Blogging is not truth, behavior is truth

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Police Departments Retaliate Against Organized "Cop Watch" Groups Across the US
Thursday, 02 October 2014 10:13
By Candice Bernd, Truthout | Report

Police on duty in New York City (Photo: Jamie Kenny)

When communities attempt to police the police, they often get, well... policed.
In several states, organized groups that use police scanners and knowledge of checkpoints to collectively monitor police activities by legally and peacefully filming cops on duty have said they've experienced retaliation, including unjustified detainment and arrests as well as police intimidation.
The groups operate under many decentralized organizations, most notably CopWatch and Cop Block, and have proliferated across the United States in the last decade - and especially in the aftermath of the events that continue to unfold in Ferguson, Missouri, after officer Darren Wilson fatally shot unarmed, black teenager Michael Brown.
Many such groups have begun proactively patrolling their communities with cameras at various times during the week, rather than reactively turning on their cameras when police enter into their neighborhoods or when they happen to be around police activity.
Across the nation, local police departments are responding to organized cop watching patrols by targeting perceived leaders, making arrests, threatening arrests, yanking cameras out of hands and even labeling particular groups "domestic extremist" organizations and part of the sovereign citizens movement - the activities of which the FBI classifies as domestic terrorism.
Courts across the nation at all levels have upheld the right to film police activity. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and photographer's assocications have taken many similar incidents to court, consistently winning cases over the years. The Supreme Court has ruled police can't search an individual's cellphone data without a warrant. Police also can't legally delete an individual's photos or video images under any circumstances.
"Yet, a continuing stream of these incidents (often driven by police who have been fed 'nonsense' about links between photography and terrorism) makes it clear that the problem is not going away," writes Jay Stanley, a senior policy analyst at the ACLU's Speech, Privacy & Technology Project.
Sources who have participated in various organized cop watching groups in cities such as New York; Chicago; Cleveland; Las Vegas; Oakland; Arlington, Texas; Austin and lastly Ferguson, Missouri, told Truthout they have experienced a range of police intimidation tactics, some of which have been caught on film. Cop watchers told Truthout they have been arrested in several states, including Texas, New York, Ohio and California in retaliation for their filming activity.
More recently, in September, three cop watchers were arrested while monitoring police activity during a traffic stop in Arlington, Texas. A group of about 20 people, a few of them associated with the Tarrant County Peaceful Streets Project, gathered at the intersection of South Cooper Street and Lynda Lane during a Saturday night on September 6 to film police as they conducted a traffic stop. A video of what happened next was posted at YouTube.
Arlington police charged Janie Lucero, her husband, Kory Watkins, and Joseph Tye with interference of public duties. Lucero and Watkins were charged with obstructing a highway while Tye was arrested on charges of refusing to identify himself.
Arlington police have defended the arrests of the three cop watchers, but the watchers say they weren't interfering with police work, and were told to move 150 feet away from the officers - around the corner of a building where they couldn't film the officers.
"When we first started [cop watching, the police] seemed kind of bothered a little bit," Watkins told Truthout. "There was a change somewhere where [the police] started becoming a little bit more offended, and we started having more cop watchers so I guess they felt like they needed to start bringing more officers to traffic stops."
On the night of Watkin's arrest, his group had previously monitored two other traffic stops without any confrontation with Arlington police officers before the incident that led to the arrests.
Sometimes, though, retaliation against cop watching groups goes far beyond arresting cop watchers on patrol.
Cops Label Cop Watch Groups Domestic Terrorists

