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Freedom Is a Constant Struggle:
Ferguson, Palestine, and the
Foundations of a Movement
by Angela Davis
Activist, teacher, author and icon of the
Black Power movement Angela Davis talks
Ferguson, Palestine, and prison abolition.
In these newly collected essays, interviews,
and speeches, world-renowned activist and
scholar Angela Y. Davis illuminates the
connections between struggles against
state violence and oppression throughout
history and around the world.
Reflecting on the importance of black
feminism, intersectionality, and prison
abolitionism for today's struggles, Davis discusses the legacies of previous liberation struggles, from the Black Freedom Movement to the South African anti-Apartheid movement. She highlights connections and analyzes today's struggles against state terror, from Ferguson to Palestine.
Facing a world of outrageous injustice, Davis challenges us to imagine and build the movement for human liberation. And in doing so, she reminds us that "Freedom is a constant struggle."
Angela Y. Davis is a political activist, scholar, author, and speaker. She is an outspoken advocate for the oppressed and exploited, writing on Black liberation, prison abolition, the intersections of race, gender, and class, and international solidarity with Palestine. She is the author of several books, including Women, Race, and Class and Are Prisons Obsolete? She is the subject of the acclaimed documentary Free Angela and All Political Prisoners and is Distinguished Professor Emerita at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Except for Palestine:
The Limits of Progressive Politics
by Marc Lamont Hill, Mitchell Plitnick
A bold call for the American Left to extend
their politics to the issues of Israel-Palestine,
from a New York Times bestselling author
and experts on U.S. policy in the region
“A thoughtful and incisive analysis of how
progressive commitments to racial and social
justice are undermined by the ‘Palestinian
exception’ . . . timely and vital.”
—Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib
In this major work of daring criticism and analysis,
scholar and political commentator Marc Lamont Hill
and Israel-Palestine expert Mitchell Plitnick spotlight how one-sided pro-Israel policies reflect the truth-bending grip of authoritarianism on both Israel and the United States. Except for Palestine argues that progressives and liberals who oppose regressive policies on immigration, racial justice, gender equality, LGBTQ rights, and other issues must extend these core principles to the oppression of Palestinians. In doing so, the authors take seriously the political concerns and well-being of both Israelis and Palestinians, demonstrating the extent to which U.S. policy has made peace harder to attain. They also unravel the conflation of advocacy for Palestinian rights with anti-Semitism and hatred of Israel.
Hill and Plitnick provide a timely and essential intervention by examining multiple dimensions of the Israeli-Palestinian conversation, including Israel’s growing disdain for democracy, the effects of occupation on Palestine, the siege of Gaza, diminishing American funding for Palestinian relief, and the campaign to stigmatize any critique of Israeli occupation. Except for Palestine is a searing polemic and a cri de coeur for elected officials, activists, and everyday citizens alike to align their beliefs and politics with their values.
When I See Them, I See Us
The Black-Palestinian Solidarity Campaign
released this video in October 2015.
Excerpt from their statement:
“We choose to join one another in
resistance not because our struggles are
the same but because we each struggle
against the formidable forces of structural
racism and the carceral and lethal
technologies deployed to maintain them.
This video intends to interrupt that process
– to assert our humanity – and to stand
together in an affirmation of life and a
commitment to resistance.
From Ferguson to Gaza, from Baltimore to Jerusalem,
from Charleston to Bethlehem, we will be free.”
CLICK THE VIDEO BELOW
TO SEE THIS POWERFUL MESSAGE.
Among the Black Americans who appear in the video are Danny Glover, Cornel West, Angela Davis, Alice Walker, LisaGay Hamilton, and Lauryn Hill.
Palestinians in the video include Omar Barghouti, Diana Buttu, Noura Erakat, Rashid Khalidi, Sandra Tamari, and Linda Sarsour. They are speaking of their shared experiences of racism and persecution, experiences that include militarized police violence in the US and a brutal military occupation in Palestine.
Learn more about the background of the video and see the script
2015 Black for Palestine Statement
Over 1,100 Black activists, artists, scholars, students and organizations
signed the 2015 Black Solidarity Statement with Palestine.
