1. This is a letter to Renee, to Alice, to Oscar and to the 281 other beings I removed from abuse. In freeing you I learned things not only about you, but also about myself. I learned that fear of repression for what many consider my criminal acts, although tangible and real, is only as strong as you allow it to be. I learned that giving an individual a new option for a new future—one free of abuse—is not only liberating for those freed, but also for those doing the freeing, and this feeling stays with you, forever…

    (read more here)

     
  2. [NEW YORK, NY] After two years of delays, trial will begin for Occupy Wall Street activist Cecily McMillan.  Set for this Monday, April 7th at 9:30am at 100 Centre St Room 1116 Part 41, Cecily’s case marks the last ongoing Occupy trial.  On March 17th, 2012 Cecily was sexually assaulted by a plainclothes NYPD officer and then beaten unconscious by police when she attempted to leave a gathering marking the 6 month anniversary of the inception of Occupy Wall Street.  In the wake of this attack she endured, Cecily faces a charge of 2nd degree assault on a police officer.

    The heavy-hand of Cecily’s prosecuting attorney has led some activists to speculate that her political organizing within Occupy Wall Street plays a role in the prosecutor’s unwavering position. Others attribute the city’s stance to an unwillingness to admit guilt in the grotesque display of police misconduct on the night of Cecily’s arrest. Cecily’s firm commitment to nonviolence makes these charges even more absurd.

    A chilling tone has already been set by Judge Zweibel, who refused to grant a pretrial motion filed by Cecily’s attorney Martin Stolar seeking to open the personnel file of Cecily’s arresting officer.  Officer Bovell’s file (if admitted by the court) shows a pattern of reckless behavior and aversion to conduct becoming to his uniform.  Judge Zweibel’s interpretation is that Bovell’s history, albeit checkered, is ‘irrelevant’ to Cecily’s case and subsequently Judge Zweibel is setting a troubling precedent for all activists and victims of police brutality. Marty Stolar submitted a second argument of the motion, calling Zweibel’s decision too narrow.

    Supporters of McMillian are calling on activists and friends to #PackTheCourts and serve as witnesses each day of the proceeding. Supporters will be gathering before court April 7th with free breakfast provided by the Cargo Bike Collective and Occupy Guitarmy starting at 8am and a press conference with Cecily’s attorney Marty Stolar at 9am.

    COURT SCHEDULE:
    Room 1116, Part 41 @ 100 Centre St.
    (All Sessions from 9:30am-4:30pm)
    PRESS CONFERENCE AT 9AM EST 4/7*

    You can stay up to date with Cecily’s support by texting  ”@CecilysTrial” to 23559, or by visiting http://JusticeForCecily.com, updates are also regularly posted via Facebook HERE.

    According to the National Lawyers Guild, McMillan’s case is one of the last court cases stemming from Occupy Wall Street remaining on the docket.  It may also be one of the most consequential.

    More information on how to support Cecily McMillan can be found HERE. Journalists who would like to obtain comment from McMillian or her legal team can contact Stan Williams at 256-323-1109 or via email at t4swillia3@gmail.com as well as Lucy Parks at 540-810-5531 or via email at wegrewuptwofast@gmail.com Members of Cecily’s support team, including her attorney Marty Stolar can be reached at the following: Lauren Wilfong at lmw337@nyu.edu & 413.207.4207, Drew Mitchell at drew.mitchell@fandm.edu & 203.722.1524 and Attorney Marty Stolar mrslaw37@hotmail.com & 917.225.4596

     
  3. Despite the selfies with Hilary Clinton there is something inherently punk about these ladies. It’s only right that seminal punk photographer Glen Friedman be the one to photograph them. Humbled to be able to help set this up.

     

  4. freebarrettbrown:

    After a year and ½ in jail awaiting trial, the writer/journalist Barrett Brown, best known for his previous association with Anonymous, through his defense team has reportedly reached an agreement with the government to plea to some counts. Full details are not available since the documents…

     
  5.  

  6. "Technology is kinda like gluten, I’m finding myself more allergic as I get older."
    — me darn-nit
     
  7.  
  8. Activists will gather for a second candlelight vigil on Monday, March 3 at 6PM outside the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in lower Manhattan [150 Park Row and Pearl St]. These monthly vigils are organized by a critical new campaign titled No Separate Justice (NSJ).  Monday’s vigil focuses on the unjust prosecution and imprisonment of Tarek Mehanna.  Launched on January 7th, 2014 NSJ aims to expose and to work towards ending patterns of human rights and civil liberties abuses created by the Department of Justice under the auspices of the US’s “War on Terror.”

