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The Michigan & Detroit Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild presents our:

75th Annual Dinner

Honoring Chokwe Lumumba & Unsung Hero Curt Guyette Hosted by State Representative Rashida Tlaib, 6th District Saturday, January 25th, 2014 NLG Detroit & Michigan • 2014 • 1


Welcoming Statement by the President of the National Lawyers Guild Detroit & Michigan Chapter Dear Members, Friends, and Supporters of the National Lawyers Guild: On behalf of the Board of Directors and general membership of the Michigan/ Detroit Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, I extend my heart-felt welcome to our 75th Annual Dinner. These Annual Dinners serve several purposes. They are our most important annual fund-raiser. They provide an opportunity for many progressive social justice activists in the legal system to gather together and exchange greetings, ideas, and strategies. And they bring us together in a spirit of solidarity and determination to move forward, which is especially important in these difficult times when it too often seems the right wing is on the ascendancy. Members and friends of the National Lawyers Guild are vigorously opposing the right wing trend in several areas; but there are two I want to give special mention. First, NLG attorneys have been in the forefront of opposing the Michigan “Emergency Manager” law; and in opposing the obviously pre-planned strategy of Governor Snyder and E.M. Kevyn Orr to take the City of Detroit through bankruptcy, and use the remaining assets of the City to pay off sweet-heart settlements with the richest banks and investment companies. Over the last year, the real goal of the E.M. and the bankruptcy proceedings has become clear: to undermine the political power of the African-American population of Detroit and across the state; and to undermine the political power of organized labor, which for 75 years has been the most effective vehicle for progressive social change in the U.S. The volunteer attorneys of the National Lawyers Guild and the NLG’s Sugar Law Center are leading the most successful effort to-date, to try to stop the bankruptcy and the ongoing pillaging of the assets of the City of Detroit, and the stealing of the pensions of 20,000 Detroit retirees. Our

attorneys have succeeded in convincing the Bankruptcy Judge to lift the bankruptcy stay of proceedings, and permit our challenge to the constitutionality of Michigan’s Emergency Manager Law to proceed in the U.S. District Court. No other challenge to the legality of the E.M. law has been allowed to proceed. We are confident our challenge will result in a binding judicial determination that Michigan’s E.M. law violates the U.S. constitution and must be invalidated. Secondly, the recent National Convention of the NLG made it a critical national priority of the NLG to provide legal support to the growing grassroots movement to prevent the transportation of Canadian tar sands for refining in the U.S. Most people have heard of the controversy over the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. NLG legal teams are being organized around the country ready to defend thousands of activists who have volunteered to commit acts of civil disobedience if Keystone XLis approved. But in fact Canadian tar sands are already being piped into the U.S. through an oil pipeline built and maintained by Enbridge Co, a Canadian corporation. Their pipeline 6b comes south through Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, and then into Michigan, where it goes across the state, transporting tar sands to refineries in southwest Detroit, and in Toledo. This is the pipeline that ruptured a few years ago, flooding the Kalamazoo River with oil. Enbridge is in the process of rebuilding large sections of pipeline 6b to prepare for the increasing transportation of Canadian tar sands through our state. Local activists of the Michigan Coalition Against Tar Sands (MICATS) have organized civil disobedience actions against the rebuilding of pipeline 6b at sites in Calhoun and Ingham Counties. A volunteer NLG attorney recently succeeded in obtaining

the dismissal of a felony charge of Resisting and Obstructing Police which had been lodged against an activist in Calhoun County; and 6 volunteer NLG attorneys have been involved in the representation of ten activists in Ingham County. These NLG attorneys, together with other volunteer attorneys, successfully negotiated very favorable settlements for the six defendants charged with misdemeanors, and have filed extensive motions challenging the prosecution of the four defendants charged with felony charges of Resisting and Obstructing Police. The NLG will continue to recruit volunteer attorneys and organize the legal defense of activists arrested while protesting the influx of Canadian tar sands into the U.S. For 76 years, the National Lawyers Guild has been the legal bulwark of grassroots movements for social justice. In order to continue this work, we need and appreciate your generous support. Together, we can transform this country into one in which “human rights shall be regarded as more sacred than property interests,” and in which “ the law is an instrument for the protection of the people, rather than for their repression.” I thank all of your for attending this evening’s ceremony, and for your generous support of the Michigan/Detroit Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild.

