Tag Archives: Activism

EMERGENCY APPEAL: Palestinian refugees from Syria in desperate need of emergency care

More than 7,500 Palestinian refugees have been displaced by ongoing fighting in Syria. Of the displaced, an estimated 5,500 are from the refugee camp in Latakia, which came under attack by Syrian forces on Aug.14. Dozens were killed, and UN officials have voiced grave concern about the deteriorating situation. These refugees, particularly women and children, are too frightened to return home, and their numbers are steadily growing, making it difficult for UNRWA to provide emergency services to those displaced from Latakia, as well as Homs, Yarmouk, and Aleppo.

With the cooperation of local authorities, UNRWA staff has set up a temporary emergency office outside of Latakia in order to continue providing critically needed services. UNRWA is currently providing cash grants for food, medicine, and temporary accommodation to more than 6,000 refugees who are sick, hungry, scared and in serious need of help.

Since protests began in mid-March, more than 2,200 people have been killed in Syria. But despite this ongoing violence, UNRWA remains committed to serving the half a million Palestinian refugees in Syria. If you would like to contribute to the Syria emergency appeal to provide grants for desperately needed food, medicine, and temporary accommodation, please click here.

American Friends of UNRWA (AFU) is an independent nonprofit organization that provides support for the humanitarian work of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) through advocacy, fundraising and education.

Leave a comment

Filed under Action Alert, Activism, Current events

Chicago students attempt to subpoena US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald

Students speak at a rally in front of the Dirksen Federal Building in Chicago on Jan. 14. Photo/Maureen Murphy

On Friday, Jan. 14,  student activists protesting the FBI raids and harassment of anti-war and pro-Palestinian activists, attempted to deliver their own subpoena to U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald at the Dirksen Federal Building in Chicago.

Federal agents prohibit students from delivering their "People Subpoena" to U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald on Jan. 14, 2001, at the Dirksen Federal Building in Chicago. Photo/Maureen Murphy

Below is an excerpt from the comments of Stansfield Smith, whose daughter supposedly has been subpoenaed.  I say supposedly because, according to Stanfield’s comments, the FBI alerted his daughter she’d be issued a summons to appear before the Grand Jury, but as of Friday agents still had not delivered it.

Several college students are among those who must appear before the Grand Jury, which is looking into material support of terrorism, 4:30 p.m., Jan. 25 at the Dirksen Federal Building, 219 S. Dearborn, Chicago. There are 30 such actions planned for that date across the country. To date, more than 20 activists, mainly from the Midwest, have been subpoenaed. In the case of those from Minnesota, the FBI had infiltrated its group for 2.5 years.

To learn more about the situation or to see how you can stage a rally in your area, go to www.stopfbi.net.

Excerpt from Stanfield’s comments made Friday:

My daughter Sarah is one of those being subpoenaed in this case. The FBI said on December 3  she was being subpoenaed. Now it’s January 14 and they still haven’t delivered it. They scheduled to deliver it last Tuesday, but called to cancel because a few inches of snow fell. They have not rescheduled.

This, they assert,  is a grand jury investigation into some type of support to terrorism. But I guess they find a few inches of snow to be a greater threat. I think their attitude last Tuesday shows their real reason is not keeping us safe from terrorism, but harassing and intimidating those opposed to US wars.

You here today  recognize what Fitzgerald and the FBI are doing  in this Grand Jury case is unconstitutional and illegal, and he should be subpoenaed for it.

Why is my daughter being subpoenaed? She’s Jewish, on her mother’s side, and wanted to explore her roots. She didn’t want to go on a free “Birth Right” trip to Israel because she would only see one side. So she went with some Palestinian-American friends – who, unlike my daughter, really do have a birth right –  to see both Israel and Israeli occupied Palestinian lands.

As Sarah had said before, you would think if the US government encourages peace between Israel and Palestine, it would encourage American Jews and American Palestinians to go together and visit both lands together in an effort to make peace.

