Sixteen pipeline protesters and a journalist who had been arrested and charged with felonies in 2018 celebrated a major victory for the First Amendment after a local district attorney in Louisiana rejected all charges and vowed not to prosecute them under Louisiana’s controversial amendments to its critical infrastructure law.
In 2018, in the midst of fierce opposition to the Bayou Bridge Pipeline and at the urging of the Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association, the Louisiana legislature added pipelines to the definition of critical infrastructure to significantly heighten the penalties for people protesting pipeline projects. The amendments made it a felony punishable by up to five years in prison, with or without hard labor, for being on or near pipelines or construction sites allegedly without permission. The Bayou Bridge Pipeline, built by Energy Transfer Partners, is the tail end of the same network of pipelines that includes the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Learn more about this victory on our website.
“Egregious and unlivable”: Immigrants in New Jersey jail file civil rights complaint over ICE assaults and retaliation
“Immigrants detained at Bergen County Jail are fighting for dignity and their basic human rights, but instead of following simple protocol, officials at Bergen continue to silence and retaliate against immigrants through the use of solitary confinement, transfers, beatings, threats, racial slurs, and taunting,” said attorney and Bertha Justice Fellow Samah Sisay.
On Tuesday, 15 immigrants in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody lodged a multi-individual complaint with the Department for Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties calling for an investigation into ongoing abuses, including medical neglect, violent retaliation, COVID-19 negligence, religious discrimination, sexual assault, and overall intolerable conditions at the Bergen County Jail (BCJ) in Bergen County, New Jersey.
We filed the complaint with Freedom for Immigrants and UnLocal Inc., including direct testimony on incidents of abuse in April and May of this year. The complaint describes a pattern and practice of deplorable standards of care that fail to meet even ICE’s own protocols, a culture of fear where immigrants are routinely retaliated against for speaking out, and blatant racial and religious discrimination in decisions related to medical care and release from detention. Moreover, officials at BCJ are violating federal court orders by denying release to individuals who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19, according to the complaint.
Learn more about this filing on our website.
To honor and commemorate Disability Pride Month, the Center for Constitutional Rights is honored to sponsor this important panel discussion and teach-in by our partners at Project LETS — a radical peer support collective and grassroots organization by/for mad, mentally ill, Disabled, and neurodivergent folks.
Panel Discussion: Stella Akua Mensah, Chanika Svetvilas, Jess Stohlmann-Rainey, and Vesper Moore — July 21 (6–8 p.m. EST)
A space to share wisdom and experiences from folks who moved within and through the medical and psychiatric industrial complexes — away from a strict biological view of "mental illness" and individualized rhetoric toward a liberation-centered, justice-oriented understanding of our bodyminds.
Teach-In: Disabled and mad histories of pathologization and how we fought back — July 28 (6–8 p.m. EST)
There’s a very long (and often unknown) history of abuse, violence, sterilization, incarceration, and denial of humanity toward mad, mentally ill, neurodivergent, and Disabled (MMIND) folks. During this teach-in, we will be analyzing how capitalism, white supremacy, patriarchy, anti-Blackness, ableism, and eugenics laid the foundation for psychiatry, mental health care, and systems set up to control Disabled people (that many believe are here to “help” us).
We’re looking for experienced second- or third-year law students or LLM students with a strong commitment to social justice to provide legal research and analysis as part of a semester-long paid internship or externship opportunity. We’re a national not-for-profit organization that works with communities under threat to fight for justice and liberation through creative litigation, advocacy, and strategic communications. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, we have taken on oppressive systems of power, including structural racism, gender oppression, economic inequity, and governmental overreach, to advance and protect constitutional and human rights. Our fall and spring legal internships are part of a year-round internship program that includes our summer Ella Baker Program.
Interns spend 12-20 hours per week between September and December 2021 assisting attorneys on projects. This position will be completed remotely.
Applications are open until August 6; apply on our website.
July 19, 2021