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USA vs Al-Arian
National Liberty Fund (NLF)

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The Verdict's Sixth Anniversary: December 6 should be celebrated as "First Amendment Day"

TBCJP LogoTampa Bay Coalition for Justice and Peace

www.FreeSamiAlArian.com

The Verdict's Sixth Anniversary:
December 6 should be celebrated as
"First Amendment Day"
Watch on
"The Al-Arian Trial:
An Inside Look by A Juror"

For immediate release-


WASHINGTON DC - Dec. 6, 2011

December 6, 2005 shall be remembered as a great day in which justice triumphed over intolerance and the First Amendment reigned supreme. On that day, a jury of twelve ordinary citizens refused to return a single guilty verdict against Dr. Sami Al-Arian and three other Palestinian men accused of terrorism in one of the most high profile cases to emerge out of the highly charged atmosphere after 9/11.

Notwithstanding the concerted efforts by the government to instill fear into the public hearts and minds during the trial, coupled with an elaborate intimidation campaign against Arabs and Muslims in the Tampa Bay area, an American jury was able to sit through a six-month trial and uphold the Constitution, despite being subjected to "a mountain of evidence," as one prosecutor referred to the government's case. In reality, this "evidence" encompassed activities protected by the First Amendment: speech, beliefs, thoughts, opinions, and associations.

Remarkably, much of the media coverage blurred the line between factual reporting and advocating for the prosecution, disregarding journalistic standards in a disgraceful and sensationalist display that resulted in a trial in the court of public opinion that was more akin to a lynch mob. In spite of these pressures, the courtroom jury was, in the words of one juror, able to see through the "smoke and mirrors" displayed by the government.

In his statement a few months later, Dr. Al-Arian thanked the jury for its "remarkable courage and efforts in the service of justice" in the case. He further stated that serving justice through "an impartial and conscientious jury" is how America could "win the hearts and minds of people across the globe, especially in the Arab and Muslim world." By rendering a just verdict, the jury understood Martin Luther King's famous statement, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

Dr. Al-Arian's defense did not present a single witness despite eighty witnesses offered by the government. The First Amendment was his only defense, a position validated by the jury's verdict, and the reason why this decision to uphold one of the most sacred founding principles of the United State should be remembered every year on this day. We call upon all First Amendment advocates and people of conscience to honor the First Amendment every year on this day. It protects all of us.

On this day, this great jury stood for the primacy of free speech over government censorship and criminalization of speech. As the former Supreme Court Justice, Thurgood Marshall, once said, "Above all else, the First Amendment means that government has no power to restrict expression because of its message, its ideas, its subject matter, or its content."

Some time ago the National Liberty Fund (NLF) released a video interview with Ron, a member of the jury who demonstrated his courage in this trial. It is an eyeopening account that presents an inside look at how the jury deliberated and reached its decision for acquittal on major terrorism charges despite thousands of highly inflammatory and prejudicial assertions made by the prosecution.

The interview is featured on YouTube in 3 parts: Part I, Part II, and Part III. The video-interview (total: 26 min.) appears courtesy of Line Halvorsen and Jan Dalchow, the filmmakers behind USA VS. AL-ARIAN, the award-winning Norwegian documentary.

 

But despite the acquittals and the conclusion of the case between the government and Dr. A-Arian through a plea deal, the case is not over yet after almost nine years (5 1/2 of which were spent in prison including 43 months in solitary confinement) of unjustly persecuting the Muslim Palestinian professor.

Since September 2008 Dr. Al-Arian has been under house arrest in the Washington DC area pending a ruling by the presiding judge of the dismissal motion of the unjust contempt charges brought against him by the government.

On this day we also remember Thomas Jefferson, one of the great founding fathers of this nation who understood the true meaning of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, but above all the inviolability of justice when he said: "I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever." To honor his words, we must not rest until all those who have been denied justice or continue to await justice will finally receive it.

For previous press releases click here

or go to: www.freesamialarian.com

Documents & Releases

Statement of Chairs of American Muslim Task-Force on Civil Rights and Elections  (AMT) and  Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)

Howard Zinn Statement on Professor Al-Arian

SITE SEARCH

SPOTLIGHT

March 2000

December 2005alarian.jpg

January 2009

To be patriotic is to be able to question government policy in times of crisis.
To be patriotic is to stand up for the Bill of Rights and the Constitution in times of uncertainty and insecurity.
To be patriotic is to  speak up against the powerful in defense of the weak and the voiceless.
To be patriotic is to be willing to pay the price to preserve our freedoms, dignity, and rights.
To be patriotic is to
challenge the abuses of the PATRIOT Act.
From a speech by Dr. Al-Arian
9/1/2002

Biography---

UFF Summary: Al-Arian and USF

Poetry

Announcement of Book: The Al-Arian Reader

A new compilation of all relevant articles to be released soon by the National Liberty Fund

