Showing posts with label Protest. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Protest. Show all posts

November 27, 2018

Jury Selection Begins For The Supremacist Trump Man That Drove Car Into Crowd Killing Heather Heyer

Jury selection begins today in the trial of the man accused of ramming his car through a crowd of people protesting a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va. James Alex Fields, Jr. is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Heather Heyer, and faces additional charges of malicious wounding.
One of those wounded was Star Peterson. When the August 12, 2017 "Unite the Right" rally erupted in violence, Peterson was with a multi-racial group of counter-protesters marching downtown. She didn't see the gray Dodge Challenger coming from behind, accelerating down a hill on a narrow one-way street.
"I just heard three bumps," she recalls. "Two of them were his left tires going over my leg."
Star Peterson was injured when a car rammed into a crowd in August, 2017, during a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va.
Debbie Elliott/NPR
Sporting neon-pink pigtails and a Black Lives Matter t-shirt, 38-year-old Peterson now uses a cane for walking. She's had five surgeries and has not been able to go back to work due to the severity of her injuries.
"He broke both of my legs, two parts of my spine, and one rib and then [I] also had a pretty big laceration that had to be sewn up," she says.
Peterson plans to testify at the trial.
"I need to do something for Heather other than just lay flowers at her grave and if I can be part of prosecuting the person who killed her then that's something I can do for her memory," says Peterson.  
Authorities say Fields, a 21-year old white man from Ohio, deliberately plowed his car into the anti-racist demonstration and say he had earlier participated in the rally with chants promoting white supremacy.Image result for Fields, a 21-year old white man from Ohio,
Fields have pleaded not guilty. His court-appointed defense attorney, Denise Lunsford, declined to comment on the case.
Lunsford has sought to have the trial moved outside of Charlottesville, arguing the impact of the event on local residents and widespread publicity will prevent Fields from getting a fair and reasonable trial.
Charlottesville Circuit Court Judge Richard E. Moore has taken the defense motion for a change of venue under advisement. He says if an impartial jury cannot be found from the large jury pool of 360 people, he will revisit the matter.
Key evidence from prosecutors will include graphic videos shared on social media by witnesses.
"I feel like the court's going to be watching my daughter die again, over and over and over," says Susan Bro, Heather Heyer's mother.
She's ready to get the trial over with and hopes selecting a jury won't prove to be an issue.
"I want them to have a completely fair and impartial trial," she says. "I don't want to have to redo this 15 times."
She says she feels like the process could go on for years if there are appeals. But no matter what happens, she wants to see the case through.
"I have never hated Mr. Fields because I felt like he's in the hands of justice now," says Bro. "But I do pray that justice prevails here."
The broader community is also looking for justice as it seeks to reconcile the forces that made Charlottesville shorthand for racial strife.
"Where we go from here I don't I don't know," says Don Gathers, co-founder of the local chapter of Black Lives Matter.
Don Gathers, a deacon at historic First Baptist Church and co-founder of the Charlottesville chapter of Black Lives Matter.
Debbie Elliott/NPR
"We've got to figure out how to make Charlottesville more than just a hash tag again, and more than just a blip on the racist history of this country," he says.
Gathers has served on several citizen advisory panels — including the city's Blue Ribbon Commission on Race, Memorials, and Public Spaces.
He says there's been an awakening that this is the focus of a new civil rights battle.
"We've reached a point now that we've got to stop having the conversations about race and start talking about the real elephant in the room which is racism."
Addressing systemic racism is a goal of the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation. It's raised over a million dollars for the Heal Charlottesville Fund.
"Part of what we heard from our community that was needed for the healing was opportunities to act, opportunities to really be good and honest about our collective history," says Foundation President Brennan Gould. "And also to start to act in ways that that will help address the impacts of that history."
The foundation has funded an initiative to increase teacher diversity for instance and to improve security in the Jewish Community. Gould says the ongoing focus is helping injured survivors with myriad needs including rent, utilities, medical bills, and counseling.
"It seemed like the world had moved on in a way," she says. "And yet people were still very much living and dealing with the consequence of that tragedy."
One way the fund helps survivors is through a grant to social worker Matthew Christensen at Partner for Mental Health. He serves as a navigator, helping people deal with things like filling out disability applications or finding accessible housing.
"It's a lot of whatever they need," says Christensen.
Right now they need help coping with the trial, which he says could be re-traumatizing. But Christensen says the trial itself is an opportunity for accountability.
"For the perpetrator to face real consequences because that's something that people struggle with — not seeing the organizers like Jason Kessler or Richard Spencer face real consequences legally for organizing this rally."
Four rally participants have been convicted related to the violence, but rally organizers have not been charged with any crime. The organizers face a civil lawsuit, however, brought by Charlottesville residents who sued under the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871.
Survivor Star Peterson is bracing for her testimony in Fields' trial. But she thinks justice will be elusive.
"There can't really be justice," Peterson says. "We can't undo what's been done. We can't bring Heather back."
If convicted on the Virginia charges, Fields could be sentenced up to life in prison.
He's also been indicted on federal hate crime charges, which allow for the death penalty.

