Crime Magazine is about true crime: organized crime, celebrity crime, serial killers, corruption, sex crimes, capital punishment, prisons, assassinations, justice issues, crime books, crime films and crime studies.
We talk today about recent developments in the New York City Fire Department discrimination case known as the US and Vulcan Society v. City of New York. Last week, a three-judge panel of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals held that, in light of the City’s “distressing pattern of limited FDNY minority hiring,” broad relief ordered by the district judge to end discrimination in the FDNY was “entirely warranted.”
This decision includes an independent monitor in order to “oversee the FDNY’s long awaited progress toward ending discrimination.” The Court also ruled that the plaintiffs’ intentional discrimination claim should proceed to a trial. The district court had found that the evidence of intentional discrimination was so overwhelming that no trial was necessary. The Court of Appeals also reinstated the plaintiffs’ claim that former FDNY Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta is individually liable for intentional discrimination.
Guest – Attorney Dana Lossia (Northwestern University, B.A., summa cum laude 2001, Harvard Law School, J.D., 2005) joined Levy Ratner in December 2005. She represents unions in New York and New Jersey in arbitrations, administrative proceedings, NLRB cases and federal and state court litigation. She also represents plaintiffs in complex employment discrimination actions, including a challenge to racially discriminatory hiring practices at the NYC Fire Department. Lossia has also litigated on behalf of tenants in land use and zoning appeals before the NYC Board of Standards and Appeals.
Lawyers You’ll Like: Anne O’Berry
As part of our Lawyers You’ll Like series we’re joined by attorney Anne O’Berry, she’s the Vice President of the Southern Region of the National Lawyers Guild and the author of The Law Only As An Enemy: The Legitimization of Racial Powerlessness Through the Colonial and Antebellum Criminal Laws of Virginia. While in law school, she served as Director of the Women in Prison Project at Rikers Island, where she taught incarcerated women how to prevent termination of their parental rights. In the last 12 years, Anne has served as counsel at a Florida law firm that specializes in class action litigation, particularly in the areas of securities, consumer and economic fraud, as well as some environmental and privacy rights litigation.
Guest – Anne O’Berry, National Lawyers Guild’s Regional Vice President for the Southern Region and a member of the Guild’s South Florida chapter. She obtained her undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1983 and her law degree from New York University Law School in 1986. While in law school, she served as Director of the Women in Prison Project at Rikers Island, where she taught incarcerated women how to prevent termination of their parental rights. She was a member of the law school’s civil rights clinic and an editor on one of the law school’s journals, and authored a law review article on prisoners’ rights.
Guatemalan Ex Dictator Found Guilty of Genocide
After weeks of powerful testimony the trial of former Guatemalan dictator Efraín Ríos Montt and his intelligence chief José Rodríguez Sánchez ended with a guilty conviction on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity. The verdict marked the first time a former head of state had been found guilty of genocide in his or her own country.The government’s lead prosecutor, Orlando López, gave more than two hours of summation based heavily on the Guatemalan military plans, manuals, and operational records entered as evidence. During the months of General Ríos Montt’s rule, the army used a scorched-earth policy to flush out leftist guerrillas fighting in the hills. The villages of the Mayan highlands suffered the worst of the army’s brutality in the early 1980s, during Guatemala’s 36-year civil war.
Guest – Kate Doyle, a Senior Analyst of U.S. policy in Latin America at the National Security Archive. She directs several major research projects, including the Guatemala Project, which collects declassified U.S. and Guatemalan government documents on the countries’ shared history from 1954, and the Evidence Project, connecting the right to truth and access to information with human rights and justice struggles in Latin America. Since 1992, Doyle has worked with Latin American human rights groups, truth commissions, prosecutors and judges to obtain government files from secret archives that shed light on state violence. She has testified as an expert witness in numerous human rights legal proceedings, including the 2008 trial of former President Alberto Fujimori of Peru for his role in overseeing military death squads; the case before the Spanish National Court on the 1989 assassination of the Jesuit priests in El Salvador; and the 2010 trial of two former policemen in Guatemala for the forced disappearance of labor leader Edgar Fernando García in 1984
MOVE Bombing: 28th Anniversary
This week marks the 28th anniversary of an armed police mission in Philadelphia that ended in a helicopter bombing of the headquarters of the group known as MOVE. The fire commissioner in that city allowed a fire to rage unabated at 6221 Osage Avenue in West Philadelphia, killing six adults and five children, destroying 65 homes and leaving more than 200 people homeless. Despite two Grand Jury investigations, and a commission finding that top officials were grossly negligent, no one from city government was ever criminally charged. A recent film called Let the Fire Burn, chronicles the events leading up to the conflagration.
