Human Rights

Wisconsin Workers "Fight For Fifteen"

Wisconsin workers are joining the "Fight for Fifteen" -- better wages for those at the bottom of the U.S. payscale. Three cities in Wisconsin were among 58 across the United States where thousands of low-wage fast-food workers walked off their jobs to demand a living wage, safe working conditions, and the right to unionize without being penalized. The coordinated actions on August 29 constituted the largest fast food strike in U.S. history.

What Do Guns Have to Do With Immigration? For Gun Owners of America, Everything

-- By Katie Lorenze

Gun Owners of America (GOA) has declared immigration reform a gun issue, warning that under the "scamnesty bill" currently in the U.S. Senate, "you can say buh bye to your guns and buh bye to the rest of your freedom."

Blockbuster Reports Reveal Widespread Surveillance of Phone and Internet Records by Obama Administration

In a series of blockbuster reports published in the Washington Post and in the British newspaper The Guardian, sources reveal that the National Security Agency (NSA) is running a previously undisclosed program called PRISM, which allows federal officials to collect material including "search history, the content of emails, file transfers and live chats" from an array of internet companies including Google, Skype, YouTube, Facebook, Apple, and more without a court order.

Scaife-Funded Network Works Hard to Kill Immigration Reform

-- By Katie Lorenze

With immigration reform advancing through Congress, an anti-immigrant network funded by a small group of right-wing foundations is trying to kill reform by pressuring moderate Republicans and appealing to the party's xenophobic wing. The groups could stymie efforts by some Republicans to appeal to the country's growing Latino population by moving to the center on immigration.

"Operation Tripwire" -- the FBI, the Private Sector, and the Monitoring of Occupy Wall Street

This article was first published by on December 31, 2012, while we were writing our report "Dissent or Terror: How the Nation's Counter Terrorism Apparatus, in Partnership with Corporate America, Turned on Occupy Wall Street," published by DBA Press and the Center for Media and Democracy in May 2013. We re-release it now as part of a PRWatch series on the new report.

Records obtained from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) by DBA Press and the Center for Media and Democracy (DBA/CMD) through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request indicate that the FBI employed tactics under a "counter terrorism" initiative called "Operation Tripwire" in the monitoring of Occupy Wall Street (OWS) activists.

Emails from ALEC Member Russell Pearce Show Anti-Immigrant Law May Have Been Racially Motivated

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Arizona has asked the man behind the "show me your papers" anti-immigrant law in that state to show them his emails. An open records request to former Arizona state Senator Russell Pearce netted thousands of email records sent from Pearce's account that suggest Arizona's SB 1070, which was taken up as an American Legislative Exchange Council "model bill" but recently struck down in large part by the U.S. Supreme Court, was motivated by racism and xenophobia.

University of Wisconsin Launches Historic Challenge to Adidas over Sweatshop Conditions for College-Branded Apparel

BREAKING NEWS: The University of Wisconsin Board of Regents on Friday filed a precedent-setting breach of contract claim against sportswear brand Adidas, after the company failed to comply with anti-sweatshop provisions requiring they provide certain benefits to workers who produce goods that bear the mark of the university. This is the first time a U.S. university has sought to enforce a global anti-sweatshop code of conduct in a U.S. court of law.

U.S. Supreme Court Considers ALEC Immigration Bill

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court is hearing arguments challenging Arizona's SB 1070 immigration law. In 2009, this bill was pre-approved by legislators along with corporate lobbyists and special interest representatives at an American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) task force before passing the Arizona legislature and being signed into law by Governor Jan Brewer, an ALEC alum. The National Rifle Association (NRA) was the private sector co-chair of ALEC's "Public Safety and Elections Task Force" when the bill was approved.

DOJ Rejects ALEC-Inspired Voter ID Bill in South Carolina

The U.S. Department of Justice has rejected South Carolina's voter ID law, which was inspired by an American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) model, as discriminatory against people of color.

California is Farmer Brown

This is the second in a two-part series by the Center for Media and Democracy's Food Rights Network (FRN) about challenges to local food sovereignty across the United States. It was originally published on Alternet. For more, see the first article, on the lawsuit against Blue Hill, Maine farmer Dan Brown brought by the State of Maine and Maine's Agriculture Commissioner, here.

Maine farmer Dan Brown, who milks one cow and sells milk to his neighbors, is being sued by the State of Maine for "unlicensed distribution and sale of milk and food products." The lawsuit has sparked protest in Maine and concern in communities around the country.

In an interview with the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD), Brown said, "One of these times, they're going to come after one of us, and it's going to be that Rosa Parks moment ... [for] the food system."

The "Local Food and Community Self-Governance Ordinance" that passed in Brown's town of Blue Hill, Maine, on April 2, 2011, asserting its "citizens' right to foods of their choice" without impediment by federal and state regulations, served as a model for several counties in California. CMD spoke with three farmers and advocates about the food sovereignty movement there, and how the suit against Farmer Brown may affect their struggle.

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