Dec 8 Conference Program and Workshops

An Injury to One is An Injury to All:


A Conference in Defense of Civil Liberties and to

End Indefinite Detention featuring Glenn Greenwald

When: Saturday, December 8, 2012
9am Registration & Tabling; 10am Welcome; 6:30pm Closing

Where: Semesters Hall, inside the Student Center
Central Connecticut State University
New Britain, CT

Enter via the Student Center parking lot from Ella Grasso Blvd. See the map.

How:  $10 at the door; Solidarity Price of $25, No one turned away for lack of funds.

To Register in advance or contribute, you can use PayPal.

Or make out checks to and send to “CT Coalition to Stop Indefinite Detention”
c/o Dan Piper, 103 Elizabeth Street, Hartford, CT 06105.
For more info contact Dan at 860-985-4576 or


Conference Schedule and Program

9:00 am Registration and Tabling

10:00 am—Welcome and Outline of the Day

10:15 am. Panel 1: The Scope of the Attacks on Civil Liberties: Immigrants, African Americans, Muslim Americans, South Asian Americans, and the Social Movements Under Attack

  • Nancy Murray – Education Director of the Massachusetts American Civil Liberties Union
  • Dr. Ruth Wilson Gilmore – Co-Founder with Angela Davis of the prison abolitionist organization, Critical Resistance
  • Muneer Awad – NYC Council on American Islamic Relations
  • Lorella Praeli – United We Dream National Coordinating Committee
  • Dr. Shamshad Ahmad – Author, Rounded Up: Artificial Terrorists and Muslim Entrapment After 9/11.
  • John Woodruff – International Representative, United Electrical Workers

11: 30 am–Workshops Session 1

  1. Preemptive Prosecution  (Project SALAM/NCPCF):

    Following 9/11, the FBI and the Justice Department began to “preemptively prosecute” and incarcerate hundreds of Muslim Americans and others who they claimed might have an ideology to commit terrorist acts in the future. The use of secret evidence, provocateurs, new “material support” laws, and threats of deportation has created a gulag of political prisoners. Learn how it works and how to fight it. Lawyers, Kathy Manley and Marwa Elbially will lead a discussion of these topics including identifying FBI informants, and Knowing Your Rights.  Families members of prisoners will also speak including, Shahina Parveen of Desis Rising up and Moving (DRUM) and Marlene Jenkins of Project SALAM.

  2. Beyond the Prison Industrial Complex:
    How the thinking of prison abolitionists can sharpen our critique and strengthen our anti-racist and anti-mass incarcerations campaigns.
         Presented by Dr. Ruth Wilson Gilmore Co-founder with Angela Davis of Critical Resistance.
  3. War, International Solidarity and Repression Against the Peace Movement:

    Civil liberties have always been a “casualty” of war.  Currently, the U.S. government is using police spying, Cointelpro-type provocateurs, McCarthyite grand juries, and other methods to silence the antiwar and international solidarity movements. Learn how to fight back
         Presented by:
         Tom Burke  Committee to Stop FBI Repression
         Representative (TBA) Project SALAM
         Marilyn Levin campaign against Boston police spying
         Joe Lombardo United National Antiwar Coalition.

  4. S-Comm and the Struggle for Immigrant Rights:

    How have deportations roughly doubled over the last four years?  What does the new nationwide arrangement between federal immigration authorities and local police known as “Secure Communities” or “S-Comm” mean for immigrants and everyone else living in the US?  What is the significance of the new deferred action program?  Join a discussion on these and other questions facing the movement for immigrant rights.
         Presented by:
         Jeff Napolitano American Friends Service Committee, Western MA
         Herman Zuniga President, Communities of Immigrants of East Haven
        Juan Hernandez  SEIU 32BJ
         Kazi Fouza South Asian Workers Center

  5. The New Surveillance State:

    With new legislation, legal rulings, technology and funding the surveillance powers of the state and federal government have grown beyond all expectation since 9/11. What is the extent of this new apparatus? What does it mean for our lives and political activity? Join a discussion of these questions and how we can mount a response.
         Presented by:
         Nancy Murray – Education Director of the MA ACLU
         Cyrus McCormick CAIR NYC.

  6.  Students—Defending Ourselves and the Social Movements:

    From the University of California to Yale University to the University of Massachusetts in Boston, student activists are under attack.  Palestine solidarity groups are characterized by university adminstrations as “hate” groups and Muslim Student Associations are spied on by the NYPD and CIA. At the same time, as students, we have unique resources that can be used to deepen the education and organization of all those victimized by the new attacks on civil liberties.
         Presented By:
         Christopher Hutchinson – CCSU Youth for Socialist Action
         Roksana Mun Desis Rising Up and Moving & Youthnac
         Representative (TBA) CCSU Latino Students Organization, and
         Abdallah Alsaqri CCSU Students for Justice for Palestine and the Muslim Students Association.

