Occupation End Notes | June 10, 2003
Volume 1 Number 14

1. UPDATES: Palestine at the UFPJ National Conference
2. EVENTS: Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Arlington VA, Portland, Toronto, Chicago
3. RESOURCES: Global Exchange Reality Tours; US Campaign Website



Over 500 people participated in the first UFPJ Organizers' Conference, representing 160 groups and organizations from across the United States http://www.unitedforpeace.org/.  They strategized on directions and priorities for the anti-war coalition, and elected a Steering Committee to guide the movement for the next 18 months.  A just solution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict was a major focus of the Conference:

* The working unity statement contained strong language regarding the occupation: "US political, economic, and military aid is fueling Israel's rise as an unchallengeable regional military power and sustains Israel's illegal occupation of the Palestinian West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem and its denial of equal rights to the Palestinians"

* Participants voted for a Day for Justice in Palestine as a UFPJ Category 1 priority (Category 1 priorities are actions undertaken by UFPJ; Category 2 priorities are actions by other organizations to which UFPJ contributes; Category 3 are actions supported by UFPJ).   The top Category 1 priority was "immigrant rights/civil liberties - stop Patriot Acts 1 & 2"; the Day of Justice in Palestine was number 4, out of 86 proposals for action submitted by participants.

* The US Campaign's National Pledge for Peace was endorsed as a Category 2 priority

* The US Campaign was elected to the 35-member Steering Committee in the person of Josh Ruebner.

The US Campaign was well represented at the conference, including by Phyllis Bennis (IPS), Kymberlie Charles (AFSC), Geoff Hartman, Nadia Hijab, Josh Ruebner, and Damu Smith (Black Voices for Peace). 

Phyllis Bennis addressed the afternoon plenary session on the first day, framing the issues for the conference together with Bob Wing of War Times.  Nadia Hijab addressed the international plenary in the evening on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict; other speakers dealt with Iraq, Korea, Colombia and Africa.  



"Rhyme for Palestine" Benefit Event at Fluid Night Club 613 S. 4th Street, Philadelphia.  Doors open at 9PM.  Bay Area Palestinian-American hip hop artists Iron Sheik and Excentrik will team-up with Philly favorites Reef the Lost Cauze and DJ Major Taylor for a "Rhyme for Palestine" benefit event at Fluid night club.  Proceeds will help fund the work of the local chapter of SUSTAIN (Stop U.S. Tax-funded Aid of Israel Now).  $8 cover charge, strictly 21+.  For more information visit www.philadelphiasustain.org, or contact Kymberlie at kcharles@afsc.org. 

Palestinian American Hip Hop Artists The Iron Sheik and Excentrik will perform with local artists.  The Shadow Lounge, 5927 Baum Blvd, 7:30pm.  $5 to $10 sliding scale admission.  Cosponsored by the Pittsburgh Palestine Solidarity Committee and O.P.T.I.C.S. (Organizing Pittsburgh to Increase Community Solidarity).

20th ADC National Convention-"Arab Americans: Toward a National Agenda."  Arlington, VA, June 12-15.  Voices of Peace Awards will be presented to: ElectronicIraq.net, The Nation magazine, Pacifica Radio's Democracy Now program, and Save the Children's Youth Noise program.  Thursday, June 12, is Lobby Day, contact your member of Congress to set up an appointment.  Friday, June 13, is Civil Rights Day.  Saturday, June 14, focuses on Foreign Affairs.  Sunday, June 15, is the General Assembly meeting for ADC meeting and a Focus on Palestine.  Confirmed guests include: Secretary of State Colin Powell, Steven Zunes, Father Drew Christiansen, Father Amjad Sabbara, Zainab Salbi, Imam Yahya Hendi, Rabbi Michael Lerner, Jeanne Butterfield, Diana Abu Jaber, Barbara Nimri Aziz, Jonathan Turley, Jeffery Collins, Randa Fahmy-Hudome, Bruce Fein, Nanette Reynolds, David Cole, Frank Sharry, the Arab-American rapper Iron Sheik, and many other invited guests.  Additionally, all prospective Presidential candidates have been invited to an open forum scheduled to be held on June 13.  For registration visit www.adc.org/convention2003, special rates for students and ADC members.  ADC, 4201 Connecticut Ave, Suite 300, Washington, D.C. 20008, U.S.A., Tel:           (202) 244.2990, Fax: (202) 244.3196, Web: http://www.adc.org

Documentary-"Palestine is Still the Issue" by filmmaker John Pilger, will be shown at 7pm, First United Methodist Church, 1838 SW Jefferson, Rm 202.  This film provides a very good overview of current situation; 7pm.

