Gaza peace activists put Al Franken on blast, plan "die-in" at Star Tribune HQ [VIDEO]

FrankenProtest.jpg
Sixteen protesters, including Jess Sundin, were arrested after they refused to leave Franken's office.
A local organization called the Anti-War Committee is taking Minnesota's U.S. Senators to task for siding with Israel during that country's ongoing conflict with the Palestinians.

Last week, the group stormed Sen. Al Franken's Minnesota office and ended up getting him on the phone for a tense conversation.

See also:
Keith Ellison denied entry to Gaza

Here's the video, which culminates in one activist telling a silent Franken, "I just don't know how you can sit on the other end of the call and spout non-stop bullshit, when you know in your heart, the person that you used to be before you were the senator you felt differently" (Franken was in D.C. at the time):



Jess Sundin, who cofounded the Anti-War Committee back in 1998, says the organization plans to protest outside Sen. Amy Klobuchar's Minneapolis office at 4:30 p.m. today, then march over to the Star Tribune's headquarters for a "die-in."

"We're focusing on the senators in the Twin Cities to really highlight the role of the U.S. government in supporting Israel, both with aid and political support," Sundin tells us. "Our senators have really played a leading role in that support, [voting in favor of] multiple resolutions supporting the bombardment that Israel is doing in Gaza... At the same time many countries are calling for an economic embargo [against Israel], it's quite shameful to increase aid to the Israeli military which has no accountability for humanitarian standards."

Sundin says she's troubled by the disconnect between our senators' views and what she hears from their constituents.

"Franken presented himself as a progressive, on the left side of the Democrats, and in that respect, I've been out in the community talking with people about what's going on and people have been surprised at the role he's played," she says. "In a democracy these folks should be representing their constituents, not voting the way AIPAC [The American Israel Public Affairs Committee] wants them to... We don't gain anything by sponsoring the massacre that's taking place in Gaza."

Asked about how she thought the phone conversation with Franken went, Sundin says, "I was surprised he got on the phone at all... but what I heard come out of him was absolutely boilerplate."

(For more, click to page two.)


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44 comments
Devon Majerus
Devon Majerus

People should try using some empathy. They need to realize how hard it would be for someone in the Jewish community to publicly say anything against them, even if they are right.

Robert Eveland
Robert Eveland

YOU know the DFL is starting to self destruct when Muslim protesters show up at Al Franken's office. It's hard to hold a coalition of splinter groups together when the splinter groups hate each other this much.

OlWillyClinton
OlWillyClinton

I'm Palestinian, and refuse to propagate any inflammatory language on either side. That's because I know as a rhetorician, it will do nothing but escalate the situation. There are few steps that need to happen in order for a proper conversation to happen.

1) Parties involved in a discussion about this conflict need to know that not all Palestinians are Hamas members. How do I know this? I can put you on the phone with my uncle who lives in Nablus who is not a Hamas member.

2) Parties involved must understand that, according to the last Pew poll, 80% of Gazans do not approve of Hamas' actions.

3) Parties must agree that the death of any innocent civilian, regardless of them being Palestinian or Israeli, is a tragedy, and is always inexcusable.

4) Parties must agree that Israel has broken international law by moving into Palestinian land numerous times over the last few years. This is not inflammatory opinion; this is fact. This is necessary to understand, as this is what keeps causing uprisings. I understand launching rockets is an absolutely inexcusable way to respond. There is no denying that. However, this is what caused the uprising.

Level-headed discussion is the only way we get anywhere in this. Calling all Palestinians terrorists and all supporters of Israel Zionist pigs gets us nowhere. Let's have some semblance of reason here, people. People's lives are at stake. 

jherlitz
jherlitz

As a Libertarian, I want the U.S. government to stop funding other nations. That point being said, attention all of you Isreal hating sacks of crap. Isreal has the absolute right to defend itself against the terrorist group Hamas. Hamas and all terrorist groups are cowards at heart. They hide amongst their own people and attack innocents. They dont march in and take on the Isreali military. They attack simple everyday people, who trying to live their lives.

