BROOKLYN, N.Y. – Hundreds of demonstrators attended a rally on Coney Island Avenue and Newkirk Ave. here June 9 to demand the release of detainees being held under the USA Patriot Act. The rally was organized by a coalition of Arab-American groups.

This neighborhood was targeted by the police, INS and the FBI because it is populated by Muslim immigrants from Pakistan and India. Under the USA Patriot act the authorities targeted Muslim men, usually not considering age. There was a mother at the rally who said her son is still being detained and he is only 15 years old.

The horrific thing about this is that the authorities have already conducted investigations on the majority of these detainees and found them innocent, and yet they are still not being released. It is almost as if they are doing this purposefully to harass and intimidate people of color, especially from the Muslim community.

The rally was peaceful and voiced a variety of issues, including the threat of war in Kashmir and the call for Palestinian statehood.

The author can be reached at romans0021@aol.com

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