1-2 pm Lunch

2 pm:  Keynote addresses:

  • Glenn Greenwald:  a columnist on civil liberties and US national security issues for the Guardian. A former constitutional lawyer, he was until 2012 a contributing writer at Salon. He is the author of With Liberty and Justice For Some: How the Law Is Used to Destroy Equality and Protect the Powerful and one of the most important public intellectuals opposing indefinite detention.
  • Sahar Aziz: Professor of Constitutional Law whose scholarship focuses onthe disparate impact of post-9/11 laws and public policy on ethnic, racial, and religious minority groups in the United States.

3 pm. Panel 2—Creating New Ties of Solidarity: Building a Movement that Can Push Back the Assault on Civil Liberties

  • Shahid Buttar – Executive Director, Bill of Rights Defense Committee
  • Sandra Staub – Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of CT
  • Tracy Molm – Committee to Stop FBI Repression
  • Fahd Ahmed – Legal Director at Desis Rising Up and Moving (DRUM)
  • Chris Gauvreau – CT Coalition to Stop Indefinite Detention
  • Steve Downs – Executive Director, National Coalition to Protect Civil Freedoms

4 pm–Workshop Session 2

  1. Speech as a Crime:

    In April 2012 Tarek Mehanna was sentenced to 17 years in prison for writings he placed online and a trip to Yemen. Hear the story of his case and his defense campaign. The workshop will also discuss how material support for terrorism laws have undermined freedom of speech and criminalized activities like charitable donations, peacemaking, and social hospitality.
    Presented by
         Kate Bonner-Jackson Boston organizer leading community and political support for Dr. Tarek Mehanna.
         Andrew March Expert witness for the defense of Tarek Mehanna, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Yale University
         Kathy Manley Lawyer, member of Project SALAM/NCPCF

  2. Repression and Political Prisoners in the U.S. and Puerto Rico Today:

    Liberation movements everywhere are met with state repression – and the U.S. is no exception.  Hear about several ongoing international defense campaigns to free renowned political leaders from U.S. prisons and defend their movements.  Cases to include:  Mumia Abu-Jamal, and the Cuban Five and Leaders in the Struggle for Puerto Rican Independence.
         Presented by
         Nancy Kohn International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban 5
         Jason Wright International Bolshevik Tendency
         Jorge Limeres Comite Pro Independencia de Puerto Rico en Connecticut.

  3. The New Jim Crow in Connecticut:

    When Hurricane Sandy hit, the National Guard was sent to Fairfield to clean up wreckage – and to Bridgeport to patrol the streets.  How and why is racial discrimination enforced in the criminal justice system and other institutions?  How are people pushing back in Connecticut?  Hear about struggles against police brutality in New Haven, the curfew in Bridgeport, discrimination in the Department of Children and Families, and analysis of the broader implications of racial profiling and solutions for how to achieve equal representation under the law.
         Presented by
         Isa Mujahid ACLU, CT
         Don Wilson New London NAACP
         Cornell Lewis Anti-racism activist
         Linda Lancz New London Coalition Against Racial Profiling.

  4. Indefinite detention: building grassroots opposition.

    Almost twenty cities and towns have passed anti-indefinite detention resolutions in the past year, and many more are in play. While the Obama administration has made it clear that is going to the Supreme Court if necessary to ensure that the right to indefinitely detain US citizens without charges or trial is the law of land, and congress is increasingly gridlocked, local legislative campaigns remain an important way to mobilize grassroots resistance and shift the national conversation about the NDAA and indefinite detention.  Only the expression of mass grassroots opposition can make it impossible for the government to use this new tool of repression.  Learn how to use local resolutions to build the movement in your area.
         Presented by
         Emma Roderick Bill of Rights Defense Committee
         Henry Lowendorf Greater New Haven Peace Council
         Amy Martin CT Coalition to Stop Indefinite Detention.

  5. Fighting Police Harassment and Spying.

    In February of this year, the Associated Press broke the story that the NY Police Department, in conjunction with the CIA, was operating a vast surveillance operation aimed at Muslim students at at Yale, Columbia, Syracuse, Rutgers, New York University, and Brooklyn College, while also setting up 24/7 spying of Muslim communities in the tri-state region. Surveillance is usually a euphemism for police disruption. Antiwar activists in Boston are now responding to revelations that they too had been targeted. Learn how to support victims of police harassment and to respond when you are the target.
         Presented by
         Fahd Ahmad Desis Rising Up and Moving
         Michael Figure Bill of Rights Defense Committee
         Muneer Ahwad NYC CAIR
         Marilyn Levin United National Antiwar Coalition.

  6. Solitary Confinement and Torture.

    The US is building a gulag prison system that holds political prisoners and others in isolation under conditions amounting to torture.  Sharmin Sadequee of NCPCF, and Marlene Jenkins of Project SALAM will lead a discussion of this topic including families of prisoners who are held in this gulag.  What can be done to relieve the prisoners, and their families, and how can we end solitary confinement, and the ethnic /ideological prisons called communication management units.

5:30 pm – 6:30 pm–Concluding SessionA Group Discussion.  What Concrete Steps We Can Take Now?


1 thought on “Dec 8 Conference Program and Workshops

  1. Pingback: People's Blog for the Constitution » Civil liberties advocates convene in CT for conference on solidarity and action

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