November 10, 2016

Many Thousands Protest Trump Across the US


 This was NYC but there were similar mass protest in other major cities

Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets in Manhattan on Wednesday night and converged on Trump Tower in Midtown to protest the election of Donald J. Trump as president.

Similar protests happened in several cities across the country, including Boston, Chicago, Seattle and Washington, and at college campuses in California, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania.

In New York, the protests started in separate waves from Union Square and Columbus Circle and snaked their way through Midtown.

The protesters chanted “Not our president” and “New York hates Trump” and carried signs that said, among other things, “Dump Trump.” Restaurant workers in their uniforms briefly left their posts to cheer on the demonstrators.

The demonstrations, which appeared to be largely peaceful, forced streets to be closed, snarled traffic and drew a large police presence.

Protesters gathered outside Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue near 56th Street, where the president-elect lives. Loaded dump trucks lined Fifth Avenue for two blocks outside the tower as a form of protection.

Emanuel Perez, 25, of the Bronx, who works at a restaurant in Manhattan and grew up in Guerrero, Mexico, was among the many Latinos in the crowd.

“I came here because people came out to protest the racism that he’s promoting,” he said in Spanish, referring to Mr. Trump. “I’m not scared for myself personally. What I’m worried about is how many children are going to be separated from their families. It will not be just one. It will be thousands of families.”

Protesters with umbrellas beat a piñata of Mr. Trump, which quickly lost a leg, outside the building.

The Police Department said on Wednesday night that 15 protesters had been arrested.

Bianca Rivera, 25, of East Harlem, described Mr. Trump’s election as something that was “not supposed to happen.”

“We’re living in a country that’s supposed to be united, a melting pot,” she said. “It’s exposing all these underground racists and sexists.”

After Mr. Trump’s victory speech, more than 2,000 students at the University of California, Los Angeles, marched through the streets of the campus’s Westwood neighborhood.

There were similar protests at the University of Southern California, in Los Angeles; University of California campuses in Berkeley, San Diego and Santa Barbara; Temple University, in Philadelphia; and the University of Massachusetts.

High school students also walked out of classes in protest in several cities.

As U.C.L.A. students made their way to classes on Wednesday, they talked about how to make sense of an outcome that had seemed impossible a day earlier.

“I’m more than a little nervous about the future,” said Blanca Torres, a sophomore anthropology major. “We all want to have conversations with each other, to figure out how to move forward. There’s a whole new reality out there for us now.”

Chuy Fernandez, a fifth-year economics student, said he was eager to air his unease with his peers.

“I’m feeling sad with this huge sense of uncertainty,” Mr. Fernandez said. The son of a Mexican immigrant, he said it was difficult not to take the outcome personally.

“We’re all just kind of waiting for a ticking time bomb, like looking around and thinking who will be deported,” he said. “That’s the exact opposite of what most of us thought would happen.”

Jennifer Medina and Stephanie Saul contributed reporting.

