We're sure you are as outraged as we are about the barbaric attacks by the Israeli military on the people of Gaza. The attacks come after a long period of economic blockade which has inflicted severe hardships on the Palestinian residents of the Gaza Strip.
We would like to urge you to support a call for an "Emergency Vigil for Gaza" to be held Friday, Jan. 2, 4 p.m., outside the Broad Street entrance to Richmond City Hall, 900 E. Broad St. The protest is being called by local Muslim activists, including Umar Kenyatta, who years ago founded the Black Student Alliance at VCU. The vigil is being supported by the Defenders for Freedom, Justice & Equality, among other organizations. (Please see the attached leaflet, which we urge you to forward to your friends and contacts.)
Without a doubt, the Israeli government chose this particular time for the attacks because it is the transition period between a U.S. administration that totally supports the oppression of the Palestinian people and an incoming administration that it thinks may be less reliably pro-Israel. You can be sure that President-elect Barack Obama will be watching to see what reaction these attacks produce here in the U.S. Helping him see that the U.S. public no longer gives Israel an automatic green light to its actions may be the best result of our holding protests now.
Here in Virginia, as throughout the world, people are taking time for well-deserved rest and comfort with our families and friends. Whether celebrating Kwanzaa, Christmas, Hanukkah, Eid or just the holiday spirit in general, this is not usually a time when we want to be out protesting. No doubt this was also a factor in the timing of the attacks.
But throughout the world, people of good will are responding. There are protests not only throughout the Arab and Muslim word, but by peace activists everywhere, including in Norfolk and Blacksburg, among other Virginia cities.
Black Talk Radio