I am just thrilled to introduce our first awardees:
Laurie Arbeiter (AR-BYE-TER)
Impt supporters of CCR since 2004
But fighting torture and for accountability long before that
If you have seen the t-shirt in English and Arabic–
We will not be silent–you know the activist Laurie–
She worked with The Critical Voice, a group of Artists Against the War to organize the We Will Not Be Silent t-shirt campaign.
T-shirt caused a stir in 2006 when a fellow activist was
Given a choice of covering the shirt or being thrown off a JetBlue flight for wearing the t-shirt–he covered it–
And then won 240,000 in a discrimination lawsuit
That was not the beginning or the end of her t-shirts–
I am sure most of you know of two of her other very popular shirts:
“Arrest Cheney First”
She herself has been arrested many times
And I see her at every demonstration and protest–and I go to just a few
Pictures of some of the actions she has helped to organize are behind me–Senate, Washington and New York.
Laurie was inspired by the White Rose Society in Germany that urged the public to rise up against Hitler in World War II–
Jennifer lives a somewhat quieter life as a partner at the law firm of Simpson, Thatcher and Bartlett–if by quieter it means she does not get arrested all the time
Jennifer demonstrates that her heart is with CCR through the couple’s generous financial support–
In an effort to increase CCR’s funding base, Jennifer and Laurie have introduced their friends to us, some of whom are here with us tonight–
CCR could not be happier than to honor Laurie and Jennifer for their fearless commitment to human rights and to furthering the Center’s mission. I thank you with all my heart.