Civil Rights

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The New Hampshire Attorney General's Office has released new protocols for how police departments should handle hate crimes.

The aim is to help law enforcement better identify and report hate crimes and civil rights violations in New Hampshire.

Bias incidents and hate crimes are underreported nationwide each year. According to a press release from the Attorney General's office, 48 departments in the state did not submit any information to the FBI related to hate crimes in 2017.

Ali Oshinskie for NHPR

A judge says a man who threatened to kill a transgender woman at a Planet Fitness in Nashua last March violated New Hampshire's Civil Rights Act. The verdict is one of the first for the state's new Civil Rights Unit.

On Friday, Marc Bernier was ordered by a judge to pay a fine of $500, to not enter the Planet Fitness in Nashua, to not come within 250 feet of the victim, and to not violate the Civil Rights Act again. If Bernier violates the terms of the injunction, the fine will increase to $3,000 and he could face criminal charges.

Sara Ernst

A Superior Court judge heard testimony Thursday in the case of a Nashua man accused of threatening a transgender woman.  The case is being pursued by the Civil Rights Unit at the New Hampshire Attorney General's Office.

Hate rhetoric online has been linked to several recent incidents of mass violence in the United States and internationally. But even when this kind of speech doesn't lead to physical harm, it is damanging to the targeted group and the wider community. We look at how hateful language has impacted people over time, and what our legal system says. 

Ali Oshinskie / NHPR

The New Hampshire Attorney General's office released a 25-page report Wednesday summarizing its investigation into a high-profile attack involving children in Claremont in 2017.

 

The report revolves around the events of August 28, 2017, when a group of 13 and 14 year olds were accused of tying a rope around an 8-year-old biracial boy's neck and pushing him off a picnic table, leading to serious injuries.

Todd Bookman / NHPR

A Jackson hotel employee who was accused of violating the state’s Civil Rights Act has been fined and will pay restitution to her two victims.

Priscillla Protasowicki was accused of using force to remove two guests from her family's hotel on the basis of their religion and perceived national origin.  As part of a resolution agreement with the Attorney General, she will pay them $85, the cost of the room she had refused to refund.

Daniel S. Hurd via Flickr CC

 

A bill to prohibit discrimination in New Hampshire's public schools passed its first test in the House today along mostly partisan lines.

Democrats say it will close a loophole in the state's anti-discrimination laws by allowing students who alleges discrimination to bring their case against a school in local courts.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

 

Proposed legislation to prohibit discrimination in New Hampshire's public schools is gaining momentum.

The House Education Committee voted Tuesday to approve a bill that would allow any student who alleges discrimination to bring a case against a school or school district in the local courts.

File Photo, NHPR

 

State senators will hear testimony Monday on a bill that would prohibit discrimination in New Hampshire's public schools.

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One of the state’s leading civil rights voices died over the weekend, just days before the holiday he helped enshrine.

Reverend Arthur Hilson, a retired Navy veteran, served as the longtime pastor at New Hope Baptist Church in Portsmouth. 

Robert Garrova for NHPR

After holding 14 listening sessions across New Hampshire, Governor Sununu's Advisory Council on Diversity and Inclusion has released a preliminary list of recommendations aimed at increasing equity in the state.

 

Among the six recommendations (you can read them all here) is a call to increase money for diversity training in schools.

Todd Bookman / NHPR

 

A New Hampshire court is ordering an inn manager accused of shoving a couple she thought were Muslim after getting into a dispute over a refund not to threaten anyone based on their religion.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

A Jackson woman accused of a hate crime says her actions inside a hotel lobby had nothing to do with the alleged victims’ religion.

In a preliminary hearing on Friday in Carroll County Superior Court, Priscilla Protasowicki told Judge Amy Ignatius, “I have no problem with their national origin, their religion. I have absolutely no issue with that.”

NHPR Photo

A woman from Jackson, New Hampshire, is being accused of a hate crime for allegedly assaulting two people in an effort to remove them from her family's business because of their religion and perceived national origin.

Priscilla Protasowicki, 32, was indicted on two counts of simple assault following an incident at the Covered Bridge Riverview Lodge in April.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The state senate passed a bill on Wednesday that would create legal protections for transgender people in New Hampshire. 

The bill would add gender identity to the state’s existing anti-discrimination laws.

It earlier passed in the House and on Wednesday in the Senate by a margin of 14-10.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Governor Chris Sununu announced in December a new advisory council focusing on diversity and inclusion.

The council will present the governor with recommendations on how New Hampshire can improve equity in the state, including on issues of race, gender, age and disability.

Morning Edition Host Rick Ganley spoke with Rogers Johnson who will chair the council.


Robert Garrova for NHPR

Dozens of supporters of what’s known as the “Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival” delivered a letter to the office of New Hampshire Senate President Chuck Morse Monday, calling out what the group sees as an unfair tax system and unequal access to education, among other things.   

