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ICE raid ruling upheld

Friday, December 17, 2010
Time: 8:54 PM

More good news in the Yale law case against the ICE raid action in New Haven that can have an impact in Danbury.
In their quest to hold immigration agents accountable for alleged constitutional violations during June 2007 raids in Fair Haven, 11 New Haven immigrants can take their case all the way to the top.

Federal Judge Stefan Underhill ruled Thursday that 11 plaintiffs in a civil rights suit against Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) can hold the agency’s national director liable for the behavior of agents that entered apartments in Fair Haven. The judge denied a motion by the U.S. government that argued that ICE supervisors and higher-ups could not be held responsible for ground-level action.

Judge Underhill’s decision was part of a larger ruling (read it here) in response to several motions by the government, which sought to have the immigrants’ case derailed on a variety of grounds. While some of the government’s arguments were successful, the majority failed, according to Muneer Ahmad (pictured below), a Yale law professor representing the plaintiff immigrants.

The case stems from controversial ICE raids in the summer of 2007. The plaintiffs in the case, represented by lawyers and students from Yale Law School, claim that ICE agents entered their homes without permission and arrested them illegally, violating their 4th, 5th, and 10th Amendment rights. The 11 immigrant plaintiffs are suing the government as well as individual ICE agents.

They also claim that the raids were a sort of punishment for New Haven issuance of the Elm City Resident ID Card, which is available to all New Haveners regardless of their immigration status.

ICE has declined to comment on the case in the past. A spokesperson was not available by press time.

Muneer Ahmad, a Yale law professor on the case, declared the judge’s ruling a victory. He said Judge Underhill upheld the majority of the case, while the government’s “aggressive” effort to dismiss the case was successful “only at the margins.”

“It’s a pretty sweeping decision on the part of the plaintiffs,” Ahmad said.

[...]

“That’s a really major decision by the court,” Ahmad said. It’s a very significant ruling on behalf of the rights of immigrants to make civil rights claims, he said.

“I think that other courts will pay attention to it, and I think that ICE will pay attention to it,” Ahmad said. “ICE has long maintained that it should have a kind of immunity from suit that other law enforcement officials don’t have.”

“Our hope is that this is the start of an accountability process for ICE and for the group of residents in Fair Haven,” Ahmad said.

Make sure the read the entire article over at the New Haven Independent.

Get ready for First Night Danbury!


Time: 5:10 PM

It's right around the corner. No, not X-MAS but rather First Night Danbury!



The crew at City Center Danbury are pulling out all the stops to kick off the new year...here's the details.



City Center is also looking for volunteers...if you can spare some time helping with First Night 2011, please contact Stacey Olszewski at 203.270.9461, Staceyolszewski@yahoo.com or firstnightvolunteer.yahoo.com!


LIVE VIDEO STREAM: State of the City Address


Time: 10:52 AM

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Today, Mayor Boughton is scheduled to deliver his annual state of the city address.

I'll be on hand to provide a live video stream of the address from the Danbury Plaza Hotel & Conference Center starting around 12:00 PM.

UPDATE: The luncheon has started. The stream will start as soon as the mayor starts his speech.

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UPDATE 2: Here's the recorded video of the State of the City address.




LOCAL ACCESS VIDEO: Progressive Soup 12.15.10 broadcast

Thursday, December 16, 2010
Time: 6:50 PM


City Council Minority Leader Tom Saadi speaks out on parade ordinance controversy

Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Time: 10:19 PM

Recently, I spoke with City Council Minority Leader Tom Saadi about the recent decision by Mark Boughton to dissolve the parade ordinance ad-hoc committee.

Although Mayor Boughton and Council President Joe Cavo promised in 2007 to form a committee to address the various concerns with the controversial ordinance, in the three and a half years of it's existence, the committee never met and this month, the mayor dissolve the ad-hoc and has left the legislation in tact.



In upcoming posts, I'll provide background information on this highly disturbing ordinance that infringes on Danbury resident's First Amendment right to assemble.

PARADE ORDINANCE CONTROVERSY CONTINUES: Boughton goes back on his word


Time: 6:33 PM



the dishonest one is at it again!!!


