Another independent journalist was turned away at the US-Canada border Tuesday on his way to Vancouver to cover protests at the 2010 Olympic Games. John Weston Osburn, a long time indymedia activist, drove 2,000 miles from Salt Lake City to cover Games with the Vancouver Media Cooperative. He was interrogated and denied entry into Canada, making him the second US journalist to be denied entry in the last four days.
VMC: After he was turned around, he went back to the US and tried to re-enter Canada, this time at the truck crossing, where he was again denied entry due to past convictions for misdemeanors. This time, he flipped on his video camera to record the experience. Stopped by homeland security, Osburn was again interrogated about the Olympic protests. When he told homeland security that he wanted to speak to a lawyer,
OSBURN: They told me I didn't have that right, and I wasn't in US or in Canada, I was in no mans land, as the officer described it. I asked again for my lawyer and he replied that he "owned me," he said "I own you," I was told to spread my legs and I was searched, then the put me in a holding cell, I was in the holding cell for about two hours, at one point I asked to use the bathroom, which they later allowed me to do but only, uh, they did so watching me.
VMC: In a disturbing pattern of recent interrogations of journalists coming to Vancouver, border guards seized Osburn's computer and notebooks.
OSBURN: Basically they ransacked my truck, they went through and they took my journals, my sketchbooks, my computer, my digital camera, they thumbed through that, I'm assuming they made copies but that I don't want to speculate on that, but they did definitely go through it. Then I was fingerprinted and I was photographed, when I asked if I had a choice of being fingerprinted and photographed I was told no, my tape of filming being turned away, they erased the tape.
VMC: Osburn says he was prepared to have to deal with some issues at the border, but he was surprised by his experience.
OSBURN: I was kind of expecting, I was expecting to get kind of shook down, but I wasn's expecting the type of just, the animosity and just the humiliation. Even though it was only two hours, it was a really unsettling experience, because they made me well aware that I had no rights, they made me well aware that I had no rights and there was no one there to protect me.
VMC: Though Osburn is the first to be interrogated by US homeland security, his experience shadows that of other independent journalists trying to enter Canada on the eve of the 2010 Olympics. Democracy Now! Host Amy Goodman was interrogated about the games in November.
Police arresting videographers .... and are usually in the wrong to do so Mood:
a-ok Now Playing: cell phone cameras to a secret mic up the sleve - people are filming the police Topic: CIVIL RIGHTS
Published on Tuesday, January 12, 2010 by The Boston Globe
Police Fight Cellphone Recordings
Witnesses taking audio of officers arrested, charged with illegal surveillance
by Daniel Rowinski
Simon Glik, a lawyer, was walking down Tremont Street in Boston when he saw three police officers struggling to extract a plastic bag from a teenager's mouth. Thinking their force seemed excessive for a drug arrest, Glik pulled out his cellphone and began recording.
Boston Police Fight Cellphone Recordings; Witnesses taking audio of officers arrested, charged with illegal surveillance (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
Within minutes, Glik said, he was in handcuffs.
"One of the officers asked me whether my phone had audio recording capabilities,'' Glik, 33, said recently of the incident, which took place in October 2007. Glik acknowledged that it did, and then, he said, "my phone was seized, and I was arrested.''
The charge? Illegal electronic surveillance.
Jon Surmacz, 34, experienced a similar situation. Thinking that Boston police officers were unnecessarily rough while breaking up a holiday party in Brighton he was attending in December 2008, he took out his cellphone and began recording.
Police confronted Surmacz, a webmaster at Boston University. He was arrested and, like Glik, charged with illegal surveillance.
There are no hard statistics for video recording arrests. But the experiences of Surmacz and Glik highlight what civil libertarians call a troubling misuse of the state's wiretapping law to stifle the kind of street-level oversight that cellphone and video technology make possible.
"The police apparently do not want witnesses to what they do in public,'' said Sarah Wunsch, a staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, who helped to get the criminal charges against Surmacz dismissed.
Boston police spokeswoman Elaine Driscoll rejected the notion that police are abusing the law to block citizen oversight, saying the department trains officers about the wiretap law. "If an individual is inappropriately interfering with an arrest that could cause harm to an officer or another individual, an officer's primary responsibility is to ensure the safety of the situation,'' she said.
