This is CCR's weekly "Frontlines of Justice" news round-up, keeping you in the loop about what we've been up to and what's coming soon. Check it out every Monday, your one-stop-shop for CCR opinions, news coverage, reports from court appearances, upcoming events, and more!
CCR is representing Louisiana community groups fighting DAPL-linked Bayou Bridge Pipeline
Last week, Louisiana groups opposed to the Bayou Bridge Pipeline announced their petition to intervene at an upcoming hearing to decide whether DAPL-linked private security firm TigerSwan will be licensed to operate in Louisiana. The state licensing board denied the initial application but the company is appealing.
CCR is proud and honored to represent these groups, who, rather than sitting back and waiting on a state board or private military corporation to decide their fate, are seeking to make their voice heard on a matter that directly affects them.
TigerSwan is connected to Energy Transfer Partners, one of the owners of the proposed Bayou Bridge Pipeline, and has engaged in military-style surveillance and counter-insurgency operations against communities opposing pipelines around the country.
Read our press release here, and stay tuned for more soon!
ICC prosecutor to open investigation into Afghanistan war crimes, implicating the US torture program
The ICC prosecutor announced on November 3 that she will seek to open an investigation into crimes by all forces operating in Afghanistan, including those involved in the U.S. torture program. This is an historic step for accountability coming after more than a decade of Afghan, U.S. and international civil society efforts. CCR has long worked to hold U.S. actors accountable for Bush-era torture in U.S. and foreign courts, and will be following developments out of The Hague closely.
As CCR Senior Staff Attorney Katherine Gallagher told The Guardian, “This long overdue message that no one is above the law is particularly important now, as the Trump administration ramps up military machinations in Afghanistan and embraces the endless war with no plan in sight."
CCR Changemakers Awards
This week, CCR celebrated the inaugural Changemakers Awards, bringing together activists, lawyers, storytellers, and our CCR community for an evening of conversation, music, and celebration of our work to transform the power structures that oppress vulnerable communities and build the power of social justice movements. At CCR, we believe that if you have an activist, a lawyer, and a storyteller, you can change the world — and the event highlighted the transformative possibilities of these collaborations.
Check out the photo blog here.
CCR Presents Letters from Detention at MOVE 2017 – An Arab American Summit for Social Change
CCR is thrilled to have a workshop, Letters from Detention: Performance & Talk-Back, this Saturday, November 18 at MOVE 2017 in Dearborn, Michigan — the first-of-its-kind national gathering of social change makers from across the Arab American community.
Letters from Detention is a moving theatrical event written and directed byJessica Blank and Erik Jensen (authors of The Exonerated and Aftermath), and wasadapted from a series of letters exchanged between CCR clients Yasser Ebrahim and Hany Ibrahim, two brothers who were rounded up as suspected terrorists and held at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn after 9/11. It will be performed by local artists and storytellers Samer Ajluni, Costa Kazaleh-Sirdenis, and Kamelya Youssef, with Sherrine Azab directing.
Yasser and Hany were detained, abused, and confined for months without any evidence of ties to terrorism, but rather based only on their race, religion, ethnicity, and immigration status. We filed a case in 2002 on behalf of them and other Muslim, Arab, and South Asian men held in the same conditions. After years of litigation, the case, Ziglar v. Abbasi, was argued at the Supreme Court on January 18, just days before Donald Trump came into office. In June, the Court issued a decision shielding high-level officials from personal accountability when they violate the Constitution in the name of “national security.”
CCR advocacy program manager Aliya Hussain will moderate a conversation with CCR senior staff attorney Rachel Meeropol and Dr. Maha Hilal after the performance, which will ask: what does accountability look like when courts look the other way? How do we protect the rights of MASA communities and immigrants, and what lessons have we learned from post-9/11 litigation and advocacy that can help us fight new threats?