Archive for the ‘RNC’ Category

THIS WEEK ON WAKING UP ORWELL

There was no time budget to produce a radio program this week.  HOWEVER, we do have details on an important digest of topics we would have slated for the program.  We liken it to leaving you the place to yourself with an elaborate feast in the fridge and an apology for having to duck out this week.

THERE’S STILL A LOT OF COVERAGE!!

Here’s a sneak peak into NY’s spycam society c/o Loss of Privacy

http://cnettv.cnet.com/av/video/cbsnews/atlantis2/player-dest.swf
Watch CBS News Videos Online

WHO’S PROTESTING WHAT

SB 1070 drama continues as more protestors were arrested. This time it wasn’t anywhere near Arizona – it was Los Angeles.  Protests are ongoing in Arizona.  5 more people were arrested; this time over Don’t Ask Don’t Tell at Senator McCain’s office.

Speaking of protest arrests, Amy Goodman is now suing the city of St. Paul Minnesota over her arrest at the RNC. That was an obstruction of real journalism. I recall over 130 accredited journalists were arrested during the 2008 RNC . Many citizen journalists were also arrested and had to deal with bail and charges out of pocket. TruthOut found gaps in the journalism shield laws which didn’t protect their rights.  Bloggers, like Gizmodo editor Jason Chen, aren’t covered. Chen’s home was raided last month over the search for an iPhone prototype. A hearing is scheduled this Friday to sort out what is legal or illegal search and siezure of a blogger’s workplace – which, typically, is their home. We are talking a batched violation here of both 1st and 4th Amendments if Apple and the Redwood City PD are wrong about this.

Along with journalists, the numbers of regular citizens engaged in the political process were arrested en masse along with the dispatch of sonic weaponry during the RNC protests. The Center for Investigative Reporting cites a new book revealing a troubling amount of pre-emptive spying, specifically targeting activists.  COPBOOK, authored by retired policeman Richard Greelis delves more into, the now infamous, Minnesota police “Welcoming Committee” for the RNC and a charachter dubbed Chicken Little.

IF YOU MISSED IT:  A Miami TSA employee lost a lot more than his personal privacy due to an airport body scanner.  The TSA agent became angry over a derisive comment made about the size of his “junk” as he passed through a body scanner.  He then assaulted his co-worker and went to jail.

AND ONE TIME @ PRIVACY CAMP

As always please share the information you find on BeatTheChip.org with others on the net. It’s just a very sad sad reality that Facebook has gone from friend to Facecrook. Stolen and bogus webprofiles are being sold now on the black market. The depth and breadth of the privacy violations caused me to cut short our 20 day evaluation period of their webservice. This years Privacy Camp in San Francisco was little more than a succession of support group circles given tasks on how to deal with the betrayal of our basic trusts as consumers using what I will call now Facecrook. Even if I do have to pay for Ning – I’m already feeling the pains of separation. One condolence coming out of the Center for Democracy & Technology camp is a step by step method to put Facecrook on a privacy lockdown. It’s about 33 steps. Please take them if your not strong enough to leave Mark Zukerberg’s technology.

I’m not sure he should get custody of our friends in the divorce.  There were long discussions about portability earning terms of refugee status.  Social networks numbered in the thousands who would move to temporary another social network or disperse and reconvene at a different time and place.

Our decision became crystalline to delete our profile as it was carefully explained to me that we are “paying” for free services by allowing them – knowingly or unknowingly – to sell the transactional information we give them while using their service.   Since I’m almost violently against surveillance I’m not going to volunteer up for it for free, when I know better.

I’ve seen a lot of hit pieces on FB but I think what really did it in for me was when I saw vitaminWater’s :::connect flavor, a smart beverage partner with Facebook with the the image of a fingerprint on it.  The first words on the bottle’s product description were accusatorial and predatory: “We caught you. Your fingerprints are all over this bottle.”  It was then I decided with finality I would delete ALL of my Facebook accounts.

If you prefer mediation: Wired magazine has called for an Open Alternative.

In this week’s DIY Government:

THE GOVERNMENT PHONES ARE OPEN, but we prefer you to write your Congressional leaders a handwritten note about the most critical issue of your day: your identity.   

There is a window open right now to state how much you really oppose another national ID card program.  If you are opposed to the digital use of your fingerprints or any future biometrics in a social security card or any other form of identification required to work.  You should be heard and heard clearly.  Watch the following video if you fall into the “silent majority” of people who don’t relish a national ID card.  (Pssst! Everyone has power. Especially you!)

Here’s an excellent tutorial:

http://video.ted.com/assets/player/swf/EmbedPlayer.swf

NO CAMERAS FOR SAN BRUNO

Special effort award: San Bruno for counting the cost ahead of time and heading off Redflex at the pass. They won’t be signing up for the radar any time soon due to expenses. They performed a preliminary audit – a strategy which is working very very well for the Bay area to opt out of more undue surveillance.

