Just months into my second year of law school at the University of Michigan, I witnessed my rights and life profoundly altered because of the passage of Proposal 2. This law banned Michigan’s institutions of higher learning from considering race as one of many factors in admissions, even though these programs had already been approved by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Recently, I had a meeting with Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.). I was bringing some youth leaders to his office to discuss racial justice and education. When we arrived, he starting telling us his story. We were in awe. It was a history lesson from the source itself. He talked about the events on the Edmund Pettus Bridge and showed us photos of his own beating, one of the most infamous attacks by police in history.
True or false: a police department in Florida failed to tell judges about its use of a cell phone tracking device because the manufacturer asked them to keep it under wraps.
Edward Snowden will appear via live video next Monday at what film, interactive, and music festival for his first conversation in front of an audience since he blew the whistle on NSA dragnet surveillance?
The ACLU and Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law sent a letter requesting what government agency investigate abusive debt collection practices?
On May 4, 1970, members of the Ohio National Guard fired between 61 and 67 shots into a crowd of unarmed anti-war protestors at Kent State University in Ohio, killing four students and wounding nine others. My 19-year-old sister, Allison Krause, was one of four students shot to death by the Ohio National Guard in the parking lot of her university campus as she protested the Vietnam War. I was 15 years old at the time.
Missouri legislators have introduced more than a dozen bills intended to interfere with a woman’s access to abortion. Three bills (HB 1307/HB 1313/SB 519) that were recently debated in the Missouri House and Senate would block a woman needing an abortion from getting care for 72 hours. This type of measure harms real families in difficult situations and prevents doctors from providing care that is in the best interest of their patients.
Most governments don’t have the resources to manufacture the surveillance technology that’s required to hack into the computers of unsuspecting citizens. In recent years, surveillance software firms have stepped in to fill that gap, proliferating into what has become a $5 billion industry. In the TED talk below, ACLU Principal Technologist Chris Soghoian discusses the new methods that governments, including our own, are using to track their “targets” – which, in some cases, include journalists, activists, and dissidents.
There is a crisis that demands our urgent attention. For the last four decades, this country has been obsessed with expanding the number of people we throw behind bars and the length of time we hold them there. Crime rates have been falling for the last 20 years, but still we have a massive and unsustainable prison population, particularly targeting the poor and powerless. We're not strengthening communities, we're using our criminal justice system to throw away certain people's lives – disproportionately the lives of Black and brown men, women, and children.
I believe it’s possible that a private, for-profit prison can be operated in a responsible manner. Based on my experience, however, the chance of this occurring is small. Time and time again, the incentive to cut corners in order to maximize profits seems to trump the desire to operate a responsible facility.
Melinda Chateauvert will read excerpts from Sex Workers Unite! and sign copies of the book on Wednesday, March 12. For more information and to RSVP, visit http://sexworkersunite.eventbrite.com.
Do sex workers have rights? Put another way, can whores, hustlers, strippers, streetwalkers and porn stars demand respect and justice?