of the people of Gaza began at 6 p.m. Across the street in front of the conference center, supporters of Israel shouted pro-Israel, anti-Hamas slogans. A heavy police presence kept the two sides apart.The supporters of Palestine called for an immediate halt to the IDF siege of Gaza and decried the large-scale U.S. government’s financial, military and diplomatic support of Israel. They drew a direct connection between the subsidization of Israel and the deaths of more than 1,200 Palestinians killed by that time in what Tel Aviv called “Operation Protective Edge.” The greater metropolitan Detroit area is reputed to have the largest concentration of Palestinian and Middle Eastern people in the U.S.In addition to the more than 100 Palestinians who gathered outside the Zionist gathering in the face of hostile chants from the pro-Israel demonstrators, there were representatives of such Detroit-area organizations as MECAWI, the Detroit Light Brigade, Jewish Voice for Peace, the Al-Quds Committee and others.Jerry Goldberg of MECAWI was on the side of those supporting the Palestinians’ right to self-determination and nationhood. Goldberg talked to the Jewish News amid Palestinian signs with messages like “Occupation is a crime.”“I’m a Jewish person, and I’m just here to say that these Zionists don’t represent Judaism,” said Goldberg. “They represent a racist, fascist ideology that’s based on occupation and murder of innocent Palestinian people. That’s not the heritage of Judaism.”After Goldberg spoke at the rally, the mostly Palestinian crowd spontaneously began chanting, “Judaism yes, Zionism no!”Meanwhile, the U.S. Senate unanimously voted on Aug. 1 to provide $225 million in additional funding for “Iron Dome” missiles, which are supposedly used to minimize damage in Israel from rockets fired from Gaza.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

‘Homrich 9’ face charges for stopping water shutoffs

first_imgDec. 8 — Nine Detroit activists were arrested in July for stopping trucks from leaving their yard to shut off thousands of poor people’s water. The nine are known as the “Homrich 9,” after the company hired by Detroit’s emergency manager to carry out water shutoffs of tens of thousands of people behind in their water bills by as little as $150.Eight of the nine faced a pre-trial hearing today on the misdemeanor charges. In a press conference before the court appearance, the activists, joined by dozens of supporters, told the press that they had no choice but to take direct action to safeguard the health and safety of those being shut off and of the community as a whole.Monica Patrick, one of the nine, stated that Judge Rhodes in the Detroit bankruptcy trial ought to have challenged the $537 million that the Detroit Water Department paid out to the big banks in order to get out from shady “bond swap” deals, rather than taking money from retirees’ pensions to pay off bank debt.Other speakers declared that mass water shutoffs, mainly against poor people in the African-American community, were a form of violence not unlike the police murders being protested from coast to coast.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Terror and abortion rights

first_imgBefore the Supreme Court’s Roe vs. Wade decision legalizing abortion in 1973, many women died of bleeding, tetanus or infections from botched abortions. Others survived, but lost their ability to have children because they had to have life-saving hysterectomies. As an emergency nurse, I witnessed these medical crises.Women who had illegal abortions risked their lives — unless they had the money and connections to find doctors who would perform the surgical procedures safely. Some women turned to unsafe home remedies and self-induced abortions.The women’s movement of the early 1970s fought for legalization of abortion, which gave women some control over their own bodies. After the high court’s decision, pro-choice advocates set up facilities where women could obtain safe abortions legally. Planned Parenthood became a major national provider of the procedures.Planned Parenthood is a major health care provider for 2.7 million low-income women and men; many are African-American, Latina, youth, immigrants and women with disabilities. Their clinics provide reproductive health care, including contraception, prenatal care and abortions, as well as breast exams, Pap tests and treatment of sexually transmitted infections.There has been a spate of attacks on women’s health clinics since a conservative anti-abortion group posted online highly edited, fraudulent videos in July, which falsely claimed Planned Parenthood profited from selling fetal tissue and committed infanticide