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Archive for January 25th, 2011

The Committee Against Political Repression to hold press conference and rally to protest summoning of subpoenaed activists

Posted by Admin On January - 25 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS
Chicago, IL – The Committee Against Political Repression will hold a press conference today (January 25) inside the Dirksen Federal Building, 219 S. Dearborn, at 4 p.m., followed by a rally outside at 4:30pm to protest the summoning of nine Palestine solidarity and Arab American community activists to a federal grand jury in Chicago.
Press conference speakers will include a representative from the legal team, one of the subpoenaed activists and Christine Boardman, President of SEIU Local 73. Rally speakers will include anti-apartheid and Africa solidarity activist Prexy Nesbitt, Chicago Teachers Union Vice President Jesse Sharkey, representatives from the Arab American and Puerto Rican communities and Gretchen Henninger of the Committee Against Political Repression.
Tom Burke of the National Committee to Stop FBI Repression said “In the month of December, the FBI delivered grand jury subpoenas for January 25 to nine activists in Chicago. Six of these went to members of the Arab American community; the remaining three went to Palestine solidarity activists and individuals who have travelled to Palestine. These subpoenas are related to the FBI raids on seven houses and an office in September, where subpoenas were served on 14 activists in Illinois, Minnesota, and Michigan.”
The subpoenaed activists said in a statement, “Those of us subpoenaed in December were ordered to appear before the grand jury on January 25th. This is the same grand jury that was impaneled by US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald in order to indict people from among those whose homes and offices were raided in September. We have made our decisions to stand strong with the other 14 subpoenaed activists from Illinois, Minneapolis and Michigan. We WILL NOT take part in this fishing expedition. “
Maureen Murphy, who was summoned to appear before the grand jury on January 25, added, “Despite this attempt to criminalize solidarity with the Palestinian people, we will continue to stand with them and work to end US aid to Israel. Those of us facing the grand jury and the movement as a whole will continue to build the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israeli apartheid and strengthen relationships between Palestinians living under occupation and their supporters here in the US.”

Illinois Attorney General announces new acting Public Access Counselor

Posted by Admin On January - 25 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

Chicago, IL – Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced she has appointed Amalia Rioja as Acting Public Access Counselor to succeed outgoing Deputy Chief of Staff and Public Access Counselor Cara Smith, who recently was named Chief of Staff for the Illinois Department of Corrections.

As the Acting Public Access Counselor, Rioja will oversee 11 dedicated Assistant Attorneys General and 6 support staff members who work in the Attorney General’s Public Access Bureau while the Office of the Attorney General conducts a search for a permanent PAC.

Rioja has served as Chief Deputy Public Access Counselor since the amended Freedom of Information Act went into effect Jan. 1, 2010, and, prior to that, worked as an Assistant Attorney General on policy issues. Previously, Rioja worked in the Illinois Comptroller’s office as Deputy General Counsel and as its FOIA officer. Rioja also worked for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund. She is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and Northwestern University School of Law.

Attorney General Madigan, lawmakers and other open government advocates revamped the state’s open government laws in 2009 to bring about long overdue transparency and openness to government operations in Illinois. In the year since the new laws went into effect, Madigan said more than 5,200 new matters were submitted to her Public Access Bureau by the public and the media, demonstrating the need for strong, enforceable open government laws. The overwhelming majority of the requests and inquiries came from members of the public, showing that Illinois’ sunshine laws continue to be used most by the general public rather than the media.

Further information and educational materials on the Freedom of Information Act and the Open Meetings Act can be found at Attorney General Madigan’s website, www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov. Anyone seeking assistance from the Public Access Bureau can contact its hotline at 1-877-299-FOIA (3642) or send an email to publicaccess@atg.state.il.us. 


Oscar nominations for Festival Films

Posted by Admin On January - 25 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

Two films from the 2010 Chicago International Children’s Film Festival, The Gruffalo and The Lost Thing, which screened at the Festival last October, have been nominated for Academy Awards in the Best Animated Short Film category.  

Both The Gruffalo (Jakob Schuh, Max Lang, Michael Rose, and Martin Pope) and The Lost Thing (Andrew Ruhemann and Shaun Tan) were doubly honored at the 27th annual Chicago International Children’s Film Festival’s closing night awards ceremony last fall:

The Gruffalo received second prize from the Adult Jury in the animated short film category, and was honored with the Best of the Fest Award.

