24
October , 2018
Wednesday

  By Chinta Strausberg   The Chicago Baptist Institute International (CBI) is holding its annual fundraiser 7 p.m., ...
Nationwide (BlackNews.com) – Shirley Alabre is Miss Black Florida USA 2014, and ...
Domestic violence program expands to Quad Cities MOLINE, IL — Illinois Lt. Governor Sheila Simon ...
  Children Coping with the Loss of a Parent Participate in the Ninth Annual, Award-Winning Program ...
(From Latino Union of Chicago) Family, Latino Union Demand His Release Before Father's Day At the same ...
  From: Marc Mauer The Sentencing Project   New Report Examines Trends in Female Incarceration The number of women in ...
Memphis, TN (BlackNews.com) -- Ken Brown, JD, MPA, PhD, FACHE, executive vice chancellor and chief ...
    Atlanta, GA (BlackNews.com) -- Author, advocate and educator, Dr. Tiffany Simpkins Russell has recently joined ...
Retirement systems to be paid in full by end of fiscal year CHICAGO, IL - Illinois ...
  By Marvin Wilcher Nationwide (BlackNews.com) -- Over the last several years I have been involved in ...

Archive for June 4th, 2018

NAACP Calls on Missouri Governor to Take Stand Against Death Penalty on Last Day in Office

Posted by Admin On June - 4 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

Inconsistencies Mark Case of Death Row Prisoner Marcellus Williams

 

BALTIMORE —The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the nation’s premier civil rights organization issued a letter to Missouri

Governor Eric Greitens requesting the commutation of the death sentence for Marcellus Williams.In a letter issued today to the governor whose resignation will be final today at 5 PM Central Time, NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson said:“I am writing to respectfully request that you commute the death sentence of Marcellus Williams. Last August you took the courageous step to stay Mr. William’s execution, and I ask that you make this decision permanent before leaving office tomorrow. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) has long been opposed to the death penalty in any case because it is a cruel, inhumane, and unnecessary punishment that has been applied in a racially disparate manner. However, above and beyond these general problems, there are compelling reasons to spare Mr. William’s life.”

The NAACP President cited a number of reasons including the NAACP’s long opposition to use of the death penalty; DNA evidence showing that the DNA on the murder weapon does not match Mr. Williams. The NAACP also cited the data regarding the disparate treatment and racial inequality in the use and application of the death penalty against African Americans as well as belief that Mr. Williams was denied proper representation.“Several studies have shown that the death penalty is more likely to be imposed when the victim is white. (See the NAACP’s Death Penalty Fact Sheet, http://www.naacp.org/latest/naacp-death-penalty-fact-sheet) In addition, racial discrimination in jury selection continues to occur in spite of court decisions forbidding the practice,” said NAACP President Derrick Johnson.Some facts on racial disparities in the use of the death penalty in Missouri:

  • When homicides involve white victims, a defendant is 7 times more likely to be executed than if the homicide involved an African-American victim.  Homicides of white female victims are 14 times more likely to lead to executions compared to homicides of African-American male victims. https://www.unc.edu/~fbaum/articles/MissouriExecutions-2015.pdf

 

  • While African Americans make up 11% of Missouri’s population, they make up 33% of Missouri’s death row (8 out of 24).

http://www.naacpldf.org/files/case_issue/DRUSAFall2017_.pdf

 

  • Like Marcellus Williams, almost half those on death row in Missouri are from St. Louis County and of those; most were convicted by all-white juries.

https://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2014/02/the-ghost-of-herbert-smulls-haunts-missouris-death-penalty-plans/283924/

 

The NAACP is putting its national support behind the push by its Missouri State Conference and state units to push the governor to act before he leaves office today at 5 PM Central Standard Time.

 

For a copy of the letter: Click Here  to read Marcellus Willams’ Request for Commutation.

CTU to Mayor Emanuel: Put New Funds Into Classrooms, Educational Needs, Not Politically Connected Contractors and Policy Scams

Posted by Admin On June - 4 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

While CPS has won over $1 billion in new funds since 2015, mayor continues to bilk taxpayers and deny vital resources to classrooms, students.

CHICAGO, IL—The Illinois legislature passed a new state budget – with CPS scheduled to receive a significant portion of the additional education funding in the bill.

