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We use direct actions to interrupt the status quo and bring awareness to key issues and different forms of state violence affecting the root causes of the plight of black and brown people around the world.,


We stand against the many forms of state violence: police killings, mass incarceration, poverty and others.  We stand for justice for Tony Robinson and ALL Black lives lost at the hands of the state. We stand for community and self determination. We will not stop until we are free.

Lew Blank

YGB raising awareness and building community

Lew Blank

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The following is a piece written by Eric Upchurch.


We are defined by our struggle, which is why - in some cases - we subconsciously perpetrate it in our effort to hold on to our identity. We proudly carry the torch of our oppression, like the validation of an emotionally abusive partner. We are Torch Bearers - continuously marching on each other. How can we expect White folks to “get it right” when we violate our own damn selves?! Here, we are Reflecting the Movement.


I’m talking about how the “burns” we’ve survived have become flames we religiously wield in a subconscious ritual to protect ourselves.


Dr. King said that the White Liberal that thinks they understand is the most dangerous enemy to the movement; but in that same spirit of thinking, what about People of Color and allies who think they can’t be a part of the problem? Where do they fit? Oh, because they definitely have a place in this.


It’s practical knowledge that there are sexists fighting for racial justice, racists fighting for healthy climate and polluters dedicated to ending sexism. There are abusive people “fighting” abuse, and racists “fighting” racism - sexists “fighting” sexism.


Search your feelings. You know it to be true. You’ve seen it happen in your work, but no one is in a hurry to raise their own hand in noble guilt. No one is willing to say, “I am a part of the problem in this way.” And this begs the question: Is it You Too?


Once during some political education on sexism, I asked some gender non-conforming friends why I couldn’t be considered a Trans-Man. Their response was that I was a straight male and I didn’t fit the definition of a Trans-Man - which is defined as being born (assigned) female and transitioning to male; and I couldn’t help but think of how often they must have heard that same reaction, “You don’t fit the definition of a man (or woman). You don’t belong there.” Inflaming words?


They went on to tell me how they and their loved ones had been persecuted - burned -  for their identities and that it wasn’t something that could just be adopted. They cursed me for my comparison. They beared torches.


Is the goal for everyone to be accepted for the identity they choose? Or for us to add different genders to the list of things people cannot be? The torch of exclusion and rejection must be put down in every way possible to make room for the light of acceptance and inclusion. We can’t exclude our way into an inclusive world.

….we cannot oppress our way out of oppression.

I had a boss once. She was so oppressive and racist with her wielding of title power, that at times, it was a running joke between coworkers just how terrible she was. What’s more is that one of the organization’s goals was to make sure that this kind of shit didn’t happen; and here was the fearless “leader” proudly lighting the way with a flaming torch.


I later found out that she had a troubling home life, with kids that didn’t listen to or respect her, and a lack of acknowledgement and intimacy with her partner. Her lack of power at home was balanced by her abuse of power at work - waving her torch in a panic as if to shake it out. She was burned and so...burned.


She was unable to hear the cries of her employees as her cries had also gone unheard. She’d taken up the torch in her effort to light her way out of her own oppression; and she wasn’t putting it down for anybody. Still, we cannot oppress our way out of oppression.

She became her torch.

I was working with a person of color who I came to call friend. We were the only two people of color on an equity project covered in white people who controlled all of the funding. Despite my support of this person - always having their back, they never hesitated to criticize, or ridicule or throw me under the bus. Sometimes, it felt like they had a problem with me personally.


When I shared my feelings with her, I found out that she’d been burned by so many fellow coloureds in the past who treated her with the same criticism. In order to survive, she reconciled a changed even to her very values to the point where she no longer believes that people of color should look out for each other in white spaces. She beared a heavy torch. She became her torch.


Had she lived in a world where people of color looked out for each other, she would not have been hurt this way. But because she carries her torch with her - because she is defined by it and the hurt it caused her, she causes others the same.


I have to wonder what I’m holding because of it.


There’s no doubt about it. We’ve done good work as a community. All of those community, cause driven, protesting, program building, beloved game changing comrades in the struggle toward better, we’ve done good work. But we’ve also failed.


