freedom news

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With a gun-toting Harriet Tubman, ‘Underground’ is the perfect ode to revolutionary women

  • Underground, the television drama about runaway slaves on a quest for freedom in 1857, wasted no time in showing audiences that their preconceived notions about Harriet Tubman were all wrong.
  • For years, on-screen portrayals of the civil rights hero have been relegated to educational cartoons for kids and sanitized TV movies that portray her as “juvenile and one-dimensional,” writes Kate Clifford Lawson, the author of Bound for the Promised Land: Harriet Tubman — Portrait of an American Hero, at Entertainment Weekly
  • Think Cicely Tyson’s 1978 portrayal of the famed abolitionist in A Woman Called Moses, where Tubman spends half her time on screen in tears, praying for strength as she shuffles behind white abolitionists.
  • But Underground, which debuted its second season on WGN Wednesday night, turns that portrayal of female revolutionaries like Tubman upside down. Read more (3/9/17 3:55 PM)

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Trump to sign religious liberty executive order setting stage for LGBTQ discrimination

  • President Donald Trump is set to sign a controversial executive order on “religious liberty” on Thursday, Politico reported.
  • A leaked draft of the executive order was published by the Nation in February, and showed that the order would allow Americans to cite their religious beliefs in order to exempt themselves from adhering to policies on everything from contraception mandates to LGBTQ protections.
  • According to the draft order, “any organization, including closely held for-profit corporations” can cite religious freedom in order to exempt themselves from recognizing same-sex marriage, transgender rights or contraception and abortion services.
  • The draft text is similar to other religious freedom bills passed throughout the country, which have sparked controversy and condemnation.
  • Politico reported that White House lawyers are currently reviewing the order. It’s almost assured that the order will be challenged in court, and the ACLU has wasted no time threatening legal action. Read more (5/2/17)

America. If we look at the founding documents of America — the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights — they paint a picture of a beloved community. But every time throughout American history, when the majority of the people have tried to mold America into a beloved community, there’s always been a group of people who were in opposition.

So when America was founded, it was founded on the backs of enslaved Africans and the genocide of Native Americans. After a while, people got together and said, ‘Well, we’ve eliminated the Native Americas, and pushed them onto reservations, but we still have these African slaves here and we need to free them.’

So a group of people came about called abolitionists who opposed slavery, and other people fought them. The result, ultimately, was the Civil War. And then after the Civil War was the Reconstruction, and there were people who opposed that. That’s how we got domestic terrorist groups and racist laws here in America. And this continued right on down through the centuries until the modern era. And the modern era is what brings us here and now.

Because in the 20th Century, there were two, very important years: 1964 and 1965. In the year 1964, a law was enacted called the Civil Rights Act. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was followed by the Voting Rights Act of 1965. And then that was followed by the Immigration and Naturalization Act, opening up the doors of America for people from around the world — not just Europeans, but people who were Africans, people who are Arabs, people who are Southern Asians.

As a matter of fact, that 1965 law, and the opening of the doors, is how most of you got here.

So why do I mention this? I mention it because we are now in an era of oppositional designs to those two very important years. Right now, and for the past few years, there are a group of people in America who have been pushing back against Civil Rights Laws, who have been pushing back against the gains made in the area of voting rights, and now they’re pushing back against immigration.

So now we who are Muslims, Christians, Jews, Sikhs, Buddhists and people of other faiths in America, we stand in opposition to their opposition. They push back, we fight back. And if the people in power are not careful, they’re going to unleash the greatest demonstration of non-violent resistance in American history. Because the people in America are not going to stand for being taken back.

