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Thu, 27 Oct 2016
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Prison strikes: The new slave revolt

© Andrew Selsky / Associated Press
A nationwide prison work stoppage and hunger strike, begun on Sept. 9, the 45th anniversary of the Attica uprising, have seen over 20,000 prisoners in about 30 prisons do what we on the outside should do—refuse to cooperate. "We will not only demand the end to prison slavery, we will end it ourselves by ceasing to be slaves," prisoners of the Free Alabama Movement, the Free Ohio Movement and the IWW Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee wrote in a communique.

This round of prison strikes—there will be more—has had little outside support and press coverage. There have been few protests outside prison walls. Prison authorities—unlike during the 1971 Attica uprising when the press was allowed into the yard to interview the rebellious prisoners—have shut out a compliant media. They have identified strike leaders and placed them in isolation. Whole prisons in states such as Texas were put on lockdown on the eve of the strike. It is hard to know how many prisoners are still on strike, just as it is hard to know how many stopped work or started to fast on Sept. 9.

Before the strike I was able to speak to prisoner leaders including Melvin Ray, James Pleasant and Robert Earl Council, all of whom led work stoppages in Alabama prisons in January 2014 as part of the Free Alabama Movement, as well as Siddique Hasan, one of five leaders of the April 1993 uprising at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility at Lucasville, Ohio. (The Ohio revolt saw prisoners take control of the facility for 11 days after numerous grievances, including complaints about deaths allegedly caused by beatings from guards, went unanswered.) Now, authorities have cut off the access of these and other prisoner leaders to the press and the rest of the outside world. I have not been able to communicate with the four men since the strike began.

Road Cone

Police brutality protests: As more football players 'take the knee' for US anthem, NFL TV ratings plummet

© Reuters
Kaepernick kneeling during the anthem along with teammates, Oct. 6, 2016.
NFL audience so far this year has dropped by 10 percent and viewership for the iconic Monday Night Football has plunged by 19 percent.

As San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick's protest against police brutality inspires scores of athletes to join him, millions of pro football fans are mounting their own boycott: the size of the NFL's audience so far this season has shrunk by double-digits.

According to Sporting News online, TV ratings for NBC's "Sunday Night Football," which has been the top-rated prime-time show for five consecutive years has plunged 10 percent. In addition, viewers of CBS' "Thursday Night Football" has dropped by 15 percent from last year. These are the lowest ratings in seven years.


Mainstream media sez: 'Hillary won 2nd prez debate' - But nearly all online polls indicate viewers think Trump won

Comment: The mainstream media is falling all over itself to assure us that Killary is now 'way ahead of Trump in the polls' following her 'win' in the 2nd debate.

But does the American public agree with the pundits?

According to online polls scoring the second presidential debate Sunday night, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump had a landslide win over Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

With about 659,000 votes in, Trump led Clinton 58.64 percent to 41.36 percent in the Drudge Report Poll.

Comment: There's more...

This one's from Time Magazine:

And from WNEP.com, a Pennsylvania news outlet:

© WEP.com
And from NJ.com, a New Jersey news outlet:

© NJ.com
And from Inquisitr.com:

© inquisitr.com
See also: Mainstream media unanimously supports Killary, but online polls suggest huge majority of Americans support Trump


Haitians are urging people not to give money to American Red Cross

© Getty/AFP

Despite collecting almost half a billion dollars in donations after the 2010 Haiti earthquake, the ARC built only six permanent homes
Trust in organisation badly shaken by reports donations were squandered

As the death count after Hurricane Matthew approaches 900 and reports of deadly cholera outbreaks begin to surface, Haitians have sent out desperate pleas for help.

Government officials estimate at least 350,000 people needed assistance after the devastating storm.

Yet accompanying many requests for aid comes a warning - do not give your money to the American Red Cross (ARC).

Trust in the ARC, and in foreign aid more widely, has been badly shaken by a 2015 report that found donations had been squandered.

Despite collecting nearly half a billion dollars to provide relief after the 2010 Haiti earthquake and pledging to build 700 permanent homes, the ARC has been accused of only building six.

"In the coming days, many of you are going to write and ask me how you can 'help Haiti'," one woman said on Twitter after the hurricane, "Do not give to the American Red Cross."

Comment: Bloodsucking vampires: Why you should never ever give money to the American Red Cross


Kiev furious over Polish film documenting WWII Ukrainian nationalists' crimes and genocide

© YouTube/Historia
On Friday, Poles flocked to theaters to watch Volyn, a new historical drama by director Wojciech Smarzowski which depicts the atrocities committed by Ukrainian nationalists during WWII. Even before it was released, Ukrainian commentators blasted the film. Some now fear that movie could help ruin Polish-Ukrainian relations.

During the Second World War, at the same time that millions of Ukrainians fought Nazi Germany in the ranks of the Red Army, several hundred thousand nationalists from groups including the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) collaborated with Nazi forces in their occupation of what had been Polish and Soviet Ukrainian territory. In addition to a series of murderous campaigns against Jews, Gypsies, Soviet POWs and anti-fascist Ukrainians, UPA nationalists conducted a mass campaign of ethnic cleansing targeting the Polish minority in western Ukraine.


