Noise Permit Issued
May 20th is the date Palestine solidarity activists need to circle in their calendars to protest the Jewish Federation of Greater Ann Arbor’s “Celebrate Israel” day at the Jewish Community Center. Some may remember a few years back when the Ann Arbor Police Department denied our right to use a bullhorn to get our messages to the celebrants of Israeli Apartheid, claiming we had not (that year) received a noise permit. This year Ann Arbor City Clerk Jacqueline Beaudry issued our permit with the description, “Not Required per ordinance 9:365 (3)”.
There is much to communicate to the Jewish community on that date necessitating the use of a bullhorn, including a reading of the 65 UN resolutions that Israel has violated, names of the innocent Palestinian children killed in the Hanukkah Massacre of 2009, towns and villages destroyed in the 1948 Nakba, names of the 34 US sailors killed by Israel in its 1967 attack on the USS Liberty, etc. Volunteers will be needed to staff the bullhorn and perform these duties, so please step up and make your voice heard on May 20th.
First Amendment Debated in Flint, Michigan
Michigan ACLU attorney Dan Korobkin performed his duties well before Judge Mark Goldsmith in the US District Court (Eastern District of Michigan) on April 19th, arguing the duty of the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority to post an ad on city buses calling citizens to “Boycott ‘Israel’, Boycott Apartheid”. Korobkin said “The only equitable solution is to run the ad”. Arguments by defense attorney Kathleen Klaus grew weaker as the 90-minute proceeding waxed on, culminating with a plea that – because there was no attribution on the sign – the plaintiff was “forc[ing] the AATA to adopt his speech”. It was not clear whether Judge Goldsmith was holding his forehead during Klaus’ presentation, but Korobkin made short work of this last-minute appeal, in part noting that this was a new and untenable claim by defense. He also challenged defense arguments that AATA would lose ridership and revenue with the posting of the ad, claiming that Ms. Klaus’ “solution” was the equivalent of denying a citizen’s First Amendment rights, and therefore not tolerable under the Constitution.
Ann Arbor Chronicle Reports on City Council Presentation
Dave Askins of the Ann Arbor Chronicle noted our presentation to Ann Arbor City Council April 2nd, in an article posted April 9th . Text of his report follows signature.
Starting Monday, April 23, the billboard financed by Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends, IfAmericansKnew, and Deir Yassin Remembered will greet southbound traffic on I-275 just north of the Ecorse Road exit in Canton, Michigan. Passing motorists will see “$8 Million/Day to Israel? 1-855-ITS-OUR-MONEY” (dialing this number provides the caller with additional information and accepts donations). Tax deductible contributions to maintain this billboard are accepted at IfAmericansKnew.org and deiryassin.org. Please note “Billboard Project” with your donations.
Zionism: Kosher Apartheid
Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends
Ann Arbor Chronicle
Comm/Comm: Lack of Prosecution
Henry Herskovitz told the council that on Feb. 4, 2012 his group was conducting its weekly vigil (demonstrating against support for Israel outside the Beth Israel synagogue) when he’d noticed someone removing a sign from a windshield of one of his group’s cars and then placing it in his own car. As the man was getting in the driver’s seat, Herskovitz asked him to return the sign. Herskovitz told the council that the man had told him he wasn’t going to get his sign back. So Herskovitz’s group called the Ann Arbor police department dispatch and reported the license plate and car description.
Officer Kevin Kleitsch came out and made a report, Herskovitz said. The case was referred to the detective bureau, assigned to Craig Lee. A month later, Herskovitz said, he looked at a photo lineup and correctly identified the man who’d taken the sign. In spite of the correct identification of the man, and the fact that the license plate was registered to the man that he’d identified, his group had been notified that the city attorney had decided not to prosecute.
Herskovitz described his group as peaceful protestors who’d been in this position before. He then gave other examples, in one case going back to 2006, where offenses were committed against members of his group, and arrests were made, but did not result in prosecution. Without enforcement of such offenses, Herskovitz said that their First Amendment rights are weakened. His group looked to the council to affirm its pledge to uphold the U.S. Constitution.