Updated Endorsers for Feb. 20 National Day of Solidarity with Muslim, Arab and South Asian Immigrants
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FEBRUARY 20, 2003
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 Protestant.
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 for the second February 20 National Day of Solidarity with Muslim, Arab and South Asian Immigrants. We are at a critical and historic moment. This time they are coming for the Muslim, Arab and South Asian immigrants. Now is the time to sound the alarm and act.
In the face of forced registrations and the detention of up to 1,000 immigrants, a demonstration of 3,000 in Los Angeles on December 18 carried signs that said, “What’s Next? Concentration Camps?” We applaud the brave demonstrators, most of whom are themselves immigrants. They dared to protest at a time when immigrants from the Middle East are subjected to roundups and indefinite detention without charges. Can we do anything less? This demonstration was a moral challenge to us all.
January 10 was the deadline for immigrant men from 13 mainly Muslim countries to register with the Immigration and Naturalization Service. In over 15 cities, people of all different nationalities organized protests and press conferences. Many wore the blue triangle with the names of the disappeared. Opposition and resistance are growing. But we have much more to do if we are to stop the increasing repression.
The reality is that the government is registering and detaining Muslim, Arab and South Asian immigrants now! Detention is not a future possibility but a present reality. Federal authorities detained over 1,200, maybe many more, in the immediate wake of September 11. The government has given a strong indication that there will soon be new waves of mass detentions as they go to war against Iraq. The authorities want to silence those in this country who can speak truth about the reality of life in the Middle East. They want to silence the Palestinian who has lived through the Israeli Air Force dropping U.S. supplied cluster bombs on their refugee camp. They want to silence the Afghan-American woman whose 19 family members in Afghanistan were killed when the U.S. bombed their wedding party. They want to silence the Afghan-American woman whose husband was taken during the mass round-ups after 9/11, held for nine terrifying months without charges, and then suddenly deported without warning--away from his family, his life and livelihood here.
In July 2002, Peter Kirsanow, a member of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, proposed that a mass roundup and detention of Arabs and Muslims may be necessary. Attorney General John Ashcroft proposed detention centers where U.S. citizens deemed to be ‘enemy combatants’ can be held indefinitely without charges. The Bush administration has begun an unprecedented program to monitor Iraqi citizens and Iraqi-Americans with dual citizenship in the United States. The Bush administration is establishing a separate legal system for anyone the government declares a terrorism suspect and “enemy combatant.” Citizens and non-citizens would be stripped of long established constitutional protections and measures.
We must learn from history. February 19 is the anniversary of President Roosevelt issuing the infamous Executive Order 9066 in 1942. It authorized the roundup and imprisonment of all Japanese Americans living in the western coastal states.
New important dates are just ahead. February 21 is the deadline for immigrant men from Pakistan and Saudi Arabia to register. March 28 is the deadline for immigrant men from Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Kuwait, and Jordan to register.
Send a powerful message on February 20. We refuse to accept the registration and detention of people based on their nationality and religion. We refuse to accept racial profiling, roundups, indefinite detentions, secret courts, secret charges, secret evidence, secret wiretaps, secret sneak and peek break-ins, secret military tribunals, deportations, telephone and e-mail surveillance, and demonizing of Muslims, Arabs, South Asians and others based upon where they were born, the language that they speak, the color of their skin or the religion that they practice.
On February 20 wear a blue triangle with the name of one of the newly “disappeared”. In the early 1940’s, German Nazis used many different colored triangles to categorize and divide people in the concentration camps. We will not allow the same kind of profiling to happen here. We will wear a blue triangle in a positive way to show our solidarity with those being targeted today. 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; students demand that your colleges or 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. Find the ways to express your solidarity with Muslim, Arab and South Asian immigrants and your opposition to this repression. Use February 20 as a springboard for press conferences and protests on February 21.
Remember the roundup of the Jews in Nazi Germany. Remember the roundup of the Japanese Americans in the United States. What would you have done then? Think of the roundup of Muslims, Arabs, and South Asians in the United States in 2003. What will you do now?
