civil rights

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Not Much Meeting or Greeting at Aryan Event

Posted By on Tue, Jun 28, 2011 at 10:23 AM

The Northwest Region of the Aryan Nation was supposed to have a “eat, greet, and meet” event June 27, at Valley County’s Lake Cascade State Park. According to fliers and a website, the event was to take place between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Idaho Parks and Recreation communications manager Jennifer Blazek told Citydesk a group of about eight individuals showed up at 5 p.m. and left at 9 p.m.

“They set up their awning and flag, had a barbecue, and then left before sunset,” Blazek said, calling it a “non-event.”

Lt. Dan Smith, Valley County Sheriff’s information officer, said the department had advance notice of the event but did not plan to provide security. Smith said the secluded campground does not "get much traffic," and no calls or complaint were received.

Mark Potok, director of the Intelligence Report for the Southern Poverty Law Center, told Citydesk, “The reality is, we have been seeing a resurgence of the radical-right in this country over the past several years, especially the last two years, and the Pacific Northwest is very much a part of that. This is part of a much larger national trend.”

“It is worth saying;” added Potok, “I do not think that Idaho or Montana are at the levels that they were. The destruction of Aryan Nation has changed the calculus there. I do not doubt that there are still several hundred white supremacists in the area, but they do not have near the organizational energy that they once did. The [SPLC’s law] suit really destroyed them.”

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Monday, January 17, 2011

MLK Day Part Four

Posted By on Mon, Jan 17, 2011 at 4:17 PM

A few hundred school kids chose to spend part of their holiday on the steps of the Idaho Capitol. The children accompanied more than 140 members of the Idaho Community Action Network, protesting proposed budget cuts from Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter.


"I'm here because I want to demand social and racial equality from the governor," said attendee Terri Sterling.

ICAN specifically targeted Otter's plan to slash $25 million from Idaho's Medicaid division.

"The governor's small-government, low-tax approach will result in greater personal need, reduced consumer and environmental protection, less fairness and decreased capacity for improving the public good," said Andrea Shipley, ICAN's new executive director. "We must focus on the solutions and that means raising revenue and ensuring the budget is not balanced on the backs of the poor."

Shipley told Citydesk that her organization wants a vision "to honor the dream Dr. King left for our country nearly a half century ago."


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MLK Day Part Two

Posted By on Mon, Jan 17, 2011 at 3:45 PM

"Now is the time to make justice a reality for all God's children."

Those are words from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. from his "I Have a Dream" speech in 1963, and they were repeated throughout the nation today on the 82nd anniversary of King's birth.

King's memory was revived in Boise at the Idaho Capitol at noon today, as Lt. Governor Brad Little led a brief statehouse ceremony.


Legislators, staffers, lobbyists, tourists and activists filled each level of the rotunda to listen to Rose Beal recall her childhood in Nazi Germany. Beal spoke of her escape and journey to America.

"This great country with all its opportunity never disappointed me."

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MLK Day Part One

Posted By on Mon, Jan 17, 2011 at 3:43 PM

For some Idahoans, the third Monday in January is a day for optimism. For others it's a day for rebellion. In either instance, it's a uniquely democratic soup of ceremonies, demonstrations and rallies.

Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a federal holiday honoring the 82nd anniversary of the birth of the Civil Rights icon. It is also known as Idaho Human Rights Day, a state holiday.

A group of citizens began their day on campus at Boise State, commencing a march up Capitol Boulevard.


"Boise is a really small community," Dre Juarez told Citydesk. "And you tend to figure that out meeting different sorts of different minorities here. I think these are not just equal rights for race issues but for all issues."

Juarez was one of scores of students, parents, administrators and activists who made their way to Boise's City Hall Plaza.

"We need to snap out of what I call the 'messiah mentality,'" said Mario Venegas, speaker at the rally. "It's the notion that one person can help every single person. That's damaging and individualistic. One person alone cannot do anything."


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Monday, November 3, 2008

Idaho felons get civil rights back

Posted By on Mon, Nov 3, 2008 at 10:08 AM

Idaho is one of 18 states that allow felons to vote after they have completed their sentence, including probation and parole. That includes felons from other states who have completed their sentences and relocated to Idaho.

According to this recently updated chart at there are a dozen states that deny convicted criminals their right to vote for life, even after completing their sentence. Arizona, and Nevada are on this list, as is Florida.

There are some 20 states (and the District of Columbia) that are less restrictive than Idaho, letting probationers vote, or as in Maine and Vermont, allowing prisoners to vote from prison.

Idaho Code Title 18, Chapter 3 governs the civil rights of felons. The Sentencing Project follows felon disenfranchisement news across the nation and estimates the 5.3 million American cannot vote because of felony convictions.

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