THE STRUGGLE TO VOTE: The Political Right to
Self-Determination in the District of Columbia and Beyond
“All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.”
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,
Office of the High Commission of Human Rights, Part I, Article I. (March 23, 1976)
Friday, March 27, 2009
9am – 5pm
UDC-David A. Clarke School of Law
4200 Connecticut Ave., NW
Building 38, 2nd Floor Window’s Lounge
Red Line Metro at Van Ness/UDC
No admission charge - Open to the public
The right to political self-determination is the cornerstone of the American Democracy, yet all of the American citizens who reside in the District of Columbia are denied this basic liberty. The D.C. House Voting Rights Act is attempting to redress this inequity, but it remains in perilous political jeopardy while its critics question its efficacy. Polling indicates that most Americans favor a D.C. vote on the floor of the House, but resoundingly reject the notion of statehood for the District. Our program will address the current state of the political voice of the residents of the District and consider the international law recognition of a right to self-determination. First, we will examine the Western notion of sovereignty and its dynamization via the principle of self-determination, realized in the domestic context by a variety of claims to autonomy and political participation. Next we will hear from the bright lights of the long struggle to free the political voice of the residents of the District.
Morning Reception: 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Morning Keynote Address: 10:00 a.m.
Professor Siegfried Wiessner, St. Thomas University School of Law
Timothy Cooper, Executive Director, Worldrights
Luqman Barwari, Kurdish National Congress
Lunch: 12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Afternoon Keynote Address: 2:00 p.m.
Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, District of Columbia
Wade Henderson, President, Leadership Conference on Civil Rights
Walter Smith, Executive Director, D.C. Appleseed Center
Johnny Barnes, Executive Director, ACLU of the National Capital Area
Ilir Zherka, Executive Director, D.C. Vote
For more information contact: Julie Akemann (202) 274-7362