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Fight the mob, a black officer face to face with racism

Inside, we were invaded. The teams of two ended up going their separate ways. Now we are just one man units. It was so confusing because everyone was everywhere. They didn’t just go through the doors; they came through the windows. We were just overwhelmed. This fight begins for hours. You have a mask. There is an OC spray [a kind of pepper spray] in the air. All of these factors contribute to officer fatigue. Everyone’s just running on adrenaline, just pure adrenaline.

At one point, I confronted a group of terrorists in the crypt. There were downed officers behind me, and I’m like, “I have to hold this corridor.” I’m tired, but I said, “You’re not coming this way.” They said, “We are coming. It is our house. We are taking over. That’s where I said, “We have dozens of downed officers here.” Why are you doing this? Get out! “I guess it was a bunch of Oath Keepers and they looked worried.” Are the officers hurt? ” That’s when a guy said, “We’re doing this for you” and showed me his badge. He was an officer. But they didn’t walk through me. Only one person tried. to cross me at that point, and he met the floor. He met the ground. Finally, officers with armored equipment responded and held that area.

Now there was a time when racist slurs were used against you.

So I ran into the stairwell. There are people panicking everywhere. They saw that I came from an area that was not occupied by terrorists. So they tried to go down the steps. I said, “No, you’re not going there.” And I am exhausted. They say, “Trump is our rightful president. No one voted for Joe Biden. I needed to catch my breath. So I said, “I voted for Joe Biden. What? Doesn’t my vote matter? “A woman replied:” This [slur] voted for Joe Biden! Everyone who was there started to join us. “Hey, [slur]! “More than 20 people have said so.

Later you broke down in the rotunda.

Once the FBI and all these other officers arrived, the Capitol began to be cleaned up and made more secure. The officers who had been fighting from the start, many of us sat down on the ground. There was garbage everywhere. The smoke was thick. I saw a buddy of mine who I’ve basically known since I’ve been in the ministry, and we just looked at each other. And we just started talking about the day and how we were in pain. A war is made up of 100 battles. We were all in the war, but we all had different battles. Many of us black officers have fought a different battle than everyone else. I said to my boyfriend: “I have been called [slur] a few dozen times today. I am watching him. He’s got blood on him. I have bloody knuckles. We are suffering. That’s when I said, “Is this America?” and I started to cry. Tears are running down my face. “Is this America?”

I know you want to stay away from politics, but how did you feel when your experience was reference in the impeachment trial?

At that point, I had not yet gone public. But a lot of people knew my story. I was in the middle of the Rotunda crying. I was noisy. I did not hide it. I was starting to heal, and it kind of got me back there. It was a difficult time.

What was the impact of the violence of January 6 on the mental health of police officers?

It cost us terribly. Advisors were available, but I think a lot of people are reluctant to use them. Mental health has always been a stigma. Nobody wants to talk about it. If you appear to be broken or hurt, you are weak. Now people are asking, “Can I even go tell them I’m not doing well without them taking my gun and losing my job?” I want people to know that everything is fine and that it is okay to feel a certain way.

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Garland, at confirmation hearing, vows to fight domestic extremism

WASHINGTON – Justice Merrick B. Garland, President Biden’s candidate for attorney general, said on Monday the threat from domestic extremism was greater today than at the time of the Oklahoma bombing City in 1995, and he vowed that if confirmed, he would make federal power investigating the Capitol Riot his top priority.

Judge Garland, who led the Justice Department’s prosecution of the Oklahoma City bombing, told the Senate Judiciary Committee on the first day of his confirmation hearings that the early stages of the investigation in course on the “white supremacists and others who stormed the Capitol” seemed to be aggressive and “perfectly appropriate.”

He received a largely positive reception from members of both parties on the panel, five years after Senate Republicans blocked his Supreme Court nomination by President Barack Obama to fill the vacancy created by the death of Judge Antonin. Scalia.

Justice Garland, 68, who was confirmed to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in 1997, pledged Monday to restore the independence of a Justice Department that had underwent deep politicization under the Trump administration.

“I don’t intend to be embarrassed by anyone,” Justice Garland said. If confirmed, he said, he would maintain the principle that “the attorney general represents the public interest”.

Justice Garland has also said he will reinvigorate the department’s civil rights division as America suffers a painful and destabilizing toll with systemic racism.

“Communities of color and other minorities continue to face discrimination in housing, education, employment and the criminal justice system,” Justice Garland said in his opening remarks. But he said he did not support the call by some on the left, emerging from this summer’s civil rights protests, to dispel the police.

The Trump administration has worked to reduce civil rights protections for transgender people and minorities. It also prohibits policies aimed at addressing systemic racism, sexism, homophobia and other implicit prejudices.

“I consider my responsibilities for the civil rights division high on my list of top priorities,” Justice Garland said.

Judge Garland answered questions on a wide range of additional topics, including criminal justice reform, antitrust cases, the power of big tech companies, congressional oversight and departmental morale.

Discussing the threat of domestic terrorism, Justice Garland said, “We are going through a more dangerous time than we have faced in Oklahoma City.”

He called the attack on Capitol Hill “the most heinous attack on democratic processes I have ever seen, and the one I never expected to see in my lifetime.”

In addition to an immediate briefing on the investigation, he said he would “give career prosecutors who work in this way 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, any resources they may need.”

Tackling extremism is “at the heart” of the Justice Department’s mission and has often overlapped with its anti-systemic racism mission, as with its fight against the Ku Klux Klan, Judge Garland said.

But the hearing also recalled how politics loom over so many high-profile issues that Judge Garland will face if the full Senate confirms, especially as the Capitol Riots investigation is affecting members. Mr. Trump’s inner circle and more defendants. say they acted on former President Donald J. Trump’s order to prevent Mr. Biden from taking office.

