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Democracy in Crisis: Activist Medea Benjamin raises hell in the halls of power

Medea Benjamin, the firebrand activist and author of a dozen odd books, looks surprisingly small in the midst of the lunchtime crowd jostling one another in the basement cafeteria of the the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C. Her pale face is framed by straight-cut bangs that are pretty darn close to pink in […]

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Democracy in Crisis: Whose autocracy is it anyway?

I.
FBI Director James Comey was speaking to federal agents when news of his firing flashed across the television behind him.

The regime blamed new Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and cited Comey’s treatment of the Clinton email investigation — as if daring us to pretend they are telling the truth.

II.
More than 200 people arrested en masse on Inauguration Day are now facing decades in jail. Authorities issued search warrants and slapped others, like Dylan Petrohilos, with conspiracy charges after the fact. “Prosecuting people based on participation in a public protest,” Petrohilos said, “seems like something that would happen in an authoritarian society.” […]

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Democracy in Crisis: Which science were we marching for, exactly?

Twenty years ago I was arrested for occupying the office of Sen. Pete Domenici in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The senator and one-time segregationist Dixiecrat presidential candidate Strom Thurmond had threatened to defund the Environmental Protection Agency if it did not approve the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP).

The idea was that if you put nuclear waste in a big hole in the ground, it could be contained, sealed and isolated for thousands of years. Some studies showed it would work, but the EPA wanted additional studies. The senators wanted to move forward sending waste in trucks through our cities and then burying it deep in salt caverns in New Mexico, where some at the EPA worried it could leak. […]

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