While Isreal does hold some responsibility in this conflict, never forget they have every right to exist just like any othet nation. Terrorists on the other hand have no right to terrorize anyone. If you side with Hamas, I invite you to join their battle. Saddle up and take on the Isreali Defense Forces. I know you will not, as most of you are keyboard warriors with little or no courage at all.

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

Rupar, do a story on greedy rich asshole Stanley Hubbard conspiring to help his rich asshole buddy Stuart Mills by keeping this ad off the air.    Hubbard should not be allowed to control media in this town if he can't play fair.  


http://youtu.be/E7YmYTk8aNA

Nathan Heiling
Nathan Heiling

Do need to cut them off government needs to start putting money into their own nation instead of giving it to other nations.

Nolan Murphy
Nolan Murphy

Well that settles it, these 16 people have spoken.

Shayne O'Neil
Shayne O'Neil

Such tolerance from al..... Wake up people, he's a statist.

True-American
True-American

Franken is a kike, he's not going to speak against his oven-dodging brethren. . 

ChazDanger
ChazDanger topcommenter

They got their point across, but in the end they seemed like an angry mob that wanted to burn down the building.  Conduct yourselves a little better and maybe your point will be accepted better.

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

What is wrong with people today?   You don't say "bullshit" to a sitting US Senator.  Have a little respect for the office.   Also take your hat off indoors you slob.  I have personally met Michele Bachmann several times.  I consider her an evil bigot liar.  When I talk to Congresswoman Bachmann I'm respectful, calm, and polite.   No matter how evil and stupid I consider her, she deserves respect because respectful dialogue is the key to finding common ground with those you disagree with.   Maybe I'm a hypocrite to be a rude insulting dickhead anonymous on the internet but face to face you should be respectful of our elected officials.    No one wants to listen to a bellowing slob screaming bullshit.


MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

The diverse big tent of the DFL has proven better at winning elections than the tight little Klan you Republicans are so proud of.   It's easier to hold together a diverse group of smart nice people than a pack of hateful stupid bigots.  

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

@OlWillyClinton I really admire such a reasonable take on such an inflammatory topic.  Both sides need more people like you.   Both sides need to realize no matter the history its not worth all this bloodshed.

OlWillyClinton
OlWillyClinton

What does this even mean? They're going to jail for having political opinions?

wildtimecharlie
wildtimecharlie

@jherlitz So you believe that occupation, building settlements on land misappropriated from Palestinians, arbitrary arrests and indefinite detentions without trial are legitimate defense activities of Israel?  I don't know of any true libertarians who find the confiscation of other people's property and lives to be acceptable.  Your omission of these crimes suggest that you do.


OlWillyClinton
OlWillyClinton

@jherlitz Palestinians are not all Hamas members. How do I know this? Well, my family isn't part of Hamas, and I can say that with complete certainty. Sure, Israel has every right to take out Hamas; they have no right to take out nearly 1,000 innocent civilians in the meantime.

Also, your inflammatory language makes you sound ridiculous.

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@Lenny you stupid zionist pig.


Israel is a faux state propped up by the US gov that propagates the military industrial complex by producing and selling weapons and guidance systems. 


not to mention the whole thing is predicated on some bullshit fairytale from a book created by scammers 

wildtimecharlie
wildtimecharlie

@MicheleBachmann Respect is earned.  And respect is a two way street.  Neither Franken, nor Klobuchar have treated their constituents here in Minnesota with respect.  Instead, they refuse to listen to their concerns and respond in a logical, factual manner.  Therefore, neither Franken, nor Klobuchar deserve respect. 


You don't deserve respect either, as you are altogether a hypocrite, vulgar, and a dishonest idiot.

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@MicheleBachmann senators say bullshit all the time


there is little reason to respect the office, other than money and power. Thats not really respect though, its envy

Lenny
Lenny

@digitalprotocol  So the people killed by Hamas rockets are less people than those who fire them?