In Solidarity, John Royal, President, Michigan/Detroit Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild.

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2014 Outstanding

Law Students

Nicholas Klaus Andrew Dalack Having done a tour as a plumber before earning a bachelors in creative writing, Nick Klaus entered Wayne State Law School in 2012 with a contingent of law students hungry to do work in social justice. Having learned a bit about the Guild prior to entering Wayne, Nick felt that he had finally “found his people,” and with the philosophical guidance of eliza perez and Tony Kaled, they were able to rally the incoming class to the call of people before property. Because of the facilitation efforts of Nick and the dedication of his comrades at Wayne State, the NLG chapter has become one of the most visible and active organizations for social justice on campus. Owing to the collective effort of the Wayne chapter, Nick has been awarded the Krell Scholarship for a commitment to community legal service for his work within the Guild, as well as the opportunity to join the NLG election monitor delegation in El Salvador this month. The Detroit & Michigan Chapter of the NLG recognizes Nick Klaus for his revitalization and mobilization of the Wayne State University Student Chapter. The Board recognizes that law student chapters are challenged by limited time and energy among its members, and we thank Nick for his role in rebuilding and strengthening WSU student involvement.

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Andrew Dalack is a 3L at the University of Michigan, and co-chair of the NLG’s Free Palestine Subcommittee (FPSC). Andrew joined FPSC as a 1L, and became cochair of the group during the 2012 NLG convention in Pasadena. Andrew has used his position in FPSC to help provide legal support to Palestine solidarity activists on college campuses throughout the United States, and has played a critical role in connecting the national Students for Justice in Palestine movement to the NLG. Currently, Andrew is organizing an NLG Prisoners’ Rights delegation to Palestine with other members of the subcommittee. The Detroit & Michigan Chapter of the NLG recognizes Andrew Dalack for all of his tremendous work supporting Palestinian freedom and, in particular, his leadership on the NLG Free Palestine Subcommittee. He is an exemplar to other law students for his involvement in international justice issues.

eliza (qualls perez) Facio Originally from Southwest Detroit, eliza developed a passion for racial and social justice at an early age as a result of her family’s experiences with racism and legal struggles. In 2000, she joined the NLG while interning with its Immigrant Justice Project. She is currently in her final semester at Wayne State Law School, where she constantly worked to involve NLG members, inviting them to speak, co-hosting Know Your Rights events, and including them on the Keith Students Public Interest Bus Tour that she founded, to help create infrastructural support for public interest law students. Charged by John Royal with reinvigorating the NLG student chapter, she worked closely with Tony Kaled to support emerging student leaders including Nick Klaus and others who have created a vibrant student community. Currently in her second term as president of the ACLU Metro Detroit Branch Board, she plans to spend her life encouraging grassroots leadership and furthering Access to Justice. Special thanks to her dad, Buck Davis, and Mike Steinberg for being mentors that brought her to law school, and her mom, son, the NLG, ACLU, the Keith Center and her law school community, without whom she would not have made it through. The Detroit & Michigan Chapter of the NLG recognizes eliza qualls perez Facio for her (already) lifelong commitment to social justice. Our Board members are impressed by her work both inside the local and student NLG chapters, as well as extending our mission beyond the organization itself.


Dear NLG, We thank you for all of your tireless work and efforts to serve the needs of the masses, who, without organizations like yours and the attorneys that further the purpose of the organization and the principles upon which it was founded, would be unable to fight the injustices and the inequality that is the underbelly of our society. Keep fighting the good fight! Respectfully, Members of PLG

Todd Russell Perkins Esq. David Melton Esq. Mohammed Azeem Nasser Esq. Nikkiya T. Branch Esq. Sean B. Perkins Esq. Adam G. Clements Esq. Judge Leonard Townsend (Retired Judge of Counsel) Hon. Willie Lipscomb, Jr. Of Counsel (1943-2013)

Ford Building 615 Griswold Suite 400 Detroit Michigan 48226 313.964.1702 Office 313.964.1980 Fax Tperkins@perkinslawgroup.net

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Thank you, Mayor Lumumba, for your lifelong and worldwide commitment to equality and human rights.

