POP Vigil for Rachel Corrie
Nat Bender
People's Organization for Progress

Protest of Killing of Rachel Corrie Tied to Struggle for Peace and Justice

A vocal group gathered downtown Newark on Tuesday evening, March 18 to protest in the killing of Rachel Corrie, the young woman killed standing up to an Israeli bulldozer attempting to prevent the home of a Palestinian family in Gaza from being demolished. Chants of "justice for Rachael Corrie, peace" rang out through the busy intersection of Broad and Market Streets during the evening commute.

Gory photos of the incident that clearly show Rachel Corrie confronting the bulldozer and the aftermath are online at http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article1248.shtml and a press release from the International Solidarity Movement group that Corrie was a part of stated, "Rachel had been staying in Palestinian homes threatened with illegal demolition, and today Rachel was standing with other non-violent international activists in front of a home scheduled for illegal demolition. According to witnesses, Rachel was run over twice by the Israeli military bulldozer in its process of demolishing the Palestinian home. Witnesses say that Rachel was clearly visible to the bulldozer driver, and was doing nothing to provoke an attack. (15 March 2003)"

The People's Organization for Progress (www.njpop.org) pledged to honor Corrie's memory by intensifying peace efforts against the pending US war against Iraq. "There is no greater sacrifice a person can make than to lay down his or her life for the benefit of others," read a statement released by POP at the vigil. "We salute Ms. Corrie and extend our deepest condolences to her family and loved ones. Her sacrifice was not in vain because it will inspire us to redouble our efforts for peace."

POP chairman Larry Hamm continued on to point out that while Corrie's death is drawing some limited attention, Palestinians die just as tragically at the hands of Israeli forces every day of the year. "More than 2,000 Palestinians have been killed during the past 29 months, The majority of them have been civilians and many of these have been children,"he said.

POP released plans to demonstrate on the same day bombing begins at 5:00 pm at Broad and Market Streets. If the bombing begins at night the demonstration will take place at 5:00 pm, the next day at Broad and Market, where they will meet up with a statewide coalition of groups.

That coalition includes NJ Peace Action (www.njpeaceaction.org) which plans an "emergency demonstration" after bombing begins.

If war begins on a Sunday through Thursday, Peace Action's "Justice, Not War" coalition will commence a demonstration at 5:30pm the following day outside Senator Corzine’s office in Newark. If war begins on a Friday or a Saturday, the group congregate outside Senator Corzine’s office at noon the next day, since it will be a weekend. Senator Corzine’s office is located at 1 Gateway Plaza, Newark, gathering on the Market Street side across from Newark Penn Station.

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