ALAA Roots — An Unofficial Site

November 29, 2012

2012.11.29: RE: Actions on Behalf of Gaza

From: Letwin, Michael
Sent: Thursday, November 29, 2012 10:23 PM
To: [JB]
Cc: ALAA MEMBERS; 1199 Members
Subject: RE: Actions on Behalf of Gaza

You can be proud that you marched with Dennis Brutus against South African apartheid, and used to have long hair.
You can even chose to believe that “the situations are not at all analogous.”
You don’t have the right to silence those who — like Dennis Brutus in the quote below — disagree with you:
“Performing in Israel at this time is morally equivalent to performing in South Africa during the apartheid era. We all remember how leading Rolling Stones musicians played a prominent role in enforcing a cultural boycott of apartheid South Africa in the 1980’s, and participated in recording the timeless song, Sun City, which had a singular influence on raising public awareness about apartheid and its injustices. As Archbishop Desmond Tutu, UN Special Rapporteur on human rights Prof. John Dugard, and South African government minister Ronnie Kasrils have repeatedly declared, Israel has created a worse system of apartheid than anything that ever existed in South Africa.”
http://www.pacbi.org/etemplate.php?id=489

From: [JB]
Sent: Thursday, November 29, 2012 9:59 PM
To: Letwin, Michael
Cc: ALAA MEMBERS; 1199 Members
Subject: Re: Actions on Behalf of Gaza

I marched with Dennis Brutus in anti-apartheid rallies in the late 70’s and took his class when I was an undergrad. (I even have a picture of myself with my rally t-shirt….I actually had hair then & it was shoulder length!).
The two situations are not at all analogous. And while nobody can speak for the late Professor Brutus, I have a strong belief that he’d say the same.

On Nov 29, 2012, at 9:52 PM, “Letwin, Michael” wrote:

Please: this isn’t — and never has been — about being “forced” to get unwanted email messages.
If that was the *real* issue, we’d see the same squealing to management about how thousands of other political messages and “non-work” messages “clog” the union discussion list (do I really have to list them?)
If that was the real issue, you’d just delete and/or block messages from people who post things you don’t like. Then you wouldn’t be “annoyed” or “upset” by views you just don’t want to hear.
No, like Israeli government threats against those who admit the Nakba (anti-Palestinian ethnic cleansing in 1948) or who advocate boycotting Israel, this is about an ongoing attempt to ban Palestinian rights from public discourse.
Particularly on a union e-mail list where *everything* else under the sun is widely posted, that’s just dishonest, hypocritical, racist, and shameful. 
Fortunately, it’s also at odds with the free speech clause of our Collective Bargaining Agreement and the best traditions of our unions.
It won’t certainly won’t silence those who speak out for Palestinian rights, any more than it silenced those who — often in the face of similar opposition — have spoken out against racism in this country, South African apartheid or numerous other injustices.

From: [GD]
Sent: Thursday, November 29, 2012 9:19 PM
To: Arafa, Noha
Cc: Letwin, Michael; ALAA MEMBERS; 1199 Members
Subject: RE: Actions on Behalf of Gaza

I have asked, as per our current e-mail policy agreed to by the union and management, to be taken off this list yet I continue to receive these e-mails.  I have been informed that the next step would be to file a complaint with management.  I have agreed to hold off doing so at least until the January meeting so that, hopefully, the union can deal with this issue in-house.
This nonsense with the e-mails really needs to stop.  Its enough already.  The existing policy is a perfect compromise between the right to free speech and the right to be left alone.  Those who want to receive these e-mails can do so and those who don’t want to receive them do not have to.  This policy really needs to be enforced.  Union self-policing would be better, but if that doesn’t work there has to be another way.

From: Arafa, Noha
Sent: Thursday, November 29, 2012 9:01 PM
To: [KB]
Cc: Letwin, Michael; ALAA MEMBERS; 1199 Members
Subject: Re: Actions on Behalf of Gaza

May I ask [K] why is it  the only time you feel “annoyed” enough to complain (while some others either demand censorship or joke) is when the victims are Palestinians?
On Nov 29, 2012, at 8:41 PM, [KB] wrote:

Because these email exchanges about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are really fucking annoying.
At least that’s why I’m frantically responding.

[KB]

Staff Attorney
Bronx CDP
On Nov 29, 2012, at 8:37 PM, “Letwin, Michael” wrote:

Question: why are some of the same people (Pokhart, Bloom, Levy, et al) so frantically trying to forbid contractually-protected free speech on the union e-mail lists when it comes to Palestine (and only Palestine) posting their own political messages to the non-union and management lists below, where no such contractual protection applies?

From: [JB]
Sent: Thursday, November 29, 2012 7:57 PM
To: Tafari, ManI
Cc: Arafa, Noha; CRIMINAL ATTYS ALL
Subject: Re: Actions on Behalf of Gaza

Unless, of course, they do.
Where is our union leadership? It seems to me that this is something that should be dealt with before mid-January.

On Nov 29, 2012, at 7:51 PM, “Tafari, ManI” wrote:

People should not be subjected to union Brothers or Sisters making threats to other Union Sisters accusing them of creating “hostile work enviornments”.

From: Levy, Ezra
Sent: Thursday, November 29, 2012 7:14 PM
To: Meggett, Eric; Pokart, Stephen; Arafa, Noha
Cc: CRIMINAL ATTYS ALL
Subject: Re: Actions on Behalf of Gaza

Noha, it’s not racist to single out Pro-Palestinian protests as subject of complaints. As you are surely aware, people have various thoughts regarding whether Israel’s response was justified or not. Two things are for sure: (1) the Palestinian-Israeli conflict has nothing to do with our jobs; and (2) people should not be subjected to unwanted political e-mails and such e-mails are actionable when they create a hostile work environment.

Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

From: “Meggett, Eric”
Date: Thu, 29 Nov 2012 15:41:11 -0500
To: Pokart, Stephen; Arafa, Noha
Cc: CRIMINAL ATTYS ALL
Subject: RE: Actions on Behalf of Gaza
really  it’s  only  ” following the  rules ”  that  you  care  about ?      i  wish  i  could  be  that   single  minded  and  focused .  

From: Pokart, Stephen
Sent: Thursday, November 29, 2012 3:38 PM
To: Arafa, Noha
Cc: CRIMINAL ATTYS ALL
Subject: RE: Actions on Behalf of Gaza

Personally, I think it’s racist to single out Israel for killing Arabs and/or Moslems while ignoring Syria, Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Egypt, Yemen, Jordan, Somalia, Algeria, Libya, China, India, various emirates and other places.On the other hand, I don’t really care. What I do care about is you and others following the rules, which clearly require you to set up a list of who wishes to receive your e-mails and not communicate with those who don’t. As to  sending the e-mail to Steve Banks, I happen to think he’s a good guy and a hell of a lot better than the other attorneys-in-charge that I have labored under since (probably) before you were born.

From: Arafa, Noha
Sent: Thursday, November 29, 2012 3:15 PM
To: Pokart, Stephen; ALAA MEMBERS
Cc: Banks, Steve; Fox, Allan; Wright, Deborah
Subject: RE: Actions on Behalf of Gaza

First, Mr.. Pokart, the Union contract governs:
**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 groundsfor discharge or relief from an individual assignment unless, ineither 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.”).
Second, why would you send a union email to management?
Third, it’s outright racism to single out pro-Palestinian messages forcensorship.

From: Pokart, Stephen
Sent: Thursday, November 29, 2012 2:59 PM
To: Arafa, Noha; ALAA MEMBERS
Cc: Banks, Steve; Fox, Allan; Wright, Deborah
Subject: RE: Actions on Behalf of Gaza

Ms. Arafa’s “Free Speech” notice is tendentious nonsense. The language cited was not meant to apply to e-mail policy, which is delineated on page 31 of the Legal Aid Society Employee Handbook. This says, in relevant part: “E-mail is not to be used … for conversations and discussions of international and domestic politics….. It may not be used …..to solicit forreligious or political causes. That’s the Legal Aid policy with which, I believe, our union is in accord.

From: Arafa, Noha
Sent: Thursday, November 29, 2012 2:12 PM
To: ALAA MEMBERS
Subject: Actions on Behalf of Gaza

[Union Free Speech Notice: Like messages about the presidential elections and any number of other issues, this is protected speech*]


<Outlook.jpg>
Comparative ethnic cleansing of indigenous people:Palestine and North America
ACTION

EndorseGaza SolidarityFrom NY/NJ
We recognize the profound role the U.S. plays in the occupation and ethnic cleaning of the Palestinians. Instead of sending 8.5 million tax dollars daily to perpetuate Israel’s violations of international law, we believe our tax dollars should go to support education, health care, and victims of the latest disaster – Hurricane Sandy — here at home, and to fund reparationsfor US-financed death and destruction in Palestine.
Join:
https://www.facebook.com/events/436429566421941/?context=create
Sign:http://www.thepetitionsite.com/162/658/883/gazasolidarity-statement/
Endorse: Stevie Wonder: Don’t Perform forApartheid Israel in L.A. on6 Dec.
We call on Stevie Wonder, as a conscientious American advocate for human rights and dignity not to support the Israeli Defense Force by performing at their gala fundraiser.
Join:
https://www.facebook.com/events/423745994345930/
Endorse: Jewish Statement of Solidarity for the World Social Forum FreePalestine
The World Social Forum FreePalestine in Porto Alegre is an important event bringing together people and movements from around the world to “build concrete support for the Palestinian cause and strengthen our common struggle for a world without walls of oppression.” As Jews committed to human emancipation, we extend oursolidarity to the Palestinian movement for justice and peace. We congratulate Brazil on their steadfast support for this historic event.
OTHER STATEMENTS

52 leading international figures call for a Military Embargo on Israel
Such a measure has been subject to several UN resolutions1 and is similar to the arms embargo imposed against apartheid South Africain the past.

http://www.middleeastmonitor.com/news/middle-east/4740-52-leading-international-figures-call-for-a-military-embargo-on-israel

National Lawyers Guild Calls for Immediate End to Israeli Attack on Gaza
Occupying and settling Palestinian land by force, enforcing a blockade and siege of Gaza, assassinating Palestinian leaders, and periodically bombarding and invading both Gaza and the West Bank make Orwellian the Israeli government’s claims of self-defense. And yet the U.S. government trumpets this narrative, giving Israel carte blanche to go on killing Palestinian civilians.
http://www.nlg.org/news/national-lawyers-guild-calls-immediate-end-israeli-attack-gaza

BACKGROUND

Nothing nuanced in Assad’s bloody survival strategy
‎The fact that images of Syria’s dead are so easily confused with images from Gaza is evidence that not only are our people and our landscapes interchangeable, the violence is interchangeable as well. Our buildings collapse the same way from bombs falling from the sky, our dead children’s bodies hang limply the same way in their weeping fathers’ arms, and our mothers wail the same way as they bury yet another son. Syrians know this. As do Palestinians.
http://www.thenational.ae/thenationalconversation/comment/nothing-nuanced-in-assads-bloody-survival-strategy#full

‘Israelis talk about fear, we Palestinians talk about death’
We Palestinians don’t talk about fear, we talk about death. Our rockets scare them; their rockets kill us. We have no bomb shelters, we have no sirens, we have nowhere we can take our children and keep them safe. They are scared. We are dying.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/nov/20/israelis-talk-fear-palestinians-death

Gaza abacus
Enlightening numbers regarding the fighting in Gaza, as of 8.00am GMT onNovember 19th.
http://www.economist.com/blogs/pomegranate/2012/11/israel-and-palestinians?fsrc=scn%2Ftw_ec%2Fgaza_abacus


**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 fordischarge 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.”).