In our very serious and impactful work to make this world a better place, we are duplicating dynamics that give rise to many of the very isms we claim to be fighting. We are fighting ourselves with a subconscious ritual that we hope leads to success, but instead supports the continuation of our struggle in gross and subtle ways.


So how does it end?

An intellectual understanding of your habit doesn’t mean you’ve changed it. Practice, Practice, Practice, Dammit!

I’m not here to say that there’s only one way to put down the torch, nor am I saying that I bear no torches. What I can say from my own experience is that you can’t intentionally stop yourself from doing harm if you’re not willing to consider the possibility that you might be doing harm.


There has to first be an openness to the possibility that there might be a torch the hand area.


Secondly, is a deep dive with a healthy environment to unpack the torch. What’s there and where does it come from? How does it show itself? Who does it impact? Listen, Linda.


Third, there must be a commitment to a reflective practice over time that helps us reverse the habit of picking up that torch. We think that because we notice a habit of ours, that it just goes away or doesn’t show itself in other ways. But an intellectual understanding of your habit doesn’t mean you’ve changed it. Practice, Practice, Practice, Dammit!


What works for me is meditation, focusing on a sensory perception, like the breath, and allowing all other thoughts and sensations to come and go as freely as the breath. This helps me practice not reacting to thoughts and influences - not being controlled by my reactions. This gives me sharper eyes to see myself and little by little, put down my own torches.


I wish the same for all of us on this journey toward real and lasting change.


This is one installment of a series of Reflections of our movements that I hope will be helpful to those that find value.

Love and Peace,

Eric U. II

Dear YGB Community,

As we at YGB continue to develop our Needs Surveys to support our three track focus, Black Needs, Collective Analysis and Advocacy, we need YOU to keep the fight for racial justice alive!

Please attend the following October events to stay engaged and make your voice heard.

Derail the Jail: Housing Not Jails
Wednesday, October 4, at 5:30pm - 1202 Williamson St., Madison WI

YGB’s first rally in 2014 led right into the City County Building, chanting, “Build the People, NOT the jail!” The new Dane County Jail is set to cost $76 million over the course of 20 years - a whopping $504 per Madison household. On Wednesday, we’ll gather to discuss better ways to spend the $76 million that don’t involve locking people of color in a cage. For more info, click here.

People Over Pipelines: Protecting Our Homes and Water
Friday, October 27, at 6:30pm - Hotel Marshfield (2700 S Central Ave in Marshfield, WI)

Near Marshfield, Wisconsin, Enbridge is looking to push an oil pipeline through the heart of Wisconsin, threatening our beautiful rivers, our climate, and our communities. On October 27, we will come together to learn from those who would be threatened by the new pipeline, and examine the pipeline fights of the past to prepare for our resistance to Enbridge. For info and registration, please click here.


More Events

2017 Racial Justice Summit

October 3 and October 4 - Monona Terrace (1 John Nolen Dr)

This year’s YWCA Racial Justice Summit will focus on building collective liberation and how to work towards an end to state violence and racial profiling. For more info, please click here.

Tu Voz: Latinx Intersectionality
Tuesday, October 3, at 6pm - UW Madison Multicultural Student Center (716 Langdon St)

This Tuesday, “Tu Voz”, a Latinx/Chicanx support and discussion group will meet to discuss the intersectionality between race, gender, sexuality, and other factors. For more info, please click here.

Women and the Construction of Peace In Colombia
Tuesday, October 3 at 6:30pm - Predolin Hall 115 (at Edgewood College)

On October 3, come to experience a presentation and participatory workshop with Carol Rojas, an educator working with the Feminist Antimilitarist Network. Carol will demonstrate for us the importance of “antimilitarist working class feminism and the commitment towards the democratization of the Colombian state” at this event.

Fighting Fascism and Oppression: A Marxist Approach
Tuesday, October 3, at 7pm - Union South (1308 W Dayton St.)

This Tuesday, IMT (International Marxist Tendency) Madison will hold a discussion on the IMT approach to fighting fascism and oppression, from the attacks in Charlottesville to swastikas in James Madison Park. For more info, please click here.

Safe and Thriving Community - Public Meeting
Thursday, October 5, at 6:30pm - Warner Park Community Center (1625 Northport Dr)

At this event, meet the Northside’s Neighborhood Navigators and learn about their efforts to engage the community and stop youth violence. For more info, click here.