“We’re demanding that Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel put those funds into classrooms and educational needs,” said CTU Vice President Jesse Sharkey. “Those funds must go to support special education and staffing to reduce classroom sizes, CPS’ contractually promised sustainable community schools pilot project that Emanuel has been dragging his heels on implementing, and other critical front-line educational needs. Anything less is a betrayal of our students, their parents and our city.”

CPS has received more than $1 billion in additional annual revenue since the 2015-16 school year. It would cost CPS $10 million – a tiny fraction of its annual budget – to fund the Sustainable Community Schools pilot project it agreed to deploy in its most recent CTU contract, yet Emanuel’s school officials continue to slow-walk implementation. The project is designed to provide under-resourced school communities with trauma supports, wrap-around services, educational programming and community engagement that builds rich learning environments and a pathway to lifelong success for students.

Emanuel’s hand-picked CPS officials said earlier this year that they would provide $60 million to hold schools harmless on budget cuts related to enrollment declines for the coming school year. But schools began reporting big cuts to budgets and staff after CPS issued budgets last month. Emanuel’s school officials have also continued to ignore the very needs that the new state funding formula is designed to remedy – including a dire shortage of counselors, social workers and support for wrap-around services for low-income students, who make up the bulk of Chicago’s public school population.

Emanuel has touted his support for early childhood education since he was elected, and has expanded free, full-day pre-K in the city’s wealthiest neighborhood. But Wednesday, he said it would take 3-4 years to implement his newly announced expansion of early childhood education, which will only serve 4-year-olds. While Emanuel promised to provide $175 million to support that pre-K expansion, he’s failed to identify new revenue to fund his promise. Last month, CPS forked over a $1.1 million payment to Goldman Sachs and its fellow ‘social impact bond’ investors, part of the repayment of a $17 million bond that was supposed to expand early childhood education – particularly for low-income children. The bond could potentially double the return to investors – at taxpayer expense.

But enrollment in pre-K programs has fallen by 18% since Emanuel took office, including a sharp drop in enrollment in the last two years.

Emanuel has closed more than 60 schools, but failed to provide evidence of savings from the closures, while students impacted by those closures suffer from worse educational outcomes. Emanuel has refused to support progressive revenue sources, denied funds for trauma-related services and class size reduction, and purged thousands of veteran Black educators from CPS.

“For seven years, Emanuel has spent precious public education dollars on whatever he wants – including hundreds of millions on private contracts and insider deals that have failed our students and bilked taxpayers,” said Sharkey. “This mayor has consistently rejected the appeals of parents, educators and neighborhood residents for desperately needed support for our students and our schools. Instead, he’s eagerly chased headlines with his endless failed promises, and ignored the harm that his education policies have had on our children. He’s exacerbated education inequality for our schoolchildren, and his failed control of our schools must end. We demand that he put these new funds into our classrooms and our students’ futures. And we demand that he end his obstruction of state legislation that would allow Chicagoans to elect their own school board – a representative school board that can provide our schools with the accountability, transparency and ethical governance that we deserve.”

Attorney General Madigan Applauds Passage of Legislation to Strengthen Employment Protections for Service Members

Posted by Admin On June - 4 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan  applauded Illinois lawmakers for passing legislation to clarify and strengthen laws to ensure that Illinois service members’ employment and rights are protected while they are fulfilling military requirements.

SoldiersMadigan initiated Senate Bill 3547, the Illinois Service Member Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (ISERRA), to strengthen and simplify current state laws designed to provide employment protections to service members. The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Tom Cullerton and Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia, passed the Illinois Senate and House unanimously and will now be sent to the governor.

SB 3547 simplifies existing Illinois law by consolidating all of the provisions, including employment protections for Illinois service members. In doing this, SB 3547 seeks to make it easier for employers to understand and follow the law. The legislation also gives Madigan’s office the authority to file civil lawsuits to enforce ISERRA and requires her office to create the position of ISERRA Advocate to provide training and information to employers and service members. The advocate will be responsible for investigating complaints and drafting the required notice of rights and duties for employers to post.

“When military service members undertake their job to serve our country, they should not lose their civilian jobs at home,” Madigan said. “This legislation strengthens service members’ employment protections, provides training and enforces the law’s requirements to ensure that service members do not return home to find themselves without a job.”

