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Trial is set to begin in Manhattan Criminal Court Monday for Occupy Wall Street activist, Cecily McMillan, who faces 2nd degree assault charges stemming from a 2012 encounter with the NYPD that left her beaten and unconscious. McMillan was brutally arrested on the evening of March 17, 2012 at an event marking the 6-month anniversary of the group’s occupation of Zuccotti Park. The series of events leading up McMillan’s beating was documented extensively by the press, and began with a male NYPD officer forcibly grabbing her right breast. McMillan was 23 years old at the time.

Deric Lostutter, the Anonymous hacktivist who helped expose the brutal rape of a 16-year-old girl, faces more jail time for his actions than the football players convicted of committing the rape.

On a Thursday afternoon last month, a dozen singing activists from the Church of Stop Shopping in NYC performed in the role of extinct Golden Toads in a "wealth management bank" of JPMorgan Chase at 56th and 6th in Manhattan. The dancing, singing toads offered bank workers and customers information sheets about the impact of Chase investments on the environment.

UPDATE Dec. 3rd, 2012: Jeremy Hammond’s lawyers plan to file a motion this week for Judge Preska’s recusal. Sparrow Media reported that Preska was made aware of the published connection between her husband and Stratfor and that her husband’s Stratfor-related information was published by Wikileaks, but “Preska indicated that this personal connection to the Hammond case ‘would not effect her ability to be impartial’.” A video from last week’s press conference featuring journalists, attorneys and civil liberties advocates is posted below.

Jeremy Hammond, a 28-year-old political activist, was sentenced today to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to participating in the Anonymous hack into the computers of the private intelligence firm Strategic Forecasting (Stratfor). The Ceremonial Courtroom at the Federal Court for the Southern District of New York was filled today with an outpouring of support by journalists, activists and other whistleblowers who see Jeremy Hammond’s actions as a form of civil disobedience, motivated by a desire to protest and expose the secret activities of private intelligence corporations.

Civil asset forfeiture sounds like a a dry legal term, but it has a deeper impact on people’s lives and our justice system than you might expect. It’s a practice that threatens property rights, rewards discriminatory policing, and has interesting and unexpected connections with the violations of constitutional rights that have come to define the “war on terror.” Civil asset forfeiture refers to the process of law enforcement seizing property — like cars, money, or houses — suspected of being involved in, or paid for by, illicit activities. This occurs without a charge or conviction because bizarrely, civil forfeiture law names the property itself as the defendant in the lawsuit, rendering the owner’s innocence irrelevant. It is difficult if not impossible to challenge civil asset forfeiture, and police disproportionately apply this practice to poor people, immigrants, and people of color who are already disempowered by the legal system.

With the disappointing results now in from I-522, the initiative in Washington state that would have required labeling of genetically engineered food (aka, GMOs), the looming question is, what’s next? At least for the junk-food lobby, that answer in painfully clear: stop this state-level movement at any cost.