Rep. Brad Sherman's accusations that the human rights defenders involved with the Gaza Freedom Flotilla are 'terrorists' prompted members of the Free Gaza Movement, Gaza Freedom March, Code Pink, and Freedom Flotilla to voluntarily make themselves available for arrest in his Capitol Hill offices Thursday, June 10th.
When not arrested, they gathered in Rep. Sherman's Rayburn HOB office to hold a memorial service for those killed aboard the Mavi Marmara during the black operation on the flotilla and the world.
Col. Ann Wright (ret.), a former U.S. diplomat, Gaza Freedom March organizer, and a passenger aboard the recent Freedom Flotilla, stated that: "Nine aid workers were murdered by Israeli commandos, and more than fifty were wounded. I want to look Brad Sherman in the eye and see if he has any sense for the gravity of this situation. If Sherman wants to have us arrested - we'll be there."
Congressman Sherman (D-CA) publicly called to arrest and prosecute "any U.S. citizens who were aboard or involved with the Freedom Flotilla" under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996.
Rep. Sherman serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and chairs the subcommittee on terrorism and nonproliferation.
According to Rep. Sherman: "[It's] absolutely illegal for any American to give food, money, school supplies, paper clips, concrete ...so I will be asking the Attorney General to prosecute any American involved in what was clearly an effort to give items of value to a terrorist organization."
Hamas is considered a terrorist organization.
Rep. Sherman also stated that he was planning to work with the Department of Homeland Security to ensure all non-U.S. citizens aboard the Flotilla would be permanently barred from entering the U.S. This list includes Nobel peace laureate Mairead Maguire, former UN assistant secretary general Denis Halliday, plus numerous parliamentarians and government officials from Ireland, Britain, Spain, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Palestine, and Israel.
Ramzi Kysia, an organizer with the Free Gaza Movement, said, "Rep. Sherman is welcome to arrest me and try to make his case to a jury of my peers.
"Delivering humanitarian aid to people in need is not 'terrorism.' Brad Sherman is a prime example of just how degenerate our political discourse has become on Capitol Hill."
After delivering a speech at the Church of Scientology's reopening in Washington, DC., Scientology public affairs director Sylvia Stanard said that although Sherman is not a member of the Church of Scientology, "but supports the human rights work the church is doing all over the world."
Several other peace and justice advocates made themselves available for arrest in DC Thursday including Susan Kerin, a coordinator with both the Free Gaza Movement and Pax Christi, and Tighe Barry, a coordinator with Code Pink.
Mr. Barry turned himself in to face the death penalty for building 3 playgrounds in Gaza for children, some of whom were born from parents in the Hamas government.
The U.N. Security Council has called for an inquiry into the flotilla raid, and the U.N. Human Rights Council has condemned the assault and voted to launch an investigation.
Israeli Navy officers have alo called for an investigation and furthermore admitted there has been a cover-up of what really happened on the May 31 massacre of nine aid workers, injury or another 51, plus torture of an untold number of flotilla participants. Navy top officials said that it is "wrong for the government to blame the organizers of the flotilla."
It is suspected that the flotilla black operation involved infiltrated agent provocateurs, secret agents employed by police or other officials who incite suspected persons to commit illegal acts. At least six individuals posing as Free Gaza activists on board disappeared after the hit-listed assassinations. Their whereabouts are unknown to the public but they were unharmed according to filmmaker Lara Lee, a flotilla survivor.
Lee smuggled video footage of the attack into the U.S. and released the uncensored version of it Thursday.
Tens of thousands of U.S. citizens have gathered in their city streets to stand in solidarity with the Freedom Flotilla participants. According to Rep. Sherman, they should all be arrested and prosecuted.
Learn more: Contact Ramzi Kysia, Free Gaza Movement, (703) 994-5422, email@example.com
and Tighe Barry, Code Pink, (310) 920-8248, firstname.lastname@example.org.