On New Year's Day in 2012, Antonio Buehler, a West Point graduate and former military officer, witnessed two Austin police officers assaulting a woman. He pulled out his phone.
As he began photographing the officers and asking questions about their activities, the cops assaulted and arrested him. He was charged with spitting in a cop's face - a felony crime.
However, two witness videos of the incident surfaced and neither of them showed that Buehler spit in Officer Patrick Oborski's face. A grand jury was finally convened in March 2013 and concluded there was not enough evidence to indict Buehler on any of the crimes he was charged with.
A few months after the New Year's Day incident, Buehler and other Austin-based activists started the Peaceful Streets Project (PSP), an all-volunteer organization dedicated to stopping police abuse. The group has held "Know Your Rights" trainings and a Police Accountability Summit. The group also regularly organizes cop watch patrols in Austin.
Since the PSP was launched, the movement has grown, with local chapters popping up in other cities and states across the United States, including Texas' Tarrant County chapter, which the three cop watchers arrested in Arlington were affiliated with.
But as the Peaceful Streets movement spread, police retaliation against the groups, and particularly Buehler himself, also escalated.
"[The Austin Police Department (APD)] sees us as a threat primarily because we shine a spotlight on their crimes," Buehler said.
The group recently obtained documents from the APD through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request that reveal Austin police colluded to arrest Buehler and other cop watchers affiliated with the Peaceful Streets Project. Since the New Year's Day incident, Buehler has been arrested three more times by APD officers. At least four other members of PSP have been arrested on charges of interference or failing to identify themselves during their cop watching activities.
The emails indicate APD officers monitored Buehler's social media posts and attempted to justify arresting him for another felony crime of online impersonation over an obviously satirical post he made on Facebook, as well as reveal that some APD officers coordinated efforts to stop PSP members' legal and peaceful activities, even suggesting reaching out to the District Attorney's office to see if anything could be done to incarcerate members of the group.
Another internal email from APD senior officer Justin Berry identifies PSP as a "domestic extremist" organization. Berry writes that he believes police accountability groups including PSP, CopWatch and Cop Block are part of a "national domestic extremism trend." He believes he found "mirror warning signs" in "FBI intel." Berry makes a strange attempt to lump police accountability activists and the hacker-collective Anonymous in with sovereign citizens groups as a collective revolutionary movement.
"Sovereign citizens" groups generally believe federal, state and local governments are illegitimate and operate illegally. Some self-described sovereign citizens create fake license plates, identification and forms of currency to circumvent official government institutions. The FBI classifies the activities of sovereign citizens groups as domestic terrorism, considering the groups a growing "domestic threat" to law enforcement.
Buehler told Truthout the APD is working with a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) fusion center to attempt to identify PSP as a sovereign citizens group to associate its members with domestic terrorism with state and federal authorities. DHS fusion centers are designed to gather, analyze and promote the sharing of intelligence information between federal and state agencies.
"They have spent a fair amount of resources tracking us, spying on us and infiltrating our group, and we are just peaceful activists who are demanding accountability for the police," Buehler told Truthout. "They have absolutely no evidence that we've engaged in any criminal activity or that we've tried to engage in criminal activity."
APD officials did not respond to a request for comment.
"They've pushed us; they've assaulted us for filming them; they've used their horses against us and tried to run us into walls; they've driven their cars up on us; they illegally detained us and searched us; they get in our face and they yell at us; they threaten to use violent force against us," Buehler said. "But we didn't realize until these emails just how deep this intimidation, how deep these efforts were to harm us for trying to hold them accountable."
Buehler also said the group has additional internal emails which have not been released yet that reveal the APD attempted to take another charge to the District Attorney against him for felony child endangerment over the activities of a teenaged member of PSP.
He said he and other members of PSP were interested in pursuing a joint civil action against the APD over their attempts to frame and arrest them for their First Amendment activities.
This is not the first time a municipal police department has labeled a local cop watching group as an extremist organization.
In 2002, internal files from the Denver Police Department's (DPD) Intelligence Unit were leaked to the ACLU, revealing the unit had been spying on several activist groups in the city, and keeping extensive records about members of the activist groups. Many of these groups were branded as "criminal extremist" organizations in what later became a full-scale controversy widely known as the Denver police's "spy files." Some of the groups falsely branded as "criminal extremist" groups included three police accountability organizations: Denver CopWatch, End the Politics of Cruelty and Justice for Mena.
Again, from October 2003 through the Republican National Convention (RNC) in August 2004, intelligence digests produced by the New York City Police Department (NYPD) on dozens of activist groups, including several police accountability organizations, were made public under a federal court order. The NYPD labeled participants of the "Operation CopWatch" effort as criminal extremists.
Those who participated in "Operation CopWatch" during the RNC hoped to identify undercover cops who might attempt to provoke violence during demonstrations and document police violence or misconduct against protesters.
Communities Benefiting From Cop Watch Patrols Resist Police Retaliation Against Watchers

In some major urban areas, rates of police harassment of individuals drop considerably after cop watchers take to the streets - and communities band together to defend cop watch patrols that experience police retaliation, say veteran cop watchers.
Veteran police accountability activist José Martín has trained and organized with several organizations that participate in cop watch activities. Martín has been detained and arrested several times while cop watching with organized patrols in New York and Chicago.
His arrests in New York are part of a widely documented problem in the city. In fact, retaliation in New York against cop watchers has been so widespread that the NYPD had to send out an official memo to remind officers that it is perfectly legal for civilians to film cops on duty.
Martín described an experience in Chicago in which he felt police unjustly retaliated against him after a local CopWatch group formed and began regularly patrolling Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood. After the group became well-known by the Pilsen community, residents gathered around an officer who had detained Martín after a patrol one night in 2009, calling for his release. The officer let him go shortly after.
"When cop watchers are retaliated against, if the community is organized, if there is a strong relationship between cop watch patrols and the community, but most importantly, if the cop watchers are people of the community, that community has the power to push back against retaliation and prevent its escalation," Martín said. "Retaliation doesn't work if you stand together."
Another veteran cop watcher, Jacob Crawford, co-founder of Oakland's We Copwatch, is helping the community of Ferguson, Missouri, organize cop watch patrols and prepare the community for the potential of police retaliation. His group raised $6,000 to pass out 110 cameras to organizers and residents in Ferguson, and train them to monitor police activity in the aftermath of the upheavals that rocked the city after Wilson killed Brown.
"I do expect retaliation, I do expect that these things won't be easy, but these folks are in it," Crawford told Truthout. "This is something that makes more sense to them than not standing up for themselves."
Copyright, Truthout. May not be reprinted without permission.


