Posts made in November, 2014

23rd Annual People’s Thanksgiving Dinner: Chicago Alliance Receives ‘Eye on the Prize’ Award

Posted by on Nov 24, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

23rd Annual People’s Thanksgiving Dinner, Chicago 2014 A Fundraiser for the Defense of Rasmea Odeh November 22. 2014, Trinity Church,  125 E 26th St     Keep Your Eye on the Prize Award, Acceptance Speech    Frank Chapman Comrades, Sister and Brothers in the struggle I can’t begin to express how honored I am to be here tonight. On behalf of the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, I humbly accept your recognition of our efforts, in this historic struggle, to empower the people to hold the police accountable for the crimes they commit in our communities; crimes committed with daily and constant impunity. On behalf of our Alliance I salute you for allowing us the opportunity to express our unconditional solidarity with all those who are fighting for justice for Rasmea Odeh. This is the good fight if there ever was one and let me state it clearly: This is the kind of fight for which our organization was created, the struggle for Rasmea’s freedom is without a doubt a struggle against racist and political repression. Since I was in a court room myself facing a death penalty in 1961 I have seen many a court room battle, numerous racist frame-up trials and convictions spading five decades, but I have never seen the government engage, in such cowardly and shameless prosecution and persecution, as in this case of Rasmea Odeh. Many people have asked me, “What do you mean by this?” Think about it for just a moment. The government said Rasmea lied on her citizenship application, by not acknowledging that she was convicted by a military tribunal in Israel, some forty years ago. This was clearly the accusation made. Then, when the matter was brought before the bar in one ruling after another, the judge denied the defense the right to challenge the evidence. In other words Rasmea was not allowed to prove her innocence by challenging the accusation. She was denied a fundamental democratic right. That this was done openly in a U.S. District Court under the pretext of having a criminal trial is very disturbing for two reasons: It was a political trial and this fact was kept from the jury because Rasmea was denied her right to challenge the evidence. The government was allowed by the Court to lie and concoct a case against Rasmea based on a conviction obtained by torture, and in blatant violation of her human rights. This racist frame-up is clear to us and it is our job to build a mass movement that will make it clear to the American people and everyone who wants justice. Now a few words about why we are honored guests here tonight. At this very hour the people of Ferguson and Missouri are under the threat of martial law because Governor Nixon has declared a state of emergency. He knows there will be protests because the killer of Michael Brown, Daren Wilson will most likely not be indicted. So the state of Missouri is telling the protestors that you will be violently repressed. We are also experiencing these same recalcitrant racist attitudes in Chicago. After we had 67 people, who were victims of police crimes, sign off on a complaint-letter to Attorney General Eric Holder; the U.S. Attorney here in Chicago, responded by putting out a public statement announcing that there is no pattern of police violence against African Americans and Latinos! We won’t go into all the particular cases of police murder, torture and other forms of brutality that make our movement necessary. However, I do want to mention that Emmett Farmer,...

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