By Khalil Abdullah
Initiated by Refuse Fascism, the speakers at today’s press conference will contend that Trump’s acquittal is not a “done deal” in the current highly volatile situation. John Bolton has now apparently corroborated the central charge of Article One, that Trump withheld military aid to Ukraine to advance his own electoral interests. Meanwhile Trump continues to blatantly obstruct Congress, even bragging that he “has all the evidence” and they have nothing, because his regime stonewalled the House investigation at every turn.
“While the pro-Trump shock troops for fascism are actively mobilizing in the streets – it’s urgent that our side manifest visibly and powerfully in DC and across the country,” said Lou Downey, Refuse Fascism Chicago Chapter. “We’re sending volunteers to DC where the eyes of the world will be focused, and we are mobilizing protests here in Chicago and other cities as well.”
People from around the country will pour into DC on Wednesday January 29 for a national day of protest declaring, “Trump/Pence #OUTNOW!” Refuse Fascism contends that, “If Trump is acquitted in a sham trial, a fascist regime will barrel ahead with disastrous consequences for humanity.”
Occurring just before the Senate votes on whether or not to allow witnesses and documents in Trump’s impeachment trial, these protests will demand that the voice of the people be heard. Their call says: “Demand witnesses, evidence, a real trial, conviction and most of all removal of the whole fascist regime for ALL their crimes against humanity and the planet.”
Here is a video statement by one young man from Chicago about why he is going to DC.
In Chicago people who can’t make it to DC will rally Wednesday January 29 at 5pm at Federal Plaza and then march to Trump Tower with these same demands.
They are calling on people: “Stop being a spectator. Show up now–when it counts! The people can change this dynamic if they stop passively sitting back. If masses of people converge on DC outside the Senate, where the eyes of world will be focused on the outrageous cover up and sham trail, this has the potential to light a political fire that not only swings the impeachment trial to admit evidence and witnesses and move toward removal, but can move even more people into sustained non-violent action that refuses to stop until the whole regime is removed. Everyone around the world who had been wondering what’s wrong with the people in the US for going along with fascism would take heart and build even more pressure for our demand.”
- Lou Downey—-Refuse Fascism, Vietnam Era Vet
- Lucha Bright—Member of Revolution Club, Chicago; National Get Organized for an Actual Revolution Tour
- Bishop Gregg Greer
- Tio Hardiman, Executive Director, Violence Interrupters
- Friends Who March
- Edward Ward, Activist/Minister
- Sharon Sanders, United for Democracy Now
By Stacy M. Brown,
NNPA Newswire Senior Correspondent
Rev. Dr. William Barber II believes that everyone has a right to live.
Through his Poor People’s Campaign, Dr. Barber is continuing to build a movement to overcome systemic racism, systemic poverty, ecological devastation, militarism of the budget and the false moral narrative of white religious nationalism.
In an exclusive telephone conference with the Black Press of America, Dr. Barber and his Poor People’s Campaign Co-Chair, Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharris, said America has a moral crisis.
“Democrats run from poverty and Republicans racialize poverty,” Dr. Barber stated during the more than one-hour discussion.
“We have invited both sides of the political fence. We’ve invited the White House to come and talk with us. They’ve refused,” stated Dr. Barber, the founder of Repairers of the Breach, a national leadership development organization, which expands upon his Moral Monday movement.
“This administration has been virtually silent on the issue of poverty. The president talked about unemployment being down, but underemployment is up. The number of people that have dropped out of the workforce is up,” said Dr. Barber, who, along with Dr. Theoharris, and others launched the Poor People’s Campaign, spearheaded initially by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The Campaign conducted what it said was a 50-year audit of systemic racism, poverty, ecological devastation, and the war economy in the U.S.
They said the findings have already helped to inform and build state and local, nonpartisan fusion movements that are committed to challenging laws and policies that are antithetical to the broad tenets of social justice.
Dr. Barbara and Theoharris, who is a pastor from New York, told the Black Press that the ranks of the Poor People’s Campaign would increase as they broaden their efforts.
