Friday, January 29, 2010

We Will Not Be Silent

Nice website with good articles and some great shirts. Check it out:

Thursday, January 28, 2010

54 US Representatives sign letter to Obama on Gaza siege (thanks, Eldad)

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20500

Dear President Obama,

Thank you for your ongoing work to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and for your commitment of $300 million in U.S. aid to rebuild the Gaza Strip. We write to you with great concern about the ongoing crisis in Gaza.

The people of Gaza have suffered enormously since the blockade imposed by Israel and Egypt following Hamas¥ coup, and particularly following Operation Cast Lead. We also sympathize deeply with the people of southern Israel who have suffered from abhorrent rocket and mortar attacks. We recognize that the Israeli government has imposed restrictions on Gaza out of a legitimate and keenly felt fear of continued terrorist action by Hamas and other militant groups. This concern must be addressed without resulting in the de facto collective punishment of the Palestinian residents of the Gaza Strip. Truly, fulfilling the needs of civilians in Israel and Gaza are mutually reinforcing goals.

The unabated suffering of Gazan civilians highlights the urgency of reaching a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and we ask you to press for immediate relief for the citizens of Gaza as an urgent component of your broader Middle East peace efforts. The current blockade has severely impeded the ability of aid agencies to do their work to relieve suffering, and we ask that you advocate for immediate improvements for Gaza in the following areas:
* Movement of people, especially students, the ill, aid workers, journalists, and those with family concerns, into and out of Gaza;

* Access to clean water, including water infrastructure materials,

* Access to plentiful and varied food and agricultural materials;

* Access to medicine and health care products and suppliers;

* Access to sanitation supplies, including sanitation infrastructure materials;

* Access to construction materials for repairs and rebuilding;

* Access to fuel;

* Access to spare parts;

* Prompt passage into and out of Gaza for commercial and agricultural goods; and

* Publication and review of the list of items prohibited to the people of Gaza.

Winter is arriving and the needs of the people grow ever more pressing. For example, the ban on building materials is preventing the reconstruction of thousands of innocent families¥ damaged homes. There is also a concern that unrepaired sewage treatment plants will overflow and damage surrounding property and water resources.

Despite ad hoc easing of the blockade, there has been no significant improvement in the quantity and scope of goods allowed into Gaza. Both the number of trucks entering Gaza per month and the number of days the crossings have been open have declined since March. This crisis has devastated livelihoods, entrenched a poverty rate of over 70%, increased dependence on erratic international aid, allowed the deterioration of public infrastructure, and led to the marked decline of the accessibility of essential services.

The humanitarian and political consequences of a continued near-blockade would be disastrous. Easing the blockade on Gaza will not only improve the conditions on the ground for Gaza¥s civilian population, but will also undermine the tunnel economy which has strengthened Hamas. Under current conditions, our aid remains little more than an unrealized pledge. Most importantly, lifting these restrictions will give civilians in Gaza a tangible sense that diplomacy can be an effective tool for bettering their conditions.

Your Administration¥s overarching Middle East peace efforts will benefit Israel, the Palestinians, and the entire region. The people of Gaza, along with all the peoples of the region, must see that the United States is dedicated to addressing the legitimate security needs of the State of Israel and to ensuring that the legitimate needs of the Palestinian population are met.


Members of Congress

Raul Grijalva

Lois Capps
Sam Farr
Bob Filner
Barbara Lee
Loretta Sanchez
Pete Stark
Michael Honda
Lynn Woolsey
Jackie Speier
Diane Watson
George Miller

Jim Himes

Andre Carson

Bruce Braley

John Yarmuth

Elijah Cummings
Donna Edwards

Michael Capuano
William Delahunt
Jim McGovern
John Tierney
John Olver
Stephen Lynch

John Conyers
John Dingell
Carolyn Kilpatrick

Keith Ellison
Betty McCollum
James Oberstar

New Jersey
Donald Payne
Rush Holt
Bill Pascrell

New York
Yvette Clarke
Maurice Hinchey
Paul Tonko
Eric Massa

North Carolina
David Price

Mary Jo Kilroy
Marcy Kaptur

Earl Blumenauer
Peter DeFazio

Chaka Fattah
Joe Sestak

Peter Welch

Jim Moran

Jim McDermott
Adam Smith
Jay Inslee
Brian Baird

West Virginia
Nick Rahall

Tammy Baldwin
Gwen Moore

Glenn Nye

GAZA DIARY FROM A Human Resources Professional

A Human Resources worker from the USA, who participated in the GFM ponders about the real role of his country's ultimate Human Resources Office : THE US EMBASSY:

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Gaza Blockade threatens health of 1.4 million

Gaza blockade threatens health of 1.4 million, aid agencies warn

Israeli and Egyptian blockade means nearly one-fifth of requests to leave for treatment are refused or delayed, report says

An Israeli soldier relaxes at the Karni crossing with the Gaza Strip

A Gaza crossing point: A new report warns that the blockade is risking the health of 1.4 million people. Photograph: Ariel Schalit/AP

The health of 1.4 million people is being put at risk by the ongoing Israeli and Egyptian blockade of Gaza, a report by more than 80 humanitarian organisations warned today.

