Stories from the ACLU of Washington

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Monday, July 12, 2010
While summer days have (finally) arrived, and many of us are thinking most about play and vacations, Washington’s primary election is just around the corner, on August 17. And the registration deadline for the primary election online or in-person is only days away, on July 19.
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Friday, July 9, 2010
Join the ACLU of Washington at Saturday in the Park on July 10, 2010 from 10:00 am – 6:00 pm for a day of fabulousness and activism!  This event will take place on the Esther Short Commons located at the corner of 6th and Esther Streets in Downtown Vancouver (map). The LGBT civil liberties pendulum continues to sway in 2010.  When will it stop? I do not know.  What I do know is that the ACLU of Washington continues to fight tirelessly for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender folks to enjoy equal access to marriage, in the military, from discrimination and for our youth.  ACLU-WA is so busy; it is often difficult to keep up.  Are you up to date on Witt V. U.S. Air Force? Don’t worry; I wasn’t before this week began.  The Clark County Chapter will be smiling proud at the ACLU-WA booth ready to answer questions like… How is the ACLU-WA currently working to protect my civil liberties? Are there any upcoming public education events? How do I become a member of the ACLU-WA? How can I volunteer for the ACLU-WA? Is my outfit cute or what? The ACLU of Washington demands equal treatment for all people in America under the law, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity.  Stand with us as we stand with you and have a Happy Pride!
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Thursday, July 8, 2010
Last week the California NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) endorsed Proposition 19, a marijuana legalization initiative, which will appear on the November ballot in California. As stated by California NAACP president Alice Huffman, “we are joining a growing number of medical professionals, labor organizations, law enforcement authorities, local municipalities and approximately 56% of the public in saying that it is time to decriminalize the use of marijuana.” Adding further, that “the war on drugs is a failure and disproportionately targets young men and women of color, particularly African-American males.”   Read more
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Thursday, July 8, 2010
Recently obtained documents show that the University of Washington Police Department authorized an officer to spy on, collect information about, and participate in meetings of the UW Student Worker Coalition, without any suspicion of criminal activity. The ACLU of Washington is working with the SWC to uncover the extent of surveillance, and to encourage the University to take the steps necessary to prevent suspicionless surveillance in the future.   Read more
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Wednesday, July 7, 2010
I spent a week in Detroit attending workshops, plenaries, meeting lots of new people, and discussing ideas. This may sound like a typical conference, but the US Social Forum (USSF) is more than workshops and networking. The USSF is a movement building process where activists and advocates from across the country gather to share ideas, cultivate relationships for effective action, engage in dialogue on how to create "another world" - one that is free from racism, homophobia, sexism, and other forms of inequality and unfairness. Throughout the week, my activist spirit was rejuvenated and inspired – and the energy continues. Read more
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Tuesday, July 6, 2010
The democratizing effect of the Internet is arguably its greatest feature, resulting in a revolutionary explosion of free speech and expression. But this effect recently came under fire in Viacom v. YouTube, a case affecting the fundamental framework of how content is created, disseminated and stored on line. Thankfully, by ruling that YouTube was covered by the “safe harbor” provision of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), a U.S. District Court might have just saved the Internet as we know it. Read more
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Sunday, July 4, 2010
For our 4th of July BBQ, like many Americans, my family puts together a play list of Americana music.  Ours includes Frank Sinatra singing The House I Live In, Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the U.S.A., and anything by Aaron Copland.  We hang our flag, one that once flew over the Capitol in Washington, DC - and decorate the chocolate cake with stars and stripes.  
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Friday, July 2, 2010
Utah’s June 18 execution of Ronnie Lee Gardner captured attention from around the world. Why is this newsworthy? The U.S. has taken the lives of over 1,000 individuals since 1976. Since that year, Gardner is only the third person in the U.S. executed by firing squad.
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Thursday, July 1, 2010
  Es costumbre que el cuatro de julio es un tiempo de celebrar la independencia estadounidense y nuestra libertad política con cuetes y carne asada.  Pero este año, hay un sentido mutua en nuestras comunidades que nuestra libertad y dignidad colectiva esta amenazada con la ley de discriminación racial de Arizona, SB 1070.  
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Thursday, July 1, 2010
    The Fourth of July is typically a time to celebrate our nation’s independence and our collective political freedom with fireworks and BBQs. However, this year many people, including myself, feel that our political freedom and dignity have been threatened by unfair legislation: Arizona’s racial profiling law, SB 1070.    

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