Rise Up and Stand! Solidarity Vigil with Our Muslim and Refugee Community

Justice For All  speaks out against hate and intolerance, discriminatory immigration laws, mass incarceration, over policing, the criminalization of communities of color, deportations, and border militarization.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Spanish Below

Contact:

Amanda Garces: 520-333-8864 (Montpelier)

Lisa Masse:  802.598.9206 (East Montpelier)

Erin Hurley: 508-367-6338 (Waterbury)

E-mail: Agcolombia@gmail.com

 

 

Jan. 31, 2017  MONTPELIER– In response to the current administration’s ban on Muslims, Vermont community members are mobilizing in solidarity with Muslim, Refugee and Immigrant Communities. Over 700 people will join in a vigil at the State House on Wednesday, February 1st at 6 p.m. in solidarity with the many refugees and immigrants impacted by the unlawful and immoral executive orders issued last week. All are welcome to attend.

People from around the state will meet on the steps of the State Capitol to speak out against hatred and intolerance and call on the larger community to stand together in opposition of the Trump administration’s radical, anti-immigrant, and anti-Muslim agenda.

In just one week, Trump has called to accelerate the already extreme militarization of border communities and expand racial profiling and religious discrimination. In both word and deed, the Trump administration has made it clear that it favors a white nationalist vision of America over one that values inclusiveness, equality, and justice for all.

Across the nation, thousands of people have come together in response to this brazen attack on Muslim and immigrant communities. Organizers of the vigil call on all people to stand up for what is just, organize with local, state and national organizations and take action to stop this ban and further attempts to criminalize their communities.

Speakers at the vigil will include: faith leaders, individuals and families impacted by the executive actions, local and state organizations, as well as community members. Their voices will bring hope, for they rise to uphold civil liberties and human rights. They speak out against hate and intolerance, discriminatory immigration laws, mass incarceration, over policing, the criminalization of communities of color, deportations, and border militarization.

Vermont’s residents cannot and will not remain silent because a community united is a strong community.

WHAT: Montpelier Solidarity Vigil with our Muslim and Refugee Communities

WHERE: Vermont State House, Montpelier

WHEN: Wednesday, February 1st, 2017 at 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

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Sponsor Organizations:  Black Lives Matter VT, Vermont Interfaith Action, Islamic Society of Vermont, Rights and Democracy VT, Justice for All, ACLU VT, Migrant Justice, Unitarian Church of Montpelier, Beth Jacob Synagogue and Ohavi Zedek Synagogue, Vermonters for Justice in Palestine (VTJP), Green Mountain Solidarity with Palestine

 

Para Publicación Inmediata

Contacto:

Amanda Garces: 520-333-8864 (Montpelier)

Lisa Masse:  802.598.9206 (East Montpelier)

Erin Hurley: 508-367-6338 (Waterbury)

E-mail: Agcolombia@gmail.com

Las Comunidades se Unen el Miércoles en Solidaridad por Medio de una Vigilia con Velas

Enero. 31, 2017

MONTPELIER– En respuesta a la actual prohibición de musulmanes, miembros de la comunidad en Vermont se están movilizando en solidaridad con Musulmanes, Refugiados y Comunidades Inmigrantes.  Más de 700 personas se unirán en un vigilia en la casa estatal el Miércoles, primero de Febrero de 2017 a las 6:00 p.m. En solidaridad con los muchos refugiados e inmigrantes impactados por las órdenes ejecutivas inmorales e ilegales emitidas la semana pasada. Todos están invitados

Personas de alrededor del estado se reunirán en las escalas de la casa estatal para hablar en contra del odio y la intolerancia y para pedir a la comunidad en general para que se unan en oposición a la agenda radicalmente anti-inmigrante y anti-musulmana de Trump.

En solo una semana Trump está pidiendo acelerar lo que ya es una militarización extrema de las comunidades fronterizas y expandir el uso de perfil racial y la discriminación por religión.  En sus palabras y hechos, la administración de Trump lo muestra claro que favorece a una visión nacionalista de blancos en los Estados Unidos sobre una que incluya la igualdad y la justicia para todos.

