ALAA Roots — An Unofficial Site

May 25, 2017

FYI: Palestinian Prisoners Hunger Strike in Day 39

From: Torres, Azalia
Sent: Thursday, May 25, 2017 6:07 PM
Subject: FYI: Palestinian Prisoners Hunger Strike in Day 39

On March 15, 2017, the Legal Aid Society and Attorneys of Color of Legal Aid jointly said:“[F]or as long as The Legal Aid Society exists, we will stand in solidarity with marginalized communities in their fight for equal justice and racial equity.” Today, in the very same spirit, people around the world are standing in solidarity with 1,500 Palestinian political prisoners now in their 39th day of a hunger strike against conditions that Amnesty International calls “unlawful and cruel.”

Hunger strikes, like that held by U.S. prisoners last fall, are part of a long international tradition of resistance to injustice. But the Israeli government — which receives $3.8b/year in U.S. weaponsand closely coordinates with the NYPD and other police agencies that systematically target Black, Brown, and Native communities in this country — has branded the strikers “terrorists,” just as the South African apartheid regime once labeled Nelson Mandela.

Despite threats of force-feeding, the prisoners remain steadfast“Our chains will be broken before we are, because it is human nature to heed the call for freedom regardless of the cost.

With our own government funding this injustice, the prisoner strike concerns us all. Dr. Martin Luther King, while himself a political prisoner in Birmingham Alabama, put it best: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

*Legal Workers, Legal Organizations and Law Students Letter of Support for Palestinian Hunger Strikers (National Lawyers Guild, April 2017)

*An Injury to One is an Injury to All: Workers Support Palestinian Prisoners on Hunger Strike (Labor for Palestine, May 21, 2017)

In addition, there is a NYC solidarity protest for the prisoners, 5:30pm tomorrow (Friday) in Union Square. Legal observers needed.

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March 7, 2017

The Black Panthers, Then & Now: Kathleen Cleaver Speaks | 3/7 6PM NYU Law VH210

From: Sampeur, Jane-Roberte
Sent: Tuesday, March 07, 2017 2:40 PM
Subject: The Black Panthers, Then & Now: Kathleen Cleaver Speaks | 3/7 6PM NYU Law VH210

Happing tonight if folks are interested. Should be great.

The Black Panthers, Then & Now: Kathleen Cleaver Speaks.
https://www.facebook.com/events/2248533725372747/

The NYU Law National Lawyers Guild will host former communications secretary of the Black Panther Party & professor of law at Emory University Kathleen Cleaver on March 7th at6PM at the NYU School of Law, Vanderbilt Hall Rm. 210.

Professor Cleaver will speak on the Black Panther Party, which just marked its 50th anniversary, and the implications and lessons that can be drawn from the Party’s experience in the age of Trump.

Professor Cleaver will join Palestinian-American youth organizer Aber Kawas and Black Lives Matter organizer Kei Williams to discuss what lessons young community organizers and grassroots activists can learn from the legacy of the Panthers in the struggle against racism, mass incarceration, imperialism, and police violence today.

Professor Cleaver has not only an important and unique perspective on the power of revolutionary black resistance in America, but a necessary one. We are in a time of unprecedented state violence against black and brown people in America — from Muslim bans and threats to deport millions of people, to the return of the Dakota Access Pipeline, to the explicit calls for racial profiling in policing, to the rise of right-wing extremists within the new administration. At the same time, the United States has threatened greater aggression abroad, from threats of war with Iran and the return of the use of torture to unyielding support for the violation of Palestinian rights, all expanding policies that are intricately linked with domestic abuses.

Please join us for a monumental opportunity as revive and expand the tradition of connecting anti-racist resistance at home with the fight against state violence abroad in line with the practice of the Black Panther Party.

Co-Sponsors:

NYU NLG
NYU Black Allied Law Students Association
NYU Law & Social Change
NYU Coalition on Law & Representation
NYU South Asian Law Students Association
Arab-American Association of NY
NYU Students for Justice in Palestine
New York City Students for Justice in Palestine
NYU Women of Color Collective

(Full & Updated list of sponsors here: https://www.facebook.com/events/2248533725372747/)

 

February 22, 2017

FYI: 1-3pm Today: Protest at KCDA

Filed under: Civil Rights,Criminal Justice,Racism — nyclaw01 @ 9:32 am

From: Letwin, Michael
Sent: Wednesday, February 22, 2017 9:32 AM
Subject: FYI: 1-3pm Today: Protest at KCDA

https://www.facebook.com/events/310169556052679/
Feet to Fire Campaign: NYC

Wednesday, February 22 at 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM EST
350 Jay St, Brooklyn, NY 11201-2908, United States

From Nicholas Heyward, Sr., father of Nicholas Heyward, Jr who was killed by NYPD in 1994:

District attorneys must be held accountable!!!!

