All posts by Midnightschildren

Anti-Muslim Hate Group Uses Same Name as State-Funded PVE Program

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California’s new counter-terrorism via social services program, Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE), which is a state version of the federal Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) program, has run into a big problem.

A hate speech problem. A group called the Clarion Project, identified by both the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Center for American Progress as an Anti-Muslim hate group, has decided to get in on the preventing extremism project.

Clarion announced their *own” Preventing Violent Extremism program, a 21-city community outreach program focused on schools and targeting some of the same Southern California communities in San Bernardino and Orange County that will have state-funded programs with the same name.

The Clarion Project is most well-known for two things: hyperbolic documentary films and its Fox News security analyst, Ryan Mauro. One of Clarion Project’s documentaries Obsession, Radical Islam’s War on the West made national headlines when 28 million DVD copies were distributed in 70 print newspapers in battleground states in 2008, just weeks before the presidential election that year. Most observers considered it a political ploy to attempt to tie then candidate Barack Obama to Islamic fundamentalism.

Clarion’s “security analyst” Ryan Mauro, who doubles as a Fox News contributor, made claims in 2013 on national news about Muslim “no-go zones” in Europe and the United States. His discredited claims later led to a foiled bomb attack on a Black Muslim community in upstate New York.

California’s vendors include HADI, a long-time NSA contractor, the Orange County Human Relations Commission, San Diego 2-1-1 and the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

CVE/PVE wasn’t a good idea before it got co-opted by an anti-Muslim hate group. Now it’s worse.

Letter-Regarding-the-Clarion-Project

Coalition-Letter-to-Governor-Newsom

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A Nonprofit Alliance Becomes an Ally of Big Telecom

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How well-meaning, public-serving groups wound up as part of an alliance aimed at undermining state regulation of broadband and privacy laws.

BY CHRIS WITTEMAN AND TRACY ROSENBERG -NOVEMBER 24, 2019

Originally published in 48 Hills.

It’s not unusual for businesses to spend princely sums lobbying government to free them from regulations, which generally means consumer protections are reduced or eliminated.  In a nutshell, that’s much of what goes on in the halls of government, as we’ve previously reported.

But it is a bit more unconventional when a self-described coalition of nonprofit organizations promotes the same agenda as large telecom companies, putting consumers at the short end of the stick.

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Tsuru For Solidarity Pilgrimage To Close The Camps

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125,000 paper cranes to DC in June 2020 for Tsuru for Solidarity’s
“National Pilgrimage to Close the Camps”

From Tsuru For Solidarity’s Press Release:

Japanese Americans from across the country will gather next spring in Washington, D.C. on June 5-7, 2020 for a “National Pilgrimage to Close the Camps.” We plan to bring 125,000 paper cranes, or tsuru, as expressions of solidarity with immigrant and refugee communities that are under attack today. The 125,000 cranes represent the members of our community who were rounded up and incarcerated in U.S. concentration camps during World War II, including both Japanese Americans and Japanese Latin Americans.

Standing on the moral authority of our own unjust incarceration, the protest will demand that no matter where someone came from or how they arrived to the United States, they be treated with dignity and respect. We will stand with immigrant communities to condemn the policies that dehumanize them, including ICE detention; jailing and separation of parents, families and children; and the Muslim ban.

The planning is being led by Tsuru for Solidarity, a nonviolent, direct action project of Japanese American social justice advocates. “We expect this to be the largest gathering of Nikkei since World War II, when we were forcibly removed from our homes and incarcerated in U.S. concentration camps,” said Mike Ishii, one of the lead organizers.

Fold-ins: We invite supporters to organize local “Tsuru Fold-Ins” to bring tsuru to Washington, D.C., or mail them to us by May 1, 2020. Details, including where to send tsuru, are available on our website: www.tsuruforsolidarity.org.

Fundraising: We are actively raising funds to help cover the substantial costs of the caravan, protest, and healing circles. Our goal is to raise $125,000 in individual contributions: one dollar for each member of our community who was rounded up and incarcerated during World War II. To reach this goal, we ask that 1,000 people step forward to contribute at least $125.

Additionally, thanks to the generosity of Gerry and Gail Nanbu, all donations made until December 1, 2019 will be matched, up to $25,000. Mr. and Mrs. Nanbu write, “This match challenge is made in remembrance of our families, whose courage and resilience in the face of adversity has taught us to stand up for justice.”

