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Latest Featured Reports | Thursday, October 23, 2014
Justice Ginsburg Republishes TX Photo ID Law Dissent After BRAD BLOG Cites Error
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GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
VA GOP VOTER REG FRAUDSTER OFF HOOK
Felony charges dropped against VA Republican caught trashing voter registrations before last year's election. Did GOP AG, Prosecutor conflicts of interest play role?...

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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...

By Ernest A. Canning on 12/8/2011 5:12pm PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

Many of the individuals who were swept up by last week's LAPD raid on the Occupy LA encampment at Los Angeles City Hall were arrested even as they attempted to disperse in accordance with police directives, according to testimonials from some who were detained in the early morning hours of November 30th and held on misdemeanor charges for days after.

Their videotaped testimonials [some of which are posted below] both corroborate and reinforce the excessive force and post-arrest abuse charges detailed in our previous article on the Occupy LA raid, in which detainees charged that they were hand-cuffed behind their backs and left to languish inside L.A. County Sheriff's Department (LASD) buses for eight to nine hours without access to food, water, medicine, or toilets as they were left to urinate on themselves in their seats.

The details also suggest that these conditions were imposed upon innocent demonstrators who were the victims of indiscriminate, false arrests by law enforcement officials. Worse, one written account suggests the LAPD's misconduct included not only pillaging the encampment and police brutality, but even torture...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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Why OWS Must Become the Egalitarian Democracy it Seeks - PART II
By Ernest A. Canning on 12/7/2011 12:25pm PT  

Guest editorial by Ernest A. Canning

"I think democracy is the most revolutionary thing in the world," former British MP Tony Benn said when interviewed by Michael Moore in Sicko! --- "more revolutionary than socialist ideas…because...you have the power to use it to meet the needs of your community."

"If the poor in the U.S. and Britain turned out to vote for people who represent their interests," Ben continued, "it would be a real democratic revolution."

There is a fundamental difference between guarding against being co-opted by the corporate interests which presently control the leadership of both the Republican and Democratic Parties and refusing to vote altogether as an infantile form of protest...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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Arrestees kept on buses for hours, forced to urinate self, deprived of water, medical aid or legal assistance...
By Ernest A. Canning on 12/2/2011 1:39pm PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning with Brad Friedman

[Article now UPDATED at bottom with new information on the LAPD release of detainees.]

Much of the good will and plaudits earned by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and LAPD Chief Charlie Beck for their "minimal use of force" tactics employed to clear OccupyLA demonstrators from City Hall Park earlier this week has been quickly squandered in the hours and days since. The BRAD BLOG has learned that hundreds of peaceful arrestees were kept in often deplorable conditions in the hours following their apprehension.

According to new interviews with some of the arrestees following their release, men and women alike were held without charges for hours on end, forced to urinate in their seats on a holding bus while handcuffed, cut off from attorneys, medical supplies, and drinking water, and locked away with punitively high bails while being deprived of both humane and Constitutional rights.

At this hour, almost three full days after their arrest at the OccupyLA encampment in front of Los Angeles City Hall, more than 200 of the peaceful demonstrators detained by LAPD in the evening on Tuesday and early morning hours on Wednesday --- many of them who were not even participating in the Occupation --- are still being held in jail pending $5,000 bail for their misdemeanor detentions, as detailed by radio station KPCC. Approximately fifty people have been released, some after posting bail, others for medical reasons.

KPCC went on to report that on Thursday, only 19 of those people had yet to be charged. The City Attorney's office said that, depending on the charge, some would face bail as high as $20,000.

This morning, Los Angeles Times reported that most of the 19 who were allowed to appear in L.A. County Superior Court Thursday were released without bail, but on the "condition that they not return to the City Hall area, where the protesters had camped." The Times went on to note that most of those still held without being charged have no criminal record...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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By Ernest A. Canning on 12/1/2011 8:51am PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

Monday morning I received a telephone call from an individual with a heavy accent who claimed to be with Microsoft Technical Support.

He advised me that they had received numerous reports of technical failures from my computer and asked that I shut down all applications running on my computer, but not my computer itself. Suspicions aroused, I asked that he call me back. Curiously, the caller claimed he could not because they were so busy.

