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Why the Drug War Has Been a Forty-Year Lynching

by Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman

Poster of Nixon about the drug war

The Drug War has been a forty-year lynching….
…the corporate/GOP response to the peace and civil rights movements.

It’s used the Drug Enforcement Administration and other policing operations as a high-tech Ku Klux Klan, meant to gut America’s communities of youth and color.

It has never been about suppressing drugs. Quite the opposite.

And now that it may be winding down, the focus on suppressing minority votes will shift even stronger to electronic election theft.

The Drug War was officially born June 17, 1971, (http://www.drugpolicy.org/new-solutions-drug-policy/brief-history-drug-war) when Richard Nixon pronounced drugs to be “Public Enemy Number One.” In a nation wracked by poverty, racial tension, injustice, civil strife, ecological disaster, corporate domination, a hated Vietnam War and much more, drugs seemed an odd choice.
In fact, the Drug War’s primary target was black and young voters.

It was the second, secret leg of Nixon’s “Southern Strategy” meant to bring the former Confederacy into the Republican Party.

Part One was about the white vote.

America’s original party of race and slavery (https://zinnedproject.org/materials/a-peoples-history-of-the-united-states-updated-and-expanded-edition/)was Andrew Jackson’s Democrats (born 1828).

After the Civil War the Party’s terror wing, the KKK, made sure former slaves and their descendants “stayed in their place.”

A century of lynchings (at least 3200 of them) (http://www.yale.edu/ynhti/curriculum/units/1979/2/79.02.04.x.html)efficiently suppressed the southern black community.

In the 1930s Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal social programs began to attract black voters to the Democratic Party. John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson’s support for civil and voting rights legislation, plus the 24th Amendment ending the poll tax, sealed the deal. Today blacks, who once largely supported the Party of Lincoln,  vote 90% or more Democrat (http://blackdemographics.com/culture/black-politics/).

But the Democrats’ lean to civil rights angered southern whites. Though overt racist language was no longer acceptable in the 1970s, Nixon’s Republicans clearly signaled an open door to the former Confederacy (https://www.thenation.com/article/why-todays-gop-crackup-is-the-final-unraveling-of-nixons-southern-strategy/).

But recruiting angry southern whites would not be enough for the Republicans to take the south. In many southern states more than 40% of potential voters were black. If they were allowed to vote, and if their votes were actually counted, all the reconstructed Democrat Party would need to hold the south would be a sliver of moderate white support.

That’s where the Drug War came in.

Reliable exact national arrest numbers from 1970 through 1979 are hard to come by.

But according to Michelle Alexander’s superb, transformative The New Jim Crow, and according to research by Marc Mauer and Ryan King of the Sentencing Project, more than 31,000,000 Americans were arrested for drugs between 1980 and 2007 (http://newjimcrow.com).

Further federal uniform crime report statistics compiled by www.freepress.org indicate that, between 2008 and 2014, another 9,166,000 were arrested for drug possession.
Taken together, than means well over 40,000,000 American citizens have been arrested for drugs in the four decades since Nixon’s announcement.
It is a staggering number: more than 10% of the entire United States, nearly four times the current population of Ohio, far in excess of more than 100 countries worldwide.
A number that has gutted the African-American community.  A national terror campaign far beyond the reach of even the old KKK.
Justice Department statistics indicate than half of those arrests have been for simple possession of marijuana.
According to US Bureau of Justice statistics, between 1980 and 2013, while blacks were 12% of the population, blacks constituted 30% of those arrested for drug law violations and nearly 40% of those incarcerated in all U.S. prisons.  Thus some 20,000,000 African-American men have been sent to prison for non-violent “crimes” in the past forty years.
If the Hispanic population is added in, as much as 60% of drug arrests are of racial or ethnic minorities.   \
On the 40th anniversary of the Drug War in 2010, the Associated Press used public records to calculate that the taxpayer cost of arresting and imprisoning all these human beings has been in excess of $1,000,000,000.
Sending them all to college would have been far cheaper.  It also would have allowed them to enhance and transform their communities.
Instead, they were taken from their families.  Their children were robbed of their parents.  They were assaulted by the prison culture, stripped of their right to vote and stopped from leading the kind of lives that might have moved the nation in a very different direction.
Nixon also hated hippies and the peace movement. So in addition to disenfranchising 20,000,000 African-Americans, the Drug War has imprisoned additional millions of young white and Hispanic pot smokers.
Thus the DEA has been the ultra-violent vanguard of the corporate culture war.
In 1983 Ronald Reagan took the Drug War to a new level.  Using profits from his illegal arms sales to Iran, he illegally funded the Contra thugs who were fighting Nicaragua’s duly elected Sandinista government.
The Contras were drug dealers who shipped large quantities of cocaine into the US—-primarily in the Los Angeles area—-where it was mostly converted to crack.
That served a double function for the GOP.
First, it decimated the inner city.
Then Reagan’s “Just Say No” assault—-based on the drugs his Contra allies were injecting into our body politic—-imposed penalties on crack far more severe than those aimed at the powdered cocaine used in the white community.
In 1970 the US prison population was roughly 300,000 people.  Today it’s more than 2.2 million, the largest in world history by both absolute number and percentage of the general population.  There are more people in prison in the US than in China, which has five times the population (http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=tp&tid=11).

