Cathy Harris News Updates

Cathy Harris News Updates
News You Can Use

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Throwing Away A Lightbulb



[Pnews] Oakland Call to Action: Free Imam Jamil Al-Amin (H. Rap Brown) - 8/25 and 8/26

[Pnews] Oakland Call to Action: Free Imam Jamil Al-Amin (H. Rap Brown) - 8/25 and 8/26

What Rap IS.
What Rap AIN'T.
What Does Imam Jamil Mean to Me?

New Strategies, Moving Forward to Free Imam Jamil

Friday, August 25th from 7-9pm
Oakland Islamic Community Center (OICC)
7900 Oakport St. Suite 4400, Oakland

Saturday, August 24th from 2-4pm
Lighthouse Mosque
620 42nd St, Oakland

Imam Khalil - National Representative - Context and Medical Update
Musa Dan-Fodio - Lead Attorney - Legal Update and Strategies

Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 863.9977

Questions and comments may be sent to

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Tell the USDA: Create a clear and consumer-friendly GMO disclosure standard

Tell the USDA: Create a clear and consumer-friendly GMO disclosure standard

Dear Friend:

Now's our chance! The U.S. Department of Agriculture is working on creating its new GMO disclosure standard. Remember, the GMO compromise last summer left a lot of important decisions up to the USDA, and some Big Food and Big Ag companies have been working hard to push the USDA to support their agenda. We need consumers to make their voices heard!
Here are some of the key issues on which the USDA needs to hear from you:
  • Definition of a GMO: This seems obvious, but Big Food thinks it can pressure the USDA into excluding certain ingredients derived from GMO crops from the department's definition of GMOs. Tell the USDA not to fall for Big Food's tricks – consumers want to see ALL GMOs labeled.
  • Ingredient-by-Ingredient Disclosure: Consumers have a right to know exactly what they're eating, which means they need to know which ingredients are derived from GMOs.
  • QR Codes: Tell the USDA that consumers deserve clear GMO labels, not misleading high-tech gimmicks. Since the legislation allows QR codes, the USDA must ensure consumers without smartphones or cell service have access to the same information by placing scanners in every grocery store aisle.
  • Deadline: Consumers have waited long enough for a GMO labeling standard – we must make sure the USDA sticks to its July 2018 deadline.
There's a lot at stake, but if we all take action right now we can ensure that we will have a clear, consumer-friendly GMO disclosure standard for generations to come. Don't wait until it's too late – Big Food and Big Ag are working hard to influence the USDA as we speak. We need to work twice as hard to overcome their deep pockets.
Thanks so much for standing with us again, Friend.
Katrina Staves
Campaign Manager, Just Label It

Thursday, May 11, 2017

10 Best Cities in America for Black Families To Live


Black people in a Mississippi county are ‘under a permanent state of siege,’ according to an ACLU lawsuit

Ferguson, Mo., Activists Are Dying and It’s Time to Ask Questions

Traffic Ticket-to-Prison Pipeline: New Report Reveals Racial Bias In California’s Traffic Court System


Wednesday, April 26, 2017


[Pnews] Report on Mumia Abu Jamal's Post-Conviction Appeal Act Hearing

Report on Mumia’s PCRA Hearing on Challenge to Appeals based on Bias of former prosecutor, then Supreme Court judge Ronald Castille, April 24, 2017

Rachel Wolkenstein, April 25, 2017

Yesterday, April 24, 2017, Mumia Abu-Jamal’s 63rd birthday was the first court hearing on the PCRA (Post-Conviction Appeal Act) petitition that was filed on August 7, 2016 by attorneys Judith Ritter and Christina Swarns. Last June the U.S. Supreme Court issued a precedent-setting decision, Williams v. Pennsylvania, 136 S.Ct. 1989 (2016), holding it is a violation of the due process right to an impartial tribunal free of judicial bias if a judge participating in a criminal appeal had “a significant personal involvement as a prosecutor in a critical decision” in a defendant’s case.

