Twenty-six Occupy Philadelphia protesters sued the city in federal court Wednesday, contending that their arrests two years ago after police and city workers dismantled their encampment.
The suit was filed by Center City lawyers Paul J. Hetznecker, Lawrence S. Krasner, and Lloyd Long III, who represented the Occupy protesters at trial. All three were among the charter members of what became known as the Occupy Philadelphia Legal Collective, a group of civil rights and criminal defense lawyers who agreed to represent the Occupy members free of charge.
Krasner called the 26 protesters “American heroes who effectively fought economic inequality for the 99 percent and whose thanks from their government was this bogus arrest.”
Hetznecker said the arrests struck at the “very heart of our democracy.”
"We live in a dangerous time when the right to gather in protest in a collective voice of dissent is criminalized," he said.
The latest in Occupy Wall Street. Also, last Thursday November 14th marked two years in the eviction of the New York OWS encampment. And here’s what they think of the new mayor, de Blasio
13:13 // 3 weeks ago
A state judge today ruled to legalize same-sex marriage in New Jersey, saying gay couples would be denied federal benefits if the state kept allowing only civil unions.
Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson granted an emergency request by six gay couples, ordering state officials to begin officiating same-sex marriages on Oct. 21.
"Same-sex couples must be allowed to marry in order to obtain equal protection of the law under the New Jersey constitution," the judge wrote in a 53-page opinion.
This is surely going to be appealed, as these rulings always are, but marriage equality advocates are no doubt thrilled about this. It also puts Governor Chris Christie in a tough spot. How vocal will he be in opposing this decision? He previously vetoed a gay marriage bill; will he take any steps to fight marriage equality this time, knowing that doing so could hurt his chances in 2016? Or might opposing gay marriage actually help his chances in a Republican primary?
16:53 // 2 months ago
swagandpassion says: Hey SFB. I'm not sure if this was asked already, but many people are counting down the clock until George Zimmerman will get a book deal and receive high profile interviews; basically the Casey Anthony treatment in a sense. How soon would a civil rights case have to be filed before he could profit from his 'circumstance'? How likely is a civil rights case to be successful.
» SFB says: I’m not a legal expert here, but from what I’ve read, it probably makes more sense of the Martin family to file a wrongful death suit against Zimmerman if their goal is to prevent him from taking advantage of the case for monetary gain. There are prior cases where this route was taken, most notably the Goldman family’s lawsuit against O.J. Simpson to prevent the release of the pseudo-confession “If I Did It,” which the Goldman family released as “Confessions of the Killer” after taking ownership of the book.
As for the chances a civil rights case of finding success, comments on the matter are mixed. The Christian Science Monitor has a good roundup of takes on the matter from legal experts who think the federal government may not see enough of a case to actually go forward, though others think otherwise. But it’s too soon for all that. The NAACP, which is advocating for a civil rights case, has Eric Holder’s ear. Holder is speaking at their annual conference tomorrow, in fact. I’m going with “inconclusive”, personally. — Ernie @ SFB
22:40 // 4 months ago
Here’s what SCOTUS ruled on the Voting Rights Act, in lay terms
- question The Voting Rights Act mandated that certain jurisdictions in the country with a history of voter disenfranchisement (all in the south) receive pre-clearance from the federal government before enacting any new voting laws. The case on which SCOTUS ruled today questioned whether or not this is constitutional.
- ruling The court did not strike down the concept of pre-clearance; rather, struck down the specific formula currently used to determine which states require pre-clearance. So, until Congress can agree on and pass a new formula for this determination, no states will require pre-clearance anymore.
It falls upon congress to decide on a new formula—essentially, to figure out which states should still require federal approval to change their voting laws. Given how congress is these days, we’re exceedingly doubtful that any agreement will be reached anytime soon. source
16:01 // 5 months ago
With the notion of marriage – an exclusive, emotional, binding ‘til death do you part’ tie – becoming more and more an exception to the rule given a rise in cohabitation and high rates of divorce, why should the federal government be telling adults who love one another that they cannot get married, simply because they happen to be gay? I believe when there are so many forces pulling our society apart, we need more commitment to marriage, not less.
Murkowski is now the third Senate Republican to support same-sex marriage. The timing of this announcement is significant, as the Supreme Court is set to rule on marriage equality as soon as next week. source
18:46 // 5 months ago