Liberty Activist Blog

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Back inside New Orleans
Source: CounterPunch
Author: Jordan Flaherty

"I spent yesterday inside the city of New Orleans, speaking to a few of the last holdouts in the 9th ward/ bywater neighborhood. Their stories paint a very different picture from what we've heard in the media. Instead of stories of gangs of criminals and police and soldiers keeping order, there were stories of collective action, everyone looking out for each other, communal responses. .... I asked Okra, in his house off of Piety Street, what the biggest problem has been. He said, "It's been the police - they've lost the last restraints on their behavior they had, and gotten a license to go wild. They can do anything they want. I saw one cop beat a guy so hard that he almost took his ear off. And this was someone just trying to walk home" Walking through the streets, I witnessed hundreds of soldiers patrolling the streets. Everyone I spoke to said that soldiers were coming to their house at least once a day, trying to convince them to leave, bringing stories of disease and quarantine and violence. I didn't see or speak to any soldiers involved in any clean up or rebuilding." (09/14/05)


Federal judge declares Pledge unconstitutional
Source: CNN

"A federal judge declared Wednesday that the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools is unconstitutional, a decision that could potentially put the divisive issue back before the U.S. Supreme Court. The case was brought by the same atheist whose previous battle against the words "under God" was rejected last year by the Supreme Court on procedural grounds. U.S. District Judge Lawrence Karlton ruled that the pledge's reference to one nation 'under God' violates school children's right to be 'free from a coercive requirement to affirm God.' Karlton said he was bound by precedent of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which in 2002 ruled in favor of Sacramento atheist Michael Newdow that the pledge is unconstitutional when recited in public schools." (09/15/05)


Speaking out against war
Source: Brunswick Times Record

" Appearances are deceiving in the case of Kathy Kelly. The high-profile peace activist visited Brunswick to protest the weekend's air show and promote her eternal message of peace; but rummaging through luggage in her hosts' car after returning from Peaks Island, Kelly looked more like a tourist stretching the last days of summer. With her characteristically peaceful and almost otherworldly expression, Kelly hardly looks like an outraged, demanding poster-child for extremist government protests, as some who don't hold her views have portrayed her." (09/13/05)


As bodies recovered, reporters are told 'no photos, no stories'
Source: San Francisco Chronicle

" A long caravan of white vans led by an Army humvee rolled Monday through New Orleans' Bywater district, a poor, mostly black neighborhood, northeast of the French Quarter. Recovery team members wearing white protective suits and black boots stopped at houses with spray painted markings on the doors designating there were dead bodies inside. Outside one house on Kentucky Street, a member of the Army 82nd Airborne Division summoned a reporter and photographer standing nearby and told them that if they took pictures or wrote a story about the body recovery process, he would take away their press credentials and kick them out of the state. "No photos. No stories," said the man, wearing camouflage fatigues and a red beret.
On Saturday, after being challenged in court by CNN, the Bush administration agreed not to prevent the news media from following the effort to recover the bodies of Hurricane Katrina victims. But on Monday, in the Bywater district, that assurance wasn't being followed." (09/13/05)'


Activist 'baffled' at deportation
Source: Daily Telegraph [Australia]

"US peace activist Scott Parkin was strongly opposed to political violence and is "baffled" at the reasons for his deportation from Australia, he said today. Mr Parkin, who has had his visa cancelled on the grounds he poses a national security risk, is expected to be flown out of Melbourne for Los Angeles tomorrow morning. He will not oppose his removal from Australia, but he has vowed to continue to fight the cancellation of his visa to visit Australia. The 36-year-old teacher from Houston, Texas, was detained by the Australian Federal Police in Melbourne on Saturday after an "adverse security assessment".
Mr Parkin, who had been in Australia since early June on a six-month visa, has been held in solitary confinement in a Melbourne custody centre since then. The Federal Government refused to explain why his six-month tourist visa had been cancelled, other than to say it was based on matters relating to "politically motivated violence"." (09/14/05),20281,16602992-5001028,00.html


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