ALAA Roots — An Unofficial Site

March 26, 2007

2007.03.26: Re: LAS Staff Statement for Sean Bell

From: Susan Morris
Sent: Monday, March 26, 2007 4:50 PM
To: 1199 Members; ALAA MEMBERS
Subject: Re: LAS Staff Statement for Sean Bell




Are you kidding me??????

We fight against the government’s abuses of our clients.

Get it straight.

>>> Noha Arafa 3/26/2007 4:30:33 PM >>>

Is there anytime Letwin sends out an e-mail that you don’t feel inclined to reply to? We get it ok.  If you don’t like it, don’t sign it.

>>> [O.] 3/26/2007 4:08 PM >>>

i think it is unbecoming and improper for for a defense organization to try to prejudice a case against any defendant even if we dont like them.if people are going to sign it they should not put their legal aid affiliation.

>>> Michael Letwin 3/26/2007 1:49 PM >>>

[To sign the following public statement, please reply to this message by Friday, March 30]

Justice for Sean Bell

March 26, 2007

The undersigned New York City Legal Aid attorneys and support staff believe that the indictment of three police officers, for the fatal shooting of Sean Bell in a hail of 50 bullets, is too little and too late.

Sean Bell joins a long list of young men of color infamously murdered or assaulted by the NYPD, including Amadou Diallo, Patrick Dorismond, Anthony Baez and Abner Louima. Yet police officers are almost never indicted – let alone convicted – for their crimes.

Police shootings, and the systemic failure to effectively prosecute their perpetrators, shows that the problem is not a “few bad apples” in the NYPD.  Rather, they are the predictable result of a criminal justice system that – as a matter of deliberate policy – systematically targets communities of color for search-and-destroy arrest sweeps, widespread criminalization and inhumane drug sentences.

Under the Giuliani and Bloomberg administrations, there has been an explosion in the number of racially-discriminatory stop-and-frisks.  The vast majority of these do not result in an arrest, and most that do are for such charges as riding a bicycle on the sidewalk, open alcohol containers, walking between subway cars, and marijuana possession.

These illegal stops generate criminal records for hundreds of thousands of people of color, and are often accompanied by false accusations, physical threats, beatings, torture, or worse.

Such injustices cannot be ended by tinkering with existing policies.  Genuine solutions must include:

1.  Firing Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly.

2.  Vigorous prosecution, by a special prosecutor, of police officers – especially commanders – who commit or condone the crimes described above.

3.  An end to militarized police operations against young people of color.


Initial Signers (Affiliations for Identification Only):

Charles Billups


Chairperson, The Grand Council of Guardians

Antonia Codling


Affirmative Action Representative

ALAA/UAW Local 2325

Lisa Edwards

Former V.P. (HCLO)

ALAA/UAW Local 2325

Lucy Herschel

Civil Division

Delegate, 1199/SEIU

Michael Letwin


Former President

ALAA/UAW Local 2325

Susan Olivia Morris


Former Sgt.-at-Arms

ALAA/UAW Local 2325

Magda Rosa-Rios

Alternate V.P. (HCLO)

ALAA/UAW Local 2325

Steven Terry


Azalia Torres


Former Sr. Attorney & ACLA Representative ALAA/UAW Local 2325


March 20, 2007

2007.03.20: LO’s needed for Sean Bell Protest

Filed under: Civil Rights,Criminal Justice,Drug Wars,Police Abuse,Racism — nyclaw01 @ 12:54 pm

From: Susan Morris
Sent: Tuesday, March 20, 2007 12:54 PM
To: 1199 Members; ALAA MEMBERS
Subject: LO’s needed for Sean Bell Protest

A message from the NLG:

If anyone who has been trained as a legal observer can be in Union Square today, please call Susan at the NLG-NYC office 212/679-6018 so that she can coordinate from there.  Also, if you need a green hat, let Susan know.  If there are any incidents, please call them in to the NLG-NYC office.

“Tonite at 5pm at Union Square, there will be a demonstration in support of Sean Bell. They are requesting as many legal observers as possible. I realize this is last minute but if you can make it, please email me (Ian Head at the National Office) at . Or just show up at 5pm and look for the green hats.”