I noticed this little tidbit in the minutes of December's City Council meeting…and to say that this move from Mayor Boughton is outrageous is an understatement.

Parade_Ordinance_Sunset

That's right folks…Mayor Boughton just dissolved the ad-hoc committee that was assigned to fix the numerous problems with the parade ordinance…problems that the mayor and Council President Joe Cavo insisted would be addressed back when the ordinance was rammed through the council in what many considered a very dirty-handed manner.

It's been YEARS (3 and a half to be exact) since the parade ordinance was talked about so there is a GREAT deal of background that the public needs to refresh themselves with in order to truly understand the severity of Boughton's latest move. Luckily, I was on hand with my camera at City Hall back in 07 and videotaped every meeting that had to do with this ordinance as well as did some rather extensive blogging on the topic. For now, I'll try and keep things as simple as possible.

When the idiotic ordinance was passed, according to several people who witness the vote, Mayor Boughton and Council President Joe Cavo promised that an ad-hoc committee to fix the problems with the ordinance. Although the committee was formed, in the three and a half years of it's existence, the committee NEVER MET to address the problems with the ordinance.

What's the big deal you ask? Trust me, if you understood the ordinance, then you would consider this legislation a REAL BIG DEAL as it infringes on your first amendment right to assemble in public.

…okay, here's a small background (I promise I'll do this is MORE detail in a future post):

Back in 2007, as a result of the celebrations during the World Cup games of 2006, the city council drafted and passed a highly controversial piece of legislation which was aimed at regulating public assemblies.

The parade ordinance legislation was criticized by many who called the measure an attempt by the mayor to promote fear into groups that held rallies in opposition to the city's anti-immigrant policies (you can view a copy of the ordinance, as well as an explanation of the origins of the legislation by corporation counsel Rick Gottschalk, by clicking here).

Critics of the legislation also stated that the bill will have no effect of the spontaneous forms of expression seen during the 2006 games (which is protected free speech) and instead will infringe on people's right to assemble at public places. The ordinance makes it a requirement for organizers to obtain and fill out a parade ordinance application if the size of the crowd is more than 25 people AND interferes with vehicular or pedestrian traffic.

Here's part of the language:

Sec 11-15 (a):

Parade means any march, demonstration, procession, or motorcade, which the parade permit applicant believes will consist of more than twenty-five (25) persons, animals, or vehicles or a combination thereof upon the streets, sidewalks, parks or other public property owned by or under the control of the City of Danbury, for a common purpose as a result of prior planning that interferes with the normal flow of pedestrian or vehicular traffic upon said streets, sidewalks, parks, or other public property.


In laymans' terms, if you organize an even that has 25 or more people, AND it's on public property AND it interferes with vehicular or pedestrian traffic…you need to go to the police station and fill out a parade ordinance application. If you don't go to the police station and will out an application AND you know that the parade ordinance exists, the city can fine you 100.00 dollars.

What does that mean you ask? Well, if you plan an event (ANY EVENT) and it's on public property AND it interferes with the flow of pedestrian and vehicular traffic, you need fill out an parade ordinance application. Again, this goes WAY beyond parades and technically infringes on all forms of assembly. Think about all the forms of assembly that would fall under this ordinance…crazy huh?

Wait, it gets better!

In 2007, Boughton was questioned and put on the defensive by News-Times reporter Elizabeth Putnam about the ordinance and the origins of the legislation…and his response was laughable to say the least.



PUTNAM: Now the impetus for the parade ordinance however was impromptu celebrations, this does not really address that. Is there a way to address that?

BOUGHTON: I would disagree with that statement that it doesn't address that. I think this ordinance could be a better tool in the tool box in looking at impromptu celebrations. That wasn't the whole impetus, that was only part of the impetus and I'll explain why.

If you're talking about the parades after the World Cup game that were very controversial that happened in 2006, those are not impromptu parades. We spend a lot of time planning internally for those parades. If you know that is a World Cup game coming up on Sunday…the chief and I probably had two or three discussions/meetings about how many police officers we're going to bring in…and what type of enforcement activity we're going to have. So there is planning going on…

PUTNAM: …there's planning going on with your side…

BOUGHTON: …and there's planning going on their side as well. Those individuals know that when the game is over that they're going to be in the streets. We would take this ordinance, in addition to writing tickets for not being properly seatbealted and all the other issues that came up during that time period, we would also cite people for not having the proper permit for not being on Main Street if they're blocking traffic and/or holding up public safety vehicles so I think this is another tool in the toolbox to do that and I don't' necessarily agree with that statement that it won't do that.

