Sunday, April 29, 2012

Liberty Speaker Series - FRIENDS OF JUSTICE, DFW/NORML and LEAP !!!

Thursday, May 17, 2012, 7:00 PM

Hampton Inn and Suites, 2700 Green Oaks Road (Interstate 30 and Green Oaks Road), Fort Worth, TX

This is going to be incredible.  An eye-opener. 

The Tarrant County Libertarian Party is kicking off its Liberty Speaker Series with a discussion of The New Jim Crow Laws - speakers will include Dr. Alan Bean of Friends Of Justice, Shaun McAlister of DFW NORML, and Larry S. Talley of LEAP.

As the United States celebrates its “triumph over race” with the election of Barack Obama, the majority of black men in major urban areas are under correctional control or saddled with criminal records for life. Jim Crow laws were wiped off the books decades ago, but today an extraordinary percentage of the African American community is warehoused in prisons or trapped in a parallel social universe, denied basic civil and human rights— including the right to vote, the right to serve on juries, and the right to be free of legal discrimination in employment, housing, access to education and public benefits.

Today, it is no longer socially permissible to use race explicitly as a justification for discrimination, exclusion, and social contempt. Yet, as legal scholar Michelle Alexander has demonstrated, it is perfectly legal to discriminate against convicted criminals in nearly all the ways in which it was once legal to discriminate against African Americans. Once labeled a felon, even for a minor drug crime, the old forms of discrimination are suddenly legal again. In her words, “we have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it.”

Dr. Alan Bean is the Executive Director of Friends of Justice, a criminal justice reform organization that specializes in narrative intervention. Dr. Bean was serving a Methodist church as an interim pastor when 46 people were arrested in Tulia, Texas on the uncorroborated word of a corrupt undercover officer. Dr. Bean’s articulate public protest transformed him into an advocate for criminal justice reform. In 2006, Dr. Bean’s work led to the exoneration of a Louisiana family convicted of running a crack cocaine ring on the perjured testimony of convicted drug dealers. Dr. Bean researched the story of six juvenile defendants in Jena LA, bringing public scrutiny to Jena and creating the biggest civil rights protest since the March on Washington. He is now working on a murder case in Mississippi that has gone to trial six times.

Shaun McAlister is the Executive Director of DFW NORML (National Organization For Reform Of Marijuana Laws). He is a graduate of the Art Institute of Dallas, and has worked in web design since 2004. Now employed by a full-service marketing firm, doing video and web design work, he enjoys applying that marketing skill set to his volunteer work with NORML. Mr. McAlister notes that his most difficult but satisfactory achievement has been to persuade businesses and corporations to openly support NORML and its mission.

Larry S. Talley is a member of LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition), a group of current and former members of law enforcement who believe the existing drug policies have failed in their intended goals of addressing the problems of crime, drug abuse, addiction, juvenile drug use, stopping the flow of illegal drugs into this country and the internal sale and use of illegal drugs. Mr. Talley served in the United States Navy from 1987-2007 as an intelligence specialist and was stationed at Naval Special Warfare Unit Eight in the Republic of Panama from 1991-1996. While stationed in Panama, he deployed frequently to various locations in Central and South America in support of counterdrug operations, where he formulated and implemented eradication strategy in conjunction with the Drug Enforcement Agency and with many countries in the region. As a result of these experiences, Mr. Talley joined Law Enforcement Against Prohibition shortly after leaving military service.

Dr. Bean, our keynote speaker, will open our event with a description of the infamous Tulia, Texas drug raid, his role in the aftermath, and the formation of Friends Of Justice. Shaun and Larry will then speak about their organizations, their goals, and how individuals can make a difference. Allen Patterson, Tarrant County Libertarian Party Chair, will moderate a brief panel discussion, followed by questions from you.

If you've ever wondered why the U.S. has spent more than one trillion dollars on the Drug War, with nothing to show but increased drug use, then you don't want to miss this event.

If you think it's strange that we have only 6% of the world's population and 25% of its prisoners, you need to come listen to Dr. Alan Bean.

If you are distubed to know that more African American men are in prison or jail, on probation or parole than were enslaved in 1850, before the Civil War began, and you want to do something about it, this is the event for you.

Thursday night, May 17th, 7:00, Hampton Inn, Interstate-30 and Green Oaks.

I thought about cropping out the tag line on this poster, the blurb about "It is your chance - Vote the Straight Democratic Ticket".  Decided not to.  It doesn't matter who is in charge, Democrats or Republicans, the War On Drugs continues to kill more people than drugs. 

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