Charges against Urooj Rahman and Colin Mattis should be dropped.
Last Monday, the Center for Constitutional Rights — along with a coalition of other civil rights organizations — released an open letter demanding that Urooj Rahman and Colin Mattis be released immediately and that the excessive and politically motivated charges against them be dropped.
The letter reads:
The undersigned civil and human rights organizations, legal associations, and policy institutes condemn the excessive and politically-motivated charges that the federal government is leveling against two members of our community, Colin Mattis and Urooj Rahman, and its aggressive effort to keep them imprisoned and separated from their families pending trial. In its attempt to use the courts and a case of alleged property damage to stifle a historic popular mobilization against systemic anti-Black racism, the United States Attorney’s Office only further exposes the injustices that gave rise to and sustain the mass protests. ...
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ICYMI: From Stonewall to Minneapolis: Fighting for Black, Queer, and Trans Liberation (and Winning!)
What a thrill it was to share virtual space with such titans in our movement, and share this moment with so many of you! It was a dynamic evening—the Zoom chat box was electric with brilliance and love all night long—and together we reaffirmed our collective commitment to creating a world where Black queer people, Black trans people, and Black disabled people can live, as panelist Hope Giselle prayerfully offered, “in the fullness of themselves.”
We learned from Stonewall veteran Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, author and activist Hope Giselle, co-founder of the Black Visions Collective Oluchi Omeoga, and co-author of 8 to Abolition K Agbebiyi, and together we reflected on and celebrated the fight for racial justice, queer justice, and trans liberation.
New alliance forms to protect free speech in Louisiana
In response to recent efforts to criminalize Louisiana families' First Amendment rights, a new alliance launched Thursday to defend democracy.
"We have fought hard for our constitutional rights and we take them seriously here in Louisiana," said Sharon Lavigne, a member of the newly formed Alliance to Defend Democracy. “We will not stand by as law enforcement and a toxic chemical company from Taiwan attempt to scare, silence, and intimidate us. We will not be silent.”
Lavigne was referring to Thursday’s arrest of local advocates who oppose the development of a toxic plastics plant in St. James Parish by Taiwan-based Formosa Plastics. The $9.4B plant would remove the ancestral burial grounds of enslaved people and drive up cancer rates in an area known as Cancer Alley.
Those being arrested for confronting Formosa include Anne Rolfes and Kate McIntosh. They were charged with “terrorizing” under Louisiana Revised Statute 14:40.1, which carries a punishment of up to 15 years and a fine of $15,000. They’re being represented by Senior Staff Attorney Pam Spees, Barrington Neil, Rachel Conner, and Bill Quigley.
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