If every Jew or Palestinian in the US traveled together there like my daughter and her friends did, that itself  would go a long ways towards ending that Mideast conflict.

If Fitzgerald were doing his job, he would be defending her actions, not subpoenaing her for peace-making. For that abuse of office, he himself should be subpoenaed.

The police and FBI had infiltrated the Freedom Road Socialist Organization and the Minnesota anti-war committee over the past  2 and a half years.

As the Minnesota press conference pointed out Wednesday, the FBI had access to all the Anti-War committee’s records, and knew what Freedom Road and the Anti-War Committee were doing. For these two and half years they never had reason to arrest or indict anyone.

I can only assume the materials they stole from of the subpoenaed peoples’ homes on September 24 contains information the FBI already knows. I can only assume any information they expect to get in the Grand Jury investigations is information they had already collected in the past 2 1/2 years.

Since Fitzgerald’s Grand Jury is not going to find anything new, then it is pretty clear it’s whole purpose is harassment of peace activists. For that, Fitzgerald should be subpoenaed himself.

And  I can only assume the FBI has made no arrests, nor have there been indictments for terrorism because they know no evidence exists.


Leave a comment

Filed under Activism, News

Chicago activists protest latest round of FBI subpoenas – CNN iReport

Vodpod videos no longer available.

A  group of about 100 activists braved frigid temperatures to protest the latest round of FBI subpoenas in front of the Dirksen Federal Building in Chicago Monday night.
The FBI issues summons to appear before a federal grand jury to three college students Friday. They are scheduled to appear on Jan. 25, said their attorney Jim Fennerty of the National Lawyers Guild. The women are being targeted because they traveled to the Palestinian occupied territory of the West Bank, he added.
The new subpoenas bring to 17 the number of activists throughout the Midwest that have been targeted by the FBI for their Palestinian and Colombian solidarity work. On Sept. 24, the FBI raided several homes in Minnesota, Chicago and Michigan and issued to subpoenas to 14 people.
To date, all 14 have refused to testify, causing Patrick Fitzgerald, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, to withdraw the summons. However, he has since reissued subpoenas to three Minnesota women, who are facing “indeterminate imprisonment” if they refuse to testify again, said Maureen Murphy of the Committee to Stop FBI Repression.
The national committee was formed in response to the Sept. 24 FBI raids.
Grand juries are used to determine whether to charge a person with a crime. They differ from juries in criminal trials in that they are not screened for bias, according to the website Grand Jury Resistance Project. In addition, grand juries are conducted in secret without a judge and defense lawyers are not allowed into the room with their clients. However, they may confer with their clients outside the courtroom.
Many people claim that grand juries are misused to silence political opposition.
“Because of their broad subpoena powers and secretive nature, grand juries have been used by the government to gather information on political movements and to disrupt those movements by causing fear and mistrust,” the Grand Jury Resistance Project website states.
That’s a stance the National Lawyers Guild takes. According to its website, the Guild denounces the recent FBI actions.
“The Guild denounces the attacks on free speech, freedom of association, and the right to dissent that these actions represent,” the website states. “The raids and summonses reflect escalating hostility toward individuals and groups working in solidarity with the Palestinian and Colombian people and are blatantly political attacks on peaceful activists.”
The NLG has established a hotline for activists contacted by the FBI and has issued a Know Your Rights brochure and other information.
Murphy was upbeat about the event. The “push back” against the government has show results. Rallies and demonstrations have taken place in at least 60 cities nationwide, she said.
For more information on this issue:
Committee to Stop FBI Repression,
http://www.stopfbi.net
National Lawyers Guild,
http://www.nlgchicago.org
Grand Jury Resistance Project,
http://www.grandjuryresistance.org
For action items:
American Muslims for Palestine,
http://www.ampalestine.org.
Full Disclosure: I am the director of media and communications for the American Muslims for Palestine, which endorsed Monday’s rally.

