The following message was sent out by Josh Sykes to all of the members of the facebook group “Facebook: reinstate the accounts of Josh Sykes, Angela Denio, and Tom Burke“. For background, see the article Progress against facebook censorship of Ricardo Palmera group: the struggle continues.
We’ve come a long way. We’ve succeeded, by calling, emailing, inviting friends to this group, and otherwise putting pressure on Facebook, in winning the reinstatement of the accounts of Angela Denio and I. But we haven’t crossed the finish line yet. We still have to get Facebook to reverse its censorship of the Free Ricardo Palmera group.
Additionally, there is an important development regarding the account of National Committee to Free Ricardo Palmera spokesperson, Tom Burke.
Tom Burke recieved the following message from Facebook in response to his appeal:
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 tolerate hate speech. Targeting people based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, or disease is a serious violation of our standards and 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.
This is outrageous! Tom Burke is a consistent fighter AGAINST every one of these things facebook is charging him with!
The reality is that this charge has nothing to do with the situation at hand. It has nothing to do with the struggle to Free Ricardo Palmera, and it has nothing do with Tom Burke. The charges have nothing to do with reality.
Why would Facebook single out Tom Burke, the spokesperson of the NCFRP, and “permanently” delete his account, but reactivate the accounts of Angela Denio and I? Why would Facebook give such an obviously arbitrary reason?
Is the U.S. State Department putting pressure on Facebook to silence the NCFRP and its spokesperson, Tom Burke, just like they put pressure on the judges during Ricardo Palmera’s frame-up trials in their attempt to criminalize the national liberation struggle in Colombia?
As Tom Burke put it himself in a recent article: “Facebook suspended my account because we support Colombian revolutionary Ricardo Palmera. Facebook wants to shut us up in the same way that pro-government death squads trained at the School of the Americas in Fort Benning, Georgia murder Colombian trade unionists, peasant organizers and leftist students. The want to shut them up. … I am not going to be silent while a brave Colombian revolutionary is forced to live in a tiny concrete cell for 24 hours a day with no human contact. The U.S. empire is in decline and facebook censorship is just one sign of the desperation of the ‘powers that be.’ They are on the losing side of history.” (http://www.fightbacknews.org/2010/7/13/progress-against-facebook-censorship-ricardo-palmera-group)
Here’s what you can do:
Share this group and invite your friends. Write about this on blogs and in whatever other media is available to you. Continue to call and email Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg at (650) 543-4800 and email Facebook at firstname.lastname@example.org
Change your facebook status to “Reinstate the account of Tom Burke and reverse the censorship of the Free Ricardo Palmera group!”
Thank you for your continued support,
Free Ricardo Palmera!