In this issue:

New lawsuit against U.S. Gov't demanding info on Afghan evacuees detained in third countries  
Report back from Not on Our Dime! Act town hall  
We’re looking for summer 2024 Ella Baker interns!  
WEDNESDAY, September 6, worldwide: Close Guantánamo monthly vigils  

New lawsuit against U.S. Gov't demanding info on Afghan evacuees detained in third countries 

Last week, marking two years since the U.S. government ended its 20-year war in Afghanistan, rights groups filed a lawsuit seeking to compel multiple agencies to provide information on the thousands of Afghan evacuees arbitrarily detained in third countries. Brought under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the suit cites reports of brutal treatment at these facilities, which are largely coordinated, facilitated, or under the control of the U.S. government. 

“As if two decades of war and occupation was not enough, the United States continues to subject Afghan civilians to human rights and humanitarian peril. Thousands of Afghan civilians remain arbitrarily detained at these sites based on illusive, violent, and discriminatory policies. Civil society organizations and impacted community members have an urgent need to see the requested records regarding the U.S. government’s involvement in and knowledge and facilitation of these ongoing harms.”
- Sadaf Doost, attorney and Bertha Justice Fellow

The litigation comes after the protracted failure of the U.S. Defense, State, and Homeland Security departments to respond to a March 2023 FOIA request for records related to the aftermath of the evacuation of more than 124,000 Afghans by the United States in August 2021. 

Learn more on our website.

  Photo of the speakers and moderators on stage at the Not on Our Dime Act town hall. There are six people sitting and a videographer standing behind them with a video camera. Senior Staff Attorney Diala Shamas is holding the mic and speaking.

Report back from Not on Our Dime! Act town hall  

Last week, over 200 town hall attendees filled a packed auditorium to hear about the Not on Our Dime! Act. Audience members lined up to make comments and ask questions — overwhelmingly speaking in favor of the bill.

Senior Staff Attorney Diala Shamas spoke about what the proposed legislation does and what it is responding to — namely, years of documentation of money flowing from New York state-based organizations to Israeli organizations involved in the displacement of Palestinians.

Mohammed El-Kurd described how these New York-based not-for-profits have direct impacts on Palestinian lives, and are part and parcel of concerted efforts to dispossess them from their homes, land and natural resources. Assemblymember Zohran Mamdani and State Senator Kristen Gonzalez each spoke about what moved them to respond to the call to stop N.Y. based organizations from funding Israeli settler organizations that commit war crimes.

Learn more about the Not on Our Dime! coalition, and ways you can get involved, here:

  Bold, black all caps letters say, Summer 2024 internship applications now open. A red and white background image shows a group of people at a protest with their fists in their air. The most visible protestor is a Black person with their fist up and a bandana over their face. There is a sign visible in the background that says, No justice No peace.

We’re looking for summer 2024 Ella Baker interns!  

In 1987, we created the Ella Baker Summer Internship Program to honor the legacy of Ella Baker, a hero of the civil rights movement, and to train the next generation of social justice lawyers. Through our program, interns gain practical litigation experience and sharpen their theoretical understanding of the relationship between social change, organizing, and lawyering. Ella Baker Interns also become connected to a global community of social justice law students and lawyers through our Ella Baker Alumni Network.

We’ve now started our search for the 2024 cohort of Ella Baker interns. For more information, and to apply, head to the application page. The deadline is October 7, 2023 at 12:00 pm PST.


WEDNESDAY, September 6, worldwide: Close Guantánamo monthly vigils  

Locations of vigils:

New York, NY, 5-6 p.m. ET: Steps of the New York Public Library, 5th Ave & 42nd Street
Washington, DC, 12-1 p.m. ET: Corner of Independence Ave & New Jersey Ave SE
Minneapolis, MN, 5-6 p.m. CT: Handshake Bridge between the Sculpture Garden and Loring Park
Cobleskill, NY, 5-6 p.m. ET: 514 West Main Street
London, UK, 1-3 p.m. GMT: Parliament Square, opposite the Houses of Parliament, London SW1
Mexico City, Mexico, Location TBD. 

Check our website for contacts of local vigils and a full list of co-sponsors.

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