[ATLANTA, GA] Luke O’Donovan, a survivor of a homophobic attack in Atlanta, GA, was sentenced on Tuesday, August 12th, 2014 to 10 years in prison on charges that he assaulted those who attacked him.
On December 31, 2012, O’Donovan was attacked, beaten and stabbed by at least five men shouting homophobic slurs at a New Year’s Eve party. O’Donovan defended himself with a pocketknife and left the scene, receiving treatment for stab wounds and injuries to his head and body at an Atlanta Medical Center. Hours later, police arrested O’Donovan as he was receiving treatment, charging him with five counts of felony aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. A superseding charge of attempted murder was handed down to O’Donovan at a later date.
On August 12, 2014, O’Donovan was sentenced to prison for 10 years through a negotiated plea deal.
In response, The Luke O’Donovan Support Committee issued the following statement:
“This is the epitome of a hate crime. Witnesses report seeing between 5 and 12 men attacking O’Donovan, stomping on his head and body, and stabbing him in the back while calling him a ‘faggot.’
[CAMBRIDGE, MA] As revealed in an exclusive report by Jason Leopold for Al Jazeera America, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) PhD candidate Ryan Shapiro has received a second batch of documents from the FBI as part of Shapiro’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit for records on Nelson Mandela. In the wake of recent NSA and FBI spying revelations, the documents obtained by Shapiro shed light on decades of politically motivated FBI surveillance, including the monitoring of Mandela’s post-prison meeting with a Yugoslavian President and the surveillance of Mandela’s meetings with activists in the USA.
The first batch of documents, received by Shapiro last month, exposed FBI spying on Mandela during his historic 1990 visit to the U.S. shortly after his release from 27 years in prison for anti-apartheid activities.
The newly released second batch of documents provides additional evidence of FBI monitoring and surveillance of Mandela’s activities, both prior to and following his release from prison. This included FBI monitoring of Mandela’s meetings with world leaders.
Further, the newly released documents also reveal FBI investigation of the South African and U.S. anti-apartheid movements as being Communist threats to American domestic security. Notably, these FBI “Communist” threat investigations of the anti-apartheid movement continued even after U.S. imposition of trade sanctions against apartheid South Africa, after Mandela’s release from prison, and after the fall of the Berlin wall.
Shapiro, a FOIA specialist, is an historian of the political functioning of national security and the policing of dissent. His pathbreaking FOIA work has already led the FBI to declare his MIT dissertation research a threat to national security. Shapiro is also suing the NSA, CIA, and DIA over those agencies’ failure to comply with his FOIA requests for records on Mandela. Shapiro is represented by FOIA specialist attorney Jeffrey Light.
Six key takeaways from the FBI’s latest release of documents to Shapiro:
[NEW YORK, NY] After years of awaiting trial Cecily McMillan was sentenced this morning to a term of incarceration of 90 days on New York’s Rikers Island and a probationary term of 5 years for allegations that she assaulted NYPD officer Grantley Bovel. Posted below is the official statement of her support team.
Today, Cecily Mcmillan was sentenced to 90 days in prison for being sexually assaulted by a police officer at a protest, and then responding to that violence by defending herself. We all know that Cecily did not receive a fair trial and this case will be fought in the Court of Appeals.
[AUSTRALIA] Miranda Gibson has devoted years of her life to defending Tasmania’s old growth forests. Holding Australia’s record for longest tree sit, Miranda is no stranger to the long haul of tenacious grassroots campaigns for eco-defence.
Miranda’s Observer Tree sit lasted 449 days and her six and a half years working on the Florentine Forest blockade has awarded World Heritage Protection status for the otherwise doomed Florentine eucalyptus stand.
Miranda is apprehensive of the word “victory” as she sees her struggle as an ever-poised and vigilant stance against creeping, rapacious development.
Despite Miranda’s laundry list of victories for the forests of Tasmania, the Australian government is attempting to delist several forests from World Heritage Protection status, Tasmanian trees are Still Falling, and these forests need your help.
Take action and join Miranda’s fight: globalvoicesforworldheritage.org