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Chicago's Palestinian community organizes for Right to Return March

On April 7, Chicago's Palestinian community and friends will join thousands for a march and rally in New York City to demand the implementation of the right of Palestinian refugees to return home.
Organized by Al-Awda - the Palestine Right to Return Coalition, the NYC march and rally will be coordinated in solidarity with similar events in Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Spain, Australia, Japan and Canada, with exhibits and lectures in Hong Kong and the Netherlands.

This worldwide mobilization coincides with the fifty-third anniversary of the wholesale massacre of Palestinian civilians by Zionist forces in the village of Deir Yassin in 1948.

In New York, demonstrators will mount a protest in front of the Israeli Mission at 43rd and 2nd, from 12.00 until 1.30 pm, followed by a march and a rally (South Plaza) at 3 PM.

Confirmed speakers and cultural performers for the New York rally include among others: Dr. Souheil Natour, Dr. Mazin Al-Najjar, Muna Hamze, Dr. Sami el-Aryan, Puerto Rican freedom fighter Rafael Cancel Miranda, IAP president Rafiq Jaber, Sarah Flounders of International Action Center, Fr.Makhlouf, Raeed Tayeh, Samia Halaby, Anthony Arnove, and the son of Deir Yassin massacre survivors Abbas Hamidah. In addition, the rally will also include a statement by George Habash former Secretary General of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

Palestinian refugees now represent the largest refugee population in the world. Some 800,000 Palestinians were forced from their homes in 1948, and many more forcibly displaced by Israel since that time. Today there are about 5 million dispossessed Palestinians. Despite the fact that the right of refugees to return to their homes is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, international law, and UN Resolution 194, the suffering of Palestinian refugees continues, reinforced daily by Israel's continued denial of their legitimate right to repatriation and restitution.

Organizers hope that the coordinated marches on three different continents will illustrate the resilience, resistance and indivisbility of the Palestinian people - and telegraph a powerful message to both Palestinian and Israeli negotiators that no return equals no justice equals no peace. Marchers will also challenge Europe and the United States to honor their legal and moral obligations and duties toward the Palestinian refugees to return to their homes.

In Chicago, the local Palestine Right of Return Coalition is organizing a bus caravan for New York rally. Buses are expected to depart from the Arab Community Center, 63rd and Kedzie on Friday evening, April 6, and return to Chicago on Sunday, April 8th.

Partner organizations in the local Coalition include Al-Awda-Chicago, the Committee for a Democratic Palestine, Palestine Aid Society and the Islamic Association of
Palestine. The Coalition has also been endorsed by the Arab American Action Network.

For more information, please contact the Committee for a Democratic Palestine at (773) 436-6060 ext. 223, or visit Al-Awda Chicago on the Web at



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