October 2017 Digest – #BosCops Volunteers Needed, Upcoming and Past Events!

Salaam friends – apologies for the delay in this update, but we’ve been quite busy here at MJL. As some of you know, I (Fatema) joined the team recently as the Deputy Director. I’m new to Boston and really excited to be building community with you all! 

We send our wishes for peace, stamina and justice in these difficult times.  Read on for updates about our upcoming events — but first an update about an advocacy initiative and volunteer opportunity that we’d love your help with! If you’re interested in other collaborative work connecting the unjust criminalization of marginalized communities, please reach out to me.

#BosCops Election 2017 and Demands to Boston Police Department
  • With 29 endorsements, we have recently reiterated demands originally sent to BPD on June 20, 2017. The demands include:
    • BPD end participation in so-called “countering violent extremism” programs, like the new Youth and Police Initiative Plus program
    • Change its privacy policy to forbid the collection and sharing of information about people not suspected of crimes & cease collaboration with the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force.
    • Endorse the Safe Communities Act
    • You can read more about these demands (and share widely) here
  • Whether or not BPD responds to those demands, at a time when all marginalized communities are under increased attacks from the current federal administration, it is critical that we understand how our local policing practices exacerbate these issues and what our elected officials will do to ensure the safety of communities of color, including immigrants and Muslims.
    • We’ve sent all of the Boston mayoral and city council candidates a questionnaire on a range of policing and surveillance issues, due back on October 11.
    • WHAT YOU CAN DO: Take a look at tinyurl.com/boscops to read up on these issues and potential solutions. Then use the calendar in the toolkit to go to an election event and ask them where they stand! Or engage them on social media and then report back to us on what you hear.

Upcoming Events:

  • Resisting Surveillance ForumFriday, October 13 6:00 – 8:00 p.m in Minneapolis.  
    • We’ll be joining Young Muslim Collective in Minneapolis to discuss the effects of surveillance, particularly from CVE across our communities. We’ll also discuss organizing tactics, highlighting wisdom from CAGE’s expertise with Prevent, the British model of CVE. This is part of a national collaborative series across five cities, which will come to Boston on December 6! More details: https://resistingsurveillance.org/
  • Out of Many, One,  Sunday October 22, 2pm-4pm at Temple Beth Zion.
    • ISBCC Teach-in & Solidarity w/ Muslim Community – we’ll be speaking on solidarity needed in opposing institutionalized racism and Islamophobia locally.
  • Resisting Surveillance Forum – Boston, Wednesday December 6.
    • Details TBD but it’ll be an exciting panel discussion!

Recent News and Events

  • We implemented a mock checkpoint downtown raising awareness around surveillance of people of color, queer people and Muslims. We worked closely with Asian American Resource Workshop and other organizations on this. The event engaged many people and we look forward to other creative collaborations to end surveillance and profiling in all of its forms. Read more here!
  • Wrote and published a statement endorsed by Muslim and POC organizations and individuals regarding the push to expand CVE to include white supremacist groups. We also spoke to this issue here.
  • Participated in Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Transformative Justice series, speaking to harm and healing around 9/11. You can watch Fatema’s section, or the whole panel, here.
Help Sustain MJL's Work for Justice!
MJL advocates for human and civil rights that are threatened under national security pretexts, through community education
 and organizing, and legal and policy advocacy.  MJL is grateful for donations of any size, online or by check, to invest 
in our continued impact. MJL is a recognized independent 501(c)(3) organization (FEIN 47-4049679), and donations are 
tax-exempt to the extent allowable by law.
When the FBI Knocks.
MJL provides free legal representation to those contacted for interviews with FBI or Joint Terrorism Task Force agents.  
Anyone, including those with "nothing to hide," can suffer serious harms from speaking to an agent without counsel. 
Instead of answering even casual questions, you can politely tell the agent your lawyer will be in touch. 
Then call MJL's Hotline: 857-256-1310. To see an example of how to handle an FBI visit, watch this Muslim Advocates video.
*** To request a Know Your Rights workshop covering rights at the airport or border and in relation to other law enforcement, 
contact MJL at info@muslimjusticeleague.org.  See also: https://www.muslimjusticeleague.org/flyingtraveling-while-muslim/ ***