23
July , 2017
Sunday

CHICAGO, IL - Homeowners and businesses that have been affected by the ...
         By Thomas J. Sugrue   Why do middle-class Blacks have far less wealth than Whites at ...
 The Institute of the Black World 21st Century (IBW), a research, policy and advocacy organization, ...
  Evanston, IL - “Passport: A Musical Expedition” -- the 2011 Spring Festival -- March 30 ...
CHICAGO, IL – Illinois State Representative Michael Madigan’s spokesperson Steve Brown issued the following statement ...
The Active Transportation Alliance applauds the reopening of crosswalk between Buckingham Fountain and lakefront   In a ...
President's Actions Defy Both the Law and Recommendations of His Own Executive Order-Authorized ...
Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100) stands in support of the Coalition to Revitalize Dyett, a ...
SPRINGFIELD, IL – State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D., has released the following statement ...
(From BlackNews.com) The state unemployment compensation program provides benefits that are on ...

Archive for March 23rd, 2017

Civil Rights Groups Discuss Legislative and Policy Agenda with Senate Democratic Leader

Posted by Admin On March - 23 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Civil Rights Groups Discuss Legislative and Policy Agenda with Senate Democratic Leader Share Their Opposition to Gorsuch, ACA Repeal and Budget Cuts

 

WASHINGTON, DC – Civil rights leaders met with Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer to discuss key policy issues and express their shared opposition to the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, the ACA repeal bill, and the Administration’s economic agenda.

Attendees included: Marc H. Morial, president and CEO, National Urban League; Kristen Clarke, president and executive director, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law; Wade Henderson, president and CEO, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights; Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund; Rev. Al Sharpton, founder and president, National Action Network; and Melanie L. Campbell, president and CEO, National Coalition on Black Civic Participation and convener of the Black Women’s Roundtable.

“As always, we thank Senator Schumer for his attention to our priorities,” said Marc Morial, president and CEO of the National Urban League.  “When we met with him in January we shared our collective concerns for what may come in this new Congress and Administration.  Now, our worst fears are being realized as the latest assaults from lawmakers and the President threaten to devastate our way of life. Our civil rights and our judicial system are experiencing one rollback after another, from the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, to the attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and the proposal of a skinny budget, we are witnessing an erosion of the progress we’ve made thus far. We implore Senator Schumer to continue to do what he can to guarantee the continuance and advancement of our great democracy.”

Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law said, “We look forward to working with leaders across Congress to promote legislative action that safeguards and protects civil rights. It is time for Congress to move forward with long overdue criminal justice reform, which enjoys bi-partisan support. It is also time for Congress to restore the Voting Rights Act, following the Supreme Court’s 2013 ruling in Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder.  We also will continue to look closely at nominees that come before Congress to ensure that these individuals are prepared to move our nation forward.”

“We deeply appreciate the opportunity to continue the conversation with Leader Schumer to discuss the agenda of the national civil rights community,” said Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.  “With the many troubling actions being taken by the Trump administration and Congress, it is reassuring that Senator Schumer is willing to stand up for the civil and human rights of all.  Just some of the issues we are concerned about include the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, the plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act and increase the number of uninsured by 24 million people, and a proposed budget that slashes resources devoted to critical job training, education, and social service programs that serve low-income, working and middle class people.”

“We appreciated the opportunity to meet with Senator Schumer and to discuss a number of LDF’s priorities, including our opposition to the confirmation of Judge Gorsuch whose record raises deep concerns about how he will approach key civil rights protections, as well as the need to advance economic and infrastructure policies that ensure equal economic opportunity and mobility for all Americans,” said NAACP Legal Defense Fund President and Director-Counsel Sherrilyn Ifill.

Reverend Al Sharpton, founder of the National Action Network said, “We challenged Senator Schumer to continue to strive to get the Senate Democrats to block any vote on Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch until the investigation of Russian ties into the elections of 2016 are completed.  It is a civil right that our votes not be interfered with by foreign governments. I urged Senator Schumer to unequivocally block the Health Care bill that will upend what millions of Americans now enjoy as a result of the Affordable Care Act and stressed that people must receive quality health care based upon their infirmities, not upon their income.”

