PPRC’s Friday Rally and March Protests US Support for Israel’s Attacks on Syria and Gaza, Supports Portland City Council Resolution Against the Patriot Act

Event: PPRC Friday Rally and March Protests Israel’s Attacks on Syria and Gaza, Supports Anti-Patriot Act City Council Resolution
Date: Friday, October 17th, 2003
Time: 5:00 p.m.
Place: Pioneer Courthouse Square

The Portland Peaceful Response Coalition 5:00 p.m. Friday rally and march for peace at Pioneer Courthouse Square calls for international condemnation of Israel’s recent attack on Syria and of the attacks on Gaza that have left eight people dead, including two children, and hundreds homeless with the demolition at least one hundred houses. "Both of these Palestinian children, an eight-year-old and a twelve-year-old, were shot by the Israeli soldiers," said Will Seaman, a PPRC volunteer, "there was no fire fight, no cross fire, no stray bullets, this was the deliberate murder of two innocent children."1 Seaman said that the Israeli government’s explanation for the attack was merely a rationalization for a particularly brutal form of collective punishment. "They say they demolished these houses was to find and destroy tunnels used for smuggling weapons," said Seaman, "but they destroyed one hundred houses, made over 2,000 people homeless, deliberately killed two children, and claim to have found only three tunnels." Seaman said that the crimes committed by the Israeli army in Gaza are made possible by US diplomatic and financial support. "We pay for these crimes," said Seaman, "and so we can stop them."

In addition to protesting the Israeli actions of the past two weeks, the Friday rally is also calling for support of a Portland City Council resolution which condemns provisions of the Patriot Act. "We’re asking Portland residents to call their city council to urge them to back this important resolution," said Mikel Clayhold, another PPRC volunteer. "Three states and 188 cities, towns, and counties have already passed resolutions or ordinances like the one being considered by our city council." Clayhold said that the PPRC and other local groups hope to generate phone calls, letters, faxes and e-mail messages to the city council to support the resolution. "This is the latest and most importand local effort to counter the Bush administration’s assault on the Constitution," said Clayhold.

1. "`All Israelis are to blame' for Rafah", Arnon Regular, Ha’aretz, October 14, 2003. "Rafah camp hit again by Israeli bulldozers", By Justin Huggler in Jerusalem, Independent (UK), 15 October 2003

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