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News from the struggle

August 23, 2002 | Page 10

Free the detainees
The Struggle for Palestine

Stop Israel's terror

By Doug Kennedy

CHARLOTTE, N.C.--About 130 people from across the region demonstrated August 3 against Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's state-sanctioned terrorism.

In the wake of increased Israeli violence, the diverse crowd of activists demanded that the U.S. stop funding Israel's murderous campaign against the Palestinians. Speakers pointed out the hypocrisy of Bush's "war on terror" and drew attention to U.S. plans to invade Iraq--a move that will result in the deaths of thousands more innocent people.

This small but spirited demonstration is an encouraging development in a region that has seen increased activism recently. With unemployment levels rising to 15-year highs, the rally signals a growing anger at Bush's policies--at home and abroad.

In addition to chants of "Long live the Intifada," marchers demanded "Money for jobs and education, not for war and occupation!"

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Free the detainees

By Emiko Ryan

SEATTLE--Sixty people demonstrated August 7 outside the office of Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) District Director Robert Coleman Jr., demanding the release of the Hamoui family. The Hamouis have been held in a detention center for five months, labeled as "alien absconders" by the U.S. government.

The family, originally from Syria, includes the father Safouh, mother Hanan and daughter Nadine. Since her detention, Hanan, who suffers from Crohn's disease, has been taken to the hospital for emergency treatment 10 times--five times in shackles!

Demonstrators handed out informational flyers and signed letters to Coleman, demanding the family's release. As Seattle police escorted protesters up to the INS office to deliver the letters, one officer had the gall to ask, "What makes you think illegal aliens have rights?"

Yet, their only crime was having an ineffective lawyer when they applied for political asylum. If the family is deported to Syria, experts say they will likely be tortured, and possibly killed.

Demonstrations in support of the Hamoui family are now happening on a weekly basis. We need to keep up the pressure.

To contribute to the Hamoui family's defense fund, please make checks payable to AACC/Hamoui Fund, 3806 Whitman Ave. N., Seattle, WA 98103.

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The Struggle for Palestine

By Aaron Hess

NEW YORK--More than 130 packed into Washington Square Church in Manhattan August 3 to launch The Struggle for Palestine, a new book of interviews and essays on Palestinian liberation.

Contributing authors Mostafa Omar, Anthony Arnove and Rania Masri spoke at the event, emphasizing the urgent need for pro-Palestinian activists to understand the background of the conflict in the Middle East.

The book--published by Haymarket Books--places the Palestinian question in the context of U.S. economic and military domination in the Middle East. "How can the U.S. be a neutral broker when it gives billions of dollars every year to one of the parties to wage war on the other?" asked Arnove, a member of the International Socialist Organization and editor of Iraq Under Siege.

Masri, director of the Economic and Environmental Justice Program at the Institute for Southern Studies, highlighted the courage of ordinary Palestinians living under occupation. For them, "daily life represents an act of resistance," said Masri. "It is our tax dollars that pay for the crimes of occupation. The Palestinian people have the courage to fight back. We have the responsibility to do so as well."

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