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Feds Used a Military Surveillance Predator Drone to Spy on Minneapolis BLM Protestors



Customs and Border Patrol surveillance drone, image via Fox 10 News Arizona, Minneapolis protests

On Friday, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) flew an unarmed Predator surveillance drone over Minneapolis to help police monitor protestors around the city. Essentially, the federal government used military-grade equipment to spy on its own citizens, but then again, the feds have long surveilled those who dare challenge state power.

A CBP spokesperson said the drone provided “live video feed” at “the request of our federal law enforcement partners in Minneapolis” to give police “situational awareness, maximizing public safety while minimizing the threat to personnel and assets.”

Though the drone flew around at 9 a.m. CST, made a hexagon around the city, and returned to its base. It was used to look over the aftermath of protestors who had spent the last three nights demonstrating against police brutality.

The protestors, some of whom are affiliated with the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, seek police accountability and judicial reform after the May 25 killing of George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man suspected of using a counterfeit $20 bill.

A Minneapolis police officer knelt on Floyd’s neck during his arrest for nearly nine minutes while Floyd said, “I can’t breathe.” Floyd, who had a bloody nose while having his face smashed against the pavement, cried out for his mother and then subsequently died in police custody.

While the offending officer, Derek Chauvin, is currently in custody and has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter in Floyd’s death, charges haven’t been filed against the three other officers present during Floyd’s arrest.

During the resulting protests, police from the neighboring city of St. Paul estimate that more than 170 businesses have damaged or looted with dozens of fires occurring elsewhere in the city, most notably burning out the 3rd Precinct Police building where Chauvin worked.

The U.S. government has monitored activists since possibly before the mid 20th century’s Civil Rights Era. These days, the  CBP, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and local police have increasingly used high-tech tools to surveil protestors, including artificial intelligence-powered cameras, facial recognition, cellphone data locators, social media monitoring,  license plate readers, body cameras, video analysis tools.

These tools have been used against BLM and Occupy Wall Street activists in the past, and these same tools are currently at the Minneapolis police department’s disposal while city and state leaders try to decide how best to defuse the escalating situation.

Yesterday evening, Minneapolis Mayor enacted an 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. weekend curfew for all city residents. The curfew forbids folks from any travel on city streets whether by foot or wheel. Violators can get a $1,000 fine or 90 days in jail.

Though CBP says it loans its drones out all the time to help with local police and the National Guard, Neema Singh Guliani, senior legislative counsel at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), thinks they shouldn’t be used at all.

“No government agency should be facilitating the over-policing of the Black community, period,” Guliani said in a statement. “And CBP has no role in what’s happening in Minneapolis at all. This rogue agency’s use of military technology to surveil protesters inside US borders is deeply disturbing, especially given CBP’s lack of clear and strong policies to protect privacy and constitutional rights.”

Democratic New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was more succinct in her reaction to the drone. “This is what happens when leaders sign blank check after blank check to militarize police, CBP, etc while letting violence go unchecked,” she tweeted   “We need answers. And we need to defund.”

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DHS Offers Difficult Choice to Immigrants: Eat or Be Legal



Department of Homeland Security Seal

The Trump administration is seeking to expand its brutal treatment of immigrants, potentially denying green cards to legal immigrants who have previously received — or might receive — government assistance.

The new policy would cause these immigrants choose between being legally allowed to function in the country or the ability to eat and secure other needs, such as medication.

The Department of Homeland Security posted the new rule online this Saturday.

Immigrants could be denied “lawful permanent residency” under the new rule if they have accessed certain government benefits such as food or shelter. They could also be barred if the government suspects they might use assistance programs in the future.

The Department of Homeland Security claims the policy is not anti-immigrant as much as it is pro-taxpayer.

Under long-standing federal law, those seeking to immigrate to the United States must show they can support themselves financially,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen in a DHS press release.

Nielsen added, “This proposed rule will implement a law passed by Congress intended to promote immigrant self-sufficiency and protect finite resources by ensuring that they are not likely to become burdens on American taxpayers.”

The policy is the handiwork of trump aide Stephen Miller, a staunch opponent of immigrants and immigration policy.

The Trump administration has been anti-immigrant from the beginning, with Donald Trump attacking Mexican immigrants in the very first speech in his campaign.

The administration has sought to bar visas for many traveling to the United States, has detained both adults and children in hastily-assembled facilities, and, of course, still seeks to create a massive wall along the country’s southern border.

Contrary to past assurances that the government was only weeding out illegal immigration, this policy targets those attempting to function in the United States legally, possibly forcing some to break the law just to survive.

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Tucker Carlson Defends Trump With Racist Claim That Mexico Interferes in US Elections More Than Russia



Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson is defending President Donald Trump’s insistence Monday, while standing with Vladimir Putin, that Russia did not interfere in the U.S. election that placed him in the White House.

Carlson employed his best “whataboutism” to declare that Mexico has interfered in America’s elections far more than Russia because, presumably, undocumented immigrants cross the Southern border and vote.

“I don’t think Russia is our close friend, or anything like that,” Carlson said. “Of course they tried to interfere in our affairs, many countries do – some more successfully than Russia,” the Fox News anchor continued.

“Mexico,” Carlson offered as a supposed example, “which is routinely interfering in our elections by picking the electorate,” Carlson said in a racist claim.

That’s false, in fact. The incidence of immigrants – undocumented or not – illegally voting in U.S. elections is so minimal as to be almost zero.

Some responses via Twitter:


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‘This Is Fascism’: Internet Blasts ‘Openly Racist AF’ Mike Huckabee for Posting Racist Tweet



‘Laying the Groundwork for Genocide’

Mike Huckabee once portrayed himself as an affable centrist Republican, a man who loved people and loved playing his guitar. An ordained Baptist minister who would minister to the nation. He used all that to serve as the Republican governor of Arkansas for nine years, and run for president twice.

That was all a lie, a cover, a smokescreen. A mask.

Mike Huckabee is a racist.

It should come as little surprise. His daughter is the White House press secretary under President Donald Trump. She has a record of supporting Trump’s polices and a record of lying to reporters on a regular basis.

Today, Mike Huckabee is under fire after he posted a vile and offensive tweet. It shows an image of young, shirtless teen boys or young men with tattoos. The image has appeared on dozens of websites, and a Google image search titles it as “ms 13 gang sign.”

MS-13 is President Trump’s “favorite” anti-immigrant tool, a dangerous gang he portrays as Central American, but it was formed on the streets of Los Angeles.

Huckabee had a different title than Google for the photo: “Nancy Pelosi introduces her campaign committee for the take back of the House.”

It’s clear, unadulterated racism.

And many on social media berated the former Arkansas governor.

Take a look at some of the responses:


Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr and a CC license

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