“The meeting with Senator Schumer was very encouraging and offered my civil rights colleagues and I a vitally important opportunity to present our key policy priorities and concerns for the 115th Congress,” said Melanie Campbell, president and CEO of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation and convener of the Black Women’s Roundtable. “The National Coalition and the Black Women’s Roundtable are especially concerned about the plans by Republicans to repeal the Affordable Care Act with no viable replacement, leaving more than 24 million Americans without insurance coverage. In particular, we fear that African American women, seniors and our families, will suffer greatly as a result of this repeal.  We simply cannot afford to let this happen to the American people.”

The group also requested a meeting with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

K. Kim Atterbury, National Urban League, (202) 629-5750, katterbury@nul.org

Nikki Thompson, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, (202) 662-8382, nthompson@lawyerscommittee.org

Shin Inouye, The Leadership Conference, (202) 869-0398, Inouye@civilrights.org

Melanie Newman, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, (202) 682-1300, mnewman@naacpldf.org

Rachel Noerdlinger, National Action Network, (212) 681-1380, rnoerdlinger@mercuryllc.com

Lon Walls, National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, (301) 966-1669, Lwalls@wallscomm.com

On 52nd Anniversary of Selma to Montgomery March NAACP Sends “Democracy” Letter to all 50 Governors and Attorneys General on the Rising Scourge of Voter Suppression

Posted by Admin On March - 23 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

AL, TX, AND NC among first letters electronically sent

 

 

BALTIMORE—MD – The NAACP released the following statement regarding its letter sent to state officials around the nation regarding the issue of voter suppression.On the 52nd anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery march, the NAACP is sending a letter to all Governors, Attorneys General and Secretaries of State across the nation regarding what it sees as the unaddressed and expanding issue of politically rampant and civically repugnant voter suppression.

 

Our epistle of democracy is being sent in the spirit of Selma and is symbolically signed with the blood, sweat, and tears of American martyrs and the foot soldiers of the movement. In coming days, our message will be consecrated with more resistance, more civil disobedience, as well as more advocacy in the courts and community. In the name of millions of disenfranchised citizens and our imperiled democracy and in honor of those who gave their lives working to ensure full voting rights, we call on our public servants to do the following:

 

Strongly and publicly support the “Voter Empowerment Act” when it is reintroduced in the U.S. House of Representatives, and call upon your state’s federal representatives to provide strong support for the bill. The Voter Empowerment Act would modernize voting procedures throughout the United States, requiring automatic registration of eligible voters, making it easier for citizens to cast their ballots, and making voter intimidation in federal elections a criminal offense. This bill deserves the strong support of anyone who truly cares about improving the level of civic participation in this nation.Strongly and publicly support the “Voting Rights Advancement Act” when it is reintroduced in the U.S. Senate, and call upon your federal representatives to become original cosponsors of the bill.

 

The Voting Rights Advancement Act would restore critically-needed voting protections by requiring preclearance for voting changes introduced in states with a recent history of voter suppression. This would reduce the need for litigation to enforce voting protections and would avoid the embarrassment of federal court decisions finding that state actors intentionally engaged in voter suppression directed at vulnerable populations.Strongly encourage your state’s federal representatives, the U.S. Congress and President Trump to increase staffing in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. The Civil Rights Division prosecutes violations of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the National Voter Registration Act, and other federal voting requirements. Until Congress restores the preclearance provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the Civil Rights Division’s litigation efforts will remain crucial to ensuring protection of the voting rights of our citizens.

 

Call upon President Trump to disband his task force on so-called “voter fraud” and to replace it with a task force on reducing voter suppression. As noted above, there is no evidence that voter fraud is a problem warranting the expenditure of public resources on a White House task force. On the other hand, voter suppression is a very real problem, as many recent court decisions have shown. President Trump simply must “get over” the fact that he lost the popular vote and focus on the real problems in our electoral system – low participation and voter suppression.

 

Promptly report voter suppression efforts in your state to the Civil Rights Division at the U.S. Department of Justice, to the U.S. Attorney in the relevant judicial district, and to the NAACP’s Office of General Counsel (legal@naacpnet.org; (410) 580-5790). Absent a preclearance regime, organizations resisting voter suppression efforts must have as much notice as possible in order to challenge such measures before they go into effect. The NAACP’s legal team stands ready to receive your reports.

 

For a complete copy of the NAACP’s letter to state officials click here.

