(Washington DC, 09 June) - Responding to recent congressional
accusations that they are 'terrorists,' Gaza Flotilla activists with the
Free Gaza Movement, Gaza Freedom March, Code Pink, and Freedom Flotilla
will be voluntarily making themselves available for arrest in Rep. Brad
Sherman's Capitol Hill offices on Thursday, June 10th at 2PM. In the
event they are not arrested, they will be holding a memorial service for
those killed aboard the Mavi Marmara in Rep. Sherman's Rayburn HOB
Col. Ann Wright (ret.), a former U.S. diplomat, Gaza Freedom March
organizer, and a passenger aboard the recent Freedom Flotilla, stated
that: "Nine aid workers were murdered by Israeli commandos, and more
than fifty were wounded. I want to look Brad Sherman in the eye and see
if he has any sense for the gravity of this situation. If Sherman wants
to have us arrested - we'll be there."
Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA) has publicly called for the arrest and
prosecution of "any U.S. citizens who were aboard or involved with the
Freedom Flotilla" under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty
Act of 1996. Rep. Sherman serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee,
and chairs the subcommittee on terrorism and nonproliferation.
According to Rep. Sherman: "[It's] absolutely illegal for any American
to give food, money, school supplies, paper clips, concrete ...so I will
be asking the Attorney General to prosecute any American involved in
what was clearly an effort to give items of value to a terrorist
Rep. Sherman also stated that he was planning on working with the
Department of Homeland Security to make sure all non-U.S. citizens
aboard the Flotilla would be permanently barred from entering the U.S.
This list includes Nobel peace laureate Mairead Maguire, former UN
assistant secretary general Denis Halliday, as well as a number of
parliamentarians and government officials from Ireland, Britain, Spain,
Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Palestine,
Ramzi Kysia, an organizer with the Free Gaza Movement, said that: "Rep.
Sherman is welcome to arrest me and try to make his case to a jury of my
peers. Delivering humanitarian aid to people in need is not
'terrorism.' Brad Sherman is a prime example of just how degenerate our
political discourse has become on Capitol Hill."
Several other peace and justice advocates will also be making themselves
available for arrest tomorrow, including Susan Kerin, a coordinator
with both the Free Gaza Movement and Pax Christi, and Tighe Barry, a
coordinator with Code Pink. Mr. Barry will be turning himself in to face
the death penalty for building 3 playgrounds in Gaza for children, some
of whom were born from parents in the Hamas government.