Lawyers for Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning on Wednesday filed a motion for her release, saying her continued incarceration for refusing to testify before a federal grand jury is unlawful. The motion, filed in the Alexandria, Virginia-based federal district court for the eastern district of Virginia, says that Manning's "incarceration is not serving its only permissible purpose"—to coerce her testimony. Rather, the motion argues, the detention is clearly punitive. Manning has been held in contempt of court and locked away at the Alexandria Detention Center nearly continuously since March 2019. She may be held as long as 18 months unless she agrees to testify to a grand jury about WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange, who remains at a London prison as the U.S. government seeks his extradition.
As we approach the Embassy Protectors’ trial, currently scheduled for February 11, 2020, both sides are filing documents relevant to the trial. These will be argued at the next court hearing on January 29. Among the issues the Trump administration is asking not be discussed in the trial are the following: — The fact that the president of Venezuela is Nicolas Maduro. — The legitimacy of Juan Guaido representing the Venezuelan government. — That Carlos Vecchio, whose demand that the Protectors leave the embassy was the basis of their eviction, is not an ambassador from Venezuela but part of the Guaido failed coup. — That they were in the embassy with the permission of the elected government of Venezuela. — That they received legal advice that we were in the embassy legally.
As I’ve recently learned from his wife, activist and prison journalist Marty Gottesfeld — recently sentenced to ten years for a denial of service attack on the website of the Boston hospital that was holding a young girl against her will and that of her family while denying her treatment for the painful condition they claimed was all in her head — has been held incommunicado from his family by the Bureau of Prisons for well over seven months. This act of totalitarian retaliation, shocking even to many of us who have likewise been illicitly silenced by the BOP both in and out of prison, began shortly after Marty was suddenly and irregularly shipped from the notorious New York BOP facility where Epstein would later die of pretend suicide.
Lady Emma Arbuthnot, the Westminster chief magistrate enmeshed in a conflict of interest, will no longer be presiding over the extradition proceedings of imprisoned WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange, said WikiLeaks lawyer Jen Robinson, at an event in Sydney on Friday night . “Yes, there was some controversy about her sitting on the case,” Robinson said. “She won’t be sitting on the case going forward.” Robinson told Australian journalist Quentin Dempster at the event that she was “not sure” who would take over from Arbuthnot. Robinson made her remarks in response to a question from the audience about Arbuthnot’s reported conflict of interest in the case. Robinson did not provide further details.
Just before 6 p.m. on Friday the 8th of November, Brazil’s former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva walked out of his prison in Curitiba (Brazil). Lula went to prison in April last year on a 12-year sentence. Five hundred and eighty days of prison are now over, as the Federal Supreme Court ruled that inmates who have not yet exhausted their appeals should not be held in prison. In addition to Lula, about 5,000 Brazilians can be released based on the Supreme Court’s decision. According to the National Council of Justice (CNJ) this is the number of people arrested, exclusively and specifically, by conviction in second instance – and who were not, for example, target of preventive imprisonment. However, there are more than 190,000 prisoners in Brazil – the majority, black and poor – sentenced without trial, including those who were sentenced only in the first instance, and are imprisoned preventively.
The Close the Workhouse campaign aims to attack mass incarceration, without legitimizing or justifying the continued caging of people as punishment. We call for the closure of the Medium Security Institute, better known in St. Louis as the Workhouse, an end to wealth based pretrial detention, and the reinvestment of the money used to cage poor people and Black people into rebuilding the most impacted neighborhoods in this region. The Workhouse is part and parcel of a racist and predatory system of mass incarceration that grew directly out of slavery and Jim Crow and works to perpetuate this shameful legacy in America. The story of the Workhouse illustrates this oppressive history. The campaign is a collaboration of the individuals subjected to incarceration at the Workhouse and lawyers and activists engaged on the issue.