“Service members and their families make innumerable sacrifices for our country, but their non-military employment should not be one of them,” Chapa LaVia said. “Strengthening employment protection laws and helping employers understand how to comply with those laws is just one way we can thank service members and their families.”

Madigan’s Military and Veterans’ Rights Bureau advocates for service members, veterans, and their families and investigates and pursues cases of fraud committed against them, including unlawful advance pension lenders that target veterans and their pension benefits and annuity sales that are misrepresented as effective VA benefit claims assistance. Military service members, veterans and their families can contact Madigan’s Military and Veterans Rights Hotline for help at 1-800-382-3000 or 1-800-964-3013 (TTY) or through Madigan’s website.

The Military and Veterans Rights Bureau also provides assistance to service members, including mediating landlord-tenant disputes for service members facing Permanent Change of Station orders that conflict with lease agreements; mediating financial transaction disputes, such as fraudulent credit report entries or erroneous debts; and seeking to obtain compensation owed to veterans or service members on military leave from their primary employer for annual guard/reserve training.

 

Valerie Jarrett: Say You’ll Vote in 2018

Posted by Admin On June - 4 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

From: Valerie Jarrett
Former Senior Advisor to President Obama

 

President Obama often says that “if you’re walking down the right path and you’re willing to keep walking, eventually you’ll make progress.”

It’s not always easy. It’s far from guaranteed that you will be able to make as much progress as you want. There are days when we’re reminded so clearly that we have not yet reached our destination, and that is why we have to work every day to treat our fellow citizens with dignity and civility.

The culture that we’re creating and the interactions we have with our fellow citizens each day are influenced by those who we elect to represent us.

When we elect people that continually demean others — those of another race, or religion, or gender, or identity, or sexual orientation — and reach for an America in the past instead of one in the future, the results hurt us all.

That’s not who we are — and we can’t ever stop saying so.

We have a responsibility to demand better of our elected officials. We have a responsibility to vote in 2018.

Voting isn’t a magic and immediate solution to every problem we face.

Fixing this will take a willingness to listen and respect one another. It will take a level of empathy towards people who have different opinions than our own, and an effort to understand why they ended up feeling the way they do.

But here’s where we can start: At the ballot box.

Who we lift up to represent us speaks volumes about whether we treat each other with compassion and civility — and it’s time to demand better.

Our government will be as good as we make it. Say you’ll vote in 2018:

 

I will vote

 

 

State Rep. Harper Pushes Measure to Require Greater Accountability on Currency Exchanges, Works to Lower Fees on Consumers

Posted by Admin On June - 4 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Currency exchange customers could see lower fees under legislation sponsored by state Rep. Sonya Harper, D-Chicago.

“Many people rely on currency exchanges for the basic and necessary service of cashing checks,” said Harper. “Unfortunately, the folks who rely on currency exchanges find themselves stuck with extremely high fees and they are often the ones least in a position to be able to afford them. My legislation will hold currency exchanges accountable and help to ensure that these fees are reasonable and consider the impact on consumers.”

Harper’s Senate Bill 2433 modernizes current Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) practice by requiring the agency to take into account new fees and how those fees will disproportionately impact communities of color when setting the maximum fees that currency exchanges can charge.

“Too many currency exchanges are taking advantage of people who lack access to banks and credit unions by charging unreasonable fees on those who have no choice but to turn to these businesses to cash their checks,” Harper added. “This legislation provides added protection for consumers, particularly in disadvantaged neighborhoods, and help guarantee equal access to vital financial services for everyone regardless of income.”

Harper represents the 6th District, which includes all or portions of Armour Square, Bridgeport, Chicago Lawn, Englewood, Gage Park, Back of the Yards, Canaryville, New City, West Englewood, and Marquette Park.

Chicago Jazz Orchestra Launches CJO Mondays at The Mill Happy Hour Jazz Series Every Monday in June and July at The Green Mill

Posted by Admin On June - 4 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

Guest vocalists to include Dee Alexander,

Frieda Lee, Paul Marinaro and more

The Chicago Jazz Orchestra (including Jerry DiMuzio and other CJO saxophonists, top) will perform with Chicago’s top vocalists every Monday in June and July at Chicago’s iconic Green Mill as part of the new CJO Mondays at the Mill cocktail hour concert series.
 
