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Human Rights & Civil Liberties

To the 4 White Male Policemen Who Beat Me for Checking the Health of a Sick Black Man in Their Custody …

Because pick on schizophrenics, you are picking on me.

Ali Afshar, Human Development Project / Portside 14, 2016 | You may or may not know that the incidence and relapse rates of schizophrenia in African-Caribbean males in Western countries has been reported as being much higher than equivalent white male cohorts. E.g.

We found remarkably high IRRs for both schizophrenia and manic psychosis in both African-Caribbeans (schizophrenia 9.1, manic psychosis 8.0) and Black Africans (schizophrenia 5.8, manic psychosis 6.2) in men and women. Fearon et al, 2006 

This knowledge was forefront in my mind when I saw a man in his twenties muttering to himself, handcuffed and surrounded by 4 white male police officers on El Camino, in Northern California. As a physician, I have a duty (shit, I swore an actual oath) to preserve the health of all humans. There was no way I was going to drive past this situation without making sure that guy was going to be fine.

Ali Afsha: Google Developer Platform. Advanced Trauma Life Support. Open Source. Abominator Class. 

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Health Care Is A Right, Not A Business

  • Government’s first obligation is to protect rights, not profits. When the Declaration of Independence proclaimed our “unalienable rights” to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” it even put “life” first.
  • Related: Bullying executives won't result in lower prescription drug costs

Richard (RJ) Eskow, Huffington Post

Jim Young / Reuters

08/30/2016 | Financial columnist Megan McArdle recently wrote a column entitled Healthcare Is a Business, Not a Right.” She was responding to a tweet from financial writer Helaine Olen, which she quotes as:

“The health of Americans should not be a profit center. Health care is a right. Full stop.”

Health care is a business, says McArdle, but most of us aren’t tough-minded enough to admit it. Even if you ask a conservative, she writes, “there is a good chance you’ll get a rant about greedy insurers nickel-and-diming hardworking consumers when they’re sick.”

Richard (RJ) Eskow: Host, The Zero Hour; Sr. Fellow, Campaign for America’s Future

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Related: Now you can follow Evergreene Digest on Twitter.



Bullying executives won't result in lower prescription drug costs, From an Editorial in the New York (NY) Times  / Minneapolis (MN) StarTribune  

  • Congress should adopt reforms.
  • Congress needs to allow Medicare to negotiate prices, among other steps. 
  • Related: It’s Way Past Time We Stopped Deluding Ourselves About Private Health Insurers

SOA Watch | Live from the #ConverganceattheBorder, October 7-10

  • Couldn’t make it to the first ever Border Encuentro in Arizona and Mexico? Or are you with us at the Border and looking for ways to share with your community?
  • Join us here at or on our Facebook page to see live streaming of all the weekend's events in Eloy, Tucson, and Nogales, Arizona. You can join in, wherever you are in the world, and help spread the word! #ConvergenceAtTheBorder
  • Part 1: #ConverganceattheBorder, Friday, October 7
  • Part 2: #ConverganceattheBorder, Saturday, October 8
  • Part 3: Thank you! The Convergence on the US-Mexico Border was a Success

SOA Watch

Part 1: #ConverganceattheBorder, Friday, October 7

At the heart of the 2016 School of the Americas Watch Encuentro is increasing awareness of the militarization of the US-Mexico border and Latin America, as well as the criminalization of immigrants, asylum seekers, refugees and people of color.

This is the first time SOA Watch is turning all eyes onto the borderlands and the way this country has responded to the mass migration coming from our neighbors to the south.

Full story …

Part 2: #ConverganceattheBorder, Saturday, October 8

Yesterday's vigil at Eloy and kickoff in Sonora was amazing, and today is just getting started!

Right now there is a veteran-led march to the border wall happening on each side in the US and in Mexico, coming together for a joint rally. You can watch it and lots of events today here.