LAST BUT NOT LEAST:  Announcement of a new segment titled: “HEY CITIZEN! Prove You’re Not A Terrorist ”  Because every week it’s something else…

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BTC Special Digest

Reports of random and inconsistent citation and arrests of citizens for merely being at the wrong place at the wrong time are still being defined a week later after hundreds of arrests took place September 4th during the RNC in St.Paul, Minn.

Protest arrest totals are currently approximating around 800, among them AP Reporters, network producers, bloggers and anyone else unfortunate enough to be on the wrong side of the freeway. Professional journalists are still gathering current totals and details of the arrests. Most arrests fell under the offense of “unlawful assembly” after marching permits had expired. September 4th, arrest criterion were simplified for officers making instantaneous decisions on who to detain and cite on the basis who was “north of I-94 past the blockade” after 4 PM prior to McCain’s acceptance speech.



The unconfirmed total of credentialled journalists arrested are over 30. Uncredentialled reporters blogging, twittering and videotaping are estimated to be in the hundreds. 2 Fox new people and one Variety journalist were detained on Marion bridge Thursday while reporting the fracas of police trying to disperse and contain crowds.

We asked local reporters from Pioneer Press to give account of reporting the week of the arrests.

“As a journalistic professional, I’m still trying to gather as much information I can to scrutinize the most violent police tactics. As for saying “civil liberties infringement,” I guess that really gets to the question of whether folks “deserved” to be arrested, since an arrest, by its nature, is law enforcement’s declaration that one’s civil liberties are being revoked. Some arrests and police actions obviously require further scrutiny, ” said Minnesota Pioneer Press Reporter, David Orrick.

Orrick categorized the worst accounts of the seemingly arbitrary
arrest environment into several categories such as: dousing apparent passive resisters with pepper spray, deploying tear gas, flashbangs and other aggressive crowd-dispersal agents into masses that are retreating or otherwise appear to be in basic compliance with police orders and engaging in mass arrests, including those of journalists, when it appears some, if not many, of the arrestees were merely trying to observe a protest and still follow police orders.

According to Oreck best place to look for actual arrest accounts and footage of the RNC will be on some of St.Paul and Minnestoa’s television websites and Uptake.org, “You won’t find it on YouTube.” Oreck refuted arrests being politically motivated after witnessing Obama supporters screaming in the face of St. Paul police officers without threat of arrest or challenge by police during approved marches. However, such grace was not extended to fellow local reporter, Ben Carvin when he was arrested while documenting a protest last week.


Journalists embedded with police contacted were not available for comment.
Ruben Rosario of TwinCities.com reported an
unprecidented agreement {with the City of }St. Paul reached with the City’s attorney John Choi in January of 2007. The agreement stipulated the RNC committee to pay $1.1-million to insure it against any lawsuits ariving out of alleged police misconduct, excessive force, up to $10-million. The other was adoption of the use of a mobile police field unit that would focus on those outside peaceful protestors who planned or carried out acts of vandalism, violence.

“{The}City of Denver took out its insurance policy rider and paid for it through the $50-million fed grant both cities got to pay for convention. St. Paul did one better by having the RNC host committee foot the 1.1-million premium for the $10-million policy in the event of lawsuits arising out of police-related behavior. Both cities purchased their polices through Boston-based Lexington Insurance Co.”
– Ruben Rosario, TwinCities.com

No confirmed word yet on a class action lawsuit against the city, the current number of individual suits filed, or suits and insurance claims filed against the RNC.

In the last two weeks we have experienced the vicarious troubles of citizens, media and then citizen media attempting to assemble reports on police-to-protest interactions during both the Democratic and Republican National conventions.

Tear Gas & Twittering : BeatTheChip, chose to follow Freeople’s AxXiom during the RNC who gave a report late last week that she and others avoided arrest by Twittering. She had seen 5 Austinites pulled over for “looking bad” – punk-rock styled protestors – and arrested before they got out of the car. We chatted from a St. Paul bathroom where she told me for the first time in her life she had witnessed American’s being tear gassed. Real ID activists were targeted, leaflets were confiscated, according to Ron Paul activist, Brady Wright. Some of her friends claimed that arrests appeared to be politically motivated.

Riot police team harassing wheelchair bound protestors.

Sarah Palin, did some good work to end the reign of Real ID in Alaska.

“Governor Palin and the Alaska legislature deserve praise from all Alaskans for standing up to the federal government,” added Jeffrey Mittman, executive director of the ACLU of Alaska. “Officials of both parties came together to pass legislation that will not only protect the privacy of Alaskans, but will protect their pocketbooks as well by rejecting Real ID’s massive financial burden.”