A través de la nación, miles de personas se han unido en días recientes para responder a este ataque a los musulmanes y comunidades inmigrantes.  Las organizadoras de la vigilia llaman a la gente a que se levanten por lo que es justo, que se organicen con organizaciones locales, estatales, y nacionales y que tomen acción para parar esta prohibición y cualquier intento de seguir criminalizando sus comunidades.

Los/las oradores incluyen: Líderes de Fe, individuos y familias impactadas por las acciones ejecutivas, organizaciones locales y estatales, y miembros comunitarios. Sus voces traerán esperanza, ya que se levantan para defender los derechos civiles y humanos. Ellos hablan en contra del odio e intolerancia, leyes de inmigración discriminatorias encarcelación masiva, excesiva vigilancia policial, la criminalización de las comunidades de color, deportaciones y la militarización de la frontera.

Residentes de Vermont no pueden y no podrán mantener en silencio porque una comunidad unida es una comunidad fuerte.

¿QUE?: Vigilia en Solidaridad con las comunidades Musulmanas y de Refugiados en Montpelier

¿DONDE?  Vermont State House, Montpelier

¿CUANDO?: Miércoles, Primero de Febrero de 2017,  de 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

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Organizaciones Patrocinando:  Black Lives Matter VT, Vermont Interfaith Action, Islamic Society of Vermont, Rights and Democracy VT, Justice for All, ACLU VT, Migrant Justice, Unitarian Church of Montpelier, Beth Jacob Synagogue and Ohavi Zedek Synagogue, Vermonters for Justice in Palestine(VTJP), Green Mountain Solidarity with Palestine

Altered-Right: How White Nationalists Exploit Tragedy to Build a Narrative of White Victimhood | Southern Poverty Law Center

The false narrative of an epidemic of so-called “black-on-white crime” has long been one of the most effective deceptions in white nationalist propaganda, playing directly into an idea of besieged white populace while also attacking the press for censoring the “real facts.”

Source: Altered-Right: How White Nationalists Exploit Tragedy to Build a Narrative of White Victimhood | Southern Poverty Law Center

So when a horrific Facebook Live video of a white teenager abused by four black teens in Chicago appeared in a local news story in early January, racists were quick to claim the attack as part of their hateful narrative in hopes of greater mainstream media penetration.

They were successful, almost instantly, with the help of expansive social media network of virulent message boards, podcasts and Twitter. In the space of days, the facts of the case went through a now familiar mutation from local news story, to race baiting Twitter hashtag, to a media cover-up almost certainly orchestrated by Jews. And so, a story of a kidnapping provides a useful window into the machinations of opportunistic white nationalist distortions that have motivated domestic terrorism, most recently in the case of Dylann Roof.

On January 4, WFLD, a local fox affiliate in Chicago, reported that police were investigating four African-Americans who allegedly kidnapped and tortured a disabled, white man while yelling, “Fuck Trump!” and “Fuck white people!” Jordan Hill, 18; Tesfaye Cooper, 18; Brittany Covington, 18; and Tanishia Covington, 24; were arrested in connection to the crimes, which they broadcast live via Facebook.

Almost as soon as the story broke, though, a pair of one-time racist “Alt-Right” power users – brand-obsessed exhibitionist Mike Cernovich and recently duped conspiracy theorist Paul Joseph Watson — introduced the #BLMKidnapping hashtag to hundreds of thousands of followers on Twitter. Both Watson and Cernovich are click opportunists who, while having been relegated to the “alt-lite” for their lack of anti-Semitism, recognized and seized an opportunity to promote themselves around the racially radioactive story.

Given the grisly nature of the episode, the story quickly made the rounds of national news. Outlets like Breitbart weren’t far behind.

Breitbart’s headline questioned whether Chicago police were covering up an anti-white hate crime. The report cited statements from Chicago police that a decision hadn’t been made as to whether the crime would be charged as a hate crime given an ongoing investigation.

Neo-Nazis and white nationalist outlets, some of which believe that Breitbart has usurped their reporting on “black-on-white crime,” were far less reserved. That evening, the Daily Stormer, Andrew Anglin’s neo-Nazi propaganda shop, published its own story with the headline, “Negro Terrorists Livestream Kidnapping and Torture of White Trump Supporter.”

“Blacks in Africa have proved that they will murder whites even if it means starving to death,” Anglin wrote. “This is what each and every negro would like to do to each and every one of us, even if it means bringing the whole of civilization collapsing down on them.”

