17 Egyptian Students Get 4 Years In Jail For Illegal Protests

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Cairo’s misdemeanor court has sentenced 17 Al-Azhar students to four years in jail on charges of organising an illegal protest. The defendants were accused of illegally protesting and inciting violence at Al-Azhar University on 12 January of this year. Among the 17 students sentenced, five are females. The defence team plans to appeal the verdict. Meanwhile, Egypt’s prosecutor-general on Wednesday ordered the release of 116 students from different universities ahead of the start of the new academic year on 11 October. Hundreds of students were arrested during the last academic year over protests against the ouster of president Mohamed Morsi and also over the detention of their colleagues by security forces. Al-Azhar University – the oldest Islamic university in the world – saw some of the worst unrest among universities, with near daily protests often spiralling into violent confrontations with police.

Fury Of Ferguson Descends On St. Louis County

Ferguson at St. Louis County Council Meeting

The fury of Ferguson descended on the seat of St. Louis County with a vengeance Tuesday night with demonstrators unleashing a torrent of chants, invective and threats at a County Council that listened for two hours in stunned silence. Protesters demanded the arrest of Darren Wilson, the police officer who shot 18-year-old Michael Brown to death on a Ferguson street five weeks ago, the removal of County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch from the Brown case, the resignations of County Police Chief Jon Belmar and Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson and accountability from the elected county legislative arm. But the bulk of the ire was directed at Steve Stenger, the 6th District Democratic councilman facing Republican state Rep. Rick Stream in the November general election in the race for county executive. Several speakers demanded that Stenger call on his “BFF (Best Friend Forever)” St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch to resign by noon today. McCulloch was the councilman’s chief political ally in Stenger’s primary defeat of incumbent County Executive Charlie Dooley four days before Brown was shot to death.

Feds Planning Massive Family Detention Center In South Texas

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Federal officials are planning a new for-profit family detention lockup for immigrant children and their parents in South Texas. The 2,400-bed “South Texas Family Detention Center”—as Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is referring to it—is slated for a 50-acre site just outside the town of Dilley, 70 miles southwest of San Antonio. The detention center is part of the Obama administration’s response to the surge in children and families from Central America crossing the Texas-Mexico border. In a statement to the Observer, ICE spokeswoman Nina Pruneda said the facility was intended “to accommodate the influx of individuals arriving illegally on the Southwest border.” The property is part of Sendero Ranch, a “workforce housing community,” better known in the oil patch as a “man camp” for oilfield workers. Sendero Ranch is owned by Koontz McCombs, a commercial real estate firm connected to San Antonio mogul Red McCombs. Loren Gulley, vice president for Koontz McCombs, said the company is still negotiating the deal but Corrections Corporation of America—the world’s largest for-private prison company—is expected to run the detention center, and Koontz McCombs would lease the existing “man camp” to ICE. A detailed site map provided to Frio County shows a large fenced campus, including both residential housing as well as a gym, chapel and “community pavilions.” The “man camp” has enough space to temporarily house 680 detainees while new structures are being built, ICE spokesman Bryan Cox said.

Expanding World Of Poverty Capitalism

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In Orange County, Calif., the probation department’s “supervised electronic confinement program,” which monitors the movements of low-risk offenders, has been outsourced to a private company, Sentinel Offender Services. The company, by its own account, oversees case management, including breath alcohol and drug-testing services, “all at no cost to county taxpayers.” Sentinel makes its money by getting the offenders on probation to pay for the company’s services. Charges can range from $35 to $100 a month. The company boasts of having contracts with more than 200 government agencies, and it takes pride in the “development of offender funded programs where any of our services can be provided at no cost to the agency.” Sentinel is a part of the expanding universe of poverty capitalism. In this unique sector of the economy, costs of essential government services are shifted to the poor.

Barrett Brown Pleads Guilty: What It Means For Hacker Journalism

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Tuesday in Dallas federal court, “hacktivist journo” Barrett Brown pled guilty to three counts stemming from his reporting on a high-profile Anonymous hack and his long-running battles with the FBI. The hearing, in effect, concluded his plea deal with the Department of Justice. Instead of facing a staggering 105 years in prison, Brown is now looking at up to eight and a half years—with a sizable chance of serving far less time. For most of the year and a half that he awaited trial, Brown was charged with threatening an FBI agent, conspiring to hide his potentially evidence-bearing laptops, and sharing a link to credit card data publicized during the hack of the private intelligence firm Stratfor. Free speech advocates, such as the Committee to Protect Journalists and Reporters Without Borders, called the allegations payback for his journalism. Brown’s legal troubles kicked into high gear on March 6, 2012, when FBI agent Robert Smith led a raid on his apartment and mother’s house in a hunt for the journalist’s research into contractors who spy or conduct information warfare on behalf of government and corporate clients. The agents took away his computers and other electronics.

