Monday, February 14, 2011

Pan-African News Wire Editor, Abayomi Azikiwe, Makes Contribution to New Book "Gaza: Symbol of Resistance"

GAZA: Symbol of Resistance

Edited By Joyce Chediac
Published in 2011

Order copies from publisher at:

“Here is the story of the most heroic resistance since 1948 to unrelenting Israeli oppression and violence designed to drive Palestinians from their homeland.” Ramsey Clark

This book documents Israel’s war crimes in the Gaza Strip and narrates how Gazans withstood siege and war, refusing to give up the right to choose their own government.

Gaza’s courage inspired a worldwide solidarity movement determined to break the blockade and deliver needed aid.

This book describes how the major world powers, especially the U.S., supported Israeli’s criminal blockade and bombing. And it explains why these governments acted in the face of popular opposition.

What makes this book special?

■It gives a comprehensive and lively narrative of the recent history of the Gaza Strip which does not assume previous knowledge.
■It provides hard facts from the U.N.’s Goldstone Report on Israel’s 2008-9 war on Gaza.
■It contains eyewitness testimony from participants in three Viva Palestina humanitarian convoys, which broke the blockade of Gaza and delivered aid.
■It reviews a history of African-American solidarity with Palestine.
■It explains why the Egyptian government enforces the Israeli blockade of Gaza while the Egyptian people oppose it.
■It gives voice to Palestinian forces censored out of the establishment media, including Hamas, and Palestinian activist groups who explain how best to support their cause.
■It incorporates statements from Jewish people who oppose the torture of Gaza, including Israeli soldiers who fought in Gaza, Israeli military resisters and Jews from the U.S.
■It gives the facts on why the giant U.S. media conglomerates won’t give the Palestinian people fair coverage and are actually tied in with arms makers who make huge profits off Israel’s aggression.

About the Authors

Abayomi Azikiwe is editor of Pan-African News Wire, an electronic press agency founded in 1998. He has worked for decades in solidarity with liberation movements and progressive governments on the African continent and in the Caribbean. He is co-founder of several Detroit-area organizations: Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality, Michigan Emergency Committee Against War & Injustice, and Moratorium NOW! Coalition to Stop Foreclosures, Evictions and Utility Shut-offs. A broadcast journalist for 12 years, Azikiwe has hosted and co-hosted programs on WHPR Radio in Highland Park, Mich.; WCHB, WDTR and WDTW in Detroit; and CKLN in Toronto. He recently launched a weekly two-hour blog talk radio program entitled “Pan-African Journal.” His articles have been published in the Zimbabwe Herald, the New Worker in England, the Michigan Citizen, Africa Insight in South Africa, the Center for Research on Globalization in Toronto and Workers World, where he is a contributing editor.

John Catalinotto was civilian organizer for the anti-war, anti-racist American Servicemen’s Union from 1967 to 1971. He has been a managing editor of Workers World newspaper since 1982. He edited two books, Metal of Dishonor about depleted uranium use in Iraq (1997) and Hidden Agenda: the U.S.-NATO Takeover of Yugoslavia (2002). An organizer for the International Action Center Tribunal on Iraq (August 2004), he also represented the IAC at the Tribunal on Israeli War Crimes against Lebanon (February 2008). He has coordinated international communications for joint protests before the 2003 war against Iraq and for protests of the 2006 Israeli aggression against Lebanon and the 2008-2009 Israeli attack on Gaza. Catalinotto is a lecturer in mathematics at City University of New York.

Joyce Chediac traveled to Libya in 1987 following the U.S. bombing of that country. She witnessed the first Palestinian Intifada in 1988 in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. In 2009 Chediac visited Lebanon to observe conditions of Palestinian refugees there and the reconstruction of Lebanon, organized by the resistance following the 2006 Israeli bombing. Her works include “The massacre of withdrawing soldiers on ‘The Highway of Death’” in Ramsey Clark et al., War Crimes: A Report on United States War Crimes Against Iraq (Maisonneuve Press, 1992). Her articles in Workers World include: “Munich 1972: What Spielberg left out” (Feb. 16, 2006); “A tale of two crises: Lebanon rebuilds, New Orleans waits” (Aug. 23, 2006); “‘Right of return’ still key demand after 61 years in Lebanon” (Oct. 17, 2009); and “U.S. occupation increased violence against Afghan women” (Aug. 26, 2010). Chediac is a school nurse.