2012.11.29: Actions on Behalf of Gaza

Filed under: Uncategorized — nyclaw01 @ 11:17 am

From: Arafa, Noha
Sent: Thursday, November 29, 2012 2:12 PM
To: ALAA MEMBERS
Subject: Actions on Behalf of Gaza

[Union Free Speech Notice: Like messages about the presidential elections and any number of other issues, this is protected speech*]

481727_4885321701216_938278642_n

Comparative ethnic cleansing of indigenous people: Palestine and North America

ACTION

Endorse: Gaza Solidarity From NY/NJ
We recognize the profound role the U.S. plays in the occupation and ethnic cleaning of the Palestinians. Instead of sending 8.5 million tax dollars daily to perpetuate Israel’s violations of international law, we believe our tax dollars should go to support education, health care, and victims of the latest disaster – Hurricane Sandy — here at home, and to fund reparations for US-financed death and destruction in Palestine.
Join: https://www.facebook.com/events/436429566421941/?context=create
Sign: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/162/658/883/gaza-solidarity-statement/

Endorse: Stevie Wonder: Don’t Perform for Apartheid Israel in L.A. on 6 Dec.
We call on Stevie Wonder, as a conscientious American advocate for human rights and dignity not to support the Israeli Defense Force by performing at their gala fundraiser.
Join: https://www.facebook.com/events/423745994345930/
Sign:
http://www.change.org/petitions/stevie-wonder-don-t-play-at-the-idf-gala-fundraiser-in-la-on-dec-6th

 

Endorse: Jewish Statement of Solidarity for the World Social Forum Free Palestine
The World Social Forum Free Palestine in Porto Alegre is an important event bringing together people and movements from around the world to “build concrete support for the Palestinian cause and strengthen our common struggle for a world without walls of oppression.” As Jews committed to human emancipation, we extend our solidarity to the Palestinian movement for justice and peace. We congratulate Brazil on their steadfast support for this historic event.
https://www.change.org/petitions/jewish-statement-of-solidarity-for-the-world-social-forum-free-palestine-2

 

OTHER STATEMENTS

52 leading international figures call for a Military Embargo on Israel
Such a measure has been subject to several UN resolutions1 and is similar to the arms embargo imposed against apartheid South Africa in the past.
http://www.middleeastmonitor.com/news/middle-east/4740-52-leading-international-figures-call-for-a-military-embargo-on-israel

National Lawyers Guild Calls for Immediate End to Israeli Attack on Gaza
Occupying and settling Palestinian land by force, enforcing a blockade and siege of Gaza, assassinating Palestinian leaders, and periodically bombarding and invading both Gaza and the West Bank make Orwellian the Israeli government’s claims of self-defense. And yet the U.S. government trumpets this narrative, giving Israel carte blanche to go on killing Palestinian civilians.
http://www.nlg.org/news/national-lawyers-guild-calls-immediate-end-israeli-attack-gaza

 

BACKGROUND

Nothing nuanced in Assad’s bloody survival strategy
‎The fact that images of Syria’s dead are so easily confused with images from Gaza is evidence that not only are our people and our landscapes interchangeable, the violence is interchangeable as well. Our buildings collapse the same way from bombs falling from the sky, our dead children’s bodies hang limply the same way in their weeping fathers’ arms, and our mothers wail the same way as they bury yet another son. Syrians know this. As do Palestinians.
http://www.thenational.ae/thenationalconversation/comment/nothing-nuanced-in-assads-bloody-survival-strategy#full 

‘Israelis talk about fear, we Palestinians talk about death’
We Palestinians don’t talk about fear, we talk about death. Our rockets scare them; their rockets kill us. We have no bomb shelters, we have no sirens, we have nowhere we can take our children and keep them safe. They are scared. We are dying.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/nov/20/israelis-talk-fear-palestinians-death

Gaza abacus
Enlightening numbers regarding the fighting in Gaza, as of 8.00am GMT on November 19th.
http://www.economist.com/blogs/pomegranate/2012/11/israel-and-palestinians?fsrc=scn%2Ftw_ec%2Fgaza_abacus


**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.”).

November 24, 2012

2012.11.24: Central Park 5 NYC Film Opening Nov 23rd 2012

Filed under: Criminal Justice,Racism — nyclaw01 @ 2:16 pm

——————————————————————————–

From: Codling, Antonia

Sent: Saturday, November 24, 2012 3:52 PM

To: ALAA MEMBERS; 1199 Members

Subject: Central Park 5 NYC Film Opening Nov 23rd 2012

This outstanding documentary by Ken Burns, Sarah Burns and David McMahon is now playing in theatres, and even if you followed this case as I have over the years, it is still a must see!

Also, tomorrow and next Wednesday there are showings with post-screening session with the filmmakers and four of the five young men.

Enjoy!!

Sunday, November 25th, 4:00pm

(Doors Open at 3:00pm)

The Central Park Five

@ the Oberia D. Dempsey Center Auditorium

127 West 127th Street

(between Lenox and Adam Clayton Powell)

WIth a post-screening Q&A with dirs. Sarah Burns and David McMahon and members of the Central Park 5, Raymond Santana, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Korey Wise.

