Dozens of disability rights activists — including some in wheelchairs — were arrested near Capitol Hill while pressing for more access to community-based services. U.S. Capitol Police arrested 80 people who were demonstrating Monday morning outside the headquarters of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The protesters were with the disability rights group ADAPT. They were seeking a meeting with Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar to ask that he support adequate funding for Medicaid...
For the fourth consecutive Saturday, “yellow vest” (gilet jaunes) protestors demonstrated yesterday across France against the rightwing government of Emmanuel Macron. They did so in defiance of ominous threats of state violence and a massive mobilization of security forces. Clearly, the French President’s attempts to end the protests, first by postponing the gas tax hikes that set the movement into motion and then by canceling them outright, failed. The demands being raised—for social equality and against militarism and dictatorship—show that this is a movement directed towards the defense of workers’ interests, not just in France, but also internationally.
By Rafi Schwartz for Splinter - Police in St. Louis conducted mass arrests on Tuesday night after a group of activists blocked traffic on a city highway in the latest protest against former police officer Jason Stockley’s acquittal for the 2011 shooting death of Anthony Lamar Smith, an unarmed black man. Faced with a heavily armored police line as they marched up the Interstate, the protesters reportedly chanted, “We don’t see a riot here. Why are you in riot gear?” They were then maneuvered off the road by law enforcement officers, who proceeded to arrest them one by one. While police did not immediately release a full count of those arrested, local alderman John Collins-Muhammad told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch 126 people were detained—among them State Representative Bruce Franks (D–St. Louis) and civil rights activist Rev. Starsky Wilson. Alarmingly, police also arrested journalist Jordan Chariton and his cameraman Ty Bayliss, both of The Young Turks, during the protests. According to at least one observer, law enforcement officers targeted members of the press during the opening minutes of their arrests.
By Andrea Germanos for Common Dreams - Dozens of people were arrested Monday morning for blocking the federal building housing the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office in Hartford, Connecticut to denounce the deportation of a couple that's lived in the U.S. for over twenty years. Meriden couple Giaconda and Franklin Ramos, who came to the U.S. from Ecuador in 1993 and have no criminal record, are scheduled to board a flight back to their home country on Sept. 29. Demonstrators sat on the ground blocking the entrances and held banners reading "Keep the Ramos family together" and "ICE stop your ethnic cleansing." They, along with other demonstrators gathered to the side of the entrances, chanted "Not one more." The Record Journal describes the Ramoses as "the most recent family facing separation after policy changes under the Trump administration ceased the automatic renewal of deportation stays resulting in a 60 percent increase in removal orders for residents with work tax identification cards." As local Fox 61 explains, the couple "got their first deportation notice from ICE in 2005. Their case was then closed but come 2012, they were granted a stay of removal. However, it was this past June when their stay was denied." Their two sons, 24-year old Jason and 17-year-old Erick, are U.S. citizens and attend Central Connecticut State University.
By Staff of Catalan News - Around 20,000 thousand demonstrators take the Barcelona streets yet again. Thousands gathered outside the department of Economy in a spontaneous rally yesterday in order to reject the anti-referendum police operation. It lasted almost 24 hours, and with almost no rest, some protesters started a new demonstration this Thursday at noon. The aim of this new rally is not only to refuse the raids again, but also to demand the release of the dozen high-ranking Catalan officials still being held. The Catalan Parliament president took part in the event and chanted “we are not afraid” to the crowd, who repeated the chant. “It does not bite, it is a ballot box,” the demonstrators also chanted. The Catalan secretary of Economy also joined the event. Some major pro-independence organizations hosted the rally, including the Catalan National Assembly (ANC in Catalan). Its president, Jordi Sànchez, said that “there is no democrat in Catalonia who is not embarrassed about what judges and Spain’s Guardia Civil did yesterday”. He also said that after “the despicable performance of the Spanish State against the Catalan government yesterday, they crossed all the acceptable lines, nothing will be the same from yesterday”.
