ALAA Roots — An Unofficial Site

July 29, 2014

2014.07.29: Updated Signers (173) of Mass Free Speech Grievance

From: Letwin, Michael
Sent: Friday, August 08, 2014 1:25 PM
To: ALAA Members, 1199 Members
Subject: Updated Signers (173) of Mass Free Speech Grievance

­On July 29, 2014, the ALAA Joint Council voted to “authorize this grievance to proceed through the third step of the grievance process.”

Additional individual endorsers from both ALAA and 1199 will continue to be listed below.

 

Mass Free Speech Grievance
July 15, 2014
List in formation: 173 Signers: 130 ALAA members (including 54 ACLA members*) and 43 1199/SEIU members

The undersigned members of the Association of Legal Aid Attorneys/UAW Local 2325 and 1199SEIU Healthcare Workers East hereby join in grieving Legal Aid Society management’s attempt to ban “non-work-related matter involving the current situation in the Middle East,” as reflected in the two warnings (attached below), concerning messages to the ALAA email discussion list.

This censorship is just the most recent reflection of more than twelve years of pandering to complaints and threats by those seeking to silence antiwar and Palestine human rights opinion at Legal Aid.

Regardless of our individual political views, the targeted speech — like earlier opposition to racial segregation, the Vietnam War, or South African apartheid — is protected under ALAA Collective Bargaining Agreement §§ 3.5 (“Free Speech”) and 1.5. (“Union Activities”), and under relevant 1199SEIU contractual provisions.

In addition, such discrimination contributes to a broader hostile work environment for Arabs, Muslims, Palestinians and other people of color, in violation of ALAA Collective Bargaining Agreement § 3.1.1. (“Non-Discrimination”), CBA § 3.1.2. (“Affirmative Action”), relevant 1199SEIU contractual provisions, and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq.

It is irrelevant that ALAA has agreed to eventually relocate its discussion list from the Society’s email system. As long as the current list exists, management may not selectively censor particular views or entire topics, while at the same time turning a blind eye to innumerable political and “non-work-related” messages — often sent by the very same list members who demand censorship of others.

There is no “heckler’s veto” or “Palestine exception” when it comes to free speech.

Moreover, since recipients can easily delete, or configure their individual Outlook settings to automatically “opt-out” of, Palestinian rights (or any other) messages, management may not engage in selective censorship under the guise of additional, unfathomable, unspecified “op-out” procedures.

We call on management to rescind this ban, and respect our free speech rights.

Signers (List in Formation)
*Denotes Attorneys of Color of Legal Aid (ACLA) member

Michael Letwin
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
Former President, ALAA/UAW 2325

Noha Arafa*
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Azalia Torres*
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
Former Sr. Attorney & Attorneys of Color (ACLA) Rep., ALAA/UAW 2325

Noor Ahmad*
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Susan Olivia Morris
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
Alternate Vice President, ALAA/UAW 2325

Jane Sampeur*
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Pooja Kothari*
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Lucy Herschel
Criminal Defense-Queens
Delegate, 1199SEIU

Marlen S. Bodden*
Criminal Defense-Special Litigation
ALAA/UAW 2325

Nora Carroll
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Antonia Codling*
Criminal Defense-Bronx
Affirmative Action Rep., ALAA/UAW Local 2325

Laurie Dick
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Monica D. Dula*
Criminal Defense-Bronx
ALAA/UAW 2325

Lisa Edwards*
Civil-Harlem
ALAA/UAW 2325

Taylor James*
Housing Help Program, Civil-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Daniella Korotzer
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
Former Vice President and Health & Safety Rep., ALAA/UAW 2325

Rebecca Kurti
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
1199SEIU

Patrick Langhenry
Civil-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Kristin Lew
Criminal Defense-Manhattan
Former Negotiating Committee Member, 1199SEIU

Florence Morgan*
Criminal Defense-Queens
ALAA/UAW 2325

Mimi Rosenberg
Civil-Brooklyn Neighborhood Office
ALAA/UAW 2325

Steve Terry
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Alexandra Smith
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Bahar Ansari*
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
Delegate, ALAA/UAW 2325

Luke Schram
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Stephanie Pope
Criminal Defense-Staten Island
ALAA/UAW 2325

Brittany Thomas*
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Antonio Villaamil*
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Claire Nicolay
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Antoinette Kirwan*
Juvenile Rights-Bronx
ALAA/UAW 2325

Kathryn Thiesenhusen
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Lauren Katzman
Juvenile Rights-Broklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Elena Roberts
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Aurea Gonzalez
Paralegal 1
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
1199SEIU

Rigodis Appling*
Criminal Defense-Manhattan
Delegate, ALAA/UAW 2325

Donella Green*
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Dale Ventura*
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Jawaid Stationwala*
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Greg Johnston
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Katherine Fitzer
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Julie Fry
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
Vice President, ALAA/UAW 2325

ManI Tafari*
Criminal Defense-Queens
ALAA/UAW 2325

Ferdinand Cesarano
Criminal Defense-Central Admin.
1199SEIU

Eric Meggett*
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Steven Wasserman
Criminal Defense-Special Litigation
Delegate, ALAA/UAW 2325

Willliam Brosh, LCSW
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
1199SEIU

Roslyn Morrison*
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Lisa Pitts*
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Titus Mathai*
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Hilary Dowling
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
Delegate, ALAA/UAW 2325

Bridgett Holloman
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
1199SEIU

Anna Boksenbaum
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
Alternate Delegate, ALAA/UAW 2325

