A civil rights activist will discuss human rights in Palestine as the latest Human Rights and Genocide Forum talk.
January 8, 2003 GENEVA, N.Y.—The Hobart and William Smith Colleges' Human Rights and Genocide Forum will bring civil rights activist Lenni Brenner to speak at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 22, in the Geneva Room of the Warren Hunting Smith Library on the Colleges campus. His lecture is titled “Peace Must Mean Justice in Palestine/Israel”. Admission is free and the public is invited to attend.
Brenner's talk will emphasize the need for human rights in Palestine. “Half of the people in the lands controlled by Israel are not Jewish, and trying to make a Jewish state where half the people are not Jews is wrong,” said event organizer Daniel McGowan, professor of economics. “With war looming, the topic is both timely and relevant to our mission addressing human rights and genocide.”
Brenner was born into an Orthodox Jewish family. He became an atheist at 12, and a Marxist at 15, in 1952. His involvement with the Black civil rights movement began on his first day in the organized left, when he met James Farmer of the Congress of Racial Equality, later the organizer of the “freedom rides” of the early 1960s. He was active in the mid 1950s with Bayard Rustin, later the organizer of Martin Luther King's 1963 March on Washington.
He was arrested three times during civil rights sit-ins in the San Francisco Bay area. He was an anti-war activist from the first days of the Vietnam war, speaking frequently at rallies. In 1963 he organized the Committee for Narcotic Reform in Berkeley. In 1968 he co-founded the National Association for Irish Justice, the American affiliate of the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association. In the 1990s he and Kwame Ture (a.k.a. Stokely Carmichael), the legendary “Black Power” leader of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, co-founded the Committee against Zionism and Racism.
Brenner is presently organizing the Coalition for Narcotic Law Reform. He is the author of four books, “Zionism in the Age of the Dictators,” “The Iron Wall: Zionist Revisionism from Jabotinsky to Shamir,” “Jews in America Today,” and “The Lesser Evil: The Democratic Party” and more than 100 articles.
By sponsoring the Human Rights and Genocide series, the Hobart and William Smith community hopes to improve understanding of all life-annihilation processes inherent in our modern world and to help participants learn more about the circumstances under which life-destruction processes tend to focus on specific groups in events known as genocide. The series is supported by the Colleges' President, the Provost, the Fisher Center, the Department of Religious Studies, the Zachor Fund of Rochester, and by Hobart alumnus Dr. E.P. Franks.