October 25: Day of Action to Free the Holy Land Five

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network strongly supports the following call for the October 25 National Day of Action in the U.S. for the Holy Land Five. Palestinian political prisoners are not only behind bars in Israeli jails. Just like all aspects of occupation, settler colonialism and apartheid in Palestine, imprisonment not only impacts Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, and in Occupied Palestine ’48, but also Palestinians in exile and diaspora around the world. The record of persecution in the United States of Palestinian community leaders and organizers includes the cases of anti-war activists in Chicago and Minneapolis, the prosecutions of Muhammad Salah, Sami al-Arian and his co-defendants, and Abdelhaleem Ashqar as well as the targeting of youth activists like the Irvine 11 and the Palestine Nine in NYC.

The Holy Land Five – Ghassan Elashi, Shukri Abu-Bader, Mohammad El-Mezain, Mufid Abdelqader, and Abdulrahman Odeh – are leaders in the Palestinian community who organized, worked and struggled to support their people, their steadfastness and their freedom through charity work, forming the largest Muslim charity in the US, dedicated to Palestine – the Holy Land Foundation. Their work gathered the contributions of the Palestinian, Arab and Muslim communities in the US, building projects and institutions throughout Palestine. It was for that work that they were targeted, persecuted, and tried, in an unjust trial – including anonymous Israeli official ‘witnesses’ –  that convicted them as Palestinians who refused to abandon their people and their cause,

Samidoun urges full support for the protests and actions on October 25 (see below for list), organized by Ghassan Elashi’s daughter – Noor Elashi – the Freedom to Give Campaign, and the Committee to Stop FBI Repression. Freedom for the Holy Land Five, Palestinian political prisoners in US jails! 

Day of Action Announcement:

Thursday, October 25
Justice for the Holy Land Five!
Tell the U.S. Supreme Court to order a new trial!
Release the Five now!

The Holy Land Five need our urgent solidarity. The U.S. Supreme Court will decide in late October whether their final appeal will even be heard. The Holy Land Five are five Muslim charity leaders wrongly imprisoned due to U.S. government political repression. They are being punished for publicly sending charity to Palestinians, at a time when U.S. domination is being challenged in the Middle East. Join us for a National Day of Action, Thursday, October 25.

The first Holy Land trial ended in a hung jury, but a second one — using secret witnesses who were never identified to the defense, hearsay evidence and a ‘shock video’ showing protesters in Palestine burning an American flag — contributed to prejudicing the jurors. The result is that five men, who did nothing wrong, are suffering long sentences, between 15 and 65 years.

The lead prosecutor who used these dirty tricks in court is Barry Jonas. Assistant U.S. Attorney Barry Jonas is now in Chicago, conducting the ongoing investigation of 23 Midwest anti-war and international solidarity activists. Jonas is a pro-Israel ideologue, politically motivated and willing to trample on people’s rights.

As thousands of Occupy Wall Street protesters learned this past year, the U.S. is becoming a more repressive place. For more than ten years now, hundreds of Arabs and Muslims have faced and are facing unjust prosecutions. Many are already behind bars. Help us turn this case around and demand the U.S. Supreme Court order a new trial now!

Join author Noor Elashi and the Committee to Stop FBI Repression in a national day of action on Thursday, October 25, 2012. Noor Elashi is daughter of U.S. political prisoner and Holy Land Five leader Ghassan Elashi. Now is the time to act for freedom! Justice for the Holy Land Five!

Committee to Stop FBI Repression: www.StopFBI.net
Free the Holy Land Five: www.freedomtogive.com

List of protests and events for October 25 HLF day of action

New York City, NY
Free the Holy Land Five—Thursday, October 25
5:00 Picket, Federal Building at Broadway and Worth St., Manhattan, NYC

Minneapolis, MN
Free the Holy Land Five – Day of Action, Thursday, Oct. 25
4:30 @ Federal Building, 300 South 4th Street, Minneapolis

Dallas, TX
Free the Holy Land Five–Thursday, October 25th
6:30 to 8:30 @ Belo Gardens, 1014 Main Street, Dallas TX

Tampa, FL
Free the Holy Land Five-Day of Action, October 25
6:00 at 56th Street and East Fowler Avenue,
Near University of South Florida

Gainesville, FL
Free the Holy Land Five—Thursday, October 25
5:30 PM, intersection of NW 13th Street and W University, Gainesville, FL

Salt Lake City, UT
Free the Holy Land Five—Thursday, October 25
4:30 to 5:30 PM at 125 South State Street Salt Lake City, Utah

Albany, NY
Public Forum—Thursday, October 25
6:00 at First Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany
Channing Hall, 405 Washington Ave Albany, NY 12206

The Center for Law and Justice and the Bill of Rights Defense Committee mark the release of the Center’s new report on the disparate impact of the drug war carried out against African-American men, highlighting outrageously long sentences, calling for reform, and rallying communities to oppose “The New Jim Crow.” The organizers have graciously invited a speaker in solidarity with the Holy Land Five.

Speakers Include:

  • Dr. Alice Green, Executive Director, The Center for Law and Justice
  • Lynne Jackson, Project SALAM
  • Invited Family Members of the unjustly incarcerated
  • Michael Figura, Legal Fellow, The Bill of Rights Defense Committee

Co-Sponsors: NYCLU of the Capital Region, Project SALAM, Masjid As-Salam