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July 2013

Vancouver Protests Russia’s Anti-Gay Legislation

There has been considerable debate among activists over how to protest the Russian actions most effectively. Aug. 3 has been declared an international day of protest over the Russian laws, and Mr. Greene said he knows organizers who are planning a rally outside the Russian consulate in Vancouver. Many bars in Vancouver’s West End, the centre of the city’s gay community, recently announced that they will refuse to sell Russian vodka, echoing boycotts by gay bars around North America and Europe. But Mr. Greene said his contacts in Russia suggest other courses of action may be more effective. “What I’ve been told was, the Russian software industry is more vulnerable at this point,” Mr. Greene said.

Cornel West, Chris Hedges To Speak Out For Whistleblower Bradley Manning

Sunday, August 4, 2013, from 3 to 5:30 PM for a matinee discussion and trial update for Bradley Manning. Widely renowned scholar Dr. Cornel West and former New York Times war correspondent Chris Hedges will join members of the Bradley Manning Support Network for a special presentation on the legal, journalistic and ethical implications of this historic trial.

Bradley Manning Protest In DC Night Of The Verdict

A group of Bradley Manning supporters gathered in Dupont Circle Tuesday night to protest the conviction of the Army Private. Manning was found not guilty of the most serious charge of aiding the enemy, but convicted by a judge of espionage, theft and computer fraud for leaking classified documents to the website "Wikileaks." The protesters marched from Dupont Circle to the White House calling Manning a hero for being a whistleblower.

XKeyscore: NSA Tool Collects ‘Nearly Everything A User Does On The Internet

A top secret National Security Agency program allows analysts to search with no prior authorization through vast databases containing emails, online chats and the browsing histories of millions of individuals, according to documents provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden. The NSA boasts in training materials that the program, called XKeyscore, is its "widest-reaching" system for developing intelligence from the internet. The latest revelations will add to the intense public and congressional debate around the extent of NSA surveillance programs. They come as senior intelligence officials testify to the Senate judiciary committee on Wednesday, releasing classified documents in response to the Guardian's earlier stories on bulk collection of phone records and Fisasurveillance court oversight.

Mediators, Medical Professionals On Behalf Of Hunger Striking Prisoners

Leading expert on prison health issues, Dr. Terry Kupers, signed on to the statement, adding, “The prisoners on hunger strike are making a courageous effort to speak up for their humanity and their rights. It is extraordinarily callous of the CDCR and Governor Brown to ignore their plea for reasonable relief, and then to fail even in providing them adequate medical care.” Ahnen reiterated the demands coming from many community members across the state: “The time has come for Governor Brown to end this strike now by ordering negotiations between prisoners and CDCR officials to begin immediately. There is only one question I have for Governor Brown: how many more prisoners will you allow to die before you begin negotiations?” A complete copy of the health providers’ letter is attached and pasted below.

Bradley Manning Is A Prisoner of Conscience

One of the most disgraceful elements of the corporate media’s campaign against whistleblower Bradley Manning has been the constant attempts at character assassination. The corporate media, when they cover Manning, constantly need to obsesses over gossipy details of Manning’s personal life. While that may be the grade of material tabloids thrive on it has nothing to do with Manning’s extraordinary act of conscience that will land him in prison for possibly the rest of his life. Bradley Manning is a prisoner of conscience. But we must not rest. We must not only continue to demand his freedom, to demand that those who commit war crimes be prosecuted, not those who blow the whistle on them, but we must also demand an end the senseless dehumanization of foreign people that allows our government to murder and exploit them.

Workers Play A Big Role In These Global ‘Middle-Class’ Revolutions

South Africa's rebellion against police brutality is driven by a labour movement whose members were gunned down by police in the worst massacre since Sharpeville. In Egypt, no revolution was possible without the Mahalla strikes and the rise of organised labor. In Latin America, from Argentina to Brazil to Bolivia, democratic movements have been driven by the poor. Paul Mason has documented the surging growth of the working class south of the equator. These are workers whose only asset is their labour power, which they sell in order to survive. Profit, the final, directive purpose of global production, depends on their doing so. This gives workers potential power.

Occupy The SEC Keeps The Pressure On Banking Regulation

This Occupy The SEC Bulletin contains an update on what Occupy the SEC ( has been up to since February 2013, and what you can do to get involved. We recently submitted an amicus brief in the Supreme Court's consolidated Troice cases. The cases are based on the massive Ponzi scheme perpetrated by Allen Stanford, and relate to the complicity of third parties like auditors and law firms in abetting that fraud.