All Out For Detroit To Defend Rasmea Odeh!

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A Palestinian woman, Rasmea Odeh, was arrested at her home this morning, Oct. 22, by agents of the Department of Homeland Security. She is charged with immigration fraud. Allegedly, in her application for citizenship, she didn’t mention that she was arrested in Palestine 45 years ago by an Israeli military court that detains Palestinians without charge – a court that has over 200 children in prison today and does not recognize the rights of Palestinians to due process. Judge Paul D. Borman removed himself from the case of Palestinian community leader Rasmea Odeh. Earlier this month, the judge stridently denied a defense motion calling on him to step down. The motion claimed that his life-long support for the state of Israel—whose arrest, torture, and conviction of Odeh for alleged Jerusalem bombings in 1969 is at issue in this case—would not allow for a fair trial. Odeh has pleaded not guilty to the charge of Unlawful Procurement of Naturalization, and vehemently refutes the Israeli convictions, which were based on a forced confession after extended periods of vicious physical and sexual torture.

Ferguson Police Report For Michael Brown Death Is Blank

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It’s been nearly two weeks since a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, shot and killed an unarmed teenager, but the police department has yet to offer a full account of the hazy circumstances surrounding Michael Brown’s death. An official incident report, which the American Civil Liberties Union obtained from police and released on Friday, answers none of the pressing questions that hang over the killing. If anything, it raises new ones. The two-page document is almost entirely blank. It includes the address, time of day and a handful of other bare-bones details, but does not include a description of the scene, quotes from eyewitnesses, names of the officers involved, or any other pieces of information normally found on such documents.

Rally at the Justice Department: Against Police Brutality & Militarization

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Petition To Eric Holder Against Racist, Militarized Policing To Be Delivered, Sign here now. When: Wednesday, August 27th at 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM Where: In front of the Department of Justice, Constitution Ave between 9th & 10th St NW, Washington DC Washington, DC – On Wednesday, August 27 at 4pm, activists will rally outside the Justice Department to call on the Attorney General to help secure justice for Michael Brown and the people of Ferguson, Missouri, as well as an overhaul of US law enforcement tactics in order to stop police brutality and the militarization of our police forces. “Michael’s murder is symptomatic of a systemic, racist culture that condones the murder and incarceration of black boys and men at rates highly disproportionate to the general population. U.S. police or vigilantes kill a black man every 28 hours,” says Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo of No FEAR Coalition and Black Agenda Report. “We need the full support of the Attorney General’s office to make sure that Michael Brown is not simply another name added to the anonymous statistics and meaningless deaths of African-Americans at the mercy of a merciless system.”

Thousands March In Staten Island Against Police Brutality

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Thousands marched in Staten Island On August 23rd. They were protesting police brutality and abuse. They were demanding justice for the victims of that abuse. Eric Garner was placed in an illegal choke hold by a NYPD office several weeks ago. His crime? Selling illegal cigarettes. Despite his protestations and his repeated plea of “I can’t breathe,” despite the fact that he was already subdued, despite the fact that he was surround by cops, the officer continued to choke Mr. Garner. The result? Eric Garner died on the sidewalk, a victim, like so many others, of out-of-control police brutality. These police crimes are then followed by a disturbing lack of transparency and a failure of the justice system to indict, try and convict. Victims are invariably people of color. The time has come for civilian control of the police forces and an end to the militarization of police departments around the country.

Popular Resistance Newsletter - Ferguson And Global Struggle For Justice

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Since the killing of Michael Brown, Ferguson, MO has been the epicenter of struggle and resistance. The same city where Dred Scott challenged slavery has become the place of awakening for current racial oppression. Ferguson exposed the reality of militarized and racist policing and created a teachable moment for the nation. The sad reality for many who have studied or lived US history is the killing of African Americans is not new. For decades it has led to both protests and more police violence. The failure to confront this reality is a critical example of a what Thomas Adams describes as a dysfunctional nation in political decay. But, Ferguson is an epicenter for a global struggle as we see in Israel, Gaza, over climate justice and over weapons and war. There is a lot happening on all fronts as we report here.

