Cognitive Dissonance

"Democracy! Bah! When I hear that I reach for my feather boa!" - Allen Ginsberg

Posts tagged Civil Rights

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This video shows a senior NYPD officer swinging his baton, beating protesters at tonight’s Occupy Wall Street march in New York City. Onlookers chant, “The whole world is watching!” The protesters were also reportedly pepper-sprayed. You can hear people screaming at others to cover their eyes, so I don’t see this as outside the realm of possibility.

Reporters at The Guardian UK wrote:

Questions are once again being asked about police tactics – video footage shows officers beating some protesters with batons. Despite the march having a permit, and the roads being closed, police funnelled protesters onto the sidewarks and into tightly-penned areas. This appears to have led to the frustration: police say they made about 12 arrests, mostly for disorderly conduct when a group of protesters tried to push through a barrier.

Many protesters are asking why the actions of the police seem to lead to confrontational situations, which the organisers of the Occupy Wall Street movement are so desperate to avoid.

The footage is horrifying. I know people will argue the officer was justified because he may have thought the situation was out of control. However, this was a permitted march. The roads were closed. The NYPD kettled protesters into tight spaces for no reason.

This resembles the purposeful leading and kettling of protesters onto the Brooklyn Bridge by the police - the same bridge police protested on in 1992. That protest was described as a "beer-swilling melee" by The New York Times. And lest we forget Tony Bologna’s brutality towards kettled protesters, here’s video of him pepper-spraying penned-up demonstrators.

The NYPD cannot be allowed to get away with this any longer. Several of those arrested on the Brooklyn Bridge Oct. 1 filed civil rights complaints in federal court. In the complaint, protesters seek to have their arrests nullified and state:

"After escorting and leading a group of demonstrators and others well out onto the Brooklyn Bridge roadway, the NYPD suddenly and without warning curtailed further forward movement, blocked the ability of persons to leave the bridge from the rear, and arrested hundreds of protesters in the absence of probable cause."

They also seek to have the city barred from using such tactics in the future.

I stand in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street and I urge them to stand their ground. I hope these abuses of the U.S. Constitution do not dissuade people from further joining the movement. If you’re like me and can’t get to New York, find an event here

Filed under Occupy Wall Street white shirts NYPD politics economy police brutality civil rights protest inequality The Whole World is Watching protesters injustice no justice no peace NYC New York City police

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New York City Police Department Officer Arrested on Federal Civil Rights Charges

As alleged in the complaint, on July 5, 2008, [Admir] Kacamakovic, while on duty and in uniform, assaulted with pepper spray, handcuffed and unlawfully detained a man who was involved in a parking dispute in front of a bar owned by Kacamakovic’s cousin. Using an expletive, Kacamakovic told the man that “no one f***s with my cousin’s place.” Kacamakovic also pepper-sprayed a second person during the incident. Thereafter, on two separate occasions, Kacamakovic, in violation of NYPD directives, accessed the NYPD’s computer system to obtain information from a federal database about the assault victim, who had filed both a complaint against Kacamakovic with the Civilian Complaint Review Board and a civil action in New York state court.

Boy, the NYPD likes their pepper spray, eh? Wonder if this guy is BFFs with Tony Bologna?

h/t to @AnonyOps for this release.

Filed under NYPD Admir Kacamakovic New York City NYC Police brutality civil rights FBI civil action pepper spray New York

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The due-process-free assassination of U.S. citizens is now reality

After several unsuccessful efforts to assassinate its own citizen, the U.S. succeeded today (and it was the U.S.). It almost certainly was able to find and kill Anwar al-Awlaki with the help of its long-time close friend President Saleh, who took a little time off from murdering his own citizens to help the U.S. murder its. The U.S. thus transformed someone who was, at best, a marginal figure into a martyr, and again showed its true face to the world. The government and media search for The Next bin Laden has undoubtedly already commenced.

