IN PHOTOS ~~ #RiseUpOctober

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There was a meeting in a church in Harlem organized by people who are opposing police murders and the whole system of mass incarceration (a/k/a the New Jim Crow) which has Black men and women spending decades in prison for non-violent drug offenses (brought about by the Rockefeller drug laws and mandatory sentencing).  And with the prisons privately run and them making contracts with many industries where prison labor is a source of slave labor, they find ways of keeping people in prison.  A very sick outrageous situation.  Of course a disproportionate people in the prisons are black because the police are concentrated in their communities and because they don’t have $ for big name lawyers. 

Anyway, many ministers spoke and people from the communities that are fighting against all this.  And then the families of young people who were murdered by the police came on stage – a lot of them – and one by one told their stories.  An act of heroism which reminded me of the stories we heard from Palestinian parents.  They told their stories in grief and in rage.  One grandmother tried but just couldn’t speak, she couldn’t stop crying.  Her 7 year old grandaughter was lying on the couch next to her when the police busted in looking for someone, threw in a stun grenade into the apartment hitting the child in the head and  blowing her brains all over her grandmother.  It was a mistake, they were in the wrong place, but never issued an apology.  And this keeps happening even though these murders are getting more attention.  These murderers don’t even feel like they better lay low for awhile because they are now in the public eye.  They don’t care and maybe they think that the public doesn’t care.  Perhaps they are right.  So far this year 700 people, mostly unarmed, have been killed by the police.  What makes them think they have been hired to be executioners?  The comparison to what is happening to Palestinian families is inescapeable – the same killings with impunity, the same non-caring attitude from the populace, the same torment for the families. 

The last speaker, Cornel West, noted the tie between what is happening in Palestine and in this country.  He delivered a monologue while walking quickly around the stage and as he noted all the problems, the racism, the militarism, the failure of capitalism, the U.S. being a dying empire, he spoke as if he was reciting a brilliant poem full of rhyme and rhythm.  It was a dazzling, magnificent jazz piece that left us both informed and mesmerized.

Photos © by Bud Korotzer, Commentary by Chippy Dee

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FIFTY TWO YEARS LATER … THE TRUTH THAT DIDN’T SET US FREE

 
Rosa sat so Martin could walk …
Martin walked so Barack could run …
Barack ran so all our children could fly …
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There is no doubt in my mind that Martin Luther King would have rejoiced the day Obama was elected President of the United States. His dream was finally realised ….
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Or was it??
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The dream did not include the continuation of illegal wars …
Nor the racial profiling and hate crimes in the streets …
Nor the use of drones against innocent civilians …
Nor the erosion of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
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The dream spoken about above was supposed to set us free, but we still have a long way to go.
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Don’t Give Up The Fight!
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This could be the end result …
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BELLA CIAO JULIAN BOND

Mr. Bond in 1966, before making a speech in New York. Credit Associated Press

Mr. Bond in 1966, before making a speech in New York. Credit Associated Press

This weekend the world lost one of the greatest heroes of our time, Julian Bond. In an obituary that appeared in the New York Times yesterday it was reported that  ‘Julian Bond’s great-grandmother Jane Bond was the slave mistress of a Kentucky farmer.’ Twitter was overloaded  with comments yesterday that he wasn’t a farmer but a slave master, and there is no such thing as a slave mistress.  Being a mistress is voluntary, she was a raped slave.  Interesting that a writer at the Times didn’t use language properly, and great that so many people spotted it. Also interesting that there was no correction for this at the Times.

The following short video will introduce you to the man himself …. with what you should know about his legacy …

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Here he interviews a fellow activist, Angela Davis …

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He will be sorely missed by all who struggle for true Justice throughout the world.

Bella Ciao dear Julian

 

SEPARATE ~~ BUT NOT EQUAL

Statistics released this week by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel paint a devastating picture of neglect, urban blight and underdevelopment in East Jerusalem, the historic heart of Palestinian life, all a result of nearly five decades of Israeli policies, with over 75 percent of Palestinians living below the poverty line compared to the national Israeli average of 21.8 percent.

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Decades of neglect leave East Jerusalem mired in poverty, violence

By: Charlie Hoyle FOR

Decades of chronic under-funding, discriminatory planning rights, and unequal access to services have left the Palestinian community in Jerusalem mired in poverty, according to statistics published by a civil rights group, with youths subject to increased police brutality and arrests since last summer’s demonstrations in the city.

Statistics released this week by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel paint a devastating picture of neglect, urban blight and underdevelopment in East Jerusalem, the historic heart of Palestinian life, all a result of nearly five decades of Israeli policies, with over 75 percent of Palestinians living below the poverty line compared to the national Israeli average of 21.8 percent.

The group released the statistics —taken from the Jerusalem Municipality, Israeli Police, the Central Bureau of Statistics, and other official agencies — to coincide with Jerusalem Day, a largely right-wing Israeli national holiday to celebrate the “liberation” and “reunification” of the city following what is internationally recognized as the illegal occupation of East Jerusalem in 1967.

For Palestinians, the day is a painful reminder of their historic loss, displacement, and on going marginalization.

Despite having lived under Israeli rule for 48 years, Palestinians are classified as permanent residents, not citizens, and lack political representation at a national level. The community largely chooses to boycott local municipal elections — in 2013 around 1 percent of Palestinians voted — and are essentially political orphans, with no Israeli or Palestinian political body representing their interests.

The result is recurring neglect of the 300,200 Palestinians in East Jerusalem, who form 36.8 percent of the city’s total population.

“These (Palestinian neighborhoods) are places where roads haven’t been repaired for years, where schools haven’t been built, where there is crime and garbage. In that sense you do wonder what the municipality thinks is the future (for East Jerusalem),”Ronit Sela,Director of ACRI’s Human Rights in East Jerusalem Project, told Ma’an.

In terms of public services, 36 percent of Palestinian households are not connected to the water network,43 percent of the classrooms in the municipal system are defined as inadequate, and there is a shortage of 30 kilometers of sewage pipes in Palestinian neighborhoods.

There are only eight post offices in East Jerusalem, compared to 40 in West Jerusalem. Furthermore, Palestinians can access only 9 infant healthcare centers in the city compared to 26 for Israelis, and poverty rates for children are 53 percent higher for Palestinian children, with 8,501 defined as “at risk.”

