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 »

Monthly Archives: July 2012

More details of stunning Y-12 break-in; protesters offered bread to guards

KnoxNews.com
July 31, 2012
By Frank Munger

OAK RIDGE — Emerging accounts of what took place in Saturday’s predawn hours at Y-12 are surely unlike any of the threat scenarios regularly tested during security exercises at the government installation. It apparently was a surreal scene inside the nuclear weapons plant.

Around 4:30 a.m., Y-12′s protective force responded to a sensor on the PIDAS (perimeter intrusion detection and assessment system) that indicated an unauthorized entry into the so-called Protected Area, where work on nuclear warheads takes place.

As it turned out, there was no terrorist attack under way. Nor was the alarm tripped by a wayward deer or other critters that sometimes prove to be a security nuisance at the plant.


Instead, three aging peaceniks were hanging banners in the dark, splashing blood, and painting messages on the plant’s pride-and-joy storage facility, a $549 million fortress which contains the nation’s primary supply of bomb-grade uranium.

As they were confronted by a heavily armed guard, the anti-nukes protesters — Megan Rice, an 82-year-old nun; Greg Boertje-Obed, 57, a housepainter and military veteran; and Michael Walli, 63, a gardener and Roman Catholic layman — reportedly began reading a prepared statement about their beliefs and opposition to nuclear weapons.

“He was on his walkie-talkie talking, but he heard it,” Rice told one of the protest supporters in a jailhouse telephone conversation.

Before they were ordered to halt and kneel, the protesters reportedly offered to break bread with the guards and displayed their possessions — a Bible, candles and white roses. They also sang.

Their words and actions were not that unusual. They were standard fare for many protests staged around the U.S. and beyond. What was unusual was where these acts took place — the inner sanctum of the Oak Ridge weapons facility — which heretofore had been portrayed as impenetrable and deadly dangerous to unauthorized visitors.

Full Article Here – http://www.knoxnews.com/photos/2012/jul/28/242458/

Anaheim protest: Crowd chants ‘Am I next?’ outside police station

Los Angeles Times
July 29, 2012

Tempers continued to flare in Anaheim on Sunday afternoon as a group of about 250 protesters stood directly in front of the Police Department, the latest demonstration the city has seen after two fatal police shootings last weekend.

About 45 minutes after the protest began, demonstrators congregated in front of police headquarters as officers on foot and horseback told them to stay off the private sidewalk directly in front of the building. Some protesters moved to the edge of the adjacent public sidewalk and held out their arms in an effort to keep their fellow demonstrators back.

“These are our weapons,” Renee Balenti, 39, shouted at police, pointing to her mouth and head before joining the chain of demonstrators.

PHOTOS: Protests against Anaheim police shootings


The crowd — whose chants included “The whole system is guilty” and “Am I next?” — included members of Occupy Orange County and Kelly’s Army, a protest group formed after the fatal police beating of Kelly Thomas in Fullerton last year.

Anaheim, Orange County’s largest city, has seen a series of protests after Manuel Diaz, 25, was shot and killed by police July 21. Authorities said the unarmed man was avoiding arrest.

The fatal officer-involved shooting was the first of two that occurred that weekend; a day after Diaz was killed, Anaheim police shot and killed Joel Acevedo, 21, who authorities say fired on officers during a foot chase. A third such shooting occurred Friday, when officers opened fire on a robbery suspect, but the suspect was not hurt.

Full Article Here – http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/07/anaheim-crowd-chants-am-i-next-outside-police-station.html 

Anti-nuclear protesters surround Japanese parliament, gubernatorial election highlights issue

Associated Press
July 29, 2012

TOKYO — Thousands of people formed “a human chain” around Japan’s parliament complex Sunday to demand the government abandon nuclear power — the latest in a series of peaceful demonstrations on a scale not seen in the nation for decades.

Also Sunday, voters went to the polls in a closely watched election for governor of southwestern Yamaguchi prefecture, where an outspoken anti-nuclear candidate was running. Japanese media reported his loss late Sunday, citing exit polls, although official results had not been tallied.

Protesters said they were angry the government restarted two reactors earlier this month despite safety worries after the multiple meltdowns at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant in March last year. The reactors were the first to return to operation since May, when the last of Japan’s 50 working reactors went offline for routine checks.


Banging on drums and waving balloons and banners, protesters marched from a Tokyo park and lined up along the streets around the parliament building chanting, “Saikado hantai,” or “No to restarts,” and later lit candles.

