AND IT'S NOT JUST SHRIMP
AT SAKS FIFTH AVE. Stephanie Wilson was reaching for a receipt inside a paper shopping bag from Saks Fifth Avenue when she found a letter pleading, “HELP HELP HELP.”
The message, written in blue ink on white lined paper, appeared to be a desperate cry from a man who said he made the bag while being unfairly held in a Chinese prison factory more than 7,000 miles away.
“We are ill-treated and work like slaves for 13 hours every day producing these bags in bulk in the prison factory,” continued the letter, which was tucked into the bottom of the bag. It ended, “Thanks and sorry to bother you.”
“I read the letter and I just shook,” said Wilson, 28, an Australian who lives in West Harlem. “I could not believe what I was reading.”
The note, which Wilson found after buying a pair of Hunter rain boots at Saks in September 2012, was signed Tohnain Emmanuel Njong and was accompanied by a small passport-photo sized color picture of a man in an orange jacket, she said.
The letter, which also included a Yahoo email address on the back, triggered a hunt for the whereabouts of the mystery man.
Harry Wu, the founder of Laogai Research Foundation, spent 19 years in a Chinese prison factory, known as laogai. He said he took steps to verify the letter and believes that Njong took a huge risk in writing and sending it.
“There would be solitary confinement until you confess and maybe later they increase your sentence — or even death,” Wu said.
According to DHS senior policy adviser Kenneth Kennedy, the department was made aware of a woman in Oregon who made international news in 2012 when she discovered a similar letter detailing abuse and grueling labor in a Chinese prison when it fell from a Halloween decoration she’d bought at Kmart.
Using the now-inactive email address and social media accounts, DNAinfo located a man who said he wrote the letter that Wilson found.
In a two-hour phone interview, a man who identified himself as Njong said he wrote the letter during his three-year prison sentence in the eastern city of Qingdao, Shandong Province.
Unprompted, Njong described obscure details in the letter, like its mention of Samuel Eto’o, a professional soccer player on English premiere league team Chelsea, who like Njong is from Cameroon in West Africa.
He added that he wrote a total of five letters while he was behind bars — some in French that he hid in bags labeled with French words, and others in English, he said.
Njong, who is now 34, said he had been teaching English in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen when he was arrested in May 2011 and charged with fraud, a crime he said he never committed.
He said he was held in a detention center for 10 months while awaiting a government-sponsored lawyer, who represented him at his court trial and sentencing. He said he was barred from contact with the outside community.
Njong’s arrest and imprisonment were confirmed by his legal aid lawyer in China.
Embassies for Cameroon in Beijing and Washington did not return emails or calls for comment. The Chinese embassy in New York did not respond to requests for comment.
Njong said he was imprisoned in the eastern city of Qingdao, Shandong Province, where he was forced to work long days in a factory, starting at 6 a.m. and continuing as late as 10 p.m. He sometimes made paper shopping bags like the one from Saks, while other times he assembled electronics or sewed garments.
Each prisoner was required to meet a daily production quota, Njong said. He said he and the other convicts were given a pen and paper to record their productivity — and that he used that pen and paper to secretly write his letters.
“We were being monitored all the time,” Njong said. “I got under my bed cover and I wrote it so nobody could see that I was writing anything.”
He said he hoped the letter would help lead someone to him.
“Maybe this bag could go somewhere and they find this letter and they can let my family know or anybody [know] that I am in prison,” explained Njong.
Njong said he was discharged from prison in December 2013 — he received a reduced sentence for good behavior — and was put on a plane back to Cameroon, where he reunited with relatives who had no idea what had happened to him and had believed him to be dead, he said.
“It was the biggest surprise of my life,” said Njong. “I am just happy that someone heard my cry.”
Wilson, who has never spoken to Njong, said she thinks about his plea for help all the time. She had always been mindful of the products she purchased and where they were made in a bid to avoid sweatshop labor, but she never thought to worry about generic products like shopping bags.
Read more: Saks Fifth Ave. Shopper Finds Prison Laborer’s Secret Cry For ‘HELP’ Inside Shopping Bag
Another note found in the zipper section of a purse purchased at the Sierra Vista Walmart by Laura Wallace, appeared to be from a Chinese prisoner.