Tickets: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/ref/17367/event/295281

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/events/288151787951267/

Great group deals are available for 5 or more tickets!

Monday, 11/26 (7:30pm), Tuesday, 11/27 (7:30pm), Wednesday, 11/28 (7:30pm), Thursday, 11/29 (7:30pm)

The Central Park Five

@ The Maysles Cinema

343 Lenox Ave, btwn 127th and 128th st

Following the screening on Wednesday there will be a Q&A and Book Signing with Sarah Burns

(More Q&As to be Announced)

——————————————————————————–

From: Roger Wareham [mailto:rware10709@aol.com]

Sent: Monday, November 19, 2012 11:17 AM

To: rware10709@aol.com

Subject: Central Park 5 NYC Film Opening Nov 23rd 2012

All,

This is an extraordinary film, so take yourself, your family, your church, your mosque, your club, your union, your class, etc. to see this and to be mobilized in support for Justice and Reparations for the Central Park 5

Roger

Central Park Jogger Innocents Civil Court Hearing

23 years later

by Amadi Ajamu

“In 1989, without any physical evidence, the NYPD and the District Attorney’s office, led by former ADA and now fiction crime writer Linda Fairstein, railroaded five young boys to further their own careers. They spent a total of forty years in prison. Today Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly and the Bloomberg administration continue to stone-wall justice and reparations for these victims of the criminal justice system,” stated spokesman Omowale Clay.

The civil case against New York City for the wrongful conviction of the “Central Park 5” has been stalled for over eight years by foot-dragging city attorneys. The Central Park 5” were recently in court for a status hearing on the Bloomberg administration’s continued attempts to stall providing reparations and repair for the damages done by this racist justice system to these young men. (Coming soon will be a mass demonstration in their support (look for coming notice).

Twenty three years ago, April 19, 1989, five innocent Black and Latino teenage boys were captured and arrested by NYPD for the rape and beating of a white woman. She was an investment banker jogging in Central Park. Before they went to trial, newspaper headlines and television news broadcasts condemn them. They were convicted and spent from 6 to 13 years in prison. A case reminiscent of the Scottsboro Boys in Alabama 1931.

“I was fourteen years old,” Raymond Santana explained at a previous Justice Rally for the Central Park 5. “They called us animals “wilding”, but we knew we were innocent and we held our heads up. We lost many years and we are still trying to catch up. This is not just about us, Sean Bell, Timothy Stansbury and Eleanor Bumpers were murdered by police. There are a lot more people going through what we did.”

Mr. Clay exclaimed, “Even Donald Trump exploited them by taking out full page ads in the major newspapers calling for the return of the death penalty for their case just to promote his own name. The police knew they were innocent but they never really investigated the crime. Any Black or Latino boys would do. Matias Reyes, serving time for another rape and murder committed after the jogger attack, finally confessed to the crime in 2002. His was the only DNA found at the crime scene. The damage done to these men must be repaired now! We demand justice. We can not let them criminalize our youth without a fight. We are all the Central Park 5.”

“We were exonerated and we want compensation for the years they stole from us.” Kevin Richardson could barely speak through his tears. “It’s unusual to see a grown man cry, but we have been through so much. It was torture. We are putting our lives back together and taking care of our families. Thank you all for standing by us.”

Kharey Wise, who spent 14 years in prison, made a brief statement thanking all the people who supported them through the years.

Justice for these innocent young men is long overdue.

November 18, 2012

2012.11.18: 2:30 p.m. Today (Sunday) in Times Square: Protest Escalating Israeli Attacks on Gaza

Filed under: Antiwar,Palestine — nyclaw01 @ 3:06 pm

From: Letwin, Michael
Sent: Sunday, November 18, 2012 12:47 PM
To: 1199 Members; ALAA MEMBERS
Subject: 2:30 p.m. Today (Sunday) in Times Square: Protest Escalating Israeli Attacks on Gaza

–Please post and forward widely

Join, Share, Re-post, Invite: https://www.facebook.com/events/374254042661536/


Rubble

Residents in Gaza dug through the rubble of an apartment building hit by Israeli rockets. (NYT)

Israeli Strike in Gaza Kills at Least 11, Including Children
Before the latest deadly strike involving civilians on Sunday, Hamas health officials had said the Palestinian death toll had risen to 53. One of the latest victims was a 52-year-old woman whose house in the eastern part of Gaza City was bombed around lunchtime. . . .  In Israel, 3 civilians have died and 63 have been injured. Four soldiers were wounded on Saturday.
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/19/world/middleeast/israel-gaza-conflict.html?hp

BACKGROUND AND CONTEXT

Trapped in Gaza
Gaza, after all, is a very small place. Pick a point, any point, along its 25-mile coastline, and you’re seven or so miles — never more — from the other side. The other side is where my grandparents were born, in a village that has since become someone else’s country, off limits to me. You call it Israel. I call it the place where the bombs come from. One thundered to earth just now, as I was writing this.
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/17/opinion/trapped-in-gaza.html?ref=opinion&_r=0

US White House and State Department: Condemn Israeli Aggression in Gaza
African Americans for Justice in the Middle East and North Africa Statement Regarding the Aggression Against Gaza
It is crucial that we recognize the extent of U.S. complicity in the bloodshed; our tax dollars ($8.5 million a day) enable Israeli militarism at a time when those funds are desperately needed to fill gaps in services and infrastructure back home.
https://www.change.org/petitions/us-white-house-and-state-department-condemn-israeli-aggression-in-gaza