Selected Poems
by Sami Al-Arian

We Shall Rise

To Maya Angelou
Like the dream of the slave
You rise
And with the scream of the brave
I shall rise
In honoring the memory of your ancestors
You rise
With my stateless brothers and sisters
I shall rise
Like dust in the sunlight
You rise
And as ashes in a fiery night
I shall rise
You offend
Because of your existence
And I
For my resistance
You upset them
Recalling their past
And I
By holding steadfast
They may trod you in dirt
May cause me all the hurt
Inflict upon you excruciating pain
While they shut me up and detain
By they won't see you broken
Neither would my faith be forsaken
As you've never bowed your head
And never lowered your eyes
I'll continue to raise my fist
And hide my mother's cries
They may shoot you with their words
Cut me up with their swords
They may insult you with their eyes
Denigrate me with their lies
Trying to kill you with their hate
Bury me alive to seal my fate
But they'd certainly
Be shamed and fail
As the free chant and sing
On their march to prevail
So keep your head held high
As I follow you and try
And keep your beautiful smile
As I walk my first mile
They'll pressure and blame
Throw us in prison to control and tame
They'll exile and defame
Lynch us all or shoot and maim
Burn crosses with no shame
Target our children in a dirty game
By why is that a surprise?
Despite their evil and terror
Their falsehood and lies
You shall rise
And I shall rise
You're the black ocean
Leaping and wide
I'm the Mediterranean
With a stormy tide
Staying together
Side by side
It's no surprise
We shall rise
Surely shall rise
We together shall rise
No Longer Afraid
For us to feel "secure"
What price is being paid?
If living in freedom
Why are we afraid?
Fear is everywhere
All around
Perhaps irrational
But without any bound
You can see it on our faces
Sense it in our eyes
You can hear it in our whispers
Feel it in our cries
More>>No Longer Afraid
The Bird and The Vulture
The bird was chirping
In a house on a tree
But the vulture was angry
Because it was free
When the bird is singing
The vulture ain't safe
More>>The Bird and The Vulture
The Smile of Freedom
He looked like
A body-builder
Tall, tough, and full
All muscles and no fat
His mind was simple
Suited to follow orders
No questions asked
Acting mean and mechanical
Like any bureaucrat
More>>The Smile ...
In the Name of Freedom
In the name of freedom
We shall rule the world
To spread democracy
And set you free
In the name of freedom
We’ll descend on you
To make you civilized
Modern and orderly
More>>In the Name ...
The Accused: Franz Kafka Meets George Orwell in 21st Century America
Act I: The Mother of all Evidence
Act II- Weapons of Mass Deception
Act III: Silencing of the Lambs
Act IV: Attacks of the Wolves
Act V: Occupied Territory
Act VI: Police State
Act VII: Official Obituary
Act VIII: A Close Encounter of the Scariest Kind
Act IX: The Inquisition
Act X- Conspiracy Theory
Act XI- Secret Trials
Act XII- Silent Pain and Teary Eyes
Act XIII- True Patriot Acts
Do Not Sign
Rights are not for sale
History is not kind
On those who sell their people out,
Betray their cause,
Surrender their land
To tow the line
Do not sign
More>>Do Not Sign
Rachel Corrie: Daughter of Palestine
The most gentle
Amongst all honorable
Women
Had a spirit
As dazzling as
The garden of
Eden
More>>Daughter of Palestine
Ole Jerusalem
O Ole Jerusalem
I feel your pain
I hear your cries
The light thunder
In the darkness
And the heavy rain
I see the steady bleeding
Of your wound
With its mark and stain
More>>Ole Jerusalem
Patrick Henry
A revolutionary
At heart
A patriot
From the start
Loved by his country
To the core
Defended freedom
Even more
Hated arrogance
In shape and tone
Fought tyranny
With every bone
He was the conscience
Of his people
Striking fear in the enemy
And made it feeble
More>> Patrick Henry
Injustice
An overwhelming feeling
Of bitterness
Emptiness
Hopelessness
Helplessness
Sadness
Madness
Of hatred and rage
Trapped in a cage
Disappointment and anger
Continuing to linger
Wounding of dignity
Violating your virginity
More>> Injustice
Political Riddles
He sees the world as black and white
His solution to every quandary is fight with might
The economy will not stimulate
Because he can’t articulate
While jobs are gone
He says, “bring ‘em on.”
Who is he?
He likes to be called the General
The head of an agency that’s federal
If you spit on the sidewalk
He’ll send the Incredible Hulk
He hates to cite truth or fact
Because he’s busy promoting his unpatriotic act
He frequents TV cameras with a smash
The first part of his last name sounds like trash
Who is he?
He is the ideal dutiful poodle they say
From an empire where the sun did not set one day
He adores his cowboy friend and considers him a fan
And insists: I’m nobody’s yes-man
When the cowboy says no, I say no
Who is he?
More>>Political Riddles