Candice Bernd is an assistant editor/reporter with Truthout. With her partner, Garrett Graham, she is co-writing "Don't Frack With Denton," a documentary chronicling the anti-fracking movement in Denton. Follow her on Twitter @CandiceBernd.
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New recommended links:

Justice Integrity Project" onclick=";return false;

Foreign Policy Journal

Awoken Research Group

Citizens for Legitimate Government

Crooks and Liars

Daily Howler

Democratic Daily

Huffington Post

In These Times

James Wolcott/Vanity Fair

Liberal Forum

Liberals Like Christ

Looking Glass News

Mad Cow Morning News

My Left Wing

The Nation

The Progressive

Progressive Independent

Stephanie Miller Show
Village Voice

Watching Politics

Login Her

The Betrayal of the Scorpion and Poet

National Security Agency Surveillance: Reflections and Revelations 2001-2013

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Police union's animosity toward Hodges dates to her time on Minneapolis City Council
November 11 2014 ... ty-council" onclick=";return false;

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my friend Ed Tatro sent me this email today
google his name with the words
JFK assassination

a good criminal justice consumer would already know this

couple of years ago FBI agents tried to assassinate Dr Cyril Wecht

2 reads


Dear Friends,

JFK assassination scholars among you, as well as history buffs in general, may be interested to know that Dr. Wecht will be appearing on H2 (History Channel 2) at 10 p.m. tomorrow night in an episode of "Brad
Meltzer's Lost History" entitled "JFK's Brain." For more information, including subsequent airing dates, visit ... y/episodes" onclick=";return false;


Wecht investigator's discipline file opened
U.S. judge orders FBI records unsealed
July 11, 2007 11:00 PM ... 0707110253" onclick=";return false;

A federal judge yesterday unsealed records revealing that the lead FBI agent in the criminal case against Dr. Cyril H. Wecht was disciplined elsewhere for forging other agents' names and initials on chain-of-custody forms, evidence labels and interview forms.

Related documents
See more information about the disciplinary reports of FBI agent Bradley W. Orsini.

Further, in September 2001 Special Agent Bradley W. Orsini was demoted and received a 30-day suspension without pay for a series of policy violations that occurred from 1993 through 2000, which included having an inappropriate relationship with a subordinate; making improper vulgar and sexual comments; threatening a subordinate with violence; and improperly documenting the seizure of a weapon and ammunition from a search.

"We're pleased this information is now available to the public for its own analysis and understanding of its impact on the case," said Dr. Wecht's defense attorney, Jerry McDevitt. "The report speaks for itself."

The U.S. attorney's office filed Agent Orsini's records under seal on April 7, 2006, asking U.S. District Judge Arthur J. Schwab to determine if it was required to turn them over to Dr. Wecht's defense attorneys.

What followed was a 15-month legal battle that ended this week when the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a final order in the case, making the disciplinary reports public.

Judge Schwab unsealed the records late yesterday afternoon. He also vacated a previous decision in which he'd ordered a contempt hearing for the defense attorneys for their failure to follow his orders.

He wrote "this Court considers the 'time-out' caused by the interlocutory appeal to the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit as providing an opportunity for a 'fresh start.'"

He also ordered a hearing in Dr. Wecht's case on Sept. 18 that will allow the defense to use the Orsini reports in their examination of him.

Agent Orsini has been an agent for more than 18 years, and he has spent much of that time, including in Pittsburgh, working public corruption cases. All of the allegations included in the two disciplinary reports occurred while he was working in the FBI's Newark, N.J., office.

U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan would not comment on the reports' release. It was unclear if she was aware of Mr. Orsini's background before he became the lead agent in the case against Dr. Wecht, who is charged with 84 counts of misusing his public office for private gain.

The first time Agent Orsini was disciplined was Nov. 2, 1998. He received a five-day suspension without pay for signing other agents' names to evidence labels and custody forms from May 1995 to January 1997.

He explained that he and another agent, on limited occasions, signed each other's names on evidence "to save time."

Though the investigator from the Office of Professional Responsibility found that Agent Orsini did not intend to jeopardize the evidence or cases involved, his actions could have called the integrity of the bureau into question, he wrote in his report.

A 28-page report issued Sept. 24, 2001, by the assistant director of the Office of Professional Responsibility described additional transgressions.

The first violation listed dated to Nov. 2, 1993. Agent Orsini failed to obtain the proper consent form while searching a man's home for illegal firearms and failed to properly document the ammunition seized.

Agent Orsini was found to have falsified at least six FBI interview forms in 1993 and 1994 by writing other agents' initials on them.

He said in a statement that he didn't believe there would be a problem with that provided the information in the body of the interview form was accurate.

"I have no idea how many times I may have done so," he said. He said he did so for "convenience and a shortcut."

Throughout the Wecht case, defense attorneys have argued that the government based part of the charges against their client -- that he exchanged unclaimed bodies from the county morgue for lab space from Carlow University -- on a single interview form filled out by Agent Orsini.

The disciplinary report next goes into great detail about a relationship Agent Orsini had with a subordinate agent, from April 1998 through early 2000.