"You're a rapist": Bill Clinton confronted on his predatory past during Killary campaign event

© Shannon Stapleton / Reuters
Bill Clinton was heckled by an audience member calling him a "rapist" during a campaign rally for Hillary in Milwaukee. The protest is the latest in a growing string of similar outbursts against the former US President.

Clinton was discussing the Republican Party candidate Donald Trump's controversial position on global warming during a rally on Saturday when the outburst was recorded.

Clinton opened a sentence by saying, "No one can dispute the fact," to which a protester intercepted, "That you're a rapist!" This was followed by another protester who chimed in, "Bill Clinton is a rapist!"

The moment was captured on Today's TMJ4 Facebook Live broadcast of the event.

Comment: Although Alex Jones seems to be gaining some sort of advertisement from encouraging people to get his t-shirts on television, the message itself is worth repeating: "Bill Clinton is a rapist". For further reading:


Man cleared of attempted murder after leaked dashcam shows cop shot him in the back, twice

© Tamika [email protected]
Chief A.C. Roper, Mayor William Bell and the BPD Awards Committee award a combat cross to Officer Daniel Aguirre during ceremony at the CrossPlex, Friday, May 15, 2015.
In May 2015, officer Daniel Aguirre was given a Combat Cross Medal after he said in a police report that he successfully fended off a struggle in which he and his partner were in danger. However, someone on the inside leaked Dashcam footage showing Aquirre shooting a man in the back as he lay prostrate on his hands and knees. Still, Birmingham police charged their victim, Aubrey Williams, with attempted murder.

But, last week, after spending more than a year in jail for a crime he never committed, the Jefferson County District Attorney's Office finally showed a semblance of logic and dropped the charges against Williams.

"After an extensive review of all the evidence in this case, the state is unable to meet the burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt," according to the press release issued by the Jefferson County District Attorney's office late Friday.

"This man stayed in jail for more than a year and a half on some trumped up charges by these Birmingham police officers," Anthony said. "Not all police officers are bad, but when they make a mistake they should own up to it," he said, according to AL.com.

Mr. Potato

Copycat clowns spread to the UK prompting police to threaten jail time

© Saul Loeb / AFP
British police have issued a warning amidst a "killer clown" craze sweeping the country that has seen some armed with knives following children to school and wielding "machetes" to terrorize drivers.

Police say they have been called to a string of incidents in which pranksters or criminals dressed in the circus costumes try to scare innocent bystanders. The spate of spookings is thought to have been inspired by similar clown attacks across the US in the lead up to Halloween.

Clowns in Manchester, one armed with a "machete" thought to be fake, reportedly terrorized drivers stopped at traffic lights. Two emerged from behind the bushes and began running towards the cars, sending one driver fleeing through a red light.

Mother of two Alice Slattery told the Telegraph that she turned to check on her children after Lilly, 4, began screaming while they were waiting at a traffic light. She then turned back to find a clown across her bonnet, prompting her to beep her horn and begin driving, forcing the clown to jump off.

As she sped away, she spotted a second clown "with something in his hand" who had been lurking behind the car.

Thames Valley Police, which covers an area from the west of London to central England, said on Sunday it had been called to 14 spooky clown incidents in the previous 24 hours. Chief Superintendent Andy Boyd warned that the trend was wasting police resources.

Comment: Meanwhile in the United States, two clowns in St. Louis terrified the nation last night as they attempted to devour each other on national television.


Internet trolls in UK may face jail sentences for unleashing online abuse or harassment

© Toru Hanai / Reuters
Internet trolls will face prosecution for certain types of online harassment and abuse, including posting degrading photoshopped images or creating derogatory hashtags, under new legal guidelines.

The new rules, released by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) on Monday, detail an extensive list of examples of online behavior that could result in legal penalties. The updated guidelines attempt to widen police recourse against online abusers and help protect victims.

"The internet's not an anonymous place where people can post without any consequences. People should think about their own conduct," Director of Public Prosecutions Alison Saunders told BBC Radio 4.

Comment: A double-edged sword? These guidelines certainly can be applauded as an attempt to protect vulnerable children, however one wonders how broadly they may be interpreted if the government needs an excuse to 'take down' journalists and bloggers attempting to point out unpleasant truths.

Treasure Chest

Facebook receives £11m tax credit months after committing to pay more UK taxes

© Stephen Lam / Reuters
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg
Facebook's UK arm ended 2015 with an £11.3m credit to offset against future tax payments just months after vowing to contribute more to the Exchequer.

Despite reporting a worldwide profit of $6.19bn (£4.97bn), accounts for the social network's British holding company show that it ended the year with a £11.3m tax credit, compared to a charge of £4,327 in the prior year.

Although Facebook UK did pay £4.17m in corporation tax for the year to December, accounts just filed at Companies House show that it ended 2015 in credit thanks to accounting rule changes.

The disclosures are likely to reignite the row over the amount of tax paid by large US multi-nationals in the UK, following recent comments on the subject by the Prime Minister.

The credit is the result of Facebook being able to offset some £15.5m of payments linked to its bonus scheme, meaning it ended the year with an £11.3m tax credit.

Although that does not mean HMRC owes that amount to Facebook, the San-Francisco technology company will be able to use that credit to offset against tax due on future profits.

The entirely legal deferrals link to changes in HMRC's own accounting rules which Facebook adopted for the first time in the 2015 financial year.