A four-month hunger strike, mass force-feedings, and widespread media coverage have brought Guantanamo back into American consciousness. Still unnoticed and out of the news, however, is a comparable situation in the U.S. itself, involving a pattern of controversial terrorism trials that result in devastating prison sentences involving the harshest forms of solitary confinement.
Revelations about the NYPD’s surveillance of Muslims across the Northeast has prompted eight Americans in a Muslim advocacy group to file a suit demanding the department stop its monitoring and intelligence gathering program. “Democracy Now!” speaks with Glenn Katon (above), the group’s legal adviser.
It’s safe to assume that Big Brother would still have prevailed over Winston Smith had the ill-fated protagonist of George Orwell’s dystopian novel “1984” been helped by public defender Stephen Downs. But we have reason to believe that Downs, who represents Muslim activists in trials that amount to little more than terrorist witch hunts, would not have backed down.
New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly’s involvement in a blatantly anti-Muslim film used to train cadets has leaders of Muslim-American groups calling for his resignation. Debbie Almontaser, who chairs the Muslim Consultative Network, documents some of the NYPD’s acts of aggression against the Muslim community.