The aid groups, including the World Health Organisation and UN agencies, said more than one-fifth of sick Palestinians who needed to leave the territory for treatment in Israel had either been refused or had their applications delayed. The groups called on Israel and Egypt to open the border crossings with Gaza.

Max Gaylard, the UN humanitarian co-ordinator for the Palestinian territories, said the blockade undermined the local healthcare system and put lives at risk.

"It is causing ongoing deterioration in the social, economic and environmental determinants of health," he said.

"It is hampering the provision of medical supplies and the training of health staff, and it is preventing patients with serious medical conditions from getting timely specialised treatment."

The agencies highlighted the case of a student, Fidaa Hijji, who died of cancer while waiting for Israeli permission to go to hospital for a bone marrow operation.

Repeated applications to cross the border were ignored even though Hijji, who was 18 when her cancer was diagnosed in 2007, had confirmed medical appointments.

Permission for her entry to Israel was finally given a day after she died last month.

Israel generally permits supplies of drugs into Gaza, but not always of enough to prevent shortages. Certain medical equipment, such as x-ray and electronic devices, is difficult to bring in and clinical staff frequently lack equipment they need, the UN said.

The blockade was imposed after Hamas militants seized control of Gaza in 2007.

Health professionals in Gaza have been cut off from the outside world, with few doctors, nurses or technicians able to leave for the training necessary to update their clinical skills or learn about new medical technology during the past decade, the agencies said.

Many specialised treatments, such as heart surgery and some cancer treatments, are unavailable in Gaza.

"An effective healthcare system cannot be sustained in isolation from the international community," Tony Laurance, the WHO head in the West Bank and Gaza, said.

"Open borders are needed to ensure the health of the 1.4 million people in Gaza."

WHO figures indicate that 21% of the 1,103 applications last month to travel to Israel for hospital appointments were denied or delayed.

Twenty-nine patients died last year awaiting referral, down from 46 in 2008.

An Israeli spokesman said approvals had increased by 25% since 2008.

"Not only are we doing our utmost to allow the people of Gaza every possible medical treatment, but we are doing this in a situation in which their own government is imposing a state of war and trying deliberately to harm Israelis, including those whose mission is to assist the very people of Gaza," Yigal Palmor, a spokesman for Israel's foreign ministry, said.

Monday, January 25, 2010


Fiery bombs
Rain upon us
Everywhere on

Gigantic walls
Asphyxiate life
Zenith cries for help
Arise from the ashes
Love, Linda


Our Pebbles of Peace

raised the Nile

Ripples of hope


Saturday, January 23, 2010

Gaza Freedom March - Report Back

Gaza Freedom March - Report Back

Saturday, January 23
2:30 - 5:00 pm 
Woodstock Community Center
56 Rock City Rd, Woodstock

Ten residents of the Hudson Valley took part in the Gaza Freedom March from  Dec. 25 to Jan. 4. Members of this delegation discussed their experiences as well as the emerging International Coalition to End the Illegal Siege of Gaza.

Sponsored by:

Middle East Crisis Response

Contact: (845) 679-5301

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Honoring the Spirit Of Martin Luther King, In Cairo and in “America”

Having recently returned from Cairo as a Gaza Freedom Marcher, and reflecting most recently on that trip and on the significance of Martin Luther King’s day, I attended, on that day, with several other fellow Gaza Freedom Marchers, a community service in NYC; at that comminity service a poem by Langston Hughes was read that talked about this not ever being his America…or the America of many others who had come here with high and noble hopes. The title of the poem is: Let America Be America Again; I encourage everyone to read it.

Having myself come here as an immigrant, Langston Hughes’ words resonate continuously as an incessant tinnitus of my mind . This was never the “America” I had hoped for; this was never "America" to me. However, when Obama was elected as our president I must admit that I though this could become “my, our America”, so a warming glimmer of hope began to shine in my eternally optimistic heart: finally a hope for change, a hope for “good” change for the people! Not for the Banks and Insurance Companies and Lobbyists and Military Complex and Corporate greed masters. Our political system works! Finally!
That glimmer of hope quickly faded and is long gone as I begin to use my brain more actively these days to think and dissect reality…the "reality" fed to us by the mass media; as I begin to analyze what is being done to us and as I question everything I’m fed, I realize that the walk and the talk are diametric strangers in the House that is still...White.

Oh, have I changed! Did I become a pessimist? No: just a better informed optimist!

