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February 20th - National Day of Solidarity with Muslim, Arab and South Asian Immigrants

by posted by Pipard Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2004 at 11:26 PM

We call on people everywhere to come together on the 3rd National Day of Solidarity to resist the scapegoating and criminalization of Muslim, Arab and South Asian immigrants! Take action and speak out on February 20th, 2004 as part of the National Day of Solidarity with Muslim, Arab, and South Asian Immigrants!

FEBRUARY 20, 2004



First they came for the Communists and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Catholics and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant.

Then they came for me, but by that time, no one was left to speak up.

--Pastor Martin Niemoeller, Nazi Germany

Since September 11, 2001, the U.S. government has launched a wide-scale assault on the basic rights of Muslims, Arabs, and South Asians. These communities have been the targets of mass roundups, indefinite detentions, secret hearings, and more. Thousands have been deported through the selective enforcement of immigration laws. Through “Special Registration,” 82,000 men and boys from 24 Muslim, Arab, and South Asian countries came forth to register, and many were subjected to brutality and detention. Despite having complied with this law, 13,000 men and boys are now in the process of being deported. Families continue to be devastated as they are torn apart, jobs and homes lost. Neighborhoods continue to be raided by INS officers, thousands are still detained over minor visa violations, and tens of thousands of people have fled the United States in fear of being persecuted. Not one of these men have been charged with any connection to the events of 9/11, but they are being arrested, humiliated and deported precisely on that very pretext.

Repression continues to intensify. This past August, the Department of Homeland Security began implementing a system to keep track of foreign students. On January 5, 2004, the government launched US-VISIT, which will result in the fingerprinting and photographing of millions of visitors to the US. Twenty-seven countries are exempt from the invasive US-VISIT program. The fact that 25 of the 27 countries profiled are European, shows clearly that the U. S. Government’s domestic practice of racial profiling has extended to the world community. Is this how our government intends to make friends, And is this the kind of example we want to give for the world?

The government’s merciless onslaught is relentless. All Muslims, citizens and non-citizens, are regarded as potential terrorists or traitors as we have seen with the arrest of Muslim GI’s who served at Guantánamo Bay, where hundreds of “enemy combatants” are being held without due process. The threat of a life time of indefinite detention has been used to force young Muslim men to plead guilty to “conspiracy” charges so the government can trumpet that it is breaking up “terrorist cells”. Several federal court decisions have declared that parts of the 1996 Anti-terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act are unconstitutional, that Jose Padilla cannot be held as an “enemy combatant”, and that the detainees in Guantánamo cannot be denied access to attorneys or the U.S. Courts. These court decisions however do not change the overall repressive measures because they do not have the force of law. And further, this will be decided by the Supreme Court, several of whose members have publicly said that in times of “war” the executive should be given a free hand to curtail civil liberties if need be.

The government also calculates that these adjustments will allow people to swallow the application of repressive measures to a broader cross section of people in this country. In many ways, political dissent and opposition has already been criminalized and demonized across the board using the rationale of "national security,"- e.g., FBI spying on anti-war protesters, "no-fly lists," and the creation of a culture of distrust. Thus, some refinements in the mechanisms of repression are acceptable to the government. But they should not be acceptable to the people as a carrot to get us to accept the overall premise that destruction of civil and human rights is required in order to safeguard national security. The government has used fear to stampede us into accepting or ignoring the persecution of Muslim Arab and South Asian people in our country. If we allow this, who will be next to be profiled as an “enemy combatant”?

It is up to us to determine the kind of future we want. And it is the responsibility of those who have seen through the lies to expose them — and fight for the truth.

February 20th is an opportunity to open the eyes of many more people to the reality of this repression and mobilize many more into this movement to stop it. On this day, communities of Muslim, Arab and South Asian immigrants can see that there are many others who will stand with them and act fearlessly to stop this repression.

Standing together on the National Day of Solidarity sends an important message to the government that they will face a growing multi-national and inter-religious movement of citizens and non-citizens who are organizing an unstoppable fight to end this kind of repression!

We must learn from history. February 19th is the anniversary of the infamous Executive Order 9066, signed by President Roosevelt, authorizing the roundup and imprisonment of Japanese Americans living in the western coastal states. The specter of this moment in history lives in the Special Registrations, the fingerprinting at airports, and selective detentions of today.

On February 20th wear a blue triangle with the name of one of the newly “disappeared!”

In the early 1940’s, German Nazis used different colored triangles to categorize and divide the people held in concentration camps. We will not allow the same kind of profiling to happen here. We wear a blue triangle affirmatively to demonstrate our solidarity with those being targeted today.

Be creative on February 20th. Find a way to bring people together to express our resistance to these attacks on our colleagues, friends, neighbors and each other!

Sponsor a speak-out for the families of the disappeared so they can tell their stories

Think of what it would mean if on that day churches, synagogues, mosques, unions and schools declared that they would provide sanctuary for the persecuted

Organize a vigil or demonstration at a local INS detention center

Hold a teach in at your local school, college, or university

Call your political representatives and demand that these outrages cease

Organize a poetry SLAM or a music show

Write a letter to your local newspaper calling for justice for all

Demand that our colleges and universities not turn over the files of immigrant students to the government

Contact local TV and radio talk shows asking to be part of the program

Create and Display new and creative art expressing our desire for justice and respect for human rights

Give voice to those who have been affected through radio shows and speak-outs

Remember the roundup of the Jews in Nazi Germany.

Remember the roundup of the Japanese Americans in the U.S.

Think of the roundup of Muslims, Arabs, and South Asians in the U.S.

For more information and to get involved, contact the Blue Triangle Network.

Email to:, call 313-942-7187, or visit

Please e-mail or mail your endorsement of this call. Distribute, post & publish everywhere! Funds are needed to organize for February 20. Please, immediately send donations. All actions on February 20 should be publicized and popularized. Write, e-mail or call the Blue Triangle Network with news of activities in your area: P.O. Box 7451, Dearborn, MI 48121-7451; (313) 942-7187; E-mail: Web site:

___Our organization endorses or ___I personally endorse (check one) the above "call" for a NATIONAL DAY OF SOLIDARITY WITH MUSLIM, ARAB AND SOUTH ASIAN IMMIGRANTS (signing this "call" gives permission to publish or otherwise make public this endorsement. If organizational or institutional affiliation of a personal endorsement is to be listed for identification purposes only check here.___ )

Signature Name Printed

Organization or Institution Title

Address Phone

Enclosed is my donation of $____ to distribute, print, publish, fax, and mail this call nation wide. Please return endorsed calls and donations to Blue Triangle Network with news of activities in your area: P.O. Box 7451, Dearborn, MI 48121-7451

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