The document indicates that other agents in his squad believed Agent Orsini was favoring the woman and gave her premium assignments. It also details gag gifts exchanged at the squad's Christmas parties in 1998 and 1999. One, given to the woman, was a pet collar, with a note that said, "If found, return to Brad Orsini."

"By their very nature, the public notoriety attached to the gag gifts would have put even the most insensitive person on notice of this perception of favoritism," the assistant director wrote.

By January 2000, when supervisors in the Newark office learned of the relationship, Agent Orsini was reassigned.

But before that, he approached one of the agents in his squad and accused him of revealing the relationship. During the meeting, Agent Orsini threatened to hit his subordinate but quickly added that he was kidding.

Newark's assistant agent in charge reported that Agent Orsini "has an aggressive personality, and I would characterize him as a bully."

Other substantiated allegations in the report included that Agent Orsini punched at least one hole in the wall in the Newark office, and threw and broke chairs. He also jokingly called fellow supervisors "homosexuals," and even used a bullhorn to make his comments.

For those actions, the Office of Professional Responsibility said he failed to prevent the development of a "locker room atmosphere" in his squad that repressed professional conduct.

In addition to the suspension and demotion, Agent Orsini was ordered to serve 12 months' probation an

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see link for full story

The New Black Panther Party, explained ... ther-party" onclick=";return false;

November 16, 2014, 12:10 p.m. ET

When New Black Panther Party members turned up in Ferguson, Missouri, during the protests that followed the Michael Brown shooting, the FBI issued an alert. When the group was accused of voter intimidation at Philadelphia polling places during the 2009 election, Fox News breathlessly covered the allegations no fewer than 95 times.

Just recently, the very suggestion that a man responsible for an axe attack on New York City police officers was sympathetic to the organization — not even a member, but just sympathetic — made news.


There's a consensus that it's a hate group that spews anti-white and especially anti-Semitic rhetoric. But from one perspective, top among its offenses is the way it has hijacked the name of a legitimate organization — the original Black Panther Party — and scrambled its message, taking all of the justified anger and none of the disciplined, constructive work to improve life in America for black people.

Here are the answers to all of your questions about how that happened:

1) What is the New Black Panther Party all about?

Members of the New Black Panther Party rally in New York City after the death of Eric Garner, who was killed in a confrontation with police officers 2014. (Shutterstock)

The first thing to understand is that there's a huge difference between how the New Black Panther Party (NBPP) describes itself and how non-members understand it.

The group portrays itself as a modern day expression of the black power movement and a force standing up for the rights of African Americans. Indeed, members do tend to show up when black people are wronged, and they're mostly known for their armed demonstrations against alleged racial injustice — especially police brutality.

"If there's a Klan rally or someone doing something [racially] egregious they're the first to respond," said Jakobi Williams, associate professor of history and African-American studies at Indiana University and author of From the Bullet to the Ballot: The Illinois Chapter of the Black Panther Party and Racial Coalition Politics in Chicago.

But the idea that the NBPP is modern version of the Black Panther Party of the 1960s and 1970s, which was a militant but primarily service-focused organization, is summarily dismissed by everyone from civil rights groups, to scholars like Williams, to former Black Panther Party members. Instead, there's a broad consensus that its extreme anti-white views and anti-Semitic rhetoric (more on that later) make it a hate group.

The group has a "ten-point platform." It's

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Skid Row shelter serves Thanksgiving dinner to more than 4,000

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Alice Rothchild in Blue Hill

Robert Shetterly to Unveil Portrait of Author-Activist

Alice Rothchild, physician, author, activist, and filmmaker, will be in Maine for the unveiling of her portrait by Rob Shetterly at 7pm, Sunday evening, December 7th, at the Blue Hill Library in Blue Hill. Dr. Rothchild will become the latest of over 200 prominent citizens whom Maine’s celebrated artist has selected for his gallery collection of “Americans Who Tell the Truth”.

Following Mr. Shetterly’s introduction, Rothchild will speak of her life’s journey and how it has shaped her perspectives on the Israel/Palestine conflict. As she writes in her book, On the Brink, a compilation of first-person experiences in Gaza and the West Bank, Rothchild was, “born in Boston and grew up in a Jewish family with a deep love of Israel and a profound understanding of the horrors of the Holocaust.” Through her student years in the 60’s and 70’s she developed an interest in progressive politics, beginning with the campus opposition to the Vietnam War and continuing with a commitment to the feminist and health reform movements while in medical school and through her residency in obstetrics.

Since 1997, a focus on understanding Israel and its relationship to U.S. foreign policy has led to her leading delegations to Israel and Palestine. She co-founded and co-chairs American Jews for a Just Peace Boston and co-organizes the AJJP Health and Human Rights Project and is on the coordinating committee of Jewish Voice for Peace Boston.

Dr. Rothchild also has written Broken Promises, Broken Dreams: Stories of Jewish and Palestinian Trauma and Resilience and directed and produced the documentary film, Voices Across the Divide, an exploration of the Israeli/Palestinian dynamic and personal histories of those who live it.