in the process.In July, a clinic in the Chicago suburb of Aurora reported an attempted arson. A month later, firefighters found a half-burned car at a new clinic’s construction site in New Orleans. Then, in September, a PP clinic in Pullman, Wash., was set ablaze, and later that month, a make-shift bomb was thrown at another PP facility’s window in Thousand Oaks, Calif.In response to the attacks, pro-choice activists and clients delivered petitions headed “I stand with Planned Parenthood,” with 2.4 million signatures, on Sept. 29 to Congress. That day some 300 rallies and other events took place around the country supporting the organization.Murders in ColoradoBut the violence got worse. On Nov. 27, a “lone” white gunman, armed with an AK-47, attacked a Planned Parenthood facility in Colorado Springs, Colo., killing three people and wounding nine others in a five-hour stand-off with police. He was not shot at or killed by police officers, who let him surrender. This is a very different scenario from how police treat African Americans in encounters, often shooting first, killing unarmed, innocent people.Hours after the Colorado shootings, Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, stated that “the federal government [should] call these attacks what they are — domestic terrorism.”The next day, Terry O’Neill, president of the National Organization for Women, put out a statement, which stressed, “Let’s be clear: This was an act of domestic terrorism. NOW calls for a full federal investigation into the shooter and any others who may be connected with his act.”Yet, even before the bogus videos surfaced or the Colorado murders occurred, there has been a long history of violence against women’s health centers. The National Abortion Federation states “since 1993, eight doctors and clinic staff members have been murdered for working to provide abortion, most recently, Dr. George Tiller of Wichita, Kansas, in 2009.” (, Oct. 19)The Feminist Majority Foundation’s report in 2014, entitled “National Clinic Violence Survey,” said, “The percentage of women’s health clinics that received threats of violence doubled since 2010.”RH Reality Check, a pro-choice website, said on Sept. 18 that “radical anti-choice activists are emboldened by GOP legislative attacks on reproductive rights.” These legal restrictions have severely impacted women’s access to reproductive health care in many states.Texas laws now require abortion-performing clinics to unnecessarily meet the standards of ambulatory surgery centers and their doctors must have admitting privileges at local hospitals. Since most clinics did not meet these requirements, only 17 clinics now perform the procedures, while 41 facilities provided abortions in 2012.In the coming year the Supreme Court will hear the case of Whole Women’s Health vs. Cole to decide the constitutionality of Texas’ laws concerning clinics which perform abortions. If the restrictions are upheld, seven more clinics will be forced to close there, with only 10 remaining open.Olga Khazan’s Nov. 17 Atlantic article, entitled “Texas Women Are Inducing Their Own Abortions,” addresses how these laws affect women. It is based on Texas Evaluation Project surveys on the impact of state reproductive policies, conducted by the University of Texas.The study reads, “Between 100,000 and 240,000 Texas women between the ages of 18 and 49 have tried to end a pregnancy by themselves.” The most common method used is Misoprostol (Cytotec), a drug which induces medical abortion; it can be purchased without a prescription in Mexico.The right-wing’s goal is to abolish women’s right to safe, legal abortion and several types of contraception, which they falsely claim are abortifacients (causing abortion).The terrorism that is aimed at the Black Lives Matter movement and at Planned Parenthood is meant to intimidate activists and break their fighting spirit. But BLM and all the struggles against racism, sexism and the oppression of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans* and queer people will continue. The fight for women’s rights — including for reproductive and other health care — is part of that struggle. The fightback against capitalist reaction goes on.Eolis is a retired emergency department nurse/family nurse practitioner.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Saint-Denis celebrates 10th anniversary of Rue Mumia Abu-Jamal