Ritt Deitz Concert - Fundraiser for Refugee Assistance
Thursday, October 5, at 7pm - Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ (2401 Atwood Ave)

This week in Madison, singer-songwriter Ritt Deitz will perform a concert with a suggested $20 donation to support the Mercy Corps Syria Crisis Response program, which is providing vital necessities like food, water, and clothing for Syrian refugees. For more info, click here.

Democracy in Chains: An Evening Talk w/ Nancy MacLean
Thursday, October 5, at 7pm - Madison Labor Temple Room 201 (1602 S Park St.)

Join historian and author Nancy MacLean as she talks about her new book, Democracy In Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America, which details the anti-democracy and anti-government politics that have plagued the modern American political system. For more info, please click here.

Concert Fundraiser in the Wake of #CVille
Saturday, October 7 at 2pm - Wil-Mar Neighborhood Center (953 Jenifer St)

Join the Madison IWW Defense Committee on October 7 to organize for community self-defense efforts in our neighborhoods. The event will serve food, include a yard sale, and host a variety of DJs and musical guests. Half of the proceeds will go to the Free the 350 Bail Fund. For more information, please click here.

WNPJ Community Energizer and Fundraiser
Saturday, October 21 at 6pm - Robinia Courtyard (827 E Washington Ave)

Please join the Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice (WNPJ) on October 21 for a community energizer to build community and meet other activists and organizations from around the area. The event will feature dancing, DJs, food, poetry, awards, and great networking opportunities. To buy tickets, click here.

Free Skool Series on Non-Violent Struggle and Direct Action
Tuesday, October 24, at 6:30pm - Wil-Mar Neighborhood Center (953 Jenifer St)

This event will discuss Mark Bray’s new book, Antifa: The Anti Fascist Handbook, with John Peck of Family Farm Defenders. For more info, click here.

Tell us about your social justice events coming up next month. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Subject: Events.

Dear YGB Community,


With a 16:1 arrest disparity, we know that cops in schools are just another way for the criminal justice system to put Black bodies into jails. This monumental waste of our tax dollars instills fear in our kids, disproportionately arrests and suspends children of color, and enforces the school-to-prison pipeline.


Tomorrow night (Wednesday) at 5pm, we will join Freedom Inc. to demand #NoCopsInSchools! At that time, the Madison School Board’s Education Resource Officer (ERO) Ad Hoc Committee will hold a meeting, and we need to make it heard loud and clear that we need our schools to be demilitarized!


The meeting will be held at the Doyle Administration Building (545 W Dayton St), and it is vital that we show up and show out to demand Community Control Over the Police and #NoCopsInSchools!

Dear YGB Community,


In the face of the xenophobic, anti-immigrant policies of our president, we must continue to fight for immigrant rights.


Please call your legislators and tell them to attend the upcoming hearing and to protect immigrant rights.


It’s vital that we raise voice to protect the 800,000 children that have been targeted and marginalized by Trump’s rescinding of DACA. To do this, it is vital that we pressure the Wisconsin legislature to abandon Assembly Bill 160, which attempts to ban sanctuary cities in Wisconsin, allowing the police to violate the rights of immigrants even further.


On Wednesday, September 27, at 10:30 a.m. at the Wisconsin State Capitol, we will meet to hold a public hearing on immigration reforms and fight back. The hearing, which will be held in Room 411 South, will feature dairy farm workers, DACA recipients, and many others. In the afternoon, you will have the opportunity to speak about why immigrant rights are important to you.

In addition to showing up and showing out next Wednesday, please
call your legislators and tell them to attend the hearing, to listen to the stories of these speakers, and to protect immigrant rights.


If you would like to volunteer for the event, please email Rabbi Bonnie Margulis at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Dear YGB Community,


We must fight back. Please call your legislators and tell them to uphold free speech.


There are three bills currently being debated in the Wisconsin Legislature - AB 395, 396, and 397 - that are attempting to restrict the right to assemble for peaceful protesters in Wisconsin, regardless of whether or not they are acting violently. These proposed laws, which are in direct violation of freedom of speech and the First Amendment, and yet another vicious attempt by the status quo to silence the voices of dissidents.