Dissecting IDF propaganda: The numbers behind the rocket attacks
Gaza rockets have produced so few casualties that in the absence of deaths and serious injuries, Israeli authorities have resorted to detailing how many people were “treated for shock,” which the press has duly noted over the years.
http://mondoweiss.net/2012/11/dissecting-idf-propaganda-the-numbers-behind-the-rocket-attacks.html

Stop pretending the US is an uninvolved, helpless party in the Israeli assault on Gaza
Pretending that the US – and the Obama administration – bear no responsibility for what is taking place is sheer self-delusion, total fiction. It has long been the case that the central enabling fact in Israeli lawlessness and aggression is blind US support, and that continues, more than ever, to be the case under the presidency of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize winner.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/nov/17/israel-gaza-us-policy

November 16, 2012

2012.11.16: 5 p.m. Today (Friday): Protest Escalating Israeli Attack on Gaza

Filed under: Antiwar,Palestine — nyclaw01 @ 8:30 pm

From: Letwin, Michael
Sent: Friday, November 16, 2012 11:09 AM
To: 1199 Members; ALAA MEMBERS
Subject: 5 p.m. Today (Friday): Protest Escalating Israeli Attack on Gaza

–Please post and forward widely

“The front page photo on Thursday’s Washington Post tells, in
a single frame, a very personal story from Wednesday’s Israeli
airstrikes on the Gaza Strip. Jihad Misharawi, a BBC Arabic
journalist who lives in Gaza, carries the body of his 11-month
old son, Omar, through  al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City.”
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2012/11/15/the-story-behind-the-photo-journalists-11-month-old-son-killed-in-gaza-strikes/

5 p.m. Today: Friday, November 16, 2012
NYC — Protest Israeli Attack on Gaza
Nearly 1000 people came out last night — let’s come back again and be louder and bigger than before!
Join, Share, Re-post, Invite: https://www.facebook.com/events/374254042661536/
Photos of last night’s protest: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.4857024353800.2186729.1542848808&type=3

Background

Legal Aid NYC Union Members: Stop Israel’s Massacre in Gaza and End the Siege Now
(January 13, 2009)
The undersigned members of the Association of Legal Aid Attorneys/UAW Local 2325 and 1199SEIU join millions around the world — many of whom are Jewish — to condemn, in the strongest possible terms, Israel’s ongoing massacre of hundreds of Palestinians in Gaza. . . . We cannot turn a blind eye.
https://alaa2325.wordpress.com/2009/01/13/legal-aid-nyc-union-members-stop-israel%E2%80%99s-massacre-in-gaza-and-end-the-siege-now/

TIMELINE: Israel’s Latest Escalation in Gaza
(November 14, 2012)
Following a two-week lull in violence, Israeli soldiers invade Gaza. In the resulting exchange of gunfire with Palestinian fighters, a 12-year-old boy is killed by an Israeli bullet while he plays soccer.
http://imeu.net/news/article0023227.shtml

U.S. Foreign Aid to Israel (Congressional Research Service)
(March 12, 2012)
Israel is the largest cumulative recipient of U.S. foreign assistance since World War II. To date, the United States has provided Israel $115 billion in bilateral assistance. Almost all U.S. bilateral aid to Israel is in the form of military assistance,
http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/mideast/RL33222.pdf

 

2012.11.16: 5 p.m. Today (Friday): Protest Escalating Israeli Attack on Gaza

Filed under: Free Speech,International Human Rights,Palestine — nyclaw01 @ 11:09 am

From: Letwin, Michael
Sent: Friday, November 16, 2012 11:09 AM
To: 1199 Members; ALAA MEMBERS
Subject: 5 p.m. Today (Friday): Protest Escalating Israeli Attack on Gaza

–Please post and forward widely

“The front page photo on Thursday’s Washington Post tells, in a single frame, a very personal story from Wednesday’s Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip. Jihad Misharawi, a BBC Arabic journalist who lives in Gaza, carries the body of his 11-month old son, Omar, through  al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City.”http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2012/11/15/the-story-behind-the-photo-journalists-11-month-old-son-killed-in-gaza-strikes/

5 p.m. Today: Friday, November 16, 2012
NYC — Protest Israeli Attack on Gaza
Nearly 1000 people came out last night — let’s come back again and be louder and bigger than before!
Join, Share, Re-post, Invite: https://www.facebook.com/events/374254042661536/
Photos of last night’s protest: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.4857024353800.2186729.1542848808&type=3

Background

Legal Aid NYC Union Members: Stop Israel’s Massacre in Gaza and End the Siege Now
(January 13, 2009)
The undersigned members of the Association of Legal Aid Attorneys/UAW Local 2325 and 1199SEIU join millions around the world — many of whom are Jewish — to condemn, in the strongest possible terms, Israel’s ongoing massacre of hundreds of Palestinians in Gaza. . . . We cannot turn a blind eye.
https://alaa2325.wordpress.com/2009/01/13/legal-aid-nyc-union-members-stop-israel%E2%80%99s-massacre-in-gaza-and-end-the-siege-now/
TIMELINE: Israel’s Latest Escalation in Gaza

(November 14, 2012)
Following a two-week lull in violence, Israeli soldiers invade Gaza. In the resulting exchange of gunfire with Palestinian fighters, a 12-year-old boy is killed by an Israeli bullet while he plays soccer.
http://imeu.net/news/article0023227.shtml

U.S. Foreign Aid to Israel (Congressional Research Service)
(March 12, 2012)
Israel is the largest cumulative recipient of U.S. foreign assistance since World War II. To date, the United States has provided Israel $115 billion in bilateral assistance. Almost all U.S. bilateral aid to Israel is in the form of military assistance,
http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/mideast/RL33222.pdf

November 11, 2012

2012.11.16: RE: 5 p.m. Today (Friday): Protest Escalating Israeli Attack on Gaza

Filed under: Free Speech,International Human Rights,Palestine — nyclaw01 @ 2:26 pm

From: Letwin, Michael
Sent: Friday, November 16, 2012 2:26 PM
To: Kitay, Emily; Korn, Joyce; Arafa, Noha
Cc: Davidson, Terence; Finkel, Oscar; 1199 Members; ALAA MEMBERS
Subject: RE: 5 p.m. Today (Friday): Protest Escalating Israeli Attack on Gaza

Actually, as Noha shows below, the “legal support” for free speech (including yours) is our Collective Bargaining Agreement.

