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Monday, June 24, 2024

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America's 'Radical Elders' continue their work for fairness, justice; SCOTUS upholds law disarming domestic abusers; Workplace adoption benefits help families, communities; Report examines barriers to successful post-prison re-entry in NC.

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A congresswoman celebrates Biden protections for mixed status families, Louisiana's Ten Commandments law faces an inevitable legal challenge, and a senator moves to repeal the strict 19th century anti-obscenity and anti-abortion Comstock Act.

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A Minnesota town claims the oldest rural Pride Festival while rural educators say they need support to teach kids social issues, rural businesses can suffer when dollar stores come to town and prairie states like South Dakota are getting help to protect grasslands.

Virginia groups show support for ongoing college protests

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Monday, May 13, 2024   

Some Virginia groups are choosing to offer support to pro-Palestine student protestors.

Recent weeks have seen more than 100 arrests of protestors on Virginia college campuses. Many are demanding their schools stop investing in companies supporting Israel in its war in Gaza, although critics point out it would be more difficult than many people assume.

LaTwyla Matthias, executive director of Progress Virginia, said along with knowing their rights, protestors can stay safe in many ways.

"Don't talk to the police without an attorney present," Matthias outlined. "Make sure that they have food, water, medication, in case they do get detained or arrested; make sure that they're wearing a mask because we've been getting reports of gassing."

The Southwest Virginia Young Democrats have asked people to contribute to a fund for bail for protestors who are arrested. Gov. Glenn Youngkin has said he supports peaceful protests, but stressed that encampments and intimidation of Jewish students on college campuses won't be tolerated.

A report from a nonprofit group tracking armed conflicts and events shows most student protests since the Israel-Hamas war began last October have been peaceful. Only since April have protests involving students outnumbered those of other groups.

Matthias voiced concerns school administrators are not doing enough to ensure students' First Amendment rights, especially when they call in law enforcement. She thinks they should take a different approach.

"They should be cultivating an environment where the students can protest and speak their minds," Matthias asserted. "The students are in the care of the university that they attend so they really should be protecting the students from harassment and intimidation."

In Congress, U.S. House members are asking college and university presidents to testify before the chamber's Education and Workforce Committee on their handling of protests. So far, the presidents of Yale, the University of California-Los Angeles and the University of Michigan have been called before Congress.


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The 2024 Summer U.S. Conference of Mayors in Kansas City, Mo., will be under the leadership of its president, Mayor Hillary Schieve of Reno, Nev., and host Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas.
(SeanPavonePhoto/Adobe Stock)

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