Since this he utter this laughable statement regarding the origins of the ordinance, Boughton has flipped-flopped on his stance on the world cup celebrations not being impromptu events as well as the rationale of the ordinance in the first place…which I also videotaped.

A year after the passage of the ordinance, and the creation of the ad-hoc committee that to that date DIDN'T MEET, at a public forum I questioned Mayor Boughton about the status of the ordinance and the ad-hoc committee. In this never before seen video footage, take a look at the mayor's response.

Boughton on parade ordinance, public forum, mid 2008


BOUGHTON: …the bad news is we probably run up about 150,000 in police charges for all the parades and things that go on in the city…those numbers, they escalate quickly, so that's been a problem….there are other questions about the amount of people, and I think one of the things that we'll look is for recommendations from the chief [Al Baker] is "is this working, are you turning people down", I don't we ever turn someone down but the good news is that people have been really good about coming in and getting a permit so we've been able to organize…I'll talk to the committee chair and if there is a burning issue, I sure we can look into that

Now, by the mayor's OWN ADMISSION, the parade ordinance has costed the city of Danbury 150,000 thousands dollars…and that was back in 2008. Based on his own words, if you leap forward to 2010, that figure would be estimated at 450,000 ('08, '09, '10)…and that's on the low end.

Given the cost and the other problem with the ordinance (problems that the mayor admitted to your truly back in 2008), and the fact that he and Council Presdient Cavo PROMISED members of the committee that an ad-hoc committee would be formed to fix the problems with the ordinance, the question one should ask is simple: "Why did Boughton go back on his word?"

MUCH, MUCH, MUCH more later…

Anti-immigrant Hazelton forced to pay legal fees


Time: 2:33 PM

Remember that anti-immigrant legislation in Hazelton PA that xenophobes here in Danbury applauded? Well, while many know that the courts ruled that Hazelton's racist piece of garbage was unconstitutional, many might know what the latest events in the case.

For one, recently the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the lower court's ruling.
In a closely watched case with similarities to the challenges to Arizona's SB 1070 (partially enjoined by a district judge), the Third Circuit issued a 188 page opinion today. Upholding the district judge, the panel unanimously agreed that the two ordinances of Hazelton, Pennsylvania regulating immigration are pre-empted by the federal immigration scheme.

....then, the court ruled another blow to Hazelton.
Two weeks ago, a panel from the Third Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a District Court decision to require the City of Hazleton, PA, to pay $2.4 million in legal fees to Pedro Lozano, Casa Dominicana of Hazleton Inc., Hazleton Hispanic Business Association and the Pennsylvania Statewide Latino Coalition incurred when they challenged the constitutionality of certain Hazleton ordinances which in 2007 the Third Circuit had already found to be unconstitutional.

The ordinances in question sought to fine landlords for renting to undocumented aliens, deny businesses permits for employing undocumented aliens, and authorized the town to investigate the legal status of an employee or tenant upon the request of any citizen, business, or organization. Hazleton’s misguided efforts sought to curb an influx of potentially undocumented aliens, attributing an increase in crime and use of the town’s public services to those individuals. The Circuit Court had found that the town could not enact such ordinances as they were pre-empted by federal law.

In its most recent decision, the Third Circuit panel held that the town’s insurer was only required to cover decisions which awarded monetary damages, but not the $2.4 million in plaintiffs’ legal fees. In fact, plaintiffs were not seeking any monetary damages, and the insurer successfully argued that, according to definitions in the town’s insurance policy, the company should not be liable for legal fees. Hazleton’s city solicitor says the town plans to seek review of this decision by the US Supreme Court. The town is already in the process of petitioning the Supreme Court to review the decision that the ordinances are unconstitutional.

