last night an "anti-racist" community forum was held at the unitarian church. throughout the evening, people spoke about their concerns about racist, neo-nazi violence in their community. it was a great opportunity for people to express themselves in a safe space and maybe come up with a plan about what to do about the apparent rise in violence by racists in the pacific northwest.
sadly, towards the end of the evening, a woman attending the event was the victim of a vicious, personal attack by the other participants.
allison weir, a free-lance american journalist, attended the forum to invite others to attend a protest against the nation of israel's policy of ethnic cleansing of palestinian people in their country.
ms. weir is founder of the non-profit organization "...if americans knew."
according to their website, the group "...was originally founded by an American freelance journalist, Alison Weir...who traveled independently throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip in February and March of 2001. Ms. Weir found a situation largely the reverse of what was being reported by the American media. Upon further examination of this issue - she read dozens of books on the topic - she found that the U.S. press portrayal was significantly at odds with information being reported by media throughout the rest of the world."
when ms. weir asked people to attend and show solidarity for the palestinian people by attending a protest against pro-israeli zealots aipac - a lobbying group infamous for their unwavering support of israel. - she was denounced as being anti-semetic, then shouted down by the crowd when she tried to defend herself.
aipac is one of the wealthiest, most influencial lobbying groups in the u.s. their favorite tactric is to denounce anyone who questions isaeli policy as being anti-semetic in order to discredit and marginalize them. it is truly sad that this tactic worked so successfully last night.
today there will be a rally to support the struggle of the palestinian people at 6651 sw capitol hwy, beginning around 4 pm. anyone who wishes to demonstrate that not everyone in portrland are easily misled by mob mentality and knee-jerk politics should attend - but anyone who attended last night's forum and did not come to ms. weir's defense should not feel they will be welcomed there.