November 9, 2016

Two Women Showed UpTopless at Polling Place to Protest Trump

Two women were arrested at a midtown New York City polling location Tuesday morning after taking their shirts off and chanting anti-Trump slogans. (I can't exactly make out what they're saying—something about polls? Or balls?) One of the women had something about Trump written on her bare chest, the other had “Femen USA,” a feminist activism group, written on her back. 

Although they were at Donald Trump's designated polling station, it doesn't seem like Trump was present at the time. But this is not the first time nude women have showed up to protest Trump.
Update 11/8, 11:15 a.m.: The New York Daily News reports that the two women are in custody at NYC's 17th precinct pending charges. Getty photos show more clearly what was written on the women’s bodies:

March 20, 2016

In NYC Protesters March Vs.Trump at Some of his Blgs.

NEW YORK -- Hundreds of protesters gathered in front of one of Donald Trump's signature Manhattan buildings Saturday to protest the GOP front-runner, CBS New York reports.
The protesters gathered Saturday in Manhattan's Columbus Circle, across from Central Park, with a heavy police presence. Demonstrators chanted: "Donald Trump, go away, racist, sexist, anti-gay."
They marched across south Central Park to Trump Tower, the Fifth Avenue skyscraper where Trump lives. Then they marched back to Columbus Circle for a rally.
At least two protesters were arrested for walking in the street. A group of demonstrators that tried to break through a police barricade was pushed back by officers, who used pepper spray.
People rally as they take part in a protest against Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump in New York on March 19,2016.
Some protesters at the event told CBS New York station WINS-AM that they couldn't believe Trump has come this far in the election and that they believe his rhetoric is divisive and racist.
"We're here because Donald Trump is the antithesis of what America stands for," one Westchester man said.
"We gotta make sure we get out and vote and make sure our voices are heard," another protester from Manhattan said.
One sign read "Love Trumps Hate." Another read, "Will trade 1 Donald Trump for 25,000 refugees."
There were some Trump supporters at the rally that were heckled, but the protest remained peaceful, WINS-AM reported.
The protest was organized by political group Cosmopolitan Antifascists.
A man dressed up as Donald Trump holds a banner during a protest rally against Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump in New York on March 19,2016.
"Trump's policies threaten many of us in the Black, Latino, LGBTQIA+, Muslim, and other communities," the group said in a Facebook post for the planned protest. "These policies and type of speech has no place in this country and certainly does not have a place in the city that Trump grew his empire in - a city known as a melting pot and home for many of the same people Trump continues to wage war on."
The protest was backed by several activism groups, including ICE-FREE NYC, International Women's Day Coalition, Millions March NYC, Queer DEtainee Empowerment Project, Revolutionaries Against Gendered Oppression Everywhere [RAGE], among others.
Meanwhile, hundreds of immigrant rights advocates also protested in Arizona, where Trump was campaigning ahead of their upcoming primary.
A week ago, protesters forced Trump to cancel a campaign event in Chicago after they and supporters of the Republican front-runner faced off in several violent altercations.

September 5, 2015

Trump Security Guard Hits Protester on the Head (video)Trump Bring Charges Vs. Protester

A still from NY1's footage of Galicia being hit in the face. 
One of Donald Trump's security guards punched a protester in the face outside of Trump Plaza yesterday—in front of a large crowd of reporters—during a protest coinciding with Trump's official pledge of loyalty to the Republican Party. Many of the protesters were Latino, demonstrating against Trump's track record of racist anti-immigration comments.  Video first published by NY1 Noticias shows the guard, identified by the Daily Caller as Trump's director of security Keith Schiller, grabbing a large blue sign that reads "Trump: Make America Racist Again" from several protesters. One of the protesters, identified by NY1 as Efraín Galicia, proceeds to run after Schiller and grab him from behind near the entrance to the building. Schiller then spins around and hits Galicia in the face with his right hand. 
Galicia stumbles back and a second security guard grabs onto him, appearing, as the News points out, to briefly put him in a chokehold. "This man thinks he can do whatever he wants in this country, and we're going to stop him," Galicia told reporters in Spanish. 
Galicia compared his attack to Trump's security team kicking Univision anchor Jorge Ramos out of an Iowa news conference last week. Trump had his security team remove Ramos when the anchor asked a question without first being called on (he was eventually allowed to return). 
Following yesterday’s incident, the Trump campaign told the NYTimes that Schiller had been "jumped from behind" and that they would "likely be pressing charges."


