Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

On Saturday February 4, 2017, Rhode Island Rights will host a workshop on online privacy: “How to shield yourself from surveillance.”

Where: Providence Friends Meeting House, 99 Morris Ave, Providence, RI 02906
Time: 2:30pm-4pm

WiFi will be available, so feel free to bring your computer and/or phone — you can start downloading some of the tools we describe as the workshop progresses.

Some of what will be covered in this workshop is suitable for beginners, but the presentation will also include some more advanced material if the participants  are interested.

The workshop will be led by Kevin Gallagher, a Ph.D. candidate at New York University whose work focuses on anonymity, privacy and anti-censorship.

Rhode Island Rights will offer other workshops on privacy in the future, some for beginners and some more advanced.


The RI Coalition to Defend Human & Civil Rights has joined the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Electronic Frontier Alliance. We support the Electronic Frontier Alliance’s principles of free expression, security, privacy, creativity, and access to knowledge. We remain affiliated with Restore the Fourth, a national organization opposing
unconstitutional, mass surveillance.


Our next RI Rights meeting is at 2pm Saturday in Rochambeau Library downstairs.  There will be refreshments.

Some possible topics to discuss:

  1. federal Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA)
  2. Body cameras in RI
  3. Providence Community Safety Act
Please note: red, bold italics are proposals that will become accepted unless somebody objects as specified below.
Rochambeau Library
Attending:  Cathy, Barbara, Diane, Terry, Peter, Randall, Judith, Patricia

Anniversary of MLK’s Nobel Peace Prize:
Patricia noted that Bill Bateman would like our organization to endorse an action on October 14, 50 years after Martin Luther King, Jr. received the Nobel Peace Prize.  This event would call attention to the fact that the nation and world that King envisioned has still not been achieved.  The action would demand freedom and equality (not racism, racial profiling, and a prison-industrial complex), peace (not war, occupation, overthrow and destabilization), respect for human needs (not unemployment, low wages, cuts in human needs budgets), and respect for Planet Earth (not global warming, etc.)
Those present unanimously voted to propose that we endorse this action, subject to receiving more details as to exactly what will be planned for the event,
Report on RIPTA and Kennedy Plaza Renovation:
Patricia reported that representatives of RIPTA Riders Alliance met with a RIPTA official this past week. There will be a public meeting within the next couple of weeks so RIPTA can present a draft showing the allocation of the berths (stops) for specific bus lines in Kennedy Plaza and get feedback from bus passengers as to whether or not these arrangements seem to work for most riders who need to transfer from one bus line to another in the Plaza.  The meeting will be widely publicized in advance.
Discussion regarding group process and decision-making:
We decided that the following would be the best way to make decisions within our group, to ensure that those who are unable to attend meetings are able to participate in decision-making.
(1)  At monthly meetings we would discuss whether or not to support a given action or endorsement and then report on our proposed decision within our report on the meeting.  (We would be careful to highlight, underline or otherwise emphasize our proposal so everyone reading the meeting’s notes could easily see the proposal(s).  We did this above with our proposal to support the MLK Anniversary action.)
(2) People could discuss their reactions to our report on the group’s list serv.
(3) If a proposal is disputed within the next week (or within a shorter span of time if a decision needs to be made sooner to meet some deadline), we could decide upon a way to resolve the dispute.  the following are resolution methods we can use, depending on which seems best-suited for the given situation.
a. Anyone who opposes a proposal can call for a conference call.  The proposal can be discussed and voted upon during the call.
b. If there is no hurry in making a decision, we can discuss the proposal at our next monthly meeting and anyone who can’t attend the meeting can participate by conference call or Skype.
c. We can call a special meeting prior to our next monthly meeting.  Again, if anyone can’t attend, they can participate electronically.

We all agreed that people discussing issues on the list serv need to stick to the issues and use a consistently respectful tone.

Support for letter:
There is a letter being circulated in response to the Senate’s bill (USA Freedom Act) that places some restrictions on federal surveillance.  We proposed to endorse the letter, which rejects the senate’s bill as not going nearly far enough to restrict government surveillance.  Randall will be circulating information on this letter separately from our meeting report, as we need to make a decision on this by late tomorrow (Sunday).
Report on Henry George:
Cathy gave a brief, very informative talk on Henry George’s single-tax proposal.
Next meeting:  
The next meeting is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, October 18, at 1 p.m. unless people would prefer a different date.  Let us know within the next week or so if you want to suggest a different Saturday in October.