The next day, Jared Taylor, proprietor of American Renaissance, a white nationalist “think-tank” dedicated to misinterpreting government statistics related to crime and race, chimed in to raise the alarm about the media trying to omit the race of the perpetrators and the victim.

“They are so used to ignoring race—so long as it reflects badly on blacks—that they could not bring themselves to say the words ‘white’ or ‘black’ even in a case as racially charged as this,” Taylor said.

And then came the tenuous, and ultimately fraudulent, connections to Black Lives Matter through the hashtag #BLMKidnapping – tweeted more than 480,000 times in 24 hours. The accusations attempted to connect the mission of the multiracial coalition fighting against systemic racism to the perpetrators yelling “Fuck Trump!” and “Fuck white people!” at their victim.

VDARE, another pseudo-intellectual white nationalist outlet more narrowly focused on immigration policy, was happy to promote the #BLMKidnapping narrative anyway, despite its ideological divorce with Cernovich.

“A young white man was kidnapped by four blacks, inspired by Black Lives Matter propaganda, and anti-white, anti-Trump hate, the hate that comes from black leaders, the mainstream media, the Democratic Party…and the White House,” wrote James Fulford, a columnist at VDARE.

In a bizarre twist, Fulford voluntarily introduced Dylann Roof as an attempt to point out hypocrisy from the left while bemoaning the widespread removal of the Confederate battle flags around the South after photos surfaced of Roof with one in the wake of the shooting. The connection was analogous to him.

And Fulford wasn’t alone. The Daily Stormer posted its own story drawing a comparison with Roof the same day.

“The purpose of DyRo’s [Dylann Roof] act was not simply to murder innocent blacks for no reason. The purpose was to draw attention to black-on-white crime, a plague of murder, rape, robbery and violence affecting hundreds of thousands of victims every year in the country,” Anglin wrote. “If it were not for Jewish multiculturalism, Roof wouldn’t have done what he did. Just as if it were not for Jewish multiculturalism, four blacks wouldn’t have kidnapped a man in Chicago and tortured him for 48 hours.”

Anglin, who is first and foremost an anti-Semite, doubled down the next day by attempting to justify the connection to Black Lives Matter by blaming Jewish influence.

“The filthy Jewish media is flipping the hell out about people calling the Facebook livestreamed black-on-white kidnapping and torture event in Chicago the #BLMKidnapping,” Anglin wrote. “The entire BLM movement is about using a political face – that is to say, complaining about non-existent institutional injustices – to justify and to amplify black racial animosity towards whites. And because of that, random black-on-white crime is now becoming more organized and directed black-on-white crime. The spirit of BLM was entirely embodied in this act.”

Several days removed from the actual crime, the white nationalist version of events became fodder for their podcasts, which typically escape much scrutiny given the time investment required to listen to them, but have dedicated followings.

With a completely concocted fact sheet about the event, hosts from “The Daily Shoah” on The Right Stuff radio further embellished the nearly unrecognizable tale with centuries old racial stereotypes about black criminality and sexuality.

“Blacks are very predatory by nature,” one host submitted. “They possess that animalistic, predatory nature to them. … Whenever you see a really drunk, ugly chick at the bar, that’s where the negroes are going to fucking herd around. This is the sort of behavior you see in rape cases. This is the sort of behavior you see in murder cases. It’s always people that are weak and they single them out.”

Paul Kersey, speaking to Taylor on American Renaissance radio stoked similar fears describing what transpired in Chicago as, “[An] Unbelievable image to showcase what it’s like for a white minority. … I think a lot of white people who watch this video are saying, ‘Wow, is this what white people will have to endure in the future when we’re minorities?’”

Three days later, The Right Stuff posted an article echoing Taylor. “After all, we on the Alt Right know the statistics. This is what blacks do when they have the opportunity, the numbers, and the tacit support of the government. It is not an aberration; it is closer to a genetic imperative.”

Ultimately, all of this formulaic stoking of rage and obfuscation of facts that ricochets back and forth across the white nationalist corners of the web is familiar and predictable. With the country at historic levels of partisanship and trust in the media at an all time low, the rewards for white nationalists seeking to recruit and organize have never been greater.

Days after the story broke, Anglin called for the formation of “anti-criminal” white gangs and a new white youth culture.

