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 »

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‘Anonymous’ Hacker Explains Why He Fled The US

Business Insider Mar. 2, 2012 By Michael Kelley Anonymous is front and center these days: the amorphous hacktivist group has been publishing internal data of U.S. banks while prominent members are prosecuted More »

Category Archives: repression

‘Anonymous’ Hacker Explains Why He Fled The US

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Business Insider
Mar. 2, 2012
By Michael Kelley

Anonymous is front and center these days: the amorphous hacktivist group has been publishing internal data of U.S. banks while prominent members are prosecuted on charges of stealing information and sharing links to stolen credit card information.

Yet overarching insights into the decentralized collective are hard to find.

Information activist Asher Wolf provides a unique perspective in an interview with a prominent American Anon, who has more than 290,000 Twitter followers via @AnonyOps and is living in exile by choice.

The hacker left the country out of a fear of being harshly prosecuted by the government for radical advocacy of movements such as WikiLeaks and Occupy .

“I think the idea was planted when I saw others leaving,” @AnonyOps told Wolf. ” Glen Greenwald left … There’s a brain drain of political dissidents – America’s punishment for screwing with civil liberties.

Tibet’s Desperate Toll Keeps Climbing

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New York Times
Dec. 4, 2012
By MARK MCDONALD

HONG KONG — What pushes them to do it, these desperate Tibetans, more than 90 of them, dozens in recent days and another one on Monday, the ones drenching themselves in gasoline, sometimes even drinking the fuel beforehand, and then setting themselves on fire, their robes bursting into pennants of flame as they die such painful deaths, why, what is happening here? Are they killing themselves because of politics, sadness, despair, religion, what?

We don’t yet know what drove Lobsang Gedun, 29, a Buddhist monk who burned himself to death on Monday in the western Chinese province of Qinghai. My colleague Edward Wong reported on the death, and Radio Free Asia quoted an account of the immolation: “With his body on fire, he walked about 300 steps with hands folded in prayer posture, and raised slogans before he collapsed dead on the ground.”

Lobsang Gedun’s slogans were likely in praise of the Dalai Lama, the exiled spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhists, or condemnations of Beijing’s harsh, militarized rule in Tibet and the Tibetan areas of western China. Foreign reporters, United Nations investigators and many international relief groups are almost universally barred by the Chinese authorities from entering Tibet.

Tribes raise $9M for sacred SD land

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Associated Press
Nov. 30, 2012
By KRISTI EATON

SIOUX FALLS, S.D.—After months of high-profile fundraising that drew celebrities’ attention and dollars, a group of Native American tribes has raised $9 million to buy a piece of land in South Dakota’s Black Hills that they consider sacred, an official with an Indian land foundation said Friday.

The Indian Land Tenure Foundation president Cris Stainbrook told The Associated Press that the tribes raised enough money to purchase the land from its current owners. The foundation was one of several groups and organizations leading the effort to buy the land.

Stainbrook said the deal should be finalized yet Friday, which was the deadline for the tribes to raise the money.

Vendetta masks in UAE colours draw warning

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Gulf News
Nov. 18, 2012
By Noorhan Baraka

Dubai: Police officials in Dubai have warned against wearing a mask that symbolises opposition to state authority during any celebrations connected to National Day and declared it illegal.

Any person found wearing Guy Fawkes masks, also known as ‘Vendetta masks’, risks police questioning as any object or action deemed to be instigating unrest or insulting the UAE is illegal, police officials said.

The masks are a stylised depiction of a man who was behind the failed Gunpowder Plot to blow up the British House of Lords in London in 1605. The plot is commemorated with a fireworks displays in the UK on November 5 each year in an event that has come to be known as Guy Fawkes night.

Rights group: 4 Tibetans self-immolate in one day

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Associated News
Nov. 7, 2012
By LOUISE WATT

BEIJING (AP) — Three teenage monks and a Tibetan woman set fire to themselves in the largest number of confirmed self-immolations protesting Chinese rule over the Himalayan region in a single day, a London-based rights group said.

Free Tibet director Stephanie Brigden said the group expects Tibetan protests to continue to escalate as the Communist Party’s congress — a weeklong conference that will unveil China’s new leaders — began Thursday.

The three monks set fire to themselves Wednesday afternoon outside a police office in southwest Sichuan province calling for freedom for Tibet and the return of their spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, Free Tibet said in a statement. It said it was the first documented case of a triple self-immolation.

Tibetan Farmer Is Eighth Protester To Self-Immolate This Month

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NPR
Oct. 22, 2012
By Sophia Jones

The Tibetan Labrang Monastery in Gansu, northwestern China, is normally a place of tranquility. Now, it is also known for tragedy. Early this morning, a Tibetan farmer known as Dhondup headed to Labrang to perform the Buddhist ritual of walking around the monastery in prayer. Near the prayer hall inside the gold-roofed monastery, Dhondup lit himself ablaze in protest of Chinese rule in Tibet. This is the second self-immolation in Tibet in two days, continuing a disturbing trend among Tibetan protesters.

A picture (note: it is graphic; you may not wish to view it) uploaded by the U.K.-based human rights organization Free Tibet shows what is said to be Dhondup’s body engulfed in flames against a backdrop of white brick and blue sky. According to witnesses, Buddhist monks surrounded his charred remains so that Chinese authorities could not confiscate the body.

Stephanie Brigde, director of the organization, said in a written statement that Dhondup is now the eighth Tibetan protester to self-immolate this month. The group claims that nearly 60 Tibetans — mostly monks and nuns — have turned to suicide by fire in Tibet and bordering Chinese provinces since spring of last year. Few survived and many of their whereabouts are unknown, but activists point fingers at the Chinese government.

“China must recognize that Tibetan demands for freedom cannot be stamped out by brute force,” Brigde wrote following Dhondup’s death, adding that China “must enter into meaningful dialogue with Tibetan representatives, supported by the international community.”

Turkey has jailed more journalists than Iran, Eritrea or China: watchdog

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Reuters
Oct. 22, 2012
By Daren Butler

ISTANBUL — Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s government has waged one of the world’s biggest crackdowns on press freedom in recent years, jailing more journalists than Iran, China or Eritrea, a leading media watchdog said on Monday.

The damning report from the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) added to a chorus of criticism from the European Union and rights groups of the EU-candidate country’s mass detention of reporters, most of whom are kept in detention while their cases are dealt with.

Around two-thirds were journalists writing about the largely Kurdish southeast, where the government is fighting a separatist rebellion.

The U.S.-based watchdog criticised Erdogan’s public disparagement of journalists, the use of pressure tactics to encourage self-censorship, and the launching of thousands of criminal cases against reporters on charges such as “denigrating Turkishness”.

Pussy Riot band members sent to remote prison camps

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Guardian
Oct. 22, 2012
By

Two members of the anti-Kremlin punk band Pussy Riot have been sent to remote prison camps to serve their sentences, the group has said.

Maria Alyokhina, 24, will serve the rest of her two-year term at a women’s prison camp in Perm, a Siberian region notorious for hosting some of the Soviet Union’s harshest camps. Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22, has been sent to Mordovia, a region that also hosts a high number of prisons.

“These are the harshest camps of all the possible choices,” the band said via its Twitter account on Monday.

Jailed Bahrain medics ‘go on hunger strike’

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AFP
Oct. 14, 2012

DUBAI — Five medics jailed in connection with last year’s anti-regime protests in Bahrain went on hunger strike on Sunday, urging international rights groups to campaign for their release, lawyers said.

The Shiite medics, who have been in prison since October 1 after the Gulf kingdom’s highest court upheld their prison sentences, called their action “The Lost Justice,” and have stopped taking food and medicine, the lawyers said.

A sixth medic has been released because of time already served.

The medics reiterated accusations that the authorities used “harsh and systematic torture” during months of initial detention in the wake of a deadly crackdown on protests in March last year.

Activists warned to watch what they say as social media monitoring becomes ‘next big thing in law enforcement’

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The Independent
Oct. 1, 2012
By Kevin Rawlinson

Political activists must watch what they say on the likes of Facebook and Twitter, sites which will become the “next big thing in law enforcement”, a leading human rights lawyer has warned.

John Cooper QC said that police are monitoring key activists online and that officers and the courts are becoming increasingly savvy when it comes to social media. But, speaking to The Independent, he added that he also expected that to drive an increase in the number of criminals being brought to justice in the coming months.

“People involved in public protest should use social media to their strengths, like getting their message across. But they should not use them for things like discussing tactics. They might as well be having a tactical meeting with their opponents sitting in and listening.

“For example, if antifascist organisers were discussing their plans on social media, they can assume that a fascist organisation will be watching. Social media sites are the last place you want to post something like that,” he said.