They noted figures that show 140 million poor and low-wealth people live in the United States – from every race, creed, sexuality, and place.
“We aim to make sure these individuals are no longer ignored, dismissed, or pushed to the margins of our political and social agenda,” Dr. Theoharris stated.
With 2020 counting as a pivotal election year, Dr. Barber pointed out that voter suppression laws in many states have only contributed to poverty.
The Poor People’s Campaign has noted that, since 2010, 23 states have passed racist voter suppression laws, including racist gerrymandering and redistricting statutes that make it harder to register.
Because of this, early voting days and hours have reduced, officials have purged voter rolls, and there have been more restrictive voter ID laws.
Following the Shelby County v. Holder Supreme Court case, which gutted key provisions of the Voting Rights Act, 14 states had new voting restrictions in place before the 2016 Presidential election, and there were 868 fewer polling places across the country, according to the Campaign.
While these laws have disproportionately targeted Black people, at least 17 states saw voter suppression cases targeting American Indian and Alaskan Native voters in 2016, Dr. Barber stated.
“Thirteen states that passed voter suppression laws also opted not to accept expanded Medicaid benefits offered under the Affordable Care Act,” he added.
“These attacks follow a broader pattern of restricting and curtailing democratic processes by drawing on legacies of racism to undermine local efforts to organize for better conditions,” Dr. Barber stated.
As of July 2017, 25 states have passed laws that preempt cities from adopting their own local minimum wage laws.
Most of these are in response to city councils passing or wanting to pass minimum wage increases.
“We found that people can work a minimum wage job and can’t afford a two-bedroom apartment,” Dr. Barber said. “We found out that there are 2 million people who work every day for less than the living wage. Some of them live in their cars, and they go to work every day.”
Dr. Theoharris spoke of Maria, a woman they met in El Paso, Texas, separated from her family because of immigration issues.
“We waded into the Rio Grande River – the river that separates the U.S. from Mexico – with an action called “Hugs, not Walls.” Maria got to see her son for the first time in 16 years.
And for those couple of minutes that Maria had with her husband and her son were the first and only two minutes that she got to see her family members because of unjust immigration policy,” Dr. Theohoarris stated.
The Poor People’s Campaign is organizing the Poor People’s Assembly and Moral March on Washington, June 20th, during which Dr. Barber said they would rise as “a powerful moral fusion movement to demand the implementation of our moral agenda.”
“The fact that there are 140 million poor and low-wealth people in a country this rich is morally indefensible, constitutionally inconsistent and economically insane,” Dr. Barber added.
During the march, Dr. Barber said some of those living in poverty would attend and speak for themselves. He stated that it was essential to know that poverty comes in “all colors” and that it’s more than just African Americans who are struggling.
He noted that the City of Flint was under emergency management when it decided to switch its water source from the Detroit Water System to the Flint River.
That move poisoned a community of almost 99,000, with a 42 percent poverty rate and in which 56 percent of residents are Black, and 37 percent are White.
Also, Dr. Barber noted that 6.1 million people had been disenfranchised because of felony convictions, including one in 13 Black adults.
During the call, Dr. Barber continued to lash out at the current administration’s controversial immigration policies. The Poor People’s Campaign has found that undocumented immigrants contributed $5 trillion to the U.S. economy over the last ten years.
They paid $13 billion in Social Security in 2010, but only received $1 billion in benefits.
They also pay eight percent of their income in state and local taxes, while the wealthiest one percent pay just 5.4 percent.
Yet undocumented immigrants and most lawfully residing immigrants are barred from receiving assistance under the major public welfare programs, causing hardship for many poor immigrant families.
In fact, among the 43.7 million immigrants in the U.S., there are 19.7 million – undocumented and lawfully residing – who cannot vote, Dr. Barber noted.
“So, we have to understand the history of systemic racism. And we have to see how systemic racism is impacting not just people of color, but also white people today,” Dr. Barber stated.
“When Reverend Barber says that repressed voter suppression can create and further poverty amongst White people, amongst Black people, amongst Latinos, amongst young people and old people.”