By Andrew Emett for Nation of Change - Featured in a recent Vice News documentary, self-proclaimed anti-Semite and white supremacist Christopher Cantwell is reportedly wanted for arrest on felony charges for attacking counter-protesters with pepper spray. After Cantwell was informed that police in Virginia had a warrant for his arrest, the white supremacist recorded a video depicting himself weeping at the prospect of going to jail again. According to The Boston Globe, officials from the Virginia Commonwealth Attorney’s Office confirmed Thursday that Cantwell currently has two outstanding felony warrants for illegal use of gases and injury by caustic agent or explosive. Appearing in the Vice News documentary “Charlottesville: Race and Terror,” Cantwell marched alongside white nationalists carrying Tiki torches on Friday night while incessantly chanting bigoted slogans, including “Jews will not replace us.” During an interview with Vice’s Elle Reeve, Cantwell openly referred to black people as “savages,” promoted the use of violence, and criticized President Trump for allowing his daughter, Ivanka, to marry a Jewish person. When asked if he would prefer a president in office who is more racist than Trump, Cantwell replied, “A lot more racist than Donald Trump.
By Joy First for War Is A Crime - Wisconsin Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars has held monthly vigils against drones at the gates of Volk Field for over five years. This Wisconsin Air National Guard Base is a critical component of the whole drone warfare program being conducted by the US government in a number of countries in the Middle East and Africa. At Volk Field personnel are trained to operate the RQ-7 Shadow Drone, which has been used for reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition. However, now there is the likelihood that the RQ-7 is also weaponized. See http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/7914/was-a-new-type-of-drone-launched-weapon-used-to-kill-al-qaedas-2-man. There is a savagery in drone warfare as whole communities in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, and other places in the Middle East and Africa suffer from PTSD from drones constantly flying overhead, as wedding parties and funerals are hit, as rescuers are hit by a second attack, as grandmothers working in the field are killed, as children sleeping in their beds are murdered. A number of credible sources tell us that only 1 out of 10 people killed by drones are the intended target.
By Medea Benjamin for Code Pink - At the Senate confirmation hearing for Steven Bradbury as general counsel for the Commerce, Science and Transportation Department, members of Veterans for Peace and CODEPINK protested Bradbury for his authorship of the “Torture Memos” under the Bush administration. Three members of Veterans for Peace were arrested for speaking out at the hearing: Tarak Kauff, Ken Ashe and Ellen Barfield. All three veterans, in response to why they protested today, affirmed that Bradbury should not hold any kind of position in the United States’ government and called on the senators to oppose his nomination. “Anybody whose moral compass is so broken that they would condone torture doesn’t deserve a position in the US government,” stated Ken Ashe as he was handcuffed by Capitol Police. “I disrupted the hearing for a man, Steven Bradbury, who should be on trial for war crimes,” said Tarak Kauff as he was pulled out of the hearing by police. “He sanctioned, condoned, and confirmed torture practices that were used by the Bush administration, practices that disgraced our country.” “I am a veteran. I am deeply concerned about our soldiers, who are at risk for torture if our nation tortures,” said Ellen Barfield.
By Alex Kane for The Indypendent - Inauguration Day demonstrators potentially face decades in prison on charges they say are all ‘Trumped’ up. The Indy has obtained exclusive police body camera video of the Jan. 20 crackdown. Olivia Alsip found herself trapped. The 24-year-old activist traveled to the nation’s capital from Chicago to express her ire against Donald Trump’s antagonistic rhetoric targeting minorities and queer people on Inauguration Day. By 11 a.m. that morning, though, she found herself kettled with hundreds of other protesters with no way to go to the bathroom, eat or drink. At one point, Alsip told The Independent, D.C. police indiscriminately pepper-sprayed the crowd, hitting a child and someone on crutches. Six hours later, Alsip was handcuffed and taken in a police van with other demonstrators to a D.C. jail. The whole experience “felt like being in a cattle car of some sort and being treated as livestock and bodies, rather than actual people,” said Alsip. Her troubles did not end when she was released the following evening. Instead, Alsip and over 200 other demonstrators are now facing felony charges that could carry up to 75 years in prison if they are convicted. The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, which reports to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, is prosecuting the case.
