[Fwd: NATIONAL DAY OF SOLIDARITY WITH MUSLIM, ARAB AND SOUTH ASIAN IMMIGRANTS]
- Please, endorse and distribute broadly the call below (also attached as
a PDF file).
FEBRUARY 20, 2004
NATIONAL DAY OF SOLIDARITY WITH MUSLIM,
ARAB AND SOUTH ASIAN IMMIGRANTS*
/First they came for the Communists and I didn't speak up because I
wasn't a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I
wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Catholics and I didn't speak up because I was a
Then they came for me, but by that time, no one was left to speak up./
--Pastor Martin Niemoeller, Nazi Germany
We call on people everywhere to come together on the 3rd National Day of
Solidarity to resist the scapegoating and criminalization of Muslim,
Arab and South Asian immigrants! Take action and speak out on February
20th, 2004 as part of the National Day of Solidarity with Muslim, Arab,
and South Asian Immigrants!
Since September 11, 2001, the U.S. government has launched a wide-scale
assault on the basic rights of Muslims, Arabs, and South Asians. These
communities have been the targets of mass roundups, indefinite
detentions, secret hearings, and more. Thousands have been deported
through the selective enforcement of immigration laws. Through "Special
Registration," 82,000 men and boys from 24 Muslim, Arab, and South Asian
countries came forth to register, and many were subjected to brutality
and detention. Despite having complied with this law, 13,000 men and
boys are now in the process of being deported. Families continue to be
devastated as they are torn apart, jobs and homes lost. Neighborhoods
continue to be raided by INS officers, thousands are still detained over
minor visa violations, and tens of thousands of people have fled the
United States in fear of being persecuted. Not one of these men have
been charged with any connection to the events of 9/11, but they are
being arrested, humiliated and deported precisely on that very pretext.
Repression continues to intensify. This past August, the Department of
Homeland Security began implementing a system to keep track of foreign
students. On January 5, 2004, the government launched US-VISIT, which
will result in the fingerprinting and photographing of millions of
visitors to the US. Twenty-seven countries are exempt from the invasive
US-VISIT program. The fact that 25 of the 27 countries profiled are
European, shows clearly that the U. S. Government's domestic practice
of racial profiling has extended to the world community. Is this how
our government intends to make friends, And is this the kind of example
we want to give for the world?
The government's merciless onslaught is relentless. All Muslims,
citizens and non-citizens, are regarded as potential terrorists or
traitors as we have seen with the arrest of Muslim GI's who served at
Guantánamo Bay, where hundreds of "enemy combatants" are being held
without due process. The threat of a life time of indefinite detention
has been used to force young Muslim men to plead guilty to "conspiracy"
charges so the government can trumpet that it is breaking up "terrorist
cells". Several federal court decisions have declared that parts of the
1996 Anti-terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act are
unconstitutional, that Jose Padilla cannot be held as an "enemy
combatant", and that the detainees in Guantánamo cannot be denied access
to attorneys or the U.S. Courts. These court decisions however do not
change the overall repressive measures because they do not have the
force of law. And further, this will be decided by the Supreme Court,
several of whose members have publicly said that in times of "war" the
executive should be given a free hand to curtail civil liberties if need be.
The government also calculates that these adjustments will allow people
to swallow the application of repressive measures to a broader cross
section of people in this country. In many ways, political dissent and
opposition has already been criminalized and demonized across the board
using the rationale of "national security,"- e.g., FBI spying on
anti-war protesters, "no-fly lists," and the creation of a culture of
distrust. Thus, some refinements in the mechanisms of repression are
acceptable to the government. But they should not be acceptable to the
people as a carrot to get us to accept the overall premise that
destruction of civil and human rights is required in order to safeguard
national security. The government has used fear to stampede us into
accepting or ignoring the persecution of Muslim Arab and South Asian
people in our country. If we allow this, who will be next to be
profiled as an "enemy combatant"?
