Prominent US actors, writers sign petition urging Tamimi release

Prominent US writers, actors, athletes and activists call for release of Palestinian teenager Ahed Tamimi
2 min read
13 February, 2018
Dozens of prominent US figures showed their condemnation of Israel's detention and trial of Palestinian teenager Ahed Tamimi, drawing parallels with Trayvon Martin and prejudices of the US justice system.
Ahed Tamimi has become a symbol of the Palestinian resistance [Dream Defenders Twitter]
A group of 27 respected US writers, actors, athletes and activists have signed a petition calling for the release of detained Palestinian teenager Ahed Tamimi, ahead of her trial in military court on Tuesday.

The #FreeAhed petition, issued by the Florida-based campaigning group known as the Dream Defenders, includes signatures from Hollywood actors Rosario Dawson and Danny Glover, musicians Talib Kweli and Vic Mensa, writers Alice Walker and Michelle Davis, and prominent US political activist Angela Davis.

"In the US, we know all too well what it's like to be oppressed simply because you exist, because you refuse to give up your fight for freedom," the group's statement read.

The group, who campaign for civil rights in the US, outlined their solidarity with the Palestinian cause, drawing particular parallels between the fate of Palestinian and black American minors at the hands of Israeli and US security forces."While our struggles may be unique, the parallels cannot be ignored. US police, ICE, border patrol and FBI train with Israeli soldiers, police, and border agents, utilising similar repressive profiling tactics to target and harass our communities."

"Too many of our children quickly learn that they may be imprisoned or killed simply for who they are. From Trayvon Martin to Mohammed Abu Khdeir and Khalif Browder to Ahed Tamimi - racism, state violence and mass incarceration have robbed our people of their childhoods and their futures," it added.

Signatories also included Grey's Anatomy actor Jesse Williams, philosopher Dr. Cornel West, and musician Tom Morello, formerly of the band Rage Against the Machine.

Ahed Tamimi, who recently turned 17 while in prison, has become a symbol of the Palestinian resistance struggle since video clips of her slapping an Israeli soldier stationed on her family's property in the village of Nabi Saleh, in the occupied West Bank, went viral.

She was arrested shortly thereafter, along with her mother Nariman and cousin Noor, and is being tried by Israeli military court on 12 counts, including assault and incitement to violence.

It is expected that Ahed, one of the estimated 300 Palestinian minors being held in Israeli prisons, will face the full force of the Israeli prosecution.

As highlighted by the Dream Defenders, Israel's military court has a 99.7 percent conviction rate and lacks basic fair trial protections.