Sunday, February 25, 2018


Today, we in the United States are experiencing something akin to the Biblical slaughter of the innocents: families raided, mothers, fathers deported before their children’s eyes, children returning home from school to find their parents gone.

At the top of this weeks’ immigrant detention news, The Daily Kos reported that ICE allegedly tossed a detainee in solitary for 60 hours demanding she recant sexual abuse claims, and that if the Dream Act is repealed, 5,000 California teachers face deportation.  And Luis Ramirez-Marcano died in ICE custody, the third detainee to die so far this year. Last year with 12 detention deaths, ICE chalked up its deadliest year since 2009. But there’s hope Trumpery threatened (in a brief moment of petulance) to call off  his ICE dogs from California in retaliation for California’s embrace of sanctuary. In Maine, colleagues tell me ICE is busy grabbing Canada-bound people off local buses, and three little words have been removed from the latest official statement of U.S. immigration policy.  Yes, that’s right: We are no longer “a Nation of Immigrants.” Whaddya know, just like that, a snap of the finger deep sixes history.

Nothing much has changed since 2009 when I first became swept up in this issue. Because so much of the research is still timely, I’ve decided to run what started out as my interview of a 73-year-old woman in Patterson New Jersey.  Jean Blum was the first U.S. whistleblower to expose a “disappearance” in immigrant detention. Prompted by her, through a FOIA request, the New York Times reported a total 106 immigrants had already been “disappeared” by 2009 in immigrant detention.  I viewed the coroner’s reports. A significant number had died of “asphyxiation.” Here’s the story:

Jean Blum: Finger in Goliath’s Eye - Part I
© Cecile Pineda 11 22 09

Cecile Pineda traveled to the East Coast to interview Jean Blum. Blum is a Holocaust survivor whose memories of being hidden from the Nazis and living her early years as a traumatically displaced person motivated her to start ALAFFA, an organization devoted to helping immigrants incarcerated in the immigrant detention centers of Passaic and Monmouth Counties in New Jersey, who are held in “administrative detention” a provision of a 1996 law which deprives them of the right to legal representation. Below begins the first segment of her report.

Immigrant detention centers, now over 300, are located throughout the United States--federally run jails, county facilities, some run by private operators Corrections Corporation of America and Wackenhut, doing business under the sanitized name the Geo Group. They house more than 400,000 persons, almost all immigrants, and with few exceptions, people of color.

Her hands working constantly, Jean Blum loops yarn over the pins of her knitting bobbin; the spool pays out the makings of a fashionable red scarf. Behind her as she talks, a conservatory of exotic plants catches the sunlight, bouncing it off an abstract painting on the wall. Jean Blum is a short 73-year-old woman, standing barely five feet tall, with a sharp mind, given to rich imaginings.

Jean Blum. photo credit Janice Weber
Her photograph, taken against a backdrop of the Monmouth County Correctional Institution in an article dated April 3, 2009, by Nina Bernstein of the New York Times, shows a forlorn looking woman, a woman identified as a Holocaust survivor, founder of an immigrant detainee advocacy organization American Liberty and Freedom for All, or ALAFFA.

On a first viewing, I wondered who she was. What drove her to engage  for many months in such discouraging and thankless work? Was it her memories of her World War II experiences as a displaced person? Had those memories been put aside as she lived an early life described in the article as closely modeled on the American Dream? Did love have anything to do with it?
“When I was maybe six years old, my mother warned me, ‘you have to go away for a while, but you must never forget that you are a Jewish child. You must remember not to tell anyone, because if you do, terrible things will happen to you and to your parents.’” Jean Blum pauses to unravel the tangling red scarf before continuing with our interview.

“The next day my teacher—one of the unsung heroes of the French Resistance—spirited me away to a convent where I lived with other girls whom I discovered much later were also Jewish.” When Blum’s mother came to take her back, although Blum failed to recognize her--“I never thought I would ever see her again,” she explains--the gravity of her mother’s admonition never left her.

Blum was born in 1936 in Warsaw, an only child, whose father was an electrical engineer. The Polish government charged him and an engineering colleague with designing and overseeing the installation of the telephone and telegraph communication system for the country of Poland. The first week of September, 1939 immediately after the first German bombs fell on Warsaw, her father received a phone call in the middle of the night from the Office of the President of Poland ordering him and his electrical engineering colleague to show up at the bus depot at six A.M. with their wives, their children and one suitcase for each family. They were allowed to escape, not because the Poles were particularly concerned for the family as endangered Jews, but because her father possessed the information they needed to deactivate the system he and his colleague had designed so that it would not fall into German hands.

