FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – October 8, 2010
Media Contact: Kathryn Hamoudah at 404.507.6502 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Community MEMBERS, FACULTY & Students URGE GSU to SHUT DOWN Police EXCHANGE PROGRAM
ATLANTA-On Tuesday, October 12, 2010, The Movement to End Israeli Apartheid-Georgia (MEIA-G) and the Progressive Student Alliance at Georgia State University (GSU) will hold a public day of action at 12:00 pm on GSU’s campus, Unity Plaza at the intersection of Gilmer & Courtland Streets, urging President Becker to shut down the Georgia International Law Enforcement Exchange (GILEE) program.
The stated purpose of GILEE is to facilitate training exchanges between Georgia police departments and Israeli police forces whereby Georgia police are learning Israel ’s so called “counter-terrorism tactics.” These tactics entail a well-documented history of extrajudicial killings, racial profiling of Arabs, torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of detainees. Such a program not only implicitly supports these violations of human rights, but also gestures to the goal of implementing them here in Georgia . Furthermore, GSU should heed the call from scores of universities worldwide that refuse to do business with a country that consistently violates international law, such as with the most recent killing of nine unarmed civilians in international waters carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza . GSU President Mark Becker and Georgia State University , with their growing international popularity and positive reputation, cannot afford to be associated with a program that trains the Atlanta Police Department in Israel ’s inhumane and discriminatory police tactics. “President Becker has a courageous opportunity to stand for human rights by ending the GILEE program and refusing to do business with a country that routinely violates international law,” says Kathryn Hamoudah , coordinating committee member of MEIA-G.
Georgia State University students and concerned members of the Atlanta community delivered over 900 signatures to President Becker asking him to meet to talk about their concerns regarding GILEE and work together to end the program. Although President Becker agreed to meet he has not fulfilled his promise. Pressure for him to uphold his promise and hear growing concerns is increasing. A group of 15 GSU faculty members will come out publicly in support of the campaign to SHUT GILEE DOWN in a letter in GSU’s paper, The Signal, to be published on Tuesday. In their letter of support they applaud the University for moving towards fostering international relationships; however, they express their concern that by housing GILEE at Georgia State , the university puts itself in a compromising position by sending a message that the institution will host anyone, even those that are associated with war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Community members will speak to their opposition of the GILEE program, including those from the Palestinian, African American and Jewish communities. A street theatre piece will be performed highlighting the brutality of the affects of an exchange, such as GILEE.
The event is hosted by the Movement to End Israeli Apartheid-Georgia (MEIA-G) and The Progressive Student Alliance at GSU. MEIA-G is an Atlanta-based group dedicated to the global campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) of Israel until it abides by international law and human rights. MEIA-G mobilized thousands last January in the streets of Atlanta to protest Israel ‘s massacre against the Palestinians in Gaza .
For more information, please contact Kathryn Hamoudah at 404.507.6502 or email@example.com
Please visit us at www.meiag.org
In Unity and Struggle,