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From the ACLU (received in email):

In anticipation of the Mehserle verdict...

Here's what ACLU-NC Associate Director Kelli Evans has to say about community relations, free speech and interacting with police:

The shooting of Oscar Grant by BART police officers in January 2009 remains a tragic reminder of the need for serious efforts to rebuild trust between law enforcement and communities of color. No matter the verdict in the Mehserle trial, the need to rebuild community trust in law enforcement will remain. In too many American cities, racial tensions between the community and law enforcement run deep. Police oversight remains a critical issue in truly ensuring both public safety and public trust.

No doubt, Oakland residents and other people following the trial will have a wide range of emotions. Following the verdict, community members need to be able to peaceably exercise their First Amendment rights to demonstrate and to express their opinions about the ruling.

Any police response to demonstrations must respect the rights of the people to peacefully exercise their freedom of speech, no matter who they are or the reason for their protesting. It's important to be mindful that violence is never protected speech, but it is also important to remember that neither the mere possibility of violence, nor the bad acts of a few, can justify the blanket suppression of peaceful demonstrations and protests.

Check out the ACLU’s online guide to your rights when demonstrating or print out the one-page reference sheet. Have questions about your rights with the police? The ACLU also has some some practical tips for interacting with the police.
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A nice young woman who's got mixed feelings about abortion asked for thoughts, and this was mine:

I feel like the only body I should be making decisions about is my own, and that other people need to be free to make their own. I believe I would never choose an abortion for myself. And in fact, when I was raped, I made sure they did NOT give me a morning-after pill. But just because that's my choice for ME, that doesn't give me the right to make that choice for someone else, any more than I would tell someone else they should or should not go on a diet, get an organ transplant, or have a sex change. Their body, their choice. And it's the hardest decision some of them will ever make. I don't intend to make it harder.

In addition, even though I don't ever want to have an abortion myself, I will fight for it to remain safe, legal, and affordable, so that no more women will die in botched back-alley abortions. I don't think that having an abortion should be a death-penalty offense. Women DIE when abortion is illegal. That's just wrong.
serene: liberty-justice is my femslash (liberty justice)
From my workplace's ltgb listserv:

Hey there -

A member of our organization, Marriage Equality USA, has heard that Justice
Moreno, the sole California Supreme Court Justice who stood with us in
support of repealing Proposition 8 and wrote an eloquent dissent to the
majority opinion, is getting a lot of hate mail for his strong stand for

Can you please write and thank him for his courage and powerful dissent in
defense of our and others' civil rights? Please ask your friends to do so

Justice Carlos Moreno
350 McAllister St
San Francisco, CA 94102
serene: mailbox (mailbox)
Secretary Clinton: Text Your Disaster Relief Donation for Pakistan
Using your cell phones, Americans can text the word "swat" -- to the number 20222 and make a $5 contribution that will help the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees provide tents, clothing, food, and medicine to hundreds of thousands of affected people.
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Senate Dems Pull Funds For Guantanamo Closing

A senior Senate Democratic leadership aide has confirmed to NPR that funding for closing down the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba detention facility is being removed from the 2009 supplemental appropriations bill. Obama is now faced with three choices: veto the bill, use funds from other sources or reverse his decision to close the facility.

More at


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