Monday, May 23, 2011

Oak Forest Scheduled to Close in One Week

Media Advisory May 24th event

Community Keeps Fighting to Stop Closure, SB40 Goes to Committee Wednesday

On May 24th, religious leaders, organized labor, nurses and patients will hold a press conference and vigil to call on County President Preckwinkle to stop the closure of Oak Forest hospital on May 31st.

What: Press conference and vigil
When: May 24, 2011, 12:00 (Noon) – 1:00 pm
Where: Oak Forest Hospital, 159th and Cicero, Oak Forest, IL 60452

Who: Citizen Action/IL, SEIU Doctors Council, SEIU HC, Religious leaders, patients, nurses, front line organizations.

Last week, President Preckwinkle decided to use all of her political resources to shutdown Oak Forest hospital by pushing SB40, which exempts the County from State oversight. Disregarding warnings from the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board which released two reports highlighting the danger of closing the hospital and voted TWICE to deny Cook County’s plan to close in-patient services at Oak Forest hospital.

The County claims their plan will better serve the community, but the community, staff and Health Facilities Board warned that Southern Cook County is already facing capacity crunches for emergency and long term care. Ingalls, the key hospital in the County's plan, stated that it can not handle more patients.

The County claims that it can't afford to keep the hospital open, yet the County can afford tens of millions for consultants, and $168 million for more administrative offices at old-Stroger.

The County claims it is helping long-term care and rehab patients find alternative health care facilities, yet patients are on their own desperately trying to find alternative care before June1st.

Now, state and county officials claim the county doesn't need to provide services for the people of Cook County.

On May 24th, the community members at the front line of the battle to keep the hospital open will call on President Preckwinkle to halt the closure of the hospital on June 1st and modify her health system plan to better serve the families of Cook County.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Palestinian Community Leader Hatem Abudayyeh and Supporters Claim Victory. Bank Returns Money, Government Involvement Alleged.

From: The Committee to Stop FBI Repression and
The Coalition for People's Rights

On Friday, May 6th, the bank accounts of Hatem and Naima Abudayyeh of Chicago were frozen. The bank manager at the TCF (Twin Cities Federal) branch could not explain what had happened but stated that the Bank Security Act prevented him from releasing any assets.

In a strange turn of events, the bank admitted today that they shut down the accounts, stating they no longer want to provide banking services to the Abudayyeh family. Simultaneously, TCF management informed the Abudayyehs today that they were issuing them a check for the value of their accounts.

Hatem Abudayyeh is one of 23 anti-war, Palestinian and international solidarity activists who have been subpoenaed to a federal grand jury in Chicago. Many supporters of the Abudayyehs and the 23 activists suspected that the FBI and grand jury investigation against these activists was the cause of the seizure of the couple’s accounts.

Michael Deutsch, attorney for the family, said, “In my opinion, the bank did not act out of the blue. I suspect that the FBI and U.S Attorney investigation caused the bank to overreact and illegally freeze the Abudayyehs’ banking accounts that had been there for over a decade.”

In response to the seizing of the couple’s accounts, people across the country called the offices of US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald in Chicago, and those of the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) demanding the return of their money and an end to the repression.

A Code Pink activist from Washington, D.C., called Fitzgerald’s office and was told, “We’ve received hundreds of calls.” The OFAC office was bombarded as well, and journalists from a National Public Radio affiliate, Al Jazeera and other agencies contacted them for an explanation.

TCF is well known for having links to the right-wing think tank the Center for the American Experiment.

The Committee to Stop FBI Repression and the Coalition to Protect People’s Rights see the return of the money to the Abudayyeh family and the admission by the bank of their action as a victory for their efforts and an affirmation of the constitutional right of Americans not to be deprived of property without due process of law. However, they are concerned that the actions of TCF management may violate state and federal public accommodations laws by denying the Abudayyehs banking services on a discriminatory basis.

Hatem Abudayyeh expressed his thanks to the many people who called in over the past two days. “Thank you all for your work. The pressure put on the US Attorney and OFAC no doubt caused them to contact TCF, who subsequently broke their silence and ended this frightening incident.”

The Committee to Stop FBI Repression and
The Coalition for People's Rights

Monday, May 9, 2011

UPDATE: Treasury Department freezes bank accounts of Palestinian human rights activist and his family

From: Committee to Stop FBI Repression

Office of Foreign Assets Control (a division of the U.S. Dept of Treasury) the source of escalated attack on civil Liberties of Anti-War, Palestinian Activists

Call today and Tuesday to demand un-freezing of accounts, end to repression

On Friday, May 6, the U.S. government froze the bank accounts of Hatem Abudayyeh and his wife, Naima. It appears that this is being done by the Department of Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).

