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The Road to World War 3

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Edward Snowden

Open Letter To Obama

July 26, 2013 President Barack Obama The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20500 Re: Civil Disobedience, Edward J. Snowden, and the Constitution Dear Mr. President: You are acutely aware More »

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U.S. Companies Pay Just One-Third Of The Legal Tax Rate: GAO Study

Huffington Post July 1, 2013 By Mark Gongloff Big, profitable U.S. companies paid an average federal tax rate of less than 13 percent in 2010, according to a new study — or More »

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Man Tried for Chalk Drawings Found Not Guilty

NBC San Diego July 1, 2013 By Christina London The man accused of vandalism for drawing with chalk outside banks has been found not guilty on all charges. A jury returned its More »

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The Bigger Story Behind the AP Spying Scandal

Washington’s Blog/Global Research May 20, 2012 By George Washington Attack on the Press You know that the Department of Justice tapped scores of phone lines at the Associated Press. You might have More »

Category Archives: human rights

Pentagon’s new massive expansion of ‘cyber-security’ unit is about everything except defense

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Guardian
Jan. 28, 2012
By

As the US government depicts the Defense Department as shrinking due to budgetary constraints, the Washington Post this morning announces “a major expansion of [the Pentagon's] cybersecurity force over the next several years, increasing its size more than fivefold.” Specifically, says the New York Times this morning, “the expansion would increase the Defense Department’s Cyber Command by more than 4,000 people, up from the current 900.” The Post describes this expansion as “part of an effort to turn an organization that has focused largely on defensive measures into the equivalent of an Internet-era fighting force.” This Cyber Command Unit operates under the command of Gen. Keith Alexander, who also happens to be the head of the National Security Agency, the highly secretive government network that spies on the communications of foreign nationals – and American citizens.

The Pentagon’s rhetorical justification for this expansion is deeply misleading. Beyond that, these activities pose a wide array of serious threats to internet freedom, privacy, and international law that, as usual, will be conducted with full-scale secrecy and with little to no oversight and accountability. And, as always, there is a small army of private-sector corporations who will benefit most from this expansion.

Let’s begin with the way this so-called “cyber-security” expansion has been marketed. It is part of a sustained campaign which, quite typically, relies on blatant fear-mongering.

Anonymous threatens Justice Department over hacktivist death

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CNN
Jan. 26, 2012
By Ben Brumfield

(CNN) — In anger over the recent death of an Internet activist who faced federal charges, hackers claiming to be from the group Anonymous threatened early Saturday to release sensitive information about the U.S. Department of Justice.

They claimed to have one such file on multiple servers ready for immediate release.

The hackers apparently hijacked the website of the U.S. government agency responsible for federal sentencing guidelines, where they posted a message demanding the United States reform its justice system or face incriminating leaks to select news outlets.

The lengthy, eloquently written letter was signed “Anonymous.”

‘Idle No More’ plans global rallies over Canada’s aboriginals

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Press TV
Jan. 8, 2012

The ‘Idle No More’ native rights movement plans to stage worldwide rallies on Friday in solidarity with Canada’s Aboriginal communities.

Organizers are preparing to stage rallies this coming Friday, which is designated as the ‘Global Day of Action’. It coincides with the same day that Prime Minister Stephen Harper plans to meet with some native leaders, including Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence.

Spence has been on hunger strike since December 11, 2012, and intends to continue the protest until Harper meets with the leaders of Aboriginal communities.

Judge Limits a Police Stop-and-Frisk Program in the Bronx

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New York Times
Jan. 8, 2012
By

A federal judge ruled on Tuesday that the New York Police Department’s practice of stopping people suspected of trespassing outside private buildings in the Bronx was unconstitutional.

The decision appears to be one of the more significant federal rulings during the Bloomberg administration on the Police Department’s use of stop-and-frisk tactics, which the administration has credited with helping lower crime rates in the city.

The case was narrowly focused on police stops in front of the private residential buildings enrolled in the Trespass Affidavit Program in the Bronx. Under that program, which includes several thousand residential buildings, property managers have asked the police to patrol their buildings and to arrest trespassers.

F.B.I. Counterterrorism Agents Monitored Occupy Movement, Records Show

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New York Times
Dec. 24, 2012
By and

WASHINGTON — The Federal Bureau of Investigation used counterterrorism agents to investigate the Occupy Wall Street movement, including its communications and planning, according to newly disclosed agency records.

