ALAA Roots — An Unofficial Site

February 20, 2013

Today: Demand Release of Palestinian Hunger Striker Samer Issawi

From: Letwin, Michael
Sent: Wednesday, February 20, 2013 9:53 AM
To: 1199 Members; ALAA MEMBERS
Subject: Today: Demand Release of Palestinian Hunger Striker Samer Issawi


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Issawi has been detained by Israeli authorities without any charge. He had been released from prison in October 2011 as a part of the Shalit prisoner swap, but was detained again without charge on July 7, 2012, and has been refusing food since August 2012 to protest his detention. He is in critical condition. He is losing his vision, vomiting blood and lapsing in and out of consciousness.
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Background: Palestinians in Prisons Refuse Meals in a Protest,

Palestinian Community Network + <> + Twitter @USPCN

Demand the Release of Samer Issawi – Call-In Day Wed. 2/20/13

Wednesday 2/20/13 9:00AM – 5:00PM EST

After 211 days on hunger strike, the Israeli “kangaroo” military court rejected the release of Palestinian hunger striker Samer Issawi today during his “emergency” hearing. Issawi will remain behind bars until his next scheduled hearing on March 14, 2013. Issawi’s mother Um Ra’fat collapsed after the court decision. The Israelis are clearly waiting for him to die. After the court hearing, 800 Palestinian inmates also went on hunger strike to show solidarity with those already striking. It’s time for all people of conscience to step up our actions.

We call for everyone, especially those in the U.S., to call President Obama and the State Department on Wednesday 2/20/13 to take action.

“My name is _____ from __________ and I demand that the US administration intervene for the immediate release of Samer Issawi, who is close to death, the other hungers strikers, and all the administrative detainees and Palestinian political prisoners.”

1) Call President Obama at 1-202-456-1111
2) Call US Secretary of State John Kerry at 1-202-647-4000 or the Office of Near East Affairs at 1-202-647-7209

There will also be a campaign on Twitter, as there has been for multiple days, at 1PM CST to demand the release of Samer Issawi. Check @samerissawi1 for the hashtag to use.

For updates on the worldwide campaign, follow “The Free Samer Issawi Campaign” page on FaceBook <;

Issawi has been detained by Israeli authorities without any charge. He had been released from prison in October 2011 as a part of the Shalit prisoner swap, but was detained again without charge on July 7, 2012, and has been refusing food since August 2012 to protest his detention. He is in critical condition. He is losing his vision, vomiting blood and lapsing in and out of consciousness.

Sponsored by (list in formation):

Palestine Solidarity Group (PSG) – Chicago <;
U.S. Palestinian Community Network (USPCN)-National <;
USPCN – Chicago
Coalition to Protect People’s Rights (CPPR) <;
Committee to Stop FBI Repression (CSFR) <;
Committee Against Political Repression (CAPR) – Chicago <;
Chicago Movement for Palestinian Rights (CMPR) <;
Jewish Voice for Peace – Chicago
American Muslims for Palestine – Chicago
Jews for Palestinian Right of Return <;
Labor for Palestine <;
New York City Labor Against the War <;

To endorse, please email

February 15, 2013

2013.02.15: One of the Most Serious Miscarriages of Justice in New York City’s History

Filed under: Civil Rights,Criminal Justice,Police Abuse,Racism,Sentencing — nyclaw01 @ 10:28 am

From:  Codling, Antonia
Sent: Friday, February 15, 2013 10:28 AM
To: ALAA MEMBERS; 1199 Members
Subject: One of the Most Serious Miscarriages of Justice in New York City’s History

Come to court & support the Central Park 5 lawsuit to end 23 years of monstrous injustice!

Tuesday, February 19 from 2:00 PM at 500 Pearl St., Fl. 18-D  — An overflow courtroom has been added!

Come to Rally in Support of CP5!

Tuesday, February 19 from 4:00 PM at Foley Square –


Directions to 500 Pearl St./Southern District Court (Northeast of Foley Sq., with entrances on Pearl St. just west of Park Row – or – on Worth St. btw Baxter & Mulberry;

transit: J train (not M) to Chambers; # 4 , 5 , 6 to Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall; R (not N) to City Hall (at Broadway & Warren); A , C to Chambers; N , Q to Canal (east exit stairs, through J platform, to Centre St.); # 1 , 2 , 3 to Chambers; E to WTC; PATH to WTC;

M22 bus via Madison St., East Broadway, Worth & Chambers; M9 via Essex St., East Broadway & Park Row; buses via 3rd Av./Bowery or via Broadway or via 2nd Av. & Allen St.