Published first on CNN iReport http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-526337

1 Comment

Filed under Activism, Current events

AMP joins coalition in condemning proposed suspension of Muslim student group

(CHICAGO 07/28/2010) – The American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) has joined a coalition of civil rights and professional bar associations in condemning the proposed suspension of the Muslim Student Union at the University of California, Irvine.

University officials have recommended the suspension after 10 students raised objections and disrupted a speech by Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren on Feb. 8, 2010. The students left the hall peacefully and of their own accord.

The MSU rejects UCI’s factual determinations of its involvement with the protest, and is currently appealing the proposed ban; nonetheless, AMP is urging its supports to contact UCI Chancellor Michael Drake and Vice Chancellor Manual Gomez and demand the institution abandon all efforts to suspend the MSU.

It is the position of the coalition that the suspension violates the students’ fundamental First Amendment Right to Association.

To read the coalition’s letter to UCI’s chancellor and vice chancellor, click here.

TAKE ACTION

Call or email Chancellor Michael Drake and Vice Chancellor to demand the university rescind the suspension recommendation.

TALKING POINTS

  • The MSU has been in existence for more than 20 years and organizes hundreds of interfaith and diverse programs every year.
  • Singling out the only organization on campus dedicated to the issues and concerns of Muslim students not only devalues the Muslim community as a whole, but also implies political and religious discrimination on the part of UCI administrators.
  • Banning the MSU will marginalize this vulnerable community and will brand it as perpetual outsiders
  • The recommended Ban Is unparalleled In Its severity and constitutes selective enforcement because other student groups, such as the College Republicans and Students for Peace and Justice, have not only protested and disrupted speeches, but have prevented those speakers from finishing their remarks. Yet no students were disciplined nor were their groups sanctioned in any way.
  • The ban sets a dangerous precedent that threatens other student groups.

CONTACTS

Michael Drake, Chancellor, University of California, Irvine
E-mail: chancellor@uci.edu
Phone: (949) 824-5111
Fax: (949) 824-2087

Manuel N. Gómez, Vice-Chancellor, University of California, Irvine
Email: mngomez@uci.edu
Phone: (949) 824-4804
Fax: (949) 824-2763

The American Muslims for Palestine is a national, grassroots organization, whose mission is to educate the American public about issues pertaining to Palestine and its rich, cultural heritage. For more information, contact Kristin Szremski, director of media and communications, at 708.598.4267, ext. 22 or at media@ampalestine.org . To learn more, go to http://www.ampalestine.org.

1 Comment

Filed under Activism, Current events, News

Job Opening

AMP has an immediate opening for a full-time grassroots organizer

Application Deadline July 30, 2010

The American Muslims for Palestine seeks an experienced community grassroots organizer to help create and implement national grassroots organizing programs, including but not limited to planning regional activities, coordinating conferences and seminars, training programs, educational campaigns, actions and events in support of AMP’s goal of empowerment through education and action.

The prospective candidate should have a good working knowledge and understanding of the issue of Palestine, American Muslim community leadership and its organizational landscape.

Specific responsibilities include:

  1. Report to the Executive Director
  2. Develop a positive, organizational, and professional relationship with all AMP chapters around the country, with a focus on forming new chapters in different cities
  3. Develop, manage and maintain contact list(s)
  4. Work with different chapters to plan, organize and implement assigned events, conferences, campaigns and programs
  5. Recruit volunteers, supporters and affiliates for AMP
  6. Plan, organize and implement youth leadership initiatives and workshops
  7. Conduct grassroots trainings and speaking events
  8. Work with media director to help develop training materials, handouts, and tip sheets
  9. Plan and execute outreach initiatives, which include giving presentations to groups, and participate in regional and national event and conferences
  10. Outreach to community leaders and key organizations
  11. Work with media director to formulate and execute strategy and tactics in relation to national educational campaigns
  12. Develop and train grassroots leaders to be active on educating the public about Palestine
  13. Assist in research, fundraising planning, and other organizational operations; and
  14. Any and all tasks assigned by the Executive Director and/or the Chairman.