Guest – Ramona Africa, the sole adult survivor of the 1985 police bombing of the home occupied by members of the MOVE organization. Email Ramona – onamovelleja (at) gmail.com
Assata Shakur Placed On FBI Terror List
Last week, the FBI placed Assata Shakur on its Most Wanted Terrorists list, while the state of New Jersey raised the bounty on her head to 2 million dollars. These actions fall on the 40th anniversary of the 1973 shoot out in in which police allege Shakur killed a police officer during a traffic stop on the New Jersey turnpike. Assata also known as JoAnne Deborah Byron is an African American activist was a member of the Black Panther Party and the Black Liberation Army. Assata Shakur: Understanding the politics behind the FBI’s new attack.
Guest – Eugene Puryear, Eugene is a writer and on the editorial board of the Liberation, Newspaper of the Party for Socialism and Liberations.
Last year Trader Joe’s and the Coalition of Immokalee Workers signed an agreement that formalized the ways in which Trader Joe’s support the CIW’s Fair Food Program, a hard won victory.. Since then efforts have turned to companies such as Publix supermarkets in Florida and the Wendy’s fast food chain. Recently, Fair Food activists across the country visited their local Wendy’s to deliver a message: It’s time to join the rest of the fast-food industry and support the Fair Food Program.
Translator Joe Parker:
Guest – Emelio Faustino, farm worker, CIW activist living in Florida. He is among other workers picking tomatoes by hand for 10-12 hours per day, while getting paid 50 cents per bin, or about 200 to 283 dollars per week.
Guest – Joe Parker, CIW spokesman and translator.
IRS Allows Private Prison Corporation Tax Exemption Status
Billboard companies, casinos and private prisons are among many American corporations declaring the status of special trusts in order to avoid paying federal taxes. The Corrections Corporation of America which owns and operates 44 prisons and detention centers in the United States has quietly received permission by the Internal Revenue Service to switch it’s status saving millions on taxes. These special trust structures however are usually reserved by funds holding real estate. As we’ve discussed on Law and Disorder handing over state related tasks such as running penal institutions to the private sector is often at the expense of the inmates’ welfare.
Guest – Max Wolff - teacher of economics in the New School University Graduate Program in International Affairs. He’s
Senior Analyst & Chief Economist at Greencrest Capital. Mr. Wolff is an economist specializing in international finance and macroeconomics. Before joining Greencrest Capital he spent four years as the senior hedge fund analyst at the Beryl Consulting Group, LLC. Mr. Wolff teaches finance and statistical research methods in the New School University’s Graduate Program in International Affairs. Mr. Wolff’s financial markets and macroeconomics work appears regularly in Seeking Alpha, The Wall Street Journal, Reuters, Bloomberg, The BBC, Russia Today TV, and Al Jazeera English.
Bush Library Direct Action: We Will Not Be Silent
Late last month in Dallas, Texas, four living presidents and countless dignitaries attended the opening of the Bush Library. In response to the library opening, relegated to the so called free speech zone across the street were the members of the white masked group, March of the Dead. While George W. Bush was being celebrated a procession of We Will Not Be Silent marchers carried the names of many who lost their lives in Afghanistan, Iraq, Bagram, Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo prisons. The marchers also carried names of civilians, US military and detainees tortured to death because of war crimes committed by the Bush Administration. WeWillNotBeSilent.net
Guest – Laurie Arbieter helped coordinate the direct action at the opening of the George W. Bush Library, Laurie is an artist/activist and creator of the “We Will Not Be Silent” collective.