According to a Fox News report, Wallace had the letter translated three times, just to ensure its accuracy. The letter read:
“Inmates in the Yingshan Prison in Guangxi, China are working 14 hours daily with no break/rest at noon, continue working overtime until 12 midnight, and whoever doesn’t finish his work will be beaten. Their meals are without oil and salt. Every month, the boss pays the inmate 2000 yuan, any additional dishes will be finished by the police. If the inmates are sick and need medicine, the cost will be deducted from the salary. Prison in China is unlike prison in America, horse cow goat pig dog (literally, means inhumane treatment).”
Wallace told KVOA, “I’m very sure that that’s exactly what the note says.”
As American sponsored civil wars rage across Latin America, many innocent civilians began to flee. They fled into America. Good Christian Americans said we're going to build a wall to keep you out. "Go home Jose."
The same thing is happening in Syria today. You have an American sponsored civil war, refugees trying to flee to safety and good Christian Americans talking about a vetting system. It would stand to reason that the people interested in fighting wouldn't be fleeing the fighting.
Taking the war to Afghanistan after 9/11, has kept the war in Afghanistan and the Taliban has not been able to commit another 9/11, since.
So why are Americans so scared of Syrian refugees? Syria is a country that has never been at war, in its history. And Christians, Jews and Muslims lived side-by-side in Syria, before America invaded.
ISIS acts and operates like a well trained and well funded US death squad. And, ISIS has been fighting our enemy, Assad. And, Assad, the democratically elected president of Syria, wouldn't let America's friends Saudi Arabia, build an oil pipeline through Syria, before this pseudo civil war began.
Could any American imagine if France or Russia had supported the Confederate army with money and weapons, during our own civil war? Because that is what is happening in Syria, today. Not to mention the bombs and Special Forces.
Growing up in America, the patent excuse for anything fishy was always that we were fighting Communism. As if Americans are the only ones to have the 'right to self determination'. Let anyone else try exercising their right to 'self determination' and America will send in the marines to rape and torture until they resist.
In summary. American slavery has not ended. American consumers are all slave owners / holders. And what good Christian Americans did to the Native Americans is still being done today by the US government the whole world over. And this is true under Republicans and Democrats. Paid for by us, by you and me, the American taxpayer.
U.S.-trained Honduran special forces:
Related article: 'This is Slavery': US inmates Strike
I know, if you don't like the facts, you can always question my sources but their impeccable, too.
Related article: Nationwide Prison Strike Against 'Slavery in America'
Not only does slavery still exist today and not only do you benefit and profit from slavery, there's more. Much more. Much worse and we're paying for it, the American taxpayers.
AMERICA RAPES AND TORTURES INDIGENOUS POPULATIONS, WORLDWIDE
As a child I was taught, as I'm sure you were taught, that we cheated, raped and tortured the native population. Since we had the guns, it was easy to beat them up and steal their land. What they didn't tell us is that the same thing goes on today. And it is paid for by you and me, the American taxpayer.
The Native Americans helped us to survive the first icy cold winter, taught us how to survive in North America, what to plant and how. And while the Natives were peaceful trading partners, George Washington wrote to the King of England saying that it was mandatory for our survival to create a well armed and regulated militia, to defend ourselves from hostile Indian attacks. This lie is very important in that it is still used today, on us. Remember the 'founding fathers' also dressed up as Natives to attack the British. In what is known today as the "Boston Tea Party."
Remember also, the 'militia' that Washington created wasn't used to protect us from the Indians but to overthrow the British. The Native Americans also helped Washington to win the war against the British.
Today, American corporations move to places like Honduras, Bangladesh or El Salvador. The American military trains and funds their governments "security forces". What should be called by their rightful name: DEATH SQUADS. Death squads were first invented in America and first used on Americans, Native Americans. Today, the US trains these techniques the whole world over. The US Army Col. "James Steele", responsible for training South American death squads, was also sent to Iraq. We have a lot of pictures of innocent Iraqis being tortured. And when the torture is done by the host countries "security forces" that America pays and trains, we are somehow absolved of any wrong doing. All the while American CEOs laugh all the way to their offshore bank accounts. And the mass graves keep piling up, everywhere the United States goes.
Related article: US / CIA Torture pictures
A military police unit in the Inter-institutional Security Force (Fusina), which received training from 300 US marines and FBI agents, became the subject of intense controversy when footage emerged showing a trainee being forced to eat the head of a dog.
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SLAVERY AT 7-11
Nine owners and managers of more than a dozen 7-Eleven stores on Long Island and in Virginia were charged Monday in a scheme to traffic in workers from Pakistan to work their stores, provide them with identities stolen from U.S. citizens and steal a substantial portion of their wages, prosecutors said.