A Q and A session will follow Dr. Rothchild’s presentation.

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St. Louis police officers angered by Rams' 'hands up, don't shoot' pose

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see link for full story ... bile/10705" onclick=";return false;

Remembering the Wades, the Bradens and the Struggle for Racial Integration in Louisville

Mon, Dec 1, 2014

This year, many in Louisville have been marking the anniversary of a touchstone event of the Civil Rights era.

It started 60 years ago when white activists, led by Carl and Anne Braden purchased a home on behalf of a young black family.

That act touched off weeks of racial violence and led to serious criminal charges against the activists.

Today, the neighborhood in Shively seems a most unlikely place for cross-burnings, gunfire and a dynamite attack, but that’s exactly what happened along the street over the course of several weeks in 1954.

The hostility began when an African-American family—Andrew Wade, his pregnant wife, Charlotte and their 2-year-old daughter Rosemary—moved into their new home at 4010 Rone Court.

Andrew Wade was an electrician who wanted to move his family to the suburbs but was turned down by a succession of white real estate agents, who refused to cross the illegal but still highly observed line of segregation.

In an interview from the 1980s featured in the documentary "Anne Braden: Southern Patriot," Wade recalls a piece of advice he received from agent.

"He said 'Wade, let’s be realistic—if you see a house, you like the house, regardless of where it is, get a white person if necessary if it’s in a white neighborhood to buy the house for you and transfer it to you. It’s that simple.'"

So, that’s what he did. Wade enlisted the help of acquaintances Carl and Anne Braden, left-wing activists who had been vocal in their opposition to Louisville’s housing segregation laws.

Jurors in Carl Braden's sedition trial and others look at the Wades' damaged home.
Credit Al Hixenbaugh / The Courier Journal
The transaction was completed but trouble began as soon as the Wades moved in.

"That night, they heard gunshots, and somebody was firing at the house, and Andrew says he told his wife to get down, but it didn’t hit anybody. And they looked out and there was a cross burning in the field next to them," Anne Braden recalled in the documentary.

There would more trouble in the days to come; a stone bearing a racial epithet hurled into a window, the local dairy refused to deliver milk; the Wades’ newspaper subscription canceled because the carrier wouldn’t deliver it.

Police were stationed nearby for protection, but the Wades and their white allies didn’t trust them, so they formed a committee whose members would take turns staying in the house.

One of the guards was Lewis Lubka.

"I was in the back kitchen with a gun. And when we were shot at we shot back. I was working days and helping guard the house at nights," said Lubka, the last surviving activist who's now 88 and lives in Fargo, North Dakota.

Several weeks went by and tensions seemed to ease a bit. But just after midnight on June 27, 1954:

"We was coming in and a bomb went off under the house," Lubka said.

The home was blown up with dynamite. The explosives were placed under Rosemary's room. No one was in the house at the time.

Cate Fosl is a biographer of Anne Braden and heads the Anne Braden Institute for Social Justice Research at the University of Louisville. She said it was no secret who was responsible for this and other attacks, but:

"No indictments were returned against any of the neighbors, even though they had admitted to burning a cross and being hostile to the idea. But all of the indictments were against the whites who supported the Wades in this quest for a house," Fosl said.

Listen Listening... The story of the Wades, the Bradens and racial integration in Louisville.
Anne and Carl Braden during Carl's sedition trial in Louisville. He was convicted on December 13, 1954.
Credit Charley Darneal / The Courier-Journal
Anne and Carl Braden and the five other whites were charged with sedition, accused of hatching a Communist plot to buy the home, blow it up, touch off a race war and overthrow the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Today, it sounds outrageous. But in an interview from the collections of the Kentucky Historical Society, Anne Braden provided some context: this happened at the confluence of McCarthyism and the Supreme Court's 1954 Brown v. Board of Education ruling that outlawed school segregation.

"And I always felt that the Wades and us became lightning rods. They couldn’t get at the Supreme Court but that could get to us," Anne Braden said.

Carl Braden was convicted of sedition and spent eight months in prison.

The following year a ruling came down from the U.S. Supreme Court in a Pennsylvania case that said, in essence, sedition is a federal crime, not a state offense.

Carl Braden’s state conviction was later reversed and the charges against the other defendants were dropped.

Branded as Communist troublemakers, all the defendants had trouble finding work in the following years. Carl Braden died in 1975. Anne Braden continued her work opposing housing and school segregation.

The Wade family attempted to repair their home, but amid continuing hostility, sold the house at a loss and moved back into west Louisville, where Charlotte Wade still lives. She no longer speaks publicly about the case. Andrew Wade died in 2005.

Anne Braden, who died in 2006 at the age of 81, told the Kentucky Historical Society she had no regrets about helping the Wades buy their dream home.

"It would have been unthinkable for us to say no, because this is something we believed in. You

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attorney Tony Serra

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Henry George Seldes[1] (/ˈsɛldəs/ sel-dəs;[aa][2] November 16, 1890 — July 2, 1995) was an American investigative journalist and media critic. The writer and critic Gilbert Seldes was his younger brother. Actress Marian Seldes was his niece; his nephew is the literary agent Timothy Seldes.[3]

Influenced by Lincoln Steffens, his career began when he was nineteen years old and was hired at the Pittsburgh Leader.[3] In 1914, he was appointed night editor of the Pittsburgh Post.