The dropout rate for Palestinian students in East Jerusalem in 12th grade — where students are 18 years old — is 33 percent, nearly 24 times higher than the dropout rate in the Hebrew education system, which stands at 1.4 percent, and despite forming 36.8 percent of the population — and paying residential and commercial taxes — only 10-13 percent of the overall municipal budget is invested in East Jerusalem,according to rights group Ir Amim.

“Palestinians in Jerusalem suffer first and foremost from the fact there is an on going conflict and Israeli authorities control every aspect of their lives,” Sela says.

Social workers in East Jerusalem say that the myriad of social and political problems can often affect individual Palestinian families directly, with many suffering from having one son in prison and another dropping out of school without qualifications, amid a backdrop of economic marginalization.

“East Jerusalem is not a tiny piece of land or territory, but Israeli policies have been to limit the space where Palestinians can reside, to limit the space where Palestinians can have commercial life or industry and, with the separation barrier, fragment the areas where Palestinians are living and where the center of the community is,” Sela says.

Police brutality, arbitrary law enforcement
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Alongside chronic poverty and economic marginalization, one of the major changes since ACRI’s 2014 report on East Jerusalem are the increasingly draconian police and municipal measures introduced against Palestinians following months of clashes following the murder of 16-year-old Muhammad Abu Khdeir last July by Israeli extremists.
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In the second half of 2014, ACRI reported that over 1,184 Palestinians were detained in East Jerusalem, including 406 children, with indictments submitted against 338 of those arrested.
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“Police violence is harsher and the state prosecution is asking for minors to be put under arrest for longer periods of time even before indictments. They keep them in prison custody for longer,” Sela says.
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Around 314 of the 338 Palestinians served with indictments — including 122 children — have been imprisoned since their detention as the charges for “disruption of public order” and riot-related offenses are processed, which adds up to months in jail before a sentence has even been passed.
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Israeli police forces have also provided the Jerusalem municipality with the names of hundreds of suspects wanted for alleged involvement in the demonstrations in order to increase enforcement measures against them, ACRI says, essentially a way of blacklisting Palestinian residents in civilian life.
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Some of the enforcement measures are childishly arbitrary, with ACRI reporting one example of municipal inspectors issuing a fine for the negligible offense of littering the streets with sunflower seeds.
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Other measures, however, are much more serious, with municipal officers issuing demolition orders and fines to Palestinian businesses and homes.
The Hagihon water company, theTax Authority and the National Insurance Institute are also all involved in enforcing arbitrary measures against Palestinian suspects, which were described by ACRI as “collective punishment” and the “abuse of the municipality’s enforcement powers.”
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In addition to the mass arrests — the largest number in East Jerusalem since the Second Intifada — police tactics have become notably more aggressive since last summer’s demonstrations, with the increased use of black sponge-tipped bullets since the summer, a harder, heavier, and more dangerous variant of the blue sponge-tipped bullet, which had been used almost exclusively before last year’s unrest.
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Use of the black variety of the bullets has been responsible for the loss of vision in at least one eye of five Palestinian children during the end of 2014, the youngest of whom was six-years-old.
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One youth, 16-year-old Muhammad Abd Al-Majid Sunuqrut, was killed in September after being struck with the riot control measure in East Jerusalem, which is used almost exclusively against Palestinians.
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ACRI also reported that at least three journalists clearly identified as media workers were hit in the head, face and shoulder by sponge bullets during demonstrations, in contravention against orders prohibiting aiming at the upper body, or children.
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The police tactic has also caused arm fractures, jaw fractures and internal injuries such as spleen tears, with one 30-year-old Palestinian born blind since childhood in one eye left completely blind after being shot with a sponge-tipped bullet.
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Directives for use of the more dangerous black bullet were only drafted in January 2015 after a request from ACRI, a full six months after their regular use against Palestinians.
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Israeli police also regularly used “Skunk” water in Palestinian neighborhoods, spraying the putrid-smelling liquid into houses, restaurants, and cars, with many residents having to temporarily evacuate their homes until the smell subsides.
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In October and November, Israeli forces blocked the main entrances to three major Palestinian neighborhoods — almost unthinkable in the West Jerusalem neighborhoods of Rehavia or the German Colony — restricting the movement of 50,000 Palestinians.
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In April, Israeli police then used cement blocks to seal the neighborhood of al-Tur following clashes, preventing the movement of residents and hindering crucial services such as ambulances and school buses.
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Struggling to stay in the city
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Alongside chronic poverty and punitive police and municipality tactics looms the constant threat of displacement, with Palestinians struggling to remain in the city amid legislation which prohibits planning and building, and punishes violations with eviction and demolitions.
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In 2014, 98 structures were demolished and 208 Palestinians were forcibly displaced, ACRI says.Since 2004, over 2,115 Palestinians have been left homeless by demolitions in East Jerusalem.
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Around 20,000 houses — accounting for 39 percent of East Jerusalem homes — lack a building permit and therefore could be issued a demolition order by the municipality at any point, leaving Palestinian families vulnerable and unable to plan for the future.
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The residency status of 107 Palestinian residents of Jerusalem was also revoked in 2014, adding to the 14,309 since Israel’s 1967 occupation of the city, meaning Palestinians whose families date back centuries in the city are no longer allowed to return.
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Despite five decades of Israeli polices designed to slowly displace Palestinians in Jerusalem, the community forms nearly 40 percent of the city’s population,leaving it unclear as to what the municipality, and indeed the government, has planned, considering that it will unlikely ever concede political control of the Old City.
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In 2014, Israel’s government approved for the first time in history a five year plan for East Jerusalem with a budget of 300 million shekels ($78 million).
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However, a third of the budget was to be allocated to “security,” with the remaining 200 million not nearly enough to reverse decades of deliberate neglect.
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“In order for real and meaningful changes to transpire, a fundamental change of attitude must take place among Israeli authorities,” ACRI said in the report.
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“They need to see the Palestinian residents of Jerusalem as human beings whose dignity must be maintained, whose lives must be protected and whose human rights must be promoted, even as the conflict continues to bleed on the streets of Jerusalem.”

ETHIOPIAN DIARY ~~ PART THREE ~~ WHY WE WILL CONTINUE TO PROTEST

“We will demonstrate against police brutality and in solidarity with all the members of the community who are not treated fairly by the authorities.”

“We’ve been silent for 30 years and now we’re making our cry heard. I call on everyone to join and not to remain apathetic.”

See Part One HERE

See Part Two HERE

Ethiopian protest in Jerusalem

Ethiopian protest in Jerusalem

Ethiopians Plan New Israel Racism Protests

Ethiopian-Israelis have set new protests against police brutality with the theme “No to violence, yes to dialogue.”

