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Archive for the ‘justice’ Category

"Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism" Act Obama Vetoes, Congress Caves (Videos)

“Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism” Act Obama Vetoes, Congress Caves

The US Congress passed a bill called the “We are gonna sue Saudi Arabia on behalf of the victims of the 911 Terror Attacks” or Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, which, Obama promptly vetoed by the way, in an unprecedented move against Congress.
Now that in and of itself should send some folks to look in the mirror and ask themselves some serious questions about this administration, and especially about our dearly beloved President, Barack Hussein Obama.
When the smoke cleared, Congress decided that it would override the veto, in another unprecedented move against this administration. Then they got word… sorta like the word they got when they were refusing to give the banks all that money back in 2008.. Does the words “martial Law” ring a bell anyone? I don’t know what made them back pedal for sure, but looking closely at the gaul they had to even attempt to override his royal highness was unprecedented to say the least.

Here’s the deal. Why are they blaming the Saudi government when there has been no proof that the Saudi government had anything to do with it? Does anyone remember that the 19 hijackers had Saudi passports but 9 of them were found alive?
How about the fact that they Bombed Afghanistan because OBL was reportedly held up in them there hills. Wanna sue Afghanistan for its rocks and hills?
How about they blamed Libya for the plane crash and Gaddafi wasn’t responsible but he paid the families and you see where that got him?
How about they sue Larry Silverstien who admitted that they had plans to build a new trade center in early 2000?
How about they sue BBC for foreknowledge of WTC7 collapse 20 minutes before it collapsed? 
How about they sue the FBI for never proving that OBL had anything to do with it and they never even put him on the Worlds most wanted list cause they had no evidence he actually orchestrated the attacks.
How about they go after the real person instead of dragging the blemishless Saudis thru the mud? Surely I jest cause it ain’t no way the Saudis are free from blemish.. But that’s a horse of a different color and does not need to be inserted in this narrative. So let me not digress in sighting the various human rights violations and supporting of ISIS and harboring of known terrorist among them and their pitiful treatment of women because that requires a whole other video.
Let me continue with my list of folks who should be sued by the families of the 911 victims.
How about they dig themselves out of a hole because Pres. OBAMA knows we will surely end up in China if folks even look down that 911 rabbit hole. Just look at the wording of this thing.
Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act.
How many heads would role if there was a real investigation and the real culprits were given their just due?
Obama is the front man for the cover-up and he most definitely is not gonna air the dirty laundry for the whole world to see.
At this point, most folks know it was an inside job. First responders are dying from all kinds of cancers. And whistle blowers are dying, out of jobs, fearing for their lives. How about suing the EPA for saying the air was safe to breathe?
But any of these so called public officials who pretend to be clueless about what happened on that fateful day, are all complicit in the cover up, and the Saudi Royals ain’t gotta take the hit when they can hit back really hard with the OPEC option of dollars for oil.
It’s noble to say he wants to protect Americans over seas, but seriously… Obama ain’t no dummy and neither are the rascals he rubs elbows with.
Time for some serious 911 truth!
Mainstream media is still peddling the lie. It makes you wonder how folks can wake up, read the lie, know it’s a lie, turn over and go back to sleep. The train wreck continues.
More Reading:
“Reflecting the desire to keep the public placated, while at the same time giving in to Saudi demands, Sens Bob Corker (R – TN) and Lindsey Graham (R – SC) both indicated that the ‘fixes’ would be implemented after the November elections, during the lame duck session,” reported. So for now, the bill is law, but after the elections it will be watered down to nothing to please the Saudi’s instead of the American people.
White House: Congress has ‘buyer’s remorse’ after overriding Obama veto
‘Time Of Looking Away Over’: Germany Warns Saudi Arabia To Stop Funding Wahhabism
The Senate recently overruled a veto from President Obama on a bill that will allow the families of terrorist attacks file lawsuits against countries suspected of supporting terrorism. What’s actually in the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA)? Hasan Piker gives you the breakdown on the JASTA bill.
Opec quota deal not guaranteed to force up the oil price 
OPEC Leaves Production Target Unchanged

Racist Prosecutor Who Acquitted Trayvon Martin’s Killer Loses Primary In Landslide

NB Commentary: So at least if you are going to vote, get these folks out of office and don’t replace them with another of the same ilk, for crying out loud.

Racist Prosecutor Who Acquitted Trayvon Martin’s Killer Loses Primary In Landslide

Posted on August 31, 2016
Republican prosecutor Angela Corey just lost in a primary election landslide by a 65% to 28% to the defense lawyer of a 12-year old child Corey prosecuted as an adult, raising a national uproar. People around the country are cheering Florida voters for removing America’s worst prosecutor from office after a relatively short eight years in office.

Angela Corey was hand picked by Florida’s despicable Republican Governor Rick Scott to prosecute the Trayvon Martin case against George Zimmerman which she lost by overreaching for a murder charge. In a stunning demonstration of racial disparity, Corey used her prosecutorial discretion to push for a 60-year jail sentence against a black woman who fired a warning shot during a domestic dispute with her abusive husband, which ultimately resulted in a 20-year prison sentence for Marissa Alexander, that was ultimately reduced to three years after national outcry erupted. 
Recently, the New York Times singled out Angela Corey as a death penalty zealot, resulting in her office handing out four times the number of state sanctioned murders at taxpayer expense than even Miami-Dade, the state’s largest county, a place which has double the population:
Angela Corey, 61, has made her reputation, in part, by winning verdicts that carry the death pen­alty. She has one of the highest rates of death sentences in the country, with 24 (19 in Duval) in the eight years since she was elected. Even compared with the three other Florida counties on the list of 16, Duval County is an outlier. The state attorney in one of the three, Miami-Dade County, which has twice the population of Corey’s jurisdiction and twice the annual number of murders, has five death sentences over the same period. Death-penalty opponents question whether Corey gives too little weight to the backgrounds of defendants.
“Other prosecutors in Florida care about mitigating evidence like chronic and serious child abuse,” says Stephen K. Harper, the executive director of the Florida Center for Capital Representation. “Angela Corey does not.”
So finally, a woman that Wonkette said was too awful even for Florida (my home state) will depart her office, leaving a wake of destroyed children’s lives after prosecuting them as adults, and cementing her reputation as America’s cruelest prosecutor by sending 75% of juvenile defendants to jail versus only 12% in Miami.
Trayvon Martin’s mother has not responded to the news of Angela Corey’s downfall on twitter yet.

Female Black Panther Party, Sexism in the Group?

Female Black Panther Party, Sexism in the Group?

NB COMMENTARY: I really wanted to NOT be in this Beyoncé Madness, but the irony of it all is to see folks being offended by her antics to the point of calling it racist when in fact, if they took the time to read the lyrics, they would see the song is all about Beyoncé getting hers. With a smattering of some retorts against “whatever.” The fact that she even uses this “so-called” Black Panther imagery, which in and of itself is a smack in the face of the movement, a downgrade at best in its presentation and surely not militant at all; is amazing to me. The fact that folks are getting hot under the collar over it is outright laughable. Then, on the other hand, you have these drones who support and even consider this “show” as something meaningful or even intrinsically an acknowledgment of her “Blackness.” Now I am ROFLMAO and sadly, there are many in that camp as well.

In it’s simplicity it barely shows any aggression or hatred or anything against the police. It’s a bunch of scantly clad women, fist balled up, dancing with Beyoncé in formation. The directive?? Work hard, grind hard, own it so you can “have the paper.” Which none of that was what the BPP Movement was about but surely a capitalistic approach to success.
These folks give money to these movements (Black Lives Matter which is suspect on its face), and bail protesters out of jail, but none of them will give up their way of life to join the Movement on the Real, and that’s the point. If twirling her ass, and rocking her crotch gets her money, that is what she will do, she certainly is not on the front lines of the conscious movement or on the front lines of the progressive movement.

Being part of the conscious or progressive movement would be detrimental to her power bank account cause folks would stop spending money on those things that do nothing for their progress and that would mean to stop buying her and her husbands stuff. Her lyrics were more about, “this is what you get for your money, I work hard for it, I slay for it, and see, what your money did for me??? I am at the Super Bowl.”
It’s all about her and will always be about her, and folks need to get real cause she ain’t doing nothing against her handlers who are all “albinos.” LOL Check out the lyrics if you haven’t already. Click Here for the Lyrics
Assata Shakur Speaks

Although the Black Panther Party (BPP) revolutionized the condition of Black people and communities in the 1960s, sexism in the group silenced the voices of Black women to promote a Black nationalist agenda that became conflated with the idea of preserving Black masculinity. This project aims to examine how and why this brand of racialized sexism in the Black Panther Party operated in the group, and to shed light on some of the silenced and erased the narratives about radical Black womanhood.

December 18, 2013

Regina Jennings, a Black woman who joined the Black Panther Party as a teenager, reflects about her experience with sexism in the group. She recounts a particularly difficult encounter with a captain who romantically pursued her. When she rejected his advances, she explains, “he made my life miserable. He gave me ridiculous orders. He shunned me. He found fault in my performance” (262). Ultimately, he had her transferred to a different branch of the organization, even though that meant completely disrupting her way of life. Jennings brought the incidences to the Central Committee’s attention, but the all-male panel accused her of white, bourgeois behaviors and values.

In spite of this situation, Jennings takes great pains not to demonize the entire group. While she and other women in the Black Panther Party confronted this form of sexism and misogyny, they also received a lot of support from Black men. Some Black men even defended Jennings when she complained of the sexual harassment, even when that meant that other men would shame them or call them emasculated. Jennings attributes these circumstances with a lack of knowledge or experience with power. “Black men, who had been too long without some form of power, lacked the background to understand and rework their double standard toward the female cadre” (263), she contends, demonstrating that oppression not only works to degrade a group, but also impels that group to internalize a set of power structures and enact oppression upon others. In spite of her claims, she emphasizes that this type of sexism should not be excused but rather understood. Jennings celebrates the love present in the BPP, forgiving the Party for the conditions that made it imperfect while honoring the uplift it achieved.

“I want you to know how much they perfectly loved you,” she clarifies in reference to those who dedicated their energies to Black communities. “I want you to know that they were willing to die for you” (264).

December 18, 2013
Kathleen Cleaver on Black Natural Hair
Kathleen Cleaver was the first female member of the Black Panther Party’s decision making body. In this interview, Cleaver challenges Euro-centric standards of beauty while expressing the BPP’s stance on self-love, and Black revival through celebrating different images of Blackness. She really does make a case for “the personal is political”!

What about Feminism?

Although Black women have not always identified with labels such as “feminist,” Black women have advocated for women’s issues as early as the 19th century. Black women have fought for economic justice/equality, against racism, against sexism, and against imperialism throughout U.S. history. In fact, the first wave white feminists learned much of their organizing and political strategies from Black, female abolitionists.
The late 1960s and the 1970s did witness an increasing number of Black women articulating their experience around the words “feminist” or “feminism,” but also a number of Black women challenging the structure of feminist movements. The Women’s Liberation Movement (WLM) took the nation by storm, voicing many women’s grievances, but it did not appeal to many Black women and women of color who interpreted the movement’s work as an agenda that principally furthered white, upper-class women’s issues. Furthermore, many Black women considered their involvement in mixed gender spaces more pressing because they identified more with their male counterparts’ struggles than with the affluent white women’s problems. Kathleen Cleaver explained this phenomenon:

“The problems of Black women and the problems of White women are so completely diverse they cannot possibly be solved in the same type of organization nor met by the same type of activity… [but] I can understand how a White woman cannot relate to a White man.”

This racial solidarity in some ways led some Black women in mixed gender groups to tolerate oppressive ideologies to avoid division, or to subscribe to certain roles. In the pamphlet, “Panther Sisters on Women’s Liberation,” some women insisted that “Black men understand that their manhood is not dependent on keeping Black women subordinate to them,” but also claimed that because “our men have been sort of castrated,” women had to avoid taking up too much space in leadership so that Black men would not have any “fear of women dominating the whole political scene”. That kind of admonition to other Black women invokes ideas about pathologized matriarchy. Other women in the BPP adopted more masculine roles in order to be taken more seriously. Assata Shakur confessed, “You had to develop this whole arrogant kind of macho style in order to be heard… We were just involved in those day to day battles for respect in the Black Panther Party,” revealing the complications in negotiating one’s gender identity and the implications of said gender, even in anti-oppression organizations.

Although the climate of the BPP proved difficult to articulate in terms of gender politics, it was due to Black women’s participation in mixed gender groups and organizations (as opposed to the tendencies of some white, radical feminist groups who championed separatism), that Black women could interrogate the sexist and misogynistic ideologies present in anti-oppression organizations. Various BPP chapters even collaborated with the Women’s Liberation Movement at times, such as in 1969 when WLM members protested the cruel treatment of imprisoned Panther women.

