Civil Liberties

From Aaron Cynic at Chicagoist:: The familiar blinking blue light cameras that dot many city streets could get smaller soon, according to an article by the Chicago Tribune. The Tribune reported yesterday…

Here is another chapter from Russ Kick’s classic bite-size Disinformation book 50 Things You’re Not Supposed to Know, published in 2003.

For more on Russ Kick, check out his website, The Memory Hole.


GavelIn order to guard citizens against the whims of the King, the right to a trial by jury was established by the Magna Carta in 1215, and it has become one of the most sacrosanct legal aspects of British and American societies. We tend to believe that the duty of a jury is solely to determine whether someone broke the law. In fact, it’s not unusual for judges to instruct juries that they are to judge only the facts in a case, while the judge will sit in judgment of the law itself. Nonsense.

Juries are the last line of defense against the power abuses of the authorities. They have the right to judge the law. Even if a defendant committed a crime, a jury can refuse to render a guilty verdict. Among the main reasons why this might happen, according to attorney Clay S. Conrad:

When the defendant has already suffered enough, when it would be unfair or against the public interest for the defendant to be convicted, when the jury disagrees with the law itself, when the prosecution or the arresting authorities have gone “too far” in the single-minded quest to arrest and convict a particular defendant, when the punishments to be imposed are excessive or when the jury suspects that the charges have been brought for political reasons or to make an unfair example of the hapless defendant …

NGBAKopBusters is a new project from Never Get Busted Again filmmaker and activist Barry Cooper:

[We] were discussing the thousands of citizens who sent emails to NeverGetBusted asking for help regarding krooked kops in their communities. Formerly one of our nation’s top drug enforcement officers, [Barry Cooper] has first hand knowledge of the korruption the American Drug War produces. He knew the constant flow of emails complaining of civil rights violations, specifically the 4th Amendment (unreasonable search and seizure), were true.

Barry Cooper says his arrest last week was in retaliation for his “KopBusting” and was politically motivated:

As hard as it was on my family for myself to go to jail … it’s nothing compared to how hundreds of thousands of families feel every year, because of those raids. Other families do not have the resources nor the experience or the knowledge to safely make it through a raid, so when they’re raided, they can’t and don’t and won’t fight back. So my family is fighting back for those families.

As far as I know, there’s no other human or family exposing cop corruption. The proof that cops will retaliate if you expose them, is our arrest and the raid they conducted on my home. For that exact reason, other families just take it. This happened to my family because I caught and filmed one of their officers stealing drug money.

Matt Tobey writes on Comedy Central’s InDecision Forever:

Good news, hippies! President Obama will not be arresting medical marijuana users who comply with state laws. That’s right, the potheads are soon going to be roaming the streets, treating their cancer and glaucoma willy-nilly in some sort of warped Fear-and-Loathing-in-Las-Vegas-esque perversion of America where the sick are dealt with humanely and with reason. With that in mind, here are some of the best “War on Drugs”-themed clips from The Daily Show. Watch them with some of your kindest buds.

Enjoy the clips, one below and more on Comedy Central:

The Huffington Post reports:

A group of civilly-disobedient hemp farmers and business leaders were arrested Tuesday morning while digging up the lawn to plant industrial hemp seeds at the headquarters of the Drug Enforcement Administration.

David Bronner, the president of Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, a more than 60-year-old company that does tens of millions of dollars of business annually, was among those arrested.

Bronner buys the hemp used in his soaps from Canadian farmers. He was arrested outside the DEA museum, which shares space with the headquarters. “Our kids are going to come to this museum and say, ‘My God. Your generation was crazy. What the hell is wrong with you people?'” he said as Arlington County Police handcuffed him and walked him to a waiting car.

Once again, the government is finding a way to use Twitter and other social networking platforms as tools to curtail civil liberties. Elliot Madison and Michael Wallschlaeger of Queens, New York were…