It has been there for more than three decades not because Management “happily tries to give us much broader latitude than most employers,” but because we demanded, fought for, and won it.Despite the effort of some members to belittle or abolish them in regard to Palestinians, those rights remain in full effect.

And the days are long gone when people could be silenced for exercising them.

From: Kitay, Emily
Sent: Friday, November 16, 2012 1:24 PM
To: Korn, Joyce; Arafa, Noha
Cc: Davidson, Terence; Finkel, Oscar; Letwin, Michael; 1199 Members; ALAA MEMBERS
Subject: RE: 5 p.m. Today (Friday): Protest Escalating Israeli Attack on Gaza

It is not necessary since there is an agreement to such an effect from 2009 when management threatened to end all of our emails relating a broad range of topics if we did not self-police so to speak.

Contrary to what Michael says, there is little legal support for “free speech” in the work place although our organization

happily tries to give us much broader latitude than most employers.

From: Korn, Joyce
Sent: Friday, November 16, 2012 1:19 PM
To: Arafa, Noha
Cc: Kitay, Emily; Davidson, Terence; Finkel, Oscar; Letwin, Michael; 1199 Members; ALAAMEMBERS
Subject: Re: 5 p.m. Today (Friday): Protest Escalating Israeli Attack on Gaza

You need to take into account that this issue is very different than a request to support a candidate. Many of my faith were raised to believe silence equals death, as it led to the killings if millions. I find emails on this subject very troubling given if I just delete, it’s the equivalent of silence.  For me, this conflict I conscience is creating a hostile work environment.  I believe that Alaa could ask each of it’s members whether they wish to receive these emails and generate a list of those who do.

Sent from my iPhone
On Nov 16, 2012, at 1:06 PM, “Arafa, Noha” <NMArafa@legal-aid.org> wrote:

Emily,

 

Must I remind you of this clause in our union contract:§ 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.”

I haven’t heard you complain about any union emails on behalf of phone-banking for Obama, voting WFP, Occupy Sandy, or any other political emails that are sent out over our union list-serve.  It seems that the only issue you and others who opposeMichael’s email, is that it is in support of Palestine.  “Free speech” does not mean protecting only the speech you agree with.

Another point,  isn’t Israel the only “democracy” in the Middle East. I am sure since Israel is a “democracy,” that it believes in and upholds free speech. If you support Israel and its democracy, then it seems to me you should be in support of free speech.

I understand Israel facing violence as well.  I condemn violence on both sides.  Should you care to send an email on behalf of Israel, I would whole heartedly support your right to do so.  I would not silence your speech because I do not agree with you.  This is a sensitive subject for me as well.  My family happens to have land in Gaza.   So please, I encourage you to open the debate.  Send us an e-mail on behalf of Israel.  I would love to hear your side of things.  I promise you I will be the last person to try to silence your speech.

From: Kitay, Emily
Sent: Friday, November 16, 2012 12:34 PM
To: Davidson, Terence; Finkel, Oscar
Cc: Letwin, Michael; 1199 Members; ALAA MEMBERS
Subject: RE: 5 p.m. Today (Friday): Protest Escalating Israeli Attack on Gaza

None of this conversation is supposed to occur on ALAA email site, this has been discussed ad nauseum.

It is obviously a very sensitive topic and complicate issue but it is  not directly relevant to our practice.

I respectfully request that this topic and all emails concernig the middle east cease and desist.

For those who are new to  legal aid, their is an understanding that these emails will only go to certain discussion groups that people sign up for.

So please respect the existing agreement from years ago and just post this stuff in the discussion group or sign up for the groups.

Thank you.

From: Davidson, Terence
Sent: Friday, November 16, 2012 12:28 PM
To: Finkel, Oscar
Cc: Letwin, Michael; 1199 Members; ALAA MEMBERS
Subject: Re: 5 p.m. Today (Friday): Protest Escalating Israeli Attack on Gaza

Do you mean if we did a drone strike on  Mexico or Canada and killed babies too?

Sent from my iPhone
On Nov 16, 2012, at 12:07 PM, “Finkel, Oscar” <OFinkel@legal-aid.org> wrote:

they have been shelling israel for several weeks now, although it was not broadly publicized. how long would you want our govt. to tolerate rockets and missiles coming down on new york?

