Intersections Between the ‘War on Crime’ & ‘War on Terror’: A Town Hall Discussion on Confronting Islamophobia & Repression

[NEW YORK, NY] The Campaign to End the New Jim Crow, in partnership with NCPCF, CAIR, DRUM NYC, The Sparrow Project and Justice by the Pen will present a historic “town hall” style discussion on state repression, the prison industrial complex, and the war on terror, This Thursday April 18th, at Riverside Church.  Constance Malcom (Mother of Ramarley Graham) and Yusef Salaam (wrongfully charged in the Central Park Jogger case) will join a dozen presenters —each with unique stories of imprisonment, entrapment, or experiences with clients who are currently imprisoned at facilities like Guantanamo Bay— and field questions from the community and press in an open space format.

The US’ “War on Drugs” and “War on Terror” have produced a parallel system of state violence and social control, manifested through unjust prosecutions and the mass incarceration of people of color. Join us on April 18th from 6:30-8:30pm for a historic town hall discussion wherein we will hear first-hand stories from former prisoners, family members, lawyers, intellectuals, historians and activists about excessive  sentences, discriminatory policing, suppression of political dissent, and mass incarceration.


Constance Malcom
Mother of the late Ramarley Graham. In February 2012, Graham was slain by NYPD officers while unarmed in his grandmother’s Bronx home.

Jazz Hayden
Community activist & founding member of the Campaign to End The New Jim Crow.

Yusef Salaam
Wrongfully convicted in the Central Park jogger case. Yusef sits on the board of the Campaign to End the Death Penalty, the advisory board for the Learn My History Foundation & Inspired People United for Children.

Shaheena Parveen
Mother of Matin Siraj, who was entrapped & charged as a terrorist in a fabricated NYPD plot to destroy NYC landmarks.

Ramzi Kassem
Lawyer representing multiple detainees at Guantánamo Bay, Bagram Airforce Base, & other US “Black Sites” & a supervisor of Creating Law  Enforcement Accountability & Responsibility (CLEAR) project at CUNY.

Amir Varick
Community Activist sentenced to 25 years to life for a non violent drug offense under the Rockefeller Drug Laws. Co-founder of People Assisting Positive Actions.

Faisal Hashmi
Co-founder of the Muslim Justice Initiative. Faisal’s brother, Fahad, was accused of providing material support to Al-Qaeda.  He is currently being held in solitary confinement at the Federal “Supermax” Prison, ADX-Florence, Colorado.

Sohail Daulatzai
Author of “Black Star, Crescent Moon” & Associate Professor of Film & Media Studies & African American Studies at the UC Irvine.

Noor Elashi
Writer, organic baker, activist & daughter of Holy Land Five political prisoner, Ghassan Elashi.

Andy Stepanian
Cofounder of The Sparrow Project.  Convicted as a terrorist in 2006 for his animal rights activism & served the last 6 months of a 36-month prison sentence in a Federal Communications Management Unit (CMU).

Alicia McWilliams
Activist & Aunt of Newburgh 4 defendant, David Williams.

Fahd Ahmed
Legal & Policy Director of Desis Rising Up and Moving (DRUM), NYC.

Steve Downs
Executive Director of the National Coalition to Protect Civil Freedoms and lawyer in the ‘US vs. Yassin Aref’ case.

WHAT: Town Hall Discussion
WHEN: Thursday, April 18, 2013 |  6:30pm-8:30pm
WHERE: Riverside Church Assembly Hall | 490 Riverside Drive, New York, New York 10027
INFO:  Facebook RSVP |

To arrange an interview with any of the speakers & presenters please email or text Andy Stepanian at or 631.291.3010