Saturday, December 12, 2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Michigan Residents to Participate in Gaza Freedom March


For more information, click here!
Michigan Residents to Participate in Gaza Freedom March
Contact: Mary L. Hanna, MPT Operations Manager
Ph: 517-484-3178; 517-214-9490

Six Michigan residents who are members of Michigan Peace Team are preparing to travel to Gaza and take part in the nonviolent, international Gaza Freedom March. Over 1,000 participants from countries around the world, and more than 50,000 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are expected to join the December 31, 2009 march inside Gaza.
This march is a historic initiative to demand that the borders of Gaza are opened, ending the siege that has imprisoned the 1.5 million people who live in Gaza. It is inspired by Mahatma Gandhi’s Great Salt March, Martin Luther King’s civil rights actions in the United States, and the nonviolent efforts of Palestinians over the years.
Statements from three members of the Michigan Peace Team contingency:
Dorothy Ritter says “I believe in the power of non-violent resistance in the face of inhumanity. I stand in loving solidarity with the people of Gaza and the international community to join the demand for justice and human rights. This unified voice of the people is so powerful no military might is able to silence it, because even after death, the cries from the grave and songs of hope can be heard from the rubble.”
Kim Redigan says, “I want to be part of the Gaza Freedom March to walk with mothers from Gaza and around the world who want a world of freedom, justice, and peace for their children.”
Sheri Wander says, “I believe nonviolent people power is the only thing strong enough to stop what I honestly believe amounts to genocide in Gaza, With the leadership of Palestinians in Gaza and the solidarity of ordinary citizens from around the world we can do what the governments can/will not.
In the Michigan Peace Team contingency are:
  1. Yusif Barakat, 74, Psychotherapist/peace activist, born in Haifa, Palestinian by birth, resident of Pinckney, MI
  2. Kim Redigan, 52, mother of four, theology teacher, resident of Dearborn Heights, MI, has been to the West Bank twice with the Michigan Peace Team.
  3. Dorothy Ritter, 54, grandmother of four, Registered Nurse, resident of Fraser, MI, member of a peace team to Gaza the summer of 2003.
  4. Isabella Rowan, 44, single mother of two teenagers, just completed a Master's Degree in Library and Information Science (MLIS) from Wayne State University, resident of Lansing, MI.
  5. Liz Walters, 66, Catholic Sister, member of the Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, retired school teacher and high school principal, presently a staff member at Michigan Peace Team,, member of peace teams to Gaza the summers of 2003, 2004, 2005 and at the gates of Gaza February – March 2009, resident of Mason, M
  6. Sheri Wander, 4O, originally from Cleveland, now living in Ypsilanti, nonviolence trainer, curriculum developer, president of Michigan Peace Team.
Michigan Peace Team:
Michigan Peace Team was founded in 1993. It provides trainings in active nonviolence designed for the specific needs of the participants, and deploys peace teams into places of conflict (both domestically and internationally) to reduce violence. MPT convenes, supports, and participates with local peace action groups and gatherings, and mentors individuals seeking experience with international tams in places of conflict. It also educates the public to the vision and practice of active nonviolence. MPT has deployed peace teams into areas of potential violence around the world.
Michigan Peace Team in Gaza:
Michigan Peace Team has sent peace teams to the Gaza Strip the summer and fall 2003, summer 2004, summer 2005, and short term teams in 2006, 2007, 2008. Also, in February – March 2009 a team was at the gates of Gaza. Michigan Peace Team’s long term commitment to sending peace teams to Gaza can attest to the following: The Israeli military controls Gaza’s six land crossings by means of gun towers, electrified fences and blockade. It exercises complete control of Gaza’s airspace and territorial waters. It controls Gazans through incursions, rocket attacks, sonic booms, military operations and invasions. The result in Gaza is malnutrition, collapse of the economy, massive unemployment, and lack of basic human needs for living.
See, especially FAQ section, and

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