Media Advisory
September 19, 2003

Contact: Jonathan Adams, ARC, Tel: (646) 502-8843

Two Years After 9/11 South Bay Families Appeal to Leaders to Curb Excesses of National Security Policies

Santa Clara, CA—Two Years After 9/11 South Bay Families Appeal to Leaders to Curb Excesses of National Security Policies.

Sponsors: Japanese American Citizen’s League- San Jose Chapter; Muslim Community Association; Filipino Community Support (FOCUS); Council on American Islamic Relations; People’s Association of Workers and Immigrants; Services, Immigrant Rights and Education Network; Sikh Mediawatch and Resource Task Force, and the Applied Research Center

Thursday September 25, 2003, 6:30 p.m.- 9:00 p.m.

Muslim Community Association, 3003 Scott Blvd., Santa Clara, CA


Personal testimonies (partial list):
    •    Latino community activist talks about Latino immigrants who face heightened threats
    •    Filipino airport screeners who faced workplace discrimination
    •    A Hindu woman harassed by local law enforcement
    •    Middle Eastern men held in secret detention during Special Registration
    •    A Sikh college student harassed on campus
    •    A Japanese American connects World War II internment to current conditions

Panel of Witnesses:
    •    Meri Meben, District Director, Representative Mike Honda (D — CA)
    •    Assemblymember Manny Diaz (D — San Jose)
    •    Supervisor Pete McHugh, Santa Clara County
    •    Delorme McKee-Stovall, Director Santa Clara County Human Relations Commission
    •    Anabel Ibañez, Organizing Director South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council
    •    Reverend Juan Saavedra La Trinidad United Methodist Church

On Thursday, September 25, Representative Mike Honda’s Office and Assembly Member Manny Diaz join other leaders to hear testimony of racial profiling, discrimination, and harassment two years after the September 11, 2001 tragedy. The Applied Research Center and seven co-sponsoring community organizations will host The Public’s Truth.

"While the Department of Justice claims that their tactics are working, our stories reveal tragic outcomes. Special registration, increased surveillance, work place discrimination and harassment by law enforcement have reinforced a climate of fear, hatred and racial profiling that tears families apart," said Gina Acebo of the Applied Research Center.

Victims will share personal accounts of workplace discrimination and job loss, inhumane detention conditions, physical confrontation and emotional harassment by local law enforcement, and profiling of refugee communities. Testifiers will also discuss related experiences of the Japanese American community during World War II.

"We need community forums like the Public's Truth to cultivate greater community response to the new national policies that are hurting all of us, but especially immigrants and people of color," said Andrea Villasenor-Perry of the Services, Immigrant Rights, and Education Network.

According to the Santa Clara County Network for a Hate Free Community, the number of hate incidents reported in 2001 was 2500 percent higher than in 2000.
The Council on American Islamic Relations reported that anti-Muslim incidents in the United States increased by 15 percent in 2002.

Other community witnesses include Delorme McKee-Stovall of the Santa Clara County Human Relations Commission, Santa Clara County Board Supervisor Pete McHugh, Anabel Ibañez of the South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council, and Reverend Juan Saavedra La Trinidad United Methodist Church.

Kenzo Kimura, president of the San Jose Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League said, "Our community has known the harm of scapegoating when Japanese Americans were targeted during World War II. We are committed to protecting the basic civil and human rights of everyone."

Public’s Truth sessions have already taken place in Alameda and Los Angeles. Future events are planned for Chicago and Atlanta. View the The Public's Truth: Stories of Racial Profiling and the Attack on Civil Liberties here