Human Rights

Emails from ALEC Member Russell Pearce Show Anti-Immigrant Law May Have Been Racially Motivated

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Arizona has asked the man behind the "show me your papers" anti-immigrant law in that state to show them his emails. An open records request to former Arizona state Senator Russell Pearce netted thousands of email records sent from Pearce's account that suggest Arizona's SB 1070, which was taken up as an American Legislative Exchange Council "model bill" but recently struck down in large part by the U.S. Supreme Court, was motivated by racism and xenophobia.

University of Wisconsin Launches Historic Challenge to Adidas over Sweatshop Conditions for College-Branded Apparel

Darrell Bazzell and Brian VaughnBREAKING NEWS: The University of Wisconsin Board of Regents on Friday filed a precedent-setting breach of contract claim against sportswear brand Adidas, after the company failed to comply with anti-sweatshop provisions requiring they provide certain benefits to workers who produce goods that bear the mark of the university. This is the first time a U.S. university has sought to enforce a global anti-sweatshop code of conduct in a U.S. court of law.

U.S. Supreme Court Considers ALEC Immigration Bill

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court is hearing arguments challenging Arizona's SB 1070 immigration law. In 2009, this bill was pre-approved by legislators along with corporate lobbyists and special interest representatives at an American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) task force before passing the Arizona legislature and being signed into law by Governor Jan Brewer, an ALEC alum. The National Rifle Association (NRA) was the private sector co-chair of ALEC's "Public Safety and Elections Task Force" when the bill was approved.

California is Farmer Brown

This is the second in a two-part series by the Center for Media and Democracy's Food Rights Network (FRN) about challenges to local food sovereignty across the United States. It was originally published on Alternet. For more, see the first article, on the lawsuit against Blue Hill, Maine farmer Dan Brown brought by the State of Maine and Maine's Agriculture Commissioner, here.


Maine farmer Dan Brown, who milks one cow and sells milk to his neighbors, is being sued by the State of Maine for "unlicensed distribution and sale of milk and food products." The lawsuit has sparked protest in Maine and concern in communities around the country.

In an interview with the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD), Brown said, "One of these times, they're going to come after one of us, and it's going to be that Rosa Parks moment ... [for] the food system."

The "Local Food and Community Self-Governance Ordinance" that passed in Brown's town of Blue Hill, Maine, on April 2, 2011, asserting its "citizens' right to foods of their choice" without impediment by federal and state regulations, served as a model for several counties in California. CMD spoke with three farmers and advocates about the food sovereignty movement there, and how the suit against Farmer Brown may affect their struggle.

We Are Farmer Brown

This is the first in a two-part series by the Center for Media and Democracy's Food Rights Network (FRN) about challenges to local food sovereignty across the United States. This was originally published on AlterNet. Stay tuned for the next installment, coming soon.


More than 150 supporters gathered on the steps of Town Hall in Blue Hill, Maine on Friday, November 18. They protested the State of Maine's and Agriculture Comissioner Walt Whitcomb's lawsuit against local farmer Dan Brown of Gravelwood Farm in Blue Hill. In response to a shout of, "Who is Farmer Brown," the crowd shouted, "We are all Farmer Brown!"

Wisconsin Judge Rules Against Food Rights

This is the second in a series of articles about raw milk by the Center for Media and Democracy's Food Rights Network. For more about raids on raw milk farmers and eaters, see yesterday's article.


Zinniker Family Farm cows, courtesy of Anthroposophy in AmericaWisconsin dairy farmers are appealing a state judge's ruling that they do not have the right to own a dairy cow or drink the unprocessed milk from their own cows.

Mark and Petra Zinniker, who sought to distribute raw milk to herd shareholders through their private farm store, received a judgment from state Circuit Court Judge Patrick Fiedler ruling against them on all counts in August.

In response, the Zinnikers, their shareholders and their lawyers at the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund (FTCLDF) filed a clarification motion, on which Judge Fiedler filed his decision and order on September 9th.

Group Alleges University of Wisconsin's Diversity Policies are "Discriminatory;" Protesters Take Over Press Conference

MADISON -- The University of Wisconsin-Madison's race-conscious admissions policies amount to "severe racial discrimination," announced Center for Equal Opportunity (CEO) president Roger Clegg at a press conference Tuesday. As the event concluded, supporters of the university's diversity policies took over the conference room, and beneficiaries of the diversity policies Clegg attacked shared their experiences.

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