Longtime solidarity activist Bernie McFall died of complications from pneumonia in Elmhurst Hospital in Queens on Oct. 16. He was 76 and had been fighting two forms of cancer.
|Photo: Life or Liberty|
The New York-based Palestinian activist Farouk Abdel-Muhti was a close friend, and he was staying at Bernie’s apartment in April 2002 when a joint task force of immigration agents and the New York City police arrested him in what quickly became a cause célèbre. Bernie worked steadily in the two-year campaign that finally won Farouk's release; the federal judge who freed Farouk described the Palestinian’s imprisonment as “Kafkaesque.” Bernie himself was threatened and harassed by the police and others during the campaign; filmmaker Konrad Aderer provides more information on Bernie's role at the Life or Liberty website.
Bernie was involved with the Weekly News Update from its first days in 1990, working tirelessly to select and clip articles to be summarized and often arranging for photocopying. We will be joining with others to honor him with a memorial; we’ll announce the plans as soon as we know them.
A few weeks before he died, Bernie asked to make sure his books were made available to people who would make good use of them. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like more information on the collection, which includes a number of books in Arabic.
|Bernie's birthday, February 2012. Photo: Rena Cohen/NYC|
|Bernie at an immigrant rights demo|