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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Human Rights Alert

Organized Labor and the Financial Crisis

Is labor rank and file going to be the tipping force in the current crisis? Organized labor and its leaders are somehow out of synch, but the rank and file are not...
Los Angeles, March 13 - current events in Wisconsin demonstrate the awakening of labor rank and file, where its leaders failed. For example, AFL-CIO Attorney Damon Silvers sits on the TARP (Troubled Assets Relief Program) Board, headed by Harvard Prof Elizabeth Warren. But the TARP Board and its Inspector General Neil Barofsky failed to address the overwhelming evidence of criminality in financial institutions who benefit from the program. The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission touched on it only tangentially. However, labor rank and file see reality as it is, and may become the tipping force in the current crisis, compelling government to address the crisis in an honest and equitable manner at last. ____

Sunday 13 March 2011 Assault on Collective Bargaining Illegal, Says International Labor Rights Group Jeanne Mirer and Marjorie Cohn, Truthout: "The International Commission for Labor Rights (ICLR) sent a notice to the Wisconsin Legislature, explaining that its attempt to strip collective bargaining rights from public workers is illegal. Anyone who has watched the events unfolding in Wisconsin and other states that are trying to remove collective bargaining rights from public workers has heard people protesting the loss of their 'rights.' The ICLR explained to the legislature exactly what these rights are and why trying to take them away is illegal." Read the Article Madison Rally Bigger Than Biggest Tea Party Rally Alex Seitz-Wald, ThinkProgress: "Police estimated up to 100,000 people turned out in Madison, WI yesterday to protest Gov. Scott Walker's (R) assault on unions, making it bigger than any protests the city has witnessed, even those during the Vietnam War. The Madison rally is part of a much larger Main Street Movement of average Americans demanding fairness in labor laws, social spending, and taxation that has emerged in Ohio, New Jersey, Florida, Michigan, and elsewhere. But yesterday's rally in Madison is noteworthy because at 85,000-100,000, it was bigger than the biggest tea party protest, the September 12, 2009 rally in Washington, D.C., which turned out only an estimated 60,000-70,000." Read the Article

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March 14, 2011

For Wisconsin's Lawmakers, a Hero's Homecoming A.G. Sulzberger, The New York Times News Service: "They are the unlikeliest of folk heroes. But this group of once-obscure lawmakers - a dairy farmer, a lawyer and a woman who is seven months pregnant, among others - that fled this capital nearly a month ago, returned Saturday to the cheers of tens of thousands who once again packed the streets in protest. Many in the crowd wore buttons or held signs bearing admiring nicknames for the group: the 'Fighting 14,' the 'Fab 14' or, simply, 'the Wisconsin 14.' They chanted, 'Thank you' and 'Welcome home.'" Read the Article ____

Joseph Zernik, PhD Human Rights Alert (NGO)

Human Rights Alert is dedicated to discovering, archiving, and disseminating evidence of Human Rights violations by the justice systems of the State of California and the United States in Los Angeles County, California, and beyond. Human Rights Alert focuses on the unique role of computerized case management systems in the precipitous deterioration of the integrity of the justice system in the United States. _______ _____________________________ WHAT DID THE EXPERTS SAY ABOUT THE JUSTICE SYSTEM IN LOS ANGELES COUNTY, CALIFORNIA? * "...judges tried and sentenced a staggering number of people for crimes they did not commit." Prof David Burcham, Dean, Loyola Law School, LA (2001) * "This is conduct associated with the most repressive dictators and police states... and judges must share responsibility when innocent people are convicted." Prof Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean, Irvine Law School (2001) * "Innocent people remain in prison" * "...the LA Superior Court and the DA office, the two other parts of the justice system that the Blue Panel Report recommends must be investigated relative to the integrity of the system, have not produced any response that we know of..." LAPD Blue Ribbon Review Panel Report (2006) _____________________________ WHAT DID THE EXPERTS SAY ABOUT THE JUSTICE SYSTEM IN CALIFORNIA? * "...corruption of the courts and the legal profession and discrimination by law enforcement in California." United Nations Human Rights Council Staff Report (2010) _____________________________ WHAT DID THE EXPERTS SAY ABOUT THE STATE COURTS IN THE UNITED STATES? * "On July 26, 2010, Laurence Tribe, Senior Counsel for the United States Department of Justice, Access to Justice Initiative, delivered an important speech to the Conference of Chief Justices, challenging them to halt the disintegration of our state justice systems before they become indistinguishable from courts of third world nations." Prof Laurence Tribe, Harvard Law School (2010), per National Defender Leadership Institute (2010) _____________________________ WHAT DID THE EXPERTS SAY ABOUT THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES? * "More than 100 law professors have signed on to a letter released today that proposes congressional hearings and legislation aimed at fashioning "mandatory and enforceable" ethics rules for Supreme Court justices for the first time. The effort, coordinated by the liberal Alliance for Justice, was triggered by "recent media reports," the letter said, apparently referring to stories of meetings and other potential conflicts of interest involving Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas among others."

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March 14, 2011

More than 100 law professors, as reported by the Blog of the Legal Times (February 2011) _____________________________ WHAT DID CHIEF JUDGE OF THE US COURT OF APPEALS, 5TH CIRCUIT, SAY ABOUT THE US JUSTICE SYSTEM? * "The American legal system has been corrupted almost beyond recognition..." Chief Judge, US Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit, Edith Jones, speaking before the Federalist Society of Harvard Law School (February 2003) _____________________________ WHAT DID THE CHAIR OF THE SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE SAY ABOUT THE US JUSTICE SYSTEM? * In a speech in Georgetown University, Senator Leahy, Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee called for a "Truth and Reconciliation Commission" on the US Department of Justice. Transcript of Senator Leahy speech (2009)