In 1989, barely a week after the CP5 were arrested, Donald Trump took out a full page ad in four New York City newspapers calling for the return of the death penalty so that these innocent children (then 14 -16 years old) could be executed.  Never mind that the five alleged assailants were all minors, or that rape wasn’t a capital crime. There was a moral panic to be stoked.

And stoked it was. New York’s media parted with their tradition of not publishing the names of minors accused of crimes. The case gave us the term “wilding”, described at the time as the name violent youth gangs gave their sprees of crime and terror, but which was most likely the result of an NYPD detective who misunderstood the lyrics to a Tone Lōc song. The case made national headlines, and fueled the growing myth of the super-predator, in which the law-and-order crowd terrified white suburbia with tales of a rising class of young, black super-criminals. The explosion in violent juvenile crime predicted by the likes of William Bennett and John DiIulio, Jr. never happened.

If Trump had his way, all of the Central Park Five would have been dead by 2002. That’s the year Matias Reyes, already in prison for rape and murder, confessed to the crime, and insisted he acted alone. DNA tests had already confirmed that only one person raped victim Trisha Meili. Further DNA testing showed Reyes was that person. Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau later vacated the convictions of the other five suspects, all of whom had already served their sentences for the attack.

Since their exoneration Trump has said nothing about the role he played in assuring their wrongful conviction and done nothing to push the City to settle the Five’s civil suit for damages.

All five of the accused have sued the city.  After nine years, that lawsuit is still pending.

February 8, 2013

2013.02.08: LOs Needed

Filed under: Civil Liberties — nyclaw01 @ 1:44 pm

From: Morris, Susan
Sent: Friday, February 08, 2013 1:44 PM
To: ALAA MEMBERS; 1199 Members
Subject: LOs Needed

See below.


Susan Howard
National Lawyers Guild
(212) 679-6018

From: [] On Behalf Of nlgnyc
Sent: Friday, February 08, 2013 1:40 PM
Subject: [nycmassdefense] LO Req. Ongoing Saturdays in Feb. (7-11am) Choices Women’s Medical Ctr. Jamaica Queens

If you can legal observe for any of these events, please contact the chapter office (212) 679-6018.

Who: National Organization of Women

What: Escorting patients into Choices Women’s Medical Center so they will not be assaulted or harassed by anti-choice protestors.

When: Ongoing Saturdays, Feb. 9, 16 & 23 – Escorting begins at 7 am and concludes around 11. (* get there when you can)
Where: 147-32 Jamaica Avenue, Jamaica, Queens. Main entrance to clinic is around the corner on 147th Place.

* directions, E, J ,Z train to Sutphin Blvd / Archer Ave. Walk 2 blocks from Sutphin / Archer to Jamaica Avenue; turn right on Jamaica Ave., go 1 block and make another right on 147th Place.

Contact person: Brielle Nalence
Best regards,

Susan Howard
Chapter Coordinator
New York City Chapter
National Lawyers Guild


February 6, 2013

2013.02.06: FW: Emergency Rally to Save LICH – Thursday, Feb. 7!

Filed under: Austerity and Budget Cuts,Labor Solidarity — nyclaw01 @ 2:44 pm

From: Herschel, Lucy
Sent: Wednesday, February 06, 2013 2:44 PM
To: 1199 Members; ALAA MEMBERS
Subject: FW: Emergency Rally to Save LICH – Thursday, Feb. 7!

From: George Gresham []
Sent: Wednesday, February 06, 2013 01:36 PM
To: Stacy Gray
Subject: Emergency Rally to Save LICH – Thursday, Feb. 7!


Emergency Rally to Save LICH!

Please join us for an emergency rally in midtown Manhattan this Thursday, Feb. 7 to save Long Island College Hospital. SUNY will be meeting about the closure of LICH, which would destroy healthcare services for 100,000 patients and jobs for more than 2,000 workers.

When: Thursday, Feb. 7 at 2:30 PM

Where: 33 West 42nd St. (between 5th and 6th Ave.) Manhattan

We must take action to preserve quality care and quality jobs in our city!

