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Black Lives Matter activists and journalists sue Berkeley cops for protest beatings

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Protesters and journalists covering a Black Lives Matter rally in Berkeley, California, have filed a lawsuit alleging “unconstitutional police attacks” on attendees, court records showed.

The civil rights lawsuit was filed in federal court on Sunday by the San Francisco Bay Area chapter of the National Lawyers Guild against the city and police of Berkeley and nearby Hayward. The lawsuit is seeking unspecified damages.

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The Dec. 6, 2014 march stemmed from the decision days earlier by grand juries in New York City and Ferguson, Missouri, to not criminally charge police officers for killing unarmed, black men, the complaint said.

The Berkeley demonstration was one in a flurry of such protests to erupt in cities across the country over the past year and a half against systemic racism and police violence under the banner of Black Lives Matter.

“The Berkeley Police responded brutally, clubbing peaceful protesters and journalists, often from behind, some in the head, indiscriminately and unnecessarily; and using profligate amounts of teargas without justification,” the complaint said.

Representatives for the city of Berkeley and its police force could not be immediately reached for comment on Monday.

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Among the 11 people filing the lawsuit were a freelance photographer on assignment for the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper, three University of California Berkeley students, and a seminary student.

The San Francisco Chronicle described the night as chaotic with hundreds of people chanting and marching in the streets, clashing with police lines, and smaller groups breaking off from the crowd to vandalize property.

Six people were arrested, including two plaintiffs named in the lawsuit, and one police officer was injured, the Chronicle reported.

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The lawsuit said police violently handled protesters through the evening, and used tear gas, smoke grenades and shotgun-fired lead-filled bean bags on the large crowd.

The complaint says 20-year-old Berkeley resident Emily Power was repeatedly clubbed and arrested unjustly.

The lawsuit claimed that the plaintiffs’ constitutional rights were violated, including the rights to free speech and equal protection under the law.

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(Reporting by Curtis Skinner; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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Still-free Epstein friend Ghislaine Maxwell likely cooperating with prosecutors: Vanity Fair columnist

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High-powered wealth manager Jeffrey Epstein may have committed suicide — but the case looking into his alleged involvement in trafficking and raping teenage girls is far from over. One particular loose end is Ghislaine Maxwell, a British socialite who was close friends with Epstein — and who is accused of helping to groom Epstein's victims, and who has seemingly disappeared.

As Vanity Fair contributor William Cohen told MSNBC's Alex Witt, Maxwell is likely not really on the lam at all — she may be helping prosecutors in secret, to lull Epstein's other co-conspirators into a false sense of security.

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Wall Street Journal drops a truth-bomb on Trump over his market-destroying trade war: ‘Everyone loses’

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In yet another blast from the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal, the editors looked back at Friday's stock market free fall and pointed the finger directly at President Donald Trump and his "trade-war general" Peter Navarro for being the main culprits.

After Friday's disastrous stock market session that took a major downturn due to the escalation of the trade war -- with China and Trump ordering billions of dollars in new tariffs -- the Journal pointed out that there will be no winners.

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G7 off to a rough start as Trump aides slam host Macron’s agenda

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With President Donald Trump at the latest G7 summit, all eyes are on the interactions between him and French President Emmanuel Macron. The two world leaders started off amicably, exchanging pleasantries, but behind the scenes, things have grown contentious.

According to Politico, Trump officials are railing against Macron, accusing him of trying to "fracture" the summit by steering the negotiations away from trade and into areas like climate change.

This development comes after Trump harshly criticized Macron for enacting a tax on digital services, which could increase costs for American tech companies like Google and Facebook. Trump threatened that if France does not suspend its "unfair" digital tax, "we'll be taxing their wine like they've never seen before." It is a threat that Trump has made repeatedly over the last few weeks whenever he has gotten angry at France.

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