After conducting them to Romania where they debriefed the two engineers, they left them to shift for themselves. Stranded in Bucharest, Jean’s father began making the rounds of all the embassies searching for a country willing to take them—to no avail. Finally, through their embassy, the French government made him a deal: if he agreed to join the French forces, Jean and her mother would be permitted to travel to Nice, where they would be allowed to stay throughout the duration of the war. Her father, however, would fight with the French. But after the fall of the collaborationist Vichy government he was captured by the Germans. He was sent to a P.O.W. camp, and as a prisoner of war he escaped the almost certain extermination that awaited most European Jews in the death camps.

“The Germans treated him better than Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) treats our American Immigrant Detainees here in the U.S.,” says Jean Blum. “These are people who work hard, many of them heads of families, trying to better themselves, striving for their piece of the American dream, as all of us did. My father loved America; he believed in America because this was the only country that would take us in at war’s end. I am glad he didn’t live to see what’s happening now.”

Although American public attention is still focused on the horrors of Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib, the existence of a growing number of domestic immigrant detention centers still largely remains under the radar. There are now over 300, located throughout the United States, some federally run jails, some County facilities, some run by such private operators as Corrections Corporation of America and Wackenhut, now doing business under the sanitized name of the Geo Group. They house a total of more than 400,000 persons, almost all of them immigrants, and with few exceptions, people of color. Prior to the elections of 2008, these institutions were subject to little or no government oversight, and even now under the aegis of Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano, the new administration is not showing signs of producing much in the way of change.
"Nothing Happened to you."  Margaret Bourke-White
Blum remembers the limbo state that people displaced by World War II experienced. When at war’s end, her mother and father were reunited, no country was willing to take the family in until, through the intercession of her father’s brother, Sholem Asch, the family was permitted to enter the United States by way of a special Act of Congress. Used to a pre-war life of relative comfort, they found themselves living on the fifth floor of a roach infested Bronx walk-up apartment. Her father repeatedly had to scramble for work, first as the employee of a brother who owned a record company. Her mother found work as a fabric picker. Left at home alone, and overwhelmed by the adjustment to a new school where she spoke no English, Jean cried incessantly. One day her father came across Margaret Bourke White’s photographs of the concentration camps taken at the time of the liberation. He carefully cut them out of Life Magazine and taped them to the walls of Jean’s bedroom. “These are the people who have something to cry about,” he told her, “nothing happened to you.
“We fear for our lives…”

The pictures of WWII concentration camp survivors remained on Jean’s wall for a limited period of time, but they never left her imagination. When Blum first discovered that there was a New Jersey-based advocacy organization, the New Jersey Civil Rights Defense Committee (NJCRDC), that tracked incarcerated detainees, she was quick to join.

Shortly before the Memorial Day Weekend in 2005, NJCRDC had fielded a call on its hot line from an inmate reporting that there had been a violent incident at the Passaic County Jail in Paterson where a number of detainees were being held. But with the holiday approaching, there was no one available to investigate. True to form, Blum stepped up to the plate. “I had a habit of volunteering when I saw a need,” she says, “and from that moment, I was hooked.” Her first report, running to four pages, documents the statements of four detainees who described being repeatedly roughed up, beaten, seriously injured, and verbally abused by guards.

“This [summary] of the events of May 26…starting at 8:20 P.M. [combines] information from Luis Ortiz, Willy Hernandez, and Nguyen Vu. [Vu] had asked another inmate to have his girlfriend mail him a musical birthday card that he wanted to send to his wife. When…Corporal C. Jimenez handed out the mail, she …wanted to remove the musical portion of the card. Nguyen…asked her to leave [it] on because he was sending it to his wife. Corporal Jimenez yelled, ‘No, I can’t do that. This card does not belong to you.’ He replied…‘no, this card belongs to me.’ She continued yelling… that she would call the Sergeant or the Captain...’ He answered ‘I don’t care who you call over because this card is mine.’

“A few minutes later Sergeant J. Arturi came in, plus ‘about 5 or 10’ other officers…. They told the prisoners to face the bars, aiming chemical spray inches from their faces. All the…reports agree: ‘they grabbed Nguyen Vu by the arm and the neck. He was pushed, shoved, slapped, punched down the hallway in sight of…two units returning from recreation, until they got him down the hall where they closed the door so the others could not see. 

