Greetings from the steering committee of the U.S. Campaign to End
Israeli Occupation. Many of you were with us in Chicago 1-2
June for the Campaign's first national organizers conference. Others
will be hearing reports and news about the conference now for the
We also have important and exciting developments to report—our
new website, a growing Campaign staff and leadership structure, and
most important of all, several new and already active Task Forces
to involve signatories and supporters around the country in the on-going
work of the Campaign. The full conference report is being drafted,
and will be sent out within the next two weeks. A few highlights of
the conference, especially for those who were not able to be in Chicago—an
extraordinary opening presentation by the renowned African scholar
Mahmood Mamdani who got us focused for our work on Saturday morning;
a penetrating range of discussions that night on the origins, goals
and progress of the Campaign so far; and a set of energized and interactive
workshops Sunday morning that led to the creation of three new national
Task Forces for the Campaign's work.
For those of you who were at the conference, please remember to send
in any ideas or assessments of the structure or task force proposals
before June 15th.
The Task Forces include:
1) Corporate campaigns—this group will focus on issues of U.S.
military aid to Israel, targetting initially Caterpillar, whose armored
bulldozers have played a key role in destroying Palestinian homes
and in the recent re-occupations of Palestinian towns, cities and
refugee camps, and Lockheed-Martin, maker of the F-16 fighter jet
and other weapons classics . Their work will include exposes, shareholder
education, building alliances with other anti-corporate campaigners,
2) Congress/Administration—this Task Force will work on expanding
a national network of contacts based on congressional districts. They
will combine local mobilizations aimed at influencing local members
of Congress, with national campaigns aimed at administration policies.
Their work will focus initially on challenging U.S. military aid to
Israel, and challenging the pattern of U.S. vetoes preventing international
protection for the Palestinians. A Washington DC-based team is putting
together a national congressional center to link through the Campaign
website to local congressional district contacts.
3) National mobilizations—this group will develop plans for
unified national actions linking the Campaign's local groups and individuals.
Possibilities include parallel local demonstrations, joint petition
campaigns, coordinated phone-in or email campaigns. Their work focus
will include military aid and international protection.
4) Outreach—this Task Force was already in formation even before
Chicago. It will begin the work of expanding our outreach to the first
two priority constituencies we have identified, the African-American
community and faith-based organizations.
Besides the Task Forces, the Campaign now has on-going committees
taking responsibility for Web coordination, Fundraising, Media monitoring
The Campaign's terrific new website is up and running, with DC-based
graphic designer Geoff Hartman in charge of web production and the
Campaign's new listserv for quick information, action alerts and more.
Sign on the listserv at http://www.endtheoccupation.org/subscribe.html.
The Campaign leadership is being consolidated following structure
discussions at the Chicago conference. The Steering Committee is being
expanded to include the coordinators of each Task Force as well as
the Campaign webmaster and director.
And speaking of which, the Steering Committee is delighted that Doug
Hostetter, longtime peace and justice activist, has agreed to come
on board as director of the Campaign, working out of Chicago. He will
initially work on a part-time basis, but we hope rapid expansion of
the Campaign (including expansion of our funding base!) will allow
him to take over more areas of coordinating work. Doug will serve
as a political center and part of the steering committee, and will
be in charge of liaison with Task Force coordinators, communicating
with Campaign signatories and supporters, outreach, fundraising and
The Campaign's NEW ADDRESS is:
PO Box 6505
Evanston IL 60204
The Campaign phone number remains the same: (212) 330-9293
The Campaign email address is: email@example.com
For those of you who have not signed on as official signatories of
the U.S. Campaign, please do so as soon as you can. The Call to Action
that serves as the basis of the Campaign is attached, and you can
print it out and send it (to the POB) with your suggested minimum
contribution of $20 for individuals, $40 for organizational signatories.
And please include your congressional district so we can begin mapping
where the Campaign is based.
Within the next couple of weeks, as part of the Conference report,
we will provide names and contact information for the coordinators
of each Task Force, so you can contact them directly to join their
work. In the meantime, please feel free to contact Doug Hostetter
for additional information about the Task Forces or work committees.
Congratulations to everybody for successful steps towards building
All the best,
U.S. Campaign Steering Committee
Edward W. Said