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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.

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 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/

July 15, 2016

FYI: Black Lives Matter Events Tonight and Sunday

From: Letwin, Michael
Date: Fri, Jul 15, 2016 at 9:44 AM
Subject: FYI: Black Lives Matter Events Tonight and Sunday

 Imprisoned Resistance Green

Friday (tonight), 6:30pm
Imprisoned Resistance: Politics of Incarceration in Palestine & the U.S.
Members of two recent delegations to Palestine—a prison, labor and academic delegation and a Dream Defenders delegation—will report on what they saw and heard, and discuss parallels mass incarceration, and struggles for justice.
Written report online here.

 

Eric Garner 

Sunday, Noon
Two years since the murder of Eric Garner
This action will be led by Eric Garner’s youngest child, two year old Legacy Garner.

June 9, 2016

FYI: Today: Defend First Amendment Against Cuomo’s New McCarthyism

From: Torres, Azalia
Sent: Thursday, June 09, 2016 11:16 AM
Subject: FYI: Today: Defend First Amendment Against Cuomo’s New McCarthyism

 

bds-logo-squareLegal observers needed.

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*** PLEASE CIRCULATE WIDELY***

Thursday, June 9th, 5:30 PM
Outside Gov. Cuomo’s office, 633 3rd Avenue between 40th and 41st
Organized by Adalah-NY: The New York Campaign for the Boycott of Israel; Jewish Voice for Peace-NY; and Jews Say No!

Tell Gov. Cuomo: We will proudly continue to stand for justice and boycott Israel until it complies with international law and respects Palestinian human rights!

State-sanctioned backlash against the movement for Palestinian human rights has reached a new low: Gov. Cuomo just signed a McCarthyite executive order requiring state agencies to divest from organizations that support the Palestinian call to boycott companies profiting from, or cultural institutions complicit in, Israel’s oppression of the Palestinian people. Furthermore, the order requires the creation of a publicly available blacklist of all companies and institutions that support the movement.

Boycott is a time-honored tool of communities across the globe. Cuomo’s move is blatantly unconstitutional and is shamelessly designed to attack the movement for Palestinian human rights.

Please join us! Tell Gov. Cuomo: We will continue to stand for justice and boycott Israel until the Palestinian people achieve freedom, justice, and equality. We will continue to boycott Israel because it is the right thing to do.

Please RSVP to the Facebook event here and share with friends: https://www.facebook.com/events/892311420879597/

 

Also:

Protest Gov. Cuomo’s Anti-BDS Executive Order
Gov. Cuomo, Rescind Your Unconstitutional Executive Order

Background:

Statement on Cuomo’s Anti-BDS Executive Order
“Executive Order No. 157 is a blatantly unconstitutional attack on freedom of speech and establishes a dangerous precedent reminiscent of McCarthyism. It is unprecedented for a state to create a list of entities that support or engage in a First Amendment protected political activity, and deny them financial benefits because of it. Boycotts are a constitutionally-protected form of speech, association and assembly, and have a long history of being used successfully to address injustice and demand political change.”

The Palestine Exception to Free Speech: A Movement Under Attack in the US
“Students and scholars discuss the backlash they have experienced for engaging in Palestine advocacy. These and hundreds of other cases are documented in “The Palestine Exception to Free Speech: A Movement Under Attack in the US,” a report released by the Center for Constitutional Rights and Palestine Legal in September 2015.”

What to know about anti-BDS legislation
“The Supreme Court has long held that boycotts to bring about political, economic, and social change – like boycotts for Palestinian rights – are a form of expression protected by the First Amendment rights of speech, assembly, association, and petition. The government may not condition the receipt of government benefits on the requirement that a person forgo core political speech activity. Nor can the government enact measures that chill our speech rights.”

Video: Ali Abunimah: NY Governor Blacklists BDS to Defend Israeli Apartheid
“NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo ban on state business with organizations that support the boycott movement is unconstitutional and panders to Israel, says Electronic Intifada’s Ali Abunimah.”

Palestinian-Americans respond to New York Governor’s Anti-BDS Executive Order
“When Cuomo says he opposes BDS, he’s saying he opposes international law and equality for Palestinians. Thankfully there are many in New York who do not let him speak for them.”

June 2, 2016

Graduate Student Workers Resist New Attack on UAW 2865 BDS Resolution

From: mletwin
Date: Thu, Jun 2, 2016 at 10:20 AM
Subject: Graduate Student Workers Resist New Attack on UAW 2865 BDS Resolution

See attached or view online:
http://laborforpalestine.net/2016/05/27/lfp-bulletin-graduate-student-workers-resist-new-attack-on-uaw-2865-bds-resolution/

Subscribe to Labor for Palestine bulletin at:
http://laborforpalestine.us13.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=1e9a2d49f8901a20fdac2aa16&id=416dacc103

May 27, 2016

FYI: Union officials suppress member support for Palestinian rights

From: Torres, Azalia
Sent: Friday, May 27, 2016 11:59 AM
Subject: FYI: Union officials suppress member support for Palestinian rights

 

Important message from Palestine Legal (co-founded by Center for Constitutional Rights Board President Michael Ratner (1943-2016)), concerning escalating attempts to silence advocacy of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) for Palestinian rights, a campaign which echoes the divestment movement against apartheid South Africa. The same free speech debate has also long been an issue at our own workplace.

