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News and Reports

June 6, 2003 | Pages 10 and 11

Stop the Klan
By Patti Miller

BERWYN, Ill.--When six Klansmen and Nazis held a rally in Janura Park in this Chicago suburb May 31, hundreds of antiracists turned out to oppose them. One group of residents marched down to the park carrying a sign that read "The KKK is not welcome here, Berwyn is proud of its ethnic diversity" and were met with a huge cheer.

The pathetic group of white supremacists--led by KKK "Grand Dragon" Mike McQueeney of Mercer, Wis.--must have lost their confidence when only a tiny number of their supporters showed up. They only stuck around for 30 minutes--and were quickly escorted away under full police protection.

When the city council granted the Klan a permit and encouraged residents to stay indoors, residents were outraged. "We don't want them here," said one resident. "Why don't they go back to where they came from?"

The resident went on to question why the Klan and Nazis received so much protection by police decked out in riot gear and sharpshooters positioned on the rooftops of homes. Another resident complained about the fact that the city was willing to spend tons of money to protect them, but if residents asked for anything that would benefit the community, they were ignored.

After the Klan left, the tiny number of white supremacists who had come to listen were chased away by the large crowd. The Klan will probably not be coming back to Berwyn anytime soon. But we will continue to mobilize and confront them at every opportunity to keep them from gaining any sort of support for their racist ideas.

Justice for Palestine
By Yusef Khalil

NEW YORK--About 300 to 400 people came out in the rain to protest the annual Salute to Israel Parade. Chanting "Bush, Sharon, you will see, Palestine will be free!" and "There's nothing here to celebrate, Israel is a racist state," the protesters called for ending Israel's occupation of Palestinian land, ending U.S. aid to Israel and granting Palestinian refugees the right of return.

"As a Jewish New Yorker, I wish we had a parade to celebrate our Jewish heritage instead of being asked to salute Israel's violence against Palestinians and its violations of human rights," said Sam Miller of Jews Against the Occupation. "I simply cannot take part in the denial of Palestinian suffering and its causes."

"We are here today to show our solidarity with the Palestinian people," Sarab, an Arab-American organizer of the event, told Socialist Worker. "Israel should not be rewarded for flouting international law and for human rights violations."

Organized by the Palestine Activist Forum of New York, the protest brought together several groups including Al-Awda Right of Return Coalition, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, Jews Against the Occupation, Network of Arab-American Professionals and the International Socialist Organization.

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