Tuesday, June 20, 2006

LA8 back in court

The “Los Angeles 8" case has taken many twists and turns in the nineteen years since it began in 1987. An important phase is now opening on June 20 where the government’s claims are being challenged in the Federal Court.

From the onset of the case, the government had spared no expense to deport the Seven Palestinians and the Kenyan known as the LA8 for doing nothing but speaking their minds on Palestinian rights. The government so far has offered no evidence to show that these individuals have done anything wrong. This nineteen-year campaign of vilification and misconduct against the eight is being challenged in Federal Court.

Aiad Barakat, one of the LA8, has taken the government to court. The government is being forced to disclose its case. Second, it is the first time that the case is going to federal court since the Supreme Court ruled that the LA8 could not go to federal court until they exhaust their immigration due process. That is why this hearing is important for our community and why we should be there for the hearing to support the Eight and show the court that we are behind our constitutional rights.

This case is not only important for the Arab American community, it is important to all immigrants. Through it, the government aims to strip immigrants of their constitutional protections, and affords an unfettered discretion to the immigration authorities to target certain nationalities as "special threats", and manufacture reasons to deport them. The doors of the federal district courts are now open in this hearing to immigrants to challenge such arbitrary and illegal actions.

When asked if he is depressed because of the nineteen-year oppression, Aiad said, "Yesterday was the day to be depressed; today we have work to do." We need to be as strong as Aiad and the LA8 and attend the hearing on the 20th to stand by them. This case is casting a profound chill on the First Amendment rights of the Arab American and Muslim community and immigrants generally; it is time to stop it.

Support the LA8 and attend the hearing:

Place: 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012
2nd Floor, Courtroom #6, Judge Stephen Wilson
Date: Tuesday, June 20, 2006
Time: 9:00 A.M.

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