first_imgSaint-Denis, France — Back on April 30, 2006, the Paris suburb of Saint-Denis took a courageous and principled stand in naming a newly constructed street after U.S. political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal, who was on death row in Pennsylvania at that time.  That defiant act sparked a frenzy of efforts to remove the sign, led by the Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police with backing from U.S. corporate media and politicians. Their reactionary campaign continues to this day.However, this April 30 Saint-Denis Mayor Dedier Paillard, along with other city officials and residents, marked the tenth anniversary of their historic act of resistance to racist state pressure, gathering in front of the slightly battered but clearly visible marker for Rue Mumia Abu-Jamal that has defied all efforts to tear it down.  They were joined by representatives from other cities in France that had named Abu-Jamal an honorary citizen. Nine members of a delegation from the U.S. also participated in the ceremonies.Following the street commemoration, a lunch and artistic performance were held at a nearby school, where the U.S. delegation presented Saint-Denis with a commemorative plaque. U.S. delegation visits street named after Mumia.WW photo: Joseph PietteParticipants in the delegation included Abu-Jamal’s brother, Keith Cook, also an activist with the NAACP in North Carolina; the Rev. Renee McKenzie of the Church of the Advocate, a historic Black church in Philadelphia strongly engaged with the struggles of Black people; Estela Vazquez, first executive vice president of Local 1199-SEIU, the major U.S. hospital workers’ union; Marylin Zuñiga, a young teacher whose third-grade class sent Mumia get well cards when he was near death in 2015, resulting in her immediate firing after pressure exerted by the FOP; Betsey Piette with the anti-police brutality group, the Philadelphia Racial, Economic, and Legal Justice Coalition and Workers World Party; Johnnie Stevens, with the International Action Center (NYC), a community organizer and videographer; Alma Pendleton with the Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition (NYC); Nyle Fort, minister, organizer and scholar based in Newark, N.J., and a student in Religion and African-American Studies at Princeton University; and delegation coordinator Suzanne Ross, representing the International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal. A majority of the 100,000 people living in Saint-Denis are immigrants and people of color. One can hear languages from 130 different nations.  At a welcoming reception for the U.S. delegation on April 29, the mayor said: “We hear here the echoes of all struggles, including Palestine.  The naming of this street is not just an act of resistance, it is an act of struggle.”Saint-Denis has a long history of naming its streets after individuals who have contributed to the global fight against colonialism, racism and imperialism.  The city has a Rue Amílcar Cabral and a Rue Nelson Mandela. However, said Paillard: “It is very rare for the city to name a street after someone who is still alive. Having this street for Mumia helps our city take a stance in the struggle for liberation of all people.”Paillard noted that the last 10 years have been marked by extreme political changes in France, including cuts in education and recent attacks on workers’ longstanding rights. The street naming ceremony came just days after hundreds of thousands of French workers, students and youth took to the streets on April 28, for the fourth time in two months, to demand that the government withdraw a new labor law that would eliminate the 35-hour work week and other benefits.  Protests in most major French cities included a one-day general strike that shut down thousands of worksites, schools and universities. The day after the Saint-Denis ceremony, an estimated 84,000 to 100,000 workers and students flooded the streets of Paris and other French cities on May Day — International Workers’ Day.   The French Parliament is slated to officially begin discussing the new law on May 3.The law would have a particularly egregious effect on workers in Saint-Denis. Many are under 30, and most make half the average wage found in other areas in France.  With growing gentrification over the last 15 years, more than a quarter of Saint-Denis’ population can’t afford housing in Paris. In response to this crisis, Saint-Denis has created “social housing” for 80 percent of its residents so they can remain in the city.“We can’t stop the ‘free’ market but we can keep control of space and grounds to prevent market speculation,” Paillard told the delegation.  