According to the Sentencing Project, one in seventeen white males has been incarcerated, one in six Latinos, and one in three blacks.
By all accounts the Drug War has had little impact on drug consumption in the US, except to make it more profitable for drug dealers (http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=tp&tid=11).  It’s spawned a multi-billion-dollar industry in prison construction, policing, prison guards, lawyers, judges and more, all of them invested in prolonging the drug war despite its negative impacts on public health.

For them, the stream of ruined lives of non-violent offenders is just another form of cash flow.
Like the Klan since the Civil War, the Drug War has accomplished its primary political goal of suppressing the black vote and assaulting the African-American community.
It’s shifted control of the South from the Democrats back to the Republican Party. By slashing voter eligibility and suppressing black turnout, the Drug War crusade has helped the GOP take full control of both houses of the US Congress and a majority of state governments across the US.
But the repressive impacts hit everyone, and ultimately enhance the power of the corporate state.
Toward that end, the southern corporate Democrat Bill Clinton’s two terms as a Drug Warrior further broadened the official attack on grassroots America. Clinton was determined to make sure nobody appeared tougher on “crime.”  He escalated the decimation of our democracy far beyond mere party politics, deepening the assault on the black community, and the basic rights of all Americans for the benefit of his Wall Street funders.  Obama has been barely marginally better.
In political terms, the Nixon-Reagan GOP remains the Drug War’s prime beneficiary. Today’s Republicans are poised to continue dominating our electoral process through the use of rigged electronic registration rolls and voting machines. That’s a core reality we all must face.
But no matter which party controls the White House or Congress, by prosecuting a behavior engaged in by tens of millions of Americans, the Drug War lets the corporate state arrest (and seize assets from) virtually anyone it wants at any time. It has empowered a de facto corporate police state beyond public control.
Regardless of race, we all suffer from the fear, repression and random assaults of a drug-fueled repressive police force with no real accountability.
In the interim, the Drug War is not now and never has been about drugs.
Legalizing pot is just the beginning of our recovery process.
Until we end the Drug War as a whole, America will never know democracy, peace or justice.
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THE SIXTH JIM CROW: ELECTRONIC ELECTION THEFT & THE 2016 SELECTION will be released by Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman by January, 2016. Their CITIZEN KASICH will follow soon thereafter. Bob’s FITRAKIS FILES are at www.freepress.org; Harvey’s ORGANIC SPIRAL OF US HISTORY will appear in 2016.