Steven Kliman
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Bernadette Jackson
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
1199SEIU

Joseph Lavine
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Asmika Dangol
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
1199SEIU

Claudia Diez
Paralegal II
Criminal Appeals
1199SEIU

Jeffrey Sugarman
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Adrian Lesher
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Grover Francis
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
Alternate Delegate, ALAA/UAW 2325

Scott Rudnick
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn|
ALAA/UAW 2325

Warren Deans
Criminal Defense-Central Admin.
1199SEIU

Steven Douglas Levine
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Lois Jackson
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
1199SEIU

Cynthia Pong*
Criminal Defense-Bronx
ALAA/UAW 2325

Erin M Bannister
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Genesis Fisher*
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
Delegate, ALAA/UAW 2325

Tajuana B. Johnson*
Criminal Defense-Manhattan
ALAA/UAW 2325

Bina Ahmad*
Criminal Defense-Staten Island
ALAA/UAW 2325

Naila Siddiqui*
Parole Revocation Defense
Delegate, ALAA/UAW 2325

Marie Mombrun*
Civil-Queens
Alt. Delegate, ALAA/UAW 2325

Stephanie J. Fields
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
Delegate, ALAA/UAW 2325

Jacob Rolls
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
Delegate, ALAA/UAW 2325

Rumzi Araj
Criminal Defense-Bronx
Delegate, ALAA/UAW 2325

Fazeela Siddiqui*
Civil-Queens
ALAA/UAW 2325

Zoie T. Mair*
Criminal Defense-Staten Island
ALAA/UAW 2325

Jeremiah Schlotman*
Civil-Brooklyn Neighborhood Office
ALAA/UAW 2325

Rodrigo Santelices*
Civil-Bronx
ALAA/UAW 2325

Anne Oredeko*
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
Junior Attorney Rep., ALAA/UAW 2325

Samantha Seda*
Criminal Defense-Queens
ALAA/UAW 2325

Ivan Pantoja*
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
Middle Attorney Rep., ALAA/UAW 2325

Shahar Azoulay*
Parole Revocation Defense
ALAA/UAW 2325

Andrea Ibrahim*
Criminal Defense-Staten Island
ALAA/UAW 2325

Femi Disu*
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
Affirmative Action Rep., ALAA/UAW 2325

Robert Newman
Criminal Defense-Special Litigation
ALAA/UAW 2325

Bobby Codjoe*
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Cory Walker
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Daniel Moore
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
Delegate, ALAA/UAW 2325

Jason Wu*
Civil-HCLO
ALAA/UAW 2325

Mark Weiner
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Laura Rose Bull
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
Delegate and Junior Attorney Alt. Rep., ALAA/UAW 2325

Alison Schill
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Kayla Simpson
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Bridgette Bissonnette
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
LGBT Caucus Alternate Rep., ALAA/UAW 2325

Alma Magaña*
Criminal Defense-Manhattan
Vice President, ALAA/UAW 2325

Candace Graff
Paralegal II
Juvenile Rights-Special Litigation
1199SEIU

Amy Dallas
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
Delegate, ALAA/UAW 2325

Susan Light
Criminal Defense-Bronx
ALAA/UAW 2325

Nadine Griffin
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
1199SEIU

Imtiaz Hossain*
Criminal Defense-Bronx
ALAA/UAW 2325

Svetlana M. Kornfeind
Criminal Appeals
ALAA/UAW 2325

Frederic Pratt
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
Former Delegate, ALAA/UAW 2325

Hernscica Vincent
Paralegal
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
1199SEIU

Joshua Carrin
Criminal Defense-Manhattan
Delegate, ALAA/UAW 2325

Madeline Porta
Criminal Defense-Queens
ALAA/UAW 2325

Lori Masco
Juvenile Rights-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Melissa Leigh Ballowe
Criminal Defense-Manhattan
Alternate Delegate, ALAA/UAW 2325

Alicia Thomas*
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Cynthia LaCaprucia Taylor
Civil-Harlem
Alternate Vice President (Civil Div.), ALAA/UAW 2325

Juan Charbonier
Criminal Defense-Queens
1199SEIU

Hasan Shafiqullah*
Civil-Immigration Law
LGBT Caucus
Former delegate, ALAA/UAW 2325

Helen Frieder
Civil-Bronx
LGBT Caucus Alternate Rep., ALAA/UAW 2325

Nada Geha
Civil-Staten Island
ALAA/UAW 2325

Richard Blum
Civil-Employment Law
ALAA/UAW 2325

Young Woo Lee
Civil-Employment Law
Alternate Vice President (Civil Div.), ALAA/UAW 2325

Jane Fox
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Todd Smith
Juvenile-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Felicia Leak
Criminal Defense-Bronx
ALAA/UAW 2325

Jeremy E.W. Fredericksen
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
Delegate, ALAA/UAW 2325

Bridgett Holloman
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
1199SEIU

Mitchell Paolo Esteller*
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Jodi Smith*
Criminal Defense-Bronx
ALAA/UAW 2325

Vanita Martin
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
1199SEIU

Monique Fleury-Brown
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
1199SEIU

Rachel Messer
Juvenile Rights-Brooklyn
1199SEIU

Robert Soriano-Hewitt*
Civil-Bronx
ALAA/UAW 2325

Lauren Monosoff
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Margaret Garrett
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Crystal Baker-Burr
Juvenile Rights-Bronx
ALAA/UAW 2325