In the last 12 years, Saint-Denis has also added six more schools, including the one where the commemorative lunch was held. Under French law the municipality is responsible for education facilities while the state pays for teachers’ salaries — severely underfunding those in Saint-Denis.The tenth anniversary embodies the international solidarity that time and again has proved critical to winning victories in the struggle, including Abu-Jamal’s release from death row in December 2011. It contributes today to the fight to demand that the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections provide Abu-Jamal and other Pennsylvania prisoners with desperately needed medicine to cure hepatitis C.  French supporters of Abu-Jamal have sent over 3,000 signed petitions to support the demand that Abu-Jamal get the medicine he needs.  Petitions are still being collected and can be signed online through  Signed petitions will be delivered to Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf in Harrisburg, Pa., at a date to be determined.The example set by the people of Saint-Denis is one that speaks to the global power of oppressed peoples to struggle against all odds, knowing that without struggle there can be no victory.  It is with this understanding that the fight must continue until Mumia Abu-Jamal, an innocent man, ultimately wins his freedom from prison.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

‘An injury to one…’

first_imgThe new immigration ban order signed by President Donald Trump on March 6 is a continuation of the all-out assault on the multinational U.S. working class by the extremist far-right administration.The Islamophobic ban, tweaked from an earlier version to try to evade legal challenge, still bars entry into the U.S. of citizens of Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, Syria and Libya. Iraq was exempted by request of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to aid U.S. military action there.Omar Jadwat, the director of the Immigrants’ Rights Project at the American Civil Liberties Union, described the order clearly: “[I]t’s just another run at a Muslim ban.”This presidential order is one more wave in a torrent of repression and terror against all immigrants unleashed by the election of the xenophobic president. The attack on immigrants had previously been ramped up under President Barack Obama whose agencies deported almost 3 million people between 2009 and 2014.The bipartisan attacks on immigrants reveal a consistent ruling-class strategy of “divide-and-conquer” — an attempt to defeat a rising U.S. worker movement.The U.S. working class is increasingly young, of color, multinational, multigendered, low-wage — and reeling economically from the continued effects of the 2007 Great Recession. These workers are forging closer and closer ties with each other. And immigrant workers, with traditions of resistance in and connections to their countries of origin, threaten the ruling class with unity among the international working class.Daniela Vargas exemplifies the militant challenge by young immigrant workers. She held a press conference on March 1 to denounce Trump’s first immigrant ban and the aggressive Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency raids that detained her family. Now Vargas, herself undocumented, is threatened with deportation, despite being brought to the U.S. as a 7-year-old and knowing no other home.Vargas and other young “Dreamers” who came undocumented as children to the U.S. were offered some protection under the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. But now they find themselves threatened by the racist, anti-worker ideology enforced by ICE, as well as the Department of Homeland Security, both of which particularly target people of color.The racist terror campaign against immigrants ratcheted up March 4 when DHS announced tentative plans to separate children from their families trying to enter through the U.S. southern border with Mexico.Meanwhile, a horrific sweep of raids continues across the country. This unprecedented oppressive attack includes hiring 10,000 new ICE agents, building more detention centers and “deputizing” local law enforcement to arrest and detain oppressed people. (For a detailed WW article on the raids, see Teresa Gutierrez, “Wave of Terror Unleashed on Immigrants,” Feb. 28)The challenge for all revolutionaries, for all in the multinational working class, for all on the path to liberation and justice is to forge solidarity with those being targeted.We must live the old union slogan: “An injury to one is an injury to all.” If we hesitate and underestimate this threat, we will weaken the struggle to smash racism and the threat of fascism.If we unite and move boldly forward in solidarity against these attacks, we will strengthen working-class unity and the struggle for revolutionary socialism.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Abortion access now!

