Posts Tagged ‘first amendment’

http://www.timesdispatch.com/news/local/city-of-richmond/richmond-recovers-police-data-flash-drive/article_638f9228-b1c1-11e2-820c-001a4bcf6878.html

The Richmond Police have reportedly received the missing Police Department flash drive from a 3rd party (neither Mo Karnage of the Wingnut nor Nathan Cox of Copblock).  See link above for full news report.

The flash drive was reportedly found on the ground near a trashcan. The cop Martin Harrison who’s flash drive it was had testified in court that he never took the flash drive from police headquarters- yet said there were no reported intruders during the few days when the flash drive went missing. And yet the flash drive was found outside.

Thanks to Tom Roberts and Andrew Bodoh- the attorney’s representing in this case. www.robertslaw.org to find out more about them and make a donation to their legal fund.

Here is an update from our lawyers, who are currently helping us in our ongoing legal battle with the Richmond Police Department over documents. Please read, and go to their link, and if you have the ability/inclination, donate to help them be able to take on more cases like ours.

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The law firm of Thomas H. Roberts & Associates, P.C., an affiliate law firm of Freedom Works Foundation, is proud to stand against prior restraints and censorship of speech protected under the United States and Virginia Constitutions.  Freedom Works Foundation was founded in 1999 as a non-profit foundation in Virginia to defend against attacks on freedom, to promote, assure and enhance freedom.

The American tradition stands in stark contrast to the English licensing system, which expired in 1695, where all printing presses and printers were licensed and nothing could be published without prior approval of the state or church authorities.   All despotic and tyrannical governments attack the freedom of the people to speak.

One of the more famous cases in the United States involved the attempt of the government to restrain the publication of the “Pentagon Papers”, the Vietnam Study Task Force report created by Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, consisting of thousands of pages including documents classified as “Top Secret—Sensitive”  At first President Nixon was not opposed to the publication since it was perceived to be embarrassing to the prior administrations of Kennedy and Johnson, but his National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger convinced President Nixon that the publication might establish a negative precedent.  The administration then attacked Daniel Ellsberg and Anthony Russo, who allegedly leaked the documents, arguing that they were guilty of a felony under the Espionage Act of 1917.  Attorney General John N. Mitchell and Nixon obtained a federal injunction ordering the New York Times to cease publication, which was appealed.  Then Assistant United States Attorney General William Rehnquist unsuccessfully sought an injunction against the Washington Post, which was denied.  Judge Murray Gurfein wrote that “[t]he security of the Nation is not at the ramparts alone. Security also lies in the value of our free institutions. A cantankerous press, an obstinate press, an ubiquitous press must be suffered by those in authority in order to preserve the even greater values of freedom of expression and the right of the people to know.”  The government appealed.  The United States Court of Appeals confirmed that the prior restraint of speech was unlawful, in a 6-3 decision with nine different opinions.

Justice Black wrote “Only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government. And paramount among the responsibilities of a free press is the duty to prevent any part of the government from deceiving the people and sending them off to distant lands to die of foreign fevers and foreign shot and shell.”

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The law firm of Thomas H. Roberts & Associates, P.C. stands behind police forces when they uphold and enforce the law — the firm opposes any police force when the power entrusted to it by the people for the people is used to oppress and rob those they are to serve of the benefit and protection of the law and the constitutions they have sworn to uphold.  It is our sworn duty!

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Most recently in City of Richmond Police Department, et. al.  v. Moriah Karn, et. al., Case No. CL 12-4939, the law firm of Thomas H. Roberts & Associates, P.C. is defending Nathan Cox and Moriah Karn against the outrageous attack by the City of Richmond Police Department and the City of Richmond on their rights of free speech under the 1st Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article I § 12 of the Virginia Constitution.

In that suit, the Richmond PD alleged that defendants “somehow obtained certain confidential information of the Department” including the names, addresses, telephone numbers and/or “other confidential information” concerning certain officers and employees of the Department.”

The suit does not allege who specifically posted the information online, but does allege that Karn and/or Cox posted links to the information on websites.  The suit among other things seeks to prevent Karn  and Cox from pointing the public to this information released to the public.

MORE- at this link: http://www.robertslaw.org/prior-restraint-of-speech-first-amendment-violations/

Yesterday, the Animal Rights community received some potentially positive news. The charges against the AETA 4 were dismissed. The 4 can still be re-indicted, so this is likely only a temporary reprieve. Those not familiar with the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act should take the time to read up on this bogus law. The case of the AETA 4 is the first time this law is being used to prosecute anyone, and so this case will likely set a precedent. The outcome of this case is extremely important, as what the 4 are being accused of are things like fliering and chalking, which are supposed to be protected speech.

This case is happening across the country, but it has the potential to affect activists in Richmond and activists everywhere. Not being able to catch people working underground has pushed the government and corporations to try to prosecute folks doing above ground work. This law and the rampant use of the word terrorist as a label are part of a movement to protect capitalist interests at any cost.

Will Potter writes the blog Green is the New Red http://www.greenisthenewred.com and that site is a really good source for up to date news on the persecution of animal and environmental activists by the government and corporations.

Here is his post on the Dismissal of the AETA 4. (more…)

The Wingnut will be hosting some Know Your Rights style workshops in the month of August. Anyone interested in helping to facilitate the workshops should contact the Wingnut. And if you want to attend please let us know!

In the mean time, here are some quick review points on your legal rights. Always a good thing to stay current on.

Also, don’t forget to let people know that the Supreme Court just ruled that cops do not have to tell you your Miranda Rights. So it is important that people involve their own Miranda Rights. Vocalize your right to remain silent and your desire to speak to a lawyer. Do not wait for the police to initiate that part of the conversation.

Know Your Legal Rights

– A Quick Reference Guide –

from No Compromise Issue 23

By Shannon R. Keith, Esq.

GENERAL RIGHTS YOU SHOULD ALWAYS KNOW:

You have the right to remain silent

You have the right to an attorney

You have a Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination

You have a First Amendment right to freedom of speech

You have a Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures

QUESTIONING BY “AUTHORITIES” (more…)