New York (Mar. 17)
The Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the New York State Council of Urban Leagues have urged New York State to ban racial and religious terrorism.
The organization yesterday called for “speedy enactment” of a bill amending New York’s Civil Rights Law to include acts of racially and religiously motivated intimidation and harassment — and carrying penalties up to five years imprisonment and a $5,000 fine. The bill was introduced in the New York State Legislature in January.
The proposed law (Assembly Bill 652), spearheaded by Nassau County District Attorney Denis Dillon and sponsored by the Nassau County legislative delegation, is in response to a two-year wave of cross burnings, swastika daubings, arson cases, synagogue vandalism and threats and harassment directed at blacks and Jews.
In a joint statement, signed by Ellen Conovitz and Erwin Corwin, cochairpersons of ADL’s Committee on Public Policy in New York State; Hazel Dukes, president of the New York State Conference of NAACP Branches, and Horace Morris, executive director of the New York State Council of Urban Leagues, the groups called the activities “a form of terrorism.”
ADL, last December, published an annual audit of anti-Semitic incidents throughout the nation which reported that 120 of the 377 total occurred in New York State. Police authorities in New York City, Nassau and Suffolk Counties reported that racial and religious assaults on persons and property equalled or exceeded the cases cited in the ADL survey.