Green Bay, Wisconsin – Barbara Robinson and Shelia Walker have settled a federal lawsuit alleging illegal housing discrimination against Ken McCoy, the owner of multiple rental homes as well as a motorcycle dealership in Green Bay. McCoy will pay Robinson and Walker $35,000 to settle their lawsuit, which alleged that he denied them housing because they are African-American.
In August 2009, Shelia Walker saw an advertisement in the Green Bay Press-Gazette for a house for rent. She called the number in the ad and spoke with the owner, Ken McCoy. He told her that the house was located at 339 South Webster Avenue. He said that someone would be working there all day and that she could drop by anytime to see it. Walker and Robinson were happy to hear the home’s address, since it was in an area they wanted to live in. Walker went to the home later that day, but no one was there. Walker called McCoy again and told him she’d tried to see it but no one was there, and asked if she could make an appointment to view it. He asked her where she was originally from, and she told him she was from Milwaukee. He told her that he would not rent to anyone from Milwaukee, and that he had had “problems” with people from Milwaukee in the past. A few days later, Walker called McCoy again and asked McCoy to reconsider, and he told her that the neighbors might have “trouble with it,” and that it was a nice neighborhood and he wanted to keep it that way.
Concerned that McCoy had discerned Walker’s race over the telephone and was discriminating against them because of it, Walker and Robinson contacted the Metropolitan Milwaukee Fair Housing Council (MMFHC) and each filed a complaint. MMFHC operates a satellite office in Appleton, the Fair Housing Center of Northeast Wisconsin, which serves the Fox Valley and Brown County. MMFHC counseled Walker and Robinson on their legal rights and conducted a testing investigation into their allegations. Testing is a controlled method of measuring and documenting differences in the quality, content and quantity of information and service afforded to different homeseekers by a housing provider. A white tester called McCoy and told him that she was moving to Green Bay from Milwaukee; she asked to make an appointment to see the home and McCoy agreed. The white tester called McCoy again later, to ask for the specific addresses of the homes available and to ask if McCoy would enter into a year-long lease. The white tester identified herself as the caller from Milwaukee, and again, McCoy had no negative response to the fact that she was moving from Milwaukee.
McCoy subsequently rented the home on South Webster Avenue to a white couple.
With assistance from MMFHC, Robinson and Walker filed housing discrimination complaints with the Wisconsin Equal Rights Division (ERD) and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in January 2010. MMFHC also referred Robinson and Walker to Attorney Michael Cohn, and in March 2010, they elected to file a federal lawsuit. Both ERD and HUD issued charges in favor of Walker and Robinson, determining that there was reasonable cause to find that McCoy had violated fair housing law.
In August 2012, Robinson, Walker and McCoy reached a settlement agreement in federal court. McCoy paid Robinson and Walker $35,000. Despite the settlement, “the experience still hurts,” says Walker, “because it could happen again. People should know that discrimination still exists today. I don’t want anyone to be treated like we were treated.”
Robinson and Walker’s attorney, Michael Cohn, notes that, “In the 21st century, it’s unfortunate that people are still being denied housing because of their race, but it is more common than most people suspect.”
The interim Libyan leader, Mohammed Magarief, has vowed to disband all illegal militias in the aftermath of the US ambassador’s death this month.
All camps and militias not under the authority of the government would be dissolved and no unauthorised checkpoints allowed, he said.
Militias that emerged during the fight to topple Col Muammar Gaddafi last year remain a powerful force.
Residents of Benghazi evicted militants in response to the envoy’s death.
Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three others Americans died during an attack on the city’s US consulate on 11 September, which coincided with protests over an anti-Islam video produced in the US.
Islamist militants have denied being behind the attack.
Libya has been awash with firearms as well as powerful regional brigades and local town militias since the uprising, the BBC’s Rana Jawad reports from the Libyan capital Tripoli.
The government has relied on some brigades to help provide security, and many people will be watching closely to see how the authorities will go about achieving the mammoth task of gaining full military control over the country, she adds.
“[We want to] dissolve all militias and military camps which are not under the control of the state,” said Mr Magarief, the parliamentary speaker who acts as head of state until elections next year.
“We call on everyone to stop using violence and carrying weapons in the streets and squares and public places.”
One powerful militia in eastern Libya, the Abu Slim Brigade, has already announced it will disband and leave its bases in Derna, a town east of Benghazi.
Another militia, Ansar al-Sharia, which denies attacking the US consulate, is also reported to be leaving Derna.
Ansar al-Sharia was driven out of its headquarters in Benghazi over the weekend in unrest which left at least 11 people dead.
However, the militants left with their weapons.
Alderwoman Milele A. Coggs sent letters today to Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn and Fire and Police Commission Executive Director Mike Tobin (both attached) requesting status updates on the investigations into alleged illegal strip searches and body cavity searches by MPD personnel.
Alderwoman Coggs said public interest in the investigations has not waned, and residents are looking for information. “It has been months since the investigations were launched, and nothing has been shared with members of the Common Council or the public,” she said.
“I think it behooves Chief Flynn and Mr. Tobin to expedite the release of some information, so the public is not left thinking that nothing is happening,” Alderwoman Coggs said.
