Tag Archives: Alabama

United States and Iran Help China Push Global Executions to 10-Year High

Lawmakers in southern U.S. states accused of demonstrating “a chilling commitment” to state-sponsored murder alongside “a callous intent to invest resources in the taking of human life.”

By Jon Queally. Published 5-29-2024 by Common Dreams

Photo: AFSC/CC

The number of executions worldwide hit a nearly 10-year high in 2023 thanks to a surge in state killings by Iran, Saudi Arabia, China, and the United States.

A new global report published by Amnesty International documents that the death penalty was imposed on 1,153 people last year, though the total is believed to be significantly higher due to the secrecy surrounding China’s penal system. The international human rights group believes “thousands” of people were executed by the Chinese government, but the exact figure is not known.

Continue reading
Share Button

Alabama Republicans Try to ‘Criminalize Librarians Simply for Doing Their Jobs’

“Not only is this wrong, it’s also unconstitutional. You are not protecting children; you are protecting extremists who are trying to dismantle the very foundations of my country.”

By Jessica Corbett. Published 4-3-2024 by Common Dreams.

Banned Books Week installation on the second floor of Kennedy Library at Cal Poly on Monday, September 24, 2018. Photo: Kennedy Library/flickr/CC

The Alabama Library Association and other critics on Wednesday called out the state’s Republican policymakers for pushing a new bill that opponents warn will unfairly jail librarians and have a chilling impact on collections.

House Bill 385, introduced Tuesday by state Rep. Arnold Mooney (R-43) and 30 other legislators, says that “under existing law, certain obscenity laws do not apply to public libraries, public school libraries, college libraries, or university libraries, or the employees or agents of any such libraries.”

Continue reading
Share Button

Senate GOP Blocks Effort to Federally Protect IVF Access

“Remember this the next time they claim to care about freedom and family,” said one Democratic lawmaker.

By Brett Wilkins. Published 2-28-2024 by Common Dreams

Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith. (Official U.S. Senate photo by Karsyn Meyerson)

Democratic U.S. lawmakers and reproductive rights defenders on Wednesday blasted congressional Republicans and former U.S. President Donald Trump after a GOP senator blocked a bill to protect access to in vitro fertilization a week after Alabama’s right-wing Supreme Court ruled that frozen embryos are children.

Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) objected to a request to pass by unanimous consent a bill introduced by Sens. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.) to federally protect IVF access, claiming that the bill is “a vast overreach that is full of poison pills that go way too far.”

Continue reading
Share Button

Under Pressure From Angry Students, GOP Gov Reverses on Federal Summer Meals Funding

“It only took literally everyone in the entire state telling him that he was being a monster,” said one political scientist, “for him to do the absolute easiest thing and feed hungry kids.”

By Julia Conley. Published 2-13-2024 by Common Dreams

Photo: USDA/Public domain

As the deadline rapidly approached for state governments to accept federal funds for summer food assistance for children, Nebraska Gov. Jim Pillen announced Monday that conversations with students from around the state had convinced him to take the funding—leaving just 14 Republican-led states still refusing the aid.

At a news conference, the GOP governor—who previously said he didn’t “believe in welfare” and would be forgoing $18 million for the Summer Electronic Benefits Transfer (Summer EBT) program—said he had changed his mind after “an evolution of information” about how young people across Nebraska would be affected by his decision.

Continue reading
Share Button

Post-Dobbs Bans Leave 14 States With No Abortion Clinics

A new analnysis shows how “abortion bans, extremist harassment, and the financial realities of operating community-based clinics make it increasingly difficult for independent clinics to stay open.”

By Brett Wilkins Published 12-5-2023 by Common Dreams

Stop Abortion Bans Rally in St Paul, Minnesota May 2019. Photo: Lorie Shaull/flickr/CC

Scores of independent reproductive health centers have been forced to close or stop offering abortion care, with 14 states now having no abortion clinics, a report published Tuesday revealed.

Abortion Care Network (ACN) released its annual Communities Need Clinics report, which details how “abortion bans, extremist harassment, and the financial realities of operating community-based clinics make it increasingly difficult for independent clinics to stay open” after the right-wing U.S. Supreme Court canceled half a century of federal abortion rights in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization a year-and-a-half ago.

Continue reading
Share Button

‘Biggest Ever Global Strike Against Amazon’ Kicks Off on Black Friday

“This day of action grows every year because the movement to hold Amazon accountable keeps getting bigger and stronger,” said the head of UNI Global Union.