 

 

Attorney General Madigan Urges Lawmakers to Pass Legislation to Strengthen Hate Crimes Law

Posted by Admin On March - 23 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

 Madigan Applauds Support for Legislation Following Hate Crimes Summit with Civil Rights Leaders on Impact of Immigration Executive Orders

 

CHICAGO, IL— Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan urged members of the Illinois House to pass legislation to strengthen Illinois’ hate crimes law. House Bill 3711 better protects Illinois residents from escalating incidents of hatred and bias.

 

House Bill 3711, sponsored by state Rep. Litesa Wallace and Sen. Omar Aquino, passed out of the House Judiciary – Criminal Committee by a vote of eight to five and will now be considered by the full chamber. Madigan initiated the legislation in response to a national increase of crimes motivated by hatred based on religion, national origin, gender identity and sexual orientation since the 2016 election. The bill adds the crimes of intimidation, cyberstalking and transmission of obscene messages to this list of crimes that can be prosecuted as hate crimes to address an increasing use of technology to attack victims. The legislation also ensures all victims of hate crimes are afforded the ability to file a civil cause of action in response to such incidents and imposes civil penalties.

 

“No one should live in fear because of who they are, where they are from or what they believe,” Madigan said. “The recent increase in hate crimes is deeply troubling, and we must strengthen our hate crimes law to help all of the people of Illinois feel safe.”

 

Chicago Police Department data shows that hate crimes reached a five-year high in 2016 and are outpacing that level in 2017, according to reports. The Southern Law Poverty Center also reported nearly 1,100 hate incidents nationally in the month after last fall’s election.

 

HB 3711 strengthens the Illinois Hate Crimes Act by:

  • Expanding the reach of protection from hate crimes to address perpetrators’ increased use of technology to attack victims. The measure adds the existing crimes of intimidation, stalking, cyberstalking and transmission of obscene messages to the list of crimes that can be prosecuted as hate crimes.
  • Providing the Attorney General with civil enforcement authority by giving the Attorney General’s office the authority to initiate civil suits on behalf of hate crime victims. Illinois would join at least six other states that have similar authority.
  • Ensuring all victims of hate crimes are afforded a civil remedy. Offenses such as telephone harassment, harassment through electronic communications or disorderly conduct cannot give rise to civil cause of action under Illinois’ current hate crimes law, and HB 3711 closes the gap.
  • Allowing judges to impose a civil penalty of up to $25,000 for each violation.

“As a parent, I worry about my child, or any child, being targeted because of the color of their skin, the God they worship, the country their parents came from or their sexual identity,” Rep. Wallace said. “This legislation sends a clear message that the people of Illinois will not tolerate hatred and bigotry.”

 

Last month, Attorney General Madigan convened a summit with civil rights leaders to discuss the impact of federal Executive Orders on the nearly 2 million immigrants who live in Illinois. Madigan condemned the Executive Orders as unconstitutional, unlawful and un-American and filed amicus briefs in support of challenges to the executive actions.

 

In the wake of the executive orders, Madigan also called on Governor Rauner to refuse to deputize Illinois law enforcement to act as immigration officers and protect Illinois immigrants and refugees from discrimination and hate crimes. Madigan has also urged the Governor to restore the Illinois Hate Crimes Commission.

 

The Attorney General also issued advice about the possibility of scam artists and unscrupulous immigration services providers illegally posing as lawyers or demanding up-front fees for assistance in the wake of the executive actions.

 

Attorney General Madigan’s Civil Rights Bureau protects the civil rights of all Illinois residents. The Bureau enforces civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination, works to strengthen the civil rights laws, and participates in community outreach programs. The Bureau also investigates complaints of patterns and practices of discrimination in housing, public accommodations, employment, and financial matters. Attorney General Madigan encourages individuals to contact her office to report instances of discrimination or harassment by calling her Civil Rights Hotline at 1-877-581-3692.

 

 

Scammers are not “Friends” to Small Business Owners

Posted by Admin On March - 23 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Scammers try to contact you in many ways. They call, email, put ads online, send messages on social media and more. If you own a small business, they’re trying to contact you too.  Lately we’ve been hearing about scams through Facebook messages directed to small business owners.

People have reported receiving messages on Facebook telling them that they’re eligible for ― or that they’ve won ― a business grant. If you get a message like this, do not respond. This is a scam. The government won’t contact you on social media to offer you money.