In 1968, Massachusetts became a "two-party'' consent state, one of 12 currently in the country. Two-party consent means that all parties to a conversation must agree to be recorded on a telephone or other audio device; otherwise, the recording of conversation is illegal. The law, intended to protect the privacy rights of individuals, appears to have been triggered by a series of high-profile cases involving private detectives who were recording people without their consent.
In arresting people such as Glik and Surmacz, police are saying that they have not consented to being recorded, that their privacy rights have therefore been violated, and that the citizen action was criminal.
"The statute has been misconstrued by Boston police,'' said June Jensen, the lawyer who represented Glik and succeeded in getting his charges dismissed. The law, she said, does not prohibit public recording of anyone. "You could go to the Boston Common and snap pictures and record if you want; you can do that.''
Ever since the police beating of Rodney King in Los Angeles in 1991 was videotaped, and with the advent of media-sharing websites like Facebook and YouTube, the practice of openly recording police activity has become commonplace. But in Massachusetts and other states, the arrests of street videographers, whether they use cellphones or other video technology, offers a dramatic illustration of the collision between new technology and policing practices.
"Police are not used to ceding power, and these tools are forcing them to cede power,'' said David Ardia, director of the Citizen Media Law Project at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society.
Ardia said the proliferation of cellphone and other technology has equipped people to record actions in public. "As a society, we should be asking ourselves whether we want to make that into a criminal activity,'' he said.
In Pennsylvania, another two-party state, individuals using cellphones to record police activities have also ended up in police custody.
But one Pennsylvania jurisdiction has reaffirmed individuals' right to videotape in public. Police in Spring City and East Vincent Township agreed to adopt a written policy confirming the legality of videotaping police while on duty. The policy was hammered out as part of a settlement between authorities and ACLU attorneys representing a Spring City man who had been arrested several times last year for following police and taping them.
In Massachusetts, Wunsch said Attorney General Martha Coakley and police chiefs should be informing officers not to abuse the law by charging civilians with illegally recording them in public.
The cases are the courts' concern, said Coakley spokesman Harry Pierre. "At this time, this office has not issued any advisory or opinion on this issue.''
Massachusetts has seen several cases in which civilians were charged criminally with violating the state's electronic surveillance law for recording police, including a case that was reviewed by the Supreme Judicial Court.
Michael Hyde, a 31-year-old musician, began secretly recording police after he was stopped in Abington in late 1998 and the encounter turned testy. He then used the recording as the basis for a harassment complaint. The police, in turn, charged Hyde with illegal wiretapping. Focusing on the secret nature of the recording, the SJC upheld the conviction in 2001.
"Secret tape recording by private individuals has been unequivocally banned, and, unless and until the Legislature changes the statute, what was done here cannot be done lawfully,'' the SJC ruled in a 4-to-2 decision.
In a sharply worded dissent, Chief Justice Margaret Marshall criticized the majority view of a law that, in effect, punished citizen watchdogs and allowed police officers to conceal possible misconduct behind a "cloak of privacy.''
"Citizens have a particularly important role to play when the official conduct at issue is that of the police,'' Marshall wrote. "Their role cannot be performed if citizens must fear criminal reprisals when they seek to hold government officials responsible by recording, secretly recording on occasion, an interaction between a citizen and a police officer.''
Since that ruling, the outcome of Massachusetts criminal cases involving the recording of police by citizens has turned mainly on this question of secret vs. public recording.
Jeffrey Manzelli, 46, a Cambridge sound engineer, was convicted of illegal wiretapping and disorderly conduct for recording MBTA police at an antiwar rally on Boston Common in 2002. Though he said he had openly recorded the officer, his conviction was upheld in 2007 on the grounds that he had made the recording using a microphone hidden in the sleeve of his jacket.
Peter Lowney, 39, a political activist from Newton, was convicted of illegal wiretapping in 2007 after Boston University police accused him of hiding a camera in his coat during a protest on Commonwealth Avenue.
Charges of illegal wiretapping against documentary filmmaker and citizen journalist Emily Peyton were not prosecuted, however, because she had openly videotaped police arresting an antiwar protester in December 2007 at a Greenfield grocery store plaza, first from the parking lot and then from her car. Likewise with Simon Glik and Jon Surmacz; their cases were eventually dismissed, a key factor being the open way they had used their cellphones.
Surmacz said he never thought that using his cellphone to record police in public might be a crime. "One of the reasons I got my phone out . . . was from going to YouTube where there are dozens of videos of things like this,'' said Surmacz, a webmaster at BU who is also a part-time producer at Boston.com.