Genitha Wint
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
1199SEIU

Deborah Pollack|
Criminal Defense-Manhattan
1199SEIU

Bharati Narumanchi*
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Grace Oboma-Layat*
Juvenile Rights-Bronx
ALAA/UAW 2325

Robin Gordon Leavitt
Criminal Defense-Bronx
ALAA/UAW 2325

Erin Tomlinson
Criminal Defense-Bronx
ALAA/UAW 2325

Alix Willard
Criminal Defense-Bronx
Delegate, 1199SIEU

Makeysha Woodman
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
1199SEIU

Lejla Bajrami
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
1199SEIU

Leah Maloney
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Michelle McGrath
Criminal Defense-Manhattan
ALAA/UAW 2325

Yvonne Nix
Criminal Defense-Manhattan
ALAA/UAW 2235

Alyssa Cose-Primus
Forensic Social Worker
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
1199SEIU

Diane Akerman
Queens CDP
ALAA/UAW

Anthony Posada*
Queens CDP
ALAA/UAW

Valerie LeBrew
Civil-Queens
1199SEIU Delegate

Omar Garcia
Civil-Brooklyn
1199SEIU Delegate

Jamaal Burnside
Juvenile Rights-Brooklyn
1199SEIU Delegate

Aisha King
Criminal Defense-Staten Island
1199SEIU Delegate

Javier Chuck
Civil-Harlem
1199SEIU Delegate

Magnus Mukoro
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
1199SEIU Delegate

Shawn Bosler
Juvenile Rights-Bronx
1199SEIU

Terence Davidson
Criminal Defense-Central Admin.
1199SEIU

Anastasia Taketomo
Juvenile Rights-LGBT Law and Policy Initiative
1199SEIU

Mily Rosa
Criminal Defense-Queens
1199SEIU

Lasalle Jones
Criminal Defense-Bronx
1199SEIU

Adriano De Gennaro
Civil-Prisoners’ Rights
1199SEIU

Abida Chaudhry
Criminal Appeals
1199SEIU

Phillip Guttman
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
1199SEIU

Susan Yousefi
Civil-Brooklyn
1199SEIU

Joseph Rivera
Criminal Defense-Queens
1199SEIU

Liliana Canela
Civil-Queens
1199SEIU

Michael Pate
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
Delegate, ALAA/UAW 2325

Pauloma Martinez*
Criminal Defense-Queens
ALAA/UAW

Cheryl Williams*
Criminal Appeals
ALAA/UAW 2325

Emily Poppish
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Sarah Marie Young
Parole Revocation Defense
ALAA/UAW 2325

Jess Braverman
Juvenile Rights-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Catheranne Wyly
Juvenile Rights-Manhattan
ALAA/UAW 2325

Susan Sternberg
Civil-Lower Manhattan
Alternate Senior Attorneys Representative, ALAA/UAW 2325

Joshua Norkin, Esq.
Criminal Defense-Bronx
ALAA/UAW 2325

Bridget McDevitt
Criminal Defense-Bronx
ALAA/UAW 2325

Catherine Norris
Civil-Harlem Community Law Office
ALAA/UAW 2325

Alexander Smith
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

——————————­——————————­——————–
ATTACHMENTS

From: Fox, Allan
Sent: Thursday, June 26, 2014 4:16 PM
To: Letwin, Michael
Cc: Wright, Deborah
Subject: The Society’s email policy

In 2009 and 2013, The Legal Aid Society entered into agreements with the Association of Legal Aid Attorneys to achieve compliance with the Society’s longstanding e-mail policies and to clarify the parameters of Article 1.5 of the collective bargaining agreement with respect to ALAA’s use of the Society’s e-mail system.  (See copies of the attached agreements.)  The 2009 agreement provides that on an interim basis, the Society agrees to permit ALAA members to create personal e-mail groups, provided however that before and after setting up a personal e-mail group any and all potential or existing members of the personal e-mail group must be given an opportunity to opt out of the personal mail group.  Yesterday and today, we received several e-mails to ALAA members about a non-work-related matter sent by you involving the current situation in the Middle East, along with complaints from several ALAA members who received such communications who have elected to opt out of receiving them under the 2009 agreement.  As we have previously advised you, it is a violation of the Society’s e-mail policy and the 2009 agreement to send unwanted non-work-related communications to Society employees who have opted out of receiving such communications.  We are directing you to cease such actions and expect you to abide by your obligations under the 2009 agreement with ALAA and the Society’s e-mail policy. (Emphasis added.)

______________________________________________

From: Fox, Allan
Sent: Friday, July 11, 2014 3:05 PM
To: Herschel, Lucy
Subject: Email Policy & Usage

 

As we reiterated in an e-mail to all staff on June 26, The Legal Aid Society’s e-mail system is to be used for work-related communications. Our e-mail policy is clearly set forth in the Employee Handbook, which has been posted on LASnet for many years. Relevant portions were quoted in an e-mail today to all LAS staff. You recently sent a non-work-related e-mail communication to all ALAA and 1199 staff about recent events in the Middle East, and we have received a number of complaints from staff members who object to the communication. We are directing you to cease sending non-work-related communications that violate the policy and expect you to abide by your obligations under the Society’s e-mail policy. (Emphasis added.)

