News and reports
August 6, 2004 | Pages 14 and 15
Stop Israel's apartheid wall
NEW YORK--About 150 people marched through midtown July 31 against Israel's apartheid wall. The event was organized in solidarity with a Freedom March in the West Bank, where Palestinian activists are marching from Jenin to Jerusalem along the length of the wall.
Activists carried a large piece of cloth representing the wall and chanted, "A ghetto is a ghetto, tear down the wall!" and "Occupation is a crime, from Iraq to Palestine!"
At a rally following the march, solidarity activists who had just returned from Palestine described the devastating effects of the wall on Palestinian communities. The rally also featured a call-in from a 15-year-old activist from the West Bank who has participated in successful nonviolent direct actions to alter the route of the wall near her town.
Fight for gay rights
SEATTLE--After an outcry among gays and lesbians here, three bigots who viciously assaulted Micah Painter as he was leaving a gay dance club were apprehended. The police had dragged their feet in pursuing the perpetrators and initially hesitated to call the battering a hate crime. But immediately after the attack, activists began contacting the press on their own, put up posters to raise awareness about the gay bashing and held a demonstration of 250.
The Seattle Times was quick to credit the cops for their "fine police work," but the truth is the Seattle Police Department balked at treating Micah's case as a gay bashing, which calls for deploying more of their resources, and dragged their feet on tracking down leads.
The real heroes here are Micah, who refused to be scared into silence, an anonymous witness who did the police department's work for them, and Seattle activists who fought to make sure Micah's story didn't fall through the cracks. We've proved that protest works and sent a message to the bigots: We're fighting back!