“All these people have gotten together and are raising their voices,” said Shoji Kitano, 64, a retired math teacher who was wearing a sign that read, “No to Nukes.”

Kitano said he had not seen such massive demonstrations since the 1960s. He stressed that ordinary Japanese usually don’t demonstrate, but were outraged over the restarting of nuclear power.

Similar demonstrations have been held outside the prime minister’s residence every Friday evening. The crowds have not dwindled, as people get the word out through Twitter and other online networking. A July 16 holiday rally at a Tokyo park, featuring a rock star and a Nobel laureate, drew nearly 200,000 people.

Full Article Here – http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/anti-nuclear-protesters-surround-japanese-parliament-gubernatorial-election-highlights-issue/2012/07/29/gJQADU1uHX_story.html

Bradley Manning’s lawyers seek to show torturous holding conditions

Guardian
July 29, 2012
By

Bradley Manning, the suspected WikiLeaks source, is seeking to call several military psychiatrists to testify that he was held in custodial conditions likened to torture against their professional advice.

Manning’s defence lawyers have lodged a motion with the military court in Fort Meade, Maryland requesting the appearance of seven medical and other experts at the next pretrial hearing scheduled for 1 October.

The defence team, led by civilian lawyer David Coombs, is trying to have all 22 charges against Manning thrown out of court on grounds that he was subjected to illegal pretrial treatment in violation of the constitutional prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment.


Manning is accused of being responsible for the biggest leak of state secrets in US history. Hundreds of thousands of diplomatic cables from US embassies around the world, as well as warlogs from Afghanistan and Iraq, were published by the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks.

After his arrest in May 2010 at a military base near Baghdad, the young soldier was held at the Quantico marine base in Virginia.

For a period of about eight months at Quantico, Manning was subjected to extraordinarily harsh conditions. This was done, the military claimed, for his own protection under a so-called “prevention of injury” order or POI.

The unidentified witnesses that Coombs wants to call include a military psychiatrist who consistently recommended to Manning’s captors at the brig at Quantico that the prisoner should be removed from restrictive conditions. But his advice was ignored and Manning continued to be subjected to solitary confinement, being stripped naked, held in a bare cell and made to wear a rough smock at night.

Witnesses will testify, the defence motion states, that when the psychiatrists objected to the conditions, they were told by the military chiefs in the brig: “We will do whatever we want to do.”

The defence also wants to call witnesses from Fort Leavenworth in Kansas where Manning was moved in April 2011 following an international outcry about his treatment.

After the move, the soldier was allowed much greater freedom under medium-security arrangements. The defence argues that his successful transfer shows “he was improperly held to begin with”.

October’s hearing on Manning’s treatment at Quantico is a crucial last chance for his defence team to ameliorate some of the charges against him ahead of the full court martial trial that is likely to take place early in the new year. It is not clear, however, how far the judge presiding over the proceedings, Colonel Denise Lind, will be prepared to go.

Full Article Here – http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jul/29/bradley-manning-torturous-holding-conditions  

Anonymous begins dump of stolen ISP data

ZD Net
July 28, 2012
By

Anonymous Australia has followed through with its promise to dump of what appears to be AAPT’s customer data, releasing a sample of the stolen data.

The data was posted in several parts; six on Pastebin (one, two, three, four, five, and six), and four dump files. The information in these dumps appears to be about AAPT’s business accounts and the contacts for these agreements.

The data appears to contain information about AAPT business customers and staff, including the names, numbers, titles and email addresses of a contact for each business agreement and how much the company spends (presumably with AAPT) each month. AAPT confirmed earlier this week that its data had been breached via its provider Melbourne IT, but had not said whether Anonymous was behind the breach. ZDNet has contacted AAPT to confirm whether the dump is its data.

There appear to be passwords in the dump. In the information leaked to Pastebin, these passwords appear to be stored in plaintext, but completely random, consisting of upper- and lower-case characters and between 8 and 11 characters in length, indicating these users were assigned passwords or the passwords were disguised in some way. But in the dumped files, there are over a thousand passwords which aren’t random and appear to be user defined.

Although Anonymous Australia previously stated it would strip personal information from the data, there is still some left in the dump files.

This information includes the date of birth and marital status for many business customer account contacts, which could potentially provide would-be attackers with enough information to steal someone’s identity.

The group has since made its first press release regarding the attack and uploaded a video to YouTube to explain its motives. The group states that “Australia feels the need to censor and filter every day social and personal life” and that due to this, Anonymous is “disgusted from this decision, based upon power, money, and greed”.

