Monday, August 21, 2006

Vigil for Abeer Hamza

  • View Pictures from Vigil

  • We gathered on a corner area of McArthur Park in LA. Small colored signs with Abeer's picture and description of her death on the back were set up around the staging area. We lit candles and set them up in front of the pictures. People began arriving. There was a representative from Women in Black, the Socialist Feminists, Not In Our Name and some others. Family and Friends of the lead organizers were in the majority. An impressive sight of support and intergenerational resistance. At around 8pm The lead organizer, Natalie, stood up on the steps of monument around which we were gathered and told us how she had come organize these events. How when she heard the story of this girl on the radio she pulled over in her car and decided right then that she would do something.

    This event was full of heart and commitment. The death, the lies, the human disaster that this government is raining down on the heads of people in Iraq, Palestine, Lebanon (among others) seems so...overwhelming. These events said in the face of all of that we are still going to speak up. We are going to remember the humanity of Abeer and her family and take a stand for all of them. Others at the vigil were moved to speak. Most had never been to a vigil of this kind before. Participants spoke of how they would never have known about this case if they hadn't gotten word of it from this event. They spoke of how they had talked to coworkers about it. Another woman said she would normally be out partying on a Saturday night. She was moved that she came and hoped that others women like her would get involved. A couple walking past asked why we were there and joined the vigil on the spot. A representative from Not In Our Name Los Angeles spoke as well.

    Soon Channel 11 Fox tv arrived. We gave interviews and the vigil appeared on two tv newscasts both taped and live. We all committed to have Abeer's life live on through our actions. We committed to continuing to oppose amnesty for American Soldiers in Iraq and to fight for Justice for Abeer Hamza. Many thanks to the Group of 8 for making this happen.

    As an addendum this writer attended a Queer Women of Color Music Festival and made an announcement from the stage about Abeer's story. She lives on thru our actions.

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