 

Representatives with the Campaign filed into the State House Monday morning, singing the spiritual “We Shall Overcome.”

 

NHPR File Photo

 

Governor Chris Sununu has announced the members of a new advisory council on diversity and inclusion.

 

The council includes representatives of state agencies, the university system, the ACLU, law enforcement, and others.

 

The group will be chaired by Rogers Johnson of the NAACP.

 

Sununu announced the creation of the council in December, following several high profile incidents of racial bias around the state.

 

The council's first meeting is scheduled for Feb. 8.

The full list of membership is below.

On MLK Day, Sununu Urges Support for Community Forums

Jan 16, 2018
Britta Greene / NHPR

Speaking at a Martin Luther King Jr. event in Manchester, Governor Chris Sununu urged New Hampshire residents to add their voice to community forums in the coming months.

 

He pointed to his administration’s new council on diversity and inclusion, as well as a new Civil Rights Unit established within the Attorney General’s Office.

 

 

Britta Greene / NHPR

A new Civil Rights Unit in the New Hampshire Department of Justice shines a spotlight on the need for greater diversity and inclusion. Gov. Chris Sununu's announcement this week follows months of news reports about racial incidents, from Claremont to Durham and the University of New Hampshire.

Tackling the state's workforce issues

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

  Gov. Chris Sununu just made two announcements on equity issues at the state level. The state Department of Justice is launching a new civil rights unit. And the governor is forming a new advisory council on diversity and inclusion.

 

Peter Biello, host of All Things Considered, speaks with Andrew Smith, who will be involved in the new state efforts. Smith works in the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services. He works with groups in New Hampshire after racial incidents occur.

 

Britta Greene / NHPR

The New Hampshire Department of Justice is launching a new Civil Rights Unit to strengthen its enforcement of anti-discrimination law. The move is one of two equity and inclusion efforts announced by Gov. Chris Sununu on Thursday.

The city of Manchester is paying $275,000 to settle a civil lawsuit after a man was arrested for taking a video recording of police.

The ACLU of New Hampshire brought the civil rights case on behalf of Alfredo Valentin, who was arrested in March of 2015 after using his phone to record the actions of Manchester police in a public space. Though Valentin did not interfere with the police activities, officers arrested and charged him with criminal wiretapping.

On today's show: 

6.1.17: Civics 101, Pauli Murray, & the WNBA

Jun 1, 2017
Rich Renomeron via flickr Creative Commons / https://flic.kr/p/hCwQwk

On today's show:

splityarn via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/6m2iYw

In the late 1960s, the Black Panther Party made racial pride a rallying point for social justice and arming citizens against police brutality - and was targeted by the FBI. So was the Puerto Rican nationalist party called the Young Lords. Today, we look back the little known activist movement strongly influenced by feminist ideals and the Latina experience.

Plus, want information? Google it. But try Googling: "is the Holocaust real?" and you'll be led to a barrage of Holocaust denial. We'll dig into why even when the facts are indisputable, finding truth online is not guaranteed.

8.17.16: The Man With Made-Up Memories & Blood Brother

Aug 17, 2016

Dr . Martin Luther King Jr, Emmit Till, Medgar Evers  -  many sacrificed their lives during America's struggle  for civil rights. So did Jonathan Daniels, a white student from New Hampshire.Today, the authors of a new biography dig into Daniels' life and activism.

Plus, what makes up a memory? For years, filing cabinets or computer folders were used as metaphors for how our brains store and retrieve memories - the truth is a lot less reliable. One man's near-death experience reveals a lot about how and what we remember.

Ben Beltran via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/7uuhG8

In the 1968 Olympic games, American sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos stood on the medal stand - with the eyes of the world upon them - and raised their fists to the sky. Today, John Carlos talks about athletic activism today and the force of that protest nearly fifty years ago.

Plus, the multi-million dollar industry of suffering. A filmmaker explores why people pay money to grind through obstacle courses races through mud, icy ponds and electric shocks? Are we primitive beings taking flight from desk jobs? Or does running through fire just make for a better Facebook post?

What Protest Songs Sound Like in 2016

Jan 12, 2016
Nicholas Balanon via flickr Creative Commons / https://flic.kr/p/rCWAPk

Nina Simone, along with Sam Cooke, Bob Dylan, Pete Seeger and countless others made important contributions to the rich canon of protest songs during the civil rights movement. A canon so strong, that the term "protest song" often conjures images of artists from the 1960s.

11.11.15: Veterans Day

Nov 11, 2015
kataaca via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/t5FiQK

Since World War II, as many as 100,000 service members have been “less than honorably discharged” for being gay. Now, four years after the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” gay vets look to change the record. Today, what goes into rewriting history. And prior to the Civil War, images of battle were the stuff of legends and mystery – then came the photographs of Alexander Gardner. Plus, other stories about our nation’s veterans. 

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