Asked by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Democrat of Rhode Island, whether the Capitol Riot investigation should prosecute people “upstream” from those who violated the building, including “the backers, the organizers, the leaders or helpers and accomplices who were not present in the Capitol on January 6, replied Judge Garland, we will pursue these leads wherever they take us.

Republicans have mainly focused on two politically charged investigations from the Trump era: a federal tax investigation into Mr. Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, and the work of special advocate John H. Durham, to determine whether the Obama-era officials made a mistake in 2016 when they investigated those responsible for the Trump campaign and their ties to Russia.

Justice Garland said he did not discuss the Hunter Biden case with the President and reiterated that the Justice Department will make the final decisions regarding investigations and prosecutions.

“This investigation was carried out quietly, and not publicly, as all investigations should be,” he said. He noted that the US lawyer appointed by Trump in Delaware had been asked to stay and oversee the Hunter Biden investigation.

“I have absolutely no reason to doubt that this is the right decision,” he said.

Responding to a question about Mr. Durham’s investigation, Justice Garland hinted that he would let the investigation unfold, but avoided making explicit promises about how he would handle it.

“I have no reason – from what I know now, which is really very little – to make a decision,” Justice Garland said. “I have no reason to believe he shouldn’t stay put,” he said of Mr Durham.

Regarding the disclosure of any report from Mr. Durham, he added: “I should however speak with Mr. Durham and understand the nature of what he did and the nature of the report.”

Senator Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, the leading Republican on the committee, said he would not “object” to responses to the Durham inquiry which were “not as straightforward” as he claimed. wished “because I think you are an honorable person.” “

Justice Garland has strong legal credentials, a reputation as a moderate, and a long history of service to the Department of Justice. After serving as a clerk for Judge William J. Brennan Jr., he worked as a federal prosecutor for the US Attorney’s Office in Washington under President George HW Bush and was chosen by Jamie Gorelick, Deputy Attorney General to President Bill Clinton, to serve as his senior deputy.

In addition to Oklahoma City, Justice Garland has overseen high-profile cases such as Theodore J. When Mr. Obama appointed him to the Supreme Court in 2016, he was widely described as a moderate.

Key Republicans, including committee member Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and minority leader Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, have said they will support Judge Garland to become Mr Biden’s attorney general.

Democrats presented him on Monday as the necessary antidote to four years in which Mr. Trump treated Justice Department investigators as enemies to be crushed or players to be used to attack political enemies and protect allies, all the more so since he sought to thwart and defeat the investigation into Russia.

Senator Richard J. Durbin, Democrat of Illinois and chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said in his opening remarks that “the misdeeds of Trump’s Justice Department have brought this nation to the brink” and that Judge Garland is said to have need to “restore the faith of the American people in the rule of law and deliver equal justice.” “

Asked about Mr. Trump’s statement, “I have the absolute right to do whatever I want to do with the Department of Justice,” Justice Garland said the President “is constrained by the Constitution” and that anyway Mr. Biden had pledged not to interfere with the work of the department.

Justice Garland’s response drew an implicit contrast to William P. Barr, who served under Mr. Trump as attorney general for almost two years and appeared to see his role as serving the president’s interests much more than other prosecutors. post-Watergate generals.

“Decisions will be made by the ministry itself and directed by the attorney general,” he said, “without regard to partisanship, without regard to the power of the perpetrator or the lack of power, to the influence of the author or lack of influence. “

Judge Garland was for the most part measured and even-tempered, but he became moved when he described his family’s flight from anti-Semitism and persecution in Eastern Europe and asylum in America.

“The country welcomed us – and protected us,” he said, his voice still. “I feel an obligation to the country to repay. It’s the best and the best use of my own skill set to pay off. And so I really want to be the kind of attorney general that you say I could become.

Justice Garland has pledged to cooperate with a Congressional inquiry into Trump’s Justice Department’s “zero tolerance” policy on illegal immigration that has led to the separation of many parents from their families. children.

“I think the policy was shameful,” Justice Garland said. “I can’t imagine anything worse than tearing parents apart from their children. And we will provide all the cooperation we possibly can. “

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NAACP sues Trump, Giuliani over election fight, January 6 riot

WASHINGTON – The NAACP on Tuesday morning filed a federal lawsuit against former President Donald J. Trump and his personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani, claiming they violated a 19th-century law when they tried to prevent certification of the January 6 elections.

The civil rights organization filed a complaint on behalf of Representative Bennie Thompson, Democrat of Mississippi. Other Democrats in Congress – including Reps Hank Johnson of Georgia and Bonnie Watson Coleman of New Jersey – are expected to join as plaintiffs in the coming weeks, according to the NAACP

The lawsuit contends that Mr. Trump and Mr. Giuliani violated the Ku Klux Klan Act, an 1871 law that includes protections against violent conspiracies that interfered with the constitutional duties of Congress; the costume also names the Proud Boys, the far-right nationalist group and the Oath Keepers militia group. The lawsuit accuses Mr. Trump, Mr. Giuliani and the two groups of conspiring to incite a violent riot on Capitol Hill, in an attempt to prevent Congress from certifying the election.

The lawsuit is the latest legal issue for Mr. Trump: New York prosecutors are investigating his financial transactions; New York Attorney General is pursuing civil investigation into whether Mr. Trump’s company misrepresented assets for bank loans and tax benefits; and a Georgia district attorney is reviewing his electoral interference efforts there.

Jason Miller, an adviser to Mr Trump, noted in response to the lawsuit that the Senate acquitted the former president of the impeachment article for incitement to insurgency. The Senate voted 57 to 43, below the two-thirds majority required to convict.