Castille was the elected District Attorney during the preparation, argument and appeal of the 1982 conviction of Mumia for murder and the death sentence to the PA Supreme Court in 1988 and to the U.S. Supreme Court in 2000. The legal remedy for this due process violation is to vacate all the denials of the Mumia’s appeals from 1998-2008, and allow Mumia a new appeal of all his legal claims of innocence, the frame-up conviction and denials of his right to trial judge who is not a self-declared racist, an unbiased jury, his right to representation of his choice and his right to self-representation and all other violations of his right to a fair trial.

On April 24 there was legal argument before Judge Leon W. Tucker, who is the supervising judge of the Philadelphia PCRA part of the Court of Common Pleas. He has been a judge since 2005; his wife, Petrese Tucker is the Chief US District Court Judge of the federal district court for the Eastern District of PA. Ronald Eisenberg, who is now a Deputy District Attorney argued for the DA’s office. He was first promoted in the DA’s office to Chief of the Appeals Division in 1986 by newly elected DA Castille. Eisenberg has been the supervising DA on all of Mumia’s cases since then. He argued the Williams case before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Christina Swarns made the legal argument for Mumia, making the essential point that Williams held that due process is violated if a judge had previously had a significant personal involvement in a critical prosecutorial decision. She stated the Williams holding applied directly to Mumia’s case, that Castille’s name as District Attorney appears on all of the DA’s appeal filings in Mumia’s case. Judge Tucker asked whether the fact that Castille signed off on the DA’s briefs was his significant personal involvement. Swarns said that there is currently no document in Mumia’s case like the one in the Williams case. (Castille authorization of seeking the death penalty against Williams.) But discovery was requested so that the DA’s memos can be check for evidence of Castille’s involvement in Mumia’s case. Tucker asked a second time about whether there is currently a document showing Castille’s personal involvement in Mumia’s case and Swarns repeated the need for discovery.

Additionally, Swarns stated that given the high profile nature of Mumia’s case and that Castille bragged about the number of people he put on death row (a number that included Mumia), Castille would have been directly involved in Mumia’s appeal. Tucker again asked whether to Swarns knowledge, without discovery, was there knowledge of Castille’s direct involvement. Swarns said that there is not, but that was the situation in Williams’ case --- the document with Castille’s signature was found only after the court ordered discovery from the prosecution.

The issue of whether or not there is “jurisdiction” for Mumia’s PCRA petition to be considered was raised by Tucker. This has to do with whether the Williams case is “retroactive,” applying to cases decided before the Williams decision. Swarns explained that it did apply because the issue in Williams was a fundamental component of due process and legal authority supported those cases as being applied to cases initially decided beforehand. Also argued was the reason Mumia’s filing was an exception to the PA law that required post-conviction challenges to be filed within one year (!) of a conviction becoming final. (In Mumia’s case that was 1991, after the U.S. Supreme Court denied to consider his appeal.) Swarns laid out the reasons Mumia case met the statutory exceptions that made his filing “timely.”

Tucker asked what the remedy would be if this petition were granted – was it the restoration of Mumia’s appellate rights. Swarns stated that this was what the Williams case required.

Eisenberg argued for the DA. Most of his argument was the position that the PCRA court couldn’t/shouldn’t consider Mumia’s petition, because the Williams case wasn’t retroactive and his case didn’t meet the “exceptions” to the timeliness provisions. Therefore, he argued, the PCRA court had no jurisidiction to consider the case. And if there is no jurisidiction, there is no discovery and no case. (There are appeals, of course.)

In the course of his argument, Eisenberg stated the timeliness restrictions came from the PA legislature concerns about the costs and work involved in re-litigating these cases. And that in Mumia’s case there were a number of appeals and many legal claims, that re-litigating them would have a huge impact on the court workload, which is why there are these restrictions. Then Eisenberg said that why, “sometime you just have to draw the line.”