In 1916, he went to the United Press in London and, starting in 1917, during World War I, he moved to France to work at the Marshall Syndicate. While there, he interviewed Paul von Hindenburg, the supreme commander of the German Army. Hindenburg commented on the defeat of Germany in the war, including U.S. involvement; however this interview was censored by the U. S. military. Seldes would later comment that the publishing of this interview could have avoided the rising of the Nazis to power and, thus, World War II.[4][5]

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School teacher Andrea Pritchett founded Berkeley
She and I are both members of the National Coalition
on Police Accountability
Dan Handelman at Portland Copwatch is also a member.

Andrea just sent me this email.

Copwatch Reportback from the Berkeley Protest 12-7-2014
December 8th, 2014 — Berkeley, Berkeley PD, Excessive Force, Local Law, Militarization, News From the Streets, Occupy, Police Departments, Police State, Racism

Copwatch Reportback from the Berkeley Protest 12-7-2014

(by Andrea Prichett for Berkeley Copwatch)

I was in the streets from 10:30 pm until 2am so I can not speak to all of what happened before I got there. Following the sound of the helicopter above, I was lead to Durant and Telegraph Avenue. The crowd as of 10:15pm was approximately 800-1000 people and approximately 150 police or more.

The protest began on Saturday at 5pm at Bancroft and Telegraph and people marched through the town engaging in a series of non-violent actions and civil disobedience including a “die in” at the Public Safety Building. According to witnesses, the crowd was attacked at various points starting with the Berkeley Police Department (Public Safety Building). Without provocation, BPD officers fired smoke bombs. They shot rubber bullets at protesters. Many people sustained injuries and the crowd was very agitated.

The group stayed together and marched through the streets. Eventually, the people marched past Trader Joe’s on University and MLK, Jr. Way and some broke windows. Windows were also broken at Radio Shack and at Wells Fargo on San Pablo and University. I was told that protesters had made efforts to get onto and block the freeway and were prevented from doing so.

Protesters have since photographed the full range of less lethal munitions used including ricochet rounds, bean bags, rubber bullets and various systems for delivering tear gas into the lungs of those present. One man was struck in the back of his head by a police baton. Another man got a broken leg, possibly from being hit with a round from some “less lethal” device.

The chemical smell of tear gas was still in the air when I arrived and a friend was eager to show me where two police vans had been damaged. One had a flat tire and both large white vans had graffiti written on the side of it. While this damage could be irritating to police, it certainly would not justify the level of violence they unleashed on the crowd.

It was clear that this was a college crowd. It is likely that the spectacle of police officers from Alamada County Sheriffs, Oakland, Hayward, Pleasanton, the city of Alameda, California Highway Patrol, UC Berkeley and Berkeley police officers was enough to keep students and others on a Saturday night engaged and eager to see what the police were intending to do.

After a standoff that lasted until about midnight, police began to move. Officers from many jurisdictions were on the frontline. Oakland officers had body cameras and were clearly identified. Some officers from Hayward, Pleasanton and Berkeley were not identified by a name or number on their uniform as required by Penal Code section 830.10. (It is interesting to notice that many of the officers from various department who were holding munitions and preparing to shoot into the crowd were unidentified by badge numbers and names. This included some BPD officers).

In times of mutual aid, the host city and its policies are used as the standard for the operation. At the end of the day, Berkeley police department is responsible and accountable for the actions of the officers under its command. I witnessed various officers without badge numbers and whose behavior was a violation of policy. I observed one Alameda Police officer with a tear gas gun pointing it directly at a protester who was backing up from him and was less than 4 feet from him. Clearly, a violation of policy. Sadly, of the officers and departments I saw that night, the worst behaved were our own Berkeley cops.

At about midnight, BPD and others maneuvered protesters into a southerly position and the thick line of officers was north of them. At the command of BPD, officers began pushing the crowd south on Telegraph. BPD officers were observed using jabs into people’s stomachs, using overhead strikes and other prohibited maneuvers. The size of the crowd meant that, though cops pushed people, those people were not able to move any faster because they were surrounded by a densely packed crowd. The police panicked the crowd intentionally. There was nowhere to run for many people trapped between the violently advancing police and the dense crowd.

At some point, we were gassed by police as we were walking briskly backwards and away from the police. There was NO reason for officers to have used gas on that crowd. There had been nothing thrown at the police and things had been calming down until the police began their assault on the people. The use of gas on retreating people can not be justified by Berkeley training or policies. Not only did they violently push this crowd down the street past Whole Foods, but the repeated use of gas on a crowd that was doing what the police had asked of them is totally without justification.

They gassed us from behind and we had to keep an eye on the police while we walked because these unidentified officers with munitions made us wonder who would be the next Scott Olson. Would they shoot us in the back? The bizarre behavior of certain Berkeley cops must be addressed by the police department. They were indisciminant in their application of force. They struck people with their hands up who were backing away. These officers must be disciplined and Chief Meehan needs to be held accountable for the way he trains and disciplines his officers.