“President Trump did not plan, produce or organize the January 6 rally on the Ellipse. President Trump did not instigate or conspire to incite violence on Capitol Hill on January 6, ”Miller said in a statement Tuesday. He added that Mr. Giuliani “does not currently represent President Trump in any legal matter.”

In the trial, Mr Thompson said he was forced to wear a gas mask and hide on the floor of the Chamber’s gallery for three hours while hearing “threats of physical violence against any member who was trying to approve the counting of the electoral college. “Mr. Thompson also heard a gunshot, according to the costume, which he only later learned had killed Ashli ​​Babbitt, one of the rioters in the lobby of the Capitol.

Mr. Thompson seeks compensatory and punitive damages in the lawsuit filed in the Federal District Court in Washington. The costume does not include a specific financial amount.

Mr Thompson, 72, says he was exposed to an increased risk to his health by being subsequently forced to shelter in place in a cramped place that did not allow for social distancing. The lawsuit notes that Mr. Thompson shared a confined space with two members of Congress who tested positive for the coronavirus shortly after the attack on Capitol Hill.

In an interview on Monday, Mr. Thompson said he would not have brought a lawsuit against Mr. Trump if the Senate had voted to convict him in last week’s impeachment trial.

“I feared for my life,” Mr. Thompson said. “Not a day goes by that I don’t think about this incident. I was determined to see justice done in this situation.

He added, “It’s me, and I hope others, having our day in court to address the January 6 atrocities. “

Mr Thompson said he had already received a second dose of a Covid vaccine on January 6, so he had not quarantined himself after close contact with colleagues who tested positive. But he noted: “There were a number of members who were very concerned about being accommodated in these numbers with people refusing to wear masks.

Democratic and Republican members of Congress recently raised the possibility of Mr. Trump being held accountable in court for the riot. Republican leader Senator Mitch McConnell voted for Mr. Trump’s acquittal in the impeachment trial but then appeared to encourage people to take their fight to court.

“He hasn’t done anything yet,” McConnell said at the end of the trial, noting, “We have a criminal justice system in this country. We have civil disputes. “

Derrick Johnson, president of the NAACP, said the decision to seek compensatory and punitive damages was rooted in a history of tools that worked to fight white supremacy.

“The Southern Poverty Law Center has filed a lawsuit against the Ku Klux Klan which bankrupted a chapter,” he said, referring to a 2008 judgment against a Kentucky-based Klan group that filed for bankruptcy. ordered the group to pay $ 2.5 million in damages. “It’s very similar. If we do nothing, we can be assured that these groups will continue to spread and grow in their boldness. We must stop the spread of white supremacy.

While much of the impeachment trial hinged on how the violent mob threatened former Vice President Mike Pence as well as Congressional leaders like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, NAACP officials said that the attack was deeply rooted in racial injustice.

“At the root of this insurgency were the actions of people who challenged the voices of people of color,” said Janette McCarthy Wallace, Acting General Counsel for the NAACP. The votes of people of color were contested. “

The lawsuit, for example, accuses Giuliani of attempting to reject “the votes cast by voters in Detroit, whose population is 78% African-American.” He also says Mr. Giuliani falsely claimed there was voting fraud in Milwaukee and Madison, Wisconsin, “both of which have large African American populations.”

Joseph M. Sellers, a partner at civil rights law firm Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll, which jointly filed the case, said the lawsuit named Mr. Trump in his personal capacity because his conduct defied another branch of government to do his job do the official functions of the president.

“He was engaging in conduct which is so far removed from any legitimately legitimate scope of his presidential office,” Sellers said. “He no longer has the President’s immunity.”

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A new generation pushes Nashville to fight racism in its ranks

Less than 30 minutes after TMZ posted a video of country star Morgan Wallen using a racial slur on February 2, Mickey Guyton, the only black country singer signed to a major label, tweeted his reaction: “The hatred runs deep.”

She added: “How many passes are you going to keep giving?” and “So what exactly will you do about it?” The crickets will not work this time. “

A few other mainstream country performers commented on the incident on social media, but many believed Nashville would do what it almost always does when one of its stars comes under fire: circle the cars and shut her up. “It’s the norm for country artists to stay silent and not use their platform for controversy,” said Leslie Fram, senior vice president of music strategy at CMT.

The next day, however, radio conglomerates including iHeartMedia, Cumulus, and Entercom removed Wallen’s songs from the rotation of hundreds of stations, and major streaming services removed him from playlists. CMT has stopped broadcasting its videos. The Academy of Country Music declared him ineligible for his upcoming awards. All of this as Wallen’s second album, “Dangerous: The Double Album,” topped the Billboard 200 for the third week in a row.

While Guyton’s tweets alone aren’t responsible for the swift rebuke, she is one of a small contingent of mostly female artists – including Cam, Maren Morris, Margo Price, and Amanda Shires – and actors from the industry whose advocacy has caused the country music industry to begin to grapple with issues of racism and diversity that go beyond the misdeeds of an artist.

“I was really encouraged by how quickly each group in the industry showed up,” said Cam, a Grammy-nominated singer and songwriter. “But I don’t think times when calling someone up on something so ingrained in everyone else is going to be a game-changer.”

The work of these women is not easy to quantify. Much of this is about deliberately pushing the public conversation in Nashville toward uncomfortable questions of racial equity. This could mean using social media to proclaim a book like “Me and White Supremacy” by Layla F. Saad or excouring the group formerly known as Lady Antebellum for mingling with a black artist by the name of Lady A. Other times, he participates in diversity and inclusion working groups. In November, when Morris was named singer of the year at the Country Music Association Awards, she used her acceptance speech to highlight the struggle of black women in country music, including Guyton, Rissi Palmer, Yola, and Brittney Spencer.