 Imam Talib Abdur-Rashid of the Islamic Brotherhood in Harlem in a sermon at a protest at JFK airport on Friday. Read his full sermon

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ACLU will sue over Trump’s “religious freedom” executive order

  • The American Civil Liberties Union announced Thursday that it plans to sue Trump over a recently signed executive order allowing religious organizations to endorse political candidates.
  • In the statement, ACLU executive director Anthony D. Romero said the executive action served as a “broadside to our country’s longstanding commitment to the separation of church and state.”
  • “Whether by executive order or through backroom deals, it’s clear that the Trump administration and congressional leadership are using religion as a wedge to further divide the country and permit discrimination,” he said. "We intend to file suit today.“
  • In addition to giving religious leaders more political freedom, the executive order, called "Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty,” also provides “regulatory relief” for religious organizations that object to an Affordable Care Act mandate that forces employers to provide health coverage, including contraception, according to CNN. Read more (5/4/17)

luffykun3695  asked:

I have a question. I am American and I keep seeing other Americans bring up "freedom of speech" in arguments having to do with things that happened in Canada. Does this even apply? Does Canada have any similar laws regarding freedom of speech?

The answer is yes and no.

The yes, is that yes, The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects freedom of speech (as far as freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression is concerned):

In Canada, section 2(b) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects “freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication”.

BUT absolute freedom of speech has never been the norm in Canada. If you are hateful in your speech you can be charged.

Under the Criminal Code of Canada:

Public incitement of hatred

319 (1) Every one who, by communicating statements in any public place, incites hatred against any identifiable group where such incitement is likely to lead to a breach of the peace is guilty of

(a) an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years; or

(b) an offence punishable on summary conviction.

Wilful promotion of hatred

(2) Every one who, by communicating statements, other than in private conversation, wilfully promotes hatred against any identifiable group is guilty of

(a) an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years; or

(b) an offence punishable on summary conviction.

independent.co.uk
THIS. IS. NOT. NORMAL! White House blocks news outlets from media briefing
The White House has blocked several high-profile media outlets from its press briefing. The Trump administration on Friday blocked legacy outlets including CNN, BBC, The New York Times, LA Times, the New York Daily News, the Daily Mail, and others from the White House press briefing. Officials also approved outlets who typically provide favourable coverage of the new administration. Several media outlets including the Associated Press and TIME Magazine declined to attend the briefing to boycott the President's decision.

Justin Carissimo at The Independent:

The White House has blocked several major news outlets from covering its press briefing.

White House Press Secretary Spicer on Friday hand selected news outlets to participate in an off-camera “gaggle” with reporters inside his West Wing office instead of the James S Brady Press Briefing Room.

The news outlets blocked from the press briefing include organisations who President Trump has criticised by name. CNN, BBC, The New York Times, LA Times, New York Daily News, Daily Mail, were among the news outlets barred from the gathering.

Instead, the press secretary hand-picked news outlets including Breitbart News, One America News Network, The Washington Times, all news organisations with far-right leanings. Others major outlets approved for t group included ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox News, Reuters and Bloomberg.

“Nothing like this has ever happened at the White House in our long history of covering multiple administrations of different parties,” Dean Baquet, executive editor of The New York Times said in a statement. “We strongly protest the exclusion of The New York Times and the other news organizations. Free media access to a transparent government is obviously of crucial national interest.”

Several media outlets including the Associated Press and TIME Magazine declined to attend the briefing to boycott the President’s decision.

The White House Correspondents’ Association also criticised the decision.

“The WHCA board is protesting strongly against how today’s gaggle is being handled by the White House,” Jeff Mason, the association’s president, said in a statement.

“We encourage the organizations that were allowed in to share the material with others in the press corps who were not. The board will be discussing this further with White House staff.”

And it’s also anti-American, to boot.

Sean Spicer, December 2016“We have a respect for the press. When it comes to the government, that is something that you can’t ban an entity from. I think that’s what makes a democracy a democracy, versus a dictatorship.”

Sean Spicer, February 2017: CNN, New York Times, Politico, and other news outlets are banned from a White House press briefing. 

(original video source: Politico)

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Trump also told Comey to consider jailing journalists

  • Trump told now-fired FBI Director James Comey during a February meeting that he should consider jailing journalists who publish classified information, the New York Times reported Tuesday.
  • That revelation — part of an explosive Times report that Trump had asked Comey to kill his federal investigation into former national security advisor Michael Flynn — was reported the same day Trump met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, whose government has been one of the worst jailers of journalists in the world.
  • Trump’s suggestion that Comey imprison journalists was immediately met with backlash, including from the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, which called the alleged remark “dangerous." Read more (5/17/17)