Welcome to the first weekly CRCL news roundup.  Each week, a contributor to the CRCL blog will pick out a few interesting items from the past week concerning civil rights and civil liberties.   Here are a few articles to start off your week:

1. “Scenes from a Militarized America: Iowa Family ‘Terrorized’” from the Washington Post

A surprising video from Iowa of police in full battle gear using a battering ram to enter a home in search of someone suspected of credit card fraud.   While inside, police rip out and cover up the family’s security cameras to prevent footage of their search.

2. “Louisiana Abortion ‘Emergency’ Rule Fight Ends for Now” from Jezebel

An update to recent regulations in Louisiana that would have threatened to drastically limit access to abortions.

3. “DC Council Votes to Decriminalize Pot” from CBS affiliate WUSA.

DC’s city council passes a preliminary vote to decriminalize possession of an ounce or less of marijuana, but only within one’s home and not in public, with a final vote to come later this month.

4. “The Eagle has Landed” from

An exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at the events leading up to NFL Draft prospect Michael Sam publicly coming out.  Sam, the SEC’s sack leader in 2013, would be the first active openly gay male athlete in a major American sports league (NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB).  Jason Collins (NBA) came out this past summer, but has not been an active member of a roster since his announcement.

5. “A Florida County Spent Over $5 Million on Jailing Homeless People.  It Could’ve Spent Less on Shelter” from The Huffington Post

Results from a study of “frequent-flyer” arrests—homeless individuals arrested for homeless-related crimes—in Osceola County, Florida reveal that the county would have spent 35% less if it had provided “permanent supportive housing and ongoing case management” instead.


And on one final note, in remembrance of Pete Seeger please have a look at the transcript from his 1955 testimony in front of the House Un-American Activities Committee, coupled with a YouTube link to an audio recording of him remembering the testimony and time period many years later.


Pete Seeger remembering his HUAC testimony:


Thanks for reading and enjoy the rest of your week!  We’ll be back next Monday with another news roundup.