Members of The Red Nation expressed their solidarity with Palestinians and their struggle for freedom by dropping a large Palestinian flag from a 100 ft cliff in Window Rock, the capital of Navajo Nation. [Video via @The_Red_Nation ] pic.twitter.com/93Ud98jzlI
— The IMEU (@theIMEU) May 18, 2018
Open Letter to Women’s March L.A.:
Women for Palestine Calls for Genuine Intersectionality
Women 4 Palestine L.A., January 17, 2018
We embrace and applaud the intersectional analysis that marks today’s social movements, and decry the absence of this perspective in outreach for the Women’s March Los Angeles.
In a shocking move, you announced that a “Special Guest” speaker at WMLA 2018 is Scarlett Johansson, who is unabashedly a supporter of Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights. She served as a spokesperson, and indeed, was the face of the advertising campaign of SodaStream, whose factory was in a settlement built illegally on land stolen from Palestinians in the occupied West Bank. As a result, she was forced to step down from her role as an ambassador for the humanitarian group Oxfam after working with the charity for eight years.
Johansson’s unapologetic support for Israel’s abuses of Palestinians confirms that she fully deserves the praise Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu heaped on her in his speech to the Israel lobby group AIPAC in Washington, several years ago. Netanyahu said Johansson should be “applauded” for opposing the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign for Palestinian rights. Regardless of her claims to not be “political,” Johansson is now seen by Palestinians and their supporters as a defender of apartheid Israel.
While there are a host of OTHER examples that can be cited, here we want to focus on the impact on those of us who actively support the indigenous rights of the Palestinian people, especially in light of the recent international attention on women and child political prisoners, including 16-year-old Ahed Tamimi, the young Palestinian Rosa Parks.
Once again, grassroot feminists who promote Palestinian human rights are concerned that a hostile environment is promoted by the organizers of WMLA — whether inadvertently, or not — by the choice of featured speakers, major donors, and major partners.
The organizers of the Women’s March LA are well aware of the issues the “Women 4 Palestine” contingent faced at last year’s “Women’s March LA.” We were verbally abused with racist remarks, and bullied, to the point that some of us are reticent to return out of concern for our personal safety. Our concerns were brushed off by your organizers, in fact one of you accused one of our members as being anti-semitic when she posted an announcement for our Women’s Rally to Free Ahed and All Palestinian Child Prisoners.
We also object to tone set as a result of the key role played by The National Council of Jewish Women LA, especially as a major organizer and donor to the local Women’s March. When Nancy Kaufman, CEO of the National Council of Jewish Women, said that “we didn’t want it to become an Israel-bashing fest…We got assurances that the march is not anti-Trump and not anti-Israel,” it was clear that they were determined to silence the voices of critics of Israel and supporters of Palestinian rights.
“We believe that Women’s Rights are Human Rights and Human Rights are Women’s Rights.” – Mission Women’s March Mission. Apparently that does not include Palestinian Human Rights.
Renowned Black feminist poet, June Jordan’s poetry embodies the intersectionality of Black and Palestine liberation. “I was born a Black woman / and now / I am become a Palestinian / against the relentless laughter of evil / there is less and less living room / and where are my loved ones / It is time to make our way home.”
Last year’s Women’s March, DTLA looked like it was covered with a fresh coat of snow studded with pink caps. In no way did it reflect the wonderful diversity of Los Angeles County. Unfortunately, we never heard that was a concern for WMLA’s leaders, either before the march when several of us raised these issues, OR afterwards. What a shame and missed opportunity.
It’s well past time to be genuinely intersectional, inclusive, transparent, and welcoming of marginalized people, including the Palestinian community, an approach exemplified by the International Women’s Strike, which mobilized thousands of women in March of 2017 for gender, economic and social justice, while also centering the “Decolonization of Palestine,” anti-imperialism, and an end to gendered state violence. IWS organizers are once again mobilizing for March 2018 International Women’s Day marches and strikes.