Two lessons can be learned from this case: (1) do not attempt to enact laws in the immigration space as they are pre-empted by existing federal law, and (2) review your municipality’s insurance policy to ensure that legal fees are covered in the event of this type of, or indeed any, lawsuit.

Food for thought as immigrant rights activists continue to keep a close eye on the anti-immigrant activities of Mayor Boughton and his bigoted ilk...

GUEST POST: Deficits, Delusions and Deceits


Time: 1:20 PM

From time to time, I had over the keys of the site and allow others to provide commentary on matters of interest. Guest poster I.C. Presumptive is no stranger to this site and his/her latest two part write-up is a gem.

I.C., the floor is yours.



Deficits, Delusions and Deceits

Part I


It goes without saying that to confront a problem you have to think about it. Fantasies are useless. The present political scene offers immense and numerous opportunities for worthwhile political thinking and discussion. They include disasters present or looming on an unprecedented scale, failures at home or abroad with the most obvious being the economic crash present, pending and still with us.

Unfortunately, too few want to face any of it. Public un-think and the clutching of fantasies are in vogue and rampant. Denial is as American as apple pie. Quite obviously because the American myth is one of constant success regardless of a history less satisfying. The fantasies so generated are not only useless, they are dangerous. For they divert attention from the depth and cause of the economic system’s disaster to mere surface errors and cover-ups. To avoid public recognition of this the system’s financial police assure us, as they always do in such crashes: “Move along folks, nothing to see here, nothing to worry about, the system is fine.” Not quite.

But they say the system is fine, even though everyone can see there are bodies thrown about, if not exactly lying in the streets, are nevertheless injured and surely desperate in their unemployed and de-housed seclusion. So everyone knows that the official assurances are rotgut, still many want to believe. They fear being next. As well they should because many of the civic protections have been removed. Besides which there is enormous cultural and historic pressure from the past in favor of crippled beliefs. More on this later.

There is also a major propaganda effort of deceit by the ‘toffs’ as the British call them, the well off who maintain that the economic system, the ‘market’ as they love to call it, is not only sound, efficient, productive, certainly rightful, is even sacred. Except that one of them, Paul Volker, the Federal Reserve chairman of some years ago says it is “broken.” He ought to know.

Call the propaganda effort one of spreading an economic ‘booze’ of explanations to fracture public thinking. Propped against all reality it does help to maintain legitimacy for the few. After all, the wealthy are in charge of the system through corporations and the Federal Reserve system. To admit their complicity and their culpability in its failures would not be good for their continued possession and governance of things economic. Failure here would disclose they do not govern for the people but for themselves. Order must be maintained. That is to say, the importance of persons in a class society must be so ordered as to maintain those on top in their positions, otherwise they always maintain, the rest of us wouldn’t know what to do or our place in doing it.

That ‘maintenance’ is not a matter of merely supporting the capitalist system but increasingly to protect the attempts to strengthen the position of wealth within that system so that the wealthy become even more the favored recipients of its largess. Congress does this all the time. Watch them. The Constitution originally structured it so, but congressional efforts over the last 30 to 40 years have made wealth holding the total rationale and focus for congressional as well as democratic existence. Whether they’ve sold out or been bought out, it comes to the same result. Far too few serve the people except as an afterthought or a peripheral concern. They mainly service their clients: corporations, wealth associations, money speculators and wealth holders of all stripes. Congressmen and now Congresswomen do so with such zeal that like the cartoon—they really should be required to wear the logos of their sponsors on their suits, like racecar drivers.

And so for too many Americans, delusions and mental escapism separate them as the reality of the desperate present spreads. Egged on by a Republican media army of organized, paid propagandists, many citizens take the bait—that the present is cause and all its agents harmful. The recent past is to be forgotten. It’s “history,” nothing of it is said to obtain. Nothing needs be remembered. The history of eight years of Bush-Cheney shoving the economy into the cesspool of a recession, by means of two wars and massive tax cuts is said to be mere detail, uninstructive and “history” besides.

Its purpose which was and is to destroy government as the Republican contriver Grover Norquist so thuggishly put it, to shrink government to where “we can drown it in the bathtub.” They not only tried but succeeded, driving out experienced hands and knowledge in the federal bureaucracy, substituting party hacks, incompetents and loyalists (to Bush) of all sizes and types as the Emergency Management response to Katrina and the Minerals Management Service to the oil spill are exhibits A and A plus.