It took five months for Surmacz, with the ACLU, to get the charges of illegal wiretapping and disorderly conduct dismissed. Surmacz said he would do it again.
"Because I didn't do anything wrong,'' he said. "Had I recorded an officer saving someone's life, I almost guarantee you that they wouldn't have come up to me and say, ‘Hey, you just recorded me saving that person's life. You're under arrest.' ''
The New England Center for Investigative Reporting at Boston University is an investigative reporting collaborative. This story was done under the guidance of BU professors Dick Lehr and Mitchell Zuckoff.
Yesterday, 30 Republican senators opposed an amendment to the Defense Appropriations bill that would prohibit federal defense contractors like Halliburton/KBR from getting money "if they restrict their employees from taking workplace sexual assault, battery and discrimination cases to court."
In other words, 30 GOP senators want to deny rape victims their day in court.
Think Progress has the story of the woman who prompted this amendment: In 2005, Jamie Leigh Jones was gang-raped by her co-workers while she was working for Halliburton/KBR in Baghdad. She was detained in a shipping container for at least 24 hours without food, water, or a bed, and "warned her that if she left Iraq for medical treatment, she’d be out of a job." (Jones was not an isolated case.) Jones was prevented from bringing charges in court against KBR because her employment contract stipulated that sexual assault allegations would only be heard in private arbitration.
Guess Who Received The Most Campaign Dollars From Private Contractors? (AUDIO)
By Justin Yuen
The thirty GOP Senators who voted against the Franken amendment, which protects women who were raped or sexually abused while working for private defense contractors, received generous contributions from those same private contractors. Are we surprised? Didn't think so.
The Pentagon has approached Congress to grant the Secretary of Defense the authority to post almost 400,000 military personnel throughout the United States in times of emergency or a major disaster.
This request has already occasioned a dispute with the nation’s governors. And it raises the prospect of U.S. military personnel patrolling the streets of the United States, in conflict with the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878.
In June, the U.S. Northern Command distributed a “Congressional Fact Sheet” entitled “Legislative Proposal for Activation of Federal Reserve Forces for Disasters.” That proposal would amend current law, thereby “authorizing the Secretary of Defense to order any unit or member of the Army Reserve, Air Force Reserve, Navy Reserve, and the Marine Corps Reserve, to active duty for a major disaster or emergency.”
Taken together, these reserve units would amount to “more than 379,000 military personnel in thousands of communities across the United States,” explained
Paul Stockton, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and America’s Security Affairs, in a letter to the National Governors Association, dated July 20.
The governors were not happy about this proposal, since they want to maintain control of their own National Guard forces, as well as military personnel acting in a domestic capacity in their states.
“We are concerned that the legislative proposal you discuss in your letter would invite confusion on critical command and control issues,” Governor James H. Douglas of Vermont and Governor Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, the president and vice president of the governors’ association, wrote in a letter back to Stockton on August 7. The governors asserted that they “must have tactical control over all . . . active duty and reserve military forces engaged in domestic operations within the governor’s state or territory.”
According to Pentagon public affairs officer Lt. Col. Almarah K. Belk, Stockton has not responded formally to the governors but understands their concerns.
“There is a rub there,” she said. “If the Secretary calls up the reserve personnel to provide support in a state and retains command and control of those forces, the governors are concerned about if I have command and control of the Guard, how do we ensure unity of effort and everyone is communicating and not running over each other.”
Belk said Stockton is addressing this problem. “That is exactly what Dr. Stockton is working out right now with the governors and DHS and the National Guard,” she said. “He’s bringing all the stakeholders together.”
Belk said the legislative change is necessary in the aftermath of a “catastrophic natural disaster, not beyond that,” and she referred to Katrina, among other events.
But NorthCom’s Congressional fact sheet refers not just to a “major disaster” but also to “emergencies.” And it says, “Those terms are defined in section 5122 of title 42, U.S. Code.”
That section gives the President the sole discretion to designate an event as an “emergency” or a “major disaster.” Both are “in the determination of the President” alone.
That section also defines “major disaster” by citing plenty of specifics: “hurricane, tornado, storm, high water, wind-driven water, tidal wave, tsunami, earthquake, volcanic eruption, landslide, mudslide, snowstorm, or drought,” as well as “fire, flood, or explosion.”
But the definition of “emergency” is vague: “Emergency means any occasion or instance for which, in the determination of the President, Federal assistance is needed to supplement State and local efforts and capabilities to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, or to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in any part of the United States.”