Some people responded to the messages because they thought they were from a “friend.” Know this: scammers can spoof social media messages to make them look like they’re coming from a friend. Some fake messages directed people to send a text to “confirm” their “business grant.” Don’t do it. The scammer is only trying to get your cell phone number to keep trying to get your money.

Before you respond to a message on social media about a small business grant, stop and consider:

  • The government won’t contact you through social media to offer you money.
  • Real government grants don’t require that you pay first. Stay away from any deal that makes you pay to get your “business grant.”
  • If someone tells you they need your passwords to give you a “business grant,” they’re just trying to hack into your accounts to steal your money or impersonate you and scam others.
  • If the only way to communicate with the person offering you a “business grant” is through social media or text, that is a red flag for a scam.

Find out more about government grant scams and imposter scams and report them to the FTC if you see one.

Revised CPD “Use of Force” Guidelines – Another Reason for Community Control

Posted by Admin On March - 23 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

From: Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression


Leaders of the movement for democratic community control of the Chicago Police Department blasted the CPD draft revised guidelines on the use of force (UOF) as encouragement of police crimes, including murder, that have plagued the department.

The Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression and its Organizing Committee to Stop Police Crimes (SPC OC) is supporting an ordinance now before the Chicago City Council that would create a democratically elected Civilian Police Accountability Council, (CPAC) introduced last summer by eight aldermen.

Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson announced the first draft UOF guidelines last October, in the wake of the mass upsurge of protests over police murders, especially that of Laquan McDonald, which Mayor Rahm Emanuel, State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez, and the CPD covered up for over 13 months. The second draft, released only a week ago, retracts many of the meager restrictions on police UOF of the first one.

A special Police Accountability Task Force appointed by Emanuel called out racial bias in CPD misuse of deadly force, and the first draft guidelines addressed some of the Task Force recommendations. In December the U. S. Department of Justice (DOJ) issued an even more damning report on the same issues and made more recommendations.

In spite of this the second draft of the CPD guidelines caves in to the Fraternal Order of Police, giving the CPD substantially greater leeway to use deadly force.

“This charade demonstrates to all that no matter what or from whom the proposals are, the reality is that until the people of Chicago have the power to set CPD policies, procedures and rules there will be no change,” Frank Chapman, Field Organizer of the Alliance declared.

“This retreat comes after the U. S. Attorney General, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, has made it clear that the DOJ will remove all restraints from racist police departments all over the country, and that so-called consent decrees to end racist practices will no longer be supported.”

The powers of CPAC include the appointment of the police superintendent and the power to refer cases of police crime to the U. S. Grand Jury for prosecution.

“The creation of CPAC will not only be a major step toward reducing police crime,” Chapman continued. “It will also be a major step toward making our communities safer by holding police directly accountable to the community for the way the neighborhoods are policed, and by whom.”

The Alliance SPC OC and CPAC have been endorsed by scores of labor, religious, and community organizations throughout Chicago. They are pressing the members of the City Council to pass the CPAC ordinance through neighborhood meetings, petitioning, and a mass campaign of postcards to the aldermen.

 

After Rauner Comments, Appropriations Committee Asks Administration to Outline Higher Education Plan

Posted by Admin On March - 23 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

SPRINGFIELD, IL – The House Appropriations-Higher Education Committee will ask Gov. Bruce Rauner’s top education advisor to explain comments made recently by the governor contradicting his record of slashing higher education funding at a hearing on Thursday, March 23, at 8 a.m. in committee room D-1 in the Stratton Building.

On March 8, Rauner stated he planned to put more state resources into the state university system and help “expand their footprint” around the state. Committee members have invited Dr. Beth Purvis, Rauner’s secretary of education, to detail Rauner’s plan, and how these comments are consistent with the significant reductions to higher education funding contained in the governor’s budgets.

WHO:

House Appropriations-Higher Education Committee

 

Beth Purvis, Illinois Secretary of Education

 

WHAT:

Hearing on Rauner plan for higher education

 

WHEN:

Thursday, March 23

 

8 a.m.

 

WHERE:

Stratton Building – committee room D-1

 

401 S Spring St.

 

Springfield, Ill.

Antifascist Action for Seattle Shooting Victim

Posted by Admin On March - 23 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

 In solidarity with the antifascist who was shot and nearly murdered in Seattle on January 20th, and with antifascists around the world working to beat back the rising tide of hate.

