Smashing Pumpkin Protest At Prosecutor's Office


Protesters approached the St. Louis County Justice Center while holding pumpkins marked “racism,” “police brutality” and “white privilege.” They planned to smash the pumpkins in front of the police station to make a point about the disparity in media coverage of primarily white college students rioting in Keene, New Hampshire, and media coverage of reaction in Ferguson, Missouri, to white police officer Darren Wilson who killed an unarmed black teenager named Mike Brown. The St. Louis Post Dispatch reported that protest organizer Derek Laney was arrested “after he held the pumpkin” over his head and “decried the shooting” of Brown before smashing the pumpkin “at the feet of officers stationed about 10 feet from the Justice Center door.” He protested the fact that Keene State College students were called “unruly” or “drunken revelers” and accused of merely “causing a ruckus” while community residents upset in Ferguson were labeled “rioters” or “thugs.”

Security State Rules US Foreign Policy, Not Elected Officials


Tufts University political scientist Michael J. Glennon, whose new book, National Security and Double Government (Oxford University Press), describes a powerful bureaucratic network that’s really pulling the strings on key aspects of U.S. foreign policy. The American public believes “that when they vote for a president or member of Congress or succeed in bringing a case before the courts, that policy is going to change,” Glennon told the Boston Globe in an interview published Sunday. “Now, there are many counter-examples in which these branches do affect policy… But the larger picture is still true—policy by and large in the national security realm is made by the concealed institutions.” Glennon argues that because managers of the military, intelligence, diplomatic, and law enforcement agencies operate largely outside the institutions meant to check or constrain them—the executive branch, the courts, Congress—national security policy changes very little from one administration to the next.

EFF: Updated Know Your Rights Guide


If the police come knocking at your door, the constitution offers you some protection. But the constitution is just a piece of paper—if you don’t know how to assert your rights. And even if you do assert your rights…what happens next? That answer may seem complicated, but protecting yourself is simple if you know your rights. That’s why EFF has launched an updated Know Your Rights Guide that explains your legal rights when law enforcement try to search the data stored on your computer, cell phone or other electronic device. The guide clarifies when the police can search devices, describes what to do if police do (or don’t) have a warrant, and explains what happens if the police can’t get into a device because of encryption or other security measures. Our guide is up to date as of October 2014, and will always indicate when it was last updated.

#GazaRebirth: New Paradigm For Recovery Activism


Besides the aid to Gazans, there are two outcomes we would love to achieve: One, establish a new way of providing emergency assistance which bypasses the NGO empires and paternalistic controls on people who need aid. People are not products, aid should be a human relationship not a corporate one. If we can set up one trust relationship for Gaza, we hope we can use it as a proof of concept to expand across Gaza and in other places like Syria, Myanmar and everywhere really. The trust networks we set up for direct global communication to bypass corporate media can be used in the same way to provide direct aid and bypass corporate NGOs. Two, we want to start a dialogue about this cycle of destruction and ‘rebuilding’ where corporate empires are feeding off real human torment as a growth industry to enrich themselves.

Police Move To Clear Occupy Protesters From Parliament Square

Police officers and Occupy protesters in Parliament Square on Saturday night. Photograph: Yui Mok/PA

Police made one arrest after hundreds of officers converged on Parliament Square in London on Sunday night in an attempt to remove Occupy Democracy protesters. A Metropolitan police spokesman said that officers were enforcing a notice to desist. The demonstrators, who were in the third day of occupying the square, were given 30 minutes to leave or face arrest. Possessing items that could be used for sleeping in Parliament Square was made illegal under the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011. One protester used a smartphone to send a live video stream of the eviction to the Bambuser website as others condemned the police action on social media. An Occupy spokeswoman described the police action as “absolutely crazy”. She said offficers told them that they could not sit on tarpaulins, which were deemed to be “structures”.