By Mayor Tom Barrett and Common Council President Ashanti Hamilton
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day takes place on January 20, 2020, and we encourage every household in the greater Milwaukee area to celebrate Dr. King’s legacy by devoting the day to volunteering to better our community. One of the best ways to do that is to commit to taking part in one of the most important equality and civil rights issues of today – the upcoming 2020 Census.
Every 10 years, the United States conducts a census – or count – of our entire U. S. population. That means every adult and child in your household has the right to be counted.
Why is the 2020 Census important?
- Let’s start with the $675 billion the federal government distributes to local communities each year for health, education, housing services and more. Wisconsin receives $12.6 billion alone based on census data. For every resident that goes uncounted, we will risk losing $1,600 every year for each resident over the next 10 years.
- Census data is also used to determine how many seats each state gets in the U. S. Congress and in deciding voting wards. This process is referred to as redistricting and in the City of Milwaukee will be overseen by the Common Council’s Judiciary and Legislation Committee. Final election wards and aldermanic districts will be considered and adopted by the Common Council.
The next census will begin in mid-March 2020 when the U. S. Census Bureau mails letters to every household about completing a brief census questionnaire by April 1, 2020, Census Day. The census is simple and only takes about 10 minutes to complete. The 2020 Census will ask:
- How many people are living or staying at your home on April 1, 2020.
- Whether your home is owned or rented.
- About the sex, age and race of each person in your home.
- About whether a person in your home is of Hispanic, Latino or Spanish origin.
- About the relationship of each person in your home.
For the first time in history households will be able to complete the census online, but can still respond by mail or phone. So when you receive your letter, please respond right away and tell your family members, friends, colleagues at work and everyone you know to do the same.
Do not allow fear or false information to prevent you from completing your census questionnaire. The census is private and confidential, meaning the information you provide is between you and the U. S. Census Bureau. It is used only for statistical purposes and cannot be shared with any other person or government agency. This includes ICE, the IRS and law enforcement.
To learn more about the census, please visit milwaukee.gov/2020census. To apply for job opportunities, please visit 2020census.gov/jobs. Starting salaries range from $20.00 to $22.00 per hour for both census office and census taker positions in Milwaukee County. Census workers also receive reimbursement for work-related mileage and expenses, where applicable. To be eligible, you must be 18 years old, a U. S. citizen and have a valid driver’s license.
THANK YOU for honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by making sure YOU are counted in the 2020 Census!
Minneapolis, MN — Monique Baugh, a 28-year old successful realtor and mother of two from Minnesota, was reportedly found dead in an alley after being abducted and then shot three times. Police have since arrested 41-year old Cedric Lamont Berry, who has an extensive criminal record, in connection to the horrible crime
According to reports, police officers responded to an alley in the Willard-Hay section of the city on December 31, 2019 when a gunshot detection system alerted them to three gunshots. There, Baugh was found with multiple gunshot wounds and her hands bound with tape.
An hour before that, police responded to a shooting in Baugh’s home that she shared with her boyfriend, an area rapper known as Momoh, and their 2 children. Berry, the alleged shooter, barged into the home while wearing a black mask with two eye holes and repeatedly shot Momoh before fleeing.
Momoh called the police, who later found him on the floor of his bedroom covered in blood, surrounded by his 1-year old and 3-year old daughters. Police said he is expected to survive from his injuries.
Moreover, an investigation revealed Baugh had a schedule to show a house to a prospective client on that day. Video footage from across the street of the house showed Baugh being forced into the back of a U-Haul vehicle. It was the same vehicle seen at the home where Momoh was shot.
The motive for the crime was still unclear, but police said Berry is a rival drug dealer of Momoh. Investigators also found that Momoh had recently signed a recording contract for rap music and had been displaying a lot of cash on social media.
Berry is charged with kidnapping and second-degree murder in Baugh’s death, each of which carries a maximum penalty of 40 years. He is also charged with second-degree murder for attempting to kill Momoh, which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years.