Black women’s presence in the BPP forced men to reconsider their sexist assumptions. Even Party leaders like Eldridge Cleaver shifted positions. In 1968, Cleaver limited Black women’s political potential only to “pussy power,” or, the idea that Black women should withhold sex from Black men until he was ready to “pick up a gun” and embrace his own activism. In contrast, a year later, responding the cruel treatment of Black Panther women in prisons, Cleaver asserted that “if we want to go around and call ourselves a vanguard organization, then we’ve got to be… the vanguard also in the area of women’s liberation, and set an example in that area.” Black women demonstrated that sexist gender norms could not dictate their worth, and that in the grand scheme of things, the police imprisoned them just as they imprisoned Black men, and that white society had stripped them of their femininity just as it had stripped Black men of their masculinity.

Anon. “Panther Sisters on Women’s Liberation.” In Heath, ed. Off the Pigs! Pg. 339.
Cleaver, Eldridge. “Message to Sister Erica Hugggins of the Black Panther Party.”The Black Panther Party. 5 July 1969. Reprinted in Foner, The Black Panthers Speak. 98-99.
Cleaver, Eldridge. “Speech to the Nebraska Peace and Freedom Party Convention,” 24 August 1968. Pg. 22
Matthews, Tracye. “No One Ever Asks, What a Man’s Place in the Revolution Is”: Gender and the Politics of The Black Panther Party 1966-1971.” In: The Black Panther Party [Reconsidered]. Edited by Charles E. Jones. Black Classic Press, Baltimore, 1998. Pg. 274, 284, 290.
December 18, 2013
In 1965, then Assistant Secretary of the US Department of Labor, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, issued a report about the question of poverty and the Black American population. Startled by statistics that showed that the unemployment rate of Black people doubled that of white people, Moynihan set out to expose the conditions that economically limited African Americans.

Given its historical context, the Moynihan Report actually represented a radical conceptualization of the relationship between gender identities, family structure, and socio-economic class; however, Moynihan’s statement falls short of the mark by pointing to Black matriarchy as the damning factor. While recognizing that structural conditions that originate in the enslaving of Black people in America has contributed to and caused many of the social disadvantages that plague African American communities contemporarily, Moynihan implicates Black motherhood thereby suggesting that without a patriarchal structure, the Black family is doomed to fail. “He does… identify the fundamental problem confronting the Black community as the ‘tangle of pathology’ associated with a matriarchal family structure,” contest Juan J. Battle and Michael D. Bennet in “African-American Families and Public Policies.” By legitimizing Western, patriarchal culture over non-white alternatives to the family structure, Moynihan prioritizes the suggestion that the Black family is deviant and therefore pathologically damaged instead of demonstrating how institutions like racism, sexism and classism systematically oppress Black families. In this way, he roots the problem in a presumed cultural deficiency, shifting the onus to Black mothers to stop corrupting the family structure instead of on the government to stop discriminating against people of color.

African Americans had initiated conversations about the Black family long before the Moynihan Report; nevertheless, using anecdotal, historical, sociological, and statistical evidence, the Report validated many Black men’s sentiments of “castration” and their resentments about a lost masculinity. Without a doubt, some Black men within the Black Panther Party endorsed the Moynihan Report to sanction their own desires for male superiority. Even Black Panther Party co-founder Huey Newton attested to this male inferiority complex:

“[The Black man] feels that he is something less than a man… Often his wife (who is able to secure a job as a man, cleaning for White people) is the breadwinner. He is therefore, viewed as quiet worthless by his wife and children” (Huey Newton, To Die for the People. Pg. 81)”

Interestingly enough, although Newton does not necessarily subscribe to the subordination of Black women to elevate the Black man, he does not attempt here to undermine the assumption that men should be the breadwinner, that womenshould not head the Black family, or that the solution is to esteem the Black man above the Black woman. Women, especially those in the BPP, would have to create most of the awareness about the fallibility of this form of social change.
Battle, Juan J. and Bennet, Michael D. “African-American Families and Public Policy: The Legacy of the Moynihan Report.” Sage Publications, London and New Delhi, 1997. Pg. 154 
Moynihan, Daniel P. “The Negro Family: The Case for National Action.” 1965 
Newton, H. To Die for the People: The Writings of Huey P. Newton. City Lights Publishers, 2009. Pg. 81
December 18, 2013
In the 1960s, Maulana Karenga spearheaded Us, a Los Angeles-based organization dedicated to raising Black people’s awareness of their cultural heritage. Us propounded the notion that a revival of African traditions would elevate the condition of African Americans. Whether real or contrived, these traditions would ennoble Black people in new ways.

[Malauna Karenga, founder of “Us,” creator of the pan-African/African American Holiday of Kwanzaa, intellectual and writer.]

The Black Panther Party and Us supported each other ideologically, and Maulana Karenga even attended various BPP meetings and rallies. In spite of this initial alliance, the two groups diverged when their ethics no longer aligned. The BPP pushed back against Us’ idea that all Black people were allies in the struggle simply because of the color of their skin. On January 17, 1969, a shootout erupted between BPP and Us members during a Black Student Union meeting at UCLA, which resulted in the death of two BPP members. From that point onward, the relationship between the two organizations never recovered.

Although the Black Panther Party and Us often feuded, the earliest philosophies in the Black Panther Party do reflect many of Karenga’s beliefs. With respect to women, Karenga championed female submission in the name of reinstating Black male authority. He observed:

“What makes a woman appealing is femininity and she can’t be feminine without being submissive. A man has to be a leader and he has to be a man who bases his leadership on knowledge, wisdom, and understanding… The role of the woman is to inspire her man, educate their children and participate in social development. We say male supremacy is based on three things: tradition, acceptance, and reason. Equality is false; it’s the devil’s concept.”