Of course, speeches at rallies and protests can be strong, intense, and invigorating. But the right to communicate this way is integral to our democracy and vital to the life-or-death needs of those who are protesting. Accordingly, the ACLU of Wisconsin has come out strongly against these bills.


We must fight back. Please call your legislators and tell them to uphold free speech.

Dear YGB Community,


We know all too well how the arrest disparity perpetrated by Madison Police creates more harm than good in our community. What's more, they are arresting folks for crimes of poverty.


Just recently, a homeless Black man in Madison was arrested due to crimes of poverty, and it is vital that we understand that a stronger social safety net, better public housing resources, and policies in place to end racial disparities, could have stopped this from happening.


This man should not be punished - the system that put him into that situation should be punished. But instead, this man is now locked in a cage with a $2,000 bail that he cannot afford, and ZERO resources to help change his situation.


The Free the 350 Bail Fund is trying to raise funds to potentially free this man from behind bars by paying his $2,000 bail. Please click on this link to donate now.


Dear YGB Community,


Last week, President Trump ended the DACA program, effectively making 800,000 additional children eligible for deportation from the United States. This xenophobic and immoral act is a disgusting attempt to violate the rights of the hundreds of thousands of innocent, hard working immigrants that make up the fabric of our country and are as American as any of us are.


Please click here to protect the children affected by the repeal of DACA.


Hundreds of thousands of children are at risk of being put into a dangerous, life threatening situation. We need to do everything in our power to protect them.


By joining the Defend DACA Phone Bank, held from September 15-20 at the Madison Labor Temple, you can directly encourage fellow Madisonians to protect these children by contacting their representatives and advocating for immigrant rights. By signing up for a shift, you can persuade hundreds of people to take vital, desperately needed action!


To sign up for a time to work at the phone bank, please click here.


If you want to support the cause from home, please contact your representatives by clicking here and telling them to support the DREAM Act 2017.


Dear YGB Community,

In 2012, President Obama and other law makers enacted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA. This gave undocumented individuals who were brought to the U.S. as children protections and the ability to obtain work permits. These individuals, also known as Dreamers, are our friends, colleagues, students, and community members. The population of Dreamers is estimated to be at 800,000 and children of DACA recipients are estimated to be at 200,000. 

45 has called to end DACA, putting our most vulnerable community members in jeopardy of losing their children and their livelihoods. 

We must RESIST this decision and stand with the Dreamers in our community. 

There is a DEFEND DACA Rally scheduled for tomorrow, Saturday, September 9th to take to the streets to protest this decision.

This event is organized by Dreamers of UW-Madison and others DACA recipients along with allies. We must uplift their voices and show solidarity with them. 

Here are their requests and a schedule for Saturday: 


Good Afternoon Brothers & Sisters within the struggle,

Our team thanks you all from the bottom of our hearts for the amount of support and solidarity you have expressed for DREAMers! We would like to update you all with a few details about Saturdays Protest.

• 10:00am - Poster/Sign Making: Library Mall off of Langdon St.
• Noon - March begins at intersection of State St. and Lake St.
• 12:30pm - Forward Marching Band
• 12:45pm - Announcements/March Begins
• 1:15pm - Organize at the top of State St.
• 1:30pm➡️2:50pm - DREAMers & Organizers Speeches.
• 3:00pm - Finishing Remarks and Acknowledgements / Crowd Dispersal 

1. Please wear a cap and/or gown to the protest. (If you have one.) It will show solidarity and unify us as one community fighting for the rights of our neighbors!

2. Plan accordingly for weather and parking! 

3. Have a “meet up location”. Just incase someone gets lost.

4. No permit was obtained. So keep in mind that we seek NOT to give into institutions of power and white supremacy. We created a protest/march that gives our DREAMers the ability to express and control their own resilience, strength and narrative. 

5. That being said, THIS IS A PEACEFUL EVENT! Zero tolerance for hate! 

6. Only DREAMers and Event organizers will be allowed to speak. Again this is about them and what THEY need from US! How can we better help our brothers and sisters? We are ONE community!

