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.
12/11/2013 Human Rights Day Celebrated Around The World - Yesterday marked International Human Rights Day, a day to celebrate human rights advances and to assess the challenges that lie ahead in protecting them.
"The fundamentals for protecting and promoting human rights are largely in place: these include a strong and growing body of international human rights law and standards, as well as institutions to interpret the laws, monitor compliance and apply them to new and emerging human rights issues," said United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay in a statement. . . .
12/11/2013 UConn Under Federal Investigation For Mishandling Sexual Assault Cases - The US Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights informed the University of Connecticut on Monday that it will investigate the school for allegedly mishandling sexual assault cases and violating Title IX, the federal law that requires colleges to eliminate gender-based discrimination.
The investigation was sparked after seven women filed a formal complaint in October alleging that UConn had failed to protect them from sexual assault and exposed them to a sexually hostile environment.One woman says her attacker was expelled from campus but later readmitted without her knowledge. . . .
12/11/2013 Massachusetts Democrat Katherine Clark Wins Congressional Seat - Democrat Katherine Clark will become the fifth woman to represent Massachusetts in the US House Tuesday, after easily defeating three opponents in a special election.
"Six years ago, there wasn't a single woman representing Massachusetts in Congress," said Niki Tsongas, the only other woman representing Massachusetts in the House. . . .