The Lost Thing received first prize from the Adult Jury in the animated short film category, and was awarded the Kenneth and Harle Montgomery Prize for best film by an emerging director.

The Academy Award winners will be announced on February 27th.

Should Lincoln get all of the credit he receives for freedom and equality?

Posted by Admin On January - 25 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS
Renowned African American history expert Dr. Charles Branham to speak February 15 at Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum
Springfield, IL – Does Abraham Lincoln deserve all of the credit he receives for freedom and equality in the United States?  This and other themes will be explored during a presentation by renowned African American history expert Dr. Charles Branham on Tuesday, February 15 at 7 p.m. at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum in Springfield.
Branham’s talk is titled “Race, Freedom and Equality:  From Lincoln to the Present Day,” and will explore how much credit Lincoln should receive for freedom and equality; whether Lincoln was forced by military necessity to issue the Emancipation Proclamation; Lincoln’s views on race; and how African Americans at the time viewed Lincoln as a necessity to push forward their own agendas.
This African American History Month program in the Museum’s Union Theater is free and open to the public, but reservations must be made by calling (217) 558-8934.  Branham’s program is co-sponsored by the University of Illinois at Springfield and Benedictine University at Springfield.
 Branham won an Emmy Award as the writer, co-producer and host of “The Black Experience,” the first nationally televised series on African American history.  Branham was an expert witness in the 1983 PACI case which forced the City of Chicago to give greater representation to African Americans, and in 1990 his testimony before the Chicago City Council laid the foundation for the city’s minority business affirmative action program.
Branham has been a professor of history at various colleges in Chicago, including Chicago State University and Roosevelt University, and the University of Illinois at Chicago where he was awarded the Silver Circle Excellence in Teaching Award.  Branham served as director of education at the DuSable Museum of African American History and is now Senior Historian there.  He is the author of many publications on African American history and politics, including The Transformation of Black Political Leadership in Chicago, 1865 – 1943.
        Branham is a member of the Organization of American Historians and has served on the boards of directors for the Chicago Metro History Fair, DuSable Museum of African American History, the Illinois Humanities Council, and the Executive Committee for the Chicago Archives of the Blues Tradition.  From 1989 – 1990, he was the Chairman of the United Way of Chicago’s Committee on Race, Ethnic and Religious Discrimination.  In addition, Branham has served as a consultant to the Chicago Board of Education for their curriculum development for a Black History study unit.
        Branham graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Rockford College in 1967 and earned his PhD in history in 1980 from The University of Chicago, where he was a Ford Foundation Fellow.
        For more information on programs and exhibits at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, visit www.presidentlincoln.org.

Fourth Annual Poetry Slam gives West Side youth a voice and a stage downtown

Posted by Admin On January - 25 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

America SCORES’ Red Carpet Poetry Slam benefit night will  celebrate and support the words of Chicago Public School students while honoring ten years of partnership with The Chicago Fire SC and community supporters

CHICAGO, IL – “Hello grown-ups, are you there? Please listen up, we promise to talk slowly” begins the student poetry performance at Chicago’s fourth annual Red Carpet Poetry Slam (RCPS) on Thursday, January 27th at the School of the Art Institute Ballroom (112 South Michigan Avenue).  The RCPS is a benefit event supporting America SCORES, the city’s only non-profit after school organization that combines soccer and poetry to inspire 500 urban public school students each year to Write, Play, Achieve.


The America SCORES Chicago Red Carpet Poetry Slam will initiate at 5:30 pm with a cocktail reception and silent auction, and will feature live music from Chicago’s legendary Tammy McCann Quartet.  The Poetry Slam will begin at 7:00 pm and will highlight original spoken word poetry from select America SCORES students. 


In celebration of its 10th anniversary serving Chicago’s at-risk youth, America SCORES will present Calliope Awards to community partners who have shown a decade of support: the Chicago Fire Soccer Club, Madison Dearborn Partners, the Bernau Family Foundation,  and Edward Magnus. America SCORES will also honor the Crafton family, whose members have been either participants or coaches the entire 10 years of the program’s existence.


