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Free Speech

Free Speech
Amazon Is Selling Facial Recognition to Law Enforcement - for a Fistful of Dollars
Elizabeth Dwoskin: The details about Amazon’s program illustrate the proliferation of cutting-edge technologies deep into American society — often without public vetting or debate. Axon, the maker of Taser electroshock weapons and the wearable body cameras for police, has voiced interest in pursuing face recognition for its body-worn cameras, prompting a similar backlash from civil rights groups. Hundreds of Google employees protested last month to demand that the company stop providing artificial intelligence to the Pentagon to help analyze drone footage. ... Facial recognition can allow strangers to identify people who don’t wish to be identified, such as shoppers in stores, individuals in a crowd, or people who appear in photos that get posted on social media... Visit Website ]
May 22, 2018, 4:56pm

Free Speech
Embattled Palestinian Knesset Member Fights for Her People’s Rights
Dennis J Bernstein Interviews Haneen Zoabi, a Palestinian member of the Israeli Knesset: "Palestinians have long been suffering from the siege. Almost daily, bombers fly over Gaza. Israel wants to break the will of the Palestinians, to prevent Palestinians from fighting for their freedom. I would describe the Palestinian struggle as an heroic one. After eleven years of siege, 75% of children in Gaza suffer from anemia. Fisherman are shot on a weekly basis. Farmers coming to work on their land are shot. Employment rates and poverty rates are extremely high. 95% of the water is unsafe to drink. The United Nations has determined that the living situation in Gaza is not suitable for human life."... Visit Website ]
Apr 21, 2018, 10:40am

Free Speech
Thousands of Hearts and Minds
Ed Kinane: To work against militarism and for social justice is to struggle for hearts and minds. We “educate, agitate, and organize.” We reach out to the public to mobilize its conscience. But the public is large and we are few. Most ways to reach the public are costly. Or shaped by other agendas. So mostly we operate small scale. We could however make much greater use of a familiar and broad public forum: letters to the editor. ... LTEs are a valuable tool. In writing them, we can transform ourselves, deepening our analysis and vision, making more public our witness, making steadfast our commitment. We’re standing up and out for what we stand for... Visit Website ]
Apr 9, 2018, 12:44pm

Free Speech
The assault on environmental protest
Maggie Ellinger-Locke and Vera Eidelman: More than 50 state bills that would criminalize protest, deter political participation, and curtail freedom of association have been introduced across the country in the past two years. These bills are a direct reaction from politicians and corporations to the tactics of some of the most effective protesters in recent history, including Black Lives Matter and the water protectors challenging construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline at Standing Rock. ... If they succeed, these legislative moves will suppress dissent and undercut marginalized groups voicing concerns that disrupt current power dynamics... Visit Website ]
Mar 5, 2018, 10:21am

Free Speech
The Struggle Against Honduras’ Stolen Election
Dennis J. Bernstein talks to Sandra Cuffe, journalist based in Tegucigalpa: Last November 26 there were general elections in Honduras. It was a fiercely contested election between Juan Orlando Hernandez, the current president, and Salvador Nasralla, who was the candidate for the oppositional alliance against the dictatorship. ... After more than half the votes had been counted, preliminary results had Nasralla in the lead by five points ... The computer system then mysteriously crashed and when it came back online that lead began to rapidly disappear. ... The Organization of American States found serious irregularities in the voting and numerous indications of fraud. ... The U.S. and the OAS disagreed on whether to recognize the election results. Two days after the election and just before soldiers started opening fire on protesters, the U.S. State Department certified the election, which freed up military aid to the Honduran government. ... when you talk to most young people, they no longer see a future for themselves here.They organized and went to the polls and the signs of clear victory were simply wiped out two days later. People are outraged and many of them will leave the country... Visit Website ]
Jan 27, 2018, 12:27pm

Free Speech
How the Interrogation of Reality Winner Reveals the Deceptive Tactics of “Exceedingly Friendly” FBI Agents
Peter Maass: By avoiding the obligation to inform suspects of their right to a lawyer and the right to stay silent, the FBI makes it easier to get Americans to say things — whether truths or lies — that will be used against them. ... “Because warnings are only required prior to custodial interrogation, one way to minimize the impact of Miranda on investigations is to try to conduct interrogations whenever possible in noncustodial settings (such as the suspect’s home or on the street, without arrest-like restraints),” notes an article in Police Magazine, which caters to the law enforcement community. The article bore the headline “How to talk to suspects without Mirandizing.”... Visit Website ]
Dec 28, 2017, 4:37pm

