Tag Archives: Protest

The Guardian view on Catalonias referendum: the Spanish state has lost | Editorial

Editorial: Police brutality has ignited the political crisis. Can Madrid and the pro-independence movement find a way forward?

Spain is in crisis, and its prime minister appears to be in denial. The run-up to Sundays referendum on independence for Catalonia made it clear that the country was in trouble. But neither those arranging it nor those rejecting it can fully have anticipated the scenes at polling stations: police in riot gear beating peaceful protesters with batons, dragging voters out by the hair or throwing them down stairs, firing rubber bullets to disperse crowds even striking at Catalan firefighters and jostling with Catalan police.

The immediate result of the violence was hundreds of casualties by mid-afternoon, according to Catalan authorities, and at least 11 wounded officers, according to the central government. The wider effect is the shock expressed well beyond Catalonia, and Spain. The outcome is almost certain to be that some of the Catalans indifferent or opposed tosecession until now, at least, the majority are pushed into the arms of the cause. Whowants to be ruled by a state like this, many are asking.

Yet Mariano Rajoys response, in his address to the nation, was simple: there was no referendum and no problem police acted with firmness and serenity. Theresponsibility for all that had happened lay with the Catalonian government. Spain is paying for his determination to stop the illegal vote by the bluntest means and at all costs. His latest remarks are only likely to inflame matters.

Catalan nationalists owe him much of their success in recent years. The Spanish financial crisis fuelled a surge in the independence movement, leaving many in the wealthy region feeling they were paying more than their fair share. But the shift in the public mood was spurred on when the constitutional court trimmed back a charter increasing the regions powers and already approved by the Spanish parliament after achallenge by Mr Rajoys Peoples party.

Even so, support for independence peaked in 2013, at an estimated 49%. Catalan nationalists, who hold only a wafer-thin majority in the regional parliament, pushed the legislation for Sundays vote through it against considerable opposition; Catalans who wanted to remain in Spain were unlikely to vote. The Spanish constitutional court ruled it illegal and called for it to be halted. But Mr Rajoys heavy-handed response furthered the cause of secessionists again.

The central government seized 10m ballotpapers; arrested key officials; dismantled the technology to connect voting stations, tally votes and vote online; blocked and removed voters from polling stations; and confiscated ballot boxes. Catalan officials told voters to print off ballot papers at home and said they could vote wherever they wanted. Whatever they may claim, the results are neither legally nor morally binding: whatever votes are tallied cannot truly represent Catalonias wishes. Betweenthem,the two sides have produced both a vote that is hugely contentious and aresult that is meaningless.

The prime ministers address, made as condemnations of violence arrived from Jeremy Corbyn, theBelgian prime minister and the EUs Guy Verhofstadt though most member states sought to stay out of the affair is likely to fuel nationalists accusations of authoritarianism and complaints about the suppression of the Catalan will.

But if Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont was right to say that the Spanish state had lost much more than what it had already lost, his assertion that Catalonia had won is at best half true. MostCatalans wished both for a referendum and to remain in a united country. They havebeen ill-served by both the state and theindependence movement. MrVerhofstadturged de-escalation, a negotiated solution bringing in all parties including the opposition in Catalonia andrespect for Spains constitutional and legal order. Heisright. Finding a way out of this mess willrequire a willingness to listen, to Catalans most of all.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/oct/01/the-guardian-view-on-catalonias-referendum-the-spanish-state-has-lost

US government demands details on all visitors to anti-Trump protest website

Privacy advocates call warrant for IP addresses of just one.3 million individuals who visited inauguration protest website an unconstitutional fishing expedition

The federal government needs to unmask everyone who visited an anti-Trump website with what privacy advocates have to say is an unconstitutional fishing expedition for political dissidents.

The warrant seems to become an escalation from the Department of Justices (DoJ) campaign against anti-Trump activities, such as the harsh prosecution of inauguration day protesters.

On 17 This summer, the DoJ offered an internet site-webhost, DreamHost, having a search warrant for each bit of information it possessed which was associated with an internet site which was accustomed to coordinate protests during Donald Trumps inauguration. The warrant covers those who buy and operate the website, but additionally seeks to obtain the IP addresses of just one.3 million individuals who visited it, along with the time and date of the visit and knowledge by what browser or operating-system they used.

The web site, www.disruptj20.org, was utilized to coordinate protests and civil disobedience on 20 The month of january, when Trump was inaugurated.

This unique situation which specific warrant are pure prosecutorial overreach with a highly politicized department of justice under [Attorney General Shaun] Sessions, stated Chris Ghazarian, general counsel for DreamHost. You ought to be concerned that anybody ought to be targeted only for going to a website.

The warrant is made public Monday, when DreamHost announced its intends to challenge the federal government in the court. The DoJ declined to comment. A hearing is scheduled for Friday.

The federal government has strongly prosecuted activists arrested throughout the 20 The month of january protests in Washington Electricity. In April, the united states attorneys office in Washington Electricity filed a single indictment charging greater than 217 individuals with identical crimes, including legal rioting.

Ghazarian stated that DreamHost provided the federal government with limited customer details about who owns the web site if this first received a great jury subpoena per week following the protests happened. However the government returned in This summer using the much broader search warrant.

Were a gatekeeper between your government and thousands of individuals who visited the web site, stated Ghazarian. You want to have them protected.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, that has been counseling DreamHost, characterised the warrant as unconstitutional along with a fishing expedition.

I cant conceive of the legitimate justification apart from casting your internet as broadly as you possibly can to warrant countless user logs, senior staff attorney Mark Rumold told the Protector.

Logs of IP addresses dont distinctively identify users, however they backlink to a particular physical addresses if no digital tools are utilized to mask it.

The things they could be getting is a summary of everybody that has have you been thinking about attending these protests or seeing what happening in the protests and thats the troubling aspect. Its a brief step once you have their email list for connecting the Ip to someones identity, he stated.

Wide-reaching warrants for user data are occasionally issued once the content of the website is illegal for example pirated movies or child sexual abuse imagery, but speech isn’t prohibited.

This [the web site] is pure first amendment advocacy the kind of advocacy the very first amendment is built to safeguard and promote, Rumold added. Frankly Im glad DreamHost is pushing back onto it.

It is not the very first time that the federal government has searched for to unmask people protesting against Trump or his policies.

In March this season, Customs and Border Protection (CBP), a division from the homeland security department, purchased Twitter to give the telephone number, mailing addresses and IP addresses associated with @ALT_USCIS, a free account that presupposed to convey the views of dissenters inside the government.

The account, whose username is really a mention of US Citizenship and Immigration Services, is among a large number of alternative Twitter accounts established after Trump was inaugurated. The unverified accounts claimed to supply an uncensored look at civil servants who could not agree with Trumps policies.

To safeguard the identity of the individual running the account, Twitter launched a suit from the Trump administration, quarrelling it might have a grave chilling impact on it of this account particularly and the rest of the alternative agency accounts which have been produced to voice dissent to government policies.

After public outcry within the administrations overreach, CBP dropped the request.

Find out more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/aug/14/donald-trump-inauguration-protest-website-search-warrant-dreamhost