“…The sergeant…slammed his head into the wall where it started to bleed. [Vu] felt dizzy. Three or more officers ‘pushed me to the ground, started punching me, pulled me up, handcuffed me and took me to the Medical Unit.’ He was ‘so upset and scared’ that all he wanted was to be left alone and [he] refused medication. Then they …strip searched him…and threw him into the hole…. [In all] he requested meds or a doctor four times over four days, to no avail. The next day two officers took him to a hearing telling him he was charged with Attempt to Assault. He was found innocent and the case was dismissed….

“[The inmates who observed the initial beating] ‘yelled, protested, banged on the tables….’ While this was going on, Hernandez ‘fixed his pants.’ Officers yelled he had a weapon in his sock that he was trying to place in his shoe. He was ‘yanked by his neck, arm and shirt over the edge of the table. He was slapped on his neck …and on his back….They continued to slap…and rough him up. They kept inquiring about a weapon, but it didn’t exist.’ Hernandez states: ‘THEY ALSO RAISED THE CAMERA,’ meaning they did not tape this incident.” Blum’s report concludes with a fourth inmate, Luiz Ortiz’ statement that for now they would suspend their hunger strike “because we fear for our lives.”

Administrative detention: (il)legal stranglehold

But Blum soon became dissatisfied with the emphasis placed by the NJCRDC on freeing all immigrant detainees based on the unconstitutionality of holding them without charge. She resigned to found ALAFFA because she preferred to concentrate her efforts on the more immediate task of helping the detainees directly and believed she would be more effective intervening at the local level. Through an umbrella organization, she obtained tax exempt status, but her efforts to secure funds to support her activities and to expand her operation were largely unsuccessful. She continued on her own, very much as a one-person operation, occasionally supported by the help of volunteers like herself.

An excerpt from an early A.L.A.F.F.A. newsletter dated November 26, 2005, speaks volumes about Blum’s sense of mission:
“A.L.A.F.F.A. cares a lot about what is happening to you.
—We don’t want to see people maltreated, separated from their families, be denied justice and compassion.
—We care about you because you are our neighbors, our friends, our family.
—We know that if they can do this to you today, they can do it to us tomorrow.
—We are ashamed about the disgrace to our country and the violation of our laws.”

From the time Blum’s name and coordinates first became known to the prison grapevine, she began to field collect calls from detainees incarcerated in the Passaic County Jail. Besides visiting, she wrote letters on their behalf, helped them file official complaints, made contact with their families and lawyers when the jail phone lines remained blocked for long periods of time, made sure to obtain signed releases from each one of them allowing their stories to be made public, and, although she is a retiree living on the uncertain bounty of a fixed income, she gave them money, and helped them obtain food and clothing when they were released. “They called me only for legitimate problems. They never complained. In fact, I remember one conversation I had with a Nigerian to whom I observed that conditions there were abysmal. His reply was: ‘Jean, it is better than so many other places on earth.’”

Although immigrant detainees are arrested and held by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) under the aegis of the Department of Homeland Security, it is important to understand the place they occupy within the present U.S. justice system. They are not criminals. In fact, “these are people who work hard, many of them heads of families, trying to better themselves, striving for the piece of the American dream, as all of us did,” insists Blum, but she points out that many of them will be deported anyway for past misdemeanors such as having a broken tail light, or not paying tax on a packet of cigarettes because they are being held in “administrative detention,” a provision of the Illegal Immigrant and Immigrant Responsibility (IIRIRA) Act of 1996 which under Title III denies them the right of appeal such that they can be removed without judicial oversight.

Whereas under the constitution, not only citizens, but all persons are accorded the right to defend themselves before a court of law, under the provisions of “administrative detention” an entire group of people—mostly poor and almost all persons of color—has been denied that right. In fact, although mostly staffed by Caucasians, the detention system holds persons primarily from Central and South American countries, the Caribbean, Africa, and the Middle and Far East. “The entire ICE operation is in violation of the U.S. Constitution,” Blum points out, “so they excuse it by saying that [the Constitution] only applies to U.S. citizens—yeah, like being a little bit pregnant.” Not only does “administrative detention” establish and perpetuate a dangerous parallel, unconstitutional system of punishment, but once the law is compromised, it may be used to apply to any other demographic group.

Next Week: Part II

Earth Justice reports: Court halts Bayou Bridge Pipeline.