This unwarranted attack on a leading member of the Palestinian community in Chicago is the latest escalation of the repression of anti-war and Palestinian community organizers by the US government. Hatem Abudayyeh is one of 23 activists from Minnesota, Michigan, and Illinois subpoenaed to a federal grand jury in Chicago, and his home was raided by the FBI in September of last year.

One of the bank accounts was exclusively in Naima Abudayyeh’s name. Leaders of the national Committee to Stop FBI Repression, as well as Chicago’s Coalition to Protect People’s Rights, are appalled at the government’s attempt to restrict the family’s access to its finances, especially so soon before Mothers’ Day. The Abudayyehs have a five-year-old daughter.

Supporters of the Abudayyehs and the other 22 activists have learned that apparently OFAC can block your assets pending an investigation on charges of “material support for a foreign terrorist organization” without a hearing. No evidence is required to freeze assets. In the case of the Abudayyeh family, assets mean money for food and rent. As this statement is written, officials won’t even acknowledge that they are the source of the freeze.

There has been widespread criticism of the FBI and local law enforcement for their racist practices against Arab and Muslim communities across the country. These repressive tactics include infiltration of community centers and mosques, entrapment of young men, and the prominent case of 11 students from the University of California campuses at Irvine and Riverside who have been subpoenaed to a grand jury and persecuted for disrupting a speech by Michael Oren, Israeli Ambassador to the US. There have been no charges against Abudayyeh or any of the other 22 activists; this action by the U.S. government is another example of the criminalization of Palestinians, their supporters, and their movement for justice and liberation.

Six members of the U.S. Congress, including five in the past month, have sent letters to either Attorney General Eric Holder or President Obama, expressing grave concern for the violations of the civil liberties and rights of the 23 activists whose freedom is on the line. Three additional U.S. representatives have also promised letters, as thousands of constituents and other people of conscience across the U.S. have demanded an end to this assault on legitimate political activism and dissent.

The Midwest activists have been expecting indictments for some time. The freezing of the Abudayyeh family's bank accounts suggests that the danger of indictments is imminent.

Take action this afternoon and Tuesday:

Call the Office of Foreign Assets Control at 202-622-1649 or 202-622-2420.


Unfreeze the bank accounts of the Abudayyeh family

Stop repression against Palestinian, anti-war and international solidarity activists.

In solidarity,
The Committee to Stop FBI Repression

For more info go to

Monday, May 2, 2011

Workers take back May Day » peoplesworld

Workers take back May Day » peoplesworld

Over 100,000 March to Defend the Organzing Rights of Public Workers and Immigrants

From Voces de al Frontera:

Wisconsin Rallies Record Number for Solidarity March

MILWAUKEE-Under the banner of “Wisconsin Solidarity March and Rally for Immigrant & Worker Rights” more than 100,000 protesters took to the streets on Sunday afternoon to fight back against Governor Walker’s attacks on collective bargaining rights, immigrant rights, and dramatic cuts to public education and health care.

After five years of annual May Day marches organized by Voces de la Frontera, this year’s march marked both an unprecedented turnout and collaboration between Voces and organized labor. In recognition of the need for unity amongst all working people, national AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and other local and state labor leaders joined tens of thousands of immigrant and Latino workers and students.

Prior to the march, statements in solidarity were made outside the Voces office by Mayor Tom Barrett, elected state representative Jo Casta Zamarippa, NAACP President James Hall, in addition to other elected officials and community leaders.

At the rally at Veteran’s Park, President Trumka gave a fiery and patriotic speech, concluding “Let this May Day, 2011, herald a new era of solidarity for us. Let it ring in the time when no one is left in the shadows- when the circumstances of your birth do not determine your fate, when the rights and the justice that those who came before us lived and died for are shared by all of us. Side by side, shoulder-to-shoulder, united—We are one!”

Trumka was joined by Wisconsin AFL-CIO President Phil Neuenfeldt, Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin President Mahlon Mitchell, AFT Local 212 President Michael Rosen, and Youth Empowered in the Struggle (YES!) representatives Kennia Coronado and Maricela Aguilar, amongst others.

According to Voces executive director Christine Neumann-Ortiz, “For six years now, we have continued to use our collective voice because working people, native-born and those who came from all over the world, gave their blood and sweat to build this country and its democracy and we will not allow it to be stolen and destroyed.”

Voces de la Frontera will again join with organized labor to mobilize the community to the Capitol in Madison on May 14th in opposition of Governor Walker’s budget.

Communist Party shows new growth: Can it be sustained? » peoplesworld

Communist Party shows new growth: Can it be sustained? » peoplesworld