From: Letwin, Michael
Sent: Friday, November 16, 2012 11:09 AM
To: 1199 Members; ALAA MEMBERS
Subject: 5 p.m. Today (Friday): Protest Escalating Israeli Attack on Gaza

–Please post and forward widely

 

 

<553939_10151155939003577_578817961_n.jpg>

“The front page photo on Thursday’s Washington Post tells, in
a single frame, a very personal story from Wednesday’s Israeli
airstrikes on the Gaza Strip. Jihad Misharawi, a BBC Arabic
journalist who lives in Gaza, carries the body of his 11-month
old son, Omar, through  al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City.”
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2012/11/15/the-story-behind-the-photo-journalists-11-month-old-son-killed-in-gaza-strikes/

5 p.m. Today: Friday, November 16, 2012
NYC — Protest Israeli Attack on Gaza
Nearly 1000 people came out last night — let’s come back again and be louder and bigger than before!
Join, Share, Re-post, Invite: https://www.facebook.com/events/374254042661536/
Photos of last night’s protest: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.4857024353800.2186729.1542848808&type=3

Background

 

Legal Aid NYC Union Members: Stop Israel’s Massacre in Gaza and End the Siege Now
(January 13, 2009)
The undersigned members of the Association of Legal Aid Attorneys/UAW Local 2325 and 1199SEIU join millions around the world — many of whom are Jewish — to condemn, in the strongest possible terms, Israel’s ongoing massacre of hundreds of Palestinians in Gaza. . . . We cannot turn a blind eye.
https://alaa2325.wordpress.com/2009/01/13/legal-aid-nyc-union-members-stop-israel%E2%80%99s-massacre-in-gaza-and-end-the-siege-now/
TIMELINE: Israel’s Latest Escalation in Gaza

(November 14, 2012)
Following a two-week lull in violence, Israeli soldiers invade Gaza. In the resulting exchange of gunfire with Palestinian fighters, a 12-year-old boy is killed by an Israeli bullet while he plays soccer.
http://imeu.net/news/article0023227.shtml

U.S. Foreign Aid to Israel (Congressional Research Service)
(March 12, 2012)
Israel is the largest cumulative recipient of U.S. foreign assistance since World War II. To date, the United States has provided Israel $115 billion in bilateral assistance. Almost all U.S. bilateral aid to Israel is in the form of military assistance,
http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/mideast/RL33222.pdf

November 9, 2012

2012.11.09: Welcome to the Attorneys of Color of Legal Aid (ACLA)

Filed under: ALAA History,Key Documents,Uncategorized — nyclaw01 @ 1:43 pm
Tags:

ACLA was founded in 1990 by staff attorneys of color from the criminal, civil, and volunteer divisions, together with the Executive Director and President of ALAA, primarily to address the dismal record of hiring and retaining attorneys of color throughout the society.  We are a caucus of ALAA,  have a representative on the Executive Board, and actively participate not only in contract bargaining, but in other negotiations concerning our members and our communities.  Membership is open to all attorneys of color in the society.

Through the efforts of ACLA language was added to the ALAA contract requiring LAS to:

  • hire an Affirmative Action Officer;
  • establish a Joint Affirmative Action Task Force (Committee)
  • notify the union of all job openings
  • keep and provide to ACLA/ALAA statistics on the hiring and retention of attorneys of color;
  • incorporate the participation of attys of color in the interview and hiring process;
  • make expedited offers to atty of color;
  • systematically evaluate staff attys of color for supervisory position;
  • provide mandatory diversity training for staff and supervisors in the areas of race, gender, and sexual orientation; and,
  • conduct exit interviews of all attys of color.

In addition, recruitment, hiring, and retention procedures were adopted by some divisions of the society which were specifically designed to increase both the pool of applicants of color and the number of attys of color hired within the society.  ACLA was instrumental in the development of these procedures and your presence here today is a direct result of those efforts.

Our work is not just directed to the on-goings within LAS.  We create and maintain ties to the communities we come from and serve.  Our members participate in community trainings and educational seminars.  We add our voice to legal and non-legal issues of concern to our clients and our communities, and remain accessible to provide information, assistance, or guidance when requested.

However, despite our best efforts, much work is still to be done.  Some of the gains we made at LAS have either been lost through contract negotiations or have been underutilized.  We cannot afford to backslide any further.  We not only have to reclaim what has been lost but also move forward.

We invite you to join us.  We need you to join us.  In the coming weeks and months we will be working on several important issues including: contract negotiations, finalizing the LAS Affirmative Action Plan; and, establishing a society wide hiring policy.  We will also be working on the problems regarding excessive caseloads and their detrimental effects on our clients and community as well as other issues brought up by the membership.

Please sign up and let us know which issues you are interested in working on.  There is an attendance/sign- up sheet circulating and a calendar of our future meetings.  Thank you all for coming;  enjoy the food, music, and company;  have a great time;  and hope to see you soon.

November 7, 2012

2012.11.07: Nov. 14 Rally in Solidarity with European General Strike (Josh Norkin)

Filed under: Free Speech,International Human Rights,Labor Solidarity — nyclaw01 @ 12:48 pm
From: Norkin, Joshua
Sent: Wednesday, November 07, 2012 12:48 PM
To: ALAA MEMBERS
Subject: Nov. 14 Rally in Solidarity with European General Strike
 
FYI.

A coalition of New York Greek-Americans, groups in solidarity with Greece and working peopleacross Europe have called for a rally at the United Nations Missions of Greece and the European Union on Wednesday, November 14, 2012.

 

I believe Eric Poulos is going if you want to contact him.

November 2, 2012

2012.11.02: Urgent: Occupy Sandy Volunteer Relief Mobilization

Filed under: OWS — nyclaw01 @ 8:35 pm

From: Letwin, Michael
Sent: Friday, November 02, 2012 8:45 AM
To: 1199 Members; ALAA MEMBERS
Subject: Urgent: Occupy Sandy Volunteer Relief Mobilization

Sandy relief for the 99%

Background:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/01/occupy-sandy-occupy-wall-street_n_2061067.html

http://interoccupy.net/occupysandy/

—————-

http://occupywallst.org/article/occupy-sandy/

Occupy Sandy!