Berry, who has past convictions for manslaughter, drug dealing, drug possession, aggravated robbery, illegal weapons possession, and fleeing police, is being held on a $2 million bond.
Meanwhile, a GoFundMe page has been set up to help support the future of Baugh’s children in the wake of her death. It has so far raised more than $30,000 and Baugh’s employer, Kris Lindahl Real Estate, has also donated $10,000, according to the fundraiser.
Parchman, MS — Terrandance Dobbins, Walter Gates, Gregory Emary, Roosevelt Holliman, and Denorris Howell – who were all Black men – have been killed in prisons across the Mississippi state. Activists say the suspicious deaths are caused by negligence and malpractices in the state’s prison system.
In the past week, several videos and pictures of deplorable conditions and scenes including fires and violence inside the prisons allegedly recorded by different inmates have surfaced on the Internet.
Until Freedom, an organization that advocates for prison reform, and Yandy Smith, a businesswoman and reality TV star, shared the videos on their social media and have since garnered thousands of views and comments.
The Mississipi Department of Correction addressed the incidents in a statement last Friday.
“Four inmates have died and several have been injured at two state prisons and one regional during major disturbances since Sunday,” the statement read. “One death occurred at the South Mississippi Correctional Institution, (SMCI) in Leakesville, two at the Mississippi State Penitentiary (MSP) at Parchman, and one at the Chickasaw County Regional Correctional Facility (CCRF) in Houston, Miss. MDOC investigators have determined a fifth death and a minor fire, both at MSP, are unrelated to the major disturbances.”
State officials and authorities claim that an alleged drug war has caused the chaos and the death of some prisoners.
However, the prisoners and activists claim that the prison guards did not really protect them from the violence and that the conditions inside the prisons are unacceptable even before.
In fact, an inspection conducted by the Mississippi State Department of Health last year found that the MSP is still in a hazardous condition that repeatedly caused deaths to a number of inmates in the prison, despite numerous complaints and lawsuits over the years.
Moreover, Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant said that the inmates are the reason for the violence and the poor condition of the prison.
“The inmates are the ones that take each other’s lives, the inmates are the ones that fashion weapons out of metal. The inmates are the ones that do the damage to the very rooms they are living in,” Bryant told reporters in a video shared on Instagram by Until Freedom.
Manatee County, FL (via BlackNews)— Barbara Pinkney, a 70-year old grandmother from Florida, was repeatedly tased during a violent arrest by police who were searching for her grandson who violated probation. Police say Pinkney refused to let them into her home.
On December 26, police came to Pinkney’s home to serve an arrest warrant to her grandson, Tevin Turner, on violation of probation for carrying a concealed weapon.
“We heard a knock at the door. Actually, there wasn’t a knock. I think they kicked the door. Bam! Bam! At the door,” Pinkney told WFLA.
In a video shot by his grandson’s wife, Elizabeth Francisco, Pinkney can be heard asking to speak to a sergeant. When the police refused, she tried to close the door, but an officer then grabbed her wrist before tasing her and taking her to the ground.
“I was just hollering. I was scared. I didn’t know what else to do. I was just hollering,” said Pinkney, who suffered injuries after she was hit three times with a stun gun in her left arm, back, and upper back.
Pinkney was arrested for obstruction and resisting an officer.
Now, Pinkney, who has never had trouble with the police before said she can’t even sleep at night because of the trauma it caused her. She said, “I don’t know. Whenever I see police I just try to not look at them.”
Meanwhile, his grandson has not been caught. She claimed that “when he was on probation he gave this as his address, but he wasn’t living here.”
Moreover, Manatee County Sheriff’s Office said they are investigating the incident. Manatee County Sheriff Rick Wells said, “We’re trying to prove whether or not any policy violations or any law was broken. That seems to be the indication of many in the community, a bad arrest.”
Senator Taylor to Represent Wisconsin In Rose Parade Suffragist Float
(MADISON) – Next year marks the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment and Women Win the Vote. Pasadena Celebrates 2020 is kicking of the centennial year with a float in the annual Rose Parade. State Senator Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee) has been asked to represent Wisconsin’s role as one of the first 36 States
that ratified the 19th Amendment.
