Emergency Proposal for General Assembly: Sign letter calling for investigation into abuses by NYPD of the civil liberties of Muslims.

Posted by & filed under Assemblies, Past Proposals.

Emergency Proposal– Time Sensitive due to External Deadline of
Sunday, March 18th.

Contact person: Caroline McLoughlin

Proposal for General Assembly: Sign letter calling for investigation
into abuses by NYPD of the civil liberties of Muslims.

Occupy Wall Street has been invited to sign a letter asking US
Attorney General Eric Holder that the Department of Justice step in
where local and state officials have failed to do so, and investigate
NYPD’s improper targeting of Muslim communities.  Dozens of civil
rights, community groups, and faith and interfaith groups have already
signed the letter.

The letter is being circulated by Muslim Advocates, a legal advocacy
group based in San Francisco. They offer legal and policy expertise on
such issues as racial and religious profiling and the state of civil
liberties ten years after the Patriot Act.
(See muslimadvocates.org)

Muslim Advocates has expressed a sincere desire for Occupy Wall Street
to join them in solidarity on this issue. They extended their deadline
to Sunday for OWS so that the letter could be presented at the GA
tonight.

To join in solidarity on this issue is a clear expression of our core
values as a movement, and a natural extension of the work against
Stop-and-Frisk and in defense of civil liberties against their
curtailment by law enforcement.

Among those signing the letter are groups such as the Asian Law
Caucus, the Defending Dissent Foundation, the NY State Association of
Criminal Defense Attorneys, the Sikh Coalition, the Center for
Constitutional Rights, the Shalom Center, Desis Rising Up and Moving
(DRUM), and the Muslim-American Civil Liberties Coalition.

The letter is attached, and pasted in plain text, below. (Footnotes
did not come through in the plain text version.)

**

March __, 2012

The Honorable Eric Holder
Attorney General of the United States
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001

Dear Attorney General Holder:

The undersigned civil rights, faith, community and advocacy groups
write to express our deep concern regarding the New York Police
Department’s (“NYPD”) well-documented and blanket surveillance of
Muslim communities in America without any suspicion of wrongdoing.
The NYPD appears to have targeted individuals and communities for
surveillance based upon nothing more than their faith.  Such measures
are just the latest manifestation of the NYPD’s discriminatory
practices against other racial, religious, and ethnic minorities.  In
light of the breadth of information now available, we strongly urge
the Department of Justice to commence a prompt investigation into NYPD
surveillance of Muslims in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and
Connecticut, including determining whether potentially unlawful
surveillance continues.

Since August 2011, the Associated Press has released a series of
reports, based on the NYPD’s own documents, about one or more NYPD
intelligence gathering programs that specifically targeted Muslims.1
Based on information released to date, the department has surveilled
and collected intelligence about approximately 350 mosques, schools,
businesses, and individuals, without any apparent evidence of criminal
activity, between at least 2005 to 2008.2  As part of mapping programs
that targeted Muslims’ ethnic and national origin throughout New York
City, the NYPD maintained a list of “ancestries of interest,” targeted
neighborhoods with large Muslim populations, and created maps
identifying the religious sect and “ethnic compositions” of Muslim
religious organizations, and the ethnicity and national origin of the
owners and employees of business frequented by Muslims.3  The NYPD
also sent officers or informants to compile daily reports about Muslim
patrons who visited specific cafes and clubs.4  The range of the
NYPD’s surveillance also extended to mosques, community centers, and
organizations in New Jersey, Connecticut, and Philadelphia.5  In
October 2011, it was revealed that undercover NYPD officers
infiltrated Muslim student associations at eight college campuses in
New York.6  The NYPD has visited the websites, blogs, and forums of
Muslim student associations on twelve campuses “as a daily routine”
and informants or undercover agents have recorded students’ personal
information and taken notes on how frequently students prayed.7  Most
recently, documents show that the NYPD monitored businesses owned by
second and third generation Americans because the owners were Muslim.8

