Body Politics: From Rights to Resistance featured information sessions with lawyers, activists, and grassroots organizers on issues of bodies under duress: civil disobedience, protest, healthcare, policing, prisons, immigration, environmental contamination, and indigenous rights. Each session focused on resource sharing and modes of resistance, and included presentations followed by discussion with the audience. This session featured Erin Beth Harrist, Bina Ahmad and Peter Micek.
At the time of this program, Erin Beth Harrist was a senior staff attorney at the New York Civil Liberties Union, where she focused on statewide civil rights and civil liberties impact litigation. Prior to joining the NYCLU, Harrist was a litigation associate at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, where she litigated a wide range of commercial matters including multi-week trials in federal and state court. She has worked extensively with the National Organization for Women – New York City Chapter advocating for the rights of women and the protection of reproductive rights. During law school, she helped secure asylum status for recent refugees on the basis of sexual orientation at Immigration Equality. She also served as production editor for the Columbia Journal of Gender and Law.
Social justice attorney, Bina Ahmad, has also been a staff attorney at PETA and has worked with Farm Sanctuary, the Center for Constitutional Rights, and Human Rights Watch. She lived and worked in Palestine with Al-Haq, served on the legal team for the Russell Tribunal on Palestine, and was a legal consultant to Badil. She is a founding member of the National Lawyers Guild’s Animal Rights Activism Committee and former NLG National Vice President. She is currently a public defender in New York.
Peter Micek led Access Now policy team’s business and human rights work, advocating for a more rights-respecting telecom and tech sector. He also taught a course at Columbia University on internet policy and governance. A lawyer by training, Micek completed a JD cum laude at the University of San Francisco School of Law, and in 2010 published “A Genealogy of Home Visits,” critiquing surveillance of at-risk communities. As a law student, Micek defended independent journalists and engaged in Freedom of Information litigation at First Amendment Project. For five years, in his native San Francisco, Micek led youth media development at New America Media, and was Web Editor at KALW’s daily radio program Your Call.