The evening will conclude with a dessert reception, wine raffle and an autograph session with the performing poets.  Those interested in tickets and donations should call 312-666-0496 or visit www.chicagoscoresevents.org


About America SCORES Chicago

America SCORES Chicago is an affiliate of America SCORES, a unique national youth development program that seeks to help urban students “score goals on the field and achieve goals in the classroom.” America SCORES Chicago serves 500 students 20-25 weeks per year in nine public elementary schools.  Students ages 8-13 receive after-school programming five days per week throughout the school year.

Recently, America SCORES poet-athletes, including one RCPS performer, were featured on Fox Chicago news and WGCI radio when they produced the single “We are the Future” with Grammy winner The Legendary Traxster through an ASCAP songwriter in residency program.

America SCORES has been recognized by two consecutive White House administrations for excellence in youth development and as a model for fighting childhood obesity after school. 

For more information,visitwww.americascoreschicago.org.

African-American pro-immigrant group defends birthright citizenship and condemns attacks on 14th Amendment

Posted by Admin On January - 25 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

(Distributed through BlackNews.com)

 By Opal Tometi

Phoenix, AZ (BlackNews.com) — For the past year Arizona has been in the spotlight because of its harsh attacks on migrant populations and people of color. From the signing of the most far reaching anti-immigrant law (SB 1070) that legitimizes racial profiling, to its ban on Ethnic Studies (HB 2281), Arizona is rolling back the clock on the gains that the civil and human rights movements made in the United States of America. In addition to these legislative measures, Arizona recently banned affirmative action (Proposition 107) in the November 2010 election.

Sadly, Arizona’s Governor Jan Brewer and other government officials, like State Senate President Russell Pearce, are relentless in their attack on the migrant community, attacks that also impact the African American community. Pearce’s current foray is on the 14th amendment, an amendment that is well known for both the Citizenship Clause and Equal Protection Clause. It is now threatened because, after over one hundred years in existence, Pearce wants to ascribe a new interpretation.

The 14th amendment to the Constitution was written when slavery was finally outlawed in the United States. It granted formerly enslaved Africans in America full citizenship, and overturned the Supreme Court‘s 1857 decision in the historic Dred Scott v. Sanford case. In plain speak, the 14th Amendment was meant to ensure that all people born in the United States would be treated as equal citizens under the Constitution. However, Pearce is trying to strip away the citizenship rights of children who were born in the U.S. to parents who are not recognized as legal residents.

Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI) Executive Director Gerald Lenoir explains that, “attempts to undermine the 14th amendment are unconstitutional and are part of the tradition of racism and xenophobia that our ancestors have fought hard to dismantle. Furthermore the term ‘anchor baby’, which has become associated with this bill is pejorative and is used to criminalize children of immigrants, especially those of color.”

This attack on the rights and dignity of children demonstrates a sad shift in the trajectory of the national discourse on immigration. The assault on birthright citizenship through distortion of the 14th amendment and the reversal of gains made through the struggles for civil rights, only aims to disenfranchise the growing number of people of color in this country.

Arizona State Senate President Pearce, the key author and principal in pushing forward this legislation, has been known to fraternize with white supremacists. This is not the kind of thinking that we should allow to shape our nation. In this day and age when black and brown communities are continually marginalized and disenfranchised, we cannot allow for a reinterpretation of the 14th amendment that would only create a new caste of second-class noncitizens with no rights in any country. We cannot allow for the normalization of this type of anti-migrant policy that further institutionalizes xenophobia, racism and injustice in the U.S., as well as dismisses the gains of the civil rights movement

As Martin Luther King, Jr. poignantly said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” The Black Alliance for Just Immigration will stand with immigrant communities in Arizona and across the country in opposing the reinterpretation of the 14th Amendment and in asserting the birthright citizenship rights of children of undocumented immigrants.

Opal Tometi was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona and is the National Organizer for the Black Alliance for Just Immigration. The Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI) is an education and advocacy group comprised of African Americans and black immigrants from Africa, Latin American and the Caribbean. BAJI engages African Americans and other communities in dialogue that leads to actions that challenge U.S. immigration policy and the underlying issues of race, racism and economic inequity that frame it. Contact BAJI at www.blackalliance.org, info@blackalliance.org, and (510) 663-2254.

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Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

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