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Rights

How Pennsylvania State Troopers Conduct Illegal Traffic Searches

To justify their searches, state police often claimed that a driver was nervous, sweating, or eating. One officer went so far as to say a dollar-sign tattoo on a man’s neck was an indicator of criminal activity that justified detaining him for a K-9 search. Officers also used the same language to justify their stops, no matter the context or circumstances of the arrest, a violation of their training. Police also held people during traffic stops longer than legally allowed. In one case, a man was held for nearly two hours before he was arrested. Drivers also had little choice in whether to allow police to conduct a search of their vehicles. In the review of cases, even when drivers had the legal right to deny a search, police still called in K-9 units, which courts have said is not an invasion of privacy. More than half of the cases reviewed by the news organizations involved charges against a Black person, despite Black people accounting for only about 10% of the three counties’ population. For years, Pennsylvania State Police had stopped gathering race data during traffic stops, making it difficult to know how often people of color were pulled over and searched.

Know Your Rights – Don’t Talk To Cops At The Airport

“Have you ever been arrested for a crime?”  I wasn’t surprised that was the first question.  I’ve said consistently over the past eight years that I wear my conviction for blowing the whistle on the CIA’s torture program like a badge of honor.  I said so on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News and NBC’s Today Show.  It’s no secret.  “I’m going to tell you guys exactly the same thing that I tell your friends at Dulles Airport when they harass me.  I’m represented by counsel.  I don’t talk to cops.  You have no right to detain me.  I’m a journalist and I’m going to write about this incident using your true names.  And you have no legal right to keep me from entering my own country.”  Again they looked at each other.  Finally, Oh said, “you’re free to go.”

DOJ Wants To Suspend Certain Constitutional Rights During Coronavirus Emergency

The Trump Department of Justice has asked Congress to craft legislation allowing chief judges to indefinitely hold people without trial and suspend other constitutionally-protected rights during coronavirus and other emergencies, according to a report by Politico’s Betsy Woodruff Swan. While the asks from the Department of Justice will likely not come to fruition with a Democratically-controlled House of Representatives, they demonstrate how much this White House has a frightening disregard for rights enumerated in the Constitution. The DOJ has requested Congress allow any chief judge of a district court to pause court proceedings “whenever the district court is fully or partially closed by virtue of any natural disaster, civil disobedience, or other emergency situation,” according to draft language obtained by Politico.

How We’re Paying To Trample Our Rights + A Bright Future For Hemp

Dissent – protest, direct action, civil disobedience – these are the manifestations of our power. And they are the only things that the ruling elite truly fear. Which is why we're seeing a wave of legislation being introduced to try and crackdown on that power – to strangle our ability to affect change. Here's the scoop and how we should respond. Next, industrial hemp is now federally legal – but what does that actually mean? What's included in that? And how does this affect conflicting state or local laws? Ministry of Hemp editor-in-chief Kit O'Connell joins us to lay it all out.

Domestic Workers In Seattle Win Most Comprehensive Bill Of Rights In The US

On July 27, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan signed into law the city’s domestic workers’ bill of rights. The ordinance, which passed the Seattle City Council unanimously on Monday, establishes protections for the city’s more than 30,000 nannies, caregivers and housekeepers, who have historically been excluded from labor laws. Seattle is now the only city in the United States with a comprehensive domestic workers’ bill of rights. The city joins eight states that have adopted a domestic workers’ bill of rights. Against a grim national backdrop in which traditional labor unions are being drained of any remaining power, the persistence of the domestic workers’ movement throughout the country is indicative of how labor organizing may continue to evolve, incorporating workers’ efforts to exert pressure directly on local policymaking bodies.

Ten Myths About #NoJusticeNoPride

By Siobhán McGuirk for Rewire - No Justice No Pride members have elevated an urgent, national conversation. And we’re not sorry. This month, the social justice group No Justice No Pride (NJNP) disrupted the Capital Pride parade in Washington, D.C. The protest attracted a lot of coverage, including some high-profile endorsementsof the collaborative’s demands, which focus on ending Pride’s general complicity with corporate and state institutions that criminalize, harm, and exploit queer and trans people. Just as the D.C. group, of which I am a member, was inspired by recent actions in Phoenix and Toronto, groups across the country have picked up the NJNP baton and are now protesting at the local level. The D.C. action has prompted some commentators to promote false claims about the history and present realities of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, intersex, asexual, and two-spirit (LGBTQIA2S) communities. This article corrects those myths. MYTH #1: Pride is a celebration, not a protest. Our community has no battles left to fight. FACT: Pride marches commemorate a rebellious insurgency against police brutality and exploitation at the hands of bar owners who colluded with the police. The 1969 Stonewall uprising in New York City was led by trans women of color, and it sparked a movement.

Police Shootings Show Black People Still Aren’t Granted Full Citizenship Rights

By Rebekah Barber for Facing South - Last week, in a powerful moment during the nonviolent protests in Charlotte, North Carolina, following the Sept. 20 shooting of Keith Lamont Scott by a police officer, protesters marched to the county jail and chanted to the inmates inside, "We see you! We love you!" The inmates responded by flickering their lights from inside the jailhouse walls as the crowd cheered outside.

Edward Snowden Weighs In On CISA: “It’s A Surveillance Bill.”

By Staff of Fight For The Future - WASHINGTON - Last night, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden joined Fight for the Future’s Q&A session on reddit to weigh in on the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA,) the controversial “cybersecurity” bill that is expected to see a vote on the Senate floor this afternoon. “CISA isn't a cybersecurity bill,” Snowden wrote in the reddit “IAmA” thread, “It's not going to stop any attacks. It's not going to make us any safer. It's a surveillance bill. What it allows is for the companies you interact with every day -- visibly, like Facebook, or invisibly, like AT&T -- to indiscriminately share private records about your interactions and activities with the government.”

Court Ruling May Allow Litigation Over Mass Round-Ups After 9-11

By Center For Constitutional Rights - Today, in a case brought by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) thirteen years ago, in April 2002, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated claims against former Attorney General John Ashcroft, former FBI director Robert Mueller, and former INS Commissioner James Ziglar for their roles in the post-9/11 immigration detentions, abuse, and religious profiling of Muslim, Arab, and South Asian men. It is exceedingly rare for a court to allow claims against such high-level officials to proceed. “We are thrilled with the court’s ruling.The court took this opportunity to remind the nation that the rule of law and the rights of human beings, whether citizens or not, must not be sacrificed in the face of national security hysteria,” said Center for Constitutional Rights Senior Staff Attorney Rachel Meeropol.

The First Amendment Right to Dissent with Kevin Gosztola and Tarak Kauff

We explore restrictions on the rights of people to assemble and express dissent in the United States. The First Amendment
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