The following call is being circulated to defend Palestine and OccupyChicago after biased media coverage on ABC 7, attacking USPCN organizer Hatem Abudayyeh and Palestinian participation in OccupyChicago. Please write to ABC 7 below!
Dear friends and supporters:
We are calling on folks to take a few minutes to respond to ABC 7 reporter Chuck Goudie’s inaccurate and irresponsible reportage on OccupyChicago, OWS in general, and the Palestine support movement, as well as his continued attacks on Palestinian community organizer Hatem Abudayyeh. The link to Goudie’s report: http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/iteam&id=8407349
Below is a letter you can send to Goudie and others on the ABC 7 news team. Or draft your own letter. If you would, please b.c.c. firstname.lastname@example.org so we can get an accurate estimate of the movement’s response to this alert.
Carleen Mosbach, assignment editor, email@example.com
Jeff Marchese, night-side assignment editor, firstname.lastname@example.org
Assignment Desk, email@example.com
Jennifer Graves, news director, via news desk, firstname.lastname@example.org
Fax: general news assignment, 312-899-8019
general assignment, 312-750-7381
***ALSO–Call in day to WLS TV / ABC 7 Chicago Assistant News Director Joyce Fisher
Friday, October 28th, 2011
9 AM to 7 PM
See the letter below and demand that she pull the piece off the web and apologize for the inaccurate statements and borderline libel against the OWS and Palestine support movements.
Shirien Damra (Coalition for Palestinian Rights)*
Joe Iosbaker (Committee Against Political Repression)
Maureen Murphy (Palestine Solidarity Group)
Rocky Pyskoty (OccupyChicago)
Shira Tevah (International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network)
* organizations listed for identification purposes only
October 27, 2011
WLS-TV / ABC 7 Chicago
190 North State Street
Chicago, Illinois 60601
To Whom It May Concern:
Last night, you broadcast an irresponsible and uninformed report by Chuck Goudie (http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/iteam&id=8407349). Goudie asserted that the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement has a “vein of anti-Semitism flowing through [it],” and used the presence of Palestine solidarity activists in the movement to “prove” his argument. The Occupy Wall Street movement has the support of tens of thousands of Americans in cities across the country, and is growing rapidly, because Americans are suffering from an economic crisis brought about by Wall Street and big banks. As the OWS movement describes it, the “99%” experience extreme economic inequality, where millions are unemployed without meaningful help, while bankers in trouble are bailed out.
While there have been unfortunate anti-Semitic statements made by individual protesters at OWS actions that should and have been challenged as dangerous and divisive, the vast majority of the movement does not espouse these opinions. Media reports, including Goudie’s, have inflated these unrepresentative views for the purpose of discrediting two movements—OWS and Palestine solidarity. Instead of substantiating his false claim that anti-Semitism is a pervasive problem in the OWS movement, Goudie uses the presence and involvement of Palestinians and Palestine solidarity activists at OccupyChicago and elsewhere to “prove” the movement anti-Semitic.
By smearing the OWS movement and Palestinian community and solidarity activists, Goudie blatantly avoids discussing the real issues that are bringing tens of thousands of Americans to the streets in cities and towns across the country.
For example, some OWS protestors, including American Jews, have brought to the protests Palestinian flags and signs condemning US military aid to Israel. The US gives $3 billion a year in aid to Israel, which is used to carry out its policies of military occupation, inequality and ethnic cleansing against the Palestinian people.
And in an ad hominem attack, Goudie also falsely accused Palestinian-American community organizer Hatem Abudayyeh of advocating for the destruction of Israel because he spoke in support of Palestinian freedom and self-determination at a Chicago anti-war rally earlier this month.
Holding a Palestinian flag and advocating for Palestinian human rights, civil rights and equality should never be equated with anti-Semitism. By doing so, Goudie attempts to smear a just movement and evade discussing the real issues: unequal economic policies in the US and unrestricted military and diplomatic support to the human rights-abusing state of Israel.
Finally, Goudie also claimed last night that OccupyChicago did not provide a response to his emailed questions, but as an example of how disingenuous and unprincipled his whole process behind this piece has been, the questions were not sent to OccupyChicago’s spokespeople until after 8 PM, less than 2 hours before the broadcast. OccupyChicago did eventually respond, and WLS-TV posted the statement on the page linked above.
We call on Goudie and WLS-TV/ABC 7 Chicago to immediately apologize for the story’s false statements about Hatem Abudayyeh and mis-characterization of the Palestinian flag and struggle for freedom as symbols of anti-Semitism.