 

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July 30, 2012

2012.07.30: Reminder- Panel tomorrow

From:       Narumanchi, Bharati
Sent: Monday, July 30, 2012 9:46 AM
To:   Narumanchi, Bharati; CRIMINAL BKLYN STAFF ALL; JUVENILE BKLYN ATTYS ALL; CIVIL BNO ALL; CIVIL BKLYN AGING ALL; CRIMINAL BKLYN ATTYS ALL
Subject:    Reminder- Panel tomorrow

The Association of Legal Aid Attorneys (ALAA) and the Attorneys of Color Caucus (ACLA) present:

“The Second Shift: Fighting for Clients beyond the Courtroom”

Tuesday July 31st

1:15pm – 2:15pm

8th floor conference room

Brooklyn Legal Aid Office

111 Livingston Street

This panel discussion will feature L. Antonia Codling and Vincent Warren.  Antonia will discuss the current activism by Legal Aid attorneys around issues of Stop and Frisk, and the shooting of teenager Ramarley Graham in the Bronx. Vincent Warren will discuss the current work being done by CCR around Stop and Frisk.

Antonia Codling is a staff attorney in the Bronx Criminal Defense Practice.  Prior to working in CDP, Antonia worked for the Housing Conservation Coordinators, and the Community Law Office of LAS from 1997-2003. Antonia has served ALAA as a delegate from 1997-2000, the ACLA Rep from 2000-2006, and is currently an Alt. V.P.  Antonia attended the City College of New York Urban Legal Studies program.  While attending City College, she became politically active with the New York 8 (a group of revolutionaries and former Black Panther Party members who had been investigated by the NYPD and FBI counterintelligence units).  Antonia has been a member of the December 12th Movement since 1989.

Vincent Warren is the Executive Director of the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), a national legal and educational organization dedicated to advancing and defending the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Vince oversees CCR’s groundbreaking litigation and advocacy work which includes using international and domestic law to hold corporations and government officials accountable for human rights abuses; challenging racial, gender and LGBT injustice; and combating the illegal expansion of U.S. presidential power and policies such as illegal detention at Guantanamo Bay, rendition and torture. CCR is currently litigating Floyd v. City of New York, a federal class action challenging the NYPD’s use of unconstitutional stops and frisks.  Vince also monitored South Africa’s historic Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings and worked as a criminal defense attorney for the Brooklyn Legal Aid Society. Vince holds a law degree from Rutgers School of Law and a B.A. from Haverford College.

*This event is free and open to all staff and attorneys and interns.  This lecture of part of a series being

hosted by ALAA and ACLA in conjunction with the Mentoring Project for Law students of color.*

*CLE credit it not available for this lecture*

September 9, 2011

2011.09.09: Marking 9/11 by Defending Civil Liberties

From:  Letwin, Michael
Sent: Friday, September 09, 2011 10:38 AM
To: 1199 Members; ALAA MEMBERS
Subject: Marking 9/11 by Defending Civil Liberties

In Defense of Civil Liberties (ALAA, 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.”
https://alaa2325.wordpress.com/2002/02/21/in-defense-of-civil-liberties/

3 p.m. Today: CAIR: NY Coalition to Mark 9/11 with Defense of Civil Liberties
“On Friday, September 9, the New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY) — along with a coalition of elected officials, faith leaders, civil libertarians, and anti-war and community activists — will mark the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks with a news conference and rally in defense of civil liberties on the steps of New York’s City Hall.”
http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/cair-ny-coalition-to-mark-911-with-defense-of-civil-liberties-129469603.html

1 p.m., Sun., Sept. 11 — NYC: Emergency Mobilization against Racism, War and Anti-Muslim Bigotry
“Extreme right-wing, racist forces, who last year whipped up a climate of hate against the Islamic Prayer Center at 51 Park Place, have announced ugly new plans for this year — the 10th anniversary of 9/11 — at the same location near the World Trade Center site. This year it is more important than ever that we do not allow these racist hate mongers to be the only voices speaking to the media and to the world.”
http://www.iacenter.org/actions/09201-081011a/

December 10, 2010

2010.12.10: Tonight 7 p.m.: “War on Terror” Continues at Home and Abroad

From:  Letwin, Michael
Sent: Friday, December 10, 2010 9:36 AM
To: 1199 Members; ALAA MEMBERS
Subject: Tonight 7 p.m.: “War on Terror” Continues at Home and Abroad

The Violation of Human Rights: The “War on Terror” Continues at Home and Abroad

A Forum and Discussion

Friday, December 10th

7 pm – 9 pm

Judson Memorial Church, Assembly Hall

55 Washington Square South

New York, NY

Join the NYC Coalition to Stop Islamophobia on Friday, December 10th, for an eye-opening panel presentation and open discussion about how fear and anti-Muslim bigotry is mobilized to enable political prosecution, entrapment, targeted assassinations, indefinite and abusive detentions, and unjust occupations of Muslim & Arab countries, while at home we face the rise in Islamophobia. Hear speakers who will present different perspectives, from attorneys to activists.

Speakers:

Pardiss Kebriaei, staff attorney for the Center for Constitutional Rights, is challenging the Obama administration’s targeted assassination order on Anwar Awlaki, an American citizen residing in Yemen. The lawsuit brought by Awlaki’s father seeks a court order enjoining the President from assassinating his son with no due process. Ms. Kebriaei will discuss this case, as well as the “state secrets” argument presented by the Obama administration’s continuing justification of the Bush doctrine.

Lamis J. Deek, is an attorney and human rights advocate specializing in defending Arab & Muslim community members, activists and organizers against governmental attack. Lamis is a long time member of Al-Awda NY: The Palestine Right to Return Coalition, the Arab Muslim American Federation, and the National Lawyers Guild. She is co-founder of the US Palestine Community Network.

