Throughout the weekend, protests have erupted in Turkey in response to the brutal pacification of a peaceful sit-in in Istanbul. Over 1,700 people have been arested and there are multiple unconfirmed reports of people dying. The Prime Minister is blaming the entire protest on the social menace known as Twitter, which seems to be the only way for protesters to communicate (hashtag #occupygezi), as Turkish media networks seem to keep mum on the whole affair, and cell phone providers are pressured by the government to block communications.
Meanwhile, the police are using tear gas, batons and rubber bullets to pacify the growing unrest. Amnesty International claims at least two protesters died so far, and Twitter is abuzz with reports of the police firing at defenseless people and demolishing shops to get at the protesters trying to hide inside.
Geofeedia bills itself as a way for marketers to reach potential customers through geotagged “hashtag listening,” but they also sell it to police departments for “predicting, analyzing and acting on social media conversations,” like, say, peaceful protests.
Even though both parties’ presidential candidates say they oppose the Trans Pacific Partnership — the secretly negotiated “trade” deal that lets corporations sue governments to repeal their environmental, labor and safety laws if they hurt profits — Obama’s plan to ram through a vote before the election is alive and well.
America imprisons more people than any other country in history, in both absolute and relative terms. American prisoners — disproportionately racialized and poor people — are held in inhumane conditions that include long periods of solitary confinement, in violation of international protocols against torture.
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