Ben Cohen, co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s, and Jodie Evans, co-founder of CODEPINK, have been arrested for blocking the entrance to the Department of Justice. Cohen and Evans arrived in Washington, D.C. to protest the US government’s prosecution of Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange, who has been indicted on 18 charges for the publication of the Afghan War Diary and the Iraq War Logs, which uncovered war crimes, torture, and civilian deaths perpetrated by the US government. “It’s outrageous. Julian Assange is nonviolent. He is presumed innocent. And yet somehow or other, he has been imprisoned in solitary confinement for four years. That is torture.
The Minneapolis Police Department routinely engages in a pattern of racist and abusive behavior that deprives people of their constitutional rights, according to the findings of a Justice Department investigation prompted by the murder of George Floyd three years ago. The 89-page report, released Friday, caps an investigation launched in April 2021. It outlined four core findings: The department uses excessive force, including unjustified deadly force; it unlawfully discriminates against Black and Native American people; it violates citizens' free speech rights; and officers discriminate against people with behavioral health disabilities when responding to calls, at times causing trauma or death.
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said he has unequivocally stated his position to the United States that a diplomatic resolution of the case of Julian Assange must be made. In his clearest statement yet about the fate of the imprisoned WikiLeaks publisher, Albanese told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in an interview in London that he has told the U.S. Justice Department that Assange’s case must come to an end. “I continue to say in private what I said publicly as Labor leader and what I’ve said as Prime Minister, that enough is enough,” Albanese told the ABC. “This needs to be brought to a conclusion.”
Australian publisher Julian Assange is a political prisoner. After being abducted out of the Ecuadorian embassy, he has languished in Belmarsh prison for nearly four years. In the intervening time, press freedom groups, major newspapers, and civil libertarians have all condemned the US’s unprecedented charges against Assange. After years of grassroots advocacy, now members of Congress are starting to speak out. But they need to hear your voice. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) is currently circulating a sign-on letter calling for Attorney General Merrick Garland to drop the charges against Assange.
The US charges against Chinese officials for allegedly tampering with a Huawei investigation were just the tip of the iceberg. The US has also arrested and/or deported scores of Chinese nationals who are scientists, academics, and professionals in recent years. Peace activist K.J. Noh, also a scholar on the geopolitics of Asia & an organizer with Pivot to Peace, explains the alarming trend.
I am a fan of bad television. I admit it. I even DVR it. I watch an awful show on the National Geographic Channel every week about Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and how they intercept drugs and birds and food and other contraband from people arriving from abroad into the airports of New York, Atlanta and Miami. I was watching an episode this week where an elderly Korean man arrived at JFK airport in New York with a few hundred dollars in his pocket. For no apparent reason, he was pulled into secondary for a more comprehensive search. When the CBP officer went through the man’s wallet, he found four cashier’s checks, dated years earlier, that totaled $136,000. The man said that it was his life savings, he had been carrying it around for years, and that he had forgotten that the checks were on him.
CPTA begins the memorandum by stating that: “The Coalition for Police Transparency and Accountability (CPTA) requests a federal investigation of a pattern of killings and excessive force by the Detroit Police Department (DPD) and an institutional culture within the department that promotes violence and racial discrimination within the Department and against members of the community. The mission of CPTA is to expose police misconduct in all its forms and thereby demand police transparency and accountability as well as garner community support for this effort. The Coalition was formed after the killing of Hakim Littleton in July 2020 by the Detroit Police Department officers.