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To Cuba With Love, Report Back, Bob Fitrakis and Suzanne Patzer

To Cuba with Love
Report Back by Bob Fitrakis and Suzanne Patzer

Monday, August 24, 2015 – Central Ohioans for Peace meeting
Columbus Mennonite Church
35 Oakland Park Avenue
BobWPic
The Central Ohioans for Peace meet regularly on Monday evenings at 7pm at the Columbus Mennonite Church, 35 Oakland Park Avenue. Each meeting has a different peace-oriented presentation. On August 24, Columbus Free Press Editors Bob Fitrakis and Suzanne Patzer will present on their week-long “To Cuba with Love” delegation with Code Pink. In February they joined in the first large U.S. people-to-people visit to Cuba since the warming of relations last December. They will share their experiences touring the country, meeting with public officials including Mariela Castro, visits with Cuban people and impressions of the state of the nation under the U.S. embargo. Also presenting will be Lisa Valanti, longtime Pastors for Peace activist. They will lead a discussion on the future of U.S.-Cuban relations.
Free and open to the public.
614-253-2571 or colsfreepress@gmail.com

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Quiet Newsday? There Is Always Something going on in Alternative Media

WCRSscrcap

The Other Side Of The News / FightBack

http://www.talktainmentradio.com/shows/fightback.html

The Columbus Free Press . Com

http://freepress.org/

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Police abuse in Columbus, The Other Side of the News August 10, 2015

A must listen. Two friends try to help an Asthmatic get treatment at OSU ER. All of them get arrested. This is their excruciating story in person. Bob interviews three young people who were detained, harassed and arrested by Columbus police.

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Bob interviews Jill Stein on www.WVKO1580.com

Podcast below pictures or click here!

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Employees of Romney Family’s secret bank tied to fraud, money laundering, drug cartels and the CIA

by Gerry Bello and Bob Fitrakis
October 20, 2012

As previously reported in by the Columbus Free Press, the Romney family, namely Mitt, Ann, G Scott and Tagg Romney, along with Mitt’s “6th son” and campaign finance chair have a secretive private equity firm called Solamere Capital Partners. This firms ties to Romney’s campaign and bundlers is already well documented, along with its connection to the manufacture and distribution of voting machines. What is not as well documented is a subsidiary of that secret bank hiring employees of a failed firm tied to a ponzi scheme that has a long history of money laundering for Latin American drug cartels and to the Iran-Contra scandal.

As reported by ThinkProgress, Solamere Capital Partner’s subsidiary Solamere Advisors is a investment advisory group, providing advice to Solamere clients and boosting sales. Would-be corporate pugilist Tagg Romney is a director. According to the New York Times, all but one of its 11 employees came from the Charlotte office of the Stanford Financial Group, the US investment arm of convicted felon R. Allen Stanford’s offshore banking and fraud network that comprised a host of companies including the Stanford International Bank, Stanford Capital Management, The Bank of Antigua, Stanford Trust and Stanford Gold and Bullion. Three of these employees, Tim Bambauer, Deems May, and Brandon Phillips, received incentive compensation related to their direct sales of securities linked to a fraud that brought down this banking network.

Tim Bambauer has left his position as managing partner at Solamere Advisors. May and Phillips remain employed as partner and chief compliance officer respectively.

Allen Stanford is currently serving a 110-year prison sentence for convictions on 13 counts of fraud. His companies were placed in receivership. $8 billion of Stanford’s stolen money has yet to be recovered and the victims are in court to recover those funds and incentive pay bonuses to Stanford employees (including Bambauer, May and Phillips) for fraudulently getting people to invest in an operation that later bilked many of them out of their life’s savings.

Stanford’s shady history and criminality did not begin with the fraudulent investments that lead to his downfall, nor was it unknown at the highest level of United State’s Government. In a 2006 diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks, the US Ambassador to Antigua advised “Embassy officers do not reach out to Stanford because of the allegations of bribery and money laundering. The Ambassador managed to stay out of any one-on-one photos with Stanford during the breakfast. For his part, Stanford said he preferred to conduct his business without contacting the Embassy, resolving any investment disputes directly with local governments. It is whispered in the region that Stanford facilitates resolution with significant cash contributions.”

