This week on CounterSpin: “As a company, Microsoft is dismayed by the forcible separation of children from their families at the border,” the global tech company declared in a statement. “Family unification has been a fundamental tenet of American policy and law since the end of World War II.” The same Microsoft bragged a few months ago about ICE’s use of its Azure cloud computing services to “accelerate facial recognition and identification” of immigrants, though the post has since been altered to omit the phrase “we’re proud to support this work with our mission-critical cloud.”
The spotlight on the White House’s inhumane agenda on immigration and immigrants is exposing more than the devastatingly cruel practices in force at the border, but also the numerous big corporate and institutional players that are—often invisibly—enabling that agenda. And just like the agenda, the impact of these collaborations extends well beyond immigrant communities. We’ll talk about all that with organizer/advocate Tracy Rosenberg, executive director of Media Alliance and co-coordinator of Oakland Privacy.
In a sign-on letter, 28 groups are calling on some of the world’s largest companies – including Facebook, Google and Amazon, as well as digital advertisers like Nestle, Walmart and JPMorgan Chase – to use Europe’s impending General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) regime as a baseline standard worldwide for all of their services, including in the U.S.
Two dozen civil rights and liberties groups rose above party-based partisanship to insist Congressional Democrats including Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, John Warner and Adam Schiff stop trying to weaken congressional oversight of intelligence agencies. Continue reading 24 Civil Rights Groups Write To Dems Demanding Intelligence Oversight
In a case filed by public access TV legend Deedee Halleck and poet Jesus Papaleto Melendez against NY’s public access chanel Manhattan Neighborhood Network, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals revived a free speech lawsuit after a lower court had dismissed it.
The case involved banning from the public access channel’s premises of Hallack and Melendez by MNN executive director Dan Coughlin and his employees without a clear infringement of any facility rule or regulation. Continue reading Appeals Court Affirms Public Access TV Is A Public Forum
238 national and state immigration and human rights organizations, (including Media Alliance) law offices, educational institutions, elected officials, and faith based groups demanded that the White House rescind the latest iteration of the unconstitutional and discriminatory “Muslim ban” executive travel order. Continue reading 238 Groups Urge Recision Of Third Muslim Ban
On August 1, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors, which has been under fire for several years over the police militarization expo Urban Shield, took its first action to enforce 12 reform principles the Board embraced in January of 2017, four months after two dozen people were arrested at the 2016 expo.
After being notified only hours before the meeting by MA executive director Tracy Rosenberg and American Friends Service Committee Wage Peace Coordinator John Lindsay-Poland of extreme racial stereotyping on the website of Urban Shield vendor Strategic Operations of San Diego, the board of supervisors refused to authorize the use of the vendor. Alameda County Sheriff Gregory Ahern’s request to contract with Strategic Operations for $45,000 in “hyper-realistic training” for the 2017 Urban Shield event failed for lack of a motion, with none of the five supervisors willing to support the request. Supervisor Keith Carson removed the item from the board’s consent calender. Supervisor Richard Valle indicated he would not vote for it and Board President Wilma Chan also spoke in opposition. Continue reading Stopping STOPS: Urban Shield Vendor Vetoed Due To Racist Stereotyping
13 years into a federal consent decree after the Oakland Police Department’s “Riders Divison” planted drugs on scores of West Oakland residents, nothing has gotten better.
Court-appointed independent investigators Edward Swanson and Audrey Barron issued a scathing report on the OPD sex scandal involving a dispatcher’s daughter doing sex work as a minor and getting entangled with multiple Oakland officers. Continue reading Oakland Police – It Isn’t Getting Better