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Week in Review: Occupy Wall Street Goes Global, Congress Kills American Jobs Act, Ugandan Lesbian Awarded Human Rights Prize



 NYC police aggressively arrest Occupy Wall Street activists, while the movement goes global with actions in Berlin, London, Rome & Tokyo; American jobs bill dies in Congress and a Ugandan lesbian activist honored by human rights prize. 


New York City Police Get Aggressive with Occupy Activists; Movement Goes Global, Expanding to More Than 80 Countries


The New York Police Department (NYPD) cracked down on the Occupy Wall Street activists this weekend, posturing early Friday morning by initially assembling at the mouth of Zucotti Park, dressed in full anti-riot gear intending to drive activists from the park, although its owners informed Mayor Bloomberg late Thursday evening that they were withdrawing their original request to “clean” the park.  But Mayor Mike forgot to tell the NYPD, who apparently lost their cool, as Occupy activists had expanded into Washington Park Square during the week. Ultimately, the Zucotti Park residents did not move. After a decision by the Occupy movement protestors to occupy Times Square on Saturday, the NYPD became aggressive, using barricades to pen people in, preventing them from moving block to block and used horse patrols who charged protesters. Police also locked in and eventually arrested activists and some innocent bystanders who had entered bank lobbies to withdraw money for the purpose of closing their accounts.

United for Global Change

Declaring a global action on Saturday titled United for Global Change with a custom prepared Twitter hash tag, peaceful actions ensued in Berlin, London and Tokyo–the one exception was Rome, where a group of anarchists who were participating– fire bombed cars and pillaged stores, causing extensive damage.  Even laid back Canada got in on the action, with several actions from Ontario to the British Columbia engaged. According to the “Occupy Together” website, 951 cities, located in 82 countries, have participated thus far since the movement began in New York City on Sept. 17.


Ugandan Lesbian Awarded Martin Ennals Human Rights Defender Prize

Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera, a Ugandan lesbian activist, who has lived in fear for years, moving house to house, to avoid attacks for being a gay person and founder of Freedom and Roam Uganda, an advocacy group for lesbians, was awarded the Martin Ennals Human Rights Defender Prize on Oct. 13. Nabagesera is the first gay human rights advocate to receive the award, considered only second to the Nobel Peace Prize in prestige. She was presented the award by the UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva.

G-20 Orders Europe to Get its House in Order; Slovakia Votes Against Bailout and the EU Sets Deadline to Address Monetary Crisis 

In the lead-up to the G-20 meeting this weekend in France, Slovakia the last EU country to vote on a bail out for the Euro zone banking authority, was the first Euro zone country whose government collapsed as it voted down the referendum, before it finally passed the proposal two days later. The bailout fund is set to be 344 billion euros (about $472 billion) to resolve a sovereign debt crisis. The price of passage gives the Social Democrats an early election date. The G-20 advised for the bailout to continue, despite demonstrations throughout the European continent on Saturday and asserted that the EU summit later this month would be decisive in resolving the ongoing crisis.  The Euro zone banking crisis remains a crisis at full boil in Greece, which has yet to reach solvency, along with Portugal, Ireland, Italy and Spain.  EU officials have given themselves an Oct. 23 deadline to resolve the crisis.

UK Ties Foreign Aid to LGBT Rights

Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom’s Tory-led government, announced this past week that his government would leverage its foreign assistance to bilateral partners based upon their LGBT human rights records.  This foreign policy move is seen by some as much a domestic move to cut back on foreign assistance spending, but to bridge its spending aims to a growing popular issue at home that Cameron continues to pursue, most recently announcing his unqualified support for legalized gay marriage in the UK to the consternation of many of his own Conservative party members and church leaders.  This move was supported by lawmakers in Nepal, as well as gay activists in Nepal, as reported by the New Civil Rights Movement.

Polish Voters Elect First Trans Member of Parliament

Anna Grodzka a trans woman political activist was elected to Poland’s parliament this past week as a member of the Palikot Movement, which swept into office with a progressive liberal slate of candidates that garnered the third-most elected lawmakers in parliament, which is seen as a “change election” by Polish political watchers.  Grodzka is the first trans person to be elected to Poland’s parliament and will serve in the Sejm, the Lower House.  Grodzka is the founder and president of Trans-Fuzja, a non-profit advocacy group on behalf of trans persons.



 United States Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit Blocks and Upholds Alabama Immigration law

On Friday, the Federal 11th Circuit Court of Appeals blocked two key provisions of the Alabama Immigration law in HICA v Bentley that are according to the Southern Poverty Law Center:  the provision that chills children’s access to school by requiring school officials to verify the immigration status of children and their parents; and the provision that criminalizes failure to register with the federal government and carry one’s “papers” at all times.