Endorsers (as of February 18, 2003)
3rd I New York (Monthly South Asian Film and Music Salon) • Al-Fatiha Foundation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, and Questioning (LGBTIQ) Muslims • American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, San Francisco, CA • American Friends Service Committee Colorado Area Office • American Islamic Institute, San Marcos, CA • Amer Jubran Defense Committee (Boston, MA) • Amnesty International Group 23, Houston • Anarchist Action of Rochester, Rochester, NY • Asians For Mumia/Jericho Network, NYC • Asian Pacific American Legal Center of Southern California • Baloch & Kurdish Human Rights International • Ellen E. Barfield, National Boards of: Veterans for Peace*, War Resisters League*, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom*, Baltimore, MD • The Campaign for Collateral Compassion, Chicago, IL • Campaign to Stop Sevis, Honolulu, HI • Campus Greens at UC San Diego • Chicago Anti-Bashing Network • Chicago Coalition Against War and Racism • Christian Friends of Muslims & Jews • Civilians Down, Houston, TX • Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), Los Angeles, CA • Copwatch, Berkeley, CA • Council on American Islamic Relations, NY Chapter (CAIR-NY) • Council on American Islamic Relations - Southern California (CAIR-LA) • Critical Resistance, Oakland, CA • Detroit Area Peace and Justice Network (DAPJN) • FilsGlobe • Free Mumia Coalition, NYC • Freedom Socialist Party, NYC • Fresno Center for Nonviolence, Fresno, CA • David Gangsei, Psychologist, San Diego, CA • Melissa Gerstel, Artist, Equal Rights Activist, Hapa Issues Forum*, Ledyard, CT • Global Exchange, San Francisco, CA • Green Party of San Diego County, CA • Bishop Thomas J. Gumbleton, Auxiliary Bishop, Archdiocese of Detroit* • Dr.Sam Hamod, American Islamic Institute, San Marcos, CA • Hate Free Zone Campaign of Washington, Seattle, WA • Gloria House, Ph.D., Professor Emerita, Wayne State University*, Detroit, MI • Randall B. Hamud, Attorney at Law, San Diego, CA • Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace, Los Angeles, CA • Robert Jensen, associate professor, School of Journalism, University of Texas at Austin* • Jews Against the Occupation, New York, NY • Justice for New Americans, San Francisco, CA • La Raza Centro Legal, San Francisco, CA • La Resistencia • Christine Madore, student, San Jose State Univ.* San Jose, CA • Joan Maruskin, World Church Service Immigration and Refugee Program, Washington, D.C.* • MEChA de Palomar College, San Diego, CA• Michigan Emergency Coalition Against War on Iraq (MECAWI) • Travis Morales, member La Resistencia, supporter of Revolutionary Communist Party, Houston, TX • Mumia Defense Committee, Rochester, NY • Muslim Civil Rights Center, Chicago, IL • Muslim Student Association of San Diego State University • National Lawyers Guild - Detroit Chapter • Dale Nesbitt, Berkeley, CA • New England Committee to Defend Palestine (Boston, MA) • NJ Solidarity • New York City Labor Against the War (NYCLAW) • Not In Our Name & Bush’s Backyard Surprise, Houston, TX • October 22 Coalition to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation • Rev. James A. Oines, Lutheran Pastor, Sanctuary Movement Leader, Los Angeles, CA • Palestine Solidarity Group, Chicago, IL • Pax Christi USA • People Against Oppression and War , Houston, TX • People’s Nonviolent Response Coalition, Oakland, CA• Progressive Resource/Action Cooperative, Champaign, IL • Radical Women • Michael Ratner, President, Center for Constitutional Rights, New York, NY • Red Bandanna: Roma Against Racism, Burton, WA • Refuse&Resist! • Molly Rush, The Thomas Merton Center*, Pittsburgh, PA • San Diego Coalition for Human and Civil Rights • San Francisco Day Laborers Program, San Francisco, CA • Seeds of Solidarity, Glendale CA• Holly Severson, journalist and activist, San Francisco, CA • Mahir Sherif, attorney, San Diego, CA • Edward Sledge, Austin Human Rights Commission*, Austin, TX
• Leadership: Society of the Sacred Heart, U.S. Province • Students Movement for Justice, Wayne State University*, Detroit, MI • South Alameda County Peace and Social Justice Coalition, California • South Asian Collective, Urbana-Champaign, IL • South Asian League of Artists in AMerica (SALAAM), Geeta Citygirl, Artistic Director, New York, NY • South Asian Network, Los Angeles, CA • South Asians Against Police Brutality and Racism, New York, NY • South Bay Labor for Peace and Justice (SBLPJ), San Jose, CA • South Bay Mobilization to Stop the War (SBMSW), San Jose, CA • Triangle Foundation, Detroit, MI • United Muslims of America Interfaith Alliance, San Francisco, CA • United Teachers of Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA • United We March of the American Medical Student Association at NEOU College Of Medicine • Veterans for Peace, San Diego Chapter 91 • Vietnam Veterans Against the War (Anti-Imperialist) • Barbara Weith, San Diego, CA • Rev. Dr. David L. Wheeler, Senior Minister, First Baptist Church, Los Angeles, CA* • Sonny Williams, Cincinnati, OH • Women's International League for Peace & Freedom, Fresno, CA Branch • David Wong Support Committee, NYC • World Alliance for Humanity, Fremont, CA • Workmen’s Circle/Arbeter Ring Southern California District
(* organizational affiliation for identification purposes only)
Please endorse this call & distribute, post & publish everywhere! Funds are quickly needed to organize for February 20. We urge you to 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: NationalOffice@... Web Site: http://www.BlueTriangle.org/
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