Mexican Activist Killed On Air During Radio Show In Mazatlan

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Two gunmen walked into a radio station and killed a local activist while he was presenting his weekly radio programme, prosecutors in the northern Mexico state of Sinaloa said. It was the first on-air killing in recent memory in Mexico. The victim, Atilano Román Tirado, headed a group of about 800 farm families whose lands were flooded by dam construction several years ago. His group, the Displaced Persons of Picachos – named after the dam – has been demanding compensation for the land. Román Tirado had a weekly variety programme on Fiesta Mexicana,a local radio station in the Pacific port of Mazatlan. In past years the Picachos movement had staged blockades and protest marches, which had resulted in arrests. Sinaloa state prosecutors said two men walked into the station on Saturday and asked for Román Tirado. The station is in a building that also houses the newspaper El Sol de Mazatlan.

UN Experts: Upholding Human Rights Means Taking Urgent Climate Action

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Climate change poses a global threat to human rights, underscoring the need for worldwide action to rein in runaway greenhouse gas emissions, a group of United Nations independent experts has stressed. The Special Rapporteurs, independent experts and working group members issued their warning in an open letter (pdf) dated Friday and sent to governments involved in the upcoming UN climate negotiations. “The need for urgency in addressing this topic is underscored by the approaching deadlines for the climate negotiations to reach a concrete solution,” they write. “We urge the State Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to recognize the adverse effects of climate change on the enjoyment of human rights, and to adopt urgent and ambitious mitigation and adaptation measures to prevent further harm. We call on the State Parties to include language in the 2015 climate agreement that provides that the Parties shall, in all climate change related actions, respect, protect, promote, and fulfill human rights for all.”

Cambodian Journalist Shot Dead While Documenting Illegal Logging

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Journalist Taing Tri, 48, of the local Vealntri newspaper in Kratie province, Cambodia, was shot dead around 1 a.m. on 12 October 2014 as he attempted to document the transportation of illegal luxury wood near Pum Ksem Kang Krow village. The Cambodian Center for Independent Media (CCIM) and the Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA) condemn this murder in the strongest terms possible and call on local authorities to take immediate action to investigate the case and bring the murderers to justice in order to end the cycle of impunity for those who perpetuate violence against journalists in Cambodia. “Mr. Tri’s murder is tragic and cannot go unpunished,” said CCIM Executive Director Pa Nguon Teang. “We must bring an end to impunity for those who commit violence against journalists, and we must do it now, starting with Mr. Tri.”

4,000 Barrels Of Oil Spill From Louisiana Pipeline

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MOORINGSPORT, La. (KTBS) – Raw oil is coating around a four mile section of Tete Bayou in Caddo Parish after a major spill Monday, around 8 AM. It happened just southwest of Mooringsport. Three families have been displaced because of the environmental disaster. The burst oil pipe belongs to Sunoco Logistics, which says the exact cause of the spill is still under investigation. Sunoco faces a long cleanup. The company estimates for now that around 4,000 thousand barrels worth of oil poured from the pipe, which carries oil from Texas to Ohio. At a press conference Saturday, it was announced around 1,900 barrels have already been cleaned up so far. Louisiana State Police say the three families were not forced out but asked to leave because of the oil’s fumes.

How Public Art Builds Safer, Stronger Neighborhoods

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Art that merges with the landscape brings human presence, safety, and physical activity into the city’s spaces. This kind of art triggers more than one sense: it is something you move in, touch, and, in some cases, even eat. In Detroit, a spread-out city of single-family homes that is difficult to traverse and pockmarked by vacancy, these artistic interventions are an uncommonly powerful nexus of community life. They create welcoming traffic, as well as opportunities for neighbors to interact and work together. And rather than being a temporary show, in the style of a traveling exhibition or ephemeral installation, this is art for the long-term. It is for a city with a future.