What happens when Ron Paul’s sidekick changes horses to tow the Republican party line? You get VP nominee, Sarah Palin. Here is just one example of how this woman can do-no-right after hitching her train to McCain’s straight-to-war express.

According to Liberty Maven, Palin is against offshore drilling.

According to Progressive news makers, Palin is a big oil champion.

Neither one has a favorable report on Palin, amid other press reports Palin is both fat and unattractive and then given too many advantages because she is attractive, has both no control over her children’s reproductive morality and is also lauded for standing by her pro-life principles. Voters… YOU DECIDE!!

This election is proving the base stupidity of people who are paid to report the news. One thing is for sure, this state Governor has a tough election ahead of her and the mud slinging has just begun.

The War Party Takes a Pre-Emptive Strike on Protestors.

Upon recieving personal reports that snoopy paratroopers were rooting in Minnesotas moving garbage like racoons in riot gear, I am not convinced over-policing grassroots opposition is the best execution of tax money. I have recently learned of a term called COINTELPRO we should all be aware of when dealing with steroid driven, amped police who may be given extra $$ for arrest quotas.

I wonder how much these Military Police were paid to arrest and attempt to discredit Democracy Now! producer, Amy Goodman.

Is there any question that this might-is-right mentality is communicating that the US Constitution is under suspension? You may not love Amy Goodman and her political roots but she had a right to report the news and so did her producers.

MORE JOURNALISTS DEFENDING THEMSELVES HERE

Grassroots Netroots Alliance will be at this event:
Oil Change International- Protest of Delegate Support for Oil Companies
WHEN: 8:30pm, Tuesday, September 2nd
WHERE: 510 1st Ave N, Minneapolis, MN 55403

If you are not detained or beat up from that event, you can crash this breakfast party.

Join the CEOs of Big Oil in Thanking the Texas Republican Delegates at their Hotel
WHEN: 8:00am, Wednesday, September 3rd (Yes, 8:00AM)
WHERE: Crowne Plaza Hotel 11 East Kellogg Blvd. ST. Paul, MN

“The CEOs of ExxonMobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, BP, Shell and Hess will be hosting a party at the hotel where the Texas Republican Delegates are staying to thank the Republican Party, the Bush Administration and Senator John McCain for the war in Iraq, skyrocketing gas prices at the pump, record breaking corporate profits for Big Oil and their excellent performance in blocking every effort to reduce carbon emissions and our nation’s reliance on fossil fuels.

Wear your finest Republican Party clothes and we will provide Republican Party hats, “Oily Dollars”, loot bags, “Freedom Flags” (flags with oil company logos) and yellow “Support Our Oil Companies” ribbons.

Be prepared to dance and roll around in the millions of “Oily Dollars” that the industry gives back to Republican candidates (74% of Big Oil contributions go to Republicans) and the $1.2 million Senator John McCain has received from oil companies–three quarters of which came immediately after he reversed his previous opposition to offshore drilling.

CodePink, Courage to Resist, Global Exchange, Oil Change USA, Rainforest Action Network and the Ronald Reagan Home for the Criminally Insane had no part in organizing this Republican Rally. “

HAVE FUN.. AND DON’T FORGET TO PROTEST REAL ID!!

BTC Digest

Virginia DMVs prepare for Long Lines c/o WVRA.com

The REAL ID act will require all Virginians to go to the DMV once their driver’s licenses expire to get a more “secure” card. The federal government is pushing the change so that driver’s licenses can be used as de facto national ID cards.

ENVIRONMENTAL DAMAGES
FOLLOW REAL ID
Border Fence Provisions Questioned
Tucson flooding blamed on fence construction with poor enviromental oversight. (AP)

In the last several days, there have been numerous reports about border fence construction damaging the environment. These findings are putting pressure on the DHS to uphold their bargain to include strict environmental oversights to their expeditious construction. The incomplete border fence is an issue not just affecting environmental lands, but land owners fighting with emminent domain claims. The expansion of the Border Fence was greenlighted as a provision in the Real ID Act of 2005.

SAN DIEGO : Duncan Hunter Amended Real ID Act to Include Border Fence

c/o San Diego Times

“If people want to come here, they are going to come,” he said. “I see it as a barrier that needs to lead to a solution. That’s the only way I can face it.” – Mike McCoy, Estuary Activist.

At first, the two agreed on the idea of a border fence to stem illegal immigration traffic through Imperial Beach. From Hunter’s point of view, the fence would keep undocumented migrants and drug smugglers out of the country. From McCoy’s, it would keep the estuary from being hammered by foot traffic.

