[News] Support Arab Community Members Arrested and Injured 3/21/09
news at freedomarchives.org
Thu Apr 2 16:59:27 EDT 2009
We still need your help for the legal defense and medical care
for members of the Arab community arrested on March 21!
The Backdrop: Eight members of the Arab
community --mostly youth-- and two other
activists were arrested at a peaceful
demonstration against the Iraq war. Many people
were severely injured due to police actions.
What Happened: Two Arab youth were rushed from
the scene to the hospital in
ambulances. Multiple felony and misdemeanor
charges were imposed on our community members and
activists, with bail set over $50,000 for most of those arrested.
What we accomplished: We secured people to loan
the bond payments so we could get our people out
of jail as soon as possible, and got some people
to make generous donations-- thank you all! We
organized our communities to make calls to the
mayor and the DA saying "drop the
charges!". And, six people's charges have been discharged so far!
Four easy ways you can help:
1. We need to raise $30,000 to pay for legal
defense and medical care, and will need to
continue to raise even more funds as additional
costs accrue. We have raised $6,000 so far, anything helps-- big or small.
* CLICK HERE TO DONATE BY PAYPAL:
* or Donate by Check to: Maherah Silmi at
1333 Gough Street, San Francisco, Ca 94109
2. We need you to make calls to the DA and
Juvenile Probation TODAY or TOMORROW to drop
charges on the two juveniles arrested:
* Abdel Rahman Abu-Khadijah
* Sameh Ayesh
Ask the DA to drop charges on ALL THOSE ARRESTED AT THE PROTEST ON MARCH 21ST.
San Francisco District Attorney's Office:
press 1 for english
follow instructions to use directory
press: harris# (427747#)
asks you for more letters: kamala# (526252#)
puts you through to Kamala Harris' secretary (District Attorney)
email: <mailto:DistrictAttorney at sfgov.org>DistrictAttorney at sfgov.org
Juvenile Probation Department
Phone: (415) 753-7800
Fax: (415) 753-7715
3. Did you witness anyone getting injured or
arrested? If so, call Marissa at (510) 835-4354
so that our legal team can be in touch with you for eyewitness testimony.
4. Important: Share this information with your
friends and family and ask them to make calls and donations!
AROC COMMENDS COMMUNITIES' SUPPORT IN DEFENSE OF THOSE ARRESTED MARCH 21st
WE WILL CONTINUE TO WORK TOWARDS COMMUNITY EMPOWERMENT
The Arab Resource and Organizing Center is
extremely distressed by the occurrences of police
repression that took place during and after the
March 21st protest against the Iraq War and other Occupations.
Ten people were arrested. Eight of those were
members of the Arab community.. Two of the eight
were youth under 18; four others were between the
ages of 18 and 20. Those arrested, as well as
several others, were seen by medical
professionals for both serious and minor injuries.
At this time, we are pleased to report that the
charges against 6 of those arrested have been
dismissed thanks to constant pressure from the
community on the District Attorney and the San
Francisco Police Department as well as outreach
to San Francisco elected officials. This is an
enormous victory and a testament to our
collective strength, however our work continues!
Charges have not yet been dismissed for the two
juvenile cases (names undisclosed), or for two
other adults (Margaret Belknap and Samuel Bryson)
also arrested that dayplease see info below and continue to make calls!
AROC OFFERS OUR MOST HEARTFELT THANKS TO THE MANY
PEOPLE WHO HAVE PROVIDED FINANCIAL, LEGAL, AND OTHER COMMUNITY SUPPORT.
We have a continuing need for financial support
to reimburse those who paid thousands of dollars
for bonds that obtained the release of our youth.
Please see below for information about donating to those funds.
While some of the charges have been dismissed,
the underlying problems remain. AROC views these
occurrences as a direct attack on the Arab
community, as well as an attack on the civil
liberties of others acting in solidarity. This
sort of attack is reminiscent of attempts by the
US government, in the wake of September 11th
2001, to repress the freedom of speech and
activity of Arab communities. We are concerned
for our ongoing safety and will continue to
provide support for those affected by the March
21st arrests and abuses. AROC is also concerned
about the possible impact of these events on
other communities of color and social justice movements.
We encourage our communities to remain united in
the face of these attacks on our civil liberties
and to remain steadfast in our organizing. In
the same way that we stood up for our rights
during the community repression post September
11th, we have come together in this moment, and
will continue to work together beyond this moment
to make sure that the Arab community is not
isolated from other social justice movements, and
we will continue to stand united together as a
community. We will not be deterred from struggling for justice!
AROC will be working to convene a community
gathering to support those affected by this
violence and repression, and to support and
empower our communities. Stay tuned or contact
our offices for more information (415) 861-7444
or email <mailto:info at araborganizing..org>info (at) araborganizing.org.
Please note, if you were a victim of abuse,
witnessed abuse, or are in need of medical,
legal, or emotional counseling in relation to the
events on March 21st, see the numbers below. We
believe it is essential to connect and work with
the defense team of those arrested from the Arab community.
Arab Resource and Organizing Center ~ AROC
522 Valencia St
San Francisco, Ca 94110
415.861.7444 ~ www.adcsf.org ~ arabamericanlegal at gmail.com
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
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