Christina Swarns responded, that the standard for due process violations is that they have retroactive application. And that Mumia is entitled to the full protections and relief provided under due process. She invoked Supreme Court Justice Breyer dissenting when the death penalty was upheld in the McClesky case (where it was proven that the death penalty was imposed against African Americans 4x greater than against whites), saying this was “fear of too much justice for Mumia Abu-Jamal.)

Swarns said that this could all be resolved by the judge granting discovery of the DA’s files on Castille’s involvement in Mumia’s appeals. If there are documents showing Castille’s involvement or not, would answer this case.

Judge Tucker ended by saying that he was taking this “under advisement” and he would give his decision at a later time.

Summary comment – Judge Tucker could go any number of ways on this. He could argue fully with the DA and dismiss Mumia’s PCRA for “lack of jurisdiction.” He find jurisdiction, implicitly or explicitly, and require the DA to open its files for discovery of its preparation, argument etc. of Mumia’s appeal from1986-90 to see if there are documents indicating Castille’s involvement. Or Judge Tucker could ask from more legal arguments on any of those issues. Judge Tucker is not required to rule on any of this in any specific time period.

Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 863.9977
Questions and comments may be sent to

In our fifth year of the Agreement to End Hostilities, it’s time for Gov. Brown and CDCr to recognize our humanity!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Anxiety About Trump's Proposed Budget Cuts Is Sweeping Red-State America

Millennials Aren't Just Turning to Crowdfunding Because It's Cool—There's an Uglier Reason |


My Autistic Child Isn’t ‘Diseased’

Save the Vital Programs of the Violence Against Women Act

New STD has symptoms of gonorrhea


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Arrest of 7 crooked Baltimore cops called ‘gangsters’ shocks city

Ben Carson Is A Clown Sock: Says Slaves Were Immigrants Who Worked Really Hard ‘For Less’

Samuel L. Jackson’s Take On Ben Carson’s Slavery Comments: ‘Muthaf***a Please’


How A Vitamin D Test Misdiagnosed African-Americans


The original Wikileaks - Before the Internet

WikiLeaks exposes CIA hacking tools that can be used to spy on people worldwide

Remembering Lynne Stewart, People's Lawyer and Former Political Prisoner

Vampire Webpages Suck Content From Legitimate Progressive News Sites

Michelle Alexander: White Men Get Rich from Legal Pot, Black Men Stay in Prison

Monday, February 27, 2017

Robert De Niro Concerned With Dangers Of Mercury In Vaccines


March 1 - National Day Demanding Clean Water in PA Prisons

New release of Black Panther file reveals FBI rigged investigation of murdered policeman

Town That Voted for Trump Outraged ICE Arrested Pillar of Community

Columbus police to expand naloxone pilot program

A Police Cover-up Breaks Down in Sacramento

Study Finds Connection Between Living Near Oil and Gas Development and Childhood Leukemia

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Texas Woman Electrocuted In Her Sleep From Wearing Earbuds While iPhone Was Charging | Empire Herald

What Trump’s Immigration Policies Mean For Domestic Violence Victims

7 Health Benefits of Coconut Oil

The Exposure of Poses a Conundrum for Sex Workers

Who Counts as Black?

5 Distinct Ways the Trump Presidency is Rotting Americans' Brains

The first World Trade Center attack

Missing passengers on 9/11

Hiring Freeze Forces Military Spouses to Make Tough Choices

Sanders, not Trump, is the real working-class hero

America’s democracy is morphing into a combination of a dictatorship, an oligarchy, and a developing police state

Friday, February 24, 2017

U.S. Drivers Can Now 'Legally' Hit Protestors Standing In Their Way





Michael Moore Issues Terrifying Warning: 'It Will Be as Bad or Worse' Than You Think

Google censorship transforming the Health Ranger into an almost “cultural hero” of the First Amendment

Amish farmer facing 68 years in federal prison for making homemade products

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Omarosa Reveals Trump Is Keeping a Dossier on Black Journalists

Why Aren’t Black Students Picking Majors That Lead to High-Paying Jobs?