Minneapolis, MN – On Friday, March 31, 2017, at 5:30 PM, people from all over the Twin Cities and beyond will hold a public rally at the University of Minnesota’s Coffman Union plaza. They will demonstrate support for all fighting against oppression, and solidarity with all those who are attacked by the mounting fascist and right-wing wave of violence and oppression.There will be speakers, but also group discussions and educational activities. It is a family-friendly event for all who want a better, more peaceful and just world. All are invited to attend.

According to a press release from The Twin Cities General Defense Committee, Local 14, “the world was horrified when the USA elected a billionaire authoritarian aligned with open white supremacists and fascists to serve as president. Trump and his policies are direct threats to our lives, families, and communities. They ban our Muslim sisters and brothers, ban refugees, split apart families, and enact terror on our communities. He is cutting Medicaid and the Meals on Wheels programs. Many of his policy changes directly target the disabled.

“Trump’s sole political opinion appears to be that he is the best. While a surprising number of citizens did support and elect him, his most important backers are a mix of Wall Street bosses, anti-women and anti-LGBTQIA types, and open racists and fascists. Trump’s unification of economic corporations and the state is the definition of fascism offered by Mussolini himself. The Democrats have offered little response themselves, instead apparently content to wait for the mid-term elections in two years.

“We’re also concerned about people behind him. On January 20th, an Alt-Right activist and Trump supporter shot a friend of ours, ‘Hex,’ a member of the Industrial Workers of the World (I.W.W.). He almost died, and was in the I.C.U. for more than three weeks. Although the shooters turned themselves in, the police have so far refused to charge them. The Alt-Right is a relatively new grouping of white supremacists, misogynists, and fascists. Since Trump’s election, they have stepped up their organizing efforts. Here in the Twin Cities, fascist groups have recruited on university and college campuses, resulting in hate crimes against students and neighborhood residents.

“We have seen nationwide threats against Jewish Community Centers and attacks on Jewish cemeteries, burnings of and attacks on mosques, attacks on immigrants and people of color, a radical defunding of services for people with disabilities, reversals of rights for transgender people, and an increase in then open condemnation and hatred of the poor. The continued assault of the police state on the working class and people of color intensifies, as police intensify cooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and further militarize under the ”Law and Order” president.

“Fascism spreads quickly. Creating democratic institutions is like cultivating a forest: it takes years and even centuries. Fascism is like the act of clear-cutting that forest: it moves fast and leaves devastation in its wake. We don’t have the time to ’wait and see.’ The situation is dangerous.

“We will come out and declare our solidarity with each other. We are unafraid because of that solidarity. We will protect each other because of that solidarity. We are the people, of all sexes and genders, colors, religions, immigration statuses, language, or abilities. Together, we are stronger than all the hate in the world. We can defeat fascism. We can defeat racism. We can defeat sexism. We can build a world without oppression, in which all are welcome.

“We can only defeat fascism if we organize against it, and openly say ’we oppose fascism!,’ and ’not here, not anywhere!.’ Without public support for anti-fascism, fascists will become even more emboldened, and more violent. Our worlds will get smaller, more dangerous, and more violent.”

STAND FOR EACH OTHER! STOP FASCISM & HATE – ALL OUT ON MARCH 31st!

For more information, contact: The Twin Cities General Defense Committee, Local 14

Email: tc-gdc-lst@iww.org

 

 

 

 

One Jewish Group to Another: “Defund Islamophobia”

Posted by Admin On March - 23 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS


Jewish Voice for Peace–Chicago calls on Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago (JUF) to cut ties with anti-Muslim groups. New report reveals over $700K in donations from JUF to Islamophobia network groups from 2011-2014
 

CHICAGO, IL – At a press conference at 10 AM today at 30 S. Wells Street, Jewish Voice for Peace – Chicago will call on the Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago (JUF) to cut ties with anti-Muslim hate groups and announce the release of a report detailing these ties.

Speakers will include Lesley Williams and Stephanie Skora of Jewish Voice for Peace-Chicago and Hatem Abudayyeh of the US Palestinian Community Network (quotes below).

REPORT: As detailed in this report, a review of the JUF’s 2011-2014 Form 990 filings reveals that the Jewish United Fund:

  • Contributed $683,750 through its donor-advised funds to organizations identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as “anti-Muslim fearmongers:” Daniel Pipes’ Middle East Forum, and Steven Emerson’s Investigative Project on Terrorism.