Has the Department of Justice been taken over by a conservative organization little known to the average citizen? In the recently published book titled The Federalist Society: How Conservatives Took the Law Back from Liberals authored by attorney Michael Avery and Danielle McLaughlin track the movements of a small group of conservative law students and their influence. The Federalist Society has lawyer chapters in every major city in the United States and student chapters in every accredited law school. Members include economic conservatives, social conservatives, Christian conservatives, and libertarians. They all differ with each other on significant issues, but cooperate in advancing a broad conservative agenda.
Attorney Michael Avery:
Attorney Danielle McLaughlin:
Guest – Civil rights lawyer Michael Avery, professor at Suffolk University Law School and former president of the National Lawyers Guild from 2003 to 2006.
Guest – Co-author and attorney Danielle McLauglin, member of the Litigation and Dispute resolution group.
We go now to hear a presentation by internationally acclaimed Pakistani writer and film maker Tariq Ali during a New York City book launch of his new book The Stalinist Legacy: Its Impact on Twentieth Century World Politics. Karl Marx’s often quoted observation “History weighs like a nightmare on the brain of the living” is so true. Even 20 years after the Soviet Union’s collapse, activists are still confronted by the legacy of Stalinism at the same time capitalism has failed millions of working people in the United States and across the world.
Long time literary agent Francis Golden has for years visited inmates on death row. She’s recently returned from visiting Lynne Stewart in the Carswell Medical Facility in Texas. She joins hosts to talk about her visit.
Guest – Francis Golden,
We welcome back Teresa Shoatz, daughter of political prisoner Russell Maroon Shoatz who has spent 39 years in the US prison system. As many listeners may know, Russell Shoatz has been held under intense lock down spending no more than one hour a day outside of his cell for the past 21 of those years. He was locked up in 1972 for his activity as a member of the Black Liberation Army.
Meanwhile, Theresa Shoatz is on book tour promoting her father’s book titled Maroon The Implacable. We catch up with her in Chicago while on tour. Maroon The Implacable is the first published collection of his accumulated written works analyzing the prison system, imperialism, the drug war. He also writes with great insight about the Maroon communities throughout America. Newer essays examine current political movements including eco-feminism and matriarchy
Guest – Theresa Shoatz, a Philadelphia-based prison justice activist and the daughter of Russell “Maroon” Shoatz.
It’s obvious and yet an unfortunate reality, war, prisoners of war and the prison industrial complex tear apart families. Very seldom are the voices of family members heard that were left behind by the tragedies of war. In the book Shadow Lives: How the War on Terror in England Became a War on Women and Children, author Victoria Brittain brings the reader close to these individuals who’s lives were capsized by war. They’re usually socially invisible and their civil liberties are often trampled by the state under the guise of the “war on terror.”
Guest – Victoria Brittain has lived and worked as a journalist in Washington, Nairobi, Saigon and London. She worked at the Guardian for 20 years and is the author of Death of Dignity: Angola’s Civil War, and Enemy Combatant.
We welcome back Bret Grote, a member of Russell Maroon Shoatz’s legal team. Political prisoner Russell Maroon Shoatz who has spent 39 years in the US prison system. As many listeners may know, Russell Shoatz has been held under intense lock down spending no more than one hour a day outside of his cell for the past 21 of those years. He was locked up in 1972 for his activity as a member of the Black Liberation Army. Bret gives us an update in recent developments of the case.
Guest – Bret Grote, member of the Russell Maroon Shoatz legal team and member of the Abolitionist Law Center.
After a multi-year grassroots campaign and an equally long lawsuit, the morning after pill will finally be available to females of all ages on the pharmacy shelf, without a prescription or point of sale or age restriction. This is thanks to a recent federal court reversal of decisions from the FDA and DHHS, under both the Bush and Obama Administrations. The US now joins at least 63 other countries including the UK, Denmark, France and Ghana in making the morning after pill available without a prescription.
Guest – Attorney Andrea Costello, Partnership for Civil Justice Fund Senior Staff Attorney representing the NWL Plaintiffs.
It Was Genocide: Armenian Survivor Stories
99 years ago this month marks the beginning of the systematic implementation of a plan to exterminate the Armenian race. Carried out by the Young Turk government of the Ottoman Empire, over half of the Armenians living in the Empire were killed.
To commemorate this, the first genocide of the 20th century, Law and Disorder co-host Heidi Boghosian and producer Geoff Brady present part of the 90-minute program titled, It Was Genocide: Armenian Survivor Stories.
We wish to thank WBAI for their commitment to recognizing the Armenian genocide, and are grateful to the following individuals for opening their hearts and sharing the difficult memories of the past: Jennie Garabedian, Harry Mazadorian, Roxy Garabedian, Lucy Simonian, Roxie Maljanian, Mary Abrahamian, John Maljanian, Agnes Karanian, Ruth Swisher, and Artie Shahverdian.
Attorney Omar Farah speaks with Michael Ratner about a hunger strike at Guantanamo Bay Prison with more than half of prisoners from Camp 5 and 6f participating. Farah says the hunger strike was triggered by an arbitrary crackdown by the prison administration including cell searches and a search of the prisoner’s Qurans. This is viewed as out right desecration. More than half of the entire prison population has been cleared for release by every prominent national security and law enforcement agency in the US government, that includes the DOD, DHS.
Guest – Omar Farah joined the Center for Constitutional Rights in 2012 as a staff attorney in the Guantanamo Global Justice Initiative. Omar was previously in private practice, working mostly in the area of international commercial arbitration. Since 2008, he has represented several prisoners detained at Guantanamo Bay in habeas corpus litigation in federal court.
While adviser to the Madrid and Washington Palestinian-Israeli negotiations, author and historian Rashid Khalidi collected documents, memos and meeting minutes as a research foundation for his recently published book Brokers of Deceit: How the U.S. Has Undermined Peace in the Middle East. The book focuses on 3 periods of opportunity for the United States to broker peace, one in the late seventies, the early nineties and 2010. This critical analysis addresses the basic distortions in language that has corrupted the peace processes. Rashid Khalidi is an American historian of the Middle East, the Edward Said Professor of Modern Arab Studies at Columbia University, and director of the Middle East Institute of Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs, he joins us today to talk about his book and also the ongoing destabilizing hostility in Syria.
Guest – Professor Rashid Khalidi, is the Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies at Columbia University. He received his B.A. from Yale University in 1970, and his D.Phil. from Oxford in 1974. He is editor of the Journal of Palestine Studies, and was President of the Middle East Studies Association, and an advisor to the Palestinian delegation to the Madrid and Washington Arab-Israeli peace negotiations from October 1991 until June 1993.
In a recent ruling, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a lawyer’s challenge to military spying on peace activists can proceed. This ruling is the first time a court allowed civilians to sue the military for violating their First and Fourth Amendment rights. National Lawyers Guild attorney Larry Hildes brought the lawsuit Panagacos v Towery in 2009 on behalf of a group of Washington state antiwar activists who discovered they were infiltrated for 2 years by John Towery, an employee at a fusion center inside a local Army base. The antiwar activists group Port Militarization Resistance sought to oppose the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan through civil disobedience. The lawsuit also names, the Army, Navy, Air Force, FBI, CIA, Department of Homeland Security and other law enforcement agencies.
Attorney Larry Hildes:
Guest – Attorney Larry Hildes, an NLG member and one of the attorneys involved in bringing the case Panagacos v Towery.
Michael Smith and Dennis James Discuss Cuba Trip
Co-host Michael Smith and attorney Dennis James recently returned from Cuba on a trip led by the Center for Cuban Studies. Dennis is a civil rights lawyer formerly of Detroit and former Executive Director of the National Lawyers Guild. The trip was undertaken to appreciate the fundamental changes now going on in Cuban law with respect to travel, home, car and business ownership. The discussion leads into the possibilities of an economic rejuvenation in Cuba.
