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RICHMOND RADICAL NEWS BRIEFS: Free Palestine Now! in the West Bank and death penalty opponents protest Swisher execution

http://www.palsolidarity.org/pictures/img_22Jul03_TulkaremNealCassidy.jpg Another member of Virginia Commonwealth University's Free Palestine Now! entered the occupied territories of Palestine last week to participate in non-violent direct action against the Israeli occupation. Thomas Hanna, a 19 year-old founding member of FPN, details in his account his arrival at Amman, Jordan and his subsequent travel and tense entrance into Jerusalem.

Hanna plans to stay in Palestine for two weeks where he will be working with the International Solidarity Movement, a Palestinian-led human rights campaign where internationals use their privilege to protest and act in solidarity with Palestinian people. The ISM is currently moblizing against construction of Israel's "security fence," dubbed the Apartheid Wall. The wall is being built on Palestinian land, within its borders to isolate Palestinian people and illegally annex their land. Stay in touch with Richmond Indymedia to read more about Hanna and his experience with the ISM in its struggle to oppose and expose injustice in Palestine.

The state of Virginia executed its second inmate of the year, Bobby Swisher, on Tuesday. As the country's leading per capita death penalty punisher, Virginia has executed 89 people since national reinstatement of the death penalty in 1976, 43 people were African-American, 3 of international origin and the rest white. Virginia sets up multiple barriers for death row inmates to defend themselves, including the notorious 21-day rule, which prevents state courts from reviewing newly discovered evidence 21 days after intial sentencing.

Virginians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty demonstrated against the execution of Swisher Tuesday. Since 1991, VADP has organized against the state killings of prisoners. On the day of Swisher's death by lethal injection, the group met with National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty and performed street theater on state capitol grounds. A call has been issued to join VADP and prevent unjust and inhumane executions like that of