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IndyBuzz provides information about Central Indiana's most stimulating and thought provoking events -- discussions and conferences, art exhibitions, films, music performances. It tells you what's happening … explains why you should be part of what’s happening. More than an events calendar, though, IndyBuzz tries to make events more meaningful for participants by suggesting an article or two to read before the event, recommending books or websites that will be sources of further information after the event, and pointing out related events that are worth attending.

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Oct. 15: “From Guantanamo to the Statehouse: Human Rights in 2005” -- ICLU annual conference and dinner

The Indiana Supreme Court Commission on Race and Gender Fairness has very generously invited ICLU Conference attendees to a distinguished lecture featuring Civil Rights Activist and Entertainer/Musician Harry Belafonte. Click here to read about Mr. Belafonte's dedication to civil rights and the 2005 Diversity Summit.The cost and transportation of attending this event is included in the price of conference registration.

  • Entire conference plus dinner with Lucas Guttentag — $150
  • Conference without dinner but with talk by Sherri Belafonte's dad — $10 students, $25 non-students

The plan is to board buses from the Hilton (with, it seems, box lunches provided on the way), drive over to the magnificent Madame Walker Theatre, hear one of the great lions of civil and human rights talk, the go back to the buses to return to the Hilton for the afternoon panels. Last year I was the after-lunch speaker at the ICLU conference ... this puts me in pretty good company, along with Mr. Harry Belafonte. It is a boon to me this year since I am on the post-Belafonte afternoon panel, making an argument about how and when torture is justifiable, chances are everyone will be so buzzed by Belafonte that they will not pummel me too badly.

A wide array of talks and panel discussions about the war on terror, student rights, religious freedoms, reproductive freedoms, and more ... plus a justification of torture?

When: Saturday 15 October all day

Where: Downtown Hilton Hotel, 120 West Market St. Indianapolis

This ought to be a great day put on by the Indiana Civil Liberties Union, crammed full of big issues and controversy. Check out the schedule. Highlights include the plenary speech by Pierre Atlas on “The US and the Universal Declaration on Human Rights;” panels on student rights, race and criminal justice, religious freedom, reproductive freedom, and LGBT rights. The keynote speaker at dinner will be Lucas Guttentag, creator of the American Civil Liberties Immigration Rights Program and attorney for the Abu Ghreib and Afghan torture victims. I’ll be at the conference, debating with ICLU executive director Fran Quigley about the use of torture … I’ll be trying to develop a novel (but I am afraid unworkable) set of principles that could govern when and how torture is justified, and thus how to balance security and the protection of human/civil rights. Not sure I agree with the position I’ll be staking out, and it certainly won’t be a popular with the group attending the conference … That means putting in a lot of work in the next month if I don’t want to be battered senseless by a bunch of civil libertarians.

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