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E-Newsletter: October 2009

Dear BACEIA supporters,

October is Arab Heritage Month in San Francisco, and we’ve been representing the campaign at events in SF and across the Bay Area!  We’re glad to welcome everyone who signed our Pledge this month!

There are a number of actions and events coming up in the next few weeks — including a demonstration this Thursday, protesting former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.  Read on for details!

We’re also hard at work on a few projects and we’d love your help!  We’re working on some new materials for our website and for tabling, and could especially use folks to help with research.  In particular, while out tabling a few people have told us about auto parts from Israel sold in local stores but we have not had any confirmation. Send emails to products@baceia.org with product sightings or to help with research.

We’re also working on a BACEIA training so we can continue to build the movement by bringing our organizing principles to communities that are interested in becoming involved.  And, of course, we can always use help tabling at stores and events across the Bay Area.  If you’re interested in becoming more involved, drop us a line at info@baceia.org.


Protest former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert

THIS Thursday October 22, 6pm
Union Square, San Francisco

Olmert will be speaking at a World Affairs Council event at the St. Francis Hotel. We will gather outside in Union Square to demand that Israel and its leaders be held accountable for their crimes against the people of Palestine and Lebanon.

More info at stopaipac.org

Need inspiration?  Read about the protest at Olmert’s appearance in Chicago!

Omar Barghouti in San Francisco:
“BDS: A Quest for Justice, Human Rights and Peace”

Tuesday, November 3rd, Jack Adams Hall, 7pm
San Francisco State University

Panel discussion with Dr. Rabab Abdulhadi and Dr. Judith Butler

Omar Barghouti is an independent Palestinian researcher, commentator and human rights activist committed to upholding international law and universal human rights. He is a founding member of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) and a leader of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel.

Organized by the Cesar Chavez Student Center and General Union of Palestinian students to celebrate the Second Anniversary of the Edward Said Palestinian Cultural Mural.  Co-sponsored by BACEIA, and many other local groups.

More info >>

Mohammad Othman Action Update

As you may recall, we sent an action alert a couple of weeks ago about Mohammad Othman, a Palestinian activist arrested on his return to Palestine from Norway where he was supporting divestment efforts.

Here is an excerpt from the latest update from the campaign to release him:

20 October 2009, 4pm

At the court hearing yesterday, the judge has extended Mohammad’s detention for another 11 days. Again, the Israeli interrogation police failed once again to provide any evidence justifying Mohammad’s arrest, but contended that an extension of his detention period was necessary for further interrogation. The military judge rejected the interrogators’ initial request to extend Mohammad’s detention period to 23 additional days, arguing that the period was too long, but agreed to a 11 day extension period, based on “secret information”, which was made available to him by representatives from the Israeli Security Agency (ISA).  Military Judge Eliahu Nimni argued that the extension is required in order to end the interrogation and clarify suspicions against Mohammad. At the same time, he maintained that releasing Mohammad would constitute a security threat, despite the fact that no concrete suspicions of any alleged offences were made, thus siding with the interrogation police. Addameer appealed the court’s decision and the appeal hearing has been scheduled for Thursday, 22 October at 9.30 am at Salem Court (Ofer  prison, near Ramallah)…

It is very important that all of us keep sending letters to either your own political representatives AND the Israeli authorities!

Mohammad also has a personal message for all the supporters around the world, expressing his deep gratitude to all of you. He says he is doing okay, but his lawyer said that the long hours of interrogation are talking their toll on Mohammad. Mohammad is asking you to step up the campaign for his release and that of other anti apartheid activists.

Read the complete update here.

>> If you have not already done so, click here to find ways to take action in support of Mohammad.

Gaza Freedom March

BACEIA has decided to endorse the call for the Gaza Freedom March — an effort to draw international attention to Israel’s brutal attacks last winter and to end the continued siege on Gaza.  Individuals can read and endorse the call here.

BACEIA is glad to see the addition of a Statement of Context added to the call for action, which better situates the march in a history of ongoing occupation and apartheid, while also honoring “decades of nonviolent Palestinian resistance,” including the call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions.

Upcoming Local Events

Here are some events that BACEIA isn’t involved in organizing, but we’re happy to support our allies and thought you might be interested:

Release party for Matzpen Celebrate People’s History poster
Friday, October 23.  9pm.  1630 Woolsey St, Berkeley.  Sponsored by AROC, IJAN, and Dialogues Against Militarism.  More info >>

Arab Film Festival.
October 23-25.  Shattuck Cinemas, Berkeley.  More info >>

“Back Home Right Here: Arab art across seas and generations”
Sunday, October 25.  3-7pm.  Galeria de la Raza (SF).  Sponsored by the Arab Resource & Organizing Center.  More info >>

“What I Saw in Gaza,” with Barbara Lubin and Hatem Bazian
Thursday, October 29th. 7pm.  UC Berkeley.  Sponsored by MECA, Students for Justice in Palestine, the Muslim Students Association, and the Center for Race and Gender.  More info >>