Taylor will carry the Wisconsin flag, symbolizing the political victory of coming together for individual and women’s rights. Dressed in period clothing, Taylor will also wear items representing the role of African-American women such as Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, and members of Black Greek letter organizations such as Alpha Kappa Alpha, Inc. and Delta Sigma Theta, Inc. sororities.
Taylor was invited in September and has since been excited to see that Greendale High School Band will be participating in the Rose Parade, as well. Upon learning in earlier this month that UW-Madison would be playing in The Rose Bowl, Taylor said “this is the coolest thing ever!”. She went on to say, “On one hand, it is hard to
imagine a time when women were viewed more as property or children, than peers to their male-counterparts. It took an immense amount of courage to force change on the issue of voting. As an African-American, I appreciate the insistence, of Black women, that they be included and not marginalized by other women, during a time of intense racism. In many regards, gender discrimination or bias remains a daily struggle. Whether pay equity, family leave, or even the ability for a woman to be elected President of the United States, we’ve still got work to do. However, given the example of our foremothers, we know that nothing is unattainable.”
The Rose Parade takes place on January 1, 2020, in Pasedena, California. Taylor will be dressed in in full costume for the judging on Tuesday, December 31, 2019, and at the parade location at 4:00am on Wednesday, January 1, 2020. There will be press opportunities in Pasadena and Taylor will also be available by phone for interviews.
Salute Selma, Inc., a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, wants you to join us on sacred grounds as we commemorate the sacrifices and successes of black women from around the country for Selma’s 55th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday, the Selma to Montgomery March, and the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 during the Annual Bridge Crossing Commemoration. We want to show the world that our voices matter and will be heard. While celebrating for the first time in history, black women leading this Historic Reenactment March Across Edmund Pettus Bridge!
These amazing days of black liberation and human rights activism will start on Saturday, February 29, 2020, with an Economic Empowerment Village/Health & Wellness Expo. On Sunday, March 1, 2020, there will be a Salute to Selma Church Service, led by ministers from across the nation, followed by a Historic “Pre-march Rally,” which will culminate with the Selma’s Historic Bridge Crossing Reenactment! These events are strategically planned a few days before the nation’s “Super Tuesday’s” Democratic Party presidential primaries. The weekend is aimed at invigorating and galvanizing the power of the Black Vote. We invite you to join thousands of influential African Americans in the fields of politics, entertainment, education, and entrepreneurship as we discuss what’s occurring in our nation, and how we should respond. The 2020 Presidential election has reignited the collective synergy that African Americans have influential power, tenacity, and enormous value in our vote. We stand united in solidarity with Selma for one mission and one goal in 2020!
Salute Selma, Inc., is also excited to announce the confirmation of the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC), which is comprised of the nine historical Greek-lettered Fraternities and Sororities, w
“It sends a strong message to the world that these organizations whose collective memberships comprise of MILLIONS of this country’s premier black leaders coming together to support, celebrate and speak on the importance of the black vote in solidarity, is indeed powerful,” she said.
The NPHC headed by Vanetta Cheeks Reeder stated, “The purpose of the NPHC includes the ability to address, coordinate, and develop action strategies on matters of mutual concern to affiliate organizations and to serve as the conduit for such action plans. National President NPHC and the Council of Presidents (COP), lead by Chairman Dr. Everett B. Ward, are all fully vested in providing the resources to ensure membership participation in the Historic Reenactment March Across the Edmund Pettus Bridge on March 1, 2020.”
Once again, Selma will serve as a national backdrop for civil rights and human rights! Abina D. Billups, Co-Founder & Board Chairman for Salute Selma, Inc. said, “In 1965, men and women, young and old, suffered and died for the Right to Vote. Fifty-five years later, extremists are doing everything they can to take away our hard-earned rights, liberties, and power that we have in the Vote,” therefore, she believed coming to Selma should be an “annual pilgrimage.”
