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Intersctions of Race and the War on Terror

Panel discussion about the effects of the USA patriot act, racial profiling and civil rights in the post 9/11 era. Also, the upcoming Patriot Act 2!
On Thursday April 10th the organization Students acting for Justice (SAJ) organized a panel discussion held at UCSC to address the USA Patriot Act, racial profiling and civil rights in the Post 9/11 era. The event, Intersections of Race and the “War on Terror” featured panelists: Mark Schlosberg, the Police Practices Policy Director for the ACLU of Northern California, Saad Ahmad, Attorney at Law specializing in cases involving the INS and Mike Rotkin, UCSC Community studies lecturer and field study co-coordinator as well as member of the Santa Cruz City Council.

Schlosberg outlined four targets of the “war on terror”: (1) Core constitutional rights to due process and privacy are severely thrashed with the US Patriot Act ramroded through congress almost immediately after 9/11. (2) Racial profiling against people of Middle Eastern, Southeast Asian and Muslim descent. (3) Open Government- Ashcroft instructs the Freedom of Information Act be complied with as minimally as possible. (4) Political dissent- after 9/11 Ashcroft made the statement: “Anyone who asks questions supports terrorists.” The FBI can now monitor all gatherings, religious, political or recreational and anyone found “dissenting” could be labeled a “terrorist”

Ahmad then discussed how the broad language in the Patriot Act can incriminate virtually anyone. Different political or religious views can classify a person as a terrorist. He also detailed the special registration and interviews that men of Muslim descent must go through and stated “People’s dignity is being violated on a day to day basis.” Lastly, Ahmad outlined the upcoming Domestic Security Enhancement Act (USA Patriot Act 2). While it has yet to be introduced, in its draft form it would, among other things, strip US citizenship from immigrants based on association with various organizations and would allow for search and arrest without any kind of warrant whatsoever, only an administrative subpoena would be necessary.

Both speakers urged people to send letters to their congresspeople expressing their concern and dissent, to continue with civil protests, rallies and organizing and generally not to be silenced by fear. Our civil rights are up for discussion and our Bill of Rights has already been pushed aside.

This event was put on by the Students Acting for Justice (SAJ). If you would like to become involved with SAJ or get on their mailing list contact Nick at Nickof9 (at)

The Students Acting for Justice are committed to the following:

* Working to dismantle and deconstruct systems of
privilege and oppression with a focus on anti-racism.
SAJ recognizes action, dialogue, and the ongoing
process of self-education as means to [accomplish]

* Acknowledging and responding to the diversity and
complexity of privilege and oppression as they apply
to ourselves and to the communities in which we work.

* Learning from the wisdom and leadership of those who
have struggled before us and building coalitions with
those who are struggling today.

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change directions is needed.

* Working to dismantle and deconstruct systems of
privilege and oppression with a focus on anti-racism.
SAJ recognizes action, dialogue, and the ongoing
process of self-education as means to [accomplish]
this. Every communist and socalist country is built on oppression and privilege, Like our government they cannot exist with government workers living better and bisk in the spotlight of privilege. yet sound like you are missing something. we keep electing the same people to office and they keep us divided Racial the pit the poor against the rich and they live like the old king of Europe. We are taxed locally for school and the Federal government tax us once again for the same school. our problem a people who when they become government then they become our mothers and father. no different then any other socialist country or dicator, while you try to fight racism the steal us blind.


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