May 4, 2015

Ethiopian Israelis Violent Protest Against Police Brutality and Racism in Israel

Protesting what they say is police brutality toward Israeli Ethiopians, hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets of Tel Aviv on Sunday afternoon, blocking traffic on major arteries and junctions.
Following a standoff with police outside a major intersection in the city, the protestors succeeded in circumventing security blocks and accessing the main Tel Aviv–Jerusalem highway, bringing traffic to a complete halt in both directions at the height of rush hour.
Sunday’s demonstration followed a protest in Jerusalem on Thursday, which culminated in violent clashes between police and the Ethiopian demonstrators.
Both protests were prompted by an incident early last week, in which police were caught on video assaulting an Ethiopian soldier who did not move immediately upon their request. (The police were trying to clear the area around him because of a suspicious object.)
Joining the Israeli Ethiopians at today’s protest were hundreds of supporters, including social activists, youth movement participants, and Knesset members from various parties on the center and left.
Many of the protestors said they had come to demonstrate not only against police brutality but also against what they say is pervasive racism in Israeli society. Last week’s incident, they said, was the trigger.
Several of the demonstrators explained to Haaretz what brought them out into the streets of Tel Aviv.
Dana Sibaho, a 29-year-old bookkeeper from the southern town of Netivot, who immigrated to Israel in 1991.
“We have long been the punching bag and scapegoat for everything in this country. People say that they’re with us, that they brought us here. They didn’t bring us here. We came because of Zionism, not like others who came for economic benefits. When you’re a Zionist, you believe with a full heart that this is your country.
"Our forefathers lived here, and we also have the right to live here. But what is going on now is simply a catastrophe. It is racism for the sake of racism. You look for a job today, and even if you’re the best around, there’s a price. Your color carries a price.
"But we will not stay silent any longer. We are not our parents’ generation, who kept quiet, kept their heads down and said ‘amen’ to everything. That period is over. We are a new generation fighting for our rights.
"We are the first to volunteer for the elite units in the military. I personally know many in the community who’ve already fought in three wars. And the state – what it does it tell them to do? Pardon the expression, but it tells them to go stick it you know where. “
Dana Sibaho.
Yoav Gared, a 26-year-old former member of the Givati brigade from Beit Shemesh.
“We’ve come not only because of police violence, but also because of the racism in society here. We feel it in the workplace and in the neighborhood.
"The important thing is getting the following message out to the entire nation of Israel: We will not stay silent any longer. We will not accept violence any longer – not from the police and not from anyone else. I personally have never been a victim of police violence, but I’ve witnessed other members of the community who have been.”
Yoav Gared.
Getenet (last name withheld), a 40-year-old from the West Bank town of Ariel, who immigrated to Israel in 1984.
“I’m here today out of solidarity with that soldier who was beaten up. A soldier in uniform doesn’t deserve to get what he got. A soldier in uniform deserves to be respected and appreciated. But it’s not just that. That was the spark that triggered it all, but there are many young Ethiopians who are sitting in jail today for nothing. No reason at all. It’s painful. I took a day off work for this because it’s so important for me to make my voice heard.”
Maya Tzagay, a 19-year-old soldier, from Netanya, who was born in Israel.
“There are too many instances of racism against our community. We kept quiet and kept quiet, and because of that, people who were victims of police violence ended up killing themselves. The boy who was beat up last week, you can see on the video that he didn’t do anything. He was beaten up for nothing, and it’s really enraging.
"What we’re doing now has nothing to do with what’s going on in Baltimore. They have their issues. We have ours. But we understand them – we both suffer from racism. There, it’s more extreme. People were murdered by police. Here they just got beaten up. Who knows? Maybe somebody was killed by police here, and we don’t even know about it.
"In any event, we will not be silent any longer. It can’t be that our blood is only good for fighting wars.”
Maya Tzagay.
Itay Kefale, a 29 year old from Bat Yam, near Tel Aviv, who immigrated to Israel in 2005.
“I’m here because I want to bring about change, God willing, to the new generation. What happened last week with the Ethiopian soldier, we don’t deserve that. So I came here so that my voice would also be heard and so that in the future, what happened to our brother doesn’t happen to my son and to your son. Enough already.”
Itay Kefale.
Zemene Melesse, a 46-year-old singer from the ultra-Orthodox town of Bnei Brak, who immigrated to Israel in 1991. 
“I’m here because of the racism against the Ethiopian community. For years, we’ve suffered from this racism, at work, when we go out, everywhere. When I get on stage at clubs, the police immediately interfere. They ask to see our identification cards. They try to get us to stop playing. What’s happening here today has nothing to do with what’s happening in Baltimore, but as a black man, I identify with them.”
Zemene Melesse.
Eli Malasa, a 33-year-old from Netivot, who immigrated to Israel in 1999.
“Why am I here? Because of the police who beat us and open files on us. They get promoted on our backs. Whenever they see us hanging out together, having a good time, drinking a little, laughing, they have to break it up and beat us up. They don’t ask questions. They don’t tell us to be quiet. They just beat us up.
"My whole life, wherever I’ve been, that’s been the story. I’m a truck driver, but they took away my license from me, and now I have no work. My brother was beaten to a pulp by them. We don’t even know why, but he’s not willing to do anything now. Not even leave the house. They ruined his life.”
Eli Malasa