During the elections, I had placed my hopes incorrectly on the logical process of an election to bring about genuine, foundational social change; but as experience and history showed me as I became better informed, with all elections (I should have known better): elections are a theatrical illusion; a well crafted show a la Cirque Des Absurdites, which rarely have brought social change and are in fact, carefully orchestrated high tech propagandistic puppetry meant to destabilize and eventually crush any movement that dare demand social change. We had traveled to Cairo as representatives of "America" and we too we had, incorrectly, relied on logical, judicially sound, politically correct processes and diplomatic courtesies (i.e.: provided pre- trip information to local governments, lists of travelers, we asked permission to talk to our embassies) to travel to Gaza; naturally the approach did not work; we were denied entry into Gaza and in fact our requests for, and subsequent meetings with, the various embassies, resulted in their treating us, the Gaza Freedom Marchers as subversive and unwanted visitors (aided by Mubarak’s security & military forces who followed us everywhere, penned us in, blocked our hotels, harassed us daily and were violent with some of the peaceful protesters). We had come from "America" and all over the world to bring humanitarian aid to the suffering people of Gaza and we were now being asked to leave or if we stayed, we were ordered to become a tourist! The dissonance between the talk and the walk was never clearer : Obama, in his presidential inaugural speech had said: " we can no longer afford indifference to suffering outside our borders" yet... now our own embassy was not willing to help us bring aid to Gaza, and instead was aiding and abetting the dictatorship of Egypt in preventing our humanitarian mission outside our borders!

What would Martin Luther King have done? Leave or stay in Egypt and be a tourist as the government ordered us to do? Well, by now you know what we did…
I believe we honored Dr King’s spirit by not leaving and by not becoming tourists but rather organizing on a dime and engaging in powerful peaceful protests, vigils, hunger strike, press conferences and civil disobedience; as Dr King, we believe firmly and unshakably that our movement is operating on the side of human justice. We, the people can and will make change happen. We will never be silent. Those days in Cairo confirm this ardent belief.

As Billy Wharton aptly says in yesterday’s Rag Blog:

It is clear that no election or any judicial decision, no matter how slick the public relations scheme, can replace the powerful ability of regular people to create movements that change history and society for the better”.

We, the "regular people" will unite to make this the America it should be!


Highway bigotry and hate: just experienced by Linda Laurie and Nic

Linda just called me on her cell (I am paraphrasing but this is what I heard):

Linda, Laurie, Nic and Tarak are on their way to DC; they were exiting the rest shops area with their GREED KILLS; WE WILL NOT BE SILENT and GAZA FREEDOM MARCH shirts.
two enraged men stopped them and engaged in a tirade that essentially boiled down to these two men angrily exposing their "philosophy" in response to the shirts! Their philosophy boiled down to:
> Capitalism is good: I employe 30 people and I pay them and I really don't care about them: I don'even know their names: I am the greediest SOB living...

> Who the hell cares about Palestinians; they can all rot for all I care; I would step on all their heads; if you love them so much; take them home!

> You(to Laurie) are a self-hating Jew! (They said they were Palestinian Jews)

This dear friends is what we are up against!

Martin Luther King in the Age of Obama : Why We Can

Martin Luther King in the Age of Obama : Why We Can

Wishing everyone peace and justice

Sunday, January 17, 2010

First Cleveland Reportback and Slideshow Summary

did my first slide show and presentation last night....while it was only 10 people, that's not too bad for was very interesting....lots of struggle about the question of "security" of keeping people safe FROM the Palestinians (e.g. "doesn't Israel HAVE to build the security wall to keep people safe?") This was very contentious, though, interestingly, the audience was open and were basically aghast at what is being done in Gaza and to the Palestinians. People have no sense of history, no understanding of the enormity of the actual injustice and outrage that has been done. Actually, the participation of Hedy Epstein and things she said were very important to people. This group was a combo of some friends of mine who work in hospital admin, and some people I had not known, including a doctor, a graphic designer, and a couple of unemployed artists. There was a lot of amazement at the makeup of GFM...people were very taken with the faces of people who had come from around the world and that they were not just young but a mix...also with people's convictions and willingness to fisk their personal safety.

The thing that strikes me is how BIG a problem this "we have to be safe" thinking is...linked to 911, there is almost an implicit fear that the Palestinians represent 911...that, in fact, all Arabs do...people will not just put that out but they do deep going "BUT BUT doesn't everyone have the right to be safe?" When I said, "Don't the Palestinians have a right to be safe from being starved out, bombed out, terrorized?" they got quiet and one older woman said, "I rarely try to put myself in their shoes and I do not know their lives and circumstances." This led to a really heavy discussion on what this siege means, down on the ground, and why everyone in this room, if they care about justice and what's right, need to learn and extend themselves to demanding an end to the siege. Towards the end, a guy (one of the artists) said "the things going on in Gaza that you're telling us about sound a lot like the Warsaw ghetto."

