Stand up for Sami Al-Arian

August 21, 2008

LOS ANGELES--A small but spirited group of activists and students organized a protest in front of the downtown Federal Building on August 13, demanding that the government immediately free Dr. Sami Al-Arian and for an end to the racist attacks against Muslims and Arabs in the U.S.

A broad coalition of forces, including al-Awda, the American Friends Service Committee, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, the International Socialist Organization, the Students for Justice for Palestine at the University of Southern California (USC) and many others, came together in front of the downtown Immigration and Customs Enforcement building.

Protesters vowed not to rest until Dr. Al-Arian is finally freed from five years of brutal and unjust imprisonment by the U.S. "war on terror" machine.

"The Al-Arian case concerns all Americans because it is part of the current administration's accelerating scale-back of civil rights and civil liberties, not only for Arabs in America but for many other people as well," said USC student Omar Hussein. "The unlawful detainment of Dr. Al-Arian and countless other detainees with similar stories is in step with these policies."

"ICE has been terrorizing our immigrant communities here in Los Angeles as well as targeting Arabs and Muslims," said another speaker. "We must continue to unite our fights in this struggle. An injury to one is an injury to all, and we must not rest until all victims of the government's 'war on terror' are released."

Protesters plan to will continue local organizing to free Sami Al-Arian, including regular protests.

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