Topic

first amendment

31 petitions

Update posted 2 weeks ago

Petition to Judge Jack Robison, Governor Greg Abbott, President Donald Trump

Dismiss the Charges Against My Son Justin Carter - Being Prosecuted For A Facebook Comment

My son, Justin Carter, was arrested on February 14, 2013 (yes, Valentine’s Day) because of a sarcastic comment he posted on Facebook about a computer game which was then taken out of context by a complete stranger! Please sign my petition to help release my son, Justin. My son was in jail for months because we couldn't afford to pay the half million dollar bail money. It took a month before he was even questioned and he spent his 19th birthday behind bars. To this day, Justin has not had a trial. No weapons were found during a search of his apartment, and so we’re really confused and heartbroken that our family is being violated like this. While confined in jail, Justin was assaulted a number of times. He was locked in solitary confinement for months.  Justin’s a good kid. He wouldn’t hurt anyone, let alone a child. What I understand happened is that he was in an argument on the League of Legends website, which continued on a Facebook page, and someone on Facebook called him crazy and messed up in the head. So he responded in a sarcastic tone by saying something along the lines of 'Oh ya, I'm real messed up in the head alright, I'ma gonna shoot me up a school full of kids and eat their still beating hearts'. Now anyone that knows me or my kids knows that we write in perfect English, so the bad spelling is not a mistake, it was an attempt to convey, in writing, an uneducated accent as part of the joke. His response may have been in bad taste, but it was written in a non-threatening way that didn’t translate well online. None of his friends or family would even question his intention as anything other than a poor choice of words. Things got out of control, but my son is not a felon and terrorist as he’s currently being charged!The authorities’ over-reaction is ruining Justin’s life. And it’s setting a dangerous example trying to punish kids who often say strange things that I believe are protected under freedom of speech. The justice system’s abuse of Justin is wasting time and money that could otherwise be spent to help people who honestly need it! Thanks to an anonymous donor, Justin is now out on bail bond. I'm happy to have him out right now, but my son is still facing a felony terrorism charge and years in prison if found guilty. I have said all along that his Facebook joke was made in poor taste and understand why it raised some concern, but Justin has no prior record and he was clearly not actually threatening anyone. It has been almost 5 years since Justin's arrest and now all of his appeals for dismissal have been denied. The next step is for the prosecution to set a court date. In the meantime, Justin has been out living his life. He has a good job and a nice apartment and he has been on bond this whole time. He has not committed any crimes, so clearly he is not the crazy terrorist that the police and district attorney tried to label him as. Please sign and share to continue supporting Justin's campaign. We need to make sure he's not labeled as a felony terrorist simply for making a Facebook comment.  I hope you will sign this petition. I’d like Justin's case to be dismissed. And I would like a more reasonable law to be put in place so this doesn’t happen to anyone else again. Thank you.

Jennifer Carter
228,213 supporters
Update posted 4 weeks ago

Petition to Essex County College Board of Trustees, Calvin Souder, Jeweline Grimes, Anthony Munroe, Jeff Lee, Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr.

REINSTATE PROFESSOR LISA DURDEN! EQUALITY FOR ADJUNCTS!

#ReinstateProfessorLisaDurden to her position as adjunct professor at Essex County College IMMEDIATELY! ABOUT THE CASELisa Durden, producer, filmmaker, media commentator and professor, appeared on Fox News with Tucker Carlson on June 6th. Carlson insulted her repeatedly (“demented, separatist, Nazi”) for defending the Black Lives Matter movement’s right to have Black only safe space event for Memorial Day. Professor Durden succinctly and cogently defended her principled position and exposed Tucker’s white male fragility for what it was -- a childish tantrum. Less than 48 hours later, Professor Lisa Durden was summarily suspended by Essex County College (ECC), where she teaches media and effective speech.  Without union representation at the meeting, ECC administrators told her that she was suspended because of her appearance on Fox News. She was told to leave the building and not return. Instead of defending Professor Durden’s right to free speech and congratulating her on standing up to racism and sexism, the administration at the Predominantly Black Institution chose to effectively fire this accomplished media professional and educator. Professor Lisa Durden is a lifelong Newark, NJ resident who has given her time and expertise generously to the youth of the city. She has provided highly competitive internships in New York media for Essex County College students for a decade. She was recently honored by the City of Newark for her outstanding work in media with women and young people. Professor Durden has braved racist death threats from the alt right movement to speak truth to power on national television. Why is Essex County College firing a beloved professor for exercising her First Amendment right? In Trump’s America are Black Women professors not allowed the right to free speech? We demand that Professor Lisa Durden be reinstated to her position and given her full course load (12 credits per semester teaching Mass Communications and Effective Speech classes) that she was assigned for the full 2017/2018 academic year. We demand equality for adjunct, contingent and junior faculty in pay and treatment. Nationwide, higher education administrations have created an apartheid system, paying themselves grandiose salaries of $200,000+ while junior, contingent and adjunct faculty are paid peanuts. Adjunct faculty are often forced to sleep in their cars and go on food stamps because they cannot survive the poverty wages and insecure, short term, “at will” employment that colleges force on them. Administrators pit adjunct and full time faculty against each other and use their disgusting treatment of adjunct labor to scare full time faculty into submission. This diminishes the quality of education for students, even as their tuition skyrockets. We demand full equality in pay and treatment among adjunct, contract and full-time, tenured faculty!

Educators & Students United to Reinstate Professor Lisa Durden
2,538 supporters
Update posted 1 month ago

Petition to Columbia University, Suzanne Goldberg, Lee Bollinger, John Coatsworth

Don't Discipline Students for Protesting White Supremacy

We, students of Columbia University, firmly oppose the disciplinary action (including possible expulsion) threatened against students who protested white supremacist speaker Tommy Robinson on Tuesday, October 10th. From antiwar sit-ins to demonstrations against South African apartheid, student protest has played a crucial role in responding to injustice, both on campus and in the world at large. By attempting to silence protestors while providing space and funds for hate speech at Columbia, Suzanne Goldberg and other University administrators are demonstrating complicity with violent ideologues whose claims continue to actively harm historically marginalized students. In an email sent before the protests, Suzanne Goldberg wrote that “it is foundational to Columbia’s learning and teaching missions that we allow for the contestation of ideas, as President Bollinger has often made clear.” If EVP Goldberg and President Bollinger truly believed in open dialogue and the “contestation of ideas,” they would not be threatening student protestors with disciplinary action. Educational dialogue does not only take place in classrooms and lecture halls. By having the courage to challenge the widespread acceptance of white supremacy and envision a more just and inclusive campus, the student protesters were providing a model of informed political engagement to us all. Students should not be punished for reminding the campus community of the moral principles that the Columbia administration failed to uphold.

Students Against White Supremacy
5,003 supporters