The Militant(logo) 
    Vol.61/No.28           August 25, 1997 
Socialist: N.Y. `Bomb' Raid Is Attack On Rights  
The following statement was released on August 3 by Olga Rodríguez, Socialist Workers Party candidate for mayor of New York.

Working people everywhere should condemn and reject the attack on democratic rights of immigrant workers, Arab- Americans, and other working people carried out by Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and New York City and federal cops, stemming from the July 31 police commando action in Brooklyn. We should stand with the Palestinian people in their struggle for freedom and self-determination and oppose Washington's support to the violence of the Israeli state against that struggle.

Under the pretext of foiling a plot by alleged bomb- making terrorists, the New York city cops and agents of the FBI have run rough-shod over the rights and civil liberties of working people in the Brooklyn neighborhood south of Park Slope. Snipers, helicopters, and riot police armed to the teeth held that community hostage in the heart of Brooklyn. They smashed in the door of an apartment with guns blazing, shooting two of the alleged bomb makers, Gazi Abu Maizar and Lafi Khalil. They also smashed down the door of at least one other resident, a Pakistani, throwing him to the floor and handcuffing him. In their zeal to catch would-be Arab terrorists, the cops roughed up and held four Latino workers of the car service in the building where the alleged bomb factory was. The city then shut down mass transportation in the area, and blocked traffic. The cops and Giuliani later put out the story that the arrested Arabs were planning to bomb the trains and subways, not just in the neighborhood, but all over New York.

Anyone who looked Arab was fair game for attack. The big- business press has joined in Giuliani's campaign to paint all immigrant workers as potential terrorists and people who are less than human. Federal and city authorities handling the case have tried to link the alleged bomb plot to the trial of Ramzi Yousef, who is facing charges along with Eyad Ismoil - the latest victims in the series of frame-up show trials stemming from the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. The Palestinian youth charged with the alleged bomb plot in Brooklyn have already been tried and convicted in the big- business media even before they go to court. Like the defendants in the World Trade Center bombing trials, the presumption of innocence for Maizar and Khalil has been thrown out the window.

Our campaign also condemns the attempts by the mayor and others to use this case to attack the rights of immigrant workers - particularly the right to seek asylum.

The city and federal authorities' aim in their assault was not to protect working people in the area, but to intimidate and silence anyone who dares to speak out for immigrant rights, against the abuse of democratic rights, against police brutality, for workers who strike for a decent contract, and against Washington's support for the Israeli state's violence against the Palestinian people.

As working-class resistance to the attacks on our living standards and rights mounts, as opposition to U.S. foreign policy grows, the capitalist rulers and their cop agencies will move to curtail our rights. That is why working people have a vital interest in speaking out against any attack on the rights of any oppressed or exploited sector in U.S. society and the world.

My campaign demands that Mayor Giuliani call a halt to the NYPD [New York Police Department] and the FBI attacks on the Arab community. I also pledge my campaign's support to the Palestinian and Arab peoples' fight against the continued theft of Palestinian lands through the illegal Israeli settlements.

The Israeli government's use of recent bombings in Jerusalem to justify its intensified assault on the rights of Palestinians in the occupied territories should be condemned in speak-outs, pickets and other protests. The terrorists in the region are not the Palestinian freedom fighters, but the U.S. government, their client state in Israel, and their cops in every corner of the United States.

Stop anti-Arab attacks! Solidarity with the Palestinian people's struggle for their homeland! Equal rights for immigrants!

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