It's been 36 years since The Clash dropped Know Your Rights as the first single from their fifth studio album, Combat Rock. That it's just as relevant today as it was close to four decades ago leaves me unsure of whether I should laugh or cry.
If you're an American unsure of what your rights truly are, the ACLU has you covered. Canadian? Check out the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and this handy guide on dealing with the police.
If you're from another part of the world, help us out here: Add a link to your country's civic rights in the comments. Read the rest “Weekend Tunes: The Clash - Know Your Rights”
While it should come as no surprise to anyone that follows the news or gets depressed by Twitter on a regular basis, freedom of the press – an important check against corruption and the misuse of power in a democracy – is on the decline.
We've been seeing it daily of late: political leaders spewing targeted hate at particular journalists or the outlets they work for. Pundits calling the facts uncovered during deep-dive investigative reporting lies, or alternate versions of the truth, instead of trying to defend their viewpoints or confessing to their bullshit once they've been caught. Hell, Trump went so far as to call journalists "enemies of the people." That's a term that Stalin was fond of.
The assault on the media doesn't stop there, either. With increasing frequency, journalists around the world are facing charges and incarceration for nothing more than doing their jobs. As insane as it is, those are the lucky ones. In some locales, being a journalist can get you killed. It's been common, in recent years, for reporters in Mexico to vanish or to wind up dead – their work to bring the truth to light displeasing to drug cartels and corrupt local officials. And then there's this, from Reporters Without Borders:
Read the rest “Report: Freedom of the Press in decline around the world”
The line separating verbal violence from physical violence is dissolving. In the Philippines (down six at 133rd), President Rodrigo Duterte not only constantly insults reporters but has also warned them that they “are not exempted from assassination.” In India (down two at 138th), hate speech targeting journalists is shared and amplified on social networks, often by troll armies in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pay.
Aaron from EFF writes, "EFF has just launched the Summer Security Camp, a two-week membership drive that challenges people everywhere to gather ‘round the online rights movement and prepare for the privacy and free speech challenges in their paths. Through the 4th of July, everyone who signs up as a Silicon level member and above can receive a set of three different miniature field guides with shareable digital security tips:" Read the rest “Be Prepared: EFF's Summer Security Camp”