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Week in Review: US “Occupy” Movement Explodes; UK’s Cameron Supports Gay Marriage; CA Dream Act Becomes Law

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The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to three women advocates of non-violent action; UK’s Prime Minister endorses gay marriage to party loyalists– Tories and religious leaders protest strongly; the American”Occupy” movement exponentially explodes. The New Civil Rights Movement introduces “In Memoriam”. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

International

Nobel Peace Prize Awarded to Three Women for Non-Violent Activism

Ellen Johnson-Sireaf, president of Liberia and Leymah Gbowee, a Liberian peace activist and Tawakul Karman, a Yemeni media and human rights activist were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on Oct. 7 “for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work.”

President Obama praised the winners stating:   “On behalf of the American people, I congratulate the recipients of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee of Liberia, and Tawakkul Karman of Yemen. Today’s award honors three extraordinary individuals, and sends a powerful message that the struggle for universal rights and human dignity can only be fulfilled with the full participation of women around the globe.”

European Banks Face New Stress Tests

The European Banking Authority, the top European banking regulator, called for a second round of peripheral Eurozone bank stress tests this past week that could potentially identify capital shortfalls across the banking system that could total as much as $266 billion.  Europe continues to struggle with an Eurozone sovereign debt crisis, teetering on collapse which has been in crisis for weeks and months.  Principal countries of concern are Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain (aka the “PIIGS”).

UK PM David Cameron Declares Support for Gay Marriage

David Cameron, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, declared his support for legalized gay marriage at a Tory Party conference this past week to less than an enthusiastic audience that was marked by protest, prompting some party delegates walk out.  The Conservative Party leader forcefully expressed his support for gay marriage:  “Conserrvatives believe in ties that bind us; that society is stronger when we make vows to each other.  So I don’t support gay marriage despite being a Conservative.  I support gay marriage because I’m a Conservative”. Cameron’s endorsement was immediately repudiated by a spokesperson of the Church of England,  joined by various leaders of the British Roman Catholic Church.

U.S. Envoy hosts Eastern European LGBT Human Rights Defenders

Ambassador David Johnson, head of the U.S. delegation that attended the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe’s annual ‘Human Dimension’ Implementation meeting in Warsaw this past week, hosted a reception for LGBT human rights defenders who continue to face fierce and frequent violent oppostion to gay pride events around Europe, most recently in Belgrade on Oct. 2 when Serbian government officials cancelled a planned pride march due to ultra-nationalistic opposition that threatened violence.

Mark Bromley, chair of the Council for Global Equality, who also attended the meeting, said in a statement to the New Civil Rights Movement that the U.S. government’s role has proven to be a constructive one, although the 56-member state organization has yet to formalize a systematic review of LGBT human rights in the OSCE region:  “The U.S. government is now working closely with many EU colleagues to raise LGBT concerns in the discussion, even if it is not formally on the agenda.  Ambassador Johnson raised LGBT human rights issues several times during the meeting.”

 

National

Occupy Movement Explodes Across America 

The “Occupy” social and political movement in America continues to expand in the numbers of cities where actions are taking place, as activists increase, compelling organizers to create a second location in New York City at Washington Square Park and growing numbers of new cities join the disaffected ranks as the nacent movement enters its 4th week which began on Sept. 17 with a small group of demonstrators on Wall Street.   Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel laureate economist, among other luminaries made the trek to Wall Street to meet and talk with demonstrators , giving political heft to their disenchantment with American banks and investors,who were bailed out the U.S. government in recent years.

While liberal blogs, like Fire Dog Lake and Wonkette have been regularly reporting and blogging on “Occupy Wall Street” since its earliest beginnings–the movement appears to have gained legitimacy as mainstream media, including all major television networks who are reporting from Wall Street nightly, as well as on the additional 85 cities, who apparently are also “under occupation”.   President Obama acknowledged the demonstrators’ anger during presidential press conference this past week.  Criticism of the demonstrators has been forthcoming from Republican Party circles by presidential candidate Herman Cain who said on Wall Street Journal televison this past week:  “I don’t have facts to back this up, but it appears that these are planned and orchestrated demonstrations” to deflect attention from failed Obama Adminstration policies.  Congressional Majority Leader Eric Cantor has called the activists “mobs”.

