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4/26 ANSWER Reportback and Discussion on April 20
by ANSWER Boston
Email: answerboston (nospam) iacboston.org
Address: 284 Amory Street, Jamaica Plain, MA
24 Apr 2002
A.N.S.W.E.R. Activists Meeting: REPORT BACK AND DISCUSSION OF HISTORIC APRIL 20 MARCH FOR PALESTINE AND AGAINST WAR AND RACISM
Friday, April 26 6:30 P.M.
100,000 MARCH FOR PALESTINE!
April 20 in Washington DC
Members of the Muslim Community, Antiwar Activists, Latin
American Solidarity Groups and People From All Over the
United States Unite to Say: "We Are All Palestinians!"
Today over 100,000 people marched in Washington DC in the
largest pro-Palestinian rally in U.S. history. (Police
estimated the figure at 75,000, cited in Washington Post,
April 21.) Another 35,000 marched in San Francisco.
Demanding an end to the U.S.-backed onslaught by the
Israeli military against Palestinian civilians and calling
for an immediate end to the Israeli occupation of the
Palestinian homeland, protesters turned Pennsylvania
Avenue into a sea of kaffiyas, the traditional Palestinian
scarf worn by demonstrators in a show of solidarity.
"Free, free Palestine!" echoed from the White House to the
Department of Justice to the U.S. Capitol. Over 60,000
people demonstrated at the White House, where bus after
bus from Mosques and Islamic Centers all over the eastern
seaboard dropped off a stream of protesters that continued
to pour into the rally from the opening speaker until the
beginning of the march on Pennsylvania Avenue.
Once the various rallies merged, tens of thousands filed
past the Department of Justice demanding the repeal of the
USA Patriot Act, and an immediate end to the Ashcroft
raids on the Muslim and Arab community.
"Yesterday the U.S. threatened to veto a UN Security
Council resolution calling for an investigation into the
Jenin massacre," said Larry Holmes, co-director of the
International Action Center, part of A.N.S.W.E.R. "The
U.S. finally forced the removal of the word
'investigation' from the resolution language. This is one
more example of how Sharon's war against Palestinian
people is backed and protected by George W. Bush."
"The U.S. is afraid the truth will come out," said Carl
Messineo, co-founder of the Partnership for Civil Justice
LDEF, also with A.N.S.W.E.R. "And they're afraid of the
kind of multinational solidarity shown for the Palestinian
people by the people of the United States today in massive
numbers. It has become impossible for the Bush
administration to claim he speaks in the name of the
United States when he bombs Afghanistan, pays for the
slaughter of Palestinians and threatens Iraq. The people
in this country want money for jobs and human needs, not
war against the people of Palestine."
For more information and to get involved, see:
MEDIA COVERAGE OF APRIL 20, 2002, DEMONSTRATIONS AGAINST
WAR AND RACISM
From: Middle East Takes Center Stage at D.C. Rallies/
Bicyclists Arrested Yesterday Are Released
By Neely Tucker
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, April 20, 2002
Thousands of activists rallying for a host of causes
mingled easily with tourists along the mall this afternoon
as chants of "Free, Free Palestine," "Stop the Occupation
Now" and "We are all Palestinians Today" filled the
Ellipse and the black, red, white and green flag of
Palestine waved through the streets of the District.
District police officials said the crowds were larger than
they had anticipated, and put their numbers at about
75,000. Organizers of a Palestinian-rights rally at the
Ellipse south of the White House said the gathering was
the largest demonstration for Palestine in U.S. history.
Thousands of activists began arriving in the early hours
of Saturday. They came from across the East Coast,
disembarking from a caravan of buses this morning, groggy
from the overnight bus ride but already chanting "Stop the
U.S./Israeli War!" "We would have brought more people, but
it seemed every bus on East Coast was already reserved,"
said Steve Gillis, 43, a steelworker from Boston. "We saw
hundreds of buses on the road. The rest stops were jammed
all the way down."
From: Demonstrators Rally to Palestinian Cause /Arab
Americans, Supporters Drown Out Other Issues
By Manny Fernandez
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, April 21, 2002
Tens of thousands converged on downtown Washington
yesterday to demonstrate for a variety of causes, but it
was the numbers and passion of busloads of Arab Americans
and their supporters that dominated the streets.
Eager to make their presence felt and their voices heard
in the nation's capital as never before, Arab and Muslim
families marched and chanted for an end to U.S. military
aid to Israel, overwhelming the messages of those with
other causes in a peaceful day of downtown rallies and
District police officials said the crowds were larger than
they had anticipated and put the number at about 75,000.
