WFS Panel Discussion 7/22/16

Part 1 Alan Levine

Part 2: Donna Nevel

Part 3: Questions and Answers

On Civil Responsibility

During this circus of a presidential campaign, one of the preeminent thoughts that pops up in my mind has to do with civil rights and responsibilities. I'm sorry to say that, while I think most people get the 'rights' part of it – those inalienable human rights that we are all equally endowed with, too large a contingency of US civil society is somewhat lax in the responsibilities part of the deal; hence, the two ring circus that is our US body politic. If civil society were more engaged in, say, local politics – spending some time communing and communicating with the community to ensure equality and justice for all on the local level – there might be a sort of trickle up (think globally, act locally) effect and might possibly change the dynamic on the national level – which could have a profound influence on the prospects for peace and the enforcement of human rights universally.

 

To this end I must reiterate a topic that has come to light within this community regarding the NY State Governor's executive order in which, by fiat – as legislation can messy, according to the executor, NYS citizens no longer have the right to express, through the non violent act of boycott – a protected First Amendment Right – one's opinion regarding the call for equality and justice by Palestinian civil Society (bdsmovement.net). So, while the issue of Palestine and Israel may be a highly contentious issue for some, the issue of our constitutionally protected inalienable rights should be a concern for all of us. When your rights are usurped from under your nose – while out of sight an therefore out of mind – from the highest executive authority in the state that you somehow elected, it becomes your responsibility (as noted in the Declaration of Independence) to ensure the restoration of those somehow-no-longer rights back to their status of inalienability.

  

To make it easy for everyone in the Woodstock community, and perhaps educational and entertaining in some fashion as well, a group of locals are confronting the Executive Order through their WoodstockFreeSpeech.org campaign. In addition to putting forth a resolution to the Woodstock Town Board to uphold our 1st Amendment Rights, we are hosting a series of community engagements centered around dialog and presented via a panel discussion, a film, and a couple of World Cafe style community discussions. The first of these events will take place on Friday in Woodstock at the Town Hall from 7 – 9 PM. A panel discussion on Governor Cuomo's executive order will be presented by constitutional lawyer Alan Levine and Jewish Voice for Peace National Board Member Donna Nevel followed by a question response period. I hope to see you there.

 

Check the WoodstockFreeSpeech.org website for details 

 

Adam Roufberg, Willow NY