 
CHICAGO, IL – Join the Chicago Jazz Orchestra every Monday in June and July at the Green Mill, Chicago’s most iconic jazz club, for an unforgettable summer of live jazz featuring Chicago’s hottest vocalists.
The CJO’s new cocktail hour jazz series launches next Monday, June 4 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. with one of the top vocalists in Chicago, guest vocalist Dee Alexander. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the door. The Green Mill Cocktail Lounge is at 4802 N. Broadway Ave., in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood.

Dee Alexander

Make the Green Mill your new Monday night after work hot spot this summer, because CJO Mondays at the Mill will continue every Monday in June and July with a different guest vocalist each night:

Frieda Lee
Monday, June 11 – Frieda Lee
“One of Chicago’s most beloved jazz singers” – Chicago Tribune
Monday, June 18 – Dee Alexander
“One of the year’s 10 best” – The New York Times
Alyssa Allgood
Monday, June 25– Alyssa Allgood
“A young singer of unusual accomplishment and extraordinary potential”
– Chicago Tribune
Sophie Grimm
Monday, July 2 – Sophie Grimm
“An entertainer of extraordinary gifts”– Cabaret Scenes Magazine
Monday, July 9 – Dee Alexander
“Jazz Entertainer of the Year” – Chicago Music Awards
Sarah Marie Young
Monday, July 16 – Sarah Marie Young
Winner, 2011 Montreux Voice Competition judged by Quincy Jones
Monday, July 23 – Dee Alexander
“Best singer” – Chicago Magazine
Paul Marinaro
Monday, July 30 – Paul Marinaro
“Vocalist, narrator, storyteller, historian
and the most dapper and elegant of tour guides”
– Chicago Jazz Magazine
“Neither Marinaro nor the CJO has ever sounded better” is how the Chicago Tribune’s Howard Reich described the CJO’s most recent concert with Paul Marinaro, A CJO Salute to “Sinatra at the Sands,” May 12 at Chicago’s Studebaker Theatre.
See and hear why such high praise has been rolling in of late for Chicago’s oldest professional jazz orchestra in continuous operation, as they play Monday nights this summer in the intimate confines of Chicago’s favorite jazz club, the Green Mill.
For more information about the new CJO Mondays at the Mill series, visit chicagojazzorchestra.org.
Click here or the image above for this photo of the Chicago Jazz Orchestra.
Founded in 1978, the Chicago Jazz Orchestra (chicagojazzorchestra.org) is the city’s oldest professional jazz orchestra in continuous operation and one of the oldest jazz repertory orchestras in the country. The CJO strives to develop and promote an appreciation for and understanding of music for the American jazz orchestra as it was originally conceived, performed and recorded by jazz master composers and soloists.
Under the direction of Founder and Artistic Director Jeff Lindberg, Chicago’s premiere jazz ensemble features some of Chicago’s top jazz musicians, including Scott Burns, Jerry DiMuzio, Bill Overton, Eric Schneider and John Wojciechowski on saxophone; Art Davis, Victor Garcia and Doug Scharf on trumpet; Steve Duncan, Tom Garling, Luke Malewicz and Michael Young on trombone; Dan Trudell on piano; Dennis Carroll on bass; George Fludas on drums; and Michael Pettersen on guitar.
The Orchestra has performed with such artists as Dizzy Gillespie, Nancy Wilson, Louis Bellson, Herbie Hancock, Jon Faddis, Kurt Elling, Jack McDuff, Kenny Burrell, Roy Hargrove, Marquis Hill, Walter White, Joshua Redman, and many more. The CJO performs at a wide variety of top venues across the Chicago area, from the Green Mill, to City Winery, to Andy’s Jazz Club, to the Spertus Institute, to the Studebaker Theatre. The CJO served as the resident orchestra for the Kennedy Center Honors Supper Dance for over 25 years performed before a sold-out audience at the 2006 Spoleto Festival, and has toured Europe twice, including performances in Italy, Spain, Denmark and Sweden.
The CJO’s recordings include Clark Terry and Jeff Lindberg’s Chicago Jazz Orchestra: George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess (Americana Music, 2004), nominated “Jazz Album of The Year” by the Jazz Journalist’s Association and a rare “Five Star” rating by DownBeat magazine, Burstin’ Out with vocalist Cyrille Aimée performing classic and original jazz arrangements, and the 2017 compilation Live from Space, with live recordings from the summer of 2016 recorded at Space in Evanston.
The Chicago Jazz Orchestra is supported by The Stare Fund, The MacArthur Funds for Arts and Culture at The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, the Joseph B. Glossberg Foundation, Illinois Arts Council Agency, and The Saints, with media sponsorship from WDCB 90.9 FM, DownBeat Magazine and Chicago Jazz Magazine.
For more information, visit chicagojazzorchestra.org.
# # #

