Flash: Six Activists and One Journalist Arrested
While Singing inside AIPAC Gala in Oakland
Bay Area Residents Say Tax Dollars to Jobs, not Military Aid to Israel

From Rae Abileah (Press Release)
Monday December 13, 2010 - 09:06:00 PM

On Monday, December 13, when the American Israel Public Affairs Committee held its annual dinner in Oakland, a group of activists performed a flashmob inside the Marriott hotel to the tune of Pink Floyd's "Another Brick in the Wall," addressing Israel's illegal occupation of Palestine. Six Activists and one reporter were arrested: 

Noura Khouri, Oakland, American Friends Service Committee Valerie Ortiz, Santa Cruz, CODEPINK, Student at UC Santa Cruz Leslie Angeline, San Francisco, CODEPINK Martha Hubert, San Francisco, CODEPINK Gene St. Onge, Oakland Janet Kobren, Oakland, US Boat to Gaza Peter Tcherneff, Santa Rosa, a writer and reporter 

Noura Khouri said, "It was worth the risk of arrest because AIPAC lobbies for money for war and occupation, money that could be used instead to fund schools and hospitals in our communities." 

The activists have been charged with trespassing and are being held at the North County jail. After arrest, Janet Kobren was searched without consent by an Alameda sheriff. 

While the flashmob occurred inside, activists gathered outside the hotel for a rally that was coordinated by a coalition of peace and justice groups, including Jewish Voice for Peace, CODEPINK, and Students for Justice in Palestine, who joined together to protest the use of our tax dollars to fund apartheid and war on the Palestinian people. AIPAC lobbies annually for Congress to approve a $3 billion gift of military aid to Israel, much of which goes into demolishing Palestinian homes, uprooting thousand-year-old olive orchards, and pauperizing the people living in the Occupied Territories. 

“While people in our communities are suffering in the worst economy since the Great Depression, we are outraged that some local politicians will still pander to a lobby that wants to divert billions of American tax dollars to enforce a brutal occupation in the Middle East,” said Jim Harris of Stop AIPAC. 

A block from the protest, at the 12th Street BART station, the first posters in a new peace campaign just went up. These posters say, "Be on our side. We are on the side of peace and justice. End U.S. military aid to Israel." Protesters will hand out small card versions of the ads. 

Endorsed by: Progressive Democrats of America-East Bay, Middle East Study Group / Contra Costa, Middle East Children’s Alliance, Women in Black, Students for Justice in Palestine, 14 Friends of Palestine, Richmond Progressive Alliance, American Friends Service Committee, CODEPINK: Women for Peace, Jewish Voice for Peace, ANSWER Coalition (SF Bay Area), Bay Area Campaign to End Israeli Apartheid.