Calling all parents and families of police murder, activists, freedom fighters and all the people who are completely fed up and sick and tired of the police getting away with the killings of our children and loved ones. They never are held accountable. We say enough with being failed by our local prosecutors, who continue to show and prove that they have no interest in getting the cops who kill our innocent children and loved ones.

On February 22nd in cities across the country we will join P.O.S.T. (Protect Our Stolen Treasures) for a day of outrage. Parents and families in New York City whose loved ones have been murdered by the NYPD and who have never received any form of justice or #accountability for our murdered children will join in as one united family. Outraged at this nationwide epidemic, we have had enough of being lied to by prosecutors, who help to protect the killer cops instead of protecting and getting justice for our murdered children.

Enough is enough and it is time to hold these district attorneys responsible.

Just look at the numbers of innocent lives in New York stolen by these killer cops, with almost never any form of prosecution or accountability.

We ask you to come stand with the families in New York along with the supporters and freedom fighters.

In 2017 we will no longer tolerate or allow these kinds of injustices to continue.

Join us on February 22nd @ the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office @1pm to start the five-borough protest of failed prosecutors never holding the police accountable.

To all district attorneys: DO YOUR JOB OR LEAVE OFFICE!

_______________________________________________

Some of the participating organizations: The Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality, Faith & Social Alliance, Mothers Cry For Justice, Justice For Stolen Lives, People Over Profits San Diego, The National Stolen Lives Families Tour, Showing Up For Racial Justice (SURJ), San Diego Chapter Black Panther Party, Native Lives Matter, Twin Cities Coalition for Justice for Jamar Clark, Justice 4 Marcus Golden (Twin Cities, MN), Malcolm X Center, Black Lives Matter local chapter, South Carolina Stolen Lives (South Carolina)

Live coverage: https://www.facebook.com/edward.rhymes/posts/10202742371437594

Actions in other cities:
Detroit, MI: https://www.facebook.com/events/402473880104310/
Greenville, SC: https://www.facebook.com/scstolenlives/posts/1745708549077557
San Diego, CA: https://www.facebook.com/events/1882979388587253/

February 18, 2017

Talking to New Yorkers Who Went on Strike to Protest Trump

Vice

Talking to New Yorkers Who Went on Strike to Protest Trump

PV

“I’m just really sad for the country and I want to register my dissent wherever possible.”

Ever since Donald Trump’s inauguration, protests have been cropping up in America’s large cities, as one vulnerable population after another voices opposition to the new president’s discriminatory policies and rhetoric. In late January, when Trump issued his executive order barring citizens from seven Muslim majority countries from entering the US, demonstrators swarmed the nation’s airports to show solidarity with those caught up in the ban. Two weekends ago, New York’s Yemeni and LGBTQ communities held separate rallies. Thursday marked a “Day Without Immigrants,” as Latinos and immigrants stayed home from work to demonstrate how much the country relied upon them and their labor. And on Friday, a nationwide general strike brought anti-Trumpers out of the offices and workplaces to the streets.

The action, known as #F17 for the date, was organized by a number of groups, including one called Strike4Democracy, and included more than 100 events in towns and cities across the country. The idea was simple: Go on strike and participate in a day of action from 1 to 8 PM. Those who couldn’t take the whole day off to protest were encouraged to spend their lunch breaks at a rally.

The National Lawyers Guild organized the first rally I attended in New York. These are the lawyers who help protesters navigate the law if they are detained by police—I know the group’s work and have stayed connected with the NLG since 2015, when I was arrested while covering a Freddie Gray march in Baltimore for VICE.

From 1 to 3 PM, about 200 people rallied in front of the Manhattan Supreme Court. Donna Lieberman, the executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, spoke to the crowd: “We’re not accustomed to being the law and order guys. But that son of a bitch is turning us into the law and order guys. And we’re telling him that nobody, especially him, is above the law. So we’re going to hold him accountable, we’re going to stand with the people.”

