Christchurch Palestine march

Tom Siblo tsiblo at mhcable.com
Tue Apr 30 00:06:33 MDT 2002


Dear Philip:

I find your information to be important and just to let you know in
Woodstock, New York located about 110 miles north of NYC we had 50 gather on
April 20th, 2002 in support of the ANSWER national demonstration.  So in
comparison to the numbers of people within your area I think you are doing
well.

What we are starting to do is calling for civil liberties and freedom for
all the detainees.
Below is the statement of the Workers Democracy Network who is beginning to
focus on this important aspect of the problems from Bush's and the Democrats
War on Terrorism.

I think this is an important next stage in the current struggle.

Free All the Detainees!

Statement by Workers Democracy Network

Six days after a large demonstration in Washington DC protesting the US
government's and Israel's attacks on Palestinians, police and INS agents
detained Faruk Abdel-Muhti, a leading Palestinian-American activist
living in New York City.  Threatening to break down his door, the agents
seized him without a warrant, saying that he would be deported for his
outspoken criticisms of Israel's policies.

Faruk Abdel-Muhti thus joined over three hundred other detainees held
illegally in New Jersey and Brooklyn and three hundred more held
illegally at Camp X-ray at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.  The only difference is
that in the case of Abdel-Muhti, the motivation of the Government is
nakedly clear--to suppress any dissent, to undercut any right that any
workers have anywhere in world.

The time has come for the mass mobilization of forces aroused by the
attacks on Palestinians to demand: Free ALL the Detainees!  If the
fifty  thousand or more people that descended on Washington on April 20
were to descend on the Brooklyn Detention Center, demanding freedom for
all the detained there and at the other two detention centers, we would
be a large step closer to defeating the Government attack on the rights
of every one of us.

Make no mistake: the US government now claims the right to detain
anyone, anywhere in the world and to hold them without charges
indefinitely.  Yes, the Government has started with the thin end of the
wedge--now detaining (with one exception) only those from Muslim
countries who are undocumented aliens.  But don't count on that to last.

Don't believe that you will be protected because you are a legal
immigrant and not a Muslim.  THE USA-PATRIOT Act allows deportation
without trial  of ANY non-citizen deemed by the President to be a
terrorist, and allows indefinite detention without trial of ANY
non-citizen charged with any crime, no matter how trivial.

Don't even believe you are beyond reach because you are citizen of the
almighty United States. In court papers filed defending the detention
without charge or trial of the Guantanamo detainees(Rusul, Bibi Vs Bush
et al), the US government officially states that for the duration of the
"war on terrorism", the President, as Commander in Chief, can direct US
military personnel to detain ANYONE, ANYWHERE in the world, and be
beyond any judicial challenge in any court on any grounds.

No court, the Govnerment writes, can " release individuals who were
captured during hostilities and the military has determined should be
detained. Particularly where the hostilities that led to their capture
remain ongoing, the courts have no jurisdiction . to evaluate or second
guess the conduct of the president and the military."  Note that the
Government does not  make any distinction here between citizens and
aliens. It asserts that the President, in this global, unending war on
terrorism has authority to detain any "individuals" he pleases.

In simple terms, this "Bush doctrine" means that military police could
come to your door anywhere in the US, or in the world, "detain" you and
hold you indefinitely without charge or trial.

The proof that the Government policy aims at citizens as well is in the
treatment of Baton-Rouge-born citizen Yasser Hamdi, who was moved from
Guantanamo to Norfolk Virginia, but is still being held without any
charges in indefinite detention.

Despite the lying claims of the Government, the detentions in the US and
at Guantanamo Bay are in flagrant violation of the most basic rights
guaranteed to all, whether US citizens or not.  The Sixth Amendment  in
the Bill of Right states that ALL accused are entitled to "speedy and
public trial", to know the nature of the charges against them, to have
the assistance of counsel, in short to have all the rights that the
detainees are now denied.

The Government has no proof that any of those detained are terrorists.
If it had, it would charge them with these crimes. But it has not
charged one. The real reason for these detentions is to get American
workers to accept the idea that the government has the right to lock
people up for whatever reason it chooses, or for no reason at all.

Fortunately, something can stand in the way of the wholesale implention
of the Bush doctrine, now, when there are hundreds in the detention
camps, not hundred of thousands. It is the united , growing massive
protest of the movements that have already united in against the
Palestine massacres and the even broader movements whose basic right are
in deadly peril.

We demand unequivocally that ALL the detainees be freed, now! We need to
unite the global justice movement and the Muslim-American communities so
mobilized in Washington with the rest of the immigrant community, with
African-Americans, and with millions of other workers who value their
rights. Not only in New York and New Jersey, where the centers are, but
in every city in the country, we must mobilize demonstrations that
demand--Hands off our Rights! Free All the Detainees!

Please circulate this statement widely. If you wish your organization to
co-endorse this statement, or you want to work with us to mobilize
demonstrations in your area, please contact us at
webmaster at workersdemocracy.org.

I believe it makes sense throughout the world people begin to demand freedom
for the detainees currently being held by the U.S. government. It is
especially important that American working people are also confronting their
government on this issue and recognize what kind of impact the current Bush
Policy is having on working people's democratic rights throughout the world.
Also this may be a doorway into the Muslim community as far as linking up
the current movement with larger sections of the population.

I would appreciate what your thoughts are on the statement and any
suggestions you might have about dealing with the situation. I invite
comment by all comrades as well.

Comradly

Tom Siblo


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