BBC Interview with Binyam Mohammed

From This site links to an interview with Binyam Mohammed from the BBC News. SCSJ helped an investigator from a UK Human Rights organization investigate Mohammed’s claims of torture. This site links to an interview with Binyam Mohammed from the BBC News. SCSJ helped an investigator from a UK Human Rights organization investigate Mohammed’s claims […]

Moncure Worker Solidarity Day

IAM members of Local 369 at Moncure Plywood in Moncure, N.C., have been on strike since July 20 after the company committed numerous Unfair Labor Practices including coercing union members to withdraw from the union or lose their jobs.
Moncure management then unilaterally implemented a contract which included mandatory 60-hour work weeks, the elimination of almost all aspects of seniority, and unfair increases in health premiums. Lastly, with the consent of its corporate owner, Atlas Holdings, our members were permanently replaced.
Justice for Moncure Striking Workers
Day of Solidarity, Monday, March 16th
11 AM – JOIN THE PICKET LINE at the Moncure Plywood Plant on Corinth Road in Moncure, NC. (They want youth and students to make strong showing at this time!)
1PM – HAVE LUNCH provided by the union with the strikers of Local W369, IAM.
3 PM – JOIN A CAR CARAVAN leaving the Moncure plant to go to the Pittsboro courthouse to rally at
5 PM – JOIN THE SOLIDARITY RALLY at the Pittsboro courthouse where the Chatham Board of
County Commissioners will meet at 6 p.m.
port a resolution that urges Moncure Plywood to bargain with the union in good faith for a just contract.

December 11th, 2008: Southern Human Rights Organizers Protest "287g" Program and Treatment of NC Immigrant Community

For Immediate Release:
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Elena Everett, Media Coordinator, 919-323-3380×112, cell 919-413-1276
DURHAM, NC – Participants in SHROC (the Southern Human Rights Organizers Conference) will hold a vigil and demonstration in front of the Wake County Jail on Saturday, December 13, from 5pm-7pm to protest the county’s 287(g) program.
SHROC is a biannual conference of human rights organizers from across the Southeast. SHROC leaders are particularly concerned about the targeting of immigrant communities throughout the South through the 287(g) program.
The Wake County Sheriff’s Department is one of eight law enforcement agencies in North Carolina to enter into a 287(g) agreement with ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement). Proponents claim that these programs make our communities safer by facilitating the deportation of “dangerous convicted criminals.” In reality, this program has been mostly used to target people accused of minor offenses.
In Wake County, even victims of crime have been arrested under 287(g) and deported. Jose Sergio Ruis was deported after he reported a break-in at his home. He was told by police that his fingerprints were needed to distinguish them from those of potential suspects. Police ran his fingerprints through the ICE database and found that his immigration paperwork was not compliant. He was deported. Incidents like this have led many in immigrant communities to be fearful of cooperating with police.
The NC Sherriff’s Association reported that 33% of the over 3,000 people deported under the 287(g) program were detained for driving related offenses, other than DWI.
This has led to widespread suspicion that police are using racial profiling and that people are being arrested solely to give law enforcement the ability to check their immigration status. For example, community members report a marked increase in police checkpoints in areas with a high Latino populations, including in front of Spanish-language churches on Sunday mornings.
“Every member of our community has the right to live without fear. The 287(g) program is being abused and making our community members and immigrant families feel less safe,” said Marty Rosenbluth, staff attorney with the Southern Coalition for Social Justice.
Southern Coalition for Social Justice;
Southern Human Rights Organizers Network;
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January 14th, 2009: Rally Against Police Brutality

