Obama Administration’s Justice Department Openly Cites Protesters As A Reason For Supporting Legal Strip Searches For Any Arrest

At oral argument, a lawyer for the Obama Justice Department told the Supreme Court that “[p]rotesters…who decide deliberately to get arrested… might be stopped by the police, they see the squad car behind them. They might have a gun or contraband in their car and think hey, I’m going to put that on my person, I just need to get it somewhere that is not going to be found during a patdown search, and then potentially they have the contraband with them.”


Free Ride! Meet the Companies That Don’t Even Pretend to Pay Taxes | AlterNet Economy

The percentage of U.S. corporations structured as “nontaxable businesses” soared from about 24 percent in 1986 to about 69 percent as of 2008, according to the Internal Revenue Service. If you include partnerships and sole proprietors, the number gets even bigger.

And there’s more: Up to 60 percent of all U.S. businesses with profits of $1 million are structured as pass-throughs. In the Wall Street Journal, John D. McKinnon points out that their enormous popularity is “one big reason why federal corporate tax collections amounted to just 1.3% of GDP in 2010, well below their mark of 2.7% in 2006 and far beneath their peak of 6.1% in 1952.”



Colorlines on the new digital divide - fascinating and saddening. Protect net neutrality!


Colorlines on the new digital divide - fascinating and saddening. Protect net neutrality!

"The discussion now to suspend certain rights to due process is especially worrisome given that we are engaged in a war that appears to have no end. Rights given up now cannot be expected to be returned. So we do well to contemplate the diminishment of due process, knowing that the rights we lose now may never be restored."

Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD) being used at OWS raid. Another example of police using crowd control tactics that have a huge potential to inflict harm on others. This device sends out sound waves in a decibel range that is painful to people, and depending on how the user sets it, has the potential to render anyone in close range permanently deaf.

Pondering The Legality Of Using Pepper Spray

woman pepper sprayed by Portland riot police

PORTLAND, OREGON — November 17, 2011 — A police officer deployed pepper spray at SW Yamhill, between the JP Morgan Chase bank and Pioneer Courthouse Square. The photo was taken from the southeast corner of the square, looking toward the intersection of 6th and Yamhill after a day of marching through downtown Portland, Ore., by Occupy Portland participants. People gathered on the east side of the Steel bridge earlier in the morning to demonstrate in support of the Occupy movement, on the day known as N17. Several people were arrested and the march continued over the lower span of the bridge into downtown, where a rally was planned. Later in the day people were arrested in a Wells Fargo branch downtown. Photo by Randy L. Rasmussen/The Oregonian

Incidents like this are popping up all over the country lately, and it has me wondering one thing:

Is this even legal?

I’ve looked around for answers and come up with a multitude of them. One from the California Civil Rights Lawyer’s says that police can be sued for the use of pepper spray when it is ‘excessive force’ (http://www.shouselaw.com/pepperspray.html).

But from the sheer amount of incidences lately and the past use of pepper spray in events such as the WTO protest in Seattle (1999), I get the feeling that the common belief is that the use of chemical agents is justified. I don’t know if it’s just bad reporting that keeps people from getting riled up or what. 

Just this week there were incidents in Seattle where the crowd was indiscriminately sprayed, including an 84 year old woman and a 19 year old pregnant woman. 

At UC Davis, there is video footage of a member of the riot police using a constant spray against a row of students sitting in a line on the ground.

But it is not only OWS protests that have experienced the use of pepper spray. I came across an incident at Ohio State this year where students attending a music festival were sprayed without warning after someone reportedly threw a can.

From what I am gathering, most people believe that the riot police have the right to spray people when:

1. a warning to leave the premises or face the usage of chemical agents and other force is issued (and clearly heard by all present)


2. the people issued the warning do not leave.

I’m not sure if this is people just rationalizing things, applying common sense (that you would use, say, if you were a child and threatened with a time out) or if this is actually how you determine whether the force is legally justified or not.

Chemical agents are said by some sources to be relatively harmless, and by others to be dangerous, scarring, and sometimes deadly. The dangerous nature of these chemicals is brought out most often when they are used against protocol, such as firing continuous bursts of spray rather than 1-second bursts.

Hopefully more people will begin questioning the legality of these practices. The usage of riot tactics on non-violent citizens seems more than a little absurd.