Karenga espoused a complimentary gender theory; this theory depends on the credence that Black women serve to affirm Black men’s superiority. The foundation for this brand of Black racial uplift remains in the notion that empowering Black men necessarily will translate to empower Black communities. Ironically, this philosophy does not interrogate the premise that the restoration of Black male supremacy only occurs insomuch as Black women inspire and educate these Black men. Unfortunately, many of these problematic viewpoints continued to circulate in BPP chapters after Karenga’s departure from the group, necessitating that the Party resolve many of its gendered issues in later years.
Halisi, Clyde, ed., The Quotable Karenga. Los Angeles: Us Organization, 1967. Pgs. 27-28
Matthews, Tracye. “No One Ever Asks, What a Man’s Place in the Revolution Is”: Gender and the Politics of The Black Panther Party 1966-1971.” In: The Black Panther Party [Reconsidered]. Edited by Charles E. Jones. Black Classic Press, Baltimore, 1998. Pg. 272
December 18, 2013
How is it that an organization so committed to righting the wrongs committed against Black people, could often support ideologies that endorsed the subordination of women? It is important to recognize that the Black Panther Party (BPP) did not exist in isolation; competing concepts about gender and sexuality perpetuated and upheld in mainstream society shaped the social frameworks of BPP members. The process of dismantling sexism meant theoretical and practical work on the part of all Party members. One female Black Panther who worked in the Oakland and international chapters, the late Connie Matthews assessed the disparity between the BPP’s philosophies and practices.

“I mean, it’s one thing to get up and talk about ideologically you believe this. But you’re asking people to change attitudes and lifestyles overnight, which is not just possible. So I would say tht there was a lot of struggle and there was a lot of male chauvinism… But I would say all in all, in terms of equality… that women had very, very strong leadership roles and were respected as such. It didn’t mean it came automatically.” (Interview with Tracye Matthews, 26 June 1991; Kingston, Jamaica.)

The men and the women in the Black Panther Party had internalized various views that validated sexism and even a racialized form of sexism. This brand of misogyny that specifically targeted Black women (contemporarily referred to as misogynoir) manifested itself in public discourse in two important ways: throughcultural nationalism, and through the Moynihan Report. True equality in the Black Panther Party meant interrogating these cultural “norms” and exchanging those views for a more egalitarian framework. 
Source: Matthews, Tracye. “No One Ever Asks, What a Man’s Place in the Revolution Is”: Gender and the Politics of The Black Panther Party 1966-1971.” In:The Black Panther Party [Reconsidered]. Edited by Charles E. Jones. Black Classic Press, Baltimore, 1998. Pg. 289
December 18, 2013
1969, the Free Breakfast for School Children Program was initiated at St. Augustine’s Church in Oakland by the Black Panther Party. The Panthers would cook and serve food to the poor inner city youth of the area.

Male figures in the Black Panther Party, such as Bobby Seale, Huey Newton, and David Hilliard, were key to the initiation process of this project; however, Black women figured greatly in the execution of the first Breakfast Programs. Neighborhood mothers, who lived close to St. Augustine’s Church and actively participated in local parent-teacher associations, focused their energies on the program, even though they were often unaffiliated with the BPP, and made it a success. Female members of the Black Panther Party also contributed to the Free Breakfast Program by feeding as well as educating the children present. Although tensions often arose between the more conservative community mothers — who preferred that the children quietly and orderly ate — and the Black Panther women — who brought their restless, activist spirits into the spaces — these women cooperated to transform their neighborhoods.

Ms. Ruth Beckford, a parishioner at St. Augustine’s Church who helped to establish the Free Breakfast program with Bobby Seale and head of the Church, Father Earl Neal, spoke of the communal uplift that occurred through nourishing the community’s children. “When we were doing it the school principal came down and told us how different the children were. They weren’t falling asleep in class, they weren’t crying with stomach cramps, how alert they were and it was wonderful” (412), Beckford insists in an interview, demonstrating that by feeding the young children, the predominantly female Black Panther Party and Black community members radicalized their youth’s relation to education systems and thus their youth’s access to societal opportunities. The Free Breakfast Program, a largely woman-run project, asserted Black people’s right to food, to preparations so that they could thrive academically, and to conditions to further their position in society.

Source: Heynen, Nik. “Bending the Bars of Empire from Every Ghetto for Survival: The Black Panther Party’s Radical Antihunger Politics of Social Reproduction and Scale.” Department of Geography, University of Georgia, published online: May 2009.
December 17, 2013
Women of the Black Panther Party demonstrating in front of Alameda County Courthouse Oakland, CA


Taken from “Black Panthers: 1968” by Howard L. Bingham
December 17, 2013

“[W]omen ran the BPP pretty much. I don’t now how it got to be a male’s party or thought of as being a male’s party. Because those things, when you really look at it in terms of society, those things are looked on as being woman things, you know, feeding children, taking care of the sick and uh, so. Yeah, we did that. We actually ran the BPP’s programs.” (Frankye Malika Adams in an interview with Tracye Matthews, 29 September 1994; Harlem, New York)

When the media invokes images of the Black Panther Party (BPP), it often displays images of gun-toting Black men in military garb. Historical representations have relegated many women who participated in and devoted their energies to the Black Panther Party to a prop status. Excluding the outliers like Assata Shakur and Kathleen Cleaver, women in the Black Panther Party earn their time in the spotlight insomuch as they endorse the male cause; even some of the more famous images of these Black women feature them holding up signs for the Free Huey Campaign. Despite these depictions, Black women played a fundamental role in the Black Panther Party. Often comprising the majority of local BPP groups, women staffed and coordinated free breakfast programs, liberation schools, and medical clinics. The Party even sought out Black women unaffiliated with the organization, such as women on welfare, grandmothers and community figures, to staff these initiatives. If these women played such a fundamental role in the infrastructure of the BPP, why aren’t Black women as celebrated for their contributions? History has a way of degrading work that mirrors “traditional” female duties to categories like “community service” or “support work”. The term “support work,” especially invokes the connotation of inferior, menial and subordinate labor. Sexism not only impacted what jobs Black women in the BPP received or fulfilled but also how history conveys the value of said efforts.

Source: Matthews, Tracye. “No One Ever Asks, What a Man’s Place in the Revolution Is”: Gender and the Politics of The Black Panther Party 1966-1971.” In:The Black Panther Party [Reconsidered]. Edited by Charles E. Jones. Black Classic Press, Baltimore, 1998.  
December 17, 2013
“Black liberation politics became equated with black men’s attempts to regain their manhood at the expense of black women,” asserts Anita Simmons in the chapter “Black Womanhood, Misogyny and Hip-Hop Culture: A Feminist Intervention”. Simmons continues, “In the Black Panther Party, attainment of black manhood meant the degradation of black women and womanhood.” Sexism in the Black Panther Party (BPP) silenced the voices of Black women to promote a Black nationalist agenda that became conflated with the idea of preserving Black masculinity. This project aims to examine how this brand of racialized sexism in the Black Panther Party silenced and even erased the narratives about radical Black womanhood in the late 1960s from our social history. What are these narratives? How did women in the Black Panther Party radicalize their position? This project will also examine the interaction between Black feminists of the 1970s and their criticism of Black men’s understanding of Black womanhood. What was the stance of women in the Black Panther Party? Were there Black feminists who were also Black Panthers?
Although the Black Panther Party (BPP) revolutionized the condition of Black people and communities in the 1960s, sexism in the group silenced the voices of Black women to promote a Black nationalist agenda that became conflated with the idea of preserving Black masculinity. This project aims to examine how and why this brand of racialized sexism in the Black Panther Party operated in the group, and to shed light on some of the silenced and erased the narratives about radical Black womanhood.


