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Department of Communications/
News Bureau
22 Davis Hall, 10 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 0288
Phone: 401-874-2116 Fax: 401-874-7872

Media Contact: Jan Wenzel, 874-2116

URI to host ‘Inside Palestine:
The Human & Environmental Cost of Occupation’

KINGSTON, R.I. -- April 10, 2003 -- The University of Rhode Island will host a talk by John Reese of the Palestinian Hydrology Group and the International Solidarity Movement on Monday, April 14 at 5 p.m. The talk, free and open to the public, will be given in Room 277 of the Chafee Social Science Center, located on URI ‘s Kingston Campus.

The name of the talk is "Inside Palestine: The Human & Environmental Cost of Occupation." Reese, a peace activist and environmentalist who has recently returned from seven months in occupied territories of Palestine, will give the audience a glimpse inside Palestine through slides and discussion.

The environmental impacts of the war and occupation are rarely covered in the media. And yet, land and water rights are at the very heart of the decades-long conflict between Palestine and Israel. Reese will tell stories of people living under occupation – and about the Palestinian and international nonviolent resistance movement that is growing in the West Bank and Gaza.
Reese will also talk about new evidence of environmental impacts of war and occupation on the earth and Palestinian communities. Water is contaminated and groundwater tapped out. Israeli and Palestinian waste pollutes villages, streams and Palestinian farmlands. Ancient olive trees are ripped from the ground. This is all in addition to the destruction wreaked by war and its industries – from uranium poisoning by the use of depleted uranium shells to land and property laid waste by fire, bombings and the machines of war.

Reese began his 50-city speaking tour of the U.S. this January, dedicating the tour to the memory of Rachel Corrie, a student and human rights worker from Olympia, Wash., who was killed by an Israeli bulldozer on March 16 while trying to halt the demolition of a Palestinian doctor’s home in Gaza. Reese plans to return to Palestine for 6 to 9 months in mid-May.

Reese was in Palestine for seven months working with the Palestinian Movement (ISM:www.palsolidarity.org). Reese was a coordinator for ISM actions including the ISM fall Olive Harvest Campaign. He also co-authored and co-edited the first report on the Israeli Apartheid Wall put together by the Palestinian Environmental NGO’s Network (www.pengon.org).

Reese’s speech is co-sponsored by the Southern Rhode Island Islamic Society, Justice First Foundation, and New Voices for Peace with Justice in Palestine. For more information, call Mohammed Sharif, URI professor of economics at 401-874-4119 or Suzanne Hoder, 401-245-7208.

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File last updated: Friday, April 11, 2003

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