Lynne Jackson, is a volunteer, president and one of the founders of Project SALAM — a group that believes hundreds of innocent Muslims were targeted, prosecuted, and convicted in the hysteria following 9/11 using the FBI’s and the Justice Dept. new paradigm of prevention. Ms. Jackson will identify tactics used in preemptive prosecution, discuss cases prosecuted in the federal courts, and their effect and excessive sentences on families; also she will discuss recent trial & conviction of the Newburgh 4.

Nima Shirazi is a political commentator from New York City. He is a contributing columnist for Foreign Policy Journal and Palestine Think Tank. His analysis of United States policy and Middle East issues, particularly with reference to current events in Iran, Israel, and Palestine, can also be found in numerous other online and print publications, as well as his website, WideAsleepInAmerica.com.

Sponsored by: Project Salam, UNAC, World Can’t Wait, IJAN

www.stopislamophobia.org

September 10, 2010

2010.09.10: Still On: Tomorrow’s March Against Racism and Anti-Muslim Bigotry

Filed under: 9/11,Civil Liberties,Islamophobia,Racism — nyclaw01 @ 10:22 am

From:  Letwin, Michael
Sent: Friday, September 10, 2010 10:22 AM
To: 1199 Members; ALAA MEMBERS
Subject: Still On: Tomorrow’s March Against Racism and Anti-Muslim Bigotry

[Legal observers are still needed for this event]

The Emergency March Against Racism and Anti-Muslim Bigotry Is On!

Join us on Saturday, September 11, 2010 at 1 pm Park Place & Broadway – NY City Hall Park

for a March and Rally

SAY NO TO RACISM AND ANTI-MUSLIM BIGOTRY!

SAY YES TO UNITY AND SOLIDARITY!

The Forces of Hate Are Still Planning to Rally Sept. 11!

That is Not the Face of New York City, and We Will Not
Let Them Own That Day! We Will Be There Too!

Join Us!

Are We Still Marching on September 11th?   YES!

Thursday afternoon the top media story was racist Pastor Terry Jones in Gainesville, Florida announcing that he was cancelling his planned 9/11 Quran burning. This came after heavy pressure from the White House and Pentagon fearful of the response in the Muslim world. It is also a grassroots victory based on the mass mobilization against this ugly threat taken on in Gainesville, Florida by the local Students for a Democratic Society – SDS.

Jones claimed to have an agreement  from the organizers of the Park51 Islamic Community Center to move the center. This was soon exposed as a lie.

We can be certain that pressure will continue on the Islamic Community Center to move, both from openly racist media, politicians and Tea Party types, as well as from White House and Pentagon figures trying to defuse an explosive situation.

And we can also be certain that the media will continue to ask organizers of the Unity Against Racism Rally, “Why not postpone your rally in case this can all be worked out? Why are you still marching?”

We ask, in turn:

  • Have the racists and anti-Muslim bigots called off their 9/11 hatefest? The opposition to this bigotry, and a call for unity, equal rights and solidarity with Muslims was always the motivation behind the Unity Rally on September 11.
  • Have the racists agreed to stop their nationwide campaign of mosque desecration and vandalism, of shooting, physical attacks, and harassment of worshippers, of trying to ban construction of new mosques and community centers?
  • Have the media and politicians agreed to stop their campaign of lies against Islam, claiming it is not deserving of the respect shown other religions?
  • Have those saying the Park51 location is “insensitive” changed their view that Islam is a second-class religion which somehow besmirches “sacred ground”?
  • Have the White House and Pentagon agreed to call off their murders of people in predominantly Muslim countries, via war, drone attacks and assassinations? Have they agreed to free those illegally detained, abused, and tortured in Guantanamo and elsewhere? Are they withdrawing their “security-secrets” rationale for denying Muslim victims of torture the right to sue to expose and seek redress for their ill-treatment? Is it stopping FBI infiltration of mosques and harassment and intimidation of worshippers? Is the Justice Department ending its campaign of “preemptive prosecutions” of Muslims?

Unfortunately, we must answer NO to all of the above questions. And, therefore, we say in the spirit of unity, equal rights and solidarity:

YES, WE ARE STILL MARCHING – UNITED, DETERMINED AND STRONG – ON SEPTEMBER 11TH!  JOIN US!

For more information, please see : http://www.iacenter.org/­muslimsolidarity/

September 9, 2010

2010.09.09: RE: Info about counter-demo against anti-mosque demo called by tea party

Filed under: 9/11,Civil Liberties,Islamophobia,Racism — nyclaw01 @ 2:47 pm

From:  Letwin, Michael
Sent: Thursday, September 09, 2010 2:47 PM
To: Fry, Julie; ALAA MEMBERS; 1199 Members
Subject: RE: Info about counter-demo against anti-mosque demo called by tea party

As part of this effort, a growing number of union members (including some at LAS) have signed a statement, “New York City Workers Stand with the Muslim, Arab, and South Asian Communities: Our Grief Is Not an Excuse for Racism, Islamophobia, Bigotry or War,” posted at: http://www.laborforpalestine.net/wp/2010/09/07/workers-stand-with-the-muslim-arab-and-south-asian-communities/

To sign on, please go to: http://www.laborforpalestine.net/wp/2010/09/07/workers-stand-with-the-muslim-arab-and-south-asian-communities/#form

_____________________________________________

From:  Fry, Julie

Sent: Thursday, September 09, 2010 12:32 PM

To: ALAA MEMBERS; 1199 Members

Subject: Info about counter-demo against anti-mosque demo called by tea party

This is a link to a flier about a counter-demonstration being called this Saturday, 9/11 against an anti-mosque demonstration called by tea party supporters and other generally bigoted groups.  I just would like to point out, in anticipation of some of the negative replies, that the groups calling this counter-demo aren’t calling it against the memory of 9/11 and aren’t protesting any of the memorial services.  It was the right-wing who called a demonstration on 9/11 and this is a demonstration against bigotry.

