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From Iraq to Palestine: Occupation Is a Crime

by Leslie Radford Sunday, Aug. 06, 2006 at 5:58 PM

Protestors marched in the third largest Jewish city in the world to stop the U.S. and Israeli war machine.

From Iraq to Palesti...
collective_punishment.jpg, image/jpeg, 429x425

Three hundred determined protestors defied George Bush, Condoleeza Rice, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Antonio Villaraigosa to march through Westwood in support of Lebanon and Palestine.

While the rest of the world descries Israel's bombing of civilians, a U.N. outpost, a Red Cross ambulance, and the Lebonese infrastructure, the U.S. citizenry has been loath to give up its pro-Israel position.  In spite of the the odds, the International Action Center joined with the UCLA Muslim Student Association to call for an end to hostilities against Lebanon and in support of a Palestinian state.

Shouting "From Iraq to Palestine, occupation is a crime!" and "Bush, Olmert, you can't hide--we charge you with genocide!" the protestors waved signs demanding, "Stop doing to the Palestinians what the Nazis did to us!"  Palestinian and Lebanese flags waved above young women in head scarves, who blasted chants and speeches through megaphones.  The marchers walked down Wilshire Boulevard from the Federal Building, around Kinross in Westwood Village, and rallied outside of the Occidental Petroleum Building, to demand an end to exchanging blood for oil and corporate profits.  

Police had shut down the eastbound Wilshire exit of Interstate 405 to prevent traffic from seeing the demonstration, but many of the remaining Wilshire travelers honked their support.  March organizers moved the marchers onto the sidewalk in front of the Oxy Building Building so that police had no excuse to divert traffic around the demonstration.  Security and the police videotaped the protestors.

The Muslim and Arab communities have an uphill battle. The Shura Council of Southern California and the Islamic Center of Southern California have repeatedly called on Mayor Villaraigosa to attend Muslim peace vigils, but to no avail.  At a July 23 pro-Israel rally at Wilshire and San Vicente, the Mayor told the thousands of Israel supporters, "We are here today to be counted and to demonstrate to the people of Israel that we can be counted on . . . to stand up and demonstrate the strength of our solidarity," and invoked "our mutual heritage as immigrant nations" and "our common obligation to fight the evils of religious extremism and terror."  He followed Governor Schwarzenegger, who called on his film persona as the Terminator and proclaimed, "I'm so proud to stand with you today."

In the midst of today's rally, one Lebanon supporter took off after an SUV that had waved a "thumbs down" at the crowd.  He was intercepted by one of the security crew, who warned him, "You're the one that the cops will beat up, just like what's been happening in Hollywood."  Another protestor added, "And they'll come after all of us, 'cause that's the way it is."  The guy answered, "Yeah, that's the way it is in Lebanon, too.  That's what the police are here for--to hold us down."  He went off to lead some chants in Arabic.

Perhaps on July 23 he had stood surrounded by threatening Israeli supporters on the north, east, and west, backs to the wall, as the police bullhorned to protestors to exit to either side.  Maybe he had marched out that day as the police directed: east, then south, then west, then north on Gale, only to meet Israeli flags and an angry pro-Israel crowd heading south.

But today the IAC and the Muslim Students found solidarity with the March 25 Coalition and the Black-Brown Coalition for Human and Civil Rights.  A small group at one end of the rally defiantly chanted, "Long live Hezbollah!" in the midst of the third largest Jewish city in the world.

Next Saturday ANSWER-LA takes up the fight for the people of Lebanon and Palestine at 1:00 p.m. at Olympic and Broadway.

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by Leslie Radford Sunday, Aug. 06, 2006 at 5:58 PM

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by Leslie Radford Sunday, Aug. 06, 2006 at 5:58 PM

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by Leslie Radford Sunday, Aug. 06, 2006 at 5:58 PM

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by Leslie Radford Sunday, Aug. 06, 2006 at 5:58 PM

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by Leslie Radford Sunday, Aug. 06, 2006 at 5:58 PM

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Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 35 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
Ahmen! Collective Punishment is Terrorism! Critical Thinker Monday, Aug. 07, 2006 at 5:44 AM
Can't touch the casualties in Lebanon Not a zionazi Monday, Aug. 07, 2006 at 7:32 AM
Peaches & poems lie mangled among the dead jesse Monday, Aug. 07, 2006 at 6:58 PM
More on the victims of Israeli terror Not a Dhimmi No More! Tuesday, Aug. 08, 2006 at 1:20 PM
Mayor Meets With Muslim Leaders Ralph Frammolino (repost by Leslie) Friday, Aug. 11, 2006 at 11:26 AM
thats wassup nine Monday, Aug. 14, 2006 at 1:43 PM
Yo leslie, ignore the infantile nutcase zionist troll, he's a looney CT Saturday, Aug. 19, 2006 at 3:47 PM
look Leslie Saturday, Aug. 19, 2006 at 3:51 PM
turd brain loser boy? what? Saturday, Aug. 19, 2006 at 4:30 PM
interesting inversion What? Saturday, Aug. 19, 2006 at 5:23 PM
garnish Really? Saturday, Aug. 19, 2006 at 6:09 PM
You put words in my mouth Not Shitstain-zionazi Saturday, Aug. 19, 2006 at 6:42 PM
focus oh Saturday, Aug. 19, 2006 at 7:25 PM
parsing BS For Pete's sake Sunday, Aug. 20, 2006 at 1:16 AM
Swiss Cheese Factchecker Sunday, Aug. 20, 2006 at 8:06 AM

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