Currently, the President can call up the Reserves only in an emergency involving “a use or threatened use of a weapon of mass destruction” or “a terrorist attack or threatened terrorist attack in the United States that results, or could result, in significant loss of life or property,” according to Title 10, Chapter 1209, Section 12304, of the U.S. Code. In fact, Section 12304 explicitly prohibits the President from calling up the Reserves for any other “natural or manmade disaster, accident, or catastrophe.”
So the new proposed legislation would greatly expand the President’s power to call up the Reserves in a disaster or an emergency and would extend that power to the Secretary of Defense. (There are other circumstances, such as repelling invasions or rebellions or enforcing federal authority, where the President already has the authority to call up the Reserves.)
The ACLU is alarmed by the proposed legislation. Mike German, the ACLU’s national security policy counsel, expressed amazement “that the military would propose such a broad set of authorities and potentially undermine a 100-year-old prohibition against the military in domestic law enforcement with no public debate and seemingly little understanding of the threat to democracy.”
At the moment, says Pentagon spokesperson Belk, the legislation does not have a sponsor in the House or the Senate.
For more information on NorthCom, see Matthew Rothschild’s “What Is NorthCom Up To?” which ran on the cover of The Progressive’s February issue.
NY man defends himself with shotgun - kills two wounds two Mood:
on fire Now Playing: 72 year old man kills armed robbers Topic: CIVIL RIGHTS
Hello Z3 Readers ...the right to bear arms proves its self in this story from NY that I found on this link here where I hear my favorite survivalist info podcasts: http://www.thesurvivalpodcast.com/
Aug 15, 2:01 PM EDT
NY shopkeeper who defended store recounts shooting
By VERENA DOBNIK Associated Press Writer
NEW YORK (AP) -- The sidewalk outside the Harlem store still was smeared with blood Friday, and the glass on the door still was blown out.
Above the entrance, someone had scribbled the words, "Abandon hope all ye who enter here."
Less than 24 hours after a deadly showdown at the shop worthy of a Clint Eastwood script, Charles "Gus" Augusto Jr. entered his store - oblivious of the inscription taken from Dante's "Inferno."
The 72-year-old wholesaler of commercial restaurant equipment had been up all night, questioned by police about how he'd drawn a shotgun and killed two of four armed robbery suspects who entered his Kaplan Brothers Blue Flame store Thursday afternoon.
Two of the young men died on the street. Two remained hospitalized in stable condition with gunshot wounds.
When they walked in at about 3 p.m. and confronted Augusto with guns, "I didn't want to shoot them," he said, sitting bleary-eyed in his dusty, windowless warehouse, with a fly swatter hanging above his head.
He said the bandits drew their handguns, yelling, "Where's the money? Where's the money?"
They pistol-whipped a worker and waved a weapon at a cashier's face, he said.
"There is no money," Augusto said he told them. "Go home."
Stashed away nearby was the 12-gauge shotgun he bought decades ago and said he had never used since a test-fire. He reached for it when he sensed one of the men was about to shoot, and pulled the trigger once.
"I hoped after the first shot they would go away," he said.
When they didn't, continuing to menace his employees, he fired again, and again.
Police said one of the men collapsed and died outside the door, just feet from a Baptist church.
"He died in the hands of God," said a neighborhood resident, Vincent Gayle, pointing to the blood-spattered pavement by the church. "But what goes around comes around."
Another fatally wounded suspect managed to cross the street, leaving a trail of blood before he collapsed. He was later pronounced dead at the hospital, police said.
More blood led police to the other two suspects, who were arrested and taken to the hospital. Charges against them were pending.
Police said Augusto didn't have a required permit for the weapon used in the headline-grabbing shooting the Daily News called a "Pump-Action Ending."
But he was a victim, police said, and no charges had been filed on Friday.
"I'd rather not have done it," Augusto said, "and I'm sad for those mothers who have no sons."
On Friday, pedestrians were still sidestepping pools of blood along Augusto's block on West 125th Street, a short walk from Bill Clinton's Harlem office.
Reactions to the shooting were mixed.
Frida Rodriguez called it "a sad day" for the neighborhood.
Augusto "was defending his work, his business, so you could perceive that as being heroic," she said. "But on the other hand, these kids died."
The shopkeeper was coy when asked whether, with his shotgun confiscated, he had a backup.
"I'm not going to tell you that," he said.
