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Friday, April 24, 2009

Join IJSP in supporting the Domestic Workers Week of Action!

With a Democratic majority in the New York legislature for the first time in decades, we all believe THIS IS THE YEAR TO PASS THE DOMESTIC WORKERS' BILL OF RIGHTS. We have no illusions about the Democratic party or view them as our saviors - as a result it will still take our effort and voices to urge them to pass this much needed legislation that will help confront a history of slavery and indignity!

Check the link for more info. A very busy and important week, indeed!

April 25th: March & Rally - 11am - 1pm. Gather @ 86th Street between Park and Lexington

April 25th: Exit Cuckoo benefit performance. $25 tickets (proceed portion goes to DWU). 410 W. 42 St.

April 27th: National Call-in Day of Action.

April 28th: Domestic Workers Take Action in Albany. ALBANY LOBBY DAY. Buses leave Union Square at 6:30am and return at 7:30pm.

More info here:

Thursday, February 12, 2009

IJSP Members Travel to Albany for the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights!

Members of IJSP traveled up to Albany - the state capital of New York - on Tuesday to meet & lobby state legislators to support and pass the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights.

This was the 5th legislative session that Domestic Workers United (DWU) has lobbied state legislators for passage of the Bill of Rights. For the first time in decades, the state legislature is controlled by the Democratic Party. Though many Democratic legislators still stand in the way of justice, dignity and reparations for domestic workers, it is our hope that the change in political party control will provide more space and chance for passage of the Bill of Rights THIS YEAR.

It was a cold, but exciting day as 4 buses filled up at 6:30am at Union Square in Manhattan and made the trip up to Albany. We met with over 50 state legislators, held a press conference and had a march around the capital square.

There are still a number of ways that you can support the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights:
  • You can join IJSP members for our monthly phone outreach to help build the membership base of DWU
  • You can help IJSP plan and conduct neighborhood canvassing in support of the Bill of Rights
  • You can join IJSP, DWU and others for the NEXT Albany Action Day! The exact date is not set yet, but will occur in late April
  • Have an idea or skill you'd like to share? Let us know!

Another example of the importance of CopWatch!

Below is an article from the New York Times today that presents the importance of video taping police interactions in the community.

To get involved with a city wide effort in doing Cop Watch, you can get more info on Peoples' Justice website - - and you contact us!

February 12, 2009

An Officer Is Accused of Beating a Suspect


Last July, Police Officer David London arrested a man in the Upper West Side building where he lived with his mother, accusing him of resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.

But the building's surveillance video told a different story, District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau <

orgenthau/index.html?inline=nyt-per> said Wednesday.

It showed Officer London pulling the man out of an elevator, Mr.

Morgenthau said, and beating him 18 to 20 times with a baton. The beating continued even after the man, Walter Harvin, fell to the ground, Mr. Morgenthau said. And even after Mr. Harvin was in handcuffs, Officer London delivered another eight to 10 blows, some with his feet, Mr.

Morgenthau said.

Officer London, 43, has been indicted on charges of assault and filing false records and pleaded not guilty on Wednesday in State Supreme Court in Manhattan. He was released without bail. If convicted he faces up to seven years in prison.

Stephen C. Worth


worth/index.html?inline=nyt-per> , his lawyer, said Officer London "maintains his innocence strenuously."

Mr. Worth said his client was a 16-year veteran of the force assigned to a housing unit and is married with three children. He also has an exemplary record as a police officer, Mr. Worth added.

Daniel J. Castleman, the chief assistant district attorney, said, "We will dispute that," but he declined to give details.

Mr. Worth said it was important to put the video of the beating in the context of what happened before and after it was captured.

"Oftentimes the videotape is the beginning of the story, not the end,"

Mr. Worth said.

Several officers have been indicted in recent months after videos contradicted their accounts of how they made arrests. In December an officer was indicted <> on assault and other charges after a video showed him shoving a bicyclist in Times Square. Last month two undercover narcotics officers were charged with lying about a drug sting <> after a nightclub video showed they had had no contact with four men they arrested. Prosecutors dropped charges against the bicyclist and the four men after the videos came to light.

In Officer London's case, prosecutors said they could not release the video, which came from surveillance cameras, to the public because it was part of the evidence. But they said it captured the episode in detail.

The confrontation took place on July 28, 2008, when Mr. Harvin, 29, an Iraq war veteran, was trying to get into his apartment building, a public housing project <> , at 93rd Street and Amsterdam Avenue, Mr. Morgenthau said. Officer London stopped him and asked for his identification. Mr. Harvin did not have any, nor did he have his key to the building, Mr. Morgenthau said, and he got into a shoving match with Officer London.

Mr. Harvin made it to the elevator, where the assault began, Mr.

Morgenthau said. Mr. Harvin was arrested on charges of resisting arrest and disorderly conduct, but prosecutors dropped the charges last September after the surveillance video contradicted Officer London's account.

Mr. Harvin suffered bruises and welts on his arms, back and head, Mr.

Morgenthau said. Afterward, Mr. Harvin became homeless and drifted about the country, and prosecutors could not find him, Mr. Morgenthau said.

But a lawyer representing Mr. Harvin informed the district attorney's office Wednesday that he was back in New York.

"He's a fragile person," said the lawyer, Adam Orlow, who added that Mr.

Harvin suffered post-traumatic stress disorder from his time in Iraq.

"He became only worse after this incident."

He said he would file a civil rights lawsuit in federal court in Manhattan within the next two weeks.

Officer London was placed on modified duty shortly after the episode and was suspended without pay because of the indictment.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Help Canvass for the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights!

JOIN members of IJSP and Domestic Workers United for mid-day canvassing for the Domestic Worker Bill of Rights!

Particularly with the balance of power shift in the New York state legislature,
THIS IS THE YEAR to make the Domestic Worker Bill of Rights pass!

Help make it happen!