The fact that this is often a group of women who speak the loudest is perhaps not surprising. Female artists have faced huge barriers in the industry themselves, from sexual harassment and objectification to unwritten rules restricting release for women.

“In the female experience, you understand what it’s like to be the underdog, to step into a predominantly white male situation and try to assert yourself,” said Palmer, who hosts a radio show. Apple Music titled Color Me Country. highlights the black, indigenous and Latin roots of the genre.

Shires, a singer-songwriter who also performs alongside Morris in the Highwomen, puts it bluntly: “I guess a lot of men don’t speak because they’re comfortable in their places. of power and money. Why would they want this to change? “

The history of the dominance of male artists in country music goes back a long way. Between 2014 and 2018, 84% of artists on Billboard’s end-of-year country charts were male, according to a study by the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative at the University of Southern California.

The relative silence of many of the country’s biggest stars, men and women, is partly a habit but also partly an economic issue. Whether the stars and goalkeepers are indifferent to racism or not, they fear the fans are.

“If they’re worried about falling financially, they just keep their mouths shut,” Price said. “They’d rather keep that rebellious dollar.”

But attributing to these women, mostly white, the social conscience of the country is in itself an indication of the larger problem. “White women speak out because we don’t let black women speak out,” Cam said. With a few frequently noted exceptions, in Nashville she said, “Black people aren’t even allowed in, can’t be in writing rooms, can’t be signed, aren’t followed on Twitter, so you never hear them.

Part of this work amplifies these marginalized voices. Shires and Morris worked with Spencer and Yola. Morris, Cam and Guyton are part of a group text with Palmer and Andrea Williams, a Nashville-based black journalist and author, where they share reading suggestions, relay their personal experiences, and strategize.

“How is it that two white women even partially understand what the experience of blacks in the country looks like?” Cam asked. “It’s because we learn from black women. We watched what’s up with Mickey and talked to him. Cam said she and Morris use their platforms to share what they learn more widely.

Williams, an animated Twitter presence, has not shied away from harassing like-minded ideologists – including Morris and Shires’ husband Jason Isbell – when she feels they have failed to be good allies. “I’d rather people say nothing than say the wrong thing,” she says. “Sometimes you have to listen and learn.” She pointed out that two of the first artists to respond to the Wallen incident, Kelsea Ballerini and Cassadee Pope, said her behavior “didn’t represent” country music.

“It’s more hurtful than people who haven’t said anything because you diminish the very real experiences of people who know for a fact that this is actually indicative of how this whole industry works,” she says.

According to Williams, focusing on the genre obscures the “original sin” of country music: “Country was created for the sole purpose of commercializing a particular racial demographic. We have divided southern music into white hill records and black records. This line of demarcation is as sharp today as it was in the 1920s, ”she said.

This checking account dates back to the nationwide Black Lives Matter protests last summer. Just days after George Floyd was murdered at the hands of the Minneapolis Police, Guyton released the very personal “Black Like Me” and the country’s only traditional colored male artists – Darius Rucker, Kane Brown and Jimmie Allen – have spoke candidly of their own experiences, while the rest of the country music industry struggled to catch the moment. Other artists and executives were quick to share supporting hashtags, but in a genre where mainstream black performers can be counted on the one hand and black faces are hardly common behind the scenes, their efforts are are felt insignificant.

Lorie Liebig, a Nashville-based publicist and journalist, began compiling a Google document outlining what country artists had published – or not published – in support of Black Lives Matter. Shires was among the first to share the spreadsheet widely, but as it became known the harshest reactions were often directed at Liebig herself.

“There was a day when it first hit, my Twitter was cascading with negative responses,” she said. “Many said that I was racist towards white people. I ended up being doxxed. They posted my parents’ address.

Many of these women experienced similar bile. “I’ve been called just about every name in the book,” Price said. “People have sent me threatening DMs. I’m sure it cost me selling albums and tickets. “

After the death of black country pioneer Charley Pride in December, Palmer criticized the praise that has whitewashed his legacy. “For three days, I was threatened, called a racist, a fanatic, no one,” she said. “I was called a Nazi propagandist, which was my favorite.”

But the constant pressure from these women seems to be starting to change the conversation. While it remains to be seen whether the consequences Wallen faced signal a lasting appetite for change – he returned for a fourth week to No.1 after the incident, and was not strongly condemned by Nashville, where advocates and sympathetic voices have spoken on his name – there are signs that the ground is moving. Four of the 10 acts chosen this year for CMT’s “Next Women of Country” are Black. The National Museum of African American Music recently opened in downtown Nashville – across from the symbolic home of country music, the Ryman Auditorium.

“We’re a long way from seeing drastic changes, but every time the light bulb comes on for someone else, we’re closer,” said Williams. “Because, as we all get together and text at midnight in these group chats, we are more powerful than any of us as individuals. All we need is more people to join the fight.

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A fight to save a corporate campus intimately linked to nature

Protests often erupt over proposals to demolish or even modify historic buildings. Threats to landscaping generally receive much less attention.

But that changes in a Seattle suburb, where a developer plans to build on the corporate campus that George H. Weyerhaeuser set up for the family-owned forest and wood products business from the late 1960s.

The site, which the City of Federal Way annexed in 1994, has been praised over the years for its pioneering blend of building and landscape. Today he is caught up in a controversy over plans to build huge warehouses which opponents say would upset the balance with nature, but which the new owner of the property deems necessary to pay for the restoration of the building. headquarters and grounds maintenance.

In the decades following World War II, companies moved from crowded cities to erect jewelry box buildings on pristine strips of lawns all over the suburbs. But Mr. Weyerhaeuser, president and CEO of his company, wanted his headquarters to blend in with nature rather than stand out.

