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Picnic of Solidarity for Harmeet Singh Sooden

December 6 2005

Auckland University Students for Justice in Palestine

Auckland University Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) are organising a Candlelit Picnic of Solidarity for fellow student Harmeet Singh Sooden and his colleagues, who are being held hostage by the un-renowned "Swords of Righteousness" group in Iraq. The picnic will take place from 7.30pm 7 December at Tahake Reserve, which is situated at the base of Mount Eden. All Aucklanders are invited to bring a picnic and their families for a relaxing evening of reflection and conversation.

SJP are calling for support to show the kidnappers that Harmeet Sooden and his colleagues are men of peace, who went to Iraq with the single aim of helping the Iraqi people under occupation. Harmeet is a member of SJP and a friend to many in the group, who are calling on his captors to be merciful and safely release him along with the other peace workers.

We know Harmeet personally as a fellow university student, a gentle person who regularly joins our rallies and demonstrations in support of the Palestinian and Iraqi people. Harmeet Sooden is not a spy, nor is he an evangelist. He is a peace lover and an ardent supporter of the oppressed Iraqi and Palestinian peoples.

Students for Justice in Palestine helped organise a successful vigil for Harmeet and the other peace workers on Monday evening. The turn out of over seventy people was heartening, and a good number of supporters spoke to the crowd about Harmeet and his tireless work for the oppressed peoples of the world.

Miriam Pierard, spokesperson for SJP Auckland says, "We ask again that people come together in support of the captives as the deadline draws nearer. The relaxed atmosphere of a picnic will help to calm the anxieties of people concerned for Harmeet and his friends, and will also act as a vehicle for contact which is vital in such situations."

The picnic will go on until 9.30pm, and candles will be lit for the hostages


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