In Unity,

George Gresham


Save Long Island College Hospital in Brooklyn!

Recently the State University of New York announced the proposed closure of Long Island College Hospital of Brooklyn. This would be disastrous for Brooklyn patients, LICH caregivers, and working families throughout the city, and we need your help.

Contact the SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpherat at or (800) 342-3811 and the Board of Trustees at or (518) 320-1157.

Tell them that SUNY should explore all other options to keep LICH’s vital healthcare service and good jobs in our community.

LICH provides crucial medical care to over 100,000 people a year, including seniors, working families and vulnerable patient populations. LICH is also one of the area’s largest employers, and a closure would mean the loss of 2,000 good jobs and a severe blow to our local economy. Take action now and stay tuned!

Recent press



February 5, 2013

2013.02.05: Defend Academic Freedom for Palestinian Rights at Brooklyn College

From: Letwin, Michael
Sent: Tuesday, February 05, 2013 11:25 AM
To: 1199 Members; ALAA MEMBERS
Subject: Defend Academic Freedom for Palestinian Rights at Brooklyn College

In Defense of Civil Liberties
Association of Legal Aid Attorneys/UAW 2325, February 21, 2002
History teaches that our civil liberties and democratic rights are most endangered—and most essential—during times of crisis. ALAA, therefore, supports and endorses all efforts to defend these freedoms against attacks such as those discussed above.



Ways you can help Brooklyn College Student for Justice in Palestine
Please join us in showing support for our school administration, and encouraging them to continue to support academic freedom and expression on campus. Below you can find the contact details of school admins and sample letters to send, and a statement individuals and groups can sign on to.

Today, 1 p.m.: Brooklyn College SJP to Hold Press Conference in Support of Brooklyn College’s Continued Support for Academic Freedom and Expression on Campus
On Tuesday afternoon at 1 PM ET, members and supporters of the Brooklyn College chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) will hold a press conference to address the escalating attacks led by city and state politicians and lawyer Alan Dershowitz against the Brooklyn College administration following the political science department’s co-sponsorship of an upcoming event organized by SJP.

Background and Context

Glenn Greenwald: NYC officials threaten funding of Brooklyn College over Israel event
That’s what free speech and academic freedom are about: the right to freely air and advocate for any and all viewpoints, even ones that “offend” people. Few things threaten those critical values more than elected officials threatening to punish colleges for hosting such events. But that’s exactly what is taking place right now in New York.

Litmus Tests
Such intimidation chills debate and makes a mockery of the ideals of academic freedom.

MSNBC host calls push to shut down boycott discussion at Brooklyn College ‘outrageous and outright chilling’
Hayes says that some of those politicians “browbeating” the college have been on his show. Good liberals. Yes: Progressive Except Palestine, PEP.

The Tide Turns: Letitia James Backs Off From Threats to CUNY
It would be inappropriate to even imply that the Council use their power over CUNY’s budget to influence what issues are discussed on campus, or what groups are invited to engage in dialogue. Because I did not want to be misunderstood in my position, I removed myself from the letter.

Palestine Conditions “More Brutal” Than in U.S. South of 50 Years Ago, Says Author Alice Walker
“I respect that boycott [against Israel] in the same way that I respected the boycott when there was apartheid in South Africa. . . . I mean, they’ve essentially stolen what was all of Palestine.”

Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters backs Brooklyn College Israel boycott event
“You are standing up for truth and liberty. You believe that all men should be equal. “That you have come under attack from powerful political and media forces for trying to shed light on the predicament of the good peoples of Palestine and Israel is wrong. I stand with you.”

Jews for Palestinian Right of Return Stands With Brooklyn College BDS Event
Far from preaching “hate” or “anti-Semitism,” as those trying to suppress this event have falsely claimed, BDS resembles the heroic Montgomery bus boycott and South African anti-apartheid divestment campaign.

Dershowitz’s attack on boycott Israel campaign smacks of desperation
The obvious chasm between the democratic rhetoric and the racist reality of the “Jewish state” is widening so fast, revealing a hypocrisy so stark, so deeply embedded, and so discordant with modern notions of universal human rights, that the Dershowitzs, Hikinds, and Thompsons of the world have nothing left in their hands but the anti-Semitism card.


Union Free Speech Notice: 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.”).

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