“Cry Justice!” (CJ), which describes itself as “a hands-on activism conference,” was established for the purpose of meeting periodically “to provide tools and analysis for resistance” against the “neo-conservative [Bush] administration.” The first CJ conference was held on October 26, 2003, at William Mitchell College of Law in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Its objective was to bring together leftist and pro-communist activists from more than 50 organizations to brainstorm strategies for publicly discrediting and ultimately eliminating the anti-terrorism legislation known as the Patriot Act, which the participants said “directly attack[s] the Bill of Rights and the Constitution.”
This initial Cry Justice! event was scheduled to coincide with the “Demand Democracy!” conference of one of its chief financial sponsors, the National Lawyers Guild (NLG), which itself has launched separate campaigns to repeal the Patriot Act, the Domestic Security Enhancement Act, and the use of military tribunals for combatants captured in the War on Terror. Other organizational funders of the CJ conference included Code Pink for Peace; Friends For a Non-Violent World; the Minnesota Anarchist Collective, which seeks to facilitate the destruction of “capitalism, racism, sexism, classism, heterosexism, and colonialism”; and the Minnesota Cuba Committee, which supports the Communist dictatorship of Fidel Castro.
Speakers at the 2003 Cry Justice! conference included Amy Goodman, the host and creator of Pacifica Radio Network’s “Democracy Now!” program; Michael Ratner, President of the Center for Constitutional Rights; and Lynne Stewart, the attorney who in February 2005 was convicted of providing material support to the Islamic Group, an Egypt-based terrorist organization with close links to Osama bin Laden‘s al Qaeda network. In her comments to the conference attendees, Stewart characterized Ho Chi Minh, Vladimir Lenin, Fidel Castro, and Che Guevara as “heroes.”
A chief organizer of the 2003 Cry Justice! conference was Ted Dooley, the Executive Director of the Minnesota chapter of Alliance for Democracy (AFD), a pro-socialist organization that has described the United States as a fascist nation and advocates reparations for slavery, the impeachment of President Bush, and an end to the War on Terror.
After its October 2003 conference, CJ transformed itself into a group that “is proud to be a work in progress of some of the most active organizations in Minnesota.” Its co-sponsors include, among others, the National Lawyers Guild and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom; its endorsers include Non-Violent Peaceforce and Women Against Military Madness.
CJ convened again in January 2005 at the University of Minnesota Law School. Its workshops at that conference included such titles as: Legislative Organizing; Working Under Bush (workers rights issues); Working With, Around and Against the Media; Grassroots Organizing for Peace and Justice; Direct Action and Civil Disobedience; U.S. Foreign Policy, Empire, and Peace and Justice Organizing; Know Your Rights; Civil Liberties Under the Second Bush Administration; Returning Politics to the People; Countering Spin – Taking Back Language and Agenda from the Far Right; Election Fraud and Fair Elections; and Legal Observing.