The disturbing irony of the whole saga, which has proven to be scalable and repeatable, is that while the echo chamber reverberated, the four suspects were ultimately charged with a litany of crimes including aggravated kidnapping, hate crime; aggravated unlawful restraint; aggravated battery deadly weapon; robbery; PSMV and residential burglary; according to WFLD.

A correction doesn’t seem likely.

Obama’s DOJ Got Aggressive On Civil Rights And Police Abuse. Now Trump Could Roll It All Back. | The Huffington Post

 

Source: Obama’s DOJ Got Aggressive On Civil Rights And Police Abuse. Now Trump Could Roll It All Back. | The Huffington Post

“A lot of the issues that folks believe are most vulnerable are the very issues where this Justice Department has been out in front.”

01/10/2017 07:00 am ET | Updated Jan 11, 2017 470

WASHINGTON ― Last month, a few weeks after Donald Trump was elected and not long after he selected Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) as his nominee for attorney general, employees of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division gathered in the cavernous Great Hall inside the Robert F. Kennedy Building.

At the event, top Justice Department officials honored the attorneys who had handled the most complicated and controversial civil rights investigations in recent memory:

  • The dozen people behind the division’s blistering report on the Baltimore City Police Department, which a 15-month investigation concluded displayed patterns of unconstitutional conduct.
  • The two attorneys who secured the first hate crime convictions involving both racial and sexual orientation bias in a case in which a gay black man was attacked with a frying pan and a sock filled with batteries, pistol-whipped, sodomized with a broom, whipped with a belt and doused with bleach on his face and in his eyes.
  • The lawyer who moved his entire family to Arizona to take on the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, which was run until recently by Joe Arpaio, the prominent Trump supporter currently facing a criminal contempt of court charge for disobeying a federal judge’s order in a racial profiling case.
  • A lawyer who helped challenge North Carolina’s HB2, an anti-LGBT law that would ban transgender individuals from using the bathroom that matches their gender identity.
  • The deputy chief of the Civil Rights Division’s criminal section, who won convictions against “dozens of abusive law enforcement officers.”

Under President Barack Obama, the federal government has often been at the forefront of civil rights issues, staking out aggressive positions on key civil liberties and boosting the work of advocates. The question many career Civil Rights Division attorneys are pondering is whether they’ll be able to keep doing their work.

“A lot of the issues that folks believe are most vulnerable are the very issues where this Justice Department has been out in front,” Vanita Gupta, chief of the Civil Rights Division, said in a recent interview in a conference room that once served as J. Edgar Hoover’s office. “That’s voting rights, that’s policing, that’s criminal justice reform, it’s LGBT rights.”

BALTIMORE SUN VIA GETTY IMAGES
Vanita Gupta, the current head of the Civil Rights Division, at an Aug. 10, 2016, news conference on the Justice Department’s findings on the Baltimore City Police Department.

Employees of the Civil Rights Division wonder what will become of the Baltimore investigation or the many other police department probes opened during the Obama administration (including in Chicago, the largest city police force they’ve ever looked at). They don’t know with any certainty whether individual law enforcement officers will continue to face federal prosecution for excessive force. They can’t predict whether the new administration will roll back potential investigations into Trump’s law enforcement supporters, including Arpaio. They can only guess whether Sessions, who opposed hate crime protections for LGBT people, will allow vigorous prosecutions to continue, or whether Sessions’ DOJ will retreat from the federal government’s battle against an anti-LGBT law in North Carolina.

Speaking in the Great Hall, Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates praised Civil Rights Division employees as “trailblazers” who “open minds and change hearts” through an “unshakable commitment to fairness and justice, to opportunity and equality.”

Many of the attorneys in the room were thinking about their future and were “uncertain” whether their accomplishments would last, she acknowledged. Keeping up the battle for civil rights within the federal government would fall on their shoulders, Yates said.

“Your voice as the protectors of our fundamental rights is every bit as potent now and in the years to come as it has been over the years that have passed,” Yates said. “So even though I will no longer be a part of this department, I, like millions of your fellow citizens, will be counting on you going forward ― counting on you to continue to bend the arc toward justice.”

