Government defeated in federal trial
The government has been trying to deport the LA 8 for nineteen years simply because they were activists for the Palestinian cause. The government tried every slimy trick they could. Finally, one of the Eight sued, claiming his right to citizenship had been denied.
Today, the judge agreed. This is a huge victory.
From the ANSWER LA listserv
In an important victory for the Los Angeles 8, U.S. District Court Judge Stephen Wilson today ruled that the government unlawfully denied the citizenship request of LA 8 defendant Aiad Barakat. Barakat put the government on trial this week to expose the fact that it has tried to deport the LA 8 for 19 years with no evidence of wrongdoing.
For 19 years, the U.S. government has attempted to deport seven Palestinian activists, including Barakat, and one Kenyan. They were arrested for advocating on behalf of the Palestinian liberation struggle. The government’s case has always been baseless, yet it has tried repeatedly to smear the eight as “terrorists” under various repressive laws – most recently the Patriot Act and the Real ID Act.
This decision in favor of Barakat is a huge advance in the overall struggle to win justice for the LA 8. Barakat and the LA 8’s attorneys, led by noted constitutional lawyer David Cole, proved this week that the government has no evidence that the LA 8 were “terrorists” or engaged in “supporting terrorist organizations.”
In fact, Barakat’s case proved that the government never had any credible evidence against the activists. It simply prosecuted the LA 8 because of their unwavering support for the Palestinian people’s just struggle against U.S.-backed Israeli occupation.
The outcome of this lawsuit will hinder the government’s continuing false attempts deport the LA 8. The evidence presented in court this week is the very same evidence that has been used against the LA 8 in their immigration proceedings for the past 19 years. Now that a federal court has determined that the government’s evidence is worthless, the government’s prospects for continuing to prosecute the LA 8 are much dimmer.
This victory for Aiad Barakat is a victory for all of the LA 8 defendants, their families and those who have worked so hard to win justice for the eight for nearly two decades.
[tags]L.A. 8, LA 8, Aiad Barakat[/tags]