Turning off all applications, such as firewalls, virus programs, etc., while the computer is on, leaves it immediately vulnerable to intrusion, as seems to have been the hope of the mysterious "Microsoft Technical Support" caller.

After the call, my wife contacted Microsoft Technical Support who said they do not call customers about technical problems unless contacted for help by the customer. She advised us that they had received numerous complaints, some from individuals who'd had their bank accounts cleared out.

Caller ID reflected that the call came from an international number.

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Federal complaint charges NYPD making indiscriminate mass arrests on behalf of Wall Street banks...
By Ernest A. Canning on 11/30/2011 6:05am PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

The City of New York and the NYPD are engaging in a deliberate campaign of "mass arrests, illegally arresting protesters, including bank customers, and needlessly detaining them for excessively long periods...in order to facilitate and promote the CITY OF NEW YORK's desired reputation as corporate friendly and pro-bank."

So says a federal complaint filed by a woman and her fiancée who allege that they were inappropriately detained by New York City police last month inside a branch of Citibank in downtown Manhattan. [Video of the extraordinary arrest is posted at the end of this article.]

The civil rights suit, Carpenter vs. City of New York, has been filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York by Heather Carpenter, a 23 year old student and direct care counselor for the mentally disabled, and her fiancé, Julio Jimenez-Artunga.

The complaint arises out of an Oct. 15 mass arrest at a Greenwich Village branch of Citibank during which Carpenter closed her account, quietly exited the bank and even offered a receipt to prove she was a customer, only to be physically accosted by the NYPD, dragged back inside the bank, arrested and charged with criminal trespass and resisting arrest. According to the complaint, the DA subsequently has said that the charges would be dismissed for lack of evidence...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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Why OWS must become the egalitarian democracy it seeks - Part I: Ill-defined 'consensus' is not democracy'
By Ernest A. Canning on 11/27/2011 4:08pm PT  

Guest editorial by Ernest A. Canning

A post on Tuesday on the hard right Republican website Free Republic suggests that opponents of the Occupy Wall Street movement may well be injecting themselves into the demonstrations' open consensus process in order to confound the objectives of the nascent movement.

"[We n]eed LA Freepers to show up to block this vote by the Occupy LA General Assembly," the poster identifying him/herself only as "joinedafterattack" wrote in apparent hopes of scuttling a discussion that night about a proposal being negotiated with the LA City Council to trade 10,000 square feet of office space and some farmland with demonstrators in exchange for their voluntary exodus from the lawn in front of City Hall.

The call by the rightwingers to take part in a General Assembly meeting at OccupyLA for the specific purpose of blocking a proposal (one that was rejected, in any case, by the majority of demonstrators that night) exposes the vulnerability of Occupy Wall Street's "consensus" decision-making and an internal contradiction between a movement which rails against rule by the 1% even as it permits the one to block the will of the many...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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By Ernest A. Canning on 11/23/2011 11:44am PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

Last September The BRAD BLOG, unlike the corporate-owned media, offered detailed coverage of a U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights hearing on the spate of GOP voter suppression laws (PART 1 and PART 2).

Now, Robert Greenwald's Brave New Films has produced a powerful video that exposes the Koch-funded assault on your democracy, along with a petition that you can sign demanding that the Eric Holder-led Department of Justice live up to its name...

* * *
Please support The BRAD BLOG's fiercely independent, award-winning coverage of your electoral system, as available from no other media outlet in the nation, with a donation to help us keep going (Snail mail, more options here). If you like, we'll send you some great, award-winning election integrity documentary films in return! Details right here...

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By Ernest A. Canning on 11/20/2011 6:37pm PT  

Guest editorial by Ernest A. Canning

The photo at right may well provide a pivotal moment in a new American revolution. It exposes a crack in the façade of the corporate security state that could grow to the point that rule by and for the 1% may some time soon internally collapse.

The real story lies not in the fact that retired Philadelphia Police Captain Ray Lewis was arrested by the NYPD during an Occupy Wall Street confrontation. (Video of arrest posted below). It's the potential that Lewis' recognition of immense betrayal will spread throughout the rank and file of the security apparatus even as the clueless and increasingly desperate power elites seek to effectuate a coordinated crackdown on Occupy Wall Street encampments...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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By Ernest A. Canning on 11/16/2011 3:14pm PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

On Monday, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Northern California and the National Lawyers Guild filed a 17-page complaint (Campbell vs. City of Oakland) in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California seeking both compensatory damages and the issuance of a temporary restraining order that would enjoin the Oakland Police Department (OPD) and 17 outside law-enforcement agencies from trampling upon the constitutional rights of both bystanders and participants in Occupy Oakland.

