Thursday, August 27, 2020

Waging Peace: Hasbara Threats Fail in Iowa City

Waging Peace: Hasbara Threats Fail in Iowa City: Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, December 2013, Pages 66-67 Waging Peace Hasbara Threats Fail in Iowa City Threats and harassment from hasbara (Is...

Thursday, February 9, 2017

For Immediate Release: Omaha Police Department: Release the Audio: Demonstration Fri Feb10,2017

January 9, 2017

Katie Huerter
(402) 312-1188

Omaha Police Department (OPD): Release the Audio
Community group asks OPD for answers

Tomorrow, Friday, February 10,2017, concerned citizens and members of Omaha’s chapter of Showing Up For Racial Justice (SURJ) will again ask the Omaha Police Department (OPD) for greater transparency and accountability following a recent officer-involved shooting that left two injured.  The group will gather outside OPD’s offices at 505 South 15th Street between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.

It has been just over a week since Monroe “Trey” Evans III was shot at 12 times by OPD Officers Jill Schillerberg and Matthew Skradski while he was walking near his family’s home in Dewey Park. The incident also left Officer Schillerberg injured, though we were relieved to hear she had a quick recovery. Trey, however, remains hospitalized at Nebraska Medicine, where doctors say if he survives, he will be permanently paralyzed from the nine gunshot wounds that riddled the 20 year-old’s body.

OPD has since concluded the use of force was justified, and though this may well be the case, important questions still remain about what transpired on the afternoon of January 31. With tensions high around the country, Omaha has an opportunity to lead the way in terms of improving police-community relations by promoting transparency and accountability.

To that end, we are asking that OPD immediately release all video and/or audio footage that was captured. It is our hope that this will shed some light onto why Trey was handcuffed and on the ground--having committed no crime--when he allegedly fired a weapon at Officer Schillerberg. In addition, we ask that OPD make public a detailed plan and timeline for the complete implementation of body cameras for all officers. Lastly, we ask OPD to create a policy to notify the next of kin when an individual is injured or killed by police so that no other family has to endure the pain and confusion the Evans family has. Thank you, and please join us.  

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

First they came for the Latinos, Muslims, women, gays, poor people, intellectuals and scientists and then it was Wednesday... Day #5 of Trump's Authoritarian Regime

First they came for the Latinos, Muslims, women, gays, poor people, intellectuals and scientists and then it was Wednesday...

The ground is shifting quickly under our feet. We have a daunting task ahead of us, but WE CAN FIGHT and WE WILL WIN. So raise your voice. Connect with your communities. Support each other to act with Courage. Rest and do some self-care as needed along the way. Take care of yourselves. This is about to be a long ass fight. 

An executive order will be signed today banning the issuance of visas to citizens of 6 or 7 Muslim-majority countries. This racist, anti-Muslim and anti-Arab order, will ban refugees seeking safety from wars the US continues to wage. 

Additionally, Trump's new Muslim Registry, per his Executive Order, is similar to #NSEERS which Obama just dismantled last month. Today, Muslims from #Syria#Yemen#Somalia#Sudan#Iraq, and #Iran are on the new list. With more likely to be added soon. This means students from the listed countries who leave the US, may not be allowed back in. If you have a visa and haven't used it yet, it's void.

Trump may have the presidency, but not by the will of the people. One person speaking out can make a difference. Many people speaking out together make a movement. And that's what we're building together. No matter what happens next, there is one thing I can promise you: tomorrow will bring an opportunity for you to make a difference.

As Trump issues Executive Orders targeting Muslims, Arabs, refugees and immigrants, we must pledge to resist in every way possible. We’ll put our hearts, souls, and bodies on the line to stop these hateful and racist attacks. We all belong here. We will love, defend, and protect one another.

We are Ready to Fight and We Will Fight Against All Injustice, Against All Intersecting Systems of Oppression and For Each Other, With Each Other and Alongside Each Other Until We Ourselves Finally Bend the Moral Arc of the Universe Towards Justice Once and For All!