    NSJ vigils are held on the first Monday night of every month outside the MCC., a federal penitentiary where people accused of terrorism-related offenses are held for years in solitary confinement, even before they have been tried.These inhumane conditions are not unique to the MCC. In an effort to shine a light on and end the pattern of human rights and civil liberties abuses happening in “War on Terror” cases, the No Separate Justice Campaign brings together community groups, academics, family members and human rights and civil liberties organizations including Amnesty International USA, the Center for Constitutional Rights, the Council On American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)-New York, and Educators for Civil Liberties.

    Each month, NSJ vigils will spotlight an individual case to reveal a pattern of abuses happening by federal courts and prisons in these terrorism cases. The March 3rd vigil will focus on the case of Tarek Mehanna, whose “material support” charges (which included the translation of texts from Arabic into English) raised grave concerns from civil liberties groups and academics across the country. After being held for two years in pre-trial solitary confinement, Tarek Mehanna is now serving his 17-and-a-half year sentence in the “Communications Management Unit” in Marion, Illinois.

     
  9. “I walk through the red carpet and Cate Blanchett is there and DiCaprio is right behind her, and there are like a million people taking pictures of them,” he says, making a rapid clicking paparazzo noise with his tongue. “And I walk by and it’s like one guy with a Polaroid from The Socialist Worker.”

    In interviews with Scahill, the entertainment press has referred to his movie as “Dirty Horse,” or occasionally “Dirty Whores,” and interviewers have a tendency to look with distaste when he describes the details of the film—footage of mutilated children, their limbs apparently torn apart by bombs from apparently American drones.

    “It’s very weird. At Sundance, there would be this woman wrapped up head-to-toe in a huge fur outfit, with just her eyes peeking out and eight inch heels and her first question is ‘Sooooo…Sundance!?’” Scahill says, holding out a reporters imaginary microphone. “And it’s like, ‘Ok so, we made a film about extra judicial killings and drones and you are [wearing] some kind of thing that used to be an animal asking me a question.”’

     
  10. Quacks on Racks on Racks.  Stacks on Stacks on Stacks.

     
  11. Photo shared by Jo-Anne McArthur.  Priceless.

     
  12. (Source: sideofnature, via lavitaebela)

     
  13. trigger warning

    [NEW YORK, NY] Trial is set to begin in Manhattan Criminal Court Monday for Occupy Wall Street activist, Cecily McMillan, who faces 2nd degree assault charges stemming from a 2012 encounter with the NYPD that left her beaten and unconscious. McMillan was brutally arrested on the evening of March 17, 2012 at an event marking the 6-month anniversary of the group’s occupation of Zuccotti Park. The series of events leading up McMillan’s beating was documented extensively by the press, and began with a male NYPD officer forcibly grabbing her right breast. McMillan was 23 years old at the time.

    McMillan, over the course of her arrest, sustained a violent beating resulting in bruised ribs, a seizure, and myriad cuts and bruises across her body. McMillan was hospitalized for these injuries.

    McMillan was later charged with felony assault of a police officer, Assault 2nd degree, a Class D felony in NY, which carries that sentence of up to 7 years in prison. Prosecutors, upon approaching trial, have indicated that they will ask the judge for a maximum sentence of 7 years. Many activists speculate that McMillan’s work as a political organizer has played a role in the prosecutor’s unwavering position. Others attribute the city’s stance to an unwillingness to admit guilt in the grotesque display of police misconduct on the night of McMillan’s arrest.

    A jury trial is set for Monday, February 10, 2014 at 10 AM in Manhattan Criminal Court, 100 Centre St., part 41, Room 1116. Supporters of McMillian are calling on activists and friends to fill the courtroom to witness each day of the proceeding.

    “The main issue here,” says Martin R. Stolar, McMillan’s attorney, “is the heavy-handed, over-policing by the NYPD during the Occupy Wall Street protests, which lead to crimes where none existed. It was a normal reaction for a woman to react, to be startled after having her right breast grabbed.” Rebecca Heinegg will be co-counsel with Stolar at trial.According to the National Lawyers Guild, McMillan’s case is one of the last court cases stemming from Occupy Wall Street-related left on the docket. It may also be one of the most consequential.

    (Source: sparrowmedia.net)

     
  14. [LOS ANGELES, CA]  Dozens of celebrities and activists have joined hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons in calling upon Ambassador Caroline Kennedy to pressure President Barack Obama to refuse signing the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) until Japan abandons its practice of drive hunt slaughter and capture of dolphins and porpoises. The letter does not assert a position in regards to the TPP, rather, it attempts to inject the growing concern over Japan’s wanton slaughter of cetacean species into the next round of trade talks scheduled to be held from February 17 – 19, 2014. News of the letter, sent to Ambassador Kennedy’s office yesterday afternoon, was broken by the Associated Press at 12:00pm in Japan, and triggered an avalanche of international news coverage overnight.