Dolores Cox is an International Action Center volunteer, member of the New York Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition, and contributing writer to Workers World newspaper. She is a retired New York City social worker and a union member for over 35 years. Cox says: “As an African-American, I’ve witnessed and experienced the daily oppression of U.S. Black communities in a country ruled by racist, white supremacist ideology. I see the connection between the crimes against humanity committed by U.S. imperialism and terrorism worldwide, and by Israel and the U.S. throughout Palestine. My activism is largely centered around the intertwining of the struggles of all oppressed people for liberation and justice, for their right to resist and to self determination. I stress the need for educating, organizing and providing mutual support.”

Bill Doares is a lifelong Palestine solidarity activist. He was New York City coordinator of the Viva Palestina USA-Lifeline II convoy that brought medical aid to Gaza in July 2009 and works with the International Action Center and Al-Awda N.Y., the Palestine Right to Return Coalition. As a teenage member of Youth Against War and Fascism in the late 1960s and early 1970s, he helped organize some of the first rallies and teach-ins for Palestine in the U.S. Doares helped found the November 29 Coalition for Palestine, later the Palestine Solidarity Committee, in 1981. He was one of seven U.S. activists arrested on false charges and expelled from Palestine by the Israeli state during the First Intifada in 1988. He organized New York City protests against the Israeli attack on Gaza in December 2008 and January 2009. Most recently, he was coordinator of the Sept. 11, 2010, Emergency Mobilization against Racism and Anti-Islamic Bigotry, which defended the Islamic community center in lower Manhattan. A union member since 16, he took part in organizing drives at a shipyard, a hospital and a television plant in Virginia in the 1970s and was for two decades a delegate and negotiating team member in the Communications Workers of America.

LeiLani Dowell is a managing editor of Workers World newspaper. She traveled on a fact-finding delegation to Lebanon after the Israeli bombing and invasion of 2006 and reported back on the devastation she observed. Dowell is a student and a national leader in Fight Imperialism, Stand Together (FIST). She was a Women’s Fightback Network delegate to a women’s anti-imperialist conference in Montreal in August 2010. In 2004, she was a Peace and Freedom Party candidate for Eighth Congressional District in San Francisco. She is also an activist in the lesbian, gay, bi, trans and queer movement.

Sharon Eolis is a retired emergency room nurse and family nurse practitioner who describes herself as an anti-racist, anti-Zionist Jewish woman who has organized in solidarity with Palestine since the June 1967 war. Eolis helped organize the manifest list of medical supplies delivered to Gaza by the July 2009 Viva Palestina U.S. convoy. She traveled to Iraq in 1998 and 2000 with the Iraq Sanctions Challenge, bringing over $1 million in medicine and other aid, and coordinated and provided health care for both Iraq delegations. She is a contributing author to Challenge to Genocide: Let Iraq Live by Ramsey Clark et al. Eolis was a New York State union delegate with United American Nurses. As grievance chairperson at Cabrini Medical Center in New York City, she opposed racist practices by management and verbal racist attacks by patients on health care workers of color.

Shelley Ettinger is an anti-Zionist Jew and longtime activist in support of the Palestinian struggle. She initiated an appeal by Jews in Solidarity with Palestine in January 2009 and wrote the statement excerpted in this book. Ettinger, a union member for over 30 years, was a leader of strikes by public transit workers in Ann Arbor, Mich., and clerical workers at New York University. She co-founded the Lesbian and Gay Labor Network and co-chaired the first LGBT-labor solidarity rally at AFLCIO headquarters.

Sara Floundersis co-director of the International Action Center, an activist organization opposing U.S. war and racism. Her article “The tunnels of Gaza: An underground economy and resistance symbol,” received an award by Project Censored and was included in its top 25 most-censored stories of 2009. She has twice visited Palestine and has written and spoken on the difficult conditions she witnessed, especially in Gaza. She is a co-editor and contributing writer to several books, including: Metal of Dishonor-Depleted Uranium: How the Pentagon Radiates Soldiers & Civilians with DU Weapons (1997), NATO in the Balkans: Voices of Opposition (1998), Challenge to Genocide: Let Iraq Live (1999) and Haiti: A Slave Revolution (2004), all published by the International Action Center.