Natasha Lycia Ora Bannan, the president of the NLG, took the megaphone said, “We live in, and are from, these communities—it is our communities that are also under attack and we are willing to lend out titles, our positions, and our skills in defense of who we are and where we come from.”

I took Bannan’s portrait in front of the courthouse and asked her how people looking to become active in advocacy can participate. “Anyone can be a legal observer,” she told me. “On NLG.org you can sign up for training, which means that you can observe and document the interaction between law enforcement and the people at rallies and protests, spaces that are likely to become increasingly criminalized.”

(From left) Helena Sarber, Stephanie Olszewski, and Stephanie Johanssen

I also met three Global Justice Center Employees. Stephanie Johanssen told me, “I’m a human rights lawyer from Germany and I feel quite passionate about the rule of law being upheld. No matter who the government is, no one, even the president, is above the law.”

Micheleen C. Karnacewicz is a corporate finance lawyer who had to close her practice due to health reasons. She came to the rally to offer her knowledge and experience. “This is about human dignity, human rights, human potential—we all have that,” she told me. “But if we don’t have representation and support, none of us can survive.”

Adan Soltren (right) is a staff attorney for the Legal Aid Society, where he is a part of the Attorneys of Color Caucus. “We need all hands on deck to fight for our clients, for our communities, for justice, for the principles our democracy were founded on,” he said.

Jane Sampeur (left), also with the Attorneys of Color Caucus, told me, “Today we are organizing a lawyers’ resistance. We want to make sure that lawyers are participating in the struggle and the resistance to oppose these racist Trump policies. We want to make sure that we’re not leaving our communities hanging. I want to make sure I’m in a position to help protect my community.”

Around 3 PM I headed to Washington Square Park, where strike participants and dissenters of all kinds were partaking in a rally.

Some students linked arms and chanted anti-Trump slogans.

“This is a very integral part of the First Amendment,” said Richard L. Entrup. “When totalitarianism encroaches on us I have the humanistic instinct to rise up.”

“I came out to show my outrage and my disappointment that somebody who is so un-American was elected president,” said Erica Zurer, a retired Brooklynite. “I’m just really sad for the country and I want to register my dissent wherever possible too.”

An easel was set up with free paints to allow demonstrators a different way to express their feelings.

“I try to take part in every way that I possibly can at every occasion. Like all of my colleagues, friends, and family I’m horrified by what has happened and in shock. I think we all need to express ourselves to overturn the tragedy that is happening in our country,” said Amy Yoes, an artist. “We’ll keep going, even though we all have busy lives. I think this is the most important moment of my political life and I think it’s crucial for us to all stand together and defeat this travesty.”

February 14, 2017

FYI: Urgent Appeal From Standing Rock

From: Letwin, Michael
Sent: Tuesday, February 14, 2017 12:43 PM
Subject: FYI: Urgent Appeal From Standing Rock

(Latest news bulletin: Judge rejects Standing Rock request to block Dakota Access pipeline drilling)

====
Labor for Standing Rock Emergency #NoDAPL Support

No automatic alt text available.

FEB 14, 2017 — Labor for Standing Rock has been asked to recruit skilled volunteers to help clean up Oceti camp and move to higher ground. Please fill out the form at https://tinyurl.com/L4SR-Survey to indicate your skills and availability to help. Water is life!

Appeal from www.NoDAPLSolidarity.org: ‘We are calling all able bodied, prepared Water Protectors to the frontlines! Come to camp prepared! The conditions are hazardous and North Dakota State Legislature is passing laws that target Water Protectors! Be prepared for these conditions. Several contingents of US Veterans are on their way back to camp. Join us! We need you now! This is our last stand!’
#NoDAPL #L4SR #MniWiconi

February 6, 2017

Here To Stay Rally – Feb. 11th!