The campus, designed by architect Edward Charles Bassett and landscape architect Peter Walker, featured a low-rise building in a meadow among wooded hills. Ivy-covered terraces at the front of the building cascaded down to a lake, and walking trails meandered through the trees. Members of the public were allowed access to the campus, which has become a popular spot for kite flying, dog walking and bird watching.

It is a time of change at the headquarters of post-war suburbs like the Weyerhaeuser campus. Before the pandemic, many properties were already sold and in some cases reinvented for new uses, often because the original owners took shares and moved back to cities – places considered more attractive to young people. talented workers they hoped to attract. The cost of maintaining large campuses was another factor. Yet the vast majority of office space in the United States remains in the suburbs.

The pandemic has not hit the office market in the suburbs as hard as it has in urban areas, said Ian Anderson, senior director of research and analysis at CBRE, a real estate services company. But the success of remote working has challenged the need for large central offices where employees meet every day.

Amidst the upheaval, conservationists, historians and others are sounding the alarm bells about threats to historic corporate campuses. And the cases raise questions about how to sensitively manage change at these sites and who is responsible for their preservation.

Elsewhere, sites languished when the companies that created them went out of business or merged with others.

Bell Labs – a 1962 research facility also designed by Saarinen on an oval campus in Holmdel, New Jersey – has been closed and headed for demolition. But former employees and others came together to save the two million square foot building. Now it’s a mixed-use project that functions like the city center.

But the conversion of Bell Labs, overseen by Somerset Development, involved the sacrifice of more than 200 acres of the campus. Somerset sold the land to home builder Toll Brothers, who erected townhouses and villas.

“For preservation, we gravitate towards buildings,” said Liz Waytkus, executive director of Docomomo US, which focuses on modern design. “The landscapes are more difficult to defend, even if the public is more connected to them.”

It was clear when PepsiCo closed the sculpture garden on its campus in Purchase, New York The garden, which houses works by Alexander Calder and Alberto Giacometti, had drawn more than 100,000 visitors a year, but it was closed in 2012 for a renovation of the buildings in 1967. After the renovation, PepsiCo did not immediately reopen the garden, citing safety concerns, which sparked an uproar. The company eventually let the public come back, but on a limited basis.

The Weyerhaeuser Campus, which opened in 1971, was one of the first large-scale suburban headquarters on the West Coast. Over time, the company added features to the site: a rhododendron garden and bonsai museum at the south end, a technical center at the north.

In 2016, the company moved to Seattle and sold the 425 acres for about $ 70 million to Industrial Realty Group, a Los Angeles-based company specializing in adaptive reuse projects.

Industrial Realty wants to make its investment. He sold land, renamed the Woodbridge Corporate Park campus, and marketed the five-story corporate headquarters building – an early example of an open-plan workplace and therefore equally innovative inside and out – to future office tenants. .

But Industrial Realty quickly sparked opposition with a plan to build a fish processing plant on a wooded plot near the headquarters. Local residents filled with meetings, and ultimately the case fell through.

Industrial Realty, however, obtained approval for a 226,000 square foot warehouse on the site. And now the company is proposing to build another warehouse next door and three more buildings near the technical center – plans that “would turn a historic and iconic property into an industrial area,” said Lori Sechrist, president of the non-profit group. lucrative Save Weyerhaeuser Campus.

The advocacy group has gone to court to try to stop the first development, citing concerns about environmental damage, traffic and damage to the historic site. Financial contributors to Save Weyerhaeuser include Mr. Weyerhaeuser, who is no longer involved in the business.

“Penny-ante proposals,” Mr. Weyerhaeuser, 94, said of the planned buildings.

But Dana A. Ostenson, an executive vice president at Industrial Realty, countered that development plans were responsible. “We are interested in preserving the campus and especially in creating a campus that will allow the support of the headquarters building,” he said. The new buildings, Mr Ostenson added, would have tree buffers.

Industrial Realty’s warehouses, which are said to bring jobs and tax revenue, also have supporters, including the local chamber of commerce.

State and national organizations have joined Save Weyerhaeuser in asking Industrial Realty to minimize its footprint. The Cultural Landscape Foundation, an education and advocacy group, launched a letter-writing campaign that drew passionate appeals. The Washington Trust for Historic Preservation nominated the campus for the National Trust’s annual list of endangered places.

Some of the buildings are proposed for wetlands, which prompted review by the Army Corps of Engineers. And since the campus is eligible to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places, preservation officials are participating in the review to help find ways to avoid or minimize “side effects.”

The Puyallup Tribe is also monitoring the process, on whose ancestral lands the campus is located and the reserve is nearby. The Puyallups are concerned about “environmental and cultural impacts on resources,” said Michael Thompson, a spokesperson for the tribe.

Industrial Realty is moving forward and plans to erect the buildings to specification, Ostenson said. The company is in discussions with biotech companies and other leasing companies, but it hasn’t ruled out buildings becoming distribution centers.

Regardless of the end uses, opponents believe the new development would simply take too big a bite out of the historic site.

Mr Walker, the landscape architect, designed other important commissions such as the 9/11 Memorial in New York. Now 88, he is among those who urged Industrial Realty to build as part of a first development master plan created for Weyerhaeuser, calling the campus an ‘endangered species’.

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Biden wants more stable diplomacy. A fight against abortion is a test.

The Democratic House previously approved a measure to block the policy, also known by critics as the global gag rule, but it was blocked under Republicans in the Senate.

This month, Democrats regained control of the Senate for the first time since 2015 by the smallest of margins, with a 50-to-50 split and Vice President Kamala Harris able to break votes.

