ALAA Roots — An Unofficial Site

February 19, 2010

2010.02.19: Today, 4:30-6 pm.: Stop the U.S. war on Afghanistan

Filed under: Antiwar,Civil Rights,International Human Rights — nyclaw01 @ 8:12 am

From: Letwin, Michael
Sent: Friday, February 19, 2010 8:12 AM
To: 1199 Members; ALAA MEMBERS
Subject: Today, 4:30-6 pm.: Stop the U.S. war on Afghanistan

Money for JOBS, Education and Health Care — Not War!

Stop the U.S. war on Afghanistan

“The security we profess to seek in foreign adventures we will lose in our decaying cities. The bombs in Vietnam explode at home.” — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Feb. 25, 1967


Dr. King was right. The bombs killing poor people in Afghanistan also explode at home.

At least $100 billion will be spent this year in occupying Afghanistan. Over three million jobs at $15 per hour could be created with this money. Instead it’s being used to kill children thousands of miles away.

Meanwhile the big banks that were bailed out with over a trillion dollars from us continue to launder drug profits. Afghanistan, occupied by the U.S., supplies over 90% of the world’s heroin.

Right now the 75,000 people in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province are being pounded by 15,000 troops in the war’s biggest airborne assault. Rockets murdered 12 children in the early hours of this offensive. U.S. General Stanley McChrystal called this war crime merely “regrettable.”

Forty years ago Dr. King said, “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today — my own government.” The Pentagon continues to kill people around the world with its $700 billion war budget. At the same time billionaire Bloomberg wants to close schools and St. Vincent’s Hospital may shut down.

Join us to demand an end to occupying the fourth poorest nation on earth. Stop the Brutal US/NATO war on Afghanistan!

Bring the troops home!


Friday, Feb. 19
4:30 pm to 6 pm

Herald Square
34th St. & Broadway


February 4, 2010

2010.02.04: 4-6 p.m. Today: Let the aid get through to Haiti

Filed under: Antiwar,International Human Rights — nyclaw01 @ 9:50 am

From: Letwin, Michael
Sent: Thursday, February 04, 2010 9:50 AM
To: 1199 Members; ALAA MEMBERS
Subject: 4-6 p.m. Today: Let the aid get through to Haiti

Rally: Thursday, February 4 from 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Outside the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, 140 East 45th Street, Manhattan (Between 3rd Ave and Lexington Ave, take any train to Grand Central)

At 6:00 pm: March to Times Square Army Recruiting Station


With up to half a million Haitians feared dead under the rubble following the earthquake, Haiti needs robust Emergency Assistance. The first 48 hours in the aftermath of the earthquake were very critical. The Haitian people have been helping one another with their bare hands from the very first few moments of the earthquake. People everywhere are striving to support the Haitian people any way they can.

Yet, the U.S. military having wrested total control of the ports and the main airport in Port-au-Prince as well as throughout the country is refusing to allow cargo planes from different countries such as Turkey, Iran, Mexico, Venezuela and Cuba to bring urgently needed medical supplies, water, food, and medicine to the people in Haiti. Planes with field hospitals from France and Doctors Without Borders were denied landing rights. For days, the US and UN officials on the ground stopped volunteers from distributing supplies to the people in the hardest hit places. This is mass genocide. There is a real Humanitarian crisis in Haiti and it must be dealt with as such.

The Haitian people must be assisted and not be portrayed in the media as animals and criminals. The Haitian masses – as the US masses did in New Orleans during Katrina – are doing the best they can to deal collectively with their situation. These efforts must be supported in all aid programs. Volunteers must be facilitated to distribute the aid provided by other countries around the globe and should not be suppressed.

The United States, instead of providing the immediate aid necessary in the first critical hours, mobilized an arsenal of military hardware and personnel with at least 11,000 soldiers to reinforce the occupation of Haiti adding to the 9,000-strong UN military force in the country. The Haitian people need Humanitarian assistance –water, medicine, medical supplies, healthcare workers – not a military arsenal. We say NO to this military deployment in Haiti. We oppose the occupation of Haiti now and forever. We demand:

1) Let the aid get through to Haiti! Let the Haitian People organize! Stop U.S. Military interference with international rescue & Humanitarian aid!

2) Stop denying Humanitarian entry into the US for Haitians whose lives are at risk!

3)  Stop the cruel and unjust IMF/World Bank/USAID structural adjustment progam in Haiti! END U.S./U.N. occupation of Haiti!