First annual Al-Awda, the Palestine Right to Return Coalition Convention, June 20-22.
 * Affirm Palestinian refugees' Right to Return to their homes and lands. * Resist plans to normalize occupation and legalize ethnic cleansing. * Resist Israeli Apartheid and Racism *Organize!  Confirmed speakers  include Dr. Salman Abu Sitta, Dr. Adel Samara, Jaber Suleiman, Dr. Ghada Talhami, Dr. Naseer Aruri, Rabab Abdel Hadi, Hanan El- Masu, Dr. Ibrahim Makkawi and other representatives from Palestinian refugee camps in Palestine, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan.  For more information, please write to info@al-awda.org.  Registration form and convention information are available at:
Al-Awda, Palestine Right to Return Coalition, P.O. Box 1172, Orange, CT 06477, E-mail: info@al-awda.org
WWW: http://al-awda.org, Fax: 1.802.609.9284

Announcing Not In My Name's 2nd annual Benefit Fundraiser WAGING PEACE IN HOPELESS TIMES
Reza's Restaurant on Ontario Street, 6 to 10 p.m.  Want to help out?  Contact:  MP (mpmckenzie@earthlink.net) Cindy (cindy@clevitt.com).  Still Around.......Still Relevant.....Still Hopeful.......Still Needing YOU
Dining, Entertainment, Silent Auction, Great People


Bethlehem's Ibdaa Dance Troupe.  For more information visit Americans for Palestinian Human Rights  www.auphr.org, or call 503.287.1885

Arab American Action Network Dinner Will Honor Rashid and Mona Khalidi, Burbank Manor, near 79th and Harlem. 6 pm reception, 7 pmdinner and program, Ticket price: $50, Entertainment: arabic lute (oud) soloist, and a debka troupe.  This will be our opportunity to thank Mona and Rashid for their contributions to our communities in Chicago over the last 15 years.  Please join us for this event of celebration and appreciation.  Contact jimwall65@aol.com for more information.


JULY 13 to 24: Global Exchange Fact Finding Delegations to Palestine/Israel.
Why a trip to Palestine & Israel now? Only Americans can change US foreign policy.  Global Exchange Reality Tours to Palestine & Israel strive to further the US public's understanding of the region's realities by giving people first-hand exposure to the human rights abuses occurring in the Occupied Territories. Participants have the opportunity to hear a diverse spectrum of Palestinian and Israeli opinions to better shape their understanding of the conflict and hopes for a solution.  Cost: $1,650 from Jerusalem; Partial scholarships and fundraising assistance available.  To apply send us a $200 non-refundable deposit (check or Visa/Master Card) and the application form two months prior to departure (also to take place December 6 to 17, 2003). For more information or for an application, please email Ladan Sobhani at ladan@globalexchange.org or call 415.575.5528 or 800.497.1994 ext. 251.  People of color are strongly encouraged to apply.  Students and teachers seeking professional development units can earn university credit for participation on Global Exchange tours - please inquire!

US CAMPAIGN WEBSITE The US Campaign website has been completely redesigned thanks to a contribution by Global Exchange, andis now more interactive and user friendly.  Make sure your group's information is entered on the site at http://www.endtheoccupation.org/modinput4.php?modin=2   Use the US Campaign Calendar http://www.endtheoccupation.org/calendar.phpsite to list your events and check it frequently to find out what's going on in your state and around the States.    

We now have 52 Congressional District Coordinators (CDC) in 26 states covering 73 Congressional Districts. For information about the CDC network and how to get involved, email congress@endtheoccupation.org


JULY 19 to 22 : Washington, DC
US Campaign 2nd Annual Organizers' Conference "Building the National Movement"

The Campaign conference will be in two parts.  The first part - Saturday July 19 and Sunday July 20 - will be the organizers' conference, and participants will have an opportunity to exchange experience, network and strategize for more effective actions and collaboration. The second part, which will consist of a congressional training day on Monday July 21 and a congressional outreach (lobbying) day on Tuesday July22.  Each member organization of the US Campaign is invited to send one or two representatives. If you do not belong to an organized group, but are part of a network of local activists, you could also consider sending someone from your group to the conference. 

The Palestine Center will be managing the registration process and the point of contact is Mr. Tareq Bremer.  He may be reached at 202.338.1290 ext. 10 or via email to tbremer@palestinecenter.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, recommended 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 events@endtheoccupation.org.