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Challenging the institutional racism and violence in our law enforcement culture: A Not Guilty Verdict to celebrate.

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Protesters in St. Paul, MN, march in response to the killing of Philando Castile (Fibonacci Blue / Flickr)

These bits of fractured history are examples to me of the fact that what we accomplish is the result of not just what one or two persons do but rather the result of community action through time.

Roger Cuthbertson, Rise Up Times

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Art by Ricardo Levins Morales, RLMArtStudio.com

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Ricardo%20Levins%20Morales%20%7C%20Significant%20Change.jpgAugust17,2018 | Here are some inside stories and insights regarding the trial. For a general account of how the trial went, please see the thorough account based upon the trial notes of Jo Schubert, and nicely written up by Sue Ann Martinson in Rise Up Times.

Note: As we were preparing to publish these reflections on our trial, news broke on August1, 2018, that the City of St. Paul has dismissed charges facing 17 protesters who were arrested near the Minnesota Governor’s Mansion in St. Paul in July 2016. We understand the news to mean that all of the remaining charges against all of the remaining defendants from the governor’s mansion arrests of July 2016 have been dropped. City Attorney, Lindsey Olson, made the announcement.

Roger Cuthbertson was arrested for protesting the killing of Philando Castile by police officer Jeronimo Yanez. These are his reflections on the trial andNot Guilty verdict on June 14, 2018 in Ramsey County Court, Minnesota.

Full story …
 

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High Crimes and Misdemeanours of Kavanaugh and the Senate-Trump Faction - We Need to Mobilize Like Never Before.

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  • Part 1: If Kavanaugh Is Confirmed, We Need to Mobilize Like Never Before
  • His record indicates that he would stonewall movements against poverty, militarism, and racism for a generation.
  • Part 2: High Crimes and Misdemeanours of Kavanaugh and the Senate-Trump Faction - Step-by-step Overthrow of the Rule of Law
  • Kavanaugh has been … continuously coached from the highest offices of the land to act above the law.

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

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Part 1: If Kavanaugh Is Confirmed, We Need to Mobilize Like Never Before

 

https://www.thenation.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/kavanaugh-protest-ap-img.jpg?scale=896&compress=80Demonstrators protest against Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court in Washington, DC, October 4, 2018. (AP Photo / Jose Luis Magana)


His record indicates that he would stonewall movements against poverty, militarism, and racism for a generation.
 
Phyllis Bennis, William J. Barber II, the Nation

October 5, 2018 | It’s a familiar story: A candidate for president loses the popular vote, is still selected by the Electoral College, and nominates judges to federal courts who reverse groundbreaking civil-rights laws.

Trump and Kavanaugh aren’t the first.

It happened before, starting in 1876. By the end of 1877, Rutherford B. Hayes–appointed federal judges were presiding over the end of Reconstruction. Jim Crow segregation came back in full force, the Klan rose again with no legal challenge, and an era of lynching exploded across the South and beyond.

Phyllis Bennis is a fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies. Her books include Calling the Shots: How Washington Dominates Today’s UN and Challenging Empire: How People, Governments and the UN Defy US Power.

William J. Barber II is national president and senior lecturer, Repairers of the Breach.


Read More …


Part 2: High Crimes and Misdemeanours of Kavanaugh and the Senate-Trump Faction - Step-by-step Overthrow of the Rule of Law

https://www.globalresearch.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/US-supreme-court-by-Huffington-Post-1.jpgKavanaugh has been so continuously coached from the highest offices of the land to act above the law in every regard that this corrupt appointment reaches into the depths of a ‘tyrannical faction’ now in control of our federal government and institutions. It has so overreached in lawless and naked abuse of power that only keeping the public in ignorance can allow it to continue into the mid-term elections this November – the acid test of US democracy which is now before us. 

John McMurtry and Matthew Stanton, Global Research

Global Research, October 05, 2018 | Despite the historic stakes of the ram-through appointment to the Supreme Court of the United States of a serial liar and alleged early rapist, who loudly denounces his Senate questioners as a “left-wing conspiracy” – sniffing all the time as his habit – there has been no legal analysis of his abetted crimes of persistent false statements and declarations, and factional subversion of the rule of law and the US Constitution itself. 

As law and moral philosophy professors writing just as the White-House-counsel controlled FBI ‘investigation’ is hidden under cover from citizens and the press, we are moved by duty to explain what has so far been lost in media melodrama, political cover-up at the highest levels, he-says-she-says reductions, and the politics of effectively usurping the rule of law in the United States.

Matthew Stanton is a long practising Chicago attorney  and law professor, and John McMurtry is a moral philosopher and author whose work has been translated across the world.

Full story …

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America's new aristocracy lives in an accountability-free zone.

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‘If there are no legal consequences for profiteers who defrauded the global economy into a collapse, what will deter those profiteers from doing that again?’ Illustration: Mark Long/Mark Long for Guardian US

Accountability is for the little people, immunity is for the ruling class. If this ethos seems familiar, that is because it has preceded some of the darkest moments in human history.

David Sirota, the Guardian

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Fri 5 Oct 2018 | When the former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling was released from prison a few weeks ago, the news conjured memories of a corporate scandal that now seems almost quaint – and it was also a reminder that Enron executives were among the last politically connected criminals to face any serious consequences for institutionalized fraud.