From: Wright, Deborah
Sent: Monday, February 06, 2017 11:58 AM
To: ALAA MEMBERS
Subject: Here To Stay Rally – Feb. 11th!
Importance: High
Sisters and Brothers,

ALAA, ICE FREE NYC, and community Allies are calling for a rally to push back on any extension of the City’s collaboration with ICE, to end Broken Windows policing and the policies of mass incarceration in our city and our country.  Please join us at a citywide rally onSaturday, February 11th to challenge the criminalization of immigrants under the NYPD’s current Broken Windows policy, before it worsens under Trump’s far-right administration.  We demand NYC to:  #EndBrokenWindows  #EndDeportations  #EndIncarceration!
When: Saturday, Feb. 11th
Where: Washington Square Park
Time: 2 pm

https://www.facebook.com/ events/987262324752094/
One of our very own, Alma Magaña, was quoted in the Village Voice this week at a press conference leading up to Saturday’s rally, announcing community groups’ rejection of the continued criminalization of immigrants and collaboration with ICE:

http://www.villagevoice.com/ news/immigrants-to-de-blasio- get-off-your-soapbox-and-stop- helping-the-feds-deport-us- 9637719

Please let Alexi know if you are planning to attend at ashalom@alaa.org
In Solidarity,
Debbie

February 2, 2017

Immigrant-led coalition demands an end to broken windows policing

From: Sampeur, Jane-Roberte
Sent: Thursday, February 02, 2017 12:02 AM
Subject: Immigrant-led coalition demands an end to broken windows policing

See press release below. Events today and Saturday.

Immigrant-led coalition demands an end to broken windows policing and further criminalization of immigrants.

On Thursday, February 2nd, an immigrant-led coalition will gather outside City Hall at 12:15pm to announce their city-wide rally on Saturday, February 11th to directly challenge the criminalization of immigrants under the NYPD’s current broken windows policing before it worsens under Trump’s fascist administration.

Elected officials are talking up NYC’s sanctuary status and lining up to say they will do whatever it takes to protect “law-abiding” families and ensuring public safety. However, sanctuary under Trump’s “law and order” administration requires ending NYPD’s broken windows practices and dismantling the current policing apparatus that acts as a funnel to mass incarceration and the deportation machine.

Broken Windows strategies, and decades of over-policing, continue unabated in this city and has led to the targeting of some of New York City’s most vulnerable populations — including Black immigrants, Central and South American immigrants, and transgender immigrants.

Sanctuary, as elected officials are claiming, cannot exist without acknowledging that criminalization and deportation begins as soon as immigrants engage with the NYPD. Everyone it arrests, charged or not, has their fingerprints sent to the FBI, where ICE can use them to locate people for deportation proceedings.

These include offenses like jumping the subway turnstile – which led to over 29,000 arrests and 124,000 summonses in 2015 alone – as well as selling DVD’s on the street, forgetting to pay a fine, trespassing in a NYCHA building and having a small amount of marijuana. These arrests and prosecutions do not make us safer, and already disproportionately burden poor communities of color, specifically black people.

The term “sanctuary” most recently refers to policies that limit when and if NYPD communicates with, or submits to, (often unconstitutional) requests from federal immigration agents. But in a country where over-policing results in 1 in 3 people being arrested at least once by the age of 23, during a time when evolving technology places fingerprint scanners in the palm of every law enforcement officers’ hand, and as we anticipate the growth in federal agents active in our cities, sanctuary in practice, and as a movement, must evolve.

New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio and Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito have largely ignored community concerns with the IDNYC program and have prioritized maintaining power within the NYPD. Their consistent disregard, plus their willingness to expand criminalization, will only lead to more deportations which divide our families and communities.

Immigrant New Yorkers have more to fear from an increasingly militarizedpolice department than they have to gain from them. As immigrants in this city, we know far too well how the NYPD preys upon our communities, entraps, detains and kills people of color. Last week the Mayor claimed to be worried about immigrants when he was in fact worried about potential cuts to federal funding for the NYPD. Enhanced surveillance capabilities of NYPD counterterrorism have targeted Muslim communities in the past–a population that the city now purports to want to protect from harm.

We seek public safety and protection for and defined by all: immigrants—documented or undocumented, people with criminal convictions, workers, gender nonconforming folks, the poor, people with disabilities, Muslims, women, and all people of color. This requires a moratorium on broken windows strategies, divestment from the NYPD, an end to willful collaboration between police and ICE, and the city’s investment in our communities.

