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Dispatches from the Struggle with Leena Al-Arian & Daniel McGowan in Dialogue: Muslim & Active Political Prisoner Solidarity & the Intersections with Higher Education

April 7, 2022 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm


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Dispatches form the Struggle with Leena Al-Arian & Daniel McGowan in Dialogue: Muslim & Active Political Prisoner Solidarity & the Intersections with Higher Education

Date & Time: April 7th, 2022, at 6:00 p.m. EST

Join Dispatches from the Struggle in welcoming Leena Al-Arian and Daniel McGowan! They will bring their decades of experience to engage in dialogue on their intersecting and collaborative work defending the civil liberties and freedoms and advocating for the rights of Muslim & Activist political prisoners, with moderator Jamila Hammami, Co-Organizer of External and Labor Relations at the Adjunct Project

In 2011, it was revealed that CUNY personnel shared Muslim student records in violation of the Federal Educational Rights* and Privacy Act (FERPA) in support of the NYPD’s surveillance apparatus against Muslim students at CUNY.
Between 2003 and 2006, Baruch and Brooklyn Colleges deployed NYPD as undercover police in its Intelligence Division Cyber Unit. Additional police documents refer to the use of “secondary” undercovers at Hunter, CCNY, Queens, and LaGuardia. Undercover law enforcement attended and surveilled events put on by Muslim student groups, totaling seven CUNY Muslim Students Associations that were infiltrated. The surveillance apparatus resulted in devasting consequences on the education of Muslim students at CUNY. Through interviews, students noted fear of reports of fear of speaking in classes, engaging in-class activities, and experiencing constant fear of classmates and professor suspicion. Come and watch to learn more about how Muslim political prisoners are interconnected with spying in higher education.
Leena Al-Arian is a Palestinian-American organizer and human rights advocate based in Massachusetts. She is the Executive Director of the Coalition for Civil Freedoms (CCF), a survivor-led nonprofit advocacy organization that was founded in 2010 to challenge the abuses of the domestic “war on terror,” including the post-9/11 criminalization of Muslim communities, profiling, preemptive prosecution and the targeting of individuals based on manufactured or thought crimes, excessively harsh prison sentences, and inhumane prison conditions. Leena has worked at a number of human rights and civic engagement nonprofits including American Muslims for Palestine, United Voices, and the Middle East Children’s Alliance. She holds a master’s degree in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Chicago. She is a contributor to the volume, Being Palestinian: Personal Reflections on Palestinian Identity in the Diaspora (Edinburgh University Press, 2016).
Follow, learn more, & support Leena & CCF’s work: Leena’s Twitter, CCF’s Patreon, CCF’s Linktree.

Daniel McGowan is a former political prisoner and former member of the Earth Liberation Front (ELF). He spent 48 months in experimental Communication Management Units (CMUs) operated by the federal Bureau of Prisons during his seven year sentence. Daniel has been involved with political prisoner support and prison struggles for most of his activist life. He is currently a member of the Certain Days collective, NYC Books Through Bars and the Anarchist Black Cross Federation (ABCF). Daniel works on the campaign to defend and free anarchist political prisoner Eric King and is an advisory board member of the Civil Liberties Defense Center (CLDC) & the Coalition for Civil Freedoms. Daniel is a lifelong New Yorker and grew up in Far Rockaway, Queens, NYC. He works  professionally as a paralegal and consults with people preparing to go to prison and their family & friends in setting up defense committees.

Follow, learn more, & support Daniel’s work: Twitter, Patreon, & Linktree.


Check out these critical readings from the PSC-CUNY union as well as CAIR, the Intercept, and the film, Watched:
– NYPD Spy Scandal Hits CUNY: Muslim Students Target of Profiling by PSC-CUNY
– Muslims want answers on surveillance by PSC-CUNY
– New film uncovers pain of spying at BC by PSC-CUNY
– “I Feel Like a Despised Insect”: – Coming of Age Under Surveillance in New York. The Intercept. Theoharis, J. (2016, February 18).
– Mapping Muslims: NYPD Spying and Its Impact on American Muslims. CAIR. (2019).
– Watched by Mitchell, K. Collective Eye Films.

*As noted by The Institute of Education Sciences (IES) is the statistics, research, and evaluation arm of the U.S. Department of Education, “The penalty for non-compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA) can be withdrawal of U.S. Department of Education funds from the institution or agency that has violated the law. This applies to schools, school districts, and state education agencies. The Family Policy Compliance Office of the U.S. Department of Education, charged with reviewing and investigating complaints, seeks to promote voluntary compliance with the law. To date, findings of non-compliance have not resulted in such action”.

Dispatches from the Struggle is a series that focuses on intersectional community organizing and social movement struggles outside of CUNY that intersect with CUNY struggles. The Dispatches from the Struggle series was created to benefit CUNY adjuncts, graduate workers, and students through political education on critical issues that impact the CUNY community. Dispatches from the Struggle seeks to connect struggles and build solidarity and power across movements and is free and open to CUNY and the global community.

Questions? Contact the Co-Organizer of External & Labor Relations at the Adjunct Project and Founder & Organizer of Dispatches from the Struggle, Jamila Hammami, jamila.hammami[@]pm.me


April 7, 2022
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
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Jamila Hammami, Co-Organizer for External & Labor Relations

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