Soon after the troubling allegations surfaced earlier this year, a secret John Doe investigation was launched by Milwaukee County prosecutors. In April, the Council approved a resolution sponsored by Alderwoman Coggs requesting the Police Department and the Fire and Police Commission to report the findings of the investigations, highlighting the lessons learned from those investigations, within 30 days of conclusion of the investigations.
by: Jonathan Benson (NaturalNews.com)
While millions of Americans were busy celebrating freedom from tyranny during the recent Independence Day festivities, Monsanto was actively trying to thwart that freedom with new attacks on health freedom. It turns out that the most evil corporation in the world has quietly attached riders to both the 2012 Farm Bill and the 2013 Agriculture Appropriations Bill that would essentially force the federal government to approve GMOs at the request of biotechnology companies, and prohibit all safety reviews of GMOs from having any real impact on the GMO approval process.
The Alliance for Natural Health – USA (ANH-USA), the Organic Consumers Association (OCA), and several other health freedom advocacy groups have been actively drawing attention to these stealth attacks in recent days, and urging Americans to rise up and oppose them now before it is too late. If we fail to act now as a single, unified community devoted to health freedom, in other words, America’s agricultural future could literally end up being controlled entirely by the biotech industry, which will have full immunity from the law.
You can fight back now against these threats to food freedom by visiting:
Full exemption from the law for the biotech industry
Authored by Congressmen and Chairman of the Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and Related Agencies Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), the 2013 Agriculture Appropriations Bill rider, known as the “farmer assurance provision” (Section 733), specifically outlines that the Secretary of Agriculture will be required, upon request, to “immediately” grant temporary approval or deregulation of a GM crop, even if that crop’s safety is in question or under review.
In other words, if the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is strong-armed into approving a new GM crop that is later legally challenged in court (which is basically what happened for GM sugar beets and GM alfalfa), the Secretary of Agriculture, under the provisions of the Kingston rider, will be required to approve the cultivation and sale of that crop anyway, even if a higher court has already ordered a moratorium on that crop.
“A so-called ‘Monsanto rider,’ quietly slipped into the multi-billion dollar FY 2013 Agriculture Appropriations Bill, would require — not just allow, but require — the Secretary of Agriculture to grant a temporary permit for the planting or cultivation of a genetically engineered crop, even if a federal court has ordered the planting be halted until an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is completed,” wrote Alexis Baden-Mayer and Ronnie Cummins in a recent piece for AlterNet.
“All the farmer or the biotech producer has to do is ask, and the questionable crops could be released into the environment where they could potentially contaminate conventional or organic crops and, ultimately, the nation’s food supply.”
You can read the rider for yourself, which begins on page 86, Sec. 733 of the following document:
Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Or.) introduces amendment to kill ‘Monsanto Protection Act’
According to the House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations website, the 2013 Agriculture Appropriations Bill, with the Kingston rider, was already approved by the committee on June 19. (http://appropriations.house.gov) But it will move next to the House floor, where debate and further amendment proposals will take place — this means there is still time to fight it.
One amendment being proposed by Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Or.) seeks to altogether eliminate the Kingston rider, which has now been dubbed by the health freedom community as the Monsanto Protection Act, from the 2013 Agriculture Appropriations Bill. You can urge your Congressmen to support Rep. DeFazio’s amendment to kill the Monsanto Protection Act by emailing (http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_25711.cfm) or calling (http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_25778.cfm) them.
Committee Farm Bill riders would destroy safeguards that protect farmers, environment from untested GMOs
Another serious food freedom threat exists in the House Agriculture Committee’s discussion draft of the contentious 2012 Farm Bill, where Monsanto et al. have inserted key language, via corrupt legislators of course, that will dismantle existing federal law as it pertains to regulating GM crops, and replace it with a free-for-all system where biotech giants are basically free to grow and market whatever GMOs they please without resistance or legal challenge.
“Deliberately buried in the House Agriculture Committee’s voluminous discussion draft of the 2012 Farm Bill, these significant changes to the Plant Protection Act (PPA) — one of the few statutes that regulate GE crops — will counter the gains that have been made to protect our food supply and the farmers who grow it,” writes Andrew Kimbrell, Executive Director of the Center for Food Safety (CFS), one of the key groups fighting back against this Monsanto sneak attack.
“The provisions (Sections 10011, 10013 and 10014) would force the rushed commercialization of GE crops, create a backdoor approval for Dow’s ‘Agent Orange’ corn and eliminate any meaningful review of the impacts of these novel crops” (http://www.huffingtonpost.com).
These provisions would explicitly outlaw any review of the environmental or human impacts of GM crops under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Endangered Species Act (ESA), or any other environmental laws as well. Only the USDA would be allowed to review the safety of GM crops, and this review process would be so severely neutered that the USDA would essentially operate as a formal “rubber stamp” for approving the biotech industry’s offerings.
Both sets of riders threaten to eliminate every remaining semblance of regulatory power that “We the People” have over our own food system. If passed, these riders will abolish virtually all remaining protections over the American food supply, and allow Monsanto and the rest of Big Ag to completely control what is grown, and how it is grown.
There is still time to fight back against these heinous threats to food freedom, but swift action is necessary to stop Congress from hammering the last few nails into the coffin of American food freedom.
Be sure to contact your Congressmen right now and demand their support for Rep. Peter DeFazio’s amendment to eliminate the Monsanto rider from the 2013 Agriculture Appropriations Bill, as well as their opposition to Sections 10011, 10013 and 10014 of the 2012 Farm Bill:
Sources for this article include: