Browsing Category 'Civil Rights'

Remembering Ramon Velasquez

Ramon Velasquez crossed over on March 27th at a nursing home in Staten Island. He was a longterm survivor of HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C and a fierce community activist. A service will be held on March 29th from 6pm – 8pm at Brooklyn Funeral home at 2380 Pacific Street. Ramon is survived by his brother, daughter, […]

Brooklyn Rail

Fear of the First Amendment  by Theodore Hamm | February 2012 Over the past decade the issue of whether former prisoners should regain their full rights of citizenship has moved to the forefront of criminal justice debates. “Jarvious Cotton cannot vote,” reads the opening sentence of Michelle Alexander’s best-selling work The New Jim Crow. Cotton is […]

Metro: NYPD announces body scanning technology testing

NYPD announces body scanning technology testing Emily Anne Epstein / Metro January 18, 2012 1:18 a.m. Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly announced that the NYPD is pursuing a controversial new technology in the war against illegal guns: body-scanning devices. “There are still far too many guns in New York, too many murders, and too many shootings,” Kelly […]

New Year’s Rally for NYPD Accountability

New Year’s Rally for NYPD Accountability Join elected officials and community leaders for a rally and press conference as we make a New Year’s Resolution rededicating our efforts to the police accountability movement! Tell Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Kelly that we demand they recognize the discrimination against communities of more color codified in the NYPD […]

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | December 2, 2011 Media Contact: Ramon Velasquez, (347) 683-6747 / Sean Barry, (646) 373-3344, sean@vocal-ny.org Formerly Incarcerated Activists Praise New York State Supreme Court Decision Rejecting Prison-Based Gerrymandering Lawsuit Statement by VOCAL-NY leader Ramon Velasquez.  (Ramon was incarcerated in Attica during the 2000 Census count and subsequent legislative redistricting. Ramon helped lead VOCAL-NY’s successful grassroots campaign to […]

Alfredo crowd

(A national Associated Press story on the link between the NYPD’s practice of stop and frisks and racially biased marijuana arrests features an interview with VOCAL-NY community organizer Alfredo Carrasquillo. Working with our allies at the Drug Policy Alliance and Institute for Juvenile Justice Reform and Alternatives, VOCAL-NY recently forced the NYPD to issue new […]

Cardona Sign

By Trinna Leong | October 19, 2011 Last night’s big Occupy Wall Street incident was the arrest of feminist and activist Naomi Wolf outside a Soho event space. But the evening actually got started when protesters from Occupy Wall Street and VOCAL NY marched to the Manhattan District Attorney’s office to demand investigation into the “unprovoked […]

Rev. Jesse Jackson with Felix and Jaron

Felix was interviewed by Keith Olberman on Countdown on October 19th to discuss the unprovoked assault on him by NYPD Deputy Inspector Johnny “Fists” Cardona. The police are still trying to arrest Felix on fabricated charges in order to cover up the assault. Watch what happened during the Occupy Wall Street march when Felix was attacked and his explanation […]

Ramon and AM Jeffries PBG

The Prison Policy Initiative (PPI) honored VOCAL-NY, along with Assembly Member Hakeem Jeffries, for our grassroots organizing to end prison-based gerrymandering at a reception on October 11, 2011. Prison-based gerrymandering is the practice of counting prison inmates where they are incarcerated instead of their home communities for the purpose of drawing legislative districts. It dilutes […]

Alfredo Carrasquillo

In response to mounting pressure, NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly told police officers on September 19th to follow the law and stop making costly and racially biased marijuana arrests, now the number one arrest in New York City. This could translate into tens of thousands of fewer arrests among Black and Latino youth each year. We […]

IMG_20110922_090130

Drug and alcohol overdose deaths now exceed traffic fatalities and homicides as a leading cause of premature death in New York.  And while they are almost always preventable, drug war policies create major barriers to common sense solutions. On the morning of September 23rd, VOCAL-NY members protested an appearance by Obama’s “Drug Czar,” Gil Kerlowkowske, […]

Watch the video and read the full post online at NY1. Here’s an excerpt of the interview with VOCAL-NY community Organizer Alfredo Carrasquillo: Last year, 27-year old Alfredo Carrasquillo was walking on the street near his apartment in Harlem when he ran into two police officers. “A police officer runs up on me and asks […]