The workers were allegedly forced to live in housing provided by the franchise owners and pay them cash rent, in addition to the funds that were skimmed off the top of their paychecks when the store owners received payroll from corporate headquarters, authorities said.
Read more: 7-Eleven Human Trafficking Busthttp://www.cnbc.com/id/100821013
'THIS IS SLAVERY': U.S. inmates strike in what activists call one of the biggest prison protests in modern history
In his 29 years in prison, David Bonner has mopped floors, cooked hot dogs in the cafeteria and, most recently, cut sheets of aluminum into Alabama license plates. The last job paid $2 a day — enough to buy a bar of soap at the commissary or make a short phone call. "This is slavery," said Bonner, who is 51 and serving a life sentence for murder. "We're forced to work these jobs and we get barely anything.” He was speaking on a mobile phone smuggled into his 8-by-12 foot cell in Alabama’s Holman Correctional Facility, where he and dozens of other inmates were on strike. They’re among a growing national movement of prisoners who have staged work stoppages or hunger strikes to protest....
Thousands of prisoners in some 24 states engaged in a work strike September 9, protesting their forced labor for no or little pay, along with a number of other dangerous and unhealthy conditions and practices that confront the more than 2 million people incarcerated in the United States.
We really have to realize that all of the prison systems in this country are based on prison labor. They couldn’t run without the prisoners. So 98 percent of all the work done to maintain these extensive housing projects, this vast amount of public housing, really, is done by prisoners. And that’s the main work. There are other companies that come in and use workers, but it’s not the main problem. The main problem is the warehousing of a workforce.
So people are targeted for mass incarceration in this country like no other country in the world. One in 99 people are in prison, one in 46 people will do prison time, and if you add in race, one in three black men will do prison time.
So the economy is targeting people by race, by class and by place. What they need, humanely: educational resources, work and jobs.
According to Grasswire, a collection of prison labor statistics listed on Prison Policy Initiative show that the lowest daily wage for a prisoner working in the private industry is $0.16, while other states do not pay their inmates at all. The statistics also show that county facilities do not offer paid work, but they offer work to inmates awaiting trial.
As many as 870,000 prisoners are employed nationwide, some in manufacturing jobs for which they are paid a few cents an hour, if they are paid at all. It is a long list of companies that use prison labor including McDonald’s, Starbucks, AT&T, Verizon, Victoria Secret, United Airlines.
Read more- 'This is slavery': U.S. inmates strike in what activists call one of the biggest prison protests in modern history http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-prison-strike-snap-story.html
Bruce Franklin's article, "The American Prison and the Normalization of Torture," shows how the American prison system developed into a central institution of U.S. society, one that has made torture routine and acceptable. The physical, mental, and sexual abuse glimpsed at Abu Ghraib is part of the daily experience for two million people caged in American prisons, while most of the rest of the American public acquiesces or denies the reality of this torture.
SPREAD THE WORD, one of the most effective ways to take action is to raise awareness around these issues. And it won't cost you a dime. Simply repost this link into your social media accounts, leave in comments and email the link to your friends.
American Slavery Today
By Christopher R Rice
As a child I was taught that good white Christian Americans imported human beings (human trafficking). And that this went on for over 500 years. These innocent people were imported as slaves because white people were too lazy to harvest their own crops and too stingy to pay for an honest days work. This slavery included violence, murder, rape, decapitation, torture and unpaid labor. I was also taught that we had a civil-war to end slavery and now everything is all on the up and up.
But, slavery still exist and Americans are the beneficiaries. The Super Rich have found a way to bring back slavery today.
The truth is that importing slaves became too costly. Now we leave them where they are. Move our industries overseas where there are no workers rights or environmental protection laws. The US government under Ronald Reagan made this all possible with 'free trade' and the lifting of embargo's, price controls and high tariffs. US corporations are not moving to countries known for workers rights. American corporations move where workers have no rights. Unpaid forced overtime, child labor, beatings, 16 hour shifts, 6 days a week on your feet. We call it Capitalism but the truth is it's really fascism / slavery.
Americans have absolutely loved the low prices that slavery has brought back. The evidence of this is that every Walmart parking lot is full, morning, noon and night. And some Walmart's are even open 24 hours.