The NYPD’s improper targeting of innocent Muslims is compounded by its
use of a film entitled The Third Jihad.  This offensive film falsely
depicts Muslims as violent people seeking world domination 9 and was
shown continuously at police headquarters, and viewed by an estimated
1,500 officers.  Moreover, the producers of the bigoted film conducted
a ninety-minute interview with Commissioner Raymond Kelly.10
The enormity of the NYPD’s baseless and blanket surveillance
operations, which cast suspicion on an entire faith community, and
Commissioner Kelly’s own participation in an interview for an
offensive and hateful film about Muslims, paint a disturbing picture
of NYPD attitudes regarding Muslims.  Furthermore, the use of
widespread ethnic, racial, and religious profiling to subject
religious institutions, schools, businesses and individuals for
intelligence gathering is a threat to the rights of all Americans.  It
creates distrust and suspicion among all vulnerable communities and
sends the chilling message that the NYPD will not act in accordance
with the rights of all Americans to be free from unwarranted police
scrutiny–a message the NYPD has also been sending by
disproportionately subjecting people of color to its aggressive
stop-and-frisk practices
In September 2011, U.S. Representative Rush Holt (D-NJ) brought these
issues to your attention by requesting an investigation into the
NYPD’s blanket surveillance of the Muslim community.11  Then, in
December 2011, thirty-five Members of Congress expressed similar
concerns and requested an inquiry into the matter.12  Most recently,
in February 2012, Senator Robert Menendez also reiterated the dire
need for a Department of Justice investigation of the NYPD.13  To
date, the Civil Rights Division has neither scheduled nor announced an
imminent investigation.

Attempts at seeking accountability for the NYPD at the state level
have been unsuccessful.  With Governor Cuomo’s support,14 New York
State Attorney General Schneiderman recently declined to pursue an
investigation,15 and Mayor Bloomberg has repeatedly defended the
NYPD’s monitoring of Muslims as legal and constitutional.16  It is
deeply disturbing that these officials, who are charged with
protecting all Americans’ civil rights and liberties, appear unwilling
to hold the NYPD accountable for its abusive policing practices.  As a
result, American Muslims are being sent the message that the
government officials entrusted with protecting their rights will not
do so, and furthermore, these officials will not investigate
allegations of police misconduct.

In light of the failure of state and local officials to act in
response to the NYPD’s abusive conduct, it is critically important
that the federal government vindicate our society’s commitment to
equal justice under the law and the prohibitions against targeting
communities and individuals based solely on their religion, ethnicity
or national origin. We strongly urge the Civil Rights Division to
commence an immediate investigation of the NYPD’s past and current
practices to identify whether it has violated, or continues to
violate, the Constitutional, federal or state law rights of American
Muslims, including their rights to equal protection of the law, free
exercise, and association.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.  We look forward to your response.

Sincerely,

One Response to “Emergency Proposal for General Assembly: Sign letter calling for investigation into abuses by NYPD of the civil liberties of Muslims.”

  1. John Richardson Meadows

    There appear to be more than one grave contradition here. The legitimate egalitarian universally representative democratic government does not recognize the categories Muslim, Jew, or Christian, nor the other invented artificial institutional and fraternal categories of imagined rank of human worth in the oligarchies of private institutions, nor does it recognize their imagined blasphemous idolatrous ethereals or university-church-synagog-mosque-learned “greater ideals” and ideas of themselves as superior persons with superior rights in their association with their imagined ethereals, “greater ideals,” and institutional certificates of degrees of imagined rank, but it, the legitimate government, honors the human rights of all people, including those who would divide themselves from the mass and impose their particular antisocial uneconomic blasphemous idolatrous and secular ideas. Then there are the seditious capital criminals who, in great number, have taken roost in the facilities of the government, and who routinely use governmental powers to violate law and the human rights of many people, as they destroy the legitimate government and the viability of the society that they are sworn to honor, as they, with their like-titled parents, issue, siblings, cousins, spouses and in-laws in the private institutions, corporations and industrial enterprises, also violate laws and human rights to cause much long and great suffering and many early deaths. It appears that it is a waste of time to appeal to either group and that we can but stay out of their way until they, very determined and obsessively destructive individuals and minorities, but a few when compared with the total population, have destroyed each other and themselves, and many others, in their religious and secular implementation of the ancient brutal primitive savage uneconomic antisocial institutional ideology and philosophy of elitism, inequity, exclusion and human sacrifice, taught in churches, synagogues and mosques as God’s word, as its modern interpretations, the antisocial uneconomic Protocols of Capital and Greenspan-Rand Theories of Capitalist Economy; taught as scientific fact in universities, contaminate and desroy other minds with the deadly progressive and communicable mental disorder of elitism, then perhaps we can pick up the pieces and re-establish the natural legitimate egalitarian universally representative democratic government that facilitates the enduring natural viable human society, its natural universal economy, and its natural peace, goodwill and cooperation among the people, if they leave anything for us to pick up and with which to start again. The appeals to ears defened by the elitist mentality still should be made, as someone, somewhere, may finally hear and understand. The natural human society of peace, goodwill and universal economy is ever at hand, within reach, attainable. Let no one convince you otherwise. Honor for the human rights of everyone is very important to such renaissance and restoration. jfdrp.webs.com