Lenny
Lenny

@digitalprotocol @Lenny Wow. What a pithy analysis. You are so clever. So the people killed by Hamas rockets are less people than those who fire them?

yoopie93
yoopie93

@digitalprotocol @yoopie93 Sorry man, I'm not going to argue it with you here, but the support for Hamas and the Palestinians combined with hate for Israel--that's where I get off the liberal train and become more centrist, and possibly even right-leaning.  I'm likely with you on all other social issues of the day, but the liberal argument against Israel completely vexes me.

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@Lenny i think only a few brainwashed zionist soldiers got killed by hamas rockets...


we dont care though.


mandatory military service is savagery 


it is the opposite of refined and sophisticated

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@Lenny the onkly thing israel is sophisticated at is building and selling WMD's

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@Lenny im not going to respond to loaded questions.


I will say, if the israelites are so sophisticated why must they engage in savagery?....carpet bombing their very own annexation.


get a brain Lenny and realize that religion is made up nonsense


you supporting israel is absolutely retarded, what has israel done for you why support terrorists and oppressors ? 

OlWillyClinton
OlWillyClinton

@yoopie93 @digitalprotocol I'm Palestinian, and I find statements like this disgusting and offensive. Just because there are pricks like this guy on Palestine's doesn't mean all of us are like him.

That's just like saying Michele Bachmann represents all Republicans.

80% of Gazans disapprove of Hamas' actions, according to the most recent Pew poll. 80%. Let that sink in. 

Now think about this. Nearly 1,000 innocent civilians died in this conflict, and 80% of them wanted nothing to do with Hamas. At least 800 people died, even though they did not even agree with what Hamas was doing.

Do some research. Educate yourself. Not everyone is represented by the most extreme of their group.

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

@yoopie93 Supporting Israel is the liberal side.   Both sides have lots of blame and I hope for peace but Israel is the peaceful cultured Democracy here.   Political Islam, like all theocracy, is a stain on humanity and groups like Hamas, ISIS, and the Taliban are enemies of liberals.  

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@yoopie93 so essentially, deep down, you are a war hawk. 


you condone eye for eye killings?


that would make you not very progressive whatsoever

Lenny
Lenny

@digitalprotocol The choice of the adjective "retarted" tells me a lot about you. 

Apparently, Israelis don't have the right to fight back when they have missiles rained upon them. 

I agree that religion is nonsense.  That has nothing to do with my support of people who are attacked having the right to defend themselves. (I grew up Hindi, incidentally, though now consider myself atheist, so my religious views (or lack thereof)

Note in the video above, filmed by a crew from a non-aligned state, that Hamas has chosen to fire rockets from residential areas. Israel's response is moderate compared to what would happen if Canadians tried to fire missiles into Buffalo...

Having lived in Jordan for three years and Israel for two before emigrating to the US, I will say that Israelis were the most open to people of all faiths that I have met.

And if you really think that "Zionist" soldiers are the only people killed by Hamas rockets, you are clearly in denial...Hamas rockets kill children who really have no choice in where they were born, just as surely as Israeli's response kills children.

If the US had mandatory military service instead of sending only your poor, you would have been a lot slower to enter Iraq.

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

@OlWillyClinton  That's true.  I didn't mean to imply that everyone in Palestine is part of Hamas.  I know peace is the best course of action for both sides.   I was only stating my opposition to any sort of Theocracy.  

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@Lenny if you grew up Hindi, you ought to be advocating non-violence. eye for an eye ought not be the policy of a developed, wealthy, and supposed sophisticated nation. 


if you see nothing wrong with Israels moral choices, then i feel bad for you.


does the endless and unpersuasive propaganda propagated by israel say anyhting to you?  like they are full of shit and trying to cover their asses. 


only faux states need mandatory military service. if this policy wasnt in place, the shit would have already crumbled. 


Israel has the resources to change things without using violence. from whwat i can tell they just want the HOLY LAND as do all their financiers who are hell bent on biblical prophecy.


i dont support the US military either - their actions are on par with israelis.  

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