One rally is scheduled for Thursday in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon, Haaretz reported, and simultaneous demonstrations are planned for Saturday night throughout the country.

A demonstration by Ethiopian-Israelis and their supporters on Sunday in Tel Aviv turned violent, with dozens injured and four indicted for assaulting police officers. Rioting also broke out at a rally in Jerusalem several days earlier. The protests were spurred by the beating of an Ethiopian-Israeli soldier in uniform by Israeli police.

“We will demonstrate against police brutality and in solidarity with all the members of the community who are not treated fairly by the authorities,” Gavriel Tigabo, a protest organizer, told Haaretz. “We’ve been silent for 30 years and now we’re making our cry heard. I call on everyone to join and not to remain apathetic.”

A Facebook announcement of the Saturday protests said that “the entire Ethiopian community will demonstrate against its local authority to demand that the social injustices be remedied. You decide what the protest will look like, you lead it. No singers, no speeches.”

From JTA

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Ethiopian Protests Sign of Stubborn Racism in Israeli Society

Images of Israeli police firing stun grenades are usually set in the West Bank and involve Palestinian protesters. But on Sunday the situation was quite different – riot police battling thousands of Ethiopian Jews in the center of Tel Aviv.

The spark was a week old video showing two Israeli policemen punching, beating and trying to arrest an Israeli soldier of Ethiopian descent in what appeared to be an unprovoked attack.

The two-minute video is the latest in a string of incidents that have raised uncomfortable questions about Israel’s treatment of ethnic minorities and its struggle to integrate newcomers into broader society, whether Jews or non-Jews.

Some commentators have highlighted latent racism in a country that has absorbed millions of migrants over the past 60 years but still agonizes over differences between East European and Middle Eastern Jews, relations with its large Arab minority, and how to handle more recent arrivals from Africa.

“There is a problem, there are discrimination issues, there is racism in Israel,” said Fentahun Assefa-Dawit, the director of Tebeka, an advocacy group for Ethiopian Israelis, who number around 130,000, many of them born in Israel.

“We want the prime minister to take this matter into his hands,” he said moments before he was due to meet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss police behavior and the demonstrations that have ensued. “We urge him, we demand of him, to bring these issues to an end.”

DEEP SEATED PROBLEMS

In the run up to Israel’s election in March and in the weeks since there have been a series of violent incidents, comments by politicians and policy proposals that have fueled concerns the country has a race problem – not just when it comes to the 20 percent Arab population but to minority Jewish groups too.

Last week, an Ethiopian Jew said he was beaten by inspectors from Israel’s population and immigration authority because they thought he was a migrant from Sudan or Eritrea. The immigration authority said the man attacked the inspectors first.

On the day of the election on March 17, fearing he could lose, Netanyahu said “Arab voters are coming out in droves,” comments that offended the Arab-Israeli population and drew accusations of racism. The prime minister later apologized.

For months, Israel has been threatening to imprison thousands of illegal African migrants if they do not agree to be deported to third countries in Africa, despite the Supreme Court expressing deep reservations about the policy.

And rights groups have raised alarm about childcare for asylum seekers and migrant laborers after the death of half a dozen babies at a “warehouse” in Tel Aviv where the children were left while their parents went to find work.

Racism in Israeli society is “far more commonplace and far more toxic than we dare tell ourselves,” leading political commentator Nahum Barnea wrote in Yediot Ahronoth on Monday.

“It doesn’t begin with the Ethiopian Israelis and it doesn’t end with them,” he said. “Hatred of the other, or of anyone perceived as being the other, is not only deeply rooted here, but it also receives encouragement from politicians on the eve of elections.”

Ben Caspit, a columnist with Maariv newspaper, said it was not up to Netanyahu to resolve how the Ethiopian community is treated but for Israelis to wake up and address it.

“The people who are to blame for the terrible things that the members of this lovely community have been forced to undergo on a daily basis is us,” he said.

“Those among us who turn up their noses when an Ethiopian family enters the neighborhood, those among us who are not happy to see Ethiopian children in their children’s classroom.”

Around 20,000 Ethiopian Jews were brought to Israel on secret flights in the mid 1980s and early 199os, with the evacuations dubbed Operation Moses and Operation Solomon.

The offspring of those early arrivals have worked hard to integrate, many serving in elite units of the army with distinction. An Ethiopian woman won a recent Miss Israel beauty contest. But after mandatory military service, acceptance in the workplace has proved much more of a struggle.

“When an Ethiopian applies for a job, as qualified and impressive as he might be, he is not going to be invited for an interview because he has an Ethiopian name on his CV,” said Assefa-Dawit of Tebeka, the advocacy group.

“Israel is our country, there’s no ‘us and them’. This is our home. The community is crying out for the government to resolve this.”

 

From Reuters

ETHIOPIAN DIARY ~~ PART TWO ~~ WHY WE PROTEST

See Part One HERE

I was in the army four years ago, and when I was released, my wife and I went to rent an apartment — and we were told they don’t want Ethiopians.” 

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Are You Really Stunned That Ethiopian Anger Has Reached Tel Aviv?

I was in the army four years ago, and when I was released, my wife and I went to rent an apartment — and we were told they don’t want Ethiopians,” said one young protester to a newscast on Sunday night. He was standing in a crowd of mostly Ethiopian Jewish protesters in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square, the site of many protests over the years.

Scenes like that, of the press talking with activists, were mixed with those that looked ripped from the West Bank, with the Israeli army confronting Palestinian demonstrators. Legions of policemen with truncheons waded into crowds of black men and women; police hurled stun grenades by the dozens; mounted officers charged down the streets lined with posh cafés. Lumbering white armored vehicles sprayed the protesters with water cannons.

Was this Tel Aviv? The high-tech metropolis where everything is relaxed and people sit on the beach for hours on end? How, some wondered, could such violence reach all the way into this bubble?

But the real question is: How could it not?

What happened on Sunday night was the culmination of a week of anger over a video that surfaced showing two policemen assaulting an Ethiopian IDF soldier named Damas Pakada in Holon. This followed a year of incidents that had Ethiopian Jews feeling they had become targets of police brutality. On March 1, 2014, Yosef Salamseh was approached by police in a park in Binyamina. According to reports, police accused him of breaking into a house, tasered him, beat and handcuffed him and then took him to a station where family members found him left unconscious in a parking lot. Never charged with a crime, he filed a complaint about the assault, but instead of it being addressed his family was harassed and he was found dead in July, allegedly a suicide.