The Law Offices of Goodman Kalahar 1394 E. Jefferson Avenue Detroit, MI 48207 (313) 567-6165

ON THE OCCASION OF THE 2014 ANNUAL DINNER OF THE NATIONAL LAWYERS GUILD HONORING CHOKWE LUMUMBA;

Congratulations Chokwe Lumumba; We Salute You for a Lifetime Devoted to the Cause of Human Rights. No One has Fought Harder Against Injustice and Few Have Sacrificed as Much.

Your Brother: Gerald K. Evelyn Attorney & Counselor 535 Griswold St Ste 1030 Detroit, MI 48226 Phone: (313) 962-3500 Fax: (313) 962-9190 e-Mail: geraldevelyn@yahoo.com

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Curt Guyette grew up in the mountains of central Pennsylvania in a small town surrounded by forests and farms. His mom stayed at home to care for her three kids, one of whom suffered from diabetes and epilepsy, while his dad worked vice and narcotics for the Pennsylvania State Police. His paternal grandfather and two uncles worked for newspapers as typesetters. It took a couple of attempts and six years to make it through college, but he eventually graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in English writing, earning magna cum laude honors while working during the day and taking night classes. After graduation he spent three years on the road, hitchhiking through Europe, spending some time on a kibbutz in Israel picking bananas, and working as a deckhand on a boat pushing barges on the Mississippi River. He worked briefly for a traveling circus that picked him up hitchhiking in Mexico, and spent a few months with the Rainbow Family of Living Light camping out in the forests of Washington state. His last hard-labor job was at a slaughterhouse in northern California. He started his career in journalism in 1983, covering high school sports for a small daily newspaper in Davis, Calif. After that, he moved to another small daily, covering cops and agriculture, local government and a U.S. Air Force base. His career took a left turn in 1990, when he hired on at an alternative newsweekly in Sacramento, where he began to learn the craft of long-form narrative journalism. Five years later, married with two young children, he came to Detroit for a job at the Metro Times, where he worked as an investigative reporter, columnist and news editor for 18 years. The topics of his stories varied widely, from exposes that pulled back the curtain on political machinations to tales of individual struggles against systemic abuse. Along with a deepseated irreverence toward the powerful, his work has been shaped by compassion for the underdog, an unshakable belief in progressive politics, and a relentless desire to see justice – be it social, economic or environmental – served. Those values eventually led him to a job with the ACLU of Michigan, where he’s now an investigative reporter focused on writing about issues surrounding Michigan’s emergency manager law and open government.

Curt Guyette

2014 Unsung Hero CONSTITUTIONAL LITIGATION ASSOCIATES, P.C. Hugh “Buck” Davis, Cynthia Heenan, John Philo and our excellent staff, Jillian Rosati, Sarah Coffey, Lori Villar, Nicholas Klaus and Diane Loftus Cooperating attorneys – Scott Mackela, Tim Holloway, and Shaun Godwin

Curt & Chokwe, placeholder for CLA

Congratulations & Thank You for your Great Work! Peoples’ lawyers specializing in: * Police Misconduct * Civil Rights * Criminal & Forfeiture Defense * * Personal Injury * Complex Litigation*

 Proudly representing progressive  activists & community organizations! Members: National Lawyers Guild and  National Police Accountability Project 



450 W. Fort St., Ste. 200 Detroit, MI 48226 conlitpc@sbcglobal.net (313) 961-2255

NLG Detroit & Michigan • 2014 • 5


2014 Honoree

Chokwe Lumumba Chokwe Lumumba was elected Mayor of Jackson, Mississippi, on June 4, 2013. Mr. Lumumba’s campaign riff was, “One City. One Aim. One Destiny,” -- a tribute to Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association motto “One God. One Aim. One Destiny.” As Mayor, Mr. Lumumba’s focus is on building economic power in the capital city of the nation’s poorest state, a city whose population is 80% Black. At his inauguration celebration, Mr. Lumumba raised the clenched fist of the Black power salute and shouted, “Free the Land,” the motto of the Republic of New Africa (RNA). Mr. Lumumba is the

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former Vice-President of the RNA, a movement formed in 1968 with the goal of turning five Southern states into an independent Black nation. He is also co-founder of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, a group born in 1993 that seeks self-determination for AfricanAmericans, whom it dubs New Afrikans, by “any means necessary.” Mr. Lumumba was born and raised on Detroit’s west side. He took the name “Chokwe” to honor the ethnic group in Central Africa and the name “Lumumba” as a tribute to slain Congolese revolutionary Patrice Lumumba. He graduated from St.


