2015 was deadliest year on record for environmental activists

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UK-based NGO Global Witness reports that at least 185 environmental activists were murdered last year around the globe, and two-thirds of those were in Latin America. According to the report: Read the rest

UC Berkeley chancellor installs office "escape door" as security measure against protesters

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UC Berkeley, birthplace of the Free Speech Movement, installed an emergency exit door between Chancellor Nicholas Dirks’ office and his conference room so he can escape if protestors violently storm his suite. From the Daily Californian:

Construction of the door was requested about a year ago in response to a protest in April 2015 when protesters stormed the chancellor’s suite (photo above).

During the protest, students staged a sit-in outside Dirks’ office where they banged on desks and chanted loudly. They were eventually escorted out of the building, some in handcuffs, by UCPD officers.

Later that day, protesters marched from Sproul Hall to the area in front of University House, the chancellor’s residence.

ASUC Senator-elect Chris Yamas said there have been many protests on campus throughout the tenure of several different chancellors, but no instances when a chancellor was physically harmed.

“There has to be other ways to handle student concerns and protests than simply building ways to avoid them,” Yamas said. “The chancellor seems elitist and out of touch and inaccessible to the students.”

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'Classic intimidation'—Black Lives Matter activists targeted by FBI ahead of RNC

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The Republican National Convention kicks off this Sunday in Cleveland, Ohio. Most of the highest-profile activists associated with the Black Lives Matter movement are not planning to attend, but that didn't stop FBI agents from contacting them by phone, and showing up at their homes to interrogate them and their grandmothers.

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An update on Chelsea Manning's health, from her legal team

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Today, Chelsea Manning spoke with her attorneys for the first time since her hospitalization last week. Attorneys Chase Strangio, Vincent Ward and Nancy Hollander released the following statement on the imprisoned whistleblower's behalf.

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#BlackLivesMatter: 10 iconic photos from a week of protests throughout the U.S.

A man protesting the police shooting death of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, July 9. REUTERS/Jonathan Bachman

Photographers covering the black human rights protests throughout the U.S. this weekend produced powerful and iconic images that are now spreading worldwide on social media, often without credit. Here are 10 photos from photograpers with the Reuters news agency over the past few days of demonstrations against the killing of people of color by police.

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BRITONS: Act now to kill the Snoopers Charter

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Ed from the UK Open Rights Group writes, "Right now, the Government is ramming a new snooping law through Parliament. The Investigatory Powers Bill would force companies such as Sky, BT, Google and Facebook to keep detailed records of what we do online for a year -- even if we are not suspected of committing any crime whatsoever." Read the rest

Indian regulator stands up for net neutrality, bans Facebook's walled garden

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India's Internet activists have scored an epic victory in their battle against Facebook and its attempt to become gatekeeper to the Internet in India. Read the rest

Michael Moore: Flint needs a revolution, not bottled water

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Michael Moore, perhaps Flint, MI's most famous son, has written an open letter to people who are heartsick at the thought of a whole generation of mostly poor, mostly black children being given permanent brain damage through lead poisoning, thanks to the deliberate indifference of the state's Republican administration and the greedy people who elected them. Read the rest

Profile of James Love, "Big Pharma's worst nightmare"

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Jamie Love is one of the founders of Knowledge Ecology International (formerly the Consumer Project on Technology), a super-effective activist NGO that helped to establish low-cost, global access to HIV/AIDS drugs. Read the rest

Chelsea Manning reviews book of Aaron Swartz's writing

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Today is the third anniversary of Aaron Swartz's death, and it was marked by the publication of an anthology of Aaron's writing, The Boy Who Could Change the World: The Writings of Aaron Swartz with an introduction by Lawrence Lessig (I wrote an introduction to one of the sections). Read the rest

TSA transparency activist seeks injunction against mandatory full-body scanners

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Ever since the TSA broke the law and abused him, Sai has been suing them over their illegal conduct, forcing them into court and then demonstrating to the court that the agency refuses to play by any rules, even its own. Read the rest

ACT! Congress about to gut privacy protection from CISA "cybersecurity" bill

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CISA, the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act, encourages companies to spy on their customers and hand the data to the government, in secret, with full immunity (including immunity for launching cyberattacks at users). Read the rest

A roadmap for killing TPP: the next SOPA uprising!

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The Trans Pacific Partnership is the largest "trade deal" in history, negotiated in secret and encompassing many issues unrelated to trade, including rules that make the Internet less secure, easier to censor and spy on, and more subject to corporate dominance. Read the rest

Syria secretly sentenced free software developer Bassel Khartabil to death

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Khartabil has been imprisoned in a Syria's Adra Prison since 2012, though as of October, he has been transferred to an undisclosed location. The free software/open culture activist was the lead for Creative Commons Syria and has contributed to Wikipedia, Firefox and many other projects. Read the rest

PRIVACY'S LAST CHANCE: CISA is on the Senate floor NOW and WE MUST KILL IT

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Evan from Fight for the Future writes, "The privacy-killing law CISA -- which gives legal immunity to corporations when they share your private data with the U.S. government -- is back on the Senate floor after Internet activists have successfully delayed it many times. This could be our last chance to stop it for good." Read the rest

ORG celebrates its tenth birthday: a decade of UK digital rights!

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It's been ten years since Danny O'Brien, Suw Charman and I announced the formation of the UK Open Rights Group at the 2005 Open Tech conference and asked the assembled people to pledge to pay £5/month to help fund a UK-based digital rights group that would fight for their rights online -- and everywhere. Read the rest

Anti-surveillance activists send a drone to pamphlet-bomb an NSA complex in Germany

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Intelexit is an activist group whose mission is to get spies to quit their jobs; they've recently installed billboards around spy complexes in the US and UK. Read the rest

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