Racism against Ethiopians pervades Israeli society in more subtle ways, too. My wife, who is Ethiopian, was asked last week if she wants a job cleaning, when she has an MA and works as a senior civil servant. Israeli historian Anita Shapira claimed in her recent book that Ethiopians had to “transition…to an industrialized achievement-oriented society.” Such hidden prejudices — the assumption that Ethiopians don’t understand “achievement” — lead to long-term marginalization.

Image: Getty Images

Image: Getty Images

“We are tired of being nice,” was the response heard over and over last week. Young activists in their twenties and early thirties organized a protest in Jerusalem last Thursday outside the national police headquarters to demand the police prosecute the policemen filmed beating the soldier. For several hours they blocked Route 1, Israel’s main boulevard leading to northern suburbs, as well as the Jerusalem Light Rail. Police showed restraint and did not disperse the crowds. But the young people, many of them referencing their army service, seemed to feel their voice was not being heard. When they marched to the Prime Minister’s house, police fired tear gas at them. The momentary violence brought out Jerusalem’s Mayor Nir Barkat, who spent two hours trying to listen to their complaints over the din of chants.

The irony of the current protests is that they appeared to come amidst a lot of support for the Ethiopian community. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with the beaten soldier on Monday. President Reuven Rivlin expressed shock at the video last week, as did Natan Sharansky of the Jewish Agency. Still, there was anger that no Members of Knesset came out in Jerusalem. Pnina Tamano-Shata, an Ethiopian MK who lost her seat in the last elections, asked crowds in Jerusalem: “Why are 40% of Ethiopian men in the army sent to military prison during their service? Where are the MKs?”

By the time Joint List leader Ayman Odeh, Naftali Bennet and a few other MKs met with protesters in Tel Aviv, it was too late: the anger of years of discrimination had built up. When 30% of people in one juvenile detention center are Ethiopian, while Ethiopians make up only 2% of the general population, you’ve got a problem. When 40% of Ethiopian men in the army are sent to prison, often for economic reasons, you’ve got a problem.

During Thursday and Sunday’s mass protests, many other minorities, including Arabs, ultra-Orthodox, national-religious Jews and Mizrachi Jews expressed sympathy. “They did it to us Moroccans too,” said an elderly bearded man named Avraham on French Hill Thursday.

Ethiopians join a long list of groups seen as an “other” in Israeli society. These are the people who have for years presented their “integration” as a success story. The protesters time and again stressed that they are “the most Israeli.” But the press and politicians still call them “immigrants,” even though most are born in Israel.

The problem, of course, is that the protesters don’t want to be a permanent underclass, or remain in a situation where so many are being incarcerated. The community feels totally abandoned by a state to which they have given everything. When the state drafts a person from a poor Ethiopian community for three years and pays them $100 a month, and then that person cannot find a job, cannot rent an apartment, cannot afford a car or go to university, they want answers. Their immigrant parents’ generation accepted the poverty they found in Israel. But this generation has said enough.

POETIC BALTIMORE ~~ ‘TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME’

Two poems that say it all …..

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The Yards

© By Tom Karlson 

it was the first retro ball park

built on the public dime in 1992

in downtown Baltimore

by that crab and fish paradise

 

today 45,971 seats have been emptied

for public safety

baseball loving gulls are here

and when the organ plays

“Take Me Out To the Ball Game”

all join in

 

gulls fly while fifty players stand stiff

at the Star’s Spangled Banner

later God Bless America is ignored

by all

 

Eddie Murray and Carl Rifkin smile

outside young women and men

march

chanting Black lives matter

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FIELD BOX 54

© by Alejandro Escudé

Its come down to this: empty
major league baseball stands
while the game goes on below,

except for the one skeleton
sitting in Field Box 54, wolfing
down a hot dog whole, tossing peanuts
into its open jaw.

The hot dog bun perfectly preserved
and the pristine peanut shells
scattering past the skeleton’s severed
spinal chord.

The lonely announcer
can’t believe his eyes. “It appears
to be enjoying the game!” he says.

And why not? The whole stadium
to itself, Orioles against
the White Sox, nothing to worry about,

though it still remembers
the gelid badge pressed to its ear

and the godforsaken fear.

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Related Blog Post

An empty baseball stadium and social inequality: Reflections and lessons on Baltimore

Read it HERE

ETHIOPIAN DIARY ~~ WHY WE PROTEST

Thousands of Ethiopian Israelis turned out to the mass demonstration in Tel Aviv on Sunday to release some of the immense pain they have shouldered over the years.

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Personal testimony: Why we came to protest

Sahlo was humiliated by officers and arrested; Zerviv claims Education Ministry only lets her work with youths of Ethiopian descent; and Adla, first arrested at 13, had a German Shepherd unleashed on him.’

Thousands of Ethiopian Israelis turned out to the mass demonstration in Tel Aviv on Sunday to release some of the immense pain they have shouldered over the years.

Here are the stories of four protesters, who say they want to feel equal but are faced with discrimination due to the color of their skin.

Rabin Square protest (Photo: Yaron Brener)

Rabin Square protest (Photo: Yaron Brener)

‘He told us our women were sluts’

Addis Sahlo, a 29-year-old Israeli of Ethiopian descent, clearly recalled the humiliation he underwent a decade ago, when he sat with his friends on a major street in south Tel Aviv. “Me and three other friends arrived at a club and took a seat nearby to drink. Cops who arrived in the area asked us what we were doing.”

He told them they were at the club for a night out. “While we were talking, there was a brawl not far from us which involved some guys of Ethiopian descent. The cops ran over but they managed to escape. The police officers, who were probably pissed off, came back in our direction, kicked out bottle and began cursing at us.”

Ethiopian being arrested during the protest (Photo: Yaron Brener)

Ethiopian being arrested during the protest (Photo: Yaron Brener)

Sahlo says the police officers then blamed the brawl on the group, calling them “stinking Sudanese.” The Ethiopian Israeli was shocked by the officers’ conduct, who continued to hurl insults as they arrested him. “They claimed out ethnicity is responsible for all the problems and that our women were sluts. And they started to beat us.”

The police brutality victim recounted the horrific encounter. “I found myself begging the cops to stop, after which they took us under arrest and sprayed us with tear gas. At the police station they charged us with assaulting an officer and throwing bottles at police – which never happened.”

