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Posts Tagged ‘Abby Martin’

Journalist Abby Martin Sues State of Georgia Over Law Requiring Pledge of Allegiance to Israel

Posted by M. C. on February 13, 2020

A lot of people in US government have their allegiances confused.

CAIR, AIPAC-they both want US to bend over.

https://www.mintpressnews.com/abby-martin-lawsuit-state-georgia-over-bds-law/264798/

By Alan Macleod

After refusing to sign a pledge of allegiance to the state of Israel, the state of Georgia shut down a media literacy conference featuring journalist and filmmaker Abby Martin at Georgia Southern University. Martin had recently released a documentary critical of the Israeli government called “Gaza Fights for Freedom.” Now she is suing the state, claiming the decision is a violation of the First Amendment. Along with the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF), today she filed a federal free speech lawsuit against the university system of Georgia.

Martin was dismayed by the university’s decision: “This censorship of my talk based on forced compliance to anti-BDS laws in Georgia is just one level of a nationwide campaign to protect Israel from grassroots pressure. We must stand firmly opposed to these efforts and not cower in fear to these blatant violations of free speech,” she said.

Twenty-eight states have already mandated loyalty pledges to Israel as a means to outlaw dissent. But in December, President Trump passed legislation effectively criminalizing the Boycott Divestments and Sanctions (BDS) movement that aims to put pressure on the Jewish state through economic action, along the lines of the anti-Apartheid struggle in South Africa. The law mandates that any public institution would be subject to losing all funding if the government deems that they are not doing enough to stamp out anti-Semitism, which, it explicitly states, includes any criticism of the Israeli government. In December, MintPress reported that the British government under Boris Johnson is planning to introduce similar legislation.

“The hyperbolic notion that conservatives are the ones being persecuted on college campuses has made blatant censorship campaigns against people for criticism of Israel, or other progressive protests, go completely ignored,” Martin wrote.

CAIR’s Legal Defense Fund Senior Litigation Attorney Gadeir Abbas said,

There is no place where free speech is more important than on campus. And this attempt to suppress Abby’s views ­– denying students, academics, and others from hearing her lecture – is as brazen as it is illegal. In adopting this anti-BDS law, Georgia has prioritized the policy preferences of a foreign country over the free speech rights of Americans, like Abby, who speak on this state’s college campuses.”

The PCJF likened the BDS movement to the boycotts of the civil rights movement in the mid-twentieth century, its Executive Director Mara Verheyden-Hilliard described the laws as “extraordinary, outrageous, illegal and unconstitutional.” In 1956 Martin Luther King and his movement were criminalized for carrying out boycotts, as Southern states passed legislation to penalize their behavior, only for it to be later struck down by the Supreme Court. This is what Martin and the alliance of non-governmental organizations is hoping will happen here too. Why should I have to “contractually pledge loyalty to a foreign country?” she asked at her press conference today.

In 2016, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed a law requiring any person or organization entering into a contract with the state worth at least $1,000 sign an oath promising that they would not oppose the Israeli government in any fashion. CAIR has reason to believe they could overturn the law its Georgia Executive Director, Edward Ahmed Mitchell, called “blatantly and hilariously unconstitutional.”

In 2018, Bahia Amawi, a Houston-based children’s speech pathologist who worked with autistic, speech-impaired and other developmentally disabled children, lost her job after she refused to sign a similar document. Amawi had been at her job for nine years previously without a problem. CAIR took up Amawi’s case and managed to overturn every Texas boycott law on the grounds of their unconstitutionality and she is now free to return to work. They appear confident of a similar victory in Georgia.

Martin began as a citizen journalist covering the Occupy movement in her native California. From 2012 to 2015 she hosted the show Breaking the Set on RT. In the famous D.N.I. report into alleged Russian interference into the 2016 election, the U.S. government accused her of “promoting radical discontent” in America, something she appears to wear as a badge of honor. Her current documentary series, Empire Files, is broadcast on TeleSUR English. However, due to sanctions against the Venezuelan government, Gaza Fights for Freedom was crowdfunded. She is also the host of Media Roots Radio.

Correction | An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that the state of Georgia shut down a screening of Abby Martin’s documentary film “Gaza Fights for Freedom.”

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WaPo and NYT Approve of Fake News – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on January 13, 2017

WaPo and NYT Prove ‘Fake News’ Is a Good Thing — but Only If It’s Anti-Russian

By Alice Salles
Anti Media

Journalist Abby Martin was surprised to learn through a fake news story on New York Times that she had quit her former job as a reporter at RT.com due to propaganda.
“I worked at RT for 1 [year] after speaking out,” she tweeted in response, adding she had left the TV channel over other reasons, not “[because] of ‘propaganda.’” RT, or Russia Today, is funded by the Russian government, but instead of confirming their story first with Martin and waiting to hit publish once they knew the author wasn’t simply speculating, the New York Times allowed a fake news article to hit the web. The story was clearly meant to confirm the then-recently released Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI)’s report concerning Russia’s alleged effort to change the outcome of the 2016 presidential election in the United States. But what it actually did was further damage the mainstream media’s reputation as a source of real news.
The original New York Times piece alleged Martin was one of two anchors who quit “during live broadcasts to protest the network’s coverage of Russia’s invasion and occupation of Crimea.” Once the piece hit the internet, Martin took to Twitter to point out the mistake, urging author Russell Goldman to issue a correction.
Shortly after, the piece was edited, and the following correction footnote was added:
“An earlier version of this article misstated when the RT anchor Abby Martin left the network. She quit some months after denouncing on air Russia’s war in Ukraine, not during that broadcast.”
But Martin noticed that despite the edit, the piece was still incorrect.
In a tweet published after the correction note went live, she added that the “correction still insinuates I quit RT over Ukraine but I had my show for [one year] after denouncing Putin — disproving the article’s point.” At the time, she justified her departure from the network, explaining she wanted to “focus on investigative field reporting.”
In a back and forth with Goldman, the journalist expressed gratitude for the edit, pointing out that, “unfortunately [the non-factual piece] was up for almost a day [with] glaring errors about me.” In the response to the New York Times author, she added: “The truth disproves your whole point.” Goldman did not provide an answer to that particular remark.
Despite the lack of evidence connecting the Kremlin to any alleged attempt to meddle with U.S. elections, the ODNI report has been highly cited as “proof” Russian president Vladimir Putin was directly involved with attempts to elect Donald Trump. This is especially true with publications like the New York Times and the Washington Post. The Post’s reputation recently took a hit after it published reports claiming Russia had invaded the U.S. power grid. Needless to say, the report was inconsistent with the facts.
Like the New York Times, the Post published the report without first confirming the story with Burlington Electric, the electrical company Russia allegedly hacked.
From The Intercept:
“Apparently, the Post did not even bother to contact the company before running its wildly sensationalistic claims, so Burlington Electric had to issue its own statement to the Burlington Free Press, which debunked the Post’s central claim.”
Martin echoed Glenn Greenwald’s words when responding to a question concerning the New York Times piece.
“The so-called paper of record hadn’t even bothered to reach out,” she told RT.
Ironically, the New York Times and the Washington Post have been two of the fiercest critics of so-called fake news on the internet. The Washington Post even published an article that claimed many pushers of fake news — including the site you are reading right now — are actually Russian agents. Hilariously, though, WaPo later distanced itself from the article after it was found to be fake news itself.
Why are so many well-established news organizations like The New York Times and the Washington Post risking their reputations over these small mistakes, failing to check with sources before breaking news?
We might never know the answer, but many seem to think it’s politically motivated.
This article is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Alice Salles and theAntiMedia.org.

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