GOP Quietly Passes Law Shielding Themselves From Criminal Prosecution

Obama ranked 12th best president by historians in new C-SPAN poll

Oregon Governor Forbids ALL State Employees, Including Cops From Aiding ICE Agents

A court is blocking L.A. County sheriff from handing over a list of 300 problem deputies

People Are Making Tiny Trump Photos To Annoy The President

15 Symptoms Of Vitamin D Deficiency That Most People Ignore

Coca-Cola Recalls Dasani Water! Clear Parasite Worm Was Found In Bottles

FBI is Going After Trump With 3 Separate Investigations

Trump’s draft plan to cut off food stamps for immigrants could cause some U.S. citizens to go hungry

4 dead Russian Diplomats in 3 months

Dove’s ‘Real’ Beauty Products Are Filled With Cancer-Causing Chemicals, Fake Dyes And Toxic Fragrance

The Trump Team Is FURIOUS Over This Cartoon Of Melania

Donald and Melania Taking 4th Vacation in 4 Weeks, You Won't Believe Where

Maxine Waters declares President Trump needs to be impeached

The Time is Now for a Vaccinated/Unvaccinated Study

The Campaign To Bring Mumia Home

The Campaign To Bring Mumia Home

By Johanna Fernandez

Dear Friends of Mumia,

I'm writing on behalf of the Committee to Save Mumia Abu-Jamal to ask if you might help us in an emergency. The Committee is the official fundraising venue for Mumia’s legal defense today. It has been raising funds, quietly, since Mumia was facing execution in the ‘90s.

The Committee was initiated and led by Frances Goldin, Mumia’s literary agent. She is 93 years old today and continues to be actively involved in this work. Our letters are reviewed and signed by Angela Davis. Our efforts focus exclusively on Mumia’s legal defense, and on the few occasions when we’ve deemed that raising funds for other projects was critical to Mumia’s safety, our letters have explicitly outlined our thinking.

Since Mumia fell ill, we have been behind on payments to Mumia’s lead health attorney and we need to raise funds – quickly. Would you consider making a donation and identifying one or two others who might do the same?

A Word on Mumia’s Condition

Although the symptoms of his Hep C condition wax and wane, he is much improved since his near death crisis two years ago. That moment was harrowing, and having been in the center of it, I can truly tell you that the movement saved his life.

Heidi Beghosian, former executive director, National Lawyers Guild, and I had been concerned about Mumia’s declining health two years ago, and we happened to visit Mumia the morning that he collapsed in the infirmary. At that moment, we called his family, identified the hospital to which he had been taken, then drove there to make our presence known.

Since Mumia fell ill, we have been behind on payments to Mumia’s lead health attorney and we need to raise funds – quickly. Would you consider making a donation and identifying one or two others who might do the same?

We alerted the movement, and dozens joined us at the hospital that evening. The next day we held a press conference at the hospital to which surprisingly the Philadelphia mainstream media showed up. The conditions under which Mumia was hospitalized were horrendous and we visited the hospital daily.

After these dramatic days, when we realized that Mumia was in danger of dying, we went into emergency mode for several months. This included identifying outside doctors to visit him, taking out an ad in the New York Times, mobilizing the movement and testifying in court about what we saw.

We even took Mumia’s hair sample covertly to be tested at an outside laboratory. It was our doctor, not the hospital physicians, who in the end diagnosed Mumia with Hep C and made the connection that his terrible skin condition was a symptom of that disease. In this moment of crisis, Pam Africa’s experience was indispensable.

The Legal Situation and Our Request for Funds

As you know, his attorneys, primarily Bob Boyle, scored an unprecedented legal victory in Mumia’s Hep C health suit. On Jan. 7, a federal judge, Robert Mariani, in an unprecedented decision, ordered that Mumia be treated with the 95 percent effective cure rate antiviral medicines within 21 days. He condemned the barbarity of the DOC’s (Department of Corrections’) Hep C protocol, and his opinion establishes the groundwork for the treatment of the 7,000 others with Hep C in the Pennsylvania prisons.