House Speaker Madigan on Bipartisan, Balanced Budget: Budget Holds the Line on Taxes and Spending

Posted by Admin On June - 4 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

SPRINGFIELD, IL – House Speaker Michael J. Madigan issued the following statement Thursday after passing a bipartisan, balanced budget:

“For the second time in as many years, House Democrats have worked alongside our Republican colleagues in the Legislature to pass a bipartisan, balanced budget. As House Democrats have said throughout the past four years, when we can work together in good faith we can accomplish great things.

“Our budget holds the line on taxes and spending, and creates a $15 million surplus that will be used to pay down old bills. We cut government bureaucracy like high-paid consultants and duplicative IT systems at state agencies to invest our finite resources in critical services, provide $350 million in new funding for public schools, and reverse the governor’s cuts to education programs, health care, child care and senior services.

“While there is more work to be done, this compromise budget shows yet again that when extreme demands are not preconditions to negotiation, Democrats and Republicans in the Legislature can work together to move Illinois forward.”

Asked to Pay by Gift Card? Don’t

Posted by Admin On June - 4 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

 

 

Has someone asked you to go get a gift card to pay for something? Lots of people have told us they’ve been asked to pay with gift cards – by a caller claiming to be with the IRS, or tech support, or a so-called family member in need. If you’ve gotten a call like this, you know that the caller will then demand the gift card numbers and PIN. And, poof, your money is gone.

Scammers are good at convincing people there really is an emergency, so lots of people have made the trip to the Walmart or Target or CVS to buy gift cards to send these callers. And scammers love gift cards – it’s one of their favorite ways to get your money. These cards are like giving cash – and nearly untraceable, unless you act almost immediately.

So here’s the most important thing for you to know: anyone who demands payment by gift card is always, always, always a scammer. Try this gift card buying exercise out at home – especially when anyone asks you to pay with a gift card:

Q: Should I buy an iTunes, Google Play, Steam, Kroger, Walgreens, BestBuy, Amazon, CVS, Rite Aid or ANY OTHER gift card for someone who demands payment? For any reason?

A: NO.

Gift cards are for gifts, not payments. If you’ve bought a gift card and lost money to someone who might be a scammer, tell the company who issued the card. (The contact info might be on the card, but might require some research) Call or email iTunes or Amazon or whoever it was. Tell them their card was used in a scam. If you act quickly enough, they might be able to get your money back. But – either way – it’s important that they know what happened to you. And then please tell the FTC about your loss. Your report helps us try to shut the scammers down.

Memorial Day Has Special Meaning For African-Americans

Posted by Admin On June - 4 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS
From: Marc Morial
President & CEO, National Urban League

History has not settled on the origins of the holiday we now celebrate as Memorial Day.

 

According to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, roughly two dozen places claim to be the birthplace of the holiday. Yale historian David W. Blight places the origin in Charleston, South Carolina, in the waning days of the Civil War. By May, 1965, most white Charlestonians had fled the city but thousands of formerly enslaved Black residents remained and carried out demonstrations. On May 1, they gathered at the Washington Race Course and Jockey Club, which had served as a Confederate prison camp where hundreds of Union soldiers died under filthy and deplorable conditions. They were memorialized as “The Martyrs of the Racecourse.”

According to the New York Tribune, “At 9 am on May 1, the procession stepped off led by three thousand black schoolchildren carrying arm loads of roses and singing ‘John Brown’s Body.’ The children were followed by several hundred black women with baskets of flowers, wreaths and crosses …. when all had left, the holy mounds — the tops, the sides, and the spaces between them — were one mass of flowers, not a speck of earth could be seen; and as the breeze wafted the sweet perfumes from them, outside and beyond … there were few eyes among those who knew the meaning of the ceremony that were not dim with tears of joy.”