first_imgThe state of Texas is holding hostage a 17-year-old unaccompanied immigrant minor who wants an abortion.Held in a federally funded shelter in legal custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, she obtained a judicial bypass to have an abortion with the help of the pro-choice group, Jane’s Due Process. A bypass is allowed when it’s impossible to obtain the parental consent required in Texas. However, the director of ORR ordered the shelter not to take Jane Doe (so designated to protect her identity) to a clinic appointment or to allow her court-appointed guardian to do so.Instead she was taken to a right-wing “crisis pregnancy center” where she was forced to undergo anti-abortion counseling. CPCs do not provide health care, nor are they regulated; they are infamous for promoting medically incorrect and biased information to dissuade women from having abortions.The American Civil Liberties Union filed suit Oct. 5 for a temporary restraining order to immediately allow Jane to be transported to a clinic. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton countered with a friend-of-the-court brief supporting ORR, arguing that immigrants do not have constitutional rights.The relief sought by ACLU includes stopping ORR officials from pressuring Jane to talk to her mother about wanting an abortion. She is refusing to do so because her parents beat her pregnant sister so badly that she miscarried. Fear of physical abuse is why she fled to the U.S.The ACLU also wants Jane added to a June 2016 class action suit against ORR for denying abortion care to unaccompanied immigrant minors. Susan Hays, JDP legal director, says the government’s treatment of immigrant minors is “absolutely horrifying.” Such mistreatment is not surprising considering the loud-mouthed, anti-immigrant, anti-choice, misogynist-in-chief in the Oval Office.To sign the petition demanding immediate abortion care for Jane Doe, visit ­ ‘sanctioned classism and racism’Reproductive justice groups and advocates issued calls for ending the Hyde Amendment, which forbids abortion coverage to millions of low-income Medicaid recipients, on Sept. 28, the 41st anniversary of Hyde’s passage. Prominent on the All* Above All website is a 1980 quote from Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall: “The Hyde Amendment is designed to deprive poor and minority women of the constitutional right to choose abortion.”Marshall’s words were statistically validated by a report in the Feb. 17 issue of Social Work in Health Care, titled “The Undue Burden of Paying for Abortion: An Exploration of Abortion Fund Cases.” This is the first study of women who need private financial aid to help pay for abortions — predominantly low-wage working women of color, youth, immigrants, rural residents, transpeople, women with disabilities and women subjected to domestic abuse. The study concludes that public funding restrictions, including economic, geographic and legal barriers to abortion, are “state and federally sanctioned classism and racism.” (Rewire, Feb. 27)Dr. Gretchen E. Ely and co-authors at the University of Buffalo School of Social Work looked at 3,999 women requesting help for abortion care from the George Tiller Memorial Fund from 2010 to 2015. The fund, run by the 70-member groups in the National Network of Abortion Funds, honors Dr. George Tiller, the Kansas provider murdered in 2009 by an ­anti-abortion fanatic. The Tiller Fund gives priority to women seeking second trimester procedures, which account for 1.5 percent of abortions and are more costly than those in the first trimester.About a third of NNAF fund ­recipients relied on public assistance like food stamps. The majority had children: 41 percent had one; 17.5 percent had three or more. The average distance recipients had to travel to clinics doubled from 97 miles in 2010 to nearly 200 miles in 2015 — reflecting 288 restrictions passed in those years. Most lived in states with many restrictions and few clinics, nearly half in the South and 27 percent in the Midwest. All were able to scrape ­together an average of $500, but that was much less than the $2,000 ­average for second trimester procedures.Ely told Rewire that donations to the Tiller Fund “are actually picking up a chunk of public health costs [and] helping women access a procedure that should be part of the mainstream health system.” The study calls for “abortions to be fully covered by all health insurance, both public and private.”20-week abortion ban, nonrenewal of children’s health careCongress could care less about the hardships that abortion restrictions impose on the majority of working and oppressed women in the U.S.By a vote of 237 to 189 along party lines, members of the House of Representatives approved a bill Oct. 5 to ban abortions 20 weeks after gestation. The supposed rationale is that anti-abortion zealots believe a fetus begins to feel pain at 20 weeks. However, all major medical groups in the U.S. and England assert a fetus cannot feel pain until the third trimester at 28 weeks. Legal experts contend this ban is unconstitutional because it violates a key