Major Tillery

First Amendment Lawsuit Against Retaliation For Fighting for Medical Treatment For Mumia Abu-Jamal and All Prisoners

Major Tillery filed a civil rights lawsuit pro se against John Wetzel, Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC), SCI Mahanoy Superintendent John Kerestes, SCI Frackville Superintendent Brenda Tritt and 17 other prison officials. The DOC punished and retaliated against Tillery for acts of solidarity with Mumia Abu-Jamal and other prisoners fighting for the fundamental human right of medical care.
The lawsuit was filed in the Schuylkill County Court of Common Please on January 5, 2015:
This is a civil rights action brought by Major George Tillery, a 65 year-old African-American man to stop and remedy retaliation against him for his exercise of his First Amendment Rights. Tillery was subjected to numerous retaliatory acts by the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections and its employees, including medical neglect and medical mistreatment, unjustified cell searches, transfer to another cell block, loss of his prison job and precipitous transfer from SCI Mahanoy to SCI Frackville and then being set-up with a false misconduct and given over four months in disciplinary custody (solitary confinement).
This retaliation was intended to punish and stop Tillery from filing grievances challenging medical neglect and mistreatment of him and other prisoners, including the well-known journalist and former death row prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal. This retaliation was punishment for Tillery continuing to publicly advocate for Mumia Abu-Jamal, and to publicly expose the DOC’s neglect and mistreatment of prisoner’s medical problems as well as the DOC’s retaliation against Tillery; and continuing to file grievances objecting to these retaliatory actions by prison officials.
Throughout his over thirty years in prison serving a sentence of life without parole, Tillery has challenged his conviction and sentence, and unconstitutional restrictions on access to courts, prison conditions including security classification and placement procedures, medical treatment, and housing conditions on behalf of himself and other prisoners.  He was held in solitary confinement in super-max institutions in the federal and Pennsylvania prison systems for over twenty of those years.
Tillery was the lead plaintiff in Tillery v. Owens, a class action lawsuit filed July 23, 1987, challenging the constitutionality of the conditions of confinement at the State Correctional Institution at Pittsburgh (“SCIP”) located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It started as a pro se legal action by Tillery. It resulted in an historic legal order requiring remediation of unconstitutional prison conditions including deficient security, fire protection, access to the courts, over-crowded housing, medical care, mental health care and dental services. The DOC was required to make prison renovations costing more than a million dollars. See Tillery v. Owens, 719 F.Supp. 1256 (W.D.Pa.1989).
Major Tillery demands that the DOC stop its retaliation, remove the false misconduct from his record, provide medical treatment and transfer him out of SCI Frackville to a different prison in eastern Pennsylvania so he remains near his family.
This lawsuit is just part of Major Tillery’s fight for medical care and to protect himself and other prisoners who are standing up for justice. He has liver disease and chronic Hepatitis C that the DOC has known about for over a decade. Tillery is filing grievances against the prison and its medical staff to get the new antiviral medicine. This is part of the larger struggle to obtain Hep C treatment for the 10,000 prisoners in Pennsylvania and the estimated 700,000 prisoners nationally who have Hepatitis-C and could be cured.
Major Tillery, his daughter, Kamillah
and his two granddaughters.

Major Tillery’s daughter, Kamilah Iddeen appeals for our support:
It is so important that my Dad filed this lawsuit– it shows what really goes on inside the prison. Prison officials act as if my father is their property, that his family doesn’t exist, that he isn’t a man with people who love him. They lied to us every time we called and said he needed treatment. They lied and said he hadn’t told them, that he hadn’t filed grievances. The DOC plays mind games and punishes prisoners who stand up for themselves and for others. But my Dad won’t be broken.
The DOC needs to learn they can’t do this to a prisoner and his family. Justice has to be done. Justice has to be served. Please help.
Call prison officials and demand:
  • Demand decent medical care for Major Tillery!
  • Stop the Retaliation Against Major Tillery. He should be exonerated for the false charges of drug possession and this misconduct removed from his record.
  • Transfer Major Tillery from SCI Frackville back to SCI Mahanoy or to another facility in eastern Pennsylvania to remain near his family.
Dept. Of Corrections Secretary
John Wetzel (717) 728-4109 
Superintendent SCI Frackville
Brenda Tritt (570) 874-4516
Write to
Major Tillery AM 9786
SCI Frackville
1111 Altamont Blvd.
Frackville, PA 17931
For More Information, Go To: Justice4MajorTillery/blogspot
Contribute: Go to; code: Major Tillery AM 9786 PADOC

NB COMMENTARY "Missouri carries out eighth execution this year after rejecting concerns over ‘inhumane’ sedative"

Missouri carries out eighth execution this year after rejecting concerns over ‘inhumane’ sedative

EXCERPT: “Johnny Sutton, the lead prosecutor at Trottie’s trial, said …………………….‘He hunted them down,’ Sutton said. ‘The self-defense claim is absolutely ridiculous. He kicked in their door. … They already were worried about him. He was making threats and trying to run her off the road.‘This one was so cold and calculated.’ 


I fail to understand how one type of murder is better than another type of murder. For example, if I planned to kill someone after a 20 year stay locked up in my basement, would that not be considered per-meditated murder?

How any of this “killing” makes any sense, is beyond me. 
Killing another person who killed another person does not bring that person back, nor can the latter go and get them and bring them back. It’s a total waste of time and resources.

I also wonder about the so called “witnesses”. Aren’t they complicit in this murder? No they didn’t pull the trigger, but weren’t they at the scene of the crime? How many people have been arrested and jailed for just being there?

I wonder about the mental stability of this entire system that condones, implements and financially supports this type of murder, that is blatant and cold, and out in the open with no question of who done it. Yet others are arrested, tried and convicted, sometimes even wrongfully and given the death penalty.

