ALAA Roots — An Unofficial Site

April 27, 2005

2005.04.27: Antiwar Bulletin: May Day — Bring the Troops Home Now

Filed under: Antiwar,Uncategorized — nyclaw01 @ 11:23 am
Tags:

From: Michael Letwin
Sent: Wednesday, April 27, 2005 1:15 PM
To: 1199 Members; ALAA MEMBERS
Subject: Antiwar Bulletin: May Day — Bring the Troops Home Now

RALLY on MAY DAY
MAY 1 — INTERNATIONAL WORKERS’ DAY

BRING the TROOPS HOME NOW
JOBS WITH A LIVING WAGE FOR ALL

1:00 pm Union Square, NYC
#4, 5, 6, R, Q, N, L train to 14 St., Union Square

SPONSORS:
NY Area MILLION WORKER MARCH

For information contact: Brenda Stokely, President of DC 1707 75 Varick St. 212.219.0022 and Chris Silvera, Secretary/Treasurer Local 808 IBT, 22-43 Jackson Ave. LIC, Qns. NY 718.389.1900 Ext. 21

TROOPS OUT NOW COALITION 39 W. 14th St. #206, NYC ? 212.633.6646 ?www.troopsOUTnow.org

April 20, 2005

2005.04.21: Antiwar Bulletin: 4.21 — Support the Right to Protest on May 1

Filed under: Antiwar,Civil Liberties,Uncategorized — nyclaw01 @ 8:11 am
Tags:

From: Michael Letwin
Sent: Wednesday, April 20, 2005 12:14 PM
To: 1199 Members; ALAA MEMBERS
Subject: Antiwar Bulletin: 4.21 — Support the Right to Protest on May 1

Support the Right to March in New York City

Emergency Demonstration Thursday, April 21 1:00 pm City Hall
The Bloomberg Administration has refused a permit for the May Day
March organized by the Troops Out Now Coalition and the Million Worker
March. The march, which is expected to draw thousands of people from
all over the region, will begin with a 1:00 pm rally in Union Square.
In a Tuesday morning meeting between march organizers and police
officials at Manhattan South, Assistant Chief Bruce Smolka told
organizers that they would not allow a march anywhere, any distance,
on any route, on May Day.

Last year, organizers with the Million Worker March issued a call for
a unified May Day demonstration in New York City. Since that time,
both the Million Worker March and the Troops Out Now Coalition, a
group of labor, antiwar and community activists, have been planning
for a rally in Union Square, followed by a march. Organizers applied
for a permit in November of last year, which gave the city ample time
to prepare.

Now, less than two weeks before the march, the Bloomberg
Administration has said they will refuse to issue a permit for any
march from Union Square. This is part of a pattern of illegal and
unconstitutional political repression directed at antiwar activists
and working people.

Two years ago, when millions of people all over the world marched
against the war, the Mayor refused to allow a march in New York City.
During the Republican National Convention, he refused to allow a
peaceful rally in Central Park. Throughout the week of the
Convention, the Bloomberg Administration and the NYPD engaged in
illegal mass arrests and detentions. In prosecuting those arrested,
they used perjured testimony and altered videotape to press fabricated
charges.

Our basic rights–the right to free speech, the right to assemble, the
right to express dissenting political views–are under attack. Please
join us to defend these rights. Call, fax, or email Mayor Bloomberg
and tell him you support the right to march on May Day. Then join us
for an emergency demonstration on Thursday at 1:00 pm at City Hall.

Working people have the right to speak out and to march for better
wages, for education, for healthcare, and against the war–especially
on May Day, which is International Workers Day.

