[News] Support Arab Community Members Arrested and Injured 3/21/09

Anti-Imperialist News 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.
CONTACT INFORMATION:

San Francisco District Attorney's Office:
call 415.553.1752
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 day—please 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



Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110

415 863-9977

www.Freedomarchives.org  
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