Photos were really important, even though my slide show was pretty basic (ummm, crude) and shown on a laptop (needs to be projected bigger). I would also like to do a slideshow with some music...some of what was sung during the GFM including Bella Chow, and maybe some Egyptian music composed by an Egyptian friend of mine who is prof at kent State, and maybe some more...I so wish I had a really compelling 10 minute film....Fred? :))))))))))))))

I don't know why, but I was torn between being happy about this reportback and pretty sad...missing all of you, wondering how we can change this when change is so small and incremental in that room...and then I thought of Laurie's quoting...history is on the side of those who fight for justice....maybe also with Haiti events front and center, there are overwhelming feelings...the biggest one of which is how important the work is that all of us are doing.

love to you all,

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Orchard

the prologue of deceit
now holds us captive
within borders of greed.

How cruel to be punished
for such quenchless thirst!

often with no direction.

to sow the seeds of change,

all too often
they fall upon

d e t a c h e d


for a gust of wind
to carry
just one
to fertile ground.

to bear witness
to the light
that shall nourish it.

the epitaph of the present
will give birth to a
new humanity

you and I will embrace
in the orchard of peace.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Friday, January 8, 2010


sunlight hiding
behind barricades
of smog
we like the rays
trapped three rows
infant warriors
tattered uniforms
broken boots
broken dreams.

a myriad of humanity
silent whispers of support

night sweats
give way
to parched lips
and the dizzying aroma
of diesel fuel

menacing goon eyes
cloaked in borghese
croon to alien sophias
how dare you!

but where?

token buses of
paltry good will
strand partisans of freedom

crowded rooms

tying to find the space
to inhale
choking on my own naivety

feet standing on familiar ground
once again
by the wall of indifference

Olive Branch mp3 (thanks, Linda)

"He also sent a beautiful song entitlrd "Olive Branch..."

To hear the song, click on the link below:

Palestine will Be Free

Music connects us all: Tarak shared this beautiful song with us: by Maher Zahir:

"What is Freedom? Something I was always ready to die for. It is the dissolving of chains, the ability to fly, the joy to sing and shout, the strength of my comrades united and the embrace of all my brothers and sisters: it was the very the oxygen of my soul"
-Vladimiro Morselli (Italian Partisan and my father)

Our French Rappers Friends For Palestine Freedom!

Linda sent an email to the French Rap Group Ministere des Affaires Populaires, who was in Cairo. They are French born of Algerian parents. The group is politically charged and have been to Palestine several times. (see their website here: http:// of us had spoken with them outside of the French Embassy. Kaddour Hadadi, aka H.k., wrote back to Linda and said that they would be interested in participating in any actions which we may plan for Palestine. He also sent a beautiful song entitlrd "Olive Branch" which he wrote in English based upon a speech given by Arafat in 1974. I cannot download here (it's an MP3) but have sent separately.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

New Year's In Cairo 1/1/10

note: this entry was written while we were still in Cairo but I was unable to post it until now - I wanted to document the other "actions" between our group and the Egyptian civilians on the street.

While the Gaza Freedom March is getting much press the story behind the scenes that you won’t hear is how many of the people of Cairo are cheering us on . Women and men, young adults and older, stop to thank us in different ways. They flash the peace sign as they drive by our protests. They quietly say “Thank you for all you are doing” as they pass on the streets. We get a thumb’s up from college kids who admire what we are doing and want to learn more about our work.

Our NY Group is hard to miss when out on the streets – all of us in black tee-shirts with some version of “We will not be silent” on our chests, we stand out like a family at a reunion in a park (and we are beginning to feel that kind of solidarity as well). When we were standing outside earlier tonight, a young man made a point of rushing back after he had passed us to say, “I am so proud of you!”

Just tonight, as Pia and I were walking home from dinner (well sort of dinner in that we are slowly breaking our fast), several people approached us to let us know how much they appreciate what we are doing. The sidewalks are incredibly crowded and the traffic so dense that walking down the street is an adventure in itself. As we navigated our way back to our hotel, several small groups of people stopped us to say, “Shukron”, “Gaza Freedom March – yes!” We stopped at a bank tonight and this young woman about 22 years old, with impeccable English introduced herself as Hafsa. She asked us if we were part of GFM and, “How can I get involved? I have so many ideas, I want to do something!” We must have talked for about 30 minutes and she still had more ideas to share including how to gain access for Viva Palestina through the Suez and how to turn human waste into fuel for Gaza! Hafsa and her friend wore hijab, as most of the women do here, which made her earnestness all the more convincing. And I felt inspired by her. We exchanged email addresses and I know we will be in touch.

So, all of this is such a reminder that no matter what action one takes, the effects are broad and deep. This trip has served to intensify my resolve for peace in Palestine and for all people searching to make the world more just. And many of us are finding each other to share in this work even in the most unexpected places.


Gary and I talk about the Gaza Freedom March

The interview starts at about halfway through the Activist Radio program. It is in mp3 form so it should download easily.


Ask Your Rep to End Gaza Suffering (Friends Committee)

A year after the Gaza war, Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip continue to live in poverty and deprivation. As winter rains and cold arrive, the concrete and other materials needed to rebuild clinics, schools, and homes destroyed in the war a year ago are still banned from entering Gaza...

Ask your rep to end the suffering in Gaza.

Statement and story of the French Embassy Encampment

Underneath is the story of our experience with the Gaza Freedom march, which is not over, but on the contrary will go on and widen in France and elsewhere. The main sanction against Israel will remain the boycott, just as it was done against th South African regime of apartheid. Boycott in all its forms must be maintained as long as Israel will boycott Palestinians. It must be proclaimed proudly Because it is the weapon of all those who refuse cruel treatments, concentration camps, ghettos where men, women and children are imprisoned to be bombed, starved and humiliated...

We return to this adventure more determined than ever to lead the fight against the inhumanity of the siege of Gaza, imprisonment and deprivation of all the Palestinian people by Israeli occupation. Crimes against humanity may be committed with the consent of our leaders, including the Egyptian government that shows its true face collaboration by building a wall to strangle and starve even more the people of Gaza.

Very strong links were forged between the representatives of all countries during this "Walk for Gaza" stopped in Cairo. Take the opportunity to make 2010 the year that brings us together, to shake all these tyrants!

Read the entire translation.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I made this little doodle in Cairo late one of many sleepless nights and also wrote the following:

Principles of Action: Cairo December 26- January 3rd 2009
“Establish unto thyself principles of action; and see that thou ever act according to them. First know that thy principles are just…”- Akhenaton King of Egypt, 14th century BC

Didn’t make it to Gaza
Didn’t make it to the wall with bricks of tears
We, uncomfortable phalanx of peace
Hostages ourselves

Negotiations unclear
Did what we could
Did what we should
Made bitter lemonade
Took it to the streets
Our souls reshaped,
Amalgam of sorrow, courage and action
Determination fueled by the faces of the world
Cairo boy peace sign and thank yous, fear in their eye
One day the storm trooper smiled
At me! A gentle gendarme catalyst of thought:
Money Relations
United Nations?Discrimi-Nations...NO! Our Renewed DetermiNations!



Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The A R T of dissent!

Sara, letting Freedom Ring in Cairo for Gaza!

Photo by Bill Perry,
Posted by Maurizio M.

Cairo Declaration to End Israeli Apartheid

Cairo Declaration to End Israeli Apartheid

Gaza Freedom Marchers issue the "Cairo Declaration" to end Israeli apartheid Press release, Gaza Freedom March delegates, 4 January 2010

The following declaration was issued on 1 January 2010:
Gaza Freedom Marchers approved today a declaration aimed at accelerating the global campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israeli Apartheid.

Roughly 1,400 activists from 43 countries converged in Cairo on their way to Gaza to join with Palestinians marching to break Israel's illegal siege. They were prevented from entering Gaza by the Egyptian authorities.

As a result, the Freedom Marchers remained in Cairo. They staged a series of nonviolent actions aimed at pressuring the international community to end the siege as one step in the larger struggle to secure justice for Palestinians throughout historic Palestine.

This declaration arose from those actions:
We, international delegates meeting in Cairo during the Gaza Freedom March 2009 in collective response to an initiative from the South African delegation, state:
In view of:

-Israel's ongoing collective punishment of Palestinians through the illegal occupation and siege of Gaza
-the illegal occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the continued construction of the illegal Apartheid Wall and settlements; the new Wall under construction by Egypt and the US which will tighten even further the siege of Gaza
-the contempt for Palestinian democracy shown by Israel, the US, Canada, the EU and others after the Palestinian elections of 2006
-the war crimes committed by Israel during the invasion of Gaza one year ago; the continuing discrimination and repression faced by Palestinians within Israel
-and the continuing exile of millions of Palestinian refugees; all of which oppressive acts are based ultimately on the Zionist ideology which underpins Israel
-in the knowledge that our own governments have given Israel direct economic, financial, military and diplomatic support and allowed it to behave with impunity
-and mindful of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (2007)

We reaffirm our commitment to:
Palestinian Self-Determination Ending the Occupation Equal Rights for All within historic Palestine The full Right of Return for Palestinian refugees

We therefore reaffirm our commitment to the United Palestinian call of July 2005 for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) to compel Israel to comply with international law.

To that end, we call for and wish to help initiate a global mass, democratic anti-apartheid movement to work in full consultation with Palestinian civil society to implement the Palestinian call for BDS.

Mindful of the many strong similarities between apartheid Israel and the former apartheid regime in South Africa, we propose:

1) An international speaking tour in the first six months of 2010 by Palestinian and South African trade unionists and civil society activists, to be joined by trade unionists and activists committed to this program within the countries toured, to take mass education on BDS directly to the trade union membership and wider public internationally;

2) Participation in the Israeli Apartheid Week in March 2010;

3) A systematic unified approach to the boycott of Israeli products, involving consumers, workers and their unions in the retail, warehousing and transportation sectors;

4) Developing the academic, cultural and sports boycott;

5) Campaigns to encourage divestment of trade union and other pension funds from companies directly implicated in the occupation and/or the Israeli military industries;

6) Legal actions targeting the external recruitment of soldiers to serve in the Israeli military, and the prosecution of Israeli government war criminals; coordination of Citizen's Arrest Bureaux to identify, campaign and seek to prosecute Israeli war criminals; support for the Goldstone report and the implementation of its recommendations;

7) Campaigns against charitable status of the Jewish National Fund (JNF).

We appeal to organizations and individuals committed to this declaration to sign it and work with us to make it a reality.

Please e-mail us at cairodec A T gmail D O T com

Signed by:
(* Affiliation for identification purposes only.)

1. Hedy Epstein, Holocaust Survivor/ Women in Black*, USA

2. Nomthandazo Sikiti, Nehawu, Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), Affiliate International Officer*, South Africa

3. Zico Tamela, Satawu, Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) Affiliate International Officer*, South Africa

4. Hlokoza Motau, Numsa, Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) Affiliate International Officer*, South Africa