  • Contributed $100,000 to Donors Trust, a funder of both these organizations.

  • Received $5.1 million from Donors Trust affiliate Donors Capital Fund. Donors Trust/Donors Capital Fund is identified as a key funder of the Islamophobia network by the Center for American Progress.

These organizations are members of what the Southern Poverty Law Center describes as a “group of propagandists…at the center of what is a large and evolving network of Islam-bashing activists” which spreads the Islamophobic ideologies that enable promotion of anti-Muslim policies such as the current administration’s desired Muslim Ban.

In its report, Jewish Voice for Peace–Chicago calls on the Jewish United Fund to:

  • Immediately cut off all funding to anti-Muslim hate groups, through donor-advised funds or other funding streams

  • Commit to rejecting future contributions from funders that are contributors to anti-Muslim hate groups

  • Make a written and public statement addressing JUF funding of anti-Muslim hate groups and affirming JUF’s commitment to the above actions.

“In a time when working together to challenge hate and discriminatory policies is more important than ever, these financial ties show that the JUF’s priorities lie elsewhere,” said JVP-Chicago member Lesley Williams. “As a Black Jewish woman I am outraged, although not surprised, by the JUF’s funding of such racist organizations, and I hope that all members of the Chicago-area Jewish community who believe in solidarity with marginalized communities will join us in calling on the JUF to end its financial ties with groups that target Arab, Muslim and Palestinian communities.”

Daniel Pipes, whose Middle East Forum received over half a million dollars from JUF funds, has also described acceptance of transgender people as a sign of “a civilization in decline.”

Stephanie Skora, JVP-Chicago: “The JUF’s contributions to anti-Muslim, anti-queer, and anti-trans hatemongers speaks volumes about who they think belongs in the Jewish community. Clearly it is not people like me, or other queer and trans Jews. Their cowardly exporting of virulent homophobia and transphobia, so that their bigotry can be spouted through the likes of Daniel Pipes is yet another nail in the coffin to the JUF’s claim that they represent all Jews. They can’t even pretend to care if Jews like me live or die.”

JVP’s report closes by showing how the JUF, the Middle East Forum, and the Investigative Project on Terrorism share a common agenda of defending the State of Israel’s repressive policies towards Palestinians. JUF’s relationships with groups that dehumanize Arabs and Muslims must be understood in the context of its own agenda to justify Israel’s brutality toward Palestinians. As outlined in the report, JUF President Steven Nasatir has asserted that Palestinians “revel in destruction” because of their “vile, extremist Islamic ideology.”

“The JUF has never legitimately supported the rights of oppressed people, despite their claims,” said Hatem Abudayyeh of the U.S. Palestinian Community Network. “Instead, they have historically spewed zionist propaganda; been apologists for Israeli crimes; and supported military attacks on Palestinians and Arabs in our homeland, as well as racist, political attacks on Palestine support organizing in the U.S.”

JVP will follow up on this report by reaching out to other organizations and individuals in Chicago’s Jewish community, in particular funders, grantees and others officially affiliated with JUF in any way to urge them to pressure the JUF to stop supporting anti-Muslim and anti-Arab organizations.

PHOTO/VIDEO: The press conference will include signs and props, including a 5 ft. by 10 ft. mock Gift Receipt symbolically returning the JUF’s contributions illustrating the demand to #DefundIslamophobia. (Photo below) Follow along at @ChicagoJVP

Jewish Voice for Peace–Chicago is the local chapter of the national, grassroots organization inspired by Jewish tradition to work for a just and lasting peace according to principles of human rights, equality, and international law for all the people of Israel and Palestine. JVP has over 200,000 online supporters, over 60 chapters, a youth wing, a Rabbinic Council, an Artist Council, an Academic Advisory Council, and an Advisory Board made up of leading U.S. intellectuals and artists.

Where African Fashions Meet the Stylish Traveler

Posted by Admin On March - 23 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Shangani Fashion’s debut presentation during New York Fashion Week conveys contemporary cuts that are accented with vintage accessories. Shangani Fashion Designs are a juxtaposition of culture and style. Shangani is an African tribe who dwelled near the Shangani River in Zimbabwe, Africa. The tribe was named after its founder; and the name “Shoshangani” means traveler. Shangani Fashion is a brand inspired by the experience of travel and the exposure of different cultures.
Creations by Shangani’s Designers merge their travel experiences with colorful ethnic prints, and contemporary shapes to create a high fashion, ready-to-wear look. Traditional African fabrics with a modern mix, is the passion behind Shangani Fashions.