January 22, 2015

Justices in the Supreme Court Get Interrupted 5 times as each tried to speak


A Supreme Court argument Wednesday about housing discrimination started with a disruption and included a surprise.

The disruption came shortly after the justices took their seats on the bench at 10 a.m., when a woman rose in the back of the courtroom and yelled, “Overturn Citizens United.” She was hustled from the room. It was the fifth anniversary of the Citizens United ruling, which allowed unlimited political spending by corporations and unions.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. seemed to take the protest in stride. “Our second order of business this morning ...” he started to say, but he was interrupted as a second protester rose, followed, one by one, by five more.

“One person, one vote,” one said.

“We are the 99 percent,” said another.

A group called 99Rise, which says it works to protect democracy, took creditor the protest. 

When all of the protesters had been removed, Chief Justice Roberts said, “We will now continue with our tradition of having open court in the Supreme Court building.”

Wednesday’s surprise came soon after the argument started, when Justice Antonin Scalia seemed to align himself with positions taken by civil rights groups and the Obama administration.

In agreeing to hear the case, on the scope of the Fair Housing Act of 1968, the court seemed to signal that it was poised to take away what civil rights groups say is an important tool to fight housing discrimination.

Without Justice Scalia’s vote, though, that outcome would be in doubt.

The question for the justices was whether plaintiffs suing under the housing law must prove intentional discrimination or merely that the challenged practice has produced a “disparate impact.”

The first kind of proof can be hard to come by, as agencies and businesses seldom announce that they are engaging in purposeful discrimination. But “disparate impact” can be proven using statistics.

The case was the third to present the issue. The earlier two cases were withdrawn just before they were to be argued, because of efforts by civil rights groups and the Obama administration, which were fearful of a loss in the Supreme Court.

The latest case, Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project, No. 13-1371, was brought by a Texas group favoring integrated housing. The group helps its clients, who are mostly lower-income black families, find housing in the Dallas suburbs, which are mostly white.

The families use housing vouchers, but not all landlords accept them. Landlords receiving federal low-income tax credits, however, are required to accept the vouchers.

