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JULY 22, WED,l 6:30 pm: Climate Change Town Hall Meeting

Join your neighbors for a town hall meeting on climate change on July 22nd. We’ll have the chance to learn more about what NYC is doing, and how we can take even more ambitious steps to promote and use renewable energy.

Town Hall Meeting on Climate Change
July 22, 2015
6:30 PM
P.S. 321, 180 7th Ave
Park Slope, Brooklyn

The event will begin with a presentation on the One NYC Plan, Mayor de Blasio’s initiative to help New York obtain a sustainable and resilient city that works for all. The presentation will be given by Nilda Mesa, the Director of the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability.

Save the Date: Pathmakers to Peace with Amy Goodman
Thursday, November 12 at Plymouth Church!

Honoring Amy Goodman!

Thursday, November 12 , 6--9:30 pm
Plymouth Church, 57 Orange St., Brooklyn 
between Henry and Hicks in Brooklyn Heights. [MAP] 

Doors open at 6 pm for appetizers and drinks; program will begin at 7 pm.  Dinner, cocktails, and wine will be included.

Tickets go on sale August 15, 2015!

Please visit brooklynpeace.org or call 718-624-5921 for tickets.

AUG 3, Mon, 6:00 pm: No Separate Justice! Vigil at MCC, Manhattan
End abuses of human rights and civil liberties in “War on Terror” cases, often against Muslims.

“No Separate Justice!”:  Monthly vigil on first Monday of each month.
End abuses of human rights and civil liberties in “War on Terror” cases, often against Muslims.
Next vigil Mon Aug 3, 6:00 pm: Focus to be announced.

No Separate Justice Campaign is co-sponsored by: Amnesty International USA, Center for Constitutional Rights, the Council On American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)-New York, Educators for Civil Liberties
Endorsed by Brooklyn For Peace and many others

Where: 150 Park Row (corner Pearl St.), lower Manhattan near City Hall (across street from Metropolitan Correctional Center)
Directions: See a map
Train: 
4/5/6 to Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall; J/Z to Chambers St/Centre St. Walk up Centre Street to Foley Square and look for Pearl Street which is in between the two huge federal courthouses on Foley Square. Walk down Pearl Street one block to where it dead ends on Park Row. Vigil takes place on the corner across from the entrance to MCC.

“No Separate Justice!”.  The mission of the No Separate Justice campaign is to highlight the gross abuses of the "war on terror" which have taken place in prisons and courtrooms across the United States. The purpose of the monthly vigils is to keep these injustices before our eyes.

No Separate Justice! campaign is a coalition of community groups, academics, family members and human rights and civil liberties organizations including Amnesty International USA, the Center for Constitutional Rights, the Council On American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)-New York, and Educators for Civil Liberties. Brooklyn For Peace supports and endorses this campaign. “No Separate Justice” exposes and works to end a pattern of human rights and civil liberties abuses in “War on Terror” cases in the U.S. criminal justice system. Many of these cases are against Muslims or people associated with Muslim groups.

See it on Facebook.

Vigils have been held on the first Monday night of every month since February 2014,  outside the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in lower Manhattan. Each vigil highlights the specific case of an individual or case.

Individuals and cases highlighted at previous vigils:

Fahad Hashmi (February);
Tarek Mehanna (March);
Shifa Sadequee (April);
Ahmed Abu Ali (May);
Farooque Ahmed (June);
Talha Ahsan and issues of prisoners navigating the celebration of Ramadan behind bars (July);
Yassin Aref  (August;)
Shahawar Matin Siraj (September). Speakers at the August vigil included Alexis Agathocelous from CCR who is the lead lawyer in the Communications Management Unit (CMU) case that CMU prisoners (including  Yassin) brought in 2010. Click here for more info on this case. Shahawar Matin Siraj's case is included in newly published human rights research including both "Illusion of Justice: Human Rights Abuses in U.S. Terror Prosecutions,"  produced by researchers at Human Rights Watch and the Human Rights Institute at Columbia University and also "Inventing Terrorists: The Lawfare of Preemptive Prosecution" written by the Albany-based human rights organization Project SALAM and Washington, D.C.-based National Coalition to Protect Civil Freedoms.  "Inventing Terrorists" analyzes 399 federal terrorism cases including Matin's that have been prosecuted since 2001.  The attention being brought to cases like that of Shahawar Matin Siraj, arrested 10 years ago--on August 27, 2004--when he was 22 years old, reflects a growing awareness in the U.S. about the grave abuses taking place in post-9/11 federal "terrorism"  prosecutions.

