Session Type(s): Panel
Training Tag(s): Foreign Policy & National Security
Starts: Saturday, Jun. 9 4:30 PM (Eastern)
Ends: Saturday, Jun. 9 4:30 PM (Eastern)
Room: Ballroom C
Our national security infrastructure continues to evolve in ways that erode civil liberties protections built over decades. Between the continued renewals of the Patriot Act, the recent passage of the NDAA, revelations about the FBI’s use of informants and the CIA operating domestically, there are a number of reasons to be concerned. Attend this panel to learn more about what has changed over the last 10 years and hear from activists who are pushing back to protect themselves, their communities and all of us.
For video of this panel, check this CAIRArizona youtube playlist.
Storified by Netroots Nation · Sat, Jun 09 2012 16:47:03
Zahra Billoo serves as the Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, San Francisco Bay Area (CAIR-SFBA) office, the oldest and one of the largest CAIR chapter offices. Since joining in 2009, Zahra has led the organization through a period of six-fold growth. Today, she manages one of the largest CAIR offices in the country with a team of civil rights and social justice advocates dedicated to the empowerment of American Muslims through legal services, legislative advocacy, and community organizing.
Under Zahra’s leadership, CAIR-SFBA has filed lawsuits against the United States Department of Justice, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Southwest Airlines, representing American Muslims facing discriminatory treatment. CAIR-SFBA has also significantly expanded its capabilities to provide know-your-rights sessions on a nearly weekly basis to mosques and community members in the San Francisco Bay Area, while also providing direct legal representation to Bay Area residents facing numerous civil rights violations, including FBI interviews, employment discrimination, airport harassment, school bullying, and hate crimes.
Zahra earned her undergraduate degrees from the California State University, Long Beach, and her Juris Doctorate from the University of California, Hastings. She is licensed to practice law in California.
Shahid Buttar leads the Bill of Rights Defense Committee and a national grassroots network in their efforts to defend civil liberties and constitutional rights threatened by law enforcement and intelligence agencies. He is a constitutional scholar, grassroots organizer, civil rights lawyer, independent columnist, movement strategist, hip-hop and electronica MC, and poet. Buttar received his J.D. from Stanford Law School in 2003, where he served as executive editor of the Stanford Environmental Law Journal and Larry Lessig’s teaching assistant for Constitutional Law. Shahid’s comments have been featured by news outlets including The Washington Post, The New York Times, USA Today, CNN, al-Jazeera, FOX News, Agence-France Presse, Huffington Post, Truthout, Democracy Now!. In addition to his work leading BORDC, Shahid serves on the advisory bodies of the Rights Working Group, the National Coalition to Protect Civil Freedoms, the National Campaign to Restore Civil Rights, and South Asian Americans Leading Together.
Rose Regina Lawrence was the daytime coordinator for OWS Jail Support from October 2011 through May 2012 and was largely responsible for developing the response system that Jail Support uses. She is a founding member of Building Bridges for Collective Liberation, a new group coming out of Occupy that is focused on developing tools and trainings to help activists and members of targeted communities empower themselves through increased legal literacy. She has been involved in anti-authoritarian organizing since 2003. Her past affiliations include: starting a squatted infoshop and zine library at Simon’s Rock College, active member of her local indymedia collective, organizing with the Radical Students Union at UMass Amherst, member of the Wooden Shoe Collective, founding member of the NYC Consent Working Group, and very proud activist legal worker member of the NYC chapter of the National Lawyers Guild. She also reads comix, plays board games, geeks out about telecom tech, knits, spins, sews, and otherwise crafts whenever she can figure out the time for it in and her busy schedule of agitating for radical change and resisting government repression.
Cyrus McGoldrick is an American Muslim activist and lyrical artist of Iranian and Irish descent. A recent graduate of Columbia University, he is now the Civil Rights Manager at the New York chapter of CAIR, the Council on American Islamic Relations. Cyrus also serves on the Advisory Council for Getting Out & Staying Out, a program dedicated to helping young men coming out of prison stay out of prison, and he performs original music as The Raskol Khan, blending reggae and jazz melodies with hip-hop lyrics and Islamic activism.
Linda Sarsour is a working woman, community activist, and mother of three. Ambitious, outspoken and independent, Linda shatters stereotypes of Muslim women while also treasuring her religious and ethnic heritage. She is a Palestinian Muslim American and a self-proclaimed “pure New Yorker, born and raised in Brooklyn!” Currently she is the National Advocacy Director for the National Network for Arab American Communities (NNAAC) and locally serving as the Director of the Arab American Association of New York, a social service agency serving the Arab community in NYC. Linda has been at the forefront of public debate on the NYPD’s blanket surveillance of the Muslim community. She has been featured in local, national, and international media. Linda’s strengths are in the areas of community development, youth empowerment, community organizing, civic engagement and immigrants’ rights advocacy.