The permitted rally in Union Square is scheduled to go ahead as
planned, and organizers are determined to exercise their right to march.
****
What you can do:

***********************
Contact Mayor Bloomberg
***********************

Phone: (212) 788-3000
Fax: (212) 788-2460
E-Mail: http://www.nyc.gov/html/mail/html/mayor.html
*************
Call the NYPD
*************

Nicolas Estavillo, Chief of Patrol for NYC
Phone: 646-610-6734
***************************************************
Join us for an emergency demonstration at City Hall
***************************************************
Thursday, April 21, 1:00 pm
****************************
Donate to help with expenses
****************************
http://www.troopsoutnow.org/donate.html
http://www.TroopsOutNow.org

April 12, 2005

2005.04.12: Lying Cops on Video

Filed under: Antiwar,Civil Liberties,Criminal Justice,Police Abuse — nyclaw01 @ 1:34 pm
Tags:

From: Michael Letwin
Sent: Tuesday, April 12, 2005 3:32 PM
To: 1199 Members; ALAA MEMBERS
Subject: Lying Cops on Video

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/12/nyregion/12video.html?ex=1113969600&en=5812f5b94d182e11&ei=5070
The New York Times
April 12, 2005
Videos Challenge Accounts of Convention Unrest By JIM DWYER

Dennis Kyne put up such a fight at a political protest last summer, the arresting officer recalled, it took four police officers to haul him down the steps of the New York Public Library and across Fifth Avenue.

“We picked him up and we carried him while he squirmed and screamed,” the officer, Matthew Wohl, testified in December. “I had one of his legs because he was kicking and refusing to walk on his own.”

Accused of inciting a riot and resisting arrest, Mr. Kyne was the first of the 1,806 people arrested in New York last summer during the Republican National Convention to take his case to a jury. But one day after Officer Wohl testified, and before the defense called a single witness, the prosecutor abruptly dropped all charges.

During a recess, the defense had brought new information to the prosecutor. A videotape shot by a documentary filmmaker showed Mr. Kyne agitated but plainly walking under his own power down the library steps, contradicting the vivid account of Officer Wohl, who was nowhere to be seen in the pictures. Nor was the officer seen taking part in the arrests of four other people at the library against whom he signed complaints.

A sprawling body of visual evidence, made possible by inexpensive, lightweight cameras in the hands of private citizens, volunteer observers and the police themselves, has shifted the debate over precisely what happened on the streets during the week of the convention.

For Mr. Kyne and 400 others arrested that week, video recordings provided evidence that they had not committed a crime or that the charges against them could not be proved, according to defense lawyers and prosecutors.

Among them was Alexander Dunlop, who said he was arrested while going to pick up sushi.

Last week, he discovered that there were two versions of the same police tape: the one that was to be used as evidence in his trial had been edited at two spots, removing images that showed Mr. Dunlop behaving peacefully. When a volunteer film archivist found a more complete version of the tape and gave it to Mr. Dunlop’s lawyer, prosecutors immediately dropped the charges and said that a technician had cut the material by mistake.

Seven months after the convention at Madison Square Garden, criminal charges have fallen against all but a handful of people arrested that week. Of the 1,670 cases that have run their full course, 91 percent ended with the charges dismissed or with a verdict of not guilty after trial. Many were dropped without any finding of wrongdoing, but also without any serious inquiry into the circumstances of the arrests, with the Manhattan district attorney’s office agreeing that the cases should be “adjourned in contemplation of dismissal.”

So far, 162 defendants have either pleaded guilty or were convicted after trial, and videotapes that bolstered the prosecution’s case played a role in at least some of those cases, although prosecutors could not provide details.

Besides offering little support or actually undercutting the prosecution of most of the people arrested, the videotapes also highlight another substantial piece of the historical record: the Police Department’s tactics in controlling the demonstrations, parades and rallies of hundreds of thousands of people were largely free of explicit violence.

Throughout the convention week and afterward, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said that the police issued clear warnings about blocking streets or sidewalks, and that officers moved to arrest only those who defied them. In the view of many activists – and of many people who maintain that they were passers-by and were swept into dragnets indiscriminately thrown over large groups – the police strategy appeared to be designed to sweep them off the streets on technical grounds as a show of force.