We will have all the weekend's events in Eloy, Tucson, and Nogales, Arizona. You can join in, wherever you are in the world, and help spread the word! #ConvergenceAtTheBorder

In the first event last night, hundreds of migrants and activists gathered outside of the Eloy Detention Center in Arizona, to call for the release of the incarcerated migrants, for an end to profiteering of human suffering, and for justice for all.

Full story … 

Part 3: Thank you! The Convergence on the US-Mexico Border was a Success

We converged from October 7-10 in Nogales, Sonora/ Arizona, at the Stewart Detention Center & in Tucson to demand a fundamental shift in US foreign policy. The Convergence began on Friday evening, October 7, with a vigil at the Eloy Detention Center. Click here for the full schedule of events. The livestream is accessible below, as well as photos and videos.

Full story … 

SOA Watch, founded by Fr. Roy Bourgeois in 1990,  is an independent organization that seeks to close the U.S. Army School of the Americas, under whatever name it is called, through vigils and fasts, demonstrations and nonviolent protest, as well as media and legislative work.

Voter Suppression and Unfair Voting Rules

  • Voting-rights groups are asking a federal court to block the law before the November election.
  • One in 40 Americans can't vote because of a criminal conviction. But the rules aren't exactly fair.
  • Part 1: A 90-Year-Old Woman Who’s Voted Since 1948 Was Disenfranchised by Wisconsin’s Voter-ID Law
  • Part 2: Six Million Adults Who Won't Influence This Presidential Race

Compiled by David Culver , Ed., Evergreene Digest stay on top of important articles like these, sign up here to receive the latest updates from all reader supported Evergreene Digest.


Part 1:  A 90-Year-Old Woman Who’s Voted Since 1948 Was Disenfranchised by Wisconsin’s Voter-ID Law


“Taken together, this evidence makes clear that the State does not have—and is incapable of implementing—a functioning safety net for its strict voter ID law. … the voter ID law must be enjoined. --voting-rights group One Wisconsin Now

Ari Berman, the Nation native Christine Krucki. (Sharon Erickson)

October 5, 2016 | Christine Krucki was born in Lublin, Wisconsin, in 1925. She first voted in the 1948 presidential election and has voted ever since. She’s an independent who has voted for John F. Kennedy but also Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. But after Wisconsin passed its strict voter-ID law in 2011, Krucki lost her right to vote. She made three trips to the DMV, bringing an Illinois photo ID, proof of residence in Wisconsin, a birth certificate and her marriage certificate but could not get a Wisconsin photo ID for voting.

Krucki first traveled to the DMV in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, in June 2013 with her daughter. “My mother does not have an unexpired passport, Wisconsin-issued photo ID, or any other kind of photo acceptable for voting,” her daughter, Sharon Erickson, said in a court declaration filed by the ACLU. Krucki lived in Illinois most of her life, before moving to Wisconsin five years ago, and no longer drives. She brought her Illinois photo ID, a bank statement and an insurance statement to the DMV. But DMV workers said she needed a birth certificate to get a Wisconsin ID for voting.

Ari Berman is a senior contributing writer for the Nation magazine and a Fellow at The Nation Institute. His new book, Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America, was published in August 2015 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. He has written extensively about American politics, civil rights, and the intersection of money and politics.

Full story … 

Part 2: Six Million Adults Who Won't Influence This Presidential Race

One in 40 Americans can't vote because of a criminal conviction. But the rules aren't exactly fair.

Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone The United States is one of just four countries in the world that enforces post-release restrictions on voting. Spencer Platt/Getty

October 6, 2016 | On July 7th in Staten Island a few months back, Ramsey Orta, the man who filmed the death of Eric Garner, sat in court conferring with his family. He was about to agree to plea deal on drug and weapons charges that would send him to prison for a while.

The term – four years – had already been settled. But some specifics were left up to him. In particular, he was given a choice as to which of his many drug charges he could swallow.

Matt Taibbi is a contributing editor for Rolling Stone. He’s the author of five books and a winner of the National Magazine Award for commentary.

