Posts Tagged Activism

Landlord Charged for Front Yard Garden – Tenant & Neighbors Fight Back

via: ActivistPost
by: Heather Callaghan
Sunday, August 5, 2012

You can only retain freedoms if you act to preserve them. – Karl Tricamo

Stay-at-home dad Karl Tricamo was another unsuspecting gardener just going about his favorite hobby and following the rules. He loves to garden with his 55 heirlooms and dislikes GMOs and pesticides.

But, like so many others now, he was pushed around and literally stalked by “Code Enforcers” out to aggressively eradicate any “nuisance” that doesn’t match the rest of their desired Stepford neighborhood. This is after he, also like many targeted for garden deconstruction, painstakingly followed the rules.

“I just thought it would be an excellent way to help provide for my family,” he said. “People have been gardening since the beginning of human civilization, and the First Lady has even been setting an example by gardening at the White House! I never expected it to be so controversial.”

City officials in Ferguson, Missouri do not care if someone is trying to feed his family on his turf; so they literally cited Tricamo’s landlord with ‘Failure to meet the minimum standards of the City of Ferguson exterior appearance code.’

Now, doesn’t that sound like a highly subjective code? It would, had it been an actual code instead of an intimidation tactic.

Karl’s neighbors seemed to be in accordance with his fruitful yard plan. One of them even allowed Tricamo to plant tomatoes in her garden as a “show of solidarity.”

Continue Reading At: ActivistPost.com

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California: Psych Board Blasted by Judge

via: ActivistPost
by: Jane Phelan
Wednesday, August 1, 2012

In a startling reversal of fortune, a Sacramento Superior Court judge ruled last Friday to stay the revocation of activist psychologist Dr. Robert Fettgather’s license to practice psychology.

Dr. Fettgather’s license had been ordered revoked in May after he refused to submit to a psychiatric examination ordered by the California State Psychology Board. The revocation was set to come into force on July 27. The stay grants Dr. Fettgather permission to work as a licensed psychologist until the writ can be heard requesting the Board’s decision be entirely overturned.

Blasting the Psychology Board for launching an action against Fettgather without justification, Sacramento Superior Court Judge Timothy Frawley declared that the Board lacked good cause to compel him into a psychiatric evaluation. Judge Frawley also raised concerns that the Administrative Law court further denied Fettgather’s right to due process in refusing to hear any evidence from Fettgather. According to Fettgather’s attorney, Dr. Bruce Ebert, Frawley also raised questions as to the cavalier manner in which the Psychology Board had attempted to force Fettgather into a psychiatric exam.

In an interview July 30, Ebert stated, “If there was any part of government that should understand the seriousness of ordering someone to undergo a forced psychiatric exam it should be the Board which regulates the practice of psychology.” Ebert went on to say, “We all need to be concerned when psychiatry is used as a weapon rather than as a tool for mental health.”

Fettgather had run into difficulties last year when his advocacy for his disabled son, David, who is under a conservatorship and held in custodial care, raised the ire of a State Assemblyman. Doctor Fettgather had spoken at a Town Hall meeting and criticized Assemblyman Jim Beall for failure to follow through on the plight of David. Assemblyman Beall then made a report to the Dignitaries Protection Unit of the California Highway Patrol, alleging that Fettgather had threatened him. The report was investigated and considered to be of no merit, according to the CHP. However, shortly thereafter the State Psychology Board contacted Dr. Fettgather and stated that they were investigating him.

Continue Reading At: ActivistPost.com

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CopBlock founder faces 21 years in prison on “wiretapping” charges for filming police

via: ActivistPost
Monday, July 30, 2012

According to court documents, Adam “Ademo” Mueller, journalist and co-host of nationally syndicated radio talk show Free Talk Live, has been indicted on three counts of felony wiretapping. The charges are a result of a vlog Mueller posted on CopBlock.org about an incident involving alleged police misconduct, which featured recorded interviews of on-duty public officials.

Mueller’s report focused on video recorded by a student’s cell phone at Manchester’s West High School, which depicted Officer Darren Murphy slamming a 17-year-old boy into a cafeteria table in October of 2011. Although public officials told the student to delete the video, it ended up in Adam Mueller’s hands instead.

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N.J. Wants to Outsource Radioactive Garbage to South Carolina

via: ActivistPost
by: Brandon Turbeville
Thursday, July 26, 2012

In yet another example of how the nation’s waste management methods are absolutely unsustainable, a long-running debate between two waste disposal companies and a South Carolina environmental regulatory agency regarding the shipping of 300 railcars containing about 60,000 to 78,000 tons worth of radioactive dirt from New Jersey to South Carolina landfills is beginning to heat up yet again.

The waste at issue would be coming from a housing site in Sayreville, New Jersey that is currently being redeveloped and “cleaned up” for future purposes. The soil was originally recovered from an industrial cleanup site by the Raritan River, located south of New York City.

While it is claimed that the majority of the dirt contains “natural radiation,” SC regulators claim that radiation has been “technically enhanced” and has become more concentrated while at the site in New Jersey. This would, of course, cause the material to become more radioactive.

Yet Sayreville Seaport Associates, the company currently housing the contaminated soil, is still determined to outsource its own radioactive garbage to the Lee County, South Carolina dump that sits off of Interstate 20.