Israeli of Ethiopian descent at Rabin Square (Photo: Yaron Brener)

Israeli of Ethiopian descent at Rabin Square (Photo: Yaron Brener)

Sahlo said the judge released him at a court hearing. “That moment I understood that – no matter what – you cannot change your skin color. No matter where you go and what you do, you will be arrested. It’s insulting. Cops allow themselves to disrespect us and talk to us with their hands.”

‘I want to be everyone’s counselor’

Esthi Zerviv, a special education teacher and counselor, made aliyah to Israel at the age of six. She says she tried for years to get promoted in the Education Ministry, but claims her ethnicity held her back. “They claim that we are all equal – ‘the other is me’ – that’s one of the phrases waving atop the Education Ministry. But in the field, that is hardly implemented – many times I tried to be accepted as an education counselor and yet each time I was redirected to work with youths of Ethiopian descent.”

Ethiopian Israeli protesting police brutality (Photo: Motti Kimchi)

Ethiopian Israeli protesting police brutality (Photo: Motti Kimchi)

She pushed back against the employment discrimination. “With all due respect, I did not study to become a counselor or a special education teacher to only serve a certain segment of the population. I want to be a counselor to everyone – period.”

‘I want to be able to choose where I go out’

Menash, 25, of Ramla, said he regularly encounters discrimination at clubs, where he and his friends frequently find themselves outside for no apparent reason. “A third of the times I go out, I’m left outside or they make faces.

“Last Friday four of us, three of whom were Ethiopian, went out to a club in the south Tel Aviv area. The bouncer said there was no entry. When we asked why, he said it was closed and there was no room. But while you’re waiting in line, you see lots of people leaving the club, but they don’t let you in. After half an hour of waiting in line, you realize that you have to leave. It’s true that there are clubs that mostly cater to an Ethiopian crowd, but I want to have the ability to choose.”

‘They sent a German Shepherd after me’

Gatune Adla, 26, was arrested for the first time at the age of 13. “I returned from camp and was accused of attacking a policeman,” he said. “They arrested and beat me up. The officer pushed me up against the police car and whooped me, punching me with his firsts. I was a little kid, I cried, but nothing helped.”

His second encounter with law enforcement was a year and a half ago. “My friends and I were sitting in a grove and drinking. The police arrived and dispersed us. I had a scooter in the grove and I was carrying it home… I walked by the policemen, and I wasn’t afraid because unconsciously I knew I hadn’t done anything. I must have not heard the policeman telling me to stop, and they set a dog on me. I turned around and saw a German Shepherd with a muzzle jumping on me and grabbing my shirt. The policemen ran at me, stepped on me, and sprayed me with tear gas from a centimeter away. It’s very frustrating when you know you didn’t do anything. Now I understand people who say they’ve experienced it and are frustrated. I understand people like Yosef Salamsa.”

 

Source

FROM BALTIMORE TO JERUSALEM ~~ #BlackLivesMatter

Image 'Copyleft' by Carlos Latuff

Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

Related report from Mondoweiss

Baltimore Is Here’: Ethiopian Israelis protest police brutality in Jerusalem

Ben Norton*

Police clamp down on an Ethiopian Israeli protest against police brutality, in Jerusalem on April 30 (Photo: Lior Mizrahi

Police clamp down on an Ethiopian Israeli protest against police brutality, in Jerusalem on April 30 (Photo: Lior Mizrahi

Ethiopian Israelis took to the streets of Jerusalem on the evening of April 30 to protest police brutality and systemic racism. Haaretz reports that approximately 1,000 protesters gathered, principally from the Ethiopian Jewish community.

The citizens condemned racism and police brutality toward the Ethiopian Jewish community, calling for the end of impunity for cops who harass them.

A video released of a white Israeli police officer attacking a black Israeli soldier in Tel Aviv on April 26 angered many in the Ethiopian Israeli community, which is disproportionately targeted by Israeli police. The video shows officers pushing Demas Fekadeh, an Ethiopian Israeli soldier, to the ground and beating him.

Zionist Union Member of Knesset Shelly Yachimovich remarked in a Facebook post “It wouldn’t be far-fetched to expect that if [Demas Fekadeh], the soldier who was hit, was a light-skin soldier, preferably with an Ashkenazi appearance, he would not have sustained harsh blows without consideration from police.”

Ethiopian Israelis protest police brutality, in Jerusalem on April 30 (Photo: Haaretz)

Ethiopian Israelis protest police brutality, in Jerusalem on April 30 (Photo: Haaretz)

This is by no means an isolated incident. In March 2014, an Ethiopian Israeli by the name of Yosef Salamseh was in a public park with his friends when police approached him. They accused him of breaking into a house, a claim he adamantly denied. The cops then attacked him with a Taser gun, kicked him, handcuffed him, shackled his legs, threw him in a police car, and detained him in a nearby police station. His family later found him unconscious and tied-up. A few months later, he died. Police claimed it was a suicide.

In the wake of the incident, Salamseh came to be known by many as “Israel’s Michael Brown,” referring to an 18-year-old black American man who was walking down the street with a friend in Ferguson, Missouri when white police officer Darren Wilson shot him nine times, three times in the head.

An Ethiopian Israeli blocking a police vehicle in a protest against police brutality, in Jerusalem on April 30 (Photo: Lior Mizrahi)

An Ethiopian Israeli blocking a police vehicle in a protest against police brutality, in Jerusalem on April 30 (Photo: Lior Mizrahi)

Numerous journalists reported that the Ethiopian Jewish protesters in Jerusalem were chanting “Baltimore is here!”, connecting their struggle against racist brutality in Israel to the struggle of black Americans against racist brutality in the US.

Civil unrest emerged in Baltimore on April 25, in response to the police killing of Freddie Gray, an innocent, unarmed black man who was arrested for looking at a police officer in the face and then running away. While in police custody, Gray’s voice box was crushed and his spine was 80% severed. Baltimore police later accused him of injuring himself, although video footage was released of cops pummeling Gray. In the video, Gray can be heard asking for his inhaler, as he had trouble breathing, and appears to be incapable of walking, because of the brutal beating he suffered. (Police also harassed and later arrested the man who captured the attack on camera.) A medical expert revealed that it is virtually impossible that Gray injured himself.

Black Israelis have tied their own struggle to that of the Black Lives Matter movement in the US—a civil and human rights movement that emerged in response to the constant police murders of unarmed, innocent black Americans at the hands of white police—not just by drawing connections between Baltimore and Jerusalem, but furthermore by launching an Israeli offshoot of the “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” campaign.

