radref's blog

Arrests at GOP Convention are Criticized

File this under, "Well, duh!"

The Washington Post yesterday wrote a story about the problems with NYPD's tactics before and during the RNC. The best part of the story, and perhaps most important lesson, was the last sentence, a quote by Norman Siegal (Steven's bro?!), a civil liberties lawyer, who said, "We don't lose our rights overnight with a big bang; we lose them incrementally over time."

City Arrest Tactics, Used on Protesters, Face Test in Court

The latest on the NYPD arrest tactics.

By the way, when blogging a NYT article, use this link to generate a link that will get the article for the reader w/o the reader having to register. Very handy!!

Truthout to cover the RNC inside and out

Truthout RNC04 coverage. There's nothing there yet, but they have links to audio, video reports and still images.

FBI's Pre-Emptive Interrogations Of "Possible" Demonstrators

Here's a pretty scary article by Bob Barr at Findlaw.com. Basically -- in case you didn't know(!) -- we're back in the early 1970s and the era of Cointelpro. Read on...

The FBI, no longer content with working to maintain order at political events, is now preemptively identifying and interrogating ("interviewing") possible demonstrators. It has summarized this strategy in a memo.

To make matters worse, the Department of Justice blessed the FBI strategy in its own memo - suggesting that no First Amendment concerns are raised by the interrogations.

As I will explain in this column, however, the truth is quite to the contrary: The strategy, as outlined in the memo, is a serious threat to free speech.

Camp Pepper spray

Ok, so I like comics as political commentary. Here are a couple of my favorites:

Troubletown by Lloyd Dangle

Ward Sutton

Time Sq Billboard on the cost of Iraq war

It's called Project Billboard, built by the Center for American Progress (CAP) which is headed by John Podesta, Clinton's chief of staff. Interestingly, the billboard got put in Time Square because of a legal battle between the Center and Clear Channel. CAP sued Clear Channel for "breaking a contract over the posting of an antiwar billboard in Times Square during this month's convention." ("Clock in New York's Times Square Counts War Cost." By Mark McSherry, Reuters, Weds august 25th.) Check out how they came up with their facts and figures.

IFLA 'deplores' OFAC information regulations

This was just posted on the anarchist librarian list. Thoughts? Comments?

According to a Statement on the IFLA (International Federation of Library Associations) web site, 'librarians and publishers around the world deplore the regulations of the US government that seek to limit the ability of US persons to process and publish informational materials from selected countries'. The press release reports that 'such actions are contradictory to the recognition by democratic societies everywhere that the free flow of information and ideas is vital to citizens of all nations to educate themselves about the world by communicating with peoples of other countries'.

8/26: Anti-RNC Open House & DNC 2 RNC Welcome Party!

Want to get involved in organizing against the Republican National Convention? Curious about what¹s in the works?

The NoRNC Clearinghouse invites you to a Anti-RNC Informational Open House

WHEN: Thursday, August 26th at 7:30pm

Where: St Marks Church: 2nd Ave @ 10th Street

Audit shows $8.8 billion in Iraq funds missing

According to this Reuters story, "At least $8.8 billion in Iraqi funds that was given to Iraqi ministries by the former U.S.-led authority there cannot be accounted for, according to a draft U.S. audit set for release soon." Wouldn't it have been grand if they gave that money to peaceful protesters instead of those beautiful and handy buttons?! We'd all be staying at the Ritz ;-)

People's Guide to the RNC

Hot off the presses, the People's Guide to the Republican National Convention is out. This amazingly handy guide/map is a must for all. Download it, order it, or pick one up at New York Civil Liberties Union RNC Office (F8: 520 Eighth Ave), Bluestocking Books (O8: 172 Allen St), Times-up! bike convergence space (N7: 49 E Houston St), or Chisholm Gallery (I7: 56 W 22 St, 2nd flr).

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