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Human Rights & Civil Liberties

Former CIA Analyst Ray McGovern: Obama Is ‘Afraid’ Of The CIA And The NSA

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McGovern says he believes the president can’t hold either agency accountable for their violations of the law and human rights because of the power they hold over him.

MintPress News Desk, Mint Press News

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http://axisoflogic.com/artman/uploads/2/holder_nsa_eye498.JPGMarch 10, 2016 | A former CIA analyst believes the CIA and National Security Agency have become so powerful that the president is afraid to act against them when they break the law.

Ray McGovern retired from the CIA in 1990, following nearly 30 years of service to the agency. He was awarded the Intelligence Commendation Medal, which is given to agents who offer “especially commendable service” to the agency.

Outraged over the CIA’s open use of torture, he returned the medal in 2006 and became an antiwar activist. He was arrested in 2011 for a silent protest against a speech by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

MintPress News is an independent watchdog journalism organization that provides issue-based original reporting, in-depth investigations, and thoughtful analysis of the most pressing topics facing our nation.

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The Roots of Unrest in Milwaukee, WI

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  • The growth of poverty and inequality, the eruption of social anger, and the build-up of the police forces are interrelated components of the same class dynamic.
  • “The reality is that … this is a city where there are 27,000 households that have an income less than $10,000,” said Howard Fuller, a longtime civil rights activist and former Milwaukee schools superintendent who lives one block from the BP gas station that was burned during the unrest Saturday night.
  • Part 1: The social roots of unrest in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Part 2: Why Milwaukee boiled over with violence after police shooting death

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest 

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Part 1: The social roots of unrest in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

The growth of poverty and inequality, the eruption of social anger and the build-up of the police forces are interrelated components of the same class dynamic.

Niles Niemuth, World Socialist Website

https://img.washingtonpost.com/wp-apps/imrs.php?src=https://img.washingtonpost.com/rf/image_960w/2010-2019/Wires/Images/2016-08-14/AP/Officer_Involved_Shooting_Milwaukee-8ccfd.jpg&w=1484 The location where Sylville Smith was fatally shot Saturday by police in Milwaukee. (Jeffrey Phelps/AP)

16 August 2016 | Once again deeply rooted social anger has boiled over in an American city against police violence. This time protests erupted in the Sherman Park neighborhood of Milwaukee, Wisconsin following the killing of 23-year-old African American Sylville K. Smith by an as yet unidentified African American police officer Saturday afternoon.

Approximately 100 people gathered Saturday night to protest near where Smith was killed. The night ended with a handful of nearby businesses looted as well as a gas station, a bank branch and an auto parts store torched. A handful of cop cars and other vehicles were damaged or destroyed. The police arrested 31 people during protests Saturday and Sunday night.

Niles Niemuth is the 2016 US vice presidential candidate of the Socialist Equality Party and a writer for World Socialist Web Site.

Full story … 



Part 2: Why Milwaukee boiled over with violence after police shooting death

“The reality is that … this is a city where there are 27,000 households that have an income less than $10,000,” said Howard Fuller, a longtime civil rights activist and former Milwaukee schools superintendent who lives one block from the BP gas station that was burned during the unrest Saturday night.

Wesley Lowery, Washington (DC) Post

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August 16, 2016 | After two nights of violent clashes between police and residents following a fatal police shooting of a young black man, Police Chief Ed Flynn stepped to the microphone late Monday night to declare a small victory.

“We’ve seen great improvement over yesterday,” Flynn said. The night had produced 10 arrests, but no rioting or property damage after officials instituted a 10 p.m. curfew. “This community is not interested in doing damage to where they live,” he said.

Wesley Lowery is a national reporter covering law enforcement and justice for the Washington Post. He previously covered Congress and national politics.

Full story … 

SOAW Video: Oct.7-10 Convergence at the Border

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SOA Watch Convergence at the US/Mexico Border in October

SOA Watch

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August 2, 2016 | After holding an annual vigil at the gates of Fort Benning, Georgia, the human rights group SOA Watch is moving its convergence to become bi-national at the U.S./Mexico border in Nogales, Arizona/ Sonora Mexico. 

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Activists throughout the U.S. and Mexico will gather on both sides of the US/Mexico border from October 7-10, 2016, in the lead-up to the November elections. Our goal is to:

  • highlight US intervention in Latin America as one of the root causes of migration
  • stage protests, cultural events, and nonviolent direct action against racism, xenophobia and US militarization at home and abroad. 