Associated Press Writer Tom Hays contributed to this report.
On June 25, 2009, the Supreme Court ruled 8-1 that school officials'
strip-search of a thirteen-year-old girl violated the Fourth Amendment.
Safford, Arizona school employees forced middle school student Savana Redding to disrobe during their search for an ibuprofen tablet.
Possession of such medication violates school rules, but the strip search failed to uncover a single pill. The search was conducted based on another student's allegations, and Ms. Redding alleged that it violated her Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches or seizures.
Justice Souter, writing for the Court, held that school searches are permissible when they are "not excessively intrusive in light of the age and sex of the student and the nature of the infraction." However, the Court ruled that "[t]he strip search of Savana Redding was a violation of the Fourth Amendment" because "there were no reasons to suspect the drugs presented a danger or were concealed in her underwear." Ms. Redding's "subjective expectation of privacy against such a search" Justice Souter wrote, "is inherent in her account of it as embarrassing, frightening, and humiliating." Justice Thomas dissented from the decision, writing that "judges are not qualified to second-guess the best manner for maintaining quiet and order in the school environment."
A majority of the Justices also held that school officials were not liable for damages because it was not "clearly established" that their behavior was unlawful at the time of the search. Justices Stevens and Ginsburg disagreed, writing that a previous Supreme Court case made clear that the search was "excessively intrusive."
Previously, a federal appellate court held that the search in Redding was unreasonable and that a school official could be liable for violating the girl's Fourth Amendment rights. The school district and school officials appealed to the Supreme Court and argued that the search was reasonable based upon the allegations and the dangers of prescription drug abuse. Additionally, they argued that the school employees must have qualified immunity in exercising their discretion so that they are free to exercise their judgment regarding drug abuse in schools and, further, without such authority, the school authorities would not have the ability to respond in the face of threats to student safety in school.
The Redding decision comes on the heels of EPIC's "Stop Digital Strip Searches" campaign, which seeks to suspend the use of "Whole Body Imaging"
-- devices that photograph American air travelers stripped naked in US airports. The body scanners subject US travelers to invasive, high-tech versions of the strip search characterized as "unconstitutional" in Redding.
The EPIC campaign responds to a policy reversal by federal officials that would make the "digital strip search" mandatory, rather than voluntary as originally announced.
Sheriff Jack McDaniel of Alpine, Texas, On July 18, 1996 arrived to arrest Alvaro at his home on a trumped up charge of aggravated robbery When the unarmed Alvaro questioned the sheriff's action, the officer drew his weapon. Before he could shoot, Alvaro disarmed him and fled. (At the trial for robbery, Alvaro represented himself and had the charge dismissed.). No warrant for the arrest had been issued.
Later after the trial decision, without identifying themselves, police began shooting indiscriminately at the house, cars parked in front and at the public streetlights. At a new trial, witnesses explained, that the police shooting resembled a "war zone." Alvaro returned fire in self-defense and never shot or injured anyone. Alvaro dialed 911 (emergency) and notified other officials that police were firing at him and others would not allow them to surrender.
Alvaro was convicted of "threatening" the sheriff, but acquitted on the charge of shooting Sgt. Hines on June 29, 1997. He received a 50-year sentence. His case is currently on appeal.
25,000 Go to Alabama's Capitol; Wallace Rebuffs Petitioners; White Rights Worker is Slain
Dr. King Cheered He Says 'No Wave of Racism Can Stop Us Now'
By Roy Reed
Special to The New York Times
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Johnson Asks Aid for Needy Areas: Regional Development Plan Would Give $510 Million in Annual Assistance
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Montgomery, Ala., March 25 -- The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. led 25,000 Negroes and whites to the shadow of the State Capitol here today and challenged Alabama to put an end to racial discrimination.
Gov. George C. Wallace sent word about 2 P.M. that he would receive a delegation from the marchers after the rally, but the delegation met twice with rebuffs when it tried to see him. State policemen stopped the group the first time at the edge of the Capitol grounds and said no one was to be let through.
The delegation was later admitted to the Capitol, but was told that the Governor had closed his office for the day. The group left without giving its petition to anyone.
At Steps of Capitol
The Alabama Freedom March from Selma to Montgomery ended shortly after noon at the foot of the Capitol steps, and as people from all over the nation stood facing the white-columned statehouse, Dr. King assured them:
"We are not about to turn around. We, are on the move now. Yes, we are on the move and no wave of racism can stop us."
