75 Years For Protesting In Black?

People marching in Austin, Texas on Saturday were among the millions nationwide who mobilized to express their dismay at the reality of President Donald Trump. "There are millions of people in this country who currently feel lost and alone and would like to contribute to movements that envision a more just society," writes Lobel. But in addition to organizing this new wave of energy, he adds, there must also be "a coherent strategy and vision" if transformative change is to be achieved. (Photo: Steve Rainwater/flickr/cc)

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.

FBI Arrests NSA Contractor Who Leaked Top Secret “Russian Hacking” Document To The Intercept

People marching in Austin, Texas on Saturday were among the millions nationwide who mobilized to express their dismay at the reality of President Donald Trump. "There are millions of people in this country who currently feel lost and alone and would like to contribute to movements that envision a more just society," writes Lobel. But in addition to organizing this new wave of energy, he adds, there must also be "a coherent strategy and vision" if transformative change is to be achieved. (Photo: Steve Rainwater/flickr/cc)

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.”

Trump Administration Arrests Of Noncriminal Immigrants Up 150 Percent

palidachan / Shutterstock.com

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.

‘Any Of The Journalists Present Could Have Been Arrested’

Filmmaker Jahnny Lee shortly before his arrest while recording an DAPL protest. (image: Reed Lindsay)

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?)

In Tampa, Food Not Bombs Activists Arrested For Feeding Homeless—Again

Two activists with Food Not Bombs are handcuffed after they defied police orders to stop feeding the homeless in a downtown Tampa public park.Anthony Martino

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.

Arrests After #KeepItInTheGround Activists Occupy Interior Department

Indigenous women protest at the White House on Friday, September 15, 2016. (Photo: Valerie Love/Twitter)

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

ACLU Condemns Arrests Of Organizer And State Representative

Jarrett English and Jonathan Brostoff

By American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin. “The Milwaukee Police Department has once again demonstrated its preference for occupation, excessive force and belligerence over genuine engagement, civil dialog, and de-escalation,” said Larry Dupuis, Legal Director of the ACLU of Wisconsin. “People have a right to stand on a street corner – to observe and record the police, as Jarrett was doing, or for any other reason. Unfortunately, rather than protecting people and their rights, law enforcement in this community all too often engages in the sort of destructive behavior to which Jarrett and Jonathan were subjected last night. Although no one deserves to be treated like this, the police made the mistake this time of abusing people who were in a position to insist on their rights.” Jarrett English said, “The situation was confusing, because I really did not know what I was being arrested for. It was embarrassing and dehumanizing . . . ”

Did $200,000 Bail Keep Pipeline Activist Out of Sunoco’s Way?

Alex Lotorto, in a discussion with a Huntingdon Co. Sheriff’s deputy/Photo by Tom Jefferson

By Anne Meador for DC Media Group – The Sheriff, District Attorney and a judge in Huntingdon County, PA may have stretched the law and infringed on individual civil rights in assisting a gas transmission company to get a wildlife sanctuary cleared for pipeline construction. Sunoco Logistics Partners is in the midst of eminent domain proceedings in Central Pennsylvania to construct the Mariner East 2 pipeline. A court order favorable to the company, punitive bail set for activists resisting the clear-cut for the pipeline, plus allegations of endangerment and arbitrary arrests

Three Arrested As Sunoco Logistics Clears Forest In Huntingdon

Screen Shot 2016-04-01 at 11.20.27 AM

By Coryn Wolk for Clean Air – Huntingdon, PA – Backed by Huntingdon County sheriff’s deputies, Sunoco Logistics Partners’ chainsaws cut a swath through forest that the Gerhart family had protected for decades, clearing the way for the Mariner East 2 pipeline. By March 30 the 3-acre right-of-way was almost entirely cleared, aside from two trees occupied by protesters on platforms high above the ground and some adjacent trees. One of the tree-sitters is Elise Gerhart, whose mother, property owner Ellen Gerhart, was arrested along with two others.

New Short From Anti-Fracking Documentarian Crusader

"In California, the burgeoning movement to shut the two remaining nukes at Diablo Canyon has run parallel with the powerful grassroots opposition to fracking," Wasserman says. (Photo: Mary Crandall/flickr/cc)

By Kate Erbland for Indie Wire – Documentarian and anti-fracking pioneer Josh Fox was arrested last week in Washington, D.C. while doing two of the things he does best: Protesting fracking and filming the entire thing. Fox was on hand to protest the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for its role in continuing to permit fossil fuel projects that will greatly accelerate climate change. More specifically, Fox and a group of like-minded individuals were protesting FERC’s role in using eminent domain to condemn and clear-cut a wide swath of maple trees across the Holleran family maple syrup farm in New Milford, Pennsylvania…

Why Student Loans Are Creating A Permanent U.S. Underclass

Screen Shot 2016-02-27 at 11.34.08 AM

By Derek Royden for Occupy – The case of Paul Aker – a man recently arrested in Houston on a warrant that, authorities say, was issued for his failure to appear in court regarding an almost 30-year-old, $1,500 student loan – isn’t unique. As many as 1,500 people are facing similar penalties in Houston alone, and many thousands of others elsewhere across the country. Still, the image of seven heavily armed and armored U.S. Marshals taking a shackled man to jail for an ancient, unpaid student loan of such a trivial amount put the college debt crisis back into the spotlight – if only for a few days.

Utah Man Dies In Police Custody After Being Illegally Arrested

thefreethoughtproject.com

By M. David for The Free Thought Project – Tremonton, UT — Bear River, Utah resident Rex Iverson, 45, died in the Box Elder County Jail on January 23 after being incarcerated for his failure to pay an ambulance bill. A deputy arrested him on a $350 bench warrant issued by the justice court on December 29. He was found unresponsive in his cell by a detention deputy a few hours after being arrested. “We go to great lengths to never arrest anybody on these warrants,” Box Elder County Chief Deputy Sheriff Dale Ward told the Ogden Standard-Examiner.

US Marshals Arresting Those Who Owe Overdue Student Loans

1cooper

By Staff of Undernews – Fox News, Houston TX – The US Marshals Service in Houston is arresting people for not paying their outstanding federal student loans. Paul Aker says he was arrested at his home last week for a $1500 federal student loan he received in 1987. He says seven deputy US Marshals showed up at his home with guns and took him to federal court where he had to sign a payment plan for the 29-year-old school loan.

In Dangerous Precedent, NYPD Moves To Make Resisting Arrest Felony

Screen Shot 2016-02-16 at 2.15.45 PM

By Staff of Mint Press News – On Wednesday, NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton urged state legislators to consider increasing the penalty for resisting arrest from a misdemeanor to a felony. The change, he argued, would help New Yorkers “get around this idea that you can resist arrest. You can’t.” It would also give cops an easy way to turn victims of their own worst impulses into the worst class of criminal. In theory, a resisting arrest charge allows the state to further punish suspects who endanger the safety of police officers as they’re being apprehended…

Cape Cod Activist Found Guilty; Act Of Conscience Or Crime?

paul

By Karen Vale for Cape Cod Bay Watch. Plymouth, MA – Seventy-three year old Paul Rifkin of Mashpee, Mass. was on trial February 2 at Plymouth District Court. The charge was trespassing at Entergy’s Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station on Mother’s Day in 2015 during a rally with 40 other protestors. Two people were arrested, and it was Rifkin’s third arrest at Pilgrim. Rifkin refused to plead guilty or accept a deal with the prosecution because his actions last May, he stated, “deserved commendation, not condemnation.” He chose to have a jury trial with the possibility of jail time. A jury of six was selected and Rifkin represented himself.