ALAA Roots — An Unofficial Site

September 29, 2008

2008.09.29: Background: “We Will Not Be Silent” and “Why Arabic”?

From:  Letwin, Michael
Sent: Monday, September 29, 2008 12:17 PM
To: ALAA MEMBERS; 1199 Members
Subject: Background: “We Will Not Be Silent” and “Why Arabic”?

ALAA: In Defense of Civil Liberties (February 21, 2002)
As a labor union whose members fight each day for the statutory and constitutional rights of indigent New Yorkers, The Association of Legal Aid Attorneys, UAW Local 2325, is deeply opposed to the Bush administration’s broad assault on precious civil liberties and democratic rights.

What is the “We Will Not Be Silent” Campaign?
Artists Against the War: We deplore the death, destruction and lawlessness that the “coalition of the willing” unleashed with its invasion of Iraq. We are shamed by our government’s contempt for other cultures and the silencing of dissent in America. . . . “We Will Not Be Silent” is a statement attributed to a student-resistance movement in Nazi Germany called The White Rose. It is a statement of purpose, intended to inspire acts of resistance and dissent against a corrupt government that abuses its power, and abandons the rule of law.

“Why Arabic?”: ACLU Challenges Airline Ban on “We Will Not Be Silent” T-Shirts
JetBlue and a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) official, identified as “Inspector Harris,” would not let Raed Jarrar board his flight at John F. Kennedy Airport until he agreed to cover his t-shirt, which read “We Will Not Be Silent” in English and Arabic script. Harris told Jarrar that it is impermissible to wear an Arabic shirt to an airport and equated it to a “person wearing a t-shirt at a bank stating, ‘I am a robber.'”

The American Civil Liberties Union and New York Civil Liberties Union today filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the TSA official and JetBlue Airways. “It is a dangerous and slippery slope when we allow our government to take away a person’s rights because of his speech or ethnic background,” said Reginald Shuford, a senior staff attorney with the ACLU’s Racial Justice Program.

“We Will Not Be Silent” T-shirts in Additional Languages
Available in Arabic, Farsi, Spanish, English, German, Hebrew at

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