For Duncan Hunter, who lives in Alpine and leaves Congress after an unsuccessful bid last year for the Republican presidential nomination, it’s the achievement of a goal that became a personal crusade. SEE THE FRUIT OF HUNTER’S WORK HERE

“It became clear that we would never get permission,” he said. “So we wrote the waiver language into the Real ID Act.”

The purpose of the Real ID Act of 2005 was to impose federal security standards on state identification cards. Hunter added language that would allow the Homeland Security secretary to supersede laws stopping fence construction.

“The security of the country is the primary interest,” he said. “In carrying out that interest, the environment can be accommodated.”

Hunter said ponds and structures can arrest silt that results from the operation. McCoy hopes there will be such protections but isn’t confident.

His best hope, McCoy said, is that if the fence comes down some day, what damage occurs can be repaired. He also has given quite a bit of thought to the fences he once thought were a good idea.


FRIENDSHIP PARK: Border Park Visitors Detained and Aggressively Questioned

c/o North County Times

“We ask our policy makers and public officials to visit Friendship Park, and witness the gash the border inflicts on the environment and the people of the San Diego and Tijuana communities.” – Christian Ramirez, Border visitor detained for filming at Friendship Park

For generations, friends and families from San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico, have gathered peacefully in Friendship Park at the edge of the Pacific Ocean. Now Border Patrol agents threaten this tradition by questioning and detaining people who visit this special public space. On Aug. 5, I was detained and then arrested while filming there. Later that night, I was released with no charges filed against me.

On June 23, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear a case presented by environmentalists, who argued that the continued construction of the border wall along the international divide between Mexico and the U.S. violated nearly 40 federal laws and regulations, including the Endangered Species Act and the Clean Water Act. A few days later, construction began immediately along an area adjacent to the Tijuana River Estuary, which was declared “a wetland of international importance” by the United Nations Ramsar Convention in 2005.

The American Friends Service Committee has been documenting the impact of the border wall construction along the Tijuana River Valley area, just west of the San Ysidro International Port of Entry. The Friends are also tracking incidents of harassment against visitors to the park.

Environmental advocates had their concerns tabled when Congress passed the REAL ID Act, which allows the secretary of Homeland Security to set aside all environmental laws that could impede building the border wall.

MISSION, Texas – Environmentalists Warn of a Future Where Laws No Longer Apply

c/o Brownsville Herald

“In the past, environmental laws have enabled us to work out compromises (with federal authorities),” said Jim Chapman, chairman of the Sierra Club’s Lower Rio Grande Valley Chapter.

National representatives of the Sierra Club warned on Friday that the Bush administration’s proposed relaxation of the Endangered Species Act could lead to an ongoing disregard of environmental laws, with results echoing construction of the U.S.-Mexico border fence.

Under the new provisions, federal agencies would have the authority to independently determine whether construction projects will impact endangered species, advocates warn.

On Friday, after spotting the rare Mexican bluewing and Malachite butterflies in the North American Butterfly Association Park, Sierra Club members visited a border fence construction site near Donna, where bulldozers unearthed vegetation and replaced shrubs with metal girders. The construction illustrated their concerns.

According to the Sierra Club, the Rio Grande Valley is home to the third largest number of endangered species in the country, with 21 species federally listed as threatened or endangered.


TUCSON, AZ – Border fence design blasted as cause of flooding
c/o Austin Statesman

“While the Bush administration may claim it’s taking environmental impacts of the border wall into consideration, building wire mesh fences across washes prone to debris-laden floods is fundamentally flawed,” said Robin Silver, a spokesman for the Center for Biological Diversity.

Flooding blamed on a border security fence in southwestern Arizona shows the structure is being built too quickly and without regard for the environment, critics say.

Debris and water backed up at the fence during a storm July 12, leading to flooding at the port of entry at Lukeville, Ariz., and Sonoyta, Sonora, and at the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument.

“One of the reasons for it was the debris that accumulated on the fence itself,” said Lee Baiza, superintendent of the monument.

Environmental groups have criticized how the Army Corps of Engineers and federal contractors have designed and built a range of fencing and vehicle barriers along the Arizona-Mexico border.

In particular, they’ve denounced Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff’s waiver of environmental laws to hasten construction of the 670 miles of fences and other barriers planned by year’s end along the nearly 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexico border.

Defenders of Wildlife spokesman Matt Clark said what happened at Organ Pipe validates the warnings voiced to Homeland Security before construction started.

“It doesn’t take an expert hydrologist to anticipate the potential for these walls to become like dams,” Clark said.

IN OTHER NEWS:

The Welcome Mat
St Pauls, MN has a quiet welcome mat for Republican National Convention protesters.

Denver, CO has a much better publicized welcome mat.