We were pushed from Durant and Telegraph to the Oakland /Berkeley border. Our right to assemble was abrogated. Our right to commit civil disobedience was denied. We went west on Ashby, then north on Shattuck. By the time we walked up Durant to Telegraph, where we had started four hours earlier there was no one cop to be seen. Our people stayed very united. Experienced activists bonded with Cal students who had just come to the protest because they were in a bar, on the street or near enough to wonder what the hell ALL those cops were for.
Thanks BPD and other agencies for making so many new radicals out of those curious students. Your actions will ensure many nights of protest to come as we protest not only for justice for Mike Brown and Eric Garner, but justice for Kayla Moore and every person in Berkeley who has been bullied by an entitled class of people who represent the Berkeley Police department.

Now, the movement needs to extend the resistance and hold these cops accountable for the way they treated students and the way they treat the people of Berkeley every day.

People of Berkeley, we need to take up local issues. We need to demand the demilitarization of the police force. No tasers! No tanks! No more money for weapons of war and training for war. We need to take our demands to the Berkeley City Council on December 16th. They need to hear from us about the issues of militarization that we have been talking about for quite some time.


Demilitarize Berkeley Police Department- No tasers! No more weapons! No more Urban shield!
Fire police who assault civilians for sport
BPD stop racial profiling
Justice for Kayla Moore-jail killer cops!

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Climate change expected to push important Oregon fish northward in coming decades

on December 10, 2014 at 11:28 AM

Climate change is expected to push some of Oregon’s most abundant fish species northward in the next 35 years, producing potentially damaging effects for Oregon’s commercial fisheries.

Scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Wednesday released a first of its kind look at future projections of species shift caused by warming oceans. They found that pelagic fish – those that tend to dwell closer to the ocean’s surface – will seek cooler waters as the southern end of their habitat heats up.

That means salmon and hake – two important commercial fish in Oregon – could begin to abandon the waters off Newport and Astoria, and become more abundant in the Gulf of Alaska and Bering Sea.

“If fishers want to stay with these fish, they’ll need to move farther north,” said Richard Brodeur, a Newport-based NOAA scientist who co-authored the study.

The report, published in the journal Progress in Oceanography, estimates that ocean temperatures up and down the West Coast will rise up to five degrees Fahrenheit within the next 35 years.

“That doesn’t seem like much, but fish often have a very narrow temperature range,” Brodeur said.

Marine species migration is a global trend, happening in fisheries from New England to Australia. Fish typically found closer to the equator have begun moving toward the poles, pushed out of their typical habitat by warming oceans.

Of the 28 species of West Coast

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Peru Strikes Back After Greenpeace's Nazca Lines Stunt
It looks like a Photoshopped hoax straight from The Onion, but this really happened: Greenpeace laid down an ad next to a 1,500-year-old tracing of a hummingbird in the Peruvian desert, one of the delicate monuments known as the Nazca Lines.

Now the environmental group is apologizing profusely for the stunt, but its activists could face criminal charges nevertheless.

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New group plans protest over mishandled NOPD rape cases

A new group is seeking to have many old rape cases reviewed and officers who were involved in any downplay of them to be dismissed.

11 p.m. CST December 12, 2014

NEW ORLEANS - A new citizen's group has formed in response to the NOPD's mishandling of hundreds of sexual assault cases and Saturday the group will take to the streets to demand change, empower victims and hold city officials accountable.

Last month the inspector general released a damning report about how the NOPD failed to properly investigate hundreds of sexual assault and child abuse cases.

"Not only do the survivors of sexual assault deserve better, but the citizens of New Orleans deserve better," says Laura Hope, one of the group's organizers.

The new Facebook group has made it their mission to be the voice for victims shamed and silenced. All 1,111 victims whose stories were silenced and never investigated by the NOPD.

"We all know someone who has been through this and we would all hope that if that happened to someone we know and love that the police would respond more responsibly," says Hope.

On Saturday the group will march from the NOPD's First District police station to City Hall, where they will present city leaders and the NOPD with a list of demands.

"We just have to shine a light on this situation and make some changes and demand changes," says Eliza

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Richmond union criticizes chief for wearing uniform to protest
By Henry K. Lee Updated 10:21 am, Saturday, December 13, 2014

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mercenaries get paid from your taxes to kill blacks
then get paid again by your taxes to.... ... y_2m_in_ot" onclick=";return false;

Disruptive’ protests cost nearly $2M in OT
Antonio Planas, Laurel J. Sweet
Boston and state police have paid out nearly $2 million in overtime pay to control thousands of protesters as they tried to shut down highways in three demonstrations since late November over the police killings of black men in Missouri and New York City. ... y_2m_in_ot" onclick=";return false;

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and elsewhere it claimed that British police, in total, only fired a gun once or twice in all of a year.

