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Home arrow English arrow A Passion for Justice: One Man's Dedication to Civil Rights
A Passion for Justice: One Man's Dedication to Civil Rights چاپ ارسال به دوست
VOKRadio, Los Angeles, California, USA   

A Passion for Justice: One Man's Dedication to Civil Rights!


"Ralph D. Fertig documents origins and episodes in the Civil Rights Movement. He has been a steady and consistent advocate for civil rights through non-violent direct action in most of his 88 years. We met in the 1961 Freedom Rides and in his book, A Passion for Justice, Fertig chronicles struggles for desegregation before, through and since then. In the current political climate, this is a book for today."

-John Lewis, US Congressman


"Hailed by the Washington Post as the "Conscience of Washington," and by the Los Angeles Times as "a cog in the wheel of justice," Ralph D. Fertig began his social activism in his home, filled with German Jewish refugees."

  Ralph Fertig was born to German immigrant parents in 1930 and was raised in Chicago.

In high school and college, he campaigned for desegregation and justice in housing and employment. At the University of Chicago, he fought for academic freedom.

He received a B.A. from the University of Chicago in 1950, an M.A. from Columbia University in 1952, and a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Chicago in 1955.

While earning his bachelor's degree, Fertig formed a student branch of the NAACP. He subsequently became a member of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights and viewed Paul Robeson as one of his heroes.

He began social work organizing peace between warring street gangs on Chicago's South side. Fertig organized programs for equal rights with the Congress Of Racial Equality and the Americans for Democratic Action.

He became a Freedom Rider on a bus bound for Jackson, Mississippi, to help integrate interstate buses. The Sheriff in Selma, Alabama threw him in jail, where White prisoners kicked in his ribs.

During the 1960s, Fertig was part of the Freedom Rider movement protesting Jim Crow laws in the American South. While engaged in these activities in Alabama on one occasion, he was jailed for "disturbing the peace." 
While running a community center in Washington, D.C., he organized welfare mothers and public housing tenants. Martin Luther King, Jr. invited him to help mobilize the iconic 1963 March on Washington, and to help lobby for the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Fertig went on to earn a J.D. from UCLA Law School in 1979 and eventually became a civil-rights attorney and an administrative law judge. He is best known, however, as the longtime president of the Humanitarian Law Project (HLP).
cklara_soraya_ralphs_azad.jpgHe ran the Greater Los Angeles Community Action Agency serving thousands of disadvantaged people, became a civil rights lawyer, and then a Federal Administrative Judge, ruling on cases of employment discrimination.

He taught at the USC School of Social Work rising to the level of full professor, and where he is now a professor emeritus. As President of the Humanitarian Law Project, he was a consultant to the United Nations, and challenged restrictions to free speech in the USA PATRIOT Act before the U.S. Supreme Court.


Fertig strongly objected to the passage of the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA) of 1996, a Patriot Act precursor, which made it a crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison to provide "material support" to any foreign organization designated as a terrorist group by the Secretary of State.



In 1998 Fertig was a lead plaintiff in Humanitarian Law Project, et al. v. Reno et al. -- a federal court case that was brought by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) -- where HLP tried to protect Americans' right to provide legal counsel, if they wished, to the Sri Lanka-based Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) or the Turkey-based Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

"Since he was in elementary school more than seven decades ago, Ralph Fertig has been, by history's long calculus, one of the good guys -- a civil rights Freedom Rider, a fighter for the down-and-out and disenfranchised from Washington to Los Angeles, and more recently on behalf of the Kurdish minority in Turkey.

1996 anti-terrorism law deems it a crime to give "material support" to any group that the U.S. considers to be terrorist. The Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, the main representative of Kurdish minority rights, was classified as one of those groups."
Fertig has pressed the courts to clarify the right to advocate for a beleaguered people, even if its interests are also represented by a designated terrorist group. Now the Supreme Court will decide. Fertig went to Washington last month to hear his case argued: Is it the language of the law that needs clarifying, or does Fertig's work for a nonviolent resolution of the Kurds' conflicts make him an outlaw? 


Fertig's earlier book, Love and Liberation, was a Los Angeles Times best seller, praised in its Kirkus review as "a sweeping Jewish love story couched in revolution, and it is written in with an apt power and elegance. The book is a contained epic... An intimate, compassionate work of historical fiction.


The book is availible at

دكتۆر راڵڤ ڤه رتیق، دادۆه ر، پرۆفێسۆری زانكۆی به ناۆ بانگی یو اس سی ، ماڤ ناس و چالاكۆانی به ناۆ بانگی بزوتنه ۆ ه ی ماڤی مه دنی ئه مریكا و دۆستی له مێژه ی بزوتنه وه ی كۆرد، كه بۆ پشتگیری له دۆخی كۆرد تا دادگای باڵای وڵاته یكگرتوه كانى ئه مریكا ڕوئیشت ، ئه ۆڕو ئاخرین كتیبی خۆی بۆ حازه ربوۆان له مه راسیمی رێز گرتن له م كه سایه تیه ئازادیخۆازه ۆاژۆ كرد. دكتۆر راڵف به سه ر هات و بیۆ گرافى خۆی له م كتێبه دا نوسیوه و فه سلێكى بۆ باسى كۆرد ته رخان كردووه. شایانی باسە کە بە شی سە بارەت بە کۆرد لە لایە ن دکتۆر سورە ییا فە لاح چاۆدێری کراوە. دكتۆر راڵف له مانگی ئاگۆستی ئه ۆ ساڵ ته مه نى ٨٨ ساڵه ی تێ په ر ده كات.



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