What we can do

January 15, 2009

In News

Call Durbin’s office

in Washington DC and here to demand that he meet with protesters by phone immediately. Supporters are picketing outside office in support, and in direct contact with activists participating in occupation.

Call his DC and Chicago offices! DC phone: 202-224-2152; DC fax 202-228-0400; Chicago phone 312-353-4952; Chicago fax 312-353-0150

Breaking News Alert: For Immediate Release.

Press contact:
Hatem Abudayyeh, 773-301-4108;
Maureen Murphy, 630-290-0678
(Ms. Murphy is inside with the protesters occupying Sen. Durbin’s office.)

NOW, Friday, JANUARY 16, 2009
Chicago office of U.S. Senator Dick Durbin
230 S. Dearborn St.,

Supporters are picketing outside office in support, and in direct contact with activists participating in occupation. Press conference at site begins at 11:30 AM.

Chicago, IL – More than ten social justice advocates have occupied the office of Senator Durbin in Chicago in response to Israel’s ongoing military offensive against the Gaza Strip, and Durbin’s cosponsorship last week of a resolution that effectively gives Israel the green light to continue its military onslaught. Durbin’s office is located on the 38th floor of the Kluczinski Federal Building at 230 S. Dearborn Street. The protesters are demanding a meeting with Durbin as well as commitments from the Senator to take specific concrete steps towards ending Israel’s military siege of Gaza.

Supporters of the protesters are also at the Kluzinski Building and will hold a press conference at 11:30 AM. They are available to provide breaking news updates to reporters immediately, and are in phone contact with the protesters participating in the occupation.

The activists participating in the occupation issued the following statement to Durbin’s staff when they entered the Senator’s office:

“We seek action from Senator Durbin in light of Israel’s ongoing military and economic siege of the Gaza Strip. Over 21 days, Israel’s military offensive against Gaza has resulted in the deaths of more than 1,000 Palestinians and the injury of 5,000 ? the overwhelming majority of whom are non-combatants and civilians. More than one-third of those killed or injured are women and children. Children comprise over half of Gaza’s population. Palestinians in Gaza are unable to flee, as Israel has sealed the borders, and the humanitarian situation in Gaza is rapidly deteriorating. As concerned US citizens and individuals representing an ad-hoc coalition of social justice organizations, we are taking direct action to demand that Senator Durbin do the following:

  • Immediately meet with us in person or via phone given the urgency of the situation in Gaza. Senator Durbin and his senior aides have so far been unwilling to meet with constituents concerned by Israel’s military siege of Gaza.
  • Issue a public statement calling for the immediate end to Israel’s military offensive against Gaza; for the full withdrawal of all Israeli troops from the Gaza Strip; and for the opening of the borders into and out of Gaza for free and unfettered humanitarian relief efforts.
  • Take legislative action to investigate Israel’s compliance with the Arms Export Control Act of 1976 and comply with Amnesty International’ s call for an embargo on all armed parties engaged in hostilities in the Gaza Strip to prevent further unlawful attacks and violations of international law.

Organizations participating in the occupation of Durbin’s office include Voices for Creative Nonviolence; 8th Day Center for Justice; Francis of Assisi House Catholic Worker; Christian Peacemaker Teams Chicago; Palestine Solidarity Group Chicago; Fight Back! News; Strangers and Guests Catholic Worker Farm (Maloy, Iowa).