Israeli settlers are trying to evict Palestinian families from homes in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah. “Since 1967,” says Amnesty International, “it has been the policy of successive Israeli governments to promote the creation and expansion of Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories” (Amnesty International).
According to the ACLU, 11% of U.S. citizens – or more than 21 million Americans – do not have government-issued photo identification (ACLU). Much of the conversation around the need for IDs revolves around voting, driven by the rise of legislation that states across the country are implementing that include stricter identification requirements (NPR). Marginalized groups, including those disabled, the elderly population, and people of color, are less likely to have identification than the general population, which means their voices are minimized in elections. But beyond that, the identification gap causes many issues for people across the country, particularly during COVID-19.
Despite the strong evidence, the GOP has continued to rail against these protests by proposing legislation to prevent citizens from utilizing their constitutional right to protest. In the 2021 legislative session, 81 anti-protest bills have been introduced in 34 states – twice as many as previous years. Often veiled as “anti-riot” bills, these statements exacerbate the hateful rhetoric that demonstrations against police brutality and violence are an act of violence in themselves (NYT).
The U.S. positions itself as a just country with a superior legal system where people are always considered innocent until proven guilty and always granted the right to a trial before a jury of their peers. Except this isn’t true at all. Despite the promise of the Sixth Amendment, we do not have an effective right to trial because today, the overwhelming majority of cases will never see a judge.