Attorney Dennis James:
Guest – Dennis James, a civil rights lawyer formerly of Detroit and former Executive Director of the National Lawyers Guild.
Supreme Court On Gay Marriage
Last week the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on two historic cases that could establish the constitutional right for gay marriage. The first case, Hollingsworth v. Perry is a challenge to California’s voter-approved ban of same-sex unions in 2008. Six months after the California Supreme Court endorsed gay marriage, voters passed Proposition 8 which amended the state’s constitution to only recognize marriages between a man and a woman. Lower courts had declared the gay marriage ban to be unconstitutional. The second case the Supreme Court heard was a challenge to the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act. This act bars married gay couples from receiving federal marriage benefits such as Social Security and family medical leave.
Professor Katherine Franke:
Guest – Professor Katherine Franke, the Isidor and Seville Sulzbacher Professor of Law; Director, Center for Gender and Sexuality Law at Columbia Law School.
Here on Law and Disorder, we’ve been covering the stop and frisk case known as Floyd v City of New York and the New York Police Department. This is a federal class action lawsuit challenging New York City Police Departments’ practice of stopping and frisking hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers each year. Some five million within the last few years. The high majority of which are Latino and African American. It’s taken the Center for Constitutional Rights along with its allies united with a group called Communities United for Police Reform many years to bring this case to trial. It’s an historic moment for challenging these practices in New York and a precedent that will hopefully lead to ending this practice, not only here in New York but throughout the country. The trial began last week in federal court in Manhattan. It will last some 4 to 6 weeks.
Guest – Annette Warren-Dickerson, the Director of Education and Outreach at the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), is responsible for overseeing the development of CCR’s political and public education strategies as a companion to CCR’s litigation. Annette served as the Statewide Coordinator of the New York Campaign for Telephone Justice, which successfully ended the high collect call rates for the families of those incarcerated in New York State prisons.
Cuban Five Case Update: Free The Cuban Five – Columbia University 2013
Fourteen years ago, the Cuban Five were convicted on conspiracy to commit espionage at some time in the future. Recently, prominent First Amendment attorney Martin Garbus joined the case of the Cuban Five. He’s help expose how US government paid journalists in Miami who received hundreds and thousands of dollars of payments from the office of Cuba broadcasting. A fact unknown to the defense at the time of the trial. As listeners may know, those paid reporters covered the case in an almost hysterical and prejudicial fashion. This month, Martin Garbus and many others will be discussing the case of the Cuban Five during an event held at Columbia University March 29.
Guest – Attorney Martin Garbus, one of the country’s leading trial lawyers. He has appeared before the United States Supreme Court and the highest state and federal courts in the nation. Time Magazine has named him “legendary . . . one of the best trial lawyers in the country.” He’s also known as the most prominent First Amendment lawyer.
Here on Law and Disorder, we continue to follow up on the Chicago torture cases and since the conviction and sentencing of former Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge in 2011, the Chicago criminal courts have become a model in seeking justice for crimes of torture. Last year we discussed with our guest attorney Flint Taylor how the city’s new administration will handle the hundreds of ongoing torture cases of African American men. The question is answered in Flint Taylor’s recently published article in the The Nation titled Racism, Torture and Impunity in Chicago.
In the article, Flint writes “Chicago City Council and Mayor Rahm Emanuel signed off on a settlement for another torture survivor, Michael Tillman, who was exonerated in 2010. It was the perfect chance for the mayor to apologize on behalf of the city to the African-American community that helped elect him. He chose not to do so. Instead, picking up where the Daley administration left off, the mayor has continued to fund Burge’s defense, paying private lawyers a total of $3.8 million to date in the Cannon and Kitchen cases alone.”
Guest – G. Flint Taylor, a graduate of Brown University and Northwestern Law School, is a founding partner of the People’s Law Office in Chicago, an office which has been dedicated to litigating civil rights, police violence, government misconduct, and death penalty cases for more than 40 years.
