Augusta: Commissioners Reject Proposal to Stiffen Protest Laws
Augusta commissioners rejected a proposed update to the Augusta city ordinance requiring group demonstrators to apply for a protest permit at least 30 days prior to the event date. The commissioners are all men split evenly along racial lines—in this vote, all 5 African-American members voted against the proposed restriction on protest, and the 5 white members voted for it. The proposal, which also stipulated 10 business days for the sheriff’s office to approve or reject the permit request and 5 days to file an appeal, would have stiffened the existing law, which does not set a schedule.
Martha Burk, chair of the National Council of Women’s Organizations (NCWO), told the Associated Press, “I’m grateful that at least half of the [commission] recognizes the ordinance for what it is: an attempt to stifle free speech and put off social change.” The NCWO is spearheading efforts to open up the male-only Augusta National Golf Club to women. Augusta National is the site of the Masters golf tournament, an event sanctioned by the PGA Tour, though the PGA does not own or run the Masters. The NCWO along with Rev. Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow/PUSH Coalition plan to hold protests at the Masters tournament this April.
5/1/2015 House Reverses DC Law Banning Reproductive Health Discrimination by Employers - The US House of Representatives voted Thursday night to overturn a Washington, DC, law that makes it illegal for employers to retaliate against employees who use their insurance to cover procedures like in-vitro fertilization or abortion and contraception like birth control pills and IUDs for themselves, their spouses, or their children.
The District's council passed the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment Act last year. . . .
4/30/2015 400 Women and Children Have Been Rescued From Boko Haram in Nigeria - In two different operations in under a week, Nigerian troops have rescued more than 400 women and children who had been kidnapped by Boko Haram.
On Tuesday, Nigerian troops announced they rescued 200 girls and 93 women from Boko Haram - and today news has come out that troops rescued another 160 women and children.
While the news is promising and shows progress made in Nigeria to combat Boko Haram, the girls rescued were not the Chibok girls who inspired the #BringBackOurGirls movement last year. . . .
4/29/2015 Hillary Clinton Calls for Criminal Justice Reform and an End to Mass Incarceration - Hillary Clinton delivered the keynote address at the 18th Annual Dinkins Leadership and Public Policy Forum today, addressing directly criminal justice reforms she would like to see to prevent another "incarceration generation."
"It's time the end the era of mass incarceration," Clinton declared to much applause, citing statistics about the disproportionately higher rate of incarceration that black men in America face. . . .