ICE FREE NYC, Coalition to End Broken Windows, Families For Freedom, Black Alliance for Just Immigration, Equality for Flatbush, ANSWER Coalition, El Grito de Sunset Park, Why Accountability

November 17, 2016

FYI: How We Can Stand With Standing Rock

From: Letwin, Michael
Date: Thu, Nov 17, 2016 at 12:31 PM
Subject: FYI: How We Can Stand With Standing Rock

Despite brutal state violence so familiar to NYC communities of color, Water Protectors at Standing Rock are continuing to engage in nonviolent mass resistance against construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) on Sioux treaty land.

As the harsh northern winter sets in (with temperatures plummeting into the teens this week), here are some ways that each of us at Legal Aid can help:

  • Sign the Urgent Call on the AFL-CIO: Reverse Support for the Dakota Access Pipeline (14k+ signers and rising).
  • Join, or donate to, the NYC labor/community delegation going next week to build a winterized camp and deliver a vehicle to Standing Rock for sustained solidarity.
  • Donate and/or offer legal assistance to the Water Protector Legal Collective/NLG, a nonprofit organization coordinating criminal and civil litigation for water protectors in Standing Rock, in partnership with the National Lawyers Guild.

October 25, 2016

From Labor for Standing Rock: Urgent Mobilization This Weekend

From: Letwin, Michael
Sent: Tuesday, October 25, 2016 5:02 PM
Subject: From Labor for Standing Rock: Urgent Mobilization This Weekend

Pipeline arresthttps://scontent.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/14354974_10210452278053573_6558990318855538928_n.jpg?oh=d154f60a8a4d6777eed880c268294b14&oe=58A5E899https://2dbdd5116ffa30a49aa8-c03f075f8191fb4e60e74b907071aee8.ssl.cf1.rackcdn.com/15548569_1477364836.8722.png

During the past few days, highly-militarized police in North Dakota have escalated brutality and arrests against Native American opponents of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL).

To demand an end to this growing repression, defend indigenous rights, and stop DAPL, Labor for Standing Rock has called Union Camp this weekend (October 29-30) at Standing Rock.

To support this historic campaign, please:

*Sign Urgent Call on the AFL-CIO: Reverse Support for the Dakota Access Pipeline
*RSVP Union Camp and like Labor for Standing Rock on Facebook
*Contribute to Labor for Standing Rock

For more info: LaborForStandingRock@gmail.com

October 18, 2016

Fw: Rally & Press Conf. to Free the Bronx 120

Filed under: Civil Rights,Criminal Justice,Drug Wars,Police Abuse,Racism — nyclaw01 @ 10:09 am

From: Wright, Deborah
Sent: Tuesday, October 18, 2016 11:09 AM
To: ALAA MEMBERS
Subject: Fw: Rally & Press Conf. to Free the Bronx 120

Sisters & Brothers,

Tomorrow, Wednesday 10/19 at 5:30pm, the families and supporters of the Bronx 120 will be holding a rally and press conference in front of the federal courthouse at 200 pearl street. 120 young men who were swept up in the most massive gang raid in New York City’s history.  Many of those arrested’s only crime was to be “associated” with suspected gang members.
I hope you all can make it! Please email or text me to rsvp!

https://www.facebook.com/events/701583769993223/
———–
On April 27, 2016, over 700 NYPD and federal officers, using military-grade equipment, executed the largest mass raid in NYC history, in Eastchester Gardens in the Bronx. 120 people were arrested and indicted on the basis of ‘conspiracy charges.’ The NYPD and the feds are using conspiracy charges and social media monitoring to indict whole social networks. Some of the men indicted have already been acquitted for the charges on a state level, but under Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), they are being charged on a federal level for conspiring to commit the crime. The use of RICO in Black and Brown communities is a continuation of strategies, such as COINTELPRO, the street sweep and stop-and-frisk, used to terrorize communities of color and perpetuate mass incarceration. The newly appointed police commissioner James O’Neill oversaw the arrests of the Bronx 120, and we can be certain that under his regime that these mass raids and kidnapping of young, black men will continue.

To donate to the legal & commissary fund:
https://www.youcaring.com/targets-of-the-eastchester-raids-and-their-families-640725

Alexi Shalom
Organizer
UAW Local 2325 – Assoc. of Legal Aid Attorneys (AFL-CIO)
50 Broadway, Suite 1600
NY, NY 10004-3817
Phone: (212) 343-0708
Fax: (212) 343-0966
Cell: (347) 417-1715

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