7. There will be poster/sign making 10:00am-Noon Saturday morning at Library Mall off of Langdon St.

Thank you again to everyone for your continued support! Please SHARE this information with friends and family who plan to attend THIS Saturday. 

With Peace & Solidarity,

Jennifer Blanco
José Eladio Rea 
Karen S Perez-Wilson
Alondra Quechol


(Español/Spanish )
*** Detalles del evento*** 

Buenas tardes hermanos y hermanas dentro de la lucha,
Nuestro equipo les agradece a todos desde el fondo de nuestros corazones por la cantidad de apoyo y solidaridad que han expresado por DREAMers! Nos gustaría actualizarlos a todos con algunos detalles sobre la protesta de los sábados.

• 10:00 am - Cartel/diseño de poster: Ubicado en Library Mall por Langdon St.
• Mediodía - Empiece la reunión en la intersección de State Street. y Lake Street.
• 12:30 pm - Banda de marcha hacia adelante
• 12:45 pm - Anuncios / Comienzo de la marcha 
• 1:15 pm - Organizarnos en la parte final de State St.
• 1:30 pm a 2:50 pm - Discursos de DREAMers y organizadores.
• 3:00 pm - Comentarios de Finalización y Agradecimientos / Dispersión de Multitudes

1. Por favor venga vestido con su cap y vestimiento de graduación . (Si tiene uno.) ¡Mostrará solidario y nos unirá como una comunidad que lucha por los derechos de nuestros vecinos!
2. Planifique de acuerdo con el clima y el estacionamiento!
3. Tener una "reunión de ubicación". Sólo en caso de que alguien se pierde.
4. No se obtuvo permiso. Así que ten en mente que no buscamos dar en instituciones de poder y supremacía. Hemos creado una protesta/marcha que da a nuestros DREAMers la capacidad de expresar y controlar su propia resiliencia, fuerza y narrativa.
5. Dicho esto, ¡ESTE ES UN ACONTECIMIENTO PACÍFICO! ¡Tolerancia cero para el odio!
6. Sólo DREAMers y Organizadores de eventos podrán hablar. Otra vez esto es acerca de ellos y lo que ELLOS necesitan de NOSOTROS! ¿Cómo podemos ayudar mejor a nuestros hermanos y hermanas? ¡Somos UNA comunidad!
7. Habrá un cartel /diseño de posters a las 10:00am a 12:00pm el sábado por la mañana en Libary Mall de Langdon Street.
¡Gracias de nuevo a todos por su continuo apoyo! Por favor, COMPARTA esta información con amigos y familiares que planean asistir a ESTE sábado.

Con Paz y Solidaridad,

Jennifer Blanco
José Eladio Rea 
Karen S Perez-Wilson
Alondra Quechol

Dear YGB Community,

The level of catastrophe in Houston is drastic. According to the New York Times, Texas has already experienced 47 deaths due to Hurricane Harvey, many of whom are poor and homeless people of color who couldn’t afford the resources to protect themselves.

To help those affected, YGB is leading a fundraising campaign to help out grassroots organizations who are on the ground doing real, direct work for those affected by the hurricane.

We will not give any money to the Red Cross, which is known to mismanage funds and whose CEO makes $561,000 a year. Instead, we will make sure that our efforts to help the people, are led by the people themselves. Specifically, grassroots efforts led by Keshia Thomas, Fundi Fe, Sean Scott and more.


Click here to support the victims of Hurricane Harvey.


Click here to learn more about our fundraiser.


Additionally, please show up and show out to the following September events in the Madison area:



Summit on Poverty

September 6 and 7 - 631 E Chicago St in Milwaukee

The Summit on Poverty will address how to dismantle systems of poverty in a way that connects to racism and sexism. Register by clicking here.



JVN Day 2017: The Reverb

September 8 through 10 - Various Locations

To celebrate the life of hip hop artist John Vietnam Nguyễn, the JVN Project will perform a Hip Hop festival, featuring three days of free events! For times and locations, please click here.



Stand Up to Anti-Muslim Hate

Saturday, September 9 at 8am - 315 E Wisconsin Ave in Milwaukee

This Saturday in Milwaukee, we will engage in a counter-protest against the anti-Muslim organization ACT for America. More info here.