Ferguson: 210 Arrests, Father Visits Memorial, Two Officers Suspended

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Michael Brown’s father, visited the street memorial people have created for his son at the site of his 18 year old son’s death. Th St. Louis Post Dispatch reports: “Michael Brown Sr. hugged well-wishers who recognized him and came to share words of encouragement or brief prayers. Anthony Shahid, an activist who was accompanying Brown Sr., said he didn’t want to speak to the media. He was exhausted, Shahid said, and just wanted to see the memorial to his son.” The visit marked Brown Sr.’s first visit to the site since a candlelight vigil not long after the shooting.

Brown Family Should Seek Justice, Not Wait For More Injustice

Memorial to Michael Brown linked to 60 yards of roses.

The family of Michael Brown should not rely on the grand jury system or Attorney General Holder The grand jury process in the United States is rigged for the prosecutor. There is an old saying among lawyers “A prosecutor can indict a ham sandwich.” Of course, the reverse is also true; the prosecutor can also prevent an indictment. The prosecutor controls the grand jury process which is conducted in secret without even a judge present. The prosecutor decides what witnesses to call and there is no opportunity for a defense lawyer or attorney for the family to participate. Attorney General Holder’s record on dealing with police violence against citizens is mixed. The family should not wait until the grand jury decision or rely completely on the US Department of Justice. The family of Michael Brown should take their own steps to ensure justice for their son as quickly as possible. The avenue the family can pursue is to file a civil suit in federal court. Such litigation will allow the family to seek all relevant documents, including the unreleased police report, as well as videotapes related to the killing of Michael Brown. It will also allow them to question witnesses under oath, including police officers who arrived at the scene. The court hearings in a civil suit will be public so everyone can see all the evidence.

Roses Line Ferguson Street In Memory Of Michael Brown

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The second relatively calm night in Ferguson as the Governor Nixon withdraws the national guard and Attorney General shows the people of Ferguson that Washington, DC is paying attention. The grand jury process began with protesters outside, Nixon saying he will not remove the prosecutor from the case and the prosecutor, who many see as biased in favor of the police, saying he is staying. A new report from Arch City Defenders, a non-profit legal defense organization, that showed the depth of police harassment the people of Ferguson have faced for years. They reported that police hand out 3 warrants per household every year and $321 in fines. long-stem roses along Canfield Drive, where Brown was shot. A memorial to Brown was put in place at the Canfield Green Apartments at the intersection of Canfield Drive and Caddiefield Road where Michael Brown was shot.

Government’s Arsenal To Destroy Revolutionaries

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Defining “political prisoner” is a risky endeavor, historian Dan Berger notes in the introduction to his recently released book on the topic, The Struggle Within: Prisons, Political Prisoners, and Mass Movements in the United States. Too often, it’s assumed that political prisoners are people who “haven’t done anything” – who are imprisoned simply because of their beliefs. However, as Berger articulates throughout this engrossing, fact-packed primer, most political prisoners did do something: They participated actively in movements to resist state power, often acting outside the bounds of the law. And so, rather than limiting conversations about political prisoners to determinations of “innocence” and “guilt,” it’s much more useful to discuss how and why the state attempted to suppress those movements. Through recounting the incarceration of activists fighting for black liberation, Native American sovereignty, Puerto Rican independence, economic justice, the abolition of nuclear weapons and more, Berger illustrates how imprisonment serves as a political tool deployed to maintain the status quo. The activists Berger introduces us to aren’t usually protesting legislation or railing against particular politicians housed within current power structures. They’re working to disrupt the deep groundings of those structures – including the legitimacy of the law itself. In other words, they’re shaking the foundation of the very laws that are later used to confine them.

Ferguson: 47 Arrests, No Tear Gas, Rubber Bullets; Holder Steps In

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Less violent than the previous nights in Ferguson. The police did not use tear gas, rubber bullets, stun grenades or smoke bombs and the crowd only had minor incidents of people throwing bottles at the police. There were still confrontations between police and the people but at a much lower decibel than previous nights. At times ‘peacekeepers’ stood in line between police and protesters to minimize conflict. Reporters were corralled in a specific area and some were threatened with arrest. In total there were 47 arrests reported (these numbers may not be accurate, the police reported 31 arrests then night before when there were over 70).