Phone: (646) 898-7328

E-mail: bosolidarity at

February 3, 2010

2010.02.03: The NYPD’s Jim Crow Policing

Filed under: Civil Rights,Criminal Justice,Drug Wars,Police Abuse,Racism — nyclaw01 @ 7:57 am

From:  Letwin, Michael
Sent: Wednesday, February 03, 2010 7:57 AM
To: 1199 Members; ALAA MEMBERS
Subject: The NYPD’s Jim Crow Policing

Bob Herbert nails it.

February 2, 2010

Op-Ed Columnist

Jim Crow Policing


The New York City Police Department needs to be restrained. The nonstop humiliation of young black and Hispanic New Yorkers, including children, by police officers who feel no obligation to treat them fairly or with any respect at all is an abomination. That many of the officers engaged in the mistreatment are black or Latino themselves is shameful.

Statistics will be out shortly about the total number of people who were stopped and frisked by the police in 2009. We already have the data for the first three-quarters of the year, and they are staggering. During that period, more than 450,000 people were stopped by the cops, an increase of 13 percent over the same period in 2008.

An overwhelming 84 percent of the stops in the first three-quarters of 2009 were of black or Hispanic New Yorkers. It is incredible how few of the stops yielded any law enforcement benefit. Contraband, which usually means drugs, was found in only 1.6 percent of the stops of black New Yorkers. For Hispanics, it was just 1.5 percent. For whites, who are stopped far less frequently, contraband was found 2.2 percent of the time.

The percentages of stops that yielded weapons were even smaller. Weapons were found on just 1.1 percent of the blacks stopped, 1.4 percent of the Hispanics, and 1.7 percent of the whites. Only about 6 percent of stops result in an arrest for any reason.

Rather than a legitimate crime-fighting tool, these stops are a despicable, racially oriented tool of harassment. And the police are using it at the increasingly enthusiastic direction of Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.

There were more than a half-million stops in New York City in 2008, and when the final tally is in, we’ll find that the number only increased in 2009.

Not everyone who is stopped is frisked. When broken down by ethnic group, the percentages do not at first seem so wildly disproportionate. Some 59.4 percent of all Hispanics who were stopped were also frisked, as were 56.6 percent of blacks, and 46 percent of whites. But keep in mind, whites composed fewer than 16 percent of the people stopped in the first place.

These encounters with the police are degrading and often frightening, and the real number of people harassed is undoubtedly higher than the numbers reported by the police. Often the cops will stop, frisk and sometimes taunt people who are at their mercy, and then move on — without finding anything, making an arrest, or recording the encounter as they are supposed to.

Even the official reasons given by the police for the stops are laughably bogus. People are stopped for allegedly making “furtive movements,” for wearing clothes “commonly used in a crime,” and, of course, for the “suspicious bulge.” My wallet, my notebook and my cellphone would all apply.

The police say they also stop people for wearing “inappropriate attire for the season.” I saw a guy on the Upper West Side wearing shorts and sandals a couple weeks ago. That was certainly unusual attire for the middle of January, but it didn’t cross my mind that he should be accosted by the police.

The Center for Constitutional Rights has filed a class-action lawsuit against the city and the Police Department over the stops. Several plaintiffs detailed how their ordinary daily lives were interrupted by cops bent on harassment for no good reason. Lalit Carson was stopped while on a lunch break from his job as a teaching assistant at a charter school in the Bronx. Deon Dennis was stopped and searched while standing outside the apartment building in which he lives in Harlem. The police arrested him, allegedly because of an outstanding warrant. He was held for several hours then released. There was no outstanding warrant.

There are endless instances of this kind of madness. People going about their daily business, bothering no one, are menaced out of the blue by the police, forced to spread themselves face down in the street, or plaster themselves against a wall, or bend over the hood of a car, to be searched. People who object to the harassment are often threatened with arrest for disorderly conduct.

The Police Department insists that these stops of innocent people — which are unconstitutional, by the way — help fight crime. And they insist that the policy is not racist.

Paul Browne, the chief spokesman for Commissioner Kelly, described the stops as “life-saving.” And he has said repeatedly that the racial makeup of the people stopped and frisked is proportionally similar to the racial makeup of people committing crimes.

That is an amazingly specious argument. The fact that a certain percentage of criminals may be black or Hispanic is no reason for the police to harass individuals from those groups when there is no indication whatsoever that they have done anything wrong.

It’s time to put an end to Jim Crow policing in New York City.

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