By Jake Johnson. Published 11-24-2023 by Common Dreams

Amazon workers and allies take part in a “Make Amazon Pay” day of action on November 24, 2023. (Photo: Global Justice Now)

Amazon workers and allies in dozens of countries around the world took to the streets Friday to protest the e-commerce behemoth’s atrocious working conditions, low pay, union busting, tax dodging, and inaction on planet-warming emissions.

The “Make Amazon Pay” strikes and rallies coincided with Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year and one of Amazon’s most profitable. Amazon workers across the globe—in ever-larger numbers—have been walking off the job on Black Friday for years to demand better treatment from the $1.5 trillion company.

Continue reading
Share Button

In ‘Victory for Voting Rights,’ Federal Judges Adopt New Alabama Congressional Map

“Today’s order means for the first time, Black voters in two congressional districts will have an opportunity to elect a candidate of their choice,” said the head of the state’s ACLU branch.

By Brett Wilkins. Published 10-5-2023 by Common Dreams

Photo: Black Voters Matter

Following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling and Alabama Republicans’ open defiance of a federal tribunal’s order to reconfigure the state’s racially gerrymandered congressional districts, a three-judge panel on Thursday adopted a new map that will be used in the 2024 elections.

Proponents hailed the ruling by U.S. Circuit Judge Stanley Marcus, District Judge Anna Manasco, and District Judge Terry Moore as a win for democracy. The move creates a second “opportunity district” where voters will have a fighting chance to elect a second Black member of Congress for the first time since Reconstruction.

Continue reading
Share Button

‘Bad News for the South’: State Supreme Court Upholds 6-Week Abortion Ban in South Carolina

“The result will essentially force an untold number of affected women to give birth without their consent,” wrote Justice Donald Beatty in his dissent. “I am hard-pressed to think of a greater governmental intrusion by a political body.”

By Julia Conley. Published 8-23-2023 by Common Dreams

Abortion rights activists wait for state lawmakers to arrive before a Senate vote on a ban on abortion after six weeks of pregnancy at the South Carolina Statehouse on May 23, 2023 in Columbia, South Carolina. Screenshot: ABC News

Despite a recent poll showing that just 37% of South Carolinians backed a six-week abortion ban, the state Supreme Court on Wednesday reinstated the previously blocked law, gutting what remained of abortion access for millions of people across the South.

The ruling was handed down by the all-male high court following the mandatory retirement of former Justice Kaye Hearn, who wrote the majority opinion in another ruling in January which struck down a nearly identical six-week ban that had been passed in 2021.

Continue reading
Share Button

GOP Governor Ousts Top Education Official Over Book That Promotes ‘Equality, Dignity, and Worth’ of All

“Fascists,” was the one-word response from one critic of Republican Gov. Kay Ivey’s administration in Alabama.

By Jon Queally. Published 4-22-2023 by Common Dreams

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey Photo: PICRYL (Public Domain

The state of Alabama’s top early education official was forced out Friday by Gov. Kay Ivey over a teacher resource guide—one that promotes inclusion of various kinds of families and acknowledges the reality of racism in the nation’s history—the Republican leader denounced as too “woke.”

After an apparent refusal to denounce the book or accept its removal, Barbara Cooper, head of the Alabama Department of Early Education, was compelled to tender her resignation, which Ivey accepted.

Continue reading
Share Button

South Carolina Bill to Execute People Who Have Abortions Gets Support From 21 Republicans

“Executing women is not fringe GOP,” said one human rights lawyer. “It’s your horrifically mainstream ‘pro life’ GOP.”

By Julia Conley.  Published 3–14–2023 by Common Dreams

Protestors in front of the Supreme Court on June 24, the day of Roe v. Wade’s overturn. Photo: Ted Eytan/CC BY-SA 2.0.

A new pro-forced pregnancy proposal in the South Carolina General Assembly that would make people who obtain abortion care eligible for the death penalty was portrayed as coming from the fringes of the Republican Party by one GOP lawmaker—but with 21 state Republicans backing the legislation, critics said the idea is representative of the party’s anti-choice agenda.

Proposed by state Rep. Rob Harris, the South Carolina Prenatal Equal Protection Act of 2023 would amend the state’s criminal code to give a zygote, or fertilized egg, “equal protection under the homicide laws of the state”—meaning obtaining an abortion could be punishable by the death penalty. Continue reading

Share Button