Related article: Shrimp sold at Walmart, Costco tied to slave labor
I've wrote several articles, and my fellow journalist have as well, that the working conditions in these countries amounts to slavery. But good Christian Americans could careless. For 20 years I personally fought Nike to get them to improve their working conditions. Because Nike workers were being forced to work 16 hours a day for 50 cents a day. The average age of a Nike factory worker at that time was 10 years old.
Related article: In China, Human Costs Are Built Into an iPad
While this slavery went on, poor black kids in the inner cities were killing each other over a pair of Nike's that were made by slave labor. Because Nike's cost more than most of us could ever afford. Why? Because, most of the savings from slavery has not been passed down to American consumers in the form of cheaper prices, the extra profits went to the already Super Rich and their offshore bank accounts. Under Ronald Reagan's "free trade" agreements American corporations do not pay taxes in their host country or in America either, thanks Ronnie.
End Slavery Now
5 Giant Companies Who Use Slave Labor
Revealed: Asian slave labor producing prawns for supermarkets in US, UK
Fighting Slave Labor in Brazil
The slave labor behind your favorite clothing brands: Gap, H&M and more exposed
Slave labor in America today
"Free Trade" is the new Slave Trade
By Christopher R Rice
LOWES AND THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE
New York City’s iconic Brooklyn Bridge was recently renovated using wood from sources linked to slave labor.
An investigation has revealed U.S.-based companies bought timber from Brazilian traders that sourced forest products from several sawmills in the Amazon where loggers worked under slave labor conditions.
Slave labor-analogous conditions were revealed by investigation of logging camps in Pará, Brazil.
A supply chain investigation of the timber harvested through these camps has found links to markets in Brazil and the U.S.
Major retailers with links to intermediaries that sourced wood from logging camps found to use slave labor practices include Lowe’s, Timber Holdings, and Brazilian Walmart stories. Timber Holdings has used wood from Brazil in major renovation projects for New York’s Brooklyn Bridge and Central Park.
Read more: Fighting Slave Labor in Brazil
WAL MART COSCO STILL USE SLAVE LABOR
For the record, American corporations like Walmart, Costco, Nike, Adidas, Converse, Apple, 7-Eleven, Foot Locker, and a host of other multi-national companies don’t directly enslave people, except for 7-Eleven which was actually caught in the act in 2013. Instead, these Wall Street behemoths either purchase the products they sell from third world manufacturers, or manufacture their own merchandise by subcontracting the work out to third world manufacturers. Time and time again, many of these subcontractors are caught using slaves to produce the cheap items filling American store shelves.
Thailand. Americans have long known that Walmart and other discount stores sell products made by slaves. And illustrating a national hypocrisy, the American people have no problem with that. Now, Costco has been added to the list of slave-using corporations. This time, the slaves are found in Thailand, toiling day and night against their will for no pay to provide the American people and the world all the cheap shrimp they can eat.
A report last week from our friends at Natural News exposed a horrifying discovery writing, ‘Some of the most popular American corporations are importing shrimp at super-cheap prices from Thailand, where migrant workers are in slavery, like in Nazi Germany, being tortured while they work for no pay 20 hours a day.’
America is not only the largest importer of shrimp on Earth, but the Thai’s largest shrimp customer.
Consumers are advised to avoid all farm raised shrimp and domestic wild shrimp from the Gulf and West coasts. Shrimp is plentiful in the US and wild catches off the coast of America’s northeast are the safest bet. Alaskan shrimp, like all of the state’s seafood, is fiercely protected by industry companies and regulators alike and is also considered safe.
Read more: Revealed: Asian slave labor producing prawns for supermarkets in US, UK
FROM THE WILDERNESS
One thing is clear to anyone who sees the economic system clearly. The system is on the verge of implosion. Privately owned and operated prison companies trade on Wall Street. One of those, Wackenhut, is a virtual CIA proprietary. We have entered, at the end of the industrial age, a phase of growth where we must incarcerate an ever-expanding number of people to sustain the growth of all the companies profiting from law enforcement, crime, imprisonment and war. And the overheated stock market must grow or collapse. The reason this nation spends five dollars on prisons for every one dollar on higher education – even after seven straight years of falling crime rates – is because there is more profit in it in the current economic model. Hell, we have turned police departments into profit making entities through asset forfeiture. This is insane!
This economic model is patently no more sustainable than a snake eating its own tail can be considered nourishment. Organized crime has become the government and it seeks to make all citizens become subliminally guilty participants, fearing for their own livelihoods, believing that the system will collapse if someone really tackles the issues facing us – as surely as the iceberg faced the Titanic.