However, at least two Republicans, Senators Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, also support legislation to end Mexico City politics permanently, meaning that “there could be a new window for make it happen, ”said Jen Kates, director of global health and HIV policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation.

“I think everyone will agree, no matter what side, on the matter is that ping pong is a very difficult way to make this policy work,” Ms. Kates said, discussing the job. non-governmental organizations. “It doesn’t bring stability or predictability to NGOs, and it’s disruptive.”

Opponents of abortion rights also want the issue to become established law, but in a way that enshrines Mexico City’s policy of immediately preventing Mr. Biden and future presidents from supporting abortion providers in the United States. foreign.

Last month, Republican Senator Mike Lee of Utah revived a plan he had presented in previous terms of Congress to make the funding ban permanent. In a Feb. 3 speech to the Senate, he said there was a need to prevent politics from being “canceled and reinstated again and again between shifting administrations.”

“The lives of babies and the dignity of women are not political balloons,” said Mr. Lee. “All over the world, women and unborn children have immeasurable dignity and worth, regardless of their origin. And they should have the right to life and protection from harm – regardless of who holds the position. “

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‘She just lost him’: Chicago school fight leaves families in limbo

Maggie Owens’ 4-year-old daughter was knocking on the back door, desperate to go to school.

Her daughter, Louise, a special needs student with a brain disorder, was one of the first schoolgirls in Chicago to be able to return to her classroom last month. But then, two and a half weeks after the plan to gradually reopen the neighborhood began, a clash between the city and its teachers’ union forced everyone back to distance learning, and Ms Owens told Louise that she should resume computer learning.

“She just lost him. She started crying, ”recalls Ms. Owens, adding,“ She got into a routine, she was happy, and then we just ripped her off.

After a nearly two-week hiatus of in-person teaching, Chicago Public Schools and its teachers’ union reached a tentative agreement to avoid a strike, after educators refused to work in person without further concessions. security during the pandemic.

If finalized, the district said the deal, announced on Sunday, would allow about 3,000 students in preschool and some special education classes – like Ms Owens’ daughter – to return on Thursday. The district is the third largest in the country, with 340,000 public school students.

Ms Owens, who lives in the far northwest of the city, said she was happy a deal had been reached. But she was frustrated with both the district and the union for letting the conflict escalate into a crisis.

“I feel like what’s lost there is that there are real people and real children suffering from it,” she says. “And I feel like my daughter is one of them.”

The Chicago Teachers Union’s House of Delegates, a governing body of about 800 members, voted Monday night to send the agreement with the city to the 25,000 members for ratification. The base will vote electronically, with the results expected at midnight Tuesday.

The agreement allows all students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade, as well as some high school students with disabilities, to return to school in the coming weeks.

As part of the deal, the city has pledged to offer 2,000 doses of the coronavirus vaccine this week to staff in classrooms slated to reopen Thursday and all other employees living with high-risk people. virus. He would then provide 1,500 doses per week to school staff in the weeks that followed.

Teachers who don’t have students taking in-person lessons could continue to teach remotely, and unvaccinated teachers could take unpaid leave for the next term instead of teaching in person. The agreement also set thresholds for what would cause the district, as well as schools or individual classes, to temporarily revert to distance education.

A similar battle was unfolding in Philadelphia on Monday, where teachers conducted distance learning in the cold outside dozens of school buildings to protest what the union called a dangerous reopening plan.

Philadelphia is expected to bring Kindergarten to Grade 2 students back to schools on February 22, and teachers in those classes were originally supposed to report to buildings on Monday. But the local union had asked them to stay at home, organizing a confrontation.

At the last minute, Mayor Jim Kenney said teachers didn’t have to work in person while a mediator reviewed the district’s plan to reopen.

In Chicago, Willie Preston, a father of six who lives on the South Side, said his youngest daughter, Lear, who is in pre-kindergarten, was also caught in limbo after his school briefly reopened the last month and then closed again. She was excitedly preparing for school one morning when her wife had to break the news to her.

“She started to cry and pout, why can’t she go to school,” Mr. Preston said. “And we had to talk to her and try to explain to her that adults are arguing over whether she can go back to school or not.”

He said he had yet to tell Lear that she would most likely be able to return to school on Thursday, in case the union votes against the deal and the district is once again plunged into trouble. chaos.

“For my wife and I, one of the most important things for us and our children is stability,” he said. “I don’t want to do this to our 4 year old daughter until I have a high degree of certainty that she will come back.

Ellen almer durston contribution to reports.

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A new front in the fight against vaccines emerges in California

LOS ANGELES – An unemployed stand-up comedian from New Jersey. A conservative actor and podcast host in a white coat. A gadfly who led several unsuccessful campaigns for the Los Angeles Congress. And at least a few who were in Washington on the day of the Capitol riot.

They were part of the motley crew of so-called anti-vaxxers who recently converged on the entrance to the Dodger Stadium mass vaccination site to protest the distribution of a coronavirus vaccine.

The weakly formed coalition represents a new faction in the long-established California anti-vaccine movement. And the protest was the latest sign Californians have become unlikely standard bearers for aggressive vaccine critics even as cases of the virus continue to spread across the state.

California, which has recorded an average of 500 daily virus-related deaths over the past week, will soon become the state with the highest number of coronavirus deaths, overtaking New York.

For months, far-right activists across the country have rallied against mask-wearing rules, trade lockdowns, curfews and local public health officials, presenting the government’s response to the virus as an intrusion into individual freedoms. But as masks and lockdowns become an increasingly common part of American life, some protesters have shifted their anti-government anger to Covid-19 vaccines.

