White House » ADL Blogs
Posts Tagged ‘White House’
June 17, 2015 0

White House Hosts Conference on Combating International LGBT Hate Crimes

whitehouse

On June 12, the White House hosted a “Con­ver­sa­tion on Com­bat­ing Bias-Motivated Vio­lence against LGBT Per­sons Around the World.”  Bias-motivated vio­lence against LGBT indi­vid­u­als remains dis­turbingly preva­lent, as doc­u­mented by a May 2015 report by the United Nations High Com­mis­sioner for Human Rights and the FBI’s annual Hate Crime Sta­tis­tics Act report.  The prob­lem is com­pounded by incon­sis­tent def­i­n­i­tions of hate crime and inad­e­quate hate crime data col­lec­tion efforts, accord­ing to a 2013 ADL/Human Rights First report on hate crimes in the Orga­ni­za­tion for Secu­rity and Coop­er­a­tion in Europe (OSCE) region.

Randy Berry, the State Department’s Spe­cial Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBTI Persons,announced a num­ber of new Admin­is­tra­tion ini­tia­tives at the con­fer­ence, which fell dur­ing LGBT Pride Month.  He high­lighted exist­ing part­ner­ships and pledged to expand inter­na­tional law enforce­ment train­ing and tech­ni­cal assis­tance, as well as efforts to empower civil soci­ety and LGBT edu­ca­tion and advo­cacy orga­ni­za­tions. The Admin­is­tra­tion will con­tinue to draw on exist­ing exper­tise across the US Gov­ern­ment to enable orga­ni­za­tions and agen­cies abroad to request assis­tance to launch new local and national initiatives.

The White House pro­gram included pan­els focused on the impact of community-based orga­ni­za­tions, the role of law enforce­ment and the judi­ciary, and gov­ern­ment actions and best prac­tices – which was mod­er­ated by ADL Wash­ing­ton Coun­sel Michael Lieber­man.  The meet­ing built on a Decem­ber 2011 Pres­i­den­tial Mem­o­ran­dum on “Inter­na­tional Ini­tia­tives to Advance the Human Rights of Les­bian, Gay, Bisex­ual, and Trans­gen­der Per­sons.” Fed­eral agen­cies – espe­cially USAID, the Jus­tice Depart­ment, and the State Depart­ment – have done a lot of work on the issue.  The State Depart­ment released a report in May 2014 detail­ing its progress on car­ry­ing out the President’s Memorandum.

ADL works to address dis­crim­i­na­tion and vio­lence against LGBT indi­vid­u­als in the United States and abroad, fil­ing ami­cus briefs in Supreme Court cases, con­duct­ing work­shops and train­ing for edu­ca­tors and law enforce­ment offi­cials, and encour­ag­ing the col­lec­tion of hate crime sta­tis­tics that help local and fed­eral law enforce­ment track and address this issue. ADL rep­re­sen­ta­tives also helped craft the sem­i­nal OSCE pub­li­ca­tion, Hate Crime Laws: A Prac­ti­cal Guide, and main­tain rela­tion­ships with many human rights groups to track anti-Semitism, hate crimes, and vio­lence and dis­crim­i­na­tion against LGBT per­sons at home and abroad.  ADL Wash­ing­ton Office Direc­tor Stacy Bur­dett, who also attended the con­fer­ence, leads that work.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

August 6, 2014 5

More Extreme Rhetoric at National Anti-Israel Protest in DC

Approx­i­mately 10,000 peo­ple took part in a demon­stra­tion against Israel in Wash­ing­ton, D.C. on August 2. The demon­stra­tion, billed as the “National March on the White House,” was orga­nized by ANSWER and fea­tured sev­eral speak­ers, along with anti-Semitic signs and chants sim­i­lar to those that we have seen at other recent anti-Israel demon­stra­tions.

Cor­nel West, Pro­fes­sor of Afro-American Stud­ies and Reli­gion at Har­vard Uni­ver­sity, claimed that Israel is guilty of “not just occu­pa­tion, not just humil­i­a­tion, but more and more every day: anni­hi­la­tion.” He alleged that “Ben­jamin Netanyahu is a war crim­i­nal not because he’s Jew­ish, but because he has cho­sen to pro­mote occu­pa­tion and anni­hi­la­tion.” West did not speak favor­ably of Pres­i­dent Barack Obama either who he claimed “is a war crim­i­nal, not because he’s black or half African and white, but because his drones have killed 233 inno­cent chil­dren and because he facil­i­tates the killing of inno­cent Pales­tini­ans in Gaza.”