The particular case below involves “nullification” of a BDS resolution democratically adopted by the members of UAW 2865 (University of California graduate student workers) in 2014. Similar BDS resolutions have recently been adopted by the members of New York University Graduate Employee Union (GSOC-UAW 2110), University of Massachusetts, Amherst Graduate Employee Union (GEO-UAW 2322), and Teaching Assistants’ Association (TAA/AFT Local 3220) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

=============

Union officials suppress member support for BDS
May 25, 2016

UAW

CREDIT: CLYDE ROBINSON

As a growing number of local unions endorse Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) in solidarity with Palestinian workers, the United Auto Workers (UAW) Public Review Board last week affirmed a decision to nullify the BDS resolution adopted by members of Local 2865.

UAW Local 2865 – which represents over 14,000 graduate student workers at the University of California (UC) – voted by an overwhelming majority in December, 2014 to demand that their union and their employer, the UC, divest from companies complicit in human rights violations against Palestinians. A few members who opposed the resolution engaged a union-busting corporate law firm to appeal the vote. In December 2015, the International UAW, which oversees Local 2865, nullified the vote – despite its own finding that the local conducted a fair and democratic election. The local union appealed, and last week, the union’s Public Review Board affirmed the nullification.

The new decision reasons that because the UAW International president signed a letter opposing BDS in 2007, UAW now holds a position against BDS, and subordinate membership groups cannot assert a different position. But this reasoning ignores the fact that the 2007 statement was signed without any record of discussion among the Executive Board, much less any debate among the UAW’s membership.

Rank and file member of Local 2865, Jennifer Mogannam, said, “This decision cannot erase the fact that increasing numbers of UAW members stand in solidarity with Palestinian workers. … Clearly, several thousand UAW members from coast to coast disagree with the president from 2007. The International union cannot just reach into a dusty file cabinet to shut down the growing number of members who want to discuss and change the union’s position on BDS.”

Liz Jackson, Palestine Legal staff attorney, commented, “The nullification reflects the national trend of suppression. People are voting by democratic majorities to support BDS. But when higher officials disagree – like state legislators, university administrators, and presidential candidates – they resort to shutting down debate from the top. This may work in the short term, but attempts to suppress speech cannot stop a sea change in public opinion.”

Popular support for BDS is growing as three more graduate student worker organizations adopted resolutions this spring. In April, the New York University Graduate Employee Union (GSOC-UAW 2110) and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst Graduate Employee Union (GEO-UAW 2322), representing 2,000 members each, endorsed by full membership vote the call from all major Palestinian trade unions and civil society groups to impose BDS against Israel.

Last week, the Teaching Assistants’ Association (TAA/AFT Local 3220) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, representing over 9,000 graduate workers and students, also voted overwhelmingly in favor of adopting a BDS resolution.

See also:

Report on The Palestine Exception to Free Speech

Union Members Struggle for a Democratic Debate on Palestine: Statement from UAW 2865, GEO-UAW 2322, and GSOC-UAW 2110 Palestine Solidarity Caucuses on UAW 2865 BDS Vote Nullification

April 27, 2016

FYI: Occupied Youth: Palestine and Black America (No CLE credit)

From: Letwin, Michael
Date: Wed, Apr 27, 2016 at 12:48 PM
Subject: FYI: Occupied Youth: Palestine and Black America (No CLE credit)

Criminal justice parallels. Panel includes various attorneys, including former LAS colleague and current CCR executive director Vince Warren.
———–
Occupied Youth: Palestine and Black America
Thursday, April 28 at 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM in EDT
Wollman Hall at the New School
66 W 11th St, New York, New York 10011

Details

This round-table conversation will examine the impact of prolonged military occupation on Palestinian youth and draw connections with the struggles for human rights in the United States for communities of color. Palestinian and American civil society leaders will discuss parallels between Israeli military law, and discrimination, police violence, surveillance and systemic injustice in the US.

Participants:

Sahar Francis is a Palestinian lawyer and general director of Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association. Francis became director in 2005, and has been a human rights legal advocate since 1994. She specializes in issues of Palestinian political prisoners, including ill-treatment and torture, administrative detention, prison conditions, and prisoners’ rights. She has extensive experience litigating in the Israeli Supreme Court and Israeli military court system.

