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Boom or Bust for Trump Protests?
This week in London, as President Donald Trump made his first official state visit to the U.K., protesters took to the streets to declaim just about everything he is, and everything he represents. Despite the huge amount of media coverage garnered across the globe by the June 4 rally, the actual event was a pale imitation of last year‘s extravaganza. Initial reports placed the number of attendees at more than 100,000, but Liberty Nation was there on the ground and the reality was more like 10,000.
One notable aspect of this year’s demonstration was over-organization. Instead of the usual array of home made signs, there were piles of professionally made placards and banners placed around the protest area. These appeared to be predominantly supplied and paid for by the U.K. Socialist Party, adding to the stage-managed feel of the event. Making speeches were opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, and Shadow Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Emily Thornberry – or to use her official title, Lady Nugee. A real grassroots movement, here.
While thousands of people turning out to protest your visit can never be classed as a victory, neither was this demonstration a win for the organizers, who came across as politically partisan. It was, however, a fun day out for the protesters, as the so-called Carnival of Resistance had the atmosphere of a somewhat defiant street party.
What to Watch For
Expect the president to capitalize on his visit and meetings by voicing support for Mr. Brexit, Nigel Farage, who may be putting together a team to organize trade negotiations between the U.S. and Britain. The U.K. government would risk looking petty and foolish if it snubbed such an offer.
An Invasion of Privacy
If you are liberty-minded and believe that what you do is no one’s business but your own … brace yourself.
LED street lamps, the kind being installed in almost every major city, are becoming host to a wide range of surveillance equipment in order to “help law enforcement.” Government procurement documents show that among those buying these new-fangled spy lamps are the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), as well as local authorities and cities across the country. The lights are designed to gather all sorts of data including video, audio, facial recognition, and even to help transmit the new 5G internet technology.
Hugh Martin, chief executive of the company Sensity, which installed smart lighting at Newark airport, said: “We felt what you’d want to use this network for is to gather information about people and the planet.”
Monroe County Assistant Public Defender Katie Higgins, however, has said that the information gathered by these street lamps is problematic, as police are already starting to using potentially faulty recordings as evidence to make criminal charges: “[I]t was designed to be an investigative tool for the police, to alert them to possible gunfire and allow them to respond to see if there are civilian witnesses or other evidence of gunfire. But it was not designed to be used as actual primary evidence (in a trial).”
What to Watch For
With 5G being pushed so heavily, networks are having to deal with the issue that the technology’s millimeter waves (different from currently-used microwaves) are unable to travel over long distances. For this reason, transmitters must be placed at regular intervals; street lamps are the most convenient tools for piggybacking this technology. With a variety of sensors already being attached to “smart lighting,” we can expect to see many extra surveillance add-ons. Is this the biggest privacy invasion of the 21st century?
The U.S. Supreme Court released four opinions last week, leaving 27 matters to be ruled on before the justices break for summer vacation. While the cases they covered were clearly important to some people, none were what we would describe as “landmark.” However, several expected rulings cover major issues, including:
- A case that may impact the public display of religious symbols.
- What questions may, or may not, be asked on an official census.
- A potentially major change in double-jeopardy law.
There are only four more court calendar days set for opinions to be released this term.
What to Watch For
The three cases outlined above have the potential for huge impact. These are the meat and bones of the Supreme Court, and could shape the very nature of the United States. Liberty Nation will be covering all the news.
Washington Whispers & Other Juicy Tidbits
Be on the lookout for:
- Mexico agrees to deal with immigration under threat of tariffs. But is it all just window dressing, in the hopes of a 2020 win for Democrats?
- As new party rules on donations squeeze Democrat presidential contenders from the primary debates, expect some more “extreme” policy platforms from those desperate to stay in the race.
- Get ready for confused fury from the media as Milo Yiannopoulos is named Grand Marshall of the Straight Pride Parade in Boston.
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