French-led Invasion of Mali, Africa
The Obama Administration has recently stepped up US military deployment within the French led military offensive to force out Islamist rebels in Mali, Africa. The U.S. Reaper drones are helping to provide targeting information for French aerial attacks. Those countries publicly supporting France include Canada, Belgium, Denmark and Germany. Meanwhile, human rights groups call for independent investigations into civilian deaths in Mali.
Guest – Ernie Harsch, a 40 year journalist who has made numerous trips to Africa. He’s a former editor of the magazine Africa Renewal. He joins us today to discuss the conflicts in Mali and the big picture regarding the seizure of natural resources in Africa.
The Search for Colonel James Steele: US Special Forces Veterans Links General Petraeus With Torture In Iraq
A 15-month investigation and documentary film by the Guardian and BBC Arabic has revealed how US colonel James Steele, a veteran of American proxy wars in El Salvador and Nicaragua, played a key role in training and overseeing US-funded special police commandos who ran a network of torture centers in Iraq. Steele and another special forces veteran retired Colonel James Coffman reported directly to General David Petraeus. Petraeus as listeners may know was tasked with organizing Iraqi security services.
Guest – Patrick Farelly, a TV, radio and print journalist who has worked in the US and Ireland. Farrelly was producer of Michael Moore’s Emmy award-winning NBC/BBC2 series TV Nation and later Bravo/Channel 4 co-production Awful Truth. He was the founding editor of the New York based weekly newspaper Irish Voice and has also been features editor of the New York Post. He has also worked for HBO, Discovery, PBS and Irish broadcasters RTE and TG4.
Sequester As A Form Of Austerity In The United States
We welcome Economics Professor and radio host Rick Wolff back on the show to discuss the current billion dollar cuts known as the sequester. The sequester is a massive reduction in US military and domestic spending of up to 85 billion dollars. This is a massive austerity policy that will send ripple effects throughout the US economy. Meanwhile, our guest Professor Rick Wolff points to corporations continuing to use cheap labor that is substituted for “costly” workers in the US and Europe. Professor Rick Wolff has exposed the flawed system of modern capitalism for many years, he joins us today to discuss the new austerity, called sequester as the inequalities of wealth continue to widen. Rick Wolff and Bill Moyers Interview.
Professor Rick Wolff:
Guest - Richard D. Wolff is Professor of Economics Emeritus, University of Massachusetts, Amherst where he taught economics from 1973 to 2008. He is currently a Visiting Professor in the Graduate Program in International Affairs of the New School University, New York City. He also teaches classes regularly at the Brecht Forum in Manhattan.
Zero Tolerance Policy: School to Prison Pipeline?
As many listeners may know, zero-tolerance school policies will punish any infraction of a rule regardless of whether it was an accident, a violation out of ignorance or extenuating circumstances. Schools normally forbid cell phones, profanity etc, but with a zero tolerance policy, breaking these rules often result in an inordinately harsh punishment such as suspension or expulsion. These policies are promoted to prevent violence and drug abuse in schools but for years critics have pointed out the subjective nature of these decisions on certain students with disciplinary problems. Some difficult students could become targets of the zero tolerance policy, become less educated by multiple suspensions and expulsion which often lead them into the criminal justice system
Guest – Professor Russ Skiba, professor in Counseling and Educational Psychology at Indiana University, and directs the school outreach practicum in the School Psychology Program. He was a member and the lead author of the American Psychological Association’s Task Force on Zero Tolerance
We continue to look at accountability within the church for widespread systematic sexual assault and violence against tens of thousands of victims, mainly children. As many listeners may know, the church’s main priority has been to protect itself and its power instead of insuring the protection of the children in the church and others vulnerable to abuse by priests. The pope is responsible for these criminal acts with direct involvement in covering them up. Now that Pope Benedict XVI is resigning, international prosecution will be easier for national systems of justice. The Center for Constitutional Rights has filed a case with the International Criminal Court on behalf of the organization Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) against the pope and other high-level Vatican officials for crimes against humanity in September 2011 and provided additional documentation in the case in April 2012. The prosecutor is currently reviewing the evidence
Guest – Mary Ward Caplan, leader of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) in New York City.