provision of Roe v. Wade, which provides for a right to abortion until fetal viability, medically determined at about 24 weeks.If enacted, which is doubtful because passage in the Senate requires 60 votes, the bill would impose enormous burdens on women whose test results late in the second trimester show fetal abnormalities, as well as on those who postpone the procedure due to fear stemming from rape, incest or domestic violence or those trying to scrape together funding.Meanwhile, one of the House co-sponsors of the ban, Tim Murphy, was forced to resign Oct. 11 after reports that he had urged an extramarital lover to have an abortion in January. The text exchange occurred on Jan. 25, the day after Murphy had co-sponsored the Life at Conception Act. Caught-in-the-act of hypocrisy!The House exposed the overall hypocrisy of the Republican majority’s so-called pro-family stance when it didn’t renew funding on Sept. 30 for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which subsidizes health care for 9 million youngsters. That means children in some states will soon be unable to get routine checkups, immunizations, sick visits and other services. Talk about a cynical move by legislators who appear to care more about defending lives of the “pre-born” than about caring for needy existing children!Such blatant hypocrisy aligns with Trump’s cynical attempt on Oct. 13 to kill the Affordable Care Act. Saying it’s “time to negotiate health care that’s going to be good for everybody,” the liar-in-chief stopped payments, effective immediately, that keep health care coverage affordable for millions of low-to-middle-income families. (See article on p. 9.) That’s consistent with Trump’s abolition of free contraceptive coverage for 62.5 million women on Oct. 6. (See article in Oct. 12 WW.)Positive strides promote abortion careBut the fight to expand access to abortion care recently advanced on two fronts.The ACLU filed a federal lawsuit Oct. 3 challenging Food and Drug Act restrictions on where a woman may receive the medical abortion pill Mifeprex, which is a tested, safe and effective method of ending pregnancy up to 10 weeks. Currently, patients may not fill a prescription at a retail pharmacy, but must be handed one at a clinic, medical office or hospital from providers who pre-register with the drug maker and order and stock such medications at their facility.The suit argues that FDA’s restrictions are medically unnecessary and that many qualified clinicians are unable to satisfy them, forcing patients to seek medical abortions elsewhere or resort to surgery. Such restrictions do not exist in other countries, are not medically mandated and are not supported by leading U.S. medical organizations. The suit asserts these “politically motivated regulations place needless burdens on women seeking this option.” That claim rests on a 2016 Supreme Court decision that regulations cannot impose an undue burden on abortion access without valid medical justification.In another advance, two states — Oregon and Illinois — have passed legislation promoting access to abortion. Gov. Kate Brown signed an act Aug. 15 to ensure that Oregonians, regardless of income, citizenship status, gender identity or type of insurance, have access to the full range of preventive reproductive services including family planning, abortion and postpartum care.Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner signed legislation Sept. 28 allowing state health insurance and Medicaid coverage for abortions. More than two dozen states provide Medicaid coverage for abortions only in cases of rape, incest or if the pregnant woman’s life is in danger, in line with Hyde Amendment exceptions to its ban. Seventeen states now use state-only funds for women seeking abortions for other reasons, 13 because of state court orders.There is no stopping the fight for reproductive justice. It can only accelerate, led by women of color opposing blatant racism and austerity measures by state and federal governments. Women’s human rights and women’s liberation will win!FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Indiana Ag in China Hopes to Expand Exports; 25 Year Relationship…

first_img Indiana Ag in China Hopes to Expand Exports; 25 Year Relationship Recognized By Andy Eubank – Jun 13, 2012 Indiana Lt. Governor Becky Skillman is back on the ground in China with another trade mission focusing on new trade and economic opportunities there. Agriculture is part of the delegation and Indiana State Department of Agriculture Director Joe Kelsay spoke with HAT from China after the first meeting of the trip.“We’ve just completed the morning session of the ninth Indiana-Zhejiang economic exchange and trade summit,” he said. “I’m always interested in the conversations beside the ones I’m involved with myself, on let’s talk about opportunities in hardwoods, or processed corn, or food oils, or those kinds of products that Indiana grows, develops, and adds value to. We’re really excited about the opportunities that we’re seeing here at the very early beginnings of what I believe will be another successful mission to China.”Indiana has realized over a quarter billion dollar improvement in agricultural exports to China since outreach to that country started. Do these trade missions hope to maintain exports or is there a strong feeling that exports can expand? Kelsay says both, but they’re excited about growth opportunities.