Attend “Authoritarian Tactics: U.S. Immigration Policy and Race with Professor George Wright. Monday,  February 26th from 6:45 to 9 PM at Local 2, 215 Golden Gate Avenue near Leavenworth in San Francisco.

Keep Nelly Home. Stop her deportation.

Join RESIST outside ICE San Francisco headquarters,
630 Sansome Street at 12:30 - 1:30 PM Thurssday, March 1. 

Sunday, February 18, 2018


Immigration policy is of prime interest to me. Recently I uncovered the mystery of my own childhood misery: my parents’ marriage was a sham. My father married my mother for her papers because it would save him from deportation to Mexico, the country of his birth. The year before they married, the U.S. government had begun deporting what would total 2 million Mexicans of all social and economic classes from areas as far apart as Texas, New Mexico, and my parent’s New York City.

Here’s a message from my college classmate now living in Fresno, the Central Valley’s agricultural heart land where crops have been left to rot in the fields because no Mexicans are left to pick them:

“One [school] district with seven schools is in a town almost entirely populated by immigrant workers and the teachers tell me that children come to school not knowing who, if anyone, will still be at home when they return. Since these are often children already traumatized by what they went through to get here, you can imagine how well they are doing in school. And this Valley is rich in gangs both Mexican and Salvadoran, ready to pick them up. 

“People in the town of Mendota, where a sizable portion of the population is Salvadoran, live in fear of the removal of their Temporary Placement Status as well as in terror of ICE, tell me that they know deportation will come to their town soon, and when it does the town's economy and the farms around it will be devastated. In Fresno, ICE has already raided two packing plants (passing on jokes about low hanging fruit) which leaves crops that have [already] been picked rotting in sheds instead of going to market. So this hatred of the unknown brown person affects everyone -- the immigrants and their families, the people providing them services and employment, and even the housewife in Peoria buying groceries who will be horrified that the price of canned tomatoes is so high.”

Crops left to rot in the field
The man hunt is on again. No further evidence is needed to conclude that a full-blown immigrant vendetta has been unleashed today in the United States of America, a country built on the backs of genocided Indians, coerced African slaves, and generation upon generation of immigrants, whose labor over generations has enriched the very capitalist oligarchs now calling for their expulsion and placing as many of them as possible under the joint stresses of continued economic exploitation, and threatened round ups.

This week, in response to a lawsuit brought by the ACLU, the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, a Los Angeles law firm, and the National Immigrant Justice Centers, a California federal court ruled last Thursday that ICE (Immigrant and Customs Enforcement), and LASD (the Los Angeles County Sheriffs’ Department) unlawfully detained thousands of suspected immigrants on the basis of ICE unconstitutional request for immigrant detainers.  And sinking from the criminal to the deeply venal, a top ICE attorney plead guilty to stealing immigrants’ identities to go on a $190,000 shopping spree.

A panel teach-in titled NO BAN, NO WALL held this week at the University of California made this point: “The Trump presidency has increased attacks on immigrants and marginalized people, revoking temporary protected status for thousands. These actions are based on a long-standing foundation of xenophobia and criminalization. Such repression manifests not only at borders, but also in our backyards in the form of militarized policing, state surveillance and collusion between local and federal “law” enforcement . The panelists identified some of the root factors:

•Law enforcement as we know it is violent by nature, stemming historically from its beginnings as informal vigilantes organized to capture escaped slaves. As such its violence continues to be directed primarily against people of color.

•Racism undergirds foreign policy as well, exemplified by invasions, occupations, and “regime change” as they serve American economic (resource) “interests” and directed primarily against people of color. It is no accidents that Puerto Rico is still without power 6 months after the hurricane, or that Hawaii was selected as the experimental lab to see how people would react to a high alert warning, and by our failure to extend amnesty to Dreamers.

Separation Wall

*Incarceration has two faces both of which target disproportionate numbers of people of color: jail and prison. Jail houses pretrial, pre-conviction “offenders,” and as part of law enforcement is designed to punish through violence. Both public and private jails and prisons are profit-making enterprises for their owners.

•Racism (call it white supremacy, or Aryan uber alles) is capitalism’s  profit-making  tactic, designed to indoctrinate people that they are separate from one another, thus depriving them of their power of solidarity. (See a more detailed report-back below.)

•Deportation means being forcibly repatriated to a country where you may no longer have tied, cut loose in an airport without money or personal resources. It means being deparated from family and loved ones, and left to shift for yourself.