Guest – Pam Spees, senior staff attorney in the international human rights program at the Center for Constitutional Rights. She has a background in international criminal and human rights law with a gender focus, as well as criminal trial practice. She serves as lead counsel on several of CCR’s cases and initiatives including, Sexual Minorities Uganda v. Lively, a case brought against a U.S. based anti-gay extremist for his role in the persecution of LGBTI people in Uganda; Murillo v. Micheletti, a case brought by the parents of a youth killed by the coup regime in Honduras; and in the legal effort to hold Vatican officials criminally responsible for the crimes against humanity of rape and sexual violence within the church.
Private Prison Corporation To Have Its Name on Florida Atlantic Football Stadium
Priests of Our Democracy, The Supreme Court, Academic Freedom, and the Anti-Communist Purge is the title of the recently published book by attorney Marjorie Heins. The book examines a very dark period in academic freedom within New York City’s municipal colleges. In the early 1940s, faculty, students and staff were the target of massive investigations into their political beliefs and associations. They hauled before tribunals of the New York State legislature, dozens were stripped of their careers.
Author Marjorie Heinz shows historically, that academic freedom is nothing to take for granted and is always on shaky ground despite being protected by the First Amendment. The backlash of controversy against Students for Justice in Palestine sponsoring a Boycott Divest Sanction event at Brooklyn College is recent example. This is a book for anyone working in education to understand the court battles that tried to preserve a right protected by the Constitution.
Guest – Marjorie Heins, a civil liberties lawyer, writer, and teacher, and the founding director of the Free Expression Policy Project. Her previous book, Not in Front of the Children, won the American Library Association’s 2002 Eli Oboler Award for best published work in the field of intellectual freedom. Other books include Sex, Sin, and Blasphemy: A Guide to America’s Censorship Wars; Cutting the Mustard: Affirmative Action and the Nature of Excellence; and Strictly Ghetto Property: The Story of Los Siete de la Raza. She is a graduate of Harvard Law School.
Encore Interview: New Vatican Rules On Handling Priest Sexual Abuse Cases
Earlier this year, the Vatican had revised its laws making it easier to discipline sex abuser priests. The new internal of the Vatican will use faster judicial procedures instead of full ecclesiastical trials. Critics of the revisions, say the Vatican merely tweaked the process and the new rules don’t hold bishops accountable for abuse by priests on their watch or require that they report the sexual abuse to the authorities. In the same report was the inclusion that attempting to ordain women as priests was comparable to heresy, apostasy and pedophilia. To many it was a comparison meant to resist any suggestion that pedophilia can be addressed by ending the requirement of celibacy.
Guest – Pam Spees, senior staff attorney in the international human rights program at the Center for Constitutional Rights. She has a background in international criminal and human rights law with a gender focus, as well as criminal trial practice
Guest - Barbara Blaine, founder of SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, the nation’s oldest and largest self-help organization for victims of clergy sexual abuse.
In the past 2 years, we’ve discussed in many interviews and updates, the attacks on whistle-blowers and hackers. The emerging movement of programmers, hackers, open source software, online communities has challenged and exposed corporate and government control and surveillance, making them targets of prosecution. As many may know, our own Michael Ratner has represented whistle-blower Julian Assange, computer activist Jeremy Hammond, and has been a legal adviser to many others including the late Aaron Swartz. Today we talk with author Gabriella Coleman about her recently published book Encoding Freedom: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Hacking. It’s a good place to start for those learning about the political significance of free software, intellectual property and the morality of computer hacking.
Guest – Gabriella Coleman, Wolfe Chair in Scientific and Technological Literacy in the Art History and Communication Studies Department at McGill University. Trained as an anthropologist, she researches, writes, and teaches on hackers and digital activism. Her first book on Free Software, “Coding Freedom: The Aesthetics and the Ethics of Hacking” has been published with Princeton University Press. It is available for purchase and you can download a copy on here.