Your voice as the protectors of our fundamental rights is every bit as potent now and in the years to come as it has been over the years that have passed.Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates

Obama administration officials are proud of where the division stands today, especially considering how they found it at the end of the George W. Bush administration. Talking to Civil Rights Division employees who made it through the Bush administration “felt like grief counseling,” one Obama administration official said. The Obama transition team found a division they said was “demoralized and damaged” by “oppressive” political appointees who were “hostile” to civil rights enforcement. The previous administration, a transition team report said, “abandoned the Division’s traditional mission and goals, consistently sacrificed sound law enforcement principles for political ends, and waged an internal war against career employees.”

An investigation by DOJ’s watchdog found that Bush administration officials worked to hire what one official described as “right-thinking Americans.” It was part of a plan targeting employees the Bush official called “crazy libs,” “commies” and “pinkos” inside the division. “Bitchslapping” Civil Rights Division employees, he said in one email, “really did get the blood pumping.”

“I remember vividly, because I was on the Obama transition: Some of the career people told me during the transition, and this is not a paraphrase, they felt they had PTSD,” Tom Perez, the first chief of the Civil Rights Division under Obama, said in a recent interview. “Articles of faith, basic systems that had been in place for 40 years were undermined by the Republicans. They looked at who donated to political campaigns before they made hiring decisions. That was not only wrong, it was illegal.”

LAURA SEGALL / REUTERS
Tom Perez, right, then chief of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, outlines racial profiling findings on the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office at a Dec. 15, 2011, news conference in Phoenix. 

One of the conservative attorneys hired into the division by the Bush official led a rare voter intimidation lawsuit against two members of the fringe New Black Panther Party who stood outside a polling place in north Philadelphia in 2008, though no voters in the overwhelmingly black district said they were intimidated. When career lawyers scaled back the scope of the lawsuit in the early days of the Obama administration, the decision received seemingly endless coverage in the conservative media, and it ballooned into a political controversy that dragged on for years.

Today, the Civil Rights Division is near capacity, and the administration has implemented rules intended to prevent politicized hiring decisions. (Critics might say the Obama administration simply filled the division with liberals, and it’s fair to say that attorneys who dedicate their careers to civil rights work tend to lean left.)

Gupta said she believes that Civil Rights Division lawyers will stay “as long as the career men and women of the division feel like they can continue to enforce our federal civil rights laws with the rigor that they demand,” even if the new administration prioritizes different issues.

“If the core and fundamental work of the Civil Rights Division continues to be advanced, I suspect that the division lawyers are going to stay and keep doing that work,” Gupta said.

Perez hopes they’ll stick around too. “If I got a call from a career attorney in the Civil Rights Division, I would recommend that they stay,” he said. “The work they do is righteous and it’s really important, and they need to continue to do it.”

RICK WILKING / REUTERS
A protester yells at police stationed outside the police department in Ferguson, Missouri, on Aug. 8, 2015. The shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson raised the profile of the Justice Department’s work on policing issues.

Not all civil rights work is necessarily going to fade away under Trump. The Community Relations Service ― the federal government’s “peacemakers” who helped calm tensions in Sanford, Florida, following the shooting death of black teenager Trayvon Martin — will likely continue its typically low-profile work. Although the service’s work has come under attack at conservative media outlets, where employees of the 52-year-old unit are portrayed as protest instigators and organizers, there’s no reason to believe their work will change dramatically under the new president.

“The vast majority of the staff here are career,” says Paul Monteiro, the acting director of the CRS. “The work goes on, our statutory mandates continue.” He sees one of his unit’s largest challenges as adapting to the social media world and dealing with modern, informal organizations that can have a big effect on the community. “It’s our job to meet the community where they are,” Monteiro said.

The Community Relations Service’s long record and congressionally mandated existence make big changes to its work unlikely. But the Office for Access to Justice, which the Obama administration established at DOJ in 2010 to increase access to counsel and legal assistance in the United States, faces a more uncertain fate.

“We can’t speak for the next administration and what they choose to do,” says Karen Lash, a Justice Department official who served as executive director of the White House Legal Aid Interagency Roundtable. But the issues the unit worked on shouldn’t be partisan, she argued. “I do believe the incoming administration will care about getting homeless veterans into housing, unemployed Americans back to work, protecting victims of domestic violence or elder abuse, and really ensuring that the systems of government work as best and as efficiently as they possibly can,” Lash said. “Ensuring access to justice, a central pillar of our democracy, is just fundamentally nonpartisan.”