Dritan, Shain and Eljvir Duka, (October) 3 brothers who all received life sentences in part of one of the most egregious post-911 entrapment cases to date, the Fort Dix Five case. They left behind 6 children who are being raised now by the Duka grandparents.

Interfaith prayer vigil co-hosted and co-sponsored by the National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT) and T'ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights (formerly Rabbis for Human Rights-North America)  (November)
Newburgh Four case, (December) a case seen by many legal scholars and civil liberties groups as one of the most egregious post-9/11 entrapment cases on record. The family of David Williams, one of the four men convicted in the case, joined us along with David Heilbroner, the filmmaker behind the new HBO film about the Newburgh Four case, "The Newburgh Sting."

Retrospective look back across 2014: cases we've focused on, and the courageous families who have joined us over the months. (Jan 2015)

Monday March 2, 2015: Updates on a number of recent developments, campaigns, and cases including:
Amnesty International's petition asking for UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Juan Mendez, to be allowed access into US "supermax" prisons including state and federal facilities where people are held in pre-trial solitary confinement (like the MCC);

The US Torture Report and a historical overview of torture - on the federal, state, and city level - in the United States;

  • Reflections on the Obama Administration's now six-year promise to close Guantanamo;
  • An update on the treatment and trials of British extradite Abu Hamza Al-Masri who has been held at MCC for the past three years and who has numerous physical ailments including no hands and waining eyesight.
  • The oral arguments presented on January 13 in Hassan v. the City of New York, a federal case against the NYPD's targeting and surveillance of Muslim communities in New Jersey

Highlights on Monday April 6, 2o15:

**Update onUN Rapporteur on Torture Juan Mendez’s demand to be allowed to visit Federal Prisons, especially Metropolitan Correctional Center here in NYC.

**Case of Madhi Hashi:

Mahdi Hashi is a youth worker from London who worked with young Somalis in the city, before coming under pressure to be an informant for the British government. He refused and, while visiting family in Somalia, was told by the British government that he had been stripped of his citizenship and made stateless. In the hope of appealing against the revocation, he travelled to neighbouring Djibouti, where there is a British consulate. He alleges he was then arrested by the Djibouti police, interrogated by the CIA, and threatened with torture. He was then flown to New York by the US government to face “material support” for terrorism charges and is currently being held at MCC, where he has spent more than two years in pre-trial solitary confinement under Special Administrative Measures that prevent him from communicating with the outside world.

May 4, 2015: Vigil co-sponsored byPrison Watch, Healing Justice and Immigrant Rights Programs of the American Friends Service Committee. Focus on the issues of solitary confinement and surveillance, and the historical connections between their current and prior use. Place the abuses which have been highlighted on a monthly basis in the larger historical context, recognizing that many of them are abuses identified and experienced by others in the past.

June 1, 2015: SPECIAL PROGRAM  to highlight all those who have suffered from Solitary Confinement, in co-operation with the New York Campaign for Alternatives to Isolated Confinement. This event kicked off Torture Awareness Month, highlighting the interrelated abuses in the federal so-called "war on terror" and America's Mass incarceration system. Narratives from people currently as well as formerly incarcerated, as well as those related to people in solitary confinement.
Special Introduction from Journalist Murtaza Hussain whose work has been featured in The Intercept, The New York Times, The Guardian and Slate
Speakers: Hamja Ahsan, Talha Ahsan, Arun Kundnani, Tyrell Muhammad, Michael Mushlin,  Victor Pate, Sharmin Sadequee, Carole Willis

July 6, 2015: Focus on issues of paid government informants, agent provocateurs and solitary confinement.
Update on recent cases including the arrest of the two women in Queens on terrorism related charges, the police violence in Boston against a possible terrorism suspect, use of solitary confinement and its impact on Kalief Browder, and the torture amendment to the NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act).   

CMUs were covertly established to house high-risk inmates. However, according to the Center for Constitutional Rights, many prisoners end up in these units “for their constitutionally protected religious beliefs, unpopular political views, or in retaliation for challenging poor treatment or other rights violations in the federal prison system.” These units are an experiment in social isolation. CMU prisoners are forbidden from any physical contact with family members such as hugging, touching or embracing their children, spouses or loved ones during visits.

