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International Day of Solidarity with Political Prisoners

Saturday, December 03, 2005
7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Event Type:
Coalition for IDSPP
Location Details:
First Unitarian Church (14th and Castro Sts.) Downtown Oakland (near 12th ST Bart)

Information and Events surrounding the upcoming International Day of Solidarity with Political Prisoners.

To celebrate the first International Day of Solidarity with Political Prisoners there will be a number of events in the Bay Area (as well as in numerous cities nationally and internationally.)

-There will be a Film fest at Laney College in Oakland and New College in San Francisco on the nights of November 28, 29, 30, and December 1. (More details available soon.)
- There will be a demonstration on Friday, Dec. 2nd, from 12 noon - 2 p.m. in front of the Oakland Federal Building, 1301 Clay St., Oakland, which is 1 block from the 12th St. City Center BART station.
- ON SATURDAY, DECEMBER 3RD, THERE WILL BE AN EVENT AT THE FIRST UNITARIAN CHURCH (14TH & CASTRO STS IN DOWNTOWN OAKLAND.) This event will feature speakers Kathleen Cleaver (former Black Panther Party leader) and Alicia Rodriguez (former Puerto Rican Political Prisoner), as well as other speakers, and dance and drumming performances.

Background on the Day:
Annette "So –Ann" Auguste, imprisoned in Haiti. The Mamburao 7, imprisoned in the Phillipines. Manal Ghanem imprisoned by the Israelis. The Aachen Four recently imprisoned in Germany. Mumia Abu Jamal, Jalil Muntaqim, Sundiata Acoli, Marilyn Buck, the Cuba 5, Leonard Peltier, Oscar Lopez - all imprisoned in the United States.

Are any of these names familiar? They are a few of the tens of thousands of political prisoners held in prisons and jails around the world. The repressive governments which incarcerate and criminalize them hope that the world outside will never know their names or learn why they really are in prison.

The United States has some of the longest held political prisoners in the world – women and men who were part of the American Indian Movement (AIM), the Black Panther Party, MOVE, the Puerto Rican Independence movement and the white anti-imperialist movement, who were fighting for self-determination and social justice in the sixties and seventies. Many were targets of the FBI’s infamous COINTELPRO program which launched campaigns of assassination, disinformation and frame-ups in order to crush people’s liberation movements and social dissent. The same system which has kept them in prison for over three decades criminalizes and incarcerates over 2 million people in the United States today.

Since September 11th, the United States has greatly expanded the number of political prisoners and detainees it holds inside its borders and around the world. In the name of waging its "war against terrorism" and under the authority of the Patriot Act, the U.S. has
∑ Suspended international human rights laws including the Geneva Conventions; invented the term enemy combatant in order to avoid observing international law; detained hundreds without charges at Guantanamo; kidnapped people around the world through its program of "extraordinary rendition"; and escalated the use of torture from Abu Ghraib to Baghram and Belmarsh (England)
∑ Targeted Arab, South Asian, Muslim and Latino communities with police sweeps, arrests based on false charges of aiding terrorist organizations and accusations of gang affiliations. It has used the threat of deportations to divide immigrant communities and turn people against each other.
∑ Opened an offensive against progressive lawyers such as Lynne Stewart, Chowkwe Lumumba, and Manlin Chee. Used grand jury witch hunts to reopen political cases from the 1970’s and harass young activists from the current animal rights and environmental rights movements. Labeled all of these activists as terrorists.
∑ Slashed basic civil rights and constitutional protections through such programs as random subway searches, surveillance of library readership, no-fly lists and secret courts that approve wiretaps and email surveillance of progressive activists.
∑ Used the media to spread a climate of hate and fear in which vigilantes such as the Minutemen are promoted, hate crimes are supported, and people are encouraged to spy and inform on each other.

As increasing numbers of people around the world say no to occupation, coup d’etats, grinding poverty, brutal repression and endless war, the United States and its allies are spearheading the globalization of repression to crush all opposition to the imperialist system.

To challenge the globalization of repression, Filipino political prisoner Donato Continente, suggested initiating an International Day of Solidarity with Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War. On December 3, 2005 people in countries around the world including Palestine, the Philippines, Haiti, Brazil, Italy, Switzerland, England, India and the U.S. will mark this day with rallies, marches and other forms of resistance. Join us in making this day a step forward in building a global movement of resistance to imperialism and creating stronger bonds between the peoples of the world.

Freedom and amnesty for all Political Prisoners! Respect International Human Rights Law!
End all torture!
Added to the calendar on Mon, Oct 31, 2005 12:02PM
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