Obama, Wheels of Justice, and the International Solidarity Movement

Solidarity work against the occupations in Iraq and in Palestine” at Barack Obama’s official Web site. Note that Barackobama.com belongs to Obama’s campaign, and Obama has total editorial control over this domain. He can decide what material is and is not suitable for posting there. Given the nature of other material that has been there for a long time, we assume he has no problem with this.

 Wheels of Justice will roll into town this coming week.  The educational tour in a bio-diesel bus always includes speakers who can talk about their grass-roots solidarity work against the occupations in Iraq and in Palestine.  There are five pages of brief bio’s of activists involved at <http://www.justicewheels.org/> – among them are Iraq Veterans Against the War founding member Kelly Dougherty, Kathy Kelly of Voices in the Wilderness, Anna Baltzer and Joe Carr.   

Coming to Utah next week are Ed Kinane who was in Iraq most of 2003 – before, during and after the U.S. invasion – and journalist Mark Turner who just returned from nine months in the West Bank of occupied Palestine.  Hannah Mermelstein takes Mark’s place after Tuesday (read their activist bio’s at the justicewheels website, excerpts are below).

Bus organizer for the Utah segment of their travels is Henry Norr.  Henry was a technology reporter and regular columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle in 2003; he was fired after getting arrested in protests against the U.S. invasion.  The Chronicle was already unhappy with him for his public speaking on his International Solidarity Movement trip to Palestine.  Henry had been in Palestine again before the end of 2003 when the Chronicle made a generous settlement to end his lawsuit against the newspaper.

Bus driver Bill Hill spent time in Federal prison after blocking the doors to the Federal building in his home town of Tucson, Arizona to protest the 1991 Gulf War.  A military veteran who drove a tank in Vietnam, Bill now also drives a bus for the Pastors for Peace.

…Mark Turner is a human rights activist and the founder of the Research Journalism Initiative, an educational media exchange designed to foster better understanding of international conflict issues. Mark recently returned from a nine month stay in the West Bank, Palestine, where he has been engaged in non-violent direct action against violations of international human rights law since 2002. Mark is the director of Ripples Cross, a full length documentary about the experiences of foreign activists in Palestine. His own video footage of Israeli military incursions into the West Bank city of Nablus and its refugee camps has been published by media outlets across the world including the BBC, al Jazeera, Reuters and the Associated Press. The Research Journalism Initiative is the continuation of Mark’s work to support non-violent conflict resolution and reconciliation through education, and to build alternatives to the established corporate media in the United States.

…Hannah Mermelstein worked with the International Women’s Peace Service (www.iwps.info) in the West Bank for 8 months between 2003-2005, joining Palestinians in nonviolent resistance against occupation and documenting and intervening to interrupt human rights abuses.  In 2005 she co-founded a program called Birthright Unplugged (www.birthrightunplugged.org), which brings mostly North American Jews to Palestine to expose them to realities of life under occupation and encourage them to become part of the solution; and brings Palestinian youth who live in refugee camps to Jerusalem, the sea, and their ancestral villages.  Hannah feels called to work to stop the injustices that are happening in her name as a Jew and with her money as an American.  While in the US, Hannah is involved in local organizing and activism, and has spoken about her experiences at universities, high schools, churches, synagogues, and homes.

Obama and the ISM


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One Response to “Obama, Wheels of Justice, and the International Solidarity Movement”

  1. How Obama’s church and associates link him to the ISM « Avid Editor’s Insights Says:

    […] propagandists like Ali Abunimah on a regular basis? In one sense, Obama could be considered the ISM’s Manchurian candidate given his wide connections to ISM activists and campaign movements such as the Wheels of Justice […]

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