The never look back attitude claims Obama is now and only his faults of the past two years are said to be overwhelming and controlling. Besides, he’s not a real American which means he’s not a pink-white, suffocating bootlicker of the business class. No picking and choosing here, no searching for real causes or solutions, the manufactured hysteria is to vacate, annihilate, wipe the slate clean. Even more the solution is said to be not to think but emote. Get angry, scream and yell, which in itself is not that bad, but to refuse to think so that the anger is pointed in the proper direction with decent values attached—that is unconscionable. To obtain a picture of the archetype of such action that the nay sayers like, pay attention to the Republican candidate for governor of New York, Carl P. Paladino.

There in human form appears the nearly totally unbalanced, political lunatic tending toward nihilism. Present government, he says, is so bad; destruction is not only thinkable but desirable. His solution, he promises, is to make it happen. The solution to any problem he believes is to foment, yell, bully, especially bully, and encourage citizens to do the same. It avoids any effort of discovery which might cast light on the identity of the perpetrators of which he is, of course, one. The ‘perp’ in his case as it was in George W. Bush and Dick Cheney’s, is to create a successful diversion of fiction so that attention is diverted away from their own focused, piling up of wealth while the citizenry wither. They claim they must be allowed this condition of opportunities because somehow, in some undescribed way, their money pile will benefit us all.

VIDEO: Council approve sell of city owned property to Union Savings Bank

Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Time: 8:02 PM

Last night, members of the Danbury City Council approved the selling of the old police headquarters, and tow buildings (one across the street from the old station at 116 Main Street and one on 6 Boughton Street) to Union Savings Bank.

The 2.3 million dollar deal paves the way for Union Savings and a second partner (Connecticut Institute for Communities Inc) to build a new branch, community health center, a senior housing at the locations given that certain conditions are met.

From last night, here's video footage of the deliberation of the transaction between the city council and representatives for Union Savings Bank and the Connecticut Institute for Communities Inc.


LOCAL ACCESS VIDEO: The Marty Heiser Show 12.09.10 broadcast

Sunday, December 12, 2010
Time: 3:53 PM


© 2013 Hat City Blog | READ, WATCH, AND LEARN.
No part of the content or the blog may be reproduced without prior written permission.
PEOPLE-POWERED MEDIA.

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On September 26, 2007, ten plaintiffs filed suit in response to an arrest of aday laborers at a public park in Danbury, Connecticut. Plaintiffs amended their complaint on November 26, 2007.

The amended complaint states that plaintiffs sought to remedy the continued discriminatory and unauthorized enforcement of federal immigration laws against the Latino residents of the City of Danbury by Danbury's mayor and its police department.

Plaintiffs allege that the arrests violated their Fourth Amendment rights and the Connecticut Constitution because defendants conducted the arrests without valid warrants, in the absence of exigent circumstances, and without probable cause to believe that plaintiffs were engaged in unlawful activity. In addition, plaintiffs allege that defendants improperly stopped, detained, investigated, searched and arrested plaintiffs. Plaintiffs also allege that defendants violated their Fourteenth Amendment rights when they intentionally targeted plaintiffs, and arrested and detained them on the basis of their race, ethnicity and perceived national origin. Plaintiffs raise First Amendment, Due Process and tort claims.

Plaintiffs request declaratory relief, damages and attorneys fees.

CLICK HERE TO READ/DOWNLOAD MAYOR BOUGHTON'S DEPOSITION

CLICK HERE TO READ/DOWNLOAD MIKE McLACHLAN (then MAYOR CHIEF OF STAFF) DEPOSITION

Danbury Area Coalition for the Rights of Immigrants v.
U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security
3:06-cv-01992-RNC ( D. Conn. )

(02.25.08) Court docket

(10.24.07) Memorandum in Opposition to Defendant's Emergency Motion for Protective Order

(09.26.07) Press Release

(12.14.06) Complaint


Barrera v. Boughton, No. 07-01436
(D. Conn. filed Sept. 26, 2007)