What’s most striking about this is not that the U.S. Government has seized and exercised exactly the power the Fifth Amendment was designed to bar (“No person shall be deprived of life without due process of law”), and did so in a way that almost certainly violates core First Amendment protections (questions that will now never be decided in a court of law). What’s most amazing is that its citizens will not merely refrain from objecting, but will stand and cheer the U.S. Government’s new power to assassinate their fellow citizens, far from any battlefield, literally without a shred of due process from the U.S. Government. Many will celebrate the strong, decisive, Tough President’s ability to eradicate the life of Anwar al-Awlaki - including many who just so righteously condemned those Republican audience members as so terribly barbaric and crass for cheering Governor Perry’s execution of scores of serial murderers and rapists - criminals who were at least given a trial and appeals and the other trappings of due process before being killed.

This. Every single word of this. I condemn this fully. Don’t give me any of this “But he was a terrorist!” bullshit. So was Timothy McVeigh. We had boxes upon boxes of evidence against McVeigh. He killed Americans on American soil. And he still received a full trial and appeals under the law. 

And what about “American Taliban” John Walker Lindh? He was an American citizen, captured as an enemy combatant who admitted to fighting alongside the Taliban and aiding Al-Qaeda. He was given a plea deal, partially to avoid the controversy of his confession being suppressed in court due to it being obtained “under duress”. However, he was granted the right to a trial, after being indicted, and was given the right to accept or reject a plea deal.

The Obama administration was considering indicting Anwar al-Awlaki. I suppose assassination was the easier route. Note he was “believed” to have shifted his focus from “encouraging attacks” to “directly participating” - but it’s not like any of that evidence will ever be presented in a court of law.

I condemn the Obama administration’s actions. If you condemn the actions of the Bush administration in regards to warrantless wire-tapping and other violations of due process and civil rights, then you must condemn the assassination of Anwar al-Awlaki. It doesn’t matter that he may have been guilty of everything he was suspected of and more. He was an American citizen, deserving of due process before being deprived of his liberty, and there isn’t a deprivation of liberty more permanent than assassination.

Filed under Anwar al-Awlaki assassination politics terrorism civil rights due process Obama President Obama George W. Bush citizenship Yemen law due process of law

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Occupy Wall Street: 'Pepper-spray' officer named in Bush protest claim

A senior New York police officer accused of pepper-spraying young women on the “Occupy Wall Street" demonstrations is the subject of a pending legal action over his conduct at another protest in the city.

The Guardian has learned that the officer, named by activists as deputy inspector Anthony Bologna, stands accused of false arrest and civil rights violations in a claim brought by a protester involved in the 2004 demonstrations at the Republican national convention.

Then, 1,800 people were arrested during protests against the Iraq war and the policies of president George W Bush.

Alan Levine, a civil rights lawyer representing Post A Posr, a protester at the 2004 event, told the Guardian that he filed an action against Bologna and another officer, Tulio Camejo, in 2007. The case, filed at the New York Southern District Court, is expected to be heard next year.

Shock, gasp, clutch the pearls. An officer accused of violating the civil rights of protesters is accused more than once. Interesting that it’s directed at protesters supporting progressive causes. Maybe Officer Bologna takes after the stock that created Sheriff Joe Arpaio. 

A word of advice to the NYPD: Remember Rodney King. Remember what happened after the LAPD beat him to an inch of his life and the officers responsible were not punished. Remember and learn.

Filed under Civil Rights protest Wall Street Occupy Wall Street Anthony Bologna inequality injustice police brutality New York NYPD NYC Economic violence politics police law enforcement

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Sheriff Joe Is Keeping the Birther Dream Alive

The Tea Party’s very own Sheriff Joe Arpaio — famous for his pink panty fetish and for leading a department full of human traffickers — on Wednesday night met with “more than 325 people” (!) who fear that Barack Obama will try to run on 2012 ballots in Arizona’s Maricopa County using a fake birth certificate. Oh yes.

The Surprise Tea Party Patriots™ handed Sheriff Joe a petition with 242 signatures. Joe said he’ll “probe” the issue (with tax payer’s money), and keep Maricopa County free of forged document-wielding illegal aliens.

Awesome! Sheriff Joe is proud of providing such a low standard of health care and sustenance to his inmates that he was ordered by the federal appellate court to improve conditions within the jail because of substantial 8th Amendment violations. One reason Arpaio cites for providing food like moldy bread is that it saves the taxpayers money. Truthfully, he’s cost Arizona taxpayers quite a bit in litigation costs and civil rights suits.

