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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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Related:

'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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Related:

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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Dave & the Crew


 

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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FCC Passes Sweeping Internet Privacy Rules in ‘Big Win for Civil Rights’

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  • “It’s the consumers’ information,” FCC chairman Tom Wheeler said. “How it is used should be the consumers’ choice. Not the choice of some corporate algorithm.”
  • "Just as telephone companies are not allowed to listen in to our calls or sell information about who we talk to, our internet providers shouldn't be allowed to monitor our internet usage for profit." —Jay Stanley, ACLU

Nadia Prupis, Common Dreams / Truthdig

 

http://www.commondreams.org/sites/default/files/styles/cd_large/public/headlines/internet_privacy.jpg?itok=HBCYfQl_ The rules require Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to get customers' explicit consent before using or sharing behavioral data like browsing history, location, and other sensitive information. (Photo: Blogtrepreneur/flickr/cc)  

Oct 27, 2016 | The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Thursday passed sweeping new privacy rules designed to keep broadband providers from giving customers’ private data to third parties.

The rules, approved by a vote of 3-2, require Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to get customers’ explicit consent before using or sharing behavioral data like browsing history, location, and other sensitive information with marketing firms or other companies, the Washington Post reports.

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“It’s the consumers’ information,” FCC chairman Tom Wheeler said. “How it is used should be the consumers’ choice. Not the choice of some corporate algorithm.”

Nadia Prupis is a Common Dreams <http://www.commondreams.org> staff writer.

Full story … 

Section(s): 

Police Shootings Won't Stop Unless We Also Stop Shaking Down Black People

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  • It is probably no coincidence that when you examine the recent rash of police killings, you find that the offenses the victims were initially stopped for were preposterously minor.
  • The dangers of turning police officers into revenue generators.
  • Related: To the 4 White Male Policemen Who Beat Me for Checking the Health of a Sick Black Man in Their Custody … 

Jack Hitt, Mother Jones

http://www.motherjones.com/files/imagecache/top-of-content-image/shakedown-2000x1124.jpg Owen Freeman

September/October, 2015 | In April, several days after North Charleston, South Carolina, police officer Michael Slager stopped Walter Scott for a busted taillight and then fatally shot him, the usual cable-news transmogrification of victim into superpredator ran into problems. The dash cam showed Scott being pulled over while traveling at a nerdy rate of speed, using his left turn signal to pull into a parking lot and having an amiable conversation with Slager until he realized he'd probably get popped for nonpayment of child support. At which point he bolted out of the car and hobbled off. Slager then shot him. Why didn't the cop just jog up and grab him? Calling what the obese 50-year-old Scott was doing "running" really stretches the bounds of literary license.

But maybe the question to ask is: Why did Scott run? The answer came when the New York Times revealed Scott to be a man of modest means trapped in an exhausting hamster wheel: He would get a low-paying job, make some child support payments, fall behind on them, get fined, miss a payment, get jailed for a few weeks, lose that job due to absence, and then start over at a lower-paying job. From all apparent evidence, he was a decent schlub trying to make things work in a system engineered to make his life miserable and recast his best efforts as criminal behavior.

Jack Hitt is a contributing writer for Mother Jones, a nonprofit independent journal.

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To the 4 White Male Policemen Who Beat Me for Checking the Health of a Sick Black Man in Their Custody … , Ali Afshar, Human Development Project / Portside

Because pick on schizophrenics, you are picking on me.

 

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