Full Article Here – http://www.zdnet.com/au/anonymous-begins-dump-of-stolen-isp-data-7000001749/

Ecuador fines Chevron $19.02BN over Amazon pollution

Global Post
July 27, 2012
By

An Ecuadorian court has ordered US oil giant Chevron to pay $19.02 billion in compensation for environmental damage relating to its operations in the Amazon.

It is $1 billion more than the original fine imposed in 2011. The ruling – considered one of the biggest ever for environmental damage – was upheld by an appeals court in January. The increased fine came about after Chevron appealed the decision in Ecuador’s Supreme Court.

“Due to an involuntary calculation error, the reparations now amount to $19,021,552,000,” Agence France-Presse quoted an unnamed court official as saying.


Thousands of indigenous people and local farmers accused US oil company Texaco Petroleum Co. of contaminating large areas of Ecuador’s Amazon rainforest when it operated in the region between 1964 and 1990.

Chevron inherited the lawsuit in 2001 when it bought Texaco, but it has denied responsibility for poisoning the land.

Full Article Here – http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/120727/ecuador-fines-chevron-1902bn-over-amazon-pollution 

Legal Experts File Complaints about Widespread Rights Violations in Policing of Occupy Movement

Occupy Wall Street
July 26, 2012

The City of New York must take immediate action to correct the clear pattern of abusive policing of Occupy Wall Street (OWS) protests, said legal experts in a complaint filed Wednesday with New York City authorities, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the United Nations. The complaint is based on a report providing in-depth documentation and legal analysis of widespread human rights violations in New York City’s treatment of Occupy protests over the past ten months.

The 132-page report—Suppressing Protest: Human Rights Violations in the U.S. Response to Occupy Wall Street—is the first in a series by the Protest and Assembly Rights Project, a national consortium of law school clinics addressing the United States response to Occupy Wall Street. The report is available at: http://www.chrgj.org/projects/suppressingprotest.pdf


“Recently, officers repeatedly yanked the broken collarbone of a protester as he begged them to stop hurting him. And just two weeks ago, a phalanx of officers removed a grandmother from a park for the ‘crime’ of knitting in a folding chair, arrested a man trying to help her leave, and then arrested another man filming the incident,” said NYU Law School Professor Sarah Knuckey, one of the report’s principal authors, who also witnessed these incidents. “These are just two of hundreds of examples we document in our report, demonstrating a pattern of abusive and unaccountable protest policing by the NYPD.”

In the report experts catalog 130 specific alleged incidents of excessive police force, and hundreds of additional violations, including unjustified arrests, abuse of journalists, unlawful closure of sidewalks and parks to protesters, and pervasive surveillance of peaceful activists. Yet, to date, only one police officer is known to have been disciplined for misconduct in the context of OWS policing.

“The excessive and unpredictable policing of OWS is one more example of the dire need for widespread reform of NYPD practices. These violations are occurring against a backdrop of police infiltration of activist groups, massive stop-and-frisk activity in communities of color, and the surveillance of Muslims,” said Emi MacLean, a human rights lawyer and primary author of the report. “This report is a call to action.”
The report calls for urgent state action, including:

  • The creation of an independent Inspector General for the NYPD;
  • A full and impartial review of the city’s response to OWS;
  • Investigations and prosecutions of responsible officers; and
  • The creation of new NYPD protest policing guidelines to protect against rights violations.

If New York authorities fail to respond, the report calls for federal intervention.

“The U.S. response to the Occupy movement – which itself emerged as part of a wave of global social justice protests—is being closely watched by other governments,” said Fordham Law Professor Katherine Glenn, one of the report’s principal authors. “In the face of this international attention, this report shows that New York City’s response actually violates international law and, as such, sets a bad example to the rest of the world. The city now has an opportunity to set this right through reforms that reflect just and accountable policing practices.”

Full Article Here – http://occupywallst.org/forum/legal-experts-file-complaints-about-widespread-rig/ 

14 Specific Allegations of NYPD Brutality During Occupy Wall Street

The Alantic
July 25, 2012
By Conor Friedersdorf

 
A collaborative investigation launched by law clinics at four top universities has assembled damning evidence of widespread misconduct.

An investigation undertaken by law clinics at NYU, Fordham, Harvard, and Stanford has concluded, after eight months of study, that the NYPD abused Occupy Wall Street protesters and violated their rights on numerous occasions during the 2011 protests that radiated out from Zuccotti Park. Their report, Suppressing Protest: Human Rights Violations in the U.S. Response to Occupy Wall Street, was released today. It focuses on transgressions against international law.