(02.25.08) Court Docket

Amended complaint

Defendants' Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Subject Matter Jurisdiction

Defendants' Motion to Dismiss State Law Claims

Plaintiffs' Opposition to Motion to Dismiss

Order on Motion to Dismiss

Defendants' Answer to Amended Complaint

NEW HAVEN REGISTER: Immigrant's 2006 arrest was flawed Danbury mayor testifies

(10.05.07 (VIDEO) Boughton mislead the public about Danbury's involvement in raid

(09.18.07) Yale Law Students expose Danbury involvement in raid

(12.14.06) VIDEO: Interview with Yale Law Students at FOI presser

(12.14.06) VIDEO: Danbury 11 FOI complaint media roundup

City Clerk Jean Natale standing next to skinhead sparks outrage

(10.03.06) VIDEO: Danbury 11 rally

(09.29.06) VIDEO: Danbury 11 case deepens

Word of raid spread across the country

(09/29/06) VIDEO: Danbury 11 protest news conference

(09/29/06) Immigrant newspaper "El Canillita" gives best account of ICE day labor raid at Kennedy Park


Politics_Over_People
View Boughton's campaign finance statements from 2001-present (COMING SOON)

When questioned, Boughton fails to address the issue of anti-immigrant racism in Danbury

City admits mistakes in firefighter lawsuit, taxpayers forced to pay 450K settlement, and Boughton offers no comment, no details of accountability

READ allegations of wrongdoing by Boughton filed by the plaintiffs

Boughton misleads public about World Cup games "spontaneous" celebrations for FOUR years

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MARK BOUGHTON'S TICKING TIME BOMB

DOWNLOAD AND ANALYZE MARK BOUGHTON'S ELECTION AND PAC FINANCE REPORTS

Why won't Boughton give back Galante money?

Boughton contributor goes to jail

Fairfield Weekly questions Boughton's honesty

Hatrford Courant's Stan Smith not believing Boughton

Connecting the dots

Boughton-Galante connection established


APPEAL HEARING: 10/21/14 @ 09:30 AM

Directions to Litchfield Court House

Decision Day: GUILTY!

Day Ten: Moving forward

Day Nine: DNA

Day Eight: The seven trillion dollar man

Day Seven: Jury Trial

Day Six: Motions denied

Day Five: Endless subpoenas and bizarre motions to dismiss

Day Three/Four: He's competent!

Day Two: Excuses, excuses

Day One: Strange behavior, disturbing arrest warrant affidavit

McGowan arrested, charged with first-degree sexual assault


Read the full report on
the gross incompetence of
City Clerk Jean Natale

Watch Jean Natale's misleading, questionable, and outrageous testimony in front of the charter revision commission

Natale moonlighting during City Hall business hours

Republcian Common Council member claim City Clerk of being "racially motivated" in the Hispanic Center ad-hoc committee case

Danbury News-Times editorial criticizes City Clerk "racially motivated" involvement in Hispanic Center ad-hoc committee case

Photo of City Clerk standing next to skinhead holding anti-immigrant death threat sign

Public complains that the City Clerk is never available in her office / spends most of her time in the Registrar of Voters office

City Clerk confronts and yells at her critics at City Hall

Transcript of Minority Leader Tom Saadi criticizing Jean Natale's performance.

Freedom of Informaiton ruling on a complaint filed against Jean Natale.


Elise_Deer Highlighting the disturbing mind of a hate group leader and her xenophobic followers...

Exposing lies from Marciano regarding death threat made against yours truly

VIDEO: Marcaino shows her anti-Muslim side

I'm an AMERICAN!!!!!

MORE TO COME!!!

TOM "Big(o)T BENNETT HAS ONLY HIMSELF
TO BLAME



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Screen shot 2009-11-30 at 5.12.04 PM 2010 CTTF: Common Council debate

2010 CTFF: Funding ad hoc committee #2

2010 CTFF: Funding ad hoc committee meeting #1

2009 CTFF: Common Council funding debate

2009 CTFF: Funding ad hoc committee meeting

OPENING NIGHT 2008

LOCAL ACCESS: Roundtable discussion on '08 CTFF