Abuses are happening nationwide, but the MCC is itself a site of abuse and torture. Prisoners in the MCC have been held for years in 22- to 24-hour solitary confinement and under gag orders euphemistically known as Special Administrative Measures (SAMs), even before they have been tried. According to the UN’s independent expert on torture, solitary confinement of more than 15 days can constitute torture. Despite its Manhattan location, conditions at the MCC are hidden from public view; requests for access by human rights monitors and the press have been repeatedly denied.

Vigils will continue on the first Monday night of every month to help us shed light on abuses in other cases and build the No Separate Justice Campaign!
Join us! We have plenty of signs to share.
Visit our website no-separate-justice.org

AUG 12, WED, 10 pm: "War No More": BFP Monthly Show on Brooklyn Community Access Television

Did you miss any of our recent Forums?
Catch the highlights on "War No More"!
“War No More” is BFP’s monthly Cable TV program, cablecast on the 2nd Wednesday of each month, 10 pm

Topic for Wed Aug 12, 10 pm: to be announced

Tune in by cable in Brooklyn atChannel 79 (TimeWarner); Chanel 68 (Cablevision); Channel 83 (RCN); Channel 43 (Verizon).Don’t have cable access or you’re not in Brooklyn?

Watch from anywhere on your computer.
It's a live video-stream, so you must watch at time of the cablecast.
Go to BCAT TV Network, scroll down to Channel 2 and Launch!

Did you miss any of our recent forums? Catch the highlights on "War No More!"
Cablecast on the 2nd Wednesday of each month, 10 pm, with live video-stream.

DVD of many of our  programs are  available. Have a friend or neighbor (especially a senior citizen) who can’t get out to our events? Let them know how to tune in on BCAT or get the DVD.
Many of our recent programs are available on BFP's YouTube channel.

“War No More” is BFP’s monthly Cable TV program, cablecast on the 2nd Wednesday of each month, 10 pm
Questions? Call 718-624-5921 or e-mail bfp@brooklynpeace.org

Senate Passes "Fast Track" for TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership)

The Senate has voted to move forward with "Fast Track" for the TPP. The vote was so close that if even if even one of the Senators who voted to cut off debate on Fast Track had voted the other way, it would have prevented "Fast Track" from moving forward. (See here for the Roll Call. 60 in favor, 37 against, 3 not voting. 60 votes (3/5 majority) required to pass.)

Use this link provided by Citizens Trade Campaign to thank Senators Gillibrand and Schumer who voted against it. See how other Senators voted here. Also, all of our Brooklyn reps voted AGAINST Fast Track when it came up in the House. (See below) Please call to thank them.

Congressional Switchboard: 202-224-3121

Click here for contact info for local offices.

Click here to find out who represents you.

When the negotiations (now being conducted in secret) are complete, the TPP will come before Congress for an up-or-down vote. If it is ultimately passed, the TPP will affect many aspects of our lives, and the lives of people in other countries. It will drastically increase the social and economic inequalities which lead to war.

Click here to learn more and keep up to date on the TPP.
Brooklyn For Peace is one of over 2000 organizations which are calling on Congress to defeat the TPP.

On Thursday June 18, the  House approved a version of the Fast Track bill for the TPP. This was a parliamentary move to ram Fast Track through, although the House had previously voted against it.) The vote was very close (218 in favor, 208 against.) See how your Representative voted here. This bill is even worse than the original Ryan-Hatch Fast Track bill! It would weaken human trafficking measures; eliminate simple currency measures and other enforcement provisions; and even prohibit the consideration of climate solutions in future trade negotiations.

All our Brooklyn representatives including Donovan, newly elected from Bay Ridge and Staten Island, voted against it: Please call them to thank them for their NO vote.  Brooklyn For Peace is one of over 2000 organizations which are calling on Congress to defeat the TPP.

See Highlights from our Forum on the TPP: (Sept 2013)

Part OnePart Two, & Part Three 

The TPP was written in secret over 5 years by trade representatives from 12 Pacific-rim countries with advice from 600 corporate representatives including Monsanto (GMO foods), National Mining (resource extraction), Lockheed Martin (arms manufacturer), Chevron (fossil fuels) and Halliburton (fossil fuel and military infrastructure). Some of the text has been leaked. We know the devastating results of NAFTA in Mexico and of various bi-lateral “agreements.   Nobel prizewinner economist Joseph Stieglitz explains the dangers in a recent op-ed in the NYTimes.

Stay up to date! Visit Citizens Trade Campaign.  Also check out Sierra Club and Public Citizen Global Trade Watch which both maintain informative and accessible websites.

© Brooklyn For Peace