In a ruling celebrated Thursday by rights advocates seeking the liberation of as many detained immigrants as possible during the coronavirus pandemic, a federal judge in San Francisco ordered the release of four men whose respective ages and medical conditions make them particularly vulnerable to COVID-19.
“This decision is an important step,” William Freeman, senior counsel at the ACLU Foundation of Northern California, said in a statement. “The stakes for the release of detained persons are at an all-time high as the threat of the COVID-19 outbreak places them at an elevated risk of serious ailments or death.” Continue reading →
Human rights groups and activists issued dire warnings about the state of democracy in Hungary—and the rest of the world—after the nation’s parliament on Monday approved a sweeping emergency law handing far-right Prime Minister Viktor Orbán dictatorial powers as the European country battles the coronavirus pandemic.
The new law indefinitely suspends elections and parliament, imposes up to five years in prison for anyone who intentionally spreads what the government classifies as misinformation, and gives Orbán the authority to suspend laws by decree as he works to contain the COVID-19 outbreak. The law easily passed Hungary’s parliament, which is dominated by Orbán’s far-right Fidesz party, by a vote of 137 to 53. Continue reading →
Department of Justice Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, D.C. Photo: Victoria Pickering/flickr/CC
The Department of Justice is using the coronavirus outbreak to ask Congress for sweeping emergency powers including suspending habeas corpus during an emergency, a power grab that was denounced by civil liberties advocates.
Delays and long lines at polling places during recent presidential primary elections – such as voters in Texas experienced – represent the latest version of decades-long policies that have sought to reduce the political power of African Americans in the U.S.
Following the Civil War and the extension of the vote to African Americans, state governments worked to block black people, as well as poor whites, from voting. One way they tried to accomplish this goal was through poll taxes – an amount of money each voter had to pay before being allowed to vote. Continue reading →
An armed ICE agent through the peephole of an apartment . Photo: Annie Correal/Twitter
Operation Palladium has begun. Hundreds of agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have entered New York and other sanctuary cities in a fresh attempt to round up undocumented immigrants. The directive,according to officials, is simple: arrest as many undocumented immigrants as possible and “flood the streets” with officers. Beginning a 24/7 surveillance and detention program, ICE leadership has requested over 500 special agents who normally work fighting trafficking and organized crime to bolster the agency’s numbers. This follows an earlier decision to deploy immigration SWAT teams to round up undocumented immigrants in sanctuary cities.
“I have gotten frantic texts from people that they are spotting ICE in their New York City buildings knocking on doors. They are terrified. This is happening TODAY. RIGHT NOW. People [are] being hunted down,”said journalist Maria Hinojosa. Continue reading →
Amnesty International on Monday condemned “inhumane” measures that Greek authorities have taken toward migrants since Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced last week that Turkey would no longer stop refugees and asylum-seekers—many of whom have fled the ongoing war in Syria—from crossing by land and sea into Greece.
Turkey eased restrictions at the western border it shares with Greece in response to thousands of migrants from Syria who have poured into Turkey in recent days amid a Russian-backed Syrian government offensive into Syria’s Idlib province and escalating violence between Syrian and Turkish forces. Continue reading →
“From coast to coast we are rising up in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en nation and against colonial violence and land theft,” said Vanessa Gray, Anishinaabe Kwe Land Defender from Aamjiwnaang First Nation and one of the organizers of Sunday’s demonstration. “It’s clear that Canada is a state built on the removal of Indigenous people for resource extraction.” (Photo: Mining Injustice Solidarity Network/@mininginjustice)
Hundreds of people led by Indigenous land defenders and a coalition of environmental groups worked to shut down a large mining industry convention in downtown Toronto on Sunday, blockading the entrances to the building where the meeting was taking place as they protested against “the extractive industry’s violence, ongoing colonization, and complete disregard for the future of life on this planet.”
Sunday’s action—aimed at the Prospectors and Developers of Association of Canada (PDAC)—is the latest solidarity demonstration aligned with the Wet’suwet’en First Nation nation that remains locked in a fierce battle with the Canadian government over the controversial “Coastal Gas Link” fracked gas pipeline through unceded territory in northern British Colombia. Continue reading →
A Wisconsin appeals court overturned a ruling that would have allowed the purge of more than 200,000 from the state voter rolls before the 2020 general election. (Photo: Penn State/flickr/cc)
Voting rights advocates applauded a Wisconsin appeals court ruling Friday which is set to stop a voter purge from going forward—sparing more than 200,000 people from having their names removed from voter lists.
A three-judge panel unanimously rejected a lawsuit filed by conservative law group Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty arguing that the voter purge of about 209,000 should go forward ahead of the 2020 election.
The decision represented “good news for democracy for all,” tweeted Mary Kay Henry, president of the SEIU. Continue reading →
Rights advocates expressed outrage and severe concerns after the U.S. Department of Justice announced Wednesday it is creating an official task force devoted to “denaturalization”—the process by which the government strips citizenship from foreign-born Americans, or naturalized citizens.
“Of all the dystopian shit—a department of denaturalization at DOJ might take the biscuit,” tweeted activist Joel Braunold. “Means immigrant Americans (such as myself) will always have a threat to displace us if we step out of line.” Continue reading →