The organizers are also asking for legal observers, so if you can volunteer, please let me know.

http://www.iacenter.org/img/sept11082910.pdf

August 19, 2010

2010.08.19: FW: LO Request Sunday Aug. 22 – 10am – Church & Warren – Mosque Counter Demo

Filed under: 9/11,Civil Liberties,Civil Rights,Islamophobia,Racism — nyclaw01 @ 12:59 pm

From: Morris, Susan
Sent: Thursday, August 19, 2010 12:59 PM
To: ALAA MEMBERS; 1199 Members
Subject: FW: LO Request Sunday Aug. 22 – 10am – Church & Warren – Mosque Counter Demo

If you can Legal Observe for this event, please contact the Chapter office (212) 679-6018


From:  On Behalf Of nlgnyc
Sent: Thursday, August 19, 2010 10:10 AM
To: nycmassdefense@lists.riseup.net
Subject: [nycmassdefense] LO Request Sunday Aug. 22 – 10am – Church & Warren – Mosque Counter Demo

If you can Legal Observe for this event, please contact the Chapter office (212) 679-6018

Who: Coalition to Stop Islamaphobia, World Can’t Wait

What: Counter Demonstration

When: Sunday, August 22, 10am

Where: Church Street & Warren Street, one block West of City Hall

Contact person: Richie Marini
Contact number: 718.781.4443

Details
Protest Announcement:

A Call to Action for Sunday, August 22: Welcome Muslims to
Downtown NYC — Stop Islamophobia & Racist Threats

Those who have been loudly opposing the proposal to build
Cordoba House, an Islamic Community Center and Mosque in downtown Manhattan, will
converge from around the country Sunday.

We will counter their racist, Islamophobic threats and
lies by being present with the message:
We oppose attacks now, and in the future, on Muslims and
mosques.  Welcome Cordoba House!

Join us on Sunday, August 22nd at 10:00 am at Church
Street and Warren Street.

October 7, 2009

2009.10.07: Saturday, 1 p.m.: Justice for Muslim Immigrants & Workers

From: Letwin, Michael
Sent: Wednesday, October 07, 2009 12:58 PM
To: 1199 Members; ALAA MEMBERS
Subject: Saturday, 1 p.m.: Justice for Muslim Immigrants & Workers

Join DRUM- Desis Rising Up & Moving:
Stand with the Muslim Community
for Dignity & Respect
join: Civil Rights Lawyers, Community members, Vendors who were questioned by FBI, Islamic Organizations, Vendor’s Union, Interfaith Groups, Immigrant groups, & Members of the Media

Join the Press Conference:
Justice for Muslim Immigrants & Workers
Saturday, Oct. 10th at 1pm
Flushing Public Library
[3641 Main St., Flushing/ Take #7 Train to Main St in Queens]

Recent raids across flushing have scared Afghan & Muslim families in their own homes & mosques This is a moment to respect the rights of all people & dignity of Muslim communities Oct. 7th marks the 9th year of the war in Afghanistan – it is not justified

Call DRUM for info: (718) 205-3036

72-18 Roosevelt Ave. Jackson Heights, NY 11372


Support our ‘South Asian Workers Center’
Monami Maulik
DRUM- Desis Rising Up & Moving
-South Asian Workers Center-
Tel (718) 205-3036 / Fax (718) 205-3036
http://www.drumnyc.org/ monami@drumnyc.org

September 15, 2009

2009.09.15: Urgent Appeal to ALAA Members: Defend Free Speech at Legal Aid

From: Letwin, Michael
Sent: Tuesday, September 15, 2009 8:48 PM
To: ALAA MEMBERS; 1199 Members
Subject: Urgent Appeal to ALAA Members: Defend Free Speech at Legal Aid
Importance: High

The attached Word document provides background and context in opposition to the proposed surrender of free speech rights on the union email lists, which is scheduled for a vote at this Thursday’s Joint Council meeting.

*To endorse this statement, please say so in a “reply all” message.*

Urgent Appeal to ALAA Members: Defend Free Speech at Legal Aid
September 15, 2009

Decades of free speech rights at Legal Aid are under serious attack.

On its face, the threat comes from management’s attempt to ban free speech on the union email list,[1] and a parallel ban against postings on the outside of doors to internal offices and workspaces.

But according to management and ALAA leaders, the driving force behind these policies are demands by union members and others to censor speech critical of U.S./Israeli policies.

If implemented, the ALAA office will be allowed to post email messages, but “the system may not be used as a forum for discussion of those announcements.” The ban “will be strictly enforced,” and violators will face “disciplinary action that may result in discharge from employment.”

The union has previously voted to grieve such email restrictions. But now, to avoid arbitration, union leadership advocates a “compromise” (attached) that, citing the very management policies in dispute, prohibits discussion on the union email list, and offers no free speech protection on “personal” email groups.

For the reasons below, the undersigned urges all members—regardless of political opinion—to direct union representatives at the September 17 Joint Council to vote against surrendering free speech rights at Legal Aid.

Free Speech Rights at Legal Aid

ALAA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement provides unambiguous protection for free speech: “The expression of personal religious, political, social or economic beliefs of each and every attorney is fully guaranteed.” § 3.5.