We understand these two go hand in hand and that U.S. state violence is not particular to United States.  Communities are being targeted for assassination and state repression throughout the Americas by U.S. trained military and police forces.

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People from Latin America continue to be forced to flee from U.S. trained repressive security forces, only to be confronted with a militarized border, racist immigration laws, and xenophobic rhetoric in this election cycle. Black and Brown bodies in the U.S. continue to be targeted and systematically imprisoned and killed in the same way. We can no longer separate the issues and today we say enough!  We cannot look at immigration reform without looking at its root cause. We cannot discuss police brutality or the prison industrial complex in the U.S. without discussing its root purpose. State violence is used to exert control and oppress our communities in order to maintain an exploitative racist system that benefits the few.

We need to build broad-based grassroots power across borders, and push back against neoliberal politics of privatization of the commons, the militarization of our communities, and the upholding of profit interests over life, that permeate today’s political discourse.  Stand on the side of mutual aid and solidarity, join us from October 7-10, 2016 in Nogales, Arizona/ Sonora to build power for a culture shift.
 
Our choices can no longer be the lesser of two evils.  Today we choose ourselves. We stand on the side of dignity and against neoliberal politics. 
 
To make the Convergence at the Border a success, we need you to 
mobilize your communities to take a stand for justice and against militarization from October 7-10, 2016 at the border wall in Nogales, Sonora / Arizona. The convergence will include workshops and events on both sides of the U.S./ Mexico border, as well as art, music, and resistance. To learn more about why SOA Watch is moving from the gates of Fort Benning to the border, read the article From the School of the Americas to the Border, watch the documentary The Empire’s War on the Border, and share the mobilizing video with your friends on twitter and facebook.

We need to build grassroots power to change our culture and the challenge the racist status quo, and we need to take action: http://SOAW.org/border

Waves of Refugees and a Worldwide System of Exploitation and Oppression

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  • “American Lives Are Not More Important Than Other People’s Lives” --Bob Avakian, BAsics 5:7
  • Wars, Refugees And The Complete Lack Of Leadership Everywhere

Revolution Newspaper

Thanks to Evergreene Digest reader/contributor Louis Berne for this contribution. 

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July 25, 2016 | There has been throughout this election endless discussion of how trade deals like NAFTA have hurt Americans and nothing about what the treaties and trade deals that the U.S. has imposed have done—whole economies have been dominated, plundered and gutted by the very same powerful interests dictating what is being discussed in these elections. This is pointing people in the entirely wrong direction and distorting the character of the problem—and offering NO solution.

Want to understand why waves of refugees are streaming across borders and what this has to do with a worldwide system of exploitation and oppression? The following are some of revcom.us/Revolution’s recent coverage.

Revolution Newspaper: The voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

Full story … 

 

Related:

Wars, Refugees And The Complete Lack Of Leadership Everywhere, Alan Hart, Countercurrents

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  • If Obama had demonstrated real leadership … I think the countdown to catastrophe for Syria, the region and possibly the whole world could have been stopped.
  • A guide to the worst refugee crisis since WWII

Close the SOA/WHINSEC Included in the Platform of the Democratic Party

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“In order to create real change, we can't rely on politicians to make it happen for us. We have to organize to build broad-based grassroots power, and hold those who are making decisions that affect our lives accountable,” said Hendrik Voss of School of the Americas Watch.

Hendrik Voss, SOA Watch

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http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/SOAW%20banner.jpgJuly 12, 2016 | At the two-day Platform Committee meeting, that took place in Orlando, Florida last weekend, it was agreed to include the closing of the School of the Americas, now known as the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, as one of its planks into the Democratic Party's policy platform.

 

The amendment to call for the closure of the notorious US military training school, which reads “Our support of democracies and civilian governments in the Western Hemisphere includes our belief that their military and police forces should never be involved in the political process, and therefore we will reinstate the 2000 Congressional mandate to close the School of the Americas now known as WHINSEC” was introduced by Marcos Rubenstein, a member of the platform committee, who was elected by the Sanders delegates. 

The "Close the School of Americas" plank was accepted by both the Sanders and the Clinton campaigns and is now in manager's mark. That means that only grammatical changes are now allowed. This is the first time that the draft of the Democratic Party's policy platform includes the call for the closure of the School of the Americas/ WHINSEC.

The draft policy platform, which still needs to be ratified at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia later this month, is supposed to be the policy on which the presidential candidate runs, and around which Democrats rally. While the platform is nonbinding, grassroots activists, who have been concerned about the hawkish stands of presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton towards Latin America, will push the Obama administration and the Clinton campaign to adhere to the platform’s call for the closing of the School of the Americas/ Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation.