•Deportations are already impacting public education and the economy, especially in the agricultural sectors. Is the game of upholding white supremacy worth the candle?

This week as we go to press. matters remain in flux, but so far:

•The status of Dreamers remains in limbo after congress rejects four different proposals, suggesting that there may be no permanent solution anytime soon for the 1.8 million undocumented immigrants who face a March 5th deadline when they lose their right to work and become subject to deportataion.
•Wednesday’s news reported a bipartisan Senatorial group known as the “Common Sense Caucus” had reached an immigration “deal” (since voted down) granting the Trumpian border wall funding, and cuts to family reunification (nicely referred to as “chain immigration,”) a deal later denounced as a “mass deportation bill.”

All week long, various petitions have appeared urging Congress to come up with a “clean” Dreamer act allowing undocumented youth the right to work. Meantime, one such young man, Dennis Rivera-Sarmiento, was marched out of his Texas high school class by the agents of ICE.  Three hundred of his schoolmates walked out in solidarity.  Sign valid petition urging his release NOW. (note: it the link refuses to work, Google-search for the petition.)

But we are long past the petition stage. This Congress takes its cue from white supremacists. It is not about suddenly to discover it harbors a streak of humanity, not any more likely than the government of the Third Reich might have been sensitive to the signing of petitions. What is required now is an outcry that writes outraged letters to the editors of both the national and local press, that spreads to the airports and into the streets.

Here’s a run-down of this week’s articles on immigration:

None of these are “slow” articles, i.e., deep analyses of the origins and implications of what’s happening, because right now the level of hysteria, panic, and dismay is too high.

Top ICE attorney pleads guilty to stealing immigrants’ identities to go on $190,000 shopping spree. Daily Kos, February 16, 2017.

Following member’s deportation, NY State teamsters swing into action. Daily Kos, February 13, 2018.

Recently discharged hospital patient reflects on the deep caring he receives at the hands of immigrants. Daily Kos, February 14, 2018

#FreeDennis: 300 students stage walkout after Texas teed detained by ICE.

Government of Hungary passes a Draconian anti-immigration bill hitting on NGOs.


Here’s a summary of last Thursdays’ UCB NO BAN NO WALL presentation:

The four panelists, variously Mexican American, Arab American, Haitian, and Guatemalan, represented a rich diversity of origin and approach. Among their points of discussion were:
•The spontaneous outpouring of activism at airports throughout the Untied States in response to the first Muslim ban shows that popular action can be effective, and exhilarating.
•Distinction between jail and prison.  Jails as part of pre-trial, pre-conviction law enforcement, are designed to punish; 
 •At the root of immigration policy lies racism, the racism that serves the needs of profit-making Capitalism; the nature of law enforcement is violent.
•The movement to deport immigrants is global as exemplified by “Urban Shield,” held annually in  the Bay Area on 9.11, a collaboration between law enforcement, the Department of Homeland Security, and the County of Alameda under the direction of Sheriff Ahern. STOP URBAN SHIELD activist protest has forced it out of Oakland, but its three-day-long war games and its weapons expo now held in Pleasanton exemplifies and expands the militarization of domestic law enforcement, and unabashedly singles out people of color in actual target practice. Its best-selling T-shirt reads Black Guns Matter in direct reference to the #blacklivesmatter Movement.
•STOPURBANSHIELD activism is effective. Alameda County is the fiscal agent, and it’s on the Alameda County Board of Supervisors that pressure needs to be directed.
• To seek refuge is a human right. Following the Haitian earthquake some 80,000 Haitian asylum seekers and thousands of Salvadoran victims of that country’s civil war, stand at risk of immediate deportation because their Temporary Protection Status (TPS) is being revoked. Some 1.8 million “Dreamers” also stand at immediate risk of deportation once the March 5th extension deadline expires.
The U.S. occupation of Haiti, using the UN as a fig leaf, conducted massacres in Haiti, a matter of which the U.S. public remains in total ignorance.
•One of the most effective tools creating solidarity between people who find themselves oppressed is to learn their histories from one another. For example, a little known chapter of Haitian history concerns a regiment of Poles, part of Napoleon’s colonialist army sent to quell the Haitian Revolution who, once they had assessed how the cards were stacked, turned coat to join the Rebellion.
•An alternative approach to medicine, pioneered by Cuban schools of medicine  requires that to cure the whole person, the social determinants of health, namely the moral, psychological, political as well as the physical realities of the patient need to be taken into account.  A local clinic based on such a vision makes a practice of holding discussion circles with its patients, creating a safe space where they can share their perceptions of their illnesses, at the same time offering a formalized escape plan in the event of an ICE raid.