Tonite at 5pm at Union Square, there will be a demonstration in support of Sean Bell. They are requesting as many legal observers as possible. I realize this is last minute but if you can make it, please email me (Ian Head at the National Office) at Or just show up at 5pm and look for the green hats. (Right now I don’t have contact information for the organizers)

Thanks everyone!

Ian Head

NLG National Office

March 19, 2007

2007.03.19: Tues. (Tomorrow) 5 p.m.: Justice for Sean Bell

Filed under: Criminal Justice,Drug Wars,Police Abuse,Racism — nyclaw01 @ 8:27 pm

From: Michael Letwin
Date: Monday – March 19, 2007 1:00 PM
Subject: Tues. (Tomorrow) 5 p.m.: Justice for Sean Bell

PEOPLES’ JUSTICE CALL FOR GATHERING DAY AFTER INDICTMENTS ARE UNSEALEDOn Saturday, March 17th, 2007, hundreds of people gathered at Union Square at 12 NOON to demand community control and police accountability. We took the streets and marched down Broadway, stopping at the entrance to 1 Police Plaza and closing at City Hall. It was a powerful and beautiful display by our communities. (See pictures from Saturday’s event)

As we all know, this struggle is far from over. We need to continue to show our strength and unity in demanding justice be served.

March 15, 2007

2007.03.15: Sean Bell Grand Jury Protests

Filed under: Criminal Justice,Drug Wars,Racism,Sentencing — nyclaw01 @ 8:28 pm

From: Michael Letwin
Date: Thursday – March 15, 2007 9:40 AM
Subject: Sean Bell Grand Jury Protests

Gather at Union Square the Day After the grand jury decision in the Sean Bell case. Bear witness that justice be served for Bell, Benefield, Guzman and all those who have been killed and brutalized by the police. Union Square @ 5pm if the day after the grand jury decision is a weekday; 12noon if the day after is a weekend!
*** To endorse or get more info, contact us Peoples’ Justice at:
Support the Bell Family daily vigil at the Queens Supreme Court in Kew Gardens (weekdays, 10am-2pm, until grand jury decision). For more info or to sign up for the family’s e-list, check out the Bell family’s website at:

March 13, 2007

2007.03.13: Antiwar Bulletin: Sat., 3/17 March on Pentagon

Filed under: Antiwar,Palestine — nyclaw01 @ 8:28 pm

From: Michael Letwin
Date: Tuesday – March 13, 2007 1:57 PM
Subject: Antiwar Bulletin: Sat., 3/17 March on Pentagon

(Union Free Speech Notice, Below*)

March on the Pentagon — Saturday, March 17, 2007 to: End the War & Bring All the Troops Home Now!

*U.S. Out of the Middle East*

Immediate withdrawal from Iraq, Afghanistan, and Somalia: Not another penny for war funding, timetables, redeployment, advisors, air-war, or aid to U.S. puppets. Reparations for U.S. devastation of the region.

No Support to the Israeli Apartheid State: End the $5 billion annual U.S. government aid to Israel, divest all private investments and union funds, boycott Israel, end the occupation and fully implement the Palestinian right of return.

No Attacks on Iran and Syria — Or Anyone Else.

*End the War at Home*

Defend Our Civil Liberties.

End Attacks on the Arab/Muslim Community.

Full Amnesty for Undocumented Immigrants: No detention or deportation.

Stop Police Brutality & Criminalization of Our Youth

Money for Human Need, Not for War: Rebuild the Gulf Coast for — and under the control of — Katrina survivors. Decent jobs, food, housing, healthcare, education and transportation for all poor and working people.
Labor Contingent Assembly starts at 11 a.m., on east side of 23rd Street, between Constitution Ave. and the Lincoln Memorial (Blue/Orange line to Foggy Bottom). March begins promptly at 12:30.