By Tyler Durden for Zero Hedge - Earlier this afternoon, the Intercept reported that according to a "top secret NSA document", Russian Military Intelligence "executed a cyberattack on at least one U.S. voting software supplier and sent spear-phishing emails to more than 100 local election officials days before election." The NSA document, reportedly dated May 5, analyzes recently acquired intelligence about "a months-long Russian intelligence cyber effort against elements of the U.S. election and voting infrastructure." The document notes that investigation only began in the last few months. The document claims the investigation was spurred by "information that became available in April 2017." According to the Intercept, the report is "the most detailed U.S. government account of Russian interference in the election that has yet come to light. It is said to reveal that that Russian hacking may have penetrated further into U.S. voting systems than was previously understood" and "states unequivocally in its summary statement that it was Russian military intelligence, specifically the Russian General Staff Main Intelligence Directorate, or GRU, that conducted the cyber attacks described in the document."
By Kali Holloway for AlterNet - For the most part, the Trump campaign was transparent in its xenophobia, playing to the anti-immigrant sentiments of Trump's base with promises to increase deportations of the undocumented. But on one point, Trump pretended to care about nuance: He would not, he stated on multiple occasions, target undocumented immigrants indiscriminately, but would focus on those with criminal records—the "bad hombres,” to use the president’s own ridiculous words. Predictably, this has not been the case in practice. A new report shows that amidst a staggering increase in undocumented immigrant deportations overall, arrests of law-abiding undocumented immigrants shot up the most, by a whopping 150 percent. A report by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement boasts that between January 29 and April 22, agents arrested 41,318 undocumented immigrants. That figure, which breaks down to roughly 400 arrests per day, represents an increase of 37 percent over arrests made during the same period under President Obama, who previously held the title of Deporter-in-Chief. Seventy-five percent of those taken into custody have criminal convictions, but even that notation is potentially misleading.
By Reed Lindsay for FAIR - As residents were evicted from the Oceti Sakowin Camp where they had gathered to oppose the Dakota Access Pipeline, filmmaker and journalist Reed Lindsay posted this update on the continued assault on the First Amendment faced by independent journalists covering the #NODAPL struggle. Filmmaker Jahnny Lee working with the Sundance Institute was arrested yesterday by North Dakota police while filming a stand-off between police and water protectors. He was charged with “obstruction of a government function.” I can only surmise that the charge of “criminal trespass,” leveled at Jihan Hafiz and many other journalists while covering events of the Standing Rock resistance against the DAPL pipeline, could not be used against Jahnny because he was on State Highway 1806. (How can one trespass on a highway?)
By Kate Bradshaw for Creative Lofting Tampa Bay - Temperatures were dipping into unfriendly territory Saturday afternoon as sports fans flocked to the events at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. At nearby Lykes Gaslight Park, members of Tampa's homeless community were gathered for hot coffee and bagels, courtesy of the group Food Not Bombs. There were no altercations, no illicit substances, no bad behavior—unless you count that, according to the City of Tampa, that coffee and bagels were illegal. Why? Because you have to have a special permit in order to offer free food to the needy in city parks.
By Nadia Prupis for Common Dreams - More than 40 Indigenous activists, Gulf Coast residents, and other climate leaders have reportedly occupied the U.S. Department of the Interior, demanding no new fossil fuel leases on public lands and waters. Several arrests have also been reported. The protesters entered the lobby of the department chanting, "Keep it in the ground!" The Center for Biological Diversity, an environmental group that is taking part in the events, said the action represented an escalation of the Keep It In The Ground campaign