Nation observes 10th anniversary of Afghanistan war–longest in U.S. history

Friday marked the tenth anniversary of the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. During  the past decade, more than 2,500 international troops have been killed,  including nearly 1,800  American troops in the ongoing  military effort called “Operation Enduring Freedom.”  Additionally, more than 14,000 American soldiers have been injured, $450 billion has been spent in prosecuting the war that accumulates at $2 billion weekly.  Stanley McCrystal, the Army’s former commanding general in Afghanistan remarked on Friday before an audience at the Council on Foreign Relations that the [U.S.] was only halfway through accomplishing its goals there because of “our understanding of Afghanistan is frighteningly simplistic”.  McCrystal also said that the biggest challenge for the U.S. remains to assist Afghanis in the  establishment of  “a stable, legitimate government that is an effective counterbalance to the Taliban”.

California Adopts Dream Act; Alabama’s Immigration Law Creates Humanitarian Disaster

Governor Jerry Brown of California, put the most populated state into the pro-support column for undocumented immigrant students, when he signed the California Dream Act yesterday, giving legal access to these students for tuition assistance enabling them to  attend California state universities beginning in 2013. The Congress failed to adopt a federal version of similar benefits that was included in the the United We Dream Act in 2010, despite a gallant effort.  Supporters continue to pursue a federal remedy.

Meanwhile, the State of Alabama adopted a draconian anti-illegal immigrant law that has resulted in families leaving the state in droves.  The law’s adoption resulted in an immediate shortage of farm workers, compelling farmers to appeal to the State to use prison gangs to bring in this year’s harvest.  The Southern Poverty Law Center declared this week that the new Alabama law is creating a humanitarian crisis for immigrants, legal and undocumented. The SPLC has received more than a 1,000 calls to their immigration telephone hotline since the law was passed.

In Memoriam

Paula Ettelbrick, Gay Rights Pioneer, Dies at 56

Paula Ettelbrick, a lesbian feminist and heralded gay rights activist who had held a number of leadership positions with gay rights groups, sucumbed to an aggressive form of ovarian cancer Oct. 7. Ettelbrick was broadly recognized for her groundbreaking contributions and was honored by a New York Times news obituary in her passing.

Steven Jobs, the “Thomas Edison” of the 21st Century, Dies at 56

Steven Jobs, a co-founder of Apple Computers and considered the  Thomas Edison of the computer age, died on Oct. 6th after losing a battle to a rare form of pancreatic cancer.  Jobs, who had been sick for several years, worked through the last weeks of his life.

Matthew Sheppard, Remembering his Life 13 Years Later

Matthew Sheppard was a 21-year-old college student, when he was lured outside a bar under a ruse, beaten senseless, pistol whipped and left for dead, strung up on an unforgiving Wyoming fence that eventually claimed his life.  Eleven years later, Barack Obama would sign the  Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act.  We remember Matthew, his sacrifice and the work continues.

Fred Shuttlesworth, Co-Founder of the SCLC and Civil Rights leader, Dies at 89

The Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, a major civil rights leader who battled  racisim and the Jim Crow South, who was also a co-founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Rev. Ralph Abernathy, died this past week at the age of 89.  He was a key decisionmaker in taking a principled stand against the Jim Crow policies of Birmingham, Alabama–a city that witnessed the use of dogs turned on black children by then-Sheriff Bull Connors, which became a major turning point in turning back racism in Southern United States.

 

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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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Trump Endorsed Pro-Gun GOP Nominee Apologizes After Urging People to ‘Move On’ Hours After July 4 Mass Shooting

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The far-right pro-gun Republican nominee for governor of Illinois has apologized “if” his remarks, telling people to “move on” from the Highland Park Independence Day massacre that left six people dead and dozens wounded, “diminished the pain being felt across our state.”

Darren Bailey, a GOP state lawmaker who won his party’s nomination and is endorsed by Donald Trump, turned the horrific July 4 shooting into a campaign event.

Surrounded by supporters holding signs featuring his logo and others that said, “Fire Pritzker” – the current governor and his Democratic opponent – Bailey posted a Facebook live video saying, “we’re just going to take a moment and pray for the families [inaudible] pray for the law enforcement and even the organizers of this parade.”

“The shooter is still at large so let’s pray for justice to prevail, and then let’s move on and let’s celebrate the independence of this nation. We know the mission,” he said. “We have got to get corruption and evil out of our government.”

Insider adds that in Bailey’s video he also linked the Highland Park mass shooting to the “tough weekend in Chicago.” Highland Park is about 30 miles from Chicago. Fox News and right-wing media often focus on gun violence in that city, despite the fact that less than half the illegal guns used in crimes in Chicago come from Illinois.