Judy Greenspan is a third-grade public school teacher in Richmond, Calif. She is a member of both Workers World Party and Al-Awda, the Palestine Right to Return Coalition, and is a long-time activist in the struggles against racism and occupation. In 2009, she traveled to Gaza with Viva-Palestina U.S. and helped to successfully break the blockade for one day in order to deliver needed medical and other humanitarian aid. Greenspan was a founder of the California Coalition for Women Prisoners and a leader of California Prison Focus, having spent 20 years fighting for prisoners’ rights and health care for those behind bars.

Deirdre Griswold is editor of Workers World newspaper. Her support for the Palestinian struggle dates back to the 1967 war, when as a leader of Youth Against War & Fascism and editor of The Partisan she published many articles supporting the Palestinian struggle. Griswold spent six months in 1967 working on the London Secretariat of the 1967 Bertrand Russell International War Crimes Tribunal exposing U.S. crimes in Vietnam. Griswold was Workers World Party’s first presidential candidate in 1980. Her many works include Indonesia 1965: The Second Greatest Crime of the Century (World View Publishers, 1970); The Ethiopian Revolution and the Struggle Against U.S. Imperialism with Sam Marcy et al. (WVP, 1978); and “How U.S. destroyed progressive secular forces in Afghanistan,” Workers World, Sept. 27, 2001. She co-edited the book Low-Wage Capitalism: What the new, globalized high-tech imperialism means for the class struggle in the U.S. by Fred Goldstein (World View Forum, 2009).

Dee Knight was, from 1968 to 1975, co-editor of Amex-Canada, the newsletter of U.S. war resisters in exile during the U.S. war against Vietnam. In that role he worked from 1973 to 1977 with Vietnam Veterans Against the War and others to found the National Council for Universal and Unconditional Amnesty and served on the NCUUA national board during those years. He has organized and written for the past three decades in the GI resistance movement and is a frequent contributor to Workers World newspaper.

Michael Kramer was a member of the Israeli Defense Forces and took part in the 1973 Arab-Israeli War. His personal experiences both as a settler and combatant led him to reassess his views on Zionism and the role of the U.S. in the Middle East. Kramer became a supporter of Palestinian self-determination and the Arab cause. He is a member of Veterans for Peace and an elected officer of Chapter 021 (Northern New Jersey).

Cheryl LaBash is a Workers World Party national organizer and a co-coordinator of the U.S.-Cuba Labor Exchange, frequently visiting Cuba and Mexico to facilitate this annual worker-to-worker conference. She also speaks on behalf of the Michigan Campaign to Free the Cuban Five, five Cuban heroes imprisoned in the U.S. She is an organizer for the Detroit-based Bail Out the People Movement and a former construction inspector for the City of Detroit.

Ralph Loeffler is a social justice activist who does volunteer work with the International Action Center in New York City and the Viva Palestina charity in Britain. Since July 2009 he has participated in three land convoys with Viva Palestina which delivered hundreds of vehicles and millions of dollars in emergency aid to the Israeli-besieged Gaza Strip. His efforts with the International Action Center have focused on opposition to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Prior to his retirement, Loeffler worked for almost 30 years for a financial services company.

John Parker is West Coast coordinator of the International Action Center. He was the press secretary for the July 2009 Viva Palestina-U.S. convoy. In 1998, after Sudan’s main pharmaceutical plant was demolished by a U.S. missile strike, Parker went on a fact-finding trip to that country and has written and spoken about what he saw. Parker visited Iraq after the first Gulf war of 1991, and then spoke at meetings across the U.S. on the terrible effects of sanctions on the civilian population there, especially on children. He was part of a U.S. delegation to Iran in October 2010 to build international anti-war solidarity. Parker was the presidential candidate of Workers World Party in 2004. As a leader in the Los Angeles anti-war movement, he helped organize and chair several large rallies against the U.S. war in Iraq. Parker chairs the Central Area Neighborhood Council in South Central Los Angeles.

Betsey Piette is a coordinator of the International Action Center in Philadelphia and a contributing editor to Workers World newspaper. A leader in the Philadelphia anti-war and Palestine solidarity movement, she has helped organize protests in support of the people of occupied Palestine and is on the board of Playgrounds for Palestine. She has participated in international delegations to Colombia and Venezuela. Piette is also an organizer with International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal and writes extensively on his case.

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