Freedom Health Day and 5K

Saturday, September 16 at 9am - Reindahl Park (1818 Portage Ave)

The 2017 Freedom Health Day is a series of fun events hosted by Freedom Inc. The day will feature dance battles, basketball, volleyball, chess, a community BBQ, and a 5k run, walk, and stroll. To register, please click here.



9th Annual Black Women’s Wellness Day

Saturday, September 16 at 9am - Alliant Energy Center (1919 Alliant Energy Center Way)

On September 16, a variety of engaging speakers and inspiring workshops will motivate women of color in Madison to reignite their health, mind, and spirit. The event will feature fitness demos, lectures, and a Wellness Fair complete with nearly 50 different vendors and exhibitors. Register by clicking here.



Art Show and Open House

Sunday, September 17 at 12pm - Madison Christian Community (7118 Old Sauk Rd)

DarRen Morris is a former gang member who is currently incarcerated. He is also a painter who depicts the wounds of life inside of prison, and, in partnership with Edgewood professor Judith Adrian, has co-authored the book “In Warm Blood.” At this event, you can view Morris’ artwork and hear from Adrian about her relationship with him. For more info, please click here.



Returning Prisoner Simulation

Monday, September 18 at 1pm - 1701 Pearson St

This “Monday with MUM” event will feature the Returning Prisoner Simulation, a role play in which participants must navigate their first month after being released from jail in a search for housing, jobs, and support. To register, click here.



Step Up: Courageous Conversations

Tuesday, September 19 at 5pm - Agrace HospiceCare (5395 E Cheryl Parkway in Fitchburg)

This highly interactive workshop will teach its participants how to effectively communicate in difficult conversations to push for social change and resist microaggressions, discrimination, and inequities. More info here.



Movie Screening: Walk A Mile in Their Shoes

Wednesday, September 27 at 7pm - Barrymore Theatre (2090 Atwood Ave)

On September 27 at the Barrymore Theatre, there will be a free screening of “Walk A Mile in Their Shoes,” a film that follows the lives of five marginalized individuals. For more info, click here.




Click here to support the victims of Hurricane Harvey.


The level of catastrophe in Houston is drastic. According to the New York Times, Texas has already experienced 47 deaths due to Hurricane Harvey, many of whom are poor and homeless people of color who couldn’t afford the resources to protect themselves.


People are in dire need of basic resources like food and shelter, and with an estimated $45 to $65 billion in damages, we must do everything in our power to help them out.


Click here to support the victims of Hurricane Harvey.


To help those affected, YGB is leading a fundraising campaign to help grassroots organizations who are on the ground doing direct work for those affected by the hurricane. Funds will be distributed to Keshia Thomas, Fundi Fe, and Sean Scott, activists who are working with people and organizations on the ground in Houston.


This money will not be going to the Red Cross, which is known to mismanage funds and whose CEO makes $561,000 a year. All funds that are donated to the Red Cross are entered in a pool, there is no guarantee every dollar will go to Harvey victims. Instead, we will make sure that our efforts to help the people are led by the people themselves.


We decided that someone should focus on getting support into the hands of the real people impacted on the ground. So we're launching a small fundraiser to support local organizers connected to the real people and doing real work out there.


Please donate by clicking on the link below.


Click here to support the victims of Hurricane Harvey.


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YGB needs your voice in order to get an investigation by the United Nations as we elevate the conversation of of racial disparities in Madison and fight for justice for Tony Robinson, the unarmed black teen murdered at the hands of officer Matt Kenny of the Madison Police Department  



YGB functions without traditional funding. We are not tied to the stipulations that come with large donors. Instead, we are supported by the direct will of The People. This gives us the freedom to raise our voice and mobilize our community toward an end to State Violence. Please help support this freedom by sharing or conotributing to our GoFundMe page.



YGB demands that Matt Kenny, the murderer of Tony Robinson, be fired. Far to often are killer cops left unpunished, and we want Kenny off the streets.



The Young Gifted and Black Coalition is a circle of young leaders determined to end state violence and raise the voice of communities of color. We are young Black Women, Queer Folks, Straight Folks and Feminist Men who are fighting for Black Liberation. Our focus is on the low income black communities that our core members call home. 




During high activity times, we send about two emails per week to keep you informed.
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