From: jordan flaherty <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, Jul 9, 2003 at 5:43 PM
Subject: NYC Labor activist arrested by Israeli Military
**Please forward to Labor Activists**
Bill Capowski, labor activist, former organizer for UNITE in NYC, and current organizer with UFT, has been arrested by the Israeli Military during a solidarity visit to Palestinian villages near the “green line” border with Israel. As the press release below indicates, there is some indication that excessive force was used by the soldiers.
Capowski was arrested for visiting a peace camp. His activities that preceeded his arrest included playing soccer with children and talking with local farmers. He is currently being held at a prison on an illegal Israeli settlement, and we are told they are proceeding with deportation hearings.
Please forward widely, and call the state department, the Israeli consulate, and your representatives. We also urge union members to spread the word in their local labor bodies, and to attempt to pass resolutions questioning the Israeli Military’s targeting of US union members.
Four months ago, the Israeli military killed Washington State labor activist and SEIU 1199NW union member Rachel Corrie, crushing her with a Caterpillar D9 Bulldozer.
—-Original Message Follows—-
INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY MOVEMENT
July 9, 2003
For Immediate Release
FOUR INTERNATIONALS ARRESTED AT PEACE CAMP
[ARRABONY, Jenin Region] Four international volunteers with the International Solidarity Movement were arrested today while maintaining a presence at the peace camp set up by Arrabony villagers and the ISM to protest the confiscation of Palestinian land for the Apartheid Wall. The four arrested are:
Tobias Karlsson from Sweden
Tariq Loubani from Canada
Bill Capowski from USA
Fredrick Lind from Denmark
Full details are not yet known and none of the peace activists are answering their phones, however we just received the following text message: “at Salem abused and beaten”. This seems to indicate that the four are being held at the Salem Military Base, north of Jenin.
Since the peace camp was set up on Monday, July 7, 2003, activists have faced threats and harassment from the Israeli Military, from heavily armed security guards working for the Israeli company building that section of the Wall, and from Israeli settlers. Activists have been threatened with violence, removal, and arrest. The response of international activists was that they were there at the request of the people of the village, and didn’t recognize Israeli military authority over the area. On Monday, soldiers came to the area of the camp to photograph international activists and local villagers and yesterday armed guards threatened to destroy the camp.
Despite the harassment there has been steady and enthusiastic support from the people of the village of Arrabony. Men, women, and children have been a twenty-four-hour presence at the camp, and are coming every day in greater numbers. Activities at the camp have included games and sports, music, and more.
For the past year the Israeli government has been building a massive wall that it claims is for purposes of “security”. The wall, however, is being built inside of the West Bank, destroying and confiscating from Palestinians their most fertile agricultural grounds and de facto annexing into Israeli illegal settlements and valuable underground water aquifers. Tens of thousands of Palestinian fruit and olive trees have already been destroyed and farmers are being prevented from working on land that they’ve lived off of for decades. The Palestinian people have been marching and protesting this land confiscation and destruction of livelihood but have been met with violence from the Israeli authorities and silence from the international community. The Arrabony peace camp is one of 4 similar protest camps in the West Bank.
For more information, please call:
ISM Office: 011 972 2-277-4602
Huwaida: 011 972 67-473-308
Jordan (labor activist from NYC): 011 972 66-312-547