Category Archives: Civil Rights

Authoritarian Tea-Publicans criminalize protests

News from 2014: Protesting on the streets of Moscow — or any other part of Russia, for that matter — will now not only cost a pretty penny, but also could land you behind bars, after Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday signed a law into effect criminalizing street protests. Meanwhile in Russia, Putin passes law against protests.

News from today: Claiming people are being paid to riot, Republican state senators voted Wednesday to give police new power to arrest anyone who is involved in a peaceful demonstration that may turn bad — even before anything actually happened. Arizona Senate votes to seize assets of those who plan, participate in protests that turn violent.

That’s right, our authoritarian Tea-Publican legislature has taken a page from the autocratic Vladimir Putin and criminalized protests — despite protections for freedom of speech and freedom of assembly in the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States — because someone watched Minority Report (2002) — in which a “Pre-crime” law enforcement unit predicts crimes beforehand and the guilty are punished before the crime has ever been committed — and thought, “hey, why don’t we do that?

The Arizona Capitol Times (subscription required) reports:

Claiming people are being paid to riot, Republican state senators voted Wednesday to give police new power to arrest anyone who is involved in a peaceful demonstration that may turn bad — even before anything actually happened.

SB1142 expands the state’s racketeering laws, now aimed at organized crime, to also include rioting. And it redefines what constitutes rioting to include actions that result in damage to the property of others.

But the real heart of the legislation is what Democrats say is the guilt by association — and giving the government the right to criminally prosecute and seize the assets of everyone who planned a protest and everyone who participated. And what’s worse, said Sen. Steve Farley, D-Tucson, is that the person who may have broken a window, triggering the claim there was a riot, might actually not be a member of the group but someone from the other side.

Continue reading

Deportation Nation: DHS memos outline Trump’s ‘Deportation Force’

Donald Trump promised voters he would do a lot of things “on day one” in office, but of course he was lying and failed to do so. On his first day in office, Trump broke 34 promises. One of these promises was the one to the nativist and racist anti-immigrant white voters who put him over the top:

“These international gangs of thugs and drug cartels will be, I promise you from the first day in office, the first thing I’m going to do, the first piece of paper I’m going to sign is we are going to get rid of these people day one,” Trump said on the campaign trail in August 2016. In October 2015, Trump said about Obama’s immigration deferred action executive action initiatives, “the first minute in office I will countersign and revoke those executive orders.” He vowed to move 2 million “criminal aliens” out of the country “my first hour in office,” in August 2016. The following month, Trump said he would “give a mandate to everybody, including the local police,” to get the “bad ones” out of the country, also in the first hour.

Didn’t happen. But after stumbling and bumbling through his first month in office, the Trump “Deportation Force” has arrived, and it is as bad as anticipated. New Trump Deportation Rules Allow Far More Expulsions:

President Trump has directed his administration to enforce the nation’s immigration laws more aggressively, unleashing the full force of the federal government to find, arrest and deport those in the country illegally, regardless of whether they have committed serious crimes.

Documents released on Tuesday by the Department of Homeland Security revealed the broad scope of the president’s ambitions: to publicize crimes by undocumented immigrants; strip such immigrants of privacy protections; enlist local police officers as enforcers; erect new detention facilities; discourage asylum seekers; and, ultimately, speed up deportations.

The new enforcement policies put into practice language that Mr. Trump used on the campaign trail, vastly expanding the definition of “criminal aliens” and warning that such unauthorized immigrants “routinely victimize Americans,” disregard the “rule of law and pose a threat” to people in communities across the United States.

Despite those assertions in the new documents, research shows lower levels of crime among immigrants than among native-born Americans.

Continue reading

World Premiere of “Digna” play at YWCA of Southern Arizona

 

Digna Theater’s first production is the play “DIGNA” by Patricia Davis. February 23-26 and March 2-5 at 7:30 pm at THEATRE @YWCA, 525 Bonita Street, Tucson AZ.

Digna is directed by Barclay Goldsmith, features Alba Jaramillo as Digna, and is accompanied with live music by Rebeca Cartes.

Performances: February 23-26 and March 2-5 at Theater@YWCA, 525 Bonita Avenue, Tucson AZ.

$15 general admission, $12 for students, and Thursday is pay-what-you-can day.

About Digna Ochoa

“In October 2001, renowned Mexican human rights lawyer Digna Ochoa was found shot dead in her Mexico City office. Ochoa’s death at the age of thirty-six was declared a suicide by Mexico City prosecutors, despite evidence pointing to foul-play, her receiving death threats, and attempts on her life.