Hillary Clinton has been dogged on the campaign trail with questions about her role as Secretary of State in the 2009 military coup in Honduras, which was carried out by graduates of the School of the Americas. The State Department under Hillary Clinton legitimized the 2009 coup, which has led to increased militarization, and unleashed violence and human rights abuses. Thousands of Hondurans are fleeing their country, as political violence by the government and death squads is ongoing. Hundreds have been murdered, including indigenous environmentalist and social justice activist Berta Cáceres, who was shot in her house in the Honduran community of La Esperanza on March 3, 2016.

School of the Americas Watch, the activist organization that is working against US militarization throughout the Americas, is mobilizing for a Convergence at the US/Mexico border from October 7-10, 2016 in the lead-up to the elections: http://SOAW.org/border The convergence will demand a fundamental shift in US foreign policy, shine a light on how US militarization in Latin America is a principal root causes of migration, and call attention to the devastating impact of US security and immigration policy on refugees.

“In order to create real change, we can't rely on politicians to make it happen for us. We have to organize to build broad-based grassroots power, and hold those who are making decisions that affect our lives accountable.” said Hendrik Voss of School of the Americas Watch.

SOA Watch, founded by Fr. Roy Bourgeois in 1990,  is an independent organization that seeks to close the U.S. Army School of the Americas, under whatever name it is called, through vigils and fasts, demonstrations and nonviolent protest, as well as media and legislative work.

Full story ... 

 

Philando Castile deserves justice

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  • http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/Take%20Action%20Today%20button.jpg Join this call to action and send Governor Dayton, Attorney General Lori Swanson and Ramsey County Attorney John Choi an email asking for a Special Assistant Attorney General to be appointed immediately.
  • Related: Feds cover up police killing of Jamar Clark, community renews fight for justice

ACLU of Minnesota  

 

https://ms.clicks.actions.aclu.org/img/org_1004/mn-image-07132016.jpg Tell our elected officials to appoint a special prosecutor in the shooting of Philando Castile.

July 13, 2016 | Philando Castile should still be alive.

Philando lost his life last week for no reason, shot to death in front of his girlfriend and her child. We mourn him because the police failed to protect and serve him. If they had done their job, he would still be alive. Since we allow citizens to carry guns, shooting them for legally carrying a gun is not acceptable.

Philando became the 123rd Black person to be killed by U.S. law enforcement this year. We know there is a better way to police, an approach that doesn’t leave us with disproportionately high numbers of people of color injured and dead.

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ACLU of Minnesota continues to protect the civil liberties of all Minnesotans through litigation, public education, and lobbying.

Full story … 

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Feds cover up police killing of Jamar Clark, community renews fight for justice, Jess Sundin, Fight Back! News

  • Family and community were shaken, but not surprised, by Thursday’s announcement. They are responding with action.
  • Related: Jamar Clark case - Freeman played dog-whistle politics in communicating the narrative.

This Is How Many People Police Have Killed So Far In 2016

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  • In the first half of 2016, police have killed 532 people (almost 3 per day!) — many of whom were unarmed, mentally ill, and people of color.
  • Related: Feds cover up police killing of Jamar Clark, community renews fight for justice.

Celisa Calacal, ThinkProgress

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http://cdn.thinkprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/30163700/Police-Have-Not-Been-Held-Accountable3-1125x635.jpgJul 5, 2016 | In the first half of 2016, police have killed 532 people — many of whom were unarmed, mentally ill, and people of color.

This number comes from The Guardian’s police killings database, but the Killed by Police database counts 580 people who have died at the hands of police so far this year. The Washington Post also reports that 488 people have been shot and killed by cops.

Going by the Guardian’s count, 261 white people were killed by police — the highest total out of any racial group. But data also shows that black people and Native Americans are being killed at higher rates than any other group.

Celisa Calacal is an intern at ThinkProgress. She is currently a rising junior studying journalism at Ithaca College, where she is an editor for The Ithacan, the college’s student-run newspaper. In addition, she is a staff writer for Buzzsaw, the college’s independent, student-run magazine.

Full story … 

 

Related:

Feds cover up police killing of Jamar Clark, community renews fight for justice, Jess Sundin, Fight Back! News

  • Family and community were shaken, but not surprised, by Thursday’s announcement. They are responding with action.
  • Related: Jamar Clark case - Freeman played dog-whistle politics in communicating the narrative.

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