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Palestine Popular Conference and two petitions

Mazin Qumsiyeh

The walls of silence, hatred, and pettiness are crumpling all around us. The hot winds of wars dissipate as they encounter the rooted resilience of the spirit of community. People who act on their good conscience are standing up everywhere to make a better future. It is great to be living at this historic time of dramatic change as power shifts from colonizers to colonized and from the few to the many. There are a number of conferences this summer that are relevant and that we will attend including the Ramallah Federation Convention (Detroit, July 4th), the Green Party Convention (Chicago, July 10), and the National Assembly against the War in Cleveland (next week). But especially exciting is the the last conference I will attend before moving to Palestine: the popular conference in Chicago, IL, August 8-10 (see registration info below). This is because it is not organized by a single group/political strand of thought but a grass root effort focused on productive team work. Over 20 workshops from participants ensure engagement as activists (not spectators or pupils to be talked to) and collective and inclusive decision making. Hundreds of younger open-minded individuals are taking matters into their own hands and deciding that their voices will not be silenced by self-appointed “leaders”. Just like the two young women in the Hijab who refused to be told not to sit on the stage behind Senator Obama, these activists are saying: no one can tell us where to sit and what to do. This strengthens our hope in the future of Arab Americans, all Americans, and all of humanity. Anyway, I hope to see ALL (even those skeptics) join and participate in inclusive events that advance activism for justice. After all, as Kahlil Gibran once wrote (and John F Kennedy later used in a speech): “ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country.” Here are two petitions to sign and the info to register/attend the Chicago Palestine Popular Conference.

ACTION 1: Sign Petition in support of Rima Sinclair Barakat who is running for office and has received significant attacks from racists and bigots. The petition challenges the smear campaign
http://www.petitiononline.com/Rima2008/

ACTION 2: Sign petition for right of entry for film-makers and others
http://www.petitiononline.com/entryOPT/petition.html

ACTION 3: REGISTER TODAY

POPULAR CONFERENCE FOR PALESTINIANS IN THE U.S.:
RECLAIMING OUR VOICE, ASSERTING OUR NARRATIVE

August 8 – 10, 2008 – Wyndham O’Hare – Chicago, IL

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The Popular Conference will constitute a significant step towards restoring old links while building new ones. It will provide an inclusive and impartial space that nurtures our unbreakable connectedness to Palestine and the Palestinian people. It is being built from the ground up to reflect the will of the participants. more information is available at www.palestineconference.org!

Registration fees include 5 meals – Friday Dinner, Saturday Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner and Sunday Brunch.

Registration fees DO NOT include hotel stay. You must call the hotel directly at (847)-297-1234 to reserve your room(s).

Don\’t forget to mention USPCN to get the special rate of $89 a night, plus tax. Make your hotel reservations early since the rate will
expire August 1st. REGISTER EARLY TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE EARLY REGISTRATION DISCOUNT. REGISTRATION FEES WILL INCREASE AFTER JULY 8TH.

Contact us at [email protected] or (888) 48 NAKBA or (402) 708-9605 with any questions.

U.S. Popular Palestinian Conference Network
http://www.palestineconference.org