Theresa High School in Detroit, then from Kalamazoo College, where he majored in Political Science, and where he formed the Black United Front to advocate for African-American studies in higher education. He went on to graduate cum laude from Wayne State University Law School in 1975. Mr. Lumumba is an accomplished and nationally celebrated civil rights, human rights and criminal defense attorney. As a young attorney, he encouraged Black youth to eschew gang activities and instead to participate in global actions against South African apartheid. In September 1987, at Harvard Law School, as co-founder of the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America, Mr. Lumumba addressed a conference sponsored by the National Conference of Black Lawyers on the theme of the constitutional neglect of the needs of the descendants

of enslaved Africans. Among Mr. Lumumba’s most renown clients are Black Panther leaders Geronimo Pratt and Assata Shakur, recording artist Tupac Shakur, and the Scott sisters, two black women who had received life sentences for an armed robbery that netted $11.

Assembly citywide. Mr. Lumumba’s core supporters espouse a program called the Jackson Plan, whose aim is to “build a base of autonomous power in Jackson that can serve as a catalyst for the attainment of Black self-determination and the

Mr. Lumumba moved to Jackson in 1996, along with his beautiful wife, Nubia, and their three children. Nubia joined the ancestors in 2003; daughter Rukia and son Chokwe are now practicing attorneys, following in their father’s noble footsteps. The engine of Mr. Lumumba’s mayoral campaign was his grassroots operation, the People’s Assembly, led by the same cadre of activists who ran his successful City Council race in 2009. As councilman, Mr. Lumumba used this forum to hear constituents’ concerns and host meetings with various city department heads. He now intends to take the People’s

democratic transformation of the economy.” Many of the specifics are practical, even business-friendly – improving Jackson’s paltry recycling program; bringing hothouses and pesticide-free techniques to community gardens; and building cheap, energy-efficient housing. A self-defined “revolutionary,” Mr. Lumumba aspires to “apply a philosophy against imperialism to the practice of repairing the streets.” Mr. Lumumba’s Mayoral election victory is a fitting tribute, indeed, to civil rights leader Medgar Evers who, 50 years ago, was gunned down in front of his Jackson, Mississippi, home. NLG Detroit & Michigan • 2014 • 7


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Congratulations Mayor Chokwe Lumumba

from Adam Shakoor & Associates P.C. on your receiving the National Lawyer Guild 2014 Award for your outstanding advocacy on behalf of working class and oppressed people through America and the formidable job you are doing now as Mayor of Jackson, Mississippi.

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THE NLG DETROIT & MICHIGAN

2013

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in ACTION


G.P.P. Police Demonstration to demand an investigation into racist videos that show officers humiliating black men in Grosse Pointe Park. November 20, 2013 NLG Detroit & Michigan • 2014 • 11


The International Executive Board of the UAW is proud to call Mayor Lumumba our ally in the fight for a fair union election for the Nissan workers of Canton, MS. Thank you for your inspiring leadership.

Bob King, President Dennis Williams, Secretary Treasurer Joe Ashton, Vice President General Holiefield, Vice President James Settles, Jr., Vice President Cynthia Estrada, Vice President

Fast Food Strikers in southeast Michigan in support of the D15 campaign to increase minimum wage to $15.00 per hour. May 10, 2013.

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Fast Food Strikers in southeast Michigan in support of the D15 campaign to increase minimum wage to $15.00 per hour. December 5th, 2013.

Congratulations Curt on a Well-Deserved Honor, We Are So Proud of You! NLG, HELP END THE RACIST WAR ON DRUGS, - Mike & Gail Whitty

Anonymous Million Mask March. November 5th, 2013.