In that spirit we invite you to join us, when many of us will participate in the International Women’s Day March & Rally 2018-Organized by AF3IRM, in Downtown Los Angeles on Saturday, March 3rd, 2018, noon to 3pm. This march is convened and led by transnational/women of color, but all people are welcome.
Women for Palestine L.A.
(List in formation; affiliations listed for identification only)
Amani Barakat, National Chair of Al-Awda Palestine Right to Return Coalition; Palestine Foundation; LA4Palestine
Mary Ellen Bennett, LA4Palestine and CodePink
Cathy Castro, founder, Threads of Peace, a 501c(3) dedicated to promoting peace, one thread at a time; Creator, #BlanketofLoveforGaza, a traveling peace and Gaza awareness exhibit
Shared Injustice, Shared Struggle
on International Day of Solidarity
November 29th is the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people. These days, the global Palestinian solidarity movement has deepened and grown with powerful expressions of joint struggle with other movements around the world.
A few weeks ago in over 30 countries worldwide people participated in a series of global actions for a #WorldwithoutWalls. Analysis from Grassroots International’s partner Stop the Wall Campaign reveals shocking statistics about the grim proliferation of walls globally:
“Who would have thought in 2002 when Israel started building its apartheid Wall that today we would have nearly 70 walls around the world built to militarise borders or to annex occupied lands? Who would have thought it possible that exactly one year ago Donald Trump won the presidential elections by promising a Wall?
Walls are key elements in today’s racist policies aimed against migrants, including refugees, to criminalise and keep them out or kill them. Walls are ever more pervasive in cities and societies to segregate, control and repress. Ideologies of hatred and supremacy are growing together with these walls and the profits of an entire industry of walls, fear and exclusion are rising exponentially. By 2022, the border security market is expected to rise to $52.95 billion globally.”
Stop the Wall Campaign is a Grassroots International partner in Palestine focused on stopping and dismantling the Wall in the West Bank, resisting Israeli occupation, and defending Palestinian communities’ rights to land and water.
The #WorldwithoutWalls actions included new chances for shared struggle as a delegation from the US, Mexico and Palestine traveled from Oaxaca to Nogales at the US/Mexico border as part of an International Caravan, while a delegation of activists from Mexico and the US traveled to the West Bank.
Our allies at the Border Agricultural Project and our partner La Via Campesina shared this statement:
“Sunday, November 5th, 2017 – From the border of Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, Mexico and El Paso, Texas, United States, La Vía Campesina, its members participating in the V International Meeting on Migration and Wage Labour, its guests and allies, the academic and public institutions that accompanied the encounter as well as the border community, we send you a fraternal message of solidarity to all migrants and people suffering walls of apartheid; and we tell you that you are not alone, that from November 2 to 5 we have met on this border to make a commitment to fight with all our conviction for the full human rights of all migrants and border people and against the current anti-migrant attacks by bad governments, against the walls of exclusion, violence and criminalization for the mere fact of being migrants or border people.”
And they shared a photo (at the top of this blog) of Juslene Tyresias, a leader of Grassroots International’s partner the Peasant Movement of Papaye in Haiti, speaking out against the US/Mexico wall. Several other partners of Grassroots International are shown including the Association of Rural Workers in Nicaragua.
Jamal Juma, Coordinator of the Stop the Wall Campaign shared:
“The rising number of physical walls around the globe, many of them inspired or built by Israeli technology, are the symbolic centerpiece in a world full of visible and invisible walls of injustice.
As Palestinians we don’t only feel, we are, directly connected to all those struggling against walls of injustice. Israel promotes its ideology of apartheid, colonialism and war as well as the technologies to implement them globally.
We are determined not only to tear down Israel’s apartheid Wall but to join hands with all those that resist walls of injustice.”
You can listen to powerful testimony of the joint struggle against walls in this video: https://www.facebook.com/stop.the.wall.campaign/videos/1527201174037767/
Únete hoy! #MundosinMuros
Lo que puedes hacer: https://www.facebook.com/stop.the.wall.campaign/photos
Mira las acciones planeadas en tu región o país: https://www.google.com/maps
Posted by StopTheWall.org on Thursday, November 9, 2017