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Black Open Carry Protesters Are Marching Against Police Brutality, and the Media Is Silent

(from countercurrentnews.com)

They call themselves the Huey P. Newton Gun Club, named after the co-founder of the Black Panther Party For Self Defense. Like the defunct organization which called for reform of community policing, demanding that police come from the neighborhoods they serve, the Huey P. Newton Gun Club says they are marching “to promote self-defense and community policing” in response to the recent high profile stories about police shooting unarmed African Americans across the country.

To the protesters, “community policing” is more than just a word. Communities should be protected by members of the community, and held accountable. Ironically this was the original vision for community policing, articulated in 1812 by Sir Robert Peel. That’s right, it may surprise many to discover that our communities have only had police as we know them for a little over 200 years. Even then, it took a little while for Peel’s concept of police forces to make its way to the United States. Since then it has become a norm that many cannot imagine a time before.

In Texas, the Huey P. Newton Gun Club are following in the footsteps of Newton, who was a law major, striving to stay within the bounds of legality. Though the historical Black Panthers had a notable slip-up which led to then Governor Ronald Reagan signing the Mulford Act which prohibited carrying loaded guns in public space. The goal of the Panthers, as they explained it, was to assert the rights of the people to defend themselves against corrupt police, within the bounds of the law. The Huey P. Newton Gun Club says that’s exactly what they are doing today with their open carry protests.

Police have kept a close eye on the protesters, while also trying to keep their distance. One officer we talked to said “there’s really nothing we can do about it. Open carry protests are not against the law.”

Others refused to comment.

(keep reading at countercurrentnews.com)

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Sweden Is Now Recycling 99 Percent Of Its Trash. Here’s How They Do It

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~ William Gibson, Neuromancer

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Meet 5 year old Inas Khalil. She was murdered today by an Israeli settler near Ramallah, Palestine.

(from dailykos.com)

Numerous sources in Israel-Palestine are reporting that an Israeli settler ran over two young Palestinian girls with a car, killing 5-year-old Enas Shawkat and injuring the other, outside a kindergarten in the occupied West Bank today, near Ramallah.

The exact details are still being fleshed out, yet it is clear that it was a hit-and-run, while the children were crossing the main street in Singel, a small Palestinian village often attacked by Israeli settlers and their military.

Al Quds already has a report out about the murder: “The Martyrdom of a child and injuring another Dhshma settlers near Singel.” It notes that the two young girls, who were struck in the head in the attack, were immediately taken to an intensive care unit. Enas was announced dead, and the other child appears to be in a coma.

(keep reading at dailykos.com)

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Leaked draft confirms TPP will censor Internet and stifle Free Expression worldwide

(from openmedia.ca)

This morning Wikileaks published a second leaked draft of the Intellectual Property chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The draft confirms people’s worst fears about Internet censorship. That’s according to community-based organization OpenMedia, which is leading a large international Fair Deal Coalition aimed at securing balanced copyright rules for the 21st Century.

“It is hugely disappointing to see that, yet again, Canadians – and members of the public worldwide – have to be informed about these critical issues through leaked drafts, instead of through democratic engagement on the part of governments and elected officials,” said OpenMedia Campaigns Coordinator Meghan Sali. “When will our decision-makers recognize that negotiating serious issues – especially proposals that would censor our use of the Internet – must be considered and debated democratically instead of in secret meetings with industry lobbyists?”

Sali continued, “It is now clearer than ever that we need a positive alternative to this secretive process. It is unacceptable to design and impose new laws through closed-door processes that disenfranchise individuals around the world and shut off debate on important issues that will affect all of our futures. This is what the Our Digital Future report, released just yesterday, is all about – challenging the notion that we can’t make these laws in a more democratic manner.”

(keep reading at openmedia.ca)

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Donovan – Season of the Witch

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ACLU seeks to force Kansas to allow gay marriages via federal court order

Or: Suck it, Brownback

(from ljworld.com)

The American Civil Liberties Union asked a federal court to order Kansas to allow same-sex couples to wed while the group’s lawsuit against the state constitution’s gay-marriage ban is under review.

The group argued in its filing in U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Kansas, that it is likely to prevail in the lawsuit. It also said denying the right to marry even for a short period will do irreparable harm to the two lesbian couples represented by the ACLU in the case. The group wants to immediately block the state from enforcing its gay marriage ban.

Kansas voters overwhelmingly approved an amendment to the state constitution in 2005 to preserve a longstanding policy against gay marriage — and to deny same-sex couples any “rights and incidents” associated with marriage. But the U.S. Supreme Court declined last week to hear appeals from five states seeking to preserve gay marriage bans, including Oklahoma and Utah, which are in the same federal appeals court circuit as Kansas.

Doug Bonney, the legal director of the ACLU’s Kansas chapter, said federal appeals court rulings against the Oklahoma and Utah gay-marriage bans are precedents that doom Kansas’ prohibition.

(keep reading at ljworld.com)

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Citizens United Changed Everything

(from criticalthought.me)

We have reached a tipping point in this nation. To borrow from Francis Fukuyama, the end of history is being written right now on the proverbial wall of America. If this nation was a constantly evolving canvas, then the paint has dried, the stage is set and the lines are drawn. Our society is reaching the end of an intellectual history. When it comes to the ideology of politics for civilization, there is no middle ground.

Democracy in America is dead. In its place is a plutocratic system that is wrought with big money, and an even bigger concentration of power centralized in the hands of the few. This is not a prediction or a far-reaching hypothesis. This is reality. Right now, they are the winners, and we the people are the losers. The United States Senate recently blocked a proposal to amend the Constitution to toughen regulations on campaign finance and election spending restrictions. The debate centralized around the 2010 Supreme Court case Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission. The original ruling essentially removed a multitude of barriers to corporate spending to buy elections. The Supreme Court stated that Congress has little power to limit spending money on election ads; as a result, corporations and unions have a First Amendment right to freedom of speech. Although corporations were banned from donating directly to candidates, no limits on the amount of outside spending were permissible. The amendment that was struck down several weeks ago would have placed limits on campaign fundraising for candidates and outside groups. This is essential because the current political climate is one where a very small group of people can wield their financial influence to “buy” elections. Consider in 2010, 0.26% of the population gave 68% of contributions to Congress. It is not realistic to point to this one statistic as indicative of a new political climate but it is pretty clear that the divide between the top 1% and 99% is growing. The top 1% has seen their incomes rise by over 86% since 1933, while the middle class and lower class incomes are flat or down; thus, American politics is seen as a force dominated by money from the aristocrats. The dire result is an increasingly exclusive class of the selected few calling the shots on how to run the government. The most critical part of the proposed amendment was the clause that declared corporations are not people but identities when it comes to campaign spending. Corporations as an identity would not struck down altogether but would be examined under a different light when it comes to elections.

(keep reading at criticalthought.me)

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