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Occupation End Notes | March 30, 2005 Volume 2 Number 12

vol. 2, no. 12

In this issue...

1. April 13 – International Day of Action Against Caterpillar

2. US Campaign Update: Register Now! New Orleans Regional Conference; New US Campaign Fact Sheet “Ill-Advised and Illegal: US Policy Towards Israel”; March 19th Report-back; United States Green Party Vote on US Campaign Membership; US Campaign in Boston Globe; US Campaign Endorses Crawford, TX Rally; Texas Speaking Tour, May 2-5; US Campaign on “Current Issue” TV Show; Weapons Watch Petition Update; Congressional District Coordinator Update

3. Member of the Month: New Orleans, Louisiana Palestine Solidarity

4. New Members

5. Resources & Education: Sumoud’s Palestinian Political Prisoner Resources; New Bethlehem Bloggers Website; New Documentary – Journey to the Occupied Land; Palestinian Land Day – March 30

6. Events: Conference: Wheels of Justice Tour; Stop the Wall Tour; Sumoud Palestinian Political Prisoners Tour; Palestinian American Congress Annual Convention

7. Upcoming delegations to Israel and Palestine: South West United Church of Christ Association; F.O.R. Interfaith Peacebuilders; Faculty for Israeli-Palestinian Peace



*April 13: Various locations

The US Campaign is participating in the International Day of Action Against Caterpillar.  Join cities all over the world -- from San Francisco to Stockholm, from Mobile to Chicago -- in a day of action against Caterpillar human rights abuses.  On April 13th Caterpillar shareholders will meet in Chicago and will discuss a resolution on sales of bulldozers to Israel.  The national organizers of the Caterpillar Campaign are calling on groups to organize local demonstrations at CAT-related locations, such as board of directors' offices or CAT dealerships, to send a strong message that cooperation in human rights abuses is unacceptable.  For more information, to get ideas about action, and to sign the Declaration Against Caterpillar Human Rights Abuses visit http://www.catdestroyshomes.org



* Register Now!  Local Organizing for National Change, New Orleans, Louisiana, April 1-2, 2005. We’ve teamed up with New Orleans, Louisiana Palestine Solidarity (NOLAPS) to bring you a weekend of grassroots education, skills-building workshops, and regional strategizing.  To see the updated agenda, including speakers and workshops, and to register visit http://www.endtheoccupation.org/article.php?list=type&type=152

*The US Campaign announces its new educational resource “Ill-Advised and Illegal: US Policy Towards Israel.”  This new fact sheet provides readers with the history, rationale, and impact of US policy toward Israel, and essential knowledge for ending US support for Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands.  To download a PDF version of this resource visit http://www.endtheoccupation.org/article.php?id=1076

*March 19th Report-back
Congratulations to all the organizers of the march and rally in Fayetteville, North Carolina on March 19th, 2005, marking the 2nd anniversary of the US war on Iraq.  The rally was attended by approximately 3,500 individuals who convened to hear a super-star line-up of speakers.  Throughout the day US Campaign staff and volunteers collected approximately 200 signatures on the Weapons Watch petition, and distributed hundreds of fact sheets and other US Campaign resources. 

*The Green Party of the United States is engaged in an internal discussion about whether to become an organizational member of the US Campaign.  They have opened a forum on their website for members of the Green Party to weigh in on this decision.  If you are a member of the Green Party we encourage you to visit http://green.gpus.org/vote/displayproposal.php?proposalId=128 to get involved in the conversation and support the US Campaign.  In the past, the Green Party has endorsed US Campaign days of action and petitions and we look forward to continuing to work closely with the party.   

*US Campaign Steering Committee Member Mark Lance and the US Campaign were recently featured in a Boston Globe article on Boston-area Caterpillar protests.  To read the March 24th article visit http://www.boston.com/business/articles/2005/03/24/protesters_target_caterpillar_dealer/

*While President Bush and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon meet at Bush’s ranch in Crawford, TX, people from all over Texas and beyond will participate in Crawford’s Rally for Peace and Justice in the Holy Land with Respect for International Law and Human Rights.  On Sunday, April 10th there will be a rally starting at Tonkawa Falls in Crawford at 1pm.  On Monday, April 11th there will be a press conference at the Crawford Peace House.  Join the US Campaign in endorsing this important event and send the message to Bush and Sharon that international law must be upheld!  For more information contact bkublaoui@gmail.com

*Speaking of Texas, Josh Ruebner, US Campaign Grassroots Advocacy Coordinator, will be conducting a speaking and organizing tour of Texas, May 2-5.  If you or your organization are interested in having Josh come to your community to speak about the US policy toward Palestine and Israel, please contact him at congress@endtheoccupation.org or 202-543-1778. 

*On Thursday, March 31st, Kymberlie Quong Charles and Josh Ruebner will represent the US Campaign on “Current Issues,” a local Lafayette, Louisiana television show that is dedicated to providing people with current and truthful information about the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict.  “Current Issues” airs at 8 pm Central on Cox cable channel 5, and you can also watch the live show via the internet by visit www.currentissues.tv

* We currently have more than 1,600 signatures on the Weapons Watch petition, our ongoing program to hold Israel accountable for the killing of innocent Palestinian civilians with weapons provided by the United States.  Our goal is to reach 100,000 signatures by the end of 2005.  If you would like to collect signatures for the Weapons Watch petition visit http://www.endtheoccupation.org/modinput4.php?modin=79.  If you have been collecting signatures for the Weapons Watch petition, don’t forget to send them in to us.  Please send all completed petitions to:

US Campaign
1101 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE
Suite 204
Washington, DC 20003

* We now have 185 Congressional District Coordinators (CDC’s) in 38 states covering 169 Congressional districts.  For more information about the CDC network and to volunteer to be a CDC visit http://www.endtheoccupation.org/article.php?list=type&type=41

New Orleans, Louisiana Palestine Solidarity (NOLAPS)

NOLAPS is a diverse group of people from Greater New Orleans working for a just peace in Palestine.  In addition to the ending the occupation, their core principles include ending Israeli colonization of Palestinian lands, supporting the Palestinian refugee’s Right of Return, ending Israeli laws that enforce systematic apartheid and discrimination, and rejecting US political, economic and military support of unjust Israeli policies.  NOLAPS provides education and resources for people in Greater New Orleans who want to learn more about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and want to take action!  Their activities include activist trainings, public events featuring academics, artists and activists who work in solidarity with the Palestinian people, and organizing delegations to Palestine. 

On April 1-2 NOLAPS is hosting the US Campaign’s Southern Regional Organizers Conference: Local Organizing for National Change.  Join up with NOLAPS and the US Campaign to continue organizing in the South, a key priority for ending US support for Israel’s occupation.  In recent months, the US Campaign has been speaking and organizing in North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, and Louisiana.  Register for the conference today by visiting http://www.endtheoccupation.org/article.php?list=type&type=152



* The US Campaign is growing! We now have almost 200 member organizations in our coalition. The following organization recently became a member of the US Campaign’s national coalition of organizations working to end US support for Israel’s occupation:

-Peace and Justice Coalition, Prince George’s County – Lanham, MD  www.justpeace-pgmd.org

* To become a member of the US Campaign please visit
www.endtheoccupation.org/modinput4.php?modin=2 to sign our Call to Action and pay membership dues.  Join today!

* To view a complete list of organizational members of the US Campaign visit www.endtheoccupation.org/groups.php



*In preparation for the Palestinian Political Prisoners Tour, Sumoud has produced several excellent resources on Palestinian imprisonment and detention, including fact sheets http://sumoud.tao.ca/?q=node/view/225, a Power Point presentation http://sumoud.tao.ca/?q=node/view/224, and a comprehensive report on the situation of Palestinian prisoners http://sumoud.tao.ca/?q=node/view/76

* The Bethlehem Bloggers website is dedicated to bringing first hand insight into life and politics inside Israeli-occupied Bethlehem.  The site is managed by a diverse group of activists and professionals living and working in the area.  The site is a portal for communication to the outside world and tell the stories of people living in Bethlehem, occupied Palestine. It is also a window for readers to look in, to see past the walls, barbed wire fences, and the media distortions, and to hear from the people in Bethlehem themselves.  To visit the site go to www.bethlehemghetto.blogspot.com

* The new documentary “Journey to the Occupied Land” explores the bitter and complex issues of land ownership, the scope and future of the Israeli settlements, the realities of Israeli military justice, and daily life under Israeli occupation.  For more information and to order this film visit http://shop.wgbh.org/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?productId=28702&storeId=11051&catalogId=10051&langId=-1

*Today, March 30, is Palestinian Land Day.  According to PalestineCalendar.org, “Land Day commemorates the day nearly three decades ago when Israeli security forces shot and killed six Palestinian civilians during demonstrations and a general strike called by the Palestinian leadership inside Israel to protest against ongoing expropriation of Palestinian land to build new Jewish colonies and expand existing Jewish cities. This has become an annual worldwide protest as long as Israel continues to expropriate Palestinian land.”  To receive regular updates on significant dates for Palestinian issues visit www.PalestineCalendar.org



*Ongoing: Wheels of Justice Tour
Members of Voices in the Wilderness, the Palestine Right to Return Coalition, the Middle East Children's Alliance, and affiliates of the International Solidarity Movement take to the road in a colorfully decorated full-size school bus for nonviolent education and action against war and occupation in Iraq and Palestine and for justice and universal human rights.  For more information and to view the Wheels of Justice itinerary visit http://www.justicewheels.org

*Ongoing: Stop the Wall Tour
The Stop the Wall Campaign and Tour traveled to 45 cities last summer and fall.  The Wall trailer and full scale models, together with films, Power Point presentations and lots of handouts and maps had a remarkable impact on those who saw them.  View the new spring tour schedule at http://www.localendar.com/public/stopthewall?style=M0

*April 1-23: Various Locations
Sumoud, (steadfastness in Arabic) , a political prisoner solidarity group based in Toronto, announces a North American speaking tour of Palestinian ex-political prisoners and activists from Occupied Palestine.  Tour participants include: Sahar Francis, a Palestinian lawyer who has worked for many years with Palestinian prisoners; Akram Alyassa an ex-political prisoner and former head of Bethlehem Universtiy Student Union; and Ala Jaradat, an ex political prisoner and activist with Addameer Prisoner Solidarity Group in Ramallah where he works with families of political detainees.  Below is the general tour schedule.  For more information visit http://sumoud.tao.ca/

April 1-4: New York
April 4-7: Washington, DC
April 7-9: Detroit
April 9-11: Chicago
April 11-14: San Francisco
April 14-16: Los Angeles
April 17-20: Toronto
April 20-23: Montreal

* April 22-24: Houston, TX
The Palestinian American Congress’s 6th Annual Convention.  The program will include workshops on media, divestment, activism, the Right of Return, screenings of several documentaries and guest speakers.  For more information contact TILLAWI@aol.com

*July 4-15: Bethlehem University, Bethlehem
This summer at Bethlehem University, international educators and community activists will join their Palestinian counterparts to explore how all forms of education affect socialization processes within a society and between societies: before, during, and after conflict.  The organizers of this conference encourage a diversity of perspectives, disciplines, and experiences. The terms education, educator, and community activists are by no means distinct categories. The list of participants already includes Middle East specialists, a geographer, adult educators, a legal educator, an environmentalist, and teachers. We will discuss the multiple meanings of peace, conflict, imperialism, multiculturalism, globalism, dissent, and democratic governance.  For more information contact Howard S. Davidson at hdavid@ms.umanitoba.ca



*April 29-May 8: Southwest United Church of Christ Association
The Southwest Association of the United Church of Christ is developing a partnership with Christmas Lutheran Church in Bethlehem and the International Center of Bethlehem.  As part of this partnership, two trips to Bethlehem are being planned for 2005.  The spring trip will focus on the work of the Health and Wellness Center/and Dar al Kalima School, two of the ministries of Christmas Lutheran Church.  Cost for each trip will be approximately $2000 depending on cost of airfare.  The group will be staying in the International Center Guest House in Bethlehem –except for optional side trips.  For further information or to register people for this gathering, please contact either Bonnie Van Overbeke, pastor of Memorial UCC at pastorbonnie@sbcglobal.net or by phone at 608-273-1008, or Bob Mutton at swwaucc@globaldailog.com or by phone 608-244-3350.

*May 21-June 5, 2004 *and* July 30-August 13: Fellowship of Reconciliation Interfaith Peace Builders
Interfaith Peace-Builder sends delegations to Israel and Palestine so that U.S. citizens can see the conflict with their own eyes. Participants have the opportunity to learn directly from Israeli and Palestinian nonviolent peace/human-rights activists, to spend time in Palestinian and Israeli homes, and to experience the situation of Palestinians living under military occupation.  For more information visit http://forusa.org/programs/ipb/default.html

*June 6, 2005: Faculty for Israeli-Palestinian Peace Delegation
Faculty For Israeli-Palestinian Peace, FFIPP, is a network of faculty endeavoring to achieve just peace and end the occupation in Israel/Palestine and the region.  FFIPP conducts trips every 6 months which are organized by Israeli leftists who teach in the US and have close ties to many people in the Palestinian communities of the West Bank as well as Gaza and the Israeli left, middle and right.  For more information about the June 2005 trip visit http://www.ffipp.org/wiki/ffipp%20usa/delegations.htm

*July 17-30, 2005: Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions Summer Work Camp
For the third year in a row, the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) is offering a summer work camp intended to foster learning, discussion, and friendship between Palestinians, Israelis and internationals. Our cooperation will send a clear message to the world: We refuse to be enemies; together we resist the Occupation.  For more information and to register contact lucia@icahd.org


Occupation End Notes is the US Campaign bi-monthly newsletter designed as a tool for activists. For this newsletter to be successful, we need your participation. Use us to promote events, give feedback on recent actions, recommend resources, or just learn from other activists in the movement. If you or your organization are planning an event aimed at ending the occupation, or you have information for the Newsletter, please contact the US Campaign at outreach@endtheoccupation.org


The US Campaign aims to change US policies that sustain Israel’s 37-year occupation of the Palestinian West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, and that deny equal rights for all.

Donate to the US Campaign. Visit http://www.endtheoccupation.org/article.php?id=84