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Minnesota 25th Annual Human Rights Day Conference and Forum

You would think Minnesota's human rights day conference would be a good place to bring up controversies like the involuntary outpatient electroshock of Ray Sandford. But with its hefty $200 price tag, you may need to stand by the entrance and peacefully bring the issue up to participants.

Asking the office of Minnesota's Governor Pawlenty for a policy position about the involuntary outpatient electroshock of Ray Sandford has led to a dead end. (For more information on the Ray Campaign see "Related Content" links at bottom of this.)

Sometimes the Governor is forwarding inquisitive citizens to his Department of Human Rights.

Sounds good.

The thing is, this Departments states it only works on very narrowly-defined discrimination complaints.

Ray has already spoken with this Department, and they hare providing him a form to file a "discrimination claim."

Their Department spokesperson says they have nothing -- zero -- to do with explaining the Governor's policies.

Then again, this Department does indeed do more when it comes to public relations.

The Minnesota Dept. of Human Rights plans to celebrate the state's human rights record at a special one-day "25th Annual Human Rights Day Conference and Forum" on Friday, 5 December 2008, at the St. Paul RiverCentre, 175 W Kellogg Blvd.

Minnesota is bringing in well-known Kweisi Mfume as keynote speaker, and there are a number of workshops on a wide ranging topics, including mental health.

You'd think this conference would be a good place to bring up the forced outpatient electroshock of Ray Sandford?

But you may need to stand outside the entrance. Only pre-registered participants who can afford the conference's hefty $200 registration cost are allowed inside the "forum."

Info on this event is here:

Something that's far cheaper than this conference would be joining MindFreedom International.

Interested? You can join now here:

To do even more on the Ray Campaign, once you join MindFreedom, you can apply to get on the MindFreedom electroshock campaign e-mail list called ZAPBACK where information and ideas are being shared and coordinated. Once you're an MFI member sign up here:

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Lauren Tenney, psychiatric survivor activist from New York State

First involuntarily institutionalized, at 15, Lauren Tenney is a survivor of psychiatry. She has been involved with the user and survivor movement since 1992. Her goal is to help stop forced psychiatric procedures, detainment, and confinement, human rights violations, psychiatric abuse and torture. Of particular concern are the elimination of forced electroconvulsive treatment (ECT) on people of all ages, but particularly children and senior citizens, forced drugging, restraints, seclusion, behavioral interventions, and coercion of any kind. Lauren, a Mad-Activist/ Artist/ Author/ Academic/ Adjunct Professor is coordinating The Opal Project, an outcome of participatory action research she coordinated for field research in the PhD program in Environmental Psychology at the Graduate Center, CUNY. Her dissertation topic is: "The Institutionalized "Community." She became involved with WE THE PEOPLE when the Law Project for Psychiatric Rights and MindFreedom International needed someone on the ground in Brooklyn, New York to coordinate a response where Esmin Green was murdered-by-neglect. She now lives in Albany, NY with her service dog-in-training and cat. For more info: and
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