For Immediate Release:
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Theresa El-Amin, Director, Southern Anti-Racism Network
Elena Everett, Media Coordinator, Southern Coalition for Social Justice
919-323-3380×112, cell 919-413-1276,
DURHAM, NC – Community leaders, human rights attorneys, and families of the victims of police violence will hold a rally on Thursday, January 15, at 4:30 p.m. in front of the Durham Police Department (505 W. Chapel Hill St., Durham) as part of nationwide protests in the killing of Oscar Grant by a BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) police officer.
Oscar Grant was a 22-year-old unarmed African American youth who was shot to death on New Year’s Day on a subway platform in Oakland, CA. Since that time, there has been a nationwide outcry in response to the killing, including popular unrest in Oakland that lasted several days.
Communities are calling for justice and an end to police violence – particularly against youth of color. Speakers include:
• Brenda Howerton, Durham County Commissioner whose 19-year-old son was killed by Greensboro police
• Theresa El Amin, Southern Anti-Racism Network
• Anita Earls, Attorney and Director, Southern Coalition for Social Justice
• Arthur Romano, organizer, Gathering for Justice
• Nia Wilson, Director, SpiritHouse NC
• Al McSurley, Chapel Hill Human Rights Attorney and legal counsel for the NC NAACP
• Fred Battle, long-time past president of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro NAACP
• Sandi Velez, community and prison ministry activist
“January 15 is the 80th birthday of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This is a fitting celebration of his life as we gather, our minds and hearts united with all those who have been lost to police brutality and the many more whose lives have been stolen from us as a result of unequal and segregated communities, inadequate education, unjust judicial systems and prisons for profit,” said Theresa El-Amin, director of the Southern Anti-Racism Network.
Southern Anti Racism Network;
Southern Coalition for Social Justice;; 919-323-3380

A blow against exclusion

CHAPEL HILL — This month a jury in Zanesville, Ohio, awarded $10.9 million to residents of a mostly black neighborhood after finding that the local government discriminated against the community by denying access to public water service, even though it provided water to nearby predominantly white neighborhoods. Low-income and minority neighborhoods across the country face similar discriminatory patterns of municipal exclusion.
The verdict in Ohio recognized the disparate treatment that the Cole Run community suffered, and it provided communities nationwide with a potent tool in their struggle against racially discriminatory land-use policies and practices. The case has also highlighted an issue that results not only in inadequate public services, but also in the social and political exclusion of these communities.
The Zanesville verdict has a larger potential as well: It presents a unique opportunity for state and local governments to review and revise laws and policies that have created and entrenched similar patterns of discrimination and exclusion, and to aggressively move to remedy the ongoing impacts of such patterns.
The verdict also encourages the ongoing efforts of community-based groups to continue to push for inclusion, equal treatment and full participation in their communities. The jury’s action should remind those who don’t live in excluded neighborhoods that such practices diminish the well-being and quality of their lives and prevent the community from achieving the full realization of its collective potential.
Significant work on this issue is being done in North Carolina, where it is believed that more than 31 minority communities are facing some form of municipal exclusion. To document and identify these communities, the UNC Center for Civil Rights has worked with the Mebane-based Cedar Grove Institute for Sustainable Communities, which provided maps and expert testimony in the Zanesville case, and the Legal Aid Clients Council of N.C.
In Moore County, the center works with communities that have achieved success through grass-roots organizing to obtain municipal services and increase awareness of their plight. The Jackson Hamlet neighborhood’s advocacy led Pinehurst to provide street lights and water and sewer services, and to pursue annexation of the community, which would allow residents to receive additional municipal services and vote in local elections.
Through organized community action, both the Midway community, working with the town of Aberdeen, and the Waynor Road community, working with Southern Pines, secured water and sewer services, an annexation commitment and increased political participation in local government. In addition, the center helped each of these organizations conduct community assessments, research funding sources for municipal services, counsel residents on their legal and political rights and become tax-exempt entities, thereby enabling them to qualify for grants to continue their advocacy efforts.
Several other organizations in North Carolina, including the Southern Moore Alliance for Excluded Communities, N.C. Rural Communities Assistance Project and the Southern Coalition for Social Justice are already assisting excluded communities to meet the challenges those communities face. These organizations and communities are bringing tangible improvements, sustainability and inclusion through a range of strategies to help remedy the discriminatory effects of current land use practices.
There remains much work to be done; many other communities still face the effects of exclusion, which are broad and deeply ingrained. A comprehensive, coordinated effort is necessary to combat the issue. Forward-thinking local and state governments, progressive community groups, lawyers and other nonprofit organizations should seize the awareness and attention raised by the Zanesville verdict to vigorously press the issue in their own communities.
(Julius L. Chambers, former chancellor of N.C. Central University, is the director of the UNC Center for Civil Rights. Mark Dorosin is a senior attorney at the center.)