Allison Kilkenny

Cecily McMillan's Trial Is an Attack on Our Right to Protest

On Monday, Occupy Wall Street activist Cecily McMillan was sentenced to three months in jail and five years of probation, after she faced down a maximum sentence of seven years in prison for her conviction of assaulting a police officer. Her supporters, unsurprisingly, feel the sentencing is excessive – especially given her testimony that the officer in question first grabbed her breast – but it's also clearer than ever that McMillan's conviction will have a chilling effect on the future of serious activism.

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The Only Story You'll Ever Need to Read to Demand an End to All Wars

This article originally appeared on AllisonKilkenny.com, and is reprinted here with their permission.

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How Obama and Valerie Jarrett Helped Launch Their Political Careers in an Outrageous 'Urban Renewal' Scheme

As President Obama's second term begins, and inequality, especially for black Americans, is worse than it was when Obama first took office, it's worth revisiting progressives' and Obama supporters' impression of the president as somebody who might actually care about equality and helping the most unfortunate in society. And a big centerpiece of that impression, which endures despite evidence that he's at best ambivalent, is his early days in Chicago. The narrative that Obama is a salt-of-the-earth community organizer has been spoon-fed to the American populace since Obama first began campaigning. In reality, there's a big piece of the president's past that has gone under-reported that will help us to understand Obama and his closest adviser Valerie Jarrett a bit better: Obama and Jarrett built the nexus of political support that took him to the presidency by participating in one of the most appalling examples of neoliberal-corrupted City Hall-"urban renewal projects" in recent history that enriched developers and investors and destroyed the lives of thousands of Chicago's poorest black residents, in some cases using his community organizer job as camouflage.

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OWS and the Power of Creative Protest

Perhaps the single biggest factor that helped lead to the Occupy movement’s success in capturing the media and public’s attention has been its creativity. Novel protest strategies have served as OWS’s foundation since its first days. The very idea of occupying, and sleeping in, a park twenty-four hours a day was new and exciting.

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17-Year-Old Challenges Michele Bachmann on Law Allowing Creationism To Be Taught In Public School Science Classes

Most high school students are concerned about their grades or getting into a good college, but 17-year-old Zack Kopplin is focusing on conducting a national campaign to challenge a congresswoman on her basic understanding of the separation of church and state.

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4 Fantastically Stupid Projects Pushed By Republicans Aiming to Please Their Corporate Masters

As thousands of Americans protest the budget cuts and austerity measures being unleashed on their communities by their elected officials, states continue to issue tax breaks and deal out funding for an array of fantastically stupid projects.

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Free Market Vultures Are Snatching Away the Livelihoods of Minorities in the Inner City

You would think during a time of vast unemployment, wealth disparity, and economic instability that great minds would unite in order to imagine and build a new tomorrow in which the suffering of the masses could be lessened. Of course, that fantasy includes the provision that The Smartest Guys In The Room are also The Most Moral Guys In The Room, which is rarely the case.

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Police Use Painful New Weapon on G20 Protesters

Pittsburgh police demonstrated the latest in crowd control techniques on protesters when they used "sound cannons" to blast the ears of citizens near the G-20 meeting of world economic leaders. City officials said this was the first time such sound blasters, also known as "sound weapons," were used publicly.

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Wearing Green for Iran? What About the People of Iraq and Afghanistan?

The recent outpouring of support from Americans for Iranian citizens ranges from the sincere to the premeditated. For every post of Twitterific solidarity from a well-intentioned American, there is a wily Jonah Goldberg spouting empty platitudes about needing to preserve freedom by _____ (we can only assume invading Iran.) Everyone seems outraged that an authoritarian power would dare to steal an election, though Americans seemed widely unconcerned when this happened in Azerbaijan in 2003 and Egypt in 2006.

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