The ground is shifting quickly under our feet...

From Abed Ayoub, Legal/Policy Director at ADC

1. The Executive Order signed by Donald Trump will list 6 (predominantly Muslim) countries where travel/immigration to the US will be banned. There will be an option to add more at a later date. Similar to NSEERS.  These countries are: 

- Syria

- Yemen
- Somalia 
- Sudan
- Iraq
- Iran 

2. It is advised that students from the listed countries not leave the US. They won't be permitted back in.

3. We do not know what happens to visa holders from those countries who are currently in the US.

4. People from listed countries who have visas, but haven't travelled to the US, won't be allowed in. Their visa is void. 

5. The ban will extend to spouses of US citizens who are from one of the listed countries, and have pending applications to US. 

6. The EO will call for what's known as a "values test." This is an ideology test. Will ask applicants about religious beliefs.

7. Some questions on value test:

- Do you support Sharia law?
- Have you believe in beheadings? 
- What is view on homosexuality?

8. The EO coming after the ban will focus on the wall, and increasing deportations.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Tomorrow - Omaha's Emergency Vigil to #StandWithAleppo

Omaha Call to Action - Friday, Dec 16th

Emergency Vigil to #StandWithAleppo 

When: Friday, December 16th, 2016
Time:  5 - 6:30pm
Location: 72nd & Dodge St, Omaha, NE 

Over the last few days, the Syrian government and its Russian allies have escalated their offense against the besieged neighborhoods of Aleppo. Tens of thousands remain under siege at the moment and many have lost their lives. 

News just broke of a deal between Turkish and Russian intelligence to evacuate civilians from Eastern Aleppo, but we must keep the pressure up to make sure everyone gets evacuated safely. 

As citizens of Aleppo are being massacred and the city faces total destruction by the Assad regime and the Russian government forces, we will gather this Friday, December 16 from 5 - 6:30pm on the northwest corner of 72nd & Dodge for an emergency, community-wide vigil to #StandWithAleppo, sending a message to Syrians that they are not alone.
Please join us in showing solidarity with people of Aleppo, and in demanding an immediate end to the indiscriminate aerial bombardment of residential areas in Aleppo. Join us in raising your voice to support safe and free movement for civilians and aid convoys out of and into the city.

Please share widely with your friends. Feel free to bring your own homemade signs and candles.
Don't turn away. Our voices are their voices, and we need to make sure they're heard. This isn't an invitation, it's a call for humanity for anyone who's willing to join in their voice.
Aleppo has been devastated beyond words as the world watches in silence. It is time to break the silence and raise our voice for Aleppo and Syria at large.

For more information and press inquiries, contact: 
Katie Huerter - - (402) 312-1188


Monday, August 15, 2016

3 Important Palestine Events in Des Moines Starting Now - Sept 19, 2016!

We have three very exciting and powerful Palestinian events occurring in Des Moines starting this week though September 19th that I hope many of you will be able to attend, as well as, help us spread the word encouraging others in the community to attend as well. 
Event #1: Gaza Pinwheel Memorial Display 
Date:  Tuesday, Aug 9 - Monday, Aug 15, 2016
Location: American Friends Service Committee (4211 Grand Ave, Des Moines)

With the help of our amazing volunteers and AFSC's MEPEP Committee, our Gaza Pinwheel Memorial Display is now set-up and available for public viewing anytime now through next Monday, August 15th in the front lawn outside our AFSC office. 

The Gaza Pinwheel Memorial Display features 521 black pinwheels, each tagged with a name of an actual child killed, represents a young life lost during Israel's military assault on Gaza during the summer of 2014. 

The Gaza Pinwheel Memorial Display is sponsored by the American Friends Service Committee Iowa. 