The system will collapse anyway – unless the economic model is turned upside down – unless a way is found or offered which will make it more profitable than all other ways – to do the right thing. The only thing that will sustain the current economic system, and its dependence on drug capital, is a police state. New enforcement programs involving HUD and the Department of Justice- along with their corresponding butchery of the Constitution – show an emerging police state already. The conduct of Congress and the White House and the CIA further demonstrate the arrogance, and the ever-increasing sloppiness of a system out of control.
The veneer, the illusion that we live under the rule of law cracks before our eyes, grows thinner and ever more difficult to sell with each passing minute. All at once the fears of the right of a New World Order and the fears of the left, of new concentration camps and genocide suddenly become one and the same thing.
In conclusion: I figured out a long time ago that you won't rise up with me. You're still voting and expecting a different result. Someone to wave a magic wand and your responsibilities averted. And I'm also not expecting to find anything in my Paypal account but could you please donate to WikiLeaks, even 5 bucks - surely what WikiLeaks has provided, is worth the price of a cheese burger. And pass this article around, stop taking up space. It won't cost you dime, just repost this link to every site you visit for the next seven days. Thank you and help me make some noise.
REPOST THIS LINK everywhere:
Strangely, I think Reagan said it best over 35 years ago, when I was just getting started...
"Our aim is to increase our national wealth so all will have more, not just redistribute what we already have which is just a sharing of scarcity. We can begin to reward hard work and risk-taking, by forcing this Government to live within its means. Over the years we've let negative economic forces run out of control. We stalled the judgment day, but we no longer have that luxury. We're out of time. ...
We can leave our children with an unrepayable massive debt and a shattered economy, or we can leave them liberty in a land where every individual has the opportunity to be whatever God intended us to be. All it takes is a little common sense and recognition of our own ability. Together we can forge a new beginning for America."
- Ronald Reagan: Address to the Nation on the Economy, Feb. 5, 1981
I've been writing and exposing the lies and the crimes of these international CEOs, their Wall Street bankers and their puppet US government and puppet American politicians, for over 35 years now. I kept expecting my fellow Americans to rise up with me. Then they arrested Bradley Manning for exposing the truth. Locked him up and threw away the key. Then they put him into solitary confinement, the equivalent of torture. Then Julian Assange had to go into hiding for exposing the truth. And this wasn't some sick twisted law and order Republican that was locking up all of these whistleblowers. Oh no! It was the supposedly ultra liberal Barack Obama. And then Snowden was forced to go into hiding.
Americans have often wondered why we have no leaders, why no one is willing to stand up and lead us out of this mess. But we do, we do have leaders. The problem is that Americans will not stand up and protect her leaders. Manning joined the Army, that's admirable. Wouldn't it be nice to have someone like that in Congress, instead of the brig? Snowden was CIA/NSA, again extremely admirable, wouldn't you rather have Snowden for president? Someone who is honest and puts American people and American values ahead of his own self interest?
Instead my fellow Americans gleefully marched into the voting booth and voted for either a war criminal or a charlatan. And both camps said they would be outraged if their puppet didn't win.
Americans whine and complain incessantly that American media is owned by 6 major corporations and that corporate news is more interested in entertaining us than informing us. Yet, Americans refuse to support independent, alternative media that is accurate and informative. As a quick example, WikiLeaks was forced to beg for donations while releasing the DNC emails during our last presidential elections.
In other words, while we are busy sticking our necks out, for YOU, Americans are in their easy chairs with the remote in one hand and a beer in the other. But don't worry America, no need to feed the activist we will just end up dead or in jail anyways. The head of BLM was murdered by the police and four students were shot in the back in Ohio because they were protesting. No need for you to donate money, time or for you to volunteer, when we stick our necks out to make America better for all of us. Just go back to sleep, you do not want to believe.
As concrete proof, when four nuns were raped and murdered in El Salvador and a priest was executed during mass because they were helping the peasants to organize union's, Jimmy Carter, the supposedly ultra liberal Christian US president, had no qualms continuing US military aid to keep those peasants from unionizing and demanding a living wage and environmental protections. Imagine that, they wanted a living wage and clean air. But, America said: no way Jose. Get back to work or we will rape your nuns, your sons and your daughters. Oops, I mean our, no, your 'security forces' will rape you and kill you.
Related article: 4 Salvadorans Say They Killed U.S. Nuns on Orders of Military