In 2013, the ACLU filed a lawsuit challenging the New York City Police Department's discriminatory and unjustified surveillance of New York Muslims. The surveillance included undercover agents who pretended to be Muslim and joined Muslim Student Associations in local schools to gather intel on completely innocent and unsuspecting Muslim students.
Watched (2017), directed by Katie Mitchell and presented by the American Friends Service Committee is a 20-minute documentary that explores the toll of surveillance through the very personal lens of two women coming of age in New York. As their college years begin, these young women embrace the new found freedoms of college life. They make new friends and join campus clubs, including the Muslim Students Association. When a new young woman joins their friendship circle, they welcome her with open arms and she quickly becomes part of their lives both on and off campus. As whispers of informants on campus turn into reported news of surveillance, the students are forced to question those around them, who they can trust and who they really know.
Please join us for a screening of this film over lunch in Room III. Professor Aziz Huq, who was co-counsel on the 2013 ACLU lawsuit will comment on the legal implications of this type of surveillance program.