Three States Dump Major Private Prison Corporation In One Month

State lawmakers who embraced private prisons as a cost-cutting measure are starting to have trouble ignoring their abysmal conditions. Corrections Corporation of America, the largest and most powerful private prison company in the nation, lost four prison contracts in the past month after extensive reports of abuse, neglect, and even fraud within their operations. There is no reason to believe these human rights abuses are isolated. CCA has faced numerous lawsuits and investigations in virtually every state where it does business. The industry and its political allies have touted private prisons as a cost-saving alternative for cash-strapped states. But these companies have not actually saved money and even cost more than state-run prisons in some cases; CCA and others have been caught overcharging states by millions of dollars and extracting guarantees of 100 percent occupancy.

VIDEO: Pharma Giant Pfizer To Profit From TPP

But Pfizer giant want more. It’s not enough to have a revolving door between the industry and regulators, or that tax payers already pay for 80% of big pharma’s basic research, or that they enjoy tax loopholes you can drive a bonus truck through…no no my friend– Pfizer giant wants to be Godzilla! And to become that they are currently writing a new “trade” agreement for the Obama Administration called The Trans Pacific Partnership. Pfizer giant doesn’t want to be tied down anymore by the Lilliputians and their democracies with their pesky laws. And with the TPP they won’t have to worry about fines from things like health care fraud, off label marketing, or side effect risks…oh no my friend…The TPP will let them profit with impunity. They aren’t giving up those 3 days of sales for anyone or anything!

Manning Trial And Verdict Expose Empire

You know, they’ve done their best in the military to keep Manning’s story out of the media and they’ve been very intimidating at the media. Just the first day of closing argument the media room had camouflage troops with weapons walking up and down the looking over the shoulders of reporters. They were intensely searched when they went in and out of the room. The media has not been given access to the documents so that they can understand the case. The military did a great job by keeping it out of the press. But the impact is much bigger than that, even with that, because there is a lot of discussion online, on the social networks – on Facebook, on Twitter. People who care about these issues know about that. And someone like Edward Snowden, for example, - the NSA whistleblower – says he was inspired by Bradley Manning and mistreatment of Manning actually encouraged him to leak the NSA spying documents.

Radical Politics Means Party-Building

This raises a more general point which needs to be better understood and that is that the grassroots base of the Democratic Party is in an advanced state of decay. This is attributable, in part, to the Democrats being, as my constituent Adoph Reed trenchantly remarked in a recent forum, “useless.” But it is also attributable to two structural factors. The first is that the old model of locally-based politics beautifully rendered in William Kennedy’s novel Roscoe, one presided over by ward heelers, precinct captains and which involved active participation on the community level has been replaced by a top-down, media-driven politics that primarily involves obtaining large contributions and using these to purchase air time. The second is that neoliberal cuts in the size of government have seriously reduced the financial means by which machines purchase loyalty. For everyone who was cut into the action through a patronage position, there is now someone who has been laid off from the typing pool, cut from his or her position as a school janitor or food service worker.

Rules for Recording Cops and other Authority Figures

The First Amendment guarantees us all Freedom of the Press, meaning we have as much as right to to report on and disseminate the news as professional journalists, even if we’ve never set foot in a newsroom. In fact, it’s absolutely crucial that we step up to fill the void left by the mainstream media. And we can begin doing that by recording police when they interact with the public, including our very own interactions such as traffic stops. The goal is to not just record possible instances of police abuse, but to remind these officers that we are well aware of our rights to record them in public where they have no expectation of privacy (as they do to us). Here are ten rules that will help citizen journalists film police and others in positions of authority.

Lynne Stewart Appeal For Compassionate Release TODAY

Attorney Lynne Stewart's appeal for compassionate release will be heard TODAY by Judge Koeltl. Please come to the courthouse in New York City to show support for long time advocate for the oppressed Lynne Stewart. Where: Federal Courthouse, 500 Pearl Street, New York, NY When: 2:00 Please Share this widely. Lynne needs our support. Lynne was sentence to 10 years in federal prison. She is now in a federal medical facility for women in Texas, thousands of miles away from her home, family and community.

Video: Madison Protesters Continue To Fight For Freedom To Assemble

Madison Solidarity Sing-A-Long, 30 arrested keep singing while arrested. Every weekday since March 11, 2011 people come together in the Wisconsin State Capital to fight for our democracy through joyful song. From babies to grannies, on crutches and in failing health, after 3 days of arrests last week and through 30 arrests today, we sang. We sang at the same moment in time when Bradley Manning was wrongly declared guilty by those who's crimes he exposed.
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