What a backwards psychology!

How does the person who administers the punishment sleep at night without nightmares and visits in the dream world from the person they just killed. Yet, this society wishes that the so-called convict sleep restlessly forever, with no peace in their lives ever.

And, quiet as it’s kept, the so-called criminal given the death penalty has friends, family and loved ones too. What makes their pain of the loss of their loved one less than the loss of the family who feels so right in killing the criminal who killed their mother, brother, sister, father or friend??

These and other questions plague my mind as I watch the way the human beings treat each other. And in this case, they are actually conversing, debating and fighting over which way to kill someone is more humane.  I am not sure what the DSM-IV would diagnose this condition of the mind as, but it is certainly a pervasive mental illness.

A Missouri inmate became the eight was put to death in the early hours of this morning for the killing of two people during a restaurant robbery in 1998.
Earl Ringo Jr., 40, was executed at 12:22am by lethal injection after a plea for a stay of execution – based on irregularities in the use of lethal injection drugs in the state – was refused.
Ringo’s last words came from the Quran and expressed belief and wishes for after death. He wiggled his feet as the process began, breathed deeply a few times, then closed his eyes, all in a matter of seconds.

Earl Ringo Jr., 40, was executed today for the killing of two people during a restaurant robbery in 1998
He had declined to request a last meal, eating instead the Salisbury steak and macaroni and cheese offered to other inmates.
In the early hours of July 4, 1998, Ringo and an accomplice killed delivery driver Dennis Poyser and manager trainee JoAnna Baysinger at a Ruby Tuesday restaurant in Columbia.
Both victims were shot dead at point-blank range.
The run-up to Ringo’s execution was shrouded by controversy, as Missouri continues to use the sedative, midazolam, despite claims that the pre-execution drug is inhumane.
Earlier this year in Ohio, Oklahoma and Arizona.
In April, gruesome scenes accompanied the execution of Clayton Lockett, a murderer and rapist who shot his 19-year-old victim and ordered a friend to bury her alive.
It was a full 43 minutes after the drug was administered in the Oklahoma execution chamber that the convicted killer died. During this time, Lockett thrashed violently, lurching forward against his restraints, writhing and attempting to speak.
Willie Trottie, who turned 45 Monday, shot and killed 24-year-old Barbara Canada, and her  brother, Titus
Willie Trottie,
who turned 45 Monday,
shot and killed 24-year-old
Barbara Canada,
and her brother, Titus

Witnesses described his body twisting, and his head reaching up from the gurney, before the curtains were drawn around the chamber obscuring Lockett’s final minutes from public view.
In January, convicted murderer and rapist Dennis McGuire appeared to gurgle, gasp for air and convulse for around 10 minutes after being sentenced to death using an experimental two-drug concoction including midazolam. 
Chilling scenes also occurred in the Arizona execution chamber in July, when Joseph Rudolph Wood took nearly two hours to die from the lethal injection. 
Witnesses told how the murderer appeared to be struggling to breathe after the sedation and then gasped desperately for breath at least 600 times before falling still. 
Ringo’s attorneys had argued that the drug could dull his senses and leave him unable to express any pain or suffering during the process.
They had asked a federal appeals court to postpone the execution until a hearing over Missouri’s use of midazolam. 
Attorney Richard Sindel claimed that Missouri’s use of midazolam essentially violates its own protocol, which provides for pentobarbital as the lone execution drug. But the courts and Gov. Jay Nixon had refused to halt Ringo’s execution over the concerns.
The Missouri Department of Corrections says it administers midazolam before executions and not as part of its execution protocol.
‘It should not be lost in the national debate over the death penalty that Earl Ringo Jr. was responsible for the murders of two innocent Missourians. For 16 years he avoided payment for this crime. Tonight he has paid the penalty,’ Missouri’s Attorney General, Chris Koster, said in a statement.
A clemency petition to Nixon had also cited concerns about the fact that Ringo was convicted and sentenced to death by an all-white jury.
Ringo was sentenced to death by lethal injection (file picture).  His execution is the eighth in Missouri this year

Ringo was sentenced to death by lethal injection (file picture).  His execution is the eighth in Missouri this year
Murderer Joseph Rudolph Wood took nearly two hours to die
Convicted murderer and rapist Dennis McGuire
Chilling scenes accompanied the executions of Joseph Rudolph Wood, left, Dennis McGuire, centre and Clayton Lockett, right, who were all administered the pre-execution sedative midazolam
On July 3, 1998, Ringo told his accomplice Quentin Jones about his plan to rob the Ruby Tuesday restaurant in Columbia, where he once worked. Jones agreed to join him.
Before sunrise on July 4, Ringo and Jones hid behind a grease pit in the back of the restaurant. Poyser and Baysinger arrived and entered the restaurant. Ringo followed them and shot Poyser, 45, killing him instantly.
He then ordered Baysinger, 22, to open a safe. She pulled out $1,400 and gave it to him.
Ringo gave the gun to Jones, who stood with the weapon pointed at Baysinger’s head for a minute and a half before pulling the trigger.
Interviews with restaurant workers and former workers led police to Ringo. Detectives found a blue ski mask, gun receipt, bulletproof vest and other evidence at the home of his mother.