Our fiscal sponsor, Densho, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, so all donations are tax-deductible. Please visit https://tsuruforsolidarity.org/give/ for more information and to contribute.


Program: The three-day program in Washington, DC will include:

Friday, June 5: A Japanese American community gathering and preparation for the following day’s march and rally.

Saturday, June 6: A mass public solidarity march and rally, led by World War II camp survivors and descendants, with paper cranes and taiko drumming. This event will be open to the public.

Sunday, June 7: Cross-community, intergenerational “Healing Circles for Change.” These small- group sessions will build solidarity across communities and promote healing through sharing personal stories of incarceration and detention. They will be organized by Dr. Satsuki Ina, an expert on intergenerational trauma. Participation will be limited to those who register in advance.

Additionally, in the days preceding the D.C. program, a caravan of buses will leave from Los Angeles and other locations. These buses will carry a smaller group of activists to World War II concentration camp sites and present-day immigrant detention sites, where they will join in solidarity with local activists who are leading efforts to shut down these sites. The caravan will then join the larger group in Washington, D.C. We are also working to schedule meetings with members of Congress while the caravan is en route.

For updates and registration information: Please sign up on our email list (opt in on our website, www.tsuruforsolidarity.org) to be notified about registration for the Pilgrimage. Information about lodging and other costs will be provided when registration opens in early 2020.

Partners and endorsing organizations: Current endorsers and partners include: Densho; Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) National; JACL Chicago; Portland JACL; Japanese Community Youth Council; Japanese Americans for Justice; Japanese American Service Committee (Chicago); Karen Korematsu and the Fred T. Korematsu Institute; Manzanar Committee; Minami Tamaki LLP; Minoru Yasui Legacy Project; National Japanese American Historical Society; New York Day of Remembrance Committee; Nikkei Progressives; Oregon Nikkei Endowment; Peggy Saika; and Tule Lake Committee.

We invite partners nationwide to join the DC action by lending their name, organizing fold-ins, sending members, and raising funds to support the action. Please contact tsuruforsolidarity@gmail.com if you would like to add your organization’s name and support.

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Close The Camps at Palantir 9/13

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Bay Area activists continue to picket and protest at the headquarters of Palantir Technologies, the Palo Alto software company powering the Trump Administration’s deportation regime.

On one of the hottest days of the year, protestors rallied at the company’s Palo Alto building, covered the ubiquitous security cameras with umbrellas, and marched to (one of) Palantir CEO Alex Karp’s houses in Palo Alto to deliver a petition with 140,000 signatures asking Palantir to stop working for ICE.

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Astroturf Nonprofit Group Guns For Privacy-Friendly State Senator

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In a shocking letter, a newly incorporated group calling itself the Nonprofit Alliance has called for the removal of jurisdiction over statewide privacy legislation from the California State Senate’s Judiciary committee, chaired by Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson.

The request, which Senate Speaker Toni Atkins says “is not being considered”, called for the realignment due to the committee’s amendments of industry bills to weaken California’s consumer privacy act. CCPA is the only comprehensive statewide consumer privacy legislation in the country. Often referred to as America’s GDPR, the CCPA is scheduled to go into effect in 2020.

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Protesters Block Palantir’s Cafeteria To Pressure Big Data Company

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Originally published in Business Insider August 9, 2019

Protesters blocked the entrance to Silicon Valley tech company Palantir’s cafeteria on Friday, denouncing its work aiding the US government’s immigration crackdown and urging employees to speak out.

About 70 protesters swarmed Palantir’s Palo Alto, Calif. headquarters in the early afternoon, bearing signs criticizing the company for doing business with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency and chanting slogans.

“Immigrants are welcome here, time to cancel Palantir,” the protesters shouted. “Dirty data company, drop ICE contracts, that’s our plea,” they sang.

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Politico Pro: Privacy Bills Go Straight to Senate Floor

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This report first appeared on POLITICO California Pro on Aug. 15, 2019.

SACRAMENTO — Soon after lawmakers returned to the Capitol this week, a slate of Privacy Act bills originally set to be heard by the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee instead went straight to the Senate floor, closing off a well-worn backchannel for end-of-session deal-making.

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