This Memorial Day, as we reflect on our gratitude for those who gave their lives in defense of our country, we also honor our ongoing triumph over enslavement, repression and injustice.

Palestinians, American Jews, Others Protest Israeli Ambassador in Chicago to Send Message: “After Gaza, time for boycott”

Posted by Admin On June - 4 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

On the evening of Tuesday, June 5, a coalition of activists will protest Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer’s visit to Chicago. Three weeks after Israel’s massacre of unarmed Palestinian protesters in Gaza, a growing number of legislators and many human rights organizations have roundly condemned the killings as “calculated” and “an abhorrent violation of international law,” with Amnesty USA calling on the U.S. to respond with an arms embargo. This visit by Ambassador Dermer is part of a damage control P.R. tour that includes a visit earlier the same day in Milwaukee.

Participants will display names of the 100+ Palestinian protesters recently killed by Israeli snipers as they protest Ambassador Ron Dermer on 51st anniversary of Occupation of West Bank, Gaza, Jerusalem.

Participants will display signs bearing the names of each of the protesters killed since the #GreatReturnMarch began on March 30, communicating to Dermer and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that people of conscience in the United States increasingly support Palestinian rights and the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement, and are demanding that their Congressional representatives hold Israel responsible for killing Gaza protesters. They will also demand an end to the Blockade on Gaza and the Occupation of the West Bank and Jerusalem; equal rights for Palestinian citizens of Israel; support for the Right of Return for Palestinians to the lands from which they were expelled in 1948 and since, and that Trump reverse his decision to move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

The protest will be held Tuesday, June 5 at 7:00 PM, at  3751 N. Broadway, Chicago, IL

American Friends Service Committee, Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, Chicago Coalition for Justice in Palestine (Al-Nahda Center, American Muslims for Palestine, Palestinian American Community Center, Palestinian American Council, Students for Justice in Palestine-Chicago, and U.S. Palestinian Community Network), Jewish Voice for Peace-Chicago

Visuals: Signs with names of each Palestinian killed by Israeli military in Gaza. Large posters with following messages: “Dermer, Tell Bibi: Chicago Supports Gaza and Freedom for Palestinians!” “Gaza: 100+ Killed 12,000+ Wounded. Stop the Massacre. Time to Boycott Israel.”

In addition to being the principal defender of Israel’s brutal policies toward Palestinians, Ambassador Dermer has associated with leaders in U.S.-based white supremacist circles. In November 2017, he hosted former advisor to President Trump Steve Bannon at his home. After accepting an award from an organization headed by Frank Gaffney, he brushed off criticism from the Southern Poverty Law Center when they “wrote to his office asking why he was accepting an award from “an anti-Muslim hate group.”

Israel has a long history of human rights violations and political repression against Palestinians. In the past two months, the Israeli military killed over 110 Palestinian protesters in Gaza – including children, medics, and journalists – and wounded over 12,000 participating in the #GreatReturnMarch. Launched on March 30, 2018, with over 30,000 participants and organized by a cross section of Palestinian civil society, grassroots activists, and political factions, this effort has highlighted the impact of Israel’s brutal military blockade and re-centered the issue of Palestinian refugees’ right to return to the homes from which they, or their parents and grandparents, were expelled in 1948.

Following the moving of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem on May 14, Israel killed over 60 protesters in one day in Gaza, and then brutally arrested Palestinian citizens of Israel protesting in solidarity in Haifa. Israel has also increasingly tried to stifle dissent and criticism. It is trying to expel the head of Human Rights Watch in Israel; it forbade the entry of the U.S.-based Center for Constitutional Rights’ executive board member and staff; and a law was recently proposed to make it illegal to film or photograph the Israeli military at any time.

Human Rights Watch has denounced Israel’s actions as “unlawful” and “calculated.” Amnesty International has condemned the Israeli military’s use of “excessive force” and assigned clear responsibility to Israeli authorities.

Israel’s government has made clear that it fully supports these deliberate killings. Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman has stated: “There are no innocents in Gaza.” The day after the killing of the first 15 Palestinian protesters on March 30, the Israeli military posted, then promptly deleted, the following tweet: “Yesterday we saw 30,000 people; we arrived prepared and with precise reinforcements. Nothing was carried out uncontrolled; everything was accurate and measured, and we know where every bullet landed.”

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Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

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