Congratulations to the

Honorable Chokwe Lumumba, for his election as the Mayor of Jackson, Mississippi. And a heartfelt thanks to

Curt Guyette, for shining a light on government. John R. Minock Cramer Minock & Sweeney PLC 339 E Liberty St Ste 200 Ann Arbor, MI 48104 Phone: (734) 668-2200 Fax: (734) 668-0416 e-Mail: jminock@cramerminock.com Web: www.cramerminock.com

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We Salute the Honorable Chokwe Lumumba, for his Unwavering Commitment to the Liberation of Oppressed People;

And We Salute Curt Guyette, for his Unwavering Commitment to Exposing the Political and Economic Institutions that Keep People Oppressed. “...and my senses newly opened, I awakened to the cry That the People have the Power To redeem the work of fools. Upon the meek the graces shower; Its decreed: the People Rule....”

By: Patti Smith Social Justice Activist Poet/Author/Musician Winner: National Book Award Member: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

“I believe everything we dream Can come to pass through our union. We can turn the world around We can turn the earth’s revolution. Law Offices of John F. Royal We have the power; 615 Griswold St., Ste. 1724 The People have the Power.”

Detroit, MI 48226 (313) 962-3738 jfroyal2000@gmail.com “Defending the Accused Since 1978.”


The ACLU of Michigan congratulates our colleague, Curt Guyette, and student leaders Nicholas Klaus and eliza (qualls perez) Facio for their well-deserved awards. "So long as we have enough people in this country willing to fight for their rights, we'll be called a democracy.” ­ Roger Baldwin

Renisha McBride Rally and Vigil. November 16th, 2013. NLG Detroit & Michigan • 2014 • 15


“Freedom is everybody’s job.” —Hon. George W. Crockett Jr.

Thank you, Mayor Lumumba, for your hard work in support of human rights. Many thanks also to Unsung Hero Curt Guyette. And congratulations to our friends Andrew, eliza and Nick!

William H. Goodman Julie H. Hurwitz Kathryn Bruner James Miriam Nemeth

Anneliese Failla Kara Sullivan Karene Meneses Veronica Perera Judy Bohr

www.goodmanhurwitz.com 1394 E. Jefferson Ave., Detroit MI 48207 313-567-6170 | mail@goodmanhurwitz.com 16 • NLG Detroit & Michigan • 2014


The  Board  and  Staff  of  the  Sugar  Law  Center   for  Economic  &  Social  Justice  

CONGRATULATE HONOREES

HON.  CHOKWE  LUMUMBA   &     CURT  GUYETTE   for  outstanding  work  in  service  of  human  rights,     self-­‐determination  and  justice  for  all!    

 

 

 

nd

4605  Cass  Avenue,  2  Floor   Detroit,  Michigan  48201   (313)  993-­‐4505/mail.sugarlaw.org  

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Chokwe, Your dedication to social and economic justice, your integrity and your passion are an inspiration to us all. Thank you so much for all you have done and will continue to do in the future.

Ken, Jon & Margie Mogill, Posner & Cohen

Mogill Posner Cohen

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Detroit Bankruptcy Hearing Demonstration. December 3rd, 2013.

Fast Food Strikers in southeast Michigan in support of the D15 campaign to increase minimum wage to $15.00 per hour. May 10, 2013.

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Curt & Chokwe, Congratulations & Thank You for your Great Work! Mall Malisow & Cooney, PC 30445 Northwestern Highway, Suite 250 Farmington Hills, Michigan 48334 Telephone: (248) 538-1800 Facsimile: (248) 538-1801 Toll Free: (866) 699-1800 Website: www.TheElderCareLawFirm.com

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We salute Chokwe Lumumba and the Michigan and Detroit Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild for their ongoing work for justice. - Marilyn Mullane, Tonya Phillips, Deborah Choly & Lynette Adams

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Special Thanks to . . . The 2014 Annual Dinner Committee Kathryn James Bill Goodman Desiree Ferguson Marilyn Morehead Curtis McGuire Shaun Godwin Kathleen Garbacz Amanda Chmiel Kim Grzic Val Newman

. . . and . . . “2013 in Action” Photographers Shanna Merola Daymon J. Hartley Curtis McGuire

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January 2014

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2014 Michigan & Detroit NLG Annual Journal