Supporting the Next Generation of Unarmed Resisters
Sunday, Nov. 20 at 5 pm in Anderson Auditorium, Predolin Hall, Edgewood College
Monday, Nov. 21 at 7:30 pm on the UW-Madison campus (see Today in the Union)
The past year has seen a tremendous resurgence of unarmed revolt throughout North Africa and the Middle East as millions of people have risen up against authoritarian regimes in what has been called the Arab Spring. In the occupied Palestinian Territories, these revolutions have given momentum to the regrouping of popular resistance efforts against the Israeli occupation. Jeff Pickert will speak about the strategy and effectiveness of Palestinian popular resistance, in light of these global events. His presentation will focus on the repression of Palestinian youth, as Israeli Forces seem intent to try to stop the next generation of Palestinian leadership from engaging in nonviolent organizing. Jeff will also be drawing upon his experiences working on the ground with Palestinian villagers and activists in the southern West Bank, as well as his efforts to each Gaza as part of the most recent International Freedom Flotilla which was prevented from sailing from Greece.
Jeff Pickert is a 22-year-old American solidarity activist who has lived and worked in the occupied West Bank for a collective period of over a year and a half. In addition to studying Arabic and Palestinian politics at Birzeit University, Jeff also spent significant time engaging in direct action efforts against the occupation.
Jeff has experience accompanying Palestinian medical teams during military invasions in Nablus in 2007, participating in the continued anti-wall protests in villages such as Ni’lin and Jayyous, supporting Palestinian farmers who are greatly at risk for violence from Israeli settlers and soldiers, and working with Palestinian community organizers with the Palestine Solidarity Project in Beit Ommar. He also participated in the Gaza Freedom March initiative, which tried to reach Gaza via Egypt at the end of 2009.
Most recently, Jeff attempted to sail to Gaza from Greece as a passenger aboard the US Audacity of Hope, one of the ships that made up the second International Freedom Flotilla to challenge the Israeli naval blockade.
Jeff Pickert grew up in Chicago where he became active in the anti Iraq war movement in 2003. Through his involvement in student activism, Jeff began to learn about the intersections of war, racism, and economic injustice. Jeff studied Arabic and Palestinian politics at Birzeit University in the occupied West Bank after he was finished with high school. He then went on to graduate from Beloit College in Wisconsin with a degree in sociology.