The fair housing group argued that state officials had violated the Fair Housing Act by giving a disproportionate share of the tax credits to landlords in minority neighborhoods. The trial judge ruled that the group had failed to show intentional discrimination but had proved that the way the credits were allocated had had a disparate impact on minority families.

The crucial moment in the argument came when Justice Scalia said that the 1988 amendments to the law indicated that Congress had intended to include disparate impact claims. 

Continue reading the main story
“When we look at a provision of law,” he said, “we look at the entire provision of law, including later amendments. We try to make sense of the law as a whole.”

“Why doesn’t that kill your case?” he asked Scott A. Keller, Texas’ solicitor general, who was arguing for a narrow interpretation of the law.

Justice Scalia’s position, however reluctantly arrived at, could align him with the court’s four-member liberal wing, all of whom voiced support for a broad interpretation of the law.

“There was a grand goal that Congress had in mind” when it enacted the law, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said. “It meant to undo generations of rank discrimination.”

Mr. Keller said the words of the law plainly excluded disparate impact claims.

But Justices Stephen G. Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan wondered aloud how that could be in light of decisions from 10 federal appeals courts recognizing such claims.

“The law has been against you,” Justice Breyer said. “There’s been disparate impact for 40 years. Now, let me be fair. Maybe it’s only 35. And it’s universally against you. And as far as I can tell, the world hasn’t come to an end.”

When Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr. rose to argue in support of the plaintiffs, he immediately turned to the argument that had seemed attractive to Justice Scalia.

Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. indicated discomfort with the disparate impact theory. Justice Anthony M. Kennedy said little and, as usual, Justice Clarence Thomas said nothing.

October 31, 2014

Groups Slam Singapore Court on Anti gay Ruling

Pro-democracy protesters wearing protective gear stand near a barricade in the Mongkok district of Hong Kong, on October  2014/AFP

Gay rights groups on Thursday slammed a decision by Singapore’s top court to uphold a colonial-era law criminalizing sex between men and urged parliament to strike down the legislation.

Local activists said they were "greatly shocked and disappointed'' by the decision of the Court of Appeal on Wednesday which said that the law is constitutional and that it was up to parliament to repeal it.
“While we appreciate the court's position that it cannot assist in providing a judicial remedy to what it views as a legislative issue, we cannot accept its narrow interpretation of the constitution in this regard,'' said a statement signed by 14 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights groups in the city-state.

Among the signatories was Pink Dot Sg, which organizes an annual pro-gay rights rally that drew over 20,000 people this year.
In its decision, the Court of Appeal reiterated rulings by lower courts that it was up to parliament to repeal the provision in the penal code, known as Section 377A.

It said that under the constitution, matters of social policy ``were outside the remit of the court'' and must be addressed by the elected legislature, responding to challenges to the law by two separate gay appellants.
The gay-rights groups said Section 377A "gives carte blanche for discrimination and reinforces prejudice, leading to censorship in the media and the aggravation of negative stereotypes'' of the LGBT community.
“In view of the court's stance, we call on parliament to demonstrate true leadership and do the right thing by nullifying this crippling piece of legislation,'' they said.

The law, first introduced by British colonial administrators in 1938, is not actively enforced by authorities. It carries a maximum penalty of two years in jail for male homosexual acts.
The government has said however that the provision should stay on the books because most Singaporeans are conservative and do not accept homosexuality.
A scientific survey conducted by researchers at the Nanyang Technological University in 2010 and published last year found Singaporeans' views towards homosexuality gradually becoming more positive compared to attitudes in 2005. 
The LGBT rights movement in the wealthy city-state has grown steadily in recent years, helped by changing social norms among the younger generation and a large influx of tourists and expatriates. 

In a separate statement, international rights group Human Rights Watch urged the Singapore government to follow in the footsteps of other Commonwealth countries like Australia and New Zealand in abolishing archaic laws inherited from colonial rule. 

“Singapore should recognize that its arbitrary restrictions on human sexuality affect not only Singaporeans, but everyone wanting to visit, work, or study in Singapore,’' said Boris Dittrich, the group's LGBT rights advocacy director. --AFP/HKong   

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