Full story … 



SOA Watch Convergence at the US/Mexico Border from October 7-10

We are excited to announce that the Puente Human Rights Movement, an amazing grassroots migrant justice organization based in Phoenix, Arizona, is organizing the Convergence kick off vigil with us on Friday, October 7th.

SOA Watch you can follow Evergreene Digest on Twitter <>.

  17, 2016 | After discussions with Puente, we decided to start the convergence weekend with the vigil at the Eloy Detention Center at 5pm, and to include the welcome and opening into the program there, instead of having it in Nogales. The Eloy Detention Center is located about half-way between Phoenix and Tuscon. A separate opening event is going to take place on the Mexico side of Nogales, Sonora.
See the
Schedule of Events below and check the webpage for updates.

march on the US/Mexico border on Saturday morning at 8:30am, followed by the rally with music and speakers at the border wall will be the first convergence event that is going to take place on the U.S. side of Nogales.

We've set up a facebook community page for people to post rideshare informationFor travel considerations for Nogales, Arizona, which requires passing a Border Patrol checkpoint, or traveling to Tucson, Arizona, which is reasonably accessible to undocumented folks, please see the full Travel Considerations and Know Your Rights Resource page.

Full story … 

Innocent? Don't talk to the police.

Don’t talk to the police—except to tell them, respectfully, that you will not answer any questions and that you would like a lawyer.

James Duane, Los Angeles (CA) Times Kash Register begins to cry after realizing he'll be freed after spending 34 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit, in Los Angeles in Superior Court in Nov. 2013. (Los Angeles Times)

August 26, 2016 | Someday soon, when you least expect it, a police officer may receive mistaken information from a confused eyewitness or a liar, or circum­stantial evidence that helps persuade him that you might be guilty of a very serious crime. When confronted with police officers and other government agents who suddenly arrive with a bunch of questions, most innocent people mistakenly think to themselves, “Why not talk? I haven’t done anything. I have nothing to hide. What could pos­sibly go wrong?”


Well, among other things, you could end up confessing to a crime you didn’t commit. The problem of false confessions is not an urban legend. It is a documented fact. Indeed, research suggests that the innocent may be more susceptible than the culpable to deceptive police interrogation tactics, because they tragically assume that somehow “truth and justice will prevail” later even if they falsely admit their guilt. Nobody knows for sure how often innocent people make false confessions, but as Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski recently observed, “Innocent interrogation subjects confess with surprising frequency.”

James Duane is a professor at Regent Law School in Virginia Beach, Va. This essay is adapted from his book “You Have the Right to Remain Innocent,” forthcoming from Little A in September.

Full story … 


Book review |‘ Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption’ ~ Bryan Stevenson, Rob Warden, Washington (DC) Post

  • Criminal justice in America sometimes seems more criminal than just — replete with error, malfeasance, racism and cruel, if not unusual, punishment, coupled with stubborn resistance to reform and a failure to learn from even its most glaring mistakes. And nowhere, let us pray, are matters worse than in the hard Heart of Dixie, a.k.a. Alabama, the adopted stomping ground of Bryan Stevenson, champion of the damned.
  • Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption | Ebook PDF Free Download
  • Prison Without Punishment

Former CIA Analyst Ray McGovern: Obama Is ‘Afraid’ Of The CIA And The NSA

McGovern says he believes the president can’t hold either agency accountable for their violations of the law and human rights because of the power they hold over him.

MintPress News Desk, Mint Press News

Now you can follow Evergreene Digest on Twitter. 10, 2016 | A former CIA analyst believes the CIA and National Security Agency have become so powerful that the president is afraid to act against them when they break the law.

Ray McGovern retired from the CIA in 1990, following nearly 30 years of service to the agency. He was awarded the Intelligence Commendation Medal, which is given to agents who offer “especially commendable service” to the agency.

Outraged over the CIA’s open use of torture, he returned the medal in 2006 and became an antiwar activist. He was arrested in 2011 for a silent protest against a speech by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

MintPress News is an independent watchdog journalism organization that provides issue-based original reporting, in-depth investigations, and thoughtful analysis of the most pressing topics facing our nation.

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