The complaint calls for the OPD to cease their vicious, unprovoked and indiscriminate use of chemical agents, flash-bang grenades, nightsticks and direct-impact crowd control weapons --- all in violation of Crowd Control Policies adopted as part of a settlement of two previous federal cases entailing allegations of prior lawless actions by OPD.

The body of the complaint provides graphic details of police misconduct that is so pervasive that the legal filing might aptly be labeled, "an anatomy of an ongoing police riot" or "OPD's campaign of terror"...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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OPD officer appears unprovoked before firing on citizen journalist...
By Ernest A. Canning on 11/9/2011 12:47pm PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

New video has emerged (posted below), courtesy of ThinkProgress of an apparently unprovoked Oakland police officer shooting a cameraman during a recent stand-off with Occupy Oakland demonstrators.

In an email to The BRAD BLOG, Sgt. Christopher Bolton, Oakland PD's Chief of Staff, confirmed that the incident involved an "OPD use of force" which took place at 16th Street near San Pablo Ave. in Oakland on the morning of Nov. 3, 2011 and that the matter was "under investigation." (Recall that a general strike took place in Oakland on Nov. 2. This event, per the cameraman, took place shortly after midnight.)

However, Bolton did not directly answer specific follow-up questions designed to pin down details of the incident.

At YouTube, the unidentified cameraman denied that there had been any "violence or confrontation of any kind underway" at the time the OPD officer can be seen aiming and firing (as seen 31 seconds into the 40 second video below.)

Because this potentially involves an unprovoked police assault on a citizen-journalist, the issue at stake entails more than police misconduct. If it was unprovoked battery, the incident reflects nothing less than a direct assault on the First Amendment, democratic accountability and the public's right to monitor police misconduct.

Video captures moment officer fires...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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Department declines to offer evidence substantiating Chief's assertions, downgrades them to 'preliminary belief'...
By Ernest A. Canning on 11/7/2011 7:01am PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning, with Brad Friedman

The Oakland Police Department is walking back widely reported comments offered by its Interim Chief, Howard Jordan, at an Oct. 25 televised press conference (video posted below) that law enforcement "had to deploy gas in order to stop the crowd and people from pelting us with bottles and rocks."

The press conference had been conducted shortly after a melee which included the deployment of chemical agents on peaceful demonstrators. The police use of force resulted in injuries to, among others, a two-tour Iraq veteran who sustained a fractured skull and was admitted to the hospital in critical condition. The violent confrontation raised questions about the legality of the procedures carried out by the OPD and the 15 other law enforcement agencies that cooperated in the multi-agency task force.

In response to questions emailed by The BRAD BLOG to the Oakland PD's Chief of Staff, Sgt. Chris Bolton conceded that the department was unable, at this time, to substantiate claims made by Jordan that gas was deployed in order to protect law enforcement personnel from violent demonstrators, despite the Chief's unqualified claim that evening that "the deployment of gas was necessary to protect our officers and protect property around the area and to protect injuries to others as well."

Instead, Bolton softened Jordan's initial claim. The sergeant described it as "the Chief's preliminary belief."

Jordan failed to qualify his statements as a "preliminary belief" at the time he addressed reporters about the use of CS gas during his televised Oct. 25 press conference. Indeed, the Interim Chief spoke of the necessity to deploy chemical agents "to stop the crowd...from pelting us with bottles and rocks" as if it were an established fact.

We sent our questions to the OPD on the heels of a detailed analysis of video taken during the late night confrontation at 14th and Broadway, as well as interviews with eye witnesses conducted last week by The BRAD BLOG. In our own investigation, to date, we have been unable to unearth evidence to support Jordan's assertion that the police initiated the assault in order to defend against either projectiles or any other threat of imminent violence from demonstrators. In fact, the video evidence included in our report reveals that law enforcement officials had determined to use tear gas on the crowd long before any threat was posed by demonstrators.