The F.B.I. records show that as early as September 2011, an agent from a counterterrorism task force in New York notified officials of two landmarks in Lower Manhattan — Federal Hall and the Museum of American Finance — “that their building was identified as a point of interest for the Occupy Wall Street.”

That was around the time that Occupy Wall Street activists set up a camp in Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan, spawning a protest movement across the United States that focused the nation’s attention on issues of income inequality.

‘Extraordinary’: Three Weeks Later, Keystone Blockaders Still in Texas Jail

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Common Dreams
Dec. 21, 2012
By Beth Brogan

Nearly three weeks after they were arrested on misdemeanor charges, activists who barricaded themselves inside a portion of pipe to protest the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline remain in a Texas jail, each held on $65,000 bail.

Activists Matthew Almonte and Glen Collins. (Photo: Tar Sands Blockade) Mathew Almonte and Glen Collins were arrested Dec. 3 in Winona, Texas after chaining their arms to two 600-pound concrete barrels they had maneuvered inside a section of pipe. They hoped to block construction of the TransCanada KXL pipeline, which if completed will carry highly toxic tar sands from Alberta, Canada, to Gulf Coast refineries.

Also arrested was Isabel Brooks, who was filming the protest.

Part of the coalition Tar Sands Blockade, Collins said at the time that he was barricading the pipe “to say loud and clear to the extraction industry that our communities and the resources we depend on for survival are not collateral damage.”

Occupy LA protesters sue city

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Los Angeles Times
Dec. 20, 2012

Protesters in the Occupy Los Angeles movement filed a class-action lawsuit Thursday against the city and high-ranking officials alleging that the group’s constitutional rights were violated during its eviction.

The lawsuit alleges that the Los Angeles Police Department used “shock and awe” military tactics on November 2011 to forcibly remove hundreds of demonstrators who were encamped on the south lawn of City Hall. The group alleges that the police raid that resulted in nearly 300 arrests was “unconstitutional and an unlawful violation of plaintiffs’ First, Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights to assembly, association, freedom from unlawful seizure and liberty.”

Aboriginal rights movement Idle No More spreads beyond First Nations community

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The Gazette
Dec. 19, 2012
By Christopher Curtis

OTTAWA – Theresa Spence gets dizzy if she walks more than a few steps.

The Attawapiskat chief is getting weaker as her hunger strike is in its second week, but Spence says she won’t eat until Prime Minister Stephen Harper agrees to meet with her and other aboriginal leaders across Canada.

Since she began her protest, Spence has spent her days in isolation on the tiny aboriginal territory of Victoria Island, which sits across the Ottawa River from Parliament Hill.

These days Spence barely has enough strength to leave the teepee she’s been sleeping in. She drinks a small cup of fish broth each day to fend off sickness.

“My spirits are good,” she said, warming by a wooden fire in her makeshift home. “I hear drumming every day and people singing songs for me every day … it’s encouraging.”

Canada gets human rights failing grade from Amnesty International

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The Star
Dec. 19, 2012
By Olivia Ward

For Canada’s international human rights standing, 2012 was an annus horribilis.

This year three UN expert committees rated the country’s performance on meeting rights commitments — and returned a failing grade.

“These mandatory reviews are carried out every four or five years, and it just happened that this year Canada was the focus of three,” said Alex Neve, who heads Amnesty International Canada. “It’s a wake-up call that although we have things to be proud of, there are many fronts where we have long-standing issues that need to be addressed.”

An Amnesty report released Wednesday says that committees on racial discrimination, prevention of torture and children’s rights found “a range” of “ongoing and serious human rights challenges,” especially for indigenous peoples.

Hacktivists strike Westboro Baptist Church over Newtown tragedy

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RT
Dec. 17, 2012

Hacktivists with the Anonymous movement and other online groups have waged a war on the Westboro Baptist Church following news that the group plans to demonstrate on the site of the Shady Hook Elementary School massacre.

Shirley Phelps-Roper of the notorious Westboro Baptist Church announced Friday that the Topeka, Kansas-based religious group would be picketing in Newtown, Connecticut, where less than five hours earlier a shooter opened fire killing more than two dozen people, mostly children.

“Westboro will picket in CT,” Shirley Phelps-Roper, a lawyer and spokesperson for the group, confirmed Friday afternoon over Twitter. On Saturday, she added, “Westboro will picket Sandy Hook Elementary School to sing praise to God for the glory of his work in executing his judgment.”