Jewish Activists Arrested for Peacefully Protesting Israeli Military Fundraiser in US

Sydney Barakat
May 29, 2015

(ANTIMEDIA) On May 12th, Gregory Williams and Dan Fischer were arrested in Westport, Connecticut after attempting to enter a Synagogue where a fundraiser was being held for the Israeli military (IDF).

Williams, a student at Yale Divinity School, and Fischer, an activist with the Middle East Crisis Committee, entered the temple in Westport in order to peacefully protest the actions of the IDF. They simply came to read a Palestinian woman’s statement to the people at the fundraiser about her son being killed in the 2009 attacks on Gaza. They did not get to do so, however, because they were immediately detained by the Synagogue staff after stating their intent to recite the mother’s words.

The protesters were violently tackled and forcefully detained by the Synagogue staff as the police were called. Once the Westport Police arrived, witnesses began alleging that Williams and Fischer had a gun — which proved to be false after an investigation was conducted. Williams and Fischer were arrested, however, and are being charged on the counts of criminal trespassing and breach of peace. As of May 21st, both protesters have been arraigned. Fischer asked for Accelerated Rehabilitation (AR) while Williams pled not guilty and is willing to take the case to a jury trial. The next court date is set for June 21st.

Furthermore, it is absolutely ridiculous that these two peaceful activists are being punished for voicing their opinion and acting on their right of freedom of speech. It’s one thing for something like this to happen abroad, but another when it happens in the “land of the free and the home of the brave.” Are we really a free country if we cannot allow our citizens to speak openly without the threat of being arrested, imprisoned, or fined? How can we be brave if we cannot find it within ourselves to tolerate the opinions of those who have a different perspective than our own?

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