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More than 100 gather to support imprisoned anarchist immigrant activist

More than 100 protesters gathered on Friday, June 21 outside of INS headquarters in downtown Chicago to demand the release of Palestinian solidarity activist Ahmed Bensouda. By day's end, the INS had reversed its previous insistance on keeping Bensouda in jail for 'national security concerns', and released him on $10,000 bond. (article 2)

More than 100 protesters gathered on Friday, June 21 outside of INS headquarters in downtown Chicago to demand the release of Palestinian solidarity activist Ahmed Bensouda. By day's end, the INS had reversed its previous insistance on keeping Bensouda in jail for 'national security concerns', and released him on $10,000 bond.

Photo captions:

1) Some of the more than 100 protesters who gathered at a noon picket before Bensouda's immigration hearing to call for his release.

2) Bensouda's fiancee Hadeel Assali addresses supporters. The FBI called her earlier Friday for more 'information' on Bensouda's case -- the second activist with an Arabic-sounding name from his support committee to be contacted by the FBI in the last 24 hours.

3) Bensouda attorney Jim Fennerty of the National Lawyers' Guild addresses the crowd outside the INS courtroom.

4) The signs sum it up: attacks on immigrants are attacks on everyone.

5) Name the Names: hundreds of immigrants remain in 'detention', either as 'material witnesses' or for technical visa violations on which they would normally have been bonded out on -- barring the Bush administration's current war on immigrants, civil liberties, due process and dissent. The federal government has fought tooth and nail to prevent civil rights and immigrant rights groups from learning the names of detainees or ensuring that they have lawyers or are being treated humanely.

6) Chicago Anti-Bashing Network Bob Schwartz' teeshirt says 'We are all Palestinians' -- a sentiment that activists say has landed a number of immigrant activists -- including Bensouda, Palestinian-born Boston anti-war activist Jaoudat Abouazza, and well-known New-York based activist Faruk Abdel-Muhti of the Palestine Aid Society -- in jail for publicly voicing opposition to U.S. policy in the Middle East. Bob's sign calls for the release of imprisoned Muslim cleric Rabih Haddad, who was transfered from Chicago's Metropolitan Correctional Center back to a detention center in Michigan two weeks ago after feds decided he didn't have information on terrorism after all. His family and supporters are still struggling to have him released on bond for charges of 'technical visa violations' -- even though he and his family were working with the INS to update their legal status when Haddad was arrested last December.

 
 

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