“The police develop a narrative, the defendant has a different story, and the question becomes, how do you resolve it?” said Eileen Clancy, a member of I-Witness Video, a project that assembled hundreds of videotapes shot during the convention by volunteers for use by defense lawyers.

Paul J. Browne, a police spokesman, said that videotapes often do not show the full sequence of events, and that the public should not rush to criticize officers simply because their recollections of events are not consistent with a single videotape. The Manhattan district attorney’s office is reviewing the testimony of Officer Wohl at the request of Lewis B. Oliver Jr., the lawyer who represented Mr. Kyne in his arrest at the library.

The Police Department maintains that much of the videotape that has surfaced since the convention captured what Mr. Browne called the department’s professional handling of the protests and parades. “My guess is that people who saw the police restraint admired it,” he said.

Video is a useful source of evidence, but not an easy one to manage, because of the difficulties in finding a fleeting image in hundreds of hours of tape. Moreover, many of the tapes lack index and time markings, so cuts in the tape are not immediately apparent.

That was a problem in the case of Mr. Dunlop, who learned that his tape had been altered only after Ms. Clancy found another version of the same tape. Mr. Dunlop had been accused of pushing his bicycle into a line of police officers on the Lower East Side and of resisting arrest, but the deleted parts of the tape show him calmly approaching the police line, and later submitting to arrest without apparent incident.

A spokeswoman for the district attorney, Barbara Thompson, said the material had been cut by a technician in the prosecutor’s office. “It was our mistake,” she said. “The assistant district attorney wanted to include that portion” because she initially believed that it supported the charges against Mr. Dunlop. Later, however, the arresting officer, who does not appear on the video, was no longer sure of the specifics in the complaint against Mr. Dunlop.

In what appeared to be the most violent incident at the convention protests, video shot by news reporters captured the beating of a man on a motorcycle – a police officer in plainclothes – and led to the arrest of one of those involved, Jamal Holiday. After eight months in jail, he pleaded guilty last month to attempted assault, a low-level felony that will be further reduced if he completes probation. His lawyer, Elsie Chandler of the Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem, said that videos had led to his arrest, but also provided support for his claim that he did not realize the man on the motorcycle was a police officer, reducing the severity of the offense.

Mr. Browne, the police spokesman, said that despite many civilians with cameras who were nearby when the officer was attacked, none of the material was turned over to police trying to identify the assailants. Footage from a freelance journalist led police to Mr. Holiday, he said.

In the bulk of the 400 cases that were dismissed based on videotapes, most involved arrests at three places – 16th Street near Union Square, 17th Street near Union Square and on Fulton Street – where police officers and civilians taped the gatherings, said Martin R. Stolar, the president of the New York City chapter of the National Lawyers Guild. Those tapes showed that the demonstrators had followed the instructions of senior officers to walk down those streets, only to have another official order their arrests.

Ms. Thompson of the district attorney’s office said, “We looked at videos from a variety of sources, and in a number of cases, we have moved to dismiss.”

April 6, 2005

2005.04.06: Thurs., 5/7: 1199 Health Care Rally

Filed under: Austerity and Budget Cuts,Labor Solidarity — nyclaw01 @ 1:58 pm

From: Michael Letwin
Sent: Wednesday, April 06, 2005 1:58 PM
To: ALAA MEMBERS
Subject: Thurs., 5/7: 1199 Health Care Rally

TENS OF THOUSANDS TO RALLY APRIL 7:

“PROTECT OUR PATIENTS, SAVE NEW YORK HEALTHCARE”

11 a.m., 36th & Broadway

Tens of thousands of healthcare workers and supporters will rally in eight cities across New York State on Thursday, April 7, to defend their patients and their institutions from severe cuts in the proposed state budget.

The proposed cuts amount to nearly $3 billion, largely in Medicaid funding upon which the state’s nursing homes and homecare agencies are totally dependent. Large academic medical centers, the crown jewels of New York’s healthcare system, face cuts of up to $40 million each. Family Health Plus, the insurance program covering the state’s working poor, would also be hit hard.

