4/1/2003 Newsletter


  • Omar Jamal Case
  • Unity Rally
  • Rickey Jones Trial

1) Omar Jamal Arrested and Held by FBI/INS:
Omar Jamal, a vocal leader of the Somali community, is being held by the INS ostensibly for putting incorrect information on an asylum application form that he filled out several years ago, in Tennessee, when he first came to the US.

Initially a Federal judge let him go on bail, but this arrest prompted the INS to put out their own warrant for Jamal. Since the Federal charges regard possible falsified records, INS has jumped to the conclusion that his asylum status is nullified. So, without trying his case, they have put him behind bars, apparently until a hearing is scheduled for him.

In the wake of the USA Patriot Act, the INS no doubt sees an opportunity to chill dissent by immigrants by holding Omar Jamal out as an example of what happens to someone who is "too vocal."

We understand that Peter Erlinder has been assisting Omar so we know that he has excellent legal representation. What he needs now is for the community to get behind him and put pressure on the INS. We will not let Omar Jamal be railroaded or scapegoated!

What YOU need to do:

Call INS in Bloomington, MN. 1 (800) 375-5283, or (612) 313-9020, ext. 0
Ask to speak with the district director. Politely but firmly let him/her know that Jamal is well-known in the community, not a flight risk, and should be released immediately. Let him/her know that many people are watching this case and that we insist he be given due process and treated fairly.

2) All 4/1 Unity Rally:
In light of Omar Jamal's detention and repressive measures being considered by the state legislature, today's rally has new importance. Please, please be there!

April 1, 2003 at 5:00 p.m.
State Capitol Rotunda, St. Paul

We're living in a climate of increased repression against immigrants, Muslims, political activists of all stripes, gays, women, people of color and just about everyone else who isn't white, rich and supportive of the status quo. We've seen them begin to pick us off one by one with secret detentions, FBI door knocks, forced registrations, police surveillance of political activity and other measures meant to chill our rights and scare others from standing with us.

The Minnesota State legislature is following the example of the federal government and giving itself broad new powers to lock us up and shut us down. One bill even encourages discrimination by requiring drivers' licenses to show a person's immigration status. WE MUST COME TOGETHER AS A COMMUNITY TO RESIST THESE POLICE STATE MEASURES!

There is a glimmer of hope: Some legislators are trying valiantly to stand strong against the repression. A bill has been introduced in the state legislature that would prevent police spying on political activities. We've got to let these brave legislators know "we got your back" and that we will be there to support the Anti-McCarthyism bill.

First they came for the communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a communist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up.
Pastor Martin Neimoeller

All 4/1 Unity Rally sponsored by the Civil Liberties Defense Coalition--many organizations that have come together to protect our civil liberties and Constitutional rights. For more information, call Roxana at 612-805-6457 or email at [email protected].


3) Rickey Jones' Trial Continues:
9:00 a.m. Daily
Hennepin County Government Center
Courtroom #1957
300 S 6th Street in downtown Mineapolis

The jury has been selected and the trial has started in the Rickey Jones case. This trial will continue daily until it has been completed. Plenty of opportunity to come by and show your support!

Rickey Jones is a professional photographer who has managed to capture on film incidents of Minneapolis Police abusing people in downtown Minneapolis. As a result, he has been targeted for harassment. The harassment has been carried out by four police officers in particular. He has been stopped repeatedly for phony traffic charges, etc. Although he has reported the harassment to the Civilian Review Authority repeatedly, they have dismissed all of his complaints without even investigating them.

Despite the harassment, Rickey continues to document police abuse on film. We need to stand with this courageous man!

Communities United Against Police Brutality
2104 Stevens Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55404
Hotline 612-874-STOP (7867)

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