Free Speech
Dystopian Sketches from Inside the Inauguration Protesters' Trial
Molly Crabapple: On December 5, I went down to DC to sketch the absurdist nightmare known as the #J20 trials. ... The #J20 trials are thus called because the defendants were arrested on January 20 during protests against Trump’s inauguration in Washington, DC, after police kettled 240 people on 12th and L streets. An astounding 194 people now face a litany of charges related to property damage and rioting that could result in 60-year sentences being handed down to the defendants (others have pleaded guilty to lesser offenses). ... The government is trying to set the precedent that if you’re at a protest and someone else smashes a window, it’s your fault... Visit Website ]
Dec 9, 2017, 10:40am

Free Speech
Century of the National Security State: A New Subversives List?
David Rosen: A recent article by two Georgetown University civil-liberties attorneys, Yael Bromberg and Eirik Cheverud, “Anti-Trump protesters risk 60 years in jail. Is dissent a crime?,” warns that the Trump Justice Department may be establishing a 21st century “subversives” list. The trial of the first six defendants has just started in Washington, DC. ... The authors’ note that in the wake of Pres. Donald Trump’s inauguration in January 2017, federal prosecutors brought charges against over 200 protestors that included felony rioting, felony incitement to riot, conspiracy to riot and five property-damage crimes. The attorneys remind readers, “Each defendant is facing over 60 years in prison.”... Visit Website ]
Nov 29, 2017, 12:53pm

Free Speech
Taking a knee to stand with the struggle
Dave Zirin: The fact that the players faced off against the 31 NFL owners--not 32, because the Packers don't have one owner--who are some of the most conservative billionaires on the planet, and were actually able to extract concessions from them is pretty remarkable. ... They were able to reaffirm their collective bargaining rights and their First Amendment rights. They were able to get money for social justice programs that a lot of players are getting involved in. And they were able to get, of all people, Roger Goodell to co-sign a letter with the Seattle Seahawks' Doug Baldwin to support legislation that lowers mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses... Visit Website ]
Oct 27, 2017, 4:09pm

Free Speech
Immigration police grab two more activists
Two more workers organizing with the immigrant rights organization Migrant Justice were arrested by U.S. Customs and Border Protection just hours after they had participated in the group's 13-mile-long March for Milk with Dignity. ... Vermont's immigrant dairy farm workers often face wage theft, 70- to 80-hour workweeks without overtime pay, going days at a time without eight consecutive hours off, substandard housing conditions housing on farms that lack drinking water, and many other intolerable conditions. ... We face the harsh reality that the government and the business class that run this society ... want immigrant workers--and others besides--to be voiceless and too terrified to do anything other than accept appalling conditions and miserable wages.... Visit Website ]
Jun 23, 2017, 12:58pm

Free Speech
Censored: Native Delegations at Bolivia Climate Conference
Brenda Norrell: "The bottom of line of real climate change is that it is being censored and distorted in the news. I've been busy trying to give away articles on the Native American delegations to the Bolivia Climate Conference. As far as I can tell, none of the newspapers in and around Indian country have published the articles.
Jun 10, 2010, 11:30am

Free Speech
Burma: The Voice They Cannot Silence
Andrew Buncombe: "For more than 20 years, the plight of Burma's political prisoners has shocked the world. Now, their struggle for freedom has been documented in a brave new project - Even Though I'm Free I am Not"...James Mackay is photographing and documenting the political prisoners after release and each person has a current prisoners name written on the right hand which is held up - a gesture known in Buddhism to symbolise fearlessness
Apr 24, 2010, 10:49am

Free Speech
Ward Churchill and Death of Academic Freedom (Part 2)
"The reality is that Naves, undoubtedly because of his contempt for Churchill's viewpoints, ignored the law...jurors have belatedly discovered they were simply part of a show trial in a kangaroo court, and that their verdict, to paraphrase Shakespeare, "signified nothing."
Jul 11, 2009, 2:49pm

Free Speech
Ward Churchill and Death of Academic Freedom (Part 1)
David R. Hoffman: There is a popular adage that states: "Only two things are certain—death and taxes." Now there is a third: "It is certain that the constitutional rights of the individual will always be sacrificed to appease a governmental and/or economically powerful entity."
Jul 11, 2009, 2:30pm

Free Speech
Juror Bethany Newill talks about the Ward Churchill trial
Michael Roberts: "Bethany Newill was one of six jurors who determined the verdict in Ward Churchill's wrongful-termination lawsuit...she shared her views and observations...made particular note of differences between what witnesses said prior to the trial and their remarks on the witness stand - such as former Governor Bill Owens
Apr 8, 2009, 2:25pm


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