Join the Fordham students in court as they fight for their right to organize an SJP club on campus
In a case asking a Manhattan court to direct Fordham University to recognize Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) as an official club, students at Fordham filed their reply to the university's opposition to their motion for a preliminary injunction on Friday. The motion asks the court to direct Fordham to recognize SJP immediately since some of the students will soon graduate. The hearing on this motion, together with Fordham's motion to dismiss the lawsuit, is scheduled for January 3.
Represented by the Center for Constitutional Rights, Palestine Legal, and cooperating counsel Alan Levine, the students' reply also argues that Fordham has deprived students of their freedom to advocate for causes in which they believe without arbitrary censorship by college officials, a right guaranteed by Fordham's own policies.
Petitioner Sofia Dadap is expected to graduate in May 2018, and petitioner Julie Norris is expected to graduate in May 2019. The reply brief reaffirms that without injunctive relief, the students will continue to suffer irreparable harm. The students first filed suit in April, and the university has since moved to dismiss the case.
You can support the Fordham students by joining in court at 2:30 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018 at the Manhattan Civil Courthouse (111 Center Street, Rm 1127B, New York, NY). Use the hashtag #DefendFordhamSJP to follow the proceedings if you are unable to attend in person.
Former Olympia Food Co-op board members move to end seven-year lawsuit over boycott of Israeli goods
CCR called for a Washington State court Tuesday to end a seven-year litigation battle against former volunteer board members of the Olympia Food Cooperative over their decision to boycott Israeli goods as part of the global Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel for violations of international law and the denial of Palestinian human rights. The lawsuit was first filed in 2011 in a Washington State court by five co-op members seeking to block the co-op's boycott and to collect monetary damages against the board members, claiming that they had acted beyond the scope of their authority and breached their fiduciary duties.
The motion argues that it is past time for the protracted and burdensome litigation to end; the board had the authority to pass the boycott, as previous courts have found, and not a single defendant remains a board member of the co-op. The filing comes as the current board of directors of the co-op passed a resolution on November 16, 2017, affirming that the litigation, which was purportedly brought on behalf of the co-op, was not approved by the co-op, is not in the co-op's interest, and should be dismissed.
FOIA: Military presence and counterterrorism operations in Central and West Africa
The Center for Constitutional Rights filed a Freedom of Information Act request seeking immediate release of documents relating to the United States' military presence and counterterrorism operations in Central and West Africa. Over the last few years, there has been an alarming expansion of U.S. military bases, troops, and Special Operations forces in the region. Yet, the public has far too little information about U.S. activity in what is clearly a new front in the government's unrestrained and ever-expanding global "War on Terror." At the same time the U.S. military footprint in Central and West Africa is growing, the Trump administration has relaxed the rules governing the use of military force that are designed to protect civilians and restrict U.S. drone strikes and ground raids.
A recently-concluded Memorandum of Understanding between the U.S. and Niger allowing armed U.S. drones to be flown from Nigerien territory is among the documents CCR is seeking, along with agreements with key regional governments pertaining to U.S. authority to conduct armed counterterrorism operations in their respective countries, and statistical information about the number of U.S. troops, counterterrorism operations, and casualties.
Former Police Commissioner Ray Kelly not fit for Counterterrorism Advisory Council
CCR and Desis Rising Up and Moving (DRUM), joined by a number of national and New York-based organizations, sent a letter last Monday to New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo regarding the appointment of Former New York Police Comissioner Raymond Kelly to a new counterterrorism advisory council.
In addition to the letter, CCR shared on social media the top five reasons Kelly shouldn't advise the government in shaping New York's counterterrorism response. They are:
- Former NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly's legacy is fraught with discriminatory policies targeting communities of color; he should not be one of only three advisors on Cuomo's new NY counterterrorism advisory council.
- Kelly's two signature initiatives at the helm of the NYPD—the racially discriminatory stop-and-frisk program, and the Muslim suspicionless surveillance program—harmed millions of NYers and failed to make anyone safer.
- A federal court described the Muslim surveillance Kelly directed as akin to the treatment of Japanese-Americans during World War II when they overturned it—but Kelly still says it was necessary "to protect the City," even though it did not produce a single criminal lead.
- Under Kelly's leadership, the NYPD implemented a decade-long program of racially discriminatory stops and frisks against Black and Latino New Yorkers that was ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge—but he defends it to this day.
Ray Kelly's legacy of anti-Muslim, discriminatory, and unconstitutional policing makes him unfit to serve on Cuomo's counterterrorism advisory council. @NYGovCuomo, rescind the appointment!