And now, with trying to ‘probe’ whether or not Barack Obama is going to run in Maricopa County (and, ostensibly, the rest of the country) with a false birth certificate, he’s prepared to further misuse taxpayer dollars. If you wrote this as a movie, no producer would touch it - it’s that ridiculous. However, welcome to the reality shared by much of the Tea Party and Sheriff Joe.

Filed under Arizona Joe Arpaio Sheriff Joe politics cruel and unusual punishment birthers Maricopa county civil rights Barack Obama President Obama Barack Obama is not from Kenya

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Essex police charge man over water fight planned on BlackBerry Messenger

A man will appear before magistrates next month for allegedly trying to organise a mass water fight via his mobile phone.

The prime minister said last week that the government would investigate whether social networking platforms should be shut down if they helped to “plot” crime in the wake of the riots.

The 20-year-old from Colchester was arrested on Friday after Essex police discovered the alleged plans circulating on the BlackBerry Messenger service and Facebook.

The unnamed man has been charged with “encouraging or assisting in the commission of an offence” under the 2007 Serious Crime Act, police said.

He was arrested with another 20-year-old man the day the water fight was allegedly due to take place, and has been bailed to appear before Colchester magistrates on 1 September. The second man was released without charge.

In 2008 there was a spate of mass water fights in British towns and cities that were organised through social networks. Most remained peaceful. This month a water fight attended by thousands of young Iranians attracted the attention of Tehran’s morality police and led to a series of arrests.

A water fight? Seriously? Really? Anyone else scared of the brave new world of communications monitoring and censorship?

I wonder how this would play out in the U.S. - if Blackberry messaging is closed, would the evidence be considered unlawfully seized? It’s difficult for police to monitor, say, a forum like Stormfront because of Fourth Amendment concerns. I’m curious if this would be possible in the U.S. - a public Facebook event is different from a closed, invite-only Facebook event. Would the same go for messaging?

Filed under Water fight censorship Blackberry politics Fourth Amendment Civil rights monitoring big brother

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My friend’s reaction to union workers being replaced with prison labor under Scott Walker’s anti-collective bargaining law.
Prisoners are people too. Imagine being forced to work all day, for no pay. Your reward is time off your sentence, which can be revoked if you look at a guard the wrong way. You can’t object to the work, the working conditions, nor are there any avenues to pursue if you are injured or mistreated while working.
What’s next? How about contracting out elementary schools to bus in their students and calling it a “field trip?”

My friend’s reaction to union workers being replaced with prison labor under Scott Walker’s anti-collective bargaining law.

Prisoners are people too. Imagine being forced to work all day, for no pay. Your reward is time off your sentence, which can be revoked if you look at a guard the wrong way. You can’t object to the work, the working conditions, nor are there any avenues to pursue if you are injured or mistreated while working.

What’s next? How about contracting out elementary schools to bus in their students and calling it a “field trip?”

Filed under collective bargaining Wisconsin politics union union-busting Scott Walker civil rights

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A photo of two Transportation Security Administration agents doing a full pat down on a baby, approximately 8 months old, has gone viral.  It happened at the Kansas City International Airport.  A passenger captured the image on his cell phone. Since he tweeted the picture on Saturday, it has had more than 200,000 hits.  The photo shows the helpless baby being held up in the air by his mother while the TSA workers do their job. 

Yeah, I’d be pissed. Video here:

A photo of two Transportation Security Administration agents doing a full pat down on a baby, approximately 8 months old, has gone viral. It happened at the Kansas City International Airport. A passenger captured the image on his cell phone. Since he tweeted the picture on Saturday, it has had more than 200,000 hits. The photo shows the helpless baby being held up in the air by his mother while the TSA workers do their job. 

Yeah, I’d be pissed. Video here:

Filed under civil rights TSA

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I believe that we’re in denial about potential problems as we see more and more homosexual couples raising families. Essentially, these are experiments to see how well children will fare in such same-sex households. It will be years before we know whether or not our little guinea pigs turn out to be good at marriage and parenthood.

Mike Huckabee, regarding marriage equality and the DOMA. Fuck you, Mike Huckabee. Seriously. Comparing GLBTQ people to guinea pigs is ridiculously offensive.

Here’s the APA on marriage equality: Adopted children thrive in same-sex households

No, Mike Huckabee. You’re the one in denial.

