It was on this day in 1948 that member countries of the UN General Assembly, including the U.S., adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. During and since its founding, the U.S. has violated what is now considered human rights law and these violations continue today.
As the Obama administration continues to uphold and, in some cases, expand policies of the Bush administration that militarize our communities and incarcerate and torture people on the basis of race, religion, or ethnic identity, we are seeing the lengths that the U.S. government will go to in order to justify its “war on terror.”
Speakers at the NYC event on FBI entrapment
On December 4, the War Resisters League in collaboration with South Asia Solidarity Initiative and the Coney Island Avenue Project hosted an event on FBI entrapment in so-called “homegrown terror” cases in New York and New Jersey. Our event brought together members of the South Asian community in Brooklyn, friend, family members, and supporters of people incarcerated on “domestic terrorism” charges in NY and NJ, and members of the African-American community, including organizers with the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, who have experienced and witnessed FBI entrapment for many years.
Members of Coney Island Avenue Project speak on Dec. 4
Community members participated in a screening of the film “Entrapped,” by Democracy Now! journalist Anjali Kamat and Jacquie Soohen of Big Noise Films, and joined us along with Anjali Kamat for a discussion afterward about the ongoing struggle against FBI entrapment in the U.S. We were also joined by Bobby Khan, organizer with the Coney Island Avenue Project, an organization formed in November 2001 to advocate for South Asian and Muslim communities who have suffered from the anti-immigrant backlash in the wake of 9/11, Alicia McWilliams, aunt of one of the Newburgh Four, and Kamau Franklin, lawyer with the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement.
As cases of FBI entrapment are revealed again and again, it becomes imperative that we work in our local communities to support the organizing of those most targeted by the FBI, including Muslims and people of color, and to question dominant U.S. state narratives about “homegrown terror.” The ongoing evidence of agent provocateurs organizing terrorist plots, recruiting in many cases young Muslim men through months of intense pressure and financial assistance, and convicting those people as terrorists speaks to the extent of the U.S. commitment to creating a domestic climate of fear of Muslims in service to U.S. war and occupation abroad.
On Human Rights Day, push the U.S. government to be accountable to the principles that it violates on a daily basis, as it takes away the lives and freedom of innocent people living here in order to justify the need to take away the lives and freedoms of people living in other countries.
To find out how to host a similar fiLm screening or event in your area, contact WRL Organizing Coordinator Kimber Heinz at firstname.lastname@example.org.