The Pennsylvania DOC is fighting this all the way to hell. On the 10th day after the ruling, right before the Martin Luther King holiday, the DOC attorneys filed a stay and a notice of appeal in the 3rd Circuit District Court of Appeals.

Our legal filings are voluminous. Bob Boyle has been working for two years at reduced legal fees, and we are behind on payments. He has literally had to borrow money to stay afloat. 

We’ve also put in some personal funds, and are sending out another appeal to our members, but we need an infusion of $25,000 in the next week.

His attorneys, primarily Bob Boyle, scored an unprecedented legal victory in Mumia’s Hep C health suit. The Pennsylvania DOC is fighting this all the way to hell.

Thanking you in advance for your consideration.
All the best,

Johanna Fernandez, Ph.D.

Johanna Fernandez, Ph.D., is a professor of history at Baruch College (CUNY,) coordinator of the Campaign to Bring Mumia Home, member of the Committee to Save Mumia Abu Jamal, and writer and producer of the acclaimed film, “Justice on Trial: The Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal.” She can be reached at
______________________________ ______________________________ ____________

Legal Particulars

Federal Judge Robert Mariani presided over Mumia’s health suit. Judge Mariani granted Mumia his claim of deliberate indifference, meaning that Mumia won the preliminary injunction for immediate treatment. The judge ordered that a Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC) doctor must see Mumia within 14 days of his Jan. 7 ruling and instructed that treatment begin seven days after that – in other words, within 21 days of the ruling.

But on the 10th day after the ruling, right before the Martin Luther King holiday, the DOC lawyers filed a challenge to the judge’s ruling. They filed “a stay,” which essentially asked the judge to halt all legal actions and proceedings. The DOC attorneys also filed a separate notice of appeal that made known their intention to appeal the decision in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, which is the court immediately below the Supreme Court.

Here are the different scenarios that can emerge.

If Judge Mariani denies the stay and upholds his original decision, the DOC can seek a stay from the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals. This would happen in advance and separately from the DOC’s full appeal in that court. If the 3rd Circuit grants the stay, the appeal process could take two to three months, even if “expedited.” If the 3rd Circuit denies the DOC’s request for a stay, Mumia basically wins because it would mean that the injunction must be carried out, meaning that MAJ gets the drugs.

If Judge Mariani grants the DOC’s request for a stay, Mumia’s attorneys can ask the 3rd Circuit to vacate (overturn) the stay; however, it would be unlikely that the 3rd Circuit would do so since they would take Judge Mariani granting the stay as an indicator that he feels his ruling would not withstand an appeal. We then would have to litigate the appeal in the 3rd Circuit Court, again a two to three month process.

Profile of the Attorneys Litigating Mumia’s Health Suit

Bret Grote is a young attorney and the founder of the Abolitionist Law Center in Pittsburgh. He was the only lawyer willing to file a preliminary injunction to get Mumia immediate treatment after he fell ill. All the attorneys with whom we consulted argued that the case was impossible to litigate and win. Shortly after Bret Grote filed the motion, the movement recruited Bob Boyle to join Bret Grote.

Bob Boyle is one of the most noted and accomplished attorneys representing political prisoners today. He is comparable to Len Weinglass in his political analysis of these cases. Bob Boyle
  • litigated the Lynne Stewart case, which led to her compassionate release;
  • litigated the case of Black Panther Dhoruba Bin Wahad and secured his freedom;
  • secured the release of Black Panther Marshall Eddie Conway, who spent close to 43 years in prison;
  • overturned in appellate court the 75-year sentence of Mohammed Al-Moayad, who was convicted of providing material support to Hamas.

How to Donate

Please mail your tax-deductible check payable to National Lawyers Guild. On the memo line, be sure to write: “For Mumia Abu-Jamal’s Defense.”
Mail your check directly to Johanna Fernandez, 158-18 Riverside Drive W., Apt. 6C-50, New York, New York 10032.

Please forward this email far and wide and let’s make the raising of $25,000 a reality.

Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 863.9977

Questions and comments may be sent to