Professor Steven Salaita was terminated from a tenured faculty position at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) because he sent out tweets through his personal Twitter account that were critical of Israel’s assault on Gaza. Yesterday, he delivered his first statement on what happened to a room full of supporters on the UIUC campus—a number of which had walked out of their classes.
|By: Kevin Gosztola Wednesday September 10, 2014 1:35 pm|
|By: Kevin Gosztola Friday September 5, 2014 6:47 am|
A federal district court judge in Idaho has declined to dismiss a lawsuit filed by a coalition of groups and journalists against a law that makes it possible for the state to jail anyone, who secretly films or records animal abuse, for a year.
In February, Idaho became the seventh state to pass an “ag-gag law” or a farm secrecy statute aimed at political speech on industrial agricultural production.
|By: Peter Van Buren Tuesday September 2, 2014 8:56 am|
Nydia Tisdale is a citizen journalist in Georgia. She does not get paid for her work, but instead sees it as a civic duty to record politicians and the political process, and then upload those videos to YouTube. What she does is in large part what democracy is all about– involved, informed citizens exercising their rights under the First Amendment.
Not in Georgia.
|By: Kevin Gosztola Saturday August 30, 2014 11:25 am|
The National Lawyers Guild had legal observers on the ground in Ferguson to monitor protests against the killing of unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown, by a Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. They were also present to help with jail support for community residents. But, while working, four of the NLG’s observers fell victim to the police occupation they were trying to help Ferguson fight and were arrested.
As Dennis Black, one of the legal observers arrested, commented, “Ferguson is a pilot program of what’s to come when communities respond to police brutality.” He and others had traveled from Detroit to see a preview of what police might do to squelch uprisings there.
|By: DSWright Thursday August 7, 2014 10:33 am|
Despite the protests of Democratic Republic of Congo President Joesph Kabila’s presidency taking place on American soil, President Kabila’s security forces saw fit to brutalize the protesters – beating them right in front of American law enforcement. Video shows what is believed to be a member of President Kabila’s security detail stomp a protester as a US police officer looks on. The thugs walk away and all the police do is offer to call the beaten man an ambulance – protect and serve much?
|By: Jose Cornejo Wednesday July 16, 2014 11:02 am|
An Arizona death row prisoner is arguing that the government’s secrecy is in violation of the First Amendment rights of all citizens to have complete information about the execution process.
|By: Kevin Gosztola Thursday July 10, 2014 6:00 pm|
he American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit on behalf of five United States citizens challenging a domestic surveillance program, which involves the collection of “suspicious activity reports” on individuals.
The federal government has a National Suspicious Activity Reporting Initiative (NSI) that, according to the ACLU’s filed complaint [PDF], “encourages state and local law enforcement agencies as well as private actors to collect and report information that has a potential nexus to terrorism in the form of so-called ‘suspicious activity reports [SARs].’”
Any individual who is flagged as having a “potential nexus to terrorism” will automatically be subject to “law enforcement scrutiny.
|By: Peter Van Buren Monday June 30, 2014 2:32 pm|
Does this matter when talking about the NSA’s and the FBI’s technological dragnet? Maybe. Some suggest that law enforcement will work around the new restrictions by seeking perfunctory, expedited warrants automatically for each arrest, or through the use of technologies such as Stingray, which can electronically gather cell conversations without warrant. Stingray can also be used to track a person’s movements without a warrant, negating the old-school GPS devices the Supreme Court declared require a warrant.
|By: Kevin Gosztola Thursday June 19, 2014 4:20 pm|
The United States Supreme Court ruled that the First Amendment protects public employees who provide testimony during corruption trials from job retaliation, such as being fired.
The case, Lane v. Franks, involves Edward Lane, who according to NPR was “hired in 2006 to head a program for juvenile offenders” at Central Alabama Community College that provided “counseling and education as an alternative to incarceration.” The program “received substantial federal funds.”
|By: Kevin Gosztola Thursday June 19, 2014 9:10 am|
A federal district court judge in the state of Washington has dismissed a major lawsuit challenging alleged domestic military spying against antiwar activists. He made the choice not to do his job, admitted to lawyers representing activists that he had not reviewed all the evidence and issued a decision that could seriously jeopardize the ability of citizens to dissent in American society if it is allowed to stand.