"We offer this statement first and foremost to Palestinians, whose suffering does not go unnoticed and whose resistance and resilience under racism and colonialism inspires us. It is to Palestinians, as well as the Israeli and US governments, that we declare our commitment to working through cultural, economic, and political means to ensure Palestinian liberation at the same time as we work towards our own. We encourage activists to use this statement to advance solidarity with Palestine and we also pressure our own Black political figures to finally take action on this issue. As we continue these transnational conversations and interactions, we aim to sharpen our practice of joint struggle against capitalism, colonialism, imperialism, and the various racisms embedded in and around our societies. "
See the full statement and learn more about Black for Palestine
Movement for Black Lives Platform in 2016
EXCERPT from the UMKR Article: "African Americans Show How Palestinian Solidarity Is Done"
In August 2016, the Movement for Black Lives (M4BL), a coalition of more than 50 organizations that includes Black Lives Matter and Dream Defenders, published their comprehensive policy platform, “A Vision for Black Lives,” which has a powerful statement of solidarity with the Palestinian people. The Invest-Divest section of their platform includes the briefing paper "Cut Military Expenditures"with references to Israel as an “apartheid state” and to “the genocide taking place against the Palestinian people.”
Predictably, it was one paragraph on a single subject, Israel/Palestine, among the more than 30 issues and policies the M4BL platform addressed, that earned by far the most vehement backlash. The knee-jerk reaction from old school establishment Jewish organizations also spread to criticism and disassociation by some supposedly more liberal Jewish groups.
African American leaders stood resolute in their solidarity and had some strong words in response:
“We remain steadfast in our condemnation of the State of Israel and their illegal occupation of the Palestinian people’s homeland no matter the consequence. [Our solidarity]…is rooted in the basic understanding that the state violence we experience is directly tied to the violence facing Black and Brown communities in Palestine and around the world.” The statement goes on to invite readers to support BDS and links to the movement’s primary website. See this UMKR article
See news and commentary about the M4BL Platform ON THE RIGHT ▶︎▶︎
A History of Shared Struggle for Liberation
Freedom, Bound is an artistic and historical account of the shared struggle for collective liberation. Inspired by and rooted in the rich legacy of Black-Palestinian solidarity, this multi-media experience considers solidarity both as shared lived reality, and as political choice made time and again throughout history. Through data visualizations and a transhistorical gallery of artifacts, the visitor is invited to consider the inherent interconnectedness and timeless resonance of shared resistance to oppression.
The Freedom, Bound experience is profoundly enriched by contemporary artistic responses to the legacy of Black-Palestinian solidarity. Poets, artists and dancers from Palestine/Israel and the United States responded to a Call to Artists, and through their work, offered reflections on unity between freedom struggles. One commissioned piece, five juried selections, and several additional works of art complement the historic artifacts, and compel the visitor to imagine the world when we win.
Visit the Freedom Bound website
Time to Break the Silence
NY Times editorial by Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow
"King rejected all the well-meaning advice and said, “I come to this magnificent house of
worship tonight because my conscience leaves me no other choice.” Quoting a statement by the Clergy and Laymen Concerned About Vietnam, he said, “A time comes when silence is betrayal” and added, “that time has come for us in relation to Vietnam.”
It was a lonely, moral stance. And it cost him. But it set an example of what is required of us if we are to honor our deepest values in times of crisis, even when silence would better serve our personal interests or the communities and causes we hold most dear. It’s what I think about when I go over the excuses and rationalizations that have kept me largely silent on one of the great moral challenges of our time: the crisis in Israel-Palestine." See the full article
African Americans Show how Palestinian
Solidarity is Done by M.T. Basile
This article recounts some key moments in the history of Black-Palestinian solidarity, while taking a closer look at recent developments and key figures such as Cornell West, Marc Lamont Hill, Rev. William J. Barber, and Angela Davis. It closes with a review of Michelle Alexander’s NY Times op-ed of January 2018 and recounts the backlash when she broke her silence on the Palestinian struggle. See this article
Black-Palestinian Solidarity Solidarity
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NEWS AND COMMENTARY ON THE MOVEMENT FOR BLACK LIVES PLATFORM
Haaretz - Black Lives Matter Endorses BDS: Israel Is 'Apartheid State'
The Guardian - Critics denounce Black Lives Matter platform accusing Israel of 'genocide'
Mondoweiss - Dream Defenders statement on the condemnation of Movement for Black Lives platform by some pro-Israel groups
Electronic Intifada - Why Israel’s actions can be called genocide
The Atlantic - Why Do Black Activists Care About Palestine?
Mondoweiss - Anti-occupation activists stand with Black Lives Matter as Jewish orgs attack movement over Israel criticisms
Mondoweiss - Jewish organizations’ response to Black Lives Matter platform demonstrates inability to engage with reality in Israel
Mondoweiss - White Jews and uppity blacks
Mondoweiss - Black Lives Matter will defeat the Israel lobby (because the lobby can’t debate reality)
Mondoweiss - Palestinian anti-racist struggle against Zionism and Black anti-racist struggle against White supremacy are crucial to building a just world
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