Similarly investigations by the SEC, FBI and Scotland Yard into Stanford’s empire stalled or failed all the way back to the 1980s. The Independent Newspaper in the UK alleges that Stanford’s network was on the FBI’s radar for more than 20 years. Stanford set up his first offshore bank in 1986, just as Eugene Hausenfaus, shot down while gun running for the CIA in Nicaragua, was being connected to another company named Stanford, in this case the “Stanford Technology Trading Group” owned by Richard Secord, Albert Hakim, and 4 unknown other persons, perhaps including Allen Stanford. According to Iran-Contra Whistleblower Al Martin (Lt. Cmdr. USNR ret.) “Anything with the name Stanford on it belonged to Secord”. When finally brought to trial, Stanford employed the same defense attorney, Dick DeGuerin, as Iran-Contra defendant Oliver North.

As the Iran-Contra explosion crippled the CIA’s Caribbean bank of choice, the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), Stanford’s offshore banking empire got using the same techniques and embracing the same moral category of clients. Stanford’s banks were known to have laundered money from the Juarez Cartel and alleged to have done so earlier for the Medellin Cartel, and one of his private planes has been seized by the Mexican government in a drug case.

On top of legal woes in the United States and Mexico, the London Daily Telegraph reported that Stanford’s Venezuelan offices were raided by Venezuela’s military intelligence over claims that its employees were paid by the CIA to spy on the South American country. When asked about this in a CNBC interview which was cited in a story by independent journalist Tom Burghardt, Stanford declined to comment on any involvement with the CIA rather than outright deny it.

All of the these dealings by Stanford, and the complicity of his employees in facilitating them, was public information before January 2010, when Mitt Romney addressed the first full meeting of Solamere’s investors. Yet his son Tagg chose to hire into his family these alleged white collar criminals as soon as Stanford’s criminal empire collapsed. The Romney family stands by the new employees associated with their secret bank, as evidenced by Tagg’s response to interview questions from ThinkProgress regarding Solamere’s ability to reign them in: “Hey guys, We’re done here”.

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How the GOP could steal America’s 2012 election: corporate vote theft and the future of American democracy PART ONE

  by Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman
July 24, 2012

The Republican Party could steal the 2012 US Presidential election with relative ease.

Four major factors make it possible: the continued existence of the Electoral College, the systematic disenfranchisement of millions of American voters over the past decade, the widespread and growing use of electronic voting machines, and GOP control of the governorships and secretary of state offices in the key swing states that will once again decide the election.

To this we must add the likelihood that the core of the activist community that came out to protect the vote for Barack Obama in 2008 may not do so again in 2012.

Towering over it all, of course, is the reality that corporate money has come to totally dominate the American electoral process. The John Roberts US Supreme Court has definitively opened the floodgates with its infamous Citizens United decision. But for well over a century, at least since the 1880s, corporations have ruled American politics. Back then the courts began to confer on corporations the privileges of human rights without the responsibilities of human decency.

Citizens United has taken that reality to a whole new level. As the 2012 election approaches we are watching gargantuan waves of unrestricted capital pouring into political campaigns at all levels. The June recall election in Wisconsin saw at least 8 times as much money being spent on protecting Republican governor Scott Walker as was spent trying to oust him.

Nationwide this year, the corporate largess vastly favors Republicans over Democrats. But since both parties are essentially corporate in nature, that could change in coming elections, and may even vary in certain races in 2012.

We do not believe that once given the chance, the Republicans are any more prone to stealing elections than the Democrats.

And that is a major point of this book. On its surface, the prime focus of our nation’s sorry history of stolen elections has to do with Democrats stealing elections from Republicans and vice-versa. In 2012 it will be primarily Republicans using gargantuan sums of corporate money to take control of the government from Democrats, and democracy be damned.

But in the longer view, the more important reality is that the corruption of our electoral system is perfectly geared toward crushing third and other parties whose focus is challenging a corporate status quo deeply entrenched in war, inequality, and ecological destruction.

So as we trace the stories of election theft dating all the way back to John Adams and Tom Jefferson, we do fret over the corruption that defines so much of the back-and-forth between Democrats and Republicans. But we hope that you, the reader, will always remember that whatever the corporate parties do to each other separately pales before what they will do together to crush non-corporate forces like the Populist Party, the Socialist movement and the grassroots campaigns for peace, justice and ecological preservation. This applies to both candidates running for office and referenda aimed at directly changing policy.