Ochoa, a former nun, went on to represent farmers defending the environment in the state of Guerrero, Zapatista guerrillas in Chiapas, and indigenous peoples in her home state of Veracruz. In her pursuit of truth and justice she challenged powerful governmental agencies. She also uncovered torture and other abuses by the Mexican military and police.

Ochoa was twenty-four when she discovered a blacklist of union organizers and political activists in the office of the state attorney general. A few days later, she was kidnapped and raped. Her family and fellow human rights activists rejected the finding of death by suicide, and fought for the case to be re-opened. Ochoa’s case was reopened in 2005. Regrettably state prosecutors maintained suicide as the origin of her death.

Continue reading

Day of Remembrance (75th anniversary of E.O. 9066 interning Japanese Americans during WWII) at Tucson Desert Art Museum

Executive Order 9066 Day of Remembrance at Tucson Desert Art Museum, 7000 E. Tanque Verde Rd. Tucson (west of Sabino Canyon Rd.)

February 18, 2017 11:00 am-2:00 pm
“Join us to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Executive Order 9066, which authorized the incarceration of over 100,000 Japanese Americans following the bombing of Pearl Harbor. War hysteria and racial prejudice allowed the government to institute a mass detention program based on “military justification.” Speakers include academic experts in history and politics from UA and ASU who have researched or have intimate knowledge of the camps.”

11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Academic Panel discussion on Japanese American Internment during WWII featuring:
Carolyn Sugiyama Classen, former Legislative Aide to U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye
Prof. Kathryn Nakagawa, ASU Associate Professor in Asian Pacific American Studies, School of Social Transformation, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Prof.Min Yanagihashi, UA (retired), East Asian Studies Dept.

“Acts of Translation” to be read by poet Heather Nagami at 12:30 p.m. whose work has been on display there since Nov.5, 2016. Heather’s family was interned at several of the camps.

1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Discussion on “Gambatte! Legacy of an Enduring Spirit: Triumphing over Adversity. Japanese American WWII Incarceration Reflections, Then and Now” featuring:
Paul Kitagaki, Jr., Photographer with Susie and Terry Matsunaga relating perspectives on incarceration from personal and family experiences.

Continue reading

BREAKING: 9th Circuit Court panel unanimously upholds injunction of Trump’s Muslim travel ban executive order

The Washington Post reports this breaking news, Federal appeals court maintains suspension of Trump’s immigration order:

A federal appeals court has maintained the freeze on President Trump’s controversial immigration order, meaning previously barred refugees and citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries can continue entering the U.S.

Read the Per Curiam order HERE.

A panel with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit upheld the ruling of U.S. District Judge James Robart, who had decided Friday that Trump’s temporary travel ban should be put on hold. The Department of Homeland Security soon suspended all enforcement of Trump’s controversial directive.

The Justice Department, representing the Trump administration, could now ask the Supreme Court — which often defers to the president on matters of immigration and national security — to intervene. The Supreme Court, though, remains one justice short, and many see it as ideologically split 4-4. A tie would keep in place whatever the appeals court decides.

This is what occurred with the President Obama’s immigration orders challenged in a Texas court, United States v. Texas, No. 15-674, when the Supreme Court deadlocked and left an injunction in place. Supreme Court Tie Blocks Obama Immigration Plan.

Let the Trump Twitter rage commence!

Hold Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III accountable as the new Attorney General

Senator Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III (R-AL) — Geezus! You can almost hear the Confederate flags snapping in the breeze, can’t you? — was approved on a near party-line vote with only one Democratic defection, to become the next Attorney General of the United States after a contentious Senate vote. Jeff Sessions Confirmed as Attorney General, Capping Bitter Battle:

Senator Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, an Alabama Republican, survived a near-party-line vote, 52 to 47, in the latest sign of the extreme partisanship at play as Mr. Trump strains to install his cabinet. No Republicans broke ranks in their support of a colleague who will become the nation’s top law enforcement official after two decades in the Senate. [Joe Manchin (D-WV) broke ranks with Democrats.]

But the confirmation process — ferocious even by the standards of moldering decorum that have defined the body’s recent years — laid bare the Senate’s deep divisions at the outset of the Trump presidency. At the same time, the treatment of Senator Elizabeth Warren, who was forced to stop speaking late Tuesday after criticizing Sen. Sessions from the Senate floor, rekindled the gender-infused politics that animated the presidential election and the women’s march protesting Mr. Trump the day after his inauguration last month.

Sen. Sessions cast his final vote as a senator to note that he was present for Wednesday’s tally. His confirmation was met by applause from his colleagues, including a few Democrats, on the Senate floor.

Continue reading