The new documentary, “Long Distance Revolutionary: A Journey with Mumia Abu-Jamal,” is premiering across the country. The film includes interviews from Cornel West, Alice Walker, Ruby Dee, Dick Gregory, Amy Goodman, Michael Parenti, writers Tariq Ali, and Michelle Alexander. This film beautifully captures the importance of Mumia Abu-Jamal’s life as an American journalist, and radical. He published seven books in prison including the best selling “Live From Death Row.”
In Chris Hedges’ review he points out what Cornel West says in the film: “The state is very clever in terms of keeping track, especially [of] the courageous and visionary ones, the ones that are long-distance runners. You can keep track of them, absorb ’em, dilute ’em, or outright kill ’em—you don’t have to worry about opposition to ’em.”
Guest – Steve Vittoria, the writer, director, producer and editor of Long Distance Revolutionary: A Journey with Mumia Abu-Jamal. The film premiered in theaters in New York City earlier this month.
Senate Votes To Extend Warrantless Wiretaps For Five More Years: No Oversight, No Transparency
Days before 2012 drew to a close, the U.S. Senate voted 73-23 to reauthorize the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 for five more years. This is the unconstitutional spying bill that violates the Fourth Amendment and gives vast unmonitored authority to the National Security Agency to conduct dragnet surveillance of American’s’ international emails and phone calls.
Guest – Michelle Richardson is a Legislative Counsel with the ACLU Washington Legislative Office where she focuses on national security and government transparency issues such as the Patriot Act, FISA, cybersecurity, state secrets and the Freedom of Information Act. Before coming to the ACLU in 2006, Richardson served as counsel to the House Judiciary Committee where she specialized in national security, civil rights and constitutional issues for Democratic Ranking Member John Conyers.
Boycott Divestment Sanction Controversy At Brooklyn College
Last month, a backlash of controversy erupted after the announcement of a student group at CUNY’s Brooklyn College, Students for Justice in Palestine will host two speakers who will discuss their views on the BDS movement. The BDS movement as many listeners may know calls for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel in protest of the government’s oppressive policies toward the Palestinian people. The speakers are Palestinian BDS advocate Omar Barghouti and University of California Berkeley philosopher and BDS supporter Judith Butler. The event was co-sponsored by numerous student and community groups, as well as Brooklyn College’s political science department.
The backlash included a threat by New York City Council members and Congressman Jerry Nadler to defund Brooklyn College and opinion pieces by Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz who called the event a “propaganda hate orgy,” another daily newspaper labeled it “Israel-bashing.
Guest – Omar Barghouti, the founding member of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel and the Palestinian Civil Society Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign.
Central Park Five Civil Suit
On April 19, 1989 a group of five black and Latino teenagers were arrested and convicted for the brutal rape of a white female jogger in Central Park, New York City. It was one of the highest profile criminal cases in the city. A New York court overturned the convictions of the five teenagers after a serial rapist confessed to the crimes. By this time of this confession, the five defendants had already served sentences of 7and 13 years. Now, the city of New York is refusing to settle a $250 million decade-long federal civil rights suit brought by the defendants. Attorney Roger Wareham talks more about the case and the Ken Burns documentary on the Central Park Five that could provide footage for the federal civil lawsuit.
Attorney Roger Wareham:
Guest – Attorney Roger Wareham is a lawyer and political activist of over four decades. He is a member of the December 12th Movement, an organization of African people which organizes in the Black and Latino community around human rights violations, particularly police terror. Wareham is also the International Secretary-General of the International Association Against Torture (AICT), a non-governmental organization that has consultative status before the United Nations.
Since 1989, he has annually presented evidence of human rights violations facing people of color in the United States and other parts of the world at assemblies of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council (formerly the Commission on Human Rights) and its other bodies that meet in Geneva, Switzerland. His work was instrumental in having Mr. Maurice Glele, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance; conduct the first U.N. investigation of the United States in history. Roger Wareham was an active organizer of and participant in the United Nations’ World Conference against Racism held from August 30 – September 7, 2001 in Durban, South Africa.