ALAA Roots — An Unofficial Site

March 10, 2017

Re: Joint Statement From the LGBTQ and ACLA Caucuses: We don’t need your permission to exist

From: Torres, Azalia
Sent: Friday, March 10, 2017 10:22 AM
Subject: Re: Joint Statement From the LGBTQ and ACLA Caucuses: We don’t need your permission to exist.

As someone who’s been at LAS for 6 months short of 30 yrs, I’ve experienced a lot of the conditions which have driven so many of my colleagues of color away. I’ve chosen to stay and address and struggle w colleagues and management to bring about change in an org which has often been insensitive to the needs of those of us who are not white or heterosexual or different in any way fr their  definition of normal and acceptable. Unlike many of you, I’ve personally experienced the type of exchanges that occurred via email to Jason. I’ve also throughout these years attempted to struggle to address those incidents with patience and with the goal of changing minds. Because of course it always falls on “us” different folks to educate and be sensitive to ignorance and indifference.

I’M TIRED!!  The burden is on all of you who have historically ignored the disrespect, ignorance, insensitivity, and hurtful behavior of not only the idiot who wrote the disgusting email but of many others in our midst: throughout the entire staff of LAS. I’m not going to be tolerant or willing to educate at all any individual who demonstrates repeatedly their disdain for all that doesn’t conform to their idea of “acceptable”. Individuals who view any efforts to educate them as a waste of time:  sensitivity or anti bias trainings. Even being disrespectful during the process. ENOUGH!

Things have to change around here in a dramatic way. Expressing views in statements is not enough. You who are not folks of color, LGBTQ, or different in so many ways, have to take responsibility for addressing your fellow colleagues when a wrong is committed. Stop looking to us to do the hard work. YOU MUST BEAR THE BURDEN. STOP GETTING OFF SO EASY BY JUST AGREEING WITH US. DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS UGLINESS WHICH JUST MAKES OUR LIVES HERE AT LAS LESS THAN WONDERFUL.

This does not reflect the opinions of anyone but me. I take all responsibility for the above sentiments. Especially if someone is offended by them.

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March 9, 2017

Joint Statement From the LGBTQ and ACLA Caucuses: We don’t need your permission to exist

Filed under: ACLA,Affirmative Action,Islamophobia,LGBTQ,Racism — nyclaw01 @ 5:53 pm

From: Ma, Ying-Ying
Sent: Thursday, March 09, 2017 4:53 PM
Subject: Joint Statement From the LGBTQ and ACLA Caucuses: We don’t need your permission to exist.

Joint Statement From the LGBTQ and ACLA Caucuses: We don’t need your permission to exist.

We don’t need anyone’s permission to exist, in fact, we’ve been existing since the beginning of time… and will continue to do so despite the violence perpetrated on our communities.

We are responding to an email of hate sent in response to the LGBTQ Caucus’ email regarding the killings of women of color who are trans. Honoring our lost community members, mourning and raising up the lives of our living and our dead is not brainwashing, it is our right. As it is our right to bring our full selves to work without being called abnormal, sinful, and without being dehumanized. It is this very dehumanization that contributes to the crisis of violence facing transgender women of color that the LGBTQ Caucus was compelled to write about yesterday. This is the context we write from.

We do not need anyone’s permission to exist.

Some of us didn’t sleep last night after reading the email. Some of us didn’t feel safe to come to work today. Some of us felt terror and fury for our clients. Some of us have never felt safe. Some of us are finding it hard to do the job we love. Some of us don’t have the privilege of simply opting out of this conversation, or tuning out the reality of violence that impacts our lives and the lives of people we represent. Attempts, by our colleagues, to halt or stop the conversation as a way to silence us, perpetuates violence and further marginalizes those of us who are most oppressed within our communities.

We do not need anyone’s permission to exist. And our very existence is not sinful, nor is our clients’. Rather, it is courageous and an act of daily resistance to survive.

Those of us who are trans, queer, people of color – specifically Black and Muslim, have appreciated the responses in solidarity with our communities. LGBTQ people of color experience marginalization in intersectional ways, and by people and places we call home, work, colleagues, and family. We welcome the support and allyship from those who prioritize our safety. In particular, we want to share our commitment to supporting people who wish to express their outrage around the transphobia, homophobia, racism, Islamophobia and xenophobia within our work space.

We do not need anyone’s permission to exist.

We will not tolerate anti-Blackness and transphobia in the name of the 1st Amendment. We appreciate the administration’s swift response in this matter, this time, and are hopeful that it will respond with similar speed to future instances of anti-Blackness and other forms of racism such as Islamophobia and xenophobia.

We do not need anyone’s permission to exist.

Marginalized people are leaving Legal Aid at an alarming rate because of the explicit and implicit bigotry and bias within our organization. For instance, Brooklyn has lost ⅓ of their attorneys of color this past year alone, due in large part to tacit endorsement of oppressive and racist conduct here at Legal Aid. Navigating the violent and hostile obstacles of our job is unsustainable if we cannot count on basic safety and respect in our work spaces.