 

The design duo collaborating on the aesthetics are Fashion Designers Elesia Peterman and Mary Moore. Moore is a graduate of the University of Zimbabwe and a world traveler.  “My inspirations are fusions of my cultural, travel experiences and my Zimbabwean heritage and styles. Shoppers will find divers influences from the Caribbean, European and Middle-Eastern expressions in my fashions. I enjoy mixing various African influences with a contemporary cut and shape for a modernized look. And the result is a ready-to-wear brand that is suitable for all occasions” explains Mary Moore.

 

My creative inspiration comes from a fusion of time, epoch periods and cultures, while remaining Afrocentric“. States Elesia Peterman. “I want our line to show that African print transcends. The looks can be worn strictly as traditional wear, but the looks can also be incorporated in business and everyday casual use. What makes our line unique is that it isn’t just an African meets Western cohesion. Our goal is to reach and inspire a much bigger market. Our line is an international fusion. Also, being a millennial, I feel I can relate with the style trends my peers are excited about.. I want to use clothing design as my voice and demonstration of creativity.

 

Shangani offers looks for both men and women, and intends to expand the menswear line for upcoming seasons. The garments are wearable for business casual or as formal wear. Depending on the type of garment design, the brand uses one-hundred percent cotton, applied with Dutch Wax print, Denim and other uniquely blended materials of the finest quality. Completing the Afro-inspired look, the Shangani brand also features handcrafted travel handbags and clutch bags. Accessories such as earrings, bracelets and shoes, add a hint of sophistication to an individual’s look.

 

Civil Rights Group Sues Chicago Over Preservation of 911 Tapes

Posted by Admin On March - 23 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

City Routinely Violates the Law By Destroying Tapes After Only 30 Days, Jeopardizing Defendants’ Ability to Challenge Police & Others’ Accounts of Crimes

CHICAGO, IL – Attorneys with the Chicago Civil Rights Project filed suit against the City of Chicago today for the failure of the City’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications to routinely preserve 911 tapes, in clear violation of Illinois’ Local Records Act (LRA – 50 ILCS 205).

Since many defendants aren’t arrested, let alone able to secure representation within the narrow 30-day window during which records are currently preserved, evidence that could prove useful for their defense is routinely lost.

 

Not preserving this evidence heightens the risk that innocent people are wrongfully convicted and serve prison terms that they shouldn’t. Civil suit plaintiffs who feel their rights have been violated by police and others are also deprived of evidence that could buttress their claims.

“The cost of preserving this important evidence is at most a few thousand dollars with technology that has been readily available for several years now,” said Nick Albukerk, a volunteer and co-founder of the Chicago Civil Rights Project (CCRP), an organization of Chicago-area attorneys dedicated to civil rights and police accountability. “Balanced against the financial, let alone human cost of just one wrongful conviction, it is unconscionable that the City refuses to preserve this evidence.”

As the suit (No. 2017-CH-04038) notes,

For a cost of less than $10,000, OEMC could purchase sufficient computer memory to store 20 years of 911 calls…. The LRA conditions destruction of 911 recordings on a certification by OEMC that the recordings for which disposal is sought comply with the conditions in the Application: that the recordings in question do not contain any relevant evidence in any proceeding either pending or anticipated.”

Officers of OEMC have certified for decades that the 911 recordings that they seek to destroy meet the above conditions without conducting any affirmative investigation and with knowledge that the current system is inadequate to ensure compliance

The fact that OEMC violates the Local Records Act by routinely destroying 911 records after 30 days was confirmed by a federal judge’s ruling in last year’s Colyer v. City of Chicago case.

“It is unfortunate that we have to resort to suing the City in order to force it to do what should be a routine administrative procedure,” said Albukerk. “The City’s refusal to implement inexpensive, common sense procedures to ensure defendants’ rights is a waste of taxpayer funds and serves to reinforce the City’s negative national reputation as being laggards in ensuing the fair administration of justice.”

The Chicago Civil Rights Project is represented in the suit by Loevy & Loevy Attorneys at Law, the firm which successfully obtained the release of the dashcam video of Laquan McDonald’s shooting death at the hands of Chicago police.

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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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