Ethiopian Israelis protesting police brutality outside of Netanyahu’s house, in Jerusalem on April 30 (Photo: Keren Simons)

Ethiopian Israelis protesting police brutality outside of Netanyahu’s house, in Jerusalem on April 30 (Photo: Keren Simons)

Thousands of Ethiopian Jews reportedly also gathered outside of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s house, in protest of racist police violence.

Israeli police sprayed protesters with “skunk water” to break up the protests. Israeli forces do the same to peaceful Palestinian protesters in the occupied West Bank. There are also numerous recorded instances of occupation forces spraying skunk water into Palestinian homes.

According to police, some Ethiopian Israeli protesters in the largely peaceful demonstrations were also throwing stones—a protest tactic in which Palestinians living under military occupation in the occupied territories also engage.

The intense racism people of African descent face in Israel is well-documented. Many journalists have written of “Israel’s Disgustingly Racist Behavior Towards Ethiopian Jews.” The self-proclaimed Jewish state has forcibly sterilized Ethiopian Jews,refused to take blood donations from Ethiopian Members of Knesset (referring to it as “the special kind of Jewish-Ethiopian blood” they avoid), and even refused to wed Ethiopian Jews, expressing doubts that they are “truly” Jewish.

An Israeli police officer uses his baton to attack a protester lying on the ground at a demonstration against police brutality, in Jerusalem on April 30, 2015. (Photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

An Israeli police officer uses his baton to attack a protester lying on the ground at a demonstration against police brutality, in Jerusalem on April 30, 2015. (Photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

2/3rds of Ethiopian Jewish children in Israel live in poverty. Many Ethiopian Jews are forced to live either in ghettos or illegal settlements. These gaping disparities and this structural racism have led to critics calling Israel an Ashkenazi-supremacist state and Zionism a white-supremacist movement, one that is itself anti-Semitic in its oppression of non-Ashkenazi Jews.

Scholar Hanan Chehata describes Israel as the “promised land for Jews… as long as they’re not black.”

Jews of African descent are not the only ones to suffer from the Ashkenazi supremacy of Zionism. Since its earliest days, Mizrahi Jews (those of Middle Eastern descent) have faced systematic discrimination in Israeli society. In the 1950s, Israel forced Mizrahi Jews to live in poverty in tents in shantytown-like transit camps while Ashkenazim were given hotels.

In the decades since, Mizrahim have continued to endure systemic racism. This intense oppression led to the creation of the Israeli Black Panthers, in parallel to the revolutionary socialist Black Panther Party in the US. Former Israeli Black Panthers still protest Israeli racism against Mizrahi Jews today.

* About Ben Norton Ben is a freelance writer and journalist. His work has been published in CounterPunch, Electronic Intifada, Common Dreams, ThinkProgress, and ZNet, among other publications.

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Photos from solidarity demo in New York

Photos © by Bud Korotzer

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MAY DAY IN PHOTOS

The Worker’s Song

Union Square, New York City

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Photos © by Bud Korotzer

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LOOKING BACK TO THE FUTURE

A WEE GLANCE AT MY PAST AND WHY I BELIEVE IN A BRIGHT FUTURE

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Today, April 13th, would be the 80th wedding anniversary of my parents. In 1960, on this day, their family and friends organised a surprise party for their 25th anniversary. I was sent to our local Woolworth Store to buy some crepe paper rolls to decorate the walls. When I got there I was greeted by a picket line, was handed a leaflet that I did not read and went into the store to buy what I needed.

When I came out the demonstrators asked if I read the leaflet I was given, I responded “not yet” … it called for a boycott of Woolworth because their stores in the South refused to serve Blacks at their lunch counters. I felt as if I committed a crime by not heeding their call, so I promised to join their demonstration the following week. I kept my word and continued with these good people for over a year until Woolworth finally changed their policies.

That's me under the third 'O'

That’s me under the third ‘O’

The reception from those passing by was not always the friendliest, I was called every name in the book, from ‘N’ Lover to Communist … I didn’t even know what a Communist was even though I was around during the McCarthy days and the Rosenberg Spy Case. I found it strange that suddenly, because I was against segregation in the South I was a Communist. There were shouts of ….

Russia??? That was a place that my mother left in 1922 for good reasons. Why would I want to go there???

The 60’s were years of change in America. A Catholic was elected President, the Civil Rights Movement grew by leaps and bounds as did the Peace Movement. Fidel Castro was the leader of a new Cuba, just 90 miles away putting an end to the infamous dictatorship of Batista. Times were good and the future looked promising.

It was a natural move to get involved in the ‘Ban The Bomb Movement’. There I found myself in the company of great notables like Eleanor Roosevelt, Dr. Spock, Linus Pauling, Bertrand Russell and so many more … and we were all called Communists (sic). Some of us investigated the name calling and realised that the shoe fit, so we wear it to this day.

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It was also natural to define 'Communist' and realise that I was one .... that's me next to the cop.

That’s me next to the cop.

Despite the horrible situation that the world is in today, the hope for a bright future prevails. Just yesterday America’s Afro-American President met for the first time with the leader of Cuba. 

There are moves to control the spread of nuclear arms throughout the world.

We lost many Brothers and Sisters along the way, but our ranks continue to swell. Both are the reasons that I never lost the hope of a bright and peaceful future …. and that all started on April 13th.

The rest is history!

Welcome To The Future Green Road Sign with Copy Room Over The Dramatic Clouds and Sky.

A Blessing to the memory of those who are no longer with us to see the great changes taking place.

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PHOTO ESSAY ~~ COMMEMORATING SELMA ALABAMA’S BLOODY SUNDAY

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On March 7th,1965, Black citizens from Selma, Alabama attempted to march to the state capital Montgomery demanding the right of Black citizens to vote.

At a bridge on route  to Montgomery they were confronted by a large band of Alabama state troopers armed with  rifles, whips, tear gas, clubs & dogs. They were informed their march was illegal  and they would not be allowed to cross and were given three minutes to disperse. When the marchers requested time to pray they were immediately set upon by the troopers: a brutal racist attack commenced. Beatings, blooded heads and broken bones ensued: Blood flowed freely. 

That day is known as “Bloody Sunday”. This day, March 7th, 2015,  is the 50th  anniversary of  the Alabama State terror attack. In commemoration, 1,000 people joined and walked from the Manhattan side of the Brooklyn bridge to Brooklyn and then to Brooklyn’s Borough Hall to hear President Obama’s speech from Selma Alabama.

