New York–On Sunday, July 20 2008, the Cyprus Action Network of America (CANA) launches the grass roots “Hands Off Cyprus 2008” Washington DC demonstration in support of a coordinated national effort to urge Congressional representatives to bring legislation calling for an end to the Turkish military occupation to a floor vote. Members of all Hellenic and philhellenic societies and federations, human rights activists and all people of conscience are invited to participate.
The “Hands Off Cyprus 2008” protest campaign will include the distribution of hundreds of postcards and t-shirts, and life-sized replica posters for distribution to passers-bys, pedestrians and members of Congress with slogans from the demonstration stating “End Turkish Military Occupation in Cyprus”, “Cypriots Want Their Land Back”, “End Turkish Fascism” and “Turkish troops out of Cyprus”. Various media correspondents and celebrities will be either covering or attending, including Hellenic Hip hop artist BZ JAM, and popular Turkish television documentarian, Barbaras Serdar. Writers, authors and activists familiar with forced displacement are scheduled to present teach-ins and lectures in the coming weeks. At least two local progressive news outlets will be on hand at our demonstration, and we expect coverage from network affiliates. This year, it is expected that hundreds of activists will attend.
In order to promote awareness of the continuing human rights crisis in Cyprus, we will need to build the coalitions necessary to tell our story to a wide range of different people, the “Hands Off Cyprus 2008” campaign also aims to broaden our community outreach by actively pursuing the participation of non-Hellenic people who believe in fairness and justice. Diversity is strength, and that is why CANA strives to include the participation of people from diverse ethnic and national origins.
We are proud of the experienced Cyprus supporters who led the efforts to bring justice for Cyprus in the immediate aftermath of the criminal military invasions of Cyprus initiated by the Turkish government on July 20th 1974, and for many years since then, for inspiring so many Hellenic-Americans in America to participate in our political process, many for the first time. This “Hands Off Cyprus 2008” grass-roots demonstration compliments the extraordinary effort of those experienced Cyprus supporters who introduce legislations and follow up in coordination with a vast grass-roots network of concerned Americans, marked by an annual meeting with key Congressional representatives set close to the date of July 20th. We must strengthen the grassroots campaign, we must make it more diverse, and our demonstration is meant to advance our communityʼs position with Congress and the White House.
In order to do that, we are going to spend the next days and weeks leading up to the “Hands Off Cyprus 2008” demonstration working toward one goal: UNITY ON JULY 20th.
The demonstration will take place outside the (Turkish Embassy 2525 Massachusetts Ave., NW, Washington, DC), on July 20, 2008, Sunday, 2PM-5PM.
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