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[By Ather Masood, New Trend, Chicago]

On a cold, rainy Friday evening, Muslims, Christians, Jews, and progressives celebrated the Intifada in downtown Chicago. Africans, Asians, Latinos/Latinas As many as four hundred men, women, and children rushed to join the indoor rally in Chicago. The feeling of brotherhood/sisterhood was so strong that this writer was overwhelmed. The United Methodist Church held a most inspiring event which energized all those who were present.
The star-studded lineup included longtime Mexican-Activist Emma Lozano, Human Rights advocate Kethy Kelly, and former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney totally inspired the participants to become more active in the struggle against the policies of President Bush. Cliff Kelly, long time talk show host in the Black community, was the host who totally denounced the policies of Israel.
Long time Mexican activist Emma Lozano (sister of the late Rudy Lozano) spoke out openly in support for the Falasteeni nation. Condemning the policies of George Bush as who "is not for peace in America or anywhere else." "If grasshoppers can move between both borders, then my people should be able to cross both borders." "We are treated like Aliens from another planet when this was our land taken by America," Ms. Lozano said proudly.
She then told the story of being stopped at O'Hare airport. When asked why she was being searched so vigorously the security guard said "Because you look Palestinian." To this Ms. Lozano replied "Well then I am Palestinian," to the bafflement of security. Emma currently is involved with the Immigrants Rights campaign which started in California and stopped in Chicago Saturday. She urged Muslims and Arabs to join her cause to stand up for all immigrant peoples suffering in America. "I am taking the cause of Palestine with me to Washington D.C," said the well-respected activist. "They will hear from me about Palestine."
In perhaps the most profound speech of the evening, Kathy Kelly spoke of her time in the Middle East. In very moving terms, Ms. Kelly spoke of the effects on a Iraqi family who was trying to cope with American bombing of Baghdad. She spoke of who the children would grind their teeth when bombs fell all around them.
The veteran activist made a suggestion that EVERY NON-MUSLIM ACTIVIST FAST IN THE RAMADAN TO SHOW UNITY WITH THE MUSLIM WORLD. This idea stunned everyone in the audience. "The Western world has a lot to learn from the religion of Islam," she said. "In Ramadan the Muslims refrain from food, drink, which Americans consume without end. We need to learn from that. Muslims refrain from buying . We need to learn from that and not consume continuously. In Ramadan Muslims give their money to those in poverty. We need to do so similarly and not constantly shop for ourselves." The statements were supported and now MANY NON-MUSLIMS will join the fast in October. Inshallah.
We also would like to inform everyone that Ms. Kelly and voice in the Wilderness is still being fined by the government for taking medicine, food, clothing, and toys to the people of Iraq. We urge New Trend and Muslims to support Operation Wilderness in their struggle against the U.S. Government's attempt to blackmail these activists.
Cynthia McKinney, long time Congresswoman for Georgia, spoke out passionately and strongly for Falasteen. "Mr. Bush wants to sneak more money past the people," she said. "We must not let him." Ms. McKinney spoke about her time in office and how lonely it has been at times for her. She spoke of how many people attacked her positions on 9-11 investigations, immigrant issues, and on many Islamic matters rejected by Congress. Ms. McKinney clearly felt determined to inspire the audience to fight for America's soul. It was clear to everyone present, that Ms. McKinney was loved by the people. Clearly Palestine was an issue Ms. McKinney felt strongly about and openly supported.
A another speaker stated "For a long time The cause of Palestine was taboo for activists. For a long time some of us were not willing to link the Palestinian cause with our own." Some of us refused to even recognize that Palestinian people are facing the same thing as many of us in America. Well now that time is over."
A number of other speakers come to celebrate accomplishments of the Falasteeni struggle. It was clear that no longer will Falasteen or Islamic peoples will be ignored any further. Even those who have tried to ignore Muslims are now being forced to recognize that Islam will not be removed from us who are active in the cause for freedom, justice, and equality. It is an understatement to say that all participants fully enjoyed the inspiring presentations. Now let the rebellion against Mr. Bush continue! ON THE SECOND ANNIVERSARY OF A NEW INTIFADAH, LET US RECOGNIZE THE SELF-DETERMINATION AND VITALITY OF FALSTEENI PEOPLE EVERYWHERE.

2003-10-04 Sat 19:10ct