September 13th — Monthly Meeting

Posted: September 12, 2014 in Uncategorized

Our next meeting of the RI Coalition to Defend Human & Civil Rights is Saturday at 1pm in the basement conference room of the Rochambeau Library, 708 Hope St.

A few possible topics for the agenda:

  • USA Freedom Act — should we sign on to aletter for or against this?
  • Discussion of group process
  • State bills for next year?
  • Cathy Orloff will do a presentation on Henry George.
  • Dawson Hodgson, Republican candidate for Attorney General, was asked if he could come but so far his people haven’t responded to emails.

What: Vigil

Time: September 5, 2014, 4pm

Place: Exchange Street opposite the Post Office, Providence

Gather on the sidewalk by Burnside Park on Exchange St in Providence at 4pm. We will hold the struggles of all oppressed people, especially those who are subject to police and military violence in the circle. AFSC-SENE will provide signs, but you are welcome to bring your own.

Antiwar activists plan protest to coincide with President Obama’s visit to Rhode Island

When: August 29, 2014 5:00 PM – 6:30 PM
Where: Burnside Park, Providence, RI
Who: Rhode Island Antiwar Committee; RI Coalition to Defend Human and Civil Rights; Occupy Providence

Rhode Islanders who are not millionaires will have a chance to “speak to” President Obama this Friday, August 29 between 5:00 and 6:30 PM at Burnside Park in downtown Providence. The open-mike rally will draw parallels between U.S. foreign policy and the recent killing of the unarmed African-American, Michael Brown, in Ferguson, Missouri. Also included will be calls to: stop police brutality in communities of color from Palestine to Ferguson; end the militarization of our cities; end the war on Gaza and all aid to Israel; end the U.S. military presence in the Middle East; and stop NSA spying on private citizens.

“One reason for our choice of locale,” said Paul Hubbard, spokesperson for the Rhode Island Antiwar Committee (RIAC), “is that President Obama will be fund-raising among the 1% at a secluded ocean-front mansion in Newport. The other 99% of his constituents will probably be unable to catch even a glimpse of him, due to the blocked roads and high security surrounding his brief visit. This situation strikingly symbolizes the truth about which groups the U.S. government is really serving.”

The rally is also calling on Obama to keep his campaign promises and hold out against war hawks trying to escalate the Iraq war and spread it to Syria. “The public – and the media – seem to have forgotten that after the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003, the military disarmed the Sunnis first, (debathification) and created a civil war between Sunnis and Shia with the surge of 2007. The years following the U.S. partial withdrawal have been a reaction to that bloodbath, and they show that continued U.S. military action will only bring further resentment, brutal killings, and terrorist attacks,” noted Christopher Murphy, another RIAC member. Instead, RIAC demands that more resources be devoted to solving our many domestic problems. The bombings, invasions, and occupations of countries around the world are an exercise in unchecked U.S. imperialism that primarily benefits privilege-seeking corporations and the military-industrial complex.

However, RIAC notes that Obama recognized overwhelming public opposition to war with Syria last summer and cooperated with Russian President Putin in removing Syrian poison gas stockpiles.

Other sponsoring groups include the RI Coalition to Defend Human and Civil Rights and Occupy Providence.

What: Planning meeting
Where: Olneyville Neighborhood Association (ONA), 122 Manton Ave., Providence
When: August 27, 6pm

So much resistance every day to police violence and racism – one part of that here in Providence is the struggle to win the Community Safety Act – a city law that would limit the way police can profile, stop, and search people, protect our rights to videotape police, spell out clearer rights for limited English speakers, transpeople, and immigrants, and provide new ways for the community to enforce civil and human rights.

So many people already helped create the ordinance and bring it to City Hall on last June 19th. Now that the craziest part of election season is almost over, we need to get our plans solid for how to convince city council people to pass the Community Safety Act!

What: Vigil
Time: August 22, 2014, 4pm
Place: Exchange Street opposite the Post Office, Providence

Gather on the sidewalk by Burnside Park on Exchange St in Providence at 4pm. We will hold the struggles of all oppressed people, especially those who are subject to police and military violence in the circle. AFSC-SENE will provide signs, but you are welcome to bring your own.

Facebook link is here.

