David Gespass

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David Gespass


David Gespass is a Birmingham Alabama lawyer and activist. He is married to Kathy Johnson.

He began his law practice in Washington, DC in 1971. He spent a year working in Yokosuka and Okinawa, Japan with the National Lawyers Guild Military Law Office. He is the immediate past president of the National Lawyers Guild, the oldest integrated national bar organization in the United States. He has also served as editor-in-chief of the Guild Practitioner (now NLG Review), the Guild's intellectual journal. He was a founder and steering committee member of the Military Law Task Force and has been a member of the advisory board of the National Police Accountability Project since its founding in 1999. His practice includes police misconduct and prisoner rights' litigation, Social Security disability and personal injury. Gespass has been practicing law in Birmingham since 1978.[1]

CoC National Conference endorser

In 1992 David Gespass, National Lawyers Guild, Birmingham, Alabama, endorsed the Committees of Correspondence national conference Conference on Perspectives for Democracy and Socialism in the 90s held at Berkeley California July 17-19.[2]

National Lawyers Guild

The 2009 National Executive Committee of the National Lawyers Guild included David Gespass, President, from Birmingham, AL[3]

Letter to Obama

In March 2009 dozens of 'human rights groups' and activists in the United States, signed a statement urging President Barack Obama to rethink his decision to boycott the United Nations-sponsored anti-racism conference.

As you know, the Durban Review Conference is one of the most important international platforms for discussing the elimination of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerances. Given the brutal history of slavery and Jim Crow in the United States, your Administration has much to contribute to this discussion. A boycott would be inconsistent with your policy of engagement with the international community…

Individual signers of the statement included David Gespass.[4]

CAIR delegation

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Birmingham, AL, 5/4/2017 - CAIR-Alabama, the state chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), led a delegation of five Alabamian Muslims to meet with Congress members and staff on issues important to American Muslims and other minority communities. The delegation joined over 400 delegates from 30 states who met with some 230 elected officials and congressional staff on Monday and Tuesday, during the record-breaking third annual National Muslim Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

The largest congressional Muslim advocacy event in the country, Muslim Hill Day was sponsored by the US Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO), a coalition of leading national and local American Muslim organizations of which CAIR is a founding member.

Alabama’s delegation met with Representatives Terri Sewell and Gary Palmer, and with congressional staff from the offices of Senators Richard Shelby and Luther Strange and Representatives Bradley Byrne and Martha Roby. “In this divisive political climate where reaching an agreement on policy appears to be far fetched, Muslim Hill Day was more important than ever. Each person in our delegation had compelling personal stories to tell. We had constructive dialogue that achieved the real goal of having our voices heard. We hope our lawmakers felt better educated about serious issues facing our communities and policies that can assist in bettering the lives of all Alabamians," said CAIR-Alabama Executive Director Khaula Hadeed.

The delegates outlined the domestic priorities of the American Muslim community, advocating for an endorsement of all legislation pushing back against federal policies and programs wrongfully targeting Muslims. They also advocated for legislation supporting DREAMers and protecting the rights of immigrant and minority communities by ending racial and religious profiling. Specifically, delegates promoted a legislative agenda that includes support for:

• The SOLVE Act 2.0 (H.R. 724) – Declares that the Muslim Ban 2.0 is “null and void, shall have no force and effect, and may not be implemented or enforced” and prohibits federal funding of the executive order.

• Freedom of Religion Act of 2017 (H.R. 852) – Amends the Immigration and Nationality Act to provide that non-American citizens may not be denied admission or entry to the U.S., or other immigration benefits, because of their religion, and for other purposes.

• No Religious Registry Act of 2017 (H.R. 489) – Ensures that individuals of all faiths are protected from the establishment of a national religious registry and prohibits surveilling certain U.S. persons and other individuals based on religious affiliation.

• S.248 – Blocks all federal funding for the Trump Administration’s first “Muslim Ban” executive order.

• Access to Counsel Act (S. 349) – Guarantees legal counsel to those detained on entry to the U.S., and clarifies the rights of all persons who are held or detained at a port of entry or at any detention facility overseen by CBP or ICE.

• Protect American Families Act (S. 54) – Would prohibit the creation of an immigration-related registry program that classifies people based on religion, race, age, gender, ethnicity, national origin, nationality, or citizenship.

• The Bar Removal of Individuals Who Dream and Grow our Economy Act (H.R. 496/S.128) – The BRIDGE Act would protect undocumented young people brought to the U.S. as children, commonly referred to as DREAMers, should the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program be discontinued under the Trump Administration.

• The No State Resources for Immigration Enforcement (NSRIE) Act (H.R.1446) – Would amend section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, also known as the Secure Communities Program, to prohibit state and local law enforcement officers and employees from performing the functions of an immigration officer in relation to “the investigation, apprehension, or detention” of undocumented immigrants in the U.S.

• The End Racial and Religious Profiling Act of 2017 (S. 411), and its companion bill introduced in the House, the End Racial Profiling Act (H.R. 1498) – These companion bills would effectively eliminate racial, religious, and other forms of discriminatory profiling by law enforcement.

Delegation members were David Gespass, CAIR-Alabama board chair Khaula Hadeed, CAIR-Alabama executive director Mohammad Haq, Anniston Islamic Center Imam Ali Massoud, Ream Shoreibah, CAIR-Alabama communications director.[5][6]

References