The school provisions take effect immediately.  The Court did not block provisions dealing with immigration status checks during traffic stops. It also allowed to remain in effect the sections that bar illegal immigrants from entering contracts or engaging in business transactions with government.

The Alabama law took effect two weeks ago, compelling people to leave the state immediately.  The coalition of groups bringing the challenge to the law, include the Southern Poverty Law Center, the ACLU, the National Immigration Law Center and the ACLU of Alabama, the Asian Law Caucus, the National Day Laborers’ Organizing Network, AAJC, and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund.  The U.S. Department of Justice has also challenged the law.

Obama Jobs Bill Blocked in the Senate; Rev. Al Sharpton Hosts Jobs Rally on the Mall

To no one’s surprise, Eric Cantor, the House Republican Majority Leader declared President Barack Obama’s American Jobs Act legislation dead on arrival in early October, but just this week, the Senate, controlled by the Democrats, was unable to muster the 60 votes needed to cloture proof a vehicle that would provide $444 billion for the president’s number one election issue–jobs for the American worker.  The bill went down 50-49, not even close, although Harry Reid changed his vote to “no” before the vote was recorded and preserved his right to bring the bill back for a vote.

Not to be deterred, Obama has hit the road, exhorting voters to help him generate support for the bill by calling their members of Congress.  In Washington yesterday, Rev. Al Sharpton, the newly successful MSNBC host and the president of the National Action Network, gathered his forces on the National Mall, joined by several national unions that also included Planned Parenthood, and staged a rally for jobs and justice, announcing he would be organizing marches in 25 states, offering to “generate some wind behind the president’s back” to get the jobs bill moving in Congress. In anticipation of the celebration held earlier today to inaugurate the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, Sharpton called the crowd together, saying the “dreamer may have been killed, but the dream remains.”  Following his speech, rally participants were encouraged to join Sharpton to walk the mall together in solidarity.

In Memoriam

Frank Kameny, an American LGBT civil rights lion, died of natural causes on Oct. 11, National Coming Out Day.   He was 86-years-old. Kameny coined “Gay is Good,” arguably the first positive message about homosexuals delivered to the American public.  A public memorial service is expected to be held in Washington, D.C. on Nov. 15th, the 50th anniversary of the Mattachine Society.


Tanya L. Domi is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University who teaches about human rights in Eurasia and is a Harriman Institute affiliated faculty member. Prior to teaching at Columbia, Domi worked internationally for more than a decade on issues related to democratic transitional development, including political and media development, human rights, gender issues, sex trafficking, and media freedom.

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Trump Lawyers in Classified Docs Case Quit Hours After Indictment: Report



Attorneys representing Donald Trump in the U.S. Dept. of Justice’s prosecution of the former president on what reportedly are seven categories of federal felonies have resigned from representing him, just hours after a grand jury indicted their client.

“Two lawyers who represented Donald Trump in the months before he was indicted on federal charges over his handling of classified documents quit working for him Friday morning,” CNBC reports.

“This morning we tendered our resignations as counsel to President Trump, and we will no longer represent him on either the indicted case or the January 6 investigation,” Trump attorneys Jim Trusty (photo) and John Rowley said in a joint statement, according to CNN’s Alayna Treene.

“The attorneys,” CNBC also reported, “did not explain in detail why they had resigned, other than to say that ‘this is a logical moment’ to do given his indictment Thursday in U.S. District Court in Miami.”

READ MORE: ‘Disgraced’ Trump-Appointed Florida Judge Initially Assigned to Oversee Ex-President’s Criminal Case: Report

The Guardian’s Hugo Lowell reports, “Trump announces on Truth Social that Todd Blanche will be his criminal defense attorney in the Mar-a-Lago docs case with another firm yet to be named. Jim Trusty and John Rowley are out.”

This is far from the first time Trump’s lawyers have quit.

Less than one month ago, as Alternet reported, “Timothy Parlatore, an attorney for Donald Trump, made a major announcement on Wednesday, May 17: He is leaving the former president’s legal team.”

Trusty appeared on CNN just Thursday night, to defend Trump.

Watch video below or at this link.

This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. 

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‘Disgraced’ Trump-Appointed Florida Judge Initially Assigned to Oversee Ex-President’s Criminal Case: Report



A federal judge whose highly-controversial rulings favoring Donald Trump were derided by legal experts and judges on a higher court, has been initially assigned to the U.S. Dept. of Justice’s criminal case against the ex-president, who appointed her to the bench three years ago.

Judge Aileen Cannon, known for agreeing to Trump’s request by assigning a special master to review the entirety of federal government documents the FBI retrieved from Mar-a-Lago last summer during the execution of a search and seizure warrant will, at least for now, oversee the government’s case allegedly charging Donald Trump with seven different felony categories in its classified documents probe, according to ABC News.