Common Dreams: In a letter to the American people Taliban urges peace.

Common Dreams: Public Citizen suit forces White House to release “visitor’s logs” (Menckenese for corporate lobbyist lists.)

Common Dreams: Court Rules Obama-era energy efficiency standard must prevail despite the trumpistration attempt to scrap the rules.

Joining the Ninth Circuit, the Fourth Circuit Court of appeals rules travel ban unlawfully discriminates against Muslims and violates the U.S. Constitution.

Portland bans fossil fuel expansion.  Idaho, California and Washington contemplate similar climate actions.

Common Dreams: Seattle news station partners with N.Y.-based charity to wipe out $l million in Seattle-area residents’ medical debt.

Sign up for Bay Area Rapid Response by texting RESIST to 41411

Write an outraged letter to the editor.

Join the protest outside your local ICE headquarters. In San Francisco every day from Noon to 1 Pm at 630 Sansome Street.

Join the SEIU picket at 630 Sansome in S.F. every Friday from 2 to 3 PM.

Next week we begin publication of a 4-part in-depth series on immigrant detention.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Plastic Seas II

What can be done with the planet’s waste? And how can the planet’s inhabitants change their attitudes to take into account that in a closed system like our planet, there is really no way  to “throw something away.”

A single shower using a soap containing microbeads can release 10,000 of them into the environment. When they are consumed by marine life they leash toxins into fish, a good reason, along with overfishing, to reduce seafood and fish consumption.

Every minute, the equivalent of a garbage truck worth of plastic makes it into the world’s oceans. Coral reefs and the marine life that depends on them are imperiled by the 11 billion plastic items found in surveys of the Asia-Pacific coral reef region—a figure that is projected to increase to 15 billion by 2025. Such items as plastic bags, rice sacks, and bottles cause coral reefs to become diseased and this fact adversely impacts the 275 million people who depend on coral reefs for nourishment, income from tourism, coastal protection, and cultural importance.

Picture a world without garbage trucks, without garbage cans. Such a world existed not too long ago. A century ago Japan recycled everything it used. Such a world needs to be recreated now.

Recently eco@africa featured some imaginative recycling ideas.

Rubber tires: Long Mexico’s way to recycle rubber tires, the manufacture of huaraches converts them to indestructible footwear, suitable for the climate and the terrain. In Niger’s capital where there is no trash collection, tires are being converted into seat cushions, creating jobs for the people making them. 

Paper: Kenyans have been producing non-toxic pencils from recycled newspaper, supplying schools, government agencies and corporate firms.

Swiss architect Fredy Iseli spent nearly 30 years developing a way to construct houses from recycled paper.

And Creapaper, a German company has found a way of packaging foodstuffs in non-toxic paper made of grass.

Dung: For decades the water closet with its flush toilet was considered the summit of civilization, a bad choice for the environment and profligate of human waste, which—before Monsanto—was used for much more planet-friendly fertilizer. In Uganda women have been earning their livelihood making paper out of elephant dung.

The use of cow dung as fuel has preserved India from the de-forestation brought about by burning firewood. As I travelled along some 3000 miles of Indian roads through India’s villages, everywhere I found native art forms: mounds of cow manure patties used for heating and fuel left to dry in the sun displayed a rich variety of designs every bit as artistic as traditional chalked threshold decorations called rangoli, both arts largely practiced by women.

Community forum:
Stop the attacks on immigrants!

Sunday February 11, 2:00 – 4:00 PM
Women's Building
3543 18th Street
San Francisco

Washington Governor Jay Inslee denies Tesoro-Savage its site certificate to build the biggest oil train terminal in North America. 

Republicans botch abortion ban.

San Francisco and New York show the way forward by throwing out old marijuana convictions.

Exelon to retire Oyster Creek, the nuke that nearly drowned in hurricane Sandy, in 2018.

Iceland first country to legalize equal pay.

Ecuadoran, Nelly Cumbicos, mother of US born children, saved from the deportation clutches of ICE.

Tesla and Australia to turn 50,000 homes into virtual solar power plant.

Florida bans fracking statewide.

North and South Koreans march together at Olympics opening seremony.

Shareholders in Marathon Petroleum Corp. demand explanation of their potential violations of the rights of indigenous peoples.