Last week, at Dodger Stadium, the same small but vocal group of protesters who had previously held anti-mask and anti-lockdown protests in the Los Angeles area disrupted a mass vaccination site that averages 6,120 shots per day. About 50 protesters – some carrying signs saying “Don’t be a lab rat!” and ‘Covid = Scam’ – walked to the entrance and forced Los Angeles firefighters to shut down the city-run site for about an hour.

The disruption illustrates the increasingly confrontational inclination of some of the state’s vaccine opponents, who have long argued that mandatory school vaccine laws are overbroad by the government. Many were already skeptical of the science of vaccines, having read disinformation sites online claiming childhood vaccines to be responsible for autism, a claim long disproved.

In California, the anti-vaccine movement has been popular for decades among Hollywood celebrities and wealthy parents, gaining momentum when state lawmakers passed one of the country’s toughest mandatory vaccination laws for children. in 2015. Previously, parents had chosen not to be vaccinated by requesting exemptions. claiming that the vaccines conflicted with their personal beliefs, but the law ruled out that option. The popularity of these exemptions has led to vaccination rates dropping to 80% or less in public and private schools and preschools in Beverly Hills, Santa Monica and other affluent communities in the Los Angeles area.

“Anti-vaccine attitudes are as old as vaccines themselves,” said Richard M. Carpiano, who is a professor of public policy and sociology at the University of California at Riverside and who studies the anti-vaccine movement. “The other thing that has to do with that is the wellness movement, this idea that the natural is better. There is a broader type of distrust in Big Pharma, healthcare, and the medical professions. There is a real market of discontent that these groups can sort of grab hold of. “

During the time of Covid-19 in California, vaccine opponents increasingly aligned themselves with pro-Trump, working class people at times keen to adopt extreme tactics to express their beliefs.

Anti-vaccine campaigners in the state have been aggressive at times for a long time. But over the past two years and over the months of the coronavirus pandemic, there has been an increase in confrontational and threat tactics.

They assaulted a lawmaker in Sacramento and shed menstrual blood on lawmakers in State Capitol Senate chambers in 2019, and last spring they helped pressure the Orange County health official to quash ‘he resigns by publicly revealing the home address of the manager. Last month, two weeks before the stadium vaccination protest, a group of women threatened lawmakers during a budget hearing on Capitol Hill, telling senators they were “not shooting your bullet” and that they “hadn’t bought weapons for nothing”.

“I think what is of most concern is that they are escalating,” said State Senator Richard Pan, a pediatrician and Democrat who drafted an immunization law. Mr. Pan was punched in the back in 2019 by an anti-vaccine activist and was likely the target of the Senate chamber blood incident that year.

“This movement not only disseminates false or misinformed vaccine information or vaccine lies, which in itself can be harmful, but they also aggressively intimidate, threaten and intimidate people who try to share accurate vaccine information. “, did he declare.

Protesters who attended and helped organize the Dodger Stadium protest said they did not attempt to enter the site and did not block the entrance. They accused the firefighters of overreacting to their presence and shutting the doors, and said their aim was to educate those awaiting vaccinations, but not to prevent them from driving to the inside to get vaccinated.

One of the protesters, a 48-year-old actor whose first name is Nick and who asked that his last name not be released due to the death threats the group had received, said he did not believe that ‘none of the protesters were part before. anti-vaccine groups established in the state. “It’s all due to this whole Covid-19 crisis,” he said. “It started with wearing the mask and has evolved into concern about the vaccine now. It’s all about civil liberties.

Main organizer Jason Lefkowitz, 42, comedian and waiter at a Beverly Hills restaurant, said the catalyst for the stadium protest was the death of baseball legend Hank Aaron, who died aged 86 January 22. .

Mr Aaron was vaccinated against the coronavirus in Atlanta on January 5, and anti-vaccine activists including Robert F. Kennedy Jr. have used his death to make a connection. The Fulton County medical examiner said there was no evidence he had an allergic or anaphylactic reaction to the vaccine.

“I am not a violent person,” Mr. Lefkowitz said. “No one in my group is violent or physical or anything, but there are a lot of people who don’t want to take this vaccine or be forced into it.

No one was arrested, but city officials, including the police chief, were troubled by the symbolism and global headlines – that a small group of vaccine opponents had temporarily shut down one from the largest vaccination sites in the country and walked and chanted without a mask. among older residents waiting in their cars for their immunization appointments.

“The optic of this is that it turned out that the protesters may have symbolically interfered with that line, and I think we have a greater public responsibility to ensure that this symbolism is not repeated,” said the chef Michel R. Moore in Los Angeles. Police commission in a virtual meeting.

Protesters planned to return to Dodger Stadium and were more spurred on by the attention than disheartened by social media criticism. Mr Lefkowitz said after the fire department closed the doors, he immediately took this as a positive sign for his group.

“They’re helping us indirectly, because now I’m like, ‘Oh, that’s going to be in the news,'” Lefkowitz said.

The ease with which many protesters have shifted from anti-mask ideology to anti-vaccine ideology was highlighted in a Facebook livestream.

A protester at the site, Omar Navarro, a frequent Republican challenger to Representative Maxine Waters, Democrat of California, told his Facebook viewers that he was “ 100% sure ” that the electoral fraud led to the victory of the President Biden, touted the effort to recall the Democrat. California Governor Gavin Newsom and called Democrats a “real bug.”

“They want to cheat us,” Mr. Navarro said in the video. “They want to control us. They want to put this muzzle on our face, this mask, which I don’t use.

One of Southern California’s most prominent anti-vaccine activists, lawyer Leigh Dundas, spoke at a rally in Washington the day before the riot on Capitol Hill and posted videos to the media social as she stood in front of the building on January 6, shouting: “It’s still 1776!”