On most days, Barcelona is noisy, its air toxic. But this Friday, most of the city was quiet and breathable, traffic arteries blocked, cruise ships rerouted and flights canceled. Briefly, and partially, Barcelona felt like a climate-compatible city of the future, even if its engines had been shut down for other reasons altogether. The noise and smell, normally everywhere, had been focalized by mass demonstrations, riot police and swerving helicopters, and as night fell, burning barricades. Catalonia has now had four days of multitudinous marches, of rioting and blockades. Hundreds of thousands have marched, and equal numbers have participated in a social general strike blockading highways and thoroughfares, picketing shops and supermarkets. Everybody expected the Catalan uprising.
New York City - Irish President Michael D. Higgins was on WNYC’s Brian Lehrer Show this morning. He spoke compassionately at length about immigration and migration and refugees. The last caller, who was included because she was calling from Dublin (audio below), asked him why the Irish government allowed the U.S. to violate its neutrality with its military flights through Shannon to the very wars that were creating those refugees. And she also asked about the case of two U.S. military veterans who had been held in Ireland since March after nonviolently protesting those flights. While he ducked around the neutrality question, he said that he was “familiar with the case” of the veterans and, although he could not interfere, he would “bring it to Government’s attention.”
Conservatives in the U.S. have long sought to reframe grassroots political activism as dangerously radical, but efforts to criminalize protests have rapidly intensified since Donald Trump’s election. Most recently, Senators Ted Cruz and Bill Cassidy introduced a resolution that names “Antifa” as a “domestic terrorist organization.” “This was a move designed to punish dissent against both racist groups and policies of the government,” David Rose, a member of Portland’s Rose City Antifa, told Truthout. “The senators are attempting to open the door to illegalizing any form of dissent against racist institutions or groups.” The resolution, S.Res. 279, uses the recent controversy over the clash between right-wing reporter Andy Ngo and protesters in Portland, Oregon, as the impetus to designate antiracist protesters as a criminal operation.
We urge people to take action at British embassies in the United States, at US Department of Justice and US Attorney's offices and other appropriate locations on May 1 and 2 and if you are in London to be at the Westminster Court for the hearing. On May 2, the preliminary hearing will be held in London on the extradition proceedings. It is important for the movement seeking to Free Julian Assange be highly visible in expressing our opposition to the political persecution of a publisher who has reported some of the most important stories of this century and has created a democratized media that empowers people and breaks the stranglehold of corporate domination.
Washington, DC – A new, first-of-its-kind report released today finds that nearly half of all adults in the United States – approximately 113 million people – have an immediate family member who is either formerly or currently incarcerated. Based on new research conducted by FWD.us and Cornell University, this is the first ever national estimate of the share of Americans who have had an immediate family member spend time behind bars. “These numbers are stunning, all the more so if you think of them not as numbers but as stories like mine,” said Felicity Rose, Director of Research and Policy for Criminal Justice Reform at FWD.us.
Nearly all of the world’s 180-plus countries include the term education in their constitution. Most guarantee every child the right to free education, and many make participation in some form of schooling mandatory; some even provide universal access to affordable college. For the remaining handful, the UN’s decades-old treaty on children’s rights, which stipulates various educational protections, serves as a backup, and has been ratified by pretty much every sovereign nation on the planet. Except for one. That one country is the United States of America, a nation that prizes the idea that anyone should be able to build a better life through education and hard work.
Arizona - The Hopi Tribe cannot claim special damage on land controlled by the Arizona Snowbowl ski resort, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled Thursday, all but ending an eight-year legal battle and ensuring the ski area can continue using machine-made snow on the state's most popular slopes. The Hopi Tribe's lawsuit was originally about the machine-made snow. Its complaint alleged that Snowbowl's use of treated wastewater to make the snow damaged the San Francisco Peaks, which the tribe considers sacred. Eight years later, the Supreme Court ended up weighing a nuanced legal argument: Whether an appeals court created a new category of "special harm" in public nuisance claims.
Providence, RI—Nature’s Trust Rhode Island, a youth-driven campaign for the legal right to a healthy climate, joined by Sisters of Mercy Ecology, today initiated legal action to compel the State of Rhode Island to step up and do its fair share to stop climate change before it is too late. Today’s action, a petition to the Department of Environmental Management (DEM), starts a 30-day clock ticking. During that time, DEM will either initiate a public process to consider and implement this proposal, or the department will have to justify its inaction to the courts.