PPRC Friday Rally and March Again Cites FBI Role in Repression, Condemns Treatment of Mike Hawash, Condemns US Shooting of Iraqi Protestors in Falluja

Event: PPRC Friday Rally and March for Peace
Date: Friday, May 2, 2003
Time: 5:00 p.m.
Place: Pioneer Courthouse Square

The Portland Peaceful Response Coalition Friday 5:00 p.m. rally and march at Pioneer Courthouse Square will focus on the detention and secret preceedings against local software engineer, Mike Hawash, and on the use of deadly force by US occupation troops against Iraqi protestors in the town of Falluja.

"Nearly eight months ago we were protesting the arrest of Sheikh Mohamed Abdirahman Kariye, expressing our skepticism regarding the FBI’s dismal track record, and soon the ‘explosives residue’ accusation that had been the focus of local media reports was proven false," said Will Seaman, a local PPRC volunteer. "Whether it was the railroading of Wen Ho Lee in Los Almos or Richard Jewel in Atlanta, the vicious accusations against Earth First! activists Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney, or the illegal wiretaps and surveillance of Martin Luther King and later of CISPES and other human rights organizations, the FBI has a demonstrated track record of politically- and bureaucratically-driven persecutions of innocent people."

Seaman also cited the role of the commercial media in hyping rather than critically interrogating the FBI role in such cases. "The local commercial media, rather than discussing the FBI’s sordid history in such cases, chose instead to focus their stories on Mr. Hawash’s beard, demonstrating once again the reprehensible anti-Islamic bigotry that has been encouraged by the FBI and willfully internalized and propagated by many local news reporters and producers," said Seaman.

The PPRC will also be addressing the increasing violence of the US occupation in Iraq, and the parallels with the other US-sponsored occupation, that of the West Bank and Gaza. "This week saw the massacre of protestors by US occupation troops in Falluja, the death toll now at 15 with over 75 injured," said Mike Clayhold, another PPRC volunteer. "Today it’s reported that 7 US soldiers have been injured in the same town by a grenade attack, the predictable response to our brutal occupation." Clayhold cited the latest escallation of violence in Israel and Palestine as illustration of what US troops can look forward to in Iraq. "Three more Israelis die in a suicide bombing, followed by eight Palestinians, including two boys aged 2 and 13, killed by the IDF in Gaza," said Clayhold. "This is not the way to peace or security."

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