In that spirit, the Society joined ALAA and 1199 to defend attorneys’ right to wear “Ready to Strike” buttons in court, Frankel v. Roberts, 165 AD2d 382 (1st Dept. 1991), and to challenge the Giuliani administration’s retaliation for the 1994 strike.

The CBA also provides that, “The Union will have reasonable use of the Society’s internal communication mechanisms.” § 1.5.

For decades, the union and its members have exercised that right through access to LAS bulletin boards, individual office doors, staff mailboxes, telephones, fax machines, and/or conference rooms. This discourse has often included controversial political speech.

By the late 1990s, discussion had largely migrated to the Society’s email system. In 2000, management established union email lists.[2] Recognizing that free speech is essential, most members have debated, blocked or simply ignored content they dislike.

9/11: Censorship Rears Its Head

The following details the progression of censorship at Legal Aid since 9/11.

*October 26, 2001. Allen Popper (then ALAA Vice-President for CDD-Queens) unsuccessfully demands that the United Auto Workers remove ALAA president Michael Letwin for his vocal leadership of New York City Labor Against the War (NYCLAW), which opposes the Bush administration’s post-9/11 policies.[3]

*October 28, 2001. ALAA’s citywide officers refute false claims that, in opposing the war, Letwin has purported to speak on behalf of the union.[4]

*February 21, 2002. After five months of obstruction by Popper and others, the ALAA Delegate Council overwhelmingly condemns the Bush administration’s attack on civil liberties and immigrant rights.[5]

*April 5, 2002. Popper files a grievance claiming that email messages “condemning Israel, supporting the Palestinians” are “antisemitic” [sic]. On threat of legal action against Legal Aid, he demands that the senders “be suspended or fired,” and that any staff attorney “who attends said [Palestinian rights] rally as a legal advisor be suspended.”

*June 13, 2002. Management unsuccessfully tries to impose a unilateral ban of all discussion on the union e-mail lists.

*2003-2006. Popper and other members—while posting their own political or other “non-work” messages—reportedly continue to demand that management ban messages critical of the war and/or Israel.

*July 2006. Popper (now in CDD-Brooklyn) files a grievance about an allegedly “anti semetic [sic] flyer” left on his desk.[6] The grievance is denied.

*June 12, 2007. Management and union leadership says that Popper, other unidentified union members, and/or the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith (ADL) have threatened to contact the City Council about “anti-Semitic” Antiwar Bulletins posted on the union email lists.[7] As a result, management tells Letwin not to post any messages about Israel or Iraq.[8]

*October 28, 2008. Management says that, in response to complainants that management would not identify, Letwin must remove a “Free Palestine” sticker from his office door. Brooklyn CDD members protest this policy by posting various materials on their own office doors, in response to which management suspends its order pending arbitration of the overall speech ban.

*January 13, 2009. Forty-four ALAA and 1199 members (many of them Jewish) issue a statement condemning Israel’s attack on Gaza.[9][9] Management receives additional censorship demands.

*May 12, 2009. After extensive discussion, Brooklyn CDD ALAA proposes an Open Letter to Steven Banks: Defend Free Speech at Legal Aid (below*), which is designed to enlist members in a campaign to have the free speech ban withdrawn, before ever reaching arbitration.

ALAA’s Executive Board rejects Brooklyn’s proposal as needlessly provocative to management, unpopular with members and insulting to union leaders. The leadership has yet to inform all members of the history and context of management’s censorship plans.

*August 2009. Union leaders criticize the targeted political speech as “divisive,” and argue that “we have no choice” but to accept management’s “compromise” that forbids collective discussion on union email lists.

*September 17, 2009. ALAA Joint Council to vote on management’s free speech ban.

Expediency or Principle?

For the reasons below, the free speech ban is just plain wrong.

*As Brooklyn CDD union representatives (both supporters and opponents of Israeli policy) have pointed out to management, antiwar and “Free Palestine” opinions are—like earlier demands to “Free South Africa”—clearly not ethnic slurs, but protected political speech.

*Accepting such a content-motivated speech ban—without even a fight—would make us complicit in the very post-9/11 witch-hunting, Islamophobia and erosion of civil liberties ALAA has previously vowed to oppose. It also invites demands for givebacks in other areas, of which there have already been many.[10]

*Surrender to a ban on email discussion (or posting on office doors) won’t resolve this issue. Those of us who are against the war and who support Palestinian rights will employ other forms of speech at the workplace and on newly established off-site union lists. What happens when the censors try to silence that free speech?

*The “compromise” isn’t. It simply tracks a speech ban that blatantly violates our contractual rights.

*By taking the moral high ground, a public membership-based campaign, with support from civil liberties and community allies, can effectively generate pressure on management to withdraw its free speech ban—without ever going to arbitration.

Signers

(List in formation; affiliations listed for identification only.)