*It is up to us to determine the kind of future we want. And it is the
responsibility of those who have seen through the lies to expose them --
and fight for the truth.*
February 20th is an opportunity to open the eyes of many more people to
the reality of this repression and mobilize many more into this movement
to stop it. On this day, communities of Muslim, Arab and South Asian
immigrants can see that there are many others who will stand with them
and act fearlessly to stop this repression.
Standing together on the National Day of Solidarity sends an important
message to the government that they will face a growing multi-national
and inter-religious movement of citizens and non-citizens who are
organizing an unstoppable fight to end this kind of repression!
*We must learn from history.* February 19th is the anniversary of the
infamous Executive Order 9066, signed by President Roosevelt,
authorizing the roundup and imprisonment of Japanese Americans living in
the western coastal states. The specter of this moment in history lives
in the Special Registrations, the fingerprinting at airports, and
selective detentions of today.
*On February 20th wear a blue triangle with the name of one of the newly
In the early 1940's, German Nazis used different colored triangles to
categorize and divide the people held in concentration camps. We will
not allow the same kind of profiling to happen here. *We wear a blue
triangle affirmatively to demonstrate our solidarity with those being
Be creative on February 20th. Find a way to bring people together to
express our resistance to these attacks on our colleagues, friends,
neighbors and each other!*
. Sponsor a speak-out for the families of the disappeared so they can
tell their stories
. Think of what it would mean if on that day churches, synagogues,
mosques, unions and schools declared that they would provide sanctuary
for the persecuted
. Organize a vigil or demonstration at a local INS detention center
. Hold a teach in at your local school, college, or university
. Call your political representatives and demand that these outrages cease
. Organize a poetry SLAM or a music show
. Write a letter to your local newspaper calling for justice for all
. Demand that our colleges and universities not turn over the files of
immigrant students to the government
. Contact local TV and radio talk shows asking to be part of the program
. Create and Display new and creative art expressing our desire for
justice and respect for human rights
. Give voice to those who have been affected through radio shows and
*Remember the roundup of the Jews in Nazi Germany.
Remember the roundup of the Japanese Americans in the U.S.
Think of the roundup of Muslims, Arabs, and South Asians in the U.S.*
American Muslim Voice . California Interfaith Alliance for Prison Reform
. Valerie Camacho, San Diego . Compañeros del Barrio, San Francisco .
Riva Enteen, San Francisco . Food Not Bombs, Akron, Ohio . Fuerza Unida,
San Antonio, TX . Prof. Gloria House, Detroit . Justice for New
Americans . La Raza Centro Legal, San Francisco . La Resistencia .
Donald R. Lake, Founder, Citizens for a Better Veterans' Home, San Diego
. Travis Morales, supporter of the Revolutionary Communist Party,
Houston . Mira Nair, Filmmaker, Mirabai Films . Reverend John Oda, Pine
United Methodist Church . Reverend Jim Oines, Lutheran Pastor and Worker
in the Sanctuary Movement for Central American Refugees . NYU Students
for Justice in Palestine, New York, NY . Not In Our Name . Pakistan
American Alliance . Queers For Racial And Economic Justice . Refuse and
Resist . Sikh Media Watch . South Alameda Peace and Justice Coalition .
South Asians Against Police Brutality and Racism, New York, NY . Mazen
M. Sukkar, Esq, Hollywood, FL
*For more information and to get involved, contact the Blue Triangle
Network. Please e-mail or mail your endorsement of this call.
Distribute, post & publish everywhere! Funds are needed to organize for
February 20. Please, immediately send donations. All actions on
February 20 should be publicized and popularized. Write, e-mail or call
the Blue Triangle Network with news of activities in your area: P.O. Box
7451, Dearborn, MI 48121-7451; (313) 942-7187; E-mail:
___Our organization endorses or ___I personally endorse (check one) the
above "call" for a NATIONAL DAY OF SOLIDARITY WITH MUSLIM, ARAB AND
SOUTH ASIAN IMMIGRANTS (signing this "call" gives permission to publish
or otherwise make public this endorsement. If organizational or
institutional affiliation of a personal endorsement is to be listed for
identification purposes only check here.___ )
Enclosed is my donation of $____ to distribute, print, publish, fax, and
mail this call nation wide.
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