Facebook Shuts Down “Free Ricardo Palmera!” Group

The following article by Josh Sykes is from Fight Back! News:

Asheville NC – In a move to censor the voices of solidarity and human rights, Facebook shut down the “Free Ricardo Palmera!” page, claiming it violates their terms of use.

The Facebook message stated, “The group ‘Free Ricardo Palmera!’ has been removed because it violated our Terms of Use. Among other things, groups that are hateful, threatening or obscene are not allowed. We also take down groups that attack an individual or group, or advertise a product or service. Continued misuse of Facebook’s features could result in your account being disabled.”

On June 30, Tom Burke of the National Committee to Free Ricardo Palmera responded to the announcement, saying, “By shutting us down, Facebook is taking the side of the death squads in Colombia. We will not be silenced – not by death threats from Colombian intelligence agents and not by Facebook. We will use every means available to express support for Professor Palmera and his just struggle for freedom. We reject Facebook’s claim that a campaign for human rights, for prisoners’ rights, and against the U.S. government’s violation of the sovereignty of the Colombian people is somehow anything other than peaceful.”

The “Free Ricardo Palmera!” group, with more than 700 members from all over the world, but especially Latin America and the U.S., existed for many months prior to the abrupt shutdown. The “Free Ricardo Palmera!” page was a valuable and important resource for getting the word out about the injustices done to the Colombian revolutionary Ricardo Palmera and the continuing U.S. attacks on the Colombian people.

Tom Burke said, “We, the administrators of the group “Free Ricardo Palmera,” never ‘attacked’ anyone. Our protests made a mockery of the U.S. Justice Department’s trials and railroading of Ricardo Palmera. The U.S. State Department is upset that their plans to criminalize Professor Palmera and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia failed. It is Ricardo Palmera and the Colombian people who are under attack here. The U.S. war in Colombia, known as Plan Colombia, has displaced over 4 million Colombians – made them landless and homeless. Every week Colombian government death squads murder a trade unionist. Now the U.S. government is building and ‘refurbishing’ seven new military bases in Colombia.”

Burke continues, “We never posted anything hateful or threatening. It is Facebook that is revealing itself to be hateful towards and practicing censorship towards groups organizing for progressive social change.”

He suggests, “Do a search for Chiquita on Facebook. There is a U.S. corporation that admitted to paying $1.7 million, shipping weapons from Panama, and directing [government] AUC death squads that murdered hundreds of labor union leaders on the banana plantations. Chiquita admits that, yet Chiquita has several pages on Facebook. This is a political attack, it is meant to silence social justice in every way. This is an attack on Professor Palmera, a Colombian political prisoner extradited to the U.S., who suffers 23- hour solitary lockdown in Colorado’s Supermax Prison, the threat of electric shock torture and the forced kidnapping from his country by the U.S. It is obscene.”

For more info on Palmera see here: http://www.fightbacknews.org/2010/6/22/prisoner-us-empire-colombian-revolutionary-ricardo-palmera

The censorship of the “Free Ricardo Palmera!” page follows a series of recent attacks by Facebook on activist groups, including shutting down a group in solidarity with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the 800,000 member Boycott BP page. After a campaign opposing it, the Boycott BP has been reinstated. Apparently the U.S. government and big corporations have great influence over Facebook policies and decisions.

Tell Facebook that you are outraged:

156 University Avenue, Palo Alto CA

(650) 543-4800

Call Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO, and tell him to

Stop the Assault on Progressive Causes!
Reinstate the Group “Free Ricardo Palmera!” Now!

There is new protest group created here: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=129314173775448

6 responses to “Facebook Shuts Down “Free Ricardo Palmera!” Group

  1. Michael Z. Ladson

    I know how you feel, my “We Support the FARC-EP” group was shut downand recently they canceled my personal FB account for vague “speech” reasons.

  2. The facebook profiles of the three admins of the former Free Ricardo Palmera group have now been disabled by facebook. Join the protest here: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=136562699701718

  3. Has the Marxist-Leninist page on fuckbook now also been shut down? Capitalist free speech!

  4. My account was also closed for being a part of Ricardo Palmera group , FARC-EP and Palestine groups.

  5. maryloo soueid

    i got kicked off of face book… “disabled” as they call it.

    here are the 2 responses i got from the 2 facebook email addresses i wrote to, who supposedly respond to folks who are “disabled” .

    the first response was about the group i was one of a few admins to. and this is their warning to me (which i never saw till yesterday) ..it was sent april 7th.


    The group “Solidarity with Comrade Ahmed Saadat” has been removed because it violated our Terms of Use. Among other things, groups that are hateful, threatening or obscene are not allowed. We also take down groups that attack an individual or group, or advertise a product or service. Continued misuse of Facebook’s features could result in your account being disabled. If you have any questions or concerns, you can visit our FAQ page at http://www.facebook.com/help/?topic=wgroups.

    The Facebook Team

    but 3 weeks ago i was banned and they said this to me (mind u ,before i saw the above warning… which i just saw yesterday)

    Hi Maryloo,

    Your account has been disabled because you were an admin of a group that has
    been removed for violating Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities.
    Groups that include drug use, nudity, or other graphic or sexually suggestive
    content are not allowed, nor are groups that condone violence or that attack an
    individual or group of people. Upon review, we will not be able to reactivate
    your account for any reason. This decision is final.

    Thanks for your understanding,

    User Operations


    but then i got an email from the 2nd facebook email address i wrote to and all “liam ” had to say was…..

    Hi Maryloo,

    After reviewing your situation, we have determined that you violated our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. One of Facebook’s main priorities is the comfort and safety of our users. We do not allow credible threats to harm others, support for violent organizations, or exceedingly graphic content. Your violation of Facebook’s standards has resulted in the permanent loss of your account. We will not be able to reactivate your account for any reason. This decision is final.


    User Operations


    “credible threats!?” geez! .. it looks like they read the war on terror propaganda big time and take it to heart… with the language they use in this accusation. instead of commies under the beds they are going on a trip about jihadi’s/ terrorists/ anti-zionists..etc. . under the bed…lol ! what a bunch of paranoid control freaks!

    this is the response i sent to “liam”…: :

    hi liam

    thanks for your quick reply.

    i am very confused about these violations you say i did.
    can you please explain to me why you said “credible threats to harm others” . what do you mean by that?
    what is the proof and evidence of this claim i did this?

    what support of violent organizations are you claiming i did? again i didn’t see any evidence or proof.
    i don’t understand why you guys said that with out explaining what you mean. or what violent organizations it is claimed that i support.

    also you said “exceedingly graphic content”. what is that all about? what graphic content are you talking about? why didn’t you explain what content was graphic?

    this is why i am confused by your email saying only accusations with out evidence. it would be great if you could explain what you mean. because it is not clear at all to me why you you say these 3 things.

    thanks – maryloo


    so this is why i got cut off according to these jerks.

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