*Noha Arafa (Criminal Defense-Brooklyn; ALAA Alt. Vice-President)
*Julie Fry (Criminal Defense-Brooklyn; ALAA Vice-President)
*Michael Letwin (Criminal Defense-Brooklyn; former ALAA Pres., 1990-2002)
*Susan Olivia Morris (Criminal Defense-Brooklyn; ALAA Executive Bd., LGBT Rep.)
*Ivan Pantoja (Criminal Defense-Brooklyn; ALAA Executive Bd., Jr. Atty. Rep.)
*Azalia Torres (Criminal Defense-Brooklyn; former member, ALAA Executive Bd.)
*Jennifer Burkavage (Criminal Defense-Brooklyn, Delegate)
*Steve Terry (Criminal Defense-Brooklyn)
*Florence Morgan (Criminal Defense-Queens)
*Mimi Rosenberg (Civil-Brooklyn)
*Antonia Codling (Criminal Defense-Bronx; former member, ALAA Executive Bd.)
*Roslyn Morrison (Criminal Defense-Brooklyn)
*Patrick Langhenry (Civil-Brooklyn)
*Marisa Benton (Criminal Defense-Brooklyn)
*Janet Forrester (Criminal Defense-Brooklyn)
*Lisa Edwards (Harlem Community Law Office)
*Brian Hutchinson (Criminal Defense-Brooklyn)
*Reda Woodcock (Criminal Defense-Brooklyn)

*Open Letter to Steven Banks: Defend Free Speech at Legal Aid

Submitted by Brooklyn CDD, May 12, 2009

The undersigned ALAA and 1199 members at The Legal Aid Society in New York City are alarmed and disappointed by your attempt to undermine our longstanding free speech rights by seeking to prohibit posted materials on individual office doors and to abolish collective discussion by union members on the Legal Aid email system.

The new policy violates ALAA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, which provides that “The expression of personal religious, political, social or economic beliefs of each and every attorney is fully guaranteed,” and that “The Union will have reasonable use of the Society’s internal communication mechanisms.” §§ 3.5, 1.5.

The policy also betrays decades of past practice and fundamental democratic principles. Moreover, it would have a devastating effect on our individual and collective ability to function as union members.

It is especially reprehensible that the new policy reflects an ongoing attempt to silence particular political opinions. Regardless of whether we agree with those viewpoints, attempts to chill their expression — either directly or indirectly — are an indefensible attack on the rights of all union members.

We expect you as Attorney-in-Chief to stand up for free speech at The Legal Aid Society by withdrawing this new policy, and look forward to your prompt reply.



[2] Rather than continuing to enumerate each and every type of rapidly changing communications technology, § 1.5 was shortened to its current overarching language.

[3] NYCLAW’s initial statement of September 27, 2001 was ultimately signed by 1,254 trade unionists, including fifty-eight union presidents (three from the UAW); fifty-eight ALAA members; and twenty-three Legal Aid 1199 members. 9.11 5th Anniversary: NYC Labor Against the War (9.27.01), http://nyclaw01.wordpress.com/2006/09/10/911-5th-anniversary-nyc-labor-against-the-war-92701/.

[4] Michael Letwin, George Albro and Charlotte Hitchcock, Labor Against the War Statement (October 28, 2001), http://nyclaw01.wordpress.com/2001/10/28/labor-against-the-war-statement-re-alaauaw-local-2325/. See also, Zuss: 9/11 and NYC Labor Against the War (NYCLAW), http://bobzuss.wordpress.com/2007/05/31/september-27-2001-nyc-labor-against-the-war-nyclaw/; Michael Letwin, Support for UAW Local 2325 Antiwar Resolution (April 14, 2003), http://nyclaw01.wordpress.com/2003/04/14/support-for-uaw-local-2325-antiwar-resolution/.

[5] “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.” In Defense of Civil Liberties, February 21, 2002, http://www.nacdl.org/public.nsf/ENews/2002e30?opendocument.

[6] Questioned by management, Letwin replies, “While I did not leave anything on Allen Popper’s desk, the flyer in question condemns U.S.-Israeli policy—a position shared by many Jews, including me—and is in no way anti-Semitic.”

[7] The ADL routinely brands as “anti-Semitic” supporters of Palestinian rights (including those who are Jewish). Its recent targets include Nobel peace laureates Jimmy Carter, Arch-Bishop Desmond Tutu, and former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan; United Nations Special Rapporteur Richard Falk; former Irish President and 2009 Medal of Freedom recipient Mary Robinson; Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson; former US Congress Member Cynthia McKinney; university professors; and trade unionists. Last month, for suggesting modest limits on illegal Israeli settlements, the ADL fired warning shots across Barack Obama’s bow.

[8] Antiwar Bulletins and other materials continued to be posted by Letwin and others, including Antonia Codling (July 2, 2007), Noha Arafa (September 10, 2007), Azalia Torres (October 23, 2007), Julie Fry (March 21, 2008), and Marisa Benton (April 15, 2008).

[9] Legal Aid NYC Union Members: Stop Israel’s Massacre in Gaza and End the Siege Now (January 23, 2009), http://laborforpalestine.wordpress.com/2009/01/13/legal-aid-nyc-union-members-stop-israel%E2%80%99s-massacre-in-gaza-and-end-the-siege-now/.

[10] See, e.g., Bob Zuss and Susan Morris, Vote No (December 13, 2004), http://bobzuss.wordpress.com/2004/12/13/vote-no/ ; Michael Letwin, The Real Issues in This Election (May 16, 2007), http://bobzuss.wordpress.com/2007/05/16/the-real-issues-in-this-election-michael-letwin/ .

September 26, 2008

2008.09.26: Free Speech Posters

From: Letwin, Michael
Sent: Friday, September 26, 2008 3:08 PM
To: ALAA MEMBERS; 1199 Members
Subject: Free Speech Posters

You have the right to remain vocal No Nos Quedaremos SeanBellPoster Union Defender We Will Not Be Silent Arabic

To visibly exercise our free speech rights at work, the following are posters are attached.

1. Free Speech @ Legal Aid: You have the right to remain . . . VOCAL

2. Union Defender

3. We will not be silent (Spanish)

4. We will not be silent (Arabic)

5. We are all Sean Bell

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