We are caucuses comprised of, but not limited to, Black trans people, people of color, queer parents, Muslim immigrants and noncitizens, Jewish lesbians and people with disabilities. Not only do we not need anyone’s permission to exist, we demand that our organization commit to doing better by us and our clients.

Sincerely,

ACLA & LQBTQ Caucus Members

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/)

 

March 3, 2017

Labor and Women’s Rights Movement Plan Ambitious Mass Protests to Fight Trumpism

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 16, 2017

FYI: 5-8pm Today: Rally to #FreeDaniel and Stop ICE Raids

From: Letwin, Michael
Sent: Thursday, February 16, 2017 9:42 AM
Subject: FYI: 5-8pm Today: Rally to #FreeDaniel and Stop ICE Raids

https://www.facebook.com/events/1811671739072219/

Thursday, February 16 at 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM EST

Image may contain: 14 people, text

U.S. Department of Homeland Security (Varick Street Federal Building) 201Varick Street #5, New York, NY 10014

The Trump administration has continuously attacked immigrant communities. This past week there have been hundreds of arrests by ICE, spreading fear and panic throughout our communities all over the country. Most recently, Daniel Ramirez Medina was taken into custody despite being a DACA recipient. This Thursday at 5pm, we rally in front of the Department of Homeland Security Building to demand that ICE #FreeDaniel and stop #ICERaids operations and arrests that are targeting everyone and tearing families falling apart

When: Thursday, February 16th, 2017 at 5 PM

Where: U.S. Department of Homeland Security (Varick Street Federal Building)
201 Varick Street, New York, NY 10014

This will be a legal, peaceful and nonviolent demonstration with participation from the following organizations and allies:
Make the Road NY
United We Dream
New York Communities For Change
Center for Popular Democracy
VOCAL-NY
Alliance for Quality Education
32BJ
New York Immigration Coalition
Resist Here
CCNY Dream Team
Lehman Dream Team
Staten Island Dream Coalition
Working Families Party
NYC Anti Violence Project
Queer Detainee Empowerment Project
Labor-Religion Coalition of NYS
Communities for Police Reform
Taxi Workers Alliance
NYCLU
Cabrini Immigrant Services
Laino Justice PRLDEF
The Door
Urban Youth Collaborative

February 15, 2017

FYI: 5:30pm Today: Build a Wall Around Trump

From: Letwin, Michael
Sent: Wednesday, February 15, 2017 1:54 PM
Subject: FYI: 5:30pm Today: Build a Wall Around Trump

Legal observers, please!

https://www.facebook.com/events/1390631224332850/

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

FYI: Two More Events Today: Protest Uber & Labor for Standing Rock

From: Letwin, Michael
Sent: Thursday, February 02, 2017 10:59 AM
Subject: FYI: Two More Events Today: Protest Uber & Labor for Standing Rock

Thursday, 5-6pm in NYC:
Protest at Uber’s Headquarters NoBanNoWall
Location: 3100 47th Ave, Long Island City, NY
Facebook event page

Join us to protest Uber on the day before Uber CEO Travis Kalanick meets with Donald Trump as part of his advisory council.

**** PLEASE NOTE: We’ve updated the our protest end time to 6 PM so that folks can head over to Foley Square for the Rise Up for #RamarleyGraham protest****

Now is the time for all those who value justice and equality to join together in holding Uber accountable, not only for its complicity with Trump’s hateful policies but also for impoverishing workers.

Backed by billions from Wall Street, gig economy corporations like Uber and Lyft are upending labor standards for which workers have spent centuries fighting.

Let’s send Uber and its gig-lord allies a message: workers’ rights and democracy come before profit. #NoBanNoWall

LIST OF SPONSORS IN PROGRESS

32BJ SEIU

ALIGN New York

Black Lives Matter Greater New York

Center for Popular Democracy

DRUM – Desis Rising Up & Moving

Labor for Palestine

Make the Road New York

Muslim Democratic Club

National Lawyers Guild Labor and Employment Law Committee

New York Communities for Change

New York Immigrant Action Fund

New York Immigration Coalition

New York Progressive Action Committee

New York Taxi Workers Alliance

New York Worker Center Federation

New York Working Families Party

Strong Economy for All

 


Thursday 8-9pm EST:
Urgent Labor for Standing Rock Conference Call with Water Protectors 

In recent days, Donald Trump has met with pro-DAPL building trade leaders and AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka, and pressured the Army Corps of Engineers to grant a final easement for DAPL. Today, highly militarized police made mass arrests of 76 water protectors.

In response, Chase Iron Eyes of the Lakota People’s Law Project and Last Real Indians will speak about what those of us in organized labor can do at this point to support water protectors at Standing Rock.

Call times in US/Eastern: Thursday, Feb 02, 2017, 8pm (1 hour). To participate, please register here.

 

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

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