Metro transit officials said ridership increased
significantly yesterday, but estimates would not be
available until today. Organizers of the
Palestinian-rights rally at the Ellipse said the gathering
was the largest demonstration for Palestine in U.S.
"We are here because we want to do something, to send a
message," said Amal K. David, a Palestinian American who
weathered a 12-hour trip in a 21-bus caravan from the
Detroit area to join the rally organized by International
Answer, an antiwar, anti-racism coalition that shifted the
theme of its protest as the violence in the Middle East
escalated. In tears, David spoke of the destruction that
U.S.-financed Israeli weapons and tanks have done to
Palestinians, saying: "My beloved country is financing
such death and destruction. I am so ashamed."
From lead story in the Sunday, April 21st San Francisco
In one of the largest Bay Area protests in recent years,
at least 20, 000 people marched through San Francisco
yesterday in opposition to U.S. policy in the Mideast,
transforming 2 miles of city streets into a sea of red,
green, black and white Palestinian flags.
The demonstration was billed as a march against "the real
axis of evil: war, racism, poverty," but one cause
overwhelmed all others: support for the Palestinian cause.
The four-hour protest, which began at noon in the Mission
District and ended at City Hall, caused widespread
gridlock and prompted the Highway Patrol to close the Fell
Street Central Freeway off-ramp for 45 minutes.
"It's one of the biggest protests in the past five years,"
San Francisco police Cmdr. Greg Suhr said. "It's not often
that you see one where a crowd has formed in Civic Center
but there are still people in Dolores Park who haven't
Osha Neumann, a longtime peace activist from Berkeley and
veteran of protests since the 1960s, said that for decades
the Palestinian cause divided many Bay Area Jewish
liberals and leftists who did not want to oppose Israel.
"Twenty years ago I was with a group of Jews protesting at
the Israeli Embassy, and it was lonely," said Neumann. "I
am happy that Jews especially and the other progressives
are no longer blind to oppression by the Israelis."
Chronicle staff writers Tyche Hendricks and Jason B.
Johnson contributed to this report.
From: Causes Merge to Support Palestinians Protest: Tens
of thousands gather in the nation's capital, with
attention focused on the Middle East conflict. LA TIMES
By MEGAN GARVEY and BOB DROGIN
Times Staff Writers
Myriad protest causes developed into a massive and
peaceful show of support for the Palestinian people
Saturday, as tens of thousands of demonstrators jammed
Washington's downtown streets to criticize the Bush
administration's Middle East policy. Scores of Palestinian
flags waved above the crowd, and many
marchers--representing a range of races, religions and
ages--wore stickers proclaiming: "We are all
Chris Zbrozek, 18, who came to the rally from Sterling
Heights, Mich., with his father, said the pro-Palestinian
cause was aligned with the antiwar sentiment. "The
Israelis say their justification for their massacres is
that they're fighting terrorism. It's the exact same
justification we use in Afghanistan, that we're going to
use against Iraq."
Daniel Zbrozek, 49, who was attending his first such
demonstration, said, "It only causes more terrorism. And
it only endangers more Americans."
Tariq Ali, a Pakistani playwright, was among the speakers
addressing the pro-Palestinian rally. He told his
listeners that the "rogues are in the White House and the
rogue state is Israel."
"The real problem in the world is state terrorism," Ali
said. "And the people who organize that terrorism are in
Tel Aviv and their backers are in the White House."
From: Thousands protest for Palestinians: PHILADELPHIA
By Chris Gray and Jodi Enda
Inquirer Staff Writers
WASHINGTON - Carrying Palestinian flags and waving protest
signs, thousands of demonstrators marched from the White
House to the Capitol yesterday to show support for the
Busloads of Philadelphia-area residents, including more
than 300 Muslims affiliated with the Al-Aqsa Islamic
Society, joined the rally.
Aboard one of those buses, Hannah Darwish said she checks
the lists of Palestinian dead every day, praying that she
won't read a familiar name.
Most of the 42-year-old immigrant's relatives, including a
daughter and grandchild, her parents and sisters, live in
Ramallah, not far from the compound where Palestinian
leader Yasir Arafat remains confined. The uncertainty of
their daily existence fills Darwish, who moved to
Philadelphia more than 25 years ago, with anger and dread.
In Ramallah, "every time a helicopter passes by, they
think it's going to start shelling," she said. "Everybody
has curfew. The kids - they have no school. You go to
school, you'll be dead."
Demonstrators from around the country stood on the Ellipse
behind the White House and demanded that President Bush
and Congress stop supporting Israel with money and
The pro-Palestinian marchers gained the support of
demonstrators from at least three other rallies protesting
such issues as globalization and destruction of the
environment. Police estimated that between 40,000 and
60,000 people participated.