RALLY FOR SLAIN AFGHANS
Saturday March 17th, 2PM
Fremont Amtrak Station at Fremont Blvd.
Vigil planned in Fremont’s ‘Little Kabul’ for slain Afghan civilians
Local Afghans are organizing a rally and candlelight vigil Saturday for the 16 civilians, including nine children, shot dead by a U.S. soldier over the weekend in southern Kandahar Province.
Military officials say an Army staff sergeant slipped off a U.S. base before dawn Sunday, stormed into homes in two villages and opened fire. Some of the corpses were burned. Five other people were wounded.
“This is the third major event that’s occurred in Afghanistan recently, with dead bodies being urinated on, the Quran-burning and now this,” said one of the vigil’s organizers, Farhad Bajawory, 26, of Union City. “The apologies that come have no value to us anymore.”
The soldier, who has not been identified, has been flown out of Afghanistan and is awaiting charges. The rally will be from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Amtrak and Altamont Commuter Express station at 37260 Fremont Blvd., in the Centerville neighborhood nicknamed “Little Kabul” for its large number of Afghan residents and businesses.
Organizers are inviting people of all backgrounds to attend the rally; they are asking them to wear all-black clothing and bring posters, signs and U.S. and Afghan flags, along with small candles for the vigil. The location of the vigil will be announced at the event. They also plan to have everyone sign a banner that reads, “RIP 9 children, 4 men and 3 women, 16 innocent civilians,” which they will send to the White House.
Nearly 600 people on Facebook so far have signed up to attend the event. Bajawory said the organizers, all Tri-City area residents, felt compelled to respond in some way to the latest atrocity in their homeland.
“We all have cousins and uncles that are still out there,” Bajawory said. “We still feel a deep connection to them, even though many of us who will be there this Saturday were actually born here.”