(Source: lezgetreal.com)

Filed under Mike Huckabee bigot bigotry fuck you seriously marriage equality GLBTQ offensive civil rights gay gay marriage gay rights

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Inmates Facing Chilly Night In Tent City

PHOENIX — Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is used to dealing with extreme heat in his Tent City jail.For the next few days, inmates will be facing severe cold weather instead. The overnight temperatures are expected to dip below freezing. Inmates will have extra blankets for the next few nights, Arpaio said. They will also be issued pink thermal underwear to go with their standard pink boxers.The tents used for the jail date back to the Korean War.

"The conditions here are mild compared to what happened in 1950 in ‘frozen Chosin,’" Arpaio said, referring to the Korean War battle.

Fuck you, Joe Arpaio. Seriously. This is not the Korean War and the inmates did not enlist to be in the Army. He seems to be forgetting 2 important things:

  • Some of the inmates in your jail are innocent until proven guilty
  • The Eighth Amendment - “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.” These are conditions banned by the U.S. Military in regards to prisoners of war: “Exposure to excessive cold, Inadequate bedding and blanketing, Sleep deprivation due to an accumulation of circumstances, Detrimental impact from an accumulation of confinement conditions…”

So what makes Arpaio exempt from humanely treating his prisoners? I understand this is not the military, but let’s face it, these are basic human rights, like the right to not be subjected to below freezing temps in only boxers, a t-shirt, thermal underwear, and an extra blanket in tents that are older than many of the inmates themselves. This is inhumane, and it’s little wonder Arpaio is being sued by the Department of Justice for refusing to provide full access to records and facilities for a civil-rights investigation.

Hmmm…:

The suit alleges the Sheriff’s Office is in violation of federal civil-rights laws by refusing for 17 months to fully cooperate with an investigation into police practices and jail operations. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Phoenix, names Sheriff Joe Arpaio, his office and Maricopa County.

Filed under Fuckery Joe Arpaio STFU civil rights cruel and unusual punishment eighth amendment inhumane inmates institutional cruelty prisoners Arizona

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I’m not racist, but…

"Now, I don’t care to discuss the alleged complaints American Indians have against this country. I believe, with good reason, the most unsympathetic Hollywood portrayal of Indians and what they did to the white man. They had no right to a country merely because they were born here and then acted like savages. The white man did not conquer this country. And you’re a racist if you object, because it means you believe that certain men are entitled to something because of their race. You believe that if someone is born in a magnificent country and doesn’t know what to do with it, he still has a property right to it. He does not.

Since the Indians did not have the concept of property or property rights—they didn’t have a settled society, they had predominantly nomadic tribal “cultures”—they didn’t have rights to the land, and there was no reason for anyone to grant them rights that they had not conceived of and were not using. It’s wrong to attack a country that respects (or even tries to respect) individual rights. If you do, you’re an aggressor and are morally wrong. But if a “country” does not protect rights—if a group of tribesmen are the slaves of their tribal chief—why should you respect the “rights” that they don’t have or respect? The same is true for a dictatorship. The citizens in it have individual rights, but the country has no rights and so anyone has the right to invade it, because rights are not recognized in that country; and no individual or country can have its cake and eat it too—that is, you can’t claim one should respect the “rights” of Indians, when they had no concept of rights and no respect for rights.

But let’s suppose they were all beautifully innocent savages—which they certainly were not. What were they fighting for, in opposing the white man on this continent? For their wish to continue a primitive existence; for their “right” to keep part of the earth untouched—to keep everybody out so they could live like animals or cavemen. Any European who brought with him an element of civilization had the right to take over this continent, and it’s great that some of them did. The racist Indians today—those who condemn America—do not respect individual rights.”

- Ayn Rand, delivering West Point’s Commencement Speech, March 6, 1974

This explains quite a bit of Tea Party/Conservative thought regarding immigration laws like SB1070, and the rights of immigrants, whether or not they are here legally, the rights of Muslims, or the rights of Hispanic people in the U.S. I’m getting increasingly sick of people claiming they aren’t racist for “just asking the question” or whatever. It’s like Glenn Beck explaining away his statement about Barack Obama having a deep hatred for white people or saying to Congressman Keith Ellison in 2006, “I have been nervous about this interview with you, because what I feel like saying is, ‘Sir, prove to me that you are not working with our enemies.’ And I know you’re not. I’m not accusing you of being an enemy, but that’s the way I feel, and I think a lot of Americans will feel that way.” 