Since Skilling’s conviction 12 years ago, our society has been fundamentally altered by a powerful political movement whose goal is not merely another court seat, tax cut or election victory. This movement’s objective is far more revolutionary: the creation of an accountability-free zone for an ennobled aristocracy, even as the rest of the population is treated to law-and-order rhetoric and painfully punitive policy.

David Sirota is a staff writer for PandoDaily, television commentator and nationally syndicated weekly newspaper columnist and has written for the New York Times Magazine, Harper’s, Wired, Vice, the
Nation and Salon.com. He covers the intersection of politics, technology and popular culture.

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The Nationwide Prison Strike: Beyond Mass Incarceration

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  • Part 1: The Nationwide Prison Strike: Why It’s Happening and What It Means for Ending Mass Incarceration
  • It was time to launch a national prison strike to raise awareness around the brutality of mass incarceration.
  • Part 2: Beyond Mass Incarceration
  • How the deleterious effects of the drug wars go far beyond just those who end up in prison, from stop-and-frisk to the use of police informants.

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

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Part 1: The Nationwide Prison Strike: Why It’s Happening and What It Means for Ending Mass Incarceration
 

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It was time to launch a national prison strike to raise awareness around the brutality of mass incarceration.

Janos Marton, ACLU / Rise Up Times

August 21, 2018 | Earlier this spring, violence broke out in the Lee Correctional Institution in South Carolina, resulting in seven deaths and many injuries. Incarcerated leaders in the South Carolina prison system decided they had had enough. Brutal treatment from corrections officers, deteriorating prison conditions, and incredibly long, punitive sentences had led to a condition of hopelessness in South Carolina’s prisons.

Leaders within the South Carolina prison system began reaching out to incarcerated allies across the country, including the Free Alabama Movement, who had led a prison strike in 2016. A decision was made: It was time to launch a national prison strike to raise awareness around the brutality of mass incarceration.

Janos Marton, State Campaigns Manager, ACLU Campaign for Smart Justice,  ACLU

Read more …



Part 2: Beyond Mass Incarceration


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How the deleterious effects of the drug wars go far beyond just those who end up in prison, from stop-and-frisk to the use of police informants.

Jonathan Blanks, Demnocracy Journal

May 31, 2018 | Earlier this month, the Trump White House held a bipartisan event supporting prison reform, including good time credits for low-level offenders. Mass incarceration has indeed become the primary focus in the world of criminal justice reform, with many of the most popular reforms focused on sentencing and community reentry for nonviolent drug offenders. And although much can and should be done for those who have been incarcerated, there are many more victims of the the drug war’s abuses than just those who end up in prison. In addition to the millions of people arrested each year for misdemeanor drug possession, countless people who will never step foot into a jail or prison nonetheless have been harassed and searched by police looking for drugs or their proceeds.

And the same incentives that drive police to make so many arrests and searches can also influence them to lie about how and why any search or arrest was legal. For example, if a police officer says he “smelled marijuana” emanating from a car during a stop, he can use that as probable cause to search a car, whether or not the smell was real. In addition, low-level dealers who are arrested are sometimes coerced into becoming informants and setting up stings with larger dealers, often at their own peril. What’s more, the potential profits in the illicit drug trade can lead unscrupulous officers to use their authority as cover for criminal enterprise. In other words, on both the individual and institutional levels, prosecuting the drug war has corroded the integrity of law enforcement and its officers.

Jonathan Blanks is a Research Associate in Cato’s Project on Criminal Justice. His research is focused on law enforcement practices, overcriminalization, and civil liberties.

Full story …

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Kavanaugh battle gets darker and weirder: Will bizarre conspiracy theories save him?

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Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh speaks after Donald Trump announced his nomination at the White House on July 9, 2018. (Getty/Mandel Ngan)

  • Sen. Orrin Hatch and GOP operative Ed Whelan want to blame someone else for 1982 assault. Will Trump go along?
  • Related: Brett "Stonewall Justice" Kavanaugh

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Heather Digby Parton, Salon

September 21, 2018 | Donald Trump held a rally in Las Vegas for Sen. Dean Heller. R-Nev., on Thursday night. (Heller faces a tough re-election fight against Rep. Jacky Rosen, a moderate Democrat well liked in Nevada.) His crowd was as ecstatic as usual, lustily chanting "lock her up" and booing energetically when Trump asked sarcastically, "What about our Justice Department, huh?" It's still jarring to see a president ginning up citizens to demand that his former politicalrivalbe put in prison, but this new disgust for federal law enforcement is downright disorienting.

Trump was introduced by Wayne Allen Root, author of "Angry White Male: How the Donald Trump Phenomenon Is Changing America." Root claimed that Trump had specifically requested him, which is probably true. They are both conspiracy theorists, having originally bonded over the "birther" craze that first put Trump on the wingnut radar. If they had a chance to chat last night in Vegas it is almost certain they talked about this.

Heather Digby Parton, also known as "Digby," is a contributing writer to Salon. She was the winner of the 2014 Hillman Prize for Opinion and Analysis Journalism.

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Related:

Brett "Stonewall Justice" Kavanaugh, Compiled by the Marshall Project

The Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination is different from its predecessors in many ways.
 

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