Yes, we are concerned with the injustice and corrupting nature of the reality that corporate money could fund a series of anti-democratic tricks that will steal the 2012 election away from the intent of the American electorate. Given the choices facing us, this means Mitt Romney could well become president despite the possibility of a legitimate victory by Barack Obama.

But far more important in the long run is that the ability to do this by either corporate party (or both of them) means no third party will be allowed to break through in future elections to make meaningful change in this country—at least not through the ballot box.

No reality could be more grim for a nation that long-ago pioneered modern democracy and seemed to bring to the world the possibility of a society in which the possibility of continually making meaningful, life-giving change was guaranteed along with the right to vote.

American history is chock full of election abuse from both parties, dating at least back to 1800, when the Democrat-Republican Thomas Jefferson wrested the presidency from Federalist John Adams based on the “votes” of African-American slaves who were allowed nowhere near a ballot box.

That Adams spent the next six years muttering about that theft before he opened a legendary exchange of letters with his former friend and rival did nothing to rid the country of the Electoral College that made it possible. Nor did it prevent his son, John Quincy, from using it to steal the 1824 election from a very angry slaveowner named Andrew Jackson, who then formed the Democratic Party that now claims Barack Obama.

But in 2012, the GOP controls the registration rolls and the swing state vote count in ways that the Democrats do not.

It will be the Republicans’ choice as to how far they are willing to go to put Mitt Romney in the White House. But as this book will show, they have the power to do it if they’re willing to use it.

They did not have that option in 2008, when Barack Obama and Joe Biden defeated John McCain and Sarah Palin. Ohio had a Democratic governor and secretary of state that year. Obama safely carried the usually decisive Buckeye State in 2008, along with enough additional swing states to put him in the White House.

But when John Kerry failed in Ohio 2004, he handed George W. Bush a second term in ways that paralleled Bush’s initial coming to power in the bitterly disputed election of 2000. In both elections, the defeated Democrat refused to raise the issue of widespread corporate-sponsored fraud. This book lays out much of the evidence that both elections were, in fact, stolen, and shows how the same means used to do it back then are likely to be repeated this year.

The difference in Ohio 2008, as in much of the nation, was that candidate Barack Obama inspired millions of young, committed, active supporters to work overtime for his election. They came out in droves to promote and protect voter registration, monitor polling places, challenge faulty and discriminatory ballot procedures, scrutinize voting machines and otherwise guarantee a more fair and balanced vote count.

In his four years as President, Barack Obama has alienated much of the grassroots activist community that put him in the White House. Due to his stances on nuclear power, bank bailouts, social justice, civil liberties, medical marijuana and other issues that are near and dear to grassroots activists, Obama has prompted the progressive press to be filled with “disappointment” at the very least. As usual, the left community—infamous for its circular firing squads—has already begun tearing itself apart over whether to vote for Obama’s re-election.

But that debate is beside the point. Given the delicate corporate balance on the US Supreme Court, and a wide range of tipping point issues that include women’s rights and the environment, many or even most of those who worked for Obama in 2008 are likely to vote for him again this year.

But just their votes will not make the difference, any more than they did in 2008.

What was decisive in that election was the presence of tens of thousands of committed activists who were willing to devote hours, days, weeks to registering voters, getting them to the polls, making sure they survived challenges to their right to vote, watching over the ballots, doing exit polling, monitoring electronic voting machines and the counts they rendered, making sure the media was aware of resulting abuses—or spreading them through the internet—and otherwise guaranteeing that what had happened in 2000 and 2004 did not happen again in 2008.

Their presence is what put Barack Obama in the White House. But his policies there have done little to encourage those activists to come back to work for him in 2012. Their ballots will probably go his way, but the ardent commitment that defined the 2008 election is clearly missing. So is ACORN, a key long-standing grassroots voter advocacy organization that was destroyed by a concerted GOP attack that succeeded through the cynical but highly effective use of entrapment and disinformation that succeeded in its purpose while Obama stood silent.

Without that activist core to protect the voter rolls, balloting procedures and vote counts this year, Obama and the Democrats are highly vulnerable to a re-run of what was done to Al Gore and John Kerry in 2000 and 2004.

We do not yet know if Obama’s policies, so widely perceived as pro-corporate, will yield him enough corporate cash to match what Mitt Romney will raise. That both parties are dominated by corporations is a forgone conclusion. In 2008 Obama managed to balance that reality with a hugely successful portrayal of himself as a man of and for the grassroots.

At least among the activist community, that perception is long gone. It remains to be seen whether Obama’s decision to court the corporations at the expense of the grassroots will yield him a financial war chest larger than what Mitt Romney can raise.

We also can’t pinpoint the exact advantages—if any—the additional corporate dollars might yield Obama and the Democrats in their attempt to keep the White House.

But simply put: even if he succeeds in winning a legitimate majority of the American electorate, there are not likely to be enough grassroots activists inspired by the hard realities of Barack Obama’s presidency to put in the grueling work that will be needed to guarantee a voter turnout and ensure a vote count fair enough to give him a second term.

In this book, we show why such a national grassroots effort to guarantee a fair election will be necessary to Barack Obama’s re-election. And why without it the GOP is virtually certain to put Mitt Romney in the White House come January, 2013.

That such an effort would also be key to what happens in the races for the US Senate and House of Representatives goes without saying, and we’ll discuss that after we deal with the presidency.

Carried along by the tsunami of corporate cash now pouring into American politics, there are four key factors that could allow the Republican Party to steal the 2012 presidential election:

The continued presence of the Electoral College;

The systematic disenfranchisement of millions of legitimate American voters, most of them likely Democrats;

The widespread use of electronic voting machines.

The Republican control of the governorships and secretary of state offices in the key swing states should decide the 2012 election for Romneys.


Originally published by The Free Press, http://freepress.org

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Fight Back Interview with Derrick Jones Producer, “The Great Incarcerator” and film event

Still from Trailer

See podcast audio player bottom of article.

Bob Fitrakis on the air Podcast! WVKO 1580AM on the prison industrial complex! Interview with Derrick Jones, filmmaker. “The Great Incarerator – the Dark Little Secret” (Trailer) on the racist nature of our prison system.
11am-12noon Saturday July 21
or on the website wvko1580.com

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The Great Incarcerator, part 1: Dark Little Secret
Documentary on the United States prison system

Tuesday, July 24, 2012
7:30pm
Drexel Theater
2254 E Main St
Bexley

The Great Incarcerator, part 1: Dark Little Secret examines the United States prison system and its unprecedented explosion in population and the exploitation of dark, poor faces, intentionally relegated to second-class citizenship otherwise known as continued, legal slavery.

Featuring:
Michelle Alexander, Kunta Kenyatta, Dr. Michelle Brown, Cynthia McKinney, Dr. Angela Davis, natural, Mansfield Frazier, Niki Schwartz, Esq., Saadiqah Hasan, Sen. Nina Turner, Judge Daniel Hogan, Alvin Valentine.

Discussion with filmmakers and members of Lucasville Amnesty group following the film.
The 35-minute film co-sponsored by the Columbus Film Council and The Free Press. It is free and open to the public.

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Bob Fitrakis on “Fight Back”: Nick Mottern and the Know Drones Tour

Bob Fitrakis on “Fight Back”: Nick Mottern and the Know Drones Tour
Bob and Nick Mottern discuss drones used by the military and potential use domestically by urban police.
Listen and call in this Wednesday, July 11
7 – 8 PM
Call 877-932-9766
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Here’s how to call in to the LIVE INTERNET radio show:
(on your computer – not on your broadcast radio dial)
On Wednesday nights at 7:00 pm
Go to: http://talktainmentradio.com
Click on “Listen Live”
Call 877-932-9766

All shows rebroadcast on WCRSFM community radio 98.3/102.1 Wednesdays at 8pm