    Sean Penn, Jennifer Hudson, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Oliver Stone are among a portion of the laundry list of undersigned celebrities, each expressing outrage over the slaughter. The letter specifically focuses on the seasonal drive hunt held annually in Japan’s Taiji Cove.

    “Since the start of the Taiji drive hunt season on September 1, 2013, over 600 dolphins have been slaughtered,” states the letter “…and over 149 were taken captive, slated to live lonely, degrading, psychosis-inducing lives analogous to enslavement at amusement parks, as chronicled in the film ‘Blackfish’. The drive hunt and slaughter of 20,000 dolphins, porpoises and small whales that occurs throughout Japan each year is Japan’s shame. These barbaric drives, that began in 1969, must be stopped immediately.”

    The TPP and the process in which any agreement will be reached has remained largely shrouded from public discourse. The letter expresses some of the groups frustration regarding the TPP’s lack of transparency and avoidance of democratic process…

    “Corporations have spent the past two years marking-up the language of the TPP to serve their interests, should human compassion not be afforded the same privilege as business interests?”

    The full text of the letter can be read below. A Japanese translation of the letter is available to share HERE.  A copy of the original can be viewed HERE.



    Russell Simmons
    February 5, 2014


    Dear Ambassador Kennedy,

     

    We, the undersigned, ask you to personally deliver this petition to President Barack Obama urging him to NOT sign the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) until Japan bans the slaughter and capture of Dolphins in Taiji.

    Following the graphic news reports on January 17th that five pods of Bottlenose dolphins were driven into Taiji’s infamous killing cove, leaving 40 slaughtered and 51 captured, people watching from around the world were left heartbroken. In the wake of this massacre, thousands expressed their gratitude to you for expressing your opposition to these killings and captures on social media. We join them in gratitude for your concern for the dolphins of Japan.

    Images of the panicked Bottlenose (more than 250 in total-including a very rare white calf who may be blind and/or deaf) broke the hearts of millions, as they watched the live-streamed coverage, or viewed photographs taken by those present during the drive hunt. The widely-shared video documenting terrified families of dolphins clinging together as Taiji fisherman ran them over with their boats, cordoned them off with nets, and drove them towards the killing cove, has sparked an international outcry to end this brutality.

    Since the start of this Taiji drive hunt season on September 1, 2013, over 600 dolphins have been slaughtered, and over 149 were taken captive, slated to live lonely, degrading, psychosis-inducing lives analogous to enslavement at amusement parks, as chronicled in the film “Blackfish”. The drive hunt and slaughter of 20,000 dolphins, porpoises and small whales that occurs throughout Japan each year is Japan’s shame. These barbaric drives, that began in 1969, must be stopped immediately.

    We, the undersigned, are not using this petition to assert a position in regards to the TPP, rather we are underscoring that your influential voice in defense of the dolphins of Japan is instrumental in expressing to the White House the importance of making their slaughter and captive trade a key factor in the negotiations ahead. Corporations have spent the past two years marking-up the language of the TPP to serve their interests, should human compassion not be afforded the same privilege as business interests? Although we understand that the negotiations have been quite lengthy, at this point, we feel the only way to end these heinous crimes against dolphins migrating through Japan’s waters is to inject our position into the current conversation regarding the trade agreement.

    The world is looking to you, Ambassador Kennedy, and to our government to send a clear message to Japan that this atrocity must be banned NOW.

     

    For the dolphins, For all of humanity,

    Russell Simmons & Simone Reyes


    with


    Sean Penn
    Mia Farrow
    Sam Simon
    Cher
    Moby
    Ann Wilson
    Emily Deschanel
    Ingrid Newkirk / PETA
    Diane Warren
    Courtney Love
    Captain Paul Watson
    Susan Sarandon
    Chris DeRose / Last Chance for Animals
    Jennifer Hudson
    Nick Cannon
    Melissa Carbone / TTO Productions
    Shannon Elizabeth
    Oliver Stone
    Trevor Neilson / Global Philanthropy Group
    Nathan Runkle / Mercy for Animals
    Ellen DeGeneres
    Gene Baur / Farm Sanctuary
    Ian Somerhalder
    Olivia Munn
    Kellan Lutz
    Shannen Doherty
    Charlize Theron
    Cameron Diaz
    Alicia Silverstone
    Channing and Jenna Tatum
    Woody Harrelson
    Pamela Anderson
    Sharon Lawrence
    William Shatner
    Tony Kanal
    Gwyneth Paltrow
    Jennifer Aniston
    Josh Gad
    Nancy Wilson
    Ric O’Barry / The Cove / The Dolphin Project
    Reverend Jesse Jackson

     
  15. eupraxsophy:

    Chechens praying in their recently devastated capital, Grozny. …there is something beautiful about this contrast of tranquility against devastation. 

    (via smellslikedeenspirit)