“I think as we look at the growth perspectives and the opportunity for changes in diets, and product needs, and the kinds of futuristic looks and trends that we see with our friends here in China, the opportunity for Indiana is very bright. We really expect that trade can continue to grow at levels that we’re trying to really focus on.”Kelsay added those focus areas are “new areas as well as those traditional avenues where agriculture products and investment can really benefit our Indiana state as well as around the world.”The state has a history on these trips of witnessing actual business deals, and Kelsay said after securing any of those deals we’ll get official announcements from the Lt. Governor’s office.The full HAT interview with Joe Kelsay is here:[audio:|titles=Joe Kelsay from China June 12]Lt. Governor Skillman Recognizes Indiana’s 25-Year Relationship with ZhejiangLt. Governor Becky Skillman Wednesday was joined by Vice Governor Gong Zheng of Zhejiang province to recognize the 25th anniversary of Indiana and Zhejiang’s sister-state relationship. In 1987 Governor Robert Orr established Indiana’s relationship with the Chinese province.Lt. Governor Skillman is leading an economic development mission in China, June 11-17. After a full day of events, including hosting the Indiana Business Summit and private meetings with Chinese businesses, the Lt. Governor delivered the keynote address at the anniversary banquet.“Governor Orr had incredible foresight to recognize the potential for growth Indiana stood to gain, and the Governor and I are proud to continue his legacy,” Lt. Governor Skillman said. “Today our partnership with China is strong, and there are opportunities for additional job growth and investment.”Lt. Governor Skillman presented Vice Governor Shen Zulu with the Governor Robert Orr International Friendship Award. The Vice Governor signed the original agreement establishing Zhejiang’s sister-province relationship with Indiana. Governor Mitch Daniels and the Lt. Governor created the award, and the Vice Governor was the first person to receive it.The Lt. Governor also presented an Indiana limestone carving, donated to the state to give to Zhejiang, recognizing the 25-year anniversary of the sister-state relationship. In return she accepted a wood carving on behalf of the state of Indiana from Zhejiang officials.During her second trade mission to China, the Lt. Governor is meeting with prospective importers of Hoosier goods, Chinese government officials and representatives of Chinese businesses. China is Indiana’s second largest Asian trading partner.From 2000 to 2010, Indiana’s exports to China grew by 554 percent. This is Lt. Governor Skillman’s sixth international trade mission, and second to China.Additional information about the economic development mission to China is available on the Lt. Governor’s website, Tax dollars are not being used to fund this trade mission.Source: Office of Lt. Governor Becky SkillmanAudio Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Podcast: Play in new window | Download | EmbedSubscribe: RSS Facebook Twitter Facebook Twitter SHARE SHARE Home News Feed Indiana Ag in China Hopes to Expand Exports; 25 Year Relationship Recognized Previous articleGary Wilhelmi 6-13-12 PM CommentsNext articleSome Proposed Farm Bill Amendments Open Can of Worms Andy Eubanklast_img read more

Innovation, the Key to Farming’s Future

first_img SHARE Innovation, the Key to Farming’s Future Innovation, however, will not be limited to crops and chemistry. The equipment used to produce is also undergoing a revolution, a revolution that is driven by data. Patrick Sikora, with John Deere, says they are continuing to improve a machine’s ability to collect and transmit data to the farmer.  Currently, eight of Deere’s larger equipment lines have the ability to collect and distribute data to the farmer.  Sikora told a press conference at Commodity Classic that this is just the beginning of the kind of data collection and distribution that will be possible, “Imagine being able to look at a readout that tells you where all the equipment is, what it is doing, where it has been, and how it is progressing toward a specific task.” A display will show farmers, in real time, their progress toward planting, spraying or harvesting a crop.   In addition, agronomic data such as yield will be collected by the equipment and delivered to a central database accessible to the farmer anytime and anywhere. Home Indiana Agriculture News Innovation, the Key to Farming’s Future Facebook Twitter Rea said growers will continue to see new products and new technology coming to market in the next few years, “Innovation is going to be a critical enabler if farmers are going to be successful in pushing production limits even further in a sustainable way.”  