The throng let out a mighty cheer, so loud that it was easily audible 75 yards away in the office of Governor Wallace, where the Governor was seen several times parting the venetian blinds of a window overlooking the rally.
Even though the 54-mile march from Selma was a dramatization of a grievance, its windup at the steps of the Capitol carried the trappings of triumph.
The march was hailed by several speakers as the greatest demonstration in the history of the civil rights movement. The caravan that followed Dr. King up Dexter Avenue up the broad slope that once accommodated the inaugural parade of the President of the Confederate States of American, comprised friends of the civil rights movement from all sections of America and some from abroad.
Virtually all of the notables of the movement were there, and the speakers' platform held two Negro winners of the Nobel Peace Prize, Dr. King and Dr. Ralph J. Bunche, United Nations Under Secretary for Special Political Affairs.
Other Negro leaders included Roy Wilkins, executive director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; Whitney M. Young, director of the National Urban League; A. Philip Randolph, president of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters; Bayard A. Rustlin, who with Mr. Randolph was one of the organizers of the March on Washington in 1963, and John Lewis, president, of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.
Other notables included James Baldwin, the author; Harry Belafonte, the singer; Joan Baez, the folk singer, and others.
The march started Sunday at Selma. It reached the outskirts of Montgomery yesterday after four days and nights on the road under the protection of Army troops and federalized Alabama National Guardmen. The troops were sent be President Johnson after Governor Wallace said Alabama could not afford the expense of protecting the marchers.
The little band that made the entire march, much of it through desolate lowlands, was joined today and last night by thousands who flocked to Montgomery to walk the last three and one-half miles of the trip to the Capitol.
Troops Out in Force
The marchers carried with them a petition to Governor Wallace saying:
"We have come not only five days and 50 miles but we have come from three centuries of suffering and hardship. We have come to you, the Governor of Alabama, to declare that we must have our freedom NOW. We must have the right to vote; we must have equal protection of the law and an end to police brutality."
Federal troops who guarded the marchers and brought them safely to Montgomery were out in force at the Capitol today. Eight hundred troops lined Dexter Avenue, one soldier every 25 feet behind wooden barricades set between the street and the sidewalks.
Troops stood on the roofs of buildings along the march route through downtown Montgomery and on those of the office buildings looking out on the rally at the Capitol steps.
The rally never got on to state property. It was confined to the street in front of the steps.
The throng stretched down eight-laned Dexter Avenue a block and a half. Its cheers could be heard for blocks.
The line of marchers who walked from the City of St. Jude, a Catholic school and hospital, where they spent last night, stretched out so long that when Dr. King and leaders reached the makeshift speakers' platform at the head of Dexter Avenue, the end of the line did not arrive for nearly an hour and a half.
Tension was high in the city, particularly after the rally, as the thousands of visitors scurried for taxis, buses, trains, cars and airplanes to get out of town before nightfall.
Dr. King, in an interview after the rally, said the civil rights campaign would continue in the Alabama Black Belt.
"We will continue to march people to the courthouses," he said. "If there is resistance, naturally we will have to expose the resistance and the injustice we still face. There could be violence in some areas, but we feel a moral compulsion to go forward, anyway."
He said the Negro movement would turn much of its attention in the weeks ahead to trying to pass President Johnson's voting-rights bill in Congress.
"We want immediate passage," he said. "We will lobby for this in many areas of the country."
In the address at the end of the three-and-a-half-hour rally, Dr. King urged his listeners onward in the civil rights struggle.
"Let us march on segregated schools until every vestige of segregation and inferior education becomes a thing of the past, and Negroes and whites study side by side in the socially healing context of the classroom," he said.
"Let us march on ballot boxes, march on ballot boxes until race baiters disappear from the political arena."
He referred to the tumultuous events at Selma in the last two months, during which time the voting-rights campaign that he began there turned into a general protest against racial injustice, with two men dead and scores injured.
"Yet Selma, Alabama, has become a shining moment in the conscience of man," he said. "If the worst in American life lurked in the dark streets, the best of American instincts arose passionately from across the nation to overcome it."
"The confrontation of good and evil compressed in the tiny community of Selma, generated the massive power that turned the whole nation to a new course," he said.
"Alabama has tried to nurture and defend evil, but the evil is choking to death in the dusty roads and streets of this state."
Dr. King spoke with passion, and the thousands sitting in the street beneath him responded with repeated outbursts of approval.