The Obama administration has also made big changes to the Justice Department’s sentencing policies and made wide use of clemency, which, along with other factors, have helped make him the first president since Jimmy Carter to leave office with fewer federal prisoners than when he came in. Under Trump, the self-proclaimed “law and order” candidate, those initiatives are in jeopardy.

But as the enforcer of laws that some don’t believe should be on the books, the Civil Rights Division looks likely to become a flashpoint. That could be especially true when it comes to policing.

Under Bush, Obama’s transition team wrote in their 2008 transition report, the division did not use “its authority to address systemic problems of police misconduct.” Under Obama, the Civil Rights Division has opened up 25 so-called pattern-or-practice investigations of police departments across the country, and the Justice Department is rushing to complete the investigation into the Chicago Police Department, the largest pattern-or-practice investigation of a city police force that DOJ has conducted.

The Obama administration shifted resources back to policing cases, investigating departments and helping implement reform in New Orleans, Albuquerque, Cleveland, Seattle and other cities. But DOJ’s police work has gotten more attention since the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, in August 2014 following the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown, an 18-year-old African-American.

With the proliferation of smartphones and the spread of social media, it will be only a matter of time before another police encounter draws national attention and scrutiny of local policing practices. These days, that outcry is usually followed by calls for the federal government to step in.

Videos have helped force conversations on policing that civil rights advocates could not have imagined just a few years ago, says Gupta, who joined the Justice Department from the American Civil Liberties Union shortly after the Ferguson unrest. Gupta, who is quick to credit activists with pushing policing into the foreground, said recently that it would be a “radical departure” for the Justice Department to stop conducting pattern-or-practice investigations to look for widespread problems at individual law enforcement agencies, and it would be “out of step” with where law enforcement leaders are.

“There is a recognition of the division’s role in the current conversation in policing,” Gupta said, despite the charged national conversation around law enforcement since Ferguson. Perez said law enforcement leaders were thankful that the Justice Department investigated their agencies and were able to implement reform, even if they couldn’t take that position in public.

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who has put an emphasis on easing built-up tensions between the feds and some law enforcement leaders since her confirmation in April 2015, still views pattern-or-practice investigations as a key tool. She wrote in her exit memo this month that the Justice Department “must continue to investigate credible allegations of constitutional policing, and, where necessary, work with local authorities to implement meaningful changes.”

Progressive law enforcement leaders, Gupta said, are going to continue to push the envelope on use of force, de-escalation tactics, racial bias and community policing “regardless of who sits in the White House,” because those issues affect their officers in the field.

“I think it’s really about DOJ’s role in all of it that is most in question,” Gupta said. She hopes the Trump administration won’t just sit back if a tragic event sparks unrest and draws attention to the need for reform in a particular jurisdiction.

“It’s hard to imagine how the entrenched concerns around policing will be remedied without the important role of the Justice Department in those conversations,” Gupta said. “My hope is that will be allowed to continue because I think it’s very vital and important. It seems hard to turn back the clock, though. It really does.”

LUCAS JACKSON / REUTERS
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) awaits confirmation as the next U.S. attorney general.

Perez said he was concerned that, with law enforcement supporters like Sheriff Arpaio, the next administration will adopt a “Donald Trump philosophy” of policing, which he described as pitting police against their communities instead of building trust.

“They ask the question: ‘Whose side are you on, the police or the community?’ That’s the wrong question, and it’s a dangerous question,” says Perez, who is in the running to head the Democratic National Committee. “If that’s the philosophy that this administration is going to bring to policing, then we’re in for a world of hurt.”

Also on HuffPost

The Women’s March – Next Meeting

cropped-Justice-For-All-2.jpg

Hello friends and supporters of Justice for All!

It is a new year and we are gearing up for a full agenda of important events and actions around the state. To begin, Justice For All is thrilled to be participating in Saturday’s Women’s March on Montpelier. As both a national and local event, this action on January 21st is a vital declaration that we as citizens are going to raise a unified voice and stand up for what is right in our communities.

We at Justice For All are proud to be a part of this movement and we need your help! If you are interested in marching with a group of folks from JFA, plan to meet us at Montpelier High School at 12:45pm. We are also looking for volunteers to join us in canvassing and circulating petitions on the March and at the statehouse.