Posted 19 hours ago on Nov. 1, 2012, 1:38 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt
Tags: climate, disaster relief, hurricane, nyc, occupy sandy

Sandy Relief

via http://interoccupy.net/occupysandy/:
@OccupySandy

Occupy Sandy is a coordinated relief effort to help distribute resources & volunteers to help neighborhoods and people affected by Hurricane Sandy. We are a coalition of people & organizations who are dedicated to implementing aid and establishing hubs for neighborhood resource distribution. Members of this coalition are from Occupy Wall Street, 350.org, recovers.org and interoccupy.net. The task of rebuilding communities is a marathon and not a sprint. We thank you for your donations and your support. The hubs we have set up so far are listed below and photos and volunteer updates are available on our facebook: www.facebook.com/occupysandyreliefnyc. To contact us with information that should be included on this hub, please email OccupySandy@interoccupy.net

To get regular updates by text message please text “occupysandy” to 23559.

Enter your email here to receive news and updates about how you can help!

Financial Donations can be made to:
https://www.wepay.com/donations/occupy-sandy-cleanup-volunteers

Volunteer to Help Out the Relief Effort:
http://interoccupy.net/occupysandy/volunteer/

To locate an Emergency Shelter, use this map which is updated regularly to reflect current status of the shelters in :
https://sparkrelief.org/#!/disaster/hurricane-sandy

For anyone who needs assistance with food:

Citymeals www.citymeals.org is delivering shelf-stable meals to seniors. If you come across any senior housing, please contact Citymeals and make them aware. Email Rachel@citymeals.org.

Emergency food stamps: Call 718-557-1339. Many people may qualify for the Disaster-Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP).

To donate goods, here is a list of needs and where you can drop them off:
GENERAL NEEDS – ALL LOCATIONS NEED THESE ITEMS

blankets
candles
flashlights
batteries
water
food
socks
towels
printer paper
baby items: diapers etc.
pet food
DROP-OFF LOCATIONS

Astoria
36-10 Crescent St. 2nd floor.
Contact Pam: 718-208-7205

Chinatown (open Nov 1, 10am-5pm)
CAAAV
46 Hester St Frnt A
(212) 473-6485
justice@caaav.org – email provided, but best to just show up to help or bring supplies!

Specific Requests in Chinatown:
Water bottles
C, D, AA, AAA batteries (and one 9 volt battery)
Food (hot at lunch, non-perishable/bread/cookies)
Some bottles of Ensure (Glucerna shake) for the elderly, vitamins for the elderly
Generator (for shelter at 350 Grand St, Seward Park High School)

Rockaway and Far Rockaway
Location 1:
Firehouse on 59th street
across from the train station.
contact person: Jean Dupont 9179755623

Location 2:
Veggie Island
96th Street and Rockaway Blvd.

Location 3:
Store Front Community Center
B113 and Rockaway Beach Blvd

Specific Requests in Rockaway and Far Rockaway (starred ones are most urgent):
* Propane grille or camping style oven
* Plates, cups, forks, bowls, spoons, etc
* blankets, jackets, gloves, hats, anything to keep folks warm
* cleaning supplies – buckets, squeegies, mops, bleach
* masks, gloves for cleaning
* socks
* water
* tarps
* garbage bags
boots
electric stove
gas stove
satellite phones
big paper, tape, markers
pens, paper, notepads
generators
pumps
camping tables
gasoline
gasoline containers
percolator
fire extinguishers
walkie talkies
i9 tablets
projector/illuminator

Fort Green/Clinton Hill
45 Waverly Avenue
just off of Park Ave in Fort Green/Clinton Hill
(Hours for Nov 1: 10am-6pm)

Park Slope
Park Slope Armory
361 15th St, Brooklyn

Sunset Park
St. Jacobi Church
5406 4th Ave
Contact: Ronnie 646-353-5194

Specific Requests in Sunset Park:
steamtable foil pans full or half size w lids
blankets
cleaning supplies
tin foil
saran wrap

Williamsburg (starting Nov 1, 10am)
Residence
306 Leonard St, apt J1 (btwn Conselyea and Metropolitan)
Contact: Jennifer (917) 586-4153

Bedstuy
Residence
136 Jefferson Ave, apt 2 11216

East Billyburg (Beginning Thursday Nov 1 at 12 noon)
House of Yes
342 Maujer st
Contact: Kae Burke (525)217-7209

Downtown Brooklyn
NYCC
2-4 Nevins Street, 2nd Floor

Harlem
Location 1:
Residence
47 saint nicholas avenue #4d
btw 112 and 113

Location 2:
Residence
938 st Nicholas ave # 25 at corner of 157th and st Nicholas ave.

Lower East Side
The Bowery Mission
45-51 Ave D
212-777-3424
contact: Claude Nelson or any “operations manager” on duty. they’re open 24/7 and in need of prepared foods, a generator and anything else you can offer.

Specific Requests at Lower East Side:
Generator
Prepared Foods
RECOVERS.ORG PAGES

Occupy Wall Street & 350.org have teamed up with Recovers.org – a people-powered disaster relief platform – to help coordinate response to Hurricane Sandy in NYC. At Recovers.org we are launching support pages where people can GIVE help or post a NEED. Here is more information about this coalition.

We have started with the following Recovery pages, and more will be coming soon:

https://lowereastside.recovers.org/ – (646) 580-7473
https://astoria.recovers.org/ – (347) 669-4394
https://redhook.recovers.org – (347) 464-9269
https://statenisland.recovers.org/ – (347) 934-9927 – statenislandrecovers@gmail.com – @SIrecovers
TWITTER HASHTAGS

The following hashtags are being used for tweets related to Sandy:
#sandy
#hurricanesandy
#sandyrecovery
#sandyaid
#sandyvolunteer
| occupysandy@interoccupy.net

NYC dark

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