Check out the following link to read local press coverage of the display: 

Please feel free to join, invite others and share this event on Facebook at the following link: 

Date: Tuesday, Aug. 16: 5:30 - 7:00pm
Location: Backstage at Noce (1326 Walnut St., Des Moines)
Dr. Maria Filippone will report on her recent trip to the Middle East as part of a delegation sponsored by Physicians for Social Responsibility.  She will focus on the situation in Gaza, noting that a U.N. study has found that, unless something changes, Gaza will become uninhabitable by 2020.  Issac Christiansen, member of Jewish Voice for Peace, will offer a response to Maria's story as well. 
This event is sponsored by STAR Pace and is co-sponsored by the American Friends Service Committee Iowa; Catholic Peace Ministry; Des Moines Faith Committee for Peace; Methodist Federation for Social Action; and Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Des Moines Branch. 
Event #3: Des Moines Premiere of 'Detaining Dreams'
Date: Monday, Sept. 19; 7:00pm 
Location: Drake University's Sussman Theatre, Olmsted Center (2875 University Ave, Des Moines)
Join us for the Des Moines premiere of AFSC's intimate new documentary film, 'Detaining Dreams' chronicling "the stories of four Palestinian youth arrested by Israeli forces in the Palestinian West Bank, and prosecuted in the Israeli military detention system.  From the moment of arrest Palestinians face ill treatment and torture at the hands of the Israeli military. 
A panel discussion will follow the film featuring Yazan Meqbil, a Palestinian youth activist whose family has been impacted by the Israeli military detention system; and Rabbi Brant Rosen, Midwest Regional Director of the American Friends Service Committee. 
The film and panel discussion is a kickoff event for the No Way to Treat a Child campaign in Iowa; and is sponsored by the American Friends Service Committee Iowa and the Drake Middle East Peace and Prosperity Alliance. 
Please feel free to join, invite others and share this event on Facebook at the following link: 

For Press Inquires & More Information Regarding All Three Events Listed Above and Local Palestinian Advocacy Efforts across the Midwest Please Contact:
Katie Huerter (AFSC) - - (cell) 402-312­-1188

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

"A Direct Message to My White Family & Friends - Your Silence IS Your Racism"

"A Direct Message to My White Family & Friends - Your Silence IS Your Racism"
 By: Katie Huerter   07/15/16

I realize this may offend many of my own personal friends and family members (I may even lose a number of you soon), but I, along with every single one of us, have an absolute responsibility to call one another and ourselves out when necessary.  This is one of those moments.

I'm honestly mortified, ashamed, angry and fucking heartbroken about the overwhelming, almost complete, absolute SILENCE coming from the large majority of all my white friends and family members regarding anything that even slightly acknowledges the horrific racism, oppression and white privilege of our world...

...Especially now, when more and more people of conscience around the country are adhering to a universal moral call and finally choosing to stand, march and loudly speak their truth to power on the right side of history! 

To all my beloved white friends and family members, this MUST STOP NOW! 

Your silence IS your racism... 
Your silence IS the unjust violence killing those who cannot hide behind your safe, white privilege.... 
YOU are choosing the side of the oppressor, and your degrees, careers, kindness, life choices, religions, values, intellect, money or selfish, false excuses cannot hide you from your own, shameful truth that you are actively choosing to be a racist.

If you may be wondering if my post is referring to you directly and personally, ask yourself if you have in any way spoken out loud, online, taken any sort action, even felt an internal awakening of any kind spurred by the world around you screaming for justice, screaming so loud you can no longer shut your window and pretend it isn't happening? 

If your answer is no, then yes, yes my loved ones, I am talking directly, with a heavy heart, but a heart filled with love... to you. 

But please know... I promise I will walk this road alongside you in our journey together through truth, courage, fear, pain and compassion while you, me and all those we love one by one finally begin living what we claim to believe and face our truth, our privilege, our white fragility and the racist truth of our world and begin our work in changing this world, dismantling injustice and truly honoring the inherent sacred dignity and worth of every human being for generations to come. 

We can do this, we must do this.
Together, let's choose the right side of history. 

#EndWhiteSilence #FreedomNow #BlackLivesMatter #BlackLiberationMatters