Category Archives: Civil Rights

‘Disorder by Design’: Aid Group Details How Trump Has Manufactured Crisis at the US-Mexico Border

“Cutting aid, closing borders, and returning thousands to unsafe and unstable countries is bad policy and bad strategy.”

By  Jessica Corbett, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 4-5-2019

A new report published Friday by the International Rescue Committee offers policy solutions for the crises in Northern Triangle countries. (Photo: IRC)

Following recent outrage over President Donald Trump’s decision to slash aid to Central American countries, a new report out Friday details how his administration has “manufactured” a crisis at the southern border and offers policy solutions for how the U.S. can better address the flood of asylum-seekers from the region.

The report—titled Disorder by Design: A Manufactured U.S. Emergency and the Real Crisis in Central America (pdf)—was published by the New York-based International Rescue Committee (IRC) and relies on first-hand accounts from beneficiaries, partners, and staff on the ground in El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala. Continue reading

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The Peach State or ‘Banana Republic’? Critics Howl Over Georgia GOP’s Proposal to Target Journalists With Secretive Ethics Panel

“It’s not the government’s role to tell journalists how to do their jobs. This bill is unnecessary state meddling with the press.”

By Julia Conley, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 4-4-2019

Georgia state Rep. Andy Welch proposed a bill that would establish a “journalism ethics board” in the state. (Photo: @andywelchga/Twitter)

Press freedom advocates on Thursday warned of dangers posed by a bill put forward by Republicans in Georgia that would create a journalism ethics board in the state and subject reporters to fines if they don’t comply with the new rules.

The so-called “Ethics in Journalism Act” (H.B. 734) would establish an “independent” ethics board with members from the journalism profession selected by the University of Georgia, which is run by the state. The board would create “canons of ethics,” set up a system for issuing and investigating complaints about journalists and news outlets, and issue advisory opinions on whether news organizations have violated laws. Continue reading

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As GOP Deploys ‘Nuclear Option’, New Reports Detail Damage Done By Trump’s Far-Right Takeover of Judiciary

“In just under two years on the bench, these narrow-minded elitist judges have already harmed workers, consumers, voters, immigrants, reproductive rights, and many more.”

By Julia Conley, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 4-3-2019

Mitch McConnell, Brett Kavanaugh, Mike Pence and Jon Kyl before Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings. Photo: Office of the Vice President [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

As Senate Republicans rammed through a rules change enabling faster approval of President Donald Trump’s judicial nominees, two advocacy groups released reports on Wednesday showing the far-reaching and long-lasting damage his confirmed federal judges have already had on the nation.

People for the American Way (PFAW) and Alliance for Justice (AFJ) both published studies Wednesday about Trump’s success in appointing 92 judges to district courts, federal appeals courts, and the U.S. Supreme Court—with PFAW writing that the president’s effort to remake the judicial branch in his own image could be disastrous for a number of marginalized groups. Continue reading

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‘Time to Act’: Nationwide Protests Planned If Barr Fails to Release Full Mueller Report By Tuesday Night

“Barr has offered an alternate timeline for a redacted version of the report—but we deserve the full report and congressional leaders and the American people expect it now.”

By Jake Johnson, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 4-2-2019

“We are calling for a National Day of Action on Thursday, April 4, to demand that Attorney General William Barr #ReleaseTheReport if he fails to meet the deadline set by congressional leaders of Tuesday, April 2,” the Trump Is Not Above the Law coalition announced late Monday. (Image: Common Cause)

A coalition of progressive advocacy groups representing millions of Americans is planning mass protests nationwide if Attorney General William Barr fails to release the full Mueller report by Tuesday night, the deadline established by congressional Democrats.

“We are calling for a National Day of Action on Thursday, April 4, to demand that Attorney General William Barr #ReleaseTheReport if he fails to meet the deadline set by congressional leaders of Tuesday, April 2,” the Trump Is Not Above the Law coalition said late Monday. Continue reading

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US Government’s Refusal to Confirm or Deny It Put American Journalist on Drone Kill List Called ‘Chilling’

“The government seeks to shield itself from all inquiry into the process by which it acts as prosecutor, judge, jury, and executioner.”

By Julia Conley, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 4-2-2019

A man walks past a graffiti, denouncing strikes by U.S. drones in Yemen, painted on a wall in Sanaa. Photo: DJANDYW.COM/flickr

Lawyers for an American journalist who believes he was placed on the government’s infamous “kill list” warned Tuesday that the rights of all U.S. citizens are at stake if the country’s drone assassination program is allowed to continue.

The organization’s comments came as part of a response to the U.S. government’s attempt to dismiss a lawsuit regarding its use of the list. Reprieve is representing Bilal Abdul Kareem, a journalist and U.S. citizen who claims he was repeatedly targeted —and nearly killed on five separate occasions—by drone and missile attacks in 2016 when he was reporting on the ongoing conflict in Syria. Continue reading

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Citing ‘Conscience Shocking’ Conduct, Federal Judge Reinstates Former Gov. Snyder in Flint Water Lawsuit

City residents, said the judge, “could have taken protective measures, if only they had known what the Governor knew. Instead, the Governor misled them into assuming that nothing was wrong.”