Happ - who raped and killed Angie Crowley, 21, in 1986 - died by lethal injection in 2013
Happ – who raped and killed Angie Crowley, 21, in 1986 – died by lethal injection in 2013
William Happ, 51, was the first death row inmate to be injected with midazolam hydrochloride.
The execution began at 6.02pm at Florida State Prison. Happ’s eyes opened and he blinked several times.
He closed and opened them again two minutes later. He then yawned and his jaw dropped open.
At 6.08pm, the official overseeing the execution tugged at Happ’s eyelids and grasped his shoulder to check for a response. There was none.
A minute later, Happ’s head began moving back and forth and shortly thereafter his breathing stopped. 
He was pronounced dead at 6.16pm.
Ringo admitted to the robbery but claimed the shootings were in self-defense. He was convicted in 1999 and sentenced to death.
Jones, of Louisville, Kentucky, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison, but he was spared the death penalty when he agreed to testify against Ringo.
Jama Brown, who was married for to Poyser for 24 years, asked that people remember the victims.
‘I can only tell you there is not a day that goes by that I don’t think of him or wonder what my life would be like today, not only for myself, but for my kids,’ she said. 
In a statement she added: ‘Please do not make this about how executions shouldn’t take place. Put your effort on how we can stop people from committing these terrible actions.
‘Please remember these two wonderful people who just wanted to go to work on the Fourth of July to support their families.’
Ringo’s execution is the eighth in the state this year and the tenth since November.
St. Louis Public Radio reported last week that Missouri administered midazolam to all nine inmates put to death since November. Corrections department spokesman David Owen said midazolam ‘is used to relieve the offender’s level of anxiety’ and is not part of the actual execution process.
The execution was one of two scheduled for today in the U.S. This afternoon Texas plans to execute Willie Trottie for killing his common-law wife and her brother in 1993.
Trottie’s execution will be Texas’ eighth this year. Florida has performed seven executions in 2014, and all other states have a combined six.
Both Missouri and Texas use pentobarbital as their execution drug but decline to disclose where the drug is obtained.
‘They don’t tell you what it is and where it comes from,’ Trottie told The Associated Press. ‘What I’ve learned in 20 years here on death row is all you can do is say, ‘OK.’
‘I’m ready whichever way it goes. If God says, ‘Yes,’ I’m ready.’
Trottie, who turned 45 Monday, shot and killed 24-year-old Barbara Canada, and her 28-year-old brother, Titus, at the Canada family home in Houston. Canada’s mother and sister were also wounded.
Lawyers for Trottie argued in their appeal that the one-time deliveryman and security guard suffered poor representation in his initial trial. 
They said his counsel failed to present witnesses who would have told jurors Trottie and Barbara Canada were romantically engaged at the time of the killings. Late Monday, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the appeal.
Trottie said he and Barbara Canada were on ‘good terms’ despite an on-again, off-again relationship. Trottie said he was defending himself against Titus Canada, who shot first. He said the shooting of his wife was accidental.
‘It wasn’t like I just walked in there and gunned her down,’ he said.
Johnny Sutton, the lead prosecutor at Trottie’s trial, said evidence showed that’s exactly what happened.
‘He hunted them down,’ Sutton said. ‘The self-defense claim is absolutely ridiculous. He kicked in their door. … They already were worried about him. He was making threats and trying to run her off the road.
‘This one was so cold and calculated.’ 

Money trail leads home to New Zealand, Sunday Star-Times

Money trail leads home to New Zealand, Sunday Star-Times

by Nicky Hager

Author and Investigative Journalist

April 7, 2013

Leaked documents reveal one of New Zealand’s richest families was for a time at the heart of a major international tax haven company that hit the news in the United States last week.
John Spencer, New Zealand’s richest man in the 1980s and still incredibly wealthy, was – with his family – majority owners of the company called TrustNet, whose extremely secret client records have been leaked en masse to a Washington DC-based journalism organisation. The leaks reveal the identity of tens of thousands of people who use tax havens: some involved in dodgy activities and evading tax, others in lawful activities including companies doing business across political borders and individuals living in multiple countries or legitimately minimising their tax.

Surprisingly, the leaks show New Zealanders are involved extensively in this shadowy world of offshore companies and secret bank accounts.

The company at the centre of the Washington leaks was set up by New Zealanders, has been staffed by many New Zealanders and for 14 years was majority-owned by the Spencers.

The Spencers have courted controversy. John Spencer waged a 19-year battle to stop public access to the Stony Batter gun emplacement on his Waiheke Island farm, including barricading a public road. The Star-Times revealed in 2005 that his son Berridge and daughter Mertsi were secret National Party donors. And now Spencer is the Kiwi connection to secret tax haven records that may be the largest leak of financial information in history.

They expose the hidden activities of wealthy, secretive or criminal people in around 150 countries and territories. In total, about one-and-a-half million documents were leaked to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), an independent network of reporters who work together on cross-border investigations. There is currently hot debate around the world about corporations which don’t pay tax and the respectable bankers and lawyers who assist them.

The Tax Justice Network and other organisations are pushing for governments like New Zealand’s to stop tolerating tax havens and work together to close them down. TrustNet has helped set up and manage companies, trusts and bank accounts in tax havens for about 80,000 individual clients.

According to overseas news stories based on the leaks, they include the mega-rich, corrupt regimes, corporations dodging tax, fraudsters, companies shifting wealth out of poor countries, companies with controversial or secretive business, mercenaries and spies, and also many ordinary people who want to move their money and business “offshore”.

The Tax Justice Network estimates that about one-third of the world’s wealth is held offshore and about half of all the world’s trade flows through tax havens. New Zealanders have had occasional glimpses of the offshore world. Star-Times stories have exposed:
* Geoffrey Taylor, and his sons Ian and Michael, setting up companies in New Zealand for North Korean arms trading and organised crime;
* an Auckland Burger King cook was a director for some of these companies;
* and a Nelson woman who supposedly owned a Moldovan TV station, again through a chain of Taylor companies.
Mostly these people and their shell companies have been pawns in a much bigger system.

The TrustNet leaks show New Zealanders in key roles helping to run the system. TrustNet markets itself today as the largest independent offshore services company in Asia. It was set up 25 years ago by Kiwis in what was then the newly established Cook Islands tax haven.

In the early 1980s business lobbyists from New Zealand and Australia persuaded the Cook Islands government that becoming a tax haven would bring riches to the small island group. These lobbyists included New Zealander lawyer Trevor Clarke, “father of the Cook Islands tax haven”, who with others used the new tax haven laws to build a company called European Pacific.

Documents about European Pacific’s tax schemes were leaked and tabled in the New Zealand Parliament by MP Winston Peters, igniting the Winebox scandal (see breakout).

Another key figure was New Zealand lawyer Mike Mitchell, the Cook Islands solicitor-general in the early 1980s and main government adviser as the tax haven was established. He resigned from that role in 1986 to move into the offshore business himself. On April 29, 1987, he established an offshore services company called Pacific Trustee Company. The company was later renamed TrustNet, the company at the centre of last week’s leaks.

TrustNet’s first chief executive was another New Zealand lawyer, Steve Breed, who was joined a few years later by fellow Auckland law school graduate David Sceats. Early staff included people who’d worked on the Cook Islands Winebox schemes. The European Pacific tax expert accused in court of leaking the Winebox documents, New Zealand lawyer George Couttie, had moved on to work for TrustNet in Hong Kong. But soon after this accusation was made, according to internal documents, senior TrustNet staff recorded a terse company resolution that “accepted” his resignation “effective from the date hereof”.
In contrast, European Pacific’s former senior executive Geoff Barry was later hired by TrustNet and rose to become the chief executive officer. Today, 10 years later, he is executive director of TrustNet’s Hong Kong office.