5. George Mahlangu, Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) Campaigns Coordinator*, South Africa

6. Crystal Dicks, Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) Education Secretary*, South Africa

7. Savera Kalideen, SA Palestinian Solidarity Committee*, South Africa

8. Suzanne Hotz, SA Palestinian Solidarity Group*, South Africa

9. Shehnaaz Wadee, SA Palestinian Solidarity Alliance*, South Africa

10. Haroon Wadee, SA Palestinian Solidarity Alliance*, South Africa

11. Sayeed Dhansey, South Africa

12. Faiza Desai, SA Palestinian Solidarity Alliance*, South Africa

13. Ali Abunimah, Electronic Intifada*, USA

14. Hilary Minch, Ireland Palestine Solidarity Committee*, Ireland

15. Anthony Loewenstein, Australia

16. Sam Perlo-Freeman, United Kingdom

17. Julie Moentk, Pax Christi*, USA

18. Ulf Fogelström, Sweden

19. Ann Polivka, Chico Peace and Justice Center*, USA

20. Mark Johnson, Fellowship of Reconciliation*, USA

21. Elfi Padovan, Munich Peace Committee*/Die Linke*, Germany

22. Elizabeth Barger, Peace Roots Alliance*/Plenty I*, USA

23. Sarah Roche-Mahdi, CodePink*, USA

24. Svetlana Gesheva-Anar, Bulgaria

25. Cristina Ruiz Cortina, Al Quds-Malaga*, Spain

26. Rachel Wyon, Boston Gaza Freedom March*, USA

27. Mary Hughes-Thompson, Women in Black*, USA

28. David Letwin, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN)*, USA

29. Jean Athey, Peace Action Montgomery*, USA

30. Gael Murphy, Gaza Freedom March*/CodePink*, USA

31. Thomas McAfee, Journalist/PC*, USA

32. Jean Louis Faure, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN)*, France

33. Timothy A King, Christians for Peace and Justice in the Middle East*, USA

34. Gail Chalbi, Palestine/Israel Justice Project of the Minnesota United Methodist Church*, USA

35. Ouahib Chalbi, Palestine/Israel Justice Project of the Minnesota United Methodist Church*, USA

36. Greg Dropkin, Liverpool Friends of Palestine*, England

37. Felice Gelman, Wespac Peace and Justice New York*/Gaza Freedom March*, USA

38. Ron Witton, Australian Academic Union*, Australia

39. Hayley Wallace, Palestine Solidarity Committee*, USA

40. Norma Turner, Manchester Palestine Solidarity Campaign*, England

41. Paula Abrams-Hourani, Women in Black (Vienna)*/ Jewish Voice for Just Peace in the Middle East*, Austria

42. Mateo Bernal, Industrial Workers of the World*, USA

43. Mary Mattieu, Collectif Urgence Palestine*, Switzerland

44. Agneta Zuppinger, Collectif Urgence Palestine*, Switzerland

45. Ashley Annis, People for Peace*, Canada

46. Peige Desgarlois, People for Peace*, Canada

47. Hannah Carter, Canadian Friends of Sabeel*, Canada

48. Laura Ashfield, Canadian Friends of Sabeel*, Canada

49. Iman Ghazal, People for Peace*, Canada

50. Filsam Farah, People for Peace*, Canada

51. Awa Allin, People for Peace*, Canada

52. Cleopatra McGovern, USA

53. Miranda Collet, Spain

54. Alison Phillips, Scotland

55. Nicholas Abramson, Middle East Crisis Response Network*/Jews Say No*, USA

56. Tarak Kauff, Middle East Crisis Response Network*/Veterans for Peace*, USA

57. Jesse Meisler-Abramson, USA

58. Hope Mariposa, USA

59. Ivesa Lübben. Bremer Netzwerk fur Gerechten Frieden in Nahost*, Germany

60. Sheila Finan, Mid-Hudson Council MERC*, USA

61. Joanne Lingle, Christians for Peace and Justice in the Middle East (CPJME)*, USA

62. Barbara Lubin, Middle East Children’s Alliance*, USA

63. Josie Shields-Stromsness, Middle East Children’s Alliance*, USA

64. Anna Keuchen, Germany

65. Judith Mahoney Pasternak, WRL* and Indypendent*, USA

66. Ellen Davidson, New York City Indymedia*, WRL*, Indypendent*, USA

67. Ina Kelleher, USA

68. Lee Gargagliano, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (Chicago)*, USA

69. Brad Taylor, OUT-FM*, USA

70. Helga Mankovitz, SPHR (Queen’s University)*, Canada

71. Mick Napier, Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign*, Scotland

72. Agnes Kueng, Paso Basel*, Switzerland

73. Anne Paxton, Voices of Palestine*, USA

74. Leila El Abtah, The Netherlands

75. Richard Van der Wouden, The Netherlands

76. Rafiq A. Firis, P.K.R.*/Isra*, The Netherlands

77. Sandra Tamari, USA

78. Alice Azzouzi, Way to Jerusalem*, USA

79. J’Ann Schoonmaker Allen, USA

80. Ruth F. Hooke, Episcopalian Peace Fellowship*, USA

81. Jean E. Lee, Holy Land Awareness Action Task Group of United Church of Canada*, Canada

82. Delphine de Boutray, Association Thèâtre Cine*, France

83. Sylvia Schwarz, USA

84. Alexandra Safi, Germany

85. Abdullah Anar, Green Party – Turkey*, Turkey

86. Ted Auerbach, USA

87. Martha Hennessy, Catholic Worker*, USA

88. Louis Ultale, Interfaile Pace e Bene*, USA

89. Leila Zand, Fellowship of Reconciliation*, USA

90. Emma Grigore, CodePink*, USA

91. Sammer Abdelela, New York Community of Muslim Progressives*, USA

92. Sharat G. Lin, San Jose Peace and Justice Center*, USA

93. Katherine E. Sheetz, Free Gaza*, USA

94. Steve Greaves, Free Gaza*, USA

95. Trevor Baumgartner, Free Gaza*, USA

96. Hanan Tabbara, USA

97. Marina Barakatt, CodePink*, USA

98. Keren Bariyov, USA

99. Ursula Sagmeister, Women in Black – Vienna*, Austria

100. Ann Cunningham, Australia

101. Bill Perry, Delaware Valley Veterans for Peace*, USA

102. Terry Perry, Delaware Valley Veterans for Peace*, USA

103. Athena Viscusi, USA

104. Marco Viscusi, USA

105. Paki Wieland, Northampton Committee*, USA

106. Manijeh Saba, New York / New Jersey, USA

107. Ellen Graves, USA

108. Zoë Lawlor, Ireland – Palestine Solidarity Campaign*, Ireland

109. Miguel García Grassot, Al Quds – Málaga*, Spain

110. Ana Mamora Romero, ASPA-Asociacion Andaluza Solidaridad y Paz*, Spain

111. Ehab Lotayef, CJPP Canada*, Canada

112. David Heap, London Anti-War*, Canada

113. Adie Mormech, Free Gaza* / Action Palestine*, England

114. Aimee Shalan, UK

115. Liliane Cordova, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN)*, Spain

116. Priscilla Lynch, USA

117. Jenna Bitar, USA

118. Deborah Mardon, USA

119. Becky Thompson, USA

120. Diane Hereford, USA

121. David Heap, People for Peace London*, Canada

122. Donah Abdulla, Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights*, Canada

123. Wendy Goldsmith, People for Peace London*, Canada

124. Abdu Mihirig, Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights-UBC*, Canada

125. Saldibastami, Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights-UBC*, Canada

126. Abdenahmane Bouaffad, CMF*, France

127. Feroze Mithiborwala, Awami Bharat*, India

128. John Dear, Pax Christi*, USA

129. Ziyaad Lunat, Portugal

130. Michael Letwin, New York City Labor Against the War (NYCLAW) Labor For Palestine

Vigil in Woodstock on Jan 1.

Thanks for all the local support. We appreciate it.


Please post at least first names...

If you are using my username and password to post on this blog, please put at least your first name at the end of what you have written. That way, readers can differentiate writers.



The Last Hurrah

The Mid Hudson contingent of the Gaza Freedom March is all back home now. It is 5:30 in the morning, but my inner clock has me busy with e-mails and posting on this blog.

Our last action was yesterday at the Israeli Consulate in NYC. About 40 of us, some Gaza Freedom Marchers and some supporters were there in the cold with our great signs that Laurie had brought from Cairo. "Free Gaza!"

