January 16, 2012

Standing Up for Our Rights! USPCN Pledges to Defend Human and Civil Rights

The US Palestinian Community Network passed the following resolution at its planning meeting on January 6-8, 2012, committing itself to work for the civil and human rights of the Palestinian community, particularly those targeted for FBI repression and a grand jury investigation. Those targeted in the case include labor activists, antiwar organizers, and seven Palestinian USPCN members and leaders in Chicago. For more information on the case, please see the website of the Committee to Stop FBI Repression.

USPCN is circulating a Pledge to Defend Civil and Human Rights and calls upon all of its members and supporters to both sign the petition online  and distribute the hard-copy form at your events and activities. Send the signatures you collect to [email protected]


United States Palestinian Community Network (USPCN)

Strategic Planning Meeting January 6th-8th, 2012, in Santa Clara, CA

Standing Up for Our Rights!

Whereas, the USPCN’s mission statement includes the upholding of Palestinian rights around the world, including the protection of democratic rights in the U.S.;

And whereas, the FBI raids on homes and offices, and confiscation of property, in Chicago and Minneapolis, and the grand jury subpoenas served to 14 individuals in the Midwest, including one USPCN National Coordinating Committee member, in September of 2010, constituted an escalation of historical attacks on the Palestinian community, the Palestine solidarity movement, the anti-war movement, and democratic rights in the United States;

And whereas, the nine (9) grand jury subpoenas served in December 2010 were to six (6) additional Palestinians, all members and leaders of Chicago’s USPCN chapter, and 3 Palestine solidarity organizers;

And whereas, the FBI raid on Carlos Montes’ home in Los Angeles in May of 2011 constituted an additional attack on a leading immigrant rights, Chicano liberation, and Palestine solidarity organizer;

And whereas, Department of Justice and other U.S. government repression is being utilized to stifle critique of U.S. foreign policy and Israeli violations of the human, civil, and national rights of the Palestinian people, as evidenced by the cases of the Irvine 11, the Holy Land Foundation 5, Abdelhaleem Ashqar, Sami Al-Arian, and many others;

Therefore be it resolved that the USPCN calls on all Palestinians, Arabs, and Muslims to sign the Pledge to Defend Civil & Human Rights at http://uspcn.org/pledge-to-defend-civil-and-human-rights/ and the petition to support Carlos Montes at http://www.stopfbi.net/petition/national;

And be it further resolved that the USPCN calls on all of its chapters and other Palestinian, Arab, Muslim, and solidarity institutions across the U.S. to establish Emergency Response Plans in preparation for the possible indictments and arrests of any of the Palestinians or Palestine solidarity activists raided and/or subpoenaed;

And be it further resolved that the USPCN calls on all of its chapters and other Palestinian, Arab, Muslim, and solidarity institutions across the U.S. to identify supportive U.S. Congresspeople in their respective districts, and call on these legislators to demand from Attorney General Eric Holder and U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald an end to this investigation;

And be it further resolved that the USPCN calls on its chapters to help organize a speaking tour of the U.S. for one of its Chicago members, to build support around the case;

And be it finally resolved that, even in the face of the attacks on our movement, the USPCN calls on all Palestinians, Arabs, Muslims, and other people of conscience in the U.S. and around the world to continue organizing for, and demanding, self-determination, independence, full equality, and the Right of Return for the Palestinian people; and freedom for Palestinian, Arab, Muslim, and Palestine solidarity political prisoners in Israeli, Palestinian Authority, U.S., and all other jails.

Sign the Pledge: Pledge to Defend Civil and Human Rights

Human Rights Activism is Not a Crime.

Twenty-three (23) human rights activists in the U.S., including 7 Palestinians, are currently under subpoena to appear before a Grand Jury in Chicago, headed and controlled by U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald. The Grand Jury is a secret and closed interrogation conducted without media presence, judge supervision or the right to an attorney. The basis of the investigation is the activists’ work to educate and organize for human rights in Palestine and Colombia, as well as protestingU.S.wars around the world.

All 23 of the targeted activists have invoked their Fifth Amendment right and have chosen not to testify before the Grand Jury. The U.S. Attorney may now force these activists to testify or go to prison. Whether some are indicted or others are jailed for refusing to testify, the threat to our constitutional rights, including freedom of speech and assembly, is very real.

PLEDGE: (Download a copy of the Pledge to distribute and collect signatures)

In solidarity with the 23, we will defend our constitutional rights of freedom of speech and assemblyWe will stand up to any escalation of the attacks on human rights activists.

We will join in the National Day of Protest when any of the 23 human rights activists are ordered to appear in front of the Chicago Grand Jury or indicted.

Sign on now!