“My intent was to pray for the victims and those affected by today’s tragedy and for the shooter to be caught and prosecuted without further loss,” Bailey said in a statement, Insider reports. “I apologize if in any way we diminished the pain being felt across our state today.”

In April Bailey held a fundraiser to “win one of these great guns” and “help fuel our movement to reform Springfield and restore Illinois.”

In December Bailey, who has called “guns and hunting” a “family tradition,” tweeted out an article in which he is quoted saying, “I will die on my porch before I give up my guns.”

 

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News

‘This Is a Business’: New Footage of Trump Family Emerges From Jan. 6 Investigation

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Newly revealed video footage shows how close British filmmaker Alex Holder got to the Trump family in the lead-up to the January 6th insurrection.

The family allowed Holder to gain exclusive access to them and the former president’s inner circle in the period between the 2020 election and the attack on the U.S. Capitol, and Politico obtained a new trailer for the upcoming documentary “Unprecedented,” which will stream on the Discovery+ network.

“Ivanka frets about a line on her dress, and jokes about covering it with a pet roaming about. ‘Can I borrow your dog?’ she asks her makeup artist,” Politico reported. “Jared nervously repositions his tie and asks, ‘Is that okay?’ Don Jr., seen at a rally, screams, ‘We will make liberals cry again!’ Eric is caught on a phone call, mysteriously saying, ‘For the sake of this country, we’re going to get these guys.'”

Those mundane moments build up to Jan. 6, and the film shows Donald Trump encouraging his supporters to march down Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capitol, and Holder’s photographer joins the throng.

READ MORE: Robert Crimo III’s family noticed nothing amiss, but social media posts painted a darker picture

“We’ve got to get the roaches out, all of them,” a Trump supporter yells to the photographer.

The documentary crew also recorded scenes from the ensuing attack, and Holder has turned over the raw footage to the House select committee investigating the riot.

“Gaining power is easy,” the narrator says in the trailer. “Surrendering it is not.”

Watch the video below or at this link.

 

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CRIME

Who Is the Highland Park July 4th Mass Shooting Person of Interest? ‘Obsession With Mass Death and Nihilism’

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The person police are describing as a “person of interest” in the Highland Park, Illinois Independence Day mass shooting that left six parade watchers dead and 38 injured has been apprehended.

Robert “Bobby” Crimo goes by the name of “Awake the Rapper” on social media. According to The Daily Beast, he is “an amateur rapper who posted disturbing videos on his YouTube channel, including a crude animation depicting a heavily armed shooter being killed by police.”

Crimo, a 22-year-old white man, “is a video-game enthusiast and professional wrestling fan. One photo posted to Twitter showed him wearing a Trump flag like a cape; in another he sported an FBI cap. But the same account also liked a video of President Biden.”

USA Today reports Crimo has been arrested in connection with the mass shooting. There are no reports he has been charged, and it’s too early to determine his political beliefs, if any. NCRM has not verified any of the photos in this report.

An FBI wanted poster published by Fox News says Crimo “has the following tattoos: four tally marks with a line through them on his right cheek, red roses and green leaves on his neck, and cursive script above his left eyebrow.”

NBC News senior reporter Ben Collins, who describes his work as covering the “dystopia beat,” writes: “The most important thing to know about Crimo’s online identity is his obsession with mass death and nihilism.”

In an NBC News article, Collins adds Crimo “left a long trail of tributes to mass shootings and public killings on social media platforms, according to numerous profiles that appear to belong to him.”

“Crimo didn’t frequently post about major political figures on his websites, except for two posts about former President Donald Trump,” Collins adds.

A video posted to Crimo’s YouTube page on Jan. 2, 2021, appears to show Crimo among a throng of protesters cheering for Trump’s presidential motorcade outside an airport. Crimo flips the phone’s orientation to reveal his face at the end of the video.

Crimo is also seen draped in a Trump flag in a June 27, 2021, post on Twitter. The post is captioned with only the word “spam.”

Sawyer Hackett, a senior advisor to former HUD Secretary Julián Castro, posted these images that have been flooding social media, allegedly of Crimo.

Investigative journalist Steven Monacelli, who writes about extremism, warns about jumping to conclusions, but adds these photos he says are of Crimo and says he “does appear to have been active in some right wing political events.”

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