We didn't get the massive response our demonstrations got in Cairo. No troops unloading from busses and erecting barricades. But the NYC police force told us something that the Cairo authorities had not: that we couldn't demonstrate on the sidewalk or they would arrest us.

Yes, the irony of walking on the sidewalk outside the Israeli Embassy in Cairo and chanting for hours, and then facing arrest in the "Land of the Free" for doing exactly the same.

I heard a plainclothes cop on his cell phone tell his superior someplace that the rally had "completely blocked the sidewalk." It was a lie, like most official pronouncements regarding Israel. We were walking single file and not blocking anyone.

Another officer, this one in uniform, told us that only six could protest outside a "business" in NYC. We would have to move across the street or face arrest. Soon there were police with their white nylon handcuffs taking up position. We were cold and jet-lagged, and we moved.

Yes, we should take back the street in front of the Israeli Consulate in NYC. We have a constitutional right to walk there carrying our signs. We simply cannot allow the Zionist lobby to dictate what is allowed in America.


"People Magazine" coverage is all we could get from the P. Journal

RHINEBECK — A strong activist for peace and a Korean War veteran (served in Korea, was not a child soldier), Fred Nagel has joined and helped to create multiple peace organizations throughout Dutchess County. Nagel, with longtime friend Linda Curtis and a few others, established the Dutchess Peace Coalition about eight years ago. This holiday season, he is taking his personal mission for peace to the Middle East.
"Fred and I both had a common interest of promoting peace, we wanted to educate people about the misdirected war in Iraq," said Curtis, as to why they began the group and remain committed to their cause.
While many were surrounded by loved ones and enjoying the holiday season, Nagel traveled to Cairo along with 14 other local residents.
On Monday, he is to take part in a freedom march in the Palestinian city of Gaza. He said they hope the march will send a message to the U.S. government, a supporter of Israel, that the blockade placed upon Gaza is a violation of human rights.
"It's honorable," Curtis said. "It takes guts to put yourself in potential danger in order to fight for what you believe in."
As an active member of the Dutchess Peace Coalition, Nagel has shown monthly movies, served as a disc jockey on a local radio show that airs from Vassar College, and organized several protests.
"Being a veteran made me more aware of the price people pay for an aggressive government," Nagel said. "I'm friends with many Vietnam veterans as well, and I've seen the effect war had on them."
Public education is Nagel's main focus when it comes to promoting peace.
The Dutchess Peace Coalition has spent time in local high schools informing young people about the options they have other than joining the military.
"I worked with high school students for many years," Nagel said. "I've seen a multitude of ill-informed youth join the military because they didn't think they had another choice."
The Sisters City Project was another cause that Nagel strongly supported.
He worked hard to help raise money and get supplies to send to Nicaragua, a country that is close to his heart after he traveled there in the 1980s.
Nagel has urged others to read a diverse collection of media sources, meet with local activist groups and become involved with their local community, whatever they believe.
"I've always had a strong sense of fairness," Nagel said. "I have lived by the quote from the U.S. Declaration of Independence that everyone is entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."
To Nagel, being active is just part of his everyday life. Nagel stresses the importance of people looking out for others and doing what they can to promote unity and peace.
"I do all of this simply to keep sanity in a world that can sometimes look very depressing," Nagel said. "It's good to stay active and do what you can to stand up for the things you feel strongly about."
Fred Nagel

Friday, January 1, 2010

United, we will never be defeated

In the beginning, when we arrived in Egypt and couldn't go to Gaza, we all thought that the US interests had won. We had spent a lot of energy and money to make this trip, all for nothing.

But sometimes the best laid imperial plans backfire. Instead of sending us to Gaza where we would be on small groups touring the war torn areas, we were concentrated and angry, 1,300 antiapartheid activist, with nothing to do in Cairo.

A massive, week long antiapartheid workshop ensued. We planned rallies and marches, we developed non violent resistance actions, and we earned our badges of courage on the streets of Cairo. That's 43 countries at last working together to learn from and support each other in the struggle.

Code Pink will be seen as the proud parent of a new movement ready to strike out on its own. The South African delegation will be seen as our mentor,  in teaching us the aggressive, non violent tactics that finally brought down apartheid South Africa.

So instead of thwarting our efforts by closing the Gaza border, the Egyptian government has given us worldwide momentum. We have been on CNN and on front page on the NY Times. We have emerged with a 10 point program that lays the groundwork for ending the criminal regime that is the Israeli government. And we have focused our attention on the origin of much of Israel's fascist agenda, the imperial empire of the United State. For it is this empire that controls both Eygpt and Israel, and that enforces the blockade of 1.5 million people in Gaza.

The end of apartheid Israel will be a defeat for this empire, a threat to the war criminals that run the United States. But it will be accomplished. MLK said that the "arc of history is long but it bends toward justice." All of us on the Gaza Freedom March are privileged to be a small part of that long arc. It is a gift to each of us, the privilege to do the right thing.