Several times he urged his followers to continue their support of nonviolent demonstrations, with the aim of achieving understanding with the white community.
"Our aim must never be to defeat or humiliate the white man," he said, "but to win his friendship and understanding. We must come to see that the end we seek is a society that can live with its conscience."
He ended his address with a peroration on the theme, "How long must justice by crucified and truth buried?" a spirited quotation of a verse of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" and finally a burst of "Glory, hallelujah," repeated four times.
The crowd rose to its feet in one great surge, and the applause and cheering reverberated through the Capitol grounds.
Two or three dozen state employes who had watched from the Capitol steps stood impassively.
The committee of 18 Negro and two white Alabamians designated to deliver the Negroes' petition to Governor Wallace walked the one, uphill block from the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church to Bainbridge Street at about 5:40 P.M. (C.S.T.).
State-police jurisdiction over the Capitol grounds begins at the curb closest to the Capitol steps, and 70 blue-helmeted state troopers had been deployed at the curb line of Bainbridge Street half an hour before the committee arrived. They were backed by 50 uniformed conservation patrolmen, standing two deep halfway up the Capitol steps.
When the Rev. Joseph E. Lowrey, a Negro from Birmingham, serving as chairman of the delegation, asked Maj. W. L. Allen of the Alabama Highway Patrol to let the committee pass, the officer replied.
"I don't know anything about that." He said his orders where to let no one through.
A delegation of Governor Wallace's top aides was already gathering inside the locked front door of the Capitol.
Instructions were then issued to Major Allen from inside the Capitol over an Army walkie-talkie. Maj. Gen. Alfred C. Harrison, the Alabama Adjutant General, who was dressed in civilian clothes, gave these instructions. The committee then walked up the Capitol steps.
About 10 feet inside the door, however, Mr. Lowrey came face to face with Cecil C. Jackson Jr., the Governor's executive secretary. Mr. Jackson was crippled by polio as a youth. He stood in Mr. Lowrey's path on aluminum crutches.
"The Capitol is closed today," Mr. Jackson began, in a calm, steady voice. "The Governor has designated me to receive your petition."
"We are very sorry that he cannot see us," Mr. Lowrey replied, almost immediately, clasping copies of the petition to his chest. "Please advise the Governor that as citizens of this state we have legitimate grievances to present to him. Please advise the Governor that as citizens of this state we have legitimate grievances to present to him. Please advise the Governor that we will return at another time."
"That would be appropriate," Mr. Jackson answered. The petitions never left Mr. Lowrey's hands.
Safer spaces are welcoming, engaging and supportive.
We want this conference/event to be a space where people support each other and can feel free to be themselves.
We want this to be a place where abuse and discrimination is not tolerated.
We hope that everyone at this event is made aware of the idea of 'safer spaces' and that you are proactive in helping make this a safer space too.
People attending this conference are asked to be aware of their language and behavior, and to think about whether it might be offensive to others.
This is no space for violence, for touching people without their consent, for being intolerant of someone's religious beliefs or lack thereof, for being creepy, sleazy, racist, ageist, sexist, hetero-sexist, trans-phobic, able-bodiest, classist, sizist or any other behavior or language that may perpetuate oppression.
What we need to do to create a safer space:
·respect people's physical and emotional boundaries
·always get explicit verbal consent before touching someone or crossing boundaries
·respect people's opinions, beliefs, differing states of being and differing points of view
·be responsible for your own action. Be aware that your actions do have an effect on others despite what your intentions may be
·take responsibility for your own safety and get help if you need it
·look out for kids and animals at all times and try not to leave anything around that could endanger them or other adults
·the conference/event space and all workshops are alcohol, nicotine and drug-free until the evening Any group or individual engaging in violence (including sexual violence and harassment) within the conference/event will automatically be excluding themselves. The conference/event organizers will be asking them to leave immediately.
Need some assistance?
If you experience or witness any behavior that crosses your boundaries or makes you feel uncomfortable or if you are feeling like you would like to talk to someone anonymously about anything please feel free to talk to one of the event organizers.
There may be conflict in the time that we are at this conference/event and the organizers have designed a basic process for dealing with this, based around the principle that a resolution deemed positive to all parties involved should always be sought first.
Any conflict arising in the safe space that at least one party feels cannot be resolved without some help, should seek the assistance of one or more of the organizer crew.
If the conflict cannot be resolved with them it may be taken to the whole conference/event to make a final decision on what action needs to be taken.