Fukushima Legacy: 25,000 Who Cannot Go Home Again

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The explosions, meltdowns and leaks at Fukushima Daiichi triggered by an earthquake and tsunami three and a half years ago have hurt Japan deeply, triggering 2.2 million compensation claims, an £8 billion decontamination budget and dozens of legal suits. It’s a hurt that is going to take many decades to heal. More than 30,000 square kilometres of northern Japan were contaminated by the huge clouds of radioactivity that belched into the air during the accident. More than 80,000 people were forced to evacuate from the areas closest to Fukushima Daiichi, and at least another 80,000 are reckoned to have voluntarily decided to flee their homes. The official evacuation zone is divided into three different areas. In the least contaminated, furthest away from the nuclear plant, the Japanese government is hoping to allow 32,900 people to return soon.

Yes, It's Legal To Film The Cops


NEW YORK — It’s becoming clearer and clearer that smartphones have ushered in a new era of police accountability. Since mid-July, when a bystander on Staten Island filmed the death of Eric Garner in a prohibited police chokehold, at least eight other unsettling videos, most of them captured by smartphone, have emerged showing instances of apparent excessive force by NYPD officers. Four such videos have appeared this month alone. Although police might intimidate bystanders into thinking otherwise, it’s perfectly legal to film the cops — not only in New York, but everywhere in the U.S. — as long as you don’t get in their way. Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, encourages people to keep using their phones to film troubling police incidents. The more people who post these videos online, she said, the more likely it is that other people will reach for their own phones when they see cops doing something questionable.

‘Unspeakable Poverty Of Loss': Intergenerational Trauma & The Bakken Oil Fields

John Pepion An artistic depiction of what has transpired in, and transformed, culture and lives in the Bakken oil fields and beyond.  Read more at

For me, this story began at Lake Superior, a place that is sacred to the Anishinaabeg, the source of a fifth of the world’s fresh water. I rode my horse with my family, my community and our allies, from that place, Rice Lake Refuge, to Rice Lake, on my own reservation. Those two lakes are the mother lode of the world’s wild rice. Those two lakes—in fact, the entire region—are threatened by a newly proposed pipeline of fracked oil from what is known as the Bakken Oil Fields of North Dakota, from the homeland of those Arikara people. The pipeline proposed is called the Sandpiper. We rode, but we did not stop. Driven to go to the source, we traveled to North Dakota. That is this story. Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara territory lies along the northern Missouri River, a land of gentle rolling hills, immense prairie diversity and the memory of 50 million buffalo.

Tens Of Thousands Take To UK Streets In Pay Protest

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Tens of thousands of union members have marched through central London to highlight their calls for pay rises. Members of Unite, Unison, the National Union of Teachers, the Communication Workers Union, the Royal College of Nurses and Equity took to the streets in the capital on Saturday, while other protests were held in Glasgow and Belfast. Pensioners and anti-nuclear activists also took part. The TUC, which organised the Britain Needs a Pay Risedemonstration to mark the end of industrial action by public sector workers, including nurses, midwives and civil servants, said up to 90,000 people were on the march. Midwives went on strike for the first time this month to protest against the government’s decision not to pay a recommended 1% increase to all NHS staff. Hospital radiographers and prison officers are due to take action next week.

Los Angeles Activists Block Unloading Of Israeli Cargo Ship For Two Days

An Israeli shipping vessel was delayed at the port of Long Beach, California, by Palestine solidarity activists. (Wayne Marchyshyn)

The Block the Boat coalition of Los Angeles claimed another victory this weekend after an Israeli cargo ship, the Zim Savannah, delayed docking at the port of Long Beach for at least 34 hours. Cookie Partansky, an organizer with the LA Block the Boat coalition, told The Electronic Intifada that approximately 150 activists gathered at the Los Angeles port at 6am on Saturday, 18 October. The morning’s action followed weeks of communication with the longshoremen’s union and educating workers about Israel’s brutal occupation of Palestine, as well as the group’s reasons for targeting Zim, an Israeli shipping line. The coalition — representing nineteen different activism groups — showed up at the port Saturday morning despite being informed at 5am by a member of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 13 that the ship was still at sea and no workers had been called in to unload it.