Unfortunately for Sayreville, the Lee County garbage dump, which is operated by Republic Services, is not designed for radioactive industrial waste – it is only designed to hold household garbage. Indeed, even the household garbage that it currently holds has become somewhat of a local issue regarding the overwhelming smell caused by the landfill.

With that in mind, it is fortunate that some South Carolina environmentalists and some state lawmakers are opposing the new dumping effort.

Continue Reading At: ActivistPost.com

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New Level of Police Depravity on Display as Officers Open Fire on Unarmed Crowd Including Women and Children

via: ActivistPost
July 22, 2012

The video below marks a new low in police conduct. The final horrific incident on display allegedly was sparked by the suspicious killing of a man who witnesses say did nothing more than turn to run from police.

After “an unruly crowd” — as the reporter below conveniently states — gathered to ask questions and express anger at what was perceived to be a senseless killing, the officers further proved that those who were gathered had valid concerns about their local police force. In response, police quickly opened fire with rubber bullets, and even set a dog loose on a woman with a baby stroller. The woman was able to grab her baby before the dog arrived, but she was slightly injured, while a man can be seen in the video having his arm bitten.

Police brutality videos are legion, with many of the worst, such as the infamous torture killing of Kelly Thomas, carrying “age restricted” notices (the one below is now included). This restricted notice in many cases restricts them from going viral, even though other scenes of violence classified as “entertainment” are readily available.

This story is still developing and is under investigation, but a very strange aspect to it is mentioned by the reporter in the final moments of the video: witnesses are claiming that Anaheim officers were offering to buy the cell phone footage that some people captured.

Continue Reading At: ActivistPost.com

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Company Threatened Blogger to Remove Their Link, Claiming it Caused “material financial losses”

via: ActivistPost
July 21, 2012

Imagine linking to a company’s website when referencing them in an article and having that company demand you remove the link because of copyright concerns.  Or worse, the company threatens to sue you because they say the link from your website resulted in “material financial loses [sic] to the company.”

That is exactly what happened to blogger Christine at Big Pink Cookie for a blog post that was critical of the company Guardlex.

According an article at Hubspot:

A lawyer at Guardlex contacted Christine at Big Pink Cookie on behalf of their client — whose name Christine graciously removed in her blog post detailing this whole ordeal — asking her to please remove a link from her site that led to their client’s site. Since he works on behalf of the Anti-Piracy Department at Guardlex, which provides services that protect intellectual property, we presume the outbound link was classified as a piracy or intellectual property ‘problem.’

According to the letter sent by the lawyer, the link from Christine’s website resulted in ‘material financial loses [sic] to the company.’

Although, the pretense for the threat was a copyright claim, the company explained that the outgoing link from the blog hurt the company “due to search engine penalties resulting from the links originating under your control.”

Google’s most recent Panda update is said to punish “over-SEO’d” websites. In other words, websites with too many links originating from weak or spammy websites will be penalized by Google.

However, BigPinkCookie is the furthest thing from a spammy website.  It’s a personal blog with an impressive Google PageRank 5, which means Google has deemed its content quite valuable, and links from that type of blog are typically very desirable for search engine optimization purposes.

Continue Reading At: ActivistPost.com

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New Cybersecurity Proposal Patches Serious Privacy Vulnerabilities

via: ActivistPost
by: Rainey Reitman and Lee Tien | EFF
July 20, 2012

For months, we’ve been raising the alarm about the serious civil liberties implications of the cybersecurity bills making their way through the Senate. Hours ago, we received some good news.

A new bill called the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 (S 3414) is replacing the prior Lieberman-Collins Cybersecurity Act (S 2150). This new bill drastically improves upon the previous bill by addressing the most glaring privacy concerns. This is huge, and it’s thanks to the outcry of Internet users like you worried about their online privacy. Check out the new bill (PDF).

Make no mistake – we remain unpersuaded that any of the proposed cybersecurity measures are necessary and we still have concerns about certain sections of the bill, especially the sections on monitoring and countermeasures. But this was a big step in the direction of protecting online rights, and we wouldn’t be here without the support of Internet users contacting Congress in droves.

Here’s what you need to know about the new privacy-protective package. Major new privacy protections added to the bill:

  • Ensuring that only civilian agencies—not the National Security Agency—are in charge of our nation’s cybersecurity systems. Let’s face it, we don’t want the agency that’s been spearheading the illegal warrantless wiretapping program for over 11 years to be charged with protecting citizens’ privacy interests in the realm of cybersecurity.
  • Ensuring data isn’t shared with law enforcement except in very specific, limited circumstances. Language in the first Lieberman-Collins Cybersecurity Act would have allowed data collected under cybersecurity purposes to be passed to law enforcement if there was evidence of criminal activity. This raised major concerns about our online service providers snooping through our communications for potentially incriminating data and passing it to the government without a warrant—a digital Big Brother. The new language of the bill limits data flowing to the government to information which appears to pertain to 1. A cybersecurity crime investigation; 2. An imminent threat of death or serious bodily harm; and 3. A serious threat to minors, like sexual exploitation and threats to physical safety.

Continue Reading More At: ActivistPost.com

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