“The summons sent to former President Donald Trump and his legal team late Thursday indicates that U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon will be assigned to oversee his case, at least initially, according to sources briefed on the matter,” ABC News reports.

READ MORE: Trump Lawyers Blindsided by Existence of Bombshell Recording – ‘They Don’t Know How to Defend This’: Maggie Haberman

“Cannon’s apparent assignment would add yet another unprecedented wrinkle to a case involving the first federal charges against a former president: Trump appointed Cannon to the federal bench in 2019, meaning that, if Trump is ultimately convicted, she would be responsible for determining the sentence – which may include prison time – for the man who elevated her to the role.”

Cannon, agreeing to Trump’s request to appoint a special master last September, also halted the Dept. of Justice’s use of those materials, which included at least one hundred classified documents, in its criminal investigation into Trump.

Harvard University professor emeritus of constitutional law, Laurence Tribe, called Judge Cannon’s special master decision “utterly lawless,” and said: “She has disgraced her position as an Article III judge.”

ABC News notes that “Legal experts [had] accused Cannon of handing Trump a series of head-scratching victories over the course of those proceedings,” and added, “Cannon’s order was ultimately thrown out in its entirety by an 11th Circuit Court of appeals panel, which found she overstepped in exercising her jurisdiction in the probe.”

The 11th Circuit issued a scathing rebuke of Judge’ Cannon’s decision to appoint the special master. One week later, without explanation or reasoning, she overruled the special master’s decision and extended deadlines – decisions which favored Donald Trump.

RELATED: ‘Pure Essence of Judicial Corruption’: Morning Joe Panelists ‘Stunned’ by Cannon’s Ruling on Classified Docs

Cannon is not the only judge whose name appears on the summons.

“In addition to Cannon, Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart’s name also appeared on the summons sent to Trump on Thursday, the sources said,” ABC adds. “Reinhart, who was sworn in as a magistrate judge in 2018, is also familiar with the proceedings against Trump: he signed off on the initial search warrant of Mar-a-Lago last year and later ruled to unseal the search affidavit – decisions that made him the target of antisemitic jabs on the internet.”

The New York Times in August of last year reported, “in a segment on Fox News, a host showed a manipulated photo that appeared to show Judge Reinhart seated on a plane with Ghislaine Maxwell, Mr. [Jeffrey] Epstein’s companion who had been convicted last year of aiding Mr. Epstein in sexually abusing minors.”

Brian Kilmeade, the Fox News host, the following day tweeted: “Last night while subbing for Tucker Carlson, we showed you an image of Judge Bruce Reinhart w/ Ghislaine Maxwell that was sourced on screen to a meme pulled from Twitter & wasn’t real. This depiction never took place & we wanted to make clear that we were showing a meme in jest.”

READ MORE: SCOTUS ‘Surprise’ Voting Rights Decision Could – and Did – Have Big Implications for Democrats, Legal Experts Say

The Times noted “the scrutiny of Judge Reinhart has also prompted the local authorities to step up security. His synagogue canceled a Friday night Shabbat service last week in response to multiple antisemitic threats, and the police in his neighborhood said officers had intensified patrols near his house.”

Professor of Law Joyce Vance, an NBC News/MSNBC contributor and former U.S. Attorney responded to the news of Cannon’s assignment. Pointing to an earlier case as precedent, Vance says: “This is persuasive authority that Judge Cannon must step aside if the case falls to her as a permanent assignment. Her court & certainly the 11th [Circuit] won’t tolerate the damage it would do to their credibility if she failed to voluntarily recuse.”

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Trump Lawyers Blindsided by Existence of Bombshell Recording – ‘They Don’t Know How to Defend This’: Maggie Haberman



CNN on Friday morning obtained a bombshell transcript of a recording in which former President Donald Trump boasts of retaining “secret” military information that he never declassified while he was president.

Appearing on CNN shortly after this news broke, New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman revealed that the former president’s team was essentially blindsided by this recording’s existence.

“I don’t think they quite know how to defend this… from what we have heard,” she said. “They were… startled by the existence of this tape. This tape was something that they learned existed when this aide to Trump testified. The prosecutors were already in possession of this tape. They didn’t get it from the aide, although it appears the aide had a copy when it was subpoenaed later, but this is has been described to us by multiple sources… as a really problematic piece of evidence for Trump.”

Haberman predicted that the recording’s existence would not change the Trump legal team’s overall defense strategy, however.

READ MORE: ‘He’s just not that smart’: Trump buried by Morning Joe for handing investigators all they need

“I think they are going to stick that their line: ‘He says things, he didn’t mean it a certain way,'” she said. “I am sure they can come up with all kinds of explanations for why he used the language he used. But it’s on tape.”

Trump is due in court in Miami next week to face seven felony counts related to his handling of top-secret government documents.

Watch the video below or at this link.


Image via Shutterstock

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