Conservatives are increasingly playing the “you’re discriminating against me because I’m white middle class” card without understanding there’s still privilege inherent in being a white, middle-class, straight, cisgendered American (especially male). I know I’m a white female, and I will acknowledge that in and of itself carries privilege. But I won’t stop calling out the bullshit surrounding this new victim class of Tea Party, Ayn Rand devotees who are desperate to “reclaim” the civil rights movement for themselves. THEY MADE IT NECESSARY IN THE FIRST PLACE.

(Source: cognitivedissonance)

Filed under privilege Ayn Rand Native Americans American Indians Civil Rights Race Gender conservatives Conservative conservative racists racism immigration

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In jail for being in debt: You committed no crime, but an officer is knocking on your door. More Minnesotans are surprised to find themselves being locked up over debts

It’s not a crime to owe money, and debtors’ prisons were abolished in the United States in the 19th century. But people are routinely being thrown in jail for failing to pay debts. In Minnesota, which has some of the most creditor-friendly laws in the country, the use of arrest warrants against debtors has jumped 60 percent over the past four years, with 845 cases in 2009, a Star Tribune analysis of state court data has found.

Not every warrant results in an arrest, but in Minnesota many debtors spend up to 48 hours in cells with criminals. Consumer attorneys say such arrests are increasing in many states, including Arkansas, Arizona and Washington, driven by a bad economy, high consumer debt and a growing industry that buys bad debts and employs every means available to collect.

Whether a debtor is locked up depends largely on where the person lives, because enforcement is inconsistent from state to state, and even county to county.

In Illinois and southwest Indiana, some judges jail debtors for missing court-ordered debt payments. In extreme cases, people stay in jail until they raise a minimum payment. In January, a judge sentenced a Kenney, Ill., man “to indefinite incarceration” until he came up with $300 toward a lumber yard debt.

This can happen to people on probation as well. If you don’t pay your bill for court-ordered drug treatment, and you’re doing everything else right (i.e. working, going to school, staying sober, etc), the State of Wyoming will throw you in jail until you can pay that bill or until you have a plan.

This is where we’re heading in other states as well with court fines - can’t pay it, go to jail, possibly losing your job, your home, your kids, etc. because you don’t have the money to pay a debt. How is this a helpful solution? Anyone who says the class war doesn’t exist is full of shit.

Filed under Minnesota Debt debtor's prisons exist civil rights human rights money economic crisis class war economic violence

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If you live within driving distance of Cheyenne, Wyoming…

…reply to this post! I’m interested in organizing a rally outside the Attorney General’s office in Cheyenne to protest his decision to attach Wyoming to Prop H8 by submitting an amicus brief on Wyoming’s behalf.

We are the Equality State. That is our motto. Let’s act like it. Read more here about the AG’s defense of the brief.

If you’re interested in attending, helping or speaking please reply to this post or leave your email in my ask box.

If you don’t live within driving distance, reblog. Someone following you might.

Filed under GLBTQ Wyoming Wyoming Attorney General civil rights gay gay rights rally rally time! wrong side of history guys Bruce Salzburg

Notes

Marriage “is not a civil right – you’re not black,” Coulter said to nervous laughter. She went on to note that gays are among the wealthiest demographic groups in the country. “Blacks must be looking at the gays saying, ‘Why can’t we be oppressed like that?’”

stfuconservatives:

mollyfreakinpotter:

I hate. This cunt.

That’s not how civil rights work… ANY oppressed group - truly oppressed, not “OMG it’s so hard to be a white man” oppressed - is being denied a civil right in some way. To vote, to marry, to own land, etc.

Goddamn. This is what I posted the whole “Derailing for Dummies” for - people like her. An anonymous donor wants to bring her to the University of Wyoming in response to the federal civil rights lawsuit that allowed Bill Ayers to speak.

You went to law school, Ann, you know better than this.

/facepalm

Filed under Ann Coulter civil rights Derailing for Dummies herp derp glbtq rights gay rights facepalm