In May, Ms Dundas led a campaign to expel Orange County health director Dr Nichole Quick for his mask order, which was unpopular in the historically conservative county. Dr Quick has received death threats and received a security detail. During a supervisory board meeting, Ms Dundas ridiculed Dr Quick’s credentials, announced her home address, and said she was going to ask people to do calisthenics with masks at his front door, and when people start dropping like flies, and they do, I’m going to have every first responder within a 30 mile radius to roll the lights and sirens to his front door. entrance.

Dr Quick resigned almost two weeks later.

Kenneth Austin Bennett, the activist who attacked Mr. Pan, the state senator, has been charged with battery misdemeanor and was scheduled to be arraigned again in a few weeks. Rebecca Dalelio, who was arrested after shedding blood from the Senate gallery, has been charged with felony assault on a public official and criminal vandalism and has a preliminary hearing this month. A spokeswoman for State Senator Toni G. Atkins, president pro tempore of the Senate, said a report was filed with law enforcement after women made threatening gun-related remarks in January.

Dr Pan said the lack of arrests at the Dodger Stadium protest suggested anti-vaccine extremists would feel emboldened.

“There’s a story of people intimidating and intimidating, and there’s very little consequence in doing that, and so they escalate, and they escalate, and they escalate,” he said. .

Jan Hoffman contribution to reports.

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US to consider giving FBI more resources to fight domestic extremism

WASHINGTON – The Biden administration will consider whether additional FBI agents are needed in the office’s field offices to address the threat of domestic violent extremism, a senior administration official said on Friday.

Last month, the White House ordered a review of the threat of domestic violent extremism, led by the office of the director of national intelligence. This assessment will inform a policy review that takes into account FBI resources, additional authorities, foreign influence operations and other issues.

The senior administration official said the assessment and initial review of the policy would take around 100 days. The official spoke on a conference call with reporters on the basic rules of anonymity to address the current political discussions.

The issue of violent extremist groups in the United States has been high on the agenda since a host of far-right extremist organizations stormed the Capitol on January 6. The assault, which aimed to stop the electoral college’s vote count and stop the transition of power to the Biden administration, led to a series of federal accusations against the rioters.

Since the attack, there have been a series of questions about intelligence gathered before January 6 and whether the federal government was taking the threat of violence and extremist groups seriously enough.

The government is largely interested in the issue of violent national groups. On Thursday, Democrats and Republicans on the House Homeland Security Committee expressed support for new domestic terrorism laws designed to stop violence similar to the attack on Capitol Hill. And Senator Mark Warner, Democrat from Virginia, who is the new chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said this week he had bipartisan support for his group to investigate the matter.

In a letter to President Biden last month, Texas Republican Senator John Cornyn, a member of the Intelligence Committee, supported the administration’s request for assessment and called for the role of foreign adversaries to be considered.

“It is essential that we understand the full extent of the threat to our nation to ensure that the tragic events of January 6, 2021 do not happen again,” Mr Cornyn wrote.

The administration official said most of the intelligence review would fall to the intelligence services of the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security, but it is the responsibility of the director of national intelligence to coordinate assessments involving multiple departments. .

However, part of the review will focus on potential links between national groups and foreign networks and organizations, the official added. This part of the review will involve intelligence agencies, including the CIA and the National Security Agency, which are limited in their intelligence gathering on Americans.

White House officials expect the FBI to seek additional resources to address domestic violent extremism as part of the policy review. The official noted that a Department of Homeland Security review found white supremacist terrorism to be the deadliest domestic threat from 2018 to 2020.

Although some FBI field offices have a team of agents who primarily deal with the threat of domestic extremist groups, not all have a full contingent of resources dedicated to the fight. However, former FBI officials say the domestic terrorist threat can vary from state to state.

But the official said another part of the review will examine whether the office’s joint terrorism task forces are structured to deal with the threat from American extremist groups and anti-government organizations. The review will examine whether the task forces are able to report episodes of domestic violent extremism and track the groups involved, the official said.

International terrorist groups, like Al Qaeda, are much more hierarchical. In contrast, the official said, domestic extremist groups are organized more loosely. Members can change and different groups can come together, like they did in the Capitol Attack, and then go their separate ways.

Adam goldman contribution to reports.

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Students punished for ‘vulgar’ social media posts fight

These tweets, according to her court documents, include one in which she “was contributing to a trending discussion on Twitter about Cardi B’s song ‘WAP’ with Megan Thee Stallion by suggesting lyrics for a possible remix.”

His suggestion – “He’s not my daddy but I call him daddy” because he’s good in bed (his wording was less polite) – was “well within the normal limits of social media discussion”, said his complaint.

It was the second time in a year that someone had denounced Ms. Diei for her social media posts; the first time, the university ordered him to write a reflection letter. This time, she received a letter on September 2 stating that her “conduct is a serious violation of the standards and expectations of the profession”. One of her public posts, he said, included a picture identifying her as a pharmacy student at school; Ms. Diei disputes this.

The letter referred her to the student manual, which says university staff “may monitor social networking sites on occasion and blatant unprofessional posts could result in disciplinary action.” But it left her extrapolating what was blatant, she said.

The dean of the pharmacy reversed his expulsion three weeks later, after a phone conversation in which, Ms Diei said, the dean asked him to try to block people affiliated with the school from his accounts and minimize his university affiliation. “It’s hard for me to do when I have so many followers,” she says.

Ms. Diei says she designed her articles for an audience of black women like herself, and hopes that she could become popular enough to make money promoting products.

“I use words and phrases that are common in our community,” she says.

Her Instagram name, kimmykasi, was meant to be “cute and simple,” she said, a compound of the diminutive Kimberly and a word she found in an Igbo dictionary defined as “to be the tallest.” , in tribute to his Nigerian immigrant father. .