Qualifications, Skills and Abilities:

  1. College graduate
  2. Previous experience in grassroots organizing
  3. Knowledge about the Palestinian issue and willingness to learn and keep self updated
  4. Public speaking ability and skills
  5. Excellent oral and written communication skills
  6. Ability to work effectively as a team member but also able to work independently to oversee projects through to completion
  7. Demonstrated organizational skills
  8. Goal- and detail-oriented
  9. Creative problem solver who demonstrates initiative and confident about offering ideas
  10. Professional demeanor, punctual, dependable, pleasant, positive and a good sense of humor
  11. Self-starter with strong work ethic
  12. Able to work well with many types of personalities; manage and prioritize multiple tasks in a fast-paced environment; adapt to changing priorities; work effectively alone and in teams, work under pressure, and able to meet time limits; and
  13. Willingness to work late, weekends, and travel around the country

Plus Qualifications

1.  Speaks, understands and communicates in Arabic
2.  Living in or willing to move to Illinois; and
3.  Experience in non-profit Islamic work

Compensation: negotiable, depends on experience and performance.

How to Apply:

Send resumes to
Dr. Hatem Bazian
Chairman
American Muslims for Palestine
10101 S. Roberts Road, Suite 101
Palos Hills, IL 60465

Hatem.bazian@ampalestine.org
Send a copy to: abaset@aol.com

The American Muslims for Palestine is a national grassroots organization whose mission is to educate the American public about issues pertaining to Palestine and its rich, cultural heritage.

1 Comment

Filed under Activism

PALESTINE AT THE US SOCIAL FORUM 2010

Palestine is at the US Social Forum! Anchored by the US Palestinian Community Network, Palestinians in the US, alongside our African-American, Anti-Zionist, Arab, Indigenous, Immigrant, Labor, Muslim and other Faith allies, as well as social justice visionaries across the United States, are coming together in DETROIT, MI, from JUNE 22-26, to DEMAND JUSTICE FOR PALESTINE.

REGISTER NOW http://www.ussf2010.org/register

BOOK HOUSING NOW http://www.ussf2010.org/housingneeds

PALESTINE TENT INFO: http://ussf.palestineconference.org/palestine-tent/

JOIN US IN MAKING HISTORY AND ANOTHER WORLD!

PEOPLE’S MOVEMENT ASSEMBLY GATHERING CAMPAIGNS FOR BOYCOTT, DIVESTMENT, SANCTIONS * PALESTINE TENT WITH ENTERTAINMENT, LECTURES, ORGANIZING MEETINGS, EXHIBITIONS, CAMPAIGN DISPLAYS * THE FIRST NATIONAL CONVENTION OF STUDENTS FOR JUSTICE IN PALESTINE * PALESTINIAN YOUTH AT THE INTERNATIONAL YOUTH FORUM * ASSEMBLY FOR PALESTINIANS IN EXILE IN THE US * PLENARY SPEAKER LIVE FROM PALESTINE TO THE 25000+ ESTIMATED ATTENDEES * PARTICIPATE IN A PALESTINE MURAL * MAJOR SESSIONS, WORKSHOPS AND NATIONAL COORDINATION MEETINGS ON GAZA, ARAB AND MUSLIM CIVIL LIBERTIES, AND STRENGTHENING SOLIDARITY ACROSS OUR INTERNATIONAL AND NATIONAL STRUGGLES FOR SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC JUSTICE * MUCH MORE

FULL PROGRAM COMING SOON: ussf.palestineconference.org/

Place an ad in the program: http://ussf.palestineconference.org/advertising-contact/

US Palestinian Community Network – US Social Forum 2010 Organizing Committee

Contact us at uspcn.ussf2010@yahoo.com

Leave a comment

Filed under Activism, Current events