Buses From NYC 212-694-8720 212-633-6646

New York City Labor Against the War (NYCLAW) PO Box 620166, PACC New York, NY 10129

*Union Free Speech Notice This message, like thousands of others that have been posted to the ALAA e-list, constitutes protected free speech, pursuant to Collective Bargaining Agreement, §§ 3.5 (“The expression of personal religious, political, social or economic beliefs of each and every attorney is fully guaranteed and will never constitute grounds for discharge or relief from an individual assignment unless, in either instance, it can be demonstrated that such expression has, or will, directly interfere(d) with, and detract from, representation of a Society client so as to render said representation less than at the highest level of competence and effectiveness.”) and 1.5 (“The Union will have reasonable use of the Society’s internal communication mechanisms.”).

March 5, 2007

2007.03.05: Gary Tyler in His Own Words on Democracy No!

Filed under: Criminal Justice,Racism,Sentencing — nyclaw01 @ 8:29 pm

From: Michael Letwin
Date: Monday – March 5, 2007 10:10 AM
Subjectw: Gary Tyler in His Own Words on Democracy No!

[Please add your name to the the 1894 others who have already signed the Free Gary Tyler petition at: ]

Democracy Now! Thursday, March 1, 2007

The Case of Gary Tyler: Despite Witness Recantations and No Physical Evidence, Louisiana Prisoner Remains Jailed After 32 Years

The case of Louisiana’s Gary Tyler has been called one of the great miscarriages of justice in the modern history of the United States. Tyler, an African-American, has been jailed since he was 16 years old for a
1974 murder that many believe he did not commit. An all-white jury convicted him based entirely on the statements of four witnesses who later recanted their testimony. We speak with Tyler’s mother, Juanita, and his sister Bobbie McCray. We’re also joined by New York Times columnist Bob Herbert, who has been covering Tyler’s case. And we hear Tyler in his own words in an un-aired interview from prison. [includes rush transcript, audio and/or video]


Also: Building Bridges: Your Community & Labor Report Produced by Mimi Rosenberg & Ken Nash

February 26, 2007

The Case of Gary Tyler, A Legal Lynching In Louisiana with Jared Feurer, Southern Regional Director, Amnesty International

For more information contact Ken Nash –

March 2, 2007

2007.03.02: TONIGHT AT 7PM: Benefit for the Panther 8

From: Susan Morris
Sent: Friday, March 02, 2007 2:06 PM
To: Graciela M. Lopez; 1199 Members; ALAA MEMBERS; James A. Bernal
Subject: TONIGHT AT 7PM: Benefit for the Panther 8

From the NLG:

Benefit for the Panther 8
Friday, March 2, 2007

SPEAKERS: Kathleen Cleaver,
Soffiyah Elijah, Iyaluua Ferguson
Former Political Prisoners and Allies
FILMS: Legacy of Torture
Interview of Herman Bell by Melvin van Peebles

40 East 35th Street (35th & Park Ave.) New York City
7 TO 10 P.M.

All donations for CDHR/Panther 8 Defense Fund

Richard Brown, Richard O’Neal, Ray Boudreaux, and Hank Jones were arrested in California. Francisco Torres was arrested in Queens, New York. Harold Taylor was arrested in Florida. Two men charged have been held as political prisoners for over 30 years-Herman Bell and Jalil Muntaqim are both in New York State prisons.

The government has filed charges against eight men (all in their 50s, 60s and 70s) for acts that are more than 30 years old. This case represents an attack on the Black liberation movement and the history of all our progressive movements. We want to rally to support the comrades and to oppose all attempts to punish and criminalize resistance. Join us on March 2nd to learn about the case and hear from representatives of the comrades and the movement. The murderers of Sean Bell have yet to be charged with the crime, but our comrades are being locked up once again. Defend human rights; come to this event.

(For more on the case, look at: or email:

The nearest subway stop to the Community Church is 33rd Street on the #6. Transfer from the #7 to the #6 at Grand Central. B, D, F, V, and N,Q,R,W stops at 34th Street are also nearby. Community Church is at 40 East 35th Street (corner of Park Avenue).

Sponsored by: Center for Constitutional Rights, NYC Jericho Movement, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, National Lawyers Guild NYC, NY Taskforce on Political Prisoners, Resistance in Brooklyn, ProLibertad, Immigrant Justice Solidarity Project, Plaid Dragon Collective

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