WELCOME to the Metro New York Religious Campaign Against Torture (MNYRCAT).
A chapter of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture, our local group is currently (2013) working to:
- Promote public education, including discussion of religious values and human rights perspectives concerning mistreatment of prisoners at Guantanamo and in the USA and the increasing use of Solitary Confinement throughout the nation.
- Amplify the advocacy work of the national office, through promotion of “Torture in Our Backyard” a 20 minute film about the estimated 80,000 men and women in US. solitary confinement every day ; and through petitions regarding Maher Arar and NYS legislation.
- Build Partnerships for public action & to pass legislation on local & national levels.
- Mobilize diverse congregations and communities, though partnership and participation in local events as well as organizing activities directly addressing torture and ill treatment.
MNYRCAT members have been actively partnering with CAIC and Stop Solitary campaigns to limit the use of Solitary Confinement in New York State. Members have joined prison visits, rallies and visits to the State Legislature. On April 21 2013 we co-sponsored a discussion after a showing of Herman’s House, an excellent film about a African American man in solitary for 40 years, and his relationship to a female New York Artist. We would like to enhance our work on solitary confinement with more partnering with prisoners’ rights organizations. On Jun 11 2013 we plan a discussion of the organizing efforts around New York State laws in partnership with CAIC www.nycaic.org at Rutger’s Church. Please see our June 11 Ad and Flier
MNYRCAT – Metropolitan New York Religious Campaign Against Torture is planning Human Rights Day activities over three days this year in order to reach diverse stakeholders. For more information about this year’s December events, please see this page of our website.
This fall, MNYRCAT also organized a well attended panel discussion October 17, 2012 at 6:30 PM at All Souls Church (1157 Lexington Avenue near 80th Street) concerning “Solitary Confinement: New York’s Hidden Problem.” This important discussion included representatives of the religious, legal, and prison communities focusing on inhumane policies and inhuman conditions within New York State Prisons, especially the use of solitary confinement and its impact on prisoners. See: MNYRCAT Flier and also see excerpts.
JUNE 2012 Anti Torture Month Activities
MNYRCAT strongly encourages community groups to show the film Torture in Our Backyard and is available to go facilitate other showings and discussions in May and June. It would be great if we could be in all neighborhoods to impact the conversation and to link this issue with other social justice concerns. As you know there are actually pro-torture voices getting significant play in the public media including the New York Times (May 2012) and religious and values messaging is needed at all levels: