Fascism Alert: NY Judge Suspends Protesters’ Habeas Corpus Rights (Video)

The nation is transforming right before our eyes.

Despite states re-opening after months of lock down, the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic is still infecting thousands every day, and a vaccine is not predicted any time soon.

The economy–already precarious before the pandemic–is swiftly unraveling.

We also find ourselves gripped in civil unrest the likes of which we have not experienced in five decades.

As Frederick Douglass famously said, “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.”

But those in power never concede to change without prolonged struggle.

In that struggle lurks the potential for authoritarianism into which many countries have descended.

Some have not returned.

In March, the Justice Department (DOJ) considered using the COVID-19 outbreak to suspend constitutional habeas corpus (due process) rights.

Last week, New York State Supreme Court justice James Burke did just that, using the protests over police brutality to reject a petition intending immediate release of hundreds of protesters the New York Police Department had detained for over 24 hours.

New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted:

The non-profit organization Legal Aid Society (LAS) is currently suing the NYPD for violating New York’s “24 hour arrest-to-arraignment requirement.”

LAS senior staff attorney countered judge Burke’s decision:

“The NYPD has no excuses with its 38,000 police officers and the best technology in the world, with all the money they are being given. They have no excuse to not process them in a timely manner.”

If Trump gets another term, this is going to be the norm.

We will be in full-on autocracy.

It’s already knocking at a door creaked slightly open.

Every day it blows open just a little wider.

Image credit: www.ipwatchdog.com

Ted Millar is writer and teacher. His work has been featured in myriad literary journals, including Better Than Starbucks, The Broke Bohemian, Straight Forward Poetry, Caesura, Circle Show, Cactus Heart, Third Wednesday, and The Voices Project. He is also a contributor to The Left Place blog on Substack, and Medium.