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International Day of Solidarity with Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War

November 11, 2005

Greetings Comrades,

The Bay Area Jericho Movement, the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement and the GABRIELA Network would like to encourage you and your organization to join us in organizing the International Day of Solidarity with Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War called for Saturday, December 3, 2005.

The idea of the International Day of Solidarity with Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War originated from a political prisoner in the Philippines, Donato Continente. During a conversation with a delegation from the United States in the summer of 20004, Donato suggested that we “have an international day of solidarity with political prisoners worldwide?” While discussing the situation of political prisoners worldwide it was noted that although most countries have political prisoners, there is little knowledge of them outside their homelands. Also there is very little if any communication between political prisoners or political prisoner support groups of different countries. Each country could decide its own way of observing this day, as could the political prisoners and support organizations. The impact of this work would be strengthened by communication between groups and coordinated media work to highlight the situation of political prisoners internationally.

In November human rights activists met in Holland at an anti-imperialist conference: the ILPS – International League of Peoples’ Struggles. There, representatives from the Philippines, US, Canada, Mexico, Iraq, Palestine, Italy, Spain, Mexico, Colombia and Turkey agreed to make Donato’s idea a reality on December 3, 2005 – which would give activists’ one year to organize. Additional outreach will broaden this concept to include political prisoners and their movements in many other countries.

We have written the political prisoners in the US about this concept and have begun receiving overwhelming support and suggestions. We will summarize some of their responses in subsequent mailings.

We are looking for your support in planning and coordinating activities and actions for a Day of Solidarity in the US. At present, people have shown interest in organizing regional demonstrations and programs in Oakland, Atlanta, Chicago, New York City, and Eugene, Oregon. We hope you and your organizations want to organize actions and activities in other cities as well. We ask that our efforts be coordinated to maximize the impact of our efforts. At this time you can:

a) Organize Endorsements for the Day of Solidarity.
b) Commit to organize local or regional actions
c) Help to organize one of the projected regional activities

In Oakland we are considering a demonstration at the Oakland Federal Building on Friday, December 2nd which will also initiate a one-day solidarity fast with our imprisoned sisters and brothers and a community event on Saturday December 3 rd to educate and build an ever stronger support movement, demanding the freedom for all political prisoners and prisoners of war.

We are anxious to hear from you. We welcome your ideas and suggestions. If you have contacts with any international, national or local prisoner support movements, please let us know. We are aiming to get as much feedback as possible from all of you by the end of March 2005.

All correspondence should be mailed to: Jericho Movement P.O. Box 3585 Oakland, CA 94509 All email correspondence can be sent to: kaliaw@sbcglobal.net.

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