A walk around the large trade show at Commodity Classic revealed dozens of new products and innovations that will be on the market in 2013 or 14. Paul ReaFarmers are demanding more and more solutions to more and more problems. From combating new insects and resistant weeds, to tolerating climate change, agriculture is in need of new crop traits and chemicals.  Paul Rea, Vice President of Crop Protection with BASF, says companies like his are making major investments in innovation to produce new production technology for agriculture, “We are investing at the rate of $2 million a day to bring to the farmer the very latest technologies they will need today and in the future to feed this growing population.”  He added there are technologies that will allow farmers to produce more than they have in the past. He said, with public sector spending on ag research basically flat, it will be up to the private sector to make the investment needed to increase food production to meet the growing world food demand. Innovation, the Key to Farming’s Futurecenter_img SHARE Previous articleCoalition Outlines Hope for U.S.-EU NegotiationsNext articleOil Falls on Chinese Economy Gary Truitt In the future, these smart machines will not only deliver mechanical and agronomic data but also environmental data such as the soil temperature and moisture of particular fields or places within fields. At Classic, Deere announced an expansion of their Field Connect soil moisture monitoring system. These new environmental sensors include: Weather Station, Rain Gauge, Temperature Sensor, Pyranometer, and Leaf Wetness Sensor. In addition to the soil moisture data provided by the Field Connect system, the new sensors provide data on temperature, wind speed, wind direction, humidity, solar radiation, leaf wetness and rainfall. The sensors are installed in customer fields as part of the Field Connect Gateway. All of this information will be at a farmers fingertips via his computer, tablet, or mobile device. Deere is already making plans to integrate these devices into their equipment.  John Deere has introduced mounting brackets and attachments to make it easier and more convenient for producers to have hands-free access and improved viewing of their mobile devices while operating equipment. By Gary Truitt – Mar 4, 2013 Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

Wells Fargo Indiana Weather Forecast 4/1/2015

first_img SHARE Facebook Twitter Facebook Twitter Home News Feed Wells Fargo Indiana Weather Forecast 4/1/2015 And, the rain totals keep working higher for the first half of the month. Normal rains for April are from 3.5-4 inches (give or take)…a week or two ago, I thought we could have trouble getting half of that by mid month…but the chances are looking better. Wells Fargo Indiana Weather Forecast 4/1/2015 By Ryan Martin – Apr 1, 2015 center_img The extended forecast has rains for the 12th, and the 14th. Colder than normal air is still on tap too. In fact, watch this weekend’s temps closely. Temps in the northern plains dip in to the 30s for highs from the end of this week through next Tuesday. That air will modify before getting here, but a high next Monday in Grand Forks, ND of 32 degrees still shows the intensity of the Canadian cold air mass we may be dealing with. I still think it will be difficult to get soil temps moving above 50 degrees in the coming weeks. SHARE Saturday dries out later, and Easter Sunday is good. However, moisture for next week is being strung out farther, such that I now look for showers and potential thunderstorms from Tuesday through Friday. Rain totals for the week can be in the half to 1” range at least, and we may still need to tweak those ranges to the upside. Mild air in play today, but colder air returns to finish the week. And, we still have some rain on the way. The pattern and forecast really boast no changes this morning, other than more moisture potential.We are still on track to have our next front pasMild air in play today, but colder air returns to finish the week. And, we still have some rain on the way. The pattern and forecast really boast no changes this morning, other than more moisture potential.We are still on track to have our next front pass late Thursday through Friday, and we now have secondary low coming up the front that will allow moister to linger into early Saturday. We like the rains to potentially be heavier, with half to 1.5” rains possible, and a band of heavier rain later Friday into Saturday from I-70 to US 24. This could end up being a fairly major event. Now, the atmosphere is pretty dry as this system develops…and I look for this system to give us cues as to next weeks rain potential too…if we get solid, good rains here to finish the week, I think it leads to potentially heavier rains next week. Right now, I have to go with the trend of the models, as each run has added moisture, and there is consensus among models too. I think it will be a very soggy finish to the week. Previous articleNot Much Sense in USDA NumbersNext articleFair Oaks Farms’ Havarti Takes 1st Place at U.S. Cheese Championship Ryan Martinlast_img read more