Nihad Awad, the Exec­u­tive Direc­tor and Founder of the Coun­cil on American-Islamic Rela­tions (CAIR), also spoke to the crowd, insist­ing that Israel is a “ter­ror­ist state” and that AIPAC con­trols the U.S. Con­gress. He told the audi­ence “Do not accept Israeli talk­ing points. AIPAC should have its hand off the United States Con­gress. They have cor­rupted our for­eign pol­icy; they have cor­rupted our polit­i­cal leaders.”

anti-israel-protest-holocaust

 

Many of the anti-Israel demon­stra­tors shouted insults such as “Baby killers” at a small group of pro-Israel demon­stra­tors. At one point, when a pro-Israel sup­porter showed up and tried to enter the blocked-off pro-Israel area, one man shouted “We’ve got a Nazi here!” and “more pigs, more pigs!”

Ten­sions even­tu­ally became so high that the pro-Israel demon­stra­tors had to be escorted away by law enforce­ment, pre­sum­ably for their own safety. After the pro-Israel sup­port­ers were escorted out, the rally par­tic­i­pants marched around the White House and through the streets of Wash­ing­ton, D.C.

An Israeli flag was also burned by par­tic­i­pants at the rally.

anti-israel-protest-flag

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

July 19, 2013 1

Christopher Wade Briggs, Would-be Gunman, Posts Picture Of Self In Front Of White House

Secret Ser­vice agents in Wash­ing­ton, D.C., arrested an armed man in Lafayette Park across from the White House on July 16.  The man, Christo­pher Wade Briggs of San Anto­nio, Texas, report­edly took a loaded hand­gun out of a back­pack.  Briggs also had two addi­tional mag­a­zines of ammu­ni­tion, over 170 more rounds of ammo, and two hunt­ing knives.christopher-briggs

Accord­ing to court doc­u­ments, Brigg told offi­cers “I was only going to fire a cou­ple of shots if no one con­fronted me.”   Offi­cers charged him with car­ry­ing a pis­tol with­out a license, two counts of pos­ses­sion of pro­hib­ited weapons, and other related charges.

Briggs is a com­puter pro­gram­mer who grav­i­tated to right-wing causes and devel­oped an antag­o­nism towards Barack Obama, as expressed in a num­ber of on-line post­ings.  These include a post on one Web site made ear­lier in 2013, in which he claimed to believe, “with all my heart, God has a plan for all the elected or appointed lead­ers, even Obama and Hitler.” 

Briggs oper­ated a Twit­ter feed and, briefly, a small Web site, both dubbed Your Free­dom News.  The Web site gen­er­ally fea­tured arti­cles from a far right-wing posi­tion.  One arti­cle on the Web site (pre­sum­ably by Briggs) claimed that every day the author woke up to see “some gov­ern­ment official…subverting the Con­sti­tu­tion of These United States” and asserted that the POTUS (Pres­i­dent of the United States) “is pur­posely try­ing to destroy this coun­try.”  In another arti­cle posted by Briggs but writ­ten by a rel­a­tive named Wal­ter Briggs with the title “Let the Cais­sons Roll!”, Wal­ter Briggs asserted that Obama wanted to make it a crim­i­nal offense in the United States to be a Christian.

On July 14, Briggs posted a pho­to­graph to his Face­book pro­file of him­self stand­ing next to a life-size replica of Barack Obama (such as one might find at a wax museum), with a fist raised as if to strike the Pres­i­dent.  When his mother expressed sur­prise at the pho­to­graph, Briggs responded, “Can I not take a vaca­tion?”  On Tues­day, July 16, the day Briggs would be arrested, he posted another pho­to­graph of him­self, this time stand­ing with a back­pack in front of the White House.  A Face­book friend asked Brigg if he were allowed there after “that last felony con­vic­tion,” but Briggs did not reply.

At some time before 5:00pm, Briggs made a last post to his Face­book pro­file, addressed to the “news media,” call­ing on them to leave his friends and fam­ily alone.  In an appar­ent ref­er­ence to what was to come, Briggs stated that “[I] do this nei­ther as a left winger or a right winger” and that he just could not live with him­self any more.  He urged peo­ple to “come together as a nation and solve the issues” and “do what is best for this country.”

Tags: , , , , , , ,