“Especially since every day, a new wave of gut-wrenching developments spurs out of this current White House administration,” added Carter. “Blatant attacks on our democracy and daily threats to disenfranchise black and brown people are tearing the very fabric holding America together.”
We have the Power to Protect our Rights, and we must answer their threats to our way of life. What better place to unite and fight for the right to vote? Who better to come to Selma to help lead the fight?
Please join us. Let us know that you and your organization will join our national movement.
Additional details of the official schedule for Salute Selma’s Inc. Commemoration of the 55th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday, the Selma to Montgomery March Reenactment, and the passage of the Voting Rights Act will be released in January 2020.
For more information, please visit our website www.saluteselma.com or contact Catrena Norris Carter at (205) 266-0304 or Abina D Billups at (334) 526.0025. For travel info. contact Candance Delaine at (770) 648-5012 or [email protected].
Bipartisan bill designates 9-8-8 as a suicide prevention and mental health crisis hotline
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Support from leading veteran advocacy organizations is growing for U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin’s bipartisan reform to designate a three-digit phone number for a national suicide prevention and mental health crisis hotline and ensure states have the flexibility to strengthen local crisis call centers.
Baldwin’s National Suicide Hotline Designation Act is supported by the American Legion, AMVETS, the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), and the Wounded Warriors Project, as well as dozens of mental health and suicide prevention organizations nationwide.
Death by suicide is a severe problem in the veteran community with about 17 veterans committing suicide every day, on average. In 2017, in Wisconsin for example, one out of every five people who died by suicide was a veteran.
The current National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and Veterans Crisis line are 10-digits, which is a barrier to Americans in crisis seeking support. The National Suicide Hotline Designation Act directs the FCC to designate 9-8-8 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, and allows veterans to press “1” after dialing 9-8-8 to be routed automatically to the Veterans Crisis Line for veteran-specific mental health support. Additionally, the legislation will authorize the ability of states to collect fees to ensure local call centers are able to support increased volume. Baldwin introduced this bipartisan reform with Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO), Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Jack Reed (D-RI).
“Ensuring Veterans and at-risk groups have a simple, reliable way to access mental health services is vital to combatting our nation’s suicide crisis,” said Melissa Bryant, National Legislative Director of The American Legion. “Interventions work. We are proud to support this legislation as a critical step toward tackling this public health crisis.”
“AMVETS realizes the importance of establishing barrier-free communication channels for veterans who need immediate help, which is why we created a helpline for veterans who need to talk to someone immediately. When a veteran in crisis calls us, we work closely with the Veterans Crisis Line and refer those veterans regularly. Every day we encourage veterans to reach out for help when they need it, whether that means calling their fellow servicemembers or calling a helpline. Changing the number of the Veteran Crisis Line to 9-8-8 gives veterans or loved ones an easy number to remember in the midst of a crisis. We hope this will encourage more people to take advantage of this resource and make the call when they are in need of help,” said Sherman Gillums, Chief Advocacy Officer for American Veterans (AMVETS).
“TAPS supports the implementation of a 3 digit number for the National Crisis Line. We want to make it as simple as possible for those at risk to reach out and connect with care,” said Kim Ruocco MSW, Vice President of Suicide Prevention and Postvention at the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS).
“I know from my days in the military that in a crisis, simple is better. This is why Wounded Warrior Project supports S. 2661 – the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act of 2019,” said Wounded Warriors Project (WWP) CEO Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Mike Linnington. “This important legislation, sponsored by Sen. Cory Gardner and co-sponsored by Sen. Tammy Baldwin, would simplify access to the National Suicide Hotline by providing a three-digit phone number to dial to connect those experiencing suicidal ideations with life-saving resources. As we work to remove barriers to mental health care and employ public health approaches to prevent tragedy before it strikes, an easy-to-remember hotline for connecting veterans in distress to experts who can help is overdue. On the behalf of Wounded Warrior Project and the veterans we serve, we thank Sens. Gardner and Baldwin for their leadership on this important issue.”