(click on link to see and hear)

Full Text of the

President’s speech

Photos © by Bud Korotzer

Commentary by Chippy Dee

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Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around 

MUST SEE VIDEO ~~ MISSISSIPPI THEN, STATE OF ISRAEL NOW

An oldie but a goodie …. and TIMELY! … Just replace the word Mississippi with Palestine when you listen to it.

Originally posted at Jews sans frontieres

REMEMBERING MALCOLM X, OUR BROTHER AND TEACHER

If you aren't careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed and loving the people who are doing the oppressing. Remembered by Carlos Latuff

If you aren’t careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.
Remembered by Carlos Latuff

Malcolm X was assassinated 50 years ago this month (February 21st 1965). He would have been almost 90 years old. But he left us when his time was due. A fearless, courageous and sincere man who will never be forgotten by those who stand with the oppressed.

We will remember him today as we did yesterday as our beloved brother.

We remember him and appreciate the sacrifices he made not only for the African Americans but all people across the world. May God grant him mercy and the highest station in paradise. Amen.

Eulogized by Ossie Davis

Remembered by his friends and comrades…

Contents
Assassination of Malcolm X
Harlem resident
Sonia Sanchez
James Henrik Clarke
Ella Collins
Prince Faisal (not to be confused with THE King Faisal)
Ossie Davis
Amiri Baraka
Yvonne Little
Alex Haley
Sharon 10X
Maya Angelou
Denzel Washington
Nelson Mandela
Tariq Ramadan
Robert Haggins
Earl Grant
Yuri Kochiyama
Shirley Joshi
Malcolm X in Smethwick, Birmingham, UK (12/02/1965)
Ossie Davis
Malcolm X in Oxford Union (04/12/1964)
Malcolm X resting

Click HERE to read related report

Malcolm X remembered as civil rights leaders grapple with new protest movement

LANGSTON HUGHES HONOURED BY GOOGLE

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Click on Google today and you will see a short tribute to Langston Hughes’ on his 113th Birthday …

A brief biography and links to the poetry of Langston Hughes can be seen HERE

A TRIBUTE TO OUR MEN IN BLUE

maniac-cop-a

Men in Blue

By Tom Karlson

 

spawned under the rebel flag

to destroy the slave hating  antichrist

derail her railroad

poison the drinking gourd

send Harriet and Sojourner to the tobacco field

ball and chain Douglass back to Maryland

patrol and police Robert E Lee’s turf

the men in blue

are reincarnated at reconstructions death

in the north

Chicago and her sister cities

anywhere

that workers organize

anywhere

that immigrants march

anywhere there are scabs

there work  the men in blue

some men in blue

stop and frisk

arrest and arrest and arrest

using executors muscle

keeping the machine spinning

stocking the furnace

of the new Jim Crow

some men in blue

protect and serve

with brain and tongue

when forced to fight

for more pay and less hours

                                                  the militia  comes running

governor and mayor with whip and gun

Pinkerton and National Guard

those men in blue do learn quickly

they have no right to strike

against public safety

anywhere any reason anytime

IN PHOTOS ~~ REMEMBERING THE STOLEN DREAMS ON MLK DAY

There were several marches – the one we went on had about 2,000 people.  Then we went to Grand Central Station where about 200 of us held up the names of unarmed Black citizens, mostly young men, who were killed by the police.  People read about them, who they were, how they died.  After each story people said their name, all together, and raised their fist in the air.  People passing through stopped to listen.  Some family members of those killed were there.  After 3 hours someone read King’s last speech and we repeated it, one line at a time (Occupy style) and then everyone sang We Shall Overcome and Keep Your Eyes on the Prize, Hold On.  Actually, we did the same thing for 24 hours last week.  It is a very powerful experience.

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We’ve come a long way, but we’re not there yet …

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Photos © by Bud Korotzer, Commentary by Chippy Dee

Marching through the streets …

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At Grand Central …

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THE ZIONISATION OF MLK? …. NOT QUITE!

Based on this one quote …

Best they look at the whole picture to see the truth …

King canceled a planned trip to Israel in September 1967 in part because of political misgivings over the annexation of Jerusalem. He reportedly told his aides in a telephone call:

[“I’d run into the situation where I’m damned if I say this and I’m damned if I say that no matter what I’d say, and I’ve already faced enough criticism including pro-Arab.  I just think that if I go, the Arab world, and of course Africa and Asia for that matter, would interpret this as endorsing everything that Israel has done, and I do have questions of doubt…  Most of it [the pilgrimage] would be Jerusalem and they [the Israelis] have annexed Jerusalem, and any way you say it they don’t plan to give it up…  I frankly have to admit that my instincts – and when I follow my instincts so to speak I’m usually right – I just think that this would be a great mistake. I don’t think I could come out unscathed”]

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Wall picture from NYC2Palestine on Facebook

Wall picture from NYC2Palestine on Facebook

On MLK Day, lots of folks are talking Palestine

It’s nighttime now on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, but the day has not gone by without a lot of folks talking and thinking about Palestine.

USA Today has a big piece on how King’s legacy is being carried on today in the U.S. by leaders of #BlackLivesMatter, including Phillip Agnew of Dream Defenders (which was founded after the killing of Trayvon Martin in 2012). Reporter Rick Hampson notes one of King’s strengths, and Agnew’s:

  • The internationalist. His ability to elicit support from abroad – and shame Americans with segregation’s inherent contradictions — resonates with Agnew, who recently traveled to Palestine with other activists.

Dream Defenders lately held an action in Nazareth.

Speaking of King’s internationalism, Jamil Dakwar writes:

“If you wonder what #MLK’s position on #BDS would be read this newly found 1964 London speech.”

BDS is of course the international movement for boycott, divestment and sanctions of Israel. Dakwar links to this speech reported on DemocracyNow today in which King addressed racial injustice at home and abroad in 1964 and called for boycotting South Africa:

Our responsibility—our responsibility presents us with a unique opportunity: We can join in the one form of nonviolent action that could bring freedom and justice to South Africa, the action which African leaders have appealed for, in a massive movement for economic sanctions. In a world living under the appalling shadow of nuclear weapons, do we not recognize the need to perfect the use of economic pressures? Why is trade regarded by all nations and all ideologies as sacred? Why does our government and your government in Britain refuse to intervene effectively now, as if only when there is a bloodbath in South Africa—or a Korea or a Vietnam—will they recognize a crisis? If the United Kingdom and the United States decided tomorrow morning not to buy South African goods, not to buy South African gold, to put an embargo on oil, if our investors and capitalists would withdraw their support for that racial tyranny that we find there, then apartheid would be brought to an end. Then the majority of South Africans of all races could at last build the shared society they desire.

