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Bill strips right to food stamps, unemployment and medical assistance if convicted of ‘crime’ during political protest
A possibly unconstitutional Minnesota bill would punish anyone convicted of a crime during a political protest by stripping them of their right to any state-funded assistance, including food stamps, student loans, medical assistance, unemployment, or rent or mortgage assistance, among other programs.
Republican state Senator David Osmek filed SF 2381, a one-page bill which reads in part: "relating to public safety; prohibiting any state loan, grant, or assistance for persons convicted of offense related to protest, demonstration, rally, civil unrest, or march." HF 466, a companion House bill, was filed by GOP Rep. Eric Lucero.
"A person convicted of a criminal offense related to the person's illegal conduct at a protest, demonstration, rally, civil unrest, or march is ineligible for any type of state loan, grant, or assistance, including but not limited to college student loans and grants, rent and mortgage assistance, supplemental nutrition assistance, unemployment benefits and other employment assistance, Minnesota supplemental aid programs, business grants, medical assistance, general assistance, and energy assistance."
The legislation could conflict with the First Amendment right to free speech, peaceful protest, and the right "to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
"The bill comes amid many arrests at protests for Daunte Wright, a young Black man killed by police last Sunday," The Minnesota Daily reports. "Thousands of college students from several universities across the Twin Cities have participated in protests against police brutality, following the police killing of George Floyd in May 2020. Those protests have not lost much momentum over the past year, and key messages have included issues ranging from police brutality to climate change and voting rights."
Bill Barr and Amy Coney Barrett score book deals as other ex-Trump figures struggle to get published
Former Trump administration Attorney General William Barr, who later fell out with Trump for disagreeing with his voter fraud conspiracy theories, recently closed a book deal. Justice Amy Coney Barrett, Trump's final pick for the Supreme Court, nailed an "eye-raising" $2 million advance for her book on how judges are supposed to remain unbiased.
According to POLITICO, it's not clear yet what Barr will cover, but his book comes amidst a sea of Democrats disdainful of Trump who seem to be favored by publishers.
"I think [publishers] try to draw a line between those who are operating in reality or got off the train before it crashed and those who are living in Trump-world in an alternative reality, and for New York book publishing, which is a super woke environment for things like that. It's going to be tough to publish a lot of Trump administration officials," one publishing insider told POLITICO.
One example is former Trump trade adviser Peter Navarro, whose initial attempts to sell a book was rebuffed by publishers.
"Navarro was seen as a kook before this, so it's not as if Peter Navarro would have an easy time selling a book prior to the administration," said another publishing source.
Interest from publishers for a potential book by Jared Kushner also seem mixed.
"In terms of trying to figure out his audience, I don't think he has a lot of credibility with the MAGA audience, which is where you need these books to sell like hot cakes and then trying to publish it as liberal torture porn is not going to work either," a source told POLITICO.
"There will only be a few more big books from the administration that succeed," said another publishing industry source. "I think Trump is fading much quicker from the national consciousness than people were banking on."
Read the full report over at POLITICO.
George Floyd pleaded for help with his "very last breath" but was not shown any compassion by Derek Chauvin, prosecutor Steve Schleicher said Monday in closing arguments at the murder trial of the former police officer.
"George Floyd begged until he could speak no more," Schleicher told the jury in a Minneapolis courtroom. "All that was required was a little compassion and none was shown on that day."
"He asked for help with his very last breath but the officer did not help," Schleicher said.
"He didn't follow training, he did not follow the department's use of force rules, he did not perform CPR," he said.
"George Floyd was not a threat to anyone, he was not trying to hurt anyone," Schleicher said.
Chauvin, who is white, was seen on video kneeling on the neck of Floyd as the 46-year-old Black man lay facedown handcuffed on the ground for more than nine minutes.
Chauvin, 45, is charged with murder and manslaughter for Floyd's May 25, 2020 death, which sparked protests across the United States and around the world against racial injustice and police brutality.
© 2021 AFP
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