By Jon Queally, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 4-1-2019

Screenshot: Fox 17

A federal judge on Monday—who agreed that allegations of “conscience shocking” conduct claimed by plaintiffs were “plausible”—reinstated Michigan’s former Governor Rick Snyder as a defendant in a class action lawsuit by the victims of the water crisis in the city of Flint that first captured national headlines in 2014.

After earlier removing Snyder from the suit, brought by city residents harmed by the poisoning of the municipal water supply, U.S. District Court Judge Judith Levy reversed that decision as she noted the plaintiffs had shown the allegations against Snyder and his fellow co-defendants “plausibly describe ‘conscience shocking’ conduct” as the people of Flint were stripped of 14th Amendment protections from bodily harm or injury. Continue reading

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Israeli Forces Kill 17-Year-Old With Live Fire as 40,000 Palestinians Mark ‘Great March of Return’ Anniversary

“Thousands of Palestinians in Gaza demand their basic rights even as Israeli snipers are waiting ready to gun them down.”

By Jake Johnson, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 3-30-2019

“Thirty-three Palestinians have been evacuated to hospitals in the Strip, including ten that were wounded by live Israeli fire at the border,” Haaretz reported. (Photo: Times of Gaza/Twitter)

Tens of thousands of Palestinians gathered near the Israel-Gaza border fence on Saturday to mark the one-year anniversary of the weekly “Great March of Return” demonstrations and demand an end to Israel’s brutal occupation.

According to Gaza health officials, Israeli forces have so far killed two demonstrators—including a 17-year-old boy named Adham Amaara—and injured dozens more with live ammunition, rubber bullets, and tear gas. Continue reading

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‘Verdict Is In’: Monsanto Found Liable for Man’s Cancer, Ordered to Pay $80 Million in Damages

“The jury resoundingly held Monsanto accountable for its 40 years of corporate malfeasance.”

By Jake Johnson, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 3-28-2019

Photo: Mike Mozart/flickr

In a victory for consumers and yet another massive blow to Monsanto, a federal jury on Wednesday found the company liable for causing a California man’s cancer and ordered it to pay $80 million in damages.

“The jury resoundingly held Monsanto accountable for its 40 years of corporate malfeasance and sent a message to Monsanto that it needs to change the way it does business,” said the legal team of 70-year-old Edwin Hardeman, who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) in 2015 after using Roundup on his property for more than two decades. Continue reading

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Syria’s Rukban Now Little More Than a US-Controlled Concentration Camp – and the Pentagon Won’t Let Refugees Leave

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, a concentration camp is defined as “a place where large numbers of people are kept as prisoners in extremely bad conditions, especially for political reasons.” It is undeniable that the Rukban camp fits this definition to the letter.

By Whitney Webb. Published 3- 28-2019 by MintPress News

The residents of al-Rukban camp suffer from severe humanitarian conditions especially during the winter. There are no heating elements, which forces the children of the camp to build mud houses rather than tents to alleviate the cold weather and storms that hit the area. Photo: Syria Live Map

The United States military has rejected offers to resolve the growing humanitarian crisis in the Rukban refugee camp in Syria, which sits inside a 55 km zone occupied by the U.S. along the Syria-Jordan border. The U.S. has also refused to let any of the estimated 40,000 refugees — the majority of which are women and children — leave the camp voluntarily, even though children are dying in droves from lack of food, adequate shelter and medical care. The U.S. has also not provided humanitarian aid to the camp even though a U.S. military base is located just 20 km (12.4 miles) away.

The growing desperation inside the Rukban camp has received sparse media coverage, likely because of the U.S.’ control over the area in which the camp is located. The U.S. has been accused of refusing to let civilians leave the area — even though nearly all have expressed a desire to either return to Syrian government-held territory or seek refuge in neighboring countries such as Turkey — because the camp’s presence helps to justify the U.S.’ illegal occupation of the area. Continue reading

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Over 300,000 Internet Users Tune In as Net Neutrality Bill Clears Major Hurdle ‘Unscathed’

Digital rights group Fight for the Future said so many people were watching the hearing online that they “broke the counter”

By Jake Johnson, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 3-26-2019

“The eruption of grassroots support had an impact, and the bill passed the subcommittee vote without issue,” Fight for the Future said in a statement. (Image: Sen. Patty Murray/Twitter)

The House Communications and Technology Subcommittee Tuesday passed the Save the Internet Act and overcame the telecom industry’s last-minute efforts to gut the bill—all as more than 300,000 internet users watched the proceedings throughout the day.

“So many people were watching an obscure subcommittee hearing on the Save the Net Act today that it broke the counter,” tweeted the digital rights group Fight for the Future. Continue reading

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