Democratic Illusions Infect Judiciary in India’s Repressive State

[The Indian state, thoroughly repressive toward over 90% of the people in India, has often claimed, since being “granted” independence by the British Empire, that it is democratic, even “the world’s largest democracy.”  This claim is belied by the brutal displacement and oppression of the majority of the people–the adivasis, dalits, the peasantry, the women of the oppressed castes and classes, Muslims, political opponents of the neo-colonial, semi-feudal state and their imperialist masters, and the Maoists (and all other opponents loosely, and falsely, labelled “Maoists”).  As the opposition continues to grow against the oppressive police state, the contradiction with the democratic myth has grown sharply, infecting even the ranks of the repressive judiary.  The rebellious people will carefully study how these “democratic dissidents in high places” will be dealt with by the repressive “powers-that-be”.  —  Frontlines ed.]

Person can’t be taken into custody just because he is a Maoist, Kerala HC rules

Person can’t be taken into custody just because he is a Maoist, Kerala HC rules

Justice AM Muhammed Mushtaq said that a Maoist can be arrested and put behind the bars only if he or she indulges in unlawful or anti-national activities.

KOCHI: In a significant development, the Kerala high court made it clear that a Maoist cannot be taken into police custody just because of his political leanings.  Justice A M Muhammed Mushtaq, in his order on Friday, said that a Maoist can be arrested and put behind bars only if he or she indulges in unlawful or anti-national activities.  “Being a Maoist is no crime, though the political ideology of Maoists would not synchronise with our constitutional polity. It is a basic human right to think in terms of human aspirations,” Justice Mushtaq said in his order.The court was hearing a petition filed by Shyam Balakrishnan of Wayanad stating that he was arrested and harassed by the Thunderbolt team — a special police unit – for alleged Maoist links. The court ordered a compensation of Rs one lakh for the petitioner and also asked to state to pay litigation costs of Rs 10, 000. Continue reading

Hollywood’s political deafness: What Cosby, “Selma” and Hebdo reveal about white liberal consciousness

 [Hollywood’s icons, blathering liberal mantras, reveal the bankruptcy of US’ liberal culture in addressing any of the critical issues of the day. — Frontlines ed.]

Hollywood's political deafness: What Cosby, "Selma" & Hebdo reveal about white liberal consciousness

George Clooney at the 72nd Annual Golden Globe Awards, Jan. 11, 2015. (Credit: AP/Paul Drinkwater)

 

 Wednesday, Jan 14, 2015

Race and gender politics at this year’s Golden Globes took an unexpected range of twists and turns. First, hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler shamelessly mocked the many rape allegations against Bill Cosby. Given that there has been a significant strain of public resistance among some African-Americans to the racial politics of a group of white women dethroning a powerful black man through the accusation of rape, Fey and Poehler’s bit was ballsy, to be sure. But the reality is that Cosby most probably did drug and/or assault many women, white and black. And in the absence of a day in court, he, at the very least, deserves our highest ridicule. It is he, not we, who has “destroyed his legacy.”

Then many of the award winners took especial care to express their solidarity with the people of Paris, still reeling over last week’s terrorist attacks that killed 17 French citizens, including 12 staff members of Charlie Hebdo, the satirical French magazine. Many actors and actresses including George Clooney, Kathy Bates and Helen Mirren displayed “Je Suis Charlie” signs and pins on the Red Carpet and during the awards. Clooney even took a moment to mention the massive solidarity marches that took place all over the world on Sunday to honor the victims.

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American protesters discovering they don’t have the rights and freedoms they thought they had

Citizen Action Monitor, March 20, 2012

Put up a poster and risk felony charge plus detention with $25,000 bail

“The Federally Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011, known as H.R. 347, is a law most Americans don’t know about. But you don’t have to do a lot to feel its force.”Maria Portnaya

New York City police are investigating death threats made against staff through the phone and on twitter. This after officers forcibly arrested more than 70 people during an Occupy Wall Street protest. Since the start of the movement, nationwide protests have faced numerous cases of police brutality with batons and tear gas often used to disperse crowds. As the movement continues, so, too, does Washington’s desire to silence the American public, as RT’s Marina Portnaya explains. My Transcript follows this 3:51-minute video.

Outlaw Occupy: US Set to Strangle Protests with Jail Threats

RT TV Network, March 19, 2012

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The Guardian (UK): “Undercover police spied on protesters at Occupy LA”

Revelation about covert surveillance in LA comes as 55 people arrested at Occupy San Francisco camp

guardian.co.uk, Sunday 11 December 2011

The now vacant site of the Occupy LA camp. Campaigners say they are troubled by the infiltration of the camp by undercover police. Photograph: Jason Redmond/AP

Undercover police officers infiltrated Occupy LA’s tent city last month to spy on people suspected of stockpiling human waste and crude weapons for resisting an eventual eviction, police and city government sources have said.

Authorities said the covert surveillance was not aimed at anti-Wall Street activists exercising their constitutional right to freedom of expression but at those they considered anti-government extremists bent on violence.

The revelation came as police arrested dozens of people during a raid of an Occupy San Francisco encampment outside the Federal Reserve building early on Sunday.

San Francisco police Officer Albie Esparza says that at approximately 4am officers arrested about 55 people for illegal lodging.

Esparza says that before police moved in on the encampment, demonstrators had been warned on an hourly basis over a 24-hour period that they were subject to arrest.

The arrests come after at least 85 people were arrested on Wednesday when police cleared a separate Occupy encampment in nearby Justin Herman Plaza.

Civil liberties campaigners said they were troubled by the infiltration of peaceful demonstrations, although the Los Angeles police department’s undercover efforts were not unique. Continue reading

Why the First Amendment Won’t Protect Occupiers

The courts have protected free speech for those who own the presses--like Bloomberg--not for the people who oppose the Bloombergs

By Bill Blum, Truthdig, November 16, 2011

From Oakland to Chapel Hill, from Portland to Zuccotti Park, the message to the Occupy movement is clear: It’s time to fold up your tents and retreat from the public square or be carted off to jail.

From coast to coast, protesters have responded to the edicts with largely passive physical resistance and, in some cities, court challenges rooted in the First Amendment and animated by the popular mythology surrounding the amendment’s depth and reach. The movement, we’re told, is shielded by the rights of freedom of speech and assembly and those rights trump whatever interests (whether legitimate or feigned) that municipalities may have in maintaining public health and safety.

It’s impossible at this early stage of the crackdown to predict how each local legal case will play out. Depending upon the precise wording of city ordinances, state statutes and the manner in which police raids are conducted, the Occupiers may score some litigation victories, such as the short-lived temporary restraining order issued by a state court judge after the early morning police attack Tuesday on Zuccotti Park in New York City. But most of the legal challenges are likely to end in defeat, as occurred in New York when another judge ruled after a lengthy hearing that the overnight camping must end even though protesters may return to the park. Continue reading