What I found most arresting were its specific descriptions of alleged police misconduct. Scores of examples were offered. I’ve highlighted a selection of the ones that struck me as most credible, whether due to video footage of the incident or eyewitness testimony from a credentialed journalist, a designated legal observer, or a member of the legal team that put together the report (the report, linked above features links).

All of the following vignettes are quoted verbatim from its pages:

  • A café employee at work near Union Square heard a passing Occupy march, went outside, and decided to begin filming after seeing police using what he felt was excessive force on protesters. Video evidence shows a white-shirted police officer pushing the café employee, camera in hand. It appears that the employee then began speaking to the officer while holding both hands in the air as the officer approached him. In an interview, the employee stated that he asked the officer why he was pushing and told the officer, “I’m just taking pictures.” Video then shows the officer grabbing the employee by the wrist, and flipping him hard to the ground face-first, in what was described as a “judo-flip.” The employee stated that he was subsequently charged with “blocking traffic” and “obstructing justice.”
  • Video shows that an officer drove a scooter at a crowd of people, including journalists and legal observers. The video then shows a legal observer lying on the ground screaming, his foot under the scooter. A second video shows the observer on the ground with his foot under the scooter. A third video shows that the observer kicked the scooter off or away from his leg, at which point officers dragged the observer several feet and began to cuff him. While he was being cuffed, an officer pushed the observer’s face into the pavement by pressing his baton across the back of the observer’s neck.
  • A member of the Research Team observed an officer push and then throw a male protester into the air for no apparent reason as he walked, with many other protesters, near parked police scooters. The protester fell hard to the ground and was not arrested.
  • A journalist stated that when he asked a non-uniformed officer for his name at a march, the officer pushed the journalist against a wall and held him there, threatening him that if he kept asking questions, he would get “his fucking ass beat.” The journalist recorded interviews with two bystanders immediately after the incident. One bystander stated that he witnessed the officer using abusive language toward the journalist. He then told the journalist that the officer “put his chest in your face and pushed you around.” The other bystander told the journalist that the officer “[got] up in your face and [shouted] at you. He pressed you against the wall of the supermarket.”
  • A journalist reported that an officer shoved a legal observer, also a retired judge, against a wall after she demanded that the officer stop beating a protester. The legal observer described the incident in an interview: “the officer said, ‘Lady, do you want to get arrested?’ And I said, ‘Do you see my hat? I’m here as a legal observer.’ He said, ‘Do you want to get arrested?’ And he pushed me up against the wall.”
  • Video shows that an officer approached a woman from behind and grabbed her by the strap of her backpack and her scarf for no apparent reason. The officer began to pull the woman towards him, and other protesters began pulling the woman away from him. The officer pulled at the woman by the strap of her backpack for approximately fifteen seconds, and appeared to possibly be choking her via the strap or her scarf. The protesters eventually pulled the woman away from the officer, and police appeared not to take any further action.
  • Video shows that an officer punched a protester three times in the head and shoulder. At the time, the protester was in a soft lock, in which he linked arms with other protesters and sat in the street, and police were attempting to pull him away. The video shows that the officer tried to separate the protester several times by pulling him, but did not attempt any other methods before punching the protester.

Full Article Here – http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/07/14-specific-allegations-of-nypd-brutality-during-occupy-wall-street/260295/
 

Several Arrested After Anaheim Police Protest Swells Into Streets

NBC Los Angeles
July 24, 2012
By and Vikki Vargas

Shortly after 9 p.m., a disperal order was issued to a group of demonstrators that began gathering outside Anaheim City Hall around 4 p.m. Tuesday afternoon to rally against recent fatal officer-involved shootings, police said.
Officers used pepper balls and bean bags to subdue the crowd, which continued to demonstrate late into the evening. A group of protesters could be seen fleeing from the intersection of Anaheim Boulevard and Broadway after officers reportedly shot pepper balls at their feet, police said.
Several fires broke out near the scene of the protest — one in a trash bin, another near a bus bench, according to aerial footage. It was not immediately clear if the fires were related to the protest or how they started.


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At least one person was transported to the hospital after being shot in the head with a pepperball and five people were arrested in the skirmish, including one man who was booked for resisting arrest after officers received a call that he may have a gun in his waistband, said Sgt. Bob Dunn with Anaheim police. No weapons were found.
Law enforcement was on high alert as the protest turned violent, with demonstrators throwing rocks, bricks and traffic cones at officers and squad cars, Dunn said, adding that at least one person — a print reporter — appeared to be injured in the melee, possibly struck with a rock.
Tuesday’s demonstration was the latest sparked by a recent spate of fatal police shootings. Crowds started gathering around 4 p.m. to urge councilmembers to investigate those shootings and reform the city’s police force, which residents have accused of racial profiling.
The council chamber reached capacity and police in riot gear blocked access to the meeting.
The demonstration swelled into the streets at about 6:30 p.m. While the protest escalated outside, the Anaheim City Council continued to meet.
Law enforcement from several surrounding cities descended on the area to provide mutual aid, police said.
Skirmish lines established by officers in riot gear attempted to corral demonstrators near the 200 block of South Anaheim Boulveard.
Within an hour, much of the police presence had dissipated from the area immediately around City Hall and the crowd moved — some on foot, others on bicycles — down Anaheim Boulevard waving flags, carrying signs and speaking into passing cars.
As of 8:30 p.m., a crowd continued to mill about around City Hall and a separate group appeared to gather near the scene of one of the deadly shootings, setting up a candlelight vigil, according to aerial footage.
By 9 p.m., officers in riot gear again stepped up patrols near Broadway and Anaheim Boulevard in what appeared to be preparation for their dispersal order.
Officials say there have been eight officer-involved shootings in the city this year, including two fatal incidents during the weekend.
Manuel Angel Diaz, 25, was shot and killed Saturday after a foot pursuit through an alley in the 700 block of North Anna Drive – an area where police say they’ve noticed an increase in gang and 
narcotics crimes.

That shooting sparked protests during the weekend, including one on Saturday in which a trash bin was set on fire and a small group of people threw rocks and bottles at police. Three people were detained, officials said.

Full Article Here – http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Skirmish-Lines-Attempt-to-Contain-Anaheim-Protests-Police-Shooting-163638466.html 

Free Jeremy Hammond

You Anon News
July 23, 2012
Statement form Jeremy Hammond

Thanks for everybody coming out in support! It is so good to know folks on the street got my back. Special thanks to those who have been sending books and letters, and to my amazing lawyers.

I remember maybe a few months before I was locked up I went to a few noise demonstrations a the federal jail MCC Chicago in support of all those locked up there. Prisoners moved in front of the windows, turned the lights on and off, and dropped playing cards through the cracks in the windows. I had no idea I would soon be in that same jail facing multiple trumped up computer hacking “conspiracies.”

Now at New York MCC, the other day I was playing chess when another prisoner excitedly cam e up as was like, “Yo, there are like 50 people outside the window and they are carrying banners with your name!” Sure enough, there you all were with lights, banners, and bucket drums just below our 11th floor window. Though you may not have been able to here us or see us, over one hundred of us in this unit saw you all and wanted to know who those people were, what they were about, rejuvenated knowing people on the outside got there back.

As prisoners in this police state – over 2.5 million of us – we are silenced, marginalized, exploited, forgotten, and dehumanized. First we are judged and sentenced by the “justice” system, then treated as second class citizens by mainstream society. But even the warden of MCC New York has in surprising honesty admitted that “the only difference between us officers here and you prisoners is we just haven’t been caught.”

The call us robbers and fraudsters when the big banks get billion dollar bailouts and kick us out of our homes.

They call us gun runners and drug dealers when pharmaceutical corporations and defense contractors profit from trafficking armaments and drugs on a far greater scale.

They call us “terrorists” when NATO and the US military murder millions of innocents around the world and employ drones and torture tactics.

And they call us cyber criminals when they themselves develop viruses to spy on and wage war against infrastructure and populations in other countries.

Yes, I am one of several dozen around the world accused of Anonymous-affiliated computer hacking charges.

One of many here at MCCC New York facing trumped up “conspiracy” charges based on the cooperation of government informants who will say anything and sell out anyone to save themselves.

And this jail is one of several thousand other jails, prisons, and immigrant detention centers – lockups which one day will be reduced to rubble and grass will grow between the cracks of the concrete.

So don’t let fear of imprisonment deter you from speaking up and fighting back. Silencing our movement is exactly what they hope to accomplish with these targeted, politically motivated prosecutions. They can try to stop a few of us but they can never stop us all.

Thanks again for coming out.

Keep bringing the ruckus!
——-
You can donate to Jeremy’s legal fund here and learn more about him here
You can write to Jeremy in prison here:

Jeremy Hammond    18729-424
Metropolitan Correctional Center
150 Park Row
New York, New York, 10007

Full Article Here – http://youranonnews.tumblr.com/