Political Repression & Civil Liberties post 9/11
What effect has the “The War on Terror” had on free expression and grassroots political organizing in Maryland and across the United States since 9/11? Come to a public forum sponsored by Montgomery County Civil Rights Coalition and hear from citizen organizers working to advance their causes and protect their rights.
Wheaton Regional Library
11701 Georgia Ave, Silver Spring, MD (map)
Thursday, April 18, 7pm
- Kit Bonson (MCCRC) – Overview of civil liberties issues on a national scale and introduction of other speakers
- Saqib Ali (CAIR-MD) – police profiling and pre-emptive prosecution/entrapment of Arab/Muslim communities as well as other targeted communities/groups
- Megan Jenny (Chesapeake Climate Action Network) – on harassment/prosecutions of environmental activists
- Max Obuszewski (Baltimore Nonviolence Center) – Maryland State Police infiltration of MD activists and similar events since then.
- Sue Udry (Defending Dissent) – drawing the connections between movement experiences; future directions and coalition goals, especially regarding MCCRC’s “Rapid Response Network” in case local activists or others are targeted by local, state or federal agents
The speakers’ remarks will be followed by a Q&A period.
Saqib Ali is Government Affairs director for CAIR Maryland (Council on American Islamic Relations) and has lived in Montgomery County for the past 20 years during which time he earned a Bachelors and Master’s Degree in Computer Science from the University of Maryland. Saqib is a practicing Software Engineer. He is married and has two young daughters. In 2006, after a long history of community activism, Saqib Ali ran for public office. He defeated an 8-year incumbent in a Democratic Primary election to claim a seat in the Maryland House of Delegates. He is the first Muslim ever elected to public office in Maryland.
Megan Jenny is the Maryland Field Coordinator for the Chesapeake Climate Action Network. Megan was born and raised in northern NJ and graduated from Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA with a degree in English. Before joining the CCAN team, she organized in Connecticut and Massachusetts with Toxics Action Center, where she worked on local campaigns to fight polluting facilities, proposals for pesticide spraying and to clean up and prevent contamination in drinking water sources. She moved to D.C. to organize with The DC Project (now Groundswell) and recruit homeowners to invest in energy efficiency measures. As Field Coordinator, Megan oversees the grassroots organizing around CCAN’s legislative campaigns in Maryland to reduce climate pollution and bring clean energy to the state.
Max Obuszewski’s educational background includes a BSEE and an MBA. His rap sheet totals some 70 arrests and a few jail sentences, including one for six months for protesting Persian Gulf War I. His lifestyle is simple, and his political beliefs include pacifism, anarchism and vegetarianism. As a nonviolent activist who engages in direct action, he has attracted the attention of FBI agents, members of various police forces and NSA operatives. He has served time twice after arrests at the Central Intelligence Agency. Some of the groups he works with are the Pledge of Resistance-Baltimore, the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance, and Chesapeake Physicians for Social Responsibility.
Sue Udry is the executive director of the Defending Dissent Foundation, a national organization dedicated to protecting the right to protest, organize, and speak out. Over a quarter of a century working for peace and social justice has taught Sue that the right to dissent is crucial to expanding democracy, promoting justice, and enlarging the global human rights perspective. Sue is on the board of the National Coalition to Protect Civil Freedoms and the National Coalition to Protect Student Privacy. She is treasurer of the DC chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, and an advisor to the Charity and Security Network.
Let us know you’re coming and invite friends at our Facebook event page. You can also mark your Google calendar here. We look forward to seeing you!