Dennis Rivera, President of 1199SEIU, New York’s Healthcare Union which is organizing the April 7th rallies, said, “These demonstrations are called to show the Governor and the Legislature that New Yorkers in their great majority want to save our great healthcare system. We believe it is essential to protect our frail elderly, our millions of uninsured New Yorkers, and our sick and injured children.”

Details:

<http://www.endcuts.net/>

<http://www.1199seiu.org/>

2005.04.06: Correction: Thurs., 4/7: 1199 Health Care Rally

Filed under: Labor Solidarity — nyclaw01 @ 1:35 pm
Tags:

From: Michael Letwin
Sent: Wednesday, April 06, 2005 2:22 PM
To: ALAA MEMBERS
Subject: Correction: Thurs., 4/7: 1199 Health Care Rally

TENS OF THOUSANDS TO RALLY APRIL 7:
“PROTECT OUR PATIENTS, SAVE NEW YORK HEALTHCARE”

11 a.m., 36th & Broadway

Tens of thousands of healthcare workers and supporters will rally in eight cities across New York State on Thursday, April 7, to defend their patients and their institutions from severe cuts in the proposed state budget.

The proposed cuts amount to nearly $3 billion, largely in Medicaid funding upon which the state’s nursing homes and homecare agencies are totally dependent. Large academic medical centers, the crown jewels of New York’s healthcare system, face cuts of up to $40 million each. Family Health Plus, the insurance program covering the state’s working poor, would also be hit hard.

Dennis Rivera, President of 1199SEIU, New York’s Healthcare Union which is organizing the April 7th rallies, said, “These demonstrations are called to show the Governor and the Legislature that New Yorkers in their great majority want to save our great healthcare system. We believe it is essential to protect our frail elderly, our millions of uninsured New Yorkers, and our sick and injured children.”

Details:
<http://www.endcuts.net/&gt;
<http://www.1199seiu.org/&gt;

April 5, 2005

2005.04.05: Response to Allman Decision

Filed under: Contempt,Criminal Justice,Indigent Defense — nyclaw01 @ 11:46 am
Tags:

From: Steven Terry
Sent: Tuesday, April 05, 2005 2:43 PM
To: 1199 Members; ALAA MEMBERS
Subject: Response to Allman Decision

To the Editor:

As the attorney who filed the complaint to the Judicial Commission against Judge Allman, I am disappointed, but certainly not surpirsed by the Commission’s decision. Notwithstanding his apologies, Judge Allman’s tenure on the bench has been marked by a profound arrogance and abuse of power towards lawyers and their clients, the overwhelming majority of whom are poor Blacks and Latinos.

I work for the Legal Aid Society and am proud to do so. If I worked for a “white shoe” law firm and my client that day had been well-off, white, and well-connected, Judge Allman would never have behaved the way he did. That is the crux of the issue, and, as usual, that is what is being sadly ignored.

Steve Terry

April 1, 2005

2005.04.01: Sunday: Lynne Stewart @ Riverside Church

From: Michael Letwin
Sent: Friday, April 01, 2005 1:45 PM
To: 1199 Members; ALAA MEMBERS
Subject: Sunday: Lynne Stewart @ Riverside Church

Lynne Stewart @ Riverside Church

Sun, 04/03/2005 – 1:00pm

Lynne Stewart and her lawyer will discuss her recent case in terms of the ramifications for defense lawyers and civil liberties in this era of war and terrorism.

Series sponsored by Global Justice & Peace Ministries & Call to Action Coalition at The Riverside Church.

For more information, call 212.870.6853

Where: Riverside Church, Room 9T

The Riverside Church

490 Riverside Drive

New YorK, New York 10027

The Riverside Church is located on Manhattan’s Upper West Side near Columbia University. The church covers a two-block area extending from Riverside Drive to Claremont Avenue and between 120th Street and 122nd Street. (120th Street is also named Reinhold Niebuhr Place.) The Claremont Avenue entrance (91 Claremont Avenue) is open daily from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

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