Our investigation also concluded that the OPD's actions were likely in violation of both California state law, as well as in direct contravention with an OPD Training Bulletin created as part of a mandate following a federal consent decree signed by the department after a similarly violent confrontation with peaceful demonstrators back in 2003...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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By Ernest A. Canning on 11/6/2011 10:18am PT  

Guest editorial by Ernest A. Canning

Those who have followed the body of my work know that I am no fan of campaign ads, which are usually democracy-destroying substitutes for in-depth discussion of matters of substance by those aspiring to public office.

But, every now and then, one comes along that is worth watching because it is both short and hilarious, like this clip of Bill Maher stating why he thinks Alan Grayson (D-FL) should again be in Congress...

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By Ernest A. Canning on 11/5/2011 11:09am PT  


Andy Rooney, 1919 - 2011

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Law enforcement intended to use tear gas from outset, not in response to 'pelting of bottles and rocks,' as alleged by Interim Police Chief...
By Ernest A. Canning on 11/2/2011 12:34pm PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning, with Brad Friedman

In the wake of a violent, night-time confrontation with Occupy Oakland demonstrators last week by the Oakland Police Department (OPD) and some 15 other law enforcement agencies, questions have arisen about the legality of the tactics used by the agency during mass arrests which led to serious injuries, including the fractured skull of a two-tour Iraq vet.

Oakland's Interim Police Chief Howard Jordan has maintained that the use of chemical agents and other so-called "less than lethal" weapons were required in order to defend law enforcement officials from demonstrators.

However, a forensic analysis by The BRAD BLOG of video taken immediately prior to and during last week's raid and confrontation with Occupy Oakland demonstrators, creates doubt about the legality of the OPD decision to declare the demonstration to be an "unlawful assembly," and, in particular, raises serious questions about the veracity of the Interim Oakland Police Chief's claim that police "had to deploy gas in order to stop the crowd and people from pelting us with bottles and rocks."

Moreover, evidence in several of the videos suggests that the multi-agency task force may have violated both CA Penal Code Section 407 and an OPD Training Bulletin [PDF] that had been adopted pursuant to a federal consent decree signed by the Oakland PD after another confrontation with protesters some years ago.

That federal consent decree was the product of litigation initiated after a brutal assault on a 2003 anti-war protest at the Port of Oakland, during which, according to civil rights attorney James B. Chanin, OPD not only deployed so-called "less than lethal firearms," but ran over demonstrators with motorcycles, and shot and arrested longshoreman who were not even a part of the demonstration.

Chanin reports that, during a deposition in the 2003 case, he "discovered" that the OPD had "infiltrated a subsequent demonstration, and even a planned route the demonstrators would take." Video posted at the end of this article shows plain-clothed, under-cover cops mingling with demonstrators at Occupy Oakland, revealing that OPD used similar infiltration techniques during recent demonstrations as well. Audio included in the video captures Interim Chief Jordan bragging about the ease of infiltration.

Yet another video, also posted below, suggests that two-tour Iraq vet Scott Olsen's brain injury was likely caused by a member of the San Francisco Sheriff's Emergency Service Unit (ESU), but, despite reports from activists on the Internet, the identity of that officer is still an open question...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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By Ernest A. Canning on 10/30/2011 4:05pm PT  

Guest editorial by Ernest A. Canning

An October 9 Time Magazine poll revealed that 89% of Americans agree that Wall Street exerts too much influence on our political system; 79% feel the gap between rich and poor is too large; 71% feel the executives from the major financial institutions responsible for the 2008 economic meltdown should be prosecuted; and that only 6% of Americans identify themselves as "Tea Party" followers.

Previous MSM efforts to either ignore what amounts to a genuine democratic uprising or to disparage Occupy Wall Street by falsely claiming the movement has no goal have obviously fallen flat. Against that backdrop, the corporate-owned Los Angeles Times launched a desperate effort to deceptively depict the movement as a transient phenomenon which has had its say and should now fade away.

That effort was apparent in both an October 27 front-page news article in the LA Times, "Putting the move in Occupy movement", as well as a lead editorial in the October 28 paper.

Despite such efforts, neither the dire underlying conditions which have been brought on by history's greatest wealth disparity and the tyranny of the corporate security state, nor the people's desire to realize America's still-unfilled egalitarian democracy is likely to dissipate any time soon. As the Mavis Staples song says, "We shall not be moved!"...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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