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Katal New York Update- September 28, 2023

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Actions to Demand Justice for #KawaskiTrawick, Support Migrants & End Wrongful Convictions in NY

Rally for #KawaskiTrawick at 1 Police Plaza (NYPD Headquarters), 9.28.23

This morning, we joined the Justice Committee and Communities United for Police Reform (CPR), and other community groups to rally for justice for Kawaski Trawick, a 32-year-old Black gay man who in TKTK was killed by NYPD while cooking in his apartment in the Bronx. Earlier this month, the NYPD deputy commissioner recommended that the charges be dropped against officers responsible for murdering Kawaski – Brendan Thompson and Herbert Davis. 

“The anguish we have had to face since our son was murdered in his own home is unbearable, a weight no parent should ever have to hold,” said Ellen Trawick, mother of Kawaski Trawick. See CPR’s full press release of the rally here

CM Caban Speaking at Rally Against Mayors Proposed Budget Cuts, 9.19.23

Last week, we joined the New York City Council Progressive Caucus and dozens of community partners for a rally at City Hall Park to condemn Mayor Adams’ proposed budget cuts of 15% across all city agencies including schools, hospitals, and social services. We also stood in solidarity with new migrant neighbors who are being needlessly attacked by Mayor Adams which is only creating more fear and xenophobia. Instead of exacerbating this current crisis by cutting essential services, Adams should increase investments in housing, health care, education, and jobs. Take action here and sign this petition to demand that Mayor Adams shut down Rikers now and invest in true community safety.

Renny Smith from Families and Friends of the Wrongfully Convicted Speaking at Rally, 9.19.23

Right after, we joined Families and Friends of the Wrongfully Convicted, Inc. for a rally at City Hall to demand an end to the wrongful convictions crisis. At the action, we demanded that the conviction review units in NYC expedite the review of claims of wrongful convictions, each District Attorney in NYS create independent heads of their conviction review units, and Gov. Hochul must immediately sign the Challenging Wrongful Convictions Act into law. Monday, October 2nd is International Wrongful Conviction Day of Action. Join VOCAL, People Impacted, and other community groups for a rally to End Wrongful Convictions on Monday, October 2 at 12 p.m. at Foley. RSVP here to attend.  

To get involved in our organizing at Katal, please contact Melanie Dominguez at or 516-588-0127. 

Rikers must be shut down. Until then, a federal receiver may help save lives

Today, we published an op-ed by our Co-Executive Director gabriel sayegh that outlines how Rikers must be shut down and until then, a federal receiver may help save lives. Over the last year, we’ve held a series of protests demanding that government officials listen to community groups and address the crisis. Here’s an except:

“An island with only one narrow bridge connecting it to Queens, Rikers is out-of-sight, out-of-mind for people privileged enough to never think about it. But for hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers — those who have been incarcerated there, their families and friends, and the people who work there — Rikers is a nightmare. Conditions are horrific, violence is rampant, and the department of correction is beset with scandals and dysfunction. As things get even worse, more New Yorkers are calling for federal intervention.”

Reach the full op-ed here.

Katal Quotes of the Week

These are some of the quotes we’re thinking about this week.

“We are not trapped or locked up in these bones. No, no. We are free to change. And love changes us. And if we can love one another, we can break open the sky.” ―Walter Mosley

“Integrity has no need of rules.” ―Albert Camus

For printing and distribution, download the Katal Weekly Update PDF version.

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