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Joe Heller | Get Out / media.cagle.com

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Special Project | Trump's Sanctuary Cities Plan is Straight Out of Breitbart, Radical Right Playbook

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Alex Amend, Southern Poverty Law Center

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/SPLC%20Hatewatch%20banner.jpg January 26, 2017 | The aim is to pressure the many major cities and states that have already announced their unwillingness to cooperate with the administration’s increasingly hardline policies against undocumented immigrants. Because these communities have generally declined to task local law enforcement with enforcing federal immigration laws, they have come to be known as sanctuary cities.

For anyone familiar with Breitbart News under Stephen K. Bannon, it’s obvious that this new fear-mongering tactic comes straight from the playbook of the man who is now the chief strategist and senior counselor to the president. Bannon’s Breitbart has championed such hardline anti-immigrant ideas for years.

Alex Amend: Digital Media Director, Southern Poverty Law Center

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The Positive Effects of Sanctuary Policies on Crime and the Economy, Tom K. Wong, Center for American Progress

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The Data Are Clear: Sanctuary Counties See Lower Crime Rates and Stronger Economies

 

A Crackdown On Our Right To Stand Up

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Above Photo: From Socialist Worker 

  • Nicole Colson explains how Republican-led legislatures are trying to push through laws to criminalize dissent–in the hopes of stopping the growing fight against the right.
  • Related: 'People Have the Right to Take to the Streets'

Nicole Colson, Socialist Worker / Popular Resistance

https://secure.consumersunion.org/images/content/pagebuilder/Industry-telling.jpg February 14, 2017 | Less than  three weeks into his presidency, Donald Trump is clearly what George W. Bush once claimed to be: “a uniter, not a divider.” Only he’s been uniting many hundreds of thousands of people in protest and many millions in outrage at his bigoted, right-wing actions since taking office.

But Trump’s right-wing admirers around the country have seized on a strategy to push back against mass protest–by criminalizing it. Lawmakers in multiple states are proposing measures explicitly designed to curtail dissent.

Nicole Colson is a reporter for Socialist Worker and a contributor to the International Socialist Review and CounterPunch. She frequently writes on civil liberties, the environment, women’s rights and culture. 

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'People Have the Right to Take to the Streets' Janine Jackson, Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR)

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Janine Jackson interviewed Mara Verheyden-Hilliard about the inauguration protests for the January 27, 2017, episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript.

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Florida Supreme Court: More than 200 death row inmates were given unconstitutional death sentences

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  • The court found that death sentences decided by a judge, not a jury, were unconstitutional. More than 200 inmates are affected by the ruling, which only applies to sentences imposed since 2002. That means more than half of the people on death row will get re-sentenced. 
  • Related: Another Botched Execution

Rene Stutzman and Gal Tziperman Lotan, Orlando (FL) Sentinel

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http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2009/01/11/opinion/justice190v.jpgDecember 22, 2016 | he Florida Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that the state's death penalty was so flawed for so long that more than half of the people on death row may be entitled to new sentencing hearings.

That opinion, handed down in a pair of decisions Thursday, covers more than 200 inmates awaiting execution — and includes all of those who were sentenced after 2002 or whose appeals were not final by that year.

It is a legal decision that death row inmates, defense attorneys, prosecutors and the families of murder victims have awaited since January, when the U.S. Supreme Court found the state's death penalty unconstitutional.

Rene Stutzman and Gal Tziperman Lotan, Staff Writers, Orlando (FL) Sentinel 

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Another Botched Execution, Martha Rosenberg, opednews.com

  • As the nation is horrified by another botched execution, a capital defense lawyer in Texas, legal scholar in New York and the former warden of San Quentin work against capital punishment.
  • Rachel Maddow's Harrowing Description Of Botched Arizona Execution
  • Cops Behaving Badly, June 28,2014

What’s not being voted on this November: Local democracy is being squashed from coast to coast

 

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Corporations, courts, and politicians evade democracy by squashing local measures on fracking, wages, GMOs and more.

Simon Davis-Cohen, Salon

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http://media.salon.com/2016/10/election_issues-620x412.jpg File - This March 21, 2016 file photo shows the Flint Water Plant water tower in Flint, Mich. After months of national attention on lead-tainted drinking water in Flint, many are starting to ask questions about a 74-mile pipeline being built from Lake Huron to the struggling former auto manufacturing powerhouse. The $285 million project is rooted in political ambitions and long-simmering resentment toward Detroit, which for decades had near-total control of the city’s water rates. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio File)(Credit: AP/Paul Sancya/Carlos Osorio/Brennan Linsley)

Sunday, October 30, 2016 | People across the country have turned to the local ballot initiative process — by which citizens write, petition for and vote on legislation — to push the needle on key legislative battles around fracking, the minimum wage, police reform and many other issues. The response of state legislatures, wary of local activism, in passing state “preemption” laws to remove “local control” is well documented.

Less well known, however, is the role of courts and city governments in barring local citizens from even bringing these issues to a vote. In fact, the very power of local direct democracy to effect change on these contentious issues is in the crosshairs.

Despite petitioners collecting sufficient signatures, at least nine local ballot initiatives in Minnesota, Ohio and Washington state have been removed from November ballots. There are almost certainly other examples. Often the mere possibility or threat of state preemption is used as grounds to stop a duly qualified initiative from being voted on. Here are several of the more prominent examples.

Simon Davis-Cohen: freelance investigative journalist examining the powers of local governments and corporations in the United States.

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