Monday, January 24, 2011

Support Ahlam Mohsen and Max Kantar: Pack the Courtroom in Grand Rapids


Monday, Jan. 24, 2011, at 2:00 p.m.
U.S. District Court
110 Michigan Street NW
Grand Rapids, MI
For more info, call 313-680-5508

Please join MECAWI and other social justice/anti-war activists to show support for Ahlam Mohsen and Max Kantar as they are arraigned on Monday, Jan. 24, 2011, at 2:00 p.m., in U.S. District Court in Grand Rapids, Mich., 110 Michigan Street NW, in the courtroom of Magistrate Judge Joseph G. Scoville. Help pack the court to show the U.S. government that these young activists are not alone. (Bring a state-issued ID; no cell phones are allowed in the court.)

Mohsen and Kantar face years in federal prison on felony charges for their anti-imperialist solidarity action on Aug. 16, 2010, in Big Rapids, Mich., when they confronted U.S. Senator Carl Levin, chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, for his complicity and participation in war crimes against the peoples of Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine and other victims of U.S. wars, including the homeless population in Detroit. At a meeting Kantar read a detailed statement, backed up with five pages of substantiating documentation, after which Mohsen allegedly placed a de-crusted apple pie into the senator's face. The statement and references can be found at

Mohsen and Kantar are both 23 years old. Mohsen is a senior at Michigan State University majoring in anthropology. Kantar graduated from Ferris State University in 2010. Both youth are anti-imperialist activists and staunch supporters of the Palestinian people's struggle against U.S.-backed Israeli occupation and war.

Mohsen spent over a week locked up in the Mecosta County Jail for her "crime." She was held on a quarter-million-dollar bond requiring $50,000 in bail. While incarcerated, Mohsen, a Yemeni-American, reportedly was subjected to ethnic slurs and her vegetarian dietary requirements were disregarded by the jail authorities.

MECAWI came to Mohsen's defense immediately and organized a protest Aug. 20 outside the federal building in Detroit where Sen. Levin has his offices. Levin's staff received phone calls and emails demanding the senator use his weighty influence and stature to get the bond reduced and charges dropped against the pair. He maintained it was out of his hands to do so.

Mohsen was released from Mecosta County Jail on Aug. 24 on a reduced bond while the state “suspended” their case because the FBI took over the investigation. On Dec. 30, 2010, Mohsen and Kantar were indicted by a grand jury on two counts each of “forcible assault on a Federal Officer” and “assault on a Member of Congress.”

These outrageous charges include a reference to 18 USCS Section 1114, alleging Mohsen and Kantar fall under the guidelines of “[w]hoever kills or attempts to kill any officer or employee of the United States.”

This railroading of Mohsen and Kantar must cease immediately.

It is an outrage that taxpayers’ money is being spent investigating and prosecuting these young people for an act of free speech when there are rightwing thugs and murderers attempting to assassinate elected officials and carrying out massacres (Tucson), bombs are being placed at MLK Day marches (Spokane), the Tea Party and its racist vitriol are being cheered in the media, and trillions are spent on wars, military occupations and bailing out the banks while the needs of society are greatly unmet.

A pie in the face is not a crime! Solidarity is not a crime! Free Ahlam Mohsen and Max Kantar!
The Moratorium NOW! Coalition to Stop Foreclosures, Evictions, and Utility Shutoffs, is a coalition of grassroots activists and organizations, union and religious leaders, farmers, politicians, and concerned people from across Michigan that formed in the spring of 2007 to fight for the passage of a Michigan Senate bill, which would stop all mortgage foreclosures and evictions for two years. Some of our most committed activists have themselves been foreclosed and evicted from their homes and farms.


The coalition is open to all those who want to fight for the passage of a moratorium on foreclosures, evictions, layoffs, and utility shutoffs. We meet every Monday, 7 PM, at 5920 Second Ave., Detroit.

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