Electronic Intifada reported that speech excerpt some years ago, as well as a letter that King wrote in 1962 along with Albert Lutuli, a leader of the African National Congress. Key sentence:

The apartheid republic is a reality today only because the peoples and governments of the world have been unwilling to place her in quarantine.

Israeli supporters are promoting the fact that King also said nice things about Israel– calling it one of the outposts of democracy in the world (youtube clip here). Avi Mayer also tweets this photo of MLK Street in central Jerusalem.

MLK Street in Jerusalem

But Dakwar is surely on target here. King was martyred when Israel was still Plucky Israel in the eyes of the west, before the occupation took real form. And it is the treatment of Palestinians under occupation that has driven the BDS movement in the west. There’s no question that if King were alive today, he would be in lines with that movement. Besides, think of how far America has come since King’s death. Diversity is today widely celebrated, and some establishment institutions are actually fostering diversity.

[Update: King canceled a planned trip to Israel in September 1967 in part because of political misgivings over the annexation of Jerusalem. He reportedly told his aides in a telephone call:

[“I’d run into the situation where I’m damned if I say this and I’m damned if I say that no matter what I’d say, and I’ve already faced enough criticism including pro-Arab.  I just think that if I go, the Arab world, and of course Africa and Asia for that matter, would interpret this as endorsing everything that Israel has done, and I do have questions of doubt…  Most of it [the pilgrimage] would be Jerusalem and they [the Israelis] have annexed Jerusalem, and any way you say it they don’t plan to give it up…  I frankly have to admit that my instincts – and when I follow my instincts so to speak I’m usually right – I just think that this would be a great mistake. I don’t think I could come out unscathed”]

Brooklyn for Peace urges folks to support negotiations with Iran– “Dr. King knew that war abroad means misery at home”– and is pressing activists to get on the campaign to pressure that NY City delegation to Israel not to go. From NYC2Palestine’s Facebook page:

Join us on Thursday, Jan 22nd at 1pm in City Hall Park to tell New York City Council members – Don’t Tour Apartheid Israel!

New Yorkers are outraged by 15 New York City Council members’ decision to take an all-expenses-paid propagandatour of Israel, organized by the Jewish Community Relations Council and United Jewish Appeal in February 2015.

Multiple social justice groups and organizations participating in a press conference on the steps of City Hall this past Monday told the New York City Council: #DontTourApartheid. We, the people of NYC, need to do the same.

Also, on Fresh Air today, Eric Foner spoke of the importance of solidarity to the antislavery movement, whites and blacks joining together. What was a difficult thing that was to achieve in the 1850s:

You know, the barriers between black and white were far higher than they are today. And overcoming that in order to work in a collaborative way, cooperating with each other in a, I think, noble cause of trying to assist people who were escaping from slavery and trying to undermine the institution of slavery and, eventually, bring about its abolition. And I – you know, I think on Martin Luther King Day, it should lead us to remember that the civil rights movement had antecedents in our history. It had, you know – that this was a great social movement of the mid-19th century and that these are the things that inspire me in American history – the struggle of people to make this a better country. To me, that’s what genuine patriotism is.

Of course Martin Luther King built that sort of coalition with considerable care in the 1960s, and today we should be thankful for the transformative coalition that we and so many others are building across racial and religious and national lines to free Palestinians (and Israelis), and lift a glass to MLK.

Thanks to Annie Robbins, Allison Deger and Alex Kane.

FROM DREAM TO NIGHTMARE IN IMAGES

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The Dream

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The Nightmare

****WARNING GRAPHIC- ADULTS ONLY****

USA/PALESTINE ~~ STUDENT SOLIDARITY ON BOTH SIDES OF THE POND

If you're a victim of oppression, then you are Palestinian as well. 'Copyleft' by Carlos Latuff

If you’re a victim of oppression, then you are Palestinian as well.
‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

In America …. read THIS fantastic book review

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And in Palestine …

Birzeit students hold solidarity event with Black struggle in US

By Alex Shams

Nearly 100 students at Birzeit University in the central West Bank on Wednesday took part in a solidarity event with the African-American community in the United States in the wake of spiraling rates of deadly police violence there.

Entitled, “Similar Struggles: Racism in Palestine and Abroad,” the event was organized by the Right to Education Campaign at the university and featured lectures from professors as well as a number of students who recently returned from a tour of the United States where they visited Ferguson, Missouri — the site of months of protest against police violence — and met with community organizers across the nation.

Organizers said the activity was one of the “most successful” events organized by the campaign, highlighting how the topic spoke directly to the experiences of Palestinian students.

“Following the uprisings of Black communities across the US, a lot of us here in Palestine began to see the similarities between these communities’ oppression by the militarized state and our own oppression as Palestinians under Israeli colonialism,” organizer Deema al-Saafin told Ma’an in an emailed statement.

She said that the event was part of an effort to “create and sustain solidarity with other struggles,” adding: “We aimed to emphasize that change begins with liberating the mind first, and to build solidarity we need to actively resist derogatory terminology and stereotypes between each other and the way we address other people of color.”

She said the event featured three professors, Ahmad Abu Awad, Rana Barakat, and Hanada Kharama, who addressed racism as an ideology, the institutionalization of racism, and how racism becomes embedded in linguistics, respectively.

In addition, students who took part in the recent Right to Education tour shared their experiences meeting with activists from communities of color in the United States and “how deeply connected our struggles are against the same systems of oppression,” al-Saafin said.

Another organizer, Reema Asia, stressed that the event was important for educating students about struggles faced by their peers abroad: “Through the discussion that took place, the students at the university will have a better understanding of the situation of Black communities not just in America, but around the world. You simply cannot be an ally to a people without having an idea of what it is they are fighting against.”

Al-Saafin told Ma’an that the event was part of the larger effort of building solidarity through knowledge, and that the Right to Education campaign hoped it would help bolster their work to create linkages between the struggles faced by Palestinians and other marginalized communities around the world.

“We hope that this event and those in the future will emphasize the fact that as Palestinians and as students, we have to actively fight injustice everywhere … Our liberation is simply incomplete without the liberation of all oppressed peoples,” she said.

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It’s all ONE STRUGGLE!

Also by Latuff

Also by Latuff

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