The Indypendent’s Jessica Lee has been recognized in the 10 finalists for Project Censored’s Top Censored News Stories for 2007-2008 awards for her groundbreaking coverage of the proposed Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act, a sweeping piece of legislation that could broaden the definition of terrorism to encompass both First Amendment political activity and traditional forms of protest such as nonviolent civil disobedience.
Lee’s Nov. 16, 2007, article, “Bringing the War on Terrorism Home: Congress Considers How to ‘Disrupt’ Radical Movements in the United States,” set off a firestorm of criticism of the bill from activists and civil libertarians across the political spectrum. The bill remains stalled in the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs after passing the U.S. House of Representativs Oct. 23, 2007. Her article, along with two other articles about the legislation, was honored as Number 6 on the most censored stories Top 25 list.
For more information, projectcensored.org.
To read Jessica Lee’s articles about the legislation, see articles below:
“Bringing the War on Terrorism Home: Congress Considers How to ‘Disrupt’ Radical Movements in the United States,” The Indypendent, Nov. 16, 2007:
Under the guise of a bill that calls for the study of “homegrown terrorism,” Congress is apparently trying to broaden the definition of terrorism to encompass both First Amendment political activity and traditional forms of protest such as nonviolent civil disobedience, according to civil liberties advocates, scholars and historians.
Jessica Lee on Democracy Now!, “Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act Raises Fears of New Government Crackdown on Dissent,” Nov. 20, 2007:
A little-noticed anti-terrorism bill quietly making its through Congress is raising fears of a new affront on activism and constitutional rights. The Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act was passed in an overwhelming 400 to six House vote last month. Critics say it could herald a new government crackdown on dissident activity under the guise of fighting terrorism. … Two guests join us now in the Firehouse studio. Kamau Franklin is an attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights. CCR has been closely following the measure. And Jessica Lee with us. She’s a journalist with the Indypendent, put out by the New York Indymedia Center. She has an extensive piece in the latest issue of the Indypendent. Its called “Bringing The War On Terrorism Home: Congress Considers How To ‘Disrupt’ Radical Movements In The United States.” Jessica, let’s begin with you. Lay out what this bill is.
“Homegrown Terrorism Bill Update,” IndyBlog, Nov. 27, 2007:
Left and Right grassroots activate to try to stop “Homegrown Terrorism” Bill in Senate and a look at how the legislation would target the Internet.
“Kucinich on HR 1955,” IndyBlog, Dec. 2, 2007:
Democratic presidential hopeful Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) said that he believes the proposed Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act (H.R. 1955/S. 1959) is unconstitutional. … “If you understand what his bill does, it really sets the stage for further criminalization of protest,” Kucinich said. “This is the way our democracy little, by little, by little, is being stripped away from us. This bill, I believe, is a clear violation of the first amendment.”
“Obama Supports Homegrown Terrorism Bill,” IndyBlog, Dec. 10, 2007:
Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama says that he will support the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act (S. 1959). According to the automatic email responses constituents are receiving from his office, Obama appears to be straddling the fence between preserving civil liberties and being tough on terrorism.
[AUTHOR’S NOTE: On Dec. 13, The Indypendent received an email statement from a Senator Barack Obama spokesperon clarifying his position on S. 1959. “Senator Obama has not taken a position on S. 1959. Should the bill be considered by the Homeland Security Committee, he will carefully evaluate it, as he does with all pieces of legislation.”]
“War on Terrorism Moves to Internet,” The Indypendent, June 8, 2008:
Thwarted in an attempt to pass the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007, which critics say could redefine some First Amendment and traditional protest activities as terrorism, members of Congress are pushing forward with measures such as censoring the Internet to combat what they claim is a grave threat of “homegrown terrorism” by Islamic extremists. On May 19, Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) released a letter that he sent to Google, which stated, “Islamist terrorist organizations use YouTube to disseminate their propaganda, enlist followers, and provide weapons training.” Chair of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, Lieberman demanded that Google remove YouTube videos produced by “terrorist organizations” such as Al-Qaeda.