Subject: Finnish Police fired a gun only six times in 2013 | Yle Uutiset | ... 13/7701005" onclick=";return false;

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Give a homeless man $100 and see what he does with it [Video]

It started as a somewhat cynical social experiment in Orange County: How would a homeless man spend the gift of $100?

Josh Lin watched -- and filmed -- as the subject of his experiment entered a liquor store. Then he got a surprise.

The man holding up the sign asking for money from the freeway offramp in Fullerton bought food, walked to a neighborhood park and gave it to others in need.

AT 10:54 AM DECEMBER 24, 2014

What Lin witnessed left him stunned. The amateur filmmaker has made a name for himself on social media with pranks that capture the public’s reaction to unexpected situations. But in this case, Lin was the one caught off guard.

“I feel like I owe you an apology," Lin confessed to the man, whom he identified only as Thomas. "I thought you were going to buy alcohol or something.”

“There’s things money can’t buy," Thomas responded. "I get happiness out of what I’m doing.

“There’s a lot of people that are just victim of circumstance, that didn’t go homeless because they’re lazy.”

Thomas said he became homeless after his parents died within weeks of each other and the condo he shared with them was sold.

The video has been viewed more than 11.4 million times on YouTube since it was posted on Monday. On Lin’s multiple social media pages, he says he was so moved by Thomas’ generosity that he put him up in a hotel and has launched a fundraiser to get Thomas back on his feet.

The account had more than $55,

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Look at trends not daily record for Arctic Ice disappearing" onclick=";return false;

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Regional Categories
Climate Change Threatens Quechua and Their Crops in Peru’s Andes
By Fabiola Ortiz

PISAC, Peru , Dec 29 2014 (IPS) - In this town in Peru’s highlands over 3,000 metres above sea level, in the mountains surrounding the Sacred Valley of the Incas, the Quechua Indians who have lived here since time immemorial are worried about threats to their potato crops from alterations in rainfall patterns and temperatures.

“The families’ food security is definitely at risk,” agricultural technician Lino Loayza told IPS. “The rainy season started in September, and the fields should be green, but it has only rained two or three days, and we’re really worried about the effects of the heat.”

If the drought stretches on, as expected, “we won’t have a good harvest next year,” said Loayza, who is head of the Parque de la Papa or Potato Park, a biocultural conservation unit created to safeguard native crops in the rural municipality of Pisac in the southeastern department or region of Cuzco.

“We are all joined together by potatoes, in our style of life, gastronomy, culture and spirituality. Potatoes are sacred, we have to know how to treat them, they are important for our livelihoods and they connect us to life." -- Lino Mamani
In the Parque de la Papa, which is at an altitude of up to 4,500 metres and covers 9,200 hectares, 6,000 indigenous villagers from five communities – Amaru, Chawaytire, Pampallaqta, Paru Paru and Sacaca – are preserving potatoes and biodiversity, along with their spiritual rites and traditional farming techniques.

The Parque de la Papa, a mosaic of fields that hold the greatest diversity of potatoes in the world, 1,460 varieties, was created in 2002 with the support of the Asociación Andes.

This protected area in the Sacred Valley of the Incas is surrounded by lofty peaks known as ‘Apus’ or divine guardians of life, which until recently were snow-capped year-round.

“People are finally waking up to the problem of climate change. They’re starting to think about the future of life, the future of the family. What will the weather be like? Will we have food?” 50-year-old community leader Lino Mamani, one of the ‘papa arariwa’ – potato guardians, in Quechua – told IPS.

He said that whoever is sceptical about climate change can come to the Peruvian Andes to see that it’s real. “Pachamama [mother earth, in Quechua] is nervous about what we are doing to her. All of the crops are moving up the mountains, to higher and higher ground, and they will do so until it’s too high to grow,” he said.

As temperatures rise, plant pests and diseases are increasing, such as the Andean potato weevil or potato late blight (Phytophthora infestans).

To prevent crop damage, over the last 30 years farmers have increased the altitude at which they plant potatoes by more than 1,000 metres, said Mamani. That information was confirmed by the Asociación Andes and by researchers at the International Potato Centre (CIP), based in Lima.

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Man accused of disrupting Oakland police open house gets $40,000
Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The city of Oakland has agreed to pay $40,000 to settle a federal civil rights lawsuit filed by an activist who alleged that police wrongfully arrested him at a Police Department open house in 2012.
Without admitting wrongdoing, the City Council agreed to the payout to Rickey Clay in closed session Tuesday.
Clay, also known as Bakari Olatunji, said police detained him for no legal reason at Oakland police headquarters at 455 Seventh St. on May 4, 2012.
In his suit, Clay said he went to the open house as an “invited member of the community” in hopes of meeting then-Police Chief Howard Jordan to discuss the “police mistreatment of African Americans in Oakland.”
Clay, a member of the Uhuru House, a group that defends the rights of African Americans, also said he wanted to serve Jordan with a subpoena.
Clay and other members said they were initially denied entry into the building but were later let in. Clay, a registered nurse, said he then walked at a “leisurely pace” and wasn’t doing anything wrong when police grabbed him, forced him outside and arrested him on suspicion of resisting.

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