Spencer’s ownership of TrustNet was never publicised. It came to light only during analysis of the leaked records. A note about an obscure offshore entity says “Client is our big boss, John Spencer”.
Spencer, who had inherited his family’s Caxton toilet paper empire, owned, with his family, a majority share of TrustNet from July 1990 until September 2004, through a Bahamas company called International Trustee Holding Company Limited. John and Berridge Spencer also used TrustNet to place some of their own money and investments in a complex web of offshore companies and trusts. These were based in the British Virgin Islands and Cook Islands, with names such as Northern Lights Trust, Star One Trust and Tristar Capital Service Limited. A spokesperson for the Spencer family said neither John nor Berridge Spencer have been New Zealand residents since the 1990s and in those circumstances it was hardly surprising that the family have assets invested outside of New Zealand.

With the Spencers’ backing TrustNet grew quickly, opening offices in Hong Kong in 1991, the British Virgin Islands in 1993 and Singapore in 1994. The early clients included a controversial Indonesian rainforest logging tycoon named Prajogo Pangestu, who had four British Virgin Islands companies.

Another TrustNet client was the former European Pacific manager Trevor Clarke. He had his own set of offshore companies and trusts administered by TrustNet. They were home to millions of dollars of assets, the leaked documents reveal, and TrustNet staff were given special instructions about keeping them secret. One document reads: “We are to contact Trevor by phone only unless otherwise instructed . . . No documents are to be kept here. All docs are to be held in our Hong Kong office.”

Clarke was appointed chair of the Cook Islands’ new Financial Supervisory Commission from 2003 until 2010, which was set up to oversee the offshore industry. Throughout those years he had the secretive offshore trusts and companies. Clarke responded that he was not “a user of any Cook Islands entities” – his companies and trusts were in Samoa and the British Virgin Islands – and said these were set up well before his role as FSC chair. He had disclosed them to a number of authorities. He said there were lots of reasons for people to want to have assets outside the country where they live. The secrecy instructions did not come from him, he said.

The TrustNet files also show a close relationship between the company and the BNZ and ANZ banks, which had dedicated staff for offshore banking. The leaked documents show bank staff routinely helping TrustNet move money in and out of its clients’ offshore bank accounts held at the BNZ Singapore branch and ANZ Cook Islands branch.

In September 2004, the Spencers sold TrustNet to a Singaporean offshore lawyer named David Chong. But many of the New Zealanders, especially lawyers, continued to work in the company and be part of tax haven politics.

Lawyers created the offshore world and lawyers and accountants run it. They lobby in each tax haven for special laws to attract clients and often actually write the laws themselves. The leaked TrustdhNet papers show this clearly in the minutes of the Cook Islands Trusdhtee Company Association. The offshore services company heads are seen sitting around deciding what laws they want, putting the hat around for money to have them drafted and then arranging to predhsent the new laws to the Cook Islands government. The same lawyers then use these laws to help their clients.

They also deal with the problems when things go wrong. One of TrustdhNet’s New Zealand lawyers Penny Purcell was on duty, for instance, when two officers from the Hong Kong Commercial Crime Bureau turned up on August 20, 2007, at TrustNet’s harbour-front offices. They were investigating a fraud case involving a British Virgin Islands company called Sound Financial Management Limited.

The secret TrustNet files include Purcell’s written record of the meeting. Detective Sergeant Steven Lam produced a formal letter from the Hong Kong commissioner of police requesting ‘‘all relevant documents’’ about Sound Financial Management Limited and details of the company’s director and shareholder. Purcell replied that the officers would need to contact TrustNet’s British Virgin Islands office and, according to her own notes, assured them ‘‘we do not keep any files or records here’’.

She said the police ‘‘were surprised’’ the office had no records and asked how this could be ‘‘if the client is based here in Hong Kong’’. ‘‘I then explained,’’ Purcell wrote, ‘‘that we acted as a marketing/secretarial office but that all information including the registers of the Company were kept in its registered office.’’
Detective Sergeant Lam tried one last time, she wrote, asking if they kept any information there in Hong Kong, including correspondence. ‘‘I said no,’’ Purcell wrote. A few days later TrustNet repeated the denial by letter. ‘‘Portcullis TrustNet (Hong Kong) Limited does not hold any corporate or statutory records of the Company, nor is it required to,’’ the letter said. However, the details the police were looking for would have been instantly available on Purdhcell’s computer. The leaked TrustdhNet documents show that she routinely used the company’s Offshore Management Information System (OMIS), which was available in all the TrustNet offices and contained all the client records.

The OMIS database, which was leaked to ICIJ, lists Sound Financial Management’s director and shareholder as Glen Douglas Crankshaw, a Canadian living near Bangkok. TrustNet helped his company open a bank account at the Standard Chartered Bank, Hong Kong branch, located on the ground floor of the same building as TrustNet. According to Purcell’s notes, she told them none of this. Two years later the Hong Kong police issued an arrest warrant for Crankshaw for ‘‘dealing with property known or reasonably believed to represent the proceeds of indictable crime’’. They had traced him through a different offshore company, with the similar name ‘‘GS Sound Management Limited’’.

Purcell has since returned to help run TrustNet’s office on Auckland’s North Shore. She remains part of a network of New Zealand offshore lawyers scattered in tax havens around the world. They include former TrustNet lawyer Barry Mitchell who, according to court documents, gave assistance during the setting up of the Trinity investment scheme, New Zealand’s largest tax avoidance case; and Act Party-aligned blogger Cathy Odgers (‘‘Cactus Kate’’) who has worked as an offshore lawyer in the British Virgin Islands and Hong Kong.

Various offshore lawyers have brought their skills home, taking advantage of New Zealand’s loose company and trust law. The original TrustNet lawyers, Breed and Sceats, came home and set up Nexus Trust, promoting New Zealand’s tax haven potential to foreign clients. Two other former Cook Island lawyers, Nick Shepherd and (former European Pacific executive) Mike Reynolds set up Anchor Trustees which offers services to ‘‘non-resident families and corporates’’.

Long-term TrustNet client Tim Brears on Auckland’s North Shore offers clients advice on the ‘‘advantages of moving ownership and control of assets and investment offshore out of New Zealand’’.

Nicky Hager has worked in a multi-country team for the past 15 months analysing the leaked materials and co-ordinating local journalists in Asia, Africa and part of Europe who collaborated in the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists project,

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