Martin Luther King - Obama - and the year 2009 Mood:
celebratory Now Playing: Day of Service Topic: CIVIL RIGHTS
I love the concept of the Obama family doing the ‘ordinary citizen’ bit by rolling up their sleeves and jumping into their new neighborhood’s many issues in Washington D.C., AND using social media (cool Facebook app here) to show people via USA Service.org and Google map how YOU can volunteer in your OWN local community.
Using the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve.” Here’s the official MLK Day.gov site complete with radio PSAs featuring Dr. King’s voice, latest news feeds, media and mobilization for what’s shaping up to be the largest effort ever.
Yah, yah, I know, I’m an idealist, yadayada, the kids want to spend their holiday sledding in the snow or whatever, but I say put a viral ‘youth action’ spin on it so kids can make a difference meeting like-minded peer to peer positive influence and you’ve got a teen scene social nudge capable of sparking the ‘hope and change’ fuel everyone seems so longing to ignite!
Personally, I’m hoping this is a sign of an era of hands-on, ‘make no excuses’ accountability, where youth and parents meet on the same page to quit power-whining and DO something if they don’t like what they see…
I was always a fan of Colin Powell’s America’s Promise, and his ability to form alliances across party lines. I’ve been fortunate to hear him speak several times advocating for a universal call to service which always has made SO much common sense to me.
Beyond charisma, poise and intellect, Powell and Obama join Dr. King himself in cycle-breaking efforts to get people off their duffs to mobilize and (dare I say it?) ‘Just do it.’
I’d say it’s only been THIS year that the brand new USA Service.org site and viral video smart mob crew of social media has piqued the nation’s interest beyond the ‘usual suspects’ of ‘Have Fun, Do Good’-ers and the youth empowerment posse! Whether it’s a local eco-clean up or an inner-city painting project, I love the whole notion of keeping it relevant by keeping it close to home.
One of the things that’s always irked me about service project deployment is that many stereotype volunteering as being only about ‘underserved areas’ and ‘risky business’ which often creates a needless chasm of conflict between “exposure vs. need” where kids are concerned.
Often you end up with either “nervous-nellies” patting themselves on the back like they’ve entered some commando-condition fortress, or do-gooders who can’t necessarily relate to the community’s experience as a whole.
I even include myself in that last crew, recalling one of my counter-marketing sessions with 5th graders using cookie cutters to ‘build a healthier Lunchable’ only to find the whole class staring at me blankly during the hands-on phase. (um, oops; they’d never even SEEN cookie cutters before, much less know what to do with them)
So rather than get service helpers who ‘boldly go where no one’s gone before’ only to become conversational fodder, rarely to enter the environs again, kids can do a great job in their OWN communities dispelling myths and legends to boot. (‘yes, Sally Surbanite, there are schools in need locally in non-urban pockets too, and even youth homeless, etc.)
So…check out the Find an Event/USA Service.org maps and resources of what’s going on in YOUR local community. The Obama bunch has made it easy for us with turnkey social media mapping and access to a plethora of projects right in your own zip code.
Btw, this is a nonpartisan, national day of service, folks.
At left is the handy Facebook ‘choose, pledge, act, report’ process to pay it forward via social media.
I also received a solid recap of info from MoveOn.org about the Obama administration’s goal to expand national service orgs like AmeriCorps and the Peace Corps and create new ones including:
—a Classroom Corps to help underserved schools;
—a Health Corps to serve in the nation’s clinics and hospitals;
—a Clean Energy Corps to achieve the goal of energy independence; and
—a Veterans Corps to support the Americans who serve in harm’s way.
I’m energized just seeing it put on paper for follow-through!
I love the ‘in your shoes’ format to find the right fit for your own interests and personality. It’s always been a Shaping Youth favorite, prompting kids to lose the lip-service and hop right in to the experiential, character-building, hands-on process of ‘getting it,’ with the freedom to choose what that ‘it’ may be.
After all, we’re not a ‘cookie cutter’ society.
What’s common and form fitting to some may be completely foreign and hard-edged to others. I’ve sure learned that and shaped up my own outreach efforts.
One thing I DO know about cookie cutters now is that anyone can learn to cut out a star for themselves. And they’ll feel good about doing it, too.
See you out there on Monday! What will you be doing? Want to share any of your ideas? Add links to other cool service orgs? Send ‘em along…Photos too if you want?
Here are more related resources/volunteer opportunities: