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Occupation End Notes | April 14, 2005 Volume 2 Number 13

in this issue...

1. US Campaign Day of Action: June 5, 2005 – 38th Anniversary of the Occupation of the Gaza Strip and West Bank

2. US Campaign Update: Steering Committee Member Damu Smith; Olive Branch Club; US Campaign Buttons and Bumper Stickers; Southern Regional Organizers’ Conference – Report Back; New Resource – Direct Action; US Campaign in Buffalo, April 21-22; Texas Speaking Tour, May 2-5; US Campaign on the Radio; Concert for a Free Palestine

3. Special Feature on the International Day of Action Against Caterpillar

4. New Members

5. Resources & Education: Updated Tax Day Flier; Teaching Assistant Association Passes Divestment Resolution; Palestine Hip Hop Project; New Play – “My Name is Rachel Corrie; New Documentary – “Occupation 101”; Musical Intifadah Online Music Project

6. Events: Conference: Wheels of Justice Tour; Stop the Wall Tour; Sumoud Palestinian Political Prisoners Tour; When Bulbul Stopped Singing; Chicago Palestine Film Festival; Palestinian American Congress Annual Convention; Know Justice, Know Peace Conference; Philadelphia Palestine Film Festival; ADC National Convention

7. Opportunities to Visit Israel and Palestine: South West United Church of Christ Association; F.O.R. Interfaith Peacebuilders; Faculty for Israeli-Palestinian Peace; Middle East Children’s Alliance Delegation; Bethlehem University Educators’ Conference; Holy Land Trust Summer Activist Camp; Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions Summer Work Camp

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1.  UPCOMING DAYS OF ACTION

* Mark your calendars now!  June 5, 2005, the 38th anniversary of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip, is the next national day of action for which the US Campaign will be mobilizing.  We will be placing a special educational emphasis on the Wall.  More information on action for this day will be forthcoming.  It’s not too early for your group to begin planning an event.

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2. US CAMPAIGN UPDATE

*The US Campaign recently learned that one of our steering committee members, Damu Smith, has been diagnosed with cancer.  Damu is a long-time DC-based activist who has worked on many social justice issues and is the founder of Black Voices for Peace and executive director of the National Black Environmental Justice Network.  He has also been a supporter and active participant in the US Campaign since its inception.  The Washington Post published an article about Damu that you can read at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A11398-2005Mar29.html.  Friends and family have also created a fund to help pay for the very expensive cost of treatment, which Damu will have to pay out of pocket since he has no health insurance.  If you would like to donate to this fund visit http://www.thepraxisproject.org/damu.html and please keep Damu in your thoughts and prayers.
* The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation is thrilled to announce that it has been recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable organization.  Previous and future donations made to the US Campaign are now tax-deductible!  Help us celebrate by joining the Olive Branch Club today and making a monthly tax-deductible contribution to the US Campaign.  Joining the Olive Branch Club is easy.  Just visit http://www.endtheoccupation.org/article.php?id=876 and sign up to make a secure monthly payment through Pay Pal.  Once you sign up, Pay Pal will automatically bill your credit card for the amount that you select each month.  Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, we have already received nearly $400 in monthly gifts.  Help us reach our goal of $1,000 in monthly gifts by joining the Olive Branch Club today!
*The US Campaign has brand-new buttons and bumper stickers for sale.  The button reads “Israel Out of Palestine, US Out of Iraq” and bumper stickers feature the US Campaign logo and website.  $3.00 for a set of one each, or $2.00 for either the button or bumper sticker. Bulk rates are available.  To view and purchase online visit http://www.endtheoccupation.org/article.php?list=type&type=142
* From April 1-2, 2005 the US Campaign and New Orleans Palestine Solidarity, a member group of the US Campaign, conducted a Southern Regional Organizers’ Conference at the University of New Orleans.  The conference was a success with two exciting panels and several skills-building workshops.  To view the complete conference report from New Orleans visit http://www.endtheoccupation.org/article.php?id=1088

* The US Campaign announces its new resource “Direct Action: It Gets Your Message Heard.”  Direct Action is one strategy for getting your message to the public.  This resource provides a brief explanation of different types of direct action as well as examples of real direct actions that different groups have participated in.  To view and download this resource visit http://www.endtheoccupation.org/article.php?id=1084

*US Campaign steering committee member Nadia Hijab will be speaking in Buffalo, NY on April 21 and 22.  For more information contact the Western New York Peace Center at 716-894-2013.

*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 is 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.  Likely stops include Houston, San Antonio, Waco, Crawford, and Sherman.  If you’re interested, please contact the US Campaign quickly since Josh’s schedule is filling fast. 

*On May 15, 2005 the US Campaign will present a Concert for a Free Palestine in Washington, DC.  The concert will feature the Foty Family Ensemble with Melodies of Resistance and Love, Dave Lippman performing Star of Goliath, and George Shrub the Singing CIA Agent.  Proceeds from this concert will benefit the US Campaign.  For more information and to purchase tickets online visit http://www.endtheoccupation.org/article.php?id=1082.  If you, your business, or your organization would like to advertise and/or table at this concert, please contact the US Campaign at 202-543-1778 for rates.  

* Josh Ruebner, US Campaign Grassroots Advocacy Coordinator, was recently featured on Middle East Radio Forum in Pheonix, AZ talking about Prime Minister Sharon’s Gaza withdrawal plan.  You can listen to this interview by clicking http://www.middleeastradioforum.org/programarchives.html

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3.  SPECIAL FEATURE ON THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF ACTION AGAINST CATERPILLAR
Congratulations to all the groups that planned dozens of activities for the International Day of Action Against Caterpillar.  We can all celebrate for conducting a well-coordinated national effort.  On April 13, 2005 groups around the world took to the streets, to Caterpillar dealerships and manufacturers, and the Caterpillar shareholder meeting in Chicago to send the message that Caterpillar should end its bulldozer sales to Israel until Israel stops using these bulldozers to violate the human rights of Palestinians.
The shareholder resolution, re-introduced for the second year in a row by Jewish Voice for Peace and an order of Catholic nuns, was defeated 97%-3%, which is not a large enough percentage to allow the resolution to be re-introduced next year.  However, activities around Caterpillar received a tremendous amount of press nation-wide, which is a major success for the campaign against Caterpillar.  Below is a sampling of press coverage of the International Day of Action Against Caterpillar. 
*RADIO COVERAGE
================
WBBM Chicago, Steve Miller Reports
http://www.wbbm780.com/includes/news_items/news_items_more.php?section_id=14&id=12529
National Public Radio, Marketplace
http://marketplace.publicradio.org/shows/2005/04/13/PM200504131.html
**We encourage you to thank Marketplace for their excellent coverage of the International Day of Action Against Caterpillar.  Contact information for the show is below.
Marketplace Productions
261 South Figueroa Street, Suite 200
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Phone:   (213) 621-3500
Editorial Fax:   (213) 621-3506
Administration Fax:   (213) 621-3508
Email:   letters@marketplace.org
TELEVISION COVERAGE
=====================
NBC News Channel 25 – Chicago, IL
http://week.com/morenews/morenews-read.asp?n=7773
PRINT COVERAGE
===============
Peoria Journal Star – Peoria, IL
Caterpillar prepares for Gaza Strip protesters
http://www.pjstar.com/stories/041205/PAU_B6430LJ8.027.shtml
Brown Daily Herald – Brown University
Day of Action Against Caterpillar: Stop the Bugs!
http://www.browndailyherald.com/news/2005/04/13/Columns/Day-Of.Action.Against.Caterpillar.Stop.The.Bugs-922579.shtml
The Independent – UK
Parents of Israeli Peace Activist Target Caterpillar
http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/this_britain/story.jsp?story=629197
Associated Press Online – Chicago, IL
Caterpillar won’t probe bulldozers’ use
http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/C/CATERPILLAR_BULLDOZERS?SITE=INEVA&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT
Los Angeles Times – Los Angeles, CA
Jews Target Caterpillar Shareholder Effort
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-divest13apr13,1,278258.story?ctrack=1&cset=true

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4.  NEW MEMBERS

* 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 EDUCATION CENTER – Lansing, MI   http://www.peaceedcenter.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

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5. RESOURCES & EDUCATION

* April 15 is tax day!  We encourage you to take this opportunity to educate your community about how US tax dollars are used to support the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip.  In partnership with members of SUSTAIN (Stop US Tax-funded Aid to Israel Now!), we have updated SUSTAIN’s fabulous tax day resource “1040 War” Form.  Download it today at http://www.endtheoccupation.org/article.php?id=1086 and distribute it at your local post office on tax day!
* On April 13, 2005 the nation’s largest and oldest teaching assistants union, Teaching Assistant Association (TAA), adopted a resolution calling on the University of Wisconsin to divest its holdings in weapons manufactures.  The resolution urges the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents to eliminate investments in Boeing, Caterpillar, General Dynamics, General Electric, Lockheed Martin, Northrop-Grumman, and Raytheon from the University’s Trust Fund based on evidence that weapons, equipment, and supporting systems provided by these companies are being used to perpetrate human rights violations around the world.  This is one of several victories that the University of Wisconsin Divestment from Israel Campaign has had recently.  Congratulations and thank you for all the hard work of the organizers of this campaign.  For more information on this campaign visit http://alawda.rso.wisc.edu/

* Arab-American hip-hop groups the Philistines (www.thePhilistines.com) and the N.O.M.A.D.S. (www.theNomads.biz) invite you to take part in an upcoming mixtape, tentatively titled "Free the P - Volume One."  The idea is to get several Arab-American hip-hoppers on the mixtape, alongside other underground cats that support the struggle for peace and justice in Palestine. We're looking for pre-released tracks, new tracks, spoken word, comedic skits, whatever-as long as it fits the general theme of freedom and justice in a post-9/11 world.  Proceeds from the project will go to fund Jackie Salloum's 'Slingshot Hip-Hop', a documentary film on Palestinian hip-hop. See the trailer at www.slingshothiphop.com.  For more information contact Info@thePhilistines.com or 310.486.7498.
* “My Name is Rachel Corrie” a new play by London-based director Alan Rickman, opened this month at the Royal Court Theatre in London.  The play was developed from the many journals that Rachel kept over the years, and brings to life her compassion and commitment to social justice and humanity.  To read more about this play visit http://www.royalcourttheatre.com/productions_reviews.asp?PlayID=385

* The long-awaited documentary “Occupation 101”, directed by Sufyan Omeish, is now available for screenings.  This film “presents the essence of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The film depicts the root causes of the conflictthrough Israeli, Jewish, Christian, American, and Palestinian voices that are rarely heard through the mainstream media.”  To view the trailer and for screening information visit http://www.occupation101.com/index.html
* “Creative Resistance” is a new CD by Doc Jazz, creator of the Musical Intifadah online music project.  $5.00 from each CD sale goes to the Palestinian Stop the Wall Campaign.  To learn more about the Musical Intifadah project and to purchase CD’s, visit http://www.docjazz.com/mambo/

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6.  EVENTS

*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 5-23: New York, NY
When the Bulbul Stopped Singing was adapted for the stage by David Grieg. It is based on the diary of acclaimed Palestinian lawyer, writer, and activist Rajeh Shehadeh, which chronicles the invasion and occupation of Ramallah in 2002. Ramallah, known as the 'Bride of Palestine' for its heritage, internationalism, economy and vibrant mix of Christian and Muslim traditions, was devastated during the siege and many of its people killed.  You can see this play in New York City from April 5 to April 23 at the 59E59 Theater! Click on the following link for details: http://www.59e59.org/
*April 15-May 3: Chicago, IL
4th Annual Chicago Palestine Film Festival.  For schedules, films, and tickets visit http://www.palestinefilmfest.com/

* 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
*April 29-May 1: Houston, TX
Know Justice, Know Peace conference is sponsored by Al-Awda, ADC, Houston Peace and Justice Center and more!  The speakers list includes Israeli Knesset member Dr. Azmi Bishara, Legal Advisor to the PLO Diana Buttu, and the US Campaign’s own Grassroots Advocacy Coordinator Josh Ruebner.  For more information and to register visit http://www.knowjusticeknowpeace.net
*May 15-22: Philadelphia, PA
First ever Philadelphia Palestine Film Festival.  For schedules, films, and to donate online visit http://www.philadelphiapalestinefilmfestival.org/
*May 27-29: Washington, DC
ADC Silver Anniversary Convention, celebrating 25 years of dedicated service to civil and human rights.  Featured speakers include actor Tony Shalhoub and Casey Kasem.  For more information and to register visit http://www.adc.org/schedule.htm

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7. OPPORTUNITIES TO VISIT ISRAEL AND PALESTINE

*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 1-14: Middle East Children’s Alliance Delegation
For 17 years, MECA has taken small groups of North Americans to the West Bank, Gaza and Israel to witness life under occupation and meet people who are working for justice.  Long time friends and project partners of MECA are our local guides and our hosts are a cross section of the people living through the occupation and within the specter of Israel's policies.  For more information and to register call 510-548-0542.
*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
*July 14-24, 2005: Holy Land Trust Summer Activists’ Camp
Holy Land Trust and Quaker International Affairs Representatives are very pleased to invite you to the first activists' summer camp that will take place during the month of July.  Objectives of the camp include: delivery of nonviolence training and training for community organizers, community building among the youth, and sparking new nonviolence groups.  For more information and to register visit http://www.holylandtrust.org/pnr_sc1.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