Additionally, Justice for All will have an information table set up at the Christ Episcopal Church from noon to 4:00. We are also looking for people to (wo)man this table to help share our mission, get the word out on racial justice work in Vermont, and get some signatures on those petitions!

To let us know how you would like to get involved call Erin at 272-8392 or send her an e-mail at erinarose802@gmail.com

Finally,  Justice For All gathers for a monthly meeting in Montpelier from 6:00 till 8:00 PM on Thursday, January 26th.   Major agenda items will include community outreach planning and a discussion on the Racial Justice Reform Omnibus Bill.  Attorney General, T.J. Donavan and Washington County States Attorney Scott Williams have been invited.  Light refreshments and childcare included.   Please coordinate childcare in advance.  The location will be announced shortly.

As you consider where you are investing in social justice issues, remember the racial referendum that we just experienced in our national election.  Consider donating to Justice For All, an organically grown, Vermont-based racial justice organization  that has been here doing the work over the past couple of years.

Please help us with your membership, provide organizational support or simply provide a contribution.  Help us continue this work in Vermont.

Over this past year we worked in a coalition to successfully deliver the Vermont Fair and Impartial Policing Policy for all law enforcement agencies in the state.  Our work continues with numerous community outreach activities, Vermont Justice Coalition, Coalition on Racial Justice Reform, the Law Enforcement Professional Regulation Committee and much more but we need your help to continue.

#DecisionPoints is a open source data collection initiative that is underway.  This open platform will provide the community access to our data and enable transparency and accountability.  Help us with this effort.

Please take some time to review and sign our petitions on Civilian Oversight of Vermont Law Enforcement and Racial Justice Reform and fundraiser.

Thanks for the outpouring of support.

Mark A. Hughes, Executive Director,
Justice For All Cooperative, Inc

Follow us on Facebook:  Justice For All on Facebook

 

About Justice For All

Justice for All is a racial justice organization, which identifies and dismantles institutionalized racism while facilitating healing in our communities.  Our mission is to ensure justice for ALL through community organizing, research, education, community policing, legislative reform, and judicial monitoring. We address systemic issues such as racially biased policing and inequities in the criminal justice system.

Become a supporter or a member here.

Your contributions are always welcome here.
We call for a Constitutional Amendment that eliminates all reference to slavery from the Vermont State Constitution.

New Administration, Legislature Returns: JFA Calls For Racial Justice Reform (Constitutional Amendment)

Police Shootings Louisiana

Addressing implicit bias is the only way to mitigate the racial disparities created by institutionalized racism. Our national and state approach in doing so in our criminal justice system involves data collection, policy, training and oversight. As we double down on our commitment to implement these tools to address law enforcement, we must commit to addressing the remainder of the criminal justice system. It is crucial that we also address institutionalized racism in other critical systems. We call for the appointment of a Racial Justice Oversight Board with a mandate to continue the management of the implementation of racial justice reform across the entire criminal justice system and the expansion of this approach into employment, education, health and human services, and housing with a comprehensive approach including data collection, policy, training and oversight.

 

bernie-blacks

We suggest that the Board be charged with oversight, implementation, monitoring and reporting of Act 147 2016 and Act 193 2014. We ask that the legislature move on the following list of priorities with required appropriations and assign implementation and oversight to the Racial Justice Oversight Board.

 

1) Move for Vermont State Constitutional Amendment that clarifies reference to slavery in Article I

2) Institute a state sponsored grants for racial justice research, training and education

3) Expedite the completion of FIP training for all law enforcement officers (target end of 2017)

4) Mandate model “Use of Force” data collection policy and training for all law enforcement

5) Prohibit S.W.A.T. or other heavy-handed punitive policing

6) Mandate that racial profiling to be illegal by state statute

7) Prohibit property seizers that financially incentivize police and prosecutors

8) Mandate civilian oversight of law enforcement and all criminal justice system departments

9) Mandate data collection and FIP policy and training for all criminal justice system personnel

10) Mandate Racial Impact Assessments as a requirement for all Bills to become enacted

 

You may review and sign the Petition for Racial Justice Reform (and Constitutional Amendment) here. 

Petition