Thenjiwe McHarris is currently working with a team called Blackbird, which is focused on movement building in this current historical moment that centers anti-black racism, state violence and black resistance as part of the ongoing struggle to transform the country. She is also currently working with a number of social justice organizations and movements in the US and is helping to establish a collective for organizers engaged in movement building work around the world. Thenjiwe has spent her entire political and professional career challenging the injustices that imprison people and their communities in a life of poverty and/or one behind bars. She began her political career calling for an end to policies and practices that contributed to acts of torture committed by law enforcement. Most recently, Thenjiwe worked for the U.S. Human Rights Network where she helped coordinate efforts to hold the U.S.G accountable for its human rights violations when the United States was up for review by specific UN Mechanisms.

Khaled Quzmar is a Palestinian lawyer and general director of Defense for Children International – Palestine. Quzmar joined DCIP in 1995 as a lawyer representing Palestinian children in Israeli military courts. He specializes in issues of juvenile justice and grave violations against children during armed conflict, and earned an LL.M in International Human Rights Law from the Irish Centre for Human Rights at the National University of Ireland Galway.

Vincent Warren is an American lawyer and executive director of the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York. He 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, and challenging racial and gender injustice. CCR is committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change by combining cutting-edge litigation, advocacy and strategic communications in work on a broad range of civil and human rights issues.

Mohammad Rozzi is a Palestinian scholar from the Gaza Strip who is currently completing his PhD studies in Switzerland. He holds degrees in Childhood Studies and Occupational Therapy, and has worked with a number of organizations operating in the Gaza Strip, including Mercy Corps, Norwegian Refugee Council, Terre de Hommes Lausanne, UNICEF, and World Vision.

FYI: Solidarity Rising, As Two UAW More Graduate Employee Units Endorse Divestment

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Letwin, Michael
Date: Wed, Apr 27, 2016 at 12:03 PM
Subject: FYI: Solidarity Rising, As Two UAW More Graduate Employee Units Endorse Divestment

To see images in this message, click on “download pictures.” For more information, select clickable headings below.

Solidarity Rising: Two More UAW
Graduate Employee Units Endorse BDS!

Joint Statement GSOC-UAW 2110 and GEO-UAW 2322 are Latest Unions to Vote for Divestment
This past week the NYU Graduate Employee Union (GSOC-UAW 2110) and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst Graduate Employee Union (GEO-UAW 2322), both representing 2,000 members each, endorsed by full membership vote the call from all major Palestinian trade unions and civil society groups to impose Boycott, Divest, and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel. . . . In December 2014, the 14,000 student-worker union at the University of California (UAW Local 2865) system passed a similar resolution supporting BDS with 65% in favor.

Context: America’s Labor Unions Are Increasingly Standing with Palestine (Alternet)
Following a well-attended panel hosted by Western Mass Labor for Palestine at the April 16 Jobs With Justice Conference in Springfield, MA, author Vijay Prashad extensively reviews the rise of Labor for Palestine and U.S. trade union support for BDS. Panelists included Prashad, LFP Co-Conveners Suzanne Adely and Michael Letwin, Carol Lambiase (United Electrical Workers), Bill Shortell (International Association of Machinists), and was moderated by WMLFP members Jordy Rosenberg and Ruth Jennison. Prashad’s article concludes by quoting Adely: “Ultimately, building labor solidarity with Palestine and with all anti-racist struggles is part of the fight to build a stronger, democratic union movement.”

Labor to Palestine: We Stand with Palestine in the Spirit of “Sumud”: The U.S. Prisoner, Labor and Academic Solidarity Delegation to Palestine
On April 16, the nineteen-member March 2016 delegation to Palestine, which included LFP Co-convener Jaime Veve and several other trade unionists, issued a powerful report stating, in part: “We join hands with our comrades in the Palestinian labor movement and salute the struggle of striking teachers, labor organizers and workers demanding economic justice, independence and national self-determination from colonial structures. We further pledge to campaign in the ranks of U.S. labor to divest from Israeli bonds and sever ties between the AFL-CIO and the Histadrut.” To host a local event with delegation members, contact palestine.prison. delegation16@gmail.com

Labor in Palestine: Mass Rally Against Approval of New “Social Security” Law (IMEMC)
Thousands of Palestinians, on Tuesday, demonstrated outside of a government building, in the occupied West Bank hub of Ramallah, against the Palestinian Authority’s approval of a new law many believe fails to provide adequate protection for workers. . . . Weeks earlier, a teachers’ strike brought the largest public demonstrations against the PA in years.

Analysis: Eric Lee: The Online Labour Solidarity Whiz who’s ‘Proud to be a Zionist’
In a new article, British BDS activists Peter Waterman discusses the hypocrisy of Zionist anti-BDS spokesperson Eric Lee, owner of the widely-read website, LabourStart.

Download: New Labor for Palestine Pamphlet
Key background documents from Labor for Palestine, prepared for 2016 Labor Notes conference.

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