RI Coalition for Human and Civil Rights
Notes from Meeting, Saturday, May 10, 2014 2PM
Knight Memorial Library, Elmwood Avenue, Providence

(Preceded by an Occupy Providence meeting, same location)

Present: Terry Cummings, Cathy Orloff, Patricia Raub, Randall Rose, Nick Schmader, Wally Sillanpoa. Also Jake, to speak later, and his friend Deming. Facilitator: Terry Cummings

The meeting was to be brief, followed by a presentation on computer security by Jake (sorry I did not get last name, see notes to follow) Agenda: 1) Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF); 2) USA Freedom Act; 3) Reset the Net; 4) Extraordinary Rendition Band; 5) Racial Profiling; 6) Announcements; 7) Next Meeting

  1. EFF – Randall reported that they want to expand, especially among campus groups. Thus, Patricia and Randall would probably be more involved. Wally also suggested Marshall Feldman, an active faculty member at URI downtown, Urban Studies. Wally can contact him on this.
  2. USA Freedom Act – A watered-down version passed the House of Reps; it is closer to Obama’s proposal. Question of whether we want to support it as better than nothing, or oppose it? Would it look bad for our group to oppose a bill that on the face of it is limiting government surveillance of US citizens? Is the government privatizing spying on us? Should we support the use of “secret” and “court” in the same sentence? Perhaps we could neither support nor oppose, just say we have “grave reservations” as it stands, because of secret courts, etc.? Or does that look as if we’re afraid to take a position on it? Suggestion to consult National Lawyers Guild (NLG) and the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and get their specific arguments re: this bill. Also, if we make a statement, what would we do with it? It could go on our website, Face Book and a press release. Maybe send to members of Congress also. It’s important to not convey a feeling of hopelessness to the public; they already are too much that way now. We need to make them feel that some positive changes can be made with concerted action. Nick volunteered to contact CCR and Patricia the NLG. Randall also mentioned the Federation of American Scientists. The consensus seemed to be that we will probably oppose it after we have strong arguments in place.
  3. Reset the Net. A movement to limit net surveillance. Happening in early June. Many people put banners on their websites; it is somewhat effective re: passage of bills. Should we put their banner on our website? Their ad would allow people to download privacy tools. Easy to do. Also maybe a street demonstration? Discussion over having street protests attended by very few. Demoralizing? Big turnouts take a lot of prep time and work. What about the CT people whose meeting many of us attended in March? Randall says they are not set up for protests, they do not have a unified email. Our group has had two protests recently, both of which got media coverage and had decent attendance. Possibly combine anti-surveillance with racial profiling for a demonstration? Discussion of how DARE and Olneyville Neighborhood Assn (ONA) have led the way on racial profiling. How can we not upstage them, but rather cooperate effectively? At least contact them and have a dialogue – maybe for some action in May or June, while the legislature is still in session? Police use drones in low-income neighborhoods, so there are some links. Approach them in solidarity.
  4. Extraordinary Rendition Band – Cathy said since Extraordinary Rendition means the US policy of kidnapping suspected terrorists and flying them to countries that use torture to be “interrogated” there, she thinks it is an inappropriate name for a band that entertains. Many people do not know that ER has this horrible meaning. True, it is also a play on words eg the “rendition” of a musical piece. They played at the RISD graduation last year; Cathy’s LTE in opposition was published; the band replied justifying themselves. Comments in favor are that they play for free at many community events; good people, etc. But C. said they never carry signs protesting the kidnapping/torture part, so this has the effect of further desensitizing Americans to some serious crimes by our government. Cathy said she would contact them directly herself, but also wanted the group to take the position that the ER band is helping the US violate human rights, and would they consider changing their name? Motion passed to table it for now, with the possibility of telling the band in the future of these concerns
  5. Randall noted that at our April mtg. we agreed to draw up questions on civil/human rights for candidates, and then decide if we want to have a forum. But no-one spearheaded it, so nothing happened on this. Cathy agreed to get this moving this month.
  6. Announcements:
    • Nick: “Awakening the Dreamer, Changing the Dream” Symposium on Climate Change. Saturday, June 14, Unitarian Church in South County.
    • Terry: First Unitarian in Providence: Reed, Whitehouse and Cicciline will havean open meeting on Climate Change. Friday, May 16, 9:30 AM Benefit and Benovolent St. Terry – Has an activist friend in Occupy who would like t o speak to our group. Probably at next meeting.
  7. Next Meeting: Saturday June 7, 2pm, at same location: Knight Memorial Library.

Notes by Cathy Orloff
This was followed by Jake on computer security.