independent journalist, Democracy Now correspondent, author of "Blackwater: the Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army."
Last year, the annual conference of the National Coalition on Police Accountability drew a handful of activists. But at this year’s conference in Philadelphia, more than 200 people from across the country came together last week to grapple with the problem of police abuse, corruption and democratic accountability.
